TWO BIG LEATHER BINDERS OF ANIME FANSUBS
WHEN I WAS A KID JUST STARTING HIGH SCHOOL I MADE SOME FRIENDS WHO WERE INTO ANIME. YOU KNOW: JAPANESE ANIMATION. DRAGON BALL Z, SAILOR MOON, ALL THAT GOOD STUFF. IN A DESPERATE BID TO FIT IN WITH THE FIRST GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO SEEMED NICE ENOUGH TO TALK TO ME, I GAVE IT A SHOT, AND I'LL TELL YOU WHAT: I REALLY LIKED IT. THE VIBRANT IMAGINATIVE WORLDS, THE BIG HAIR, THE GRUESOME VIOLENCE, THE SEX, AND THE PROMISE OF SOMETHING NEW MY PARENTS WOULD NEVER UNDERSTAND ALL ENGAGED MY 13 YEAR OLD MIND BETTER THAN ANY DRUG EVER COULD.
So I stuck with it, watching and seeking out all the different series I could find. Problem was, anime wasn't as big in the early 2000's as it is now. So translated TV shows were hard to find. Luckily, back then nobody cared about internet copyrights, so I set sail on my DSL modem and surfed the web for pirate anime. I found 'fansub' (subtitled by fans - basically pirated) anime in all the weird shadowy corners of the internet. I dealt with sarcastic assholes to get access to secret IRC chatrooms and queued up my place in line to download episode after episode. Shows with names like 'Witch Hunter Robin', 'Tenchi Muyo', 'Gurren Laggan', 'Chobits', 'Ah My Goddess!', and 'Ergo Proxy' flashed across my screen (I could go on, but I'll spare you). I filled up my little 250 GB hard drive over and over and just kept burning CD after CD and then later DVD after DVD. Though it may seem kind of lame to you (it does a little to me in retrospect), this is basically what I did for fun: downloading, watching and burning anime. But I loved it. And my friends loved it, and together we had a blast. We'd have sleepovers where we showed off the newest hotness. Mountain dew fueled anime marathons that went into the early morning, phonetically singing theme songs in a language nobody in the room understood. No drugs. No alcohol. Very little sex (but some, surprisingly!) Only taking breaks for the occasional round of halo and then right back to just shit-tons of anime. It was awesome.
All In all, anime was one of the fundamental building blocks at a time where I was just starting to discover who I was going to be. As fundamental to my personality as DNA is to my body.
But I got older. I went off to college, and I brought my anime collection with me, hoping to make some new friends in the same way I had made so many friends in high school. But it wasn't quite as easy in college. People were more focused on schoolwork. More focused on their particular field of study. More focused on the opposite sex and drinking. Perhaps not as willing to take a risk on a weird hobby like anime. Sure, I could always find some people to watch with, but it seemed that the only people who were really INTO anime were far below me on the , and frankly, they made me a little uncomfortable.
I came to a breaking point: either I take the plunge, make this hobby more of a lifestyle and become like those whom even I thought were a little over the top, or I quit frontin' and find something else to do with my time. I decided that the world was far too big to devote any more of my time to 'Japanamation', and gradually, organically, I picked up other hobbies (like drinking and the opposite sex!) I put aside my collection for posterity. I still enjoyed the occasional show here or anime convention there, but my naive exuberance was replaced by the knowing smile of a veteran. I'd SEEN things man (specifically, that show you're watching. I saw it when it first came out in Japan. NBD.)
Two months ago I posted this message on craigslist, and on my local listserv:
Two Big Leather Binders of Anime Fansubs
Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:57 am (PDT) .
Posted by: "whatsupdurham" whatsupdurham
I have two huge leather binders full of CDs and DVDs. These DVDs are filled
%90 with fansub anime. Some movies. some American cartoons. You may not be
into anime, and that's cool, the binders are really nice too. Looking to
trade for something useful.
I put these binders together in high school and early college. I would spend
many days and nights downloading unreleased anime from servebots on IRC, and
from fansubber's websites. Id' watch the shows with my friends and more than
a few girlfriends (believe it or not). When my old 250 GB hard drive would
get full, I'd spend even more time meticulously burning all the shows to
DVD's so that I could go back and watch them later if I wanted (this was
before streaming video). I even added instructions on how to play the files
using vlc and the included codecs. It was a labor of love and I ended up
with binders just brimming full of 2000's era anime.
I've carted the binders around with me as I moved from city to city, only
ever opening them once in a blue moon. When I recently bought a 2TB hard
drive I decided to put all the content I still wanted from those old DVD's
onto it and then get rid of the physical media all together.
It was a weird stroll down memory lane. As I copied over each show, it
brought back memories of the people I watched it with, of the dorms and
apartments I lived in at the time and the beds, blankets and couches I
watched them on. It was a little emotional. I realized that more than just
the anime contained in the discs these items also in a weird way contained a
part of my personal history. yes, they contained the time and care I put
into making them but moreover, they contained the memories of the
surrounding times as well. all the time I spent arguing with my friends
about whether tenchi should end up with ayeka or ryoko. all the subtle
sideways kisses I got from girlfriends while we watched and all the marathon
One Piece sessions that seemed to never end. and the junk food. oh god the
mountains of junk food.
But I cant keep hauling around the past. I never use the damn things and now
I have what I really want to keep on my hard drive, so I want to get rid of
the discs and the nice leather binders they come in. I don't want to sell
them because as a long time fansub watcher I know you're not supposed to
make money off of them.('fansubs are not for sale or rent') So I think I
ought to trade them for something of equal meaning and practicality. I'm not
sure what that means exactly, but I'll entertain all offers. I'll even just
take some cash if nothing else comes up.
Thanks for reading, and if you have anything you think would be a good
trade, drop me a line!"
I got some responses. They ran the gamut from missing the point entirely:
"Please remember that all hard drives crash.It's not *if*, it's *when*.
You need to have some kind of backup -- it could even be another hard drive,
if you don't want the CDs and DVDs...Then, when one of the pair crashes,
you can still make another backup from the other hard drive -- and not
lose the material.
Yes, many hard drives do run for a long time, but not indefinitely.
Thanks for posting a brief history of your anime.
- H. L.(Electrical engineer, Computer scientist)
To historical interest:
Hello,I saw your craigslist listing for two binders of anime fansubs.Are there any fansubs in there that were digitized off of fansub tapes (as opposed to being fansubbed digitally)? Are there any Dragonball fansubs in there?I run a site called AnimePast () where I dive into the older things of anime fandom, and if your set of discs has digitized vhs fansubs included then it might prove to be useful.Thanks for your time,
DanielThanks for sharing:This made my day! I don't need them but your letter was just delightful :)
Best, JeanaTo finally, a genuine inquiry:Hi Matt,
I have 10 year old daughter who is really into anime and would love to watch items from your set. We have about exhausted options from Netflix and crunchyroll.
I just am not sure what we have to trade.
We would totally be open to be the holders of the set and send it back your way when you find the time to watch the shows down the road.
Let me know what ideas you have.
Thanks, RaginiI e-mailed back and forth with Ragini a few times to try to set up a hand-off. I asked her if I could interview her kid (so I could write this), she/he? seemed weirdly ok with it. I loved the idea of sending my beloved collection off with someone who might really appreciate it. It was like that scene at the end of Toy Story 3, except my anime collection were the toys. Everything sounded like it was good to go. The day comes, its 90 degrees out. I put the black leather binders in the back seat of my black car. I drive to the predetermined cafe...
And no sign of anyone who looks even remotely interested in anime. I wait an hour. Drink some coffee. Later that day I get this e-mail:Matt,
Sorry I dropped the ball on getting back to you. If you still have to binders, we would love to appreciate them and my daughter is always up for an interview. We are free this weekend if you are.Thanks!
Immediately I respond, and set up the second drop off for that weekend. I just leave the binders in the back of my car. I'm mentally checked out of dealing with those things already. Its one of the hottest weeks on record. The day comes, I take the binders to the restaurant where I was going to meet Ragini and her daughter for brunch. I stack the binders on the table so that you couldn't miss them. I sit by the front door so you couldn't miss me. Still, nobody shows up to claim them. I don't get any more e-mails, nor do I send any. I'm done. Months pass. The summer is almost over now. I realize the DVDs have been sitting in my car for the hottest summer months. Baking away in their black leather cases. I just tried to use one of the discs. It doesn't work. It seems they were warped by the heat of the North Carolina sun and the data on them was lost.
Whatever. I've spent way too much emotional energy on this collection already. To be sad about the loss would just be adding wood to the fire. And anyway, I wanted to get rid of them, and now I have. All that's left is to throw the remains in the garbage. Time to seriously get on with my life once and for all.
My car was broken into last week. The thief rummaged through all the compartments in my car looking for anything worth stealing. He took an old Nintendo 64 and a small computer. But he also seems to have unzipped both black binders and dumped their contents out looking for music or bluerays. He just left a mess. Didn't bother with any of the anime. Lol. On the one hand I'm like "hey man, there's some good stuff in there! Some of that shit changed my life! Don't disregard it so easily." but on the other, I'm like "yeah. You and me both pal."