Let’s talk “back in the day”, shall we?
My brother and I once went to a Barnes and Noble to buy a Dragonball Z DVD.
Our money did not exactly stretch as far as we hoped. We spent $16 and got THREE EPISODES that hadn’t been released on Toonami yet. That was awesome to us because the box set was $500. We watched those episodes a million times. Despite getting severely ripped off, we felt lucky. These were the lengths you went to for new anime in 2002.
I feel kinda guilty writing this article. Hell, I was born in the 90’s. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like before then. But god, finding anime back in the day was not easy.
You know what I miss? Blockbuster. For any of you under 13, Blockbuster was a video rental store. The closest thing I can compare it to is RedBox. They were actually a really big deal before streaming sites came along. It’s also where a ton of people went to satiate their anime addiction. Blockbuster was where my addiction grew and where I had the opportunity to watch a ton of old anime that aren’t easy to find today.
Of course, every movie in their collection was a winner. I watched Orphan and Appleseed waaaaay too many times. But holy crap. Akira! Ghost in the Shell! Vampire Hunter D! Samurai X! Mobile Suit Gundam!!! Day by day, my addiction grew thanks to Blockbuster and in LARGE part due to my mom letting me rent them despite what the covers looked like.
I do miss video stores… I will never besmirch streaming sites for helping anime culture grow. Because, hell, I first rented Fist of the North Star in 1999 on VHS. It was mind blowing. Changed my life. And now, you can literally watch it for free on Viewster.
By the way, if you haven’t seen old movies like Vampire Hunter D (1985) or Fist of the North Star (1986), or taken the time to watch movies like Galaxy Express 999 (1978), I can’t recommend them enough. Never forget, classics were once cutting edge. They’re the reason why this genre is still alive today.
So, for all my 20+ year olds on here. What anime do you remember renting from Blockbuster and other video stores? Leave suggestions for the youngsters below.