It was around 11 o’clock Thursday September 22, 2011. I decided I wasn’t ready to go to sleep yet. I needed to get myself tired so I can feel like I’m actually getting some sleep for myself. So essentially I was asking my friends to stay up with me and entertain the thought of conversation. We talked about our fears and our futures. The kind of conversations we used to have in our youth fueled by our love for creativity.
Ideas, Projects, things we used to do. It was wonderful to have that. I miss that. I appriciate the friendship of intellectualism rather than the Dudebro Douche-osity of the modern man. Locked away in our creative storm. was something we’ve all been a part of since high school. A sad, lackluster experience of a group project passionately known as ‘Intense Phenomenon’.
As the story goes… Eccentric, secret fight club, computer technician John Nicol was the one that brought together an idea that we were all into: Animation Club. a rag-tag unlikely group of individuals brought together with our love of drawing. We gathered the people, we thought of the name (Cananime) We even built the website. We were ambitious children with the idea of making a movie. Even if we had absolutely-no-fucking-clue. We didn’t care though, it brought us together, it gave us ideas, we developed the story as a team just proving that we could, even if it meant we were also complaining about it behind our own backs.
The Story was simple. Loser-face Edward Damplin with hardly any friends and hardly anyone to call his own, uses his super genius to create a computer program modeled after the the girl in his class he can’t help but be infatuated with called Eve. Naturally, when you’re that smart, you create the sex doll instead of stalk right? What’s creepier? Eve eventually becomes far too smart and uses the internet to infect the lives of everyone else, with intention of bringing on a world wide dementia that will ultimately lead to humanities demise? I’m not really clear on that part… but it’s there.
The absurdity of a typical anime mixed with creative adolescence, I think we all knew it was never really going to happen. Probably because we were going too far with a lot of the ideas. Ed’s friend was a boy in constant schizophrenic discourse. When you’re young I guess you figure insanity is hilarious. The poor 16 year old (who’s name I forget) was riddled with crazy person stereotypes. Tinfoil hat, abusive father, constantly bullied, talking makes no sense, it’s anyone’s guess how Edward managed to find companionship in this guy, but they were best friends to the end.
There were bully characters which had some sort of 3 stooges complex. With the exception of one of them being a complete asshole the other two were eventually conditioned to be a complete joke. The Antagonists to Edward, which is only natural for a hero to the story to have, but their inclusion seemed more and more unnatural. It’s amazing to watch something go from completely bad-ass, to Saturday morning cartoon.
It makes me wish I remembered some of the conversations that happened during these meetups. Someone talks about a great idea for a character, then the rest of the group consistently jokes about how “hilarious this would be, if…” Then you watch as the enthusiasm immediately leaves a persons face as they awkwardly laugh “hahahaaa… That’s great.”
The crux of absurdity was the science teacher Professor Dookie. (I think this was around the Budwiser, “WHAZZZAUP” Era.) A character created just to be there. A science teacher by trade because this is science fiction. A quirk of loving raisins but hating grapes, so plans on using his scientific genius to create a raisin plant and never have to deal with grapes again.
May, or May not also be a pot smoker.
You can tell a lot from a person based on the characters they want to create, a personality can really shine through when rolls out their ideal character. It never really occurred to me until now how troubling some of these people seemed. Or even how hard I was on others. The love interest of Damplin was a pretty but introverted girl. It seemed modeled very much off of Angela, the only girl of the animation club. We didn’t actually like her at the time. Her style was sailor moon and she came off as bossy, later on she became an inside joke. When the entire group wants something actiony and epic, and one person just wants to throw a little love in there, you get over ruled an singled out.
But to be honest, she was an ugly duckling story waiting to happen, and I do wish I was a little nicer… even if I still want to keep the inside joke.
Anyway to continue, Eve starts doing her shit and being a threat to everyone, I think she even kills the love interest. starts infecting the minds of high school students, hijacks the internet and starts doing shit with the world. It starts to look like there’s absolutely no hope for anyone. BUT this is where the crazy guy comes in.
You see, by some stroke of genious, el nutbar is far too messed up in the head for Eve to already screw over. So while she does try to work her magic is alters his mind enough for him to become an ADAM to the EVE. (you see where this is going?) He starts seeing clearly, becomes normal, grows some sort of power out of nowhere! it’s up to his to stop the threat, and let everyone live in peace again.
I think at this point we were imagining Dragon Ball Z or something. At this point Eve is all super physical form and ‘Adam’ gets to match that, there’s nothing left but Spirit Bombs and Kamehamehas. With all of this in mind we had to come up with a name, we tried many. They were all absurd, but I guess not as absurd as the one that kind of makes sense but kind of doesn’t to the whole story: Intense Phenomenon.
With that we were pretty much done. The animation club was loosing interest in itself, nobody was really getting a long all that well, but we took that idea and we put it under our belt. As dumb as the whole thing started sounding (every day), we were passionate about it. We knew it would never amount to anything, but it was going to be OUR conversation piece. The memory we will always have and talk about 20 years later in our lifetime.
Who knows, one day there will still be a time and a place for it, but from where I sit I like where it is.