Article Quick Information
|Title:||A new era for the UK community?|
|Published:||Sun, 13 Nov 2005|
I started taking a strong interest in the UK anime community back during late 2003; the Sci-Fi channel's brief flirtation with prime time anime had just ended in tears and CNX was in tatters, eventually replaced by the now terminally disappointing Toonami. I suppose this was when one era ended for the UK community and another began- during these tough times, ADV and MVM provided us with a reason to keep going, thanks to their efforts us optimists could always remain hopeful that anime would eventually reignite opinion and ascend the ranks of British popular culture.
Two years on and we are looking at an almost completely different industry. DVD releases continue at a frightening rate; with heavy weights like Beez, Manga Ent. UK and even Optimum Releasing adding to the consistency of MVM and ADV, the sheer depth and diversity of the UK anime DVD industry has never been as impressive as it is now. Just as important, we now also have a national anime magazine in NEO; while the hardcore otaku may not rate its compromising writing style; it serves casual anime fans well and has survived long enough to establish itself within the country.
And don’t underestimate the important part played by ventures like NEO when it comes to getting the word out. Websites like us try hard to keep UK fans up to date with the latest news and events, but a national magazine reaches an audience beyond our electronic reach. Combine all of the above and we see anime movies like Howl's Moving Castle breaking into the top 10 UK box office and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind finding itself in the HMV DVD chart. So basically, what I'm trying to say is that we have got it good right now and with a bit of luck, it’s only going to get a whole lot better; anime is coming back to UK TV!
If you're reading this, the chances are that you already know about the impending relaunch of RaptureTV. Fullmetal Alchemist and Wolf's Rain will soon be beamed into households around the country and with it comes the latest and largest hurdle for our rejuvenated community yet.
RaptureTV's association with anime can spawn hundreds... heck, even thousands more fans and this sudden influx of interest can only benefit the likes of MVM and encourage them to do things the American way- DVD art boxes, limited edition extras and all the rest. So it's important that if you care about any of this, make sure that you tune into Fullmetal Alchemist and Wolf's Rain and show your support for anime in the UK, tell your friends about it and even stick information about the showings in your forum signatures!
The pessimists will have you believe that anime can't work on UK TV, pointing to examples like the Sci-Fi channel's dwindling interest as sure fire proof of Rapture's "inevitable failure"; don't believe the hype! The UK community is larger and more organised than those disappointing days in 2003 and we have a real chance here to regain some much needed respect; potential fans won't be restricted to growing up with Yu-Gi-Oh and Beyblade and opinions won't be so coloured by dire and extreme examples of anime (tentacle fest Legend of the Overfiend is still doing damage).
We have been saying it for a while now but these be exciting times for UK anime fans, all of the improvements over the last few years have been building towards this point and now it's finally here, it's important that we show our support and prove that the UK anime community consists of more than one broken man and his tattered plushie!
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