Photos show that anime fandom in the 1980s was underground... literally

The next time you enjoy your huge anime DVD collection, spare a thought for the pioneers of anime fandom stateside, who started out with next to nothing. A photo-essay over at Fanboy.com shows a meeting of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization (CFO) which met in the basement of a Polish Democratic Club on St. Mark's Place in New York.

During those subterranean meetings, VHS marathons would show on a single smallish color TV screen. Fans bought precious (untranslated) manga books at Japanese bookstores, and bought and sold model kits. As for those anime videos themselves — those were VHS copies, endlessly duplicated from the one copy that a friend of a friend in Japan had sent over. Nobody could actually buy decent copies of anime on VHS.

As the photo-essay says, anime fandom might not have taken off in the U.S., the way it has, if it wasn't for these pioneering fans spreading the word. Here are a few more pics — check out more at the link. [Fanboy.com]

Photos show that anime fandom in the 1980s was underground... literally

Photos show that anime fandom in the 1980s was underground... literally

Photos show that anime fandom in the 1980s was underground... literally