What Do You Mean I Haven’t Heard of These Shows?

I recently discovered a Mahou Shoujo fighting game called Magical Chaser thanks to a link referral for my Comet-san review, and decided to play it for a bit. The first thing that surprised me though was that of the eight characters playable in the game, there were two I didn’t recognize at all. One of them was the title character of the late 90s/early 00s anime Kasumin, and the other was Popuri from Fushigi Mahou Fan Fan Pharmacy, an early 00s anime.

I don’t presume to know every anime out there, and I don’t think anyone would ever expect me to have watched every show, but having been an active fan for a while it still surprises me whenever I discover a show I have never heard of at all. It’s like there’s an uncomfortable hole in my knowledge that weakens my desire to be a well-rounded fan with a broad view of anime as a whole. I get over it quickly though, and what amazes me more is that both shows, from what little I’ve seen, are really appealing. They’re the sort of thing I definitely would like to watch more of, and I can only hope I’ll have the opportunity to some day.

No one I know had ever heard of Kasumin or Fan Fan Pharmacy either, and it made me realize that there’s this pit of knowledge in the western anime fandom from about 1998 to 2003 due to a number of circumstances. Digisubs were barely coming into their own at this time, and the chances of every show in a season being subtitled or even released untranslated were slim to none. It’s no surprise that these shows fell through the cracks.

I’d like to uncover more shows like this, to know that for everything available online today, there’s still more wonderful things to find, more to learn about anime past. I also want to watch more magical girl shows.

6 thoughts on “What Do You Mean I Haven’t Heard of These Shows?

  1. I know exactly what you mean, and I’ve never heard of those shows either. I expect to be a little ignorant of shows from the 70s and 80s that no one remembers, but it’s far more shocking to find out about a show from the last 10 years I’ve never heard of. It just reminds me that there’s always more to learn.

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  2. I’m glad you bring up that five-year hole between ’98 and ’03. It’s something that’s caught my attention in passing when I’ve run across shows from that time period that I had never heard of, but I just chalked it up to not having good access to digisubs at around that time. Seems it was more than that.

    Aside from the bigger shows from that period, a lot of good shows with (perhaps) limited appeal do indeed fall through the cracks, and the only way to have known about them is if you were a fan in Japan at that time. If you go there as a fan now, you certainly can’t find–say–Fan Fan Pharmacy in Tsutaya’s broad as hell anime section. It’s simply something you had to have known about. The internet doesn’t do well to archive these missing shows either, as they were mostly unknown to the west, thusly ANN won’t have them in their database, and Japan doesn’t really do the whole online database thing. Well, there is the Japanese Wikipedia, which may be a good place to start with some of these more obscure shows. But still, I suspect only the more popular ones would have been covered.

    But, another thing to keep in mind is that there’s more anime being made today than ever before, so these missing shows probably don’t come to a large number.

    It’s kinda weird how shows from the early ’00s can be as obscure as random ’80s OVAs.

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  3. I have heard of Kasumin, but I can’t for the life of me remember how… I seem to recall hearing that it was fairly mediocre, though. Fushigi Mahou Fan Fan Pharmacy, though, is one that is truly beyond me.

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