One reason I love animation is that it’s “eternal,” and I love to find examples of old outdated technology from the past, like this awesome wired remote for a VCR that probably cost $10,000 in today’s dollars.
Show us your best old tech anime gifs! pic.twitter.com/4VkRooWIZo
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) January 27, 2020
One thing I love about anime is the way it’s “eternal,” connecting fans of all ages to the larger world of anime. You might be born in the 90s, but still to be able to appreciate classic mecha anime from earlier eras. Since the current generation of cutting-edge technology is always featured prominently in anime, we can learn a lot about that technology by looking at classic anime gifs. Let’s get nostalgic together by looking at classic anime technology together!
Naturally computers are portrayed a lot in anime, and it allows us to remember how huge and clunky they used to be. This is the classic PC-AT keyboard from 1982, which was actually awesome, with the best mechanical keys I’ve ever typed on. I can hear the clicking in my mind.
Serial Experiments Lain is another great source of classic anime technology. Back in the 90s, the idea that a serious computer could be anything but a giant beige box was taken for granted. I just got a new gaming PC (an Intel Skull Canyon NUC) which has amazing performance despite having a tiny footprint. I’ll never own a huge computer again.
Remember when floppy disks were a thing? Actually, the floppy disk you remember had two even worse versions before it.
Gaming is a huge part of our lives. What was the first Sony controller you ever held in your hand?
I have such fond memories of playing the Nintendo Gameboy back in university. This gif makes me so nostalgic…
I’ve seen these classic pink payphones in Japan, but only rarely because when I arrived in Japan in 1991 they’d begun to be replaced by…
…these newfangled green payphones which could accept telephone cards. If you were into anime in the 1990s, these cards were pretty fun to collect.
The final generation of the payphone in Japan were these high-tech ISDN-enabled payphones which you could connect your laptop computer to the Internet. I remember using this to send J-List emails back in the mid-90s.
Now all phones are gone because everyone has a keitai (portable phone). Type F for respect.
Music is important to all of us, and thus it’s featured in anime a lot. I love this classic Orange Road CD gif.
Before the iPod came out, it was cool to carry around one of these. I used to play video games (Super Smash TV) while listening to the Bubblegum Crisis Song Collection in university.
Another classic anime technology gif is this one from Evangelion. SDAT is a fictional “super” DAT that never actually existed. DAT was a 100% digital tape format Sony was trying to make catch on in the late 80s, but American record companies forced Sony to add copy protection which killed it.
It’s hard to remember when old, crappy tech used to be the hottest thing, but by definition, every now-boring tech once had its heyday, even portable cassette players, called raji-kase in Japanese, for “radio and cassette.”
If you didn’t want to bring around a big boom box with you, you could get one of these small Walkman players to play your music.
And these damned plastic cases! I had them all over my apartment, and they were so painful to step on.
Going back even further was the golden age of music on LP. It was so fun to flip through my records to find something to play. Having 10,000 songs in my pocket, or one million songs available through a music streaming account, is certainly convenient. But not necessarily better.
You don’t need to go back to the 90s to get nostalgic about music technology. Thankfully Makoto Shinkai made this awesome iPod animation to remind future generations what the iPod UI was like.
We all remember how lame VCRs were. Quality loss with each added generation! A magnetic tape that got tangled easily! But the worst VCRs ever were the original “top loaders,” which are just a memory today.
Anyone remember film cameras? One odd problem unique to Japan is that everyone you’re with must be made to feel they’re a proper member of the group, which means when someone takes a picture of the other members in the group, you’re obliged to take another picture with that person included this time. In the digital camera age, it’s not a problem, but back in the film days, it meant wasting money to take extra pictures so no one was left out of the group.
Cell phones have been with us for 20 years, and there are a lot of interesting gifs showing what they used to be like. Incredibly, the Japanese often prefer these keyboards to modern smartphones because they’re easy for them to type on.
Did you enjoy getting nostalgic over classic anime technology GIFs? Got any more for us? Hit us up on Twitter!
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