Ok, so I'll admit it. I'm an anime fangirl. Like most everyone I know, my first exposure to things anime came as a child, with those wonderful cartoons like Battle of the Planets, Voltron, and Robotech. I knew that what I was watching was different from other cartoons, like Bugs Bunny, but I didn't realize until many years later, when I was in college, that they were from a different country. But then, I never claimed to be terribly bright.
Some of you may be asking, "Just what the heck is anime, anyways? " It's Japanese animation. The stories and animation are different, new and exciting to someone who is familliar only with Western culture. At least, that's what I have found.
So, for the longest time, Robotech was my favorite show, followed closely by Voltron. Both still rank up there on the list, but rather than being the only animated series, they have been joined by others. While in college, I got the first 2 fansubbed tapes of DNA^2, which had 2 episodes each. Not a lot, but I got really interested. After college, though I did watch a lot of anime with my friend Randy and my boyfriend, it was actually The Vision of Escaflowne that really grabbed me, as well as enticed me into writing fanfiction. And then Randy got me addicted to crack. Bad Randy, no biscuit. When Rhino started to release the Battle of the Planets DVDs, I rediscovered my affection for this old show, then discovered that I really like Gatchaman better. Horrible, ain't I?
So those are the ones that I'm MOST interested in. It's beyond my meager capabilities (and sanity!) to put up pages to all the anime that I've seen and enjoyed. And I'm certainly not going to put up a page on Urotsukidoji! But I do have a little something for my obsessions. For further anime information, check out my Links page.
An important part of anime is the voice actor, also known as "seiyuu". The voice actor has a lot to do with how well you like an animated character, I think. They provide the voice you are going to hear, and they have to project emotion into that voice as necessary; if the character is angry, you need to be able to hear as well as see the anger. This is what makes the character whole for the viewer. (If anybody disagrees with me, let me know your viewpoint. This is wholly my own opinion!)
Randy and I worship regularly at the Shrine of Megumi. *grin* This is Hayashibara Megumi (last name first in the Japanese style). She does the voice of Ranma-chan (female Ranma) in Ranma 1/2 and Lina Inverse in Slayers, as well as many other characters in different animes. She also sings, and does have at least one album of songs released. Other excellent voice actors include: Seki Tomokazu (who has done Chichiri in Fushigi Yuugi and Van Fanel in The Vison of Escaflowne, among many others) and Inoue Kikuko. She plays Belldandy in Oh, My Goddess, Rune Venus in El Hazard, and Kasumi in Ranma 1/2. There are many other fine voice actors and actresses out there, these are just a couple of my favorites.
Something that goes hand in hand with anime is manga. Manga is the "comic book" form of anime, and many anime (though not all) start off as manga. You know how you go to your local comic book store, and you buy the next issue of Spiderman (or whatever it is you read)? Well, in Japan, you would go to their equivalent of a comic book store, or even a book store, and buy the next issue of a manga. I have only ever seen mangas in black and white- no lurid color spreads here! But again, that is a cultural difference between Western and Japanese culture. (I tend to wait and buy the graphic novels, anyway. Maybe that has something to do with it?)
Mangas that are popular here in the U.S. include Oh, My Goddess! by Fujishima Kosuke, and Ranma 1/2. I have found that I enjoy reading the manga form of Ranma 1/2 more than I enjoy watching the videos. I also like Inu-Yasha. Both that and Ranma 1/2 are drawn by Takahashi Rumiko. She has also created Maison Ikkoku, among many others, and is one of the most recognized manga artists the world over. There are a host of other great mangaka out there as well.