Otaku: Then and Now Part 1

I have considered myself an otaku ever since the term came into public consciousness. For those not in the know, an otaku is the Japanese equivalent of a geek or a person that is too passionate towards his or her hobbies. So you can safely interchange toy geek, comic geek and car geek with toy otaku, comic otaku and car otaku.

I've been hooked to anime, manga, tokusatsu, sentai and practically anything Japanese since I was a kid. Although back in the 80's and early 1990's, the words anime, manga, tokusatsu, sentai was not in anyone's vocabulary yet. We referred to giant robot shows such as Mazinger Z back then as 'Japanese cartoons' or 'Japanimation' (check out old anime and manga magazines and you'll see). But more importantly, there's no such thing as an otaku here back then.

VHS was king back then...

Me and my buddies would watch anime in little old VHS tapes that we prop up in those bulky VHS players. Stuff was hard to come by and we treated our own little would-be-subculture as part of the geek 'underground'. Very few people know back then knew anime and manga beyond Voltes V, and watching Macross and Devil Hunter Yoko, even Urotsukidoji, back then was our trip. In a good sense at that.

Now for manga, we usually get them at a thrift shop that sells obscure stuff. Tankobon (manga collected volumes) were cheap but then again, we don't have manga translation sites or translated graphic novels back then. We had to come up with our own stories for everything that we read. And it all felt just right. Ah, the things we do during our pastimes...

Back then there were still no cons, no cosplay, no video streaming sites. People don't gather to discuss the latest episode of Sailormoon for fear of being branded as 'weird'. Anime and manga sites were known as 'shrines'. Playing Japanese video games is like having an alien give you a cartridge to play with out of whim. And model kits back then require glue to build.

Every bit of anime is rare and golden and that was I and a lot of people growing up in the 80's and 90's remembered it. And those were good times. But things change, we all know it.

More to come!
Bookmark and Share
Post a Comment
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...