< Piro >
Wednesday - January 3, 2001
I remember the day I discovered that there were real, honest-to-goodness soundtracks available for some of these new-fangled anime programs I was starting to watch. Heck, I remember freaking out when I discovered that there were far more than 5 VHS tapes of Kimagure Orange Road in existence - it had been an TV series! Wow! Then, I started to come across listings of Anime CDs that were available. I almost couldn't believe what i was reading.
"Oh my god. look at all the pretty soundtrack CDs..."
This, of course, was the start of a very long, very slippery, financially devastating slope which left me with no money, maxed out credit cards, no friends, living in the stree... er, well, it wasn't that bad, but you get the idea ^_^. The sad thing was that I never came anywhere near having all the anime CDs, tapes, books, and manga that I wanted. I think the fact that I could never, ever EVER collect everything was pretty depressing. Never mind the financial costs - acquiring the sheer volume of anime related material is daunting and I think the main cause of 'anime burnout'. But that's another story. Remind me to recount it sometime.
I was ordering Cds by the dozen - at $35 to $45 bucks a pop, it added up fast. Pretty soon I was collecting all the CDs for all the anime series I was watching. It was insane. Each series had at least 5 to 15 CDs you could buy! There were Original Sound Tracks, there were Image Albums. Then there were soundtracks from the movies, soundtracks from the OAV series, there were drama disks, there were radio show disks, poetry disks...
I never stood a chance. I really didn't. Thank god I never owned a LD player. It's the CDs that killed me. To this day I scratch my head when i look at the piles of disks I own and say, "what the HELL was I thinking?"
Over the years I've probably listened to more anime than I've actually watched. I guess that's because i would really rather draw or work on things while listening than to sit and vegetate in front of the TV. I listen to anime CDs at work. I often chuckle over the fact that the hot, sexy, final design for the lobby of this fancy dot-com corporate headquarters came to me while listening to the soundtrack for "Mahou no Shoujo Fancy La La" :) Heheh. If they only knew.
I was digging thru this pile the other day and pulled out a few disks I hadn't listened to in years. One of my favorites is Bannou Bunka Neko Musume (All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl) Nuku Nuku - Sound Phase OII. Yuzo Takada is one of my earliest influences. I actually purchased all of the Sound Phase disks (there were seven I think) long before I ever saw the anime. I hated the anime. I love the Sound Phase disks.
Anime CDs are funny. Sometimes, they are just music. Either that cheezy background music that we have grown to love, or chipper little J-pop songs that make people look funny at you when you have them blaring from your stereo in your car. Drama disks are even weirder. It's like listening to anime without the visual aids, and really rely 100% on the acting capabilities of the voice actors/actresses (or 'seiyuu' - remember that term folks - there will be a test later). The Nuku Nuku Sound Color disks are a lot of fun to listen to. These days, i can understand what they are saying. Back when I used to listen to these disks, i couldn't.
But, for some reason, it didn't matter. I connected with the acting, with the intonations, the general mood of what was going on. Most anime fans groan when they end up with a 'drama disk' - I've actually found that some of my favorite CDs are drama disks. Nuku Nuku beating up some drunk old men who get too fresh with her. I live for that sometimes...
"nan nanda onoko??"