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[geek on]One thing tho' Gates got his start with software. specifically a Basic compiler for the old Altair (http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/Gates.Mirick.html). The program was distributed on rolls of paper punch tape.[/geek off]

That was a really good read. I'm looking forward to the rest of the book.

Just this morning a friend of mine told me he saw a bumper sticker that read "Proud Parent Of An Otaku".

That has an appropriate bit of flint to it: "I hope you are willing to embrace them as lovingly as they have already embraced you."

I ran cross country in high school, which is certainly jock with a small jay, but I note that the two other biggest Robotech fans on campus were the defensive end and the halfback, Valley Conference champions. It's because of things like that I tend to raise the Roger Moore eyebrow at moves to cut a student body into rind and pith. Padding or not, being on the team means getting checked and tackled and bodyslammed daily, the pressure to fuck yourself Tetsuo on speed and D-ball from eleven on, getting called a faggot by respected authority figures as part of training, and airing your mistakes in real time in front of hundreds of friends, family, and classmates. Nor do jocks make the best predators at a high school; they don't impress anyone, after all, by taking down the boy with double straps--they're expected to prove themselves against LaSalle's offensive line, not the pocket protector krewe. The bully is more likely to be the J.D. type, the person without the discipline.

For that matter we had Japanese-Americans on the football team, and Chinese-Americans who were worse students than I am--which was saying something.

I wish it to be known that I do NOT try to recapture that 'first high' by flitting from new thing to new thing...

(and what could recapture actually working my college class sked around Star Blazers...4:00 M-F on WUHQ, TV41...um...damn...caught...)

I work a maintainance buzz, a constant 60 cycle hum in the background noise of my mind...

And, ya know, *some* of us old skool fans did more than just watch the shit :)

But seriously, great stuff, and I look forward to the book. Wanna break it down, tell us a bit more? I'd *love* a 'History of anime culture fans in the US' thing..the East Coast Vs. West Coast wars, the birth and whatever of the C/FO, how Dr. Bill managed to convince Yuji Hiramatsu to actully push Books Nippan out more than just the Cali walk-in trade..

And Where is Yuji nowadays? I hope well and happy...

I blather, surely a sign of Otakuness... :)

"I work a maintainance buzz, a constant 60 cycle hum in the background noise of my mind..."


Well, what could I say, the opening chapter is brilliant! It's kind of sad that so few people writes about pop culture with the same approach and language that you guys do (I'm thinking about Carl too). I´ll be sure to get the Swedish translation rights to this one in the future. Is the plan to release the book in English too?

No plans for any other version than a Japanese one right now. The publisher says it's up to me to make the deal for foreign sales, so let's do some Biz.

Reading this sample brought back a chain of thought that has been running through my head for the past year.

What are the various routes many of us took to our present fan states?

For me it was actually both world, mainly European, cinema and Science Fiction. So when I saw some Yamato on a TV in San Francisco's Nihonmachi in the late 1970s the cinematic visual aspects caught my eye as much as the Science Fiction setting.

The various paths many of us have taken may also be material for you to tap into for the book.

I am also looking forward to seeing an English edition.

(might I be long winded for a moment?)

Gilles, I'm with you 100%, so here's a part of my tale.

I call it 'Catalyst anime', that show that shifts, nay, FORCES you from 'reactive' to 'proactive'. Mine was Star Blazers.

I've already mentioned how I changed my college classes so I could be home to watch...1979, the VCR was a magical and way too expensive device (tho I did have a friend who had one...but he wasn't hip to SB, it was just a goofy cartoon)...one of the first thing that caught my attention, and I think it might have been the first 'adapted'anime programs that openly acknowledged its Japanese origins..so, I knew there was something special going on...

The next piece of the puzzle was stumbling across 'Fanfare' magazine, issue #3, with a Toei publicity art pic of Captain Harlock on the cover and Fred Patten's article on anime and the C/FO...ohhh, nifty...but then...*gooonngggg* a picture...a tiny picture..and a cut line ""In Japan, even TV cartoons have symphonic suite arrangements of their background music. LP Record album covers to Tatsunoko Productions Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets) and Academy's Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers)...

F**k me.

See, I 'key' on music, and the music in Star Blazers just rocked my world..and there's a *LP* of that music?! (A LP...ha ha ha..oh, what a joke..as if only one...)

Had to get it. Had to. Where? WHERE?! Luckily, another member of my local Star Trek club (OK, laugh away, it's what we had) was also big on soundtracks, and gave me a catalog to a company called 'Sound Track Album Retailers', out of PA. STAR was golden, LPs from all around the world and there...Symphonic Suite Yamato...ordered, got, played...over and over..that first time the needle hit the platter, it was sex.

Ordered other records. Many others. I think there's only one Yamato LP I don't have (the 13 record set of the first series, the entire 26 episode run as a drama record set..but my friend has it)...ordered other LPs, spent *way* too much money...and finally got a VCR in 1981, just in time to record Star Blazers on a newly starting UHF station...The LPs and my VCR played a key part in my meeting other anime fans, and my total decent into otakudom...

But that's another story... :)

This is great stuff. I want this book.
Please, Patrick, keep on writing. I need to read your stuff. I guess I'm addicted.

Come home, Uncle Steve!

Your knowledge of the starting phases of the "nerd," "geek," & "otaku" blows my mind. Your introduction to your new book is fabulous, and I hope to get my hands on the English version of this book.

I consider myself a mild controlled form of otaku (I spend hours reading & researching anime/manga, downloading subs & J-music, go into fanspasms over Japanese seiyuus that I've read up on, write original stories that come from heavy anime influences, and can talk about anime releases that span from the time Gundam Wing was shown in the US until now, but have not yet become as those you described from that C/FO group & the Anime Club that resides at my college). I am always searching for more and more information about what makes a person truly "otaku." So please, keep writing. "Otaku Guide to NeoTokyo" is still on my wishlist, since I had already spent my summer reserves on an anime con, manga, and, of course, food.

One last thing. Please tell me, if you could, how often do you write, what sorts of places can you write, and how do you keep the juices flowing. Thank you.

Have you seen Genshiken? Im curious to know what you thought of it.I enjoyed it even more than Otaku no video...

Hey here is Valerie now: http://www.tylervision.com/5.html

and her email address:

[email protected]

I like her dress. And the pic of her being kissed by two men at the same time, of course.

"opium den for geeks"? So why is your 2-paragraph description of one of my C/FO Sacramento video shows to be found in the middle of some Scandinavian's blog? Scandinavian words above and below, framing those two paragraphs in English. Really weird. The blogger is andershj. Anime Sacramento still meets bi-monthly, with programming provided by Ian of the Fresno anime club. Ian posts the newsletters on the www.sacramentoanime.com website. I read your brother's articles in the Bee, and publicize your books in the newsletter.

Pat, you have always been talented. Joe, would you like to be my PR person?? I could use one! Find me on www.myspace.com

The joy of teh Google. Good to see you are doing well, Pat, but you're describing our 3rd grade picture dated 2 Nov. 1981. You are indeed wearing a red shirt that may even have an Adidas logo but it's mostly obscured by Rick Takahashi's head. It is not Hubert who has the oversize glasses, mop head & lovely fashion ensemble, but Jeff Norris who is standing next to him.

Scott's wearing a purple shirt, then there's me... the blond dork with the oversize glasses standing between him and Valerie.

I still have the entire K-6 class picture collection, I figure it'll be a good laugh if I ever make it back to CA for a reunion.

Oh, how I love the Internet. I can't believe you actually wrote about the time you were taking Japanese language lessons at Florin Buddhist Church. Do you remember carpooling early on Saturday mornings? I remember the two guys you were talking about...the black guy and the white guy...in fact, I ended up dating the white guy for a short period of time...and I think the only reason he was into me was just the fact that I was, or I should say AM, Japanese. It boggled his mind that an American born Japanese couldn't speak Japanese. Uh...it's kind of like being born in California and not being able to speak Spanish, right?

As for Hubert Wong...he's some sort of doctor...last I saw was that he did his residency with the UCI medical center. I heard that Scott Moak stuck with the whole sports thing and ended up as the announcer at Arco Arena. Go figure.

As for me, I wasn't in any of your elementary school class pictures with the exception of 6th grade when I had the worst crush on Jeff Yoshimira...so I can't tell you anything about what class picture you're talking about. But, if you remember way back then, I wanted to be a teacher...and guess what, I'm a teacher. Working with all those bad-asses that think they're going to get the gift of graduating high school. Little do they know that I hold the power of "accountability" that they will need to step up to in order to graduate.

I'm guessing you're still in Japan. That's great. I did 3 years there with the Jet Programme (notice the final e in that word) and have now settled upon Hawaii...oh, how I love it. I don't have to wear shoes anymore! But anyway, glad to read up on you. Is this a book you were writing? Lemme know how I can get a hold of it...sounds like a killer read.

I am now friends with Valerie Cortopassi and she is still the prettiest girl in the room everywhere she goes.

Pat you were the coolest kid in Sac in my opinion!!!!!! Angels Egg, Vampire Hunter D and the Residents

A day without cheese popcorn is like a day without sunshine.

Scott! I just polished off a bag of cheese popcorn moments ago!

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