On June 18, I’ll be celebrating ten years as an anime writer. This thought finally began to sink in a few days ago, and it still shocks me to no end.

Ten years.

Just saying that aloud makes me pause. Ten years ago, DVD was just starting to become huge and the anime market received a huge kick in the pants, thanks to Pokemon and Cowboy Bebop’s runs on TV. Digisubs were around, but uncommon, and singles were the norm. Actually, at this point, the market was pretty “ooh”-ing and “ahh”-ing over the fact that DVDs held four or five episodes on average, instead of two, and for a mere $30 no less! Central Park Media was alive and well, ADV Films could seemingly do no wrong as they picked a never-ending stream of winners. Pioneer held a sturdy second place, thanks to their success with Pokemon.

I was a high school junior, who had done some work on a few smaller-time gaming sites. My experiences with anime in general were fairly limited, and consisted of whatever I could get my hands on. In English that would mean about two dozen tapes in my collection, and the shows I’d watch with my family and friends. Still, I wanted to learn more and write more. I had tried to stake it out on my own, as I started a small-time Geocities page in 2001. It was to be an exercise in HTML, and a way to spread my passion for anime. visually, I had tried to style it against Anime Dream – which was still an offshoot of RPGFan, and helmed by Nicole Kirk herself. The results were crushingly bad, to say the last. And, frankly, I had aspirations to do better. Rather than mimic the site I enjoyed, I had hoped to write for them.

The open call on Anime Dream was actually my second try – I had submitted an application a few months prior to no avail. So, I figured that I could try again – if things hadn’t worked out, then I’d have moved on and continued trying to stake it out on my own until I grew bored.

So, I guess, you could say that the e-mail to interview for a writer position changed my life. Since starting at Anime Dream, I’ve met lots of interesting people, many of whom I’m honored to call “friends.” Matt and Ben have grown to be as close as family, in many ways. Still, after hundreds of sleepless nights and thousands of man-hours of labor, I can’t help but ponder if everything was worth it. Was it worth coping with the frustration, the labor, and the stress for the past ten years?

…Yeah, it really was.

I’ll probably never be quoted on a DVD, and I’ll never have the presence of the ANN crew, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I’m here, and there is good anime to partake in. Thank you to everyone – the people I’ve met, Matt, Ben, and even you, dear reader. You’ve all made the past ten years fly by. I hope that the next ten years are as great as this first ten were.

Until next time…

See you, Space Cowboy.