Just imagine a chunky 13-year-old in a terrible wig that looked like a coonskin hat.

July 2, 2014 § 1 Comment

I first started watching anime in middle school simply because it was on TV around the time I got home from school each afternoon. If it was featured on Cartoon Network’s Toonami circa 1999-2003, chances are I dug it: standouts included Gundam Wing, Ronin Warriors, Cardcaptors, and Tenchi Muyo!, but my one true love was (and remains) Sailor Moon. I had the manga, DVDs, keychains, plushes, art books, a sweet alarm clock, decks of playing cards, sheets of stickers, calenders,… and a huge binder of my favorite fanfics, printed out for my convenience. I saved up for months to buy the second season on box set – money came slow in those babysitting days, after all.

In those early years, my scope was limited to what I could find on American television. Slowly, through the Internet, I discovered and read up on other series that weren’t being aired, at least no where I could find – Neon Genesis Evangelion, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Magic Knight Rayearth, and others. I was gifted a couple issues of Animerica and Newtype from an aunt, thought they were the best thing ever, but was too shy to ask my parents for a subscription. I dressed up as Endless Waltz-edition Duo Maxwell for my last Halloween spent trick-or-treating.

By the end of my freshman year in high school though, the anime and manga bug had gone into remission. The combination of having no other friends to geek out about anime with and my lingering self-consciousness of my fandoms (admit to anyone I liked Japanese animation and their only point of reference was Pokemon, which was a kiddish trend, long passed) put the final dampers on, along with new interests and hobbies: the era of Loreena McKennitt, power quartzes, and attempts at spells had arrived. On occasion I’d meet someone who’d mention being a fan of one show or another and we’d share a fleeting moment of camaraderie, but on the whole my anime days were over.

Fast forward many years into the future. I had sold or otherwise gotten rid of almost all of my anime swag from years past – the art books, the CDs, the collectibles. Just took up space, and I just wasn’t as into it as I had been, I told myself. In December 2012, I hosted a holiday party with my roommate, Jellybean. The Crab-Flower Club’s own Katie, Jellybean’s sister, happened to notice my lone piece of merchandise that I had held on to, my Sailor Moon R box set. To my surprise, was totally thrilled that I was also a fan and asked to borrow it. A couple of months later, I had been newly initiated into the Monday Night Society for Study and Appreciation of Modern Visual Culture.

My inner twelve-year-old is still over the moon at the fact that there are radically cool people out there who don’t mind – nay, enjoy – having her around while they order out pizza, prattle and bicker about this and that, and get around to watching a few episodes of anime. What am I gonna do without them?

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