What Anime Means To Me: Conventions

February 27th, 2015 by John



What Anime Means To Me: Battle of the Planets

February 26th, 2015 by John


It was “Battle of the Planets” when I first watched it, not “G-Force,” or “Eagle Riders.” I didn’t have a chance to see “Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman” until twenty years later.


What Anime Means To Me: Drill Hands

February 25th, 2015 by John

This Chojin Sentai Barattack handkerchief was the first piece of anime merchandise I ever owned. My Malaysian aunt gave it to me when I was around 5-years-old.

I love the robot. I’m sad to say that I’m not quite as fond of the show itself.



What Anime Means To Me: SPT Layzner Tapes

February 24th, 2015 by John

At the 1988 Necronomicon fantasy convention, I was awed by a dealer who had $15 home-made VHS tapes of untranslated Japanese anime. The table was just covered by row after row of black videocassettes with printed white spine labels. He had episodes of an anime series called “SPT Layzner,” a show that I had never heard of at the time.



What Anime Means To Me: The Art of Dirty Pair

February 23rd, 2015 by John

I think that it may have been at an early Anime Weekend Atlanta convention where I haggled with a dealer to agree on $200 for a set of the two Art of Dirty Pair illustration books. Nowadays both books are easily available on Ebay for under $30 each.



What Anime Means To Me: Learning Director Names

February 19th, 2015 by John

On the evening of March 19, 1994, Dave E. showed me the “Double X” music video. The short clip was my first exposure to the music of X Japan. Dave specified that Rintaro had directed the anime PV. Prior to that evening I’d never consciously realized that paying attention to the ovure of particular directors might help me narrow down specific anime that I might enjoy.


What Anime Means To Me: Video Dropouts in St. Seiya

February 18th, 2015 by John

VHS dropout

In the early 90s a friend loaned me his VHS recordings of the early episodes of the St. Seiya TV series. The tapes were recorded in EP (six-hour mode), and the video quality was so poor that occasionally the screen would simply turn neon blue because the VCR couldn’t read the data on the magnetic tape.


What Anime Means To Me: Golden Era Character Design

February 17th, 2015 by John

In my mind, Tokusou Kihei Dorvack has always been the defining epitome of Golden Era anime character design.



What Anime Means To Me: Riding Bean on VHS

February 16th, 2015 by John

I had to get a ride across two cities to reach a comic book store that sold me AnimEigo’s subtitled VHS tape of Riding Bean for $34.99.



What Anime Means To Me: Megazone St. Pete

February 13th, 2015 by John

Co-founding a county-wide anime fan club that met monthly for over ten years.



What Anime Means To Me: Eavesdropping on Crusher Joe

February 12th, 2015 by John

At a Necronomicon fantasy convention in the late 1990s or very early 2000s I thought I was very lucky because one of the guys in the movie room watching the Crusher Joe movie (untranslated) had a Japanese girlfriend with him who was quietly explaining what was going on. I attentively listened-in on her explanations.



Monty Oum Has Passed Away

February 2nd, 2015 by John

Monty Oum

33-year-old CG animator Monty Oum, creator of the RWBY web-animation series, passed away yesterday afternoon at 4:34 PM. Ten days ago Monty suffered a severe allergic reaction during a simple medical procedure that left him in a coma. Monty is survived by his wife Sheena, his father Mony, his brothers Woody, Sey, Chivy and Neat, and his sisters Thea and Theary, as well as a countless number of fans and friends.

AnimeNation extends our sincere condolences.


Good Lord! They’re Tiny!

January 31st, 2015 by John


Since I collect (original) Dirty Pair memorabilia, I felt obligated to purchase these. SRP on these things is $3.99 each!?


Thoughts on Whispered Words volume 2

January 30th, 2015 by John

Whispered Words vol. 2

One Peace Books’ second omnibus collection of creator Takashi Ikeda’s Whispered Words contains the middle three books of the nine-volume story. In these chapters the two high-school girl friends Sumika Murasame & Ushio Kazama stumblingly become more conscious of their mutual love for each other, yet both girls hesitate to reveal their true feelings while seemingly everyone else around them already recognizes their informal coupling. The book also illustrates more of Sumika & Ushio first days as friends, wraps up Masaki Akemiya’s cross-dressing sub-plot, introduces a pair of new supporting characters, and concludes with a bonus side-story and an unrelated high-school romance story. The strengths of the original volume continue in the second collection, but some of the weaknesses of the first third of the story also become more pronounced in the second collection.

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Asking Fans to Cover the Cost of Publishing Alabaster

January 29th, 2015 by John

Publish Osamu Tezuka's Alabaster

Digital Manga just launched its new Kickstarter campaign seeking 29K to translate & publish the two-volume Tezuka manga mini-series Alabaster. I have a tough time envisioning how licensing, translating, and publishing only two books can possibly cost $29,200. It’s significantly more than the Kickstarter amounts required to publish DMP’s previous two-volume Tezuka manga titles Ludwig B, Captain Ken, and Triton. Furthermore, I’m even more reluctant to contribute to such a substantial publication cost when the initial supporters actually pay 38% more than full SRP to acquire print copies of the two books, and then, after initial supporters have shouldered the entire cost of getting the books to market, DMP can proceed to collect profit from the ongoing sales of the books. Part of me wants to say, “Approach the publishing effort the way any traditional publisher would. Fund it yourself, and I’ll buy it when you release it.” Then again, likely the only way this manga is ever going to see official English language publication is if obsessive fans aggressively volunteer to pay more than cover price to get these two books printed.

I’ve contributed healthily to DMP’s Triton, Unico, Atomcat, and Captain Ken publishing drives. Since Alabaster is a title that I’m actually interested in, I may decide to allow my enthusiasm to overrule my rational skepticism and contribute toward this project too.