'American Otaking' Steve Pearl Passes Away (Updated)
posted on by Mikhail Koulikov
Steve Pearl, the moderator of the rec.arts.anime.info newsgroup from its inception in 1993 until 2001, has passed away over the weekend. The rec.arts.anime newsgroups have been pivotal areas for discussion and news within the online English-speaking anime fandom since before the creation of the modern web browser. Pearl was also the author of the rec.arts.anime.misc list of frequently asked questions and the Anime/Manga Convention Guide. In 1992, he co-founded the Atlantic Anime Alliance, a social group of anime fans in the New York City area. He attended various Northeast anime conventions, including every Otakon from 1994 to 2000, as a fan guest of honor, and for a time, worked as a consultant for NuTech Digital.
In 1995, former Gainax president Toshio Okada — who is known in Japan as the Otaking, after the title of the highest level of otaku in Gainax's Otaku no Video anime — met Pearl at the Anime East convention. Okada then bestowed on him the title of the "American Otaking."
Pearl had been suffering from diabetes for a number of years, and recently underwent a leg amputation.
Update: Background on newsgroups and Otaking updated.