Bani Garu: When Avocado Ruled the Earth

Bani Garu is Lea Hernandez's story of becoming the U.S. merchandising vice-president of notorious Japanese animation studio Gainax, "a year-long trip down a rabbit hole of reality." Start with page 1.

Edited by David Seidman


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  1. Yep, if you set high standards it's really hard to find a good apartment. I note from her map that pretty much all of the suburbs were out right from the start, which is going to complicate the process even more.

    There is undoubtedly going to be more drama about this when Gainax of course fails to pay her and she starts to get behind on the rent.

  2. Can someone write some framing context from inside anime/otaku culture? I get that she's working for a half-shady/half-clueless tiny company, and everything is going to be really bad soon, but why are the things she's interacting with significant?

    In other words, what makes this something more than a shaggy dog story about hating your first job when you were young and clueless?

  3. does it need to be something more? i like the art and there's nothing wrong with personal history.

  4. NickyG says:

    I got into anime big time around 1991 or so, when I was in junior high. Back then it was a very small subculture in the USA. We literally would download translations to anime from Usenet (rec.arts.anime) and email lists and such, print them out on our dot matrix printers, and then read them as we watched anime laser-discs we had imported from Japan. I'm not kidding.

    So Gainax was (relatively) big back then for us anime geeks, definitely one of the first anime studios that put some effort into this fledgeling US-based anime subculture. One might say that as a junior high-aged anime geek, the idea of working as the US director for such a studio would have been, like, the ultimate geek fantasy.

    Fast-forward "a few" years, I'm now 36, and understand how the world works in much more detail than I did then. I work in the media industry (on the tech side), and now realize that working in media is waaaay less glamorous for most of the people involved than most "outsiders" would imagine. I still love anime. And having this perspective from someone who was "on the inside" in the early days of the US anime geek subculture, and seeing just how shit it actually was, is pretty interesting and funny, and kind of heartbreaking at the same time.

    So keep it coming! smile

  5. Oh my god. I remember well what a travesty Warriors of the Wind was, but I had mercifully forgotten the box art. Featuring Sir Not Appearing In This Film!

    This abomination is why Miyazaki didn't let his work be translated into English for decades.

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