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Wednesday 13 February 2019

July 1990 Pt. 12 Letters Page

With so many old friends found in the 'Letters Page' of a comic books or Fanzines; that Pen-Pal network, that started me off back in late 1989 and early 1990, is now a time capsule, and having kept many letters, I am now adding snippets of thoughts of yesteryear when I can.

Fan Club addresses, contacts and pen-pals.
Alan from Roehampton (Pen-pals list in Robotech II Sentinals #13 “Robotegami”) – wrote about “G-Force, and Ulysses, Voltron, and seeing Robotech on Cable TV (Superchannel), Techno Police Movies is on “Sky Movies” - “Have you seen the Japanese Season on Channel Four?”, “At least we can see some of the stuff!”
and buying a Panasonic (NV L28B) VCR (video Tape recorder) that had NTSC Playback, to watch Anime.

[NOTE: see link to cant-play-anime and the cost of VCRs with NTSC playback was as much as a month's wage, and in today's money £450 is equivalent in purchasing power to £1,003.49 in 2018.]

Martin from Portsmouth (Pen-pals list in Robotech II Sentinals #13 “Robotegami”) – wrote about
I've just bought a Panasonic NV-J35B (even though the picture quality doesn't match my Akai VS-53EK, and it sounds like it runs on clock-work!)” - “I thought Laputa was a beautiful film, very emotional and exceeding well animated. It made a pleasant change from the run-of-the-mill kill the bad guys, with fancy Mecha we see.”

Richard from Swindon (EDC member - pen-pal), wrote about “Anime Hasshin, who I have just heard from after a seven week wait. I received 'The Rose' No. 21, and noticed [an Anime fan] at RAF Lakenheath over hear, have you contacted him yet?”, “I also had a letter from Lorraine Savage requesting a small piece on UK Anime activities”, and I am writing a short piece for Helen McCarthy's Anime Newsletter”. “I've given up on 'The lovely Angels Fanatic Cult', who I haven't heard from at all.” - “I would be interested in seeing some of the games console items related to Anime, I know there have been games based on 'Urusei Yatsura', 'SPT layzner (Blue comet)', and 'Macross', with the 'Sega Megadrive' being officially launched in September [the Grey import games will not work\fit with the UK Megadrive] “this means that most of the Anime titles will not work” - The official price is £190.00 inc 1 game, with other games costing £30 -£40. “At least those games don't cost the £220 per games of the Neo Geo!”

[NOTE:   In other words, £190 in 1990 is equivalent in purchasing power to £423.69 in 2018, and £30 to £40 in 1990 is equivalent in purchasing power to £66.90 to £89.20 in 2018. with a whopping £220 in 1990 is equivalent in purchasing power to £490.59 in 2018]

Jim From Edmonton (EDC member – pen-pal – UK's Star Trek fandom USS Endeavour, with its Special Interest Group Arcadia ) wrote - “Talking about 'Black Magic', I've just finished creating a fiendish scenario for R. Talsorian's CYBERPUNK role-playing game, based on the Anime... I think players are in for a hard time, heh, heh, heh. The comic version of 'Black magic M66' should be on sale soon too.” and “You lucky scumbag, you. It's not fair, all you guys with NTSC videos getting all the really nifty anime...”

Paul from South Shields (MekTek subscriber and EastCon '90 attendee) back in June wrote about “'Japanime North East' – we are now an official club (!) that's our proper name at the top of the page (club letterheads are very useful), I managed to secure us a quit TV viewing lounge at the local Community Centre, and they are soon going to buy us a Video to use (Multi format of course), we'll be having viewing sessions every Sunday evening. It costs £3.50 to become a member for a year, and nightly subs are 40p (standard community association). “
I do hope that you can bring people in your area together and form a successful Anime Club, there are lot of people around Britain who have talked before about forming clubs, but as usual nothing happens.” - “We should be getting more good Anime soon and we will all 'chip in' to get it converted to Pal so that everyone can enjoy it, after all 10 members each give £2 to get a tape converted, we think its the best way. - (it cost £34 for 3 hours).”

[NOTE: £34 in 1990 is equivalent in purchasing power to £75.82 in 2018.]

[NOTE: With America and Japan running the NTSC television format, and the UK having its PAL system finding compatible VCR (video Tape recorder), and a television that was smart enough to show the signal was a big deal back in the 90's, very hard to find, and the cost was well over a month's wage!]

[NOTE: Mr G. Cowie explains the technicalities, back in the day...]

[NOTE: Anime showings were done in people's bedrooms, and front rooms, and community centres, as part of the grass roots of a fledgling Fandom.] 

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