The question I feel like a lot of people ask each other is: “How did you get into anime?” It’s a great question because everyone’s answer is usually a little different. For me, it’s a little funny how I really got into the stuff.
While I was always into Pokemon, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, and so forth, I can’t with good conscience say my first anime was any of those because I didn’t know that it was anime. However, back when my father was marrying his third wife I was sleeping over at his soon-to-be mother in-law’s house where my grandparents were staying. It was my 7th grade year and I was up really late watching TV.
I still don’t know why I was able to stay up late enough to see Adult Swim anime, but I was up that night and I saw the coolest show ever: Fullmetal Alchemist. I think I only saw the opening and a few minutes into the show itself before I fell asleep, but I loved what I saw. After that I tried to find other things that looked like FMA, so I ended up renting some Vampire Hunter D movies from Blockbuster. The sound work on the DVDs was terrible- the voices were quiet and when the background music would start, it was deafening. I was too excited, and young, to care, and I ate it all up.
After that I started to really become friends with one person, whom I’m still friends with today, who introduced me to another person (one of my bestest friends today), and that was the start of my “weird anime kid” phase.
If you don’t like what I like, what are you? Racist! If you make fun of it, what are you? Racist! Thank goodness I’m not dumb anymore…
From 7th grade to 9th grade I managed to cause myself all kinds of reminiscent embarrassment like wearing a Roy Mustang cosplay to school and trying to popularize an actual dog collar for a few weeks. I remember being very mad at my dad for throwing my collar up into a tree when he picked me up from school one day, today I’d like to thank him because– HOLY CRAP THAT’S EMBARRASSING. Not to mention all the outfits I tried to wear because I thought they were cute and anime-y.
During my “weird anime kid” phase, I watch all the anime I could get my hands on and claimed it was all amazing. Which is very, very, very untrue. Not all anime is created equal.
Of course, I do have fond memories of the series I used to watch and the people I saw them with.
In 9th grade, I created an anime club at the high school and was growing out of my watch everything phase of fandom and becoming more selective. It was also becoming more apparent that I was really into girl-centric shows. With my first job at the age of 15, I started to mail order anime via RightStuf using cashier’s checks. It was old school as hell and so exciting.
I didn’t start streaming anime until 10th or 11th grade, and it was all illegal streaming. I remember when Crunchyroll was starting back then, but I didn’t want ads so I stole a lot of shows because I was a terrible kid who didn’t understand how bad it is to steal anime.
The anime I stole that in turn stole my heart was The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (I bought it soon after I stole it) It’s still my favorite show to this day. Followed closely a bunch of other school/slow life girl shows like Strawberry Marshmallow (which I bought and never stole!).
I had some stuff go on my senior year of high school, and I fell out of the anime scene until my first year of college where I started streaming through Crunchyroll (and some bad places— I’m so sorry) again. I cleaned up my act, though, and I’ve been watching anime through paid services (CR and Funi) for four to five years now. I started watching season anime about three years ago. Now, I’m stuck in this ever looping cycle of season anime and trying to watch other shows on the side.
That’s it, that’s my anime journey. Any questions?