This page is a combination of the Nostalgia Time posts I posted to Wordpress in 2021.

Table of Contents:


I think the first anime I started watching regularly as a kid was Pokémon. Or maybe it was Digimon - both were on Cartoon Network and so tons of people watched them, along with other anime like Dragon Ball Z & Yu-Gi-Oh. For some reason, I never ended up watching those last two. I have no idea why!

Two other animes I was introduced to through Cartoon Network were Cardcaptor Sakura & Hamtaro. I had a ton of Hamtaro toys at one point.

Aside: Yu-Gi-Oh was popular enough that people would bring the cards to school and play during recess. I've heard various things over the years about this still being a thing, which would be baffling as this means kids are still playing the same card game almost twenty years later.

The first anime I recall watching regularly was Sailor Moon. I was never able to read the manga - I'm not even sure it was available in English in a non-flipped form when I was a kid - and I was never able to finish watching the anime. The fifth season wasn't even aired in the United States!

I was finally able to watch the entire anime (in Japanese) when it was added to Hulu a couple of years back. I also ended up finally reading the manga. Thankfully, I still like it.

My public library actually had a pretty decent manga section. I read things like Saint Tail, Dream Saga, Cyber Idol Mink, & Corrector Yui when I was in elementary school, then Bleach, Rayearth, Black Cat, Death Note, and Hunter x Hunter later on in middle/high school. If any of those manga had an associated anime, I'd try to watch it, too - whether through DVDs from the library or illegal streaming sites.

I don't watch much anime or read much manga anymore. My tastes have changed as I've gotten older, not to mention that my free time has dwindled. I genuinely don't have as much time for entertainment now as I did when I was a kid.


Mabinogi was another MMORPG I spent a lot of time on. I don't remember how I found out about it, but I started playing during the open beta in March 2008. I even have screenshots from that time period!

I primarily played Mabinogi from 2008 to 2012 (my high school years). I got a lot more involved in the community for this MMO. I was in a Mabinogi IRC chat for a while, made quite a few friends, and contributed a lot to the Mabinogi World Wiki from 2009 to 2013. I even dug through files of the original Korean version of the MMO in order to see what would be upcoming in the one I played.

University (2012-2016) kept me too busy to play regularly as I did a mechanical engineering degree, but I didn't actually stop playing the game until mid-2016. I was just done with MMOs at that point.

I re-downloaded the game again a couple of weeks ago to archive my character information, and learned a couple of things I'd apparently forgotten about. One was the amount of pets I had. In the later years I played, pets were given out pretty frequently during events. This was always a welcome thing, since pets had an inventory you could use to store extra stuff.

I did not, however, remember that I had a pet that was literally a leek:

Or a...referee penguin:

I did, however, remember my precious snowy owl Marsali:

The pet owls in Mabinogi could actually sit on your head, which was pretty adorable:

That screenshot is from 2010. I somehow don't have anything more recent.

Just like with Neopets, Deviantart, and the various oekaki boards I was on, I've completely lost track of any friends I had through Mabinogi. Most of us were in our teens and early twenties, so I suppose we all moved on to other things in our lives - things that wouldn't require us to set aside a couple of hours of each day.


October 3, 2020, 5:22 PM

October 3, 2020, 5:24 PM

Those two tweets, I think, were (along with the dream I had about Neopets) the thing that really kicked off this series of Nostalgia Time posts.

I don't remember where I found out about Maplestory. I first made an account in 2007 when I was thirteen and spent a lot of time playing. Okay, about 1 hour per day, because that was all the computer time I was allowed back then. I'm not sure why the game appealed to me so much. It was pretty unforgiving back then, and took forever to level up - at the higher levels, it could take months of grinding to gain a single level.

I never got anywhere near that at the time, took months. And I was a middle-school student who only had 1 hour of computer time per day.

I played Maplestory on-and-off until about 2010, when I was midway through high school. I didn't think about coming back to it until after I graduated from university in 2016.

By that time, it wasn't fun anymore.

Between 2010 and 2016, nineteen (19) separate character classes were released. I started playing when there were only four! That wasn't the only difference - leveling had been changed to require less experience, so you could easily get to level 100+. The previous times I'd played, I'd only reached level 50. You could now kill bosses on your own in minutes that used to take entire groups of people close to an hour.

Honestly, it was...boring.

There wasn't the sense of community that there used to be. I remember joining parties in various maps in order to complete the "Kill 999 of a single kind of monster" quest. On your own, it'd take days, but you could get it done relatively quickly with a group of people, since their kills would also count toward yours. Leveling now happened so fast that you could skip entire maps and quest lines. There were so many gorgeous areas that no one ever visited anymore!

I feel like an old man complaining about the good old days.


On the 13th of January, 2021, I woke up from a dream about...Neopets. In the dream, I still had an active Neopets account - which I don’t! I deleted all of them something like ten years ago. The email I used for all those accounts (my childhood email) doesn’t even exist anymore. And there’s no way I’d remember the password for an account I created in 2004 or 2005.

I don’t remember anything else about the dream, just that I logged into an account that I’d ignored for twelve or so years.

Neopets was such a large part of my life in elementary/middle school. I guess it helped that this was when Neopets was at the peak of its popularity. A lot of my classmates had Neopets. There was a trading card game. You could get mini Neopet plushies at McDonalds for a while.

It’s probably the whole reason that the word “plushie” is part of my vocabulary.

I spent quite a lot of time drawing my Neopets (on Oekaki and in MS Paint) and equally as much time in Warrior Cats roleplay guilds. About half my Neopets had some kind of Warriors-inspired name: Fallpaw, _Golden__Paw_, & Darksweep are the ones I can remember.

I had a lot of Neopets. At one point, I had five alt accounts - just for extra Neopets. That's six accounts in total, so if I had a maximum of four per account, I would've had 24 Neopets.

I don't actually remember if I had that many.

Neopets is where I first learned how to code. I saw interesting HTML and CSS on other peoples' petpages and user pages, and wanted to learn how it worked and how to do it myself. That actually led to me coding not just my own petpages and user layouts, but also my own websites - on Freewebs. I'll go into Freewebs at a later time.

It also let me to Deviantart, which I'll also go into at a later time.

It was such a large part of my life, and I remember so little. I used to have a list of every single one of my Neopets and petpets, and their personalities and ages and what they did, but all of that seems to be gone. I genuinely don't know what happened to any of it.

I do have all the artwork I drew during that time period, and I'll end the post on this: the first picture I ever drew on a computer with a tablet instead of a mouse (on an Oekaki, of course). It's dated February 24, 2007.

Oekaki, deviantART, and Old Internet Friends

For those of you who don't know (which is probably everyone reading this blog post), an oekaki is a browser-based drawing application. You draw directly on the website and post your images to an imageboard, where other people could comment on them. I remember some oekakis (perhaps all?) recorded all the brushstrokes you made, so you could play back the recording like a speedpainting and see how someone drew their pieces.

I spent a lot of time on oekaki boards in 2006 & 2007, then started growing out of it in 2008. The very last image I drew on an oekaki was actually in 2010. By that time, I'd primarily switched to drawing in GIMP, and the main oekaki board I used,, was fairly dead. There's very little evidence of the website ever existing on the internet nowadays.

All of my artwork was posted to Deviantart from early 2007 to mid-2016. I actually found out about Deviantart through Neopets, and ended up friends with the same people on both websites. I don't think any of them have actually been on either website since 2012.

I genuinely haven't been able to find most of the people I used to talk to on Deviantart, or Neopets, or any oekaki board. Either they've distanced themselves from their old usernames and teenage/young adult social media accounts (which is understandable, as I did the same thing) or they've flat-out stopped using any kind of social media entirely.

Wherever those people are, I hope they're doing well.