A Formal Introduction: One Fan's Journey

Topic started by Hailinel on Sept. 25, 2011. Last post by Hailinel 2 years, 11 months ago.
Post by Hailinel (76 posts) See mini bio Level 11

Hello, there.

This is the movie to blame for my interest in anime.
This is the movie to blame for my interest in anime.

Though I've been a fairly active blogger over at Giant Bomb, this is my first blog here at Anime Vice. That being the case, I suppose I should start off with a brief introduction and a history of my relationship with anime. I first became interested in the medium back in the summer of 1996, when I was still in the middle of high school. My discovery of it was almost accidental; earlier that summer, the cable system in my local area had just started to carry the Sci-Fi Channel. However, it wasn't until that August that I saw an advertisement on TV for their anime movie theme week that was set to begin that very night. I literally had nothing else going on and most of the family was out that evening, so I sat down and decided to watch the movie that they had on that night, which happened to be Tenchi Muyo in Love.

Holy Hell, did that flip a switch. Having grown up mostly on Disney animation, bloodless action cartoons and the usual Saturday morning line-ups, what I saw was like a punch in the face. Granted, Tenchi Muyo in Love is hardly, say, Akira in terms of its maturity or violence, but it was literally unlike any other animation I had ever seen up to that point. I was so fascinated that I recorded the repeat showing later that night on VHS, and also watched and recorded the rest of the programs that were on that week (Gall Force: Eternal Story, Roujin Z, and E.Y.E.S. of Mars). Then, on a whim, I checked the TV schedule for anything on the Sci-Fi Channel that might have been more anime. That's when I learned of their Saturday morning anime block, which that week was playing Project A-ko.

To put it simply, I was hooked. And frankly, I'm happy for that, as there was very little else that interested me in my hometown (Wyoming is pretty much a lot of nothing, unless you really like sports and the outdoors). For the rest of high school, I watched the regular anime rotation on the Sci-Fi Channel, which included classics like Akira and Vampire Hunter D, and not-so-classic titles like, well, E.Y.E.S. of Mars. To this day, it's the only place I've been able to watch Robot Carnival; the fact that that movie never received a U.S. DVD release really burns. But I digress.

The first anime film I ever saw in a theater.
The first anime film I ever saw in a theater.

When I got to college, I joined the university's anime club, where it was great to meet people who were actually interested in the same things I was. (My high school did not have many video game/anime addicts to whom I could relate in terms of interests.) From there, I learned a lot more about the medium, and my tastes were able to expand and refine based on the recommendations of others I could trust, rather than on gut instinct in video stores and questionable forum posts. The local theater near the campus even plays the occasional anime film (something unheard of back in my hometown). I hadn't been in college for two weeks before I made a trip to see Perfect Blue in the theater; and later that fall, Princess Mononoke, which I saw three times before it left.

After I graduated, my interest in anime started to wane. It's kind of weird to think of my my favorite titles as old school; titles like El-Hazard were just a few years old by the time I saw them for the first time; now they're at least fifteen. Meanwhile, I haven't kept up at all with the more popular recent titles; ask me to tell you anything about Naruto, One Piece, or Code Geass, and I'd be at a loss for words. This isn't out of any sort of disdain for new anime, mind you; my favorite titles canvass pretty much the range of years from the early 2000s all the way back to the mid-to-late 1970s. It's just that, well, I have a greater attachment to those titles from my (relative) youth. I'm thirty years old now; I've been a fan of anime for half my life, but I maintain a very strong, nostalgic connection to those titles that I watched so many years ago, even if the quality of some of them is enhanced by the rose tinting that time provides.

I suppose this is a point where I could attach a list of my favorite titles. I've enjoyed so many different films and series that it's hard for me to really nail it down my favorites, but I guess if pressed, I'd have to say that my favorite titles of all time are, in no particular order:

This list will almost certainly be different tomorrow. Or even an hour from now. (Hell, I'm still editing it as I continue to write this.) I've been on a nostalgic kick recently, and I've been going back to some of those movies from my early fandom days, where most of my viewing came from cable TV and a Suncoast Video about a hundred miles away. It's kind of amazing what I can find on Amazon these days. Gall Force selling new for about two whole dollars. The DVD turned out to be pretty quality, too. And it's kind of frightening how well I remembered it, despite my only previous experience with it being a TV edited version that I hadn't seen since perhaps 1997 or 1998. And despite its now evident flaws, I still can't help but enjoy it.

Wow, I'm only thirty, and I probably sound like a crusty old fart to a good portion of the audience here. Well, if that's the case, I hope you've enjoyed these ravings of an old man, readying for the days he'll spend in a rocking chair and waving a cane at the young punks that dare set foot on his lawn.

Post by Superevil225 (6,742 posts) See mini bio Level 17
Pffft you're not an old man. Just in comparison to the anime demographic. XD
Just kidding!
Nice to meet ya and welcome to the Vice!
 
Neat selection of faves. The oldies are the good ones! You should scrounge about it the seinen (anime/manga intended for 20+ men) section. It's my personal favourite genera despite being -20 and female. But they're so cool. My favourites in that genera are Battle Royale, Sword of the Stranger and DOLLS.
Anywho! Welcome!
Post by Turambar (233 posts) See mini bio Level 10

You're not an old man until you wax poetic about Mazinger Z while bitching about how Shin-Mazinger Z just doesn't get it.

Also man, we're getting a bunch of GB folks coming over.

Post by Little_Socrates (45 posts) See mini bio Level 10

Welcome to the site! It feels weird to welcome another GB regular, as I've only been here a week!

@Turambar: Anyone besides me and Hailinel that I'd recognize?

Post by Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto (8,779 posts) See mini bio Level 18

Welcome, good sir. And for the love of Ifurita, man... CHECK OUT THE WANDERERS WHEN YOU HAVE A CHANCE!!!

Post by Hailinel (76 posts) See mini bio Level 11

@Superevil225 said:

Pffft you're not an old man. Just in comparison to the anime demographic. XD Just kidding! Nice to meet ya and welcome to the Vice! Neat selection of faves. The oldies are the good ones! You should scrounge about it the seinen (anime/manga intended for 20+ men) section. It's my personal favourite genera despite being -20 and female. But they're so cool. My favourites in that genera are Battle Royale, Sword of the Stranger and DOLLS. Anywho! Welcome!

Thanks! And thank you for the recommendations!

@Turambar said:

You're not an old man until you wax poetic about Mazinger Z while bitching about how Shin-Mazinger Z just doesn't get it.

Also man, we're getting a bunch of GB folks coming over.

Really? I wonder if that thread over on GB had anything to do with this.

And at least I have a bar to reach for now!

@Little_Socrates said:

Welcome to the site! It feels weird to welcome another GB regular, as I've only been here a week!

@Turambar: Anyone besides me and Hailinel that I'd recognize?

Thanks! I created my account a long while back, but I'd definitely like to visit here more often now.

@Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto said:

Welcome, good sir. And for the love of Ifurita, man... CHECK OUT THE WANDERERS WHEN YOU HAVE A CHANCE!!!

Thanks! And actually, I already have. It was enjoyable in its own way, though it was bizarre seeing Ifurita as a comical blockhead.

Post by Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto (8,779 posts) See mini bio Level 18

@Hailinel: Well... it was better than having the overtly sexual exploits of the original OAVs and subsequent Alternate World constantly bombarding you, right?

Post by Hailinel (76 posts) See mini bio Level 11

@Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto said:

@Hailinel: Well... it was better than having the overtly sexual exploits of the original OAVs and subsequent Alternate World constantly bombarding you, right?

That's certainly true, though without Fatora and cross-dressing Makoto, The Wanderers did lose a lot of the original OVA's tone.

Post by Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto (8,779 posts) See mini bio Level 18

@Hailinel said:

@Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto said:

@Hailinel: Well... it was better than having the overtly sexual exploits of the original OAVs and subsequent Alternate World constantly bombarding you, right?

That's certainly true, though without Fatora and cross-dressing Makoto, The Wanderers did lose a lot of the original OVA's tone.

True that. What WASN'T lost, however, was the better-than-expected English-language voice-over dubs provided for the latter series carried over from the OAV continuity.

Post by Turambar (233 posts) See mini bio Level 10

@Little_Socrates: I was actually referring to specifically you and Hailinel. Well, me as well since I didn't set up shop too long before you either.

Post by PenguinDust (1,008 posts) See mini bio Level 13

Welcome to the site. Personally, I am glad to see someone with as strong a passion for older anime as I have. Many of the shows you mentioned above were my early experiences as well and I've continued to seek out more titles from the 70's, 80's and early 90's because they provide something different than what's in modern anime. Like you, that isn't to say that I'm one of those fans who does nothing but complain about the shows being made today. Like any other medium, there is plenty of good stuff on the air if you look and if you're willing to broaden your tastes. Usagi Drop is the most recent example for me. But, still I am captivated by older anime. There is a look to it that I find comforting, so when I watch something like Maison Ikkoku, I return to my first encounters with the art form. It would be unfair to explain the differences as purely nostalgia though since the pacing of stories, the character archetypes and diversity of genre have all changed over time. A large part of that can be attributed to the business side of anime. I think it would be difficult to sell a 96 episode love story where there are no robots, ninja or bountiful heroines in the mix. I am a fan of all those things, but there should still be a place for simpler explorations. Fortunately, older anime is there to be discovered and as the saying goes, "if you haven't seen it, it's new to you."

Anyway, I look forward to reading your opinion in the forums as well as potential recommendations.

Post by takashichea (12,666 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Online Now
Moderator

Welcome to Anime Vice!

I think my first few animes I watched was Tenchi Muyo and Dragon Ball Z on Toonami during the late 1990's to 2000's.

The A-Ko projects were good, but the first one is always great.

Can't believe you and Little Socrates beat me on posting the first blog on another Whiskey Media Site. I will post my first blog on Giant Bomb in the weekends. I'm too busy with midterms and the rampant wiki stuff this week. I'm thinking about doing that recognition thing that I do for my teams on Anime Vice.

Post by PewPewLazers (15 posts) See mini bio Level 6

It sounds like you took a similar trajectory to me in regards to watching Anime. I happened to catch a Studio Ghibli film one lazy afternoon (Kiki's Delivery Service) and sort of snowballed out from there, this was only about a year ago and now I have pretty much covered their entire run.

Now I have decided that it was about time I broadened my palette and got a wider knowledge of Anime in general, mostly going off recommendations I have recently watched Eden of the East, Paprika, Origin Spirits of The Past, among others. All this is somewhat ironic as I remember watching Spirited Away years ago amidst all the hype and came away feeling really disappointed with it! Decided I should come on here and try to work from there.

The thought of jumping into one of the popular series I found somewhat intimidating, partly through the sheer volume of episodes and also which one to actually settle for. Any recommendations there?

I have ordered Death Note, that is on its way!

Sorry if I'm steering the thread away in a different direction!

Post by DocHaus (933 posts) See mini bio Level 18

Oh hey, I've seen you round the GB forums. Glad you decided to post, we aren't all crazy here, et cetera.

Sorry, don't have much else to add here that others haven't already put down, other than to shamelessly plug this list and this podcast of mine.

Post by Hailinel (76 posts) See mini bio Level 11

@PenguinDust: Thanks for the welcome! And that old saying certainly holds true. I'd really like to see Maison Ikkoku at some point. Or rather, the rest of it. I've seen the first ten or so episodes, but was never able to see the whole thing. I should try to hunt it down.

@takashichea: Thanks! I watched a lot of Toonami when I was in high school, as well. It's a shame that it's not running anymore. I'm interested in checking out your first Giant Bomb blog when you write it!

@PewPewLazers: No problem! I guess to really make a recommendation, I'd have to know what sort of genres you're interested in.

@DocHaus: Thanks, man. Never even thought you were all crazy. I'll listen to the podcast when I have some time.

Post by sotyfan16 (1,341 posts) See mini bio Level 20

@PewPewLazers: @Hailinel:

For recommendations, start by looking at the Beginner's Guides and Watch & Learn articles. OR, you can go to my blog and look at the variety of series I've covered in Dunce Cap (shameless plug just like DocHaus).

But I welcome both of you to the site. If any questions pop up feel free to ask me or any other users. I actually posted a blog, My Journey as an Anime Fan, about my life in anime after I wrote it for an English assignment.

Post by PewPewLazers (15 posts) See mini bio Level 6

@Hailinel: Well those I listed above are all I have to go off at the moment!

I'd say I would go for something of a lighter variety at the moment if I had to choose.

@sotyfan16: Ah cool, I will seek them out later on. I was aware of the ones promoted on the front page but didn't realize they extended back further.

Post by Hailinel (76 posts) See mini bio Level 11

@sotyfan16: Thanks! I definitely intend to go back and read through some of the site's older features.

@PewPewLazers: Hmm. Well, I think off the top of my head, I think my first recommendation would be the film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. I saw this film a couple of years ago, and found it very good.

Post by PewPewLazers (15 posts) See mini bio Level 6

@Hailinel: It is indeed, so much so that I already own it twice!

Post by Bigheart711 (3,985 posts) See mini bio Level 21

@Hailinel: Welcome to the Vice, Hailinel! :)

I agree with Vampire Princess Miyu, except that I like both the series and the 3-part OVA, but that wasn't the first anime I got into (I was one of the guys who got interested in Anime after they saw a number of DBZ episodes).

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