Older fans – what is your take on anime and anime fandom today?

The roughly mid-90's and earlier (generally pre-Toonami, pre-anime boom) era of anime & manga fandom: early cons, clubs, tape trading, Nth Generation VHS fansubs, old magazines & fanzines, fandubs, ancient merchandise, rec.arts.anime, and more!
davemerrill
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Re: Older fans – what is your take on anime and anime fandom today?

Post by davemerrill » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:42 am

this is tangential to the discussion, but still applicable; it's a response to a FB comment that kind of went into the "things were great in the old daze" direction.

I feel like anyone nostalgic for the tape trading days needs to remember that the tape trading days meant people like me coming home from school or work to tackle coping ten or twenty or thirty VHS copies of Project A-Ko, Dirty Pair, Crusher Joe, Be Forever Yamato, Galaxy Express, My Youth In Arcadia, Bubblegum Crisis, Urusei Yatsura, Orange Road, Mobile Suit Gundam, Vampire Hunter D, Prefectural Earth Defense Force, Maison Ikkoku, Macross, Lupin III, Patlabor, and Akira, over and over and over again. That wonderful friendly happy-go-lucky time of "free anime" was wholly dependent on me and people like me around the country, giving up my time and my energy and my VCRs. All those titles have received multiple legitimate home video releases in the US, there they are if you wanna see them, and I'll be darned if I'm going to go back to "the good old days" of me being an unpaid volunteer film distributor for the benefit of strangers. Been there, done that, designed, printed, sold, and wore the T-shirt.

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Re: Older fans – what is your take on anime and anime fandom today?

Post by usamimi » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:14 am

YEAH, like you pointed out, while there's a lot that some people miss about the QUOTE UNQUOTE GOOD OL' DAYS, there's so much that people just....either forgot about, or just outright deny in favor of only remembering the Good Stuff. :lol:

There's both good and bad things about every era of fandom, honestly. While it's easy to look back on the past fondly, I DON'T miss having to watch things on a tiny tube TV in awful quality with no subtitles. Or having to be acquaintances with jerks just to get copies of tapes because they were the only ones who had copies of a thing you wanted. Or not being taken seriously by some men because they assumed everything about my tastes without asking. (Fun fact: this has only gotten slightly better in the past 30 years! :roll: )

Fandom today can be cool because with social media and the internet, you can almost instantly find at least one or more other people who also like a thing you like, and you can talk to them about that thing! Which is pretty great. And there's a wide range of anime from practically every era you can access very easily (sometimes even for free!) But then again, you can also instantly find people who hate the thing you like, and act like it's their job to tell you how the thing you like is awful compared to the thing THEY like. (Or even better, the people who act like you're not allowed to like it because you're not "A TRUE FAN", or some weird imaginary hurdle they've made up that unless you jump over you can't be considered "a fan". Which is both ridiculous and exhausting.) Again, this is nothing new, but the internet and social media make it a hell of a lot easier for you to run into them quicker!

I do also like that now I can look up who worked on what series without having to find Japanese magazines and hope the staff is listed somewhere, too. That's nice.
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Re: Older fans – what is your take on anime and anime fandom today?

Post by NorthernKaleCity » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:32 pm

So as you can see Karma, the take on anime and anime fandoms today, from the side of us older fans, really isn't all that different a take than what you all, as a new generation of fans, is going through.

There wasn't this, mythical, beyond the ether, cosmic look into the classic of anime and manga past, that I imagine, other people must love and enjoy talking about on other forums, with fond memories like a perfect sunset streaking across the horizon as stars begin to show in the night sky, gleaming as if to show us the proper, and fundamental way home past our hearts, and deep into our souls.

That particular fragrance of nostalgic thinking should be exterminated with extreme prejudice, and that's just my opinion at my age now. I won't speak for any of the others who have commented in this particular thread, but to some degree, I'd hope we could all come to some form of agreement on that statement. Painting the past with such vibrant colors rare and scarce now, only for someone to discover that the past was painted with Crayola crayons would only lead to disappointment. Sure, the love is there and it's certainly genuine, but we have it better now in 2019.

If anyone tells you differently, they had better be flying in on a unicorn made of aqua-licious pink diamonds, with little prancing cherubs flying above their heads blasting their horns to the tune of, "Retro Was Awesome In SO Many Ways" sung by a glorious duet of George Michael and David Bowie (RIP) while cherry blossom leaves fall from the heavens like magical dandruff.

It's not that awesome, but know that we do appreciate the bullshit we had to go through, to appreciate what we have, today.

Though we comment at an individual level, there's a camaraderie among us older fans in terms of seeing each other's viewpoints, and acknowledging, silently among each other mind you, that the old days are better left back then, but again, they are growing pains that new fans can learn from.

And fuck Luna Art still. :lol:

But more importantly, what's your take on anime and anime fandom today, Karma? As an older fan, I'm interested in hearing what the new gen feels about it. What do you like, or dislike about the anime fandom at present? How has it changed since you first started being a fan, and what do you miss? Are you still involved in the community? Why or why not?

Now it's your turn to answer, and answer honestly—from the heart. God knows we have. :D

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Re: Older fans – what is your take on anime and anime fandom today?

Post by DKop » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:09 pm

I've thought about this as just something fun to do as an education experience for newer fans, but do either a panel or make a side area at a con as a "early fandom reenactment" scene. Show fans the actual work it takes to make fansubs, tape distribution, fanzines, having one guy up there on stage with a mic doing his best to translate a scratched-too-hell anime, etc etc. Would be great to sucker some volunteers in to do either of these tasks and have someone audit an area or be a tour guide to describe to newer fans the crap they went through and why technology made things better for fans today.

And by sucker I mean I'll probably be the only dummy to willingly do it, since you know, it was my idea in the first place. Gotta own up to it.

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Re: Older fans – what is your take on anime and anime fandom today?

Post by usamimi » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:18 pm

I did a panel at Con-jikan that was called "social otaku before social media" where I talked about what it was like being a fan in the beforetimes & I saw a kid's eyes bug out slightly when I talked about watching raw, unsubbed anime at cons while someone stood there & tried to explain what was going on. It seems unthinkable compared to what we're used to now, but folks like me & Dave & other people on here lived through it!
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Re: Older fans – what is your take on anime and anime fandom today?

Post by davemerrill » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:11 am

I did an Anime North panel a few years ago where I brought the LD player, VHS and Beta decks, and the RCA Selectavision player to demonstrate the physical media we dealt with "back in the day". It was fun to plug everything up and listen to it hum and I might do that panel again if I find another working Beta.

Usamimi, "Social Otaku Before Social Media" is a great title for a panel!

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Re: Older fans – what is your take on anime and anime fandom today?

Post by usamimi » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:10 am

Thanks Dave! I actually gave your blog a good plug during it as something the kids could go to if they wanted to dive into older con history even more ;)
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Re: Older fans – what is your take on anime and anime fandom today?

Post by Moonsaber » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:01 am

I love the high legal availability we have now of anime.

Such a big change from the bad old days when 2 episodes of Ranma was $30 on VHS (Sub, dub was $25), or a Bubblegum Crisis LD was $50 or more. When you had to venture out to find legal anime in places like Suncoast, and the pickings were slim.

Now I have 2 streaming subscriptions just for anime, and three others that deliver it as well (My family is stream only.. we have Netflix and Hulu, as well as Prime, Crunchyroll and HiDive), and I think it is great. I still make sure if I want to watch it again that I purchase the show on media though.

As far as fandom goes, it used to be very exclusive and now practically everyone I meet has watched at least something. Most college graduates have at LEAST seen Cowboy Bebop, for instance. Sites like animenewsnetwork allow folks to talk, it's neat, and you don't have exclusivity, but you can talk about anime with almost anyone, and I think that is amazing!
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