I mentioned in my last post on this topic, I had been hooked on Excel Saga.
For a time, the friend that had introduced me to Excel started feeding me other anime… your standard “licensed” anime like Ruroni Kenshin, Kiddy Grade and Junbei. Sure, these passed the time, but they lacked the certain something that Excel had given me.
So I started digging. First came the bootleg DVDs from eBay. At the time I didn’t know that these were really just people ripping off fansubbers – I thought that these were legitimate sellers.
I started looking into Full Metal Panic and similar shows. I bought the Robotech boxed sets. I didn’t know why people bought anime figures.
And then, on a business trip to New Zealand, I found the Excel Saga boxed set, and immediately bought it. Of course, this caused me to re-watch the entire series.
Back at home a few weeks later, I found a bookshop that carried Manga. I went in and happened to find the first 6 books of the Excel Saga manga. Books one through five were pretty much what I had already seen in the anime, but book six started taking the story in a whole new direction.
The English editions of the books also had “Translation Notes,” which described a number of reasons for translating things in certain ways.
Two things happened to me after reading these notes:
1) I decided that I wanted to learn enough Japanese to be able to make translations accurate beyond the “Google Translate” level and
2) I found the Excel Saga English Forums.
At the time, these seemed like insignificant occurrences, but they have shaped my life greatly. They are also, in some way, fundamental to my involvement in KS.
After a few weeks of pondering around the Excel Saga forums, randomly posting about how much I enjoyed the manga, I came across an anime recommendations thread.
The first anime recommened, very new at the time, was The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. It quickly opened my eyes to the awesomeness of anime. It was something beyond the poorly-dubbed “Americanized” anime, it was the real deal.
But the very next post had something important in it.
“There’s this new anime – Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni – translated by WinD. You should all check it out!”
That post was written by the same guy that had recommended Haruhi, so I gave it a shot. I marathoned the first 8 episodes in one hit, enthralled but the story. I was so enthused by Higurashi that i downloaded mIRC and tracked down the WinD channel. Before I went to sleep I was made a QC’er for the group, and my name appeared on the credits from Episode 9 of the group’s releases.
However, I had joined the group in a period of turmoil. The translator could no longer be contacted, and at lot of the tasks involved in fansubbing were not being done to a standard that I could accept.
After a few episodes of learning how to typeset, time and edit fansubs, I took over We are IN Denial fansubs around about episode 14. From that point, I helped build WinD into a bigger group, finishing the first series of Higurashi on time, and setting the stage for my entrance to 4LS.