Yeah. Title is much of a cliché but I couldn’t think of a more fitting title to this entry that I’m conjuring up. This is actually amusing for me since the idea for me to make up this entry was prompted by the blog that’s currently abuzz in the English animu blogosphere, yep, the Otaku Elimination Game a.k.a. OEG.
You might wonder why I’m actually posting this, and mentioning them, since I’m not in their hit list (or at least, not yet, though I rather doubt it) — I guess this is a little response of mine to what they are stirring up as of now. In all honestly, I am but a wee lurker in that blog, initially because I thought of them as random trolls and haters that had nothing better to do but to troll and hate — even included some of the more popular people around the “Otaku” blogosphere — to stir up something. But, now, I think of them a bit differently since they actually have a point — though I still think they lack credibility, thanks to their anonymity — the fact remains that they do raise an interesting and valid point, that being an otaku, involves burning passion for something and not just a passing obsession. I am also amused by the fact that they actually state that it is not measured by the x number of merchandise that you buy everyday, week or month — and most likely, it is not relevant to how much you spend either.
So, where am I going with this? This is not a challenge if that’s what you’re thinking. I highly predict that they shall judge me — or if not, just leave a sentence about TanTango in their next post that: “Tangerine Tango is just like Neko’s Thinkbox — in orange” — or something to that effect. Like the title says, this post is my trip down memory lane. Fair warning this is going to be TL;DR, but if you’re interested enough go ahead and proceed.
So, if you haven’t figured it out by now (from the first photo), Sailormoon was the very first anime series that I’ve ever watched, alongside Dragonball Z — but my older brother’s the one who was obsessed by that. I used to watch it on local television on Saturday nights — dubbed in our local language. I was probably 5 or 6 during the time I first watched it. The theme song then was also dubbed and Usagi was known as “Bunny” while the others strangely still had their original Japanese names intact. I wasn’t able to watch each and every episode because the tv station moved it to a Sunday timeslot and our family always goes out during Sundays.
I still remember the times when there were actual chibi figures of Sailormoon and actual toys of the Crystal Wand and Usagi’s brooch displayed in toy stores. I would stay in one spot and stare at them while my parents go around the department store because I know they won’t buy them for me. My alternative to Sailormoon’s senshi uniform was using an empty pressed powder compact, a headband with faux stick-on diamonds on them and me twirling around during the henshin sequence. I didn’t really have playmates, so it’s usually me playing as Sailormoon, the Queen Beryl, the Daimon and sometimes the rest of the Sailor Senshi. LOL. Feel free to laugh. I was young then!
As I grew older, the TV station still hadn’t finished airing all of Sailormoon. So, my fandom still continued, although in a more discreet scale. I started collecting stickers (the sticker album is still here!), collectible cards (that were given to me) and paper dolls… LOTS of paper dolls. I even had ‘houses’ for them composing of pencil cases and emptied out Ferrero containers. More anime have aired back then too. The most prominent ones I can remember are Akazukin Cha Cha, Card Captor Sakura, Yu Yu Hakusho, Rekka no Honou, Magic Knight Rayearth and Fushigi Yuugi — Rurouni Kenshin too, but it was dubbed in English. When I remember this period, I fondly call it the “Golden time of Filipino Anime dubs” because the dubs back then, the dubbers voices fit the characters nicely and the emotions in their dialogs are just awesome. Right now, though anime has become so mainstream locally that there’s now a local channel that’s dedicated to anime — most of the dubs are pretty much bland and are probably dubbed by the same group of people in each and every anime. But moving on…
During that time, I was actually engrossed with the theme music. I loved it so much that when my brother started printing out romaji lyrics from Anime Lyrics, I was ecstatic and tried singing along whenever the shows air — to the point of memorizing the songs actually. Those were the days when the computer was something not so accessible to me, and the internet is as slow as 15-25 kbps.
Then we discovered soundtracks in cassette tapes, I bought one or two while my brother (my partner-in-animu-and-games LOL) bought more than I did since he had more money ^^;. Then I started getting more and more lyrics printed out, that they were thick enough to be a text book. I always brought it to school to share with my classmates (and some even borrow them to have them photocopied! LOL). That was actually how I learned how to use MS Word. XD
Those were the days~!
Of course, with soundtracks, you can never get all the songs you want… especially if the soundtracks only have around 12 songs in it. There were times that I would buy blank cassette tapes, make the TV volume loud enough that neighbors would probably hear it… and then record the opening and ending themes — and grumble when the TV station cuts it short for the stupid commercials. When high school started, I even had a small service business in school of recording anime songs in cassette tapes to those who wanted copies of the songs. LOL. I sacrificed lunch breaks just to go to the AV Room to borrow a cassette recorder and record them ^^;
When we had a new computer during my 2nd year of high school, things started to become more hi-tech. It was the time when the internet started to boom here in our country and there were dial-up internet cards that allowed unlimited access from midnight to 7am. This was also the time when my brother discovered a site full of anime mp3s and so we had a tradition of leaving the PC on just to download a bunch of mp3s by morning — and usually, a song took at least an hour to finish downloading.
During my high school days though, most of my classmates have ‘grown out’ of anime, if not having no initial interest to it — well, that does happen if the high school is exclusively for girls. So, this was the time when I started hanging around in the internet, actually participating in roleplaying in different Yahoo!groups and chatting to people who are also interested in anime but were in the city. This was also the time when a friend I met through our art club introduced me to the fujoshi fandom a.k.a Yaoi. LOL. She would drop by our house to leech of the internet and read Gundam Wing fanfiction. I wasn’t even a Gundam fan then, (until now, I have only watched Gundam X) and have only learned of the Gundam Wing pilots through the fanfiction ^^; LOL.
This was also the time, when I started discovering HTML and Photoshop, making blog layouts, and at some point, I made a mini-shrine for Hunter X Hunter, although it didn’t have much except for the photos I grabbed from several places on the internet and crammed into a pile of floppy disks.
By the time I graduated high school, and during my freshman year at college, I then discovered the wonderful power of torrents! LOL. Yes it took me that long, since that was the only time that I had access to DSL (and the slow kind at that), this was the time that I actually got to hoard anime episodes. Sometimes, I even stay up at night until the wee hours in the morning just to marathon a series. XD Life was pretty sheltered for me at that time, it was either school, school work or going back to my dorm room and watch anime. I seldom went out with college friends at the time.
Then last year, together with a close friend that I met in college, I started cosplaying. It was fun and it was the hobby that made my wallet cry for a while. I actually had loads of fun because at the time, it was a secret from my parents (who would probably badger me to no end because of spending money on this kind of hobby), and because I met more people who are also interested in anime and manga ^^. Being busy with the dreaded monster called school put me in hiatus though, and so did my moving back to my parents’ house.
What actually made me started wanting to collect figures? Well, in one of the last conventions I attended, a photographer asked my friend and I to pose with his adorable Sumomo doll while a photographer friend of ours asked us to pose with his Midori-chan puppet/doll. I was so fixated by the cuteness that I started making a wishlist with her and several Code Geass figures that I’ve seen in the Code Geass LJ community. A friend of mine actually saw the Lelouch figma and… she gave it to me as a Christmas/Birthday present. And well… that’s how it all started. ^^
Well, that was surprisingly short for a recount of my anime fandom for more than 10 years… but then again, I would probably bore you to death by just listing all the anime I ever watched — and you are probably tired for trying to finish this entry alone! So, to those who actually made it to the end, I thank you for reading. XDD