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How I lost my Anime Virginity...

I've been an anime fan since LONG, LONG before Sailor Moon and Dragon
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?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
My first exposure to anime was back in the 1970s. It was in the time between high school and college that I started watching Battle of the Planets. It was on around the time Star Wars was very hot. I didn't realize until many years later that it was anime, and that some of the characters were added in to make it more appealing to kids in the US.

One of these days, I should try to watch it in the original format (Gatchaman).

It wasn't until the 2000s when I really developed my anime obsession, starting with Gundam Wing. If I'd known about yaoi and shounen ai, I'd have gotten into it much sooner. ^_^
Sep. 15th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
Battle of the Planets and Nausicaa In the Valley of Wind were my first real memories of anime.

...Battle of the Planets is also the birthplace of my admiration of the androgynous, men in lipstick, and crazy villains. XD
Sep. 16th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
Oh I forgot about battle of the planets... add that to my labu labu list. :)
Sep. 15th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
I have yet to see Toei's version of the Little Mermaid.. but I remember a Japanese exchange classmate of mine trying to tell me about it and how it differed from Disney's version. ^^

Aside from the usual "Star Blazers" and "Robotech" that was playing on TV during the 80's, I also remember watching "Candy Candy" on our local Japanese TV station. ^^

I officially started with Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind. I rented the dubbed version - since that was the only version available "Warriors of the Wind". Yay. But I was familiar with the story since I was already reading through Viz's translations of the manga. (This was about 1989.)

After becoming familiar with other Anime fans around the US via the internet of the time (1990-3 via Prodigy and early AOL), I was able to get dubbed tapes of various tv shows and series. Became really hooked on Ranma and Miyazaki movies and things went "downhill" from there.

I kinda miss the old days of the fandom, before the bubble burst. Now there's soooo much to watch and I can't say all of it is "quality" goods.
Sep. 15th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
Captain Harlock was my anime boyfriend as a kid! Except he had ugly sticky legs but the rest of him was damn fine!

I watched it on tv late at night in the 70~ties sometime and he popped my cherry then licked it dry!

Never looked back...
Sep. 15th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
Oooh! I think I saw that one too. My friend had that on video tape. I adored that version of The Little Mermaid. It would be awesome to find it again. As I recall it had a really pretty song and she did turn to seafoam at the end. It was quite sad, but a wonderful version.
Sep. 15th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
I was a late comer. In fact it wasn't until South Park that I realized 'cartoons' are not always for kids. Growing up in a SMALL desert town before the internet boom you didn't get a lot of exposure to the rest of the world.

It was right before I started college when I caught an episode of Sailor Moon on Cartoon Network. I was hooked at once. Well done animation, music and a PLOT, I had to have more. Luck would have it the internet had started to grow at that time. I was able to see how Sailor Moon was meant to be seen and not the Bandai version and later when Gundam Wing came out I stumbled across a yaoi site and the rest is history.

I do remember before the craze really hit. The only manga out was Sailor Moon and the word manga wasn't even known, it was graphic novels. The only videos (dvd's where too new at the time) was the first volume of Utena and Ninja Scroll, both dubbed.
Sep. 16th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)
I grew up with anime on TV - all English-dubbed, of course, so I never figured out that these were Japanese cartoons until much, much later.

Gigantor was one of my childhood favorites. Then, in the 70s, Voltes V, Mazinger Z (oh, those rocket boobs!), Daimos ("Eriiiiiikaaaaa!" "Riiiiichaaaaard!"), Candy Candy (anime as telenovela), and some others ruled my world.

But it was Shadow Skill that won my heart when I first caught anime again on AXN; Ruruoni Kenshin, Weiss Kreuz, Yami no Matsuei, and Petshop of Horrors followed in short order. I discovered fandom, and the rest, as they say, is history!

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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