My Introduction To Anime

anime covers

please note the update (March 22, 2010)

I finally stumbled upon the otaku path in August of 2008 during a phase of particularly heavy movie watching. In order to find new horror movies I had not seen, I created a list (using Excel) of all the movies (DVDs) in my collection, movies I had seen, and movies that I wanted to see. I started looking up movies that had good reviews on sites like Rotten Tomatoes. I used Amazon extensively. I took a list of possible candidates and went shopping.

As I was DVD shopping, I just happened to see Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Howl's Moving Castle -- which my cousin had recently recommended to me -- for less than $10 each at one of the local used DVD spots. I bought them...and watched them...and my jaw dropped.

From Movie Buff to Otaku

Well, I have not been the same since. To put it succinctly, I was blown away! I started to do basic research into what was considered the best anime in certain genres that interested me.

As I looked more closely into horror anime, dark sci-fi anime, classic anime (like that produced by Studio Ghibli), and other anime titles that I thought might appeal to me, I started adding the shows with the most potential to my movies list.

Within a few days, almost a quarter of my entire database of DVDs was anime. It quickly became apparent that I needed to create a separate list for anime, and that’s when my anime list was officially born.

Hopelessly Hooked on Anime

Shortly after I discovered anime for myself in August of 2008, this new type of entertainment completely pushed aside most other video entertainment. Anime even took precedence over my all-time favorite genre: supernatural horror.

My anime spreadsheet has grown exponentially of late and is persuasive physical evidence of my current addiction to and love for certain anime. The anime list – an Excel spreadsheet (available on request) -- was spawned from an earlier version: the aforementioned list of horror/suspense movies that I liked, owned, had seen, or wanted to see.

My anime spreadsheet serves several purposes.

First and foremost, I have always liked to document my interests and make huge lists. I have created lists for just about every interest and/or hobby I have (or have ever had), so it was natural that a comprehensive anime list come into being once I caught anime fever.

I use the anime spreadsheet to track prices of used anime DVDs, which I often buy and sell locally as well as on Amazon.com. Some of the last columns on the spreadsheet include anime purchase information at Nashville-area used media traders – places like the Great Escape, the Great Escape Outlet Store, Phonoluxe, and of course, the very best spot in Nashville, Tennessee for used media: McKay’s. However, I do not always list my purchases on this sheet. I am much more concerned with including all the anime on the list that I think I might like.

I don't have the greatest memory, so these lists of mine are an excellent tool to help me remember things like which anime DVDs I want to see, how much I saw a given used anime DVD selling for on Amazon.com or elsewhere, whether a particular anime title received favorable reviews, and so on.

The spreadsheet contains multiple review columns (in which the anime reviewer’s opinion, rating, number of stars, x out of ten, etc. is documented) so that I can get an accurate feel for what anime titles are rated highly by multiple anime fans. Awareness of several different reviews for each anime title also assists me in avoiding those really lame anime shows that were reviewed favorably by only one or two reviewers.

To other anime aficionados, what I am going to say in this paragraph is blatantly obvious, but I will say it anyway: all anime is NOT created equal! Liking anime does not mean I like ALL anime, any more than John’s liking a movie means that John likes EVERY SINGLE movie! The number of genres and sub-genres (and themes, and demographics, and so on) within anime is almost staggering; it approximates the number of genres in regular, live-action, Hollywood-style flicks. Anime is not just for someone who likes cartoons, or even one who liked cartoons as a kid; in short, anime represents a whole new world of mostly untapped entertainment, especially for creative types, art lovers, and open-minded movie/TV lovers in general.

My anime list is not meant to be comprehensive, nor is it free of errors.

The earliest entries, some of which are probably still listed, certainly reflect the lack of knowledge I had about anime at the time it was added. Even though I know a lot about anime now, it’s all relative; my knowledge is only relative to what I knew before. As a both a (now) 43-year old guy and a relative newcomer to the anime scene, I literally do not have any friends who share my interest in anime; therefore, I have (so far) never discussed anime at length with anyone! That is a trip. It’s true, though: this is such a new interest of mine – not to mention an uncommon entertainment choice for my Generation X – that I do not personally know any other fans. This will certainly change soon, if my interest in anime continues at even a fraction of its current level.

In the shell of a nut, I have very much to learn and discover about anime. Let the fun continue!

Update: March 22, 2010

I am no longer able to spend the stupendous amount of time necessary to document every anime series that I like -- or at least, to the extent that I wrote about Basilisk. The main reason for this is, I would just be repeating information that is already presented wonderfully on other websites, such as Wikipedia and numerous anime websites (the better ones are listed at left). I finally realized it was a complete waste of time, even though I have enjoyed it for the most part...

Now that I am watching anime fairly often again (after a period of being totally burned out), I will be adding more comments and musings about my favorite anime shows and what I thought about them. A blog might be a better format for this, but alas, this is a standard website now and a standard website it shall remain -- at least for the time being.

If anyone is actually reading this (I have my doubts!), please shoot me a quick email to let me know... sfrasier66 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

For whatever reason -- I do not recall it at this time -- I decided to focus on anime series; I did not start any pages on anime feature films. Anyone just starting to warm up to anime should know that there are some truly amazing anime features out there. Here is a short, far-from-complete list of some of the great anime feature films, or movies. These are not limited to horror, although a couple of them are definitely in the horror anime category...

  • Akira
  • Blood - The Last Vampire
  • Millenium Actress
  • Nausicaa - Valley of the Wind
  • Perfect Blue
  • Porco Rosso
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Spirited Away
  • Tokyo Godfathers
  • Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust