TangleCast 8: The Significance of Our First Anime (2/3)

In part two of our three part series on “The Significance of Our First Anime,” JP (Japesland)Casey (CutsceneAddict), and Jack (R86) share the first anime they watched acknowledging that it was anime. Despite their different backgrounds, our panel managed to find some surprising overlap in their answers, and drew some subsequent conclusions about the nature of anime exposure in the West. How about you? What was the first anime you saw acknowledging it was anime? Comment below!

As always, every episode of The TangleCast will be covering a different topic, from anime reviews, to discussions on spirituality, to listener mail, and everything in between. Please join the conversation by commenting below or submitting a question at our contact page!

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16 thoughts on “TangleCast 8: The Significance of Our First Anime (2/3)

  1. i dont really think too much about how i started. i think for me, i was mostly watching things like dbz on toonami and then reading shounen jump made me realize that the show was japanese, which led to the realization that much of what was shown on toonami was japanese

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    1. I think that’s a pretty common story. I, sadly, didn’t have the privilege of having more than 3 channels growing up, which pretty much limited my consumption until we finally got “high speed” internet in my rural town (1.5mbps down at the time, which couldn’t even be used to stream most YouTube videos except at the lowest quality now).

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    1. A pretty solid one to start with, if I do say so myself! I can’t say I’ve seen much past what I watched growing up, though. I’d love to revisit it in Japanese without subtitles simply because I have so much of it engrained in nostalgia, I think it would make pretty good language practice.

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  2. Funny because I never knew that Ghibli movies existed until last year. My first anime entry show was Shaman King in English Dub, which I still think is one of the best and worst classic series of all time. It had a lot of the voice actors of Pokémon and Yugioh combined, so when I first started watching anime three years ago it was a nice nostalgia for me!

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    1. That reminds me of a friend of mine from a few years back! Must be a good entry point! I’ve never seen it myself, so I can only go on others’ opinions 😛

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  3. The first anime I watched were all in the course of one year. Two series; Inuyasha and Oban Star Racers. The other was the Miyazaki film Howl’s Moving Castle.

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    1. That makes us Howl buds, I guess *high five* haha
      I have yet to see the other two, which, especially in the case of Inuyasha, continues to surprise me. I know a lot of people who love it, though!

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  4. I watched Spirited Away when I was 12. I had NO idea what it was. It creeped me out, and yes, Jack, my reaction was along the lines of “What on earth?!”

    To make it worse, it was a sleepover party at a friend’s, one I wasn’t very close with, so I watched that dark, strange film in an unfamiliar house… I did not enjoy it one bit. Technically, it was my first anime. But I’m pretty sure I didn’t know it was from Japan. If I had… that wouldn’t have encouraged me to get into the medium. It took almost four years after that before I got into anime on my own, when I found Naruto on Hulu. I only started watching Ghibli films because everyone online raved about them, and even then, they were usually too slow-paced for me at first. I didn’t have the attention span to appreciate them until a few years ago (now, I love them).

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    1. I was around the same age when I first saw Spirited Away, and my younger self arguably loved it MORE than my older self. XD It was beautiful, and mythologically rich, and creepy, and filled with interesting messages about growing up and standing on your own as a girl in a world that encouraged you to give up and be insecure. But then again, that self was very aware of anime—- I’d already been a huge fan of Sailor Moon three years prior, and my sister had introduced me around that time to anime as a wider medium.

      Without the Japanese cultural context though, that movie is really weird. 😛

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    1. I assume you’re referring the 1985 film? I’ve only seen the 2000 Bloodlust myself. Can we expect to see an entry in your column? 😛

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  5. If I remember correctly, the first anime I watched *knowing* it was anime was the original FMA, thanks to a close friend who bought some DVDs of the series. We watched them together, and I can remember being startled by the violence and the gloomy atmosphere. It was very intense, very different from anything I had seen before. I really dug it.

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    1. Having just re-watched FMA Brotherhood recently (I’ve now seen that twice and the original once), I can confidently say that it makes an excellent entry-point to the anime medium. I don’t think it’s aged as well in my mind, particularly the second half, but I know I was absolutely obsessed when I watched it the first time!

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  6. The first anime I watched knowing it was anime?

    Toonami, Tenchi Muyo, specifically Tenchi Universe (you have to specify in the Tenchi multi-verse).

    I’d been aware of Sailor Moon slightly, and seen a few episodes because of having to share the one TV with my sisters. However, that was clearly marked “for girls” in my mind. So I wasn’t to big in the anime scene, until my younger brothers became really big into Dragon Ball Z.

    Now, I did often watch Dragon Ball Z, mainly as something to do and connect with my younger brothers (I was a senior in high school), but truthfully I wouldn’t have watched it if not for them. Which is why I focus on Tenchi Muyo, because that was the show that came on next, that my sisters wanted to watch, and that I would watch with them.

    Oddly, because of this I always thought of Tenchi Muyo as a show targeted at girls (since my sisters were into it), and it was my guilty pleasure that I felt I couldn’t admit to enjoying. I was primarily hooked by the idea of wooden spaceships (I had recently read a book called “The Wooden Spaceships” and I was always big into space stuff). It also had a rocking opening “Love Will Leave You Crying” (written specifically for the English release).

    Can’t really say it was life impacting, the way Starblazers, but I suppose it did leave me a lot more open to anime than others. Though I didn’t really watch anime again until I was in college.

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    1. You know, I think there was a substantial gap between when I binged my first few anime and when I started actually watching anime on a regular basis, so I can empathize there!

      I’m finding out more and more just how much Toonami has impacted anime viewing habits!

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