FLCL anime image

FLCL – Furi Kuri (Fooly Cooly) is a popular anime.

I was just reading something that mentioned the tribulations of anime fans “back in the day” and it reminded me of some of the amusing things from way back when.  I used to really love going to those conventions.  This was before cosplay was much of anything.  The most people ever did was dress up in a Star Trek outfit, or slap on a Klingon forehead, maybe dress in a robe and carry a toy lightsaber.  All the really fun stuff like audience fan plays and whatnot hadn’t come around yet.  Anyway, half the fun was going through all the dealer booths and browsing the manga, comicbooks and various merchandise.  My little Robotech fan heart did backflips for days about some of that stuff.  The one issue was that anime hadn’t really hit America, yet.  We had the stuff Harmony Gold brought over, which was mostly heavily edited, and often completely rewritten (i.e.: Robotech.)  If you wanted the actual stuff like Ranma or Gunbuster, you had to buy 4th generation bootlegs which may or may not have crappy, half-legible subtitles from these conventions.  I remember friends bringing them to school and having showings with the literary club we had.  Project A-ko was a particular hit as it was freaking hilarious and challenged certain social mores (C-ko totally had a thing for B-ko and lesbianism was still a bit of a hang-up in the early 90s.)  It was from a borrowed VHS tape that I first saw Akira.  When I first saw that I was completely entranced.  It was absolutely amazing like I was on the edge of something new and wonderful the whole time.  An animated show of such quality where people actually died and not everything was plastic.  It was more real than most live action films.

Now you can get box set dvds from nearly any of the major online retailers, anime on streaming sites, and countless copyright busting uploads on Youtube, which, instead of directly taking them down because it would be a pointless and endless battle, companies are finally uploading their own with a rental fee, because they realize most of us anime fans have no issue with supporting our studios, it’s access we really want, and not at ridiculous prices (seriously, one season of Bleach for nearly $100??  There must be like 800 episodes of that show!)