Animefringe Cover Story:
Animefringe at One: Part 2
By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold, Steve Diabo (Kaneda), Ever Cheung, Dai Kou, Mia Ortega, and Jake Forbes
Vol.1, Issue 7 - July 2000
Adam: "This issue's feature is fell a little short in my opinion. We were out to showcase a new manga and do something no other magazine would dare to do, give an unofficial fan translation of the first chapter. We accomplished the goal, but the truth is, at the time of the article I only had the first chapter so that's why it's a first look. But strangely, looking back the article isn't that dated. Steve, Wataru, and I were right about the story and we made the right calls when it came time to post that article.
But, the cover feature really wasn't the star of that issue, now was it? Not on your life. No, the star of the issue was the sub-feature, ‘ADAMVISION: How To Read Manga.'
It's hard not to see why acting like an anal otaku is funny. And pretty much everyone who has had the pleasure of reading and seeing the adventures of me Adam has found them to be hilarious. So, what part does Steve play in the ADAMVISION saga? Well, he edits the text and formats the pictures. In the case of this article he added the whole commentary at the end."
Steve: "July, for me, was a turning point. We were still reeling from the feedback we got with last month's Mixx article and I felt pretty invincible. This was the month I launched a brand-new logo for Animefringe. We also ran a really cool feature on a new manga called San Choume no Kamisama... and we provided our very own English translation of the first chapter. Ever translated, and I edited.
But wait, there's more! July's issue was home to the first-ever ADAMVISION segment. ADAMVISION is basically Adam doing stupid crap in front of a camera in the form of a how-to tutorial. The first ADAMVISION grew out of an article Adam wanted to write, about safe ways to read manga and keep it in mint condition. I read it once and decided the info would better be dealt with using a considerable amount of sarcasm and ridicule, basically all at Adam's expense. "LOL" So, I came up with the idea to string several photos together and do it in storyboard / educational slideshow fashion. ADAMVISION hit the streets, and people loved it. Yay!"
Dai: "Multi-media city, for this month - - as well as another Dai-less one at that. Filled with great DVD reviews, the highlight of this HAD to be a personal favorite of mine... the irresistable ADAMVISION! Need I say more?"
Ever: "Hehe ...man, we certainly had some good fun working on this issue thanks to Adam. In comparison to the feature story on "San Choumei no Kamisama", I think the launch of the "ADAMVISION" series caught far more attention from our viewers. Our feature story on the imported manga series was a hit also, and the most important part which I believe personally is that it gave us the much needed experience on translating and compiling a better manga feature. We added a few more news articles in the July 2000 issue as well, my first try in obtaining info from official Japanese websites, actually. Overall, I think the July issue had a more balanced amount of info on most subjects than most of our previous issues up to that point (on both domestic anime released and import released, card games, manga, web showcase, news and all the rest.... we didn't miss anything did we? o.o)"
Mia: "YAY! Animefringe's new title design. I like this one better than the rest. It's simple, and its not scary and "ransom note written in blood looking" like that other one. The ADAMVISION was hilarious. Adam looks scary! Kind of like those men that take me away at night to their big ship sometimes....ahem. Adam! You are one of them!! Nooooooo! Oh, back to the issue... a really good review on Perfect Blue. I haven't seen it on DVD, but I have to agree that it deserves an A-. I just can't get enough of that song Ai no Tenshi "Koi wa doki doki...". What a ride of a movie!! And as always...We have cocoa!!"
Jake: "Six reviews and the premier of ADAMVISION make this issue stand out. Adam's photo journal is quite amusing and a little bit scary... especially when you combine those pictures with just how much he has to say about Sailor Moon trading cards. He seems like a nice enough guy over ICQ and e-mail, but this issue gave me doubts. This issue marks the start of a new logo, that I think looks great!"
Vol.1, Issue 8 - August 2000
Adam: "Ah the great Convention Special. This time Diana got the pleasure of writing the feature story. For anyone that doesn't know, Diana is the queen of CosPlay, no question about it... she knows her stuff. And her convention experience was much better than mine, so please read her article in that issue and not mine, because mine sucked and her's had all those cool pictures and mine didn't.
Oh yeah, my Amazing Nurse Nanako Vol.1: Memories of You review was to make up for March's Nanako feature. I had been really ashamed of that feature for the longest time and I wanted to make things right by doing that review. Plus, I got a screener copy. Thanks, Jonathan. ^_^
PS: For all you people on Animeboards.net, the cover is of Misaki CosPlaying as Utena! Misaki isn't a guy and she doesn't look like one, go watch Utena for crying out loud..."
Steve: "In response to July's usual rash of conventions popping up all over the country, Animefringe's August issue was loaded with con coverage. Dai wrote a terrific report on AX from her point-of-view as a "hardcore cosplayer," and Adam contributed a report from Dragon*Con from his point-of-view as a big loser. "LOL" Just kidding.
Even Misaki, our mascot, got in the act and cosplayed as Utena on our cover. It's months like these that make me proud to showcase great artwork on our covers. Too bad some folks from Animeboards thought it looked like a male with boobs. Geez, what were they smoking?"
Dai: "Darn! I just lost what I originally wrote for this month.. Kiddies, make sure to save your documents every five minutes or so, just incase your comp crashes! Ehe.... Moving on. ::mumblemumble:: .. .. .. . . . This issue was surely my most favorable of personal reviews, i.e the AnimeExpo2000 experience report, complimenting with Sir Adam's Dragon Con Report. Although I didn't get the target interviews with select guests at AX2K, I did indeed get close to Miss Rica Fukami, as shown. Things like that are completely unforgettable, and I do intend to report on future conventions seeing how fun they are and how fun it is to report back to the AF-tachi. As for the rest of the ish', it was joyous to welcome Eliza to the team, and the reviews were smashing as usual, for an all-outstanding ish' once again. Hehe, actually, I recall how bloody happy Steve-o was with the new member, as well as all our [then] new features... Boy, Steve. AF's come a l-o-n-g way.., and we're only in review of August.. ::sniffles::"
Ever: "Without a doubt, the biggest event for otakus living in the US and Canada would be the Anime Expo. Of course as a new anime fanzine we couldn't have missed this, and I'm sure Diana and Adam had fun while they were on-location at their various conventions. :)"
Mia: "I absoluetly love the cover of this issue!!! How cute! It's con season again. I really liked the articles Dai and Adam did. My con experiences usually involve getting chased by bums and having my pic seen on bizarre websites the day after. And a great review on Bunny's Tour of the Silver Millenium. I love that website, I've been visiting it for years. It is one of the best Sailormoon sites out there."
Jake: "This month I particularly enjoyed Diana's Anime Expo report. I wasn't able to go (darn Mixx people didn't have passes for everyone). I also enjoyed Ikusabe's review of Megami Kouhosei, enough that I went on to buy the manga it was based on."
Vol.1, Issue 9 - September 2000
Adam: "The most controversial feature to date has to be the ‘Made in Taiwan: Son May CDs versus Original Japanese CDs' story. Why you might ask? Well, let me start from the beginning. This story was meant to give me enough time to finish research for the next issues feature. So, I asked Wataru about pirated CDs and he gave me about 3 pages of instant messages with info and I typed them all up into an intro to the guide we would have for detecting fakes. All went fine and the article was awesome to read. But, then some keen readers pointed out the statements: "SonMay has been around for longer than 10 years paying royalties and licencing fees to the Japanese companies to gain the rights to release music. If they didn't pay these fees, then it is highly unlikely that they would illegally pirate CDs in a time when large companies are in the public eye."
Well, the fact is we goofed. We can't deny that. But, there is no way for us to have truly gotten an answer to the question of legality when the world itself one minute condones piracy or copyrighted items and then the next encourages Taiwan to export as many products as they can. No country can do without Taiwan's mass-produced products, and no country would dare put trade in jeopardy because they wouldn't agree to the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
Oh, the issue also has the second installment in the ever-popular ADAMVISION saga as this time as I show you ‘How to Catch Pokémon.' This time the scale was bigger, it required a storyboard and it required a digital camera. For those curious, my mom took the pictures as I acted like a caged monkey. Once the photo-shoot was done, the pictures were sent to Steve and he wrote the majority of the text and I filled in the gaps with technical stuff and such."
Steve: "Oooooooooo, what a funky cover we had this month. Ice blue CD stuffs... very edgy. The focus article this month was on Son May import CDs... a pretty straightforward "let the buyer beware" article that explains what Son May is and how to tell an original from a Son May release.
But screw that, man! ADAMVISION's back! This one I storyboarded and wrote, with Adam's help and gracious cooperation. It's a scene I've always wanted to see... Ryo-ohki kicking the crap outta Pikachu. Okay, okay, maybe Ryo wasn't "kicking the crap out of him," per se... So what if the two fierce battle images look more like a sexual rendezvous than a pokémon fight? The point is... Ryo-ohki won. "g" It's the simple pleasures."
Dai: "Again! The splendor of ADAMVISION! And again, need I say more? Ahem. Aside from the silly-antics, the SM Records report was truly a relevant and interesting column, I feel, for Anime-fans alike seeing as how we all encounter the Taiwanese 'bootlegs' all time time. There was much I found in this column that was pretty much 'new' news to me, and heck, all I can say is "gee-wiz!". Loved the reviews, such as the Jubei-chan [saw that Anime at FA2K ^.^]."
Ever: "I can feel a slight headache coming on everytime I look at the September issue for some reason, but as far as the contents are concerned, I have to say we had accomplished what we wished for through our feature story on Taiwan imports that month. Sure, there are always room for improvements, but the bottom line is we did get our readers to really think before they spend their hard-earned money to buy anime CDs."
Mia: "You know what? I have quite a few Son May CDs!! I had no idea. I didn't even question why they were being sold at such a cheap price at that comic book store. Thanks to the article "Made in Taiwan: Son May CDs versus Original Japanese CDs By Ikusabe Wataru and Adam "OMEGA" Arnold" though, I now know the difference.
"How to Catch a Pokemon" was brilliant. I can't even count how many times I've taken a bat to my talking Pikachu. That little spawn of satan just won't shut up! Ryo-Ohki rules!"
Jake: "A very fun issue, in large part due to the hilarious ADAMVISION guide to catching Pokemon! The guide to pirate CD's was very imformative, and I liked the variety of articles this month. The Secret Comics Japan review was great, and being a Lodoss fan, I liked hearing about the new Dreamcast game. A great issue."
Vol.1, Issue 10 - October 2000
Adam: "Shadow Star is my favorite domestically released manga and I was really excited to do this feature. I knew I wanted to make it have an The X-Files feel to it and since I used to be a major paranormal buff, it wasn't that hard. I cracked out a few UFO magazines and went to work. Wataru helped in the prior month to get me some translations so I could gain access to some hard to find Japanese sites that required me to know a little Japanese so I could then plug in their URLs into one of those web-based Japanese translators.
Because I hadn't gotten the chance to do an ‘in story' based article in a while, I wanted to make the article fit into Shiina's reality by creating a transcript of her 2nd airport questioning, which is actually mentioned in the story when Shiina is haven't breakfast with her dad before she goes off to the youth center to meet Akira for the first time.
What you probably don't know is there was a lot of info I wanted to include, but decided not to put in because I didn't have names for the characters and they hadn't appeared in the story yet. So, I decided just to make the article as an introduction to the manga. But, wouldn't it have been cool to mention the other kids or even what Shiina's mom does?"
Steve: "The Shadow Star story was another Animefringe team collaboration that resulted in a great read. We have a lot of fun with the "themes" of articles like these, and the Shadow Star article's theme was x-filesy, government conspiracy sci-fi.
This month was also the month that Jake Forbes, before he decided to join our team, sent us a number of Mixx TPBs to review. Hey, we'll take handouts, no problem... So we reviewed 'em and October turned out to be a very manga issue.
The cover's one of my favorites as well... Dark Horse was very kind to send us a high-res picture to use. ^_^ It made me feel as if Animefringe was gaining notoriety and respect in the industry. Yes indeedy... muahahahahahah...."
Dai: "Mixx Zine / Tokyopop comic gallore! This month was sheerly filled with prime Manga titles courtesy of MZ/TP... and it was great being able to review the books, as well as read what fellow-contributors had to say. Another welcome-wagon trotted along with the arrival of Mia to the AF-tachi-team - - sanjyou! - - as she brought us the appealing facts of Anime Petitions."
Ever: "I guess we can say the October issue focus mainly on mangas, imports and domestics alike. Come to think of it, the "Shadow Star Report" was our third import manga review already, not bad for a new anime fanzine don't you think?"
Mia: "WAI! It's my premiere issue! This is where Mia takes her big dive into the world of Animefringe. That article may seem miniscule, but believe me folks, it took a lot of blood sweat and tears to work that out. I mean look at what I was working with! So much talent...so much experience. I was scared to death. After I closed out the article I was imagining how Adam and Steve were going to ask me to leave the team...would they be nice about it? Send me a virus? Oh the possibilities! But then instead I received compliments, and I even saw some nice feedback from the visitors. It brought tears to my eyes! Thanks everyone. Hopefully soon I will be able to write something like this, I have to say this was my best writing."
Jake: "This article is in part the result of my efforts at Tokyopop to increase awareness of Mixx manga. I sent Adam and Diana the manga for this one when I was working at Tokyopop. With the great feature on Shadow Star, this became the "manga issue." Even though I got to read a lot of free manga at Tokyopop, I never got Super Manga Blast, but the Shadow Star issue made me go out and buy it! The petition article also points out an interesting phenomenon- the anime community seems to be the only place on the internet where companies actually respond to petitions!"
Vol.1, Issue 11 - November 2000
Adam: "Alright another anime feature! For this issue we were kind of rushed for ideas for what to have as the feature. The original plan was to have the 'Sailor Moon ŕ la Saban' article, which appeared in the December issue, as the feature. Well, if that had of happened we would have had an exclusive refitted video-clip version of the trailer and song-lyrics along with that article. But, we decided not to do that and by mid-October we still hadn't decided. So, Wataru appears and tells us about these cool series he had watched. One was Hand Maid May.
So, after viewing the episode, Steve and I decided that it was definitely cover material so I went to work on researching the article and wrote all the character bios and the series info. Then I went to work on the weird instruction manual that is the articles main pull. Yeah, you guessed it, another ‘in-series' type of article. Then we got our sister-site, Creative Art Techniques to do the cover and we chopped off May's legs.
This issue was also down to the wire to get done. I literally stepped in and coded 75% of the issue because we were so far behind at deadline time. It's all good though, the final product was excellent."
Steve: "Another month, another cool story... This time around we're showcasing a new 10-part anime miniseries called Hand Maid May. Our article was written like an instruction manual... Uhhh... Not in the sense that it was boring, but in the sense that it was an instruction manual... Y'know. Ah, never mind. Go read it yourself, why don'tcha.
Dai also contributed some more con goodies... This time from a new con called Ani-Magic 2000. One thing we like to do at Animefringe is give lesser-known good things the hype and attention they deserve. Ani-Magic turned out to be loads of fun for Dai, and we can't wait to see how it turns out next year! ^_^
Speaking of hype and attention... this month was the first month we debuted a new way of showcasing web sites. Each team member writes their own short, honest little review of the site. We think webmasters could really appreciate that sorta thing, and hey, we're just a buncha kids ourselves. Nobody special here. So why act that way? ^_^;"
Dai: "I think this was the month that I finally got the 'hang' of writing for features/subfeatures, with the arrival of the AniMagic2000 subreview I handed in. That was a great experience, although again, I did not get to get actual "interviews"! -.-(). I enjoyed this month's reviews, i.e Hand Maid May and the McFarlane 3D Animation figures.. I've seen these IRL and they truly are *splended*. A little more J-Pop from Dai again, etc. etc."
Mia: "This was the first time we all participated in the web showcase. I thought this was a great idea. I like this way better. Man oh man, I can't believe I did a review on Para Ser Un Maestro. Talk about sad. But that's ok, it was a milestone of anything spanish being reviewed. So it was something new. I liked the review on McFarlane Toys. But why oh why is there not a figure for Nick? McFarlane Toys wants to toy with my soul! And last but certainly not least...the Escaflowne review. GREAT STUFF! EXCELLENT. Oh how I am dying to see that movie!"
Jake: "Pokemon in spanish? Where else would you find reviews like this? The Hand Maid May was a fun feature about a show I knew nothing about (Adam certainly has a thing for bouncy androids...). I enjoyed the Vampire Hunter D article and agree completely with Adam. Thanks to Diana for shedding light on a little known convention."
Vol.1, Issue 12 - December 2000
Adam: "The special holiday issue, a time for all of Team Animefringe to work together and create something special. If you want to see an issue where everything went right, this is the issue.
We expanded our content line, we gained a new team member, Jake Forbes, to do reviews and a column, and we effectively hit the big time.
Before the issue was even up we were gaining attention for our poll we were running for people to vote for ‘The Top 25 Must-Visit Anime Websites.' But, right after that on December 3, AnimeNewsNetwork.com posted an article entitled ‘Anime Fringe increasing Article Count.' With that said, the issue featured ‘An Otaku's Guide to Holiday Dating', the article about the Saban Sailor Moon, and the 3rd installment of ADAMVISION entitled ‘How to Make Japanese Christmas Cake.'
Steve: "The latest and greatest installment! Well, by the time you read this it won't be the latest, and probably not the greatest, but humor me. There's so much I love about December's issue. It feels more like a magazine than ever, and it even includes an excellent new monthly editorial column by Jake Forbes. Adam shows us all what a great cook he is, and the Saban Sailor Moon story just... scares me. We got it all this month!
December's pile-o'-reviews is nice and diversified. Jake's really flexing his writing muscle, and he's starting to become a hard act to follow! But we're glad to have him on board, of course. ^_^ We need writers as good as him or Adam. Can you write that good? Please join us. "LOL"
And as for the cover... I love the cover. Maggie has a truly beautiful talent. A great cover for a great issue."
Dai: "And now we're brought to the present, like a pit-stop from the merry ole' Christmas spirits. I'd say the feature was surely a fun project, and the 'group' reviews are a blast to do. Sailor Moon a la Saban was just... too funny to prod at - - Adam, Steve : that video clip still gets me rolling! ADAMVISION - - Remarkable, again. Couldn't stay away from the slightly ecchi pic lickin' the mixing tong-thingies, neh, Adam?! Like I told you, that whole installment just made me go out and buy the ingredients to make my own gosh-darn cake ^.^ PS2 -- Woosh. Jake's got it goin' on, and I'm glad he joined our humble abode! As for my input of review, I wasn't too pleased with this time around ehe... Gomen'ne min'na! Everyone else did a great job, so that made up for my fumble! Oi neh."
Ever: "Just watched a love story with a sad sad ending? Fear not! Read this issue from our archives and I can garentee you you won't feel sad once you're done reading it. I can feel the pain the guys at the scene have to go through everytime I watch that Real Life Action Sailor Moon preview, I really do. o.o"
Mia: "Wonderful cover! I had this thing on my wallpaper for all of December. It's adorable. The Guide to Holiday dating was hilarious. Adam, why oh why did you have to resurrect the Saban trailer? I heard that awful song in my sleep for months after first casting my eyes upon it. It is evil! The Japanese Christmas Cake was great. My cakes NEVER turn out that edible looking. This is the first time in ADAMVISION where he forgot to wear his goggles and face mask. But then, he is a good cook, those are parts of the armor I have to wear when boiling eggs. Oh and an update on that web showcase. Still to this day I do not know what went wrong. But recently I went back there and I tried out the Trigun tunes, and it worked! I was jammin for hours! Maybe he just made the Trigun one Mia-proof."
Jake: "What's this?! A new writer has joined the team! After leaving Tokyopop Press (Mixx) in November, I wanted to stay connected (perhaps moreso) to the anime community, so I talked with Steve and Adam shortly after giving notice. They were most generous on inviting me aboard on short notice,and I'm proud to be a part of the team. I'm also writing or looking into writing for Tokyopop.com and j-pop.com.
My first article is still my favorite. I wrote the review of Vampire Hunter D (2000) on November 1'st, the day after watching the movie on Halloween at UCLA. Capcom vs. SNK was the first time that I recieved a complimentary game for reviewing purposes. I hope that Capcom won't cease this priveledge since I was so disappointed in this effort.
The video game opinion collumn was a tough article to balance. Even though I'm really hard on PS2, I still own and use one (it's my only DVD player now, and I currently play lots of Timesplitters with friends), but I think it was getting FAR TOO MUCH hype. I enjoy playing Majora's Mask and Jet Grind Radio infinitely more than anything on PS2. Another point I forgot to mention is that in the time since PS2's launch in Japan, how many new games have appeared there for American gamers to get excited about? NONE! See! I'm still looking forward to The Bouncer and Metal Gear Solid 2, but at least one of those will be on X-box too. I'm very curious where the console gaming world is heading, and I'd love to write a follow up editorial some time.
Oh yeah! It's nice to see Adam sans dust mask! (although he's still kinda scary...)"
Twelve issues passed in the blink of an eye. Well, maybe not in the blink of an eye because that would have been really, really fast. At any rate, you are probably wondering where we are going from here.
To bad we can't divulge any of our ultra-secret plans. Yeah, we have this policy where we have to release less information about our stories than Squaresoft releases about their games. Actually, that's just a lie because we really don't know what the coming months have in store because we we just plan one month ahead of time.
By the time you read this you will have a pretty good idea what our main focus will be from now on. We aren't going to tell you because that would spoil everything, even though you already know, since you are reading this in the new layout and know what's different.
With all that said, it's time to bring this article to a conclusion. With luck, you might just see one of these commentaries again one day. In the meantime, if you listen hard enough you might just be able to hear Adam's screams as the Trigun lovers subject him to torturous hours filled with the adventures of Vash.