Welcome back to Where are they now?! Today I catch up with another one of our early regulars, Anita aka DDRcoholic! So hit the jump to read the rest of the interview.
1. So tell us about yourself. What are you up to these days?
I am working as a leasing agent at the apartment complex I live at. It's a hard job, like babysitting only worse. I dont need to watch any reality shows on tv because i work in one! Plus we have tons of paperwork so I work lots of hours, lots without pay. But I do have a guaranteed roof over my head for very cheap. It's become way too small though. Me and Daniel and our 6 year old live here full time and Daniels 3 older boys ages 10, 14, and 16, are here most weekends. Just a 2 bed 1 bath apartment. We're looking to get into a house but it's hard.
2. Favorite BEMANI game?
Favorite Bemani... DDR of course! DDR literally changed my life. It ushered a new era for me. I had to leave a good life that I wasn't content with and ruin a marriage to a good man. But I began to be happy with new friends. I began to live. And I truly thank DDR for being the catalyst that made this change happen. My new friends were very good to me, did not judge me, and helped me learn how to enjoy life and deal with the ups and downs alike. And i made friends in many places and from many walks of life. From very poor, to fairly wealthy or well-to-do at least. From Yuba City, to Rancho Cordova, to Fremont, to South Carolina. By car or by chat room we met. I live far from many of you now, but I feel close thanks to the power of the Internet. I hope you feel the same!
3. Favorite mix from said series?
Favorite mix?... DDR 3rd mix Korean hands down, of course! I happened to start on this machine, loved it. The Korean releases always sounded the best to my ears, and I'm half Japanese, go figure!
4. Favorite song/artist? (doesn't have to be from your favorite game/series)
Favorite song or artist? Can't pick out a favorite of either I think, but I think my favorite artist would be E-Rotic. They had several songs in DDR. They had such a great sound and they had the funniest and awsomest lyrics like "Oh, Nick Please Not So Quick." I even bought their album The E-Rotic Megamix, they are so raunchy! I had many other songs from DDR I loved, like many of the instrumentals. Can't recall them at the moment by name, except Holic (not where I got my DDR name, by the way, which is DDRcoholic. I just came up with that on my own!)
5. Any tournament memories you want to share? (also, PA or Freestyle?)
I think I only entered one tournament seriously. And I botched it badly. It was at B-3 (Bemani By the Bay) held at the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, I think it was in 2003. I didn't practice enough and didn't have the song memorized. I failed within seconds of the start of the song facing the crowd and doing it in mirror mode. I asked if I could restart, just because I just wanted to complete the song, not just stop right there. Luckily, they let me do it! I got a little booed, but at least I finished the song! Then I got to introduce Rob Roberts do a special guest appearance as one of his characters (I can't remember the name of the character) and he performed a DDR song and then passed out free DVD's. I did a really good intro, it was fun and I amazed myself!
6. Proudest accomplishment?
Proudest accomplishment? Might sound cheesy, but it's true. My little boy, Donovan Kiyoshi.
7. Any memories from OLR you'd like to share? / Or, memories from playing DDR/BEMANI?
Memories from OLR? Well, I remember being at a few of the shows. I remember playing the Match Game with Rob as the game show host, and doing the FU's of the week. I also remember Loki's game console he was building still in it's early stages in the living room. I remember meeting my ex, Jason, (not to be confused with our own webmaster VxJasonxV) at one of the shows, too. Most of the times were fun, but nothing extraordinary happened. I still loved every moment.
8. Do you still play DDR/IIDX/etc. nowadays? / If not, what ARE you playing?
I don't play any games now. Not even Angry Birds on my phone, except once in a great blue moon I will play it like if I'm in a waiting room somewhere. Otherwise, I'm too busy, and I hate it.
9. If you've seen what DDR is like now, do you feel it's 'jumped the shark'? Share your thoughts on that.
I haven't seen what DDR is like now. What happened? All I have seen is the new games we have, all the boys play all the time, including Daniel. I have played Dance Central and Just Dance! Are they what you are talking about?
10. Obligatory 'your first time playing DDR' story
My first time playing DDR, I can't remember exactly, but I do know that I had only seen the game on some news like tv show and they showed all this weird stuff in Japan, one of them was this amazing DDR dance arcade machine. I was mesmerized by this machine. Several months later I saw one in an arcade I walked past in a mall in Yuba City. People were standing all around it and the music and lights were amazing! I stood there in awe like as if I were discovering the fountain of youth or the actual pot at the end of the rainbow. I don't even know if I actually tried it that day. But if not, I did soon try it and it was so exciting! I was like a 3rd world country starving child that just walked into a Claim Jumpers.
11. Final thoughts?
DDR changed my life. I had fun with it. I made great new friends. I miss you guys btw. We have a special crew here and I wish you all the best in life and hope we can all stay in some sort of contact.
Huge thanks to Anita for doing the interview! Interestingly enough one of last year's participants wanted a 2nd go around, so tune in tomorrow as I see how Bresslol's answers have changed in a year! :P