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Big in Japan: How Anime Inspired Our Latest Drop

I’m a cruel angel and I’m writing a thesis, or whatever Shinji Ikari said. Are you also a fan of the ‘90s cult classic apocalyptic-mecha-psychological clusterf*ck that is Neon Genesis Evangelion? The first week of October means that spooky season is officially here, and I can’t think of anything spookier than going through puberty while saving the world. Some notable anime greats, like the beautifully disturbing Devilman Crybaby and ghoulishly fun Soul Eater, are best watched at this time of year. Lights off, pumpkin spice latte firmly in hand. Am I watching any particularly scary anime in honor of my favorite month? Well, if you count the gore in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure…then yes!



Two black and grey images: one of vintage Adult Swim bumps and one of anime series Inuyasha.


Four images: two repeating photos of a vampiric hand against a red background, one crudely drawn medieval cross, and a manga panel from Hellsing.


The fantastical, polarizing, and eccentric wonder known as anime has always slipped in and out of my life, but it’s never completely left my side. As a young oddball, I was fortunate enough to have adults around that were big anime fans. Dad? Anything obscure and obscene (think Ninja Scroll). My middle school bestie’s mom? Honest-to-God Misa Amane in suburbia. Like most millennials, I grew up glued to the TV whenever Sailor Moon or Dragon Ball Z was on, but it wasn’t until late night Adult Swim marathons that I could conceptualize watching “anime.” American cartoons didn’t have half-human half-demons running around with huge swords and luscious white hair. My preteen interest became a preteen obsession, and it was off to the races, adorned in a black Trigun beanie and well-worn Inuyasha T-shirt.

Black and white manga panel of character Seras Victoria from manga Hellsing.


Altered image of vintage anime film Belladonna of Sadness.


Black and white image of protagonist Misato from anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. 

Something changed around age 16. The combo of academic pressure + a chaotic love triangle + shitty anime coming out (sorry) caused my interest to wane. I wasn’t flying through manga like I used to, and I was more interested in Pitchfork-core albums than waxing poetic about waifus. I’d catch a new series here and there, but the flame I carried for anime had definitely burned brighter in the past. What brought me back? Building friendships with women who were just as excited to cosplay, keep up with releases, and swap recommendations. Many anime fans thrive in isolation, but for me, it took (and takes) a village. If I can’t rant about how Johan Liebert is one of the best anime antagonists for an hour AND have enthralled listeners, who am I? If Unit-01 falls in a forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?


Three images: one dark, old world European city and two screenshots from anime film: Vampire Hunter D.


Art of novel series Vampire Hunter D from artist Yoshitaka Amano.

Anime represents community. It represents wonder, excitement, joy, friendship, and devotion. It often moves me, shocks me, impresses me, and makes me cry, sometimes all at once. I’ve said it recently and I’ll say it again: Collection IX: Midori is a love letter to a medium that I am so, so happy to have found again. This recent drop is my attempt to encapsulate a wild and winding journey via 11 pieces, and I’m incredibly proud of what it took to get here. So for now, I’ll keep on watchin’...even if it means I have to endure more panty shots.