As with many otakus, I started out watching Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and Miyazaki films-Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away to be exact. I had a GIGANTIC crush on Ash Ketchum, and I only knew that Japan was a country. But, in 2006, I learned that Japan was much, much more than just a country..
In the 6th grade, I met a girl who lent me her Inuyasha DVD, and it wasn’t long until I got hooked! Every night before I would go to sleep, I would set my VCR to record Cartoon Network on to a VHS (my age is starting to show) until the VHS was filled. Then, in the afternoon, I would fast forward through the VHS to Inuyasha, watch it while doing my homework, and then do the same thing over again that night. It wasn’t long until I started getting curious about other animes, and watching their recordings as well.
After my love of anime was declared, I found the Beckett Anime and Manga and the Shojo Beat Magazines (Both discontinued). From them, I learned about the Japanese Pop Culture, and about manga. It’s crazy to me that I started off reading Crimson Hero and Baby & Me, and now I have read well over 50 Titles.
My love of anime and manga was established, but managed until 2009 … When a friend of mine took me to Kinokuniya. After visiting the store a few times, I noticed a new poster … for the New York Anime Festival (again, discontinued). Now, I had heard about anime conventions in mangas I had read and in animes I had watched-but I didn’t know they were real! After my first anime convention, I was hooked. I went to another, and then another and another, and now I go to about ten a year!
I got into anime thinking, “Hey, here are some cool shows!” And ended up finding a culture … A culture that is so intricate and unique. A culture of misfits, who somehow finish each other’s puzzles! A culture that says, “Hey! you’re creative, and that is great!”
I found the Japanese Pop Culture
And there is nothing that I would trade the endless hours of staying awake, ironed, pricked, hot glued, and even stapled fingers, failed cosplays-and great ones-or the weird and amazing friends I have made along the way for.