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Special Guest: Mara K.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Mara K. who didn't get into art school, and she was very sad. She was so sad that she spent a lot of time in the Mac lab at the college that she begrudgingly went to for two years. It was in this Mac lab, however, that she discovered something great and wonderful, called a "free webpage." Utilizing this awesome power, Mara made her very first webpage out of H1 tags, blinking text, and remote-loading images from other peoples' pages. Even with this crude effort at expressing herself, something sparked inside of her, and she knew at this time that something big was happening.

After many months of nagging and begging, Mara convinced her parents to shell for a new computer. Now sheltered in the privacy of her own home, Mara kept on making webpages at her leisure. While her first efforts were crude and a bit unpleasant to look at, she kept at it, until one day, Mara discovered that not all of her webpages were that bad and unpleasant to look at. Quite the contrary, some of them were quite nice to look at. One day, she found that she had so many webpages, that she decided to assemble them all together and give them a name. The only name that seemed to fit was Girl Germs, and from that time on, all of Mara's webpages were known as Girl Germs.

As the months went by, Mara found herself inundated with about 30 new emails a day. Among these many emails was a request from the Anime Web Turnpike. They wanted to know what her favorite webpages were with regards to the subject of anime. While Mara didn't consider herself a particularly knowledgeable and wise person in the ways of fandom, she decided to oblige anyhow. After all, it would give her the perfect chance to talk in the third person.

"I've been asked what sort of pages I like," Mara thought aloud. "My favorite webpages are the ones that have a nice-looking, user-friendly interface that also tell me more than I want to know about something. Those are the two guidelines that I personally try to go by when making pages, so naturally that's what I look for in a page." She thought some more... Most of the pages falling into that category were Sailormoon pages that belonged to her friends. For reasons that should be obvious, she decided to nix listing any of her friends' pages in the column. The pages that remained, like , or even her friend Mike's 'zine , were already well-known by everyone, and listing them seemed a bit redundant. So, she decided to narrow it down to a few pages... "Pages that I'd die without!" she exclaimed aloud. That having been said, Mara decided to take a literary risk and change the voice of her article into the first person as opposed to the third. She announced in a voice strained by sleep deprivation and many years of juvenile cigarette smoking, "Pick # 1 is...."

ATTACK OF THE ANIME TOYS () - It is quite possibly the largest anime toy collection online (and offline, I'd wager). Every toy that you can think of, from Sega Charadolls of Utena to Gatchaman UFO catchers to bootleg Rose of Versailles dolls, and even some that you couldn't, seem to find their way into this site. The writing is also incredibly entertaining; I find myself afflicted with either a slight smirk or uproarious laughter as I peruse this site. Indeed, you'll laugh and you'll cry at the dimensions of Pam Green's collection of anime-related merchandise, and you may even find yourself wondering why some people get all the good toys.

Everyone who's anyone has a website nowadays. Fortunately for us anime/manga fans, some of Japan's most beloved artists have sites. The four-woman manga team known as Clamp are no different. They can be found online at the CLAMP SCHOOL WEB CAMPUS () Most of the site is in Japanese, so unless you a) know Japanese, b) have Japanese-to-English translating software, or c) happen to know someone who knows Japanese who's willing to translate this site for you, you'll be like me and won't be able to read the majority of the content here. Still, the language barrier shouldn't keep you from looking at the pretty pictures, and there are many of those to be found here. (I should note that parts of the page have been translated into English, like the Message from Clamp and the scalding legal warning not to rip off the site's contents. ^^' Brrrrrr...).

The next site I have to gush over is about a show called Shoujo Kakumei Utena (known here in the US as Revolutionary Girl Utena). It was just released here last fall and is well on its way to attaining the level of popularity that series like Evangelion have gotten. If you've just got to know more, THE UTENA ENCYCLOPEDIA (, which got relocated, redesigned and renamed after a bit over a year of faithful service to its fans, is without a doubt the very best Utena page you'll find anywhere. As the name suggests, it's got encyclopedic inclusiveness of everything in the Utena world. My favorite sections of this page are the episode synopses, scripts, and the extensive product listing. In addition to all this, it is the home of a great searchable archive of the Utena Mailing List.. No question about Utena will go unanswered with such an invaluable resource; every fansite should be so well-documented.

While my allegiance to Sailormoon seems to wane a bit more every day, I still love the music of this show. A lot. So much, in fact, that a sizeable chunk of my hard drive consists of Sailormoon MP3s. The majority of these MP3s originated from the SAILORMOON MUSIC ARCHIVE (). Just about every CD has been included here, with links to lyrics and all. My personal favorite sections to dig through are the Sailormoon Memorial Music Box, being a big fan of the background music from all five seasons of Sailormoon, and the songs from the musicals... when else do you get a chance to hear Sailorpluto sing a duet with Queen Beryl? Make up! says I.

Being of the type of person who likes customizable everything, it is only natural that I'd be the sort of person who likes to collect things like Plus! themes, desktop wallpaper, desktop icons, and, of course, Winamp skins. Winamp, if you didn't know, is an MP3 player of which the great feature is that you can change the graphics around if you so desire. Said customizeable graphics are known as skins. I am on a constant search for the perfect Winamp skin. In my journey, I've been lucky enough to come across not one but two sites that are pretty near perfection when it comes to nice-looking, easy-to-use skins. The first of the two is KEZZENDRIX'S ANIME AND VIDEO GAME SKINS (). Here, you can find skins made not only by Kezzendrix, but a host of other talented (and, at times, not-so-talented) skin makers. The downside to this page is that it's hosted on the often-slow server. In this event, I've found a backup page with equally nice skins, called ARCHEN'S ANIME SKINS (), with skins so beautiful that your eyes will water.

The final link I have to offer is a semi-plug. Semi-plug? Well, okay, about 2/3 of my webpage empire is hosted on this server. So sue me. It's still one of my favorites. ANIMECITY () is a swell place in my book because it has a reeeeally great, really massively enormously obscenely ridiculously HUGE image gallery. We're talking gigabytes of images, all free for the taking, from tons and tons of different shows ranging from the popular to the obscure. After you've filled your hard drive to the breaking point, you then have one of several options, one being to browse the directory of member pages where you will find my site, . ^_-.

Well, that's about it. Those are the sauciest sites that I can think of, and I hope they were of some interest to you. As always, feel free to send me some mail. Should you be in the Boston area, you may find me milling about various places such as or even spending what little money I have on toys at or .

Mata ne!

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..^^)

Would you like to suggest a guest? Write Nikkou.

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Last Update: 3/1/99