Exactly one year ago, December 1, 2010, I did something that I had thought about doing for a while: Start up a blog. Though I had already done a mini-blog over at the AnimeonDVD forums over at Mania.com, not to mention the multitude of videos I had done on YouTube (go back to my very first post to check that out), those two didn't exactly have a central focus based around anime. The AoD blog did involve anime but it wasn't a central focus, and the YouTube videos were more about game reviews, with anime being a secondary focus. I wanted to create something with the focus being on anime that seemed to be forgotten, ignored, or simply unknown. That idea ended up becoming the blog you are at right now:
The Land of Obscusion: The Home of Obscure Anime (and a really bad pormanteau of the word "obscure" and the Genesis song "The Land of Confusion")
Why create a blog about obscure anime? Well, you can easily find a multitude of blogs where people simply talks about the new shows that air each season, but even those blogs tend to simply mention the smaller-name titles but then focus on the anime that they're watching, and because of that there's a lot of overlap. But considering how long anime has been around, there's a wealth of anime that has been seemingly lost to the annals of time, not to mention new shows that just don't get any sort of coverage. Are all of these shows must-watch diamonds that have somehow been lost? Probably not, admittedly, but at the same time there are plenty of titles that are still worth checking out, and it's very easy to forget about them as time goes on. I do love watching anime that are big-name and have tons of coverage & popularity, but at the same time I enjoy digging around and finding titles that aren't known that well. It's like digging for precious metals, where you go through a ton of dirt, finding some stuff that's worth small change but taken together can still be worth something, until you finally find that valuable material that's been hidden for who knows how long.
And that's the focus of The Land of Obscusion: To simply give these obscure, forgotten, or underappreciated anime a chance to shine, even if it's from an extremely small-name blog that can only give them a small glitter to shine with. Even a small glitter is better than darkness. And if it's not an anime, then at least be assured that it's related to anime in some fashion.
Throughout this first year I've covered all sorts of anime, manga, games, & topics: some news stories, not one but two lists of anime that deserve license rescues, looking at Enoki Films USA's catalog to see if there are some potential gems hidden within that company's vault, recalling the history of Illumitoon Entertainment, trying my hardest to talk about the Xevious movie without being able to ever watch it, and, of course, the reviews that make up the major focus of this blog. Doing this blog has resulted in me recalling from memory some shows, re-watching some others to see if they still give me the same feelings, and watching plenty of others for the very first time simply to review them. There are so many titles that I have thought about watching but never actually did so until I decided to review them. Titles like Ninja Ryukenden, One-Pound Gospel, Prefectural Earth Defense Force, Mutant Turtles, and even the Saint Seiya movies were all titles that I had planned on watching sooner or later, and this blog has made me finally take the plunge. But enough of this talk, let's take a look at some stats:
Studios Whose Titles I Have Reviewed:
AIC  (Dangaioh, TwinBee Paradise OVA 1 & 2)
Animate-Film  (Fuma no Kojirou: Yasha-hen)
Ashi Pro/Production REED  (Mutant Turtles: Chojin Densetsu-hen)
Banpresto  (Super Robot Wars Compact 3)
BONES  (Clockwork Fighters: Hiwou's War)
GAINAX  (Blazing Transfer Student)
MADHOUSE  (Akagi, Kaiji S1 & S2, One Outs)
Magic Bus  (Majuu Sensen: The Apocalypse)
Masaya  (Ring ni Kakero [Super Famicom])
North Star Pictures  (DD Hokuto no Ken)
Oriental Light and Magic  (Monkey Turn)
Plum  (Shin Seiki Den Mars, Platinumhugen Ordian)
Production I.G. (Jikuu Bouken Nuumamonjaa)
Shadow Production  (Manga DVD Kyoufu Shinbun, Manga DVD Ring ni Kakero)
Studio 88  (Violence Jack 1-3)
Studio DEEN  (Next Senki Ehrgeiz)
Studio Gallop  (One-Pound Gospel, Prefectural Earth Defense Force)
Studio Junio/Brain Trust  (Ninja Ryukenden)
Studio Pierrot  (Hunter X Hunter 1998 JSAT Pilot, Salamander, Yoiko)
Sunrise  (Arion, Metal Armor Dragonar)
Taito  (Psychic Force)
Team Astro Production Committee  (Team Astro)
TMS  (B't X)
Toei  (Ring ni Kakero 1 S1-S4 & Pilot, Saint Seiya Movies 1-5)
Trans-Arts  (Zaizen Jotaro)
Multiple Studios  (Roots of Japanese Anime)
Years That Featured the Titles I Have Reviewed:
Pre-1980s : Roots of Japanese Anime
1986 : Prefectural Earth Defense Force, Arion, Violence Jack: Harlem Bomber
1987 : Haja Taisei Dangaioh, Metal Armor Dragonar, Salamander, Saint Seiya Movie 1
1988 : Saint Seiya Movie 2, Saint Seiya Movie 3, One-Pound Gospel, Violence Jack: Evil Town
1989 : Saint Seiya Movie 4, Fuma no Kojirou: Yasha-hen
1990 : Violence Jack: Hell's Wind
1991 : Ninja Ryukenden, Blazing Transfer Student
1994 : TwinBee: WinBee's 1/8 Panic
1996 : B't X, Mutant Turtles, Psychic Force, Jikuu Bouken Nuumamonjaa
1997 : Next Senki Ehrgeiz, Ring ni Kakero [Super Famicom]
1998 : Hunter X Hunter 1998 JSAT Pilot, Yoiko, TwinBee: Tale of the Tulip Seaside
2000 : Clock Fighters: Hiwou's War, Platinumhugen Ordian
2002 : Shin Seiki Den Mars
2003 : Manga DVD Kyoufu Shinbun & Ring ni Kakero, Majuu Sensen TV, SRW Compact 3
2004 : Monkey Turn, Saint Seiya Movie 5, Ring ni Kakero 1 Pilot Film, Ring ni Kakero 1
2005 : Akagi, Team Astro
2006 : Ring ni Kakero 1: Nichibei Kessen-hen, Zaizen Jotaro
2007 : Kaiji
2008 : One Outs
2010 : Ring ni Kakero 1: Shadow
2011 : Ring ni Kakero 1: Sekai Taikai-hen, Kaiji: Hakairoku-hen, DD Hokuto no Ken
Is any of this important in any way? Not really, but I felt that the best way to celebrate was to dig up some random stats, and it made realize some things. For example, I haven't reviewed any anime from the 70s, outside of the Roots of Japanese Anime DVD (but that's from before the 60s). Also, I've covered every year of the past decade (the 2000s) except for 2001 and 2009, not to mention that I didn't realize that that this year alone gave me three shows I've reviewed (I forgot that DD Hokuto no Ken was from early this year).
No worries, though, as there are plenty of other titles I have planned to review, so this blog isn't going away anytime soon. Plus, I do plan on finally revealing Review #50 today, and boy should it be a doozy of a review... But this one-year anniversary post is coming to an end, and what better way to say "Thank You" than to actually list off the people I want to give special thanks to:
-Justin Sevakis for doing Buried Treasure over at Anime News Network, as those articles are what made me want to talk about lesser-known anime. Honestly, just read his BT articles, as his work was just simply amazing.
-Jason Thompson for doing House of 1000 Manga over at Anime News Network. It's very much Buried Treasure for manga, and therefore is just about as inspirational for this blog, and is equally as great to read.
-Milo Turnbull, the man behind Blog of the North Star, which also talks about lesser-known titles, but in a very different style than myself. Thanks for the fun and interesting conversations on Twitter!
-Chris Beveridge, the man behind the old Anime On DVD and presently The Fandom Post, for creating a place for people to talk about anime. Without the old AoD forums, even with all of the crazy posters (myself included), who knows if I'd be here right now.
-All of my followers of Twitter that I haven't mentioned already, as cheesy as it sounds, for deciding to follow the, as I call it, "potentially random ramblings of someone you don't know". It's great to see people actually caring about smaller-name anime.
-And, finally, all of the readers of this blog for checking the blog out and making these random ramblings have some meaning behind them. I had wanted to pass 1,000 views in a single month before hitting one year, and I did so last month, though that's probably mostly due to my appearance on ANNCast early in the month for a Viewer's Special.
Is that enough sappiness for you? Have I tortured you enough? Though everything I said was honest I certainly hope that the sappiness was torturous for you... Because later today I will end the torture I have been putting myself through for your own future entertainment, because up next is Review #50, and that title is....