History of me and anime

In about 1985, I saw the horribly mangled version of Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind called "Warriors of the Wind".  I don't really remember what it was about [the plot was basically edited out :( ] but I remember being blown away by the depth of the animation.

When I went to UNC, I heard that my friend Ron Azuma was showing Japanese animation.  I knew I wanted to go, but it wasn't until I heard he was showing Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind that I finally went!  And when I finally saw the true version of this amazing film, I was utterly hooked!

Ron screened his movies in Japanese-only, and he read an english script aloud.  It takes a few minutes to get used to this, but soon, you ignore the spoken english and feel like you're understanding Japanese yourself!  I didn't ever notice he was reading, except during Kiki's Delivery Service once when -- in his deep masculine voice -- he said a bit emphatically "be a good broom and do as I say!" :)  For a half-moment I remembered he was reading. :)  [I take this as a lesson not to act when I read. :) ]

Another tradition I have taken from Ron is he would always show a clip from his next planned screening -- to whet your apetite and let you know what to expect.  I saw Nausicaa with a Kiki clip, then Kiki with a clip from a movie called "Omohide Poro Poro", which took my breath away!!  ...and then he graduated a moved to LA!  AK!!  It took me 6 months before I finally saw it.  It is my all-time favorite Ghibli film.

I started doing showings at UNC myself, mostly saturday afternoon when a big group of us would get together to watch The Tick every week.  I'd serve up buckwheat waffles with blueberries and/or pecans, and real maple syrup and real whipped cream -- mmmmm!  I'm getting hungry remembering!  Since The Tick is only 1/2 hour, I often threw something in and read a script.  I miss those days!

Later, I started doing showings at Pixar Animation Studios, where I used to work.  My new friend, Erika, was just getting hooked on anime and kept pestering me to do some showings -- which should go to proove that pestering with me works!  [It really does! : ]  They have a 14' screen and a theatre-like screening room with surround sound!  Someone -- mostly Erika -- would bring Zachery's Pizza, and I'd read the script.  Most folks came from South Bay, which is a long way to drive to Point Richmond!  [I was always a bit disappointed how few Pixar folks atended...  The anime is so lovely, and the story-telling so clear yet subtle. :( ]

My friend Onny Carr would also show anime occationally at Pixar.  There I learned of some series I didn't know about, namely, You're Under Arrest, Fushigi Yuugi, and others.  He never came to my showings, though, because he is learning Japanese and finds the script-reading too distracting.

Now, I hope to start the showings up again, either at my friend Will's and Dan's workplace, or at their [and Scott's] apartment!  Loren might also get me in to Pixar to do screenings there.

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