Picture in your mind. It’s the opening sequence to the third season. Music plays. Fancy visuals dance across the screen. Lots of characters appear. Then you see the main character. He’s had lots of people back him up on screen over the past few seasons. They pop up one by one, but they come and they go. As quickly as they appear, they fade off into the distance. At the end, the music comes to its momentous climax. And the main character stands on the screen, a solitary figure on a nondescript background. Like the beginning of a series where all of the characters haven’t been introduced yet, there’s plenty of space on the screen for their images to stand.
And words appear on the screen, in typical Japanese, of course, since this is the opening to the show.
“監督 ジョージ ティモシー”
Hey there! It’s been a long time. It’s good to see you!
Welcome back to @anime!, what feels like our Season Three.
Time for a little bit of introspection. When I first started this crazy venture back in 1999, I really didn’t have much of an idea where it would end up. Admittedly, we had a pretty decent Season One. I had a rather large cast of characters with me at the beginning of our journey. My life in anime conventions at that point in time had provided many opportunities to have some fun and talented people work on the first six or seven issues over our first three years. Then a rift in the convention world that I existed in took place. Nasty affair that (a story for another time perhaps…), but that led to a new set of characters for @anime! Season Two. It was a much more unconventional cast to say the very least, but they liked to have fun with the “show” as it were. Again, it was another convention crew, but good things were happening. In that season, we were able to produce eight issues in two years and we even produced our first print issue. But even that eventually, because of another convention world seismic rift, came to an end. And that nearly ended my life in the world of anime. After nearly 10 years in the convention world, I was ready to be done with it all.
It made me kinda feel like some of the old school anime that my generation loved so much. I think of the example of Bubblegum Crisis. For those out there that have never seen it, I’d highly recommend it, if you’re into RetroAnime (and only watch the sub. The dub is pretty horrendous.). The series was great. Admittedly a cult classic if there ever was one in old school anime history. But the series only lasted eight episodes, despite originally being slated to run for 13. Due to issues between producers Artmic and Youmex, who jointly held the rights to Bubblegum Crisis, the series was discontinued prematurely.
Now, we’ve never had anything like an Artmic-Youmex scenario here at @anime! (fortunately!), but I feel for the guys that worked on Bubblegum Crisis. You have a great group, but something happens and things take a turn. Things definitely have taken turns here at @anime! over the years. Even after a rocky, but fun Season Two, we did have a special episode, our Volume 8, Issue 1. That felt like our OVA episode. v8i1 was a collection of things that were originally going to be Volume 7, Issue 5 around September or October of 2005. With the massive split in my convention world, all of the content I had sat dormant on my hard drive until January of 2012, when all of that content finally appeared. I decided to at least get that out into the world since it had mostly been done and had just been collecting dust. Since that time, it’s been pretty lonely around here.
Now, It’s nearly been six years since that OVA. And as I sit here typing this, I honestly wasn’t ever sure if I was ever going to take another shot at this. Back in 2012, the intention was to see if I could get things going again, but as things happened, it never did pan out. Since then, many more twists and turns have occurred, including my run-in with my own personal Death and Rebirth in late 2014. With six months of hospitals and recovery, I found myself in a place where I’d been able to watch more anime than much anything else in the world. Today, I have Funimation Now, Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Netflix. Those have provided me with ways to watch some older stuff that I kept missing out on and given me the opportunity to watch some of the great new series that have been coming out of Japan. Back in the “old” days, we used to have to wait for screeners to appear from the production companies, which to be honest, were hard to get our hands on because of the competition we had at the time. But now with streaming services, for a small fee, we can watch brand new anime and have the opportunities to review them much quicker.
And so, @anime! Season Three is starting. And I’m the lone character. Yes, I am the Party of One. For the first time since this started in 1999, it’s just my name on the masthead. Publisher. Editor. Creative Director. Writer. It’s totally a one man show. Will this all work? Just me, myself and I? Well, I’ll find out. Thanks to tons of streaming apps, I have plenty of things to review. I’ve got a long list of shows that I can review right now. And our format is different than before. Since it’s harder to put together a full magazine-style issue, I’ve switched things to more of a “blog” style, where I can post things when I have them. I’ve tried this format before, but I’m hoping that this will work a bit better than the last time. I’m also hoping that I can get some new characters to introduce. Someone to join me on that lonely screen in our new opening sequence. So when that credits card comes up on the final scene of the opening and we see “監督 ジョージ ティモシー” (that’s “Directed by Timothy Georgi”) on the screen, I hope to have some friends to join me for some of our future episodes. Only time will tell.
Until then, hi there! If you’re new, welcome! If you’ve been with us in the past, great to see you again.
It’s just me. At least for now. Thanks for joining me for Season Three.
P.S. Want to help me in my quest for new characters to join the cast? Here’s your chance! We have a Patreon page set up for anyone that would like to support us. Visit our Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/atanime and give us your support!
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