Now that I've been able to process and sleep, let me tell you how I met Quu, and why without him, I would not be an editor, and all that followed after. Meeting Quu was literally life-altering, for without that one decision to pursue editing and involvement in the Org... The last 14 or so years of my life would be very different.
Spring break of 1998, my parents bought my first computer. It was a VAIO, 32MB of ram (I paid for an upgrade to 64MB later), the very first DVD player in my household, 300mhz processor, and 6GB of harddrive space. None of that mattered at the moment, for my first interest was finding people who liked anime. It was simply not common yet. It was pretty much right before the floodgates opened. People who liked anime were still a very unknown subgroup, and one that was present mostly at anime clubs on college campuses. I hadn't even started high school yet. As far as I knew, I was one of very few people scattered around the country which gave a damn about this foreign art form. With my own computer and the internet at my disposal, this changed.
As my vacation continued I found usenet, and most specifically alt.fan.sailor-moon, this lead to the irc channel #sailormoon (which still exists... on efnet, iirc). I had always enjoyed writing, so I was encouraged to start writing Sailor Moon fanfiction, which I did. Eventually, there was a move to form a fanfiction only channel. That fanfiction channel is called #fanfics on irc.sorcery.net and is still active. The group became very tight with the general anime fanfiction community, specifically the fanfiction mailing list, or FFML. The officially IRC for the FFML was the FFIRC, #fanfic, on what would become later irc.nabiki.net. Now, you'll have to forgive me, it's been so long my memories are fuzzy. I don't remember exact dates or conversations. I don't remember exactly who was in the channel versus who was on the AMV mailing list, and maybe Phade can correct any deficiencies in my telling. Conversations were going on about the same topics in both. As early as the summer of 1998, I had been playing around with putting together some videos. I had no idea anyone else was doing the same. I gave up.
Quu was a regular, and that was how I met him. I imagine this was... 1999? Likely not too long after I became a regular of the channel myself. It was in this way that I was introduced to anime music videos as a hobby, as a community, and as a group which, unbeknownst to me, I was part of. I was not alone in my digital editing putterings. Why we would we be discussing anime music videos in an anime fanfiction IRC channel? Well, that's the thing, for Quu (and for me, and you know it if you know anything about kiovids, as godix used to call them) anime music videos were like the next iteration of fanfiction. You could use scenes from the anime to tell stories about the characters just like you would if you wrote it down. I mean, people used songfics (that is, using lyrics from songs to tell stories about anime characters), well why not use an actual song to video of the actual characters? And we forsaw in that idea the explosion that would happen not just in character profiles like we could do first with deck to deck editing, but also all of the complex rotoscoping and reanimation which has marked some of our most amazing creations as a community. This was the vision, a vision he had in the early days, and a vision I loved exploring with him, even though it was theoretical. Now, of course, we take those ideas of amv craftsmanship for granted, but they were just ideas at the time. We were imagining things that could only be done in the mind or by big studios. I went back to editing, and Quu, and Phade, and Waldo were very encouraging.
At some point in this process there was a call for an organised website for cataloging all of these disparate, difficult to find videos. At this time, everything if it was hosted at all, as opposed to passed out on some sort of disc format (and not everyone had burners, even, at this time, they were still expensive), things were shared privately. Most people ran private servers if they could, and they'd continue to do so well into the Org era. I remember discussion with Quu and Phade about what this catalog would look like. And Phade put in the effort, put in the work, and Quu was right there along the way. I tried to be involved as much as I could, but I was still a high school student, I did not have resources of my own, and I didn't have the time to do much more than have the conversations on IRC.
After most of the test accounts were created on the Org, I joined. I would have joined a bit sooner, closer to December, but I had come to realise that I would be graduating early, quite unplanned, and so I was not as active in the immediate formal launch of the org as I probably would have liked to have been. However, I have been active, in some capacity in this community, for over eleven years, and a member of the AMV community for almost half of my entire life. And this is, in large part, because of the conversations I had with Quu about the potential of AMVs to express stories about the characters in the shows we loved.
I had continued to talk to Quu regularly. I went to AWA to hang out with certain people. Quu was one of those people. Along with Jingoro, he was one of the major American Kimagure Orange Road fans, and produced one of the best character profiles of Ayukawa Madoka, his Life in Madoka
. In addition, like me, he was also a major Utena fan, and his Particle Dance
and pioneering of the method of cracking open the Sega Saturn game was instrumental to my own early Utena videos. We never lost touch. As I became the Asst Dir of Media for AWA, I looked to him for guidance, and most recently I had enjoyed working with him on Mac related issues. I always enjoyed lobbying for the inclusion of a Mac support in his amazing attempts to create a system which would work for AMV conventions (or any such organising and playing needs), and he was very gracious to agree I had a point. He had been very active on IRC so recently, that it reminded me of how we first met, and I was so happy, with us being as far apart as we were, especially the times when I was in Japan, that we could continue the relationship in the same manner as that relationship started.
I am entirely convinced that all I have done in this hobby, and all that has come from being in this hobby, was predicated on Quu's decision to say, "Hey, Kio, do you know what anime music videos are? You should make some!" in that fanfiction IRC channel so many years ago.
I am taking this loss hard, and I am going to be calling Debra to reiterate this, and some of our good times to her over the phone. I'm also trying to find pictures I have of Patrick, and I will by trying to post them when I do.