Cover Art by Bunniikitty
My fellow anime fans, good evening.
Exactly ten years ago today, Anime Herald first opened its doors with a single paragraph and a jaunty image of Tsuruya from Nyoron Churuya-san,
Wow… ten whole years! Ten! I’m still having trouble even beginning to process this! I mean, when I opened Anime Herald, the world was in such a different place. At the time, the world was slowly clawing its way out of the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis. Hopes were low, and unemployment seemed to be a way of life, as people struggled to make ends meet.
In the United States, dreams for the future had faded, as weariness and desperation had claimed the fore in the public consciousness. Dreams of retirement, let alone great opportunities, had all but vanished in the greater public, and the toll of endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continued to weigh heavily on the populace.
The North American anime industry was slowly stepping forth, out of the fallout from a catastrophic disaster that had claimed countless cherished players. Household names like ADV Films, Central Park Media, Bandai Entertainment, and Geneon Entertainment were no more. Companies like AnimEigo and Media Blasters shrank away from the limelight, their own presences diminished in comparison to Funimation, who rose as an apparent standard-bearer for the greater industry. Around these scrappy survivors, a new field of players was just beginning to find its roots, from streaming startup Crunchyroll, to boutique brand Aniplex of America, to Sentai Filmworks.
In the years that followed, we saw the community come together in untold ways. Communities rose up and the fandom flourished, as dedicated individuals joined forces helped to make amazing things come to pass.
We helped to bring Toonami back, after a show of solidarity after a 2012 April Fool’s joke.
We spent countless hours building an archive of the long-lost Toonami edit of Tenchi Muyo!’s English dub.
When the COVID-19 pandemic saw the world shut down, as people hunkered into a collective quarantine, we found a way to make anime conventions work in the digital space.
On the industry side, we saw a full-throated embrace of streaming formats, as our means of consumption evolved, and words like “simulcast” and “simuldub” entered the common vernacular. Meanwhile, the anime world itself grew by leaps and bounds, as revenues climbed, and major players began to dabble in the industry. Behemoths like Amazon and Netflix began to dip their toes into anime distribution, as industry giants like Crunchyroll and Funimation found themselves under the ownership of massive corporate masters.
That’s not to say that Anime Herald, itself, hasn’t changed with the times either. When we opened our doors in 2010, we did so with a mission to inform and entertain, as we bring fans together. And though our content has changed over the years, we’ve always strove to maintain this mission. Even today, we do our best to keep the spirit of this directive alive, as we work with talented freelancers to share stories about Denmark’s manga industry, chronicle the history of queer anime, or explore the unique ways Kata Konayama’s Love Me For Who I Am approaches gender in its narrative.
But, most important, we wouldn’t be able to do this without you. As a reader, you give us a reason to keep pressing onward, each and every day. As patrons, you’ve allowed us to chase our dreams without compromising our integrity by putting your faith in us as we’ve placed our fates in your hands. As friends, you’ve given us countless hours of amazing conversations, be it on Discord, Twitter, or even just in the corridors at a local convention.
I often like to say that, without the fans, there is no Anime Herald… without your energy, without your amazing presence, we’re just voices screaming into the void. And ten years later, this still rings true. No matter what happens, whether the industry soars or falls, we’re here for you, as you’ve been there for us… and for that, I am eternally grateful.
I can’t say for sure where we’ll be in ten, twenty, or thirty years from now, but I do promise that, so long as I’m capable, Anime Herald will live on as a place you can turn to, whether you want to contemplate the history of yuri, to dive into the esoteric details of the Macross license, or just have a laugh as our team bullshits about zombie idols.
For the past ten years, it’s been an honor and a pleasure to work on Anime Herald. I look forward to continuing this path with you, as we enter this next chapter in our history.