The Golden Age
Anipike is now the Number 1 Anime website, but with many new challengers aiming to take its throne, Anipike needed to change, as well as getting rid of the many "dead" pages in its directory. With the coming of the new millenium, Anipike saw many changes, including a change in ownership, addition of new contents, as well as a complete restructuring of its database.
Change of Hands
In 1999, Ron Scovil (better known as Yasuke within the Anipike community), president of Anime Broadcasting Network Inc. and former Editor-in-Chief of Mixx Magazine (now Tokyopop), purchased the site from Jay. Ron Scovil saw huge potential in Anipike both as an Anime community and as a research and marketing tools for the Anime and Manga industries in Japan and the U.S., and made the decision to purchase Anipike. However, the acquisition was not announced publicly, and Jay continued to run Anipike.
As time passed, fans began to find out about the change in ownership. In a sudden move in January of 2002, Jay announced his retirement from Anipike, after which Ron officially took over as the administrator of the site. Below is Jay's farewell statement:
"As of today, Wednesday, January 2, 2002, I am announcing my official retirement from all Anime Web Turnpike related duties. I'd like to heartily thank all the fans that have come to the site over the past six years as well those who've helped with various AniPike related duties and pages. None of this could have been done without your hard work and dedication to the anime & manga cause. I will always be grateful for the amazing support you've always provided.
I must also give a special thanks to the AniPike crew: Ryan Mathews, Hans Raillard, Sylvia "Nikkou" Lim, and Miro Pihkanen. Hontou ni arigatou for putting up with me all these years and for adding your special talents and interests to the AniPike mix. All that is the AniPike is that much richer because of you. Those who now run the AniPike will make themselves and their future plans known in due course. Here's to another six years (and beyond) of the Anime Web Turnpike serving the needs of anime and manga fans throughout the world! The AniPike has been a life changing experience for me that I will always cherish. All of which couldn't have been done without all of you. Again, Hontou ni arigatou!
With Love, Much Respect and Eternal Thanks,"
Jay also wrote a short piece on the aftermath of the announcement, in "AniPike: The Aftermath".
The Many Crashes
Throughout the years Anipike has experienced many crashes, and some of them lead to some interesting situations.
The 2001 Downtime - In October, Anipike.com suddenly went down. Just as fans pondered what had happened to the Anime giant, Jay announced that it was "Just a problem with our web host. It'll be fixed in a couple of days." At the time a mirror was set up at http://anime.jyu.fi/~anipike/ (which later became the European mirror hosted by Miro), business went on as usual, and no one foresaw the string of incidents that was about to come.
In November, Anipike came back, but much to fans' surprise, it redirected them to the American Cancer Society's website (which was caused by a DNS mistake). Many outraged fans accused the American Cancer Society of stealing Anipike, and many expressed their opinions in a not-so-polite way, below is Jay's official statement on the matter:
"OK folks....here's the deal:
There's a DNS error running through the system right now which redirects any requests meant for AniPike.com to the American Cancer Society web site. Repeat: It's an DNS error. They did not steal the AniPike.com domain.
Both the people at AniPike.com and the American Cancer Society are looking into this odd problem. In the meanwhile the European Mirror is still open at: http://anime.jyu.fi/~anipike/
For those of you who called up the American Cancer Society and 'expressed' yourselves in a non flattering manner...perhaps you could consider making a donation to their cause.
(Yes, there were enough calls for this large organization to take notice. They contacted me with an example of the messages they were receiving....Aiya ^^;;;;;)
Thanks again for your continued support and patience in this continuing matter. Hopefully it will all be resolved soon.
In mid November a new North American mirror for Anipike became available at http://www.goodwebsites.com. Finally in December, Anipike.com went back online, and the two-months long suspense was finally over.
So what really caused this whole incident? During the web host outage, Anipike was hosted in Singapore. At the time the host tried to hijack Anipike for hosting fees, which in turn caused the whole incident.
Years later Jay wrote about this incident in: Back when Anime & Cancer joined forces.
While I was rooting through some of my old AniPike emails, I came across one of the most amusing moments in the history of the site.
A couple of months before I retired, an 'error' in the system sent anyone going to anipike.com to the American Cancer Society's website instead.
A little after this happened, I got an email from the ACS, mentioning not only the problem, but that fans of the 'Pike had called their 1-800 number and sent emails with complaints, accusing them of everything from hating anime to outright theft of the anipike.com domain.
With the combination of heavy additional web traffic and many rude otaku contacting, it became intolerable enough for this large organization to actually get in contact with me. A mixed high/low moment for anime fans everywhere. ^_^
Afterwards, the ACS was good enough to create a special direct page telling anipike.com fans that it was just an error, that the problem was being worked on and that the mirror site was still up. I went to the rec.arts.anime.misc newsgroup to let everyone know what was actually going on. More than a few fans asked to see what these rude otaku had written. At the time, I didn't think it would help the situation any, so I didn't include it...
However, after three years...what the hell:)
(Thanks to ACS internet guy who originally gave me permission to post this)
Hi Jay. A DNS error is directing www.anipike.com users to one of the servers hosting the American Cancer Society's website. Those users are unhappy and are blaming us for this problem. We'll be putting up an error/redirect page this afternoon letting folks know they reached our website in error and that we're working with you to fix the problem.
In the meantime, some of your users have been calling our 1-800 number and sending e-mails to take out their frustrations on our staff. Here's but one example:
"what the hell? how dare you idiots take me away from my anime, www.anipike.com is supposed to be a japanese anime web turn-pike that has lists of certain anime titles...you guys are frauds...
you claim your helping the cancerous people of america but all your doing is stealing cash...and now your pissing off anime fans, I hope you all burn in the pits of fucking hell, where you deserve to be!"
Please let the anime community know that the American Cancer Society had nothing to do with this problem and is eager to see it resolved as soon as possible.
Thanks again to the American Cancer Society for being so cool about the whole situation. Let's hope certain idiots have made donations to the cause in the past three years...
The Great 2004 Crash - On September of 2004, Anipike experienced a major data crash, which kept the site down for two months. After the site finally became operational in November, many links and data were lost, and a year's worth of magazine articles and forum threads/posts were gone. Fortunately, as time went on most data were recovered. This event was dubbed as the "Great 2004 Crash".
The Crash in 2003 and 2005 - Anipike experienced similar crashes in 2003 and 2005 around September and October; however, the scale and damage were not as severe as the 2004 incident, and the site soon came back online.
New Features and Contents
After Ron Scovil took over Anipike from Jay, many changes began to take place, and new features were being worked on. After many delays, the new Anipike was finally launched on April of 2003. The new site had its directory of links stored in a database (instead of the old HTML method). A forum based on vBulletin was introduced, users could create their own gallery of fan arts, and a new magazine was introduced. Together with the launch of its new chat channel in 2002, Anipike had truly became an anime hub for the fans. In Anipike for Dummies", many new features and general questions were explained to the fans. Later that year the initial launch layout, "Gold Theme," was replaced by the "Blue Default Theme."
One of the most improved areas in the new Anipike was its link directory. Now stored in a database instead of in HTML, each link came with its own description, users can rate each link, and there were useful information such as when a site was added, or how popular it is.
The new Anipike Magazine also proved to be successful. There were columns, con reports, reviews, articles, and interviews. With a dedicated editorial team, the magazine gave birth to many fun and interesting articles, such as Boiler1's "A View from the Edge," the "Guest Trixie Interviews," and Risu-chan's "The Skwerly's Belly."
The Anipike Chat and The Truth Behind Godzilla!
In the early days of the Anipike Chat, when it was still running on the PageMac server (before the move to StarChatin 2004), when #AnimeRolePlay was still around, there used to be an Ops feared by all. Users got kicked when any form of curse was said, they got kicked for typing more than 3 rows of text, they got kicked for using too many actions, and they got kicked for typing "...". Users got kicked out of the channel every 3 minutes, all thanks to the infamous Ops, Godzilla.
Rumors were going around that the reason behind Godzilla's heartless actions was due to "him" being a bot, yet Godzilla would occasionally talk, which confused many users. One day, Godzilla suddenly disappeared, leaving users to speculate on its true nature and the reason behind its departure.
So what or who is Godzilla? And why did he/it leave? The truth is that Godzilla is a bot. At the time, the server #anipike was on allowed its users to invite a bot to help moderate the channel, and Godzilla was born. Later it was deemed that Godzilla was no longer necessary and so it was removed. But why did Godzilla occasionally speak? Apparently some people had access to the bot, and with a few commands, they would make it talk. Frightened users, be scared no more! The truth behind Godzilla has finally been revealed, you can now rest in peace.
The Anipike Forum and the 1000 Club
The Anipike Forum is a great place for anime/manga fans to discuss their favorite anime and other topics. With Anipike's popularity, there are bound to be many members, and with many members, there are bound to be many spammers, which also lead to strict rules and a team of tough moderators. As a result, to have a few hundred post counts in the Anipike forum means one has a lot of intelligent things to say. In the early days, with new members who tried to spam their post count receiving the "smite" on a daily basis, those with over 500 posts usually means a whole lot of respect from other members.
Then there are those, who, somehow, someway, managed to have over 1000 posts. Once upon a time theses people are considered to be members of the most prestigious Anipike forum group, the 1000 Club.
retro_j - the first member to reach 1000 and the only member with 1000 for a long time, until...
Lisa Z - who happens to be the resident smiting super mod, and also the first one to reach 2000 posts.
Anti-K - lost most of his post count after the 2004 crash.
AnimeEmperor - reached the 1000 mark, then lost many posts, later came back to the 1000 club.
Lexy - latest member of the 1000 club.
Eclipse - bleh.
Petz, Money, the Arcade, and Others
In 2005 some new features were introduced to the forum, Petz and the money system. Users create their own pets and do battles Pokemon-style. New items can be bought with money, which in turn can be earned by making more posts. However this feature lead to users spamming to get more money, and was soon removed.
In 2006 a new feature appeared in the forum, the Arcade, where users play classic arcade games such as Donkey Kong and Asteroids. High scores were posted, and many enjoyed the games. It was a success.
The user gallery was launched during Anipike's re-launch in 2003, soon afterwards users began posting their own fan arts in the gallery, and everything was good. After the 2004 crash, the gallery data were lost along with the rest of the forum; it is not until 2006, during Anipike's second re-launch that the Gallery returned to Anipike.
Into the Rainbow
The re-launch of Anipike and its many new features proved to be a success. Focusing on its interactivity and the user community, Anipike's community reached its peak in the wake of the new millenium. Although the site suffered during a few of its crashes and downtimes, it quickly recovered and bounced back.
Yet despite its achievements, other Anime websites such as Anime News Network and Anime on DVD also began to gain momentum as the premier anime website. The internet is constantly growing, with Anime and Manga gaining global influence, and the new Web 2.0 buzz, it's time for Anipike to move into a new direction.