My History With Anime

This is part of a project that Nopy started that you can read more about here.

I guess it all began with Pokémon which my best friend at the time got me to watch. My mother tells me that it was the first cartoon I ever watched and before it I didn’t like cartoons. I remember watching the show every day in the afternoon when it aired and I remember collecting the trading cards. And I remember really wanting a Game Boy but my family was kinda poor at the time so I didn’t get one until much later. I also got really into Digimon and watched all of the first two seasons and most of the third. I think it was Digimon that taught me what anime was and that it was from Japan. A few years later I got really in to Dragon Ball Z after I watched one of the episodes on the Majin Buu saga on a Saturday when I was kinda bored. A little later I discovered Yu-Gi-Oh! and got obsessed with that. I even got some of the cards though I only played with them a few times. I also started watching One Piece, (Yeah the 4Kids dub. Hey, I didn’t know the difference then) Zatch Bell, and Bobobo. And those were all fun shows.

After a while Cartoon Network slowly stopped showing as much anime during the day. Then I found out about Final Fantasy, I downloaded the first three games (two of those were translations of the JP only NES games) and I played the first one a fair amount. I remembered the Final Fantasy anime (The one that GONZO made) that I had seen listed on the Anime Network on demand. I rented the first disk and I liked it, but the second one was on the saved section so I didn’t finish it until ADV re-released it. About this time I looked back and thought of all the Toonami shows I had missed and decided to go back and watch them. The ones I remembered were Yu Yu Hakusho and Gundam Wing. Now at the time Yu Yu Hakusho was mostly in the saved section of Netflix, so I decided  that it would be a great idea to watch every Gundam ever made in order of when they came out. And I started all the way back with the very first Gundam. Now as an American my brain was trained to think that all cartoons before the Simpsons and basically all TV and movies that were pretty old were perfectly fine for all ages. But I soon discovered that the same was not true for Japan. The fact that the violence in the first Gundam was about the same as the (good) Star Wars movies didn’t help. I think it was disk four, there was the scene where Amaro fixed the sink but they didn’t really show anything then so I kept watching. On the next disk there was a scene where Fraw Bow is helping the kids with a bath all while not wearing anything herself. I stopped at that disk, but later on I did watch the Gundam movies which don’t have that scene.

I forget how long after this was but I was watching a video game review show called X-Play and they review the Bleach game for the Wii and I decided to check out the show. Now at the time most of what I watched were Y7 cartoons that I was getting tired of and I didn’t like most of the live action shows I tried. So when I watch this I thought it was amazing. Violence like I had never seen before, an interesting story, hilarious jokes, and lots of likable characters, Bleach had it all. Though I regret to say that I watched Bleach dubbed on YouTube even though I could have rented the first few episodes from Netflix (oh well, what’s done is done.) But anyway I would watch a few episodes every day and I quickly caught up with the American TV broadcast, but I still wanted more so I started watching the fansubs. A few months later I got interested in One Piece again and I started checking the manga out from the library. I also discovered Jump Ultimate Stars which helped me find a lot of Shounen Jump manga like Hunter X Hunter (the Picture above is a parody of it.)

About a year later I found Funimation’s video portal and also SGT Frog which I absolutely loved. And I also was reading Detective Conan around that time and a little of the Lucky Star manga. I was also watching a lot of the Ghibli movies because I had seen Spirited Away back when they aired it on Cartoon Network. Then I got to Howl’s Moving Castle which helped me realize that not everything in the romance genre was stupid (I had seen a lot of commercials for stupid romance movies, all of which couldn’t hold a candle to Kuragehime.)  Later on in September I read the first Haruhi novel which is still (as of this time of writing) the best work of fiction I have ever read (well, actually that would be the fourth book in the series but I judge series like this as a whole.) Haruhi was also the first time I felt moé thanks to Mikuru.

A few weeks before the winter anime season started I rediscovered Crunchyroll which I tried to use but the video didn’t look right when I tried to watch Tower of Druaga. When Durarara started I watched the first two episodes but I didn’t get to watch any more because the laptop needed to be repaired. After about halfway into the winter season I got it back and I watched a little more of Durarara. But I also started watching SoRaNoWoTo and Hanamaru Kindergarten after reading reviews of them on ANN. While I did finish SoRaNoWoTo and Hanamaru Kindergarten I still haven’t finished Durarara (at this time of writing.) Then came the spring anime season where I watched a few fansubs as they came out: Angel Beats!, Working!!, and Arakawa: Under the Bridge. And Working!! was a funny show and Poplar was cute and moé and Angel Beats! was really good too even though I felt it kind of ripped off Haruhi. But I really loved Arakawa, it was hilarious, the characters were fun and likable, and the story was excellent. Arakawa is one of the reasons why Shaft is my favorite anime studio. After the spring season I discovered a site that would let me download fansub videos so I could watch them outside of streaming sites.

During the spring season I saw Clannad and Clannad: After Story. Clannad was very funny and had a very good story with lots of likable characters. After Story on the other hand was one of the greatest animes I had ever seen. It was (in my opinion) a masterpiece exquisite beyond words.

And that’s about it. I’ve watched a bunch of other shows since then. Almost all of the shows I watch now are ether anime, something old from when I was younger or Mythbusters.


2 responses to “My History With Anime

  1. Pingback: Nopy's Blog

  2. It sounds like you’ve covered a lot of the classics in your time. I’ve always wanted to watch the entire Gundam line-up, but I was never able to get a hold of it (and I still can’t). We don’t have anything like Netflix here and most streaming sites are blocked. Anime also isn’t common in stores so I’m limited to fansubs, and those disappear from the internet after a few years.

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