What Anime Means To Me: A Taxi to Narita

March 11th, 2015 by John

On the last day of my first AnimeNation-sponsored purchasing trip to Tokyo, I was so exhausted, and my bags filled with production cels were so heavy, that I literally couldn’t walk. So I spent $250 on a taxi-fare to drive me from Ikebukuro to Narita airport.

Tokyo Taxi

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Last Kind Whispered Words

March 10th, 2015 by John

Whispered Words vol. 3
The concluding three books of Takashi Ikeda’s high school lesbian romance drama Whispered Words come together in One Peace Books’ hefty 480-page third omnibus volume. Just as the series’ first third and second third both had small, consistent weaknesses, the final third of the story likewise has some weaknesses. But the appeal of the characterizations and the attractive art design amply compensate for the storytelling’s slight flaws. Similarly, One Peace Books’ publication of Whispered Words volume 3 isn’t perfect but is the closest to ideal of the three omnibus volumes.

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What Anime Means To Me: Nikkaku Animart

March 10th, 2015 by John

Sending my first mail-order purchase to the San Jose-based Japanese gift shop Nikkaku Animart on April 2, 1989. The order was for 2 Dirty Pair shitajiki, the first two hardcover Cream Lemon film comics, Akira film comics volumes 2 & 3, and the first volume of the Hokuto no Ken manga. The first Cream Lemon book turned out to be sold out. I finally got it on my 5th order placed on September 25, 1989.

Nikaku_mug

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What Anime Means To Me: Pseudonyms

March 9th, 2015 by John

Countless hours debating with friends over whether or not Kia Asamiya and Michitaka Kikuchi were the same person. (For the record, they are.)

Asamiya_Kikuchi

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On Novel Writing XIII

March 6th, 2015 by John

I’m starting to see the end of my theoretically final revision of Bloody Angel. I’ve been slowly re-reading and fleshing out the manuscript lately. I’m now 265 pages into the 350 page draft. Just last evening I composed a new 400 word three-paragraph insert scene. A particular event late in the story is predicated upon an event earlier in the story, but the transition between event A and event B was originally presented entirely through implication, and I’ve never been entirely satisfied with that development, or more properly, lack thereof. So yesterday, while re-reading, I realized an ideal structural opportunity to insert a short scene that overtly lays the foundation for “event B” which occurs later in the story.

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What Anime Means To Me: The Art of Angel’s Egg

March 6th, 2015 by John

I’m pretty certain that I was at an Anime Weekend Atlanta convention in the early 2000s when I convinced a dealer to drop the sales tax and sell me his copy of the Animage Art of Angel’s Egg illustration book for $150.

Art_of_Tenshi_no_Tamago

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What Anime Means To Me: LT & Kyojin no Hoshi

March 5th, 2015 by John

On an AnimeNation sponsored purchasing trip to Tokyo, I was sitting on a train beside LT, one of AnimeNation’s Japanese business associates and my volunteer translator. I recollect thinking that his fashion sense was so odd because he wore a casual grey sport coat with red leather cowboy boots. He mentioned to me that he didn’t keep up with contemporary anime, but when he’d been a child, he’d idolized the Kyojin no Hoshi anime.

indokyojin01

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What Anime Means To Me: WTF Anime

March 4th, 2015 by John

I haven’t watched either Ryukonohara Labyrinth or Genji in 20 years. Do they still not make any sense?

Genji_Labyrinth

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What Anime Means To Me: Wandering Kid

March 3rd, 2015 by John

Before Central Park Media made the bold step of localizing “Urotsukidoji” with its Japanese title intact, my friends and I had known of it for years as “Wandering Kid.”

WanderingKid1
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What Anime Means To Me: Dragon Ball Isn’t Just for Kids

March 2nd, 2015 by John

Watching an untranslated Son Goku vs. Tao Pai Pai episode in the early 1990s – it might have been episode 63 – made me reevaluate my assumption that Dragon Ball was strictly a show for little children.

GokuVSTao

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What Anime Means To Me: Conventions

February 27th, 2015 by John

old_badges

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What Anime Means To Me: Battle of the Planets

February 26th, 2015 by John

battle-of-the-planets

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.

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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.

Baratack_hankerchief

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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.

tumblr_mnbt1dR0wI1qzdpr4o1_500

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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.

Art_of_Dirty_Pair_books

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