“53RG10, how did you become an anime fan?”

…is a question I was asked not too long ago. Every time I get asked that question, I answer with the same answer, “Angelic Layer made me”. That was the my very first taste of manga and anime. But as I was thinking about it last night, I came to realize that I’ve been watching anime since I was a kid, I just didn’t know it was anime at the time.

I vaguely remember watching Speed Racer, Dragon Ball, Knights of the Zodiac (Saint Seya), and Transformers. I watched those a lot more than The Flintstones, The Jetsons, or Tom & Jerry {a VERY violent cartoon now that I think about it!! ^_^}. At the time, I lived in Mexico and anime over there is shown a lot more than it is here at the U.S. I remember stopping what I was doing and sitting down and watching those shows.

Before coming to the U.S, I watched a few episodes of Escaflowne, the first two episodes I think. I never did see Escaflowne again, I was busy learning English and going to school. I guess I’ll call it a 5 year hiatus because in fourth grade, I started watching cartoons again {still didn’t know it was anime.} But since some of the characters design were familiar to me, I watched. I remember very well what it was, “Cardcaptors.”

Not only was it “Cardcaptors,” it was also Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, and Sailor Moon. I know that I quit watching Dragon Ball Z because I just hated how long it took to ‘Power Up.’ Three freakin’ episodes!!?? C’mon!!! *Ahem* Pokemon was what everyone talked at school, and when I brought up the others, I got “What the hell is that?” responses from people. But I was still ‘cool’ because I drew some Pokemon pictures for my friends.

I have something to say on Sailor Moon and MUST get it off my chest. I FUCKIN’ LOVED IT!!! Even though my memory is bad and I don’t remember most of the episodes, I remember I always sang to the OP. I also got excited every time I saw Sailor Mercury!! My family looked at me weird every time I watched Sailor Moon or Cardcaptors, I think they had this “Is he gay?” idea for a while. I got normal stares when watching Evangelion or Big O though!! I guess that ‘balanced’ it out for watching ‘girly’ cartoons.

Anyways, the years went by and I got into 8th grade and got a library card. It was in the library that I discovered manga. Some person left it on the table and I picked it up out of curiosity. Just like anyone who first picks up a manga, I was confused on how I was supposed to read it. That first manga was none other than volume one of “Angelic Layer.” I was interested at this “right to left reading” that this manga presented to me. I checked it out and went home to read it. I was amazed at the awesomeness of this single volume, I loved the art style and concept of moving toys with your mind alone!! I was so impress that after reading the volume for the second time, I just had to draw Hikaru and Misaki:

The next week, when I had to return the manga, I found that there were four more volumes in the book shelf. I was confident that they’ll be there every time I came, so I only checked out one volume every two week or so. I didn’t want to take it all in only to forget about it in the next month!!

But other people also read this manga, and when I didn’t find volume 3 in the shelf, I had to take and alternative. I was searching for something similar, and I found “Magic Knight Rayearth .” I was comparing both of the covers and I noticed the word “CLAMP” on it, so I was “Alright, I’ll bite” and took it. Again, I was amazed!! The world of fantasy was just too great, and it felt like an RPG game in comic form and I loved it for that. The only drawback is that it was 3 volumes long…and I had taken two the first time I saw it. -_-

I had finished reading all the volumes for “Angelic Layer” and “Magic Knight Rayearth” before graduating to high school. It was in high school where I learned the term anime and manga. I was doing some web searched for more information on “Angelic Layer” and came to the official DVD site, that’s when I learned about anime. So after doing some web searches on the word ‘anime’ and coming to a list of anime, I was surprised that the cartoons I’ve been watching were all anime. I also found some hentai, but that’s something else.^_^’

I could say that the very first anime I watched was Speed Racer, but to me, the REAL first anime was the one that made me realize what anime was…and thus, an anime fan. Angelic Layer~

If it wasn’t for that first manga, I probably wouldn’t be much as an anime fan, even if it was by chance that I picked it up. Angelic Layer opened a new world to me. Soon I would watch anime in the original Japanese audio and original form, not some watered down edited region 1 dubbed version. Thanks to DVD technology for dual audio {and subtitles}!!

After being an anime fan for so long and discovering it’s origin, it never occurred to me to try and learn Japanese…wait, that will be a different post for the future!! ^_^

This was a really fun post to write, I got to remember the good’ol days and it rekindled fires that had burned out. Because of this, I want to draw Sailor Mercury and Kinomoto Sakura!! I hope I would be able to write more stuff like this, stuff that makes me smile while proofreading!!

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