How I Got Into The Hobby
I'm currently a young university student living in Canada who's interest has been greatly peaked by Anime. I always watched stuff like Naruto and Dragon Ball Z growing up (even had a few nightmares caused by Neon Genesis Evangelion), but as I got older I drifted from the medium until I reconnected with it in highschool and when it flourished in university. Anime was always a sensitive/iffy topic in the schools I attendended, it's not that it was taboo per se, but more so the decision of whether or not it was okay that you watched anime was decided by your social standing. Being uninterested in the social hierarchy of highschool I neglected to mention the interest to all but a choice few. Even in highschool though the interest just wasn't quite there like it is now. Once I hit University my interest in animation reached its new heights. It wasn't "purely" anime that I was watching, I generally had more interest in animated series than I had beforehand. At the beginning it was a bit of a challenge to find genuine interest in it because of the connotation watching anime came with. Slowly I eventually shed the concern and let myself enjoy it to the fullest.
The First Foray
There were many times that it could be said I watched my "first" anime. Be it Naruto growing up, rewatching Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z in highschool, all sorts of examples. For me though, the first time I watched a proper anime was with Cowboy Bebop. It was the first thing that felt foreign to me, a show that I hadn't watched growing up or seen snippets of elswhere. Cowboy Bebop was the start for me. And it was great. It was an incredibly easy to watch show that managed to have such an amazing level of quality. It had action. It had a mysterious main character. It had an easy to follow linear story that didn't require you to watch every single last second. At the same time though, it didn't hand you the plot and story on a silver platter, it kept you guessing. The action wasn't overtop crazy like each new Shounen series tries to be. The fighting's grounded and keeps a level of sensability that's not oft seen anymore (not that it's a bad thing). The characters in the show aren't over the top charicatures of typical archetypes, they're easy to follow but posses a level of depth beneath what you can easily see. The world, despite not being explored, is incredibly well fleshed out which aides in drawing your attention towards it. It's like it encourages you to analyze all the small details in the background. You learn more and more about it's history and technology as the cast casually tosses you lines that they'll never mention again. My favorite example is the Data Dog, Ein. This dog has intelligence exceeding that of a genius human. Why was this intelligence bestowed to a dog? Don't know. We just know that it's a super-intelligent canine that is hardly touched upon in the series. It's incredible how much is added as extra material, and how well that excess is used to improve the story rather than raise eyebrows. The loose ends don't feel like loose ends in this series.The point in this ramble is that Cowboy Bebop set my expectations for anime wildly high while exposing me to both simplicity and complexity in storytelling in such a simple way. Watch it once and it's a really good show with a great vibe. Watch it more and you find all the small pieces of the puzzle that create a masterpiece.
What Keeps Me Coming Back
In a single sentence what keeps me coming back is this. Animation provides a medium that allows for such a wildly different style of artisty than live action as well as encouraging more fantastical settings and concepts due to the ease of creating them compared to live action. That's not to discount live action in any way or say that it isn't good. I still very much enjoy live action and don't discriminate against it as a spin-off/extension of anime/manga/etc. The Way of The House Husband cracked me up all the time watching it in live action, so seeing that it's getting animated is just as great. There's just something about animation that can't be conveyed in live action. There's more control in a character's face, there's more capability with lighting and movement. There's pieces of anime that simply cannot be fairly portrayed in a live action version, and when they try to recreate those aspects in live action, boy oh boy can they miss the mark (looking at YOU Avatar and Dragon Ball). The point being here is not only am I interested in the capabilities of the team to create a solid story that translates well to animation, but that I'm interested in the animation itself. I love seeing the art that these people create. I love the fidelity of Violet Evergarden, I love the grit and roughness and oddities of the characters of Attack on Titan, I love the bleak and edged styling of Jujtsu Kaisen.
Why I'm Doing This
Really, it comes down to two simple reasons. The first reason being that I enjoy anime a lot. I like watching it so much that I love to talk about it, to analyze every part of the episode and break it down, give my opinion on it and all that stuff. I basically just want to gush about each episode's ups and downs on a large scale, and sharing it through a blog/website is a really easy way to do it. It gives me total control of what I'm able to write and describe while not bothering people in Discord with countless pings because of what I'm sending. A blog just gives a level of freedom and carefreeness I don't get when I'm talking amongst friends. Along with the freedom I also get control over things like layouts, artwork, and other design aspects. Having it in blog format gives me way more options for content design which is fun in and of itself. The second reason is building a website is some great programming practice for me. I'm a nerd through and through so of course I'm in school for Computer Science. I've got plenty of languages under my belt and had tried tackling the whole web design suite beforehand but couldn't find a project that I wanted to work on. Mulling it over as I sat around doing what felt like nothing the idea came to mind. I have countless features I can implement for a blogging website so the choice was just natural. Because I chose a blogging website I had to have a topic to chat about. I had thought about video games, but I don't play a wide enough range or have enough time to reguarly play through one in its entirety. Cars and other hobbies came to mind but the consistent interaction just wasn't there either. Finally, anime popped into my head. Episode's are 20-ish minutes and new ones come out all the time, it's a neverending spring of content, and the obvious choice for what this blog would be about. So here I am, building a website and giving my thoughts on various anime, and I'm just getting started.