Like anything new to someone, that is misunderstood or not understood, needs an outline or path to start on. You don’t just jump into Anime, That’s like jumping into any art form and expecting to understand it fully. A little art history not only helps the understanding of something but also the enjoyment of it. Unless you want to just look at pretty pictures, and feel happy. And if that is the case, just stop reading this post now….. But if you would like my simple guide to an Anime adventure in which it is about the journey and not the destination then here it is.
Start with a series, it takes a little work and time but the outcome with worth the work. Make sure the series fits those criteria you may have. And also make sure it’s not a million episodes. Stay away from Bleach, Naruto, and other endless shows. They have their purpose, but it’s not a beginning. Here are some of my personal choices for a beginning of the Anime path. LAIN, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and Hellsing. These are some simple yet exciting and worthy choices. You don’t just jump into and start with Rothko paintings; you start with some popular inspiring pieces of work.
Here is where you can jump into some films. Miyazaki films DON’T count, his anime isn’t anime, it’s genius yes, but does not belong anywhere near the anime path. It deserve it’s own category…. Anyway back on track. Films, yes, start with a couple big ones. Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll, Blood, Wolf Brigade, and then maybe a couple films not just about the action. The likes of Millennium actress, Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, and Grave of Fireflies (cried), and many others.
NOTE. This is a long path, not one you can just devour and be done with it in a month. This should be done like anything in life worth doing well. Time and Love.
Now is the chance to branch out into some strange, get a little daring, and watch some stuff you might not like even like, put in the work so to speak. Now is the time to watch Paranoia Agent or Speed Grapher, FLCL, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Now and Then, Here and There, Paprika, Tekkonkinkreet, and this list can actually go on and on. It is the meat and potatoes list.
You’ve put in some work, you deserve some dessert, so go and re-watch some favorites, some stuff you might have missed, or sit back and relax while you watch the new shit. Maybe you are getting stuff weekly straight from Japan, maybe full series from eBay. But your Truly Watching anime, YAY, High School of the Dead, East of Eden, Deadman Wonderland, Sekirei and Queens Blade (late at night), Beck, Gantz, Ergo Proxy, Code Geass, and you having a blast!
IF YOU MADE IT THIS FAR. YOU ARE AN ANIME LOVER. The good news is for the rest of your days you will be surprised by the strangest of shows and films, happiness will come from characters only you and your interweb anime friends will “understand”. The bad news, you are a fully-grown man or woman, who watches shows mainly made for kids. LOL
*Most of us didn’t have a guide; we ventured the anime road lone wolf style. But satisfaction of knowing what a Fist of the North Star can actually do, makes it all worth it.
Long Live Anime!