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Aussie anime nostalgia m not

Found at: zaibatsu.circumlunar.space:70/~solderpunk/phlog/aussie-anime-nostalgia.txt

Aussie anime nostalgia
----------------------

I'm not doing a very good job of sticking to this theme of dissecting my
disastifaction with the internet, am I?  Soon, I promise.

A great part of the recent groundswell of phlogging on SDF is cat's FAX SEX
phlog, which is fantastic.  His 2017-06-20 entry on the Otarchive Project talks
a bit about Western anime fandom in the days before widespread internet usage,
where the scene was dominated by newsletters and zines printed on paper and
mailed around between fans, and people organised VHS dubbing parties.  This was
all just a little before my time.  Cat mentions that, being in Australia, he was
physically quite disconnected from this culture.  I don't know if these kind of
"zines and tapes" groups existed down under or not, but reading his entry got me
a little big nostalgic for *my* early days of anime fandom in Australia, which
begins with SBS.

There are two non-commercial government funded television stations in Australia
(or at least there were the last time I (i) lived there and (ii) watched
broadcast TV).  One is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation or ABC, which I
suppose is analagous to the UK's BBC, and the other is the Special Broadcasting
Service or SBS.  SBS is focussed on multicultural and multilingual programming
from around the world.  It's mostly foreign news during the day and foreign
television and movies at night.  It is not terribly highly regarded by the
average working class Aussie, and is considered kind of a weird station.  When I
was in high school it was sometimes jokingly referred to as the "Soccer, Boobs and
Sex" channel, because if you turned it on at a random time at night you had a
pretty good chance of finding either a game of soccer ("football" to Europeans)
or some kind of French or Italian arthouse film, which typically include a
topless scene at the very least.

However, I really enjoyed SBS because in addition to these things it was also
the only broadcast source of anime (well, unless you count Robotech, which was
broadcast in the mornings on some more mainstream channels).  I think that it
was a gateway for a lot of Aussie Otaku in the same way that "Adult Swim" was in
the US (particularly with their broadcasting of Cowboy Bebop, or so I'm given to
understand).  Somewhere around 2000 (give or take a year) I was exposed to a lot
of great stuff from the 80s and 90s, and I recorded the following onto VHS:

* Akira
* Ghost in the Shell
* Neon Genesis Evangelion
* Patlabor I and II

Also broadcast fairly regularly in those days were Bubblegum Crisis (which for
some reason I didn't take a liking to) and Gunsmith Cats (which somehow I never
actually caught a full episode of, it must have been in a bad timeslot).  I
don't *think* the Bebop was ever broadcast here, but I could be wrong.  Before
the movies, and before the first episode of the series, there would be a brief
introduction/review kind of thing by a bloke named Des Mangan, who I am
delighted to learn there are videos of on YouTube - here he is introducing GITS
(in late 1999)): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaRudlGccW8.  Ah, and here's
Akira: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu7GQ1wMey4.

This guy (who I only recently learned has directed an unusual sounding comedy
that I might try to find) looms really large in my happy memories of those
times.  In addition to introducing the anime, he also did the "cult movies" on
weekends, and he introduced me to Japanese monster movies ("kaiju") in the form
of Gamera and also Japanese period dramas ("jidaigeki") in the form of the Lone
Wolf and Cub films.  All quite obscure stuff which in those days it was not
terribly easy to discover on your own.  I'm grateful to have had the
introduction to this stuff that I did thanks to SBS.

I'm not as into anime these days as I used to be, but I still really enjoy a lot
of the mostly hand-drawn stuff from this era, when cool machines were combined
with really thought provoking plots and themes, before the genre seemed to
become all about Moe blobs and get a little bit too obsessed with making
references to itself and it's viewers (although I did kind of enjoy some "anime
anime", like Welcome to the NHK).