In this age of high definition 1080p, 4K 2160p and HDR we are all getting the sharpest, cleanest and maybe at times, a bit too much color rich home video entertainment. Bigger and more powerful is always better, right? And of course if it is new it has to be an improvement, right? In some ways yes, but the message in terms of content for these streams of visuals is usually the same. The movie or TV show is still the same thing just maybe little, or for VHS a lot, grittier. But hey, sometimes gritty is good. Any fans of punk rock out there?
Anime on VHS is something that came back into my life and it came back hard. Of course when DVD came out slowly the tapes I once had, not so much of anime, eventually went away. And by about 2012, everything became full circle. During a time when I had some lay-off time between changing jobs, VHS came back to me. And, my VCR was glad to be of service once again. Finding cheap tapes of properties that I did not have or did not even watch before was a good way to experiment. But eventually it grew into what I may say is the most proud collection I have. And why? Because I see something of value that most people will just snub off. It may take up space, but a library will always have space for those who wish to have the knowledge.
But there is a power to having certain properties on video cassette, because at least in North America, IT’S ALL WE EVER GOT! Let’s see (and this is according to August 2016) in my collection I have examples such as: Dangaioh, Ai City, Leda: Fantastic Adventure of Yohko, Godmars: the movie, Baldios: the movie, Lensman, etc. Of course I know some of these either you have not seen, or heard of, or maybe you may not like them. These are only examples to make a point that a lot of older titles have been released here, though be it a while ago.
And in terms of loving what are now called retro video games (Retro? How about classic?) how many of you enjoy playing these games on the original hardware instead of emulation? It is kind of like that with playing anime on VHS. I mean Dominion Tank Police on VHS, on a CRT TV feels just right (Love your tank like a brother?!). This is the way you watched your anime back then, unless you were really a fancy pants and had Laserdisc player. But on VHS you have no chapter skips, you have to rewind when you are done and sometimes adjust the tracking. It changes the way you watch something on disc, at least I think so.
But what about reliability? After all VHS tapes are not that good? And again as long as you take care of your library, as old man McCoy from Area 88 says, “It will last you a lifetime.” Every tape I have (in relation to this 2016 posting) is a minimum of about 15 years old. Off course many are as up to 25 to 30 years old. AND THEY WORK! Sure there have been a few that I have come across that have been duds, maybe a 1–2% ratio of failure (I like those odds). True it is not a perfect format, but it is a robust one.
While it is true you can download or buy digitally practically almost and I mean almost everything ever released, be legal or not, it does not hold the weight as having a physical copy. So long as what you purchased is used it has value to the user. And VHS still has value in my library… as long as I keep the tape heads clean in my player!
Now… time to find some other oddball titles on VHS. Do you still use and or love VHS?