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How Did You Get Into Anime?


Vivi Hyuuga
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All of us love anime, but what made each of us get into it and become so passionate about it?

I have faulty genetics, so I've always been rather sickly, and once I was eight my health gradually went down every year. At that age it started with being sick in bed 3-6 months at a time one or two times a year. So I would read, play video games, and watch TV while I rested. For the longest time I just watched whatever I could find on TV, I didn't really care for a lot of American cartoons so I would mostly watch things like Food Network, DIY channel, HGTV, etc.
When I was about fourteen I started getting into the art style of anime thanks to Mark Crilley but I hadn't actually watched any. My family had objections so I had to reluctantly drop it.
Eventually, I tried a little RUBY, which at the time I wasn't sure if it was anime or an American anime style show (I now know), I watched all of it since I was bored but didn't like due to the art. Tried a little Eureka Seven but I got bored just a couple episodes in so I didn't finish it until a few years later.
Finally, I found Sword Art Online 2.5-3 years ago. I was instantly drawn to the gaming element. I loved the characters. Season two especially drew me in, because at the time I had PTSD like Sinon and I'm also chronically ill like Yuuki. Watching it was really therapeutic, to see other characters dealing with similar things as me. I loved how the Sleeping Knights gamed to deal with their illnesses, as an escape, because that's what I've done my whole life.
After that we had a move and I was without internet for months which was torture and really made my depression even worse than it had been, so once I got internet back I dove into anime to help me deal with my emotions, to feel something other than the depression, and to find characters I could relate to. Anime really has helped me. Along with helping me with my health and my depression it also gives me a way to spend time with my sisters and some of my friends.

So, that's my story. What is yours? 

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Oh wow thats way more depressing than I expected. Telling you to get well would be dumb since it's not possible. But people with chronic illnesses can also live full lives so don't worry about whats in the future and enjoy your hobbies. I honestly started unknowingly when I watched DBZ thinking it was a cartoon and then discovering shows like inuyasha and bleach and when I couldn't watch them on tv I started watching online.

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14 minutes ago, BurnsyCEO said:

Oh wow thats way more depressing than I expected. Telling you to get well would be dumb since it's not possible. But people with chronic illnesses can also live full lives so don't worry about whats in the future and enjoy your hobbies. I honestly started unknowingly when I watched DBZ thinking it was a cartoon and then discovering shows like inuyasha and bleach and when I couldn't watch them on tv I started watching online.

Oh, I didn't mean for it to be depressing! I have that problem a lot, I'll tell someone something and I don't think anything of it because I accept it and it has helped me become who I am today, but they find it sad. Sorry! 
You are awesome for saying that it would be dumb to tell me to get well. You don't know how often chronically ill people are asked "are you better yet?" even after explaining the chronic part. So your understanding means a lot! And you're right, I can live a happy fulfilling life. I focus on doing what I can, enjoying the things I like, and taking things one day at a time. If it makes you feel better my cardiologist put me on a new medicine a month and a half ago and it's really made a big difference! I'm hoping it will continue to help me as it has been, and if it does that will open up opportunities like maybe a part-time job.

I've been wanting to watch DBZ! I haven't yet since it's a long series and there are so many of them I need to watch. I'm currently watching One Piece, which I love, but I keep getting distracted by new flashy anime and haven't watched it in awhile. I watched Inuyasha earlier this year and I love it! I've now gotten one of my sisters hooked on it as well. I still need to watch Bleach.

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7 hours ago, Vivi Hyuuga said:

Oh, I didn't mean for it to be depressing! I have that problem a lot, I'll tell someone something and I don't think anything of it because I accept it and it has helped me become who I am today, but they find it sad. Sorry! 
You are awesome for saying that it would be dumb to tell me to get well. You don't know how often chronically ill people are asked "are you better yet?" even after explaining the chronic part. So your understanding means a lot! And you're right, I can live a happy fulfilling life. I focus on doing what I can, enjoying the things I like, and taking things one day at a time. If it makes you feel better my cardiologist put me on a new medicine a month and a half ago and it's really made a big difference! I'm hoping it will continue to help me as it has been, and if it does that will open up opportunities like maybe a part-time job.

I've been wanting to watch DBZ! I haven't yet since it's a long series and there are so many of them I need to watch. I'm currently watching One Piece, which I love, but I keep getting distracted by new flashy anime and haven't watched it in awhile. I watched Inuyasha earlier this year and I love it! I've now gotten one of my sisters hooked on it as well. I still need to watch Bleach.

It's great to hear you're feeling at least somewhat better. Can you tell me the name of your illness? 

Yes people won't always understand big words like chronic ¬¬ and that makes it hard for them to understand you. I try to keep myself informed.

I had a phase of depression a few years back and it just isn't something people should deal with even though mine was positively mild compared to what you're facing. I even read about your sister in your introduction thread thats just an order of magnitude sadder to hear. 

 DBZ was my childhood in a nutshell but I don't think it's that good of a watch now. I was an ardent one piece and naruto watcher but I put them on hold for over 2 years because of collage and don't know if I'm even going to resume them because seasonal animes exist and I've been playing some games too.

Ciao

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Haha, things get deep fast, right?  It's okay.  I'm glad you were able to get into video games and anime at home.  I admit, my parents had the same resistance but they eventually gave up on me.  Stubborn always wins in the end ;) So a bit of "background info" first to set the stage.

 

Well, for me, I grew up in a fairly well-to-do neighborhood.  Most of the people in the neighborhood were retirees or fairly well-off people who made smart money-choices early in life.  A lot of people would call my family rich, but truth be told they worked very hard and turned that money around into farm and land purchases, building apartments to rent and so forth.  It didn't come without effort and I never thought of us as "rich" seeing as my parents never spent extravagantly. always re-investing to build or buy a new asset.  Their retirement plan isn't the stock market...it's the assets they've accumulated and cultivated over the years.  Smart, I'd say.  My grandparents lived across the street and that was why my parents decided to build a home there.  They thought my grandfather would die first and my grandmother (whose health had never been great) would need to be cared for.  My parents didn't want to put her in a nursing home (something I completely understand) and were completely prepared to be her caregivers in the last years of her life.  Well, my grandmother died first and my grandfather looks like he's going to pass my great-grandmother in age (she was a month shy of 100 when she passed) and he's still spry and rowing 5 miles a night at the local gym, going out dancing every Tuesday night.  Anyways, my neighborhood was full of elderly...and the few younger homeowners (not even a handful) had kids who were much older or much younger than me.  In effect, I was all alone.

 

I don't really think of this as a bad thing.  This kind of childhood really hammered and forged me into the person I am today.  Independent, happy to be a hermit but happy to be with people I trust and enjoy, I form strong opinions based on actual data, and I consider friendship extremely valuable (friend is not a word I throw around without deep consideration) and I read people's intentions rather than just listening to what they say.  I think it's made me quite capable. 

 

When I was in preschool, I demanded that my mother teach me to read. She started by making me learn the alphabet and then every night we'd read the newspaper together and she'd teach me a few words here and there, and how words read.  Truth be told, I have no idea how, but I took to it amazingly well (perhaps a mix of my extreme desire to learn and my mother's willingness to teach me).  I still remember sitting her in lap as she rocked in that rocking chair by the fireplace, reading the obituaries (that was the first section we'd read every night haha).  By the time I entered kindergarten, I was reading already at a 5th grade level and reading had opened my world.  No longer was a limited to the confines of that neighborhood.  Through books, I could go anywhere, and I fell in love with the story.  Words are words and together you make sentences which can make paragraphs, but a story tells you something.  It shows you something happened.  I could imagine new worlds through books.  This is what really made me love video games (especially ones with a story to tell) and what pulled me into anime.  I tend to pull away from episodic anime unless it has an overarching story to tell.  Most television shows (other than soap operas, and I can't stand Victor Newman, sorry mom) are episodic as are most content for kids and teenagers.  Anime broke that trend and I have held onto my love of it for decades now and I don't regret that at all.  If anything, my love of anime has grown with time.  I can think of no other reason why I gravitated so strongly towards it.  First anime boxset I ever owned was Escaflowne on DVD (my mother bought it for me for Christmas....years later she would regret it as I refused to give up anime).  I still pull it out and watch it from time to time.  Can't stand Alan Schizar (probably spelled that all wrong) but what can you do? 

 

So, to give you the back cover summary ;) The story in books you read, in anime you watch, and in video games you experience.  All things worth my time to me.  :) I get very depressed immediately following the end of a book (or book series), an anime, or a video game. I think that's missing the story but there's always a new story out there to experience.

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@BurnsyCEOThe genetic part of my illnesses is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, it's a connective tissue disorder. Since connective tissues are in everything it also causes other disorders, so I also have dysautonomia, fibromyalgia, and chronic urticaria. I was diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease earlier this year, but I'm hoping that will be reversed soon since I've been on a strict diet since June. when I was a child I was diagnosed with asthma, auditory processing disorder, and sensory processing disorder. It's amazing how much a connective tissue disorder can affect.

It sounds like you're no longer in depression? That's good to hear! Depression is hell. I'm thankful my medicine is mostly managing mine now. After my medicine started helping I was shocked by how many more emotions I was feeling, especially while watching my favorite anime. 
That makes sense about DBZ. I love Naruto and One Piece, though I'm not even two hundred episodes into One Piece due to seasonal anime and shiny new anime finds that I binge watch. lol

@Yaoi_army707 Wow, that started out cute and I was thinking it was just like how I got my sisters hooked on anime (with SAO). But that's sad. I'm so sorry for your loss! I had a friend die when I was six and it was really hard, and truth be told she liked my sisters not me, yet it haunted me for years. I can't imagine losing a true friend. I hope you're doing okay; I'm happy you at least have SAO and anime as a way to remember them.

@BeocatThat's amazing that you learned to read so early on! My oldest sister learned to read about that age as well. I have similar feelings about stories due to my circumstances, it's so hard when a story ends, I get really upset. For that reason I almost solely listen to music with lyrics, because I like the story the lyrics tell.

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1 hour ago, Yaoi_army707 said:

The reason that I got into anime was because my friend had told me about SAO a whole bunch and about how much he had liked the anime. He had told me that I should try watching SAO.  Well he had died and I had decided that I would watch it since he had wanted me to. 

Sorry to hear of your loss YA.  Definitely is not something you want to ever happen. 

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20 minutes ago, ragkt said:

Honestly, I don't know.

I grew up with anime. Anime has taken at least an 97 percent of my childhood -- the other 3% is western animations. What a luck!

That's so awesome! I always wish I was one of the people who grew up with anime such as Naruto, Ruroni Kenshin, and Inuyasha. Though I can't imagine how hard it would be for Naruto to end after watching it since your childhood, it was hard enough for me when it ended after I binge-watched the entire series.

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Wow, it's amazing hearing what anime means to some of you ... I'm honored to have gotten to hear bits of your stories :)

I didn't get into anime in any interesting way; I tried getting into it for a while because I liked the art style, but I couldn't really handle the shows I tried getting into for a while. SAO was the first anime I was able to finish, and then from there people started giving me recommendations and I thus traveled down the slippery slope of otakuism :P

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6 hours ago, Vivi Hyuuga said:

@BurnsyCEOThe genetic part of my illnesses is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, it's a connective tissue disorder. Since connective tissues are in everything it also causes other disorders, so I also have dysautonomia, fibromyalgia, and chronic urticaria. I was diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease earlier this year, but I'm hoping that will be reversed soon since I've been on a strict diet since June. when I was a child I was diagnosed with asthma, auditory processing disorder, and sensory processing disorder. It's amazing how much a connective tissue disorder can affect.

It sounds like you're no longer in depression? That's good to hear! Depression is hell. I'm thankful my medicine is mostly managing mine now. After my medicine started helping I was shocked by how many more emotions I was feeling, especially while watching my favorite anime. 
That makes sense about DBZ. I love Naruto and One Piece, though I'm not even two hundred episodes into One Piece due to seasonal anime and shiny new anime finds that I binge watch. lol

That was painful to read, thats a laundry list of sicknesses. I'm sorry for all you have to go through. But depression is one that doesn't have to be in there it's completely in your control. I don't know if I will even call my little phase as "depression" it was really short compared to people who are actually depressed and it feels stupid to even bring it up but yes I'm over it, have been for a few years. 

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Okay, so I have a lot of points to say since I did kind of relate to your experience but not all. :)

20 hours ago, Vivi Hyuuga said:

Food Network,

First, I've been drawn to food network as well :D Well, not as long as you but just recently and waaaaaaah, I definitely love watching cooking and stuffs since I can't do much myself. I can cook rice in a rice cooker though. Does that count?

20 hours ago, Vivi Hyuuga said:

Mark Crilley

Second, I've watched a few of Mark Crilley on youtube since I did kind of searched youtube to practice sketching realism which kind of a bummer since I can't get the hang of it yet.

And for my answer to your question, I've got into anime because of these anime shows that were showed on our local television channels back when I was young. My mum kind of unconsciously influenced me too since she didn't know what anime was back then but we would often watch Slam Dunk every morning from Monday to Tuesday. :) 

P.S.

I think there was a same thread like this around here :) 

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@CheesyTrees, I'm happy you're enjoying hearing peoples' stories, I know I am! SAO seems to be a common one to lead towards becoming an otaku! That's how I got hooked and that's how I introduced my sisters to anime, as well. 

4 hours ago, BurnsyCEO said:

That was painful to read, thats a laundry list of sicknesses. I'm sorry for all you have to go through. But depression is one that doesn't have to be in there it's completely in your control. I don't know if I will even call my little phase as "depression" it was really short compared to people who are actually depressed and it feels stupid to even bring it up but yes I'm over it, have been for a few years. 

I disagree about the depression. You can control how you handle the depression, but often depression has a physical cause. For instance, the brain not producing dopamine or serotonin. For me I've always been a positive person, I look at the struggles in my life as having a purpose, and I like to remain optimistic and cheerful. However, I still developed depression. I tried to force myself to be cheerful. I hid my depression from my family for over a year, even when I was having intrusive thoughts of self-harm and death, because I thought it would pass. I didn't want to be that way. I tried my best to be just as optimistic and cheerful as I have always been, but nothing worked. Even when I wasn't feeling miserable I still felt nothing. I didn't ever feel happy. Finally the depression got under control when I started taking two different medicines, and I once again feel like myself. Depression can have different causes, but most often it's a physical cause. 

@RyePotatoesWhat cooking shows are currently your favorite? I hope they can help you cook more! Rice is always a good staple to have.
You can get better at it! Art takes much practice, but it's a fun (and frustrating) journey. 
That's awesome that you got hooked on it so young! 
Oops, sorry, didn't realize! I'm new and I didn't see any in the recent topics so I decided to start one.

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10 hours ago, Vivi Hyuuga said:

@CheesyTrees, I'm happy you're enjoying hearing peoples' stories, I know I am! SAO seems to be a common one to lead towards becoming an otaku! That's how I got hooked and that's how I introduced my sisters to anime, as well. 

I disagree about the depression. You can control how you handle the depression, but often depression has a physical cause. For instance, the brain not producing dopamine or serotonin. For me I've always been a positive person, I look at the struggles in my life as having a purpose, and I like to remain optimistic and cheerful. However, I still developed depression. I tried to force myself to be cheerful. I hid my depression from my family for over a year, even when I was having intrusive thoughts of self-harm and death, because I thought it would pass. I didn't want to be that way. I tried my best to be just as optimistic and cheerful as I have always been, but nothing worked. Even when I wasn't feeling miserable I still felt nothing. I didn't ever feel happy. Finally the depression got under control when I started taking two different medicines, and I once again feel like myself. Depression can have different causes, but most often it's a physical cause. 

Oh dear it's the physical cause. I kind of thought it was the kind from emotional/psychologicl scarring. So I was wrong about that one too. At least the drugs help. Have you figured out what makes you happy? What anyone can do for you feel happy?

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1 hour ago, BurnsyCEO said:

Oh dear it's the physical cause. I kind of thought it was the kind from emotional/psychologicl scarring. So I was wrong about that one too. At least the drugs help. Have you figured out what makes you happy? What anyone can do for you feel happy?

It's okay, I'm not offended or anything! :) I mean there certainly have been aspects of my mental health caused by my past, such as when I had PTSD, but thankfully I was able to work through that and no longer have it. The depression/anxiety are physical in my case, though. If I'm ever having a day where the depression is worse I usually want coffee, hedgehog cuddles, and one of my sisters to watch anime with me. It cheers me up. That's basically my go-to method. Have a nightmare? Watch anime with a sister. Bad depression day? Watch anime with a sister. Little sister is admitted to the hospital? Watch anime with my older sister. 

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10 minutes ago, BurnsyCEO said:

I'm glad you enjoy anime this much. But is there any other media you indulge in? You know like books, tv shows, movies, games,music? 

Yes! I'm an avid reader, though with my joint pain and finger dislocations it can be harder to read on days I'm sicker. I'm also a writer and am working on a fantasy novel. I do watch some TV shows such as NCIS, Scorpion, Speechless, and DWTS, but overall I prefer anime to American TV. I do have some favorite American movies though, such as the How To Train Your Dragon series, Star Trek, Disney princesses, etc. Games I mostly play Minecraft and Skyrim since I have them on my laptop, but we do have a few gaming consoles. I've always been really picky about music, but I like listening to the Your Name soundtrack, Owl City, Taylor Swift, Babymetal, anime music videos, and Christmas music mostly. I also like to watch Youtube daily/weekly vloggers and my family does a vlog so I film that, edit it, and reply to comments.  
I have some friends across the country who when they're off work we'll sometimes game together and voice chat while doing so, which is a lot of fun.

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20 hours ago, Vivi Hyuuga said:

Yes! I'm an avid reader, though with my joint pain and finger dislocations it can be harder to read on days I'm sicker. I'm also a writer and am working on a fantasy novel. I do watch some TV shows such as NCIS, Scorpion, Speechless, and DWTS, but overall I prefer anime to American TV. I do have some favorite American movies though, such as the How To Train Your Dragon series, Star Trek, Disney princesses, etc. Games I mostly play Minecraft and Skyrim since I have them on my laptop, but we do have a few gaming consoles. I've always been really picky about music, but I like listening to the Your Name soundtrack, Owl City, Taylor Swift, Babymetal, anime music videos, and Christmas music mostly. I also like to watch Youtube daily/weekly vloggers and my family does a vlog so I film that, edit it, and reply to comments.  
I have some friends across the country who when they're off work we'll sometimes game together and voice chat while doing so, which is a lot of fun.

Hmmm I haven't even heard of those shows, but then again I only barely used to watch some american shows.Mostly comedies like family guy, two and a half men big bang theory. We've got a little common music taste with taylor swift and anime soundtracks. I like lots of other artists like evanesence, hollywood undead, linkin park (rip), ashes remain, within temptation,t.A.T.u,Breaking Benjamin, Eminem and a lot of artists with one song I love. It's basically an addiction.

Video editing is cool!! I too made a couple of AMVs in my free time, I'd show you if it wasn't blocked worldwide.

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That's a hard question to answer. I actually watched several anime before realizing that there was a difference, so for some anime, I don't even recognize them well as something different from other animation. That said, I think what really got me into it was probably Miyazaki and Takahata's Studio Ghibli films. I grew up with films like My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Whisper of the Heart and several others like it. Studio Ghibli films in general got me into anime, and kept me into it when I thought I was done. It's because of that though, that I get annoyed when people say Makoto Shinkai is the new Hayao Miyazaki. There is no new Hayao Miyazaki. I guy like that, only comes once after few hundred years. No one alive today will see another animator or director on that level, and it feels like Shinkai-san is only being given that credit because of this films popularity, and not because of their quality, and while he does have great films, Shinkai-san has a long way to go in order to get to the point where he deserves that comparison. Sorry, that became a rant aimed at no one in particular. 

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3 hours ago, RepentantSky said:

It's because of that though, that I get annoyed when people say Makoto Shinkai is the new Hayao Miyazaki. 

I think Shinkai also does not like the comparison if I remember correctly (out of respect and admiration for Miyazaki, not out of arrogance). Still can't stop people from doing it. 

 

I'm glad his films are reaching people, regardless. They are a good starter anime for most people. Doesn't require commitment but shows you all the good things anime is capable of. 

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I had a couple friends in high school (like the mid-late 1990s) who were into anime, but I never got into it at that point for some reason. I mean, I'd watched some Ghibli films, like most people, but had never explored anime beyond that. Until I was into my 30s, I had always viewed anime as being a) Ghibli movies, b) kid shows, like Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh, or c) pervy boob shows. And being a single guy, living alone, it was actually that last option that opened the door for me. 

I remember stumbling across a clip of Sekirei on YouTube and thinking that it was kind of hot, for a cartoon. That was about four years ago. I was at my local comic book store buying some board game stuff, and I spotted the anime section so I just strolled over and saw the Sekirei DVD there. So I bought it. I watched it, thinking it would just be some silly-ass show with tons of cleavage (like an animated Baywatch or something), and I was actually surprisingly taken by the story in the end. It's funny, even stupid harem shows can have a tenderness to them, and a decent story. After that, I discovered MAL, and the incredibly wide and wonderful world of anime. 

The thing I love most about anime is just how it's different from Western TV. Stories are my passion, I love TV and books and movies and video games. And Japanese storytellers have a subtly different way of approaching and telling stories. So having consumed so many Western stories over the years, it was very refreshing to find something different. I wouldn't say anime is necessarily better or worse than Western TV, but I just love that it's a different lens. And four years in, I'm still not tired or bored of it. I still find shows that surprise and inspire me. 

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