optimal anime fanboy birth-year

In Outliers, Malcom Gladwell asserts that one’s birthdate has a huge impact on one’s life, both in terms of the date within the year and the year itself. For example, because of the way the cutoff for Canadian junior hockey works, it gives advantages to people born earlier in the year as they’ll be older than the rest of the competition. He also argues that there’s specific years you want to be born and not born, i.e. avoid the Great Depression and WWII during your prime.

So it got me thinking. What would be the best year to born as an anime fanboy? You don’t want to be old enough such that you’re watching VHS fansubs and Ranma in your prime and too old when the bittorrent revolution hit. You also don’t want to be too young to miss out on goodies like Escaflowne, Utena, and Kiddy Grade Excel Saga. You want to be in the middle. You want your college years to coincide with the Modern Golden Age of Anime. You want to catch at least the lasts parts of Toonami and the first parts of Wild Animal Sex Hair (can I single-handedly keep this meme alive?). You want to have bittorrent and fast internet during your entire fanboy existance. You want to have enough SD anime in your life to appreciate the changeover to HD anime. And you never, ever had to send blank VHS tapes with postage to a fansubber for copies.

Using that criteria, I would argue around 1985-1987 as the optimal anime fanboy birth-year. College would start about 2003 for these people and end around 2009, which covers +/- two years of the Modern Golden Age. You get to enjoy Haruhi Suzumiya, Bakemonogatari, Gurren Lagann, Eden of the East, Clannad, Maria+Holic, Fumoffu, Code Geass, Mai Hime, Minami-ke, and Ghost Slide during this time. Killer run. Why is college important? Fast internet access, lack of responsibility, and able to easily meet people with the same likes and dislikes.

And, hopefully, the age range is old enough that they have experience the classics like Evangelion, Azumanga, and Cowboy Bebop while they were growing up. Plus, the boom of manga translation also happened in the mid 00s when many commercial companies started translating manga they probably shouldn’t had (i.e. ADV bringing “Noodle Fighter Miki” to the US) as well as the boom of manga scanlation sites.

Also, maybe just my bias, but the mid 00s was also primetime for anime blogs. Not everyone had one yet so blogs actually– gasp– focused on good writing– instead of just going for shock value or just recycling thoughts from imageboards. Nowadays, anime discussion is so scattered and random I’m not sure where you’d go for good, unbiased discussion about it. (But if you want disturbing comments from broken readers and plenty of traps, this is the place.)

Older, you trend into the whole pre-bittorrent dark ages. You’ll probably have downloaded Love Hina fansubs over 56k modem and thought it was a huge improvement over VHS subs. (Andohbytheway, this is me. I still have an original Do You Remember Love VHS tape to remember those days, even though I no longer own an VHS player.) Younger, you trend into the Crunchyroll demographic. You’ll probably also have missed the initial excitement over Haruhigasm (gosh, was this really four years ago?!) and HD (remember when I pimped Ergo Proxy? Not one of my finer days).

What does the future hold? Better times because we’re getting easier, quicker anime streaming? Better production values? Or worse times as anime studios hurt financially and eventually go under (weird to read that Ghibli was contemplating throwing in the towel). I don’t know. Will a better time to be an anime fan come around? I don’t know either. But I do know if you were born around 85-87, it was awesome timing to be an anime fan. Relatively speaking, of course. Now let me dig out my bifocals so I can enjoy some Gundam Wing on laserdisk.

55 Responses to “optimal anime fanboy birth-year”

  1. Geh, means that I’m about a decade too old. I have to say that VHS fansubbing was a chore to order (not to mention expensive as hell in the long run), but I am grateful for the DalNet -> EnterTheGame irc era.
    Then again, my brother was born during that period and I never managed to get him into anime, aside from Giant Killing…
    Yes, he missed how awesome Haruka is, in all her declinations.

  2. Born 1986, heyo!

  3. My god… was this post written about me? I feel liked i have been typcast as some A typical anime watcher…

  4. 86 also…. by the way

  5. I actually had a ‘mysterious transfer student’ moment back in 83 when I was in sixth grade or something. He challenged me to sketch-off, to see who could draw a better Argo from Star Blazers. Now THOSE were the days, having to wait for a transfer student to move into a nowhere town in Mississippi just so I could have someone to talk about Star Blazers to. Now if I only had the Yamato soundtrack on 8-track . . . would have been perfect.

  6. Hm…. I was born a few days before 83, but my first real exposure to fansubs was a digisub of Love Hina. It was an extremely interesting concept for me, as before that, my only real exposure was to the stuff that was TV, which back in 98 and 99 was extremely rare (Tenchi dubs. sigh.) We had a cable modem back then (I remember playing games with 50 ms ping and everyone was extremely jealous), and I was already familiar with IRC, so it was no difficulty to start expanding my collection from there. I definitely agree with the concept though.

  7. I was born in ’86, but I’m not sure I agree with you; I get the feeling I missed out on a lot. The first manga and anime I downloaded from DC++? Love Hina and Chobits. A week earlier a friend had introduced me to Full Metal Panic. He couldn’t be bothered to download more than the first two episodes; neither could I until a couple weeks later. These three shows set the course of my viewings and readings: I”s, Kanon, Ichigo 100%, Psychic Academy, Mahoromatic, Video Girl Ai, Air, etc. I hadn’t seen Black Lagoon until two weeks ago. To this day I haven’t watched Trigun, Excel Saga, or Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass, or any Gundam show. It’s why I haven’t been posting charts lately and why I’ve been feeling burned out: finishing four series a week. And it’ll still take a long, long time before I’ll have watched everything worth watching.

  8. 1989…good enough.

  9. Yeah, figured I was born a few years too late. Granted, being part of the Crunchyroll generation (although I never watched my anime on Crunchyroll back in the day. It was Youtube or Veoh) meant that you were never far from finding any series anyone talked about. See someone mention Great Teacher Onizuka and Gurren Lagann? Never heard of either of them? One google search and boom, streams of the shows everywhere. It was very, very easy to become hooked.

    In fact, being part of that generation means you’re so used to streams that legal streams don’t irk you anywhere near as much as they seem to irk older fans. Not quite the greatest payoff for being a few years late but eh, I’ll take what I can get

  10. You know, I could never imagine fansubs via VHS as during those days all I wanted was my after school DBZ filler on Toonami, what more could a 7 year old ask for?


    I feel because I started watching anime dubs on Toomami/Adult Swim/The station formerly known as TechTV, that I can also appriciate the HD releases. And as for some classics like NGE, Cowboy Bebop, and GTO, they were never that far behind to begin with. The classics after all, are the stories that resonate with viewers ten even to twenty years down the road. I have a little brother who is ten years younger than me. He just might be the next generation of anime fan, as with Nicktoons airing Dragonball Kai, I make sure our DVR doesn’t miss a beat and have it recorded for some “family time” when we can watch it together.

    And when he is old enough to understand the concepts of shows like Cowboy Bebop or FLCL, I will show it to him, all the while making sure not to skip out on good old fashion sci-fi shows like Star Trek: TNG, DS9, and Voyager (that latter two I remember watching with either my older brother or father every night when they would air), the episodes that illustrate the human condition. The classics are never too far away for those that reach for them.

    I started watching anime and star trek/wars because of the action and space battles and I hope that in time, he and maybe his friends will discover that there is more to a lot of what he watches then that, like my father, someone who grew-up with the original Star Trek, showed me.

    That’s why I am grateful to have been born when I was, and feel privileged to have experienced the stories I have watched to this day.

  11. Born in ’85, here, though I was a mostly casual fan until late in college when I actually bothered to venture into the anime club. (My college had a TERRIBLE night life. Half the population is basically “go to school –> sit through class –> go home. Awful.) I’m also a total dinosaur when it comes to technology (though my family was a relatively early adopter of the Internet), so I started out with streaming before jumping into torrenting, because my computer was too cheap to handle all that stuff.

    But now I’m making up for lost time by watching all of that great stuff I’ve heard about over the years but have never seen!

  12. 1988 was a golden year to be born, even if it misses your cut off. The only thing that nears the impact anime had on my young life is certainly poke’mon.

  13. Yeppers, pretty much called without you specifying the year that I just missed the perfect time to get the best of the “old” and new anime (born in ’89!).

    However, while I do find it kinda sucky that I’ve gotta backtrack and watch some things that my peers were able to watch due to inattentive parenting (find it completely odd that I had to backtrack for Gundam and am currently doing the same for Bebop) I will say that I was born in the perfect time in terms of Western cartoons. Being born while Nick was still showing reruns of Inspector Gadget, Garfield, Loony Tunes and the like while also cranking out some of their best shows was one of the best things for me as a kid back then. I honestly have no idea how any self-respecting kid can find anything good for their demographic on TV nowadays. Also, having lived through casettes, CDs, mini discs and now mp3s is pretty cool… though that’s neither here nor there :/.

  14. Yeah, I was born in 1990. And it’s true, I have kind of missed out on some older series, but I’m working on going back and watching that stuff. I spent my younger years scouring Kazaa whenever I missed an episode of something on Toonami. Those were the days… Then a few years ago I found AnimeSuki when Haruhi just came out, and that was that.

    It’s also kind of disappointing that AdultSwim just doesn’t give a shit about anime anymore… but whatever.

    The other anime people I know who are my age are all into crunchy roll and streaming video, and they don’t really have any appreciation for older series.

  15. Aww… I think i may be to late.. 1996. But whatever, I am in time for SC2 so its all great.

  16. Born 1986 – checked
    Fansubs on VHS – checked
    Familiar with most of the (newer) oldies (late 80s and 90s) – checked
    Good old days with 56k modems, .rmvb fansubs – checked
    Took part in the whole Haruhiism nonsense from the beginning – checked
    Occasionally it reminds me of how convenient life has become, fast internet connection, bittorrent, HD, fansubs and scans practically everywhere, online shops etc. – checked

    Fucking story of my life ;_;

  17. (Lurker here.) I completely agree. Born in ’86. The first anime I remember watching was the short-lived Escaflowne on Fox. Then was Pokemon (my refusal to wake up early enough prevented me from watching it earlier). Toonami with Dragonball and Dragonball Z. What really hit home was Cowboy Bebop on Adult Swim. I was hooked. FLCL, then college (2004). DC++ got me Evangelion and Trigun. Chobits. Ghost in the Shell and SAC. FMA. Ghibli. The classics. Anything I could get my hands on. And then… I lost it. I stopped watching. Right until my senior year.

    Summer of 2007. I was late, but I accidentally came upon the Haruhi dance on Youtube and something compelled me to find it and torrent it (first torrented anime). It reignited my interest in anime like nothing else, but I was lost to the current scene. And then I found this blog while looking for someplace to talk/read about Haruhi.

    Jason, you saved my anime soul. Damn you!

  18. Wait, there are traps around here ?
    Also, some blog owners appear to have a very bad opinion about FMP; they must be Lulu Nrghh Suzaku fanboys, I guess…

  19. 85’r here. I managed to get the full spectrum of the last decade. I was into Toonami during it’s prime. Adult Swim + Cowboy Bebop gave me the taste I needed. In both high school and college I had friends that shared my interest (and their hard drives :D ) in anime. This was also back in my gaming heyday of all night LAN parties. That made it easy to get anything that was new or interesting. Good times.

  20. 86 was the optimal year to be born. Toonami started it and I just expanded from there. Highlight of my life is discovering FMA, the first show I actively waited for subs on IRC, I think just around the birth of using BT to distribute.

  21. I agree but, the young’uns like me have people uploading old anime so that we can easily catch up to the oldfags easily so no worries. I remember watching Gundam Wing when I was five. The anime that started my anime obsession. Then Pokemon. Damn! It would have been better if I was born earlier!

  22. Completely and totally disagree. I was born in 1968, have been watching anime since ~1993, and got to experience the hobby pretty much since the beginning. Yes, the young’uns got to experience Bakemonogatari, Haruhi, Clannad, et al, but guess what? So did I, but I also got to experience it with a solid history of Dirty Pair, Ranma 1/2 and Bubblegum Crisis under my belt to compare the new shows to.

    Do I appreciate anime more than the “golden kids”? Actually, in some ways I do believe I do… I remember when you had to pay $50 for two episodes on VHS for anime, or borrow from someone who did, or make a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a VHS tape (and the resulting crap quality). Now? Everything is in crystal-clear HD, free if I want it to be, though I pay for many of the shows I d/l eventually by buying the DVDs when they come out.

    And what a concept that is!

    So, no, I’d rather be my age and have experience with the whole history of anime fandom, good and not-as-good, instead of just the so-called “golden years.”

    And get off my got-dammed lawn.

  23. That reminds me, I’ve got the entire series of Marmalade Boy and all of Sailor Moon SuperS on VHS fandub somewhere. That cost me more money than I would care to remember.

  24. Yes, I am in this category and yes, most of this is true for me. Although I sort of dyed all of my college friends in the colors of anime and ruined them forever. Suffice to say they were more socially accepted before I met them.

  25. Born in ’86 in Finland, but the time points dont’t quite match up… Went to school in ’93, finished my maturation exams in ’06. In between I had started watching anime from vhs tapes recorded from the Finnish public TV. Most or all of Miyazaki’s films up to that point. First series I watched was Card Captor Sakura. All 70 episodes on CDs. Then Love Hina, FMP, Hellsing etc. In the summer of ’06 I entered military service for half a year, and missed everything during that period. University in ’07, still here. I’ll probably finish my lower level degree next year (had some SNAFUS along the way). By now I have watched more than 70 days worth of anime.

  26. 82, Malaysia.

    Get the hell off my lawn, you whippersnappers!

  27. 1987 late in the year. Growing up in the boonies I had the 56k ISDN and moving into the city I was the first one with fiberoptic broadband. Had VHS-tapes because DVD was expensive. Had school printouts of old Type-Moon sketches cause there was no webshops that could deliver posters or figurines to my country…
    Now my two younger brothers Crunch rolls and hoard manga from the local grocery store. The Ice-cream Truck gives away Ghibli movies with each carton sold. They have glossy posters bought for 5$ each and complain of the paper quality in their manga books..

  28. Born in 1969 in Korea. Grew up with wide choices of Dubbed Animes. Had friends in 1980s who would buy the latest Laser Disc straight from Japan and copy it to Betamax tape. Got to see Totoro on the big screens in Korea. Did not feel the need of internet to get my hands on the latest anime before moving to USA.

  29. I’d argue ’80-’83. You’d mature in the golden age of anime fanfiction, before the old guard left.

  30. 78er:
    Watched Nausicaa, “Robotech”, Harlock, Dragonball (without the Z), Slamdunk; later Kenshin (aka Samurai X?)
    1990s – 56k was a really really big deal; mp3 format was “whoa!”
    2000s – had income for an ISP and imported VCDs
    2010 – getting old and tired of anime, just as good stuff is getting harder to find
    I think my timing’s not too bad either.

  31. Bite me, diaper boy! Your age-ism is showing. And git off my lawn, gol-durn it. (1961)

  32. 1974 here.
    I remember watching the broadcasts of Starblazers (vaguely) and Robotech (vividly) on a color TV that was older than I was. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Wile E. Coyote still kicked asses in the mindshare department.

    Recall seeing this really neat glider thing, giant bugs and tanks on HBO, but was confused by the seemingly random dialog. It wasn’t until college in 1993ish when I swapped a VHS tape of Animaniacs episodes with a friend of a friend for a 6th generation VHS tape (in EP mode) that had Nausicaa, Akira, Porco Rosso, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Laputa Castle in the Sky. This country, called Japan, it has some interesting animation. Did the whole send blank tapes to random people to get episodes (Slayers, Escaflowne etc. Anyone remember a show called ‘Combustible Campus Guardian’?)
    Then due to various (over-work related) circumstances I missed most everything from 1998-2007, although I did catch Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star on Adult Swim. Then, on a fateful day, I happen to find a list of web sites that supported IPv6, Tokyo Toshokan ‘A BitTorrent Library for Japanese Media’ . What the hell is this torrent thing? The rest is (really recent) history.

    Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Wile E. Coyote still kick ass in the mindshare department.

  33. Eh, I was born in 89 but I’m happy enough. Grew up with the rest of the Toonami generation, so all is well.

    But I have to ask, Gundam Wing came out on LaserDisc!?!? Must….acquire….

  34. ’86 you dawn right.

  35. Born in 1985. Good times. I also hit the video game revolution as well.

  36. 81, and though I vaguely remeber stuff on Saturday/Sunday mornings like Ulysses 31, Thundercats 2086 and Mysterious cities of gold, I was never into anime until 4 years ago, when I read a review of Planetes on the Space Review. Initially (as i did not have broadband at home) I bought DVD’s from the states, so got through a lot cheap boxed sets of the classics. I only started following shows on fansubs 2 years ago when I moved and got broadband and bought a laptop with a big Hard drive.

  37. Zing! 1986. That’s about all I can say, except that I actually remember Robotech reruns on TV and braved the pre-Torrent 56k modem days with the best of them.

  38. Haha, fits quite well, no VHS tapes, but I (painstakingly) downloaded Love Hina at low resolution and Evangelion at low resolution and dreadful quality over 56K. Then a friend with a broadband connection (a very rare and envious thing at the time) burned FMP and Fumoffu to CD for me, and a year or so later I was finally able to get broadband myself, and I made use of it by…batching a load of poor and/or forgettable shows rather than some of the classics you mentioned that I still haven’t actually watched. Then finally Haruhi was my gateway drug into episodic watching of currently airing shows, and it was a great couple of years afterwards. The last bunch of seasons however? ORZ

    Nowadays, anime discussion is so scattered and random I’m not sure where you’d go for good, unbiased discussion about it.

    Since the site was hacked…50% on twitter. The march of technology huh?

  39. I watched both EVANGELION, and UTENA on VHS raws that were sent to be by a young friend from San Francisco. You read that right. VHS RAWS. *flail*


  40. I first watched both EVANGELION, and UTENA on VHS raws that were sent to be by a young friend from San Francisco. You read that right. VHS RAWS. *flail*


    When SAILOR MOON aired for the first time on Channel 18 in Milwaukee I was as happy as a little girl.

    I don’t think I missed out on a whole lot…but yes, it WOULD have been nice if all this had happened in MY college days.

    My daughter was born in 1980, btw…..but I’ve got the edge on her for current anime.

    Just don’t ask me when my (current) wife was born. *heh heh*

  41. 1987 for me. Tick to growing up with Eva/cowboy bebop etc. Tick to watching old VHS (still got a few actually) :D

  42. woo all the fellow 86’ers don’t make me feel like such a geezer.

  43. Born on 1980. Been watching anime (since I can remember) since age 5 with stuff like Minky Momo and similar stuff, dubbed and broadcasted daily and repeated ad infinitum.

    At that age, those were just cartoons as any other cartoon. I remember that by mid 80’s Transformers was all the hype that little boys would want and then came Robotech (inb4 it is called Macross). And at that time, I began to realize that those cartoons with the odd symbols were most of the time more interesting than those that had english names. And that’s how I really got hooked on anime. With that first battle between the Zentraedi and the Valkyries on Macross Island. Imagine, a kid 7 years old or so watching that for the first time, planes turning into giant robots rescuing girls and shooting evil aliens.

    For a time, my anime needs were filled with whatever was on tv. Then came some guy that showed on small auditoriums every week. He got vhs fansubs and I saw all the classics. Then came the internet. I got into IRC. Then came torrents at the start.

    I don’t consider myself too old for anime. I still get exited by it. I can allow myself to enjoy it as a kid would and enjoy it finding subtleties that the younger me had failed to see. I can say I enjoyed shows as old as Astroboy and I can say that I enjoyed the last ep of HOTD even with the complete disregard of physics, decency and plot.

    I can say I saw Gonzo rise and fall, Gainax mock themselves with Otaku no Video and become manly with Simon. I saw the VF-1 fight and the VF-25 too with all in between. I’d seen Gundams destroy Zakus for decades. I’d seen Clamp being serious and then make noodle people.

    I am not Amerikan, so some stuff does not applies to me. But there is no ideal age for being an anime fanboy. If you are passionate about this. You’ll enjoy it the same. The only thing that is missed for being younger is the sense of nostalgia when remembering the days of youth. But those will come to you eventually.

    There’s no age for anime.

  44. I don’t agree with you Jason. I think the ‘optimal’ time would have been around 83-84 (which for the record is younger than me). Why would I say so?

    1) Starting college around 2001-2002 would have been perfect. While it was pre-torrents, programs like Napster, DC++ and later ed2k and so on which allowed for easy sharing of video files already.

    2) Means you were old enough to appreciate shows like Escaflowne, Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, and not too old to think shows like Gunbuster, Ranma 1/2, the original Macross and so on were TOO old. There’s a general tendency for people to stop caring once stuff is older than they are, and care very little about stuff that is older then when they were 10 years old because that’s just too long ago (unless it was extremely good).

    3) You were probably too old to have been through the painful years of VHS subbing, but at least you could appreciate what a VHS subbing was because maybe you saw one or two of these.

    4) To start around 2001-2002 meant you also saw the entire rise of the modern subbing and blogging worlds. This means that you were there for the meteoric rise of anime in the west from extremely niche to almost-mainstream (and back to somewhat niche today). You were aware when Mononoke Hime was released by Disney and remembered when Jeff had a 4-koma episodic blog. There’s nothing more fun than being part of the rising bubble, and less fun when you enter at the peak. 2002-2003 was when you could first start downloading

    5) You were still very much active for the golden age of anime, and starting having a job and making money during the golden age of anime figurines and toys which can’t be that bad a thing.

    6) Can laugh at the good old ‘mass naked child event’s and other hilarities, and remember when anime used to be all hand drawn without crappy CGI. (if you started around 2004 you’d be in peak time for bad CGI).

    7) You entered the real world, just as the anime bubble was bursting, and thus all your memories are exactly of the best years.

  45. I was born in 91, when I was 5-6 first anime I watched on tv was dbz , then watched some city hunter, ranma 1/2,You’re under arrest,Saint Seiya …Thanks to my brother and sister who were born in 83-85, they always talked to me about stuff like Captain Tsubasa, Astro Boy and Grendizer which didn’t aired anymore.Oh and that Lupin the 3rd Mamo VHS my brother keeps bragging about even today.I watched and I still have a good bunch of dbz movies on VHS.I watched the original macross “robotech” on VHS too ,I was 8 or 9 when I saw it.Then for the time when I was 9 to 13 years old Evangelion, Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, Gundam W all aired on french tv so I could watch it all.It was also at that time when I was 9-10 that me and my bro discovered fansubs and I guess the first I watched was Love Hina.I didn’t even hit puberty back then so I was quite oblivious to the fanservice.I remember I also read the manga back then.Both on paper and scans.Then GTO and Excel Saga also aired on tv.Then the others first fansubs I watched were Kare Kano, Kodomo no Omocha and Slayers.I still have the first episode of Kodomo no Omocha subbed by Fumei. Was direct downloading back then with 56k modem.Oh and I also used to watch pokemon in the morning.
    When I was 13 they re aired Captain Tsubasa so I watched it then.Along with fansubbed Road to 2002 on my pc.
    Bittorent revolution first hit my house back in 2004 I guess .I never stopped watching anime since I’m a kid.

    My bro often makes fun of me telling me that only “shitty shows ” like pokemon aired on tv when I was growing and keeps telling me that I love “things that are not my age” (like Mazinger Z) but still it’s true I wouldn’t have become an anime fan without my family influence.I agree with Epi I wouldn’t watch old animes if it wasn’t for my bro,I would think of them as obsolete.Of course this is irrelevant when we both didn’t saw the show before ,like when we marathoned the original gundam +Z+ZZ 5-6 years ago.

    My final thought is that 83-84 is the best.For a french guy anyway.Anytime before 89 is really good, because the college reason to get internet access and people to introduce anime to you then I guess 84-85 is good.But if you’re there after these years as long as you have someone who was born at that time your age doesn’t really matter.
    Oh and sorry for the wall of text,I don’t even know if this story of my anime life makes sense time wise.I must have mixed some things probably.

  46. Childrens born in 1984 are the fated children (Even Lebron is one of those fated, doubt he likes animes)

    50% of children born in 1984, are pedobears in the future.
    30% of them are successful and lucky in life.
    10% of them will have a good highschool life. (I’m not that lucky in school, but I have a wonderful time with my friends and adventures)
    10% of them are still single till this day. (That’s me.)

    Highschool Graduates of Year 2000 (in 10year education) and 2002 (in 12year education, Japan is a good example with middle school and high school), all that were born in 1984 onwards, have full access to those wonderful new animes specially after graduation in college. I’m a good example of those guys that caught in the rip of technology.

    Imagine I used type writers to write essays and gets angry whenever I made a single mistake cause me to use a correcting liquid, research from different libraries rather than looking it into the Internet, animes are rare back then.

    Detective Conan, Cardcaptor Sakura, Evangelion, Slam Dunk, Yuyu Hakusho, Dragon Ball Z, Gundam Wing, are some of those animes during that time I watch.

    The Britney Spears Era, they always watch those damn MTV videos. I don’t find anything good about her, so I change my channel and instead watch animes from AXN from 6-7pm, assembling a Gundam Wing Endless Waltz kit that costs 7,000 yen.

    Anyway I started drawing during that time where I spend my free time or when a teacher is discussing his or her lecture, like its instead I write down what he or she says but the truth is drawing Sakura Kinimoto characters in my notebook. (Yes, my pedophile fetish started around that time as well)

    In my opinion children born during 1994 are 90% future otakus/cosplayers.

  47. Full on 1984. First exposure, a combination of Ronin Warriors (UPN?) and Dragon Ball/Z, (they had it on the Mexican TV stations years before toonami). Then came Blue Seed by a cousin of mine. The only thing I can remember is how much he hated the version we rented at the video store. It was a dub and I didn’t know any better. After that it was Spirited Away…Cowboy Bebop…Death Note…Bleach…then the bigs. FLCL, Gurren Lagann, and Haruhi, all came around the time I strolled across this blog, (when I got here, it was animeonmymind). In between has been a myriad of shows from Minami-Ke to Potemayo. I have to admit, between work and running a home, I feel like I’ve been losing that “feeling”. Right now this blog is the drip feed I get for anime, manga, and of course Mio. I know I’ve left a lot out (I just thought of Ninja Scroll and Fist of the North Star), but the way I see it, this comment is already dead.

  48. Born in 1981. The earliest anime experience I remember is Queen Millenia, which to this day I label as awesome (and with the usual Leiji Matsumoto-anime amount of manly tears to make it unforgettable). Mind you, here we got the complete original series, not the Captain Harlock mix that was made for the USA. Then came Robotech and the TV classics: Captain Tsubasa, Saint Seiya, DBZ, Ranma, Slam Dunk and others I surely forget.
    Then I watched Evangelion on comercial VHS. With that exception, I pretty much missed all the 90s anime, since I never got into the VHS fansub thing.
    I just stumbled into internet fansubs when I got into college in 2000. Luckily, thanks to an anime club I managed to catch up in that first year with some of the 90s series, including some that to this day I still consider as some of the best animation ever made: CowBe, the Kenshin OVAs, and Lain. After that I was ready to face the new millenium, and I did it with more (in hindsight) classics: Love Hina, FLCL, etc.
    So maybe I was born a little early, but I’m glad. I got to see Queen Millenia (the only Matsumoto anime broadcasted on TV in this part of the world, as far as I know), and thanks to friends I managed to cover the 90s gap, so it’s all good.
    Going deeper, I think we were really lucky, since we were able to witness the moment (=decades) in which anime went outside Japan, adapted at first (~Robotech), and from then onwards less and less modified. We got to see the anime & manga boom (which, in the worst case, may never happen again, thus becoming a unique part of our time) and how it took somewhat strong roots into our culture and influenced western comics and animation (case in point: the moment the X-Men comics departed from the Jim Lee style and became more anime style [I’m thinking Joe Madureira here]).
    As I said, in the wors case scenario this may never happen again. In the best case, it’ll be repeated… eventually. By then we’ll be anime-museum pieces. “History’s witnesses”. I for one will gladly instruct the younger generations about episode-long soccer-field crossing, the ancient times in which transofrmable combat planes were the newest and awesomest thing in the universe, Kamehamehas vs. Pegasus’ meteors, the rise and ¿fall? of the Harem animu, the rise and ¿fall? of the Moe phenomenon, the day when Gainax wiped out the manly mecha anime heroes from the face of the Earth (only to reinstate them in all majesty and glory ten years later), Oharuhi-sama and… endless recursions of time… and… oh yeah, that crab is delicious, that Haruka is awesome, no exceptions, that WASHair is BestHair and… we’ll, that’s the present already.
    Also, Ergo Proxy is awesome.

  49. Let me stop lurking for a bit pull out my rocking chair since Jason’s fans include a couple of geezers like myself. I’m old enough to remember when Star Blazers and Battle of the Planets first came out in the US. I remember watching in Japanese with subtitles Captain Harlock, Cyborg 009, Ikkyu-san, Yuusha Raideen, and some Galaxy Express 999 on the local NYC UHF Spanish channel during their Saturday evening Japanese programming block when I was IN the targeted age group. That also means that I old enough for regular life to make me miss things like all of Gundam (which I’m now trying to catch up on) and Escaflowne. Fortunately I’ve picked it up again in the age of fansubs/anime blogs, when blogsuki was blogsuki. Probably cause when I went into a bookstore one day a suddenly found manga… now what was the point I was trying to make? Oh yeah, Jason’s thinking that you should still be in college when the Modern Golden Age hits, I’m thinking a bit before so that you can afford good bandwidth and storage.
    Now instead of saying ‘get off my lawn’ I’ll say ‘pull up your Aeron chair’ and we can shake our heads at the Crunchyroll kids who’ll be watching simulcast subtitled Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese anime in a decade.

  50. Nah, ’74 is prime :-). I’d argue trading VHS tapes was good for character building. Laserdisks were the peak of luxury (spent $200 for Laputa). Got timed subbed files over UNIX FTP fileservers from France. Amigas were the best subbing machine. And the anime clubs showed Gundam unsubbed and still had the audience cheering.

    Even in these allegedly troubled times it’s a complete land of plenty in comparison (as I watch K-On hours later subbed in beautiful high def).

  51. `89 here.
    Also, how could you forget to mention Rurouni Kenshin? Why no one remembers this awesome series?

  52. this post is too true

  53. Another vote for 1986. Distribution looking good so far.

  54. Feh. No ideal birth year, so long as it’s one where there was anime to watch.

    1985-1987 were good years to be _watching anime_, but born then? I suppose missing out on the last years when people really believed there might be a nuclear holocaust right around the corner has some psychological benefit. Can’t really think of any at the moment though.

    Being born at the tail end of 1972, I saw a lot of what Mojo-san up there mentioned, all though I have no memory of ever watching Star Blazers. Must have come on before 7am (never been a morning person, even as a child). Battle of the Planets, now that was core viewing material for me – I often made the phoenix out of TinkerToys (the young folk can go look those up, I’ll wait). Roll forward to the early 80’s and you get the 2nd wave of imports on TV with shows like Voltron*, Transformers and RoboTech, and with the VHS market a whole section appeared devoted to this thing some people called “Japanimation”. Funny thing is we had no direct exposure to Gundam, yet the first time I saw MSG, I realized exactly where they got Optimus Prime from, and it felt like an old friend.

    If you weren’t in the fansub loop, or were simply a 10 or 12 year old with no money, you got your fixes where and when you could, and made the pilgrimage to SunCoast video to marvel at the shelves of tapes for stuff you could only hope to one day afford to buy, and wonder just why they insisted on putting the anime tapes between sports and the pr0n section.

    Most importantly, being born before the mid-80’s meant my formative years were spent without the horrible influence of Pokemon Dragonball, or any of the card based crap.
    We had good wholesome violence like Tom & Jerry & Bugs Bunny, and Kung-Fu movies every Saturday @ 3pm.

    Just a thought or two for anyone who thinks really bad the anime they like from the late 90’s is a classic for the ages and everything else (older or not) is a pale imitation, for most of those series, you’re wrong.

    Consider this; how many of those shows have had an impact large enough that 10, 20 years later you can say a line out loud in the company of people and 9 times out of ten someone else will pick up the next line and pretty soon all the geeks are exposed and laughing about it, and you’re NOT at a convention?

    Oh, and the youngster (DaemonCorps?) who mentioned watching Inspector Gadget reruns as a kid? I’m pretty sure I have videotapes older than you. I watched Gadget when it was first run, and we realized very quickly his was a sad, sorry existence. An incompetent malfunctioning cyborg, whose life and livelihood depending on his pre-teen niece’s genius saving his ass behind the scenes every episode?

    But I think we can all weep for the futures of those poor, addled souls who’s first exposure to Anime was crap like crayon shin chan. Let that simmer for a sec in your brain. Replace that first anime you recall watching with Shin-Chan. Yeah. Exactly. Now go watch some old Anime and see where all the stuff you love or hate to see was ripped off from.

  55. I learned about this blogpost by reading rec.arts.anime.misc, one of the few Usenet groups still going strong. It’s where I go for “good, unbiased discussion about” anime. And there’s been quite a bit of discussion there about the blogpost… although I doubt the regulars here would like most of it. But, hey, disagreement is part of unbiased discussion.

    Oh, and I’m old enough that I watched VHS fansubs *of* Ranma, before it was licenced. When someone talks about “the golden age of anime”, I ask “which one?” – golden ages of anime have come and gone and come again and gone again while I’ve been a fan.

    (And Kiddy Grade’s a better show than Excel Saga – Kiddy Grade had a plot, for one thing.)

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