Suomen Hopeanuoli-fanit ry Interview
Regnant, admin of the Silver Fang Network, was interviewed by the Finnish Ginga fanclub (Suomen Hopeanuoli-fanit ry) about the Network and what it's like to be a fan in America.
This interview appears in the 10th issue of the member magazine (July 2019) and was translated into Finnish. There may be some differences in terms of editing from the Finnish to English version, but the interview below is the original from Regnant in English.
Note that the opinions and experiences stated about being a fan in America don't apply to everyone, but has been Regnant's own experience interacting with the community. We hope you enjoy reading!
Hello, I’m Regnant, the admin of the Silver Fang Network. I'm a 27 year old web developer living in Colorado, USA. I love art, cosplay, and of course Ginga!
How did you become a Ginga fan? What do you like about the series? Who is your fave character?
As most American fans I've talked to, I learned about the series by seeing fanart and got curious. I first watched GNG with those awful machine translated subs but I still found it enjoyable. I basically binge watched both GNG and GDW one weekend! I love how the series is a bit cheesy at times, but it’s fun and when it shows heart it's really powerful. My favorite characters are Cross, and—oddly—Akakabuto.
What kind of a fan are you? (Collector, fan artist, blogger...)
I'm a bit of everything! I love collecting and looking at others’ collections, I love making fanart, and in general I just love talking with other fans about the series. I also might make some Ginga cosplays soon!
What kind of challenges have you had as an American fan/collector? How do you communicate with other fans, follow the series and acquire merchandise? Is there an established fanbase in the US?
The big challenge is being able to read/watch in English. We had those 3 English volumes of GDW, but otherwise fan translations were few and far between until recently. Our school systems don't push learning other languages young, so many of us have trouble picking up new languages (including myself). We're basically stuck with what English translations we can find. Huge thanks to all those doing fan translations of the series!
Most US fans don't know each other in real life at all. It’s a big country, and we only get exposed to the series if we look for it specifically. We almost purely communicate through forums and messages. The cons I've been to where I've met other fans, they all say “I thought I was the only one here!” It's a rare and wonderful feeling to meet another fan in the US!
When and why did you create Silver Fang Network? Which online sites does it cover?
It started with GingaMerch in 2015. I was starting out collecting and was writing a lot of notes on what variations of the figures, plushies, and manga existed. There was no one place I could find all that information, and I was basically cross-referencing collection photos and videos. I decided to create a database of what I'd discovered, and then I turned it into a web application. After finding it incredibly useful for myself, I made it public for other fans to use.
Since then, I've also made a virtual pet site called Ohu Dogs, helped retheme the new Ginga Board, and a few other sites as well. In 2017, I decided to put them all under one roof, as a central hub for any English-speaking fans (not just Americans). We also provide links and free banner ads to other Ginga-related fansites, making it easy for any fan to find what they are looking for.
How did people react to the network? Do you have a lot of people helping around or is it mostly just you? How can people help you?
I had so many people really excited for the Network! I received a lot of thanks from fans and those running other fansites for putting everything in one place, and making it easily accessible.
I definitely get a lot of help from other fans and collectors. So many have donated information, news, photos, etc. Anything we can consolidate into one place I think is a huge plus for the entire worldwide community.
What we really need now are some more merchandise photos or videos. There are some stickers, manga covers, and rare items that we can't find photos of. You can find the list of photos we need at https://gingamerch.com/photos
And of course, if you know any good piece of news you want to share, feel free to send us a message!
What kind of accomplishments has SFN had?
The latest big project of ours was the “Calling All Soldiers” fanzine! This was the first big art collaboration we helped organize. Over 30 new Ginga and Takahashi fanarts were donated by artists and sold in a physical or digital book. Over $400 was donated to the Search Dog Foundation!
What are some of your plans or goals for SFN?
If possible, I'd like to expand to meeting more fans in person! I did have a last minute table at a local furry con, DenFur, last year that was amazing. I met so many fans who had no idea that any Ginga fan groups existed. I hope to maybe travel to more cons around the US, and maybe one day I’ll join you all in Finland for a con!
Will the Network also focus on Takahashi's other works?
We already do! Ginga of course is the most popular (and biggest) series, but we do have a list of other Takahashi works on GingaMerch, and gladly post news of any other series.
Where on social media can people follow SFN?
Our main social accounts are: