1) How did you get involved in anime and/or fandom?
Well, I know it was several stages. My dad took me to see "Star Wars" episode 4 in 1977, when I was 7. It was PG! I was scared to see another PG movie, since the last one I saw before that was "The Shootist," where John Wayne's character died, and I had cried a lot. My friends in church collected the action figures, so I did too.
The action figures had an ad for the Official Star Wars fan club, which I joined. Their newsletter had an ad for the LA Con II WorldCon in Anaheim, 1984, which was showing the Star Wars trilogy. I went that day for $35. I was blown away. I picked up fliers for a local Battlestar Galactica club, went to some events, found out about more cons, and I was hooked. Mostly I went to Creation cons for a while, but I got over it.
I must admit that Robotech got me into Macross and other anime, and anime brought me up North to Baycon in 1988, because it had one of the best anime programs around. Remember those days? :)
2) What color is your personality?
Right now anyway, it's green. It's not easy being green.
3) Why are you vegan?
I went through several stages. The first, and I think the most influential thing, was a conversation I had at McDonald's around 1989. By the way, my favorite restaurant used to be McDonald's. Over burgers, Dori talked to me about vegetarianism. I had heard of it before, but hadn't considered it. She was considering it, and said meat is bad for your aura. I wasn't too concerned about that, but I thought hey, I could try vegetarianism... once I move out of my parents' house.
She flirted with vegetarianism. I went off to college in 1991, at San Jose State. I was introduced to dorm (er, residence hall) food at a place known as the Dining Commons. At the D.C. I could get all the food I wanted per meal ticket. There was also a cafeteria open to the public where I could get certain amounts of money worth per meal.
I was a fan of bacon and burgers, and that was most of the meat I ate. D.C. bacon I would blot with 7 napkins per slice before eating it... it was that greasy. Then a few things happened... I had a Gardenburger at the fancy cafeteria (with side of bacon, which confused them to no end when I ordered it), and the McLean Deluxe at McDonald's. The Gardenburger was quite tasty. The McLean Deluxe was one of the most disgusting things I'd ever tasted. It was supposed to be a lower-fat, healthier burger. Bleh. No wonder it didn't last long.
I stopped eating red meat late in 1991. I think it was mainly for taste reasons. I went through various other stages for various reasons, settling on being vegan for health reasons a little after my sister Linda converted. I turned vegan some time in August, 1993. My SO at the time, and [Bad username: carolhiggy"], gave me about a month to last as a vegan, and my SO even tried to shove a Baskin Robbins chocolate ice cream cone in my face. Thank you both for helping my resolve... it'll be 10 years in a few more months. :)
Once I was vegan, I realised there are more extreme types than vegans. That I know of, there are raw vegetarians and fruitarians. I don't mind eating their food... some if it is pretty good... but I think plain old veganism works for me.
4) Who is your favorite film charactor (anime or live action)?
Oh my. I shall take liberties with this question. I'll take... three characters that pop into my mind right now.
The first is an anime character, Tsubasa from "Tsubasa & Hikaru: Figure 17." She's a little girl who is having trouble fitting in at a new school, and is so shy that her classmates believe she thinks she's above them and shunning them. I feel a connection there with my childhood, trying to make new friends and find courage.
Of course then the aliens show up, and she gets sort-of cloned (by an alien weapon... oh, too much to explain) and involved in recovering alien monsters (not of the cute "pocket monster" variety... these are bad-ass), and her clone, Hikaru, teaches her a lot about herself.
Next there is Buckaroo Banzai. He's a neurosurgeon, car racer, rock singer, and alien chaser. And he rocks in that wacky movie of 1984 that holds a lot of cult status. Maybe it came to mind because I want to watch it again, but he's a really great character.
Finally, Great Teacher Onizuka, from the manga, live action Japanese TV series, and anime of the same title. He's an ex-biker-gang member who decides to become a great teacher, and his methods seem totally insane, but they *work*. Who else could get away with dangling his students over a railing, trashing the head teacher's car, and making a field trip out of launching one of his students to idol singer stardom? And that's only the beginning...
5) What does 'ashi' mean?
I went to a Saturday Japanese school for a few years. My name, Todd, written in Katakana comes out "Taddo" which sounds like Todd-o. I hated the sound of that, so I quickly chose a Japanese first name for school, Tadashi. Tadashi means "right" or "correct."
One day in class, I said my name as Todd, then pointed to my foot and said Ashi. Ashi means "foot" or "leg." Todd-Ashi. :) It was a silly pun, but it stuck quickly. "Ashi-san!" Yeah. Besides, I like feet. It's a good name for me.