So I thought I’d maybe do something a tad different this week mates. I was thinking it would be a good time to share a bit more about how I first got into anime and what it was like being a newbie to the fandom. This is going to be a bit more of a relaxed post, so sit back, maybe get yourself a drink, because it’s story time!
This is the tale of how I entered Otakudom!
So my first official time every being introduced to anything anime related (not that I knew it at the time) was with Pokemon in early grade school. I was part of the Pokemon craze generation and was very into it myself. However in a strange twist at that point I never played the actual games nor watched the show. You see I was that one kid who grew up without owning either a television nor a GameBoy. However just about everything else Pokemon related, be it plushies or books, I would beg my parents for.
I was admittedly pretty obsessed.
However then came the stage as I got older that Pokemon was no longer “cool” and seen as “for babies”. I got teased for liking it and over time that teasing convinced me that it was for babies. As such I left Pokemon behind for quite awhile and moved on to other things.
It was also around that time that Dragonball Z began to become super popular and I learned of it existence through word of mouth.
I never really took much interest in it however, only ever once flipping through some of the manga for it in the grocery store. Young me quickly surmised it was stupid that the comic was “backwards” and put it down, never paying much attention to it after that.
So up to this point my exposure to anime had been fairly minimal.
Seeing as I didn’t have a TV, I never watched the shows Toonami aired growing up. I never really got into Yu-Gi-Oh when it first exploded into the West. Since I didn’t have any way of really experiencing what all these things were all about they became just background noise to me as I grew up.
However that all changed when I happened to pick up a copy of Shonen Jump as a late pre-teen. As I flipped through the pages of the magazine, not truly understanding what it was all about but really admiring the art I came across a picture of Garaa from Naruto. I looked at this guy, menacingly controlling the sand from his gourd, and immediately thought “Oh man he is COOL!”. From there I proceeded to rip through the internet when i got home, trying to find out just who he was. It was by some miracle that the limited knowledge I had managed to lead me to coming across Naruto.
And from there it was off to the races.
I was over the moon for Naruto, ribbing through volumes of the manga like nothing. It also wasn’t long before I became very much a weeb. To me that point in my life Naruto was the end all and be all. Asian culture was this grand amazingness that far exceed boring western culture. When I first joined anime club in High School, Naruto was all I was interested in.
I was honestly probably very annoying at that point in my life.
However it was joining anime club that really made my love for anime to develop beyond solely liking Naruto. It was the place where I was first introduced to quite a few solid shows, like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Genshiken. Its was from that I began realizing how wide and expansive anime really was. That it wasn’t so much a genre as I had believed, but an artform and medium with a multitude of its own genres.
And that’s one of the things that I really love about anime, the fact that there is so many different shows and genres. It grants a person options and a chance to experience many different stories. Because of that there is also something new to discover, some new journey to go along on.
It’s the thrill of those journeys, aided by the artistic wonder anime can be, that’s made me want to stay a part of otakudom!
So I hope you enjoyed that mate! If so let me know in the comments and feel free to share your stories with me as well! How did you first get into anime? What draws you to this fandom?
I’d love to hear from you!