Watching TO-Y & The Start of the #INotOtaku Blog

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After over two decades, I finally managed to fulfill a longstanding wish tonight; to watch in full the TO-Y OVA.

I started from the manga, with digests purchased from a Japanese bookstore (influenced by a friend then who clued me into the manga) and unfortunately had not completed the finite series until even today.

And while I could not understand said manga as it was in original untranslated Japanese language (Written by Atsushi Kamijo and published by Shogakukan), the visual aspect of it affected me deeply, and I had even gone thru emulating the style of Atsushi Kamijo in my doodles. It was after all the "art" which entrawled me moreso than the story, as I never did fully understand the language :p

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"To-y (トーイ?) is a Japanese manga and anime OVA.[1] It is the story of GASP, an underground punk rock band, and their attempt to get a recording contract and attain stardom. The story follows To-y Fujii, lead singer of GASP, and his attempts not to sell out during his rise through the recording industry. The story also follows To-y's growing relationship with Niya, who find comfort in one another while they are shunned by mainstream society." (Wiki)

As well "music" played a strong role as I was growing up, wit the advent of the manga tied inevitably with my teenage years of Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Checkers, Seiko Matsuda and Anchen Chitai. The allure of TO-Y extended to my purchase of the OVA OST years back too!

But my search for the OVA itself, remained unsated through the years, the closest I've ever been was holding in my hands the VHS of the film found in a Japanese video store rental in Daimaru … even the possibility of "no English subtitles" could not faze me, but for my ignorance in finding out how to rent the tape in the first place!

Subsequent years were spent trawling YouTube for full movies but instead finding edited sequence and fa-made MVs … until tonight, on a relish after binge-watching animes for the week, I innocently searched for the film, to find it listed in the directory, and since ticked an item off my bucket-list of "life".


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To be utterly transparent, the 1987 OVA was pretty rubbish seen now, compared to my desire over 3 decades back (who knows how it would have affected me then when I watched it? :p) as it was as disjointed and simplified to the point of being just a fan-service medium to showcase and sell the original soundtrack songs, IMHO … but I am not quibbling over this, as the victorious feeling of being able to find the anime and watching it, was more than enough to overlook the negatives.

Even after all these years, the feeling stayed with me, bolstered by the acceptance of Japanese anime and pop culture since the 1980s till now, and I am grateful for the existence of, and hence the impetus and catalyst to start this very blog you are reading right now :)