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The Edit List * Jikoshoukai (self-introduction)
by Kyle Pope, Jun 26th 2001
Well it seems I've managed to attract some attention. I have been asked to make some contributions to this fine website as a result of the edits lists I've posted for Toonami's run of Outlaw Star, Blue Submarine #6 and Tenchi Muyou. As I am not one who is shy about my opinions, why not?
Jikoshoukai (self-introduction). My name is Kyle Pope and I am a long time anime fan. How long? Well there's the Sailor Moon generation of anime fans. There's the Robotech generation of anime fans. There's even the Starblazers generation of anime fans. I'm from the Astro Boy generation of anime fans. That's right. I've been watching anime for as long as there's been anime (in the modern vernacular that is). I watched Astro Boy during it's first run on US TV in glorious black and white. Not just Astro Boy but Kimba, Gigantor, Amazing Three, Eighth Man, Marine Boy, et al, long before anyone would even admit this stuff was coming from another country. Even I didn't know that at the time. Granted there were some long dry spells in the middle where televised anime were few and far between, but shows like Speed Racer and Starblazers would pop up and fill the gaps.
Now we're approaching the point where there'll be as much anime available to us as there is to the Japanese. And if you're into Region 2 DVDs that is already the case. So much anime is available to the American market that fans are now in a quandry as to where to spend their money next. I hope what perspective I can offer on anime might help guide some decisions on what has become a singularly expansive and expensive hobby.
As I supplied a list of the edits made to Toonami's run of Outlaw Star I have been asked to provide a summary opinion of Toonami's efforts on anime's behalf. So here goes. To date the best thing to happen to anime in the US has been Cartoon Network's Toonami. What the future holds with a new man and company at the helm remains to be seen but Toonami has earned an historic place in the annals of anime fandom. For the first time in anime history a complete anime series was aired in the US completely unaltered from its Japanese original with the exception of an English language track. And that track was far from the abysmal dubs that marked the beginning of the anime market in the US. Toonami demonstrated that there was a market for this material on TV and other networks from broadcast to premium cable followed suit. American animators were not unaffected by the phenomenon as clearly shown by the anime stylings finding their way into American animation.
Now Toonami is far from perfect. It is still guided by the needs of American television programming. The one complaint drawn from myself and many others was an inconsistent pattern of editing. I'm not referring to shows like Sailor Moon or Dragon Ball Z which were acquired "as is" from their distributors. The shows Toonami has edited themselves were wildly inconsistent with what was allowed and what wasn't. And some of the edits they made were absolutely ridiculous. Nonetheless Toonami managed to bring anime to the mainstream television market. And more is coming. Anime boards and newsgroups frequently report news of the latest acquisitions for the TV market. Fan voices can change the plans of major entertainment companies. The Japanese producers of anime now see the US as a major market to be exploited in the face of a flagging economy. Not bad for what started out as a bunch of geeks huddled in a college dorm watching raw, fifth generation copies of Mobile Suit Gundam.
So thanks to Toonami things are looking bright for anime in the US. More anime companies are licensing more titles and the scramble for new material might mean that obscure little series or OVA might actually have a chance of being picked up. We still have some ways to go. For the most part fans of shoujo are still largely ignored by the anime companies, but that will change too.
So this is who I am and some of what I think. I hope as this progresses I might be able to entertain, inform and maybe even piss a few people off.
-- Kyle Pope