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Making the anime nerd transition

At one point or another during our childhoods we were introduced to anime, maybe you're an 80s kid and grew up with, say, Voltron. Or being a 90s kid like me you might have watched some of the same shows that I did.

My introduction to anime all started with two shows that aired on the UPN channel in my area, Samurai Pizza Cats, and Sailor Moon, and aired around the early 1990s (around 1992). Samurai Pizza Cats got its English translation from Saban, the same company that would later bring along Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and they went all out with the dub. Fourth wall breaks, pop culture references, and a goofy theme song to boot.

Sailor Moon on the other hand was like an entirely different show. You could tell its focus was for girls as the group of main characters are teenage women with flashy outfits, an introduction to the "magical girl" theme of anime genres. This anime continued on with future seasons and spinoffs, then making the transition to airing on Toonami.

Fast forward to my middle school years in 1998 and I was beginning to see different kinds of merchandise of anime and manga. At my school a group of students hosted their own anime club during cafeteria hours, showing off whatever anime shows or movies were coming out, or were already out and had some items on display. Aside from the shows I was used to watching in syndication or on the Toonami block, this also got me into the anime craze of the late 1990s/early 2000s.

SunCoast Video, a video store located just inside of my local mall was home to both anime VHS and DVD home video, but with three episodes each on those formats, the cost would usually run $30, so basically it was expensive to be an anime fan. As much as I loved all of these titles there were to choose from I was very limited to buying what I wanted with the minimal allowance I was making each month.

Suncoast had a great library of movies, tv shows and promotional tapes. But sales weren't cheap.

With the 90s soon coming to a close there were more possibilities of bringing more lighthearted anime shows to the U.S. aimed towards kids, but there was a problem with that transition, certain scenes had to be edited or cut out, and any Japanese foods seen had to either be edited, or referenced as a familiar food from the country as to not confuse kids about foods that they'll likely never eat.

When the Pok'emon anime aired on the Kids WB block, many changes had to get made such as scenes of abuse getting removed, racist portrayals being edited and seen above, a scene that would later become a popular meme, Brock calling a riceball a "jelly donut".

As the internet opened up more possibilities of social discussion in the early to mid 2000s (and being introduced to the Adult Swim block on Cartoon Network) I became more open to discovering anime and manga that I wasn't familiar with while I was in high school. Series such as Slayers, Bubblegum Crisis, and Fist of the North Star were just a few examples. Then as far as anime movies went, Akira (from 1988) was a great introduction.

Akira started out as a manga that ran from 1982 all the way to 1990, and while the movie released just a couple of years before the series finished it's stood the test of time and has aged greatly with its fluid animation and deep plot. I won't go into the details of what it's about as I'd rather you discover and watch the film yourself. It broke new ground for the anime industry, and it shows.

So in conclusion, where I stand now is still collecting anime DVDs and on a rare occurrence, manga. It's not for everybody, but as a way of fighting off anxiety and boredom it's become a great hobby to both read and watch.

What anime or manga have you been hooked on? Leave a comment and as always, see you next article!

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Posted on Feb 01, 2021 at 04:31 AM

I bought those subtitled Sailor Moon VHS tapes at Suncoast! I wanted the episodes with Sailor Saturn that were never going to make it to this country. My dad just dug out that old VHS with the home-printed stickers on the side. Going to watch next weekend. What a great memory for a nerdy kid in the 90s.

Benjanime Posted on May 18, 2020 at 03:09 PM


despite the high prices they wanted for DVDs and tapes, i honestly miss it. i know some stores might still exist but the one in my area closed down around 2004 i think.

pikachulover Posted on May 17, 2020 at 09:14 AM

I used to go to Suncoast for collectables. I got a Sailor Moon backpack there. They also sold manga there.

DynoAir Posted on May 16, 2020 at 01:38 AM

Great write up! Accurate and thorough cross culture knowledge as well. Cheers.

Rick Ace Rhodes Posted on May 14, 2020 at 02:50 AM

This brought back some memories Ben. I too would go too Suncoast to pick up all my anime. It's something that has been lost as technology has taken over.

Benjanime Posted on May 14, 2020 at 12:38 AM


thanks so much for reading ^^

Julie Posted on May 14, 2020 at 12:19 AM

Most of the animes I watched were from Hanna-Barbera, also going through Topo Gigio, Barbapapa, Sesame Street among others from the 70s and 80s, such as Thundercats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, He-Man and She-Ra, the fabulous Dungeons & Dragons, among many, many others. In 1989 I had my first Atari 2600, so the TV lost about 70% of the space it occupied in my leisure time. But when the Sega Genesis came home in 1991 (at the same time as the Power Rangers boom), I completely stopped watching TV and so I continue to this day. But Benjanime is introducing me to some gems that I lost along the way. He's great! ;) ❤

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