animefringe february 2003 / editorial
Animefringe Editorial:
Long Live The Web

Ever wonder what makes sites like Anime On DVD, Anime News Network and the heretofore omnipotent Anime Web Turnpike exist? Even poor old us?

The editorial I wrote last month generated a handful of replies... 7 of them, to be exact. 3 were in favor of my own opinion and 3 were against - and one of them was from AoDVD's owner/proprietor himself, Chris Beveridge. I followed up with a reply, and I think Chris described it best in his own Random Tracks article how the dialogue that ensued:

"...we've traded several emails so far and have both come away happy."

Recently, AoDVD announced that the handling of Manga Entertainment's reviews will be dealt with by staff member Andrew Tei. I wish him the best of luck and look forward to reading the 'views!

At any rate, the discussion that Chris Beveridge and I had left me thinking about how unique the circumstances really are that bring people together -- be they friends, shipmates, cellmates or just a bunch of people with similar interests -- to develop Web sites. It's one of the great "traditions" of the Internet.

The Web is a special place to me because the criteria for popularity and success are totally different than any other medium. TV, print, radio -- indeed, even our beloved medium of anime are propositions more dear to our collective billfolds than a Swiss prostitute. More often than not in the thirsty channels of mass media, it's the moneymaking potential of a concept that is its ultimate driving force. Even despite the marketing world's most wholehearted pushes to turn the Internet into a vain, sensational cash cow, it has already demonstrated its ability to terraform and rebuild anew on virtues of pure... well, virtue. We, Joe Opinion, Susie Wacom and Arnold Livejournal are the ones in ultimate control!

Even for its faults, the Internet is a whirling, living, breathing mass of culture I wouldn't pass up for the world. Whatever tickles your fancy is there to be found and as easy as a visit to Google. What's more, creating information is almost as simple as finding it. As a result, we find everyday people making great strides and finding strong influence in all fields of interest. Anime's presence in this realm is bold and undeniably powerful -- and just about as ambitious as these scenes get!

Here's a little piece of advice for you with all those anime sites that you love to visit -- try to say hi to the people who run them and be sure to tell them you appreciate their work. You might be surprised to hear what you get in return!