What is old anime? And, more pressingly, how old must something be before we’ll pay attention to it here? Continue reading “What Is Old?”
There’s never been a better time to be an English-speaking anime fan! Legal streaming brings the lion’s share of each new season to at least some parts of the Anglophone world. Fans are gradually, in fits and starts, getting better at gathering and sharing information. Older titles are being released in delicious HD transfers, looking better than they ever did before. Here and there, obscurities are being translated into English for the first time.
There is, however, a self-reinforcing and continuous focus on the anime which are airing now now now. This is natural and healthy: many anime, especially many TV shows, are designed to be consumed communally, as they come out, in just this way. Plus, of course, the companies who stream anime in English want to spend most of their resources highlighting their hot new properties—and who wouldn’t do the same in their position? Business is business.
Anime from the past can be exciting too. We’d never suggest that everyone should be watching and reading about older anime, but we can think of some good reasons to do so. And there are people out there writing, talking and caring about older titles. A lot of that activity gets lost in the general seasonal bustle, though, and it’s a shame that it’s not easier for those of us who care about it to trace, find and enjoy.
We couldn’t find a simple venue that tries to track at least some of that activity, so we decided to make one ourselves; it might or might not be good, but it will be better than nothing. Our hope is that this will support and foster interest in older anime, and help fans see what’s new in the various, sometimes rather scattered corners of the net where people discuss it. Over time, we’d like the accumulation of posts here to build up a useful, searchable, tagged archive. If our efforts help even just a few people to find anime they enjoy, or appreciate what they’ve been watching more, we’ll have achieved our basic goal.
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Don’t expect wonders. We’re not aiming to be an up-to-the-minute news service, and we won’t mind being last to a story. Neither of us has workable Japanese, so we won’t claim to be anything more than a window on English-language activity. We won’t pretend to academic rigour, because we lack the archival access, the industry contacts and the methodological training which would allow for proper research. Finally, we’re not planning to start lots of extra side arms and a Patreon &c &c. This is a small-scale hobbyist project and we’re both okay for now, so if you have money to spend supporting writing about anime, please give it to people who can use it better than we can!
We won’t be talking about new anime, including new remakes of old anime, not out of any dislike—we watch current anime ourselves!—but because plenty of other people are doing it far better than we ever could. Our definition of ‘old’ will be quite generous, however, and we’re interested in material about any kind of anime, not just the relatively narrow canon of cyberpunk OVAs, mecha space operas &c which stand in for ‘old anime’ in the popular imagination. We do have opinions about, say, what’s important in animation, how anime should be discussed, and what fans’ priorities might ideally be, but we’re going to try to be pretty neutral and to err on the side of including things rather than getting into picking and choosing. We will, of course, miss things, and we apologise for this in advance!
As for who we are, Feez is a mechanical engineer in Southern California, and Thaliarchus is a humanities postdoc in England. ‘Anime Redshift Chronicle’ captures not only what we are trying to do, but also some of our interests: obviously, we share a love of anime; Feez enjoys amateur astronomy; and Thaliarchus is interested in medieval writings. Teetering on the line between sounding genuinely cool and sounding like a slightly gauche light novel title, it seemed an appropriate name.