Editor’s note: I know this is a bit late – I needed a bit more time to mull things over before proceeding, and I apologize for the delay.
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been ten years, since I’ve begun writing about anime. I’ve forgotten more shows than the average person watches, and I’ve seen things that man simply was not meant to see. One would think that a man would break after countless sleepless nights, hours spent tied to the news tracker, and hundreds of weekends and days-off spent frying his eyes (and sometimes his brain) in front of a TV screen for that next review. Of course, one should have thought the same thing about eight years ago, when I had to sit through Geneshaft, Please Teacher!, and G-Gundam in rapid succession.
Turns out common logic is wrong.
In the past ten years, I’ve seen an industry rise and fall, a subculture expand and contract, and thousands of people bicker endlessly about how one flavor of the month show blows while their flavor of the month is a gift from the heavens. Seriously, it’s been so long that I’ve seen the conversation shift from Dragon Ball, to Bleach, to Naruto and One Piece. Since I’ve begun, the popular otaku-pander categories have shifted from harems to maids, to moe, and the stigma has shifted from “porn and violence” to “six year old girls and monsters.” I’ve been here, on the front lines, writing as ADV built its legion, and became the household name for all anime fans. I documented the collapse that claimed Central Park first, then Geneon, and finally ADV. I was busily typing away when FUNimation surged ahead to become the market leader.
Alright, I think that gets the requisite self-righteous posturing out of the way…
But in the past ten years, I’ve also had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Folks who have captured the hearts and minds of eager fans, and people who have led in discussions. Those who have shaped minds, and those who have brought worlds to life. These people have left an indelible mark on my life, and I want to offer my deepest thanks. There are far too many to list here, but I’d like to give the short list.
- Matt Brown: My long-time editor and close friend. He gave me the chance to prove myself, even though I was just a geeky kid with an anime obsession.
- Ben Fennell: We began our careers at Anime Dream on the same day. Ben’s always been there as a friend and a colleague, whether I needed a quick last-minute news check, or just a few minutes to shoot the breeze.
- Ivette Perez & Stephanie Shalofsky of Central Park Media: I think it’s late enough that I can name these two. They were my first real contacts in the anime world, and they were vital partners up until the day CPM closed its doors, and they were a great influence on my growth as a person, and as a PR rep.
- The Anime Boston Crew: I’ve always spoke highly about the staff of Anime Boston, with good reason. They’ve always been a class act, and really make you feel at home. Through Anime Boston, I got my first interview, and my first crack at con converage.
- Laura Bailey: My first face-to-face interview. Her friendly demeanor and patience as I stumbled through a hastily prepared list of questions was something that’s put me at ease in the years going forward. After all – nothing can go worse than the first one.
- Ryu Takahashifrom Sony: You’ve been nothing but helpful all of these years, as we’ve worked together on several interview pieces. You always answered my questions with a smile, and were eager to help, or find someone who could. Thank you, for your grace and your hospitality.
- The countless fantastic folks on Twitter, Facebook, et al: There are far too many great people to list, in this category. I just want you all to know that you are awesome.
- You, Dear Reader: Without you, there’d be no Anime Dream, and there’d be no Anime Herald. I want to thank you personally for joining me over the past ten years.
There are some I haven’t mentioned – some for obvious reasons, others not so obvious, and others still because there have just been so many incredible people over the years. To those I haven’t listed, I thank you all the same – you have all been fantastic.
Here’s to the next ten years!