Anime Academy

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All About The New Anime Academy

The original Anime Academy lived for many years at its own domain, and was an invaluable resource to anime fans. It disappeared from the Internet in 2014, but was largely preserved as part of an Internet archive, with most of its material intact. This is an attempt to bring it back to life as an ongoing project reviewing, critiquing, and discussing all kinds of anime.

All credit goes to the original founders of Anime Academy.

av-Mugs av-Corpse

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32 Comments

  1. L-sama says:

    This is L-sama of the original AA web page. It’s great to see someone trying to revive the old site. If you need more reviews that were lost, I at least have more of the ones that I wrote for you to upload…Including a few that were formatted and at the ready for the site but were lost due to the web page’s sudden demise. Let me know if you are interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hajimemashite, L-Sama-sama! I have to say it is quite a thrill speaking to one of the Founders! I have actually been living with a bit of apprehension that one of you would pop up and demand I scrap it all for copyright infringement! What DID happen to the original, anyway? And I absolutely would be delighted to upload any more of your reviews, either that you have now or that you might like to do in the future. Are you in contact with any of the others, and do you know if they’d care to contribute again?

      FYI, I’ve had the new AA up for a few months now and am just starting to get a little traction, but still no more than a handful of viewers a day. Prob. would be better if Wikipedia hadn’t suddenly taken notice of my additions in the “External Links” and yanked ’em all down. But I’m finally starting to get hits straight in from Google, and I’m very cautiously putting up some comments with links at BakaBT — I DON’T want to abuse their hospitality! Out of curiosity, how did you find me?

      And as a point of reference, do you have any idea what the traffic was at the original AA? Since going live in September, I show a paltry 230 unique visitors, but a lot of that has been in the last month and a half.

      You know, BakaBT (nee` BoxTorrents) and AA was my 1-2 combo for anime for many a year. I’d study up for my next series on AA and see if I could get it at BT.

      Wow, I’m rambling on, do excuse me. I’ll leave it there. But yeah definitely would be happy and honored to work with you.

      ’til next time ….

      Like

      • L-sama says:

        Don’t you worry about any anger from anyone. If anything, if any others can find this, I’m sure they’d be happy too! As to what happened with the original AA, I can’t give you an answer to that. To be honest, I don’t know myself. The web site, as far as I am concerned, simply ceased to exist one morning. I never received any warning, let alone an explanation. I also do not know any specifics regarding traffic on the old page…I didn’t have access to that information. As long as word spreads more and more about this revival, then traffic should slowly pick up.

        As to how I found this site, it honestly happened by accident. Now and again, I’ll try to peruse the internet to see if there was a revival of the site that I was unaware of. One day, I searched “Anime Academy” and my user name, and this site eventually came up. If anything, I was rather impressed at the amount that you were able to recover.

        I’m not really able to get in touch with any of the professors since the shut-down, though I was briefly in touch with Illjwamh via e-mail…so I can at least try again with him. He seemed like he wanted to try and get a revival going, so I think I could get him on board if I can get in contact with him.

        Otherwise, I’d be more than happy to send along reviews that got lost with the shut-down as well as any that may pop up in the future. It’s great to see someone trying to bring this back, so thank you!

        Like

      • Glad to hear all that! And yes by all means send along any material I don;t have, and if you can reach Ilj. by all means do so. FYI there is a site called the Internet Archive which basically takes periodic snapshots of sites all over the web, and that’s where I recovered AA from:

        https://web.archive.org/web/20130117050253/http://www.animeacademy.com/Gatts.php

        Nearly everything is still there, it’s just not readily findable — and of course it’s purely static.

        I
        There were really only a handful of reviews that I couldn’t recover, I don;t remember now what they were, exc. one of the new Evangelion episodes/movies/OVAs — what DO those count as anyway?!? But they were the newest ones and somehow the front page links or the ranking page links were archived but the actual review itself was not.

        t’s quite odd, click the link for the old AA and it’s just a message “no website here”. not even a 404 error. Never seen anything else like it. I think I read one of the last updates on the Archive mentioned something about the domain name being bought up — another reason I worried a bit about my own efforts here stepping on someone’s toes.

        Also, I can’t find the site now, it’s another review site, more of a wiki kind of site, but there was a user on there using the name and avatar of Kjeldoran — he just liked the image and adopted it: if you happen to run across it.

        Looking ahead a bit, I was also thinking about making this a bit more a “full service” site, and possibly providing torrent links to shows available at BakaBT, which I mentioned before. To the best of my knowledge they are extremely ethical, post up only legitimately-available-in-the-US material, and strictly observe a ban on US-releases. Do you think that would be within the scope of the Academy charter, so to speak ;- } ? Like I said, AA and BBT was my hot combo, and I thought it would be a nice touch to give somebody the ability to click right over to download after finding something they found interesting.

        One last detail for now, in the interest of Full Disclosure: when I transferred the reviews over, I left them largely alone. However, I did edit a number for spelling and grammar, a few I did very slight re-writes for clarity or where structure seemed awkward, and not more than a half-dozen did I make any substantive change — I think the “biggest” change I made at all was in a summary where there was a lengthy explanation of the humor; it seemed a bit convoluted and unnecessary, so I just dropped that bit and substituted the meme-ish “Hilarity ensues.” in its place. If you find I’ve tampered with one of yours, or for that matter, if you want to edit one for any reason, just let me know.

        Talk soon–

        Rob

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ash_chan says:

    I’m so happy that someone is trying to revive it. I was in for quite a shock when I discovered that “No Website Here” thing. I know that there was very much a website there! I met one of my closest friends though AA, so it’s very sad to see it has fallen.

    Like

  3. Aml19 says:

    Really glad somebody has found a way to preserve the content at least. I’ve been looking around periodically since the site disappeared and thought it might be lost forever. Thanks for making my day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I salvaged nearly everything from the Internet Archives and rebuilt it. I’ve been adding a few too, so it won’t be just a museum. If you have a show you like that isn’t here, feel free to write it up, I’ll be glad to accept new content.

      Like

  4. Two-twenty says:

    Hi.
    The death of the AA is basically my fault, but first a bit of backstory.

    If you cast your mind back to the time before last when the AA went down, it was because a credit card expired. I think it was a friend of Mugs or Corpse (I can’t remember which) who was actually paying the bills, but at the time it went down, he was uncontactable. There was a lot of faffing about contacting everyone, figuring out what the problem was, and deciding who would pay for what. At the time, the forum folks were still as characteristically passionate and they wanted to know what happened and when it would be back and why it went down and WHERE THE HELL IS THE AA and etc. After a few days of this, I just sucked it up and said to Corpse/Mugs ‘put it on my card.’ It took a long time to actually get the site back online because I had to contact the US web support folks with a 12 hour time difference because their credit card form didn’t have a way for me to input foreign credit card data. But it worked out eventually. So there’s a fun fact: for a good many years, the secret, underground, puppetmaster owner or the AA was none other than Two-twenty: the drunken Australian PE professor.

    Years pass, and I stopped watching anime entirely, gave up on ever being on the IRC channel when it was active, the review site’s output plummeted, the forums slowed down to a trickle of posts, and (IMO) the actual review-site medium became entirely outdated (it is very much a relic of turn-of-the-century internet). I only went on the forums on occasion to see if anyone needed ban-hammering and to follow a handful of threads in the Misc and Manga subforums. There were even times when I’d only be reminded that the AA existed when it was listed on my credit card bill summary.

    Eventually, my old credit card expired and I decided not to renew it because it was paid off and credit cards are insidiously horrible little money sinks. I have to admit that I had completely forgotten that I was using it to pay for the AA. So, essentially, it was the same problem as before: the webhost company tried to charge an expired credit card and pulled the website when it didn’t get its money. This time though, no one was around to do anything. I don’t even know when it was pulled or how long it was down before I remembered. No one tried to contact me about it, and I didn’t have anyone else’s contact details (there was a thread for that in the Staff forums, so a fat lot of good that did in this situation) save for a vague recollection of having Mugs’ gmail on an old account I never used and I think Ender was on my Facebook friends list at some point, though I’ve forgotten his actual name. Worth noting as well, I looked into how I could get it back up and still, after all these years, the webhost only took American credit cards!

    To be brutally honest, at this point, I let it die. It is by no means a decision I took lightly or quickly and I wish I could have spoken with someone, ANYONE, about it, but as much as I loved it, I had to be realistic about the level of care relatively few people had and the worth of getting another credit card specifically for a website that I/anime fans barely visited anyway.

    It’s not a great reason, but there’s the reason.

    For what it’s worth, as the only one with any sort of power over the site who seems have found this place, I’m happy and totally okay with what you’re doing here. On occasion, I’d google ‘anime academy’ to see if its absence produced any sort of chatter similar to when it first went down, and this is literally the first time I’ve found something. And it’s probably the best ‘something’ I could have possibly found.

    Thanks.

    – Two-twenty

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Two-Twenty– What a thrill and honor to hear from one of the original AA staff! I heard from L-Sama a while back, you may have seen our correspondence in the comments, I think they are visible publicly. Apologies for not replying to you sooner, things have been hectic for me lately. That’s a rather strange and sad story of how AA disappeared, but it sounds like you did everything you could. I’m very glad, and flattered, that you like what I’ve done. For quite a while I was dreading that one of the founders would pop up and be very irate about copyright violations and such.

      Sorry to hear that you’re not watching anime any more. I hoped at first you might want to contribute some new material. I’ve been adding some new reviews, though. Odd, I never would have thought of a review site as outdated!

      As for the site, traffic is slow but steady, maybe a half-dozen unique visitors daily. At least it’s free! Well, piggy-backed on my other Penny Robinson site. Do you recall what sort of traffic the original had? Just curious.

      Well, if you happen to encounter any of the others, please let them know about my efforts. Hopefully, any will be just as pleased to see the old place carrying on.

      So, glad to hear from you, and you are more than welcome to write again, for any reason. All the best!

      –Rob M

      Like

  5. Soundchazer says:

    Hello everyone. I happened to bump into the revised site while looking for any traces of the old Anime Academy. Unlike Two-Twenty, I have continued watching anime (after all, this habit of mine started back in the seventies), although my schedule would make it somewhat hard to continue writing any reviews in a continuous basis.

    Truth be told, I somewhat agree with Two-twenty on the matter of review sites. The advent of dedicated streaming services like Crunchyroll and Funimation, with their ability to have dedicated forums and voting systems per anime for discussion make reviews somewhat moot. At the end of the day, people like what they like, and when you don’t have to spend 30 to 50 bucks for anime DVDs or bluray, your need to research the quality of it goes down dramatically. I do consider, however, that this format still serves a purpose for older, hard to find titles.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anthony Powers says:

    Wow, I just happened to find this after looking up Kimagure Orange Road on Bakabt. I had been looking for years on search engines, it must have not been showing because of the “the” in the title. Crazy, I’m so glad you spent the time to bring these reviews back! Man, this was my go to place for finding quality anime. I have held their 90% titles on a pedestal even to this day hah!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Z says:

    Thank you for doing this! And many thanks to the original team, for creating it to begin with, and for lending support here. I’ve never been more than a casual anime fan at best, but the reviews on AnimeAcademy led me to many hours of solace during a dark time in my life. I’m deeply glad the content lives on, even if as a static archive.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A. says:

    hello this is Neo hunter.. I am surprised i stumbled on to this site. i was an old member of AA a long time ago before it shut down unexpectedly. its great you found a way to get this. I see some of the sempai have replied soundchazer, two-twenty. its been way too long. I hope you do well..

    NH.

    Like

  9. amar s says:

    Hello this is Neo-Hunter. I was a member of the old AA. thank you for doing this. I see that some of the older sempai have been here. I am glad that this information still lives on.

    Like

  10. Snowglobe says:

    Thank you so much for doing this.
    I never posted in the forums of the old site, but AnimeAcademy was my life for years.
    Nothing made me as sad as its absence. Thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kjeldoran says:

    Hello, Kjeldoran here. Not sure how to prove it’s me. Hopefully my french accent comes through.

    Anime Academy was a huge part of my young adulthood. I believe it was the first AA hiring contest I applied to with my Roujin Z review. I reviewed it from the dub, something that has haunted me for many years (Don’t tell Kain or he’ll have my professorship revoked). I don’t get emotional easily but I remember crying when I got the job. Mostly from happiness but also from the overwhelming pressure that I was now living my dream (hey, it was a big deal back then) and didn’t want to let everyone down.

    From that day, I would spend most lunches in college going downtown to either rent or return anime. Going to Otakon with the gang are definitely some of the most memorable weekends of my life. I still have and wear (good quality!) two Anime Academy t-shirts that either Kain or Mugs made for us. I got to use my AA press pass to interview TK Revolution and a cosplayer I had a crush on; Princess Mel I think she was called. Did some of the pictures from the Con reports that were on the site survive?

    I would sometimes go back to AA just to reminisce. Then one day it’s a 404 and you have a pit in your stomach. You know it was coming but it still feels wrong. So thank you so, so much for putting the pieces back together again. This means a lot to me and it’s nice to see from the comments that it means a lot to many others.

    Rob you mentionned:

    “Also, I can’t find the site now, it’s another review site, more of a wiki kind of site, but there was a user on there using the name and avatar of Kjeldoran — he just liked the image and adopted it: if you happen to run across it.”

    I’m not sure I understand but you might be talking about Project J. I was a site that I piggybacked on AA’s popularity I might copied the whole site before saying my goodbyes. I`ll have to look. You’re looking for something in particular? That too was an important part of my life. You take it for granted and then one day you see that you failed to renew the domain and some clickbait malware site took it over. It really hurts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kjeldoran! Of COURSE it’s you! Always a thrill and honor to hear from one of the originals! And always a relief not to hear “Take it down or I’m gonna sue.”

      First off-the site I referred to was not Project J but MyAnimeList: here’s a link to it with your namesake’s profile page — http://myanimelist.net/profile/Kjeldoran

      No, I didn’t salvage any of the convention pics, or anything really but the reviews and “lecture” material. It should still be out there, even as I write I’m trying to find a link for you.

      So are you still watching anime, and would you be interested in making any new contributions? I’ve done a few of my own, but it’s nice to have a lot of different views and voices. Coincidentally, I just posted up in a few different places requests for anyone who might be interested in doing some.

      Ah, there we are: https://web.archive.org/web/20130117040540/http://www.animeacademy.com/index.php

      Most everything got archived. The 3 “new” reviews noted on this page did not, and I’ve been hoping to get reviews for the 3 NGE “rebuilds”. I’ve watched through them once, but I’ve already got so much else lined up! And free time is SO short! I’d also like to get reviews of newer series too, most of AA is SO old in anime & computer years!

      Another feature I’d like to add to the Lecture Hall is a discussion of the different studios and their styles. I read someone’s comment there about a certain series being typical of that studio (I don;t remember either right now), and thought that would make a good topic. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’m familiar enough with them all to speak intelligently on them like that.

      Anyway, great to hear from you and great to know my efforts are appreciated. If you’d like to add anything new (or just correspond), you
      can email privately to AnimeAcademy@mail.com

      Like

  12. Naota says:

    Hi all, Naota here (also known as Evapilot in the early days of the forums). I wasn’t a professor, but did moderated the forums. It’s really fantastic to see that Anime Academy hasn’t completely disappeared (great work Rob!). It’s also fantastic to see some of the old professors and members post are still around too! As with two-twenty, I was one of the old Australian members. I actually remember meeting him briefly at the Melbourne Anime Festival where I was also sporting one of the AA t-shirts, lol. Like Kjeldoran, Anime Academy was a big part of my young adulthood. Its reviews guided me to the point of being hired at my local anime store due to my “expert knowledge”, lol. And, throughout my time working there, I continued to use and send customers to AA for the reviews. Alas, life (and some rather pesky military service) got in the way of my regular attendance in the forums, and I dropped off towards the end of the early 2000s.

    Last year I decided to revisit Anime Academy in search of any artwork I may not have by another former member, Runicmyth, who I knew in RL. Early members may remember that she passed away in 2005, so last year marked the ten year anniversary of her passing – and a memorial was held in November (for which I was gathering her work). At the time, I was rather saddened that Anime Academy had disappeared but was not surprised unfortunately – for the reasons pointed out by Soundchazer. And, now reading about the background of it all, I can totally understand two-twenty’s reasons (and it was awesome to find out that you were its secret underground puppetmaster in its final years lol!). Anyway, another search recently led me to this site. So thank you Rob! As I said, it’s really fantastic to see that Anime Academy still exists with its reviews and lectures intact. And it’s great to hear from many of the former professors and members again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Erigion says:

    Hi, I remember this place. T’was a good forum and IRC channel(s)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Otacon says:

    In the past year I’ve been feeling a tad nostalgic, and have been curious as to what some of my old haunts are up to. Admittedly I was a bit upset when Anime Academy was no longer there, but quickly accepted the fate, as this is just how life and the internet works. It was a good place to have, especially when you’re growing up in the boonies on a 28k dial-up connection. The forums gave me a social outlet that I couldn’t get where I lived at the time. The IRC chat room provided many fun times; it also gave me the knowledge to join other IRC rooms, which have led to many fantastic friendships!

    Without getting to rambly, thank you for doing this 😀 I joined in the earlyish days, I think 2001, and it was a huge part of my formative years.

    Like

  15. Roark says:

    Hey there. Roark here, from way back on the forums. Another old user linked me here today… a full two years after the site’s demise and apparent resurrection.

    I was part of the first class of students that didn’t just migrate over with Kain/Mugs/Crapse from… well, whatever the site before AA was. I never actually wrote any articles, but I was very active on the forums, eventually stepping up to moderator on both the forums and the IRC. Although, I’m pretty sure some of the discussions I got into on the forums made there way into the lecture hall.

    I came into AA first year of college, which was fitting somehow. The site guided a lot of I did in founding and running the anime club on campus. At any given time, our programming would consist of whatever AA thought were the hot comedies or action series, sprinkled with “prestige” shows recommended by the profs.

    Thinking through it, the site indirectly set the direction of my life. One of the people I met on the forums led me to move to the Chicago area after college, and I’m still. That relationship ran its course with a somewhat painful ending, and I abandoned AA for a while just to avoid some memories.

    But, anime stayed with me and eventually put me in position as senior management at Anime Central. Which led me to some amazing opportunities, including meeting the woman I’d eventually marry.

    So, I’m very glad that someone took it on themselves to preserve this special site. My life literally would not be the same without it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ender says:

    Professor Ender here. My wife was sent this link from one of our friends, and I’ve gotta say…this has certainly brought a tear to my eye.

    I first came across AA during my freshman year of college by accident in early 2002–I think I was hunting for some information about FLCL, which I had just seen that afternoon. I often time found myself at odds with the professors: reading reviews and thinking “what!? How can they give that series such a low score!?” But I was still drawn to it, I guess part of me kind of wanted to be part of it. I got that chance in 2003 when I took part in the staff-search contest and it was easily one of the few decisions in my life I was legitimately proud of.

    I have never been what you would consider “social.” In fact, I think I might have been one of the only professors who didn’t have a presence in the AA forums before joining the staff. After joining AA though, I found a lot of enjoyment just chatting with “students” and “faculty” through IRC. I’ve met some great people through those forums. Some of my favorite memories involved meeting these people at Otakon–who, in my mind, were these disembodied digital avatars with a blistering knowledge of Starcraft–and realizing just how amazing a community these people are. Even though I always felt intimidated.

    I think it was that level of intimidation…scratch that, my lack of self-worth and personal anxiety that reduced my reviewing output. Since the beginning of my professorship (that’s a word, right?) I’ve gone through massive good times and titanic bad times. Ultimately, this unhealthy perspective lead me to stagnate. Even when I actually penned a review I would let it sit and sit and sit and sit…

    …and then, while I wasn’t looking, the site was gone.

    Anime Academy still owns a decent-sized bit of real estate in my heart. I met the girl, who I would later marry, the same time I started writing for AA–I remember (like the huge nerd I am) telling her that I wrote for a website that reviewed anime. And rather than calling the police on me, she thought it was cool. I have always linked those moments of happiness together. Even to this day, she has encouraged me to write something.

    There is a strong part of me that would love, LOVE to write anime reviews again.

    Soundchazer mentioned that review sites have taken a hit and “people like what they like.” But that was ALWAYS the case, even when AA was at it’s height. I didn’t write reviews to get people to buy DVDs, I wrote reviews to get people to look at things beyond the “I hate this”/”I like this”-binary thought process that’s diluted so much language. I wrote reviews to tell people that things existed outside of a personal vacuum. You’re never “done” with your hobbies, there is always something around the corner that you might not have even heard of. SC mentioned that there is less reason to research anything nowadays, but I would say that there is MORE of a reason to research: the opinions of a fan that easily cloud another fan’s opinions.

    Nowadays, I work with teens who frequently come up to me asking me for anime recommendations. One would imagine that they would have access to everything and therefore not need to ask me. But some things don’t change.

    Anime is still a big part of my life, and so was Anime Academy. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities it gave me, and I am proud to see it, once again, live on in it’s own unique way.

    Hats off to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Professor! A great honor to hear from you, and especially to receive such kind accolades! As I’ve said before to other former faculty who have found this, I’m always just glad that I’m not receiving some sort of “Cease & Desist” order! As for the site itself, and your & SC’s observations, there are still a number of essentially review sites out there, but rather more freeform blog style, that is, anyone can go in and start posting reviews. It seems to me though that the sheer size of such a place is a bit of a liability more than an asset. Here, with a limited pool of reviewers, a reader can quickly determine which ones are most reliably suited to his own tastes. I would like to expand a bit from the reviews (not to their expense) and get more in the “lecture” pages, more informational and cultural regarding both anime & Japan in general. I’ve been trying to do encyclopedic bits relevant to the current month or holiday, as you may have noticed (have just finished the New Year’s piece), but hardly know where to begin. If you would like to contribute any new material, I would be DELIGHTED! One of the few bits which I couldn’t salvage from the original site was the review for the NGE Rebuild 1.0, and I’ve been trying to find someone else to cover those — I have been adding my own material, I’ve probably got a half-dozen of my own in there now, and more due, but for some reason I’m reluctant to tackle those. Anyway, thanks again for your kind words. Oh by the way, you may be flattered to know that it was you, or your avatar, which inspired me to watch the 1st season of One Piece and post up a review based on that. All the best, and hope to hear from you again!

      Like

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