tko 2010

Back when I started watching anime again, I basically had a 20″ CRT and stereo (!!) VHS fansubs. And that was just 10 years ago! The biggest changes? Mmmm…

Biggest? Digital fansubs. You have no clue what the University of Hawaii guys did when they eschewed VHS (causing an outrage like suggesting an iPad can replace a laptop today) for DivX for their Love Hina release. Sure, distribution was a minor issue, but those 50 meg episode releases were heaven compared to VHS SASE distribution. More comedically were the DivX vs. RealVideo arguments on par with today’s HTML5 vs. Flash arguments, and let’s just say that even though RealVideo was the de facto default video format back then, it sure ain’t now. Unless you’re into Japanese adult videos. Not that I would know. Pure hearsay. Moving on… I still remember my roommates and I hooking up my s-video enabled laptop to watch Love-fucking-Hina. Years later, this would be improved by h264, Matroska, and styled karaoke (okay maybe kidding on that last one).

This leads to the next two innovations a few years later: HDTV/HDMI being ushered in by Haruhi Suzumiya (LOL @ Ergo Proxy, long since forgotten, only to be footnote for Shiori-chan) since that show caused me to stick a 400 watt mini-tower in my living room to watch Mikuru being costume raped in glorious high definition. Now that improved over the years so I have a tiny Atom/Ion box with CoreAVC that burns 12 watts, chews through 1080p high profile files like Haruhi through common sense, and let’s me watch Netflix plus Hulu and other stuff that’s blocked on Google TV. The last ten years ushered in high definition and spawned the golden age that made everything prettier. Oh, it also revolutionized costume changes for characters as we realized, “Why can’t they change outfits?!”

The previous advance also takes advantage of the next two double team advances: broadband plus BitTorrent. Let’s just say this is what made anime popular around the world, spawned approximately 50 million anime blogs, and caused companies like ADV think it’s a good idea to license Avengers and Grenadiers. BitTorrent solved both of the distribution and discovery aspect of anime. No longer did you need mystical addresses of VHS dubbers or special FTP accounts to access anime– anime was finally democratized. And with it came a commercial boom and bust that saw Best Buy stocking multiple rows of Desert Punk and Angelic Layer.

(Remember, when Bandai first brought Love Hina over to the states, they held a trivia contest– based on the fansub translations. Ah, those were the days.)

That’s not to say the social aspect hasn’t changed. I started my original website because I thought the web was my best bet in finding people with the same interests as me–back in 2000. I had what everyone had back then: a fansite, a forum, and an IRC channel. All to be replaced ten years later with a blog, a Twitter feed, and IM. I like the blog format since it let’s me meander and is fairly easy to maintain. I like Twitter since it’s fast and easy and I can follow that dreamy Justin–err Gregg Easterbrook. It just makes everything easier. No longer did you need an expensive server (once upon a time, I paid a lot more than $10 a month for a webhost) or know how to mysql/php (WordPress is a push-button install on most hosts)… you just needed a lot of free time to churn out quality posts like Code Geass R2 25 and Harem Genre Primer.

If I rank all the changes from the past ten years, digital subs would be one with BitTorrent number two. The combination of the two triggered the modern golden age, and we’ve pretty much plateaued anime’s popularity’s growth. Those years in the mid-Naughts were the dot com boom for the anime industry. Just a fascinating ride the past 10 years… and I haven’t even mentioned DVD/BD, imageboards, YouTube/niconico, app phones, or the meido revolution. I wonder what the next ten years will be like a fan, but I can imagine app phones and streaming video will be so ancient history by 2020. And if I’m still writing this blog by 2020… OH GEASS NO!!!

See you guys in 2011. Happy New Year!

20 Responses to “tko 2010”

  1. And here’s to another 10 years of anime blogging!

  2. Man, I remember buying multiple 60$ (CDN) VHS tapes of Ranma 1/2 (Why is Hollywood the only one doing remakes? Some series could use them too!) months (years?) after they aired, so I always heard about what happens which kinda ruins it.

    Now I’m grouchy when the sub isn’t out within 24 hours… oh so spoiled :P

  3. There has been the Rise and Fall of the Dub Celebrity as well – thanks to the speed of subs distribution I would suggest, as much as the End of The Golden Age.

  4. I’ve only been a lurker in this blog for almost a year but reading through the 2006 post on “the golden age” and this post had really opened my eyes on such huge changes.

    All the best to you and happy 2011!

  5. I’m a post evangelion biter. In fact, I started watching
    anime around 5 years ago. For me, it has been relatively easy.
    Torrents+online purchases. I’ve spent more money on my PC, car and
    anime/manga alone, than on clothes, trips, girlfriends, or other
    trivial matters. I can see, however, what the “golden age” once was
    (Serial Experiments Lain anyone?). I am happy that I hopped on the
    waggon when I did though. I didn’t have to deal with it gettin in
    the way of school, friends, or parents.

  6. why.jpg @ image..

  7. let’s just say that even though RealVideo was the de facto default video format back then,

    it was a very brief rein by rm as i believed divx more or less took over within a year and even during the brief stint when rm was king asf was muscling on its turf.

  8. Just think – you’ve wasted ten years of your life on this. ;)

  9. 10 years ago, a 12 year old me was begging my parents to allow me to get the vhs fansub of the 2nd CCS movie and spending $32 for a 4 episode vhs tape. Those were the days~

  10. Over the same period, some things I miss: 1. Media Play.
    They always got at least one of everything anime and manga. Best
    Buy? Pfui! 2. DVD packaging and extras in the U.S. Haruhi was the
    plateau. I still have my Witch Hunter Robin shotglass. 3.
    Hilariously bad fansubbing. Or maybe I have just chosen the better
    ones… 4. Anime music CDs. (heck – CDs!) 5. Aria.

  11. “Jun: why.jpg @ image”

    I agree. Mugi always gets left out of the screenshots. Damn you, 4:3 aspect ratio!

  12. Cheers!

  13. I stumbled onto fansubbed anime by accident around 2001
    when I first started using Morpheus to search for and download odds
    and ends. I was hooked fairly quickly by Love Hina, the first
    episodes of Inuyasha, Hikaru no Go, and Ranma 1/2. In searching for
    more information and other sources I came across the dying remnants
    of this VHS fansub trading subculture that I had been totally
    unaware of. Many anime fans were (and still are) unusual and
    peculiar in their habits and dislikes. I recall one website
    maintained by an active trader in VHS tapes who had an
    excruciatingly detailed list of requirements for accepting a tape
    in trade. He specified minutely the cassette manufacturer,
    generation of the copy, placement of a blank label, hysterical
    insistence that no handwritten text was to appear on a label, and
    precise packaging requirements. When Morpheus/Kazaa imploded,
    Streamload became a somewhat complicated source of episodes for a
    while, until the blessings of Bittorrent arrived. Considering how
    much work it used to take to find and aquire anime episodes the
    kids nowadays with their whining if a fansub is a day behind
    schedule have no clue as to how lucky they are. One thing which is
    still the same though is fansubber drama.

  14. Can’t wait for the next 10 years…

    if you’re on a right tor/ darknet

  15. You forgot one important and very interesting technology.
    3-D. Enough said.

  16. I remember the first time I went to the university’s anime club. And the guy in charge just hooked up his laptop to the projector and opened some .avi file. Love Hina ep. 1. I still have those 320×240 encodes in a couple of CDs somewhere. Not getting rid of them for shit, they’re history. Tiny, pixelated, fugly yellow font, awesome history.

  17. Also, I wonder what will be the next big thing these next ten years bring. What will come after moe? Because something will come after it, right? Guys?

  18. I started my original website because I thought the web was my best bet in finding people with the same interests as me–back in 2000

    And now here you are, surrounded by trap and genderswap lovers. Mission accomplished?

  19. Ten years ago I was ripping ADV DVDs to divx and burning them to CD. Then putting them in the mail to trade eps with others. Hmm what was the name of that horrid show that made me stop after going tru hell to collect all the DVDs? Oh, yeah Gasaraki.

  20. “Also, I wonder what will be the next big thing these next ten years bring. What will come after moe? Because something will come after it, right? Guys?”

    Don’t ask, don’t tell.

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