Veteran members, share your stories?

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Lightdasher
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Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby Lightdasher » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:19 pm

I'm still new and getting used to the ons and abouts of this website, but I've been enjoying myself so far. Ever since I first got here, what's seemed to grab my attention the most boils down to the evolution of this forum throughout the years. It's odd to mention that, being how recent it's been since I even found the site, but I've fancied going back in time through old posts and topics. What finally convinced me to make this into a topic is when I saw a member mention that they've been around long enough to recall a previous version of the site which existed in either 2002 or 2003.

As such, I'd like to know from those who've been around for so long. Admins included since, while you have more of an obligation here, you're mostly still able to leave once you're ready... presumably. I'm mainly curious of anyone that's been here for at least 10 years. A whole decade on the forums! What keeps you here so long? For those who've gone into lurking over the years, do you enjoy coming back? What was the site like back when you joined, and how did it change over time? Recall any features, faces, or community partakings from back then which used to be commonplace at the time but are no longer present? When did you arrive, what brought you to the forums at the time, and what convinced you to join?

Very curious! :P
"Set a good example, represent what you think the community should be, and just be awesome." -VegettoEX, 2017.

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Chuquita
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Re: Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby Chuquita » Tue May 29, 2018 1:27 am

Lightdasher wrote:I'm still new and getting used to the ons and abouts of this website, but I've been enjoying myself so far. Ever since I first got here, what's seemed to grab my attention the most boils down to the evolution of this forum throughout the years. It's odd to mention that, being how recent it's been since I even found the site, but I've fancied going back in time through old posts and topics. What finally convinced me to make this into a topic is when I saw a member mention that they've been around long enough to recall a previous version of the site which existed in either 2002 or 2003.

As such, I'd like to know from those who've been around for so long. Admins included since, while you have more of an obligation here, you're mostly still able to leave once you're ready... presumably. I'm mainly curious of anyone that's been here for at least 10 years. A whole decade on the forums! What keeps you here so long? For those who've gone into lurking over the years, do you enjoy coming back? What was the site like back when you joined, and how did it change over time? Recall any features, faces, or community partakings from back then which used to be commonplace at the time but are no longer present? When did you arrive, what brought you to the forums at the time, and what convinced you to join?

Very curious! :P


So...I'm a millennial who's on the older end of that spectrum (I'm older than most of TeamFourStar, but younger than most of Kanzenshuu's staff). Computers and electronics in general have always been part of my life, but to varying degrees.

Interestingly if you're on the mobile version of Kanzenshuu you won't see the user joined date on thread pages; mine's late November of 04. I was not a part of the earlier version of Daizex (the site was in fact down for repairs/updates the first time I stumbled upon it; maybe the page was just a construction sign and then kid Goku beside it?) but I remember DaizenshuuEX and Kanzentai co-existing. I think there's still some stuff from Kanzentai that was never ported over to Kanzenshuu when they merged, but I don't recall exactly what; it might've been an audio-clip comparison of Kai and Z? I also don't remember when Kanzentai was created, but I remember it not existing at all at some point. I recall the podcast being a novelty. I had them all downloaded onto whatever computer I had because streaming wasn't as much of a thing at the time.

Forums were a big thing back before social media and high speed internet existed (I'm too young to have even known aol newsgroups, but apparently those were what pre-dated forums? I've seen other people on Kanzenshuu talk about them) so 14+ years ago if you wanted to talk about a specific topic with other people you joined a forum. Since technology was slower, longer posts were more common: you'd see more walls of text. I recall everyone being more relaxed and laid back; I don't recall as many debates turning sour. That said I don't miss dial-up, I love my smartphone, and typing is infinitely faster and easier for me than having to write everything by hand.

What convinced me to join this forum was nothing but luck/fate/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. It was the first Dragon Ball forum I found. I could've easily stumbled onto any of the others and joined there instead (only to have left when they when they closed for good). I may have had an account on ToonZone before I did on Kanzenshuu, but that place was more of a catch-all for animation in general; not an anime site, not a DB site. That said I've been gone from the former for years (same for Gaia, same for the dbzfanficsalon) I slowly drifted away from all of them, but not Kanzenshuu. (As an aside, my DeviantART--also joined in 2004--is hanging on in drips and drops since Super ended. My tumblr is a lot younger and a little more active than that, but that's because it's both my DB stuff, Precure, retweeted scenery/nature photos, and miscellaneous other things).

Though, honestly, if you check out my post count here on Kanzenshuu for the past two months I've been sliding slowly into lurkerdom now that Super's over and movie news is scarce. I almost left this fandom altogether the spring before they first announced BOG. It's been that influx of new DB content that's been keeping me around at all for the past 6 years. I've talked to death everything else Dragon Ball wise it feels.

Big, 10+ year old Kanzenshuu-related things I remember:
-Kanzenshuu's creation; the merger of Daizex and Kanzentai
-The manga reviews of awesomeness(?)
-Neko Majin Z coverage
-The surprise of getting to learn of the existence of the Kanzenban-exclusive ending to the manga by reading it in print in the volume itself before hearing anything about it online. I read it in the car on the way home from NYC and was in shock that there was a new ending. It was one of the first kanzenban volumes I bought because Viz hadn't finished releasing the manga in volumes yet and I wanted a hard copy of the end of the Buu arc.
-The failed proto-abridging project Room29 that I was a part of. Maybe a year or so before TFS existed a bunch of us on the Daizex forums planned to do a fan-dub of dbz movie 3. I would've voiced Bulma. In fact I did record my lines, but the project was never completed and I don't recall why. Kaboom drew a poster for it. It was the first time I used Skype.
-That brief period in which Sean Schemmel joined the Daizex forums and the mess that resulted in him leaving pretty quickly after he joined. I don't recall his handle, but it wasn't his name and may have begun with two consonants?
-That one podcast episode where Mike and Julian ended the episode by doing a radio play where somebody kidnapped Julian and drove him away in the back of their car and Mike went to save him or something? This sounds halfway inaccurate, but it stuck out in my mind.
-The original Japanese audio being a rare thing to have on localized Dragon Ball videogames and what a big deal it was when we finally got that audio track in game releases.
-Not having the Japanese audio in the localized Super DBZ after being spoiled by having that audio option in I think Tenkaichi Budoukai being that one thing that kept me from playing Super DBZ as much as I think I would've otherwise.
-All the Z DVDs I have that I bought at a time before I knew how easy it would be in the then semi-distant future to watch any show you wanted online and back then thought "oh no, now that this isn't going to be on TV I'll never get to see it easily ever again". I've never been good at forecasting the future. Ever. I don't regret my Dragon Boxes, but I sure regret those Z singles.
-Daizex having a guide to all the full color pages in the manga volumes, because prior to the Kanzenban I don't think there was an easy way to see those pages in their original full color.


I think that's about it. Thanks for making this topic; and thank you to anyone who took the time to read my text wall. It was interesting to think about this stuff that feels forever ago and think on especially with everything else that's been going on in my life outside. And now I go back to mostly-lurker mode until either more movie news or Fighterz coverage happens.
My deviantart : Dragon Ball doodles and comics
My tumblr : Assorted goods and stuff
---
Piccolo: Listen...in the instant he moves to attack...he's open... We'll use that instant...
Vegeta: Good plan. I hope it works.
Piccolo: ...
Vegeta: Don't look at me. You'll miss your instant.
Piccolo: So confident...I hope to see your face when Son Gokû arrives...
Vegeta: Oh? And who's that? Your secret weapon?

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TrunksTrevelyan0064
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Re: Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby TrunksTrevelyan0064 » Tue May 29, 2018 6:16 am

Chuquita wrote:I remember DaizenshuuEX and Kanzentai co-existing.


Hah. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that there are (probably lots of) people here who don't remember this. Feels like just yesterday to me. In fact, I remember thinking the merger was an April Fools joke initially, since it happened on April 1st (2012).

I never really visited Kanzentai much, but I definitely remember visiting DaizenshuuEX regularly even before the podcast existed. To think that I'm still here, over a decade later, still listening to said podcast... So much has happened and changed since then, but some things have stayed the same. :)

As for why I've stuck around for so long, well, aside from my endless love for Dragon Ball, it's because the Kanzenshuu staff are so professional in what they do. I just mentioned this in the latest podcast thread, but it's amazing that, after nearly 20 years of being a Dragon Ball fan, I'm still learning new things about it on a regular basis. And that is mostly thanks to the people running this place. When I see how much misinformation is out there and how ignorant many fans unfortunately are as a result of that, I am indescribably grateful for the existence of a website that documents anything and everything Dragon Ball as accurately, professionally, and passionately as possible.

I realize I might come across as a borderline worshipper of this place at times, but you have to keep in mind that it is so easy to take for granted that such a place exists at all. The fact that there are people who are putting this much time and effort into a passion project of this immense scale about my number one favorite franchise, for free (donations aside), and remaining humble and authentic along the way, really is something to be cherished.
Usually goes by Kevtrev elsewhere on the internet.
I draw stuff, including Dragon Ball fanart and an original comic!

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Lightdasher
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Re: Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby Lightdasher » Tue May 29, 2018 7:20 pm

Chuquita wrote:Thanks for making this topic; and thank you to anyone who took the time to read my text wall. It was interesting to think about this stuff that feels forever ago and think on especially with everything else that's been going on in my life outside.

I find you pointing out that posts were longer in ye olden times due to the slower speeds to be an eye-opener that I think probably shouldn't be such an eye-opener. I've browsed through many old posts, to the point where sometimes I see the site as a sort of archive, and I noticed that posts were longer, but figured maybe today's were shorter for some other reason. Silly me..

Also: thank you so much for chipping in, Chuquita! You were one of the users I'd see around the site that I hoped would answer, and I'm very grateful that you've given such an in-depth response! After reading, I kinda' wonder if you will leave the fandom afterall once the movie is over with. It is *just* entertainment, I know; there are more important and pressing matters in life, but I do think it's special to find people who have enjoyed this brand of entertainment for so long, and have the passion to keep it alive even in their own way if nothing is going on officially.

TrunksTrevelyan0064 wrote:I realize I might come across as a borderline worshipper of this place at times, but you have to keep in mind that it is so easy to take for granted that such a place exists at all. The fact that there are people who are putting this much time and effort into a passion project of this immense scale about my number one favorite franchise, for free (donations aside), and remaining humble and authentic along the way, really is something to be cherished.

Thank you for answering! I often try reminding myself to not take things for granted, so I understand what you mean. And having gone back in time through quite a few posts, I think this is definitely a site worth supporting and keeping around.
"Set a good example, represent what you think the community should be, and just be awesome." -VegettoEX, 2017.

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Chuquita
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Re: Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby Chuquita » Tue May 29, 2018 9:26 pm

Lightdasher wrote:
Chuquita wrote:Thanks for making this topic; and thank you to anyone who took the time to read my text wall. It was interesting to think about this stuff that feels forever ago and think on especially with everything else that's been going on in my life outside.

I find you pointing out that posts were longer in ye olden times due to the slower speeds to be an eye-opener that I think probably shouldn't be such an eye-opener. I've browsed through many old posts, to the point where sometimes I see the site as a sort of archive, and I noticed that posts were longer, but figured maybe today's were shorter for some other reason. Silly me..

Also: thank you so much for chipping in, Chuquita! You were one of the users I'd see around the site that I hoped would answer, and I'm very grateful that you've given such an in-depth response! After reading, I kinda' wonder if you will leave the fandom afterall once the movie is over with. It is *just* entertainment, I know; there are more important and pressing matters in life, but I do think it's special to find people who have enjoyed this brand of entertainment for so long, and have the passion to keep it alive even in their own way if nothing is going on officially.


No problem! :mrgreen: I'm happy to share whatever I can remember.
Post length has definitely shortened as social media and high speed internet rose; my thought is the old limitations of dial-up internet and the lack of a "click like/upvote" system forced people to take their time. With how long it took to download music/video (imagine a 12MB video file taking near half a day to download via 56k modem), text was stuck with being the most convenient way to converse.

I kinda wonder that myself; what my activity will be like around here (and DA, and tumblr) this time next year. Depends on what Toei's next DB project is after the movie I guess. I figure they'll do another TV series, but what it'll be about and if it'll be something I'd wanna watch is still unknown. Super came into my life during a genuinely horrible couple of real life years. The 2nd half of my 2015 was full of personal losses including the death of one of my grandmothers and the death of my dog. In 2016 I almost died in an accident. 2017 was...ok; better than the previous two years, but that's a low bar and I'm still in the seemingly never-ending process of trying to get to where I want to be. Life's just been not so good for a while now and for the most part Super was one of the things that was able to temporarily take my mind off the bad stuff. It was something reliable in an otherwise tumultuous time period for me. Yeah I've got a bunch of other shows I watch, but Super was the only one I got really heavily involved in. Things are a little more boring without dbs. I think at the very least I'll continue to draw. My passion for drawing has existed long before I even knew what DB was. The theme of self improvement no matter where you are in life is one of my favorite things about Dragon Ball.


The December movie is something I'm sticking around through. Even if I tend to prefer following anime through TV series much more than movies because of how convenient and internet-friendly TV series are, this movie seems like it's got an incredible collection of staff members who are being given a healthy amount of time to complete their work so I am looking forward to that.
My deviantart : Dragon Ball doodles and comics
My tumblr : Assorted goods and stuff
---
Piccolo: Listen...in the instant he moves to attack...he's open... We'll use that instant...
Vegeta: Good plan. I hope it works.
Piccolo: ...
Vegeta: Don't look at me. You'll miss your instant.
Piccolo: So confident...I hope to see your face when Son Gokû arrives...
Vegeta: Oh? And who's that? Your secret weapon?

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Lightdasher
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Re: Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby Lightdasher » Tue May 29, 2018 10:40 pm

Chuquita wrote:Post length has definitely shortened as social media and high speed internet rose; my thought is the old limitations of dial-up internet and the lack of a "click like/upvote" system forced people to take their time. With how long it took to download music/video (imagine a 12MB video file taking near half a day to download via 56k modem), text was stuck with being the most convenient way to converse.

Heheh, I definitely remember because I was stuck with dial-up for quite a while as well. Not that high-speeds were uncommon when I began using the internet, but it took my family a while to upgrade. Whenever I think back to the days of hearing a dial-tone and weird static noises before going online, I'm reminded of both: fun during my first forays into the forum I frequented back then, and the annoyance of having to wait entire minutes for pages to give up loading before having to refresh. xD I'm certainly glad for what most of us have now, but if nothing else, the remembrance at least keeps me grateful.

Being that we're strangers, my following words are likely to have little significance for you. Still, I feel inclined to express the bit of anguish I feel at your situation and that I hope it gets better. I suppose, at the end of the day, since everyone on this planet is connected in some way, we all want the best for each other. Or it could be those events hitting home because all three also happened to me in recent years (except, mine was a grandfather). Or maybe I'm just naive and want everyone to be happy, like Goten! Whatever the case, best of luck as you continue in life. Looking forward to those drawings!
"Set a good example, represent what you think the community should be, and just be awesome." -VegettoEX, 2017.

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Re: Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby Kunzait_83 » Thu May 31, 2018 6:37 am

Dragon Ball fan sites have a pretty long history and go back roughly about as far as personal, user created websites on the net in general go (early 1990s). The earliest ever fan sites I can remember were mostly foreign ones (Latino or Southeast Asian largely) stretching as far back as maybe around 1992/93-ish or so? That said, there've always been English language/Western ones mixed in there as well, notably Steve Simmons' Daimao Homepage (which has been online since at least 1994), Wuken's Homepage (up since around '95), Ed Gorgen's Dragon Ball page (I wanna say '95/'96-ish?), and so on.

By the time Mike/EX had put up the earliest ever iteration of what would much, MUCH later on become this version of the site (VegettoEX's Homepage) in 1998 or so, I'd been both an overall anime and DB veteran for about 9 and 6/7-ish years respectively. So Dragon Ball-dedicated fansites online were hardly anything particularly rare or special by the time EX had set foot in these waters.

In fact, I don't honestly remember very well the VERY-very first incarnation of the site, which was VetettoEX's Ultimate DBZ Links Page: it was basically just another Webring. That's 90s Internet for "hub of collected links to other sites dedicated to a certain, particular topic or subject matter". And back then, anime-related Webrings were basically a dime a dozen, and about as ubiquitous and commonly found on the internet of the mid through late 90s as ASCII art and badly Photoshopped Mortal Kombat 3 screenshots. So Mike's hardly sticks out in my mind all that much amongst the gobs and gobs of others that were floating around for a good number of years by that point.

What DOES stick out in my mind however is when, several months shortly after its original launch, it had been re-invented as VegettoEX's Homepage. That's the form in which I first remember coming across it sometime I think around the early summer of '98 or so.

Image
(For posterity kids)

And what made it stand out so much in its earliest infancy back then was, ironically enough, something that Mike would many years later on be very much viscerally against: good 'ol piracy. My earliest clear memory of VegettoEX's Homepage was as what was easily THE best place to download what were at that point in time (again, early/mid-ish 1998 or so) fairly high quality MP3 rips of countless vocal songs and music tracks from all kinds of various Dragon Ball soundtrack CDs.

Back in the old days, your main avenues of obtaining Dragon Ball music was buying the various OST CDs at either Anime Conventions like Otakon, ordering them through the backpage catalogs of various video game and comic book/anime magazines, buying them directly from other fans online (generally either Dragon Ball fansites might have listings for the owner or their buddies selling this stuff, or some general anime websites might have a makeshift then-equivalent of an "online storefront" where you could place orders for imported anime merchandise from the folks running the site), or picking them up at basement sales in big urban centers that dealt in all sorts of bootleg material from overseas. There was also eBay, which has been around (under its original name, AuctionWeb) since '95, but was really only just starting to take off around 1997/1998 or so (that was the earliest point in which I remember the site making national headline news).

I can't say with any certainty that VegettoEX's Homepage was the VERY first Dragon Ball site ever that had whole OST tracks available to freely download, but its certainly one of the EARLIEST ones that I can certainly remember with any real clarity. Certainly the first one that made that its major claim to fame anyway. It makes perfect sense though and was rather prescient: Napster was only another year away. The tail-end late 90s was the dawn of the MP3 age.

Fun fact: I still to this day have a whole ton of those old MP3 downloads that I got from the site in 1998 still saved on my current computer's hard drive. :P

Within less than year after those humble beginnings, the site had expanded into featuring what had by then become the next big trend in Dragon Ball fan sites: dissecting and ripping on the FUNimation English dub, which back then was still in its Saban/Ocean era (and endlessly rerunning the Saiya-jin and early Freeza arcs) and was only some months away from transitioning into its in-house "Season 3" incarnation. My memory of the site at that point was as one of the absolute biggest and most glaringly intense hotbeds of anti-FUNimation vitriol shy of Chris Psaros' landmark DBZ Uncensored site, which came through via Mike's IMPASSIONED, and among old timers quite infamous, Editorial rants (some of which make virtually all of my own posts on this forum look positively genteel and restrained in comparison, and which Mike to this day still publicly cringes at the memory of).

So to quickly recap: VegettoEX's Homepage's trajectory went from Totally Generic DBZ Webring of Collected Fansite Links, to #1 Place to Get High Quality Pirated Rips of the Dragon Ball Soundtrack, to Firebrand Ravings of Fanboy Rage Directed At the FUNimation Dub (as well as, to be fair, its overall marketing and release handling in the U.S. as well... something which totally DID deserve every ounce of venom and bile aimed at it no matter how you slice it).

What also made this 3rd incarnation of the site stand out was when Mike/EX opened up the editorials page to other fans to write in THEIR own thoughts/musings/babblings about both DB as a series in general as well as (and really most often, since at the tail-most end of the 90s and early-most 2000s, this grew to become THE dominating topic of discussion about almost anything DB-related) the FUNimation dub and its overall marketing/handling.

In almost a weird way, this whole "Editorial" format was almost like a larval/prototypical version of what would in later years eventually become the site's forum and its community, with Mike holding court over a cadre of loyal site visitors and readers who all would publish gigantic Dragon Ball diatribes on the site (generally of the Japanese version purist/anti-FUNimation persuasion) for anyone to read.

And for the record, no before anyone asks, I never wrote or sent in an Editorial of my own to the site during those years: I was in high school at that point and much too busy going to Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails concerts and generally partying it up with my friends. :P I simply just read them as I followed the site back then.

Sometime I think around 2001-ish (if my memory serves) is when VegettoEX's Homepage first changed its name to "Daizenshuu EX", the name that would stick with it till its merger with Kanzentai way, way, waaaaaaaaay later on down the line in 2012.

Image

At around this point, despite the treasure trove of Dragon Ball media the site would act as a collection of (not just the MP3 rips, but all kinds of then-high quality images, Daizenshuu page scans, relatively well researched and sourced information, etc.) this was about the point when the whole FUNimation dub shit-show reached its most feverish peak.

The editorials still contained some pretty damn good tidbits of general DB series writings/analysis (probably some of the best on the internet at that point in time), but the overall tone of the place was deteriorating into almost a morass of toxic negativity due to an over-emphasis/hyper-focus on both the FUNimation dub and all the surrounding drama with it as well as backstage inter-feuding/beefs among both Daizex itself and other various prolific DB fan site admins.

1999 - 2003-ish or so was generally speaking, NOT a particularly fun time to be a Dragon Ball fan overall: mostly due to both the generally embarrassing and godawful cringe/insulting manner in which FUNimation themselves both dubbed, marketed, and generally handled the whole series, as well as a lot of the older/relatively more mature pre-dub era fans starting to slowly fade out from the scene and become growingly replaced with the very first generation of post-dub fans (many of whom, at their absolute oldest, were of high school age and hormones/testosterone overload was in full effect).

This whole period probably still ranks, in my mind, as one of the overall shittiest periods of DB's Western fanbase's history, with Mike and his site right at the epicenter of a lot of it (though hardly either the sole nor worst offender). For my part, while I have the utmost fondest memories of my high school years back then (most of my ugly, toxic adolescent drama had already happened and was dispensed with in elementary school/junior high: high school by contrast was a relatively carefree and lighthearted time for me in comparison), two of the decidedly NOT so fond memories of that time period for me revolved around music and anime, both of which had regressed and devolved horrifically (at least in the mainstream) during the tail-end late 90s and early-most 2000s.

Within the tail-end of the 90s/early-most 2000s, music saw the final erosion and demise of the progressive (both musically and politically) and cerebral hardcore punk/grunge/alt rock rock scene of the 80s and early half of the 90s (which meant the utter WORLD to me and had helped get me through those aforementioned difficult elementary school/junior high years with my sanity relatively intact), and the rise of knuckle-dragging, jock jamming Nu Metal (and its cousin genre of suck, post-grunge) and vapid, empty-headed teen bubblegum pop. So long Fugazi, Bikini Kill, Babes in Toyland, Bad Brains, L7, Mudhoney, Primus, Skunk Anansie, Alice in Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins, hello Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Disturbed, Creed, Nickelback, Puddle of Mudd, Staind, Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, etc.

With anime, that time period saw the demise of the Seinen/Art House-focused Western anime fanbase that I grew up within throughout the tail-end of the 80s and the entirety of the 90s beforehand in favor of the rise of hyper-commercialized Shonen and its fanbase of... significantly less discerning (to put it kindly) and abrasive elementary school children. So long Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll, Robot Carnival, Manie Manie Labyrinth Tales, Bubblegum Crisis, Crying Freeman, Dagger of Kamui, Battle Angel, Golgo 13, Vampire Hunter D, Area 88, Patlabor, Angel's Egg, Roujin Z, Barefoot Gen, and Grave of the Fireflies, hello Gundam Wing, G Gundam, Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh, Digimon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Shaman King, Duel Masters, Zoids, Beyblade, Zatch Bell, Medabots, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, etc.

To say nothing of when these two things would CONVERGE and overlap with one another via the AMV landscape of those years (and the coining of the archetypal "Linkin Ball Z" video) creating an almost Singularity/Black Hole of late 90s/early 2000s cringe. :sick: :sick: :sick:

Dragon Ball Z and its "reversioned" FUNimation dub (and its marketing of the show as "The Kewlest, Edgiest, most Hardcore Xtreme 2 Tha Maxx" G.I. Joe/Justice League-wannabe instead of a wacky and off-its-meds bizarre Wuxia/martial arts fantasy epic) were right smack at the epicenter of that latter transition, and the amount of cringing and facepalming that both myself and most of my friends were doing anytime the topic of Dragon Ball or other anime (of the more Toonami/Cartoon Network-ish variety) came up - which back then ended up being WAY too often - was off the charts.

In point of fact, this whole clusterfuck of a period, and all the drama, negativity, and headaches that came with it, was what ended up prompting Mike to shut down the site and disengage from both Dragon Ball and its fandom entirely sometime around 2002/2003-ish or so. During which time, if I have my timeline correct, he went off to college, linked up with his future wife (and former DBZ fan site admin herself from that very same late 90s/early-most 2000s era), and generally did a fuckton of growing the hell up.

2004 saw the site relaunched in a form not-too-dissimilar from its current one, with the debuts of both the forum as well as the podcast. My join date on the forums is right smack dab on New Year's Eve of 2004, back when I was still in college myself. But I was definitely lurking for a good number of months prior to that since the relaunch.

Daizex cruised on throughout the mid/late 2000s and early 2010s (pretty much my whole 20s) in this incarnation until it finally merged with its "rival" site Kanzentai in 2012 (a little over a year and change before I turned 30), bringing it into its current, present-day form. During all those years, I'd been an on-again, off-again community regular. My feelings on the overall fanbase are... decidedly "mixed", to put it utmost kindly. I've spouted off across various threads on here about my various myriad of issues with the twists and turns that both Dragon Ball as well as general U.S. anime fandom has taken throughout the past 20-some-odd years or so, so I won't re-litigate all of that here. Many of those issues do indeed pertain to this community here as well.

But for all my problems with the broader fandom overall, I'll say this much for this particular corner of it: the folks here (both those who run it, and many of those who are regular, frequent, and noteworthy users) are nothing if not INSANELY tolerant, patient, and welcoming... to almost at times seemingly superhuman levels.

Which makes the "stigma" that this place apparently has in some corners of Dragon Ball fandom online (that of an "elitist, snobby" little insular clubhouse that treats dub fans with utmost hostility and contempt) all the more amusing to me, and indicative of some swathes of the dub fanbase's weird, patently bizarre persecution/victim complex that has historically always interpreted negativity towards the FUNimation dub of the series as negativity towards THEM its fans personally (to say nothing of the fact that this place actually DOES enforce some basic standard of spelling, grammar, and readability: god forbid someone makes anyone actually write like a grown-ass adult for two seconds).

The reality of this place is of course anything but: yes, its always from day one had an overall pro-Japanese/anti-FUNimation dub slant. That comes with its origins dating back to the cusp of the transition from the pre-dub era to the post-dub era of fandom, and nothing's probably ever going to alter that. But ever since its 2004 relaunch, the tone and tenor of this forum has ALWAYS been one of IMMENSE friendliness and tolerance of all manner of personalities and points of view. Just the fact that my motormouth ass is still welcome around here after all the crap I've spat forth over the years speaks volumes about this place. Out and out bannings, while they do happen from time to time, are UNBELIEVABLY rare and always have been right along. And certainly they're almost NEVER over someone simply holding a contradictory opinion about something as inconsequential as an English language version of a decades old Japanese cartoon for children.

If people think that this site and its community are somehow inherently hostile and vitriolic against the dub (or its fans) NOW, or at ANY point in the past 14-ish years since its 2004 relaunch... they should take the Internet Wayback Machine to circa 1999/2000/20001 or so and read back through the old editorials of the time and get some perspective on what "vitriolic" actually looks like. Woof.

Point being, negativity towards a damn PRODUCT like FUNimation's DBZ is in NO WAY the same thing as negativity towards a group of PEOPLE (such as the dub's fans) personally, and if this simple concept was understood better then there's no way that this community would have the sort of weirdly off-base reputation that it has among some circles of online fandom.

All in all though (to bring things back around to a more positive note) this site is without question EASILY the single best thing to ever happen to North American Dragon Ball fandom in the over-arching long term. The site's (and really by extension, Mike's) origins in the earliest years of the dub and late-most twilight years of the pre-dub fandom I think are absolutely CRUCIAL to what it is that this place has offered to the modern DB and anime community online for the better part of the last 14 years in particular: historical context and a lifeline to factual accuracy of information.

So this might be a controversial view to some, but its one I've held for more than a solid decade or so now: had this site not relaunched in the manner that it did back in 2004, if Mike had decided to leave behind Dragon Ball and its fanbase for good when he went off to college circa 2002 or whenever (and really, at that point in time, who the hell would blame him?) and there was no Podcast, no Guides, no Con Panels, and no forum... then I genuinely, sincerely think that the Japanese version of DB/DBZ would have WAY less of an overall presence within North American fandom than it does today and has had in the last decade+.

I don't think we would've gotten stuff like the U.S. Dragon Box releases for sure, and possibly not even that one Viz Daizenshuu release, among other things like that. You wouldn't see things like Death Battle or Cinemasins (which go out to a MUCH wider audience beyond even that of DB fandom) actually presenting fact-checked Japanese series lore during their videos pertaining to this series. I think that misinformation spurred on by both the dub's lousy mistranslations as well as all sorts of batshit fan rumors and "theories" would have overtaken things WAY more. I think that the fandom overall would regard the series as even less if a "real anime" than it has already, and its unconscious, but no less widespread, perception as "more of an American Action Cartoon than a Proper Anime" would be WAY more overt and widespread.

Generally speaking, I think that the VAST majority of any traces of DB's Japanese version within fandom would be overtaken and dominated by dub misinformation, insane and ridiculous rumors/fanon, and perspectives horribly skewed by the dub's late 90s/early 2000s marketing, and any "links" connecting it to its late 80s/early 90s pre-dub roots among Western anime fans would be all but totally gone, as there's unfortunately and regrettably VERY few people from those years who are especially visible or active in online anime fan circles today.

Basically, things would be almost exactly like the Dragon Ball Wiki, except engulfing almost the WHOLE fanbase across the board. Hell, the DBWiki itself would probably be in even WORSE shape than it already is were it not for this place and the impact that its had over the years (I'm genuinely unsure/doubtful whether there'd be almost next to ANY accurate or sourced information from the Japanese version on there).

I think that the best and most invaluable thing this place has done over the years is act as a source of history and a filter for quality control and standards within North American/English speaking DB/Z fandom. Its something of a living time-capsule that keeps DB connected to its past... its real past mind you... giving the present fanbase some BADLY needed context about what this series actually even is at its root core amidst all sorts of misleading and inaccurate appraisals and assorted BS nonsense stemming from bad dubbing and even worse marketing that has persisted for many years/decades afterward via almost raw inertia (and of course the N-word: Nostalgia).

Don't get me wrong: I certainly don't think that the original version would be COMPLETELY obscured. It was still very much available for anyone to stumble across via the DVDs audio tracks and Simmons' wonderful subtitles (neither of which we would've gotten in the first place without the constant bitching and persistent pestering of both the old pre-dub fanbase, as well as the aforementioned cacophony emanating from this site in its earlier days and others like it), and that all by itself I'm sure would've netted it at least SOME new fans across later generations; folks who would've dug more deeply into things and injected more accurate info out there into the internet ether. Herms and folks like him would still be out there somewhere I'm sure.

But I think that those people wouldn't have had such a central hub, an anchor if you will, like this place to help compile all of it together into a neat, presentable, and digestible whole, which is what this place has always consistently offered. Likely there'd be some scattered faint traces of real, accurate info about the original version dancing around out there, across various smatterings of fan blogs (I can easily see Herms making one in this possible timeline of events and spending a few years impotently shouting accurate, real Japanese series info into an empty and uncaring abyss, before finally giving up), random forum posts buried somewhere deep on all kinds of otherwise dub-centric sites, and the odd, occasional Wiki edit: but it all but certainly would be likely drowned out and scattered about willynilly and without any sort of focal point to any of it. And furthermore, you also wouldn't have the tangible connection to the older fandom from the early-mid 90s and the fansub era: ALL of that would CERTAINLY be almost completely wiped away by time.

In all honesty, I'm not sure to the extent that I MYSELF would still remain connected to this series. Certainly my fandom for Toriyama's ridiculously silly magnum opus has proven itself to be absurdly resilient and stubborn as all hell throughout the years... but I don't know if it'd survive fully intact up to THIS point, THIS far into things (into my 30s even) were it not for this place and the immense impact that its had in keeping alive in the fandom zeitgeist and consciousness the version/incarnation of Dragon Ball that I'd originally fallen in love with in the first place a decent number of years before even Mike himself had gotten into it, much less created this site in any capacity. Certainly not within the possible/potential online landscape that I just outlined.

So yeah: some immense kudos and thanks to Mike LaBrie for not totally shrugging this stupid silliness off entirely back in the day and giving his fellow Japanese DB fans a rallying point of sorts to aggregate accurate information and analysis about the original version, and kudos/thanks to Kanzenshuu and all of its staff today who continue to keep online English Language/North American Dragon Ball fandom's head from being ENTIRELY lost up its own ass as it continues to chug ever onward throughout the 21st century.

And of course, thanks to all involved for keeping (or at least GREATLY helping to keep) myself from chucking all my DB shit into the garbage out of embarrassment and frustration years and years ago, and keeping my head in the game at the very least just long enough to be here to both A) own the full run of U.S. Dragon Boxes, and B) enjoy a DB game as ass-kicking as FighterZ (as I pass the time posting this whilst eagerly awaiting its newest round of DLC characters to finally drop).
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Kunzait's Wuxia Thread (images and gifs now displaying properly again)

Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.


Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.

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TrunksTrevelyan0064
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Re: Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby TrunksTrevelyan0064 » Thu May 31, 2018 11:11 am

Kunzait_83 wrote:So this might be a controversial view to some, but its one I've held for more than a solid decade or so now: had this site not relaunched in the manner that it did back in 2004, if Mike had decided to leave behind Dragon Ball and its fanbase for good when he went off to college circa 2002 or whenever (and really, at that point in time, who the hell would blame him?) and there was no Podcast, no Guides, no Con Panels, and no forum... then I genuinely, sincerely think that the Japanese version of DB/DBZ would have WAY less of an overall presence within North American fandom than it does today and has had in the last decade+.


You might be right. I can't speak for everyone from my generation (the one that got into Dragon Ball via Cartoon Network / Toonami in the early 2000s), and I'm not American, but from reading your excellent post above, it's abundantly clear to me that my own personal Dragon Ball journey has definitely been impacted by Mike's actions and decisions. I was going to mention this in my earlier post (but didn't want to make it too much about "me" or turn it into a sub vs. dub thing) - but I think I do indeed owe my current deep, genuine fondness of the original Japanese version mostly to Mike & co.

While I guess I get to call myself a "veteran" for having been on these forums for over a decade, compared to the likes of you (Kunzait), I'm still just some little kid. It's a similar gap between me and this 16-year-old Pokémon fan I ran into recently - it baffled me that I had been playing the first Pokémon games before he was even born. Getting smacked in the face by a generational gap like that really puts things into perspective.

My introduction to Dragon Ball was in fact, if you'll believe it, the very "ally to good, nightmare to you" episode. To make matters even crazier, I was reading Dutch subtitles (my English was still very basic and limited at the time) for this bizarre Americanized version, making the linguistic gap between it and the original version even wider than it already was. What with me growing attached to that version of all things, you might start to wonder how in the world I ever gained any smidge of appreciation for the Japanese version to begin with. The answer is probably, first and foremost, Daizenshuu EX's Mike and Julian.

To be fair, part of it probably also has to do with the simple fact that I loathe inaccuracies and mistranslations, but without Daizenshuu EX (and its various iterations), who's to say I would ever have discovered that the version of Dragon Ball I was the most attached to was so inaccurate to begin with? My only exposure to the Japanese version came from the Budokai games, which actually defaulted to the Japanese voice cast here in Europe, with no way to change them to English - to my disappointment at the time. Eventually, "Budokai Tenkaichi 2" (Sparking! NEO) allowed me to "finally" switch the voice track back to my preferred FUNimation cast. Then, with "Tenkaichi 3" (Sparking! METEOR), I had the voice cast set to English as well, but at some point I switched it to Japanese and... never went back...?

Something had changed. But what? And why?

Well, this must've been around the year 2008, and I joined these forums in 2006, so I daresay Daizenshuu EX was starting to have a serious influence on me. I must have finally learned and realized what kind of a ludicrous monstrosity my up-until-then preferred nostalgic dub really was. That's not to say I felt an immediate fondness for the original cast. I don't recall ever loathing them in any way, but I didn't love them either.

Now, however, having freely and willingly exposed myself to them for the past decade, and learning so incredibly much about Akira Toriyama's mindset and the themes Dragon Ball is actually supposed to represent, I can now say that I truly adore and appreciate the original manga and the Japanese version of the anime. All thanks to, again, Mike and the others who have done so much to bring that version to the attention of western fans like me.
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kenisu3000
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Re: Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby kenisu3000 » Thu May 31, 2018 2:35 pm

I think my first experience with the site had to do with all the video clips Mike had up on one of the pages (this would have been about 2000-2001). It wasn't my very first exposure to the Japanese version, but it was pretty close. These clips were mostly from fansubs - the ones I specifically recall off the top of my head were Tenshinhan losing his forearm to Nappa's punch, Tenshinhan's final Kikoho (including the Chaozu flashback) and Goku's first Super Saiyan transformation - but one clip was from the International Channel's airing of episode 184. It was the first time I saw Gohan's Super Saiyan 2 transformation, and in that moment the dub lost a ton of respect in my eyes for how they handled that scene (and I fell in love with "Unmei no Hi ~Tamashii tai Tamashii~").
BGM forever! If only more people paid attention to it... well, I intend to change that.

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VegettoEX
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Re: Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby VegettoEX » Thu May 31, 2018 3:22 pm

I am extremely appreciative of and humbled by some of the comments being shared here. When I was 16 years old and decided to make a website, all I wanted at the time was to be "popular". I was a kid, and had no idea about anything. I had no place working on some of the things I was working on. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that anything I wrote/said/produced could even remotely have an impact on someone (even if just in some trivial, minuscule way). It's not something I take for granted anymore and it means an incredible amount to me.

My working with Julian, and later befriending/working alongside Jake and Heath, has made me a better person. Everything that Kanzenshuu is today is because of those three folks. I want to make sure that everyone recognizes much how they work, how dedicated they are, and how instrumental they are to the ongoing success of this website. Oftentimes I wind up as the "face" of the site due to having "started" it, posting on the forum for so long, hosting the podcast, etc., that I worry the investment those three dudes make is lost on people for lack of obvious visibility.

The same could and should be extended to our forum moderators and most recently to our site contributors. Every single one of these people dedicates their time and energy into a series of projects that they accept nothing in return for. It's actually kind of messed up how much work everyone does "for free" in our plucky old-school DIY style. I want everyone reading this to understand just how lucky you are. It's something I remind myself every day and am eternally thankful for. As some of you have said, Dragon Ball and its fandom is better for it.

So.

If you want to talk about "the olden days", I have a few specific podcast episodes I would like to share. I apologize that it's a bit of listening as opposed to some beautiful long written posts like the above ones, but hopefully they're still worthwhile and meaningful to those looking to learn more.

BONUS EPISODE: "Early DB Dayz" (YouTube / MP3)
Speaking to the point Kunzait brings up about 1999-2002ish fandom effectively being consumed and destroyed by its hyper-focus on FUNimation's English dub... here's something all about that! Chris brings me on his show to talk about the "early days", and it ends up being a whole lot of chatting about how "the dub" shaped the second generation of fansites. We recorded this in 2015.

PODCAST EPISODE 400: Podcast 10 Year Anniversary (YouTube / MP3)
The beginning of this episode is a little bit of similar in terms of content to the episodes before and after what I'm citing here, with Chris and I chatting about the 400 episode milestone. After that, though, I chat for an extensive period of time with Greg Werner, who started his Ultimate DBZ Information Site the year before I did. Beyond website chat, we also talked about his writing for Beckett, and how we saw fandom change over the years. We recorded this in 2016.

PODCAST EPISODE 391: Podcast 10 Year Anniversary (YouTube / MP3)
Julian and I admittedly self-congratulate for a while, but we have some good chat about what it is that makes us tick, and how the site changed and adapted over the years. We recorded this in 2015.

PODCAST EPISODE 341: alt.fan.dragonball (YouTube / MP3)
Julian and I spent a fair amount of time reminiscing about where we actually first met: the alt.fan.dragonball newsgroup. Before there were web-based forums, there was a decentralized USENET system. Many of the fans that came before originally gathered here; we swooped in, made a mess of things, had a lot of fun, lost a very good friend, and learned a lot about ourselves. We recorded this in 2013.

Thank you again, everyone. Here's to another 20 years — I hope you'll all be there on the other side!
:: [| Michael "VegettoEX" LaBrie |] ::
:: [| Kanzenshuu |] - [| VegettoEX.com |] ::

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majinwarman
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Re: Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby majinwarman » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:20 am

Thank you man for this great website and I hope that Kanzenshuu stands the test of time.
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So I'm 'evil', huh? Interesting."
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Oniman
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Re: Veteran members, share your stories?

Postby Oniman » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:48 pm

Kunzait_83 wrote:
With anime, that time period saw the demise of the Seinen/Art House-focused Western anime fanbase that I grew up within throughout the tail-end of the 80s and the entirety of the 90s beforehand in favor of the rise of hyper-commercialized Shonen and its fanbase of... significantly less discerning (to put it kindly) and abrasive elementary school children. So long Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll, Robot Carnival, Manie Manie Labyrinth Tales, Bubblegum Crisis, Crying Freeman, Dagger of Kamui, Battle Angel, Golgo 13, Vampire Hunter D, Area 88, Patlabor, Angel's Egg, Roujin Z, Barefoot Gen, and Grave of the Fireflies, hello Gundam Wing, G Gundam, Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh, Digimon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Shaman King, Duel Masters, Zoids, Beyblade, Zatch Bell, Medabots, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, etc.



You make it sound like all anime in the US before Pokemon and CN was just all grown up edgy stuff. You had Ranma 1/2, Kimagure Orange Road, Masion Ikkouu, Ghost Sweeper GS Mikami, Slayers, The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, and several others that where big during the VHS era of anime. I still have my VHS copies of Kimagure Orange Road.
Oh here's to my sweet Satan. The one's who little path would make me sad. Whose power is Satan. He'll give those with him 666.


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