To further kickoff my anime and manga month, I thought I would look back at the series which got me interested in exploring Japanese media. When I tell people I like reading manga and watching anime they are usually genuinely surprised because of my background in reading and historical writing.
I don’t hang posters, have fanart, or collect Japanese knick knacks. However, I’ve read and watched ALOT of anime and manga. I’m just more subdued about my interests.
I’ve had fun rediscovering the shows and books which first caught my attention. As you read, maybe you’ll discover something new or think about your own experiences.
Let’s get started!
Hayao Miyazaki‘s My Neighbor Totoro, 1988 (Tonari no Totoro)
When I was six or seven, my mother bought the VHS for this movie. I didn’t know who Hayao Miyazaki was, or how many beautiful movies he would proceed to make. I simply loved Totoro and Mei and Satsuki’s fun adventures. Eventually the VHS disappeared (the English copy we had had very obnoxious dubbing). Years later, I finally got another copy.
Dragonball Z Anime, 1989-1996 (Doragon Bōru Zetto) by Toei Animation
My brother spencer used to record DBZ on VHS tapes and send them to us to watch. I’m not sure why I loved this show so much, but every time a new recording or episode would come out, I ran to the TV to watch. I loved this show up through middle school till the middle of the Maten Bu season.
Pokémon Season 1 Anime, 1997 on TV Tokyo
Pokémon dominated 2nd and 3rd grade in Elementary school for me. I collected cards, re-watched the first season probably too many times, and loved each movie that came out. I’ve since moved on from this show, but I still have fond memories of watching it.
Yu☆Gi☆Oh!, 1998 by Toei Animation
Yep. I liked this show. I think it is because of the Egyptian-esque background. I thought the story was fun and didn’t notice the voice acting is questionable. I did own some Yu-gi-oh cards but never played the game. Gaming isn’t my thing usually, so my admiration for this show died after a few years.
Takaya Natsuki‘s Fruits Basket, 1998-2006 (Furuba)
I actually hated the idea of manga until I read this series. I was sixteen when my sister Jessica bought the first and second ultimate editions from Hastings. She and my other sister Melissa read them and loved them to pieces. Eventually, I sucked up my pride and asked if I could borrow them. Ever since then, this has become one of my all-time favorite works of literature.
CLAMP‘s Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, 2003-2009 (Tsubasa: Rezaboa Kuronikuru)
After reading Fruits Basket, I needed a new series to devour. I found the first two volumes of Tsubasa at Hastings and brought them home to read. I fell in love with the artwork, story, and overhanging mystery of it. The romance between Syaoran and Sakura really touched me as well.
Bleach Movie 1: Memories of Nobody 2006/ Kubo Tite‘s Bleach, 2001-2016
My sister, Melissa, and I watched the first Bleach movie with friends, and I didn’t care it technically isn’t well done. I liked Senna’s autumn leaf reaper power and the main character Ichigo. The manga I read up until volume 27. I need to finish the Aizen conflict, but I don’t want to read further than that.
Black Cat, 2005 on Tokyo Broadcasting System
My younger siblings and I LOOOOOOOOVED this show. I must have re-watched it at least twenty times in my late teens and early twenties. I accredit this to Train Heartnet, the show’s protagonist.
Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle, 2004 (Hauru no Ugoku Shiro)
Besides My Neighbor Totoro, I had never watched Hayao Miyazaki’s movies. Not even Spirited Away when it premiered on Cartoon Network. When I was sixteen, I found Howl’s Moving Castle online and watched it for the first time. It is one of my most memorable cinematic experiences. The story, animation, and characters were so magical to me.
Hatori Bisco‘s Ouran High School Host Club, 2002-2010 (manga and anime)
Ouran is one of the funniest stories I have ever read. No joke. It is the satire of every Shoujo reverse-harem romance manga. I loved its concept and the characters. When I was a teenager, I loved Tamaki. As an adult, I am more interested like Mori. Maturity changes personal taste, apparently. The anime especially has beautiful coloring and animation, and creative screenplay.
That’s all for today!
Anime April Mayhem! Day 1, Beautiful covers for aspiring art collectors
Anime April Mayhem! Day 3, “What Bugs You?” Anime Tag
If you like the tag, feel free to tag me and make your own list! See you tomorrow!