Every Geek has their niche, their one true expertise. Sure a Geek has lots of different interests, but they have their one true love in all of Geekdom. Mine happens to be Anime.
I started watching anime before anyone knew it was Anime. When I was a kid there were two amazing shows on television every day after school. The first one was Starblazers. Some of you may know it as Space Battleship Yamato. This was a story about humans racing across the galaxy to find a cure to heal the dying Earth, while being chased by the aliens who ruined the planet. Yes, Yamato was originally from the 70’s. Yes, I am that old. Shut up. This was the first cartoon that had more of a plot than “Good guys win and bad guys escape to do evil another day.” In Starblazers there were people who actually died. I learned about sacrifice and I truly worried if the bad guys were going to win.
I had to wait another seven or eight years before I discovered another amazing Anime, called Robotech, also known as Macross. The trademark of this series was fighter jets that transformed into piloted robots. These robots were used to fight off invading alien giants. There were more than just the robots. There was the super space fortress, Macross, which transformed so it could fire a massive weapon. This series had a lot of the same things that I loved about Starblazers such as sacrifice, death of a good guy, and the bad guys winning. Robotech also introduced me to the stories of relationships on all levels.
Before Anime became mainstream and when I first realized it was Anime that I loved so much it was the early 90’s, I watched the original Bubblegum Crisis and Dirty Pair on hand me down video tapes and with the English translations typed up on paper. The translations were beat up and all I could do is hope they were accurate.
Since then, I have watched a couple hundred different movies and series. There has been a lot of Anime I loved and some of them made me hit the stop button and exclaime, “What The Hell Is This Crap?!”
I have to pay homage to those Anime that are my all-time favorites. Of course, Starblazers and Robotech will always hold a special place in my heart. The funny thing is I have tried to go back and re-watch Starblazers. It is really out dated. It was painful to listen to the 70’s dialogue. A couple of the others that I will always love will be Fullmetal Alchemist and Ghost in the Shell.
A piece of advice for all those who are reading this post. Do not listen to all that you hear about what is supposed to make a great Anime. What makes a great Anime is what you love about it. There is a certain goofy six-episode Anime that everyone says is a landmark creation. I bought it and watched it. The series didn’t make sense. I watched it a second time, with someone. It still didn’t make sense. Then there was Gurren Lagann. It was criticized for amateurish art and childish storylines. I think it is one of the best giant fighting robot series ever. So, watch what you want to watch and enjoy it proudly.
It does not matter when you started watching Anime, or what you have watched since. What matter is that you enjoy watching the Anime and gain something from the stories. Happily, collect the memorabilia and videos of your favorite shows. Finally, when you get the chance, watch your Anime with someone. The best part of watching Anime is getting to share it.
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