Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
What appealed to you about anime when you first discovered it? They looked completely different, and had a very different style and storytelling to them.
What was it like to be a part of anime fandom at the time? I wasn’t much involved in fandom until I got a bit older and entered high school where I started going to my first few conventions.
At this time, it was a lot of in-person interactions. I didn’t have much in terms of internet (28.8k dial-up), so when I did I would look up Dragon Ball Z or Sailor Moon (especially Dragon Ball Z uncensored), and I’m sure some forums existed.
What was the difference? Why was uncensored better? At the time, I think the difference was just that I wanted to see “what people were keeping from me.” I wanted to see the “real” version, but also a lot of the differences were just cultural or required to air on North American television. It wasn’t so much that the “uncensored was better” as some of anime wasn’t available in North America yet.
You said you discovered anime in elementary school in 1995. But you’re still a fan today. Did you watch anime continuously that whole time? Or did you take a break? Over the years, there has definitely been a huge difference in my intake levels of anime. I watched a lot of anime (probably 5-10 series per year?) up until 2008 or 2009 (from elementary school to university). After I graduated, intake probably dropped to 1-2 series a year, and is now probably somewhere in between. Manga intake has been pretty continuous.
You said you didn’t start talking to other fans until high school. Can you tell me about what that was like? Was there a club? There wasn’t a club in high school, but through a variety of other clubs and classes, I managed to find people who were fans. I remember it being easy, because I wasn’t really afraid of showing off what I am afraid of like I am now. In elementary school, we had to compose a music piece, and I transcribed the Pokemon theme for flute… and a lot of meeting other fans was like that. It was a lot of bringing up different fandom-related things in casual conversation, or doing class activities that revealed people with similar interests.
Do you remember your first convention? Anime North 2003. It was an anime convention, and it was amazing. There were viewing rooms, and games, and people and goods. I remember going to tons of different panels to learn about different things like the Japanese language and fanthropology.
Nicholas can be reached on Twitter.