My History with Anime
Would you believe me the earliest memories I have are of watching the original Macross? Before I even entered kindergarten I distinctly remember watching Robotech as it aired on TV which I would later learn was actually Super Dimensional Fortress Macross.
I distinctly remember the transforming Valkyries and the Macross, the conflict with the Zentradi and most importantly I remembered Hikaru and Minmay, their relationship and the eventual love triangle with Misa.
Fast forward to today and I watched all Macross shows, all movies and all OVAs. Macross is one of the anime franchises I like the most today.
The Latin American adaptation of Seint Seiya was one those franchises that took over and had a persistent presence everywhere you looked. The action figures form the show similar to the modern Myth Cloth was the hottest toy to buy for a couple of years. Being a nice impressionable kid I had my parents buy me a bunch of them.
Seint Seiya was my first foray into a Shonen series. The determined hero that won through sheer will power, the inseparable group of comrades, calling out your attacks, fighting and defeating seemingly invincible opponents and many other Shonen tropes I was first exposed here.
To be honest when I watched Sailor Moon it was a guilty pressure, after all this show was aimed at girls right?
Bah! Who cares, my first magical girl show and I liked it. I watched the series happily over the years from the original Sailor Moon all the way to the Stars. This show like Saint Seiya introduced me to many tropes of magical girl shows.
Happily enough I had surgery when I was a teenager and was bed ridden for a couple of weeks. During that time I watched TV and played games, back then Toonami from Cartoon Network was at it's peak among the shows airing was Gundam Wing,
Gundam Wing was my introduction into the franchise, the Gundams itself, the masked rival, the political conflicts and so on was once again first introduced me here. While in retrospect I'm not too fond of Gundam Wing when compared to other Gundam shows I am thankful that this was my first step into the Gundam universe.
Nowadays, while I have not watched every single show, I watched shows from the original UC time line, alternate universes such as Gundam Seed and Gundam 00 and look forward to watching the remaining shows, movies and OVAs.
Up until this point I did not actively seek anime, I only watched what was aired on TV or featured through cable.
I was blown away when I watched the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
The ridiculous premise, the characters and their characterization, the amazing performances by Hirano Aya as Haruhi and Sugita Tomokazu as Kyon, the music, the witty dialogue and the asynchronous airing all took me by surprise. I had up until this point seen nothing like it.
This show is memorable for a variety of reasons to me as it coincided with several things. I was a college student, I finally met people with interest in video games and anime, I was introduced to Youtube and bittorrent as a resource to obtain anime on demand.
This show marked the moment when I went from passively watching anime to actively seeking out new titles, to downloading complete shows or downloading episodes weekly and buying anime DVDs.
Afterwards I watched many of the shows I always wanted to, many of the shows everyone recommended, nothing really shook my boat for the next couple of years.
Then my first goddess got dethroned by a certain white devil.
When I first popped in Nanoha into my DVD player I expected a magical girl show similar to Sailor Moon where Nanoha fought a monster of the week every episode or so. For the most part the first few episodes where like that. Halfway through the series I found myself bored.
Then Fate showed up and suddenly the status quo changed and as the show became about them I was interested again. Once the show ended I liked it, liked it enough to move to Nanoha A's the second season.
I watched the first episode of A's and was speechless at what I saw, right after, I watched the second episode, followed by the third, the fourth, the fifth all the way to the end on one sitting.
The original show made me interested in the franchise, A's made a fan of not only the franchise but Nanoha herself.
You want to know how much I like Nanoha? I bought the anime DVDs, I own several figures of her much more than any one character, I even bought Volk's Dollfie Dream. Never before had I like a character as much as her since Kos-Mos from Xenosaga.
Last year my friend became interested in Pretty Cure, what we talked about was enough to interest me as well. He went on to watch the currently airing show back then , Heartcatch Pretty Cure. I went on to watch the original Futari wa Pretty Cure show.
I knew nothing about it other than its name and once again I expected a fluffy and girly show with a monster of the week formula. True enough I got a monster of the week formula but I did not get fluffy and girly show.
Precure shares more in common with the Masked Rider shows than previous magical girl shows. The battles in particular surprised me, these girls get down and dirty and give a severe beating to the antagonists before finishing them off with their special attacks.
Perfect example, the primary antagonist in Heartcatch 1-hit KOed the girls during their first encounter. During the last battle the Heartcatch girls held nothing back, all four rained down a beating on him, he could not do much more than block or counter their attacks. If that wasn't enough, he was then hit consecutively by three tiers of finishing moves.
Likable protagonists, antagonists, conflicts, style and pacing made Precure the latest franchise to make a fan out of me.
If anything I would say that it's more a highlight of a few shows and franchises that are memorable to me, shows that opened the doors towards the medium.