In this episode, we’ve finally managed to get hold of Ardith Carlton! Ardith’s contributions to the early days of American anime fandom are significant, but “The Legend of Success Ardith” is one of hard work and guts in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. These days Ardith lives in Japan, so if that’s your dream then listen on to find out what it takes!
01:45 – Ardith discovers Japanese animation and discusses what it was like for her being into cartoons and Marvel comics circa the 1970s
18:30 – How Ardith first went to Japan while in high school, what her first encounters with unaltered manga and anime were of, and how it all came about
32:55 – Be Forever Yamato and why much of the the July 1980 issue of Animage is burned into Ardith’s brain
47:30 – What anime was running (and re-running) on Japanese television in the summer of 1980
50:55 – Ardith returns to the United States, enters college and eventually discovers other anime fans exist
59:50 – Ardith’s involvement with Space Fanzine Yamato, the first American fanzine created that was devoted to one single anime title. You can reference Steve Harrison’s account over at Let’s Anime. An archive scan of the fanzine itself is presumably somewhere on Cosmo DNA, but I can’t find it. That Spring 1980 issue of Fanfare was also scanned somewhere, and now I can’t find THAT either.
1:01:35 – Coming up with THE SECRET LYRICS~! to Galaxy Cyclone Braiger! In 2015, context for the Ugly Robot Anthem is just one click away.
1:05:35 – Ardith’s work on Robotech Art I and how that experience plus THE ROBOTECH PEOPLE sapped her of all the boundless enthusiasm you’ve heard in her voice up until this point such that she vanished from anime entirely for eleven years
1:15:00 – On what it ultimately took to pull up roots and return to Japan to attend the Winter Comiket after all that time away
1:25:00 – Everything comes full circle as Ardith ends up at her current job working at HobbyLink Japan as a result of that which has transpired before (note: HLJ dot com is a site we dare not directly link to because once you’re looking at it, you’re liable to start wanting all the shiny things)
1:30:30 – Ardith starts to talk about anime song events as documented on her awesomely out-of-date website Anison Central, which would’ve tied into the other big thing she’s involved with nowadays until A TERRORIST ATTACK disrupted the podcast and severed the connection to Japan
If you’re feeling the sting of that shocking finale and need to hear more Ardith Carlton RIGHT NOW, Ardith Carlton: An Awesome Life is a four-part interview with Ardith conducted by Tim Eldred at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014. Sound off in the comments if you’d like us to have her on again!