does that make me a fan?

Tuesday, 13 October, 2009 at 13:44 Leave a comment

As far as the whole anime/manga in America thing goes- I’m not really all that big into it. I mean, I’m FAR from being some crayz otaku or something…

But I like to think of myself as very open-minded (and somewhat crayz). I listen to foreign music, play foreign video games, watch foreign films, and eat foreign foods… I’ve always just felt that was my freedom as an America to do so- to indulge my sense in whatever the world has to offer. I can it “following one’s heart”, and you can’t go wrong doing that.

My anime history is very short, so this won’t take long. ^_^

As with many young Americans (and I’m willing to bet on this), my first exposure to anime was thanks to no other than Cartoon Network’s Toonami. I watched such anime/cartoons as: ThunderCats, Voltron, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, Sailor Moon, Super Friends, Tenchi Muyo, Batman, Superman, and even Dragon Ball, and Dragon Ball Z. These were all good/great shows, but none of them really stuck for me.

Based of of this list, you can see my view of anime was a bit scattered. Ironically, it wasn’t til around this time (I would’ve been hmm… 12 or 13 and living in Piqua, OH…) that I realized Japan actually existed. lol. No, no, it’s not that I DIDN’T know it was THERE (I mean, I read about it while studying World War II…), it’s just that this was around the time I became interesting in who Japan was, not just where it was. (Though, I’m sure watching Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball can only teach you so much…)

Later, Cartoon Network began running a nightly block called “Adult Swim”. The first anime aired was none other than the amazing Cowboy Bebop. This one show would change how I viewed anime forever. I would stay up late (it aired at or after midnight) just to watch! Bebop had such style, a random and fun plot, and lovable comical characters. What was not to love?! I loved that series so much that it became the first I ever bought on DVD, and the first series I ever completely watched from the first episode to the last. I ever had the movie on DVD, and a CD soundtrack at one point!

Adult Swim also introduced me to Inu Yasha, which taught me something new: not all anime series ended with a simple 26 eps. Oh no, since some anime are adaptations of long-running manga series, they themselves become long-running. And besides, the Japanese love these shows so much that they never want them to end! Thankfully, Inu Yasha stays truer to it’s manga sorce, and isn’t so damn full of filler crap story arcs like some other anime are… *cough*BLEACH*cough*

Then 2003 came; what a big year! This year I graduated high school, joined the Army, and left Piqua forever behind. Of course, you can only imagine how this disrupted my TV viewing habits! Well, video games did that I lot too during adolescence…

During my AIT (job training) in Texas in late 2003 and early 2004, I read my first and only manga: Chobits. The series was six black-ink-on-white-paper books long with each reading in traditional Japanese manga style- back-to-front. I enjoyed them immensely!

I know found myself in the Republic of Korea. Of all places! This was when I began collecting DVD’s. Bebop was first on this list (you know!), followed by some recommendations such as: TRIGUN. I also remembered to pick up Chobits on DVD and began collecting Inu Yasha.

After that I collected the powerful Fullmetal Alchemist. Having seen such amazing anime, it’s safe to say my interest in strengthened.

So when I moved up here with Dara, she mentioned an anime she had on DVD called Ranma 1/2. At first I was hesitant to watch it b/c it looked girly and old. However, Dara assured me it was really good and that she loved it a bunch, so I tried it out… OMG. Not only is this anime incredibly funny, it’s full of crazy characters and sexual jokes. hahaha!

Sadly, she only has the first season (which I mistakenly thought was the WHOLE series…), so I went online to check on how long the show was… 8O SEVEN SEASONS?! *FOC* That makes it just as long as Inu Yasha! wow… but you know what? It’s so damn good it’s worth collecting anyways!

I also learned that Ranma 1/2 stemmed from the creative mind of Rumiko Takahashi. Unlike Cowboy Bebop, which was direct to anime and directed by the talented Shinichirō Watanabe, Takahashi-san is a manga author who’s works has transitioned successfully to anime more than once. And guess what else she did? Inu frappin’ Yasha!! That’s when it all came full circle for me. If I was in love with two works from that same creator… then, does that make me a fan? Well, I suppose it does. And I suppose I’m a fan of Shinichirō Watanabe too considering Bebop was life changing and now I can’t hardly wait to get my hands on his newest series- Samurai Champloo!

That was quite long-winded, which has always been a talent of mine. haha! :P However, I do fell better having written (rather typed) all this. ^_^

So what does the future of anime hold for me? Well, I need to finish 4 seasons of Inu Yasha and 6 seasons of Ranma 1/2 for starters. Then I have to get my hands on Samurai Champloo and the new Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood saga. While I’m at it, I should get a copy of Love Hina, and then get a hold of Naruto. Also, good friends once recommended: Tsubasa Chronicles, Lucky Star, Gaogaiga, so maybe I’ll look into those someday.

I also rewatch Bebop, and TRIGUN on the yearly. ^_^



Entry filed under: Films / TV / anime. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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