JACO: The Japanese Animation Club of Orlando

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!
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mbanu
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JACO: The Japanese Animation Club of Orlando

Post by mbanu »

Responsible for JACOSub, the Amiga subtitling software created by Alex Matulich, the Project JACO fanzine, and runner of Florida anime convention JACON from 2000 to 2009. (^_^) They also had some connection to the Anime Central BBS, although I'm a little hazy on the details.

They still have a website, although it's not clear if JACO is still active... colleges have a habit of preserving old websites: http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~jaco/ It looks like they had some sort of trouble in 2007...

The folks at Anime World Order interviewed one of the founders, Joe Vecchio, in 2007 -- always ahead of the curve, those guys: http://www.awopodcast.com/2007/01/anime ... nting.html
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Re: JACO: The Japanese Animation Club of Orlando

Post by mbanu »

An online ad for the first JACO meeting on January 25, 1991, courtesy of rec.arts.anime:
Joe Vecchio wrote:Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!att!att!fang!alfred!business!f70.n363.z1.UUCP!Joe.Vecchio
From: Joe.Vecchio@f70.n363.z1.UUCP (Joe Vecchio)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.anime
Subject: JACO:First meeting
Message-ID: <227.2782F531@business.uucp>
Date: 3 Jan 91 05:35:56 GMT
Sender: ufgate@business.uucp (newsout1.26)
Organization: FidoNet node 1:363/70 - Ware & Tear, Orlando FL
Lines: 44


THE JAPANESE ANIMATION CLUB OF ORLANDO

FIRST MEETING

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25th 7 p.m.

ENTERPRISE 1701, CORRINE DRIVE ORLANDO

Main Feature:
Movie: "MACROSS: Oboete Mas'ka" (Love, Do You
Remember?)

The movie that helped spawn the ROBOTECH series,
in full stereo and in the original Japanese. Accept
no substitutes!

Other Features:
Dr. Slump: "The Penguin Grand Prix"
Dr. Slump and the residents of Penguin Island
hold perhaps the most insane race ever held...

Lupin III: "The Albatross Incident"
Fujiko is kidnapped by a man who wants to make
nuclear bombs for sale to the highest bidder.
Lupin wants to help, but can he get by INTERPOL
policeman Zenigata? One of the three episodes
animated by the great Hayao Miyazaki.

Topic for Discussion:
JACO: What we can look forward to in the future?
And what happened to the C/FO?

Interested parties are requested to leave mail
here care of Joe Vecchio or Fred Leggett.


--
Joe Vecchio - via FidoNet node 1:363/42
UUCP:
ARPA: Joe.Vecchio@f70.n363.z1.UUCP


\
The reference to the C/FO is interesting -- was JACO connected to C/FO Central Florida Operation before the collapse?
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Re: JACO: The Japanese Animation Club of Orlando

Post by mbanu »

Apparently someone wrote a Wikipedia article on JACO sometime between 2004 and 2008, that was deleted (I'm guessing for original research or not meeting notability standards). Fortunately preserved by the Speedy Deletion Wikia (although of course buyer beware):
JACO was founded in 1993 by UCF students/Orlando residents Ken Nabbe, John Steppe, John Bohlen and Fred Leggett, among others. The group's first meetings were held in the basement of the UCF library where the club screened raw anime while passing around translated scripts. As membership grew over the next six years, the club was able to secure the use of a 400 seat auditorium in UCF's Communications School building.

As the club grew, it was able to assemble a vast library of subtitled anime which it screens at it's bi-weekly meetings. Initally, the club was run by Steppe and Leggett, and they in turn were succeeded by Ken Nabbe as President. Nabbe was succeded by his then-girlfriend Nicole Kitner as President. Under Kitner, the club saw a period of rapid growth as programming focused on various forms of shoujo anime which proved popular with UCF students.

JACO was splintered in 1999 when former president Fred Leggett left the group in a dispute with other senior members of the organization. Leggett had proposed running a sci-fi convention as far back as 1996 but had never acted upon this idea during his presidency. When the idea was revived in 1999 by Kitner and her advisors, Leggett left along with several close friends and launched a rival anime convention known as Anime Festival Orlando.

Also in 1999, founding member John Bohlen left the group to launch another anime club, Anime Sushi. Unlike the Leggett split, this one was amicable and both JACO and Sushi maintain close ties to this day.

In September 2000, JACO staged the first JACON convention on the main campus of the University of Central Florida. The first convention was a success with over 1,000 attendees, quite an accomplishment for a small convention. JACONS have been held annually every May since 2000.

In 2002, Nicole Kitner announced she was stepping down as President so that she could marry her vice president, Casey Hollis. Nicole was succeeded later that year by Jimmie Hannaman III, continuing the tradition of current UCF students running the club. Hannaman also took over as chairman of JACON

Jimmie Hannaman's term as president saw a marked decrease in club membership and meeting attendance contrasted with rising attendance numbers for JACON. Membership decline was generally attributed to a lack of focus in programming and poor planning of special events staged by the club. Hannaman himself withdrew from overseeing the club in 2003 to focus on personal issues, leaving day-to-day operations of the club in the hands of Arthur "Tad" Simmons, JACO's faculty advisor.

Jimmie Hannaman officially resigned as president (while maintaining his role as convention chairman) in August, 2004 leaving Jason Sedighi as the current president.
(http://speedydeletion.wikia.com/wiki/Ja ... t_00:09%29)
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Re: JACO: The Japanese Animation Club of Orlando

Post by Lawmune »

In the late 90s, I became friends with Fred Leggett online (through our mutual love of To-Y), but never met him in person. Haven't talked to him in years, though.

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Re: JACO: The Japanese Animation Club of Orlando

Post by Drew_Sutton »

So, with JACO's first meeting (per Joe) in 1991, how soon thereafter did Alex write JACOSub? I see it's listed as professional subtitling software but I also only see it developed for Amiga, which I cannot see being used very much in the professional space any longer. There's a history I want to know.
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Re: JACO: The Japanese Animation Club of Orlando

Post by mbanu »

Drew_Sutton wrote:So, with JACO's first meeting (per Joe) in 1991, how soon thereafter did Alex write JACOSub?
My guess is sometime between March and November of 1992. JACO was releasing fansubs of the Devilman OVAs by April of 1992, but may have been using TurboTitler. Frustrations with TurboTitler lead to the development of JACOsub for JACO's fansubbing projects, and a beta release to the world was announced in November of 1992:
Alex Matulich wrote:Some problems with TurboTitler prompted us to begin writing our own script playing software (we still use TurboTitle for timing - it's a fine program for that purpose).

The problems we had with TurboTitle were these:

1) Text rendering was slow. TurboTitle builds its text in a background video buffer, then blits the finished image to the foreground. This blit can take up to 3 video frames to complete. With a multicolored font, you can see "flashes" as the text is blitted and erased, which is irritating. Our software (we call it JACOsub) does true video buffering using video
page switching during the vertical CRT blank interval. A screenful of text appears *instantaneously*, before the electron beam in the monitor begins a new sweep. JACOsub uses 4 video buffers to do its thing.

2) We wanted a more flexible script format. We needed a file format that allowed us to insert comments between lines and even inside the text. We have no restrictions on field lengths, blank lines, data argument separators, or anything. The file format is extremely flexible and easily expandable for future needs.

3) We wanted non-sequential subtitles. TurboTitle cannot do the effect in, for example, "Riding Bean" where two characters are talking at once and two independent sequences of subitles are running on different halves of the screen, in two colors. JACOsub allows timing ranges to overlap to your heart's content.

4) We wanted control over text attributes. That is, we can mix different fonts, font face colors, and font styles (italics, etc) on the same screen. JACOsub is very flexible in allowing you to specify text attributes, either globally or using codes inside the text.

5) We wanted control over text positioning, word wrapping, left/right/center justification. JACOsub accomplishes these things with an optional directive right after the timing numbers. Leaving the directive out will cause the defaults to kick in (title centered at the bottom of the screen with the primary font and color).

6) TurboTitle restricts times to 1/100 second units. We wanted to use SMPTE also. JACOsub handles any units you'd want to throw at it, specified by a global command in your script file.

7) If you try to use a good subtitling font with overlapping dropshadows, TurboTitle displays them wierdly. TurboTitle expects the font to be designed so that adjacent characters butt together instead of overlap. One needs overlapping if the font uses dropshadows (as most good titling fonts do). JACOsub has no restrictions on the font design, except that it
expects the face color and shadow/outline color to occupy separate bitplanes. We have a professional-quality font provided in the JACOsub package.

JACOsub is currently undergoing beta testing. Right now it's a script player only. We'll be adding timing and editing capabilities later. The package includes a conversion utility to convert other script file formats (.tts, .pjs, and .pan) to JACOsub (.js) format. JACOsub can also read directly both TurboTitle (.tts) and Phonix Japanimation Society (.pjs) scripts without requiring conversion.

I plan to release the player package as shareware shortly. Included are the JACOsub software, conversion utility, professional-quality font, complete documentation, and a demo script.

Alex Matulich
The Japanese Animation Society of Orlando (JACO)
(https://groups.google.com/forum/message ... krC06CF3AJ)

I think the last update was in 2005? (Not sure.)
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Re: JACO: The Japanese Animation Club of Orlando

Post by mbanu »

Ah, make that late 1992. It looks like the Devilman fansubs were a collaboration between JACO and the Phoenix Japanimation Society, with PJS doing the actual subtitling:
Alex Matulich wrote:JACO finished the first OAV and part of the second. We sent the scripts to Tom Perry at the Phoenix Japanimation Society for finishing up and subtitling (we had no equipment at the time).
(https://groups.google.com/forum/message ... bOvDe8U-0J
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Re: JACO: The Japanese Animation Club of Orlando

Post by Drew_Sutton »

Very cool, mbanu, thanks for doing the legwork!
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Re: JACO: The Japanese Animation Club of Orlando

Post by thebaron »

I was a member of JACO at that time when I was in navy, but don't recall when I learned about it (doubt I was at the first meeting). I bought a lot of stuff from that store and loved the separate meeting area that was used by the club and other groups. Wish I was more involved with those behind the scenes.

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