Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My History with Anime

In my first post I won't be evaluating any anime show, movie, or manga series in particular, I'll be retracing my steps of how I ever became an anime lover.

My love and passion for anime can be traced back to when I was in kindergarten.  It first started when I watched Pokemon and began to cheer Ash and Pikachu all the way on their quest to becoming "the very best", renting and buying as many seasons as I could, watching all the movies, acquiring their merchandise, and even drawing as many pokemon that were on Google Images.  After a few years I decided to branch out a bit more and try a new anime called Digimon.  Even at age seven I saw how much of a rip off Digimon was of Pokemon.  Both had cool little monsters that change shape with human masters.  After a few episodes though I decided there was enough of a difference between each show for me to enjoy them both.  The monsters in Digimon talked like any other human and their origin was actually cooler than any pokemon.  They came from an alternate digital world, a game actually, that started to leak into the real world.  It was like Tron only in reverse, the digital world merging with the real world.  I still liked Pokemon better, and still do, mostly because it was truly the first thing I ever became a fanatic of.

Eventually growing too old to enjoy those shows the way I did in kindergarten up through third grade, my parents introduced me to Hayao Miyazaki.  The first movie I ever watched of this ingenious man was Spirited Away.  My mind was blown at its magnificence and thus my love for anime grew; I began to watch more and more of Hayao Miyazaki's films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in the Sky, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds, Kiki's Delivery Service, and much more.  Almost all of Hayao Miyazaki's films have some incorporation of nature and animals and have stories simple enough for a child's mind to comprehend but are not cheesy like some of those Disney musicals.

I don't think I actually knew what anime was until fourth grade, and I most certainly was not well rounded with all the cool anime there was until much later.  The first show my dad pointed to and told me "this is what is called anime" was Speed Racer.  I actually was not overly fond of Speed Racer, I felt the animation was too choppy and the general story of each episode not very enthralling.  I still enjoyed it, it was fun and easy, but sometimes quite boring.  I once fell asleep during an episode, I don't even remember what the episode was about.  Once I was in fourth grade my dad's friend Steve recommended my soon-to-be favorite anime show, Bleach.  That show kicked ass!  It was the first thing I had seen like it: slightly inappropriate, funny, and completely action packed in a way I had never seen done before.  Bleach always managed to bring in the suspense in every fight over and over and over again.  IT WAS THE BEST!  I soon started collecting Bleach manga books, my first manga series, learning how to read right to left and seeing how much more amazing the books were compared to the T.V. show.

Finally, in sixth grade, my family got a flat screen T.V. with all the cool apps and everything.  It was then that we set up Netflix Stream Instantly and my brother found the anime section.  It was like hitting the mother load.  I became infatuated with Sergeant Frog, Soul Eater, Fruits Basket, Clannad, Angel Beats, Fullmetal Alchemist, Pani Poni Dash (that we actually found on YouTube), This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, School Rumble, Girls Bravo, Squid Girl, Baka and Test, Ouran Highschool Host Club, and yes, Mushishi.  I've seen many other shows as well, just some I haven't seen enough of and others that weren't worth watching.  From then on I started collecting manga books knowing that books would be better compared to each T.V. series that was based on them.  Ultimately, Mushishi took the place of my favorite anime show ever.  I have yet to read any of the manga series but I know it will be fantastic.

And that brings me back to the present.  Starting next week I'll begin sharing my thoughts on some of the many anime shows, movies, and manga series I've come across.