Hellos and welcome, dear readers!
This is yours truly, on the wave of daily blog updates! (and probably at the tail end of the wave at that!)
Today's blog entry is going to be about a bit of my old history.
When I uploaded the Escaflowne English cover, I so wanted to talk about my memories of the anime, so I figured I'd dedicate a whole entry to anime. :)
Probably going to be a longer entry! :)
- 渡米後のアニメ / Animes After Coming to the U.S.
- 日本文化クラブ / Japanese Cultural Association
- エスカフローネ / Escaflowne
- 卒業後 / AFter College
- コロナ渦 / The Pandemic
- 纏め / In Summary
渡米後のアニメ / Animes After Coming to the U.S.
When my family and I came to the U.S., there was no such thing as Internet. Coming overseas basically meant completely getting cutoff from your roots.
In the area we moved to, they did have a Saturday Japanese school where they had a tiny library where I could borrow Japanese books, although the selection was not that extensive, to say the least. A few years after we came, some videos also became available for rental as expats going back to Japan would "donate" them to the school. Long story short, there was not really much anime available once out of Japan, especially in the U.S.
There were a very few manga books that I was able to obtain at a tiny Japanese grocery store near the school, but the selection was mega tiny, so I had bought maybe just a handful of them.
And so, once we moved here, there were pretty much no more animes.
The only exceptions were Ronin Warriors and Sailormoon that had made it to the U.S. way back when.
When I first heard Serena's original Japanese voice, I was shocked at how high pitched it was because I was so used to the American dubbed version. lol
And in regards to Ronin Warriors, I didn't even know that it was a Japanese anime until I grew up and Internet became available. lol
Other than those two animes that I was able to watch on U.S. TV, I was able to watch a few episodes here and there of Dragon Ball Z from the "donated" videos. They even had "Grave of the Fireflies" which I watched when I was in middle school.
Which was traumatic, to say the least!
So my teenage years passed not really watching much anime.
日本文化クラブ / Japanese Cultural Association
I finally got to watch a full length Japanese anime when I went into college.
My college was pretty big and they had a Japanese cultural association, so me, wanting to get to meet actual Japanese people from Japan, went to join the association.
Once I got there, lo and behold, there were no other Japanese students at all. lol
It was basically an anime club. lol
Not exactly what I had imagined, but I figured if there were no other Japanese organizations on campus, I might as well stick around, and that's what I did.
I think there was a sense of awe from the other members of the association becaue I was Japanese, which I didn't mind at all, but since I grew up in the U.S., there wasn't much I could teach people about Japan. lol
エスカフローネ / Escaflowne
One of the animes we watched the year I joined the anime club was "The Vision of Escaflowne."
The room we had was small but horizontally long, so they had two TV's setup with cables running between them so that the video could be played back simultaneously on the two TV's. They were placed on either sides of the room, and there were chairs lined up in front of them where we'd sit and watch in the darkness.
We didn't have big screen sized TV's, although the box shaped TV's were big in a three dimensional way, and my nearsightedness had progressed beyond the glasses I had at the time, so all I saw was a far away and slightly blurry moving pics in a box.
Even under such circumstance, though, the animes were enthralling.
Escaflowne would now be categorized under isekai, and it was also a mecha anime.
I was young back then, so to a certain point I acted like watching animes was nothing, but looking back, I was really into them. lol
The only thing about Escaflowne was that the noses of the characters were just so strangely pointy. So at first, I took a slight adversion to the anime, but by the time I finished watching the whole anime, I felt that Escaflowne would not be Escaflowne without the pointy noses. lol
I even won an OST CD at some raffle we did at the club, so regardless of whether I liked Escaflowne or not, the anime left an indelible impression on me.
For example, I lived in a freshman dorm, so it got quite rowdy at night.
卒業後 / AFter College
After I graduated, I didn't have the opportunity to watch too many animes. My college friend lent me some DVD's here and there, but once I got hooked on online games, I really didn't watch any animes until the pandemic.
コロナ渦 / The Pandemic
One of the things that changed after the pandemic began was that I started watching animes regularly.
It was a Tuesday in March of 2020, that we were told to go home with our laptops things so that we could work from home. Initially I thought that it might be just for a week or so working from home. Then things started looking worse and worse, and it seemed that we'd be working from home for at least a year or more.
Initially because work was so quiet because most businesses had come to a halt or at least slowed down, I had the luxury to enjoy my full hour of lunchtime everyday. That was when I started watching anime on Hulu, which I'd signed up for years ago to watch Sailormoon Crystal. (I ended up watching just an episode or two lol)
The anime that I was watching during my lunch hour was "Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense."
Many, many years ago, I read a bit of the original story on Naro, and at that time, I just noted that it was another VRMMORPG story except it wasn't a isekai but just playing online. When I saw the anime on Hulu, I decided to give it a try since I hadn't actively disliked the original story or something. And once I started, it became part of my daily routine to watch one episode during my lunch hour, until I finished watching the first season.
Like I mentioned, it's not an isekai but a story of Maple, the main character, playing a new VRMMORPG game and just enjoying herself with her friends.
With the stress of being in a pandemic and all the other good stuff that went on in year 2020, Bofuri was the breath of fresh air that I needed.
Once I finished with season one, I looked up on the web about season two, and apparently the production had been delayed thanks to the pandemic.
But finally, after almost three years, we have the second season! I plan on watching it diligently! :)
The first episode just became available last Thursday, I think it was, so I watched it over the weekend. The new season still has the same old cheerful and care-free atmosphere that is so relaxing and soothing to watch. I'm already hoping for a third season. lol
纏め / In Summary
There were fairly long stretches of time in my life where I was unable to watch anime, as well as times when my interest drifted away to other things.
A teenage me would never have imagined that now at middle age, anime would be a pretty integral part of my life.
The world has become more global and very much more convenient.
In such a world as the one we're in now, I don't know how much longer I'll be watching animes, but there have been times that animes have helped me in my life, and I hope that anime will continue to be a strong part of the Japanese culture.
Although, now that I think about it, even though anime is produced in Japan, watching anime has likely become part of a global tradition and culture. Hopefully we'll have many more years, decades, of good animes to watch.
Not sure why this entry's become so sentimental and nostalgic, but there you have it. A story of anime and yours truly.
This entry will likely be the last of my daily update streak for now. lol
The next article should be my explanation in Japanese for the Pocket song from Escaflowne.
So thank you as always for reading this far!
Hope to see you in my next article!