How I Got Into Reading Manga and Watching Anime

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Art by: randyadr

For the first time I’ve decided to do a purely anime related post! I’ll still be primarily talking and blogging about books and novels, but I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for some time now. I only recently (as in a few years) got into anime so figured I didn’t know enough to comment on anything.

After reading so many enjoyable and insightful posts from fellow bloggers like Michel@ Raistlin0903Zbourie, Karandi@ 100 Word Anime, Anime_girls_NYC, and in different ways by all my supportive followers, I’ve been motivated enough to finally give it a try. P.S. Any words in blue have links attached.

Now on to the post! I’d like to start with:

What is anime?

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Art by Animalunleashed

I have come across various definitions that get into “anime” needing to fit a certain criteria in order to be “real anime”, but I’m not even going to pretend to understand all that well enough to get into any of it. I’m just going with the most basic definition. Anime, from what I understand, is short for “animation”, but when used in this context it exclusively refers to animated material originating from Japan. 

How/Why Did I Start Anime?

I grew up watching many of the same anime shows as other 90’s kids: Dragon Ball Z , Pokémon, Digimon, Sailor Moon, and Cardcaptor Sakura. But had no idea what anime was. In fact I spent years thinking anime was…it pains me to admit this… “some weird thing to be scoffed at”, and had no interest in.

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I sincerely apologize to all anime lovers/watchers and of course to Anime!

I was thankfully educated by an old friend and closet anime lover, and learned the truth: I had unknowingly been interested in anime all along lol. Now I’ll do something I generally opt to avoid like the plague, I’ll get a little bit personal:

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I’ve always been into reading (like that scene from Matilda I was that kid that would be carting home a wagon full of books from the library). I had some other hobbies/interests, but spent most of my free time between books and binge watching the latest TV show. With the exception of when I went off to school this remained true until around mid-March in 2014.

I won’t get too into it, but unfortunately I got sick. I had a bunch of inexplicable symptoms and did a ton of tests, but for about a year doctors couldn’t figure it out. For one, I had a lot of trouble focusing on anything, and worst of all I couldn’t write or read more than a few sentences without getting really dizzy. If I pushed things (which considering my love of books I did quite a bit of at first lol), I lost the ability to make sense of any of the words, along with getting a horrible migraine. At first doctors thought it was stress, then possibly MS, then about a year later they thought they found a brain aneurysm. Of course saying this was not the best of times for me is an understatement.

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But lucky for me I remembered the old conversation I had with Closet-anime-fan. So I decided, with nothing better to do since I wasn’t actively going to school and could barely handle most tasks, I’d start on some of the most popular anime series; shows I’d caught glimpses of as a kid, but hadn’t gotten the chance to watch them: Naruto, InuYasha, and Bleach, in that order

To be honest it was a bit of a rough start. I couldn’t understand why Naruto was so popular, but desperately needed something to take my mind off of everything (regular TV shows/movies just weren’t doing it anymore) so kept going. An entire 20-something episodes in my eyes were open. Once I finished those three I immediately went on to other top shonen (young male) shows:

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Art byAxelVera96

Needless to say, I was awed. Similar to how I was when I’d come across a mind blowing book series, I found myself wondering, “how did I not know about such amazingness before!? I quickly fell in lust, and moved on to shojo/shoujo (young girl) anime shows:

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Ouran Host Club: art by mixed-blessing; The Wallflower: washue; Fruits Basket: kuro-mai; Skip Beat!: alexielart

I watched a bunch of random shows before getting a bit tired of the young adult atmosphere, and eventually coming across something called seinen and josei (adult male/female) anime shows: 

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Samurai Shamploo: drodilla; Darker Than Black: talesvf; Black Lagoon: Hallucination-Walker; NANA: Alicechan

I was shocked to learn anime had so many different genres/stories, and could be so dark/psychological and thought-provoking. I pretty much became an addict for the first year, haha. 

What is Manga and How/Why Did I Start Reading It?

Manga, again in the most basic terms from my understanding, is basically Japanese comics. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but they differ from North American comics in both how they are published, and in the fact that they are always (with the exception of special editions/pages) published without colour in black and white.

manga_collage_by_amuntquart-d5p10e0.jpgby amuntquart

Of course, it was anime that had gotten me into manga in the first place. It ended up much like when I had started anime and had yet another shameful thought (it seems I’ve had many of these): “I’ll never watch subbed!” Then I ran out of most of the dubbed shows I had a high interest in watching, tentatively switched to subbed, and once again had my eyes opened. For manga, despite my early reservations, I ran out of patience for waiting on so many anime shows that had been dropped to possibly be picked up again by another company. So to start I went on Bookoutlet, found a couple cheap manga and bought them, because of course it never crossed my mind to just go to the library. 

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I wasn’t a big fan of either, namely Your & My Secret, but more importantly not only did the big difference in how to read it go well, but I found I could actually get through it without feeling sick. At this time my mysterious illness had been really improving, but I still couldn’t get through half a book before feeling too sick to continue so I was really hesitate to start. Thankfully my first attempts went well, and I found I could get through a few volumes before I had to call it quits. Soon enough, just like with the anime, I became a manga reading addict for almost a year lol.

I notice I’ve been kinda/pretty vague on details, but will say I eventually I got the good news of the brain aneurysm being a misdiagnosis! Yeah! As things got better I gradually started reading more and more manga at a time. Then slowly and gradually got back into reading regular novels. As you could probably tell from all the novel reviews and posts, I’ve been much better since and will be going back to school later this year or next!

So that is my story on how I started manga/anime, and ultimately how they both helped me deal with all that crazy life stuff. I’ll eventually get around to doing a post on my top favorite anime shows and movies. Thanks for reading! Now on to more anime!

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21 Comments

  1. Wow that’s an interesting story on how you went from not liking anime to totally loving it!! I’ve read a little bit of anime here and there (most recently was probably the Sailor Moon series) but I’m into regular old novels for the most part. One of my favories Maximum Ride isn’t REALLY manga (in my personal opinion) but it’s labeled and therefore advertised as manga. I feel like it’s in a weird in between of Graphic Novels and Anime! And also my cousin was OBSESSED with Pokemon, so I definitely know some about that too haha.

    • Thank you for taking he time to read it! 😊 I’ve never read Sailor Moon, but loved the show as a kid. Also, I agree with you, I haven’t checked out the “manga” version for Maximum Ride but read the novels awhile back. There seems to be quite a few American novels that have turned into that weird in between manga/comic. I personally figure they might as well just call it a comic or graphic novel with anime inspired art 😅. I can definitely admit to being a serious Pokemon fan as a kid lol, but haven’t seen any of the new stuff for it.

      • Is there ever! Lol. It’s pretty old but they animated it back in the 90’s, 46 episodes total. I’ve heard there are a few more recent adaptations but haven’t really looked into any. All the anime I listed in blue have links to a page i use often that give a short synopsis, some reviews, and a lot of information on the show.
        Maximum Ride overall wasn’t my favorite either. I thought it was Good at first but after a couple books…yeah lol. Never made it to the last one. I just looked it up and agree, the art looks great in the manga!

  2. What an incredible backstory you have written here. I am really glad that luckily it was a misdiagnosis. I can truly understand how living through getting new like that can not be the best of times. So, yeah very glad that it was luckily not the bad scenario that at first it seemed to be.
    I am slowly getting into reading Manga, but as I already have way too many hobbies (lol), I simply have not enough time for it. As for Anime, when I started my blog, it had actually been quite a while since I gaf last viewed it. But by interacting with other blogs, especially 100wordAnime, and WeekendOtaku, I found my love back for this great genre. Thanks very much for the shout-out: appreciate it, and ofcourse keep up the great work 😊

  3. Cool story! It’s so neat to find out something that you originally weren’t interested in can become something you can later be passionate about. I haven’t read any anime myself (…yet?…), but looove me some of the graphic novels I’ve read lately, you never know what’s around the corner! 🙂 Great post!

  4. Wow, that’s incredible. I’m so glad that you have gotten so much better since then and that you’ll be able to return to school soon! 🙂
    Since you enjoy Nana have you ever read Ai Yazawa’s other series, Paradise Kiss by any chance? It’s only 5 volumes and has to do more with fashion than music but it was really good. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Liebster Award and The Sunshine Blogger Tag/ Award

  6. Pingback: Mystery Blogger Award Part 1 & 2 | The Maniacal Book Unicorn

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