I really don’t know the proper web etiquette about pimping websites so screw it! I’m just going to do what I want! What I want is to talk to you about a wonderful website called FanaticSpace. It’s a fantastic mix of all things cool! This is one of my favorite sites and it’s devoted to the weird stuff that we all love…anime, manga, movies, games, books, television, and music…to name just a very few of the things discussed here.
The website is more than just a generic, run of the mill blog. 2xKnight (AKA Jason) writes about the stuff that most blogs ignore. His site was recently involved in the online blog tour to promote Kaza Kingsley’s Erec Rex book series. He also encourages guest writers on the site. Finally, he’s always giving free stuff away! He’s currently in the process of giving away a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com. Do you know how much manga $50 will buy? It boggles the mind!
The forum at Fanatic Space is ubercool! But it needs people! I’m not much of a forum girl, myself, but this one is geared to your whatever your personal favorite source of entertainment is. The problem is the forum needs YOU! It needs people and their voices. I need you there so that I have someone to talk to! It’s a great place to rave about the stuff you love or maybe discover something entirely new or bitch about what you hate. You really need to express yourself and this is definitely the place to do it!
So, check out FanaticSpace, especially the forum. You might even catch me there! It’s worth the trip!
Happy New Years to everyone! Thank you to those of you who read my blog last year, and a bigger thanks to those of you who continue to read it despite my lack of new posts! You’re all wonderful! I hope that the coming year will be full of new and exciting things for me to share with you like new music, new anime, new manga….just new and wonderful things! And I hope that it brings all those good things to you and yours! Happy New Years to all!
I just found out that it was the year of the Rat (well, not quite yet but since I’m in the New Year spirit!). So to celebrate, I bring you my favorite rat….Yuki from Fruits Basket! Enjoy!
Fanfiction or fanfic has been around a long time. Back when Star Trek was still king, it took the form of fanzines…hand-produced, mimeographed magazines that generally included some fan art and a story or two based on original Star Trek characters set in the Star Trek universe, circulated at science fiction conventions by fans. The art form, if you can call it that, has grown and transformed mostly thanks to the Internet. It’s usually fictional stories based on popular books, movies, television shows, anime, comics or cartoons. These are written by fans for fans.
Technically, fanficition violates the copyrights of authors and production companies but most turn a blind eye as they are not written for profit and promote the fan-base overall. The artwork or stories these fans create expand the original storylines, often exploring directions the creators never intended. One of the biggest growth areas with this has been erotic fiction, pairing characters that were not written as romantic in the original work. From this has come the creation of slash fiction, generally seen as the homoerotic pairing of two male or female characters in sexual situations. While slash fiction has developed a huge fan-base, it also has attracted many outspoken critics (they’re general response is “Ewww!”).
Fanfiction is a controversial subject. Most people either love it or hate. There are few that are indifferent about it. Personally, I’m a fan. I realize that a lot of people consider it a waste of time and talent. While others think it’s a terrible disservice to the original work that’s based on. Still others regard the whole sub-genre as overinflated ego stroking.
For me, I think it’s fun. It allows for ideas that stray from canon. It provides an outlet for fans who want more than is available of their favorite book, movie, television show, anime or comic. Some of the writers out there are producing fanfic’s that are truly amazing. They weave stories that are entertaining, provocative and fun! Now, of course, there are terrible, frightening fanfics floating around out there . But, honestly, finding that one glorious treasure is worth most of the bad ones.
I, myself, write fanfiction. That’s one of the reason I haven’t been around here posting lately. I’ve been on a roll writing some fun stuff. I don’t post my writing online…basically because I’m chicken! Maybe one day, I’ll post some here. Maybe not. Either way, I’d like to recommend fanfiction to those of you who are interested in a specific show or book. You may be horrified but you may be excited to discover something new. It’s worth exploring. Here’s a few suggestions to start you off in the right direction…
Fanfiction.net – this is great community of fanfiction covering many different genres. It’s great for all ages with settings to control the ratings.
Live Journal – the fanfiction community within LiveJournal is one of the best on the net. I strongly recommend it.
Adult Fanfiction.net — this is an adults only fanfiction site that covers the gamut of genres out there. If you’re over 18 then I recommend it.
DragonCon 2007 is now just a memory that’s softly fading as the hours pass but for the past four days, it’s been a rocking good time for me! I’m home from the convention and I just want to say that, as usual, it was a blast. The anime track was a lot of fun though I think that the powers that be at DragonCon need to realize just how popular anime and manga has become in this country! Let’s just say that judging from the turn-out at the anime panels this weekend, they are definitely learning!
I had the pleasure of meeting Vic Mignogna, a wonderful anime/game voice actor, a talented musician and an all around incredibly good guy! Vic is well-known for his work as Edward Elric on Fullmetal Alchemist, Dark Mousy on DNAngel and many others. His roles number over a hundred in different animes and games. I genuinely enjoyed his panels on Fullmetal Alchemist and Voice Acting. He’s an entertaining and informative speaker that keeps the convention panels hopping. A real fan favorite, Vic brings a sense of humor, kindness, and a great love of voice acting, anime and the fans themselves to everything he does. He’s also a talented musician. I’ve got the CD to prove it! If you’d like to find out more about Vic Mignogna, I’d suggest checking out his fangroup the Risembool Rangers or his website!
DragonCon wasn’t just about Mr. Mignogna and the anime track but they were both definitely major high points for me. Of course, the costumes were mind-blowing. (Check out the fan photos posted online if you don’t believe me!) The cosplay contest was a lot of fun. The range of anime, manga and games that the contestants drew from was so varied! Truly, all fandoms were represented! My personal favorite was an amazing Cloud from Final Fantasy Advent Children! The DragonCon Parade was also a colorful representation of all genres and tastes. And while the Masquerade was fun, the hall costumes blew most of those contestants out of the water!
The convention was crowded and having it spread out over the three hotels made it difficult to see and do all that I wanted. But the sights, the sounds, the tastes, the smells and the spectacle that is DragonCon remain extrodinary, astounding and ever inviting! If you haven’t attended a DragonCon before, I strongly recommend your doing so. Regardless of what where in entertainment your personal tastes lie, you can find something intriguing at DragonCon. Probably a bit more than you bargained for! It’s kinda like that old Chinese curse, “May you have an interesting life.” DragonCon is very, very interesting! And I’m so glad that I was a part of it!
My sixth entry into what is anime will focus on the anime fan community. Exploring anime can make a fan of you. But once you become a fan, what then? Who do you share your excitement and questions with? Who do you turn to for advice on what to watch next? Where can you go as a fan and feel like you belong? The fan community can be the answer to all those questions and more. It used to be that local anime clubs and conventions were a fan’s only options to connect with other fans. These days, thanks to the Internet, international fans of all kinds can unite in cyberspace. There are forums, clubs, websites galore out there. They can provide the anime newbie with direction and advice. They can provide a home with others who understand your love of anime. They can also lash out with their own opinions, so be wary. Explore and discover but keep an open mind.
Local anime clubs remain one of the gold standards for anime fan community. There’s a reason for that. It allows anime fans to connect at a local level. Weekly or monthly meetings, with screenings of animes, can create close bonds. But finding an anime club nearby can be tricky. The Anime Web Turnpike is a great place to start. They have links to international as well as American fan clubs, not to mention a host of other information for the anime fan. Meetup.com is another good place to check online for a club near you. Unfortunately, there isn’t always an anime club located near you. Maybe you’d like to start one up yourself? There are several resources online to help you that as well. Ehow.com has some great advice to help you. ADVFilms and Operation Anime can help fledgling clubs by providing information on new releases and freebies!
Conventions are another great place to meet other fans as well as discover what’s new in the industry. I recommend checking the Anime Convention Nexus for conventions near you. Conventions can be a lot of fun. There’s such a festive air about them. And if you can’t find an anime convention near you, keep a lookout for scifi/fantasy conventions. These days, conventions rarely limit themselves to a single genre. The fanbases overlap so much, they’re forced to cater to a wider audience. You’ll find a an anime room and various panels devoted to anime at most larger conventions. Cosplay, as well, is becoming more and more mainstream.
Another resource for the anime fan exploring the fan community is the wide-variety of anime forums and websites available on the Internet. There are so many out there. And their numbers grow everyday. My advice is to use your favorite search engine to look around a bit. Most are devoted to specific types of anime, though you can find some general anime types if you look.
It’s hard to know what’s the best fit for you until you explore a bit. It can really be worth the effort though. Being able to share your love of anime with others who understand is a wonderful experience. So expand your horizons! Go for it!
Today my continuing post on anime will discuss where you can find your anime. Finding quality anime can be a problem faced by everyone from the seasoned otaku to the anime newbie. Collecting anime is an expensive hobby. Lack of licensing in the US can be frustrating. Downloading fansubs is compounded by legal issues. Despite these obstacles, access to Japanese anime is better these days than it ever was. There are many sources to choose from. So let’s explore a few of them.
American fans can find a varied assortment of anime in the comfort of their own homes via their televisions. Anime Networkis a cable and satellite channel devoted to anime. It’s available in both a standard channel and VOD (video on demand). Cartoon Network is a cable channel that incorporates anime along with more standard cartoon fare. It’s offerings run the gamut from anime geared towards children like Pokemon to more adult, and often more violent, shows like Bleach. SciFi Channel recently stepped into the anime playground with it’s new Monday night programming called Ani-Mondays, offering some classic animes and movies. You can even find anime alongside Saturday morning cartoons with shows like Teen Titans.
While some fans prefer to own and collect their favorite anime, it is possible to rent titles. Sometimes you can find a good selection at your local library or video store. This is especially true of the anime movies, like Akira or all the great films by Hayao Miyazaki. Granted the titles available are generally limited locally, depending on where you live. You can increase your selection incredibly if you’re willing to expand your video rental to online video stores like NetFlix or Blockbuster. Both sites have a large selection of anime movies, series and OVA’s. Another source of online anime rental can be some of your favorite online merchants. Many actually rent anime, as well as sell it. For example,AnimeNationrents anime DVD’s through RentAnime.com. Also, Anime Takeout provides anime DVD rental as well as manga rental.
Now for most hardcore Otaku, the selection and dubbing of cable TV just doesn’t cut it. And rental is good but they want to own it! There are numerous sources for buying anime. Local comics and collectible stores often carry anime merchandise and popular titles. Some will even special order whatever you want. There are also countless online merchants out there selling both licensed anime and imports of anime available only in Japan. Some of my personal favorites are AnimeNation, JList and AnimeCastle.
Another option is for building your own personal anime collection are fansubs. Fansubs (short for fan-subtitled) are downloadable files of episodes and movies that you can watch on your computer or burn to disc to view at another time. With anime, these are Japanese versions that have been translated and subtitled by fans. These are made by fans for fans. They are not designed for sale by bootleggers. To discourage this, most will contain subtitles warning, “This is a free fansub: not for sale, rent, or EBay.” Titles available are usually those only licensed in Japan. Most fansub sites follow an unwritten code that says once an anime has been licensed in this country, distribution should stop. Despite this, fansubs are technically illegal. This is a complicated and lengthy discussion for another day. If you’re interested, my advice is investigate more on your own.
Another grey area of anime viewing is streaming video. There are numerous sites available online to view episodes as well as anime movies. The same legal issues apply to most of these streaming videos. But if you’re interested, YouTube is great place to look for anime. Another good site is Anime Fever, which has both anime and manga online.
Lastly, another source of anime is local anime clubs and conventions. Many anime clubs collect anime. They make it available to members as well as sponsoring anime nights with special viewings. Conventions, both anime and scifi/fantasy, oriented are great places to find anime as well as merchandise. Finding either a club or convention is fairly easy with the internet! Additionally, a great thing about both these options, is that they allow you to meet and mingle with other fans.