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Thursday 7 August 2014

April 1990 Pt.1a UK Anime Fandom.

April 1990 was to be an important time as the word had spread from 'MekTek' Issue #3 telling us about one up and coming Science fiction Convention over the Easter weekend (April 14th & 15th 1990) EastCon '90 showing Japanese Animation (well that's how I got to know!  Thank you Ashley.), and as I've later found out another Convention held over the Easter weekend in April of 1990 was Elydore, a media Convention held at Shepperton, that also had a showing of Japanese Animation in one of its Video rooms, run by Miss J. Felton (No futher details of this as yet).

[Note: This will be ground Zero for the UK Anime Fandom as I would know it.]

After over 20 years its not all that easy to remember the details, or that easy not to start embellishing with hindsight those events luckily for me I had written a Con-Report that was published in American Anime club's magazine Anime Hasshin's “The Rose” Issue #22 July 1990.
So here I am quoting myself word for word.

By Carlo Bernhardi

Friday the 13th! It certainly wasn't unlucky for me! It was my first chance to see Anime shown at EastCon '90 (the National British SF Convention) in Liverpool – the first time ever for Anime in the United Kingdom.
As the Con was SF in general, the Anime seemed to be in the nature of a filler with time slots from midnight to 4:30am and then from 8:00am to mid-day.
Helen McCarthy organised the Anime and it was very good indeed, mostly action and adventure.
AKIRA drew the greatest audience and 'Wandering Kids' and 'Cream Lemon' filled the room to capacity. My first taste of original Anime was 'Galactic Patrol Lensman'.

I was please to meet three 'Robotech' fans, you could hardly miss them wearing their home-made Zentraedi badges, posing as the three spies to find out as much as they could about Anime. We've kept in touch ever since.

So it was a very small percentage of the whole Con that constituted Anime fans. But the programme was a great success and it brought us all together. Eveyone I met declared that they loved every minute of it! Even when they couldn't understand a word of it!
The Anime shown at the Con:

'Southern Cross', 'Gundam', 'Five Star Stories', 'Crusher Joe' (English), 'Iczer-1', 'Hokuto no Ken', 'Space Cobra', ' Dunbine', 'Black magic', 'City Hunter', 'Robot Carnival', 'Akira', 'Megazone 23 Part 2', 'Lupin III', 'Orguss', 'Windaria' (English), 'Macross', 'Wandering Kids', 'Cream Lemon', 'Digital Target Grey', 'Project A-KO', 'Dirty Pair', and 'Dr. Slump'.

With the explosion of Anime now being heard across this country, the nucleus of which was created at the end of the Con by a few people, a national fanzine is being formed and small local clubs have appeared whose founding members keep in touch by mail with small amounts of info on Manga and Anime flying around.

Carlo Bernhardi 1990 ©

[Note: With hindsight I can up-date and elaborate on some of the Anime titles that were shown: the 2 English dubs shown as 'Crusher Joe' & 'Windaria' were in fact from a kids cartoon Video label called “My TV” respectively renamed 'Crushers' and 'Once upon a Time'. 'Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross', 'Fight – Iczer-1', 'Fist of The North Star', 'Space adventure Cobra', 'Aura Battler Dunbine', 'Black Magic marionette M-66 ', 'Super Dimension Century Orguss', 'Macross: Do You Remember Love?', and 'Wandering Kid' a 3 part OVA that was edited and cut in Japan into a film, this film was then futher cut for BBFC 18 ratting in the UK and is better known as “Urotsukidōji”.]

[Note: You can compare the Video room showings from the 'San Diego ComicCon' 1989 &1990 at 

[Note: The kids cartoon Video label called “My TV” was at the Convention at Helen McCarthy's request.]

[Note: To quote Steve Kyte "So get ready for UK Anime Fandom - EASTCON 90 is just the beginning!" (Source - Heavy Metal Heaven (the robot in Japanese Animation) by Steve Kyte 1990.© ] 

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