Years and years ago I was first exposed to that wonderous phenomenon called "Anime", although at the time everyone thought it was called "Manga" ^_^ At the tender age of fourteen I encountered an article in one of the gaming mags of the time, telling about a game, movie or was it a comic? Either way it was called Akira. This article only showed one small scanned drawing, but I was immediately blown away!
Months and months went by and I finally got my grubby hands on an Akira VHS. Through this tape I found out that there were many other movies like these, which resulted in me and my best friend Menno renting all of them. Unfortunately the distribution company was going for a quick buck, so they only published gory and sex-laden movies. Manga and anime fans still think back to those days in disgust because Manga Entertainment singlehandedly pushed back the whole dutch market at least seven years.
Years went by without any anime, until I got on the web. I started visiting forums like Ars Technica which were frequented by die-hard anime geeks. Friends on those fora introduced me to "modern" shows which were still being aired on TV on Japan. A whole new world openend up to me!
The final phase of my fan-dom was completed when I started visiting anime conventions in the Netherlands. I've made a lot of friends through these conventions. Be sure to check out the website of Anime 200x the biggest and longest running annual convention of the Netherlands.
For the past few years I've been involved with the Anime 200x festivals as a volunteer. I started out as a lowly gopher (canon fodder), but ended up doing four tours as a staff member (manager). Awesome times, to say the least!
After Anime 2008 I decided to step back as a staff member and a volunteer. All the volunteering was taking up too much time in my life and it had become more of a job than a hobby. So that's the end of that. Per Anime 2009 I'll just be another geeky visitor :D
All content, with exception of "borrowed" blogpost images, or unless otherwise indicated, is copyright of Thomas Sluyter. The character Kilala the cat-demon is copyright of Rumiko Takahashi and used here without permission.