I have been making websites since 2001, and I’ve been a part of the fanlisting community since 2005. I used to have a Harry Potter fansite, and I was always trying to think up new content for it. One of the things I thought up was a section where people could list themselves as fans of the series. I Googled it only to find it had already been done. The search took me to TFL, of course, and I jumped right in. Unfortunately, not long later my mother had the brilliant idea to move us back across the country with no home or job waiting. This ended up with me being moved from family member, to friend, to state, to city, sometimes staying in hotels, sometimes staying with complete strangers. This went on for almost a year. Internet access was extremely sporadic, so I quickly lost the few fanlistings I owned.

I found TAFL sometime in 2007, and got my first anime fanlisting that year. My oldest fanlistings are the Gunslinger Girl songs Woke From Dreaming and The Light Before We Land, both started on October 14, 2007.

Anime and Manga

Like many American children of the 90s I grew up with anime. The first anime I ever watched was Sailor Moon, and then Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. While I enjoyed it as a child, I never took anime seriously. Because my exposure to anime was mostly limited to 4Kids dubs, I thought of it as something for children only. When my mother and I were staying with an acquaintance of hers around my 16th birthday (during the homeless period), I happened to come across Fruits Basket and Kodocha on the TV station Colours. I watched a few episodes, and was very surprised at what I saw. I saved the names, and looked them up later that year when I finally had a home again. I quickly watched the Fruits Basket dub all the way through, and that was it. I was hooked. This kind of anime was something I’d never seen or experienced before. I watched as much anime as I could. I don’t remember the exact order of it, because it was so long ago and either I didn’t know of MAL, or it didn’t exist. Trinity Blood was probably my second “serious” anime. I saw part of an episode of it on TV, and tried to find the dub online, and was forced to watch the sub instead. Then I moved on to Moon Phase, Gunslinger Girl, Hellsing, Speed Grapher, Death Note, and School Rumble. I had watched all of them subbed, but at this point I was still open to English dubbing. So when I got the DVD of School Rumble from Netflix I watched the dub first, and it was funny. Since I was starting to switch to subs, I decided to rewatch the episode after to compare them. And it was fucking hilarious. I had never laughed so hard in my life before, I laughed so much I cried.

The last dub episode I ever willingly watched was of Code Geass. I read on ANN that two new anime were debuting on Adult Swim, so I decided to watch it. Code Geass was on first, and I ended up only watching that episode. The dub was so ear bleedingly God awful, I immediately went downstairs and looked up the sub after the episode ended. It’s a pretty ridiculous thing to think of as fate, but it was fate when I watched that episode that night, and then looked up the series. Because while some anime had previously enthralled me, I never loved any of them the way I loved Code Geass, and I have never loved any anime that way since. I never felt like that for anything before. It’s an all consuming love that most people would think of as something reserved only for humans. But besides some family members, my pets, and animals, I don’t love anything as much as Code Geass, and probably never will.

After becoming an anime fan I started to look into manga. Two of my favorite anime, Gunslinger Girl and School Rumble, didn’t cover very much, but I knew the story was continuing in the manga. I was going to stay for a short while with a family member while my mother moved us again (third time since I saw Furuba on TV – I had a very chaotic childhood and teen years), and I wasn’t going to have internet access for a week or so. So I gathered a bunch of manga to read to pass the time. Those manga were School Rumble, Gunslinger Girl, and Jiraishin. Because Sukuran and GSG were two of my favorite series, I chose them to be my first manga. I already knew and loved those, but I was surprised to take to Jiraishin the way I did. It’s an older, not very popular series, and I’m not a crime drama fan. But Iida is such an interesting character, and its stylized art is just incredible. You don’t see that kind of artistic quality often.

What I Use

All my anime fanlistings run on the Enthusiast script. I code in Notepad, and I design in Paint Shop Pro 7. Many years ago, a very generous person shared her PSP with me, and I’ve been using it ever since. Even though I’ve been doing it for so long, I know I’m not a very good graphic designer. I used to not even bother trying because I’d see other people my age or younger making incredible things, and here’s me with my PSP7, messy coding, and complete ordinariness. Now I do, because I love my sites, and I’m doing this for myself and them, to try to make them the best I can. Even if I lack talent.