Akemi's Anime World

Matt Staff Bio

A bit of info about AAW staff member Matt.

I like to think of myself as an animation fan who ended up really taking to the Japanese style of animation. It's certainly had a steady presence in my life. As a child I remember watching Maya the Bee, Astro Boy (80's version), the Japan/France co-produced The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the absurd Samurai Pizza Cats. I noticed those cartoons were different--the mouth movements were limited and the animation moved differently. I just regarded them as "that other kind of cartoon."

The show I credit to my passion for anime is a typical one. Two words and a letter: Dragon Ball Z. The way the characters fought, bouncing around at blazing speeds, caught my attention. However, the way the story slowly built up to an epic confrontation that did not disappoint made me want to learn more. I discovered the show's country of origin and got a sense of the changes that were made to bring it to North America. Eventually I bought my first tape, another typical title: Akira. That was truly a game changer as I realized anime could be so much more than martial arts fighting and energy blasts.

I've given a number of different kinds of titles a chance, and though I've been burned to the umpteenth degree, I've developed a broad range of tastes and a greater sense of what I want to get out of anime. I think writing is very important as the right script can even make an unoriginal premise wildly entertaining. Visually I look for the little touches like facial expressions and body language in addition to animation quality and background work. Once upon a time I annoyingly went on and on about the whole sub/dub thing, but I want to put those days so far behind me. It's all anime to me.

At its best, anime provides stories, characters and artwork that are entirely unique to the medium. When I find a title fitting that description, it reminds me why I still derive so much enjoyment and fascination from anime after so many years. There's always more to learn.

Reviews by Matt