My History with Anime

Who is up for a small history lesson?

I decided to participate in Nopy‘s project which you can read all about here. Namely, it’s simply writing about your anime history as he has done.

Would you believe me the earliest memories I have are of watching the original Macross? Before I even entered kindergarten I distinctly remember watching Robotech as it aired on TV which I would later learn was actually Super Dimensional Fortress Macross.

I distinctly remember the transforming Valkyries and the Macross, the conflict with the Zentradi and most importantly I remembered Hikaru and Minmay, their relationship and the eventual love triangle with Misa.

Fast forward to today and I watched all Macross shows, all movies and all OVAs. Macross is one of the anime franchises I like the most today.

Alright, if you were a a kid back in the early 90s, (I was) in Latin America (I lived in Mexico) back then you can easily recognize the significance of this pick.

The Latin American adaptation of Seint Seiya was one those franchises that took over and had a persistent presence everywhere you looked. The action figures form the show similar to the modern Myth Cloth was the hottest toy to buy for a couple of years. Being a nice impressionable kid I had my parents buy me a bunch of them.

Seint Seiya was my first foray into a Shonen series. The determined hero that won through sheer will power, the inseparable group of comrades, calling out your attacks, fighting and defeating seemingly invincible opponents and many other Shonen tropes I was first exposed here.

To be honest when I watched Sailor Moon it was a guilty pressure, after all this show was aimed at girls right?

Bah! Who cares, my first magical girl show and I liked it. I watched the series happily over the years from the original Sailor Moon all the way to the Stars. This show like Saint Seiya introduced me to many tropes of magical girl shows.

Much like everyone in the mid 90s I watched Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. My experience was just like countless others so I wont talk about it.

Happily enough I had surgery when I was a teenager and was bed ridden for a couple of weeks. During that time I watched TV and played games, back then Toonami from Cartoon Network was at it’s peak among the shows airing was Gundam Wing,

Gundam Wing was my introduction into the franchise, the Gundams itself, the masked rival, the political conflicts and so on was once again first introduced me here. While in retrospect I’m not too fond of Gundam Wing when compared to other Gundam shows I am thankful that this was my first step into the Gundam universe.

Nowadays, while I have not watched every single show, I watched shows from the original UC time line, alternate universes such as Gundam Seed and Gundam 00 and look forward to watching the remaining shows, movies and OVAs.

Up until this point I did not actively seek anime, I only watched what was aired on TV or featured through cable.

Then, I met my first goddess.

I was blown away when I watched the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

The ridiculous premise, the characters and their characterization, the amazing performances by Hirano Aya as Haruhi and Sugita Tomokazu as Kyon, the music, the witty dialogue and the asynchronous airing all took me by surprise. I had up until this point seen nothing like it.

This show is memorable for a variety of reasons to me as it coincided with several things. I was a college student, I finally met people with interest in video games and anime, I was introduced to Youtube and bittorrent as a resource to obtain anime on demand.

This show marked the moment when I went from passively watching anime to actively seeking out new titles, to downloading complete shows or downloading episodes weekly and buying anime DVDs.

Afterwards I watched many of the shows I always wanted to, many of the shows everyone recommended, nothing really shook my boat for the next couple of years.

Then my first goddess got dethroned by a certain white devil.

When I first popped in Nanoha into my DVD player I expected a magical girl show similar to Sailor Moon where Nanoha fought a monster of the week every episode or so. For the most part the first few episodes where like that. Halfway through the series I found myself bored.

Then Fate showed up and suddenly the status quo changed and as the show became about them I was interested again. Once the show ended I liked it, liked it enough to move to Nanoha A’s the second season.

I watched the first episode of A’s and was speechless at what I saw, right after, I watched the second episode, followed by the third, the fourth, the fifth all the way to the end on one sitting.

The original show made me interested in the franchise, A’s made a fan of not only the franchise but Nanoha herself.

You want to know how much I like Nanoha? I bought the anime DVDs, I own several figures of her much more than any one character, I even bought Volk’s Dollfie Dream. Never before had I like a character as much as her since Kos-Mos from Xenosaga.

Last year my friend became interested in Pretty Cure, what we talked about was enough to interest me as well. He went on to watch the currently airing show back then , Heartcatch Pretty Cure. I went on to watch the original Futari wa Pretty Cure show.

I knew nothing about it other than its name and once again I expected a fluffy and girly show with a monster of the week formula. True enough I got a monster of the week formula but I did not get fluffy and girly show.

Precure shares more in common with the Masked Rider shows than previous magical girl shows. The battles in particular surprised me, these girls get down and dirty and give a severe beating to the antagonists before finishing them off with their special attacks.

Perfect example, the primary antagonist in Heartcatch 1-hit KOed the girls during their first encounter. During the last battle the Heartcatch girls held nothing back, all four rained down a beating on him, he could not do much more than block or counter their attacks. If that wasn’t enough, he was then hit consecutively by three tiers of finishing moves.

Likable protagonists, antagonists, conflicts, style and pacing made Precure the latest franchise to make a fan out of me.

I notice that this is not necessarily a complete history after all, I left so many shows such as anything made by Gainax and Shaft for example.

If anything I would say that it’s more a highlight of a few shows and franchises that are memorable to me, shows that opened the doors towards the medium.

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About Miette-chan

I like girls, games, Japanese media and Touhou. I take pictures of things I like. Also have a blog. http://miettechan.com/
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22 Responses to My History with Anime

  1. bd77 says:

    That was quite a lengthy one.
    Can’t really say on which anime was my first as my memories that far is quite blurry.

    As of current, I only watched a selected few animes (e.g. Gurren Lagann, SRW series, Mazinkaiser, K-On and Yamato Nadeshiko). This is to conserve hard disk space (and time, lol). (not to forget, Akazukin Cha Cha, yes, I do watch that. =D)

    Sailormoon, it was aired in my country, dubbed in voices that makes you feel that Yuuka’s punishment is relaxing (yes, that bad).

    • Miette-chan says:

      It’s really an abridged version, I didn’t list many shows such as FLCL, Gurren Lagann or some newer stuff like K-On! and so forth or older shows such as the original Mazinger Z.

      You know I was lucky, Spanish is such a nice language, as expressive as Japanese and phonetically spoken like Japanese so there was no ear grating dubs when I was growing up. English on the other hand is questionable but is leagues better nowadays.

  2. Fabienne says:

    Nice post, as I were young (sounds funny XD) there weren’t many cool anime shows like Saint Seya or Macross presented on german TV.
    Haha, oh Im surprised you were allowed to watch Macross at kindergarten age, wasn’t it a bit violent?

    Glad to hear that you are a Nanoha fan, I also like her a lot.
    Most people always say that they prefer Fate.

    I’ll try to make such a post as well, I hope I can remember the correct timeline somehow.
    At the first few animes I watched in my Childhood I can’t remember how they’ve ended anymore which is a shame somehow. 🙂

    • Miette-chan says:

      I only remembered Macross vaguely at a best so I can’t remember how violent or not it was back then.

      I love Nanoha, after I watched the shows I expected every to like her as well. It was a bit surprising to see Fate be the more popular one.

      I didn’t remember either that’s why during college I ended tracking several of the older shows such as Macross to see what really happened in the end.

  3. Pingback: Nopy's Blog

  4. Nopy says:

    “Bah! Who cares, my first magical girl show and I liked it.”

    Kudos to you. I remember when I told people that I like Sailor Moon, they thought I was joking at first because it was a “girl’s show”. They eventually realized I was serious and some of them even started watching it too.

    Hearing that Haruhi was what made you actively seek out anime puts a smile to my face. The reason why is because Haruhi was actually a complete failure at first. It was getting poor ratings and no one overseas had heard of it. Then one day, a fansub group decided to pick it up and Haruhi became an instant hit in the English-speaking anime community. It just goes to show that when fansubbers say they aim to expose people to anime and help the industry, they aren’t lying 🙂

    One more thing, if you liked Nanoha so much, you might want to look for an anime OVA called “Triangle Heart ~Sweet Songs Forever~” that’s actually where Nanoha makes her first anime appearance. It’s not a mahou shoujo anime, but I really liked it.

    • Miette-chan says:

      At first I didn’t want anyone to find out I watched Sailor Moon exactly because of that but as time when on I just didn’t care anymore.

      What? Seriously? Haruhi? I can’t believe it and I wouldn’t if it wasn’t for the fact that I was never able to find fansubs for it until months after it aired.

      I agree, I seen it several times when many anime shows have become popular in the west not because it’s popular in Japan, not because it’s released officially in the west but because of fan subs and word of mouth.

      I never seen the Triangle Heart OVA, I did see however the small animated short featuring Nanoha as a magical girl of sorts.

  5. Zai says:

    I enjoyed reading your post, I think it’s always interesting to hear about what anime aired in different countries.
    Gundam, Saint Seiya or DBZ never aired on free to air television here in Australia when I was a kid but Robotech and Sailor Moon were really popular. I actually didn’t like Sailor Moon and would change the channel when it came on, lol.

    The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was amazing. I wasn’t interested in it initially but my boyfriend suggested I watched it since he wanted to see a concert and panel that Aya Hirano, Minori Chihara and Yuko Goto were having at an anime convention we were going to and wanted me to be able to enjoy them with him. Yup, some of the best advice I’ve ever taken!

    • Miette-chan says:

      Indeed it is, I always find it surprising now much there is and isn’t in common when it comes to this kind of deal.

      Funny that you mention that, I wasn’t really interested at first when my friend told me about Haruhi. I just thought that it sounds kinda interested at let it at that. Then he made me watch an episode and was hooked.

  6. Fabrice says:

    Ill participate as well!
    maybe ill be able to write mine during the weekend =)
    thats a great idea!
    I think most of us discovered anime from sailor moon, well i did ^^

    haha your not the only one who fell in love with haruhi ^^

  7. radiant says:

    Wow… this makes me ask the question – how old are you?!
    Your anime origins are incredibly similar to mine, which leads me to believe you could be around the same age as me.

    • Miette-chan says:

      I just turned 23 last November.

      True enough shows such as Macross and Saint Seiya are 80s anime but I didn’t watch them until the early 90s when they were broadcast on TV in my neck of the woods.

  8. Duqs says:

    Hahaha i remember how i used to watch macross in its english dubbed form called “Robotech”. I also got the chance to watch all the sailormoon shows when i was a kid until i was a wee teen.

    I havent gotten to finishing ep13 onwards of Nanoha Strikers XD

    • Miette-chan says:

      I watched Robotech too, even bought this fancy DVD box set with the complete shows and bunch of extras and stuff. Then I learned all about Macross, sigh.

      StrikerS, I would finish it, even if it’s just to see the old crew do really awesome things in the final episodes.

  9. Persocom says:

    I didn’t list a lot of shows that helped pave the way either as I figured going too far into detail would make my already lengthy post unbearable to read. It’s cool to see how different things influence people in different ways. I was a big Nanoha fan for a while, and one of my friends has taken an interest in Pretty Cure which sort of makes me curious as well, not to mention your description of it. To this day I’ve yet to dip into the Macross franchise at all, or Gundam, aside from a game.

    • Miette-chan says:

      Yes, I didn’t list all the shows in part because of that, the other part was just plain laziness. I’m been enjoying myself not only writing this post but reading other people’s as well.

      Yes, if you should totally check out Precure. I recommend either to start with Heartcatch or the original show. As for Gundam and Macross, they are a staple of anime in my opinion if you ever get the chance give the franchises a go.

  10. bozz says:

    Interesting article, it is a stark contrast to the anime I ended up watching growing up. Growing up in North America we didn’t get Saint Seiya until the 2000’s and my first taste of anime was from co-productions between Japanese and American companies (Transformers) or stuff in the vein of Macross, where the series was transformed into something different from the original (Voltron).

    Although the shows that got me really into anime were shows like Ranma 1/2, Nadesico, Love Hina and Gundam. Those shows got me interested in the scene and further drove my interest into manga like Hajime no Ippo or Slam Dunk, the Macross franchise (I have only Macross 7 and 2 to watch), and shows like Kanon (my favourite).

    It’s funny that in the comments you bring up the Triangle Heart OVA. I remember seeing it years ago and being surprised when I watched the first few episodes of Nanoha (up to the episode where Fate appears) and seeing the brother and sister who were from Triangle Heart.

    • Miette-chan says:

      Adaptations like that were shock, specially when it came to Robotech. At least that explained the less than stellar Masters and New Generation sagas in comparison to the Macross saga.

      Ah, I should have entioned Ranma 1/2. The first of the many comedy harem shows that I would come to watch. You just reminded me I need to pick up Nadesico someday. I’m really fond of the Love Hina manga, the anime? not so much.

      When I learned about that OVA I was surprised that a minor secondary character had become the star of her own franchise.

  11. niki saw says:

    ANIME RULES x]

  12. MkMiku says:

    Cool post. Nanoha A’s was awesome. One of the best opening episodes ever, imo. I remember I was obsessed with that series for years, and it’s still one of my favs today. I think Nanoha opened the doors for a lot more mahou shoujo anime to come.

    • Miette-chan says:

      Indeed, I count the number of episodes that hooked me like that in one hand. Much like you I was obsessed with Nanoha for a while. Nanoha introduced me to a different type of magical girl, the “magical girl warrior” which I found so much interesting than your typical magical girl show.

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