Tomodachi Anime was a pioneering fansub group whose translations played an important role in the emergence of North American shoujo fandom.
The group operated out of Salem, Oregon and was run by the husband-and-wife team of Bruce and Karen Duffy. In 1994 they began releasing subtitles of Marmalade Boy on VHS. It was the first time a non-fantastical shoujo series had been fansubbed to completion, and it was an enormous success on the fansub scale, developing an extremely devoted following.
The Tomodachi fansub of Fushigi Yuugi introduced the use of karaoke-style Japanese-language lyrics on alternate episodes of the series, a practice which is now universal among fansubbers and nearly so among commercial DVD releases.
Other series done by Tomodachi include Hime-chan's Ribbon, Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, Combustible Campus Guardress and I'll Make a Habit of It. Tomodachi also released a subtitle of the Kodacha OVA episode, but passed on the TV series which the Duffys considered much too frenetic.
In 1997 Karen Duffy made a trip to Japan to inquire with anime studios on the role of fansubbers in the industry. As a result of these discussions, she determined that it would not be ethical to continue fansubs and Tomodachi closed down, leaving I'll Make a Habit of It unfinished.
Rika Takahashi, who would go on to become a prominent commerical anime translator, was one of the translators on the Marmalade Boy and Fushigi Yuugi projects.
Anime Convention Guest Appearances
- Baka!-Con 1998 - April 24-26, 1998 in Tukwila, WA