Sunday, January 29, 2012

From the Beginning

The other day I was thinking about how it is that I came to be an anime addict.  It was actually something of a gradual process.  Just for the hell of it I decided to talk about it in this post.

It started with me browsing a video store, looking for something to watch.   This particular SunCoast Video had a big anime selection, and I spent some time browsing through there and wondering what all this was.  So I started watching anime based on the picture on the front of the VHS tape and the short blurb on the back.  My very first foray into it was Vampire Hunter D.  Really.  Even then I was something of a sucker for vampires.  And I was looking for something that wasn't a series, because, what if I didn't like it?  So Vampire Hunter D, Wicked City and Demon City Shinjuku were my first anime trials.  Kind of interesting that I started out with such dark anime, and that I stuck with anime watching. 

Shortly after that I started watching Fushigi Yuugi even though it was a series and I had to wait for the next VHS tape to come out.  That series was followed by Rurouni Kenshin, which led to Samurai X.  All of those early anime watchings were picked solely on the front cover and the blurb on the back, but by the time I got the fourth tape of Fushigi Yuugi, I was pretty well hooked on anime.

In those days I was buying the VHS tape, and was buying English dubbed anime.  The tapes weren't like the DVD where you can choose to watch either the dubbed or subtitled versions.  You had to choose which version of the tape to buy.  So when I started buying the DVDs, which started with Kenshin, followed fairly quickly by Cowboy Bebop, I was still watching the English dubbed versions of anime, and pretty happy about that.  Yup.  It's true.

Then I met the person directly responsible for the loss of my soul to true anime.  She introduced me to fan-subbed anime downloaded off the Internet.  

I should explain, I was a little slow to get into the whole Internet scene.  My friend started me out slowly by giving me the downloaded versions of CardCaptor Sakura, and then hooking me on Inuyasha.  Those early CCS downloads were tiny little files, often with less than ideal graphics and sound.  You could fit seven to nine episodes on a CD, and my friend would come over with anime burned onto CDs and we'd spend entire weekends watching CCS or Inuyasha.  Then she introduced me to Fruits Basket and Noir.  All of this anime was fan-subbed.  So I got used to the sound of the Japanese and watching fan-subbed anime, and I went back to my Cowboy Bebop and Rurouni Kenshi DVDs and watched them in Japanese with subtitles.   And I became a true anime addict.

Along the way she taught me to download my own anime.  In the early days it was via a dial-up modem and Direct Connect.  And yes, it sometimes took DAYS to download a single file, even with as small as they were.  She showed me bittorrent as soon as it was developed, and the rest is pretty much history.

From these humble beginnings I've become quite addicted.  I've watched well over 200 anime series, and those I like I eventually buy DVDs of, as soon as the licensing American companies produce them.  I have a nice DVD collection and of course the downloaded originals.  And yes I re-watch old series when I'm in between good new series.  I won't even go into my manga collection and calendar collection, etc, etc.  As I said, it's an addiction, but of course one that I won't be trying to quit any time soon.  As long as there's good anime to watch, I'll probably be watching it.

 All of this took place relatively slowly.  I probably first began watching anime around 2000, and my friend starting introducing me to downloaded anime sometime late in 2002.  Hmmm.  I've been watching anime for over 10 years. How about that.  It doesn't seem taht long.  Anyway, now you know "how it happened".  And as long as there's good anime to blog about, I'll probably keep blogging. 

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