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Tales from the past

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I'm old, fuck you. But as a result I can tell you that getting your hands on anime over twenty years ago (here in the UK at least) was an underground operation and took a lot of fucking patience.

Some of you crazy kids might think I just mean shitty download speed but oh no. No downloads, barely any internet for public consumption. Very few titles got official releases over here. You wanted shit back in those days, you had to know people, who knew people, who might ultimately know someone with the episode (or if you were very lucky, an entire 6 ep series) you were after. And you needed a shitload of brand new still sealed VHS tapes.

Moved house last year, found a load of old newsletters and lists from back then which I scanned, and if anyone is interested in how things used to be, I'll post more.
Pic related, the list of a guy I used to know personally who got me into it to start with. He was relatively local to me, so I could just phone my requests through, and a week later make the hour long drive to pick them up, giving him blank tapes to replace those he used.

Otherwise, you networked at one of the very few cons held over here, or got 'penpals' from small ads in the one anime magazine available in the UK at the time.
Then you swapped lists.
Then you send a jiffy bag of new and unopened blank VHS tapes through the mail with your requests.
Then you waited for several weeks.
Finally, (if you were lucky, there were some assholes I encountered back then who would list rarities just to show off, refusing requests for them) your 28th generation copies of a few episodes of Tenchi or Ranma would arrive.
Then you would owe them, and have to copy and send whatever you had that they may request, and so on.

Compare that to now, when you can read a show title, and within minutes have found a torrent and acquired 1080p copies of all series, OVAs and movies. It took weeks to get shitty quality copies of all 6 eps of a series, sometime having to get eps from different people. There were some series which I never managed to find all eps for back then.
Cool shit, tape guy >>152363858
still around these days?
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Not sure who or what you're asking is still around?

Pic is from the VHS price list of Anime Projects, one of the very few UK distributors of anime back then.
Just want to know if youre still in contact with the guy and if he is still watching chinese cartoon nowadays.
Ah, asking if tape guy still around, now I get it. Think last contact I would have had with him was about 97-98 maybe. He was a bit condescending to anyone whose collection was smaller than his, and anyone who had less than three VCRs to fulfill requests fast enough. Prided himself on his service, so to speak, but was a bit full of himself.

Pic is more of his list.
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List from another contact I made through a small ad, turned out to be a pretty chill guy.
>Ultimate Teacher
>Dire attempt at a Project A-Ko clone

I like their honest sales technique
This shounds off I live in Spain and back in the 90s, if you wanted to whatch anime you only had to go to the videoclub and rent VHS. I was 13 back in 1993 and when I wanted to whatch anime I only had to go and rent a couple of titles. There was like an entire self to pick. There was entire series there.

Man, there was even tv progams about anime around that age. I saw Roujin Z and Appleseed on TV in the 93.

I refuse to belive it was so obscure in England, when here in Spain wasn't. May be it was just the place where you rented VHS sucked.
Oh it existed here alright, but official releases were so few - and mostly just full length films rather than series - and demand so low that it was generally only big video rental chains like Blockbuster who would bother with it as they had plenty of room to spare. Even then, you could count the number of titles they had to choose from on both hands. Didn't take long to have rented everything they had to offer.

Not having grown up in Spain, I can't comment on what you had on TV. But we did used to occasionally get the horribly butchered / dubbed versions of Nausicaa and Laputa on TV, usually shown on bank holidays when the kids were off school.
Thanks OP, this is great stuff. I'm not old enough for this shit, but I've met some old timers at cons who still have fourth generation VHS copies sitting around. What was your favorite show, pre-Internet distribution?
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Urusei Yatsura, without a doubt.

I remember the tape guy whos list I first posted above started me off with a sampler tape, a 3 hours VHS with a single episode of 6 different series.
- UY
- Ranma
- Video Girl Ai
- Tenchi Muyo
- Oh my Goddess
- Dragon Half
Never managed to obtain more than the first 20 episodes of UY back then, ended up buying those as they were released officially by Anime Projects, a tape every few months with 3-4 episodes on them.

It was hard enough trying to find more episodes of something you liked, and finding out just how many some shows had (UY and Ranma for example) was depressing. You knew that you never get to see them all. Well, until nowadays, that is.
>an entire 6 ep series
Ahaha, Brits will never fail to be funny.
Were there any series that you worked so hard to obtain, just to be left with immense irritation and frustration because the show was actually bad or sub-par to your expectations?

And I'm assuming this is the 90s? Just to make sure.
OK, season if you prefer.
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>>152365915 intended for >>152365813

Yes, early - mid 90's. Due to the costs and delays in getting tapes sent, copied to and sent back, and the relatively slim amount of info about new titles - no Wikis, animelists, /a/ etc, if you wanted to know what a show was about then it was word of mouth or if you got lucky a show may have been mentioned in the one magazine available - even if you did find someone who had a whole series offered on their lists, unless I had already seen an episode or two and knew I liked it, I wouldn't request the whole thing and take a chance.

I was more pissed off by finding out that there wasn't anymore of something I liked. The concept of OVAs and things NOT being full seasons was alien to me back then. After watching the first episode of Assemble Insert or Dragon Half for example, loving it and wanting more I spent months and months trying to find contacts with anything more than episodes 1 & 2 only.... not knowing that both were only ever two episodes long.

Pic is a request list I got with a shipment of tapes I received.
Have you ever thought and planned to go to Japan at any point in the 90's? Reason doesn't necessarily have to be anime-related.
>assuming this is the 90s? Just to make sure.
Official UK release of Urusei Yatsura started in '94, so early 90s sounds about right.

>It was hard enough trying to find more episodes of something you liked, and finding out just how many some shows had (UY and Ranma for example) was depressing. You knew that you never get to see them all. Well, until nowadays, that is.
Yeah that sounds pretty painful. Makes my memories of trying to scrounge up DVDs at Suncoast seem pretty convenient by comparison.

Thanks again for posting this stuff. Pre-Internet anime culture is basically oral history at this point, I'd hate to lose any.
It didn't really occur to me back then. Although I loved anime, but that was the extent of my interest in Japan at the time. that would have been like me wanting to visit the US just because I watched Taxi and Hill Street Blues.

Nowadays I'd love to go for many reasons though. Mortgages, building work and kids kinda complicate that though.
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You mentioning DVD's reminds me. Once the internet became more common place and online shopping was accessible to all, I spent ages buying what usually turned out to be bootleg copies of the series I'd loved and / or never managed to complete. Still got most of them. They were better than the VHS copies, but nowadays I've torrented many of them just to get subs that actually make sense.

>Dragon Half

Oh, if only the OVA's hadn't been cancelled. It was a pretty decent show imo.
Nice. I've gotten rid of most of my DVDs over the years except for a select few that hold sentimental value.

I knew a guy who was working with Suncoast when they closed, and they ended up getting some random promotional DVDs are part of the closing proceedings. Most of them were shows I didn't care about, but it was neat to have. The only one I can actually remember off the top of my head is Gungrave, because I love that show.
Yeah, the ones I still have are part sentimental, and part hilariously incorrect and nonsensical subs.
This is pretty interesting.
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Thought this had died, but one for teh road...

More of catalog from '95, in which teh distribitor themselves admits that they don't even know what some of what they are selling is (Babel 2). That was the problem, no watching clips online, very little resource to find out what any show was about after reading it's title on a list... Now you can try the first episode of something and drop it within half an hour of knowing it exists. Back then it could take weeks from reading a title, trying to find out what it was about, finding someone who has it, waiting for it to be copied for you, and then perhaps realising it's not what you were expecting.
>Mask of Zeguy

That was a fun night of Awful Anime After Dark.
Oh man black magic.

I need to re-watch that.
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Last one for tonight.
>barely any internet for public consumption
Must have sucked living outside the US in the 90s.
Of course the internet was there, but PCs were not in every home back then and being able to send SMS messages on a mobile was still impressive.

No idea how quick the uptake of home PCs was in the states, but I think it was around '97 that I first got online, from my work PC. Heh, didn't occur to my employers that porn existed online, so no locking, spent entire shifts looking at naked ladies.
Late 90s/early 2000s were the good times when it came to regulations. Speeds weren't as good as now but you definitely had more liberty to do shit.
Hell yeah. Speeds were one problem, but the phone bills for dial up sessions (over here at least) were fucking horrendous.
Another oldfag here from the UK. Unless you were in London, it was very difficult to get your hands on anything 'official'. Luckily that's where I was at the time. The UK flagship stores of HMV, VIrgin and Tower records started to import titles from the U.S. back then (for a bit of a premium of course, I remember the majority of releases back then seemed to be under the 'Manga' label), but even so often only had the beginning parts of a number of shows. As such, I often ended up only buying movies and short OVAs from them. It wasn't until torrenting got under way that I managed to start watching decent amounts of anime.
Yeah, Manga Video, right? They were the most well known UK distributor and were responsible for the most well known titles like Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Overfiend etc.

I was living in Brighton in those days, HMV and Virgin down that way only stocked Manga Video titles, no imports.
Thanks OP
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fuck, 1997 burger birthed here, what are my equivalents to this. there is no interesting history to anything being made right now. it's all just autistic people that don't actually have autism, getting things instants they want them

Nothing ever happens.

I will never have stories to tell.
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Yeah I still have a couple of their DVDs. Whoever set that company up deserves an award - it must have been a brave move back then. I think they were US-based but branched out to the UK and Oz fairly quickly.
>NG Knight lamune &40 (TV) (30m) - Subbed
The sad thing is that it's managed to get even harder to find Lamune subs in the present day. Only sub group I'm aware of that took it on completed ~10 episodes, then vanished off the face of the earth a few years back. Not even the DDL links work anymore.
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