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The End of Animerica June 30, 2005

Posted by ayasawada in Uncategorized.

I came across this eyeonanime article today, which came as something of a shock! Anime magazine Animerica has ceased printing as a monthly newstand edition and whilst thats something I can understand, I still find it rather sad.

Animerica was the original English language anime magazine and has been around for longer than I’ve been an anime fan (and that’s reasonably long for my age). In my day (here we go….) Animerica was a thick, we written stapled magazine and one of the few decent English language anime magazines you could find. In the UK we had the wonderful Anime UK and the now defunct Manga Mania, but Animerica came from that land of plenty where translated releases seemed to flow aplenty. Animerica had in depth news, talented, enthusiastic writers and free manga inserts, the likes of Urusei Yatsura, Area 88 and Galaxy Express.

Unfortunately time was not been kind to our old friend. The mag became spindle-bound, but thinner and the writing went with it. Maybe it was just me growing up, but there seemed to be a dumbing down of content, for the more populist, Pokemon inspired kids and not the hardcore…ahem… otaku. Most disappointingly, the feature articles suffered a dramatic drop in quality. Most anime mags (the long past Anime UK aside) serve largely as advertising as well as information, but insight and opinion into a series vanished from the Animerica articles. Thankfully, the reviews remained honest and interesting and they kept the ‘Tales from Japan’ and Gundam modelling pages. But it soon became apparant that £3.50 was a bit much to pay for 70% crap and thus I dropped it.

The appearance of the ADV backed Newtype USA, a direct spin-off of a the famous Japanese original, was the first of the final blows for Animerica. Bigger, glossier and with free DVDs and manga, Animerica could not hope to compete (except for those who couldn’t afford the price – double that of Animerica). Sure, Newtype is equally full of advertising disguised as features, but the emphasis on pictures – this is an anime mag after all- makes up for that. Moreover, the slightly vacuous writing survives because it is incredibly short and, seeing as 1/3 is translated, maintains a cult Japanese quality about it. Otaku can turn to the net for honest, indepth discussion and analysis and Newtype provides a rather stacked monthly summary of the English-speaking anime world, packed with quality columnists from writers, manga-ka, voice actors and experts.

As soon as Newtype USA appeared, there really was no choice. Nothing even comes close. The closure of Animerica, whilst sad, was inevitable. Nevertheless, it deserves a celebratory send-off. The Western anime world continues to evolve and another of the foudnations passes quietly into the past.


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