I Remember When... Katana

Even at the tender age of sixteen, I am feeling rather old when it comes to today’s anime fandom. I sigh whenever the youngins at school tell me they went to their first con when they were eleven (I was fourteen). I cringe whenever I see that a hyperactive yaoi fangirl is only twelve years old. And while it fills my heart with joy to see a youngster carousing the manga section at the bookstore, it also makes me rage, since I didn’t have such a luxury at their age.

Don’t get me wrong – I do understand what’s going on. It’s not quite a ‘passing of the torch’, but rather the bitter little thoughts that come along as one ages and the western anime industry grows. I imagine this is what older fans thought of my group as we were introduced to the stuff. And years down the road, new conveniences and larger availability will make today’s fresh fans sour.

Yet that doesn’t mean you should take any abuse that these kids are giving you! After all, if it wasn’t for the blood, sweat, and tears given by us (not to mention all those before us), they certainly wouldn’t be here. Besides, being old is fun (sometimes). So if some arrogant little whipper-snapper starts complaining, all you’ve got to do is bust out the good-ol’ “I remember when…” lines.

For example…

Back in my day, there were only 151 Pokemon and we liked it.

For when some kid brings up Pokemon Sugilite or whatever precious gem they’re on now. (See, when I was young, we had colors. Colors. And that was good enough for us.) They may rant and rave about how awesome it is, but true awesomeness lies in the cartridge of the GameBoy.
Add-On: There was only one Pokemon worth using the Master Ball on – and that was Mewtwo!

When I was a kid, the only place you could hope to find manga was in comic shops. And having them in their original unflopped format was a luxury!

Bonus points if the kid doesn’t even know what you mean by ‘unflopped’. To be used whenever somebody brings up how hard it is to find a manga title, especially if they’re standing in a bookstore.
Nowadays, it’s fun to look at my old G Gundam manga from Tokyopop, which has a stamp that says “100% Authentic Manga”. I giggle every time…

I remember when we had to wait until at LEAST 11pm to watch PG-rated anime shows!

The classic example is Naruto: People complain about the minor cuts in violence for the televised version, despite it getting a TV-PG rating (in comparison to the typical TV-Y7 garnered by similar shows). See, when anime first came on TV, anything with a remote whiff of blood didn’t come on until Adult Swm aired. In fact, some shows were actually pretty tame when it came to their violent content.

Back in my day, the only way you could watch shows not released here was via torrent.

I always strayed away from torrents…the fact that you had to get a program to get the file was rather annoying…But in today’s day in age, you can just waltz over to YouTube, type in whatever you wish, and be met with a video. (This has led to my personal belief that anime fans were a big contributor in making YouTube more mainstream.) It wasn’t so easy back in the day…and you actually had to WAIT to get your show!

When I was a kid, the term ‘Japanimation’ still flew around.

In the days when companies seemed phobic of anything foreign, a common term to describe anime was…well, “Japanimation” – and that’s when they were gutsy enough to admit it was from Japan. Nowadays, the worst we get is when they put anime and/or manga in italics (which gives me the impression that they don’t want to touch the word with a ten-foot pole…)

I remember when the dream if a 24 hour anime channel was just that – a dream!

While not mainstream, networks specifically for anime do exist such as the FUNimation Channel and Anime Network. The prospect that a television station dedicated solely to anime would one day exist seemed extremely rare and out-there. (I can imagine the follow-up that’ll one day be written to this: I remember when anime networks could only be found on the far reaches of satellite/digital cable…)

Back in my day, there was no squabbling over dub versus sub.

Oh man, the classic argument, made notorious by anime fans ourselves…See, I remember the days of watching Sailor Moon and Zoids and DragonBall Z and Digimon – and everyone was happy. It was a lovely time of frolicking and singing kumbayah. Then the internet became really popular, along with fansubs, and then…
Well, let’s just say that the bickering and fighting and really dumb arguments still astound me.

I remember when anime fans were a lot more pleasant.

A follow-up to the previous; to be used when the youngin’ is being a complete brat. It seems that nowadays, fans are lot more annoying, rude, and impatient when it comes to the industry and the shows. Complaints about dubbing, edits (no matter how minor), speed of release, and just plain what is being licensed are commonplace. And when I see people whining about cover art changes, I basically mutter “the fandom is facked up…”
I believe it was Answerman who said “anime is a privilege, not a right”. In other words, we really should be happy for what we get. There’s something for everyone, no matter how simple or bizarre your tastes may be. And while you may deny it, the reason places such as theOtaku exist are because of the evolution in the western industry. Heck, if it didn’t exist, I wouldn’t be here, nor, do I bet, would 98% of you folks.

Be proud of your heritage! Give honor to those who came before you and lend a guiding hand to those new to the system. Fandom is, above all us, love and camaraderie, and the amazing things that can come from it. Just don’t be too afraid to teach that snippy child a thing or two.

Date Published
07/17/08 (Originally Created: 07/17/08)
Oh My, Plotholes
Industry and Conventions Fan Words
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