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Zac Bertschy - In Memoriam

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Joined: 17 Jan 2009
Posts: 84
Location: great britain
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:35 pm Reply with quote
His life was a blessing,
His memory a treasure.
He was loved beyond words,
And will be missed beyond measure.

may you find peace eternal
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Joined: 17 Jan 2009
Posts: 915
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:51 pm Reply with quote
He was a pull no punches kinda guy. His reviews for anime he didn't like were savage but kinda funny. He reminded me of Harlan Ellison sometimes. He even called me names once, many years ago, for stepping into a heated forum back-and-forth. RIP.
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Joined: 06 Jan 2018
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:58 pm Reply with quote
ANN is important to me. However I don't do anything except consume it. I just assume that magically it will always be here, as if it has an existence independent of the people who create it. I'm kind of old to have such childish thoughts.

The anime previews and reviews (which Zac oversaw) are extremely useful for choosing what to watch each season.

I searched google for Zac Bertschy, So many articles returned. Quite a few I remember reading at some point. My favorite is his review of Haibane Renmei which I think I read in 2008.
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Joined: 17 Aug 2008
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 12:02 am Reply with quote
Zac was my Answerman! My origins as an anime fan will forever be indebted to that ANN column. I learned so much about the industry and fandom reading it during the Bertschy years. His contributions to the world (both in and out of the anime fandom) will be missed. My condolences to his family and friends.
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Joined: 04 Feb 2015
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 1:29 am Reply with quote
While reading everyone's posts, I kept thinking back to this:
Years ago, Zac posted a link to a thread. It was on TGWTG in a section where fans could talk about the different site contributors there, and the thread was about Jacob. They were all trash talking him, saying he should be fired because of some tweets he did. Jacob didn't post on the forums much, so they all knew they were basically doing this behind his back. But Zac decided to make an account just to post there and defend Jacob. It was pretty funny seeing him flame everyone there! But even while doing that, it was clear that he understood the situation about how the site worked and what contributors there had to go through better than anyone else. Even while flaming everyone, he was setting things straight, telling them all about how contributors there weren't even payed, that they only could rely ad revenue from Blip and not TGWTG. TGWTG was just paying everyone in exposure. And after the thread was closed, TGWTG didn't defend Jacob, but accused him of bullying fans!
This whole thing stuck out to me because it was so clear how much Zac cared about Jacob and everyone else he worked with. I feel like I could hear his voice right now, saying "you can't treat your contributors like that, they're the reason people come to your site, they're the reason you got to where you are!" When I read all these stories from the people he worked with, I keep seeing how he treated people not just as colleagues, but as great friends.
As for me, I wanted to share this because I have been following Jacob's and Zac's work for so long. Even though I've never gotten to meet or see them in person, they were a huge influence on my life. They didn't just change how I looked at anime, film, games, and art, but they helped me become a more caring, empathetic person. I never thought I would be crying over someone I've never met, but that's what I've been doing since I found out he died.

I'm sorry for your loss Jacob, and I hope you're doing alright
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Surrender Artist

Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 3257
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 2:15 am Reply with quote
Well, damn it.

I was just passing by ANN to distract myself from making a decision and wasn’t ready for this.

He was synonymous in my mind with ANN. That’s not, of course, quite right and proved to be a troublesome misconception in times past, but it makes the point about him pretty well. The way that he wrote almost always felt unavoidable like him, which is just about the purest, highest thing that anybody who writes more than grocery lists aspires to. He was something that I always just expected would be around. He was part of a the woodwork; a sort of peculiar, conspicuous knot on a molding that you always stared at late at night when you were too busy thinking to fall asleep, but now the termites got to it or the backed-up pipe and they just don’t make paneling like that anymore.

One hopes, at least, that now he isn’t feeling those things that nobody wants to feel anymore.
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Joined: 29 Nov 2010
Posts: 460
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 3:52 am Reply with quote
Listening to ANNCast, I feel like his interviews with key people of the industry from “the bad old days” are important historic records of the anime fandom.

I feel like I learned a lot, in a positive way, from his perspectives, attitudes, and knowledge of media criticism, social media, and especially emotional self-awareness. His dedication to respect and integrity helped make the world a little more reasonable, a little more rational.

I’ll miss him.
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Joined: 26 May 2011
Posts: 301
Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 4:54 am Reply with quote
I'm not really watching much anime recently, but it speaks volumes that the name brought back memories of the few ANNCasts and many Answerman columns I've gone through.

Zac was a treasure and he'll be missed.
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Joined: 22 Jul 2004
Posts: 630
Location: Spain, EU
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 6:58 am Reply with quote
My God. Deepest condolences to everyone in his life, family and ANN's family, from this side of the word.

Rest in peace and thanks for everything you did, Zac. Sad
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Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 1989
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 8:26 am Reply with quote
I'm in shock...
I'll never forget how you and I had strikingly different opinions on anime, but somehow both found a love for Madoka Magica. I enjoyed, appreciated, and respected your reviews after that so easily. There's just something about your name and existence here that made this place comfortable.

Love to you, and to anyone here who might be having a hard time with your passing on ANN. <3
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Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 4239
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 10:11 am Reply with quote
D: How awful...especially at his young age. I sent in a few questions to Answerman and he always replied back. RIP. Sad
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Majin Tenshi

Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 434
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 10:25 am Reply with quote
I remember listening to him on some of ANN's podcasts, you can tell that he was a dedicated fan himself. May he rest in peace
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Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 174
Location: Monterrey, Mexico
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 11:26 am Reply with quote
You'll be missed by everyone in the community. :c

My deepest condolences to his friends and family.
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super forsooth

Joined: 13 Aug 2012
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 3:30 pm Reply with quote
I've been trying to wrap my mind around this news for the last few days. It feels unreal. I keep checking twitter to make sure I'm not just imagining it.
I've been listening to ANNCast since I was in middle school, a whole decade ago. It was one of my first glimpses into anime fandom, and I'm so grateful for that. I was introduced to many great stories because of it. Evangelion, Escaflowne, Only Yesterday, Thunderbolt Fantasy- I could go on and on. There are so many. I got to hear from a variety of guests and hosts that spoke about anime in a way that was inclusive and thoughtful and passionate. It's not an understatement to say that the show, and the people on it greatly shaped my way of thinking about anime and media in general.
Those late night CYS streams were a wonderful time. I only wish that I made it to more of them. I have very good memories of laughing so hard at Good Burger that I cried and my parents wondered what was wrong with me. I remember trying to finish a bottle rocket for a physics class in high school late at night and the only thing keeping me going was CYS on in the background. Fittingly, we were watching Nightmare on Elm Street. The inside jokes and Zac's quick editing and sense of humor made those times very memorable.
I admire the way he always stood up for LGBT voices in the community, and how candidly and passionately he wrote about those issues. It carved out a space in anime fandom where I felt welcome.
I actually saw Zac at Designer con in November last year. I'm from out of state, but I was there for a school event- I almost mustered up the courage to walk up and say hi. But, I didn't want to bother him. I don't know why I thought he would be bothered. Looking back at it now, it seems so stupid of me, and I regret not telling him that the work he did made a difference.
I only knew Zac as a fan of his work. I can't imagine the pain his friends and family are feeling right now. My thoughts are with them. I hope the good memories will live on.
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Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 118
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 5:26 pm Reply with quote
My condolences. :/
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