My introduction to anime occurred in first year university, though I had sketched cartoon characters and taken a short course on the Japanese language prior to that time. First discussed anime in December 1995, first seen in Ottawa in 1996. Which is the same year I was on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)'s show "Undercurrents", so yeah, I guess we should talk about how I got that interview? Since it now links here?
Alternatively, if you have half an hour you can listen to podcast Episode 59 of Zannen, Canada. Jesse Betteridge interviewed me in August of 2019.
Sailor Moon was my gateway anime, since it was airing on North American TV at the time. By some bizarre twist of fate, the second episode I ever saw was "Mercury's Mental Match" - the one with Greg, yes. That was the start of it. Intrigued, I sought out more of this "anime", finding a club at the University of Ottawa ("Marmalade Boy" being one of the first subtitled anime I saw) as well as a group of Sailor Moon fans online with this very Freenet. I reached out, not being from Ottawa, looking for people to connect with. And probably overextended. I can obsess.
I've always been one to collect and curate information (acting as secretary on many committees). With the NCF Sailor Moon group, I decided to become an authority on Sailor Mercury. (She is the best Senshi, after all.) At the time, "Sailor Moon Sailor Stars" had just premiered in Japan, while information about S and SuperS was still winding it's way overseas. I began to maintain a set of pages linking to web content on Sailor Mercury, along with some information and summaries of my own. (I have re-uploaded the one page for Ami-chan No Hatsukoi, from Mercury Central here. Ah, memories.) I also started playing Ryo Urawa on Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Mux. Also, merchandise!
In Fall 1996, a friend of mine who had some contacts mentioned that they were looking for "otaku" to interview (or something along those lines). I floated my name forwards (or maybe had my friend do it, I'm not sure), and sure enough, got contacted for the interview. It was actually filmed in multiple locations, but all within Ontario. I didn't think too much of it; I think it aired in early 1997? Which would be the year I went to the first "Anime North". The Mercury obsession (yes, I was quite the fanatic) lingered for a while, waning over time, even as anime remained somewhat constant. Though by 2009, I didn't have a lot of time for anime either.
I still watch it, when I find the time. I've kept up with "Sailor Moon Crystal". Haven't watched PGSM (the live action). As for other related history, some key links:
With respect to anime, what would I recommend? Well...
*My gateway anime series was Sailor Moon, as it was broadcasted dubbed in early 1996, the same time as the founding of BSSM MUX. It's not a bad introduction, rebooted or otherwise. (I still own my many Ami Mizuno plushies from that era...)
*My favourite slice of life anime series is still Marmalade Boy, with it's bizarre yet not impossible romantic twists. It was one of the first shows I ever saw subtitled, in Ottawa in 1996. I own the entire series.
*My favourite fantasy/sci-fi series is Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Seen first at Anime North, it bridges genres, has cool English-talking staves, then German-talking weapons (in sequel MGLN A's), then Italian-named villains (in sequel MGLN StrikerS). The first two seasons have been released! About the only downside (for me) is the lolis, though they grow up in the last series, and there are manga tie-ins and more. Plus it's being re-released as a set of movies. The latest series is Nanoha ViVid.
*My favourite strictly sci-fi series is Steins;Gate, as I have a penchant for time travel. In fact I did a series of recap/review columns for it at the Time Travel Nexus.
*My 3 favourite classic series' : Fushigi Yuugi. Read or Die (the OAV; still good but a bit disappointing was the ROD TV series). Martian Successor Nadesico.
*Favourite recent series? The most recent one I saw and hooked into was "Fairy Tail", though it became a long runner and I didn't keep up. For a while I mostly watched reviews from Channel Awesome though that site had serious issues and I now monitor individual creators. These days I spend more time drawing my own characters. I'll probably check out Steins;Gate Zero.
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