“How did I get to this point?” I whisper to myself as I stare questionably at the figures on my desk. I arrange my Funko pops by collection, carefully setting them up around related collectibles. My manga has to be in order, all my prints have to be straight.
The word “Otaku” silently falls from my lips. I look around at my room, asking myself just how much money I spent at conventions and comic book stores for my room to look like this. “Why did I need to buy all those prints at Comic-Con? Why did I spend more than I make on a gaming computer? Why do I NEED so many replicas?!”
Okay, but seriously. The other day I was thinking about how I got to where I am today, interest wise. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been into anime, manga, gaming, et cetera. But how and when did it all start?
Let’s start with Anime.
I believe anime was the very first thing that threw me into the “geek” culture. Well, besides gaming from a much younger age, but I think that will be a different blog altogether.
Starting with the absolute basics, Pokémon was my very first anime even though I had no idea the term “anime” even existed. I remember waking up early and rushing to get ready so I can sit down on my mom’s bed to watch Pokémon. One of my most vivid memories of that time was trying to hold back my tears during the “Bye, Bye Butterfree” episode. I get choked up just thinking about it! You all know the episode…
Now, if you were a fan of Pokémon, naturally you started collecting the cards and playing the games. They pretty much went hand and hand. It was pretty much impossible to watch Pokémon and not have a binder full of cards with your holographic’s proudly displayed on the front pages. Tell me you didn’t have one, go on, tell me!
Besides Pokémon, there were also the other kid-friendly shows like Sailor Moon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and the classics such as Speed Racer and Astro Boy. Again, I was pretty young at this point so these were all just cartoons to me, but I had to start somewhere.
Let’s fast forward to my awkward middle school days. At this point, I finally had a TV in my bedroom, but most higher up channels were fuzzy. But by some miracle, on Saturday nights if the sky was clear and the stars were aligned, my TV was able to clearly pick up Cartoon Network. What does Cartoon Network play late at night? Adult Swim. And what does Adult Swim turn into on Saturday nights? That’s right. Toonami.
Adult Swim, more specifically Toonami, was the late night block that singlehandedly hurled me into the vast, ever-growing world of anime that I never came back from, and I never will.
Here is a list of my favorites:
- Cowboy Bebop
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Case Closed
- FLCL (Sequel hype!)
- Lupin the 3rd
- Samurai Champloo
- The Big O
- Super Milk Chan
Ah, such great memories! This list is the reason I am into anime as much as I am today. I still remember sitting in my room, propped against my bed and staying up watching the entirety of Toonami. Some of these I still watch today. Toonami aired plenty of anime, but these were the ones that I really got into, especially Inuyasha, Cowboy Bebop and FLCL. I was in complete heaven when my house finally got better cable and I could watch Toonami every Saturday night.
Another channel that I was devoted to was the Funimation channel, but for some reason, I didn’t have it for very long. What happened to it? After some research, I found out the channel is now called Toku and airs in the United States, but unfortunately not trough my cable provider. Toku still airs anime, but they also show live-action movies such as Machine Girl and Ichi the Killer
Back then, I was only able to watch anime through Adult Swim, Funimation, or if I bought the DVDs like I did for Chobits. Nowadays, we have it so easy! We have websites such as Crunchyroll, Anime Planet, KissAnime, Hulu, and Netflix. Like I need more reasons to stay inside, away from family and civilization. I can’t tell you how many hours have gone to Crunchyroll and Netflix, but there is so much amazing anime out there.
Speaking of losing countless hours over anime, one can’t forget about the magical world of Studio Ghibli. I can write an entire blog post alone about Studio Ghibli, and I just might, but for now I am going to add it to this post as it is a big part of my life. The first Ghibli film I saw was Kiki’s Delivery Service. So pure and innocent, I absolutely loved that movie. I wanted to be a witch just like Kiki and I even tried to fly on a broomstick just like she did! I have no shame. I’ve spent a lot of time losing myself in the many worlds created by Studio Ghibli. How can you not? Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, I can go on and on naming all the fantastical and wondrous films that Hayao Miyazaki has given to us.
Anime has definitely come a long way, and I am glad I got into it when I did. I watched it long enough to see the stories and art styles evolve and I just can’t keep up with all of the new ones! There are so many genres to choose from. Slice of life, action, ecchi, shoujo, comedy, romance, seinen, the list can go on. These days I find myself watching more of the lewd animes along with the story driven, but that’s another story….ahem. As much as I want to sit down and finish Akiba’s Trip, Schoolgirl Strikers, and Re:ZERO, I can’t. Technically I am an adult now, and with that comes adult responsibilities such as work and school that take up most of my time. But every so often I sit down with a bottle of strawberry Ramune, fill my cherry blossom painted plate with chicken katsu, rice, and gyoza, and wrap myself in a blanket and binge watch every anime and Studio Ghibli movie I can fit into my night.
And here I am today. I love anime and I have yet to find a better way to pass the time without having to do anything, and that’s always a plus for me. I hope you enjoyed reading about how I fell in love with anime! I want to make this a mini-series and write about how I got into manga, gaming and cosplaying as well.
Are you into anime? How did it all start for you? What are some of your favorite classics? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to read about how other people got to this point as well.
Thanks for reading!