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Special Guest: John Hoelscher

"WELCOME TO ANIME TURNPIKE IS JINNAI!!!! The NEW Millennium of Anime is close as hand, as I, the Y2KJ, your savior and ruler has been chosen as a Guest on the Anime Turnpike. And after all my Jinnaioholics have visited the Great One’s favorite sites, you will NEVER……E-E-E-E-E-E-E-EVER….be the SAME….A-GAIN!!!!"

Okay…maybe that’s not the best entrance in the world, but it fits…… ….anyway, I am John Hoelscher, or as a lot of people know me at anime conventions, "That crazy laughing man in the suit" Katsuhiko Jinnai of El-Hazard fame. This is a first for me, being bestowed an honor such as this by a site such as the Anime Turnpike. I’m just one of those somewhat normal people who happens to love anime and anime conventions. To give everyone who doesn’t know me a not-so-brief overview of my life and where I’ve been and where I’m going, I was bit by the otaku bug 5-6 years ago with a tape simply labeled "Bubblegum Crisis". It was awesome, the story was killer, the animation was unbelievable and the music……wow. This was not the first time I have seen anime though…..long ago in a galaxy far, far away (12 years ago in Hawaii to be exact.)

My dad was in the Navy. Being a military brat does have its advantages, and now that I think about it, I had a definite advantage in the anime fandom world. 12 years ago, my dad was transferred from Pearl Harbor to Yokusuka Naval Base in Yokusuka, Japan. For 3 years, all I watched was anime, and the occasional American TV show on the base channel (like Robotech….yes, even Japan could not escape Robotech’s wrath). I was only 5-6 years old then. (This was in 1985 BTW). 3 things stick out in my mind.

One was a series that the US will see the sequel to on the Cartoon Network. This series, to me, was something I watched EVERYDAY. (Note that I was only 6 then.) The story of a kid from another planet with tremendous powers, a monkey tail and who could morph into this huge beast whenever the full moon was out. Yes folks, I’m talking about the original Dragonball. The first time I saw this series, I stopped watching the base channel’s Saturday morning cartoon lineup (except for Robotech… ….remember, I didn’t know better). Then there was a new series that caught my young eyes. Saint Seiya, the series I never knew the name of until 1998. This was another series that I just couldn’t miss, and I didn’t care if I didn’t understand the words. Then there was this family show that I thought was cool to watch. Sponsored by Toshiba (how I know these obscure facts I will never know) its main feature was this white platypus-looking thing that made mischief with the family. (If anyone knows what I’m talking about, please email me and let me know what this series is called.)

After Japan, my dad was transferred to Washington State, where I was exposed to raw anime again for the first time in 7 years. A friend of mine in art class gave me a copy of the Street Fighter II Movie, since he knew I was into video games also. I was in awe once again…and I was reminded of my stay in Japan. Then came my dad’s retirement and the trip to Ohio. When I came to Ohio, my exposure to 2 cult classics  made me the person that I am now-- Bubblegum Crisis and El-Hazard. Then came the con experience.

August 1998. On a whim (and after much pleading from my anime group) we made the trip to Washington DC to a little con called Otakon. This was a whole new experience for me….many anime fans gathering in once central location for the sole purpose of anime. As one person has told me "…cons are the church to worship anime." Okay, maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but it was an experience nonetheless. It was also at the con that the Katsuhiko Jinnai persona was born….on a dare no less. When it was said and done, I had the 5 dollar 3-piece suit from a thrift store, an extra 20 dollars from my bewildered friend, and everyone within earshot of me was amazed that I could laugh that loud. It was also here that I have met people whom I would later consider to be my friends. People like Jason, Danny, Elise, Derek, Amy, Carolina, Mike, Christy, Heather, Ellen…and the list grows with every convention that I go to…….thank goodness for the Internet.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Now I work as Internet support, still going to school for a degree in computer science. This can change without notice. And now, my picks for sites to go and visit.

  Danny Hong’s personal site of convention reports, regularly updated. Also home of "2 bored people and a camera" and the home page of the most controversial anime con group ever.... ORGY.

  Jason’s fanfic site that has taken off and is earning a fanbase that can rival…..well, ummm…’s damn good. Just go and see it.

  Kevin Lillard’s convention report site.  An online anime news site. Very cool and stylish.

  Otakon 2000 is closing in…….and a few buds that I know are staffing the event.

  Ellen's independent art site.  If you are an artist that want to get your art out, this is the site for you to check out.

  For all you gamers (let's face it, most anime fans are can't deny the fact you want to see a Resident Evil anime) that are stuck on a level or need some moves for the new Marvel vs Capcom 2.

  The only way to watch anime....

  My personal stalkers.....they scare me...and they'll scare you too....

  Widya's cosplay links....nuff said.

and finally.....   I plug this site because I am staff for this convention (I am the cosplay coordinator).  Please come and visit the site and join us in Ohio January 2001.

(Looks at his second left in his 15 minutes of fame)  watch out for my personal site!

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..^^)

Guests' Web Picks @ Anime Web Turnpike™
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Last Update: 4/10/00