Next week celebrates the two year anniversary of Anime Doubleplay, the anime/manga/videogame podcast my twin brother and I host. Once a week I sit down at my computer, put on my earphones, and talk to my brother about the great, great world of anime. Then, I slap our voice tracks together and post it on the internet. After two years, it seems weird that the podcast has become a part of my weekly routine. It takes a lot of time and work, but it’s something I’ve come to really enjoy.
After graduating college, I moved to Connecticut and my brother Thomas lived at home for a while before moving to Seattle. He had been talking for months about starting an anime podcast. “We both love it and talked about it all the time. Why not just record it and bring everyone into the conversation?” I wasn’t very convinced. I only listened to one podcast (Dear Hank and John, DFTBA) and didn’t have much interest in them. Also, I knew a lot of the work would fall to me; out of the two of us, I was the one with the software and knowledge from school to record and produce a podcast. But Thomas persisted, and I’ve never been good at fighting with him so I thought of a name and made a logo. We set a date for the first episode of Anime Doubleplay.
The week of our first episode, I lost my job.
It was crushing, but in weird adult ways I’ve never experienced before. Now, I had an apartment with no income. Now, I had to pay for gas and food and rent without by myself. And the failure I felt from getting laid off from my first “real world” job was… not awesome. We postponed the podcast to give me time to put my life back together. A week later, unemployed and defeated, we recorded the first episode.
And I had a great time.
The podcast became something I looked forward to every week while I searched for new employment, worked a part-time job, and watched a ton of anime. Having an excuse to talk to Thomas every week was the best part; our bombastic anime conversations were exciting to perform. On Soundcloud, we got 20 listens per episode. I made a Twitter and started posting my anime thoughts. Slowly, we gained a small online presence.
And when I say small, I mean tiny. I like to refer to myself as a D-list anime professional. Or E-list, depending on who I talk to. Two years later, we get about 60 listens per episode and have a bustling ten-person Discord where we discuss a myriad of topics with listeners of the pod. We’re not famous and we never will be (we don’t have the time/money to advertise, up our production quality, and push our channel), but Thomas and I made this little group ourselves and we’re very proud of it.
Right now, we are in the process of preparing our 100th episode special. We’re going to do a live stream (hopefully) and have a whole production set up for the big event. Last night, Thomas and I began setting everything up. We were laughing so hard we were crying. At this point, we’re not sure it’s possible for the actual episode to be as fun as the prep. It made me remember why I like doing the podcast. Yes, putting time aside for recording requires some late nights, but having the chance to spend time with Thomas is worth it. Now that we’re older, we don’t see each other as much; the opportunity to virtually hang out is something I look forward to. And I love the Discord community. Everyone is engaged and it is interesting to learn about other people’s anime experiences.
Weekly conversations with my brother have transformed into a small but passionate anime community over two years. What will happen in another two years? Four? Six? Will our community expand from 10 to 20? The fun about the internet is that you can’t predict it. We can only continue to do our best and see what happens. But every week, I get to repeat the same line and it never gets boring. I co-host a D-list anime podcast and, two years later, I still feel a thrill with every word.
“Hi everyone, welcome back! I’m Mary, Thomas is here too, and you’re listening to Anime Doubleplay!”