Hi, my name is Ross and I run The Anime Independent. This is a corner of the internet reserved for discussion about anime, manga, games and merchandise from my own personal perspective. Any views expressed are my own.
As the owner and Editor in Chief of the UK's oldest news and reviews website, the UK Anime Network, I've written about anime and Japanese culture for almost 25 years.
So Why The Anime Independent?
The last 10 years have seen enormous societal change, and not all for the better. While UKA is apolitical and aims to stay that way, there are some topics on which I feel strongly and wish to speak unreservedly. While I don't aim to be controversial, I want to be able to tackle subjects that have lead to bullying and cancel culture running unchecked within the fandom. As an early advocate for Japanese culture, for all it's differences good and bad, it pains me to see an entire country judged by self-appointed gatekeepers who have decided what is and is not acceptable in a country they show little respect for and that does not share their values.
When these occasions arise, the Anime Independent will talk about it, and more importantly engage in productive debate. There will be no ads, no clickbait and no fundraising - just uninterrupted content, and pictures of cool stuff to oggle at.
So what makes you qualified to talk about the industry?
Thanks to my long association with anime, I've worked with British anime publishers as a freelancer in various roles, from the early days to present (lending my opinion to shows available for licensing, running clubs etc), and have spoken to a great many manga artists, some of which have been graceful enough to add to my ever-growing collection of artwork commissions. I've worked for Japanese companies to consult on content, and visit Japan every year to enjoy the culture and report on selected events like Wonder Festival, Anime Expo and Tokyo Game Show (TGS).
And what will you be discussing?
Outside anime, I'll delve into other pursuits too - the world of comics, Sci-Fi, transforming robots and more. A.I. is a place to write about the things I love, and I hope you'll enjoy my musings.
I also have a healthy respect for Western artists and collect original comic pages and artwork from my favourite industry professionals, including Andrew Wildman, Dylan Teague, Alex Milne, Nick Roche, Bengal, Geoff Senior and Jeff Anderson. I even wrote an article on this little obsession here.
Anything else I should know?
Anime is, and has always been, a hobby first. I own a consultancy company and travel abroad frequently. I work in the US, South Korea, Vietnam and Japan, though I do visit shows in Paris and Milan frequently too as part of my brief. Through my company I've worked with excellent charities like Hadassah, which runs a hospital in Jerusalem conducting research and providing medical care no matter your faith or background, continue to work with LTC Healthcare, a company that advises on sexual health matters and were one of the first companies to provide safe-sex products for gay men, and Disability Action Yorkshire, a company that specialises in finding work for disabled people. In fact they pack Farrah's Toffee in Harrogate, so keep an eye out, its delicious!
I'm engaged to the lovely Bryony, who works as a store manager and also writes about board games on the UK Anime Network. Together we have a stuffed toy sloth called Emmental who has his own facebook page and delights our baby daughter, Thea!
So that's it - who I am, why this site exists and what we'll be discussing. I hope you'll stick around!