Here is more than you ever wanted to know about us, the judges of this contest:Lawrence "Lawmune" Eng
My earliest anime-related memories are of watching Science Ninja Team Gatchaman on American TV, and Space Battleship Yamato and Captain Future on Taiwanese TV. Like many of my generation of anime otaku, I became a devoted Robotech fan during its run in the mid-80s, paving the way for my interest in the early US anime and manga releases of the late 80s. I have been part of the anime club scene since 1994, being an active member of the Cornell Japanese Animation Society (where I was an executive board member, newsletter staff writer, fundraising committee head, and club historian), the Davis Anime Club (newsletter editor-in-chief), and most recently Animerathon (assisting with the weekly Anime and J-pop radio show) in Troy, NY.
I also enjoy the convention scene, having attended a Robotech convention (in 1986?), Anime Expo '96, Otakon '97, San Diego Comic-Con '98 (as a dealer and member of the press), Fanime Con 2000, Fanime Con 2001, Anime Expo 2001 (as a panel host1), Otakon 2001, Anime Expo 2002 (as a panelist2), and Anime Expo New York 2002 (as a panelist3).
As can be seen on my website, I enjoy writing about anime and maintain a detailed serial experiments lain resource called 'thought experiments lain'. Some of my lain research has been featured in Kawaii magazine and the Serial Experiments Lain - Ultimate Fan Guide published by Guardians of Order,Inc. I used to post messages to rec.arts.anime.* and was a senior member of the now defunct Anime Grapevine community, where I also moderated the lain forum.
Although I've been away from the centers of anime fandom for several years now, I can still sometimes be found on IRC. My favorite anime include To-Y, Otaku no Video, NG Knight Lamune & 40, and of course, serial experiments lain. I've been a lain fan since early 1999.
Currently, I am a PhD student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Insititute, researching otaku culture. Some of my more recent side projects have included a) founding the Anime and Manga Research Circle and b) doing research for Otaku Unite!, a soon-to-be-released documentary.Footnotes:
1. "serial experiments lain"
2. "Academic Study of Anime, Manga, and Fandom"
3. "Academic Study of Anime, Manga, and Fandom"
My exposure with anime is limited compared to Mr. Eng's; in other words, I am a newbie. Yet, my inexperience has not stopped me from seeking out the best this genre has to offer, and in my personal opinion serial experiments lain is one of the best.
My first recollection of anime was watching Space Battleship Yamato in the afternoons after school; at the time however, I didn't realize that it was anime. I only knew it was good and I liked it. Not until the latter half of the mid-nineties would I rediscover anime--a new video rental place opened up by me and it had an anime section. On a whim, I selected Ninja Scroll and Ghost in the Shell--they wound up being better than the other movies I rented with them. I slowly started to buy the tapes and DVDs instead of renting them.
It was my greatest fortune one day to buy my first set of lain tapes. My passions have always been the sciences and philosophy (I am an existentialist at heart) which is probably why lain appeals to me so much. I am schooled in Mathematics and currently am employed as a computer specialist in a government institution. After seeing lain, I wanted a keepsake, but it has for me evolved into more. It became a desire to save something from this series so it would not be lost by time like so many other great works have been lost. I created my site as a custodian for all the other lain fans, so lain would always have a place in the future as well as in the past and present day.
I would also like to thank Lawrence outright for giving us all the quintessential lain hub for all of us to gather at. I wonder if Lain herself stops by to see it. ^_^x