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How did you watch anime in the 90's 80's or 70's?

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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/24/18
I was talking about this with a friend the other day and thought it would be an interesting topic for discussion. So the question is for you gals & guys who grew up watching anime in the 90's even 80s or 70's if you go back that far. Getting your hands on anime back then was pretty tough so how did you guys watch it?

For me I had a couple outlets

Saturday night independent channel - We had an indy channel that would air anime every Saturday night. This ranged from shows like Robot Carnival, Golgo 13, Castle Cagliostro, Barefoot Gen, and a bunch more. It was really my first exposure to anime and I'm very grateful for it. Probably watched a few shows I shouldn't have seen at the time. Lots of sexy stuff not for kids. Especially Golgo.. yeesh.

Suncoast Video/ Mall based movies store - This was very expensive. Usually $20 - $30 for a VHS. If it was a series each VHS had only 2-3 episodes a pop. But It was really the only reliable way to watch the newest stuff. As you would imagine for a kid or teen this was very pricey. And you often took a gamble on shows since this was pre-internet and anime was still very niche so info was scarce. I often bought anime just because of the cover or the ads played on the VHS. You guys who watched anything ADV back in the day know what I'm talking about. So I watched some great stuff, but also a lot of shit I wasted money on.

Renting from Blockbuster - This was before it was coined as anime so my Blockbuster had a tiny section labeled "Japanimation" My local store didn't have much but it was a cheaper way to watch newer stuff, when and if they happened to get something new.. Maybe 20 or so videos in the section. I probably rented everything they had, some maybe twice. I remember renting movies like Ninja Scroll and shows like Those Who Hunt Elves & Slayers. Good stuff but they never had an entire run of a show so I only saw bits and pieces.

Saturday Morning Dragon Ball and DBZ - Well before Toonami got a hold of Dragon Ball my Fox channel aired both DB & DBZ Saturday mornings. I asked my mom to wake me up at 6AM just to watch them, then I would go back to bed.. Unfortunately DB only had the first 13 episodes but DBZ maybe the first 65. It annoyed me how they never finished or wouldn't go beyond those episodes. So I didn't see Goku go SSJ until they started airing them on Toonami.
Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/25/18
For the 90s, I can thank VHS tapes and the Sci-Fi Channel.

I can't recall any anime from the 80s.

I wasn't even around for the 70s.
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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/25/18
In the early 80s, I watched it in the raw if at all.
I remember renting and Suncoast. It is just too bad about Suncoast.
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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/25/18
I didn’t, I wasn’t born yet.
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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/25/18

obscure-one wrote:

For the 90s, I can thank VHS tapes and the Sci-Fi Channel.

I can't recall any anime from the 80s.

I wasn't even around for the 70s.


I also remember anime on Sci-Fi, They did air Monster which was awesome, but it was pretty hard watching it continuously. And that's a show were you really can't miss an episode.
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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/24/18
Syndicated television during the 70's & 80's. I didn't have cable, so missed out on Toonami. But still managed to see series like Star Blazers, Robotech, Tranzor Z, Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Voltron, Battle of the Planets, Monster Rancher & the first arc of Dragon Ball.

During the 90's & early 2000's it was VHS or discs, largely from Suncoast & Best Buy. I also used mail disc rental services like Netflix & Animenation's Rent Anime. Eventually I got DirecTV which enabled me to watch the series that were on cable channels.

I've only started streaming a couple years ago, due to the fact that I used to live in a rural area where it was hard to get a consistent internet connection. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the service Crunchyroll provides. Despite all the negativity on the forums of late, it really has been a godsend for me & has revived my interest that had waned when blind buying series became too expensive (I still buy series on disc, but only ones I know I enjoy). Having said that, I do use some other LEGAL streaming services to watch anime series not available on CR, namely Netflix & Tubitv.
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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/25/18
Recorded everything I could find on TV after school onto a huge amount of VHS tapes. Also paid out the ass for a few discs- I think I spent about 180 dollars on freaking El-Hazard at SunCoast. Which is why my disc collection from those days consists of...pretty much just El-Hazard

Suffice it to say, high speed internet and fansubs were a God send.
Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/25/18
Regular television, i was lucky that many Spanish dubbed anime shows were broadcast during children time n my country of birth.

Ejanss 
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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/24/18

gornotck wrote:

In the early 80s, I watched it in the raw if at all.
I remember renting and Suncoast. It is just too bad about Suncoast.


Raw was how you got it--
Back then, before the Internet was invented, we had clubs, and we had bootleg-tables at comic-book conventions.
If you were LUCKY, you could find a fansub of the Ghibli titles or Project A-Ko, or a Lupin III that had been aired on Hawaiian TV with subs, but that was almost like gold. What was like gold was if you had an Animag issue, with opera-libretto-like synopses of what you were watching raw.

It wasn't until the Internet arrived that the purple-tape era of, ahem, "tape-trading" (plus $5 for postage and VHS cost ) finally emerged, and let us watch the fansubbed Sailor Moon, Kodocha and Card Captor Sakura as they were meant to be seen.

In the 90's, it finally started to come out on VHS at Suncoast/Media Play/FYE, at $30 for 2 episodes (yep, the "2-fer-30!" Cry of the Oldies), which means if you were curious about watching anything, you had to find ways to do it without paying.


zangeif123 wrote:

Renting from Blockbuster - This was before it was coined as anime so my Blockbuster had a tiny section labeled "Japanimation" My local store didn't have much but it was a cheaper way to watch newer stuff, when and if they happened to get something new.. Maybe 20 or so videos in the section. I probably rented everything they had, some maybe twice. I remember renting movies like Ninja Scroll and shows like Those Who Hunt Elves & Slayers. Good stuff but they never had an entire run of a show so I only saw bits and pieces.


Ah, the Blockbusters, where what anime that trickled out from Streamline Pictures, Central Park and MangaUS was "Alternative animation", because they didn't know where else to put Ralph Bakshi, Yellow Submarine and Allegro Non Troppo...How else would we have ever first been exposed to "Akira"?
During the early Internet days, we used to coin the term "Scroll-heads" for the kids who saw the "Violent porn cartoons!" yellow-peril stories on ABC News, ran drooling down to the local Blockbuster (yes, Blockbuster), to find the first violent porn cartoon they could find, rented "Ninja Scroll" for the obvious reason, and then kept bugging the anime groups for "What other anime can I watch that's as cool as Ninja Scroll?--And none of that girly Sailor Moon crap, either!"

Our local mom-and-pop had a few late-90's anime fans for managers, and tried to start a new shelf, but the collection always seemed to be random Vol. 3's of B-tier titles. That, and the ecchi titles like Elven Bride, and when I asked why they kept putting those on the shelf, they responded "Yeah, we'd like to get some good series, but the fans keep stealing those!"

Lucky, for me, I was in range of Anime Crash's brief attempt at an anime sales/rental/merchandise chain, and used to commute forty miles by train into Harvard Square twice a month: Once to rent a few Slayers Next and Fushigi Yuugi VHS's over the weekend, and once again to return them.
So yes--In my day, junior, I really DID have to travel fifty miles in the snow just to get my anime.
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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/24/18

zangeif123 wrote:

I also remember anime on Sci-Fi, They did air Monster which was awesome, but it was pretty hard watching it continuously. And that's a show were you really can't miss an episode.


Which is unfortunately why I never got to complete the series, One of my recordings ran into "technical difficulties" around the episodes dealing with The Magnificent Steiner. I was going to resume, once the series started over, but it never got to that point again before it was cancelled. I keep holding out hope we will one day get a complete collection on disc.

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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/25/18
Late 90's I started on before school reruns of sailor moon and the first season of DBZ. I didn't have cable so I never got to watch past freeza's third form.bit of pokemon/digimon/yugioh on the weekends.

I watched everything at Blockbuster(ninja scroll, angel sanctuary, Akira, Princess Mononoke) and what we could from suncoast but I was broke. One friend had a pen pal in japan that sent him subbed VHS tapes of the Broly movies and some shit that had never aired in the US.

So around Y2K I finally took to the internet and fell down the rabbit hole of manga scans and p2p napster led to limewire led to torrents and DC++ then sketchy russian streaming sites for the past few years.

Finally a legit source started offering currently airing shows instead of last years hits and we're here.
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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/25/18

Ejanss wrote:


gornotck wrote:

In the early 80s, I watched it in the raw if at all.
I remember renting and Suncoast. It is just too bad about Suncoast.


Raw was how you got it--
Back then, before the Internet was invented, we had clubs, and we had bootleg-tables at comic-book conventions.
If you were LUCKY, you could find a fansub of the Ghibli titles or Project A-Ko, or a Lupin III that had been aired on Hawaiian TV with subs, but that was almost like gold. What was like gold was if you had an Animag issue, with opera-libretto-like synopses of what you were watching raw.

It wasn't until the Internet arrived that the purple-tape era of, ahem, "tape-trading" (plus $5 for postage and VHS cost ) finally emerged, and let us watch the fansubbed Sailor Moon, Kodocha and Card Captor Sakura as they were meant to be seen.

In the 90's, it finally started to come out on VHS at Suncoast/Media Play/FYE, at $30 for 2 episodes (yep, the "2-fer-30!" Cry of the Oldies), which means if you were curious about watching anything, you had to find ways to do it without paying.



Oh, no. I mean I watched it, if at all, on television in native language, domestically.
Ejanss 
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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/24/18

zangeif123 wrote:
I also remember anime on Sci-Fi, They did air Monster which was awesome, but it was pretty hard watching it continuously. And that's a show were you really can't miss an episode.


To be fair, the correctly-spelled Sci-Fi Channel did air the early "easy" (overexposed) Streamline, Central Park and Manga US titles--which were pretty much all you could find at Blockbuster--including all the Project A-ko's and Dominion, and bits of Robot Carnival when they needed filler.

Which brings us to that brief 90's minstrel-show attempt to understand the new fandom--
Those of you who weren't around in the 90's, and don't know the name of Apollo Smile, prepare to cringe:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrr027lj1-s

(Although, darn, they don't show the promo-trailer that SFC did for "Beautiful Dreamer", setting clips to Mendou's speech, ending with "Since then, our lives have been turned upside down", as Lum flips upside down in the kitchen. )
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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/25/18
UPN which got taken over for Kids WB was where I was really introduced to anime. Dragon Ball and DBZ up to Namek, Sailor Moon, Tekkaman Blade (Teknoman back in the day) Samurai Pizza Cats. I was also a fan of the syndicated stuff on Cartoon Network like Battle of the Planets (G-Force at the time) and Voltron. Those were two success stories for when studios literally just made up stories with spliced animation sequences which was more common with stuff before the 90's. Toonami would really bring out my love for anime, and once bittorrent came around and fansubs became readily accessible I became obsessed.

Also fun fact, Japanimation was the old term America used to describe anime up to the early 90's. It was particularly prevalent during the era where studios couldn't understand Japanese and spliced together episodes of different shows and made up stories as they went along. The Voltrons, G-Forces, Robotechs essentially. At some point thankfully we changed the term to Anime, which is fantastic because Japanimation is a terrible term.
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Posted 9/24/18 , edited 9/25/18
Back in the 70s to early 80s, primarily all that I could do to watch was watch Americanized versions such as Speed Racer, Kimba the White Lion, PrInce Planet, Tobor the 8th Man, Star Blazers, Robotech, Battle of the Planets, Shogun Warriors, etc. In the mid to late 80s, dubbed anime came around in budget bins by the notorious public domain +licensed VHS release companies. Sometime in the 90s, we got real companies selling VHS anime at Suncoast, Tower Records, Sam Goody/Musicland, etc. We also bought a Laserdisc player and found 2-3 local Laserdisc rental/purchase shops that dealed specifically with imports (most were not subbed or dubbed but it didn't bother us). Soon after, we got Sci-fi Channel (hosted by our Goddess Apollo Smile) and The Anime Network. It was after that that DVDs and Streaming anime services came around.
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