October 23, 2015

Anime and Influences

I’m going to show my age here but I remember when anime was hard to find.

Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets/G-Force
Speed Racer
and Astroboy were way before my time. The first programs I remember that aired in America were redubbed, rewritten and heavily edited for cartoon syndication. Gatchaman was reworked into Battle of the Planets, then reworked yet again into G-Force. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada were hammered together to become Robotech. While Beast King GoLion and Armored Fleet Dairugger XV were Americanized into Voltron. The success of these programs lead American companies to utilize Asian animation studios for a lot of 80s American cartoon classics like G.I. Joe. And Hasbro, never one to pass up on a way to sell toys, even purchased the licensing rights to the failed Diaclone and Microman Japanese toylines, combined them, rebranded them as Transformers and then hired writers to come up with a TV show.


But “authentic” anime was hard to find.

Ninja Scroll
For years, unless you had two VCRs and didn’t mind bootlegging, there were only a couple of films you could get your hands on thanks to expensive VHS copies: Vampire Hunter D (1985), Demon City Shinjuku (1988), Wicked City (1987), Akira (1988), and Ninja Scroll and Ghost in the Shell (both in 1995). I don’t remember more anime becoming widely available until the new millennium and DVDs. Unfortunately the practice then was to parcel a single series over as many DVDs as possible and charge a premium for those 5 or 6 measly episodes.


The internet and Adult Swim helped change that. And now with all the streaming options available you can watch all the anime you want (half the reason I pay for Hulu is for their anime selection).

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
And, man, I have watched a ton. A ton. I plan on blogging about several of my favorites because anime has had a huge, huge influence on me but yet it’s something I haven’t really discussed. I mean, if you’ve read “The Whistler In The Graveyard” and watched any of the supernatural school anime, it should be absolutely clear how big an influence. And once you get to further Coffin Boy adventures, discover more about Coffin Boy's powers, The Black Veil Society, the Spirit Fog, and Lydia fully comes into her own, you won’t be able to miss the influence.


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