Here are 100 thanks for all you!

For all 100 of you who have added me, or are following The Classic Anime Museum in some sort of fashion, over the course these last few years, I have only one thing to say!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

You all have made my day!

Josh

CAM is back again at Anime St. Louis this May

I will be presenting yet again at my local convention of Anime St. Louis (still waiting on my time slot!). This is my fifth year so I guess I have had enough practice to not be nervous? Yeah right, I am human and an introvert (INFP, sometimes INTP, especially on Tuesdays), but once I am behind the podium… I dunno… something takes over and it all becomes natural. Originally I submitted three panels, but have cut down to a singular entry so I have time and energy to work on other personal projects including rebuilding part of my basement. I will be presenting a solo panel this year; a crowd favorite, Capturing the Wind: Miyazaki and Takahata before Studio Ghibli. I highlight a select grouping of the work that Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata did before Studio Ghibli; many of the titles are featured already in my blog, but I will not say which ones… a magician never reveals their secrets. 😉

Hope to see you there if you are attending. And if not, I know a lot of you will be with me in spirit. Thanks everyone and enjoy the rest of this calendar year of 2019! Are you going to any conventions, or have any other awesome plans for the summer?

– Josh

1985… Homeward Bound

Anime and Simon & Garfunkel… now here’s a nice combination to consider…

I’m sitting in the railway station
Got a ticket to my destination
On a tour of one-night stands my suitcase and guitar in hand
And every stop is neatly planned for a poet and a one-man band
Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home where my thought’s escaping
Home where my music’s playing
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me

Slightly melancholy, a yearning to go back somewhere to feel safe, warm, or protected. A return to the familiar for a short time before continuing again on your journey; sanctuary. Some of us have a series or movie that we return to that symbolizes home, for me it’s the original Macross. Yet there is one particular year that also represents a place of peace for me as well and that is 1985. Not that I want to go back to the year 1985, it’s just that there are many productions from the year that I personally love and if I had to do a top 10 listing from the 1980s, I could fill a majority of it with titles from the ole ‘85.

Before diving into titles from 1985, I have to back track with two key experiences I have had for the year. The first being the airing of Robotech, which as a child became the keystone that solidified my love for Japanese animation. Criticize, or praise the show if you wish, but for what it was for my life at that time… it was just, perfect. Also my first panel presentation I gave was about the year 1985. What a coincidence to give a presentation in 2015 and needing a topic when 30 years prior was a storehouse of awesome anime from 1985. Again… perfect. Some titles I knew well, some I got acquainted with for the first time and some I never knew existed became familiar. It was scary, but highly rewarding, as that panel gave me confidence and allowed me to share something I loved and know I was in good company.

1985 was a classic year for the direct to video OVA market. Having only existed for a year and change, 1985 would breed many classics and stand as a testament for quality productions. Titles such as Area 88, Bobby’s Girl, Cosmo Police JustyDream Dimension Hunter Fandora, Dream Hunter RemFight! Iczer-OneFire Tripper, Leda: Fantastic Adventure of Yohko and Megazone 23 all had a place to shine outside the normal confines of cinema and television. One could create original work that may not fit into the two previous categories and be both of high quality and in some cases commercially successful. Yet the format also allowed previously created properties a chance to expand beyond their own previously created spaces. OVAs would feature titles that gave more depth, or alternate stories to Armored Trooper Votoms, Dirty Pair, Fairy Princess Minky Momo, Genesis Climber MospeadaGoShogun, Magical Angel Creamy Mami and Galactic Drifter Vifam. Of course all of these titles were released on analog formats like VHS and LaserDisc. DVD, Blu-Ray and even streaming were still far off sci-fi concepts in the mid 1980s.

And what of the big screen? Anime cinema of 1985 has quite a few options from the entertaining to the challenging to the… ee… shameful, perhaps. Action and adventure abound in the Dagger of Kamui, Vampire Hunter D and Lupin III: Legend of the Gold of Babylon (Pink jacket!). Sanrio released Fairy Florence/A Journey Through Fairyland and Mamoru Oshii challenged us with the haunting Angel’s Egg. Even more challenging was a rare film called Lullaby to the Big Sleep; a very intense psychological portrait. My favorite film from 1985 is the gentle and melancholy Night on the Galactic Railroad. Outer space, trains, cats and deep philosophy… perfect. And then there was Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight… ODIN! Some folks love it, but I often times end up falling asleep though it.

That leaves us with television for our final category. It is a good thing it is 2019 and not 1985 because I would be watching way more TV than I do now. …wait? Besides anime I don’t watch hardly any TV anymore, well except for an occasional weather report. If it were 1985 I would be wearing out a few couches watching the great mecha titles like Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Blue Comet SPT Layzner and more average titles like Dancougar and Tobikage. But then there are the shojo titles like Alpen Rose, Little Princess Sara and Pierrot’s Magical Star Magical Emi which will require another couch. And then there was the Dirty Pair, High School Kimengumi (a Shonen Jump title), Musashi no Ken and a variation of GeGeGe no Kitaro. More couches! And finally Touch. All 101 episodes of baseball, drama and romance. That may require two couches to sit in and is the title I recommend the highest for all the TV series. Touch is so, so good! Don’t take my word for it though.

Also of note for 1985 was the founding of Studio Ghibli after the runaway success of 1984’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. The first fruit to bear from the likes of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata came in 1986 with Castle in the Sky. And the rest they say, became history!

So welcome home, to my adopted home of 1985. Hope you stay long and enjoy the variety that made the year special. Of course this is but a mere sampling of the total output from 1985, but it is plenty to get one started. Now it looks like I am going to need some more couches for all these guests, especially if we watch the TV shows! What beverage suits your fancy?

Silently for me
Silently for me… tacet

The Spirit of 1979

I have a soft spot for the anime of 1979. Why? Well, these are my ‘twin’ siblings so to speak as I was born in February of that year. This means as of 2019, we all celebrate a big 40 years of existence on this material plane. 40… people think I am 28 or something when they meet me and perhaps like my brothers and sisters of 1979, we all hold a timeless classic quality. We all still look good for our age and have matured like fine wine. Anyhow, I have not seen every production released that year, but the ones in which I have, well, they all have left an imprint onto me. My favorites include: Aim for the Ace (film version)Anne of Green Gables, the original Mobile Suit GundamRose of VersaillesGalaxy Express 999 (film version) and The Castle of Cagliostro. That’s a fine listing if I do say so myself.

I can also include Space Battleship Yamato: the New Voyage and Taro the Dragon Boy as well since I have seen them, but they did not leave near the impact on me as the titles listed above. Of course I have a wishlist of titles that I have not seen as of this writing. I am in no hurry to find these titles, but I know eventually they will crop up into my view list. The second series of Cyborg 009 and magical girl Hana no Ko Lun Lun/Flower Angel rank on the top of that listing if I can find them in their totalities. And maybe even Yamato ripoff Space Carrier Blue Noah if I so wish. Maybe. I do have the DVD set of Gatchaman Fighter so that will take precedent; I enjoyed the first two series of Gatchaman. Oh yeah I forgot, thanks Anime News Network’s encyclopedia… The Unico pilot movie was in 1979 too. I know I have that one on file.

So a big happy 40th birthday to all of us. May we continue to stay young and inspire generations in the future. KANPAI!

What’s in a name?

The Classic Anime Museum… how did I come up with this name? It’s simple, generic and totally everything I would have laughed at when I was in college. Why? Because it’s got to be big, bold and really cool… different… and all the other stuff most people say when I hear pitches for graphic design projects. But, Classic Anime Museum is big, bold and really cool… in being small, subtle and not cool. It just is. Just like in Buddhism.

Summer of 2016… I started out with animedyr. This was short for anime: do you remember? which was a title I ran for my first panel discussions years ago. An example being Anime: Do you remember 1986?. Which is a play off of the movie title Macross: Do You Remember Love? But I thought… yeah, kinda… yeah… back to the drawing board. Then came Analog Anime. Not bad, but I was still not feeling it. This calls for a field trip.

Fall of 2017… I had decided to visit a couple art museums here in St. Louis that I had not been to in a while. I missed museum hopping and as I had not been out to visit in a while, I thought, this is a good day to just get out of the house. I walked to the nearest light rail station close to my house as I figured why drive? This was about a mile and change (I do like to walk a bit) and with nice weather I thought, it’s better for my Chuck’s to ride the pavement than my car’s tires. That was step one.

Step two. Ride the rails… weee! Step three. Walk a couple more miles to my destinations. First was Pulitzer Arts Foundation. I love the building, lots of concrete and in my luck I made it to the last day of the current exhibition. I don’t remember the name per se, but I was digging the museum vibe. Next was Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Again awesome building with even more concrete. I have fond memories of CAMStL as I interned there for a couple months after I graduated college. Anyway I don’t remember that exhibit either, but walking through the space the three letters of CAM began to turn wheels in my head.

CAM… Contemporary Art Museum… Classic Anime Museum… wow, I like that. From there I looked at logos for CAM and there were a lot of contemporary art museum variants, just insert any city name. So now I knew what to work with. I redesigned the logo with the new name and thought I should have that museum vibe on this site too. So there is a lot of white space too… negative space is the most beautiful thing. Then everything fell into place.

So next time you need to think or get a new idea… go to a museum, or even a park… whatever it may be… and breathe in that beautiful oxygen. And that ladies, gentlemen and everyone else is how The Classic Anime Museum became The Classic Anime Museum.

– Josh

 

For Marbles and Shadow…

MarblesThe last few months for me have been difficult as I have lost two of my precious cats, one of them, Marbles, this past weekend (picture on the right). Shadow lived to about 20 and Marbles 17; both enjoyed long happy lives and brought joy to my household for being perhaps two of the most talkative cats I have ever had.

I want to dedicate this scene from Night on the Galactic Railroad, my favorite scene from the film by the way, to both Marbles and Shadow. Thank you both for being two of my best friends and for enjoying many moments watching anime, listening to music and just simply being there. You will always be loved.

– Josh

Recollections from Anime St. Louis 2018

Fun times! Good times! Were you there as well? I met a lot of great folks, saw a bunch of cosplaying and dragged out my beloved Macross: Do You Remember Love? t-shirt for another year’s wear, which by the way got recognized and I had a good 10–15 minute conversation from it. My friend Katie accompanied me for the third year and was a great help in videoing my panels. And though I gave as much boom to my voice, I should use a mic from now on because sometimes the P.A. can be your best friend. I am going to salvage what I can from the footage and try to get some time in for reshooting my speaking parts. Or, I can wait till next year with the benefit of being another year older and wiser.

I only went on Saturday since both of my panel were that day, so proud to make the BIG day after three years of Sundays. So I and Katie as well, made the best of a long Saturday. The first panel I went to was from RightStuf. They had a drawing for a either four Blu Rays from their Nozomi label and two more for a gift certificates. I got the $25 one! The dealers room had a lot of familiar sellers from the past and a couple new ones. I found a couple Roman Albums that I did not have to add to my collection, one for Nausicaa and one for Castle in the Sky (yeah Miyazaki films!). I love art books, particularly vintage ones from the 80s. I also found a figure of Casshan, which is a nice addition to my other figures. Plus, I got to meet a local group of adult LEGO aficionados that meet here in St. Louis. They had nice work on display and I am looking forward to going to their next meeting. Seems the law of attraction/universe wants me to get out my brick building skills again. 🙂

My first panel began at 5:00pm and I am glad I brought extra portable speakers as a back up, I needed them here. My presentation was The Shonen Jump Revolution of 1986 and I went through the 80s showing many example of Shonen Jump material, such as: Dr. Slump, Cobra, Cat’s Eye, Captain Tsubasa, Fist of the North Star, Kimagure Orange Road, Baoh and many others. I highlighted 1986 in particular and made the stars of my show the original Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya and the Fist of the North Star movie. My theory about these three is that they cemented the shonen fighting genre as the big popular genre we know today. Fighters didn’t start in 1986, they passed a threshold of no return in terms of their stance of becoming a successful genre that defines anime for many around the globe. I got to chat with a couple folks during my tear down and promote this blog; thank you all if you were there to see this one.

My second panel started at 8:00pm and with a title like Capturing the Wind: Miyazaki and Takahata before Studio Ghibli I was expecting a huge crowd. I did this one last year with a packed house for attendance, but updated some of the clips, rebranded my presentation and added a couple new entries. Studio Ghibli panels always draw a crowd and I wanted to tap into that potential as well, but in my own way. Hence the idea of showing their work from before Studio Ghibli became a good idea since there is a lot of great work from that era. Sadly some had to be turned away due to occupancy standards, but I will show this one again next year and will request a bigger room. And with about 80–100 in the room, some of them standing, I was glad to see the crowd, but like I said before I will use a mic next time because one man can not over power a room that well attended… well maybe Luciano Pavarotti or Andrea Bocelli, but I am not an opera singer. Again, thank you all for coming to this one as you were an awesome audience. I never felt so calm giving a public speech in my life… amazing! 🙂

Josh