Yay! I was totally thrilled to have been invited to write a guest column for the Turnpike! I have been wanting to for a long time! Thanks to the nice folks at the Turnpike for giving me this opportunity to babble about my favorite subjects- anime and manga :) I suppose I should begin like everyone else and tell y'all a little bit about myself. (Though I often wonder if anyone will read this part and not just skip ahead to the links, but oh well ^_^;)
I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was initially exposed to anime through shows like Tranzor Z, Macron 1, Battle of the Planets, Voltron, Robotech, and all those anime versions of fairy tales they used to show on Nickelodeon. (I also watched Captain Harlock occasionally, but for some reason, that was always on a UHF channel full of static, but I digress...). While I didn't quite grasp the concept of these shows as being Anime exactly, I DID recognize the fact that they were different from the other stuff on TV. I could see the similar art style in these shows, and I could read the long list of Japanese names during the ending credits. Even though I had a blanket that made a GREAT Gatchaman type cape, I would say that Robotech was probably the most influential of those shows on me. 5th grade was my year of being TOTALLY in LOVE with Rick Hunter. *^_^* Anyway...
My parents packed me up and moved me to Austin, Texas in the middle of my high school days, and for a while I was out of touch with anime (though I do remember nagging a friend of mine in high school for her TV broadcast copies of Robotech.) What secured my eventual total addiction to anime was a double feature I caught at the Dobie theater in Austin in 1991-2, during my senior year in high school. What was showing? Lupin III's Castle of Cagliostro and Vampire Hunter D, both in their original Japanese with English subtitles.
Oh WOW! this was so COOL! I loved both movies (Though I found I laughed harder at Vampire Hunter D than I did at Lupin- I am a big fan o cheezy anime and sci-fi :) and was immediately in search of more. Soon I hit all the video stores in town looking for more anime to feed my growing habit (which was not much of a search considering the anime wasteland Austin was at the time), and the rest is history. When I graduated high school, I went to the University of Texas at Austin, where I discovered , UT's rather large anime fan community. I eventually became an officer, and served as The Anime Club's Screening Schedule Czarina for about 2 years. I was pretty much in charge of what everyone watched during the meetings, and I had much happy happy fun inflicting all sorts of strange stuff on the poor club members. (can we say extremes? cavity-inducing shoujo! more! bloody mecha shows! whee! cliffhangers are good!) If you are in the Austin area, you should really check the club out, it is most spiffy!
After college I moved back to San Francisco, which is, of course, like a paradise when it comes to anime and manga related merchandise. I am very happy to be back here, though my bank account is probably wishing I had stayed in Austin :) I am currently employed as a Production Designer at , (which I guess you can say is kind of anime-related, because is part of Snowball, and they have an anime section...ok, so I am reaching here ^_^;;) Anyway, I end up spending way too much of my paycheck on manga as I lose a fight with an obsessive addiction to shoujo manga. My current favorite anime and manga series include: Hana Yori Dango (anime & manga), Hanazakari no Kimitachi E (manga), Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (anime & manga), Gokinjo Monogatari (anime & manga), Kareshi Kanojou no Jijou (anime & manga), Kimagure Orange Road (anime & manga), Cowboy Bebop (anime & manga), Escaflowne (anime), Kaikan Phrase (yes I have a high tolerance for cheeze when it involves singing bishounens ^_^ anime & manga), and wayyyy too many others to list.
Uh lets see, what other stuff have I done for fandom. Hmm. I am a fan artist, and have sold artwork at the last 5 Project A-kon conventions. Um. Oh, and I make a bunch of anime web pages! Well okay, so I am not the maintainer of some huge anime fanzine or something, but I have made a lot of pages that have been selected as sites of the week, Jei's picks, and as guest picked sites a few times by other people! (Which I would like to thank y'all for :) I have also been a host and anime reviewer on World of Anime, a public access anime reviews show here in San Francisco.
And now it is time for my obligatory self promotional plug!
I hope everyone will take a moment to check out my personal web gateway, http://niko-niko.net/. Here is where you will find links to some of the anime pages I have done, including Emily's Cowboy Bebop Page, Emily's Hana Yori Dango Page, Emily's Random Shoujo Manga Page and HanaKimi: For You in Full Blossom among others. (No, I am not very original in naming my pages, I realize this ^_^;) In the future, the rest of my pages (The Amazing Anime Men Hunk-O-Meter, Magical Girls, Emi's Anime Winamp Skins, and Mizuiro Jidai) will be back up and running there too.
Of course I must do a quick plug for my friends too! They have many great web pages on subject matter ranging from Hong Kong Cinema to Card Captor Sakura! So please look at the SF Gumi Pages and the #FY Gumi Pages! :)
Alrighty, now that I have the self promotion out of the way, lets get to the links! I must say that in the last 2 years I have become MUCH more obsessed with manga than anime, so many of my links will be manga related. Also, even though I prefer creative/clean/cool web page design, I am listing sites here that I tend to go to for their *content* and not necessarily for layout :) Content does tend to be the most important thing in a page! Anyway, here we go:
: This is the main page for the ring, but take a look at the ring index for the sites. Why a whole webring? Well, I have found this to be one of my favorite resources for finding GREAT pages about manga! Unlike some other rings I have seen, this ring actually has sites that are useful! ^_^; Almost all of the sites contain great info about specific manga topics. You'll find sites with manga translations, or translation link archives, sites that center on one specific manga artist's works, or others that provide more general information about manga in general. I recommend them all, but in particular, some of my favorites on the ring are:
: A nice resource for all things manga, including some translations, news items, summaries, images, etc. The focus leans a tiny bit towards shounen (boys) comics more than shoujo (girls) comics, but it's all good!
: A great site with lots of manga scans and descriptions. The first site I found when looking for information about one of my favorite manga series, Seimaden, though they talk about many other series and authors too :)
: Another page of Manga descriptions. Check out the reviews section and the 'my favorite manga' sections.
: Eek, another entire webring mentioned here! Well I can't help it, this is a cool ring too! It contains websites that have online manga translations, something I happen to love ^_^ Many of the sites are also on the Pure Manga Webring mentioned above, but here they are in an even more collected spot :)
: You guessed it, more manga descriptions. These are brief, but plentiful, and include cover scans (though they are rather tiny cover scans :) I just wish they would include some ISBN numbers :)
: Even more manga translations! Links to translations for a whole bunch of series! Wai! wai!
Japanese Drama Links
Along with manga, I am also OBSESSED with live-action Japanese dramas. If you like anime and manga, there is a chance you may like dramas too! In Japan, most dramas are short, only running for 10-13 episodes, and are complete stories. This makes them easy and fun to collect :) I am a sucker for the genki/happy/romantic shows and anything that is based on a manga series! (and there are many live action dramas based on manga series, it's great!) There are so many dramas that come out each year, in so many different genres (action, mystery, horror, drama, romantic, comedy, etc) that there is something for almost everyone! My personal favorites include Long Vacation, With Love, Oishii Kankei, Itazura na Kiss, Majo no Joken, Tengoku no Kiss, Change!, GTO (or anything else with Sorimachi Takashi in it *_*) and many more! Here are some sites that talk about some of my favorite shows...
: Such a GREAT page! It has a huge drama database with reviews and summaries, general j-drama information, links, a mailing list, and much much more! :)
: Some images and synopses in English of a lot of my favorite drama series! Several series have episode descriptions too :)
: What can I say? Even more summaries and
reviews! Dramas are as addicting for me as anime and manga, I swear!
All right! That's it from me! Thank you all for putting up with my
babbling :) If you have any comments or questions, please drop me a line at
MagicalEmi@aol.com. Thanks again!
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Last Update: 1/31/00