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Special Guest: Diana Garetson

Hello everyone, my name is Diana Garetson, and I too, am an alcoholic. Well ok so that's not true, but that is a popular cliche with which we can introduce ourselves, isn't it? I run two sites (well, collectives anyway), and . You all will have to excuse me for I am home with the flu today. If I sound a little out there, you can blame the needlessly strong medication my physician-parents gave me. But that, my friends, is quite another story. I was asked by Nikkou to relate to you my anime experience for this article and so I will. So buckle up everyone, keep your arms, legs, hands and other parts in the cart for the ride through my mind. No flashbulbs please. I hate cameras.

My path to being an otaku started almost two years ago, and like many other anime fans, it started with Sailormoon. No, I was not one of those kids who got up at a heinous hour to watch that heinous atrocity of DiC's. Not even anime can yank me away from my mattress earlier than what is absolutely necessary. My introduction to Sailormoon was an unusual one. I used to be an active role player in AOL chat rooms. I was a part of a very relaxed RPG game where anything goes. There was a group of kids who started their own little clique within our RPG group who named themselves the musketeers (I told you this would be unusual didn't I?). Now, the few girls that I had grown close to in the RPG group decided that we too should form our own little clique just to infuriate the other one. And since all of the other girls were fans of the dubbed abomination of Sailormoon, we each identified with a senshi. Intrigued , I looked around the web for Sailormoon sites. My first episode was a subbed one I downloaded off the web, and I was well versed in the details of the original Japanese version well before I saw my dubbed episode of Sailormoon on the Cartoon Network. I built crude web sites (ones that no one but my friends saw) to show off to the other girls in our little RPG clique. Who would have thought that my competitive nature in the RPG game would have lead to writing a guest article for a prominent anime web site two years later? Fate is a funny thing.

I branched off from just being a Sailormoon fan over a year ago. Because of my location and my neurotic obsession with money, I can't say I've watched as many titles as some people but I do enjoy the ones I watch. And since my favorite web sites are supposed to be a part of this article, I'll add those in too. I'm not adding any Sailormoon sites to this article. There's not much point. If you don't know your favorite Sailormoon site by now, there's a huge listing right here at the Anipike.

Shoujo Kakumei Utena
This was my first non-Sailormoon anime. I'm a big fan and am pleased to find that the number of Utena sites is growing at a rapid rate. However, I must say that my favorite sites are some of the older ones. The Utena Encyclopedia is the place for general Utena information. It's a sad thing that they no longer update, but I can understand. Also, on my pick list for this series is End of Innocence. They have a ton of movie information and it's fun to look at the fan art submitted for their tarot card project.

Fushigi Yuugi
I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of this series. I'm at a point in my life where gooey, sticky, sappy romance is anything but appealing. To say it must bluntly, Tamahome and Miaka together make me yack and my bonding with the fast forward button on my remote increases when watching this series. But I absolutely love the secondary characters. They make me laugh. And so, to add to this category, I'm placing what I feel to be the BEST Nuriko shrine on the Net . Yes the owner, Caroline, is a friend of mine. I'll try to keep friends' sites out of here from now on. But seriously, I can't think of a bigger Nuriko fan than her. She's put a lot into this site, which is what makes it a must see.

Serial Experiment Lain
I just recently watched this series. It's very short with only 13 episodes, and after long stints of strictly shoujo series, it was rather fun show to watch. It was complex, intriguing and felt very real. There aren't a lot of Lain sites on the net at this time, but the ones I do know of (and like!) are and . Both sites offer good information, multimedia, and images. I hope more sites pop up so I can add to this list someday. If you (yes, I'm talking to you, readers) know of any good Lain sites, email them here!

Magic Knight Rayearth
I started with this series through the manga (which I love.) The art is gorgeous, although the anime version makes most of the characters look rather awkward. It's fun and entertaining, although it doesn't get really deep until the end. My favorite MKR sites are , (just because I love Umi!), and . Welcome to Cephiro is a good place to start for MKR information. It features everything from series information, to links, to scripts. It has a little (often a lot) of everything there. is Michelle's MKR music site. It also has a really good gallery in it.

Other favorites
Besides particular series and fan sites, there are other anime-related places I haunt. I am a member of the Moon Circle, so I'm a regular at their . They're all really great people and I enjoy all of their sites. I owe a lot to them for all of their support and inspiration that they've given me. Besides, what's the net without friends? You can check out a listing of the other sites involved at the . Other places I can't live without are the , , and the site I owe a lot to, The Animanga Community. The is a great source for current information. I'm usually out of the loop on that kind of thing, so I have to check there just to keep myself from being totally clueless. The is a great resource for free stuff. They offer webspace, email, site redirection and more. They also have chat, reviews, image galleries, and various multimedia resources. So if you have a few hours to kill and are looking for something to do, AON is a good place to start! The Animanga Community is another huge resource the anime web has to offer. They have large galleries for a variety of series. The majority of my images come from there. The place is immense, so if you haven't been, GO. Lastly, there are the sites that I particularly enjoy because of their style of design. My new favorite collectives (purely based on design) are and . They always have enjoyable designs and I visit them often.

Well, that's it. I never intended to make this article so long, but then it isn't every day that I have this kind of audience is it? As always, I appreciate any comments, questions and the like. . If you've made it to the end of the article, you're a real soldier. Thanks!

Anipike not being responsible for Acts of God or the vaguaries of humans  ;)
this column will appear 'as and when' articles come in. New articles will
be announced on the "New List" page. (So original, da yo..^^)

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Last Update: 1/17/00