Ball Z Hit the US market, Long before Pokemon stole the hearts of
kids.... My "dawning" onto the anime scene was back in 1978 (I was
seven, almost eight) and an obsession with some bootlegged "Space Pirate Captain Harlock" my dad brought home unknowingly on grainy video tape! *Swoon* (He thought, "hey it's a cartoon my kid will like it".)
was just four mismatched episodes fan subbed somebody brought into my
dad's Video store where he worked. VCRs were brand new technology in
those days and my Dad worked in a HiFi store (long before places like
Best Buy exsisted) He worked for a place called "Minnesota Fats, The
Video King" They sold TVs, Stereos and they jumped on the VCR
Bandwagon. They also rented movies and *cough* most of them were
bootlegs, there was nothing out yet really to BUY to watch on the new
So Anything that even remotely resembled a cartoon/animation my dad brought home to me in those early years.
Harlock was one of the first my dad brought home to me and he (Captain
Harlock) became my First crush and my awakening that there were more
"Cartoons" out there beyond Disney's Bambi, Cinderella & Dumbo. LOL
I was however irrevocably HOOKED by anime when Dad brought home Toei's Version of "The Little Mermaid."
(Anderusen dōwa ningyo hime) Originally animated in 1975, I acquired it
in 1979 and it took my breath away and oh did it make me CRY! It was
true to Hans Christian Anderson's story, and was definitely not the
Dinseyfied "Happy Ending" we all saw in 1989. I was frankly shocked and
stunned my first viewing because up until that time, all the heroines
lived didn't they? (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc... All
Disney) They got the Prince in the End! Love always turned out to win!
In the original story by Anderson, she sacrificed herself for love and
gained a soul. Ah, tragic and I hated it and loved it all at the same
time. Toei did not deviate from the sorrow to spare a child needlessly,
it gave a valuable moral lesson that was not too hard for a child to
grasp. I was nine, It didn't scar me, but did leave an indelible mark
on me. I watched that video so much I wore it out and I would pay big
bucks to find it and watch it again.
A few years later in 1984 I was captured once again by "Valley of the Wind" (Nausica)
and that compelling Hayao Miyazaki film (And badly dubbed, but then I
knew no better, I didn't even know it was Japanese really until later
on...) I've Been hardcore anime fan ever since.
The advent of
the internet years later, made it so much EASIER for Anime Fans to get
a hold of those shows and while Avenue Q Sings "The Internet is for
Porn", I say the "Internet is for Anime". No more mailing aways to a
fanzine for horrible quality video tapes that took weeks and months to
Long Live Bit Torrent!
What's your tale?