Anecdotes of an anime fan

Being an active anime fan for many years, I’ve had quite a few interesting things happen to me, whether they were funny, frustrating, or just plain weird. Today I’ll be sharing a handful of my most memorable anime anecdotes…

ADV fail: I’ll always remember the time ADV accused me of copyright infringement. In mid-February of 2007, I got an e-mail and a letter in the postal mail from ADV’s anti-piracy team stating that my site, AnimeYume.com, has infringing content from five of ADV’s titles – Cromartie High School, Full Metal Panic Fumoffu, Grrl Power, Happy Lessons, and Kimagure Orange Road. The letter went on to say that I need to remove the infringing material or further action will be taken. I knew this was total bogus since I haven’t even seen these five series and my site has absolutely no content from them. Then I realized that maybe they mistook my site for the now-defunct AnimeYume.org, which did have a lot of video content. I wrote back, telling them that it’s a false accusation and a possible mix-up. A few days later, I got another e-mail and letter in the mail from them saying that the matter had been resolved. So yeah, major goof up by their anti-piracy team, especially when the first letter said the information was “accurate” XD I assume they got my home address from Yahoo! but strangely not my name (“animeyume.com” was used in place of a name on the envelope’s mailing address).

Apparently I created anime: One time a bunch of years ago I got an e-mail from someone who thought I was the creator of the Inuyasha manga. Unfortunately I didn’t save that e-mail but I think they complimented me on the story and asked me when I would finish it XD A few years ago I got a blog comment from someone who thought I was the author of the Haruhi novels (can’t remember which post it was on or if I even saved it). Makes me wonder if these people are just trolling or if they’re really that clueless.

The nightmare of Anime Expo ’07: Despite all the Haruhi promotion, many will agree that this was arguably the worst AX ever. After this I’ve been scarred for life about waiting in long lines at AX for anything other that what I absolutely must attend. You can read my full dreadful story here (emphasis on the SOS Brigade-related events XP)

Pokemon movie or bust!: Back in 1999 when the first Pokemon movie was in theaters in the U.S., my mom drove me and a friend to a theater a bit far from our house because it was one of the few left still showing the movie after it had been out for a while. But when we went to buy our tickets, the theater people said the movie was no longer playing! My mom and a few other moms in line got totally pissed, saying how it was falsely advertised and their kids are really upset. The staff tried to compensate by giving us free admission to a Spy Kids movie, but we all know that can’t replace Pokemon! Finally, after we refused to leave, we actually got them to dig out the film reel and play it specially for our small group. Poke-mom power!

The time I broke my blog: Wrote all about it here. I’ve since been traumatized into not doing anything to my blog unless I definitely know what I’m doing!

Anime project plagiarism: As a midterm English project in my senior year of high school, we were supposed to write about some form of media and its impact on American society. Of course I wanted to use anime as my topic and partnered up with a boy in my class who also liked it. He wrote about the history of anime while I wrote about its impact as a form of media. He didn’t seem like the most diligent student so I was surprised when he showed me how much he wrote for his portion. I figured he was just more motivated when writing about something he likes. We got an A on the project, and afterward I asked him if I could use what he wrote for the What is Anime? page on my site, and he said that was fine. Not too long after I posted it however, I got an e-mail from someone accusing me of plagiarizing that page, saying it was copied word for word from a page called A Capsule History of Anime. Sure enough, he had totally plagiarized his part of the project! I immediately took down that content from my site and have since completely rewritten the page a few years ago. I honestly don’t remember if I told him about it or if I mentioned it to the teacher towards the end of the year (I was even more shy in high school than I am now). But I basically gave him the cold shoulder from then on…I wish I had had the nerve back then to do more though.

Anime brings friends together: It always amazes me how fate has brought me together with all my good anime-loving friends. In my high school of 4,000 students, I never would have met one of my best friends if I hadn’t noticed her Pokemon folder and started talking to her. In my Japanese junior college class, another of my eventual friends started talking to me because I had an Inuyasha shirt. Later on that same friend gave everyone in the class little cards with helpful Japan-related web links, my web site among them. If he hadn’t done that, my good friend pkjd, also in that class, wouldn’t have visited my site, found out that I like anime, and we may have never started talking. At university, I may have never become friends with 2DT if he didn’t notice me browsing Anime Nano on my laptop in class one day. If I didn’t haphazardly sign up for this anime meet-up group in Los Angeles last year (which I’ve never even attended), I may have never met my good friend f0calizer, who found my blog through the meet-up page. I’ve met a number of other friends in similar ways – it really is fascinating how things work out like that sometimes.

———-

I’m sure many of you have much wilder and weirder anime anecdotes than I do (especially if you frequent social places like cons and forums). But I hope you enjoyed my “mild” ones and I’d love to hear any of yours if want to leave them in the comments below.

24 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. Emily says:

    I met my husband through Fushigi Yuugi! A penpal of mine introduced me to anime back in ’96-’97. She sent me a video with some fansubbed Fushigi Yuugi episodes (this was long before the anime and manga were licensed). She’d recently started a website devoted to Fushigi Yuugi, and I posted on the guestbook, saying I liked the anime, and I wanted to track down some of the manga, but was having difficulty doing so. A few days later, I got a random email from some guy who said he knew where I could buy the Fushigi Yuugi manga. We started corresponding by email and snail mail, and even though we didn’t live near each other, we ended up meeting in person. Long story short, it’s 2001, and we’ve long since married, and have never been apart!

    • Yumeka says:

      That’s a great story ^_^ Isn’t it funny how things just work out like that? Fushigi Yuugi must be a special series to you since it’s what brought you together with your husband. I still have a FY wallscroll that I bought in 2003 when I was really into the series =)

  2. H says:

    Honestly i’ve met quite a few people who are into anime but a freind of mine actually got me really into it. Well, that’s it.
    bye.
    –End–

  3. Myna says:

    That Pokemon movie story is hilarious.

    I met one of my best friends through Fruits Basket and Yuyu Hakusho. I just met two girls at Borders while looking at the manga section.

    While at Otakon ’08, one of the poor clueless civilians asked my friend and I why everyone looks so strange, and so we explained, or tried to explain Otakon to her on a nutshell. In a restaurant soon after, there was a Hinoto cosplayer and this guy broke down and asked her what was going on. It was very funny.

    Can’t think of anymore memorable or funny stories right now. :P

    • Yumeka says:

      At Anime Expo one time someone came up and asked me what was going on with all the people in costumes XD I don’t know how many attendees Otakon has, but for the AXs I’ve been to we have 40,000+ attendees and we pretty much take over the entire downtown LA area for the four days of the con. What must all the non-con goers think seeing all these weirdos in crazy costumes all over the place. Some kind of invasion perhaps?

  4. Kal says:

    Wow, you’ve been trough quite a bit! That plagiarism story must have been pretty embarrassing. But I hope you can look back at them and laugh a little. Remember you did your best with the information you had and with who you were back then, so no regrets!

    Unfortunately, I do not have any friends locally that like anime (there are a couple of co-workers, but we just talk about it a little), so I do not have many stories. The only one is actually from my mom. She went to one of the few anime stores to buy me a Christmas gift, and she wanted to buy me something related to Haruhi (she knew I liked that a lot). But she did not remember how the anime was called. However, since I always told her about the series, the plot, and what I liked and who were in it, that she was able to describe it it to a point that the seller recognized exactly what she wanted. I got a superdeformed Haruhi figurine that Christmas :)

    • Yumeka says:

      The plagiarism thing was more annoying than embarrassing; since the teacher didn’t even know about it, the main embarrassing thing was getting the e-mail from that person angrily accusing me of it. But I quickly rectified it by immediately removing the page and explaining the situation to them. If that boy decided to plagiarize again, I hope he got caught!

      I think Haruhi’s a difficult anime to describe without knowing the title, so kudos to your mom for doing that XD

  5. f0calizer says:

    Yes, we stumbled upon each other by chance, didn’t we? I’ve only been to that anime meetup group once. I’ll share two serendipitous anecdotes regarding my anime fandom:

    #1. How did I come across the Planetes anime? I was in Tokyo Kid, the main anime & manga store in Boston, and the staff was watching this anime on the store TV. They also had the complete set of the manga in stock, which I bought, and subsequently I purchased the anime boxed set from Amazon. Planetes is now one of favorite series.

    #2. How did I become a Maaya Sakamoto fan? A friend of mine, with whom I’ve sadly lost touch, watched Vision of Escaflowne with me on the VHS tapes we borrowed from the college anime club. This was the beginning of my gradual re-entry into the anime fandom, so you could say Sakamoto has had a formative influence.

    • Yumeka says:

      So you bought the Planetes manga only because you liked what you saw on the store TV? That’s great that you ended up liking it so much =) Evangelion is the only major “blind-buy” for me but it ended up being one of my favorites.

      I can’t remember if Escaflowne or Record of Lodoss War was my first exposure to Maaya Sakamoto. But both came via borrowing VHS tapes from my friend in high school (the one I met through the Pokemon folder and who lives five minutes away from XD)

  6. TWWK says:

    Great post! It was a joy reading through some of your anime memories – I don’t have nearly as many as you (and my fandom doesn’t go back so far). By the way, I abhor plagiarism and would’ve been just as mad at my partner (as a teacher, I especially loved catching students who turned in plagiarized essays). Also, I didn’t know you were friends with 2DT – very cool!

    • Yumeka says:

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

      My teacher had said that he would be checking our projects for plagiarism so I don’t know why he didn’t catch it. I vaguely remember my partner looking very nervous when the teacher passed out grades but then relived to see that we got an A. He then left me a little note saying that he liked working with me and wanted to be my partner for the next project, but in my mind I was like “No way!” XD

      Yes, 2DT and I both went to the same college, UC Irvine. He sat behind me in one of my Japanese literature classes. He didn’t look like an anime person so I was surprised that he knew about Anime Nano. I told him my blog’s name, he visited, then next quarter he asked me about the college’s anime club and started attending, a few times we met up for dinner and anime viewing at a mutual friend’s apartment – it was good times.

    • 2DT says:

      She can assure you I make very good calzones. :)

  7. Wingless says:

    I have two stories, a good AND a bad one. ^_^

    1. It’s a funny thing how anime can bring people together, randomly so. Recently, as in the last couple of years, my close circle of friends kinda got spread out. The one who remained closest, my best friend, was the only one left. He’d given anime a go and gave it a decent shot, but he ended up declining. He didn’t like any of it (we watched multiple series and genres), and I respected that, since he at least tried it and didn’t judge ME for liking it. About a year ago, along comes a new person we’d regularly hang out with. He was a friend of my best friend (now Friend B and Friend A, respectively). Well, it was already understood, between A and myself, that I wasn’t to bring up anime much anymore. And I guess B and A had that understanding too. So I got to know B for quite a few months, without ever really clicking with him. He was always a friend of a friend, and not really MY friend. Until one day when A made some comment about anime, to which we BOTH leaped in defense of our hobby. Following that was an “AHAH!” moment of “You like Anime? I like anime! We should be friend!”. Cut to now, where we are as close of friends as I ever thought I’d make outside of my childhood friends. :P

    2. After arriving at my new unit (a Coast Guard cutter based out of San Diego, btw), I was sad to find that there were zero people who had any kind of interest in anime on my boat. Here I was with my wall hangings and my phone/computer backgrounds and ringtones… and a whole lot of people who had the typical biased view against anime.. it was a rough time. (It’s better now, hehe). Anyway.. I was starving for a friend to watch anime with, preferably a girl (nothing like that! I just prefer female company over other guys *shrug*). A few months go by and one of the other units nearby gets a new girl sent to them. She seemed cool, so I asked her, after a few days of random chit chat, whether she liked anime and if she’d like to start this new series I had picked up. Turns out she did, and it seemed like a wonderful friendship was going to start! Little did I know I picked up a scary stalker (and we all live on one base, so it’s not like it’s… easy to avoid that kinda attention). It’s taken me up until only recently to get her to understand that I don’t want.. that… So yeah, that’s my bad story. You never know what kind of friend you’ll be making! :P (Things are ok now, she’s moved on to try to seduce other guys so we can just be friends.)

    Sorry I know I’m long winded, I can’t help it! :D

    • Yumeka says:

      Great stories! That second one is a little…strange, but at least it worked out okay in the end.

      And just curious, what series did you show your friend who doesn’t like anime?

      • Wingless says:

        I was groping in the dark! Based off the fact that he enjoyed Avatar, I figured starting with some shonen would be good. Naruto was my first bet, as I was very into it at that point in time. He liked the battle scenes and actually got into it for a month before he lost interest. It was too long for him. He noticed my set of Burst Angel and asked about it. He wasn’t a huge fan. FMA didn’t appeal because of the silly moments (I’m holding out to show him brotherhood now, it’s been a long time hehe). When I realized he might want some Seinen instead, I was gonna pull out some big guns but he’d already given up.

        Both myself and Friend B still retain hope. We’re hoping he enjoys FMA Brotherhood, then we can throw soul eater or shakugan no shana at him. Or something. We’ll never give up! (:

  8. Liza says:

    I’ve actually made a lot of friends through anime. I’m a very quiet person unless you know me(where I open up and talk to people and such). I have a lot of random anime merchandise that I wear or have one me and people comment to me about them.

    Plus after I got into cosplaying that opened up another realm of friends both online on cosplay.com as well as in person. In fact two friends I met in college I became closer friends to because of the fact that they were into cosplaying and into anime.

    Like you, I have written a couple assignments about anime in class(although I never had to deal with plagiarism since it was a one person assignment) My prof. after the last one about the differences and similarities of shonen and shoujo anime told me I really should write about something else. Since it was the last assignment of the year though I didn’t have to worry about thinking of other stuff to write for that class.

    • Yumeka says:

      Having anime merchandise on your person really does increase your chances of being able to meet fellow fans. It certainly has helped me meet a few of my friends ^^ I’m glad that cosplay has helped you make friends too~

  9. Papreeka says:

    Hi there,
    just stumbled upon this blog and really like it. I also checked out your anime list and took note of all the animes you scored 10 – I like several in that list and appreciate your choices so now I’ve got more to discover, many thanks!

    Also, could you please tell me which anime the picture in this post comes from? I like the look of it :-)

  10. Nadja says:

    Really awesome post! I’ve also got a few “anime anecdotes” myself…

    1. I went to my first anime convention in 7th grade. I was so pumped for it, and I had spent so much time saving up money to spend there. When I was lifting T-Shirts up, someone nabbed my wallet along with the $300 inside. I was in 7th grade, so there wasn’t any ID, but that $300 had been almost irreplaceable to me… At that same convention, I also lost my dad’s camcorder (he let me borrow it, but he wasn’t at the con), but THANKFULLY some kindhearted person brought it to lost and found.

    2. At the same convention listed above, I went into the rave with flip-flops on. Since this was my first rave and I sucked at dancing, my friends and I went for the congo line, and the person behind me stepped on my flip-flop, somehow untangling it from my foot and casting it into the teeming mass of people. So here I am wobbling around the rave with one flip-flop and my friends lost in the crowd. That was certainly fun.

    3. My first con wasn’t all bad, though. Actually, it may have been the most fun I’ve ever had at a convention. My friend and I sang “Simple and Clean” from Kingdom Hearts at karaoke, and it was so cool seeing all the people in the room put down what they were doing and singing along.

    4. My friend held an anime club at his house, and after playing an anime version of the Apprentice (everyone ended up getting fired xD), we ran around in the golf course behind his house. It had just rained, so there was no one out, and the grass was all squishy. We made sand castles in the sand pits and slid down this HUGE muddy hill. That was so much fun.

    • Yumeka says:

      Your #3 and #4 sound like fun, but yikes at #1 about losing your wallet with all that money inside! 0_o So the camcorder was found but not the wallet? That really sucks.

  11. owehmgee says:

    Hey there! Just discovered your blog last night and have been reading it for almost a day now. Love a lot of your posts about anime and it certainly brings back a lot of memories. This post made me remember my earlier days as an anime fan. I’ve also had some anime-related anecdotes when I was in high school (the peak of my fandom).

    1. When I was in third year, some of my classmates and I decided to decorate the billboard in the classroom with a collage of anime pictures, but when one of my teachers saw it, he said (in front of the class) that our minds are full of nothings because we watch anime. It was so embarassing and maddening, not to mention unfair, considering that we were on the top of the class and it’s not like the pictures were anything lewd or violent T_T

    2. One summer vacation, I decided I wanted to try my hand at drawing anime. At first, I only sketched here and there, but ended up doing 3 life-size drawings at the end of summer. My mom was so impressed, she decided to have them framed and placed in my room ^.^

    I’ve been backtracking through your blog and I must say I am very impressed with your writing. I really enjoy your anime-related posts since it’s a refreshing change from the usual anime blog which only discusses reviews. Gambatte ne!

    • Yumeka says:

      Thanks for sharing your anecdotes ^_^ That’s really terrible about that teacher embarrassing you in front of the class (you should have reported him!)

      And thanks for the compliments about my blog. I appreciate it~

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