Forgive the nonsense title. Obviously Anime has been around forever and ever. Though here in Australia you could be forgiven for thinking such nonsense. I have been a big Anime fan my entire life. I remember the days when my friends and I would scour the television guide, circling the late night time slots on SBS (the only channel playing foreign film's) all of us staying up late on a Friday night to catch Ghost in the Shell, Akira or Castle of Cagliostro for the umpteenth time (they only ever played those three) Or we'd scour the local videostores, only to find those same three film's, though we once stumbled upon a copy of Wicked City too.
Picking's were slim. It was before Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z became a phenomenon. Of course we had Saturday morning cartoons like Transformers, Sailor Moon and Samurai Pizza Cats, but that was it. Nothing aired with the same maturity as the Anime film releases. I'd search the bargain video bins at Target or K-Mart for my fix. I still have my random copies of Samurai X on VHS. Anime was hard to come by. I read a lot of Manga and discovered a lot of different Anime through comic magazines. I remember reading about Battle Angel Alita in Wizard magazine and simultaneously tracking down a copy upon realising how incredible this film sounded.
It was a niche market here in Australia but things began to change. In my eyes at least, the change came when Neon Genesis Evangelion released. Proving incredibly popular in other markets the show earned a Friday night time-slot on local television when it landed here in Australia. Finally an ongoing series airing in Australia for me and my friends to become addicted to. Fantastic show too (even with the bonkers ending) with each episode proving a strong talking point in the school yard. More Anime releases followed suit. Suddenly shows like Cowboy Bebop and Fullmetal Alchemist (my absolute favorite) were becoming readily available.
Anime was proving to be more popular than first thought. The advent of DVD's really helped the boom, with fans able to collect entire series of their favorite shows. An enticing proposition for us Anime starved Aussies. Madman Entertainment's (Australia's earliest Anime distributor) transition from VHS to DVD, along with their deep promotion of all things Manga/Anime proved so successful that entire library's of unreleased title's were quickly becoming readily available. The popularity of shows like Dragon Ball on prime time telly also helped push the popularity stratosphere and led to hugely successful franchises like Bleach, Naruto and One Piece releasing locally, proving equally popular to the English speaking audience. Studio Ghibli receiving Oscar recognition for film's like Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle really helped ease the transition from niche market to pop culture acceptance.
These days store shelves are chock full of the latest Anime releases. Television is full of crummy Pokemon knock offs and even the most obscure, hard to find Anime film is only an Ebay click away. I now have selection. After putting up with the "take it and like it" mentality for so many years, it's pretty darn great actually being spoiled for choice. I now have genres. Whole shelves in my house dedicated to specific Anime. A whole shelf of horror Anime (mostly vampire) like Vampire Hunter D, Black Blood Brothers or Devil May Cry. A shelf of giant robot Anime like Transformers, Voltron or Robotech, or even human/robot Anime like Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed or Bubblegum Crisis. Prefer dark drama's like Death Note, Paranoia Agent or Boogiepop Phantom or is Samurai styled action like Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai Champloo or Ninja Scroll more you're thing? Whatever you're interests, it seems Anime has you covered. I know Australia was a little late to the party (well most of us) in discovering the sheer scope and choice available when it come's to Anime, but day's being starved for lack of choice are well and truly behind us. If it appears Anime has nothing to offer you and you're interests, well I say you're just not looking hard enough. I'm glad to say my (hypothetical) children will grow up on a healthy diet of Ghibli... and Fullmetal Alchemist when they are a little older :P
That's all from me. Hit me up in the comments to chat Anime, be sure to let me know any film favorite's worth checking out
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