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AV MOD MATERIAL: The Anime Fan's Experience in the UK

The Closet Nerd Theorem from Supreme Marvel and SamJaz!

Welcome to the UK Experiences Part 1, the Closet Nerd Theorem! Please welcome our guests, Supreme Marvel and SamJaz. Interviewed by Takashichea, they will share their experiences and outlook on anime culture in the UK.

Supreme Marvel

Tenchi Muyo - my gateway into anime
Tenchi Muyo - my gateway into anime

I watched Dragon Ball Z and Pokémon when we had the craze here years ago. I loved watching Toonamiin its heyday. It never really went beyond that. During year 2 of Uni, I had more time on my hands than I thought. So I looked for an animé I liked: Tenchi Muyo - Blu-ray edition. I loved it again. Since that, I looked for more similar animé, knowing myself, I'd eventually know where to look for them in time. It wasTenchi Muyo that got me into animé properly.

I'm not a judgmental person, much. :P When everyone watched Dragon Ball Z, I was like, be arsed with that crap. During the Christmas period years ago, they showed from 1pm to 5pm non-stop Dragon Ball Z then I got into it during the Namek saga. But there are some insane fans out there, like there is with every other medium.

Football over Anime
Football over Anime

I guess it comes down to our culture and priorities. Here, football for guys is usually the #1 priority. That's on all the time, I loved watching it myself (Come on you Liverpool!). I know for damn sure, most of my city have no desire to watch it. Best way to describe them, they call it a cartoon for children. Even though they love Family Guy, Simpsons, and South Park, we don't have much of a problem with censorship. From my experience, we tend to show the animé to its fullest. I've never seen, here on TV, an animé censored. Unless we've got an American version - say Dragon Ball Z.

I haven't been to any anime conventions. If I did, it would be one were Linda Le would be at. She would be leaving that place with me.

Redline
Redline

Manga in my city are hard to come by. Unless it's already popular or new - with potential to be popular, then we mostly won't have it. Then you order it. I have every Dragon Ball + Dragon Ball Z manga. I have almost all of the Highschool of the Dead manga. If I like the show enough, I might get the manga. I have a select few Blu-rays: Rebuild of Evangelion series, Redline, Howls' Moving Castle, and Highschool of the Dead. Bad thing about animé here is that they never get released in our region and in our language. Just doesn't have the demand for it. We only have like 53 million people in England. Football, soaps and other things that might get their attention.

Once I have my own place and steady income. I guarantee, I'd have a cupboard full of animé I like.

SamJaz

Rurouni Kenshin got me into anime
Rurouni Kenshin got me into anime

I got into anime through Pokémon and Yugioh, being the only anime shown on every morning on channels we could afford, and a desire to know about this wonderful thing the other kids spoke of, Dragon Ball Z. My other strong recollection was when Cartoon Network created a new channel called Boomerang, focusing on shows like Scooby Doo and Wacky Races, but at night, it became something strange and wonderful I didn’t quite understand. I never got to see more than five minutes of it, but I remember something that seemed like a western anime, a guy walked into a bar, asked for some guy, and the barman asking for his sizes. For the coffin, he explained.

No idea what that show was, but that was probably when I decided, I want anime.

Next chance was after getting the Kingdom Hearts game, I got some Kingdom Hearts manga, and the first three books of Rurouni Kenshin. That’s how I got into anime. I used to put it on a pedestal, but now I just see it as another media for entertainment. I get as much enjoyment out of watching High School of the Dead as I do Walking Dead. Well, I’ve lost my taste for theecchi in recent years so I don’t watch the former anymore, but you get my point. Same reason I don’t watch Game of Thrones.

Doing Kamehameha Waves at the playground
Doing Kamehameha Waves at the playground

But, we can all agree that Death Note and Sherlock are both amazing programs and deserve our money.

How do I view other anime fans? Well, I never properly grew out of throwing imaginary fireballs at my mates in the playground, so when I saw other anime fans, I saw other kids. Because that’s what kids do, we watch cartoons. Growing up now, I have a different viewpoint. A lot of anime I feel are for children. A lot of anime are for adults. A lot of adults take anime far too seriously while a lot of adults treat anime like adults. Anime enthusiasts are like kids. They dress up as cartoon characters and go to conventions to eat sushi and to hug body pillows while shouting GARUUUGAMESH!!. Or so I hear.

Anime for Adults are not all tentacle porn
Anime for Adults are not all tentacle porn

Do I think anime is getting to the mainstream? No. Like I said, the only encounter I had, other than Pokemon and Yugioh, you had to have the posh, extra channels to get anime, and even then, you had to watch late at night for anything other than big name shounen shows. What made life worse was thatCrunchyroll and Hulu weren’t available to non US users, so I got my anime through Fansubbing.

For me, that was lethal. My experience with anime was one where I got whatever I wanted for free, with nothing getting back to the creator. That’s why I don’t watch as much anymore, simply because I don’t feel right watching pirated copies, and I don’t want to spend money that I don’t really have on DVD’s. When the majority of anime I watched online, I’d watch two episodes and write it off. I think the biggest roadblock for anime in the UK isn’t censorship, rather a lack of understanding. People will happily watch Futurama and Family Guy, but serious cartoons made for adults must be tentacle porn as far as anyone else is concerned. So I point them at Watership Down, where they dismiss the argument and couldn’t care less.

Learning Muay Thai from History's Strongest Disciple
Learning Muay Thai from History's Strongest Disciple

I have met other anime fans in person, one great experience in school was talking to a mate of mine about Muai Thai, who attended a gym locally. I confessed that I learned about the martial arts fromHistory’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi. Then, I found out he learned about Muay Thai from the same manga. Now, we still giggle like schoolgirls when the newest chapter of Kingdom comes out. He still hasn’t managed to get me to enjoy One Piece, however.

Yes, I still read manga online. But I get a chance to actually buy manga. I buy both online and in various geek shops when I manage to find one, but they are few and far between. I have two main cities near where I live, Bradford and Leeds. Neither of which have manga shops that I know about. Amazon has, however, provided great deals of Great Teacher Onizuka in the past.

Other than that, I’ve never been to an anime convention. I don’t think anime will ever be mainstream over here, other than the larger Shounen shows might make it on the nine PM sessions on some of the smaller channels. I do hope anime does become mainstream here.

About the Authors

Supreme Marvel is an Animé enthusiast and a passionate DC Comics lover. Liverpool Football Club is my blood.

Follow him @WesOgo
SamJaz is a psychology student and anime enthusiast who occasionally gets around to writing fiction. Follow him@samjazbreaker
takashichea moderator on Aug. 7, 2013 at 5:35 p.m.

When I was looking for kids throwing fireballs, I couldn't find it. Though, it reminded me of the time when kids were doing Kamehameha waves back then. That's why I substituted that pic up there. I learned a lot of my friends.

My first impressions of the anime culture in the UK was that it was the same with America. I didn't know the market was small and niche. It was surprising to see that anime is aired in Japanese in the UK after seeing the article and reading about Anime Central, a British TV channel. Fans in America are fickle. Most of them preferred sub and wanted sub on TV. I see in the UK. People want to see anime dub. Stay tuned for the final part in the UK experiences and the first part for the American experiences.

Any football fans in the house?!

AURON570on Aug. 7, 2013 at 7:40 p.m.

I could have swore CR was available in UK too, maybe it wasn't available in UK for some time? But as a Canadian I definitely feel the Hulu pain, only available in U.S.

takashichea moderator on Aug. 8, 2013 at 6:08 p.m.

@AURON570:

I can't remember, but there was one Crunchyroll title that was available in the US but not the UK. When I was working on the trailers, I recommend one show to Daniel. He told me it wasn't available. I'm checking the Summer 2013 Simulcast Schedule - - AV MOD MATERIAL. Pretty much, UK has all of the US ones now.

I was wondering about HULU. You saw me wiki editing for the new pages. I add licensing info. Usually, I add the territories for Crunchyroll's simulcasts. I never knew what countries outside of FUNimation and HULU was broadcasting. Sick told me to assume US. I got stuck on that.

Silver Spoon's Licensing

For audiences outside of Japan, Crunchyroll is legally streaming the anime series for the following countries: US, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Central and South America. Its simulcast airs every Thursday starting on July 11 at 11:45 AM Pacific Time.

Hyperdimension's Licensing

FUNimation airs its simulcasts every Friday starting on July 12 at 9:30PM Eastern. HULU's simulcasts airs every Friday starting on July 12.

Sorry, I caught up in the wiki editing talk. After reading your Canadian experiences and their UK experiences, we Americans and Canadians were luckier than our UK counterparts since we had more anime exposure (for most of us). It was dubbed and censored a bit while the UK had it in Japanese audio and its original version. It's quite interesting.

GokaiRedon Aug. 8, 2013 at 11:56 p.m.

Toonami and Fox kids (and late night cable).

I think the first anime i watched on tv was either DevilMan (late night cable) or Sailor Moon (could have been Nickelodeon).

But around my area Anime wasn't a thing till Dragonball Z, which spoke to the prepubescent i suppose, around that time Tenchi and escaflowne was hovering, oh, lest we forget Cardcaptors.

I couldn't finish half the shows i watched because the Football was on. (And i think we've all been there ¬.¬)

That was all Mid 90s early 2000s

Supreme Marvelon Aug. 9, 2013 at 6:38 p.m.

Just saw this now. All good.

I remember watching CNX before it died. Great TV channel.

We show the original Japanese audio, but sometimes the best is the British/American dub. Howls Moving Castle British dub is great. Batman as Howl. :D And Cowboy Bebop.

takashichea moderator on Aug. 10, 2013 at 9:38 p.m.

@Supreme Marvel:

You should have recommend some anime shows that was good in British dub. I would love to hear them.

In the next UK article with Kurt and Donwun, they actually mentioned a film that was better than Disney's version.

@GokaiRed:

I remember watching Cardcaptor Sakura. Yeah, in all the interviews I did with folks here, they mention Rurouni Kenshin, Pokemon, DBZ, Tenchi, and Digimon. No one mentioned Cardcaptor Sakura or Sailor Moon.

I hope you enjoy the articles. There is one last UK article coming up soon.

GokaiRedon Aug. 10, 2013 at 11:53 p.m.

@takashichea: forgot to mention Shinzo, Dual Masters, B Daman, Rave Master (it's a crime only 1 DVD was released), Outlaw star, Time Detective Flint (geez, I remember that? o_0).

The article is great, made me remember some good TV hours.

takashichea moderator on Aug. 11, 2013 at 12:46 a.m.

@GokaiRed:

Oh, I remember Time Detective Flint. I never had a chance to finish the show. I think it aired in ABC Family in my area along with Monster Rancher back in middle school.

CapeBarneson Aug. 12, 2013 at 7:48 p.m.

@takashichea: Yep. Flint and Monster Rancher did air on ABC Family. I was in middle school at the time as well.

takashichea moderator on Aug. 12, 2013 at 8:08 p.m.

@CapeBarnes:

Monster Rancher was a cool anime along with the Pokemon and Digimon craze. I did finish that one.

Thanks for confirming it.

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