About Us

The J!-ENT “Old School Anime” is an additional section on J!-ENT. A tribute website to honor the old nt2099 BBS that I ran back in the early ’90s. The site was best known for the site for people to access anime, idol and J-Pop files plus European mods which were popular at that time.

For almost a decade, our callers/supporters who were members of the nt2099 BBS have asked us if we had this file or that file from long ago.

And I decided, why not put the majority of these files on the Internet through this website. Sure, it’s not a website I plan to update regularly but consider it a museum of sorts. Where people can go back in time and read of how anime fandom was at one point.

It’s hard to believe how things were back then (compared to the easier access now) and I’m sure when you read text publications such as “Anime Stuff” or read through the various con reports of that time, you’ll get the opportunity to read about how things were back then and how we responded to things that appeared in anime or anime conventions.

So, “Old School Anime” is meant to be a stand alone site hosting files that we once carried on the nt2099 BBS in the early 90’s and nothing more.

If you were a member of rec.arts.anime in the past or a Japanese anime board, please don’t be surprised if your files are found on this site. Again, these files were uploaded and featured on our BBS and other anime BBS meant for public download back in 1989-1996. If you do want us to remove a file, please e-mail us here.

For those of you who don’t know about the origins of J!-ENT and nt2099, nt2099 was created back in 1993. It was one of the largest Japanese animation and Japanese pop culture BBS around.

Note to those who may be confused about BBS as in message boards and online BBS that people had to call: Before the Internet became popular, we would run online sites that were ANSI-based (later RIP animation would appear). These were created by colorization of ANSI dots or blocks and people would call a phone number and connect to someone’s modem and connect to someone’s computer.

It was inconvenient back then because if we wanted to use our phone, we would have to shut the BBS down (unless you owned multiple lines). And since the site was modem-based at that time, while accessing the site didn’t take too long, downloading files took a long time. What would take seconds today for a several MB file, took and hour a lot more.

But because there were not many ways to access anime-related files and Internet did not flourish, BBS were the main ways to obtain info. and communicate with other fans.

The BBS would feature old school ANSI graphics, people could download files (games, videos, graphics, text files or software), play online text based games, chat, web mail and go on message boards via a news server. It may seem nothing to you now but back then, we didn’t have broadband.

We ran a VBBS site and then later a full-on Wildcat BBS site. But by 1994-1995, I knew that the BBS was coming to an end, as I was starting to use Internet. Granted, we still had to contact a local ISP via phone # but for those who were able to upgrade their modems, we went towards the Internet, while some others still continued to use the BBS.

Around 1996, I felt that the BBS has run its course. The Internet was going to be my main focus and thus, nt2099 BBS which became J!-ENT, went online.

Today, we still manage to keep in contacts with our friends who were involved in the anime industry or are involved with anime conventions. As for J!-ENT, we still continue to promote anime, even though our coverage has expanded to entertainment and pop culture worldwide.

But we hope you enjoy these old school files from the past.


OLD SCHOOL ANIME FAN VIDEOS!

I’ll be posting a few videos occassionally from the past:



A REFLECTION ON OLD SCHOOL ANIME FANDOM ON THE nt2099 BBS

Anime fandom: Back in the 70’s was when I first became interested in anime. Although, I didn’t experience what many others have, in terms of anime events in the 70’s or 80’s (because I was still a young kid), nor was I around to enjoy the anime of the 1960’s (I wasn’t born at that time to enjoy the airing of “Astro Boy”, “Speed Racer”, “Gigantor” or “Marine Boy”), I was able to enjoy anime to what was brought on US television.

I was a child of the 70’s and I loved “Battle of the Planets” and I barely remember “Star Blazers”. But like many kids, I was too busy adoring Farrah Fawcett, Linda Carter, Daisy Duke and the character of “Marcia-Marcia-Marcia” Brady.

In the 1980’s (aside from friends enjoying our going to battle in our playground with our heavy die-cast metal “Shogun Warriors” toys in the 70’s and “Transformers” and “Voltron” toys in the 80’s), when I think about anime, I often think about the excitement of the “Robotech” and “Voltron” series and how it had an impact on many of my friends. For me, the anime and the toys were just my life.

Then in the early 90’s, through friends involved with anime clubs, I was introduced to “Ranma 1/2”, “Urusei Yatsura”, “Tenchi Muyou”, “Kimagure Orange Road”, “Maison Ikkoku”, “Video Girl Ai” and many more anime series.

As I grow older and now involved with promoting anime, reviewing anime and also having or creating an anime event, I look at how things are now and compare to how things were back then. The unexpected. How things were so brand new and hard to find and an industry that wasn’t as saturated.

For me, the early 90’s of anime fandom will always stay in my mind. From seeing this guy from Berkeley and his friends starting a con called “Anime Expo”, to see a group of clubs in the bay start an event at their local junior college called “Fanime”, to a Star Trek fan who ended up starting an anime company. These are just a few memories that I have of those days.

Those times were exciting. Maybe because things were much difficult to find and what we did find, it took a lot of networking and the cost of blank tapes and shipping and handling to get a hold of a fan sub or the cost of purchasing an import LD. The thrill of having an anime and people wanting to see it. Despite it being in Japanese or fansubbed in English. A lot different when you look at how easily things are obtained now. If you want a new or old anime series, go online and you can download and watch it within a few hours.

Back then, I just remember feeling stoked about finding hundreds of people who felt the same excitement as I had. Going on BBS and message boards online to share our feelings about anime, the thrill of going to an anime club and watching anime (although mostly in Japanese) and a time when anime was not really accessible, so part of the fun was going to meetings or developing connections and building friendships with fans all around the country to get fansubs. The thrill of reading the latest online magazine of “Anime Stuff”, all text based but nonetheless, informative. To find files of where to buy import video games, anime and JPOP LD’s or models, anime merchandise and much more.

As for the anime cons of yesteryear and the cons today. Anime cons were not as packed back then as they are today and over a 1,000 people was a good thing. For those of you who listened to our J!-ENT radio podcast, you may have noticed a clip of us having a party in the elevator with close to 20 people. Something you would not want to try at an anime con these days. Now, anime cons are receiving over 20,000+ people, costing close to six figures and some that go near the million dollar mark. Also, back then you had a choice of “Anime Expo” or “Anime America” and also “A-Kon”. Now nearly every state has 1 or more anime cons/events.

At anime meetings, the majority of the stuff we saw were not fan subbed. They were in straight Japanese and were played from an LD player and using a projector.

Many of us knew nothing of what the anime was about…well, maybe a little. But it was still exciting. We looked online on BBS or hoped for Cal Animage Berkeley to print scripts for us to understand an anime or text on anime BBS for translations of manga series.

Cosplayer numbers was definitely not like today where cosplayers at certain events almost outnumber regular plain clothed attendees. Back then, maybe a dozen cosplayers and a handful of those were really good cosplayers.

On the good side, the excitement for anime continues to be there. There was a time that people worried that anime was a fad that would slowly pass.

Now, it’s a million dollar industry with more and more people getting interested in it. Anime fandom will continue to get even bigger and bigger each year or self-destruct like it did in 1984 (which I doubt will happen but I do think oversaturation in the market is not a good thing).

On the negative side, if there was one thing that was apparent then and still apparent now…It’s the anime politics. Anime politics seemed to be quite evident on different circles and may it be through conventions, cosplay or online in message boards, those little conversations or flame wars are no longer just limited to rec.arts.anime but on other message boards and so much gossip that it’s crazy. It’s easy for a cosplayer, organization member or club member to get embroiled with the politics. Fortunately, the positive does outnumber the negative and people are having a good time.

 


Rehash of the anime BBS

Anime BBS were once plentiful (limited to one or two phone lines) but by 1995, BBS started to dwindle because of the Internet and the last BBS such as the nt2099 BBS in California, Gravaton City in New York, Megatech in Torrance, California, Valley of the Wind in the South Bay area of California, Neo-Tokyo in Colorado, Sarcastic Existence in Texas , Miskatonic U., Prototype Generation, The Haunted Castle and JAMO were among the last to survive and eventually called it quits. Just to think that the phone bill for many anime fans to call and download small files in today’s standards which would take seconds, took many minutes and over an hour or two, and many people had high telephone bills.

If you wanted news on Anime, you can go to many sites for the latest on anime and Anime News Network. Back then, we look forward to whatever was on ANIME STUFF, whatever we received from Steve Pearl or Hitoshi Doi. But there were anime publications like “Animerica” and those listed on the right. For import magazines, Tower Records had the Japanese anime import mags. As well as the few anime companies that existed at the time (and still exist today).

In a way, those times were just virginal (I know, I should think up a better word), expensive and hard-to-get. The lack of access, made things exciting in a way, because to know what is coming out anime-wise, you had to depend on the early online community, your anime club and the files you download. These days, it seems that every anime released in Japan and every Japanese album, fans are just downloading it online. We never really had that luxury, we were limited in technology. Unless you had a friend copy a CD->Tape but back then, many of us bought our music CD’s via the Irvine Book Store, Nikaku, Mikado. For anime, many of us invested in a LD player (and also an Amiga/Genlock) and purchased LD’s (1 EPISODE/30 minutes) for almost a hundred bucks. They were expensive times!

So, the files you will find on here are totally old school. So, we hope you enjoy these old school files, that it helps some fans reminisce of the past or perhaps, let new anime fans know how much things have grown over a decade later and how much they are luckier now. – Dennis A. Amith (kndy)


A BRIEF WALK THROUGH MEMORY LANE…
BY DAA [kndy]

Before I took writing and interview seriously, there were people I have always wanted to meet and interview and one woman, I was fascinated by her work with “Kimagure Orange Road ” (and much more) and that was Akemi Takada. One of the memories I will always cherish is my interview with her (her translator/my friend hooked me up) and the No-Name Anime and Otaku Generation party for her and Go Nagai at AA94. For nt2099, the graphic files that people were clamoring to download way back then were the “Kimagure Orange Road” graphics. Every pictures was just beautiful and I hope to meet her again someday.

I used to do some work for the company “Software Sculptors” and work with some of the guys who created the company when it first started. It was such a blast because I would pretty much scan through my Japanese anime mags and watch whatever came from Japan and recommend which anime I thought was cool to purchase the rights for. I just remembered that back in 93 or 94, I really wanted to see “Video Girl Ai”, “Kimagure Orange Road” and “Ushio and Tora” to be brought in the U.S., who knew it would take near the end of the decade or after for those titles to be released. Now, a few people I worked with created a company called Media Blasters.
I was pretty young at the time and in return for my work, I received a huge box of Software Sculptors screensavers for “BGC”, “Project A-Ko” and “Ranma 1/2” which were used as contests items on the nt2099 BBS. I just remember the screensavers being the coolest thing out at the time. Here is an old school interview I did with John Sirabella during the early stages of SS.

I will always remember the Fresno-based club “Otaku Generation” and the South Bay club “No-Name Anime” for what they contributed to anime fandom back then. It was such an exciting time with packed rooms. I remember when “Street Fighter II” was being shown and people were all excited and it was a packed meeting. On the left is the first flyer I received for the club. Francis Fung, Sam Clegg and several others involved with the club back then did a wonderful job. They were among the few active big anime clubs back then and it’s sad that they are no longer around. But the memories of meeting new friends interested in anime, Nakamori Akina and Sakai Noriko was awesome!

One of the coolest group of friends back in the day and who were passionate about anime were the guys of Central Anime Kansas. Known for their quality fansubs back in the days, Hiroaki, Todd Perkins and the Brain are the coolest. These guys are still providing something cool to the anime fans in Wichita and I believe Hiroaki is working for a major anime company. Visit their website here.


Way back in the early days of American fan fics where people would read whatever anime-related fics by Christian Gadeken and Ryan Mathews. But there was one guy who really became a fan favorite and that was Stephen Tsai for his works on “Kimagure Orange College” and “Bishoujo Sailor Ranma”. His works was the first time people read an anime-based fan fic series on the Internet. I’ve met and hung out with Stephen a few times at the California anime cons way back then and found this photo which Stephen was signing a printed dojinshi version of KOC.

I worked in political PR in the early 90’s and my first paychecks I saved to purchase a new television, receiver and an LD player. Having an LD player was like the obsessive thing to do if you were an anime fan back then. It was also a very expensive hobby and my first purchase was this “Tenchi Muyou” LD. I I recall going to Tower Records and going through their LD selections and the only anime LD they had was this. It was $35.00 for a half hour. Could you believe that? My first LD was a Pioneer which I purchased not new but it was a display model from “The Good Guys”. I wanted it badly because it had the option to reverse and everyone had a Pioneer it seems. But you know what? I put my favorite KOR movie LD on it and also the first Batman animated movie and it grinded a circular pattern on the LD. . I’m not sure how an LD player can grind an LD but it so pissed me off that I ended up buying a new Panasonic LD player.
Of course, everything I own now is on DVD but I often wondered if friends who had hundreds of LD in their collections, sold them or kept them. I still use my LD player to play all the JPOP Karaoke for Japanese cultural parties at my place.

Unlike today, where we can find which song is on which anime album via the Internet. Back then, it was so difficult to find that information. My first album purchased was “Singing Heart” from the anime “Kimagure Orange Road” and I liked this song and that song but didn’t know which album to get and I didn’t know Japanese at the time, so I got this album. I just remember purchasing it and saying to myself, “I can’t believe I’m spending $40 for a music CD”. From that point, I just started buying any “KOR”, “Urusei Yatsura”, “Maison Ikkoku”, “Macross” (you gotta love Minmei) and “Ranma 1/2” albums I could get my hand on.

Now you can find a plethora of anime guide’s at your bookstore. Way back then, there was one anime guide that I really enjoyed and it was “The Complete Anime Guide: Japanese Animation Video Directory & Resource Guide” (Tiger Mountain Press-1995) by Trish Ledoux and Doug Ranney. I believe there have been several revisions since then. I met Trish and Toshi several years earlier and wasn’t really into the fan politics on what people felt about Viz but to me, they were really cool people.


It was 1994 and I was traveling up and down the state for PR work and had to give a speech in a town that is located up high near the Yosemite mountains. Before traveling, I was getting my shoes and gashed my thumb on an opened container of dog food. It was seriously a bad cut but I had to give an important speech and I had to leave. So, I bandaged it up with a lot of bandages. About 15 or 20 minutes after my speech, one of the audience members noticed my bandages getting bloody (eww..) and I was rushed to the hospital where I was bandaged again and they put alcohol but I was young and the job at the time didn’t offer any benefits. They kept telling me if I don’t get it taken care of immediately, I would need surgery or if I don’t get it taken care of…it might be amputated (ehh??) . I wasn’t comfortable being in a place I didn’t know, especially so high up in the mountains. I decided to take the very long drive home and visit a doctor local in my area. Fortunately, a friend drove with me for the very long drive but I was so much in pain, I was going nuts! My friend was rummaging through music and saw the CD and asked if he could listen to it. I forgot all about the CD. It was a new CD I received from the mail that day. A “Ranma 1/2” CD I ordered and at that time, I loved that anime so much, listening to this album had this calming effect. I know, it sounds so weird but it’s true. So, for nearly 2+ hours, I let the CD play itself twice and it got me home safely and to the doctors. And the thumb is doing well, btw.


A SPECIAL DEDICATION
I would like to dedicate this site to a friend who’s no longer with us. His name is Matt Kolk and he was the person who got me interested in Japanese anime and made Japanese pop culture a big part of my life. Back in 1992, I haven’t seen Matt since high school and it was during a time I believe when everyone was trying to get a copy of “The Death of Superman” or the latest comic books of the X-Men. Everyone there was waiting for those comics except for Matt. He was looking at the magazine stand and there were two issues of Animerica Vol. 1, No. 0. We talked and he was so excited about anime. I knew nothing about the current state of anime at that time. I remember the Japanese animation that I grew up with in the 70’s and “Voltron” and “Robotech” in the early 80’s but after bumping into him and talking about Animerica and anime, I decided…sure, what the heck. I’ll give it a try. He lent me fan subbed copies of an anime favorite of his. The anime was called “Ranma 1/2” and the other was “Video Girl Ai” and he introduced me to a local anime club and Noriko Sakai. From that moment on, I was hooked and from that passion from anime which eventually led to other things in Japanese pop culture, the nt2099 BBS, J!-ENT, The Asunaro Club, and all things Japanese pop culture in my life, it’s all thanks to Matt. – Dennis A. Amith [kndy]
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