Dear community of Ani-TAY, I would like to use this article to commemorate my timely release from lurking, thanks to Protostorm's encouraging post:
First things first, I have promised to link Kaizival's article here:
This article is a lengthier reply to the above post, Kaizival's plea for tales of anime and the soul. So I'll dive straight in.
My primary school life was books, books, books. I loved to read. Anything from fantasy, to romance, though never horror or thriller. You'd always find me with my head in a book. My friends were always busily chatting about this new Korean song, that new Naruto episode, doraemon did this, and anything else that was the topic of the day.
They did try to include me, but I never found a want within me to respond to any of those. We were still friends though. At least I thought so. I couldn't ever start a conversation, afraid of rebuttal, since what I loved contrasted so terribly with the likes of my friends. I despaired at how we couldn't connect.
The hot thing.
One day, I wandering a new mall with my parents. There were lots of stalls in the central hall, selling all sorts of things, cookies, toys, etc. We just happened to see a stall selling robots, immediately captivating my interest. The attendant showed me a HG Gundam Exia, still new at the time, and it was love at first sight. I begged for it, and my dad just shook his head, yet drew out his wallet and paid for it.
Still one of my favorites.
It took me roughly half a day to figure out how to complete it; but when I had completed it, it looked really shoddily done. Bits of plastic sticking out here and there, stickers twisted, body scratched; but I still loved it. It was the first toy I had a connection with, because I built it myself. I was then extremely interested in the show that the model came from.
Giant robots fighting other giant robots? Sign me up!
Gundam 00 was perfect in every way possible to me. All of the models, the characters, setup ruck a resonant chord within me. It was structured very differently from the only thing I ever watched. Which was of course, Power Rangers. I was initially hesitant about it, as it was a cartoon, but I grew to love it.
This particular scene moved me. It might sound silly, but I was screaming and shouting while Setsuna did it. I would replay that part a few times, because I truly felt it ringing around inside me, and it felt great. I began to adopt that persona. I was a gundam. Steel outside, human inside. I was invincible. I was reborn. I felt great at school, hooked my friends on gundam 00 too, and we had a ton of fun discussing it everyday.
After that, I began becoming curious about something. Was there any other kind of show that was also anime, but not about robots? This was probably due to my bookish background, which is constantly in search of new stories. Mecha was beginning to bore me.
I tried out anime after anime, titles like IS, Zero no Tsukaima, etc. but nothing clicked the same way Gundam 00 had. It was then I gave up for about four months. Then I saw an article about Steins;Gate, and it began anew.
Tuturu, Mayushii desu! Anime's call of salvation, indeed.
Steins;Gate appealed to EVERY single part of me, I am also a very science-y person, and while it was slightly fantastical, it had a highly experimental feel to it. The amounts of seriousness and comedy were perfectly balanced, and it created the perfect show for me, and easily drew me back into anime.
The next problem was, what was gonna top that? I had recently finished Steins;Gate, and was desperately searching for the next show that would bring me entertainment, and despair. I had grown to love it. I then stumbled across a romance anime that would change my anime experience forever.
I went through heartbreak, mindf**king, and a lot more besides.
White Album started out innocuous enough. It looked like a standard romance anime, until poor Touya couldn't handle a long distance relationship. I sort of sound cynical, because I was of course in camp Yuki. White album marked lots of things, teaching me to not assume too much watching anime, starting me off on J-pop, and a few more private things.
The thing was, I had never ever in my whole life, cry so openly watching something. It poured. Why did the story have to swing that way? Everything just seemed to go bad for my ship. It was sinking. I don't really know how to fully describe my experience with White Album yet. But I wish to do so.
Darker than Black was a blessing to me. It wasn't as heavy as many others, yet still conveyed to me a sense of wonder that I always look for in anime. People I know watch anime, usually do so because of the 'action' or for the 'romance'. I think it's a pity we don't place more thought on the sense of wonder that anime can bring.
After a short stint in more action based anime, I returned to more emotion based anime, and experienced what I still hold as my favourite anime to date: Bakuman.
An inspiration in every sense.
I absolutely loved it. The biggest problem I had with Bakuman was the fact that the manga within were not real. Why?! Perfect Crime Party would have been the biggest hit in the real world, for sure! Bakuman helped me to realize that people have flaws, but we have to accept them, for that act would only serve to better ourselves. Bakuman helped me to push myself in the real world, causing me to start my own Japanese club in school, work harder at my schoolwork, to attain my dreams. And it's affected my dreams too. I now work hard at my art, drawing everyday, in hopes of entering the insanely competitive manga market.
I've recently watched both Barakamon and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, both affecting me to a lesser extent, yet both shaping my past and future experiences with anime, in multiple ways. Transcribing music is so hard, dammit.
My current experience with anime is further improved by Ani-TAY, and I am grateful everyday to everyone on Ani-TAY for providing me with more opportunities to develop. I also wish to encourage other writers and also lurkers to voice out their Anime and Ani-TAY experience.
Thanks for reading my anime experience, and again, hope to see yours!
Written by Ascendant - Izanagi, newb to Ani-TAY.