This discussion on 17/11/2009 asked class members to describe how they get information about anime, and how their ways of getting information have changed since first becoming interested in anime. The class formed three groups of four and one group member kept notes and fed back.
Andrew, Brian, Ruth, Soraya:
Andrew got into anime soon after Akira was released in Britain in 1991. He also saw My Neighbour Totoro at the ICA’s anime festival, read two British magazines, Anime UK and Manga Mania, and then got Helen’s first book in 1993. Nowadays he looks at the Internet to keep up with news about anime, mostly Anime News Network (ANN) and Ain’t It Cool News (AICN). So his way of getting information has progressed from analogue to digital technology, just like his way of watching anime!
Brian is a new fan and can’t recall exactly when and how he first became aware of anime. As a longstanding animation fan he knew he wanted to find out more, and so when he saw this course advertised by the WEA he signed up.
Soraya is a longtime animation fan who remembers enjoying Hanna Barbera cartoons and the Banana Splits on TV. She first saw anime in the 1980s (in Japanese) and decided she preferred it to most Western animation. She used to read SFX magazine for information, and also read Helen’s books and the Animerica Interviews book. Now she gets her information from anime-fan friends and buys most of her anime DVDs on eBay.
Ruth had seen some anime trailers on other DVDs, so when she saw the Barbican’s 2008 Tezuka festival on a web browser, she went along to find out more. She met Helen, and started buying NEO magazine. Now she uses the Internet and anime forums for information.
Adam, Naomi, Rhiannon, Steve:
Adam was a member of the Manga UK Club (run by video label Manga Entertainment) as a teenager, and would buy any anime with an 18 certificate on it. Nowadays he gets most of his information from NEO and SFX magazines, other science fiction publications and events like the Barbican festivals.
Naomi and Rhiannon both became fans around the same time as Adam and get their information from similar sources, and by word of mouth. They are aware that their choices are in a way ‘censored’ by what selectors for festivals and screenings, or DVD release, choose to make available.
Steve is a newcomer to anime who signed up for the class because he was curious about it. He has seen only what “breaks the surface of the mainstream” like Spirited Away, although he also went to the first ICA anime festival, again from curiosity.
Azusa, Becky, Jane, Sarah:
Azusa started watching anime in Japan when she was young. She still gets most of her anime information from two Japanese magazines, Animania and Animage. These have been published for many years.
Becky got into anime very young, watching it on TV channels like Cartoon Network and Toonami. Toonami no longer exists and Cartoon Network doesn’t show anime now, so she uses the anime fan network and YouTube to keep up with new material.
Jane is new to anime and signed up for this class to find out more because of her interest in Japanese culture. She gets her information from the Internet, anime blogs, and YouTube.
Sarah got into anime as a child in Asia, watching it on TV and watching videos. Now she searches websites for information, and has usedan online list of older anime and world anime which was packed with information. She couldn’t remember the name but by pooling our information we think it’s either Richard Llewellyn’s Animated Divots or Benjamin Ettinger’s AniPages Daily.