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Special Guest: Jonathan Harmon

      Hi! I'm Jonathan Harmon. <> If I was to follow the precedent set by prior Guest Pick Writers, I would make a breathtakingly profound and utterly hilarious pun right now. However, it just isn't happening, and I won't try and push it. So, a bit about myself...

       Well, I'm a teenager of uncertain age, currently living in the beautiful but mind-numbingly boring city of Raleigh, NC. I was born in Dallas, TX, but I've spent most of my life so far in Germany, England, and Japan. And yes, it is true that growing up in Britain leaves lasting scars, I'm living proof   ^_~   My "normal" hobbies are pretty varied: I play the guitar (click to see my Strat), spend way too much time on IRC, and find new and ingenious ways to crash my ZX-6R. I also somehow find time to study Kendo, the Japanese art of swordsmanship. Apparently I'm doing something right as I travelled to the National Kendo Tournament this August as part of the Southeastern US Kendo Federation's team.

      Since I'm writing here, one can safely assume that I'm also quite active in anime fandom...

      NOW he mentions anime... Took long enough -_-;

      My first exposure to anime was when I was still very young and caught some Robotech during its original run on US television. Being very young and impressionable, I thought it was some pretty neat stuff. However my family made one of their frequent moves at that time, and I summarily forgot about it. Yet anime would keep coming back to haunt me. As painful as it is, I must admit that it was Ranma 1/2 that got me truly addicted to anime :p    I was in Japan at the time and Ranma was in its first season of release. I loved it and began to dig more deeply into the world of anime and manga, spending every last yen of my measly allowance on assorted goodies.

      Unfortunately my sojourn in Japan came quickly to an end. Luck was on my side however. On a trip to California to see some relatives I stumbled across the wonder that was Anime Expo '92. Although only able to attend for one day, I just couldn't get enough. An anime con is a mind-blowing for a middle school student (as I was at that time), all things considered. After a year's break I was back for more with AnimeAmerica '94 (YanYam still holds a special place in my heart). Things were just downhill from there... ^_^    Katsucon 2K will be my 20th full convention. I also currently staff for two anime cons, Otakon and Animazement. If any of you reading this have never been to an anime con, just go ahead and do it, it'll probably be one of the most fun things you'll ever do in your life.

      Other than my con involvement, I dabble in other areas of anime fandom. I make anime music videos, which, along with fan parodies, are in my opinion currently some of the most exciting and creative products of the fan community. MVs are definitely worth checking out. I do some translation for fansubbing, but I'm not affiliated with any groups anymore. My pet project is my online archive of lemon fanf...oops, wasn't supposed to say that ^_~

      I should also probably mention some of my favorite anime. The series that make up the Gundam universe combine to form a true epic that never ceases to fascinate me. Aura Battler Dunbine and Lupin III are other classics that I hold dear. I find Zetsuai, a stalwart of the shonen-ai genre, intriguing and the artwork simply beautiful. More recently I've been enamoured with X, Blue Sub #6, and Cowboy Bebop. Though X is far more enjoyable having read the manga (which is currently releasing in the US in graphic novel format).

      Now for the links. I had originally considered compiling a series of anime music videos links for my pick, but, having prepared my mini-autobiography, I realized that I couldn't just ignore all the wonderful anime-related material on the net just to focus upon one narrow little category. So, prepare to be assaulted by a hodge-podge of everything. Enjoy!


Anime News Network  

      If you want the latest breaking news in the anime world, the Anime News Network is the place to go. Hopefully ANN will keep up its tradition of accurate reporting and frequent updates as the editorship changes hands.

EX: The Online World of Anime & Manga

      Run by the SPJA, the same organization that brought us all Anime Expo, EX is the best of the webzines that deal with anime. It is very industry-oriented and combines more content than many of its print counterparts have with a beautiful layout to make a product that is always fun to read.


      The other major anime webzine, @anime! takes a much more fan-oriented viewpoint than its cousin, EX. Edited by Timothy Georgi and filled with the writings of veteran fans, @anime! is a great place to go if one is searching for the most up-to-date information on United States fandom.


Otakon 2000  

      Otakon is the oldest con on the East Coast. Since growing from its humble beginnings in State College, PA, Otakon has grown to be the biggest anime convention on the East Coast. With an unparalelled lineup of guests and oodles of other stuff (including the infamous MAT3K) Otakon is always a blast. 'Nuff said... ^_^

Animazement 2000  

      The epitome of a medium-sized anime convention, Animazement is one of the most laid back cons to be found anywhere. Combined with guests matched only by the biggest conventions, it is truly a unique experience.

      Couldn't get away without some plugs, could he? -_-;  

      The brainchild of Kevin Lillard, is the most complete collection of convetion pictures on the web. Kevin makes it to almost all of the major US conventions and devotes his time to taking the pcitures that fill his page. The number of cosplay pictures on is especially impressive. Whether you want to relive your favorite con memories, check what your friends are up to, or just see what you missed, is the first place to go.

The Cosplay/Anime Costuming and Masquerade Links Page  

      Widya Santoso's Cosplay/Anime Costuming and Masquerade Links Page is one of the other great web sites dealing with conventions. Though the layout is not the most organized, Widya is the reigning online guru of cosplay, and his site reflects it. The Cosplay/Anime Costuming and Masquerade Links Page has more links to cosplay-related material than anywhere else.


The Anime Cafe  

      Run by Akio and Jane Nagatomi (on behalf of whom I will say, Akio is a guy and Jane is his sister! ^_~) this is the premeire anime criticism site on the net. Filled with informative, unbiased reviews, and other wonderful chunks of information in the form of the Cafe Encyclopedia, The Anime Cafe in the number one place to go to find out whether one should watch a show or not. Also, it is currently the home to The Parent's Guide to Anime. Akio himself, should have become a film critic, his understanding of cinematography is excellent bar none. I myself owe many of my views on film to the influence of Akio during my brief tenure as a Cafe contributor. One can't say enough good things about The Anime Cafe.

The Right Stuf's Introduction to Anime  

      One of the long term projects that I've always wanted to embark upon, but never really had he time for, is making a history of anime fandom in the United States. Unfortunately, this is just a silly pipe dream, since I'll never really find enough time to do it ^_~    In the mean time, be sure to resort to The Right Stuf's Introduction to Anime. Taken from the company's catalog, the Intro is lays out the history of anime both in the United States and Japan is a concise manner. It would be nice to see them come back someday and do a more detailed job of the history, but that would be a major undertaking. On a separate note, Mitch Hagmaier once wrote an excellent history of American anime fandom for Otakon (with the help of Mike Tatsugawa, Carl Gustav Horn, Jeff Thompson, and other notable persons) which truly deserves to see publication upon the internet someday.


Emiko's Genesis  

      An online manga drawn by Canada's own Ian Kim, Emiko's Genesis is skillfully drawn and reveals a deft sense of humor. The webpage recently had a makeover, and it's looking better and better. Ian himself can often be found in conventions' Artist Alleys, and getting a sketch from him is a treat.

The Foodcourt  

      A very, very funny site. One has to see it to believe it. ^_^

Anime Lines You WON'T Hear  

      A nice little (actually, it's huge) compilation of lines...well the title says it all.


Karinkuru Anime  

      Karinkuru Anime is one of the many fansub groups that has a place of the web today. However, what makes their site so special is the excellent guide to fansubbing that resides there. With careful descriptions of all the technical aspects of basic fan subtitling using the popular Amiga program JACOSub, and also some fitting comments concerning style, Karinkuru's guide is the best that there is for the beginning subtitler. Kudos to Matt Demicco for such an excellent and informative piece of work.  

      However, if one wishes to delve deeper into the art of fansubbing, it is to that one must turn. Home to the definitive guide to the technical aspects of fansubbing, The Fansubs FAQ, is the most complete site on the web that deals with fan subtitling at this time. However, be warned, The Fansubs FAQ does not fall under the category of easy reading. also has some other content that makes it stand apart, including a substantial script archive and listing of fansub groups and distros.

Kodocha Anime  

      Now that Tomodachi is gone, Kodocha Anime is indisputably foremost among the fansub distributors on the internet. They seamlessly couple a great page with excellent service, making them my favorite distro. Also, the layout of the titles that are currently available from them is clear, concise, and frequently updated.


The Gundam Project

      Hands down the best site on the net dealing with the various incarnations of the Gundam universe. Run by uber mecha fan Mark Simmons, The Gundam Project is packed to the bursting point with Gundam-related information. The site features an excellent introduction to the series, galleries of Gundam universe pilots and mobile suits, info on almost all of the various incarnations of MS Gundam that have cropped up over the course of twenty years, and an encyclopedia of Gundam-related terms, among other things. Mark also does all of the drawings that adorn the page, no mean feat. is another excellent Gundam website. Of particular interest is its MS Gundam timeline, which nicely encapsulates much of the Gundam UC storyline. also keeps a nice section on Gundam-related news which is updated regularly. Take this and The Gundam Project twice daily to get one's recommended daily intake of MS Gundam ^_~

Rabi's X Page

      Simply put, Rabi's X Page just amazes me. X has long been one of my favorite anime and manga series, and this site is the perfect online companion. The page covers both the anime and the manga, as well as providing information on the series in general and on various publications and CDs that have been released to accompany X. The one thing that makes this site a gem though is its collection of translated scripts of much of the X manga series. Also, the layout of Rabi's X Page is gorgeous, which helps a lot.

The Aika Homepage  

      Ok, so Aika isn't exactly the epitome of great cinema... Still, I find it incredibly enjoyable to watch. The quality of the animation is very high, and the silly storyline produces a lot of laughs. Plus, I've never really seen anything that uses camera angles quite to the effect that Aika does. ^_~ The Aika Homepage itself is very nicely done, providing a nice idea of what the series is.

Miscellaneous is the official website of the famous manga artist Monkey Punch, renowned for his work on the Lupin III series. The page features pieces of artwork done exclusively for the webpage and other just cool tidbits. The site also has a really silly Shockwave Lupin III shooting game which I find completely addictive.

      This website has one of the most random assortment of otaku goodies imaginable. is a treasure trove for the anime-attuned surfer. Lots of KiSS dolls are to be found here, as is one of the best collections of desktop themes on the web. Overall, it is well worth spending some time at digging through everything that is to be found there.

AUSKF Homepage  

      If one is seeking to learn Kendo and lives in the US, this is the place to check out. The webpage of the body that officially governs Kendo instruction in the United States, The AUSKF Homepage maintains a listing of dojos that offer instruction in Kendo.

      On a closing note...

      WOHOO! He's finally shutting up!!

      One really has to look beyond the web though to get a good look at what fandom is doing on the internet. The Newsgroups, fandom's bastion in the early days, still exist. Mailing lists abound, and anime is discussed in real time over the medium of Internet Relay Chat (IRC). So, I've added a tiny little segment to my pick just listing a few excellent alternate media.

The Cosplay ML [COSP]

Anime Music Video ML [AMV]

Fan Fiction ML [FFML]

      And of course, any of Hitoshi Doi's lists....

#CAML-anime - An IRC channel on Othernet ( which is probably one of the neatest places to hang outand just talk anime. They're a fun group of people mainly based on the East Coast, and they have some kicking parties from time to time to boot ^_~    One might even catch me there from time to time.

      Well, thank you all for your patience, if I bored anyone to death, blame it all on someone else. There was the person who picked me after all ^_~    Hope to catch some of you at conventions sometime in the future! Ja!

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: 1/4/00