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Special Guest: Kenko

Well, OK... here you go.
Thanks, Robert. :)


Kenko/Robert Haynie-- Author of Girl Days, Paragon, Redheads,
and War and Peace-- Gomen, no the last was Leo Tolstoy. Well,
I was CLOSE...

         The Somewhat Coherent Robert Haynie Article About Anime And Manga Links And Stuff

         By Robert Haynie, Leo Tolstoy, Doctor John Doolittle, and Fred the Wonder Yak


         By the above title you MAY get the idea that I'm a howling lunatic given to chasing small children with baskets of linguini and screaming obscene things regarding Magic Knight Rayearth and guacamole. If so, then you're in FAR worse shape than I EVER hoped to be, since there is nothing whatsoever in that title to suggest anything of the sort and you really, really need a life. Badly. Log off NOW, go outside, find a nice member of the opposite sex (if that part is applicable to your specific orientation) and have lunch.

         What I AM is a fanfiction writer and net surfer. Mostly fanfiction writer, since I have found that trying to balance a surfboard on top of my monitor not only is very difficult and I keep falling off, but also the wax clogs of the ventilation port making it overheat and all the ecchi KiSS sets I have collected look bad.

         By now you may have determined that I'm not one of those who writes long, elegant, and dramatic epics of tragedy and angst (Otherwise known as "darkfics" or "Oh, Gawd, they're going to kill Usagi off with a shotgun AGAIN? Who ARE these people? Sailor Moon is a romantic magical girl action comedy, not a World of Darkness supplement!") but lighter fare.

         Um... let's start at the beginning.

         I first got into anime about 20 years ago, before most of you were even born (or at least were capable of thoughts on a higher level than, say, "there's something warm in my diaper"). Well, actually, more like 22 years or so... I forget exactly HOW long, with a little thing called "Battle of the Planets".

         Battle of the Planets was perhaps the first anime to be extensively, ah, "adapted" for the US audience. By adapted, they meant removing almost all the violence that wasn't connected to a giant robot, replacing that footage with badly animated scenes of a R2D2 clone called 7-Zark-7, claiming that all the bad guys who bought it were robots, and saying that the entire series was taking place on all sorts of planets in outer space instead of Earth as the original series had it. Something like having someone try to rewrite Macbeth for, well, the kind of audience they were aiming for with BOTP. The innocent, easily corrupted minds. Around the time they started editing the classic Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck 'toons to remove things about explosions, anvils, and electric shocks.

         (Personally, if I ever find a kid who is dumb enough to try to stick a cat's tail into an electric socket, I'm inclined to let him do it. After the cat rips him into tiny little pieces of red flesh, he's out of the gene pool. We don't need that one breeding.)

         That original series was called "Science Ninja Team Gatchaman", and when I went to my first SF convention back in, oh, I guess about '78 I was FLOORED when I saw an uncut, raw Japanese episode of it. Mindbending. Brutal (by US standards of the time). WAY better than the so-called adaptation, who is the fault of someone who will be unnamed, because we all know it was Sandy Frank anyhow.

         At any rate, I have always been more interested in either the odder or the funnier anime. I suppose that's how I became a Ranma fiend. More on that later.

         Bit I bit I developed a collection. Not like the ones you kids got today, I bet. When I started out, we were damn lucky to get a fifth gen copy of a raw episode of Dr. Slump, off the TV, no subtitles, no dubs, nothing. And we were THANKFUL. And we walked ten miles to the post office to get it too, barefoot-- hell, in a bikini (Embarrassing when you're a guy) in five foot deep snow. Uphill. Both ways. Even in the summer. Those were the HARD days of anime fandom.

         Oh, yeah, that went for school too.

         Back then there weren't the affordable genlock cards and subbing programs available today-- the few fansubs that existed were done on monster stand alone machines that cost thousands (I believe it was thousands) that multiple anime clubs would pool their resources on, and took MONTHS to do.

         Eventually, I somewhat drifted away from anime, because I couldn't GET any. There wasn't a giant selection at Suncoast, there wasn't the Internet as we know it today, and there wasn't much in the way of adaptations for broadcast.

         Well, I still had my books. I LOVE to read, especially science fiction, fantasy, and humor. As far as I am concerned, the best damn writer living today is Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld novels, which are so damn funny that they make a typical Slayers episode look like Fist of the North Star.

         Also RPG's-- not the thingy you put into your PSX, although those are fun, but real pencil, paper, and funny looking dice RPG's. Heck, been at those longer than Anime, and they are fun too.

         When I got back into anime (New friends I had made re-introduced me to the stuff, and I was pretty impressed to discover fansubs, pro subs and dubs, and the like) I was pleased, if not overly addicted...

         Then Sailor Moon came along.

         Now, I know what the Sailor Moon Purists say about the DIC adaptation. I won't repeat that here, due to the fact that there's a SLIGHT chance that I'll be using language that isn't already programmed into the hearts and minds of every otaku out there. What I WILL say is that, IMHO, it's a pretty good adaptation for NA broadcast standards-- and if you dislike that statement, then I invite you to sit through a few hours of Battle of the Planets or Tranzor Z, and then see if you don't have this burning desire to kiss the DIC programmer's collective rumps.

         And besides, what Saban had planned to do with it-- the mind boggles...

         Now, Cartoon Network comes along. They have a few old classics of anime pop up-- Speed Racer, and a thing called G-Force. G-Force is Gatchaman again, with sillier voices than BOTP, worse names-- and a nearly exact dub. Heck, almost uncut. On-screen impaling-- whoo-hoo!

         Now, as most of you know, CN's at the forefront in broadcast Anime in the US-- the Toonami block is three quarters that-- Sailor Moon, DragonBall Z, and Ronin Warriors. (And ReBoot may not be Anime, but it's still good stuff.

         Then there's Pokemon and Monster Rancher on the WB, Digimon and Monster Rancher on Fox Kids, Monster Rancher on SciFi-- hey, Monster Rancher is EVERYWHERE. You can't walk three feet without tripping over Mochi.

         For broadcast anime, it's a good day. Well, fairly so. We may not be getting the full Tokyo treatment, but we're doing better.

         And we have Suncoast and other video outlets carrying TONS of dubbed and subbed stuff in VHS and DVD and for all I know semaphore.

         And you can get manga-- DBZ AND DB, Ranma, Lum, Call Me Princess, Slayers, etc...

         Ah, Ranma. I fell in love with the series at first sight in both versions. Action, girls, and most especially humor. My life was, well, not complete, but was filling nicely, thank you.

         It's a good time to be an otaku. American-style otaku, that is, rather than the Japanese-style, which pretty much requires you to live in a six by six apartment that is mostly filled with manga and tapes, a computer with various ecchi games, and a futon that you can't QUITE roll all the way out. (O.K., I'm exaggerating... but not by very much.  Yeah, it's actually *eight* by six. ^_^)

         Anyhow, I love to read. I love to watch anime. When you do that, you start reading fanfiction. After a while, you start thinking about writing fanfiction.

         Sometimes you go completely out of your tiny little mind and actually write some.

         To my great personal delight and immense ego boost, my small efforts (Girl Days, Redheads, and Paragon) have been received with some small success.

         For which I thank you.


         On the matter of links...

         Well, of COURSE I have a few favorites. That's what this is about, right? (Wrong. It's about giving me an outlet for a long and pointless rant that makes no sense but can be as self-indulgent as I want, so there.)

         Well, being a Ranma fanfiction addict, the first place I think of is the Ranma Fanfiction Archive Mirror (). Just about all the Ranma fics ever posted to the Rec.arts.anime.creative are there, from high drama to low comedy to the inevitable lemons. Personally, I don't understand this lemon thing. What the hell does citrus fruit have to do with anime? Is there some peculiar sour taste to anime that I'm not aware of? Is there a grapefruit or orange type of fiction? Why not pineapples? Why not--

         That's not what lemon means?

         It means what?

         Oh... my. Never mind.

         But that does bring up the concept of food, and I can't think of a better place (That I stil have the link to, that is) to look into Japanese food than the Tokyo Food Page (), which is a great starter source. Food is a constant theme in anime and manga, weither it's the incredible amounts eaten by Usagi or Lina Inverse, or the threat of Akane or C-Ko cooking.

         For those of you who can't be bothered to read (And if that's the case, why the heck are you here?) you may find the Fanfic Radioplay Productions site () interesting, since it's a group of dedicated people doing audio adaptations of various fanfictions. Fun stuff.

         There's the FanFiction Mailing List, also. It's not a link, but an incredible resource for fanfiction fans. It's FAQ is at (), and there's an HTML version at () and another at (). I LOVE these people.

         On the other hand, not all fanfiction is, well, good. So try Shinji's Anime Vault of MiSTings, where bad fics (and wierd ones) get the old Satellite of Love treatment. That's just a click away at (), a nd can be lots of fun.

         Another nice place is Otakuworld ( which is the place for KiSS. That's a sort of demented computerised paper doll program which is more addictive than, well... just about anything I can think of, actually. There's a LOT of KiSS dolls that are anime related.

         Not STRICTLY anime or manga related is the RPGnet page (), which is the place to go to get reviews of paper and pencil RPGs. A lot of those ARE anime themed, and it's a fun joint.

         Finally, there's someplace called the Anipoke or Auntipika or something like that, but the URL escapes me. I'll try to remember it later.  That's all right, Robert. I'll just sell one of your kidneys to finance my anime CD habit... ;)

Note: All italicised comments are Nikkou's.


         Robert Haynie Jr/Kenko

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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