I am JouKazu and I’m new to the Brotaku team. Anyway, before I post any articles that are worth reading, I’d like to tell you all about myself. Unlike my fellow Brotakus, I actually consider myself an “oldtaku” since I was born in the early 80’s and grew up with anime/manga before it became mainstream.
Anyway, I am a 1/2 Chinese and 1/2 Japanese male who was born in Singapore in 1984. For some reason, my parents decided to move us to Canada two years later. Around that time, I was old enough to be enrolled in pre-school. Whenever I was home, I watched nothing on television except for anime on VHS and/or laser disc which was either dubbed in Cantonese Chinese or in Japanese with or without Chinese subitles that my parents rent from a Chinatown video rental shop. The very first anime that I watched was an anime called “Captain Tsubasa” which was about a boy named Ozora Tsubasa who’s dream is to play soccer and one day lead Japan to World Cup supremacy. Like most children, I picked up an interest in the sport and fell in love with the beautiful game.
Growing up in the 80’s, I was also introduced to other anime too (Mainly shounen) like: City Hunter, Creamy Mami, Doraemon, Dragon Ball, Dr. Slump, Grendizer, High School! Kimengumi, Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star), Jushin Liger, Maison Ikkoku, Mazinger Z, Mobile Suit Gundam, Patlabor, Ranma 1/2, Saint Seiya, Urusei Yatsura which I also watched and loved. When I wasn’t watching anime, I was also reading manga too that my parents would also buy or rent for me from the bookshops of Chinatown. However, the manga could only be obtained in Chinese. As soon as I grew older, I discovered more anime series and manga that it became a distraction for me while in Elementary and Jr. High School. Even though it irritated my parents and teachers as I had a habit of reading either Chinese or Japanese manga in class, I was really into the fascinating stories found in these pages filled with captivating art styles of masterpieces by such mangaka (manga artists) like: Kurumada Masami, Nagai Go, Takahashi Rumiko, Takahashi Youichi, and Toriyama Akira to name a few. During my childhood filled with anime/manga, I also watched as anime/manga was slowly making its way to North America through English dubbed anime and translated manga (which was referred to as “graphic novels”). Around that time, anime was known as “Japanimation” to the general public. I also would like to mention back then, we also had local anime conventions organized by anime clubs found in local universities.
I have also attended an event called Mechaball in Edmonton, Alberta which became Animethon in 1994 and I have attended every Animethon event up to this day and saw it turn into a small, six room, one day event into a major annual three-day event which was a standard for anime conventions nowadays. Back then, nobody actually cosplayed and if they did, they were wearing homemade outfits without wig or make up to match. As for myself, I actually did cosplay in the years before anime became mainstream. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of it to show you but I actually did wear a costume of Mazinger Z that my relatives sent to me from Asia as a present. Through out my time in high school, fellow anime/manga fans (I’m referring to the ones who watch more than just dubbed anime found on TV) were hard to find though the majority of them were Asian like myself.
Anyway, since my high school didn’t have a club dedicated to my passion, and if you look around campus, the only ones who were into anime/manga were the ones who would wear a t-shirt or carry around. Around that time, I was also a long time member of BAKA (Banzai Anime Klub of Alberta) at the University of Alberta and there were even members of the club who weren’t even university/college students. While growing up from a preschooler to a high schooler, I watched as if anime/manga became more and more available to English speakers from: licensed dubbed/ subtitled anime and fansubbed anime from VHS to anime/manga found on streaming networks such as Funimation and Crunchyroll like we have today. And of course, I also did meet a lot of friends through anime/manga and kept in touch with them through social media.
However, I have been losing interest in watching anime/manga lately unless it is of the female idol genre. For those wondering, my favorite idol franchise is “THE iDOLM@STER” or simply just “iM@S” because「アイマス最高！！」 translation: “iM@S Rules!!”
Yes, I am also what you would consider an Wota/Wotaku or simply an “idol otaku” and I am also one of those people who would have a habit of shouting coordinated chants performed by fans at these types of concerts known as “Calls” and “Wotagei” (A performance done by fans of at idol/seiyuu/anime song events) which involves coordinated dancing and cheering gestures). Anyway, I probably shouldn’t get into Wota culture just yet as that will be an article that I will post on Brotaku for later.
Oh, and just so you all know, I have only been watching most series just to watch the opening, ending, and insert songs as I happen to have more of a passion when it comes to the anison/anisong (short for “anime song”) music genre.
And so there you have it, you should now know why I consider myself an oldtaku!
P.S. If anyone is interested, I am also an avid Instagram/LINE/Twitter user as well! You can search me up by typing my handle: @joukazu on Twitter or joukazu on LINE/Twitter.