Beginnings are tough (now where did I read that) – at least they are for me. What I didn’t say way back then was that beginnings are also important. Knowing where you began, knowing your origin gives you information that you should hold onto. It can be a launching point that you look back on and reminisce. I want to share a little bit about the origins of my obsession with the anime fandom.
When I look back at the origin of my otaku obsession I wonder how it led me to this point. It is a circuitous path. I couldn’t imagine that my passion for something so “weeaboo” would open up opportunities for me. I get to write these articles and share my mania for all things in the anime fandom. I’m trusted with Wizard World’s new Manga Library. I’ve helped host panels on a number of anime topics. These are experiences I didn’t know were available for me.
Let me share a piece of advice: my life didn’t turn around until I stopped apologizing for being enthusiastic about the things I enjoy. I can’t believe that this journey is opening all these doors.
Anime Fandom: How it began
My introduction to anime began with Fullmetal Alchemist back in early 2005. A friend loaned me a copy of the first season on DVD. I never realized I was watching something anime. To me, Fullmetal Alchemist is a wonderful, enchanting story. I didn’t think it was geeky or “weebie”. It was new and it captured my attention right away. Brothers on a journey using the resources they have to put their lives back together – who wouldn’t be entranced? Throw in the sins (which have always intrigued me) as an obstacle and you have the makings of my first obsession in the anime fandom.
Anime Fandom: How it came back into my life
After I collected the FMA set, I lost touch with the anime medium. At the time I still didn’t recognize that it was its own style. I simply moved on to other obsessions, other distractions. But when it came back around to me, it came with a vengeance.
I didn’t know where to start over when my group of friends suggested getting into this anime fandom. The one thing they cheered on over the others was Naruto. I’ll admit to a bit of trepidation when I saw this production with hundreds of episodes. And at first I couldn’t find a free to watch English dub. I was quite concerned I’d be watching subtitles for a long time. But when I found a way to watch, I was hooked (again).
I finished the original run of Naruto. Then I immediately jumped into Shippuden! When I reached the point in Shippuden where the dubs ended, I found something new to jump in and enjoy. (This is where I wish my memory was clearer because I have no clue what I watched at that point!) But I have been binging choices from the anime fandom since then. That’s apparently what my chart below shows…
Anime Fandom: My favorite thing
I think the best way to show the depth I’ve fallen into this obsession is to share a little about my favorite anime. You might think it is My Hero Academia given that I’ve written about it the most here at Pure Fandom, but you’d be wrong. This isn’t just about anime though.
When I talk about the anime fandom I have to include light novels, manga, fan art, and all kinds of other collectables. The story I’m drawn to the most is Accel World. I find it easy to relate with many of the heroes found in anime, but Haruyuki Arita stands out to me. Unhealthy, socially awkward, lost in the fantasy of games…but he changes of his own volition. He finds a purpose for his life and commits to it. Haruyki grows from his experience and doesn’t let obstacles stop his progress. He taps into this honorable rage that you wouldn’t expect a kid like him would have. Haruyuki is flawed in nearly every way but is stronger because of those flaws.
I can literally lose myself in a repeat of the anime or a reread of the light novels & manga. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for even a fragment of a hint about a second season. I’m dying to know what the author has waiting for me in the next book. There’s almost a Pavlovian response between the mention of Accel World and my drool reflex. If that isn’t obsession, I’m not sure what word to use in its stead.
Anime Fandom: Where I am now
Of course if we talk about beginnings, we have to acknowledge where we are now. Some of the animes I’ve finished that I’d recommend are Death Parade and Guilty Crown. Both have fantastic musical selections and interesting storytelling choices. I recently started Voltron (on Netflix) and can see why it is so wildly popular for both teens and adults. I’m nearly halfway through the total story of the Spice & Wolf light novels and loving the back & forth between the main characters.
I’m less than a month from another Wizard World show where I’ll be in the manga library again. Hopefully someone will stop by and ask for a manga recommendation. I’ll also be hosting the Anime Trailer Park panel again. So I’ve got to get to work on researching some new trailers to add to my playlist.
And like I said earlier, I’m lucky to get to share what I find interesting with you readers here at Pure Fandom. I’m hoping that one day I’ll get to have more of a dialogue here. Really – one thing I love about this anime fandom is introducing people to what gets me #hype and having them do the same for me in turn. So feel free to leave me suggestions or requests – reach out to me on social media (Twitter – Instagram). I’d love to know what got you into the anime fandom and what you’re enjoying now!
Featured image: LegendaryRey