It all started with a question: Hey did you remember how as kids we tried to imitate every single cool movement we saw in Anime like Kamehameha (scream included) and Pegasus Meteor Fist?
The other day me and some friends were discussing about our experience with Anime. We discussed every single thing that came to mind. From dubs, subs, fake endings, childhood memories to streaming, conventions and everything in between. I decided to share some of the most interesting topics that came out as I have not been around very much in Ani-TAY as of lately. It's like trying to stop being a lurker once again :P
My answer to that first question was: "Hey, even as an adult I still try to do a Kamehameha once in a while, I just stopped doing it in front of my parents" but the point is that we start reminiscing some of the most memorable Anime of our childhoods.
While some old series like Remi and Mazinger Z aired on TV in the late 80's and early 90's there were a couple of shows that really made Anime popular over here: Saint Seiya and Sailor Moon. Saint Seiya is pretty much your typical Shounen save-the-world-and-the-damsel-in-distress but a bit more bloody and violent than average. Sailor Moon is pretty much the most popular Magical Girl show on the planet. All the kids were crazy about those shows, if you didn't watched the latest episode of either one you were the odd kid out. The funny thing though is that boys talked about their preferred Sailor Scout while girls discussed the strongest and coolest Knight (Saint) so the concept of Husbando and Waifu is older that you may think.
But the series that actually broke all records of popularity was Dragon Ball. Kids and Adults alike were crazy about Dragon Ball. The voice actors are childhood heroes, the opening and ending themes are pretty much childhood anthems and all the kids were screaming KAMEHAMEHA during recess (to this day, the series is still popular, that's why we have official licensed Dragon Ball tennis shoes)
While nowadays Anime is pretty accessible, I miss those days were finding Anime in TV was pretty common
From VHS tapes to 1080p
Streaming is really convenient right? Buy did you knew there was a time where fansubs were distributed via VHS tapes meaning you were only getting 2 or at most 3 episodes per tape (and the Japanese Blu-ray/DVD business model was born). You could find one or two series in your local blockbuster but most of them were passed between friends (Ani-clubs were the best thing for getting Anime).
I think sometimes we don't fully appreciate (and I include myself here) how easily accessible Anime has become. I mean I was complaining of how shows like Hyouka and Amagi Brilliant Park were not legally streamed or even received a home release, but it's not like we can't actually watch the show almost the same day it came out in Japan, but it was nice remembering how Chobits or SE Lain were a 6 disc collection-
Also laser discs, did you knew those even existed? I for one always wanted the Laser Disc version of You're Under Arrest but I don't know how are you supposed to play those
This weird conversation started with the question of which was an Anime even our moms liked. The vast majority of us gave Candy Candy as the answer, a popular romance series. Candy Candy became the first winner of the Kodansha Manga Award in the Shoujo Category back in 1977 and received an Anime adaptation that became incredibly popular in almost every single country except the US (To this day it is incredibly popular in Latin America and in countries like Spain, France, Italy and Canada). We started discussing how different the ending was from anything we knew at the time. For a romantic show, it is incredibly weird for the main heroine to not end up living happily together with her romantic interest.
To this day I still feel it is not a sad ending, as we are shown our heroine is strong enough to live by herself and not only that, she even decides to go back to work in the orphanage where she was raised to pay back what she was given. But even as cool as that sounds the Italians were not happy at all with that ending, so they did the only thing they could to change that: They made their own ending. Yup, you read that right. The people in charge of the broadcast decided the ending was not apt for everyone and that fans would end up being disappointed as our main couple doesn't end up together. So editing scenes and using recycled footage with a new dub on top they created an alternative ending in which Terry and Candy end up together. The original edited movie ended up being 90+ minutes long, but here's a short version
Then we discussed a series whose popularity has spawned at least 3 popular fake endings (Manga versions). I'm talking about Doraemon (think the Japanese equivalent of Mickey Mouse). While two of the three are pretty normal (Nobita becoming a Robotics engineer to repair Doraemon sounds kind of cool) the third one is pretty cruel. In this one we are told that Nobita (the main character) suffers from Autism and that everything that has happened to that point is actually a product of his imagination, crushing everyone's dreams about the existence of the dokodemo door.
But the fake ending that took the cake because how well it was constructed and how widespread it became was the fake finale of Captain Tsubasa (another Anime that's not popular at all in the US because, well, soccer I guess). The series is about Tsubasa Oozora a prodigious football (soccer) player who dreams about winning the FIFA World Cup for Japan. As the start of the series we are given an explanation about why Tsubasa is so in love with football (soccer) with this scene: (The video is in Spanish, but I chose that one for a reason)
If you can't watch the video, what happens is that a baby Tsubasa was playing with a football (ball) that ends up bouncing into the street. He chases the ball and hugs it, but then a giant truck that is passing by hits him upfront. But a miracle happens! The truck actually hits the ball cushioning the blow, so our hero comes out unscathed. What follows is your typical hard work and inspiring sports Anime/Manga of meeting friends and rivals and work hard to get better.
But then a rumor began spreading through the net. Hey remember that scene where Tsubasa is hit by a truck but the ball absorbs the impact saving his life? Well, in fact at the end of the series it is revealed that our hero actually got hurt pretty badly and not only had he ended up in a comatose state, he also lost both legs in said accident and everything up until that point was a dream of something he could never achieve…… Ouch. Who the hell came up with this? Who knows? But to this date some people still think that is the real ending.
Now the reason I used that video with the Spanish sub was because the final line the Dad days in the video can be translated as "He was saved by the Virgin Mary" which is an pretty common phrase in a country were 85% of people are catholic, but something that would not make as much sense elsewhere.
When I was growing up Anime was pretty popular over here, and most of the shows we got were actually dubbed. There was a very friendly competition between countries like Chile, Colombia and Mexico to produce dubs, so most of them were pretty high quality but at times they were so heavy localized that it sounded like something completely different from the original (Team Rocket from Pokémon and a series called Dotto Koni chan being a prime example of this) but were good on their own way. But series like Dragon Ball, You're Under Arrest, Sakura Card Captors and Slam Dunk have dubs with incredibly high quality (I dare to say the OP/ED songs are as good or even better than the original ones)
Sometimes when I see people discussing Dub vs Sub I'm left feeling how nice is to actually BE ABLE to have something to compare to. But hey at least someone is making an effort and Kamisama Kiss is receiving a Dub, which was such a big deal that the preview was actually shown in movie theaters and it was pretty great.
The Dead of Anime
How do you paint Anime/Manga in a bad light? Easy, take a shady but popular TV host, bring along a panel of "experts" including some religious personalities, show some Evangelion Magazine arguing it goes against the message of the church, criticize Pokémon Attack names for being too aggressive (like Guillotine and Poison Needle) and broadcast this on one of the channels with the highest rating and all of a sudden, almost every single parent in the country won't let you see Anime again, ratings will drop, series will stop coming and a era will come to an end.
Sounds like fiction but that's actually what happened in here (and it seems something similar happened at one point in France) and to this date some of the effects of that incident can still be felt around the general population, but fortunately things are getting better as of lately (Lots of new manga coming out, famous AniSon singers like BACK-ON, LiSA and Scandal coming over to give concerts and CR catalogue getting better and the aforementioned first major Anime dub in a while) so I'm looking forward to that
Do you have childhood memories of Anime? Or if you get into it recently what are some of your most memorable moments with it? Did you ever owned a Laser Disc or a VHS Anime tape? Did you knew that Golden Boy, Sorcerer Hunter and Saint Tail all came out in the same season as Evangelion? We have been receiving moe (whatever this means) and Ecchi Anime in great quantities since forever so why people argue this is a recent problem? Ever thought of an alternate ending for a series? Like thinking that in SAO Kirito is killed by the first wolf he encounters while leaving the city and everything else is just a dream? Where is Full Metal Panic season 3? Is Kyon real name Nagaru Tanigawa? Would the real Nagaru Tanigawa ever write the ending of the Suzumiya Haruhi series? What is that white substance in Shinji's hand in End of Evangelion? Will senpai ever notice me? Did you knew before Migi from Parasyte the best right hand was Midori Kasugano from Midori no Hibi? Did you knew that Shirobako's character Rinko Ogasawara batting stance is modeled after popular NPB baseball player Michihiro Ogasawara? Why my Crunchyroll catalogue has Dog Days'' but no Durarara!! first season? Why Yoshitsugu Matsuoka keeps getting casted as the male mc with a harem? Why aren't Sensu beans real? Sorry for the long rambling