The anime community and industry has lost one of its brightest lights today, and I have lost a friend. Zac Bertschy has passed away, and now we are missing a part of ourselves, like suddenly a vital organ vanished into thin air.

My first memory of Zac, before I got to know him, is that of this Titan-like, mythological figure in anime. As a fan, I knew and admired his work, seeing the intent of purpose behind it. He was the voice of anime to so many of us at a time before social media really blew up, like an underground radio broadcast from our subculture that snuck by the normie overlords.

Once our working relationship started, I was amazed at how friendly, encouraging, and supportive he was to those in the industry looking to do something positive for anime. He was still everything he was before, but now we had shared goals, like (no joke!) two characters in a anime who finally started to click way too many episodes in.

At some point, I’m not sure when, we went from respected industry colleagues to actual IRL friends. We both loved anime, but we also loved movies (especially bad ones), and fervently loved Disneyland, and each had our own traveled sailor crust. It was truly an honor to be able to attend his wedding, something I’ll never forget as the purest expression of his passion and who he was as a person.

Zac, I’m going to miss bouncing crazy ideas off you. I’m going to miss speculating about what’s next at Disneyland. I’m going to miss catching up about just whatever. But right now, I already miss you.

Thank you for everything, Zac.

Categories: Reflections