My History of Anime Fandom (As of 2011)
Posted 05-11-2011 at 09:25 PM by Buckeye
Updated 05-11-2011 at 09:29 PM by Buckeye
Here is what will be my second to last ever blog entry on Mania before all operations get moved to the Fandom Post. So I figured that I would transfer my history of anime fandom blog to the new site. But before I do that, I am posting an updated version here, and tomorrow, I will have it on the Fandom Post. Since a lot has happened since I last wrote this post in 2009 that I figured I update this blog on Mania. The final blog here talks about my 10,000th post and that marks my 120th and final blog on Mania.
June 1996 - I watch my first anime in Japanese.
For those who know me, the title that got me started in anime was Ranma 1/2. While I have a hard time remembering which was the first anime title I watched, it was with this series that I got hooked into anime. My first experience, more specifically, was the first movie of this series, Big Trouble in Neckoron. How I got started in anime was the my brother, then a senior in high school, had a friend that was into this stuff and he showed it to me. Seeing how cartoons are not just for children anymore that it became the tipping point.
Among the first titles that I remember watching:
All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku
August 1997 - I purchase my first anime title.
Back then, I was on an allowance and was able to see anime only by borrowing it from my brother's friend. And then I bought my first ever anime title. It was the sixth and final OVA for Ranma 1/2, title "Faster Kasumi, Kill! Kill!" which consists of the last two episodes of the OVA dubbed and on VHS at a cost of $30. It was just released, so I had the opportunity to buy it. My brother's friend had the first 10 OVA episodes, so this was the only thing I could get without double-dipping. Before there were DVDs, the sub vs. dub debate was pretty serious as getting the original Japanese version meant paying $5 extra. The VHS tape was purchased at Suncoast Videos.
June 1998 - I watched my first anime on DVD.
Back then, DVD players cost $300 that are no better than the ones you see here today for a fraction of that price. So to get by we would purchase and return a DVD player. The first title that I would see on DVD is the second Tenchi Muyo movie, Daughter of Darkness. I originally gave it to my brother as a birthday present. Before I owned my first DVD player, I had previously watched Tenchi in Tokyo and Battle Athletes on DVD that was later to be returned.
September 2000 - I purchase my first anime title on DVD.
This was the first ever DVD player I had ever owned as I received it for my birthday that year. From that point on, no more VHS purchases. The first title ever was Card Captor Sakura. With the length of this series, I only bought the first three volumes. I got interested after watching the heavily Americanized dub of CCS on TV. That started my collection of 400+ discs and still growing. This was purchased at Buy.com, which was where I would buy most of my anime before I found out about RSI.
April 2001 - I purchased my first ever box set.
That series that I purchased as a boxset was Magic Knight Rayearth season 1. I have been wanting to purchase that title for along time, and finally got the chance. It was quite a shock to my budget back then at $150, and I was able to get it for $75 from ebay. And I definitely was hooked once I got it.
August 2003 - I made my first purchase at Right Stuf.
From this point on, almost all of my anime were purchased from Right Stuf as they would have the best prices on anime. It was during their special on Geneon titles I decided to give them a try. In that order, I bought Heat Guy J Vol. 1, Ai Yori Aoshi Vol. 4, AMG: The Adventures of Mini-Goddess, and Yuki Kajiura: Fiction CD. The shipping was quite slow, but ultimately that became a non-factor since their deals would blow every other retailer out of the water. Since I always had a backlog going on that I could afford to be patient. Since moving to Ohio, being that it is much closer to Iowa, the titles have arrived much quicker.
July 2005 - I attended my first anime convention.
It would not be until 2005 that I would attend my first ever anime convention. I had previously asked around about what anime cons were about, and that I was convinced that I needed to attend a con one of these days. But then, there came a now or never moment since I had a golden opportunity to attend a con. That would be Anime Expo, 2005. I happened to be in the LA area that summer with an internship. This employer gave interns two days off for Independence Day, meaning that I would be off work for all four days of AX. When I attended, the con was held in Anaheim. I will save my stories about my first ever con for another day. Nonetheless, it was a blast and it would spark my interest of attending these events in the future.
July 2006 - I attended Anime Expo, again.
I would return to AX in 2006. Since I had so much fun at my previous AX that I decided to return again. I was in LA again working for the same employer for the summer. I took the lessons from last year's AX with one goal in mind: make AX like a sporting event. While I did not have as much fun as my first time around (then again, I can't see anything topping that to be fair), it was still a blast. After that summer, I would move to Ohio. This is the last time I attended AX and have not been back to AX since then as I have been busy with summer assignments that require me to stay in Ohio. I could go to other cons that are closer, but going to AX was out of the question.
January 2007 - I attended my first Ohayocon.
Since I moved to Ohio, I have been wanting to continue my con experience and for that, Ohayocon was the big on in my current hometown. It was there that I attended my first con that was fan-oriented rather than industry-oriented like AX was. At the time, it was a pretty small con that has grown to become the second-most attended con in the Midwest. It was fun in its own way as the guests were far more interactive than at AX. It was there that I could attend a con from both perspectives. This was far more relaxed than AX, though it has gotten so big that the relaxfulness is much less than it used to be. The guests at this con are far more interactive than at AX and they held lots of panels rather than just a Q&A. My favorite event at that con has always been the improv led by Mike McFarland or Chris Ayres. And this is one con that Greg Ayres is part of the convention planning staff. His commitment has helped make Ohayocon a huge hit.
Also on January 2007 - I joined Anime on DVD.
It has been over four years since I first joined this group that I will forever refer to as AoD even though it has been on many different sites as it went to Mania, and now to The Fandom Post. Before then, I was just a lurker and had not much to say until I joined. Seeing how this forum was well-maintained and had lots of great discussions going on that I decided to join. What finally got me to come here was the recruitment drive that went on during that time as they were offering a chance to win prizes for newcomers. While I did not win anything, it did get me more active in the anime community than I previously was. Ever since that moment, I have been posting away for better or worse.
May 2007 - I finished watching Inuyasha.
How is this important? Well, it marked the first ever long series (which by my standards is anything that has more than 52 episodes aired on Japanese TV) that I watched every episode of. I have watched other long series before, but I skipped parts of. For example, I only watched up to the end of season 4 of Ranma 1/2 and while I watched only the first and second OVA series of Tenchi Muyo, Tenchi Universe, Tenchi in Tokyo, and the movies while skipping over other seasons. With Inuyasha, I watched every episode and movie, save for the recent new stuff that is supposedly coming to Adult Swim pretty soon.
January 2008 - I attended Ohayocon, again.
Another trip to Ohayocon and it was another great experience. I don't need to add much more than that.
June 2008 - I attended Colossalcon for the first time ever.
I first learned about this con when I remember bci110 saying something about this convention from way back on AoD. I decided to come to the con and it was the last time a con was ever held in the Cleveland area, where the following year, it was moved to Sandusky, about 60 miles west. It was a laid-back convention, and I had a great time there. It was also there that I was introduced to another con in Columbus, the one that does not get as much recognition as Ohayocon and that is Matsuricon.
August 2008 - I attended Matsuricon for the first time ever.
This was my first time at the other convention in Columbus in the northern suburb of Worthington. It was relaxed, and this would be the last time before Matsuricon started bringing in active VA's. This con was all about fans interacting with other fans and playing all sorts of games. It was a good time to be had.
October 2008 - I attended Youmacon.
I was introduced to this con after having a conversation with some of the dealers room vendors about this con. So I looked up this con being held in Detroit and decided to go there. What I liked about this con was that the guests were highly interactive here. There, I spotted a cosplayer of Minerva with all her wings and things attached to her. I can't help but to think about how everything went down in designing this as she would be the runaway winner in most cosplay competitions. And then there was the panel hosted by Mike Sinterniklaas where a dub was produced for the first webisode of Tamagatchi by fans to demonstrate how the dubbing process works.
January 2009 - I attended Ohayocon, the third time around.
This was the first time the con was moved from the first weekend of the year to the last weekend of January, where it has been happening since.
March 2009 - I imported my first figures from Japan.
I had been buying all of my figures either through conventions or Anime Corner. I did not stop to think about buying figures from Japan with the high cost of overseas shipping being the biggest obstacle to the problem. But then, I was introduced to Hobby Link Japan as they had a huge sale. There was that Tsuruya figure in her color-changing tiger costume that I spotted at Ohayocon with a price tag of $55 that I really liked, but decided not to buy since my wallet had run out of money. But at HLJ, that figure cost less than half of that, so I decided that the savings will more than make up for the steep shipping costs. Also in that sale were figures of Mikuru in her maid outfit and Tsukasa in her miko outfit that I added to the order to keep the cost of shipping more reasonable while adding some really cute figures to my collection. The selection is also much bigger there, so that is where I look to first for figures. Later that year, I also discovered Hobby Search and since then, I have been buying the latest figures that I want from those two sites.
June 2009 - I attended Colossalcon, for a day.
This was the first time I ever went to a con for one day only. Since I had to be in town on the Friday of that weekend that I could not attend the whole weekend. And I was also very busy that weekend with exams coming up. But seeing the great guest list that I did not want to miss out. Then I arrived at the perfect solution to that dilemma: attend Saturday only. I usually don't get much done on Saturdays, anyway, and that I was pretty well-prepared enough that I could afford to take Saturday off it, so I went ahead. I drove to Sandusky bright and early at around 7am (about two hours from home) to attend the con, then at around 11pm, I made the two hour drive back, like I usually do when I attend baseball games in Cleveland or Cincinnati. I got an awful lot in for just attending a single day, and at the same time, I was able to meet Michelle Ruff, Melissa Fahn, and Brad Swaile, three VA's who rarely attend conventions. The highlight of that con was the big panel about the FMA VA's where I got to listen to the VA's for Ed, Al, Mustang, Shou Tucker, and Lust, which is the most VA's for a FMA panel that I have been to. And I also like hearing that Ruff operates much differently from Chris Ayres as Ayres is known for drinking a ton of soda in his huge mug that he carries around everywhere, while Ruff wants says no to sweet drinks and coffee prior to recording.
July 2009 - I attended my first (and to date, only) Otakon.
Itching to return to a major con since going to AX in 2006, I have been wanting to go to Otakon for quite some time, but in the previous two years, I had something else that took priority those year. But that year, there was nothing that would stop me from attending. It was fun getting to interact with Japanese guest, who were far more interactive than the guests I met at AX. This con marked the first time ever that I met others from the AoD. This con was a ton of fun and one of these days, I want to return to Otakon (but it won't be this year as I have something already planned for that weekend).
December 2009 - I watched my first series on Crunchyroll
Previously, I rented stuff, bought stuff, downloaded fansubs, and watched anime on TV. But then came Crunchyroll. I only saw this as just another fansub distributor, except it was not that. That said, I finally discovered CR, though I would not be a regular user until much later. The first series that I watched on CR is Haruka Nogizaka's Secret Purezza.
January 2010 - I attended Ohayocon, the fourth time around.
Not much to say here. I went back to Ohayocon, and I did the usual.
May 2010 - I attended Anime Central for the first time ever.
To complete the trio of the largest cons, I went to ACen for the first time back in 2010. Previously, I had wanted to attend the con but had to attend classes on the Friday of the con, thus rendering my decisions to attend worthless. But that year, no such obstacle was in the way as Fridays were free days. So I went to Chicago bright and early on that Friday to attend it. What amazed me the most there was the size and variation of the dealers room. It was huge, and I spent an unbelievable amount of time navigating through it.
August 2010 - I attended Matsuricon again.
This time, there was a sizable cast list as Stephanie Young, Sonny Strait, Eric Vale, Micah Solusod, Brina Palencia, Scott Freeman, and Kyle Hebert were in attendance. It was a great time to be had, and it was at a new venue that looked much nicer than the original venue. However, the con grew exponentially that year the convention was moved to the same place as Ohayocon has been.
October 2010 - I attended Sugoicon.
Not much to talk about here, except that this is the one small con that actually has guests from Japan. Normally, Japanese guests only come to the big ones like Anime Expo, Otakon, and Anime Central. But here, we got Misato Aki, the singer of the opening to Strawberry Panic and the ending to My Hime.
November 2010 - I bought and watched my first Blu-ray title ever.
I had been holding out on getting a Blu-ray player until I get a new TV. But since I wanted to start getting BD titles so that I don't have to go back and double-dip for the upgrades that I decided to get one during the Black Friday sales. Before then, I bought my first BD title, Eden of the East, in anticipation of this purchase. It was an incredible experience, and the fact that I can plug and play my MKV fansubs on it was also a great thing. I still don't have the TV for the optimal viewing experience, but the extra sharpness was noticeable and an incredible change from the standard DVDs.
January 2011 - Fifth time at Ohaycon.
Another great weekend goes into the books at this con. This time, the venue got a huge facelift so that there is more space in the dealers room and that the whole con was held at the Hyatt Regency rather than having to use the convention center where the main events area was a long, long walk.
May 2011 - I went from Mania to Fandom Post.
And now, I am here on the Fandom Post. I still go back and post stuff on Mania in the meantime. But I have since moved my operations from there to the Fandom Post while starting anew.
So that marks all of the critical moments in my time as a longtime anime fan.