How did you discover anime?

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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Re: How did you discover anime?

Post by Drew_Sutton »

BadMediaKarma wrote:For those of you who became anime fans before it was mainstream, how did you discover the medium?
I've always liked cartoons and my dad and I shared an interest in comic books; when we went to a comic book show, a few of the dealers had some bootlegged tapes (the flyers advertised "Japanimation") for sale and I watched some of the toons a dealer was playing at their booth. I didn't walk away with any tapes but I knew I wanted to see more. The shows happened every few months so every show we went to, I was sure to see what all was playing and for sale. Not too long after, dubbed versions of Sailormoon and Yoroiden Samurai Troopers aired in my market and I was hooked.
BadMediaKarma wrote:What drew you to anime and how did you connect with other fans?
Initially, the draw was stylistic - it simply looked different than most of the cartoons I was familiar with - then it was the content. The types of story and quality of world building were very unique than what I was used to. Then come to find out that shows like Voltron that I really liked when I was even younger were actually Japanese blew my mind and I just became ravenous for it.

As far as connecting with other fans, in a way it was lonely. There were friends I had who were watching stuff on TV I was, and some other neighborhood kids who were into a show here or there but it wasn't until I got on the Internet and met other fans.
Akage wrote:Lots of US cartoons were outsourced to Japan in the 1980s, including one of my favorites as a kiddo - Jem. I was a little tyke when I saw these, so it didn't register to me that they were made in Japan.
Haha, aslo loved Jem as a kid but didn't really draw comparisons to Japanese animation and researching who did Jem (and Transformers and G.I. Joe) until much later.
BadMediaKarma wrote:And finally, what did family and friends think of the community?
My parents were cool with it as long as I didn't get into trouble at school or made bad grades because of it. The kind of encouraged it when I started learning Japanese. But growing up in the Rust Belt, I'm not really sure they were really thrilled about it.
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Re: How did you discover anime?

Post by _D_ »

Flipping through the French Channels in Canada to find Albator on one of them. Then asking Maggie Thompson about these neat cartoons and getting in touch with the C/FO through her. That would be about 1979. Things really took off after getting my contact in Japan through an ad he had placed in The Videophile's Newsletter for a movie "100 Men and a Girl" starring Deanna Durban which had aired on Elwy Yost's Saturday Night At The Movie show. My bud in town who had a Betamax was able to contact him and did a trade for the tape. At that point, they didn't have anything else to trade but I asked for his address in Japan and we set up a trade arrangement. For him sending tapes of anime, I would record any old movies or TV shows he might be interested in. My first tapes were recorded in July 1980. Later, I bought him a close captioned decoder which allowed him to watch the movies with English captions since his command of spoken English wasn't good, but he could understand written English very well. He also made arrangements for his other friends to get their own trading partners. This was a great relationship that lasted for 20 years. I lost track of him in 2000 and I have no idea whether he is still alive even. I have tried to reach out over the years but cannot find him. He used to attend Bouchercon quite regularly so his name was on many lists of attendees. He does not appear though after 2000.

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