Monday, November 17, 2008

anime clubs - our glorious unwashed heritage

Dateline - the middle of the 1980s! All over America groups of like-minded young people from all walks of life are gripped by one obsession - running anime clubs! We were utterly convinced, for some reason that now escapes us, that once a month a library meeting room or apartment complex community center or campus media area MUST BE filled with people watching big-eyed Japanese cartoons. Traded through the mail, bought from bootleggers, badly dubbed or fan-subtitled on the sly in some PBS station, but mostly in raw Japanese - it didn't matter. Brains overheating, we strained our intellects trying to figure out who was doing what to whom and why, but years would pass before decent translations revealed that most of the time our conjured-up plots were more satisfying than the original versions.

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(flyer for C/FO Atlanta circa 1987)

However, events on the 20-inch TV screen were frequently overpowered by what was happening in the audience. You see kids, fandom as we know it today- a glossy wonderland filled with sexy cosplay gals, fueled by media empires shoveling material down as many gullets as possible, and linked together in an instantaneous high speed multimedia data "internets"- did not exist. Oh no sir. In the old days "fandom" was a leper colony of dweebs, misfits, rejects, and failures; people who had formed a deep and unhealthy relationship with fantasy and/or science fiction somewhere during their third or fourth beating courtesy that jerk in the 6th grade. Fans in the 80s were seeking shelter from the storm, looking for secret redoubts where they could commiserate with fellow rejects, dream of a better world, and argue about Kirk VS Picard.

Anime fandom was doubly cursed; being devoted to children's cartoons, it was looked down upon by Trekkies; and being devoted to JAPANESE children's cartoons, it was rejected by every red-blooded American fan who felt Walt Disney and Warner Brothers were the be-all and end-all of ink and paint. So the point of all this is, your typical anime club meeting was full of the rejects that the rejects had rejected. For some of us, being wise-ass teens who cared not a whit what a lot of beardo failures thought, being rejected by the Space Command Klingon Middle Earth Glee Club was a proud badge of honor. For others, anime fandom was just another monthly meeting of the Secret Chosen, and they sat through Be Forever Yamato just as they sat through "Amok Time" at the Trek club meetings or "Caves Of Androzani" at the Dr. Who club meeting. Hey, as long as those club dues got paid!

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(Anime-X flyer circa 1991)

The problem was this. Anime clubs soon learned what SF clubs had known for years - that in addition to the fandom stuff, they also had to play combination Ward Supervisor / Mommy and Daddy for a parade of flattened-affect borderline mental cases for whom the rules of polite society were merely hypothetical. Legions of middle-aged creeps who did not bathe or launder their clothes, who did not have indoor voices, whose talents for inappropriate behavior were legendary, who could barely show up for their minimum-wage jobs and yet who never failed to miss an anime club meeting. As anime gained in popularity, the middle-aged examples began to be pushed out by their teenage and young-adult counterparts, who shared the same aversions to soap, water, and society's rules, but whose talismans weren't back issues of Starlog, but instead backpacks loaded with videogame systems.

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(cartoon from C/FO Atlanta newsletter by J.B.)

I'd once thought that such people were unique to MY city's fandom, but I've since found that they exist everywhere. The following are true stories collected from anime club veterans from around the country. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, and the guilty.

("D.M.", former club officer) At (NAME OF CLUB REDACTED), we had the guy who broke the glass insert window in the door by leaning against it with his gigantic overstuffed Pikachu backpack. Because when you come to an anime club you have to bring your every worldly posession in your backpack, including your heavy 1990s era video game systems.

We had a video tape library. One guy came to a meeting, joined the club, signed in, learned he would not be first in line to borrow tapes, asked for his money back, and left.

There were folding tables in the hallway of the center where the meetings were held. Somebody stood on a table in the hallway. Broke it right in half. We had to pay for that one.

One of our members was driven to the meeting by his mom, who would bring him a home-cooked lunch...during the meeting. If the chairs in the room were not of sufficent quality for her baby boy, she'd go looking for better chairs. If she steals them from the staff lounge, so much the better!

The smell in the room, of course, was terrible. Some people simply do not bathe or wash their clothes on a regular basis. We'd see new potential members arrive, walk in the door and take in the legions of black-clad video gamers hunched in the back delivering death blows to each other, and of course the amazing smell. They would then turn right around and leave.

Eventually the meeting turned into 30 people in the back of the room watching 3 people play video games, 12 people hanging out in the hallway chatting, and 4 people actually watching anime. I severed my connection to the club when the librarian telephoned me AT WORK to complain about the club's behavior at the previous meeting - rather, their behavior AFTER THE MEETING WAS OVER and they didn't have anything better to do but hang out in the parking lot.

("D.S.", former club officer) Truth to tell, the (NAME OF CLUB REDACTED) anime club has been lucky over the years. The worst example of classic foul-smelling fandom we got was in the very first year, a fellow we dubbed "Akira Hat Guy," and after a couple months of being rebuffed every time he asked people to hook him up with bootleg Dragon Ball Z subs, he went away and never came back.


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(editor's note from C/FO Atlanta newsletter circa 1987)

Most of the other whackos have been more funny than genuinely aggravating. For instance, P. used an image of Patty Hearst in the club's advertisement in the (NAME OF CONVENTION REDACTED) program book. This inspired one member to complain, saying that this sort of iconography stood in opposition to "everything America stands for."

A subsequent recruitment flyer featured Patty Hearst, Fidel Castro, and Huey P. Newton, tagged with the line "Everything America Stands For."

The kibitzers are a perennial problem, but for us they've never been TOO hard to deal with. This last semester, when the kids were hooting and making porno sound effects during Victorian Romance Emma, we just explained that no, that's not acceptable behavior in a group environment, and they seemed to get the message.

Except for one gal, who said that there was no point in watching cartoons in a communal setting if she COULDN'T keep up a running commentary -- if she wanted to watch something quietly, she'd just do that on her own. To which my reaction was, hey, why don't you go do just that.

("D.3.", former club officer and convention director) Examples: the Too-Old-To-Be-Hanging-Out-With-This-Many-Kids Guy, the "I have what you want, and I won't let you forget it" Guy, the "I am an emotional Black Hole and will suck your generosity dry" guy, the "I compensate for my social awkwardness by memorizing every detail of my favorite shows and reciting them whether it's germane to the current situation or not" guy, the "I compensate for my social awkwardness by professing a deep physical attraction to a fictional character, loudly and frequently" person...

("G.S.", former club officer and convention staffer) Don't forget about "wanna read my self-insertion fanfic guy."

("R.M.", anime retailer, former con staff and club officer) We call him "The Creepy Downloader" because he looks like he's been smoking 3 packs a day for all of his 40-50 years (no idea of his real age, but he mentions an grown-up daughter and an ex-wife)and he downloads everything. The only time he buys stuff is when it's on clearance at Best Buy and then he uses his employee discount. He's only bought 2 things from me in the almost 4 years I've been open (both Newtype USAs for the DVD), despite the amount of time he's spent in the store talking my ear off. He is known to provide either a running commentary or bragging about his collection during the meetings.

Previous offenders: A boy of immense size and girth that we refer to as "Gundam Boy". Originally "Star Trek Boy" for showing up with a TNG communicator pin, TOS insignia belt buckle and Klingon logo watch. Known for completely inappropriate comments, especially toward anything with a vagina. He's on the watch list of every convention in town and automatically has his badge punched by security at NDK so they only need one time to pitch him out. Another guy managed to drive some of the older club members out because he would smoke clove cigarettes outside and tended to blow it onto people's faces. Not good for some of those club members who got headaches just by being in the same neighborhood as a charcoal grill.

Then there was the Boopster, who also hit on anything female; before, during, and after his marriage. He started up clubs in every town he moved to for the sole purpose of getting freebies from the anime companies. He would then turn around and try and sell the freebies at meetings, telling one of my female friends "I love making money off these stupid fanboys", like it would impress her. He also demanded (and eventually got, just to shut him up) a free badge one year from (NAME OF CONVENTION REDACTED) because during the Dead Dog (party), someone joked that Boop should be the Con Bartender, which he took seriously. So he shows up at the staff room saying "I'm the Con Bartender. Where's my badge?"

("D.M.") One club meeting the TV and the VCR and the tapes were all stuck inside (NAME OF FAN REDACTED)'s car, which had been locked with the keys inside. So as we stood around waiting for the locksmith, (NAME OF FAN REDACTED) offered a temporary diversion. Since (NAME OF FAN REDACTED) was infamous for forcing his unsolicited adult-themed Inspector Gadget fan artwork on unsuspecting victims, we all were relieved when his suggestion turned out to be a dramatic reading of the first-ever fan fiction devoted to the then-new STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION series. However, our relief did not prevent us from leaving the room at an amazing speed.

("S.M.") Oy. I've never had a problem with (NAME OF FAN REDACTED) but I know all about the Captain Linger Brigade from my time behind artists alley tables-- you always know the people who won't buy anything, because they're the ones who stand there for half an hour telling you their fucking life story. Because that's why I sit behind that table full of books and merchandise; so I can hear some sad bastard's autobiography.

("H.S.B.", former con staff) Let's see, we had one guy who made his own anime shirts & hats using bottled paints, glitter, & iron-ons. He also would make crappy pasted together flyers for (NAME OF CON REDACTED) without asking anyone in charge of the con if he could. I think this was the guy we dubbed "Master of the Folding Cane."

("Z.C.")Here we've got a balding guy who looks to be about 40 or so. I don't know his name, but he has several distinguishing characteristics:

- May or may not still live with parents
- Suspicion of failure to bathe
- Appears to be slightly mentally challenged
- Dislikes heavy violence (to the point of shouting THAT'S VIOLENT!!! loudly whenever he sees anything over his "threshold")
- (and the punchline!) but collects a whole lot of really disturbing rape-o-rama hentai.
I honestly don't know whether I should feel sorry for him, or to stay far, far away from him.


(the following video is a compilation of camcorder video recorded at Denver-area anime club meetings over the course of several years. If you want to know what anime club meetings were like in the 1980s, this video has it all. Bad hair, two TVs in parallel, and that same exact blackboard that was in the back of every single room every anime club ever had a meeting in. It's all here, people. Provided courtesy of Gimme Anime, your home for anime merchandise!!





("G.S.") You've made me recall our club's last few breaths...our club president was in place for almost the entire run of the club, so in our eyes, even after he stepped away, those of us left still treated it with the respect that it was still his. When it came to the end when the fans were just too much and we hoped to find some like ourselves who would respect it and take over we came up empty. For months I wrote in the newsletter how we were looking for people to step up and start helping out and so on. I was always met with silence.

We talked to the old prez, and told him why we were going to retire the club, and he agreed. I then went to the one guy we could count on, who was running the college club on opposing weeks and was reliable to show up, and told him what was up. He agreed to do the last few meetings for us. We also asked that he not revive our club, at least not under that name, as we believed it belonged to the guy who started it, and wanted to retire the name with its legacy intact.

So our final newsletter was published a few meetings before the end, we even had all the programs timed out that all our series would end on the same night. We compiled those last few meetings onto a tape per meeting and passed them to the aforementioned reliable guy.

Let's just say my final editorial was less than chipper, and announced the end of the club and why. We were mobbed that night with people who were upset that we'd just end the club, and they all wanted to know what they needed to do to help out....to which we really didn't have much to say as well, this club is retired, where have you all been the last few months when we asked for new blood?

Why, they were sitting in the stands watching the shows they expected us to keep bringing them without any contribution.

And this scene was replayed across the country. The availability of anime in Blockbuster and Best Buy and Wal-Mart and damn near everywhere else, combined with the sense of community engendered by the keyboard-pounding march of Wired Nation, meant that the very concept of getting together once a month to watch Japanese cartoons became an anachronism at best. When forced to deal with the constant antics of the Loser Battalion, club organizers found themselves taking a good hard look at why they were wasting their weekends showing cartoons they didn't make to people they didn't like. Most anime club officers moved on to staff anime conventions, which compress a whole year's worth of anime watching, tape trading, foul odor huffing, and window breaking into three days. This saves time, if not sanity. And who knows? The tide may again turn and anime may again become a hidden pleasure available only to those 'in the know', and perhaps we'll be back to meeting in undisclosed locations to enjoy our favorite cartoons. However, if there is a next time, we'll be a bit more... selective in our membership.

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(C/FO Atlanta newsletter fan art by M.M.)

My thanks to all who participated in this project. May this facilitate the healing you so deeply desire.

16 comments:

Grant, the Hipster Dad said...

Oh yeah, Sgt. Singer's Pizza on Memorial Drive!

That lasted a month. One.

d. merrill said...

We showed GOOD MORNING ALTHEA at that meeting. 20 years later and I finally got a fansub of that, and we watched it last weekend, and it STILL doesn't make a lick of sense.

Steve Harrison said...

Damn, you're too fast! I never talked about my time in the barrel doing Anime Evangelism!

It was back in the glory days when Video Arcades ruled the Earth, and our very lives. There was a local place called 'Gumball Express' (small chain I think) that had a sweet game room, and sold things other than pizza (so-so burgers but really good fries) and had a large projection TV in one end of the dining room. The intent was you could hold parties and the like there if you choose to. Not many seemed to because it was cursed with being on the wrong side of the 'main drag' commercial street.

The big attraction was...a Cliff Hanger game. And since I had just gotten my copies of Lupin III Mystery of Mamo and Cagliostro Castle, I quickly whipped it, got to the point where I could play the thing on one token and have enough continues left to start over. One of the managers saw this and wondered how I figured out the game so fast, and I told him I had the 'cartoons' from Japan that were in the game, and since I knew what the intent of the action was, playing was a snap (well, mostly. Some of the actions are not quite intuitive, as I'm sure you recall!).

So he wanted to see those 'cartoon' movies, and I came back a day or so later, popped Cagliostro (the C/Fo copy ripped from TMS with the subtitles) in the VCR and damn if we didn't have a crowd sitting..watching...ordering food...

If I had wanted to I think I could have leveraged that into a nice little gig, even create a club...and I caught myself, recoiled in horror at the abyss staring at me, and didn't do that. I just went back, ate their fries and played their games like a good boy.

And they moved across the street, and then they closed.

The building was then cursed. Fuddruckers opened in that building years later, then closed 09/13/01. It was soon torn down and replaced by an overpriced chain Italian restaurant.

And that's my story on that. :)

PM said...

I still think one of the better Anime X meetings we ever had was the one where we all showed up the the Spruill Center only to discover that somehow we had forgotten to reserve the meeting room that month. Ooops

We ended up doing the meeting and tape library out of the back somebody's station wagon (mine?) out in the parking lot and everybody had a good time in the sun and fresh air.

The best part was the complete lack of places to plug in video game systems. Those people turned around and left the moment they realized we were not indoors. Awwww. No power. Too bad, so sad.

I am still not sure what got us kicked out of Spruill. Managed to miss the meeting that broke the camel's back. That place had already put up with our people breaking tables, smashing the pottery class displays in the hallway, making tons of noise and running around outside with dart guns. I recall hearing what was to be the final meeting involved popcorn tossed around and perhaps a fistfight or something.

Pre-historically, I did not know we had already been kicked out of a pizza place. One meeting? Wow. And there I was at AX for all those years, preaching about what a great idea it would be to have meetings in a pizza joint! Never knew it had already failed. LOL. What a maroon.

Toward the end of AX, I went to one maybe two Anime South meetings which were then being held in an Irish pub insanely close to where I lived. A lot of AX people went to the AS meetings but it was quite different and just felt cold. Despite being literally walking distance for me, I did not go back. The pub later closed and so did Anime South, as far as I know.

As the club meeting BS factor went into warp levels previously only seen in fanfics, it was a great feeling to know that I had a decent car and could drive to an AX meeting or practically walk to an AS meeting and yet I chose to NOT go out of principle. It wasn't worth it and I didn't need anime that badly.

d. merrill said...

The C/FO Atlanta meeting at Sgt. Singers was an experiment. They had a big screen TV downstairs (which meant a giant out of focus projection screen) and that was where D.A.G.R., the gaming club that turned into Dragon*Con - that was where they met. So somebody from that organization thought it would be a great idea if we had our meetings while THEY had THEIR meetings. It was noisy, not enough seating, and full of customers poking their heads down the stairs to see what was going on.

We left the Spruill Center after the window breaking incident, I recall. I think we left before they could fire us. I became so embarrassed by the behavior of the members that I couldn't bear the thought of having to apologize for them AGAIN. When we moved to the Clairmont Rd. library the "no video games" rule went into effect and we lost about fifty percent of our membership.

Matt said...

Matt Murray

I remember that Sgt. Singer's meeting; that was where I got ahold of the printout of the My Youth in Arcadia script that I memorized in leiu of there being a subbed version at the time.

That Sgt. Singer's is now gone, along with most other businesses on Memorial Drive. That area just dried up and died.

Tim Eldred said...

Animania in Ann Arbor MI must have been a lottery winner. We never once had to contend with losers or mutants. The only thing that annoyed me from time to time was when the chatter got louder than the programming. And, of course, there were people who felt the others were ENTITLED to hear whatever joke they just thought of. But it wasn't a deal-breaker.

I do miss those days. But I don't miss going home with a gigantic box of blank tapes to dub for them.

Anonymous said...

I read your article and regarding the reception of anime in the States (and also in Britain) I have to say you werent that lucky.

What would happen if series such as Lupin III, Galaxy Express 999, Queen Millenia, Fist of the North Star, all of the WMT titles and overall most of the classics of TMS, Toei, Nippon Animation etc had been broadcasted on US TV in the 80s and 90s like in Europe?

The anime fandom would have been much more sophisticated

I remember having watched the uncut version of Locke while I was 7 in a local video rental store. Other series were broadcasted on TV as well.

But there were no cinema releases of Japanese movies, something that changed only with Ghibili and this only through Disney.

But after the 90s and with the reducing of TV broadcasters investment in quality cartoons and the advent of fansubs, I see also in Europe a relapse into the anime fandom just as you described.

Now there is a global definition of anime fan. He/she who watches fansubs, buys DVDs, participates in conventions etc.

How could the average TV viewer in Japan and else where know back then, that some people made everything possible to watch a series which he had for granted.

d. merrill said...

I think if "Lupin III, Galaxy Express 999, Queen Millenia, Fist of the North Star, all of the WMT titles and overall most of the classics of TMS, Toei, Nippon Animation etc" had been shown on American television in the 80s and 90s, anime fandom would be pretty much where it is right now. It would be easier to get Rose Of Versailles stuff. As it stands, the Galaxy Express 999 movie was shown in theaters and on cable, Queen Millenia was shown on TV as part of "Captain Harlock & The Queen Of 1000 Years", Lupin III films have been shown in theaters and on cable and on DVD - the first Lupin III film got something like four different home video releases - and Fist Of The North Star got a theatrical release and a home video release.

Additionally, when Captain Harlock shows up here they call him by his proper name, not "Albator".

I don't know what a "WMT title" is.

The truth is that Japanese cartoons have been an important part of American popular culture from day one, from the first frame of the first episode of Tetsuwan Atomu, and actually before that with films like Alakazam The Great, Magic Boy, etc. The conceit that anime is some kind of hip new entertainment trend is pure weapons-grade bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the fandom would be the same. Now with fansubs literally TV, license and broadcast borders are nullified. We are talking about a whole new phaenomenon, making TV, VHS and DVDs redundant.

Only difference would be that the older fans (those above 30), would have more older titles to search and remember and also show some of them to the younger fans, IF they're interested in pre-2000 series.

For Galaxy Express and Lupin III broadcasting the whole series or part of it instead of a whole movie, would have attracted more audiences.

Eg look at the anime series broadcasted in France

http://www.planete-jeunesse.com/sources/show_pays.php3?cle=1

or in Germany
http://www.tomodachi.de/html/ant/service/ep_guide.html
http://www.tomodachi.de/html/ant/service/ep_guide2.html

after 2000 there isnt really any big difference with the anime broadcasted in the US but from the late 70s till the early 90s many series were broadcasted that somehow never made it to the US, although they were very popular in Japan as well. Exception are of course series such as Mysterious Cities of Gold.

Eg series like Touch.

The WMT series were those thanks to which anime became widely popular in the mid-70s and 80s. I mean World Masterpiece Theater from Nippon Animation. Series based on famous novels of literature. Locke the Superman (made by the same studio) got a distributor abroad thanks to the fame of those titles.

Especially the 70s WMT series (Heidi, Marco, Rascal the Raccoon, Anne of Green Gables) were the ones were Miyazaki and Takahata were involved before Studio Ghibli. Also the series Future Boy Conan was the first directed by Miyazaki. Their quality stands above the rest of the series produced during that time.

Totally 23 titles from 1975 to 1997

In the US the WMT series broadcasted were Swiss Family Robinson, Tom Sawyer, Little Women and Peter Pan. Heidi got a VHS release of the first 4 episodes.

In the US problem is that the so many older titles can not find a distributor because they fear low sales. In Europe things are a little better regarding DVD availability, but as for sales things are not so well here too.

d. merrill said...

Yeah, America really missed out on not getting to be wildly enthusiastic about Magnetic Robo Gakeen, or watching some version of Candy Candy where Anthony is "in the hospital". I like Captain Future as much as the next guy - well, okay, I probably like Captain Future way more than the next guy - but I will leave the Captain Future Fan Clubs to the Germans. Those guys is crazy.

I do not consider myself to be "unlucky" in the amount or quality of cartoons I was able to watch as a child - Prince Planet, Marine Boy, Ultraman, Speed Racer, Battle of The Planets/Gatchaman, Star Blazers/Yamato, Starvengers (Getta Robo), Grandizer, Danguard Ace, Spaceketeers, Gaiking, Thunderbirds 2086, Voltron, Robotech (Macross, Mospeada, Southern Cross), Captain Harlock, hell, even Maple Town - more than enough anime to get a generation hooked, and way more than I should have been watching in the first place.

d. merrill said...

Actually, I found this article by Andrea Controzzi about Star Blazers in Italy to be fascinating - the end of the state TV monopoly meant the sudden springing-up of thousands of local TV stations, unable to form national networks, hungry for cheap broadcasting... which would be Japanese cartoons.

http://www.starblazers.com/html.php?page_id=257

Or, in this case, Italian versions of American versions of Japanese cartoons.

p said...

Man, this post. People got so organized. All we did in Sac was watch the videos and hang out in someone's living room. If only we'd had a blackboard and more guys in tie-dye shirts...

Evan "Vampt Vo" Minto said...

Wow, that's really amazing stuff. I'm a young fan, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that stories like these are inspiring. Sure, you guys had to deal with lots of problems, (many of which are the problems that con organizers deal with today) but the sheer dedication that so many fans put into anime clubs astounds me. For better or for worse, we have you guys to thank for where anime fandom in America has come to.

I actually run my school's Anime Society, and thus I sort of understand what club organizers went through in the before-time. Oddly enough, I try to show retro anime like Macross and They Were Eleven in the Anime Society. Naturally, all of the members consider "retro" to be stuff like Gundam Wing and Dragonball Z, but what can you do?

Anyway, stories like these - about average people who took an initiative to bring anime to local fans - are what keep me coming back to each and every meeting of my own club. Even now, with the Internet generation in full force, I think that people still like to get in a room with a big TV and watch anime together.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great article. Actually most European countries have a similar history regarding their introduction to anime. But also in countries were state broadcasters ruled, there were a lot of anime shows too. Cheap profit remains cheap profit whether in private or public sector. Only advantage was that because they could afford more they also showed some marvellous exotic cartoon movies from Russia, France and Eastern Europe.

Today I see too a similar trend in anime as 25 years ago with sci-fi, adventure, shonen,shoujo shows ruling. But other genres like novel adaptations who are rather more children friendly and artistic, like the WMT series are ignored. Probably because now this requires a broadcaster who will take care of the dub and the distribution and high ratings are not guaranteed.

This shows the demise of children's TV and its replacement with cheap live-action shows

Chris Sobieniak said...

Dave said:
Actually, I found this article by Andrea Controzzi about Star Blazers in Italy to be fascinating - the end of the state TV monopoly meant the sudden springing-up of thousands of local TV stations, unable to form national networks, hungry for cheap broadcasting... which would be Japanese cartoons.

http://www.starblazers.com/html.php?page_id=257

Or, in this case, Italian versions of American versions of Japanese cartoons.


I loved reading that! It's fascinating to read how anime exposure had came to a country such as Italy out of necessity once television was freed of it's grasp by the state. Some European countries have seen a number of anime gems through state broadcasters as well, but the 1980's with the arrival of private channels/networks and the approaching cable/satellite services proved their worth in bringing more choices to the masses that previously only had so few channels to choose from.

p said...
Man, this post. People got so organized. All we did in Sac was watch the videos and hang out in someone's living room. If only we'd had a blackboard and more guys in tie-dye shirts...


That's how I wanted my club to be like!

Evan "Vampt Vo" Minto said...
I actually run my school's Anime Society, and thus I sort of understand what club organizers went through in the before-time. Oddly enough, I try to show retro anime like Macross and They Were Eleven in the Anime Society. Naturally, all of the members consider "retro" to be stuff like Gundam Wing and Dragonball Z, but what can you do?


To many, a decade ago is already considered 'retro' enough, thanks to the memories spurred by their youthful gaze on Toonami's roster of accessible titles.

Anonymous said...
Thanks for the great article. Actually most European countries have a similar history regarding their introduction to anime. But also in countries were state broadcasters ruled, there were a lot of anime shows too. Cheap profit remains cheap profit whether in private or public sector. Only advantage was that because they could afford more they also showed some marvellous exotic cartoon movies from Russia, France and Eastern Europe.


Having seen a number of YouTube clips and other webpages about the subject, I feel like a person my age would've been blessed with so much on the tube for free than the money my parents had to pay a month alone to keep cable TV in my household so that I could watch Belle & Sebastian (getting all pissed that the kid didn't find his mom at the end of every episode).

Today I see too a similar trend in anime as 25 years ago with sci-fi, adventure, shonen,shoujo shows ruling. But other genres like novel adaptations who are rather more children friendly and artistic, like the WMT series are ignored. Probably because now this requires a broadcaster who will take care of the dub and the distribution and high ratings are not guaranteed.

This shows the demise of children's TV and its replacement with cheap live-action shows


Shows that don't have any redeeming values some people would obviously complain about, like I am right now. Those programs digust me, now that I have some grade-school girls in my home who do nothing but watching Disney Channel constantly, and keep wishing for that day they can have the same teeny-bopper lives gracing those screens. Yet I wish there could be a literary-based program that could change all that, but I doubt it (even in animation).