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Newtype USA Cover

I first got interested in anime during college with Pioneer classics like El-Hazard and Tench Muyo. That was in the mid-90s. I kept my interest after I graduated and through several jobs. I subscribed to NewType USA anime magazine and I have a nearly complete collection of the American version. But about 2004 or so it wasn't as interesting. It would be weeks before I watched a new anime DVD or I would be interested in an anime series I previewed on the NewType DVD, but wouldn't follow through on buying the actual DVDs. I was seriously considering not renewing my subscription when it was announced that the magazine would no longer be published. Fortunately my existing subscription lasted until it ended which saved me the guilt of canceling.

Also I stopped downloading anime music videos (AMVs). I just decided one Saturday morning not to do my usual AMV hunt. There was always one or two I liked enough to keep, but there used to be more than that. I would go to the site just about every Saturday until then. I knew that if I skipped that one Saturday that it would turn into skipping two Saturdays, then three, and so on until I couldn't say I went there anymore. And I was OK with that. Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize that one of your favorite activities had become more of a chore than something you enjoy and you ask yourself why you're still doing it? That's what I experienced. So I stopped downloading AMVs just like that. Sometimes I think of going back, but unless I can find new AMVs of the series I liked I don't really see the point.

I also started playing MMORPGs and that took up much of my time. When I watch anime DVDs, I like to have both the subtitles and english dub on (so I can compare the two). That means I have to be an active watcher instead of just listening to it with occasional glances at the screen.

But looking back I think one of the largest reasons I left anime was that I was growing up. Anime caters to a certain age group and I had long left that. The fan service of giving the female characters big breasts wasn't just getting old, it was getting gratitutious. In the anime series Divergence Eve it looked like every female character was hiding a pair of watermelons in her bra. Even the female characters who were too young to have matured that much. I'm talking enough boobage to give them serious back problems by the time they hit legal drinking age. This was too much. The fan service had gone from being interesting to amusing to insulting.

But that doesn't mean I've totally left anime. I still my collection and some DVDs still in shrinkwrap that I plan on watching someday (yes I know, someday never comes). There are still fanfics I want to finish and I think I'd enjoy an anime-themed RPG. The problem is finding the time. I hope to become a fan again, but I'm not sure I'll be the fan I used to be. I've expanded my horizions and now anime is a smaller part of a larger world.