I started this website for nostalgic reasons. If I had to point to a starting area, it would have to be the 90s. That’s more than a decade ago. Makes me wonder why I’m still watching anime after so long.
Often, I’ve had to introduce myself at my college’s anime club as someone who started watching anime thanks to Guyver. But I can’t say I really saw the show. The best I can recall end up as vague memories of a fantastical show with an armored human who shot lasers and/or rockets from his chest. The second detail that really stuck to me was a scene where (I’m assuming it was the main protagonist.) someone threw a punch towards another. There was 2 seconds of speed lines behind the flying fist, and it connects with the second character’s face. Neither of the characters moved for a while after that. The camera was focused on the result of the punch for a good 10 seconds. At least, that’s how it played out in my head.
Nothing much happened after that. I continued to be a normal kid. I grew up on SNES, Genesis, Pop-tarts, Saturday morning cartoons, and after school tomfoolery. Things like the Playstation and DVDs were interesting. Jumping forward several years yields a more tangible result; I downloaded my first anime episode over a file sharing program. Boy, was that a huge mistake. It would drastically shift my interests from their current foundations.
I would spend a majority of my time visiting the local rental place for anime. A meager selection of anime was on display. I didn’t complain. There was at least an entire isle of anime, and my Fridays encompassed the act of wondering what I would watch over the weekend. I did not have a very reliable internet speed during this point in time. Being able to download an entire episode’s worth of show was mind-boggling — at least in retrospect. After realizing my internet wasn’t very good for downloading large amounts of anime, I had to resort to other people who had watched these shows way before I could have. This meant going to a website specialized in episodic summaries and plot deconstruction, and finding a new type of website: the anime blog.
I can only recall two blogs today that have drastically affected my thought processes while I watch anime. Jeff Lawson’s Anime Blog and Memento were my two main gateways to the anime I would end up watching. I can’t discount the other blogs I had visited so many years ago, but none fill my memory with much clarity, I can only appreciate those who have spent the time to write about anime.
Jeff had a style of writing that slowly ebbed me into the warmth that some anime focused on. There was show about sad girls in snow that I occasionally found hard to watch, but Jeff somehow knew how to soften the blow. He watched, and wrote, with an intellect I didn’t have. It guided me on what was magical about the anime I watch. The great anime masterpieces all had it. At first I didn’t know where to look, but it was evident that having someone intellectualize each episode in a series helped a ton. Hard to recall if Jeff did any episodic analysis, but nonetheless, his blog was influential to me. I’m not so sure I’d be able to sit down and watch something like Aria the Animation or Mushishi if it weren’t for Jeff and other bloggers like him.
My experience with Memento’s blog was more akin to picking up a magazine. It was reliable, had just enough text, and more importantly, SCREENCAPS! Memento’s blog was one of the first anime blogs I frequented that had numerous screencaps. At first I tried not to look at screen captures of an anime I was interested in because at this point, I was able to discern the plot from a sequence of screencaps alone. But I am a superficial person — sometimes the visual elements alone are enough to convince me to watch a show. Sometimes you’d rather not suffer the art and animation. If you think like me, the visual aspect of anime is almost more important than any effort invested in the story. I believe that skillful storytelling paints the visuals as well. Thus, visuals can tell a story. Despite this derail, it was thanks to Memento that I found Honey & Clover, Mushishi, and Kekkaishi.
There is an anime named Trapeze. Now that is one anime that is a favorite for the sole reason of it’s visual impact. I really do question my taste in anime sometimes, and when I realize I like this show and don’t have a very good explanation why, it undermines my goal of having a sophisticated mind like those before me who write with eloquence.
What does all of this reminiscing do for me? Not much, other than realizing I still haven’t gotten anywhere near my intended goal. Currently, my site is mainly my area to stomp my feet in anger and post on blog, or bask in the glory of some epic anime that makes me appreciate the go-getters in life, and perhaps become one myself.