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I've noticed that compared to OTAKU NO VIDEO sixteen years ago, foreign fans are now more brightly lit. I kept waiting for you to make a gesture of devil horns near your head while talking about the appeal of Lum. But the dubbing raises an interesting question--namely, if you could choose any Japanese actor to dub you, who would it be?

Carl mentioning Otaku no Video, combined with the discussion of this show (BS= broadcast sat, right?), brings a question to mind that maybe would make a fun article for Otackers...

In the old days, as seen in OnV, tape traders would record anime on tape (often Beta, but eventually VHS) and either dupe it to send to a friend in the US of A, or send the 1st gen tape direct. This of course became the master for much copying. Getting that hookup was a sign of Prime Otakudom.

One thing I recall with much envy was how later gen VCRs in Japan could handle digital signals, and BS tuning. No seperate box needed (I assumed). Heck, I even recall some LD players had BS tuners, and I guess it was assumed you would hook your VCR into them.

This is a feature I don't think was ever brought to the US. What I wonder is, has that carried over to the world of the DVD-R?

Do current DVD-R recorders in Japan have the ability to suck down BS channels too? I would guess some form of paid decoder box would enter the picture... Do 'disc traders' exist, sending home burned DVDs of current broadcast anime to friends in the US? Or did that whole concept get skipped over to uploading to teh Internets?

Because the impression I've gotten is that the Japanese who upload to the internet are somewhat surprised and maybe even offended that people NOT in Japan want to watch the stuff...

Heh, this reminds me of that one "Portrait of an Otaku" from More Otaku no Video where a supposed crazy Otaku from the US (named after two former US associates of Gainax) is talking about his collection and why he's in Japan. What I can make out of the English audio suggests the conversation is actually fairly straightforward, but of course he is dubbed to sound like a total wild-eyed fanatic. Hopefully you vetted the dub track before they put it on.

BTW if anyone wants to interview me, then dub me, I want Hisakawa Aya to be my Japanese voice.

These days Japan has excellent filesharing networks where practically everything seems to appear about six hours after broadcast.

There's still a hierarchy of access because nobody can figure out how to use any of them.

That footage is definitely amazing to me, simply because I love looking at expressions of fan culture from way back when-- my favorite parts of Fred Patten's book are his recollections of those first few years of organized fandom in LA, including the scans of those hilarious early flyers and newsletters. I love it when I stumble across similarly-themed extras on anime DVDs, too. The best part of the weird ADV release of the Borgman OVAs is a 15-minute clip of concert footage from an event where all of the Borgman actors got together and held a concert. It's in a pretty tiny venue (looks like the capacity is maybe 3 or 400), and the actors sing and dance alone onstange to pre-recorded music. Later, there are interviews with wild-eyed fans, including one girl who cries on camera and proclaims that she'll always love Borgman.

That girl is still out there, and I bet that her friends bring that clip up when they want her to shut up about something.

As for who would dub my voice: I'm gonna go with Akio Ohtsuka. Never did like his rendition of Black Jack, and he's not as cool as Norio Wakamoto, but his voice, in general, matches mine.

Count me in as another one amazed by the vintage otaku-lining-up footage. I remember seeing photos of those lines in the Roman Albums.

Yeah, I love that stuff, too. I've been trying to find an old VHS tape of mine that has a show from some sort of Japan Culture Society put on PBS. It was from the early 80's and showed a line of people waiting to get into a Harlock movie (I think), an interview with Tezuka-san, and showed footage of an early Comiket (love those Dirty Pair cosplayers). I KNOW I've got it somewhere...

That is pretty amazing footage, the Japanese fans of that era seem so 'normal'. The other days I was watching a film at the Japan Society in NYC, it was from 1983 and called "Exchange Student" and in one scene the brother of one of the characters is reading a Japanese version of Starlog. Back then you could be a geek but it wasn't anything to brag about - I think nerd culture came out of the closet much more in the 90s.

By the way Steve I still have a copy of your zine back at my Mom's house. It was very ahead of it's time!

Thank you..ur...Fanboy...I'm glad to have made folk happy...I mean, two 100% sold out printings, with basically a few flyers and word of mouth as advertising, I can be proud of that I think.

Patrick, you are correct, sir, I geeked out at the fans in line. I note some seemed embarassed to be there, others proud, proud...

One of my Holy Grails is somehow finding out that Nishizaki had the 1980 Live at Budokan event for Be Forever filmed, and getting that out on DVD. Nish had his roots in the music industry, and you can damn well bet he must have had cameras out there...I have the LP for the event, missed out on the CD during one of my 'broke' periods (it was one of the last ones released in the 1995 wave of Yamato CDs), and just think of watching all the singing and drama reading and all the goofy stuff...man, where IS that? WHERE?

Speaking of gens and videos, I have a question for you more technically minded fellows out there. I'm taking the initial steps to start transferring my old videotapes to a digital format. I have some S-VHS tapes, but, typically for me, I never owned a S-VHS player. So I bought one, figuring for this project I should get one new. The model I picked was a JVC HR-S5912U, about two steps up from the cheapest S-VHS player; I also figured there was no sense in getting an expensive one if its primary use was to be to play tapes for transfer.

My question is--what's the proper way to get S-VHS output? That is, this JVC model contains an "out" port for an S-VHS cable, and next to it the traditional stereo RCA ports--red and white for audio, yellow for video. In order to get a complete S-VHS signal coming out of the VCR, do you use the S-VHS cable by itself, or in some combination with the RCA outputs?

February 13 will be the 25th anniversary of my becoming an otaku, so it would be good if I finally learned such merest fundamentals of my calling before then.

Well, if you'll take the word of the only guy in his group who had a mono miniplug-to-female RCA connecter adapter in his toolbox for dubbing from/to Betamax machines...

The S-Video cable is just that, a video signal cable. You'll still need your RCA cables for the l/r audio, just leave the video cable unplugged (if you have a three wire bundle. never mind if you're using single cables)

So, S-cable for Video, paired RCA for audio. Ok?

You should get a real good signal out of that VCR. I've noted that in the last years of VHS even the lowest end machines were REALLY good. anything playing S-VHS as native isn't a low end machine by half.

Good luck with your project!

I really need to get off my ass on my conversion project. I was gifted this nice Maganvox VCR/DVD-R combo machine and I haven't done squat with it. Got all kinds of stuff I want to preserve for the future of all mankind. That 1980 interview with Nishizaki for the premiere of Be Forever Yamato...voice actors, kids singing songs, the giant full size Analyzer and huge cutaway Yamato...yeah, that needs to be on a disc.

From what I could hear, that's pure old original Gundam thru and thru. Squealing horns and borrowed Toei sound effects and all.

Dear Steve,

So far the S-VHS player itself seems pretty solid, as you suggested it would. It's an odd thing to see analog video on a computer screen--like a window looking into a different world. An unforseen complication that's arisen is that my eMac (vintage 2003) has only USB 1.1 ports rather than 2.0; this apparently limits the sampling speed, and therefore, the quality of the final digital recording. I'll have to see what I can do about that.

Carl, I know you don't want to put too much money into the whole thing, but I have maybe a suggestion...

Can you upgrade your eMac to USB 2.0? Or can you install a Firewire card? 2003 model year, I can't but help but think it should be possible. OK, because I am teh dumb, I looked up the eMac at Apple.com, and it seems it comes with firewire installed, BUT they don't really discuss the 2003 model, only the most current, so...

I say pop into the Apple store and ask someone :)

I pray for your success!

I'll see if I can upgrade to USB 2.0. The trick is the Elgato EyeTV 250 analog-to-converter; it itself only has a USB interface, else I would use FireWire. By the way, the tape I'm using to test the process is CAPTAIN SCARLET VS. THE MYSTERONS--1st gen off the Bandai LDs, courtesy of Mr. Urian Brown. Hideaki Anno would approve. Of course, Hideaki Anno would own the LDs.

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