In Burning Questions, Sam Weller pontificates on, ruminates upon or investigates into any and all anime and manga topics.
One of the biggest concerns I have in writing and doing videos for Anime Vice is making sure I’m on the pulse of the community. Of course, staying on the pulse as I balance my other jobs and often having scant time to dedicate to it is difficult, so hopefully the pulse doesn’t stop while I’m gone.
So straight up tell me: How do you discover new anime?
Anime was something I discovered as a kid through pure chance. I inferred that those clean looking cartoons that weren’t made by Disney had to come from somewhere. When I found out that place was Japan; I was hooked. Through video game magazines like Diehard Gamefan; I found out what all those animated cut scenes were trying to imitate on the Playstation and Sega CD. I remember especially how they would tile screenshots together in film strips bordering the articles.
Importing was new to me back then, and living in the mid-west I had no access to tape trading that I knew of. As I got older, I followed what other titles to buy from magazines like Animerica and Newtype USA (Both defunct sadly). Though with the latter, I always found their previews and reviews to be a bit impenetrable and for the hardcore only. I suppose that’s what happens when you are the English version of a VERY Japanese publication. But it did give me my totally UN-embarrassing pinup of STEEL ANGEL KURUMI that I kept for over 4 years.
I wouldn’t even say I started developing my own taste until after high school, when it became easier online to read a variety of anime reviews and see clips from a bunch of different titles. Just by noticing the stylistic commonalities I found out why I liked certain shows because of the mechanical or character designers. Until then, I had based everything I knew about new and noteworthy anime solely off of American distribution. Once I found out that anime in Japan had distinct quarterly seasons, that the type of content depended on channel and time slot, it started getting pretty complex!
Probably the strangest way-- or would that the best way?-- that I've found a new anime to watch is through those AMV Hell series of videos on YouTube. There is soo much stuff to crib through and recognize that it was kind of an endless Where's Waldo search of shows when I first found them. Even if they constantly referenced AZUMANGA DAIOH. Crassness aside, they still stand up as anime soul food when I want to turn my brain off for an hour or so.
In general, I find any type of anime music video or fan project pretty enlightening to the scope of anime. Chances are, if someone has spent hours editing a complex video, they've probably scrubbed through more anime than the average fan.
So how about it, Vicers? While it’s inevitable that some of you will mention sailing your ship through torrents of rain to reach new anime safely in the bay; I also want to know if you import anime from Japan when it comes out. I will include manga in the conversation if that applies to you, as well.
Also, if you have some NEW titles to recommend, why don’t you do it below? It could also just be new to me!
Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow@cravesam