A Look at How We Get Into Anime
Have you ever thought about how you got into an anime? I know it’s odd to ask but it’s a question that comes up too often. The topic gets brought up when talking about anime (either a series or the medium as a whole). Be it with friends over coffee or at an anime convention, this conversation does happen. It also results in some interesting stories or relatable moment. So it got me thinking, what are the most common ways we get into anime.
In honor of Animation Day, I want to look at the most common ways people get into anime. Note that this is not a ranking but just a list of the common ways we all have gotten into a series or the medium as a whole.
This one might be a little obscure but hear me out. There have been several games that would go on to inspire memorable anime. These works go on to become iconic in their own right. Not convinced, how many of you got into anime because of Pokemon? Back in the day, it was one of the most popular games and it also inspired a hit anime series.
While Pokemon may be the most obvious, it’s not alone. Steins; Gate was also a video game (part of the Science Adventure series) before it became iconic because of the anime adaptation. It’s also not the only one as other titles in the Science Adventure series have also had their own anime adaptation. One also can’t forget the anime adaptation of Ace Attorney and Castlevania.
Its Overall Legacy
As with literature, video games, plus cinema – some works are so iconic and influential that it’s a must-watch. Anime is no different as there are works that you know of because of its overall legacy. They may have been before your time or they flew under you back in the day. Now you have an interest because of the mark it left on the culture.
Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell plus the works of Hayao Miyazaki are the best examples. Chances are, you are watching Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War because you either watched the original series or know of its legacy.
Toonami / Adult Swim
Back before streaming and when DVDs were either expensive or hard to come by, Toonami and Adult Swim were your source for anime. It was because of Toonami that many of us were introduced to classics like Dragon Ball Z, Robotech, and Sailor Moon. We got introduced to the world of Gundam thanks to Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. What Toonami couldn’t show, Adult Swim was there with the more mature content. This is how so many of us were introduced to Cowboy Bebop.
Even with streaming services being widely available, not everyone has access to them. Thankfully; Toonami and Adult Swim are still around to be everyone’s gateway into good anime.
Like movies and video games, we become a fan of an adaptation because of the source material. With anime, many of them are based on a manga that has become popular or is an iconic work. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba had a solid fan base before the anime adaptation and now it’s one of the highest-grossing media franchises. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has been a staple of the community since 1987 while the current anime series premiered in 2012.
On a personal note; I’m not much of a manga reader but there are several series I got into because I stumbled on the manga. It was thanks to the manga that I started watching Assassination Classroom and the works of Junji Ito.
If there is one person we are going to trust is the good word of a friend or co-worker / classmate. Not every critic will align with our taste and a collection of review scores doesn’t present a sense of nuance. When it comes to a friend, acquiescence, or classmate/co-worker then we know if we can trust their recommendations. Like so many, I was first introduced to anime by a classmate who was a fan of Sailor Moon. I became an anime fan because of a friend who got me into Dragon Ball Z and Gundam Wing.
Remember that the keywords are “friend” or “classmate/co-worker”. AKA; someone you know and not some rando. It helps to know the person because then you have an idea of their taste in media.
How did you get into your favorite anime or the medium as a whole? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides an insight into the gamer community of the San Francisco Bay Area.