I know its been a couple of months since I have posted anything on this site, so I apologize about that. To sum up (if anyone cares), I have been busting my butt to finish everything up in order to get my Certificate in Digital Rendering and Game Design from my local Community College this summer. Of course I am not done with school since I am staying for another year to get my Associate Degree in General Tech., which is just another full year of school. Then after that, I might do more school, who knows, except me. The point is I have a break between now and the fall semester which will kick off in a couple of weeks which gets me some time to do something quick for you guys.
This time, I have no anime to talk about, but I’ll kick that off in the next review I do. I am going to post about something that a lot of people either used to read these or heard about in the ages of the 90′s where many of us never had the internet, but for a few bucks, you could get your anime knowledge once a month in the form of print publishing from “so called” experts. I wanna talk a little bit about anime magazines from the late 80′s/ 90′s and so forth.
Like I said, “back in the day” (goes to show how old I am getting), when it came to information on media that Generation X/Y was into, we would work up saving our allowances to get the hottest information on what we wanted to know about in the form of letters on glossy magazines that let us know of upcoming video games, movies, comic books and for the other brand of nerds, Japanese cartoons. Our only source of this information came from people who would have contacts with other people and companies across the pacific to let us know when Japan will release Mononoke in theaters, or the opinion of a badly dumb 90′s fanservicy show, or who would win in a fight with one Capcom character vs. another SNK fellow, the convention coverage that made Otakon look like a gathering of American otaku at a Suncoast, that paying 20 bucks for a Manga Ent. Dub copy of Mad Bull 34 was the best deal you were ever going to get, and how you can score Crystal Triangle on Laserdisc for 100 bucks was totally worth all the money you saved working at your fathers dealership polishing Dodge Durago’s during that summer. Yes, this is the truth that anime fans back in “those days” had to look forward too, and it was kickass.
I have become a bit of an up-and-coming aficionado of these publications of yesteryear, since I have this fascination with learning the past and what were some titles that never made it over to the states. Here is one publication for starters that covered anime series that either never came over to the states, or came over 15 years later:
Animag seems to come off as a fanzine of sorts, but it is something I consider to be the prototype of what Animerica came to be. Animag had the credit list of two main people that have done a lot in the anime industry back in the 90′s, Toshifumi Yoshida as translator/assist editor/all around cool guy and his current wife/editor/early VA, Trish Ledoux. These two have credits in early Viz titles from the 90′s, and Toshi has been on manga-to-comic adaptations credited as the translator for titles such as Genocyber and about a dozens others. They are both on the US Renditions VHS cover for Giant Robo as “Consultants” just to throw out an anime title that they have both been apart of. I have had the pleasure meeting the two of them back at Animazment ’09 and I met Trish again at AZ ’10, basically to say “I have more stuff I want you to sign, is that cool,” and we talk about anime and other stuff for a few minutes. Trish is a cool gal, and if she is at any convention in the near future, you should talk to her or go see a panel she would be hosting, or something.
Now that I have quelled my fanboyner, I will talk about the magazine a bit. Remember just a paragraph above I mentioned about how a certain anime publication printed reviews and covers on series that either never saw the light of day in the states or did a decade and a half later, that would be Animag. Animag did episode synopsis for the well known Zeta Gundam series that aired a few years earlier, because people at that time wanted to know more about Gundam before Gundam ever got any popularity about a decade or so later. The only thing that came out about the time of those issues is the Frederik L. Schodt translations of Tomino’s Gundam novels (which were re-released back in April if you guys want a copy). These magazines also had ads for stores that sold Gunpla at the time of whatever the current Gundam series was out in Japan at the time that you could conveniently buy though money order or over the phone. And if you wanted to buy Gundam/anime soundtracks/laserdiscs, there was Laser Perceptions.
Speaking other anime series that never got released in the states (although it came close about 10 years ago which Tim Eldred worked on) was Blue Comet SPT Layzner (now available on /m/ subs). Animag did a whole cover/episode synopsis of the series which had character bios, suit designs/details and episode summeries in detail. There is something I want to point out about these summeries, they may or may not be as accurate as they might be. I bring that up because I had the chance to talk to Trish the first time at AZ and mentioned how her and her staff know about the anime they were doing reviews on. She pretty much told me that they translated “the best they could.” when the people would watch the episodes. So chances are, the episode summeries they wrote about might not be all that “accurate” to begin with. But hey, this was the late 80′s / early 90′s, people were learning this stuff as they went. And who would complain, its not like someone else out there had the same information as they did.
I am going to move on to what became of Animag in the future:
Animerica had a really good run as an anime publication that lasted through the 90′s and part of the new millenium. The first issue was officially released in March of 1993 (which I was in first grade at the time) that carried over some of the staff from Animag, particularly Trish Ledoux. Animerica had more to say and cover as time went on, and even did high profile interviews with people in the industry such as Ryouske Takahashi, Mamoru Oshii, Toshimichi Suzuki, Masamune Shirow and dozens more. They even did manga chapters in the magazines to promote to the consumers (kinda what they did in Newtype USA with its manga) before it hit shelves. And when it came to ads, it was mostly covered by anime company distributors on some contest to win MD Geist stuff or something, but there was ground for the smaller ads as well. Animerica now has been defunct as of 2005 (due to Viz involvement of course), which if you can get a hold of some of these issues for yourself, they are worth looking at, especially if you like to collect older series stuff such as me.
Here is another smaller publication that seems to still exist:
I only have issues 7 and 14 of this magazine publication, but this is another one of these magazines that has lasted a good while, lets say 20 years. As a matter of fact, they still exist today, just not in the distributing way. Issue one came out in 1988 and really only put out issues when they were able too. The title came from, well, you Robotech fans know, so this might appeal to you guys. This magazine seemed to have started out as a way for Robotech fans to talk about Robotech stuff, but that seemed to lead on to more and more as time went on, kinda glad really.
It seemed that I got into collecting these magazines when I found an issue of Animerica with Priss from BGC on the cover, which kinda spiraled into my blogspot site that I run and post content on occasionally. With those three anime publications posted plus the links added, I think you get the idea. The only anime publication out there now that seems to do really well is Otaku USA, which its writers are just internet celebs/podcasters that talk about the same thing they talk about on their podcast/blogs. As debatable as the reviewers might be, they do know what they are talking about, to some extent. Just goes to show what podcast/internet fame can get you in life, and for the rest of us, it seems nothing is out of our grasp.
Well, I think that is going to wrap things up for this post, and thanks for reading/checking this out. If you care to share your thoughts, just comment below. And make sure to check out my new podcast over at The CyberNauts Cast, we just did 2 months of Gundam UC coverage, so that should wet your apatite for you Gundam fans out there. See you next time, hopefully not as sober.Anime of Yesteryear Presents: Anime Publications of the Past,