I was raised on library books and outdoor play. Sometimes the family watched Bonanza together and, when the Beatles were on, The Ed Sullivan Show. We weren't allowed to watch TV as long as the sun was up.
But some people grew up watching TV. A subset of those people, who were weaned on TV in the mid to late 1990's, got hooked on animé. And a subset of those people fell in love with an animé called Tenchi Muyo!.
Animé is big business now, with conventions all over the country where fans dress up as their favorite characters, join in fashion shows, learn martial arts, buy products and meet the actors who bring the characters to life.
Tenchi Muyo! was one of the first Japanese animés dubbed into English. People remember it fondly as their "gateway animé," literally the one that got them addicted. I was fortunate enough to voice a character in it, the space pirate Ryoko. When I started I had no idea what would happen with the show or with animé in general. None of us did.
Here's a picture of the audience who came to the reunion of the "Ladies of Tenchi Muyo" at the Pacific Media Expo this past weekend at the LAX Hilton. I joined Rebecca Forstadt, Sherry Lynn and Ellen Gerstell for a Q and A. The room filled up more before we finished, and we got to meet many of these people and chat with them afterward at the autograph signing. They were delightful. Everyone--everyone--was nice. Some voice actors regularly visit these "cons" but as I've only voiced the one show, I hadn't been to one since the early days. It was awesome.
Rebecca and I joked in the green room about how after it was over we'd have to go back to our real lives. Yesterday I did some bookkeeping, uploaded a bunch of photos and tried to clean off my desk (ha!). I answered a question from my husband and autographed a couple of checks. It was awesome.
Not once, ever, have I dressed up like Ed Sullivan.