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annoying tales of anime fandom

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2022 8:23 am
by davemerrill
the new Let's Anime is all about the annoying fans we kinda had to deal with back in the days of swapping anime VHS tapes through the mail. Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty and me! ... ading.html

Re: annoying tales of anime fandom

Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2022 10:58 am
by Drew_Sutton
This was a ton of fun to read through. Distributing tapes only on the Internet in the late 90s, I spared my parents the grief of random collect calls or myself getting tons of random letters from strangers in the post. Of course, I also missed out on having physical copies of others' tape lists.

Still had a run-in with a similar situation. Shortly before I left for college in Kennesaw, GA, a friend-of-a-friend had gotten a full collection of Dragonball (original TV series, DBZ, GT and all the movies) on VCD. It was the wild early 2000s where parts of DB were in some weird availability limbo - licensed but not available or if it was available, it was a Saban/Funimation adaptation and that's even questioning all of it was licensed at the same time or not. And getting complete runs of the TV series was hard, as I recall, in the tape trade days until later. Anyway, I got copies of them (can't remember if he just made them or I got them from him and made my own, not really important). After I am at college a couple terms, I end up meeting a guy who was friends with a different friend of mine at a LAN party and the subject of the VCDs comes up and he wants copies. Sure, they're back at my dorm but it's an absurd number of CDs, so I'm not gonna go get them and make copies during the party (plus, I usually brought anime to play during the LAN party, so I not only had my desktop and some CD books, I had a DVD/VCR combo deck and DVDs or tapes with me, too). So we sort out how many discs it is and he gets me a 100x spindle or so of CDs and I say yeah, give me a couple weeks.

I get an IM from him probably a week or so later, asking where the VCDs are. I'm like, dude, I said give me a couple weeks. I've only got the one PC and still have school, homework and work-work. I forget how long each disc took to copy, it might have been upwards of 20 minutes. And the discs he gave me were not great, so there was a high failure rate. He's like, come on, you get these to me faster and I'll make it worth your while. I can't remember how he was gonna make that work (maybe pay me for them?) but I was like, nah, just give me time, I'll finish them. Handed them off a couple weeks afterwards and thankfully never had to copy those again.

Fortunately, my tales of the aggravating tape trades are very limited - probably helped that I was never "a big name" or anything like that, and that I was one of those monsters who recorded most everything in EP.

Re: annoying tales of anime fandom

Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2022 2:36 pm
by davemerrill
OMG, having to copy ALL of Dragonball onto VCD.... that's a nightmare story right there. that's a LOT of VCDs!! What makes it even worse is that you KNOW that guy never watched them all.

I'm sure every fan has a similar story of people that overstep the boundaries just a little and then are surprised to find out that boundaries are a thing. There was a guy in the 80s club who's idea of a big weekend was for me, or anyone else with anime on VHS, to load up their VCR and all their tapes and go to his house and sit around while he used their VCR to copy their tapes. "I've got a great idea," he said to us once at a Dragoncon. "You bring all your tapes to my hotel room and I'll copy them!" How exactly that was a great idea is anybody's guess.

I have a friend in Alabama who at the time (1990?) was roommates with a guy named Kevin. I had a box of tapes ready to mail to my friend, because I didn't happen to be able to visit Alabama any time soon. I found out Kevin was in my town, visiting a mutual friend, so I went over there, met Kevin, asked him if he'd give this box of tapes, that was addressed and sealed with tape ready for mailing, if he'd give this (taped-shut, remember) box of tapes to his roommate. He said "sure!" So I called my Alabama friend a few days later and asked if he'd gotten the tapes. He did get the tapes, yes - he got the tapes in a box that had been opened. Kevin had opened up the box and he and his pals spent their time watching those tapes before delivering them to their destination. Now, there are boundaries, and then there are "opening somebody else's mail" boundaries.

Re: annoying tales of anime fandom

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2022 6:16 pm
by Drew_Sutton
Haha, I've watched bits and pieces of those VCDs but I'm sure I've never watched all of them completely. But yeah, it's easily over 200 VCDs. Guess it's better than having everything on tape as far as space is concerned though.

There was a point in time where yeah, hauling a VCR and some tapes for a party sounded grand - but I can certainly imagine if it becomes a habit that it would be infuriating. At least spring for some pizzas and some beer.
davemerrill wrote:Now, there are boundaries, and then there are "opening somebody else's mail" boundaries.
Oh wow. That's a big yikes indeed. Even in that specific case, why not just wait until you got the tapes to your roommate, I am sure he'd get to watch them eventually!