The Influence of Anime on the Captain N Fandom

This commentary was written on Tuesday, October 15, 2002, from 8:20 AM to 9:56 AM.

As I said in my previous commentary, "Why Does the Captain N Fandom Continue to Survive?", anime has an influence on the Captain N fandom. But why? In this commentary, I'm going to discuss how anime affects our ideas of Captain N.

Anime has been with us since childhood. A lot of us probably watched anime and never knew it, such as "Speed Racer".

Also, many of our favorite 1980s cartoons were animated in Japan, such as "The Transformers", "G.I. Joe", and "Jem". The early episodes of "The Real Ghostbusters" were animated by a Japanese artist here in the U.S. The American definition of anime is animation intended for a Japanese audience, so these cartoons can't be considered anime to us. Still, my point is to show just how much we depended on Japanese animation while growing up.

Even "Captain N: The Game Master" was animated overseas. I'm not sure where, but, judging by the lack of quality, I'd guess Korea.

As I said in my previous commentary, "Why Does the Captain N Fandom Continue to Survive?", Captain N fans are video game fans as well. Nintendo players have been exposed to anime of a sort: video game sprites. Mega Man is anime, minna. So, you could say that Captain N itself has its roots in anime.

Now that you know of the influence that anime has had on our childhood, let's discuss how anime has affected Captain N fandom.

1) Fan Fiction

In Japan, animation is not just for children. It's for people of all ages. There are anime of many different ratings and in many different genres. There are fantasy, horror, sci-fi, comedy, drama, suspense, romantic, and sex anime series and movies. This has an influence in Captain N fan fiction. On one side are the writers who say "If it's okay in Japan, it's okay in Captain N fanfics." On the other side are the fans who say "Fanfics based on a children's show must be kid-friendly and true to the spirit of N!" I say that the latter fans have some serious mental problems.

2) Fan Art

Some fans draw Captain N artwork in anime style. Also, the same argument over fan fiction applies to fan art as well. Some fans want "no smut". Other fans want to draw Captain N characters having sex. Webster Sterling Swenson, the one person (contrary to his own opinion) who is more responsible for the current sad state of the Captain N fandom than anyone else, has complained to me about announcing on my site that I have erotic Captain N artwork available for download through file-sharing programs. He, however, has put a Captain N Yaoi (male/male) section on his site, The Captain N Network. There, you will find hot Kevin/Link artwork drawn by his precious boyfriend, Phoenix. It's "tasteful", though. Webster doesn't like "smut". That doesn't stop him from talking about "sexually torturing" Lyle, Lana's brother, though.

3) Conversation

When I go to Webster's #Captain_N IRC channel on or to The Captain N Forum, I often find the fans adding the suffixes "-chan" and "-kun" onto each other's names. They use words like "hentai", "yaoi", and "yuri" to describe Captain N artwork and even fan fiction. They are so into Japanese stuff that it's scary. I'm an anime fan, but I don't call my friends "Mike-chan", "Tommy-chan", or "Mandi-chan". Webster calls Mega Man and Kid Icarus "Rockkun" and "Pitkun". Notice his lack of hyphenation. This is from a guy that gets upset over there being no apostrophe on the MENS ROOM signs in his school. Webster's group of "N-Fans" say "Konichi-wa, minna!", "Baka!", and other "cool" Japanese phrases and terms. They even go so far as to spell bye-bye "bai-bai". That's just plain stupid.

Most, if not all, of the N-Fans are anime purists. "Subtitles only! Dubs sucks!" Of course, I've noticed that anime purists tend to advise people to "avoid the dub at all costs", even if it's done well. I'm not an anime purist. I prefer bilingual DVDs, so I can watch both versions, and I think that some dubs could be done better, but I don't hate dubs.

To most Captain N fans, a Captain N anime would be wonderful. Anime is a part of our lives. Anime has, for better and worse, shaped the Captain N fandom as it is today.

But then, this is no surprise, since anime has been with Captain N since the beginning.