Lurkers' Retreat

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...and Mads says hi!

Actually, this page was the first I wrote, though it has been relegated to this spot. It's still relevant, though, since any number of people have asked me "who is Madoka?" So, for all of those who really want to know (sad, innit?)...

So who is Madoka anyway?

1. Ayukawa Madoka.

The American anime fanatics (otaku) can tell you this with a lot more accuracy than I could. Suffice to say that Ayukawa Madoka is a very beautiful young (anime) high school student studying to enter University in the TV/OAV/Film series Kimagure Orange Road, and is one point of a love triangle that also includes the vivacious Hikaru and the villian (?) of the peace, Kasuga Kyosuke, who indecision causes the whole mess. There's a lot more to it, but that is about the size of it.

2. Mano Madoka.

Devil Hunter Yohko's granny and preceding Devil Hunter. So what does a Devil Hunter (Mamono Hunter to be exact) do? Obviously, she hunts devils! Simple really. Well, nothing's ever that simple in the world of anime!! As for Madoka, she has let the whole thing run onto Yohko. Old age does have its rewards...

Madoka Donguri

3. Madoka... Oh, THAT Madoka!

Usually, when I refer to Mads, or Madoka to give her the fullest appellation, I am referring to an Acorn RiscPC 700 upon which I usually type this drivel! She does occasionally pop up in her own right when I get tired or as a chara in the occasional GRIT (see rec.arts.anime.misc for those!) Also to be found popping up in Arena Essex programmes, Madoka first made it into the public notice early on in 1996, and finally got networked in November that same year. She took over from an A5000 called Oyuki in 1995.

Click on picture for a look around the front room!

Things has moved on a bit since I first defined Mads, even to the point where the Retreat and its custodian were to be found on GRIT (that's the Global Ranma Insanity Thread, if you didn't know) caring for discerning lurkers (up to the point when they get brave enough to venture into the wide world of Nerima and the various Jusenkyou-cursed inhabitants etc., and get beaten up by the first RL that notices....)

What a terrible illustration!
"Wrecked again..."
NPC entry...

Character Name: Madoka, Madoka Donguri, alias Mads

Player Name and Email: (See below. At the bottom. Underneath.)

Appearance: Small, but cutish red-head with green eyes, with a tendency to acorn motifs (notably the T-shirt, collected from a long bygone Acorn convention). Usually wears jeans, but occasionally splashes out.

Aspects: Occasionally accompanied by someone called RL Chris. Runs the Lurkers' Retreat, a place where nobody knows your name, at least until some fool lurker goes wandering off through the wrong door and meets up with... AAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Persona: Usually happy sort of person, but with a dry wit that can sometimes border on sarcasm. Not normally disposed to violence, though can go for it in extreme cases.

Skills: Lurking, barkeeping, operating some of the comedy effect repair systems (on loan from Mr. A. Moroboshi, Tomobiki-cho...)

Powers: The link to the Lurker's Retreat is a tenuous one, so Mads has to be able to traverse it, but otherwise, no.

Props: Occasionally, a tray.

Love interests: None as yet.

Friends: Not for me to say...

Rivals: Ditto.

Enemies: Anyone that goes too far to annoy the general GRIThood (like a certain Azz**** for example)

Etc: The Lurker's Retreat is a service where the average Lurker can sit back, relax and watch the frenzy that is Nerima in relative security. It links backwards to the mundane world and forwards to the world of GRIT and provides a stopping place for those not yet up to speed. Madoka even helps the occasional GRITer into their new lives, but accepts absolutely NO responsibility for those that wander out there unaided.

It is also rumoured that Madoka and Chris are the only lurkers ever to beat themselves up in the time honoured tradition. But interpretations vary...

Favorite color: Green.

Quotes: "I'm not altogether on anyone's side, because no-one is altogether on my side..."
"Guacamole anyone?"

Since then, Madoka and the Retreat have become a mainstay of the CAPOW universe, quietly dropping from the GRIT continuum for the moment (though the doors are still open, of course!) Madoka also picked up a sidekick, Chika, who currently minds the library and other bits.

....and me.

Some ugly person or other... I'm Chris. I'm a classic otaku, single, middle aged, overweight and overworked! What you will see on this page in the future is a reflection of my hobbies; anime (japanese animation, pronounced anni-may), oval racing and computers. I'm also a closet musician (best place for it!).

The Story of a Mermaid, Three Cats and a pair of Panties


How did I get into anime in the first place...

Born in 1963, I got into animation at an early age. When I say that, I mean animation generally. Oh sure, the UK had a great tradition of live action entertainment for kids, but I preferred animation as it seemed to provide that extra element of "reality" that was impossible in real life. OK, so Marine Boy's Neptina was just a two-dimensional animation, but at least she looked like a mermaid as opposed to the real life versions that usually looked exactly what they were; girls in tail costumes. I suppose this was the root of my liking for mermaids in general, but it was definitely my first encounter, though I was yet to discern the difference, with anime. That was the early seventies.

My next major encounter was Sandy Franks' version of Battle of the Planets which was repeated quite a few times over the years in the late seventies. I didn't know the significance of the G force thing that they did, and I definitely knew nothing of the anime that had been cut to make it, but i enjoyed it nonetheless.

In 1985 I bought my first VCR with the money I was now earning from my new job with the local council, programming their ancient computers. After that, I started to record much from the TV and it was no accident that led me to record rather a large amount of animation, mostly from British companies such as Cosgrove-Hall. However, one anime did sneak in in the form of Samurai Pizza Cats, which rather tickled me. Between the Battle and the Cats phases, I had let my interests in animation slide a bit as I got more into music and, for a while, indulged myself in writing and drawing, even cartooning a bit (the last two strip series that I did, Dotty and The Eighties, were very anime-ish, had I but known at the time, though I have lost rather a lot of these and eventually gave up due to time constraints).

Meanwhile, I also got into TV series such as the Smurfs, some of the Disney series such as the Gummi Bears and so on, but with both Channel 4 and BBC 2 supporting series based on more obscure or more adult animation, I also started watching this including Channel 4's Cartoon Alphabet which was great for some of its historical insights and the various seasons done by both of these channels. I now also started to watch out for videos.

I had bought a copy of the film Rock & Rule, which I liked for some of its acidic views on life in the future and its relationship to the present, and was looking around the Woolworth's in Southend when I came across a video that I hadn't seen before. After reading the liner notes I was cracking up with laughter, mostly because the heroine seemed dependant on a particular garment which seemed to be totally stupid. The video was Ultimate Teacher and the garment were the now almost legendary purple pussy panties! Yes, the thing was awful, and I have said that much many times, but the fact remains that UT was the anime that really got me started with the genre. That was in September 1993, and I spent the time between then and Christmas 1993 collecting Manga titles. At the time they were not releasing every month, so it was fairly easy to collect most of their titles.

It was close to that Christmas that I was in Sam Goody's at the Lakeside. Don't look for it now, it's closed. It was there that I got a copy of Otaku No Video and, for the first time, I was introduced to subs. The assistant seemed very apologetic - "was that the title that you wanted? You can always bring it back..." but I didn't. The sub was an eye-opener in many ways, and introduced me to another anime company as well. Shortly after that I bought the Bubblegum Crisis music tapes (Hurricane 2032 and 2033) followed shortly after by the OAV series, then in 1994 Kiseki opened up with Macross II and Anime Projects started off with Urusei Yatsura. By this time I was beginning to show signs of becoming a bit of an otaku. Odd Japanese words popped up in my vocabulary, I started learning the jargon of anime fanatics, I even started doing Sakurambo impressions at Banger meetings when cars met! Sa dame ja...

Even with fly by nights such as Crusader and Animania, or brave attempts such as Western Connection and East2West, my appetite still wasn't satisfied as I started to look to the US for more than I could get from the commercial market. So, armed with 400UKP, I went shopping down Tottenham Court Road and hunted up an Aiwa MG350S which could directly convert NTSC to PAL and bought my first NTSC tape. As with my first domestic tape, I bought a real bummer in the shape of MD Geist. However, I now got further into Takahashi than I ever could in the UK, and went for other series on the side such as Iria. I managed to see Plastic Little well before Kiseki imported it and I still think that ADV made a better job of it, while I also managed to get hold of many titles which, had I held out for the UK releases, I would have instantly regretted it as Mangle took over more and more and produced more and more crap, alleviated only on occasion with titles such as Project Ako, Ghost in The Shell and Patlabor.

And so to present day. I opened the Lurker's Retreat in January 1997 when I first started using my website (I get 5MB free, so why not?)*, though I've been on the net for a while now. I have an NPC in GRIT and was in at the start of CAPOW (for which I write the original FAQ and charter, hohum)... well, you probably know the rest!

I wrote this quite a while ago, and the "5MB", though it did get bigger, has been dispensed with in favour of 500MB on another server.

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