Fans of Japanese animation

Frank Baker is a member of the USA based Cartoon/Fantasy organization. He tells us what it is all about.

The Cartoon/Fantasy Organization is an association of tans of Japanese animated science fiction and fantasy-adventure cartoons. Founded in 1978 C/FO as it is called for short was started by a small group of dedicated fans of Japanese dtliri1~ition who were not happy with the Saturday morning limited animation series that were being shown on American television. They made contact with others who felt the same and C/FO was formed.
Chapters, as they call these groups, were set up in over a dozen cities throughout the USA. They hold monthly screenings of Japanese cartoon series in hotel and University rooms. Most of the cartoons shown are on video tapes sent by video contacts in Japan. These are sent out to the Chapters for screenings. Some Chapters hold marathon screenings in which members vote for what cartoons should be shown. Not all the cartoons are in English, some have subtitles and others are in Japanese. Titles like “Galaxy Express 999”, “Cyborg 009”, “Astro Boy”, “Star Blazer” and “Space Pirate Captain Harlock” are just some of the names that may be new to English fans.

BBC TV have shown the Japanese cartoon series “Battle of the Planets”, and “Space Sentinals”. ITV have purchased all 65 half-hours of “He-Man and The Masters of the Universe” so we are able to see some Japanese animation on British TV.

Apart from the monthly screenings C/FO publish a news bulletin in which Chapters keep in contact with each other, they list cartoons they will be showing and give reports on their last months meeting. Also on sale at these meetings are Japanese cartoon magazines, sound-track LP’s, character models, T shirts, posters and cels. Japanese television shows many of their cartoons at adult times on TV. They release both voice track and orchestral soundtrack LP’s from the series, all of which are very collectable items for the fans of Japanese animation. Through the efforts of members of C/FO several hook shops in the Japanese community become stockists of this merchandise. The magazines published about Japanese cartoon films are excellent, an average issue being 190 pages in colour and B/W with a free poster and booklet. The best monthly magazines are ‘Animage’, ‘The Anime’, ‘My Anime’ and ‘Animedia’. Character design sheets and other production data are included. They are all in Japanese but as pictures are what animation is all about that is no problem.

Printed in Animator Issue 11 (Winter 1984)