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Way Out
by Timothy Georgi

You know what? I'm way out of the anime scene.

It's actually not too surprising though. I made this realization back in May while I was visiting my home-away-from-home, Chicago. I was just sitting at the Reactor booth in the Exhibit Hall at Anime Central. What caused me to come to this realization was the fact that I sat there, staring at the booth across from us. I don't remember what booth it was or where they came from, but I looked at the wide variety of toys and trinkets and that's when it hit me.

I had absolutely no clue what series any of that stuff came from.

A moment of complete silence hit my brain as I sat there looking around.

When had I lost touch with the anime world?

As I said before, it's actually not too surprising. Whyfor you may ask? Well, ACen 2005 had been the first anime con that I'd been to in well over 2 years. The reason behind how that happened is another long story entirely, but the fact that I had fallen way behind was hard to dispute.

In the two or so years that I had stepped back from the anime convention world, the ability to keep up on the "latest and greatest" seemed to have gone with it. I think part of it is a result of how tired I am nowadays. Another part is the lack of energy to get into anything new. Then there's the main part. Lack of funds. Yes, being an anime fan is an expensive hobby.

The fortunate thing right now is that things are starting to get back to normal. Granted, slowly, but getting back to normal nonetheless. I realized that the other night. And I know what to blame.

Azumanga Daioh. The crazy antics of Chiyo-chan, Yomi, Tomo, Osaka, Kaorin, Sakaki, Nyamo and Yukari are enough to break the normal person.

It comes down to being able to do what we all once took joy in back in the 90s: subjecting people that hadn't a clue about what these "funny looking cartoons" were to some of the most insane and imaginative creations in the history of the moving picture. I have a roommate right now that "doesn't like" anime. Azumanga Daioh is working to change that. He still has issues getting into anything that is overly deep (he's too used to the way typical American cartoons are. You know, little plot, lots of action...), but because of the random insanity that is presented in Azu, it's easy to get hooked on something so totally off the wall and funny.

The thing that's really gotten things going in a good direction again is the fact that we instituted Anime Night at our place once a week. This last week, we spent hours watching a good chuck of Azu. Then we hit the last 2 parts of the Shouji Kawamori masterpiece, Macross Plus.

Then we did something that I haven't done in years.

We dusted off the tuning-fork-logoed piece of electronic anime goodness. Off a far shelf, a 12" disc of gleaming silver met the light of the world for the first time. It could have blinded someone if aimed in the light correctly.

It was probably a dumb thing to do, but we opened the LaserDisc for Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki 1. It had never been opened, but we wanted to show our anime night friends what life in the early 90s as an anime fan was about. Then we compared Tenchi Episode 1 on the LD to the episode on the DVD. Yes, you could see the difference. (The LD looked WAY better.) Now all we have to do is subject them to the world of n-th generation fansubs on VHS and they'll be all set.

But even with memories of that time long gone, there's a lot in the anime world that is in need of catching up on. And ironically enough, there's a big stack of it sitting on my desk, courtesy of our friends at ADV.

One of these days I need to get the energy to actually write up some reviews.


Why in the heck! Thanks Tomo.


Reviews: Anime
Samurai Gun Vol. 1: Cocked & Loaded
Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU Vol. 1: Full Metal Pandemonium
Five Star Stories  3
Reviews: Video Games
Tony Hawk Underground 2 Remix  4
Nintendogs  5
PlayStation Portable  6
Way Out  7
I Love the 80s  8
The Con Suite
Star Wars Celebration III  9

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