Anime.com... It Lives!
After 6 years of neglect, Anime.com finally boasts a website with some content. Admittedly the website does not currently boast a huge amount of content, no where near the amount one might expect from such a prestigious domain name and no where near what the owners had originally hoped to be able to do.
Anime.com's current content is limited to synopses of a couple suggested videos and recommended books along with links to a few upcoming events and cool websites. All of the recommended videos and books have links to Amazon.com where they can be purchased. Everything "recommended", "suggested" and "cool" is of course based on somebody's opinion, but whose?
Other Anime related Works by Vanguard Media
I. The first official release of anime on CD-ROM in the US was the World of US Manga Corps CD, released in 1992 for $49.95, containing production sketches, frame grabs, selected video clips, and various translation and production notes. Only a few hundred were made, and the company that produced the CD-ROM was Vanguard Media. It should be noted this was also one of the first few commercial CD-ROM titles AND that the CD-ROM was one of the first to feature a then "new technology" known as QuickTime.
II. Brian directed Autoguard 2000, which was featured on MTV's Liquid Television in 1991. The short series of animations featured the exploits of a robot that was out of control, and the look and feel owed much to anime.
III. In 1996 Vanguard Media produced the Project A-ko Anime Hyperguide, a CD-ROM Roman Album that featured video clips, music and a screen-by-screen storyboard breakdown of the script.
IV. In 1999 Vanguard Media produced a CD-ROM for Yomega, which drew quite a bit from anime and graffiti.
The man behind Anime.com is Michael Pinto, along with his partners at internet company Vanguard Media, Brian Cirulnick and Jesse Erlbaum. If Michael's name sounds familiar it might be because he is no newcomer to Anime fandom. Way back in 1979, Michael founded the Star Blazers Fan Club in a bid to bring the show back to NYC TV sets. After putting out dozens of fanzines and running the first anime rooms at science fiction conventions (Lunacon 1983) Michael handed over the club in 1984 to Robert Fenelon.
Michael isn't the only fan in the partnership though, in 1986, while in college at School of Visual Arts, Brian directed "Desslok's Revenge", which was a tribute to Star Blazers. Later Michael and Brian co-produced a Star Blazers press kit for Westchester Films, the company that owned the rights to the show at the time. When Kidmark later distributed the show on video, they re-used the illustration for the cover art of each tape.
Michael and his partners at Vanguard Media bought Anime.com from its original owner back a few years ago and originally they had fairly grandiose plans for Anime.com, essentially they wanted to make an Anime portal site, something where you could find tons of information about Anime, including recent news, and links to other sites about Anime.
Unfortunately it became clear to them that they didn't have the time or resources to create and maintain such a website and the domain languished in neglect for several years.
"Today we are now focused on bootstrapping the website on a low budget to reach out to fans and to showcase updated content on a monthly basis. In addition to showcasing reviews of DVDs, the website will feature links to fan conventions and websites," explains Michael. "The main focus of the website will be to introduce fans to the genre and be a starting point for exploration (as there are already plenty of existing websites that serve hardcore old-timers)."
The trio aren't very proud of the way they neglected Anime.com for so long, "We feel kind of guilty about that," Michael says, "and we hope to pay back the community with links to events and such." In April's "issue" of Anime.com they included a link to The Cartoon Fantasy Organization: Los Angeles, founded by Fred Patten; as well as several upcoming conventions.
Over time they may expand the content of Anime.com to include specialty pages for particular genres and titles, depending on what they feel "turns people on."Links:
Anime.com (April Issue was posted March 29th, 2002)
Michael Pinto's Homepage