Welcome to 2001
Welcome to the new Millennium, everyone!
We hope everyone has had a pleasant holiday season, and we wish everyone a happy new year! Both Tempest and I have had a wonderful time running Anime News Network, and we hope you have enjoyed reading it. It takes a lot of work to maintain a site this size, but I think we're both pleased with the results.
Before looking ahead at what's planned for 2001, we'd like to take a look back at some of the anime-related highlights of this great year:
On television, we saw a number of important happenings. The first (and perhaps most lauded) event was the premiere of Gundam Wing on Toonami in March. An excellent translation, the original musical score, and the late-night broadcast of an "uncut" version skyrocketed anime fandom as millions of viewers were introduced to this amazing series. Although Gundam Wing no longer runs on Toonami, it has not been forgotten by its viewers. For the weeks of December 18th and December 25th, AniPike lists Gundam as the 2nd most popular series, just behind Dragon Ball.
Of course, when talking about Toonami, we can't forget the broadcast of Tenchi Muyo that began in July. While much of Toonami is action-oriented, Tenchi is more of a teenage soap opera than an action-packed flick. It continues to air in the afternoon as well as at night during the Midnight Run. Although rumors that the Midnight Run broadcast would be less-cut were refuted by Toonami itself, the show ran less censored than many expected, with 'seduction' and the occasional swear word left in. Of course the alcoholic drink "Sake" became "Tea", but fans who had previously seen Tenchi had a good chuckle about the "Special Tea" that the Masaki household drank.
While Gundam Wing launched on Toonami, the oft-overlooked Fox Family Channel premiered their new Sunday morning line-up entitled "Made in Japan". "Made in Japan" was an expansion on the original Fox Family "Anime Invasion" line-up. This new 3-hour block introduced viewers to Japanese pop-culture as well as customs. During the summer, Fox placed "Anime Invasion" on their Friday line-up. Between shows Fox Kids educated viewers with information about karate and Japanese social customs.
And, of course, we can't forget the ill-fated Escaflowne broadcast on Fox Kids. Escaflowne continues to air on Canadian TV station, YTV, independent of Fox's decision to "temporarily" put Escaflowne on hold. There has been no official word from either Fox or Bandai on whether or not Escaflowne will ever return to US airwaves, and when.
Aside from the continually growing television ratings, we can actually see fandom expanding by leaps and bounds, as conventions such as Anime Expo and Otakon attracted thousands of attendees. Anime Expo was the largest, with just under 10,000 visitors from around the world. Otakon came in second, with over 7,000 members.
The last major story of the year was the theft of Toriyama.org, when a domain-reselling company swiped the name of the largest Akira Toriyama information resource on the Internet. It's still down, but we're keeping a close eye on the situation and will let you know the moment the domain returns to its rightful owners.
Of course, that is only a brief overview of what has become a year to remember for anime in general. So much happened last year, and yet we must turn our eyes towards the future once again.
Most notably (for us, anyways!), Anime News Network has received its long-awaited website revamp. We feel this new layout has drastically improved the entire website, both in terms of navigation as well as User-Friendliness. We'd also like to note that in the first two days of 2001 alone, we have received 1/3rd the number of page views that we received in the entire month of January 2000. Does this mean we're 10 times better than what we were a year ago on this date? Of course it does! (Editor's note: Well, maybe we aren't 10 times better, but thanks to our readers we ARE more popular than ever!)
We also will be expanding the website to include several new features; Zac's popular subCulture column will continue bi-weekly, and we will be adding his new AnswerMan column as soon as it's ready.
We will be doing more reviews at a faster pace, which means more information about the newest titles to hit the streets. To supplement this, we will also be making an entirely new section of the webpage: the "Anime Encyclopedia". Have you ever read one of our articles and come across a term you didn't quite understand? Well, instead of having to search dozens of other Anime websites for the meaning of the term, you'll find it right here. Of course the encyclopedia will start out small, but as the entries add up it should become quite impressive.
In addition, we have reinstated the chatroom! Visit the chatroom and discuss anime with us there! You can also access the chatroom via standard IRC clients by pointing your IRC client to irc.dal.net and joining #animenewsnetwork. We're looking for top-notch idlers, lurkers, and others willing to help get the channel off to a good start. Feel free to drop by with your IRC client of choice, or use our Java Chat!
Advertisers, you've been asking us about our advertising space -- well, we finally have the freedom we need to pursue this venture. You may contact us here (editor at animenewsnetwork.com) to receive information about our pricing.
Thank you for a wonderful year, and we hope you will continue to visit us in the future for the latest anime news.
George "Cookie" Phillips and Christopher "Tempest" Macdonald
Anime News Network