Answering this question turns out to be trickier than one might anticipate, but I expected nothing less from the 30 Day Anime Challenge, and so I offer my own inquiry in response. Do I go with the literal answer, or the one that launched my journey into anime?
The first anime title that I ever watched was probably “Kiki’s Delivery Service.” I rented the VHS to watch at my grandma’s house as a kid. Do you remember those days? This was the same period I spent watching “A Troll in Central Park,” a simpler time. I loved “Kiki,” and I remembered the film for years without knowing its name only to eventually rediscover it; to this day, the film can “carry me away as light as a feather.” I didn’t understand what anime was, but it was my first, and I remember it fondly.
Like many of us as kids, I still didn’t understand what anime was when watching my first anime series, “Sailor Moon R/S.”
I watched Sailor Moon at my grandma’s house after school (probably on Toonami). I remember some of the early “Sailor Moon S” episodes on her TV, and remember renting “Sailor Moon R: Promise of the Rose” from the video store with her. Who didn’t love Tuxedo mask and magical girl powers? I would play Sailor Moon with a light up princess wand that made sounds, swinging it in arcs on my front lawn in the sun. I had a small Sailor Moon doll. I remember it, remember Alan and Ann and the Doom Tree. Without the rose nostalgia glasses, I get that is isn’t the best series in the world, but it was something, and it is fondly recalled now. (You should have seen my face when I found out, as an adult, that Zoisite was a man. And now, knowing how censored Sailor Moon was in the West, I must wonder… How did some of those villain’s outfits pass inspection!? Granted…I didn’t notice how risqué the villain apparel was as a child… And those Outer Sailors that were lesbians rather than cousins? And Sailor Moon as the “messiah” or something? Boys turning into sailor girls? Okay, those last bits were not even broadcast in the US, but still, I swear… this could be a whole post in and of itself.)
Anyway, moving on…
I also watched the entirety of the Android/Cell Sagas from DBZ because I saw my older cousin watching them (you guessed it, at grandmas) and for a time I rushed home to watch those seemingly dozens of episodes in which nothing happened but screaming as they attempted to defeat Cell. It started with my cousin, and continued for me, because DANG IT, I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT TIME ON “DRAGON BALL Z.” Good times, good times. I’ve to this day never felt the impulse to watch much of Dragon Ball, but you know what? Even though fighting anime isn’t really my thing, I’m excited about the potential of Super. I’ve watched a bit of the sub. I’m ready for the dub. Here we go, Funimation. Don’t let me down!
Finally, let me touch on the anime that began my rambling journey. I obviously knew what anime was at this point about one year ago, but I didn’t expect to find… what I found… in humoring a good friend of mine and watching an episode or two…
Anime has become something for me that I had never expected it to be. Anime isn’t just for children. In fact, I’d wager that much of anime has an entirely different audience in mind: teenagers, young adults, older adults, too. Anime isn’t just girls with big eyes and bigger breasts. It’s is an art form, an often misrepresented medium of expression. It’s fun, touching, heart WRENCHING, silly, psychological, horrible…
I owe these eventual revelations to a show called “Ouran High School Host Club.” To take it from the “About” section of my blog, below is a very brief explanation my anime journey’s inception. It all began with this reverse harem shoujo romance. ❤
Here’s the deal. I really don’t want to watch anime, okay? It’s not my thing. I saw some ill timed “Inuyasha” on TV as a kid and it basically turned me off the idea of anime forever. (Long story?) Plus, anime just seems so dirty! I mean, come on, [insert names of guy friends], each side of her chest is bigger than her head, and it’s falling out of her shirt. Why would I want to watch that?
So no, I don’t watch anime. Everybody knows it. Well… “Kiki’s Delivery Service” was anime. I loved that as a kid, but I didn’t know it was anime at the time, so I’d still say I’m not really into anime. “Sailor Moon”? I watched every episode I could, but that’s different. “Dragon Ball Z”? I rushed to grandma’s house every day after school to watch! At first it was an effort to be like my older male cousin, but then….well, I had to find out “WHAT HAPPENS NEXT TIME ON DRAGON. BALL. Z!!!”
Okay, so I like very specific 90s anime and nothing else…none of this icky stuff. Oh, and “Howl’s Moving Castle.” I watched it with some friends. But I still don’t really like anime, because even if it isn’t dirty, it’s weird! “Spirited Away” scared the jeebies out of me as a kid! Creepy spirits that eat people? Parents getting turned into pigs? *Shudder* See what I was saying?
It’s just not for me.
Six Months Ago [EDIT: A Year Ago]:
…Okay, buddy, I am polite. I’m not really interested, but we have nothing else to do while we wait for our other friend to get here. I will watch an episode of this anime on Netflix that you really want my to see…
OH. MY. GOSH.
KISS KISS FALL IN LOVE!!!
Tell me, please, truly. I want to know; how did your journey begin?
Until next time,