Posted by: Ji-L87 | January 25, 2009

The story of my (animu) life

massaanimu_cropped

The winter season has already started and while I usually write about that it’s a bit too late this time and aside from the fact that a cold still has the better of me, I’d rather write about something else. So let me just say that the new shows I’m enjoying are Viper’s Creed, Druaga: Sword of Uruk, Birdy: Decode 2, Maria+Holic and Rideback.
Now, with that over and done with, let’s hit flashback central~!
(Warning: wall of text a-hoy!)

Just the other day, I digged out an older gundam title,The 8th Ms Team. “Good show” you might say…”and what’s your point?” Well, you see, it’s this; The 8th MS Team is from ’96. Since my anime fandom blossomed pretty late I’m a child of the digital fansub, that, and most people who talks about anime on them intarwebs seems to be older than me, but I digress…
At any rate, I suddenly felt the urge to write about how I came in touch with all this anime and manga-stuff.

When I was younger I didn’t really know much about neither anime or manga, I’m not sure if I knew what the words meant at all…Sailor Moon used to air (dubbed in swedish) on saturday mornings but I didn’t think much about it. It was…just another cartoon. And since I never was any good at getting up early I missed most of the episodes so I kinda stopped watching since things didn’t make sense anymore. Later, Pokémon cards started to turn up as prizes among the marbles in the school’s sandbox but once again I was pretty clueless. I always woke up too late to watch it (and I never owned a gameboy) and I more or less felt a bit left out of it, a feeling which then took the form of some kind of active dislike for the series. You know I’m probably just jealous (:

Since I didn’t have any of the “new” consoles like the N64 or PSX (just my beloved SEGA Mega Drive II, also known as Genesis, I believe) I didn’t really buy any of those gaming mags where I probably could’ve come in contact with japanese games and stuck to pc gaming. What broke my isolation was a combination of things, almost all of them Mega Man-related. While the little blue guy who insisted on wearing his underpants over his tight bodysuit wasn’t really available on the platforms I had (well, except for a few rare games) I had played some of the games on borrowed hardware or through emulation and quite liked them for some weird reason, even though I normally didn’t like platformers that much.
At any rate (Yeees, I’ll get to it soon) a friend of mine loved web comics and after reading over his shoulder for a while, I decided that I should take the plunge myself. The comic that hooked me first was a Mega Man sprite comic named Bob and George. Aside from pulling me deeper into Mega Man fandom, this also introduced me to the fanart-side of things, as well as the fan community in general. Even so, it would still take some time for my bubble to burst tho’…
megaman
Sometime when I was 15-16 (it’s all a bit fuzzy) some of my friends had formed a gaming test group for an organization called goodgame and they had received the task of reviewing Mega Man Battle Network 2 for the GBA. They spoke of the game quite much and I was tempted to try it myself the emulator way and I was hooked, I really really liked it.
Then came the final punch into my bubble that would make it shatter into a million little pieces: I was asked to download the first episode of Rockman.exe, an anime based on the game series (maybe better known as Mega Man NT Warrior to some of you). It was no strange request at all, in our friends group, our house was probably one of the earlier ones to get an adsl connection and thus making such downloads actually possible. It took time for me to actually care enough to try and download it but one day when I was home and sick I tried my luck on kazaa (oh you virus-ridden thing, you) and within the day I had it on my disk. I didn’t really download much movie-files and such back then so this was an unusual thing to see in my downloads-folder in more ways than one…of course I had to sample it.
I remember it like yesterday; In the upper right corner of the screen someone had written “Anime Haven” and that I thought the opening was kinda childish. More than that, it was one of my first contacts with the japanese language (the first was the OP from Slayers played to extremely low res and random anime clips included as a bonus on some old cd we got along with our first home computer). But after the intro, I couldn’t look away. After finishing watching it I had another go just for kicks, and that’s how it started.

The Rockman.EXE Logo

The Rockman.EXE Logo

Looking back, Rockman.exe wasn’t such a good anime at all and it didn’t get better with time. On the other hand, I only liked the first 3 MMBN-games as well…

As you might guess, one thing led to another and soon I was looking for more. During the summer of 2004, two important things happened: I created a DA account (the old stuff are quite the horrors D: ) and I bought my first own manga, vol 1 of Love Hina.
While following RM.exe I had learned the existence of DC++ (which also helped me find japanese music) as well as bitTorrent and thanks to that I found new shows to watch quite easily. A year later, summer 2005, I discovered yet another important thing: japanese art sites. I was browsing this english art site called Furious Angels, which linked to various sites in different languages and I soon found artists like co2a (Komatsu Eiji) and many many more.

Late, same summer, I also played my first visual novel demo – Angel Maid (nsfw) by the no longer existing Carriere. (Traps, lolis and meido, I sure knew what to pick!) I didn’t understand anything though, except for the phrases I had learned from watching all that animu, but it was okay because I had hopes for the future since I was going to attend a basic japanese language course once school picked up again. Nothing could no longer stop the tide of japan-nerdyness and all things weeaboo to come rushing into my head /o/

luckystar_otaku

And after that…

  • I found AnimeSuki.
  • A friend brought me to Science Fiction Bokhandeln , a bookstore in Gamla Stan (in Stockholm) where I could get my hands on english manga releases as well…
  • I discovered the animeblog. The first I started reading was probably Jason’s Derailed by Danny (was called Anime on My Mind back then) as well as 11~15% suki, Moyism’s personal blog.
  • I learned that anime came in seasons.
  • I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do after high school so I decided to try and learn some more japanese (and I don’t regret it at all 😀 )
  • I found Tokyo Toshokan and thus I started to watch to watch more raws.

It has been what? Three years since I entered the university and I’m starting my 6th semester tomorrow. My bookshelf with all the manga has grown notably since the start and my anime collection now lives on two external harddrives…which soon need to become three. My playlists consists mostly of japanese music and anime soundtracks and nothing really got better when I got my hands on a credit card.

I don’t regret it, though. I’ve had a blast and I still am, even tho’ I maybe haven’t got the best work promises ahead as of right now… orz
I’m actually rather surprised over how much I’ve managed to see in such a “short time” but I still wish I started a little earlier…I am a little bummed about missing out the oldschoool “hardcore” fansub-community-thing with VHS tapes and anime clubs and stuff like that, since I took my first wavering steps with a through the internet distributed .avi file.

Phew! I’ve been wanting to write something like this for some time now but haven’t gotten around to actually do it. Regular service will resume…whenever @_@
I’ll spellcheck this tomorrow or something, I kinda need to hit the bed

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Responses

  1. Sailor Moon aired on Sunday mornings I think actually :p it was during the weekend nontheless.

    I started out with Starzinger, Robotech and some weird anime that I do not know the name of.

    Thereafter years went by and then Super Power mentioned that anime and manga were coming to sweden. Then I understood that I have been watching anime all along. So of I went to watch Crying Freeman Vol 6…

    When I was like 8 or 12 years old. Don´t remember :p

    So I´ve been watching anime for mainly all of my life :p Still going strong, but I´ve gotten tired of when the same storyline appears over and over again. Therefore I didn´t really appreciate Kannagi the way most of the world did. Nice animation, quality designs and all, but after that nope, didn´t work for me.

    There has to be something really special(KyoAni) for me to like that kind of anime…

    I shouldn´t babble anymore. To much info :p

  2. I remember your post on Nibelung, which was the reason I wanted to write something like this (:
    I said back then that I maybe would and made a draft at least. And that draft helped me this time around.

  3. I’m picking up Ride Back and Druaga as well, couldn’t find a subbed Viper’s Creed but I wanted that too. Getting that Steel Shelled Regios, or whatever it’s called also. there was some other show about a kid swordsman that looked interesting too but no subs. Skipping Birdy Decode since it’s a sequel and well, I have no idea about Mariaholic. Depends what I hear about it.

  4. @uthek: I’ve seen two eps of that Regios show and I felt quite lost. Maybe it would’ve made more sense if I saw subs but I probably wouldn’t like it enough still.

  5. that old thing :p

    It wasn´t that good written though if I have to say it myself. But it got most of the info trough anyway so it´s ok I guess.

    Regios is the classical show: Mysterious young boy that goes to school for one reason, he wants to study, gets thrown into something much bigger and more advanced than he should be able to handle and love and behold, he was just playing dumb and is actually one of the better ones in that area…

    But I can´t get enough of the main female lead so I guess I´ll be watching it.

  6. @Manga: Yeah, I like her too but, there’s too much I don’t like so I’ll probably skip this one out D:

  7. There is something with girls that are violent and believe in themselves that makes me all warm inside. And with that outfit as well 🙂 Yay.

  8. I’ll agree episode one of Regios was kind of confusing. Bill and Ted didn’t time skip that much. :p


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