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Dated 16 February 2001: Originally posted "February 16, 19101"

"Princess Mononoke" will be available on VHS for purchase in North America beginning March 13 this year. It is currently available to rent on both VHS and DVD, and available for purchase on DVD. Mark your calendars, eh. "Kiki's Delivery Service" is already available on VHS in both dubbed pan & scan and subtitled widescreen.

Dated 11 March 2001: Originally posted "March 11, 19101"

Good news for you losers without DVD players - "Princess Mononoke" is now available on VHS. Buy this movie now.

Dated 19 December 2001: Originally posted "December 19, 19101"

I haven't given Nausicaa nearly enough love on this site.

Kaze no Tani no Naushika
1024x768 Nausicaa wallpaper that I got from some other site years ago.
Yes, she is wearing pants. What the fuck is wrong with you people?

Cover of the Nausicaa manga boxed set"Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind" is a great movie and an even better manga by Hayao Miyazaki, the director of "Princess Mononoke," "Kiki's Delivery Service," and "Tonari No Totoro."

This movie is strikingly beautiful. The artistry is amazing, surpassing both the entrenched conventions of American animation and traditional anime.

Nausicaa 800x600 wallpaperOne should also bear in mind that "Nausicaa" was made in the '80s during a time when Disney was churning out stuff like "The Black Cauldron" and "Oliver and Company," (although I am quite fond of this latter film) and, quite frankly, not doing so hot—at least not until they released "The Little Mermaid" (plus that whole deal with Michael Eisner selling his soul to Satan, of course).

Furthermore, nobody creates heroines better than Miyazaki, and the eponymous Nausicaa sets the high mark against which all other heroines are measured. Fearless, beautiful, and deeply empathic, Nausicaa is an infinitely better role model for impressionable little girls than our dear Ariel, a kid who banked on the theory that "the men up there don't like a lot of blather." (Although in Ariel's defense, this theory does have merit at times.)

Dated 16 July 2011: Viewer mail: Being introduced to anime

Aaron asks:

I always wondered what first introduced you to anime. I have a theory that most anime fans can be divided up by the way they first "discovered" anime, whether they were originally sci-fi/fantasy/RPG nerds who borrowed a friend's fansubbed VHS or more recent kids who started with Adult Swim. If I had to guess, based on your preferences and the shows you talk about on the blog, I'd say you probably were somewhere between those two - maybe you saw Dominion Tank Police on the Sci-Fi channel or picked up Akira or Evangelion at Blockbuster.

I had to think about this one for a while. At first I assumed responsibility (or blame) lay with the first Japanese cartoon I saw and/or enjoyed albeit dubbed and edited for local audiences, but I can't claim any of those shows inspired an interest in anime. There were also later series and movies I identified as anime, distinguishing them from other works as an actual genre rather than a medium, but they did not lead me to seek out more anime.

Kaya
The line in the sand.

If I had to identify a turning point after which I deliberately sought out more anime for anime's sake, I would have to name the early scene in Princess Mononoke when Kaya rather unexpectedly pulls a machete on an adversary. THAT WAS AWESOME. It was then I realized I was watching a different kind of movie—one that did not follow the normal conventions I expected. From that moment on, I made a conscious effort to explore what else anime had to offer. That's probably what turned it into a hobby instead of something I occasionally watched.

Additionally, the very first anime-related blog post I can remember is about Princess Mononoke. I should dig that out of the archives someday.