@fkeroge’s History with Anime

This is a response to Nopy’s My History with Anime project. If you are an anime blogger, go make one of these and link back to Nopy’s blog.

I am very open to people that I like anime. In fact, if you ask any of my friends IRL what makes me stand out among them, I’m sure that they’ll tell you that I’m the one to talk to when it comes to anime. While the part about being an “the one to talk to” isn’t really true (I have finished only 81 TV series so far), I guess I’m the one in my group of friends who has finished the most (51 series in 2010 and 13 series this 2011, and currently watching 16 TV series [12 from this season], aside from anime movies, OVAs and stuff).

It was not always like this, though. Before I got introduced to anime not shown here in the Philippines, I had a pretty negative view on it, to the point of actually hating anime for no clear reason. I mean, come on, I got tired of ‘Eugene’ (Yuyu Hakusho’s Yuusuke) shooting ridiculous beams from his finger while ‘Alfred’ (Kazuma) is too busy being a loser, fighting a seemingly endless cycle of dumb-looking enemies. At least that’s what I thought the story of Yuyu Hakusho was before, and I was not interested in watching it at all.

The kind of anime they show on local channels back then (Dragon Ball Z [for the nth rerun], Flame of Recca [for the nth rerun] and other shounen anime that I didn’t like when I was younger [10 years old]), made me change the channel whenever they started. I also avoided Cartoon Network’s Toonami segments and watched news instead. Anime that aired here just didn’t click with me.

This went on even after I graduated from elementary school as the Valedictorian of my class. I never watched anime, and thought that the people who did needed some medical attention (yes, I was a bastard), especially with the rising popularity of the Big Three which just fired up my disgust.

High school came (we have high school right after elementary). I was enrolled in one of the best ‘public’ high schools in the country. It was there that my pride and my oversized ego was crushed. As I said earlier, I was really a good-for-nothing jerk who tries to appear nice in front of my teachers and classmates while thinking that they are inferior to me in every way imaginable.

As the school was far from home, I had to live in a dormitory. I had three roommates, and one has a remote (I think) interest in anime. He would talk about sexual perversions and other things that I would rather not mention almost all the time, and it just added to my already very negative view on anime.

I was a total jerk in class. I remember blaming people for my own faults and just being an all-around SOB while maintaining a seemingly kind facade. Of course, people started to hate me. They started ignoring me when they saw through my pretentious self.

My grades started to drop since then. That school was certainly not an easy one, having college-level maths and sciences (I’m not joking) getting thrown at 13-year old students. You needed elite friends to survive; and I didn’t have them. I tasted my first low mark at math, one of my supposedly good subjects. I felt that the whole world was against me.

I started to learn from my mistakes and tried to change my horrible attitude the following year. However, I really didn’t put effort into it. I was still pretty arrogant and was still reluctant to accept and give help to others. While my grades and reputation were getting better as I finally made a few friends, I still had this feeling of emptiness and depression.

Then there was this ordinary night when one of my new roommate’s friends brought a laptop to our room to watch Mahou Sensei Negima!. Of course, I just ignored them and tried to sleep.

Until now, I still don’t know the reason why I just stood up and looked at the screen. Was it fate? A mere coincidence? I really don’t know.

What met my eyes were girls my age wearing school uniforms running with a 10-year old kid. I became interested. It was something new. There was comedy that was new to me.

It was the first series that I finished. I MARATHONED IT ON THAT SAME NIGHT.

So on October 2007, I became a Negima! fan. I read the manga, I got wallpapers and music. And I became infatuated with Nodoka Miyazaki.

I didn’t touch any other series until mid-2008. I started to watch anything that my small circle of friends would recommend to break the monotony. I sat through anime like Kanokon, Shuffle!, School Days and Prism Ark. I started to talk to people more. I started to be kinder and more accepting.

However, I still thought that the world was rotten to its core. I had many hardships that I would rather not discuss. I got things stolen from me, and still got mostly ignored by most students because of my high and mighty attitude before I started watching anime. I felt that the world was not worth living in and that every human (including myself) is a pile of worthless, selfish garbage. I thought that it would be better if everyone in the world just died. Then came Clannad.

Clannad was my savior. It provided me with a reason to live. It gave me hope. It showed me that there is kindness in this world of pain that I’ve been through. I cried over a TV show  for the first time in my life and I came to realize that the world is not really as bad as I thought it was. I learned to appreciate my family and friends more and my fundamentally rotten personality took a sharp turn for the better.

I started to participate seriously in group activities and actually had fun in high school. I started to get along with almost everyone I knew, even those who hated me before, and I think I have anime to thank for that.

I started to spread anime in the dormitory myself. I would recommend Clannad to anyone who watched anime. I got some weird stares and some probably even laughed at me for watching “girly” cartoons.

Some of my friends got convinced by my fanboying and watched it. And the Clannad fever started in the dorms. One would be out of place if he didn’t know ‘Dango Daikazoku,’ and I even got those who haven’t watched anime before get hooked on Clannad to the point of actually watching it a few times.

It was also because of Clannad that I started to take an interest in visual novels. I saw one of my friends (let’s call him ‘X’) playing one when I was still in my junior year, but I never really cared about it. But as I read Clannad’s Wikipedia article, I found out that it was actually a game. I started to be curious about these text-driven games and wanted to play one. I looked for an English translation of Clannad but there was still no completed translation for it back then.

I started to look for alternatives. As fate would have it, I saw ‘X’ and asked him for one. He was playing Da Capo at that time, and he gave me a copy. As soon as I got back in the dormitory, I tried it out. I cringed at Mangagamer’s parental warning on mature content and was slightly discouraged from playing at first.

I was amazed by how Da Capo entertained me. I finished a route in the same night, holding down the CTRL button every time an H-scene appears. I finished the whole game in half a week.

I wanted more of these unique games. I asked ‘X’ for more. I got hold of games like Ever17, Tsukihime and Princess Waltz and enjoyed playing them all. However, ‘X’ got transferred to a different school and I was left in the dark as we didn’t have internet at home back then.

I was introduced by ‘X’ to another schoolmate, ‘Z’, through Yahoo! Messenger at the start of my senior year in high school (15 years old). ‘Z’ was an avid anime and visual novel fan, even more so than I am. I got lots of good anime and visual novels from him.

‘Z’ was also the one to introduce me to yuri. I only had a fleeting interest in yuri back then (Negima!’s Konoka x Setsuna), but he’s the one who fired it up. He introduced the all-powerful yuri anime, Strawberry Panic!. It woke up my dying romantic side and I became an instant yuri fan. ‘Z’ was also the one who introduced me to the Sono Hanabira Series and has made me an eternal yuri fanatic.

I became very interested in the Sono Hanabira Series to the point of actually researching it. Of course, it’s inevitable that I will come across Listless Ink. I enjoyed the well-written articles and I was inspired to hone my writing skills too. At first, I wrote some poorly constructed comments that will make one think that I’m an idiot. I also started to visit this blog because of one of Valence’s comment in Listless Ink. I became a regular reader in both blogs and decided that I should make one of my own.

So I created a humble blog here at WordPress. I started by reviewing visual novels and anime. They were really badly written and downright stupid, but I got better in time and eventually moved to this very blog you’re reading. I started to visit more blogs and made a few internet friends who share the same interests. I found very nice people on twitter and I regularly talk to them about almost anything. My RL friends who watch anime also started to turn to me for information and news on the blogosphere. They started to call me ‘Master’ (no kidding).

My life and attitude was changed so much by anime. I has made me a better person. Perhaps I would have become a shut-in or I may have killed myself if it weren’t for anime. I doubt I’ll stop watching anime anytime soon; I just became so attached to it, that I can’t imagine my life today if I didn’t look at that laptop screen.

As of the day that I wrote this post, am am a 17-year old college student who is content with his life, and I couldn’t ask for more (except a higher allowance, I guess ^^;).

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About Lucas Magnus

Trying to change for the better.
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29 Responses to @fkeroge’s History with Anime

  1. baka_girl says:

    Good post, I would like to make one too, but my memory when I was a child was kinda blurry lol
    What a coincidence, the local channels in my country also show Dragon Ball (they also rerun it for nth times lol) and Yu Yu Hakusho (I enjoyed this one) ^^

    • @fkeroge says:

      You really should make one. It’s very nice to just sit and go back to your early days and perhaps saying, “Ah, I just wouldn’t be the same without anime.”

      I have also learned to appreciate these shounen titles even though I still don’t like them very much. ^^

  2. shumbapumba says:

    Ahh the power of anime ^^. Interesting how you once hated it. It’s easy to get caught up in misguided stereotypes sometimes. I think I may have as well once upon a time…

    I’m really enjoying reading these posts. Interesting comparing everyone’s different journeys that have all led to the blogosphere sooner or later. Maybe I should document my saga, too…

    • @fkeroge says:

      Maybe it’s because I just saw glimpses of bad moments in anime when I was still a kid, and I didn’t really like cartoons where people fight, so I stuck with Cartoon Network’s slapstick variety.

      Indeed, it’s quite fun to read about other people’s journeys to the blogosphere. And I still smile when I remember that I started blogging because of yuri.

  3. moichispa says:

    Oh, wow your life is quite influenced to the anime. Not only as entretaiment as a way to influence your own personality. that’s great. See you going to read the rest of the peoples history.

    • @fkeroge says:

      I can’t imagine how I’ll spend my life today if I didn’t get into anime. There was even a time when I was so obsessed with anime and Japan, but I guess that was brought more by curiosity about Japan rather than anime.

  4. Lectin Gaezat says:

    Good for you on Nodoka 😄

    Our local channels showed Dragon Ball Z and I never got (to my 6 year old mind) why in the world were there like 20 episodes where Goku was charging a gigantic energy ball thing. Exact same sprite and animation too.

    My young mind doesn’t remember much else.

    • @fkeroge says:

      To be honest, I still have some lingering affection for Nodoka. And she influenced my personality a bit, too. I don’t think it’s bad to fall for a 2D girl. In cases where I feel attracted to one, I’m attracted more to the inner personality rather than the outward appearance. Maybe that’s why I don’t approve of adult content.

      I guess the turn-off of Dragon Ball Z for me was how they seem to do nothing but fight. I always saw the same backgrounds and the same fighting styles whenever I looked at the TV.

  5. abscissa says:

    How come I always thought that you’re a girl…
    Anyway nice story, I could sense the angst and redemption. It’s interesting how anime impacted somebody’s life in a very positive way. Maybe I should do one too, but I’m afraid it may not be as vivid as yours. ^^

    • @fkeroge says:

      Actually, most people I know who watched/watches anime had it affecting their lives even if it’s just a bit, and they’re mostly positive. That’s why I find it hard to tolerate people who bully those who watch anime, even though I haven’t seen one IRL.

      You should really do one of these. It’s always fun to read how people eventually came to be anime bloggers.

  6. meltedpoo says:

    This is so amazing! I usually laugh at people who say that anime saved their lives. I read this comment by a guy in a magazine that anime gave him the push to live in this world and my siblings and I laughed at him. It was just too dramatic a sentence to describe why you love anime. But what you said all felt real. Mostly because I can kind of relate to some of the things in there.

    Most of my friends don’t watch anime but I’m very open about my love for it and so they ask me things about anime. I’m not very reliable as of now, though. I also became interested in these homosexual relationships in anime. But since I’m a girl, I’m into Yaoi rather than Yuri.

    The only difference perhaps is that I started liking anime early. There wasn’t a time in my life when I hated anime. My parents introduced me to anime and cartoons and I rarely, if ever, watch anything else. Not that my parents are anime fans as well. They must have assumed that animes are the normal shows for kids (them and everyone else) like cartoons. And admittedly, before internet, I didn’t know the difference between cartoons and anime.

    “As I said earlier, I was really a good-for-nothing jerk who tries to appear nice in front of my teachers and classmates while thinking that they are inferior to me in every way imaginable.”
    Thank God. I really thought I was the only bastard in this world for thinking that. I still think like that. I hope that like you I find an anime that will change my way of thinking.

    I’m also from the Philippines! And I do agree about the nth reruns of animes. But I enjoyed them back then. Did you went to National Science High School, if you don’t mind my asking?

    • @fkeroge says:

      Some anime fans have trouble pinpointing the difference that anime made in their lives, that’s why they go with the more general (read: embarrassing) lines. Since my exposure was fairly recent, I still have a fairly clear recollection of my history.

      All of my friends know that I love anime, and I don’t get made fun of because of it. It’s one of the good things here in the Philippines; people don’t usually judge you badly if you watch anime.

      I got into yuri because of how innocent and romantic they were sometimes compared to hetero love stories, and maybe it’s also my underlying fetish, I don’t know… ^^

      Anime didn’t appeal to me back then. They just didn’t. I guess I wasn’t interested in muscular guys fighting everyday like in DBZ.

      “Thank God. I really thought I was the only bastard in this world for thinking that. I still think like that. I hope that like you I find an anime that will change my way of thinking.”

      I’m sure you will. ^^

      “I’m also from the Philippines! And I do agree about the nth reruns of animes. But I enjoyed them back then. Did you went to National Science High School, if you don’t mind my asking?”

      I know, right? Even today, it’s the same old DBZ, Shaman King, Hitman Reborn and Yuyu Hakusho that goes through the airwaves. Even animax and Hero TV don’t air much non-mainstream anime. Though they may be fun to watch the first time, I don’t think it will be fun for the 10th rerun.

      About my alma mater, I’m from Philippine Science High School. I’m afraid that I can’t tell you the branch because that will probably reveal my RL identity to my schoolmates who may get to read this. I’m sorry about that. ^^

  7. ~xxx says:

    Power of anime, man…
    I did believe I watched anime whn I was young but I didn’t keep count because I really can’t remember the total number of shows I watched(probably around 100 or more)…

    Anime was my part rehabilitation project for me because after I fail in my studies,…
    It boost me up and became a different person.
    So far, I am still like that.

    The bad part was I get to watch anime only on my free time and that time is kinda restricted nowadays… since I graduated from college.

    I do reruns since I buy them…
    Hey, I’m from the Philippines and I get my stuff(older shows) at Quiapo.)

    • @fkeroge says:

      I think my history still lacks some important information. I may edit this sometime.

      Watching anime, or most TV shows, is good stress relief. I actually can’t believe that it helped me pull up my grades in high school.

      I know what you mean. Work can be a killer. I did some volunteer tutoring while I was taking classes in college last semester. It was tiring, and I didn’t get to watch much anime, but it was a rewarding experience. ^^

      I live quite far from Quiapo, though. Back when we had no internet and I thought that anime was free, I got my anime the usual way most Filipinos do. ^^

  8. kluxorious says:

    it’s always interesting to see someone’s getaway anime. Though I grew up with DBZ and Doraemon, the anime that turned me into a fan is Bleach. Then come GSD and so on. My taste is still pretty much unchanged.

    I’m glad to know that anime has positive effects on your life. Another success story 🙂

    • @fkeroge says:

      I think anime will undoubtedly have positive effects on one’s life, but it may or may not be outweighed by the negative effects. It’s how one sees the anime they watch really. One negative effect (I think) of anime on me is that I became a radical thinker and I became overly interested in political workings for my own good.

  9. Arashix says:

    I would be willing to write one of these myself, however, out all the anime I watched, VN’s I played, and manga I finished, I doubt mine would be as rich as this. Though, it is nice to take a stroll down memory lane and reflecting back to where you are now. Can’t say any show has left a profound mark on me, but there are a few that changed my viewpoint about specific issues I would otherwise dismiss.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    • @fkeroge says:

      After reading most stories about how people got into anime, I observed that most people just grew to like it since they were kids. I agree that it’s hard to pinpoint the influence of anime in one’s life if they have watched it since long ago.

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  11. 1) My post is over here: http://otakulife-animereview.blogspot.com/2011/02/my-history-with-anime.html.

    2) As a Clannad fanatic (it’s my 2nd favorite anime of all-time), it definitely made me smile to see that bit, to know you enjoyed the series so much.

    3) Your post very much reminded me of Celty from Durarara!!. “The world isn’t as cruel as you take it to be.” I think we can all learn from Celty.

    4) How about joining me in my insanity and trying to watch 150 anime in a year? 34 down, 116 to go.

    5) Very enjoyable post. I love seeing that anime could do so much for a person. I mean, I generally love seeing how people other than me got into anime (and congratulations, you’re one of the rare people I know to NOT come in through Pokemon, Sailor Moon or DBZ), but it’s spectacular what anime seems to have done for your life.

    And how this turned into a numbered list, I haven’t the foggiest.

    • @fkeroge says:

      1.) I’m somewhat jealous of people close to my age who got into anime before me. I feel like I missed out on a lot of things. I think Sailor Moon also aired here in my country long ago, but of course, I just dismissed it as a cartoon that only girls would watch.

      2.) Clannad After Story is my favorite anime of all time. I doubt that anything can take it’s place anytime soon. ^^

      3.) I haven’t watched Durarara!! yet, so I can’t really really relate too much, but yes, I do agree with Celty.

      4.) Hmmm… I may just do that as a life challenge.

      5.) My gateway anime, Negima!, is a pretty rare gateway anime, isn’t it? Now that I think about it again, maybe the reason why I stuck with it until the end was Nodoka. While I still get attracted to some anime girls sometimes, I’m glad that that phase of my fandom is over. ^^

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  13. Nopy says:

    Your high school sounds very similar to the one I went to. It was the top of the country (both public and private) in terms of academic performance so naturally, there were many stuck-up, egotistical students there. During the first week of school we were given a math exam that was so hard that half of the students failed and no one got over 90%, which was the minimum mark most people had set for themselves. People were actually crying afterwards.

    Now that you mention your change in personality, I think I’ve changed a few people by intriducing them to anime now that I think about it. Some of them used to be bullies and were just mean to people, but after starting to watch anime, they started opening up. I think anime should be shown in prisons 🙂

    P.S. I’ve added you to the list of participants.

    • @fkeroge says:

      Some schools are pretty cruel, aren’t they? I remember having similar math exams through my high school years. And those Economics exams in my senior year had a below 40% passing rate. I remember how the overachieving girls of the school got depressed for nearly a month just because of failing a single exam… as for the guys, we just laughed at ourselves, teasing each other for getting low scores.

      “Now that you mention your change in personality, I think I’ve changed a few people by intriducing them to anime now that I think about it. Some of them used to be bullies and were just mean to people, but after starting to watch anime, they started opening up. I think anime should be shown in prisons :)”

      True that.

      Some commenters have expressed interest in writing one of these themselves. I think that list is going to be longer soon. 😀

  14. Overlord-G says:

    The reason I haven’t written my own history with anime was because my youth was a much simpler one and my introduction to anime did not give me an epiphany or enlightenment, it merely looked cool and the girls were “very well drawn” in my eyes.

    As for yuri, you can pretty much check out my blog post on how I became a yuri fan (Yuri/shoujo ai ala OG), yup, I finally finished it.

    I’m still proud to call you a fellow member of “the nation”.

    • @fkeroge says:

      Please do write about it. Most participants had pretty much normal introductions to anime as well. I guess mine was a rare case. ^^

  15. Ristlin says:

    It’s amazing how much your life was changed by anime. Mine was changed too, but since my personality was already kind of ”Normal”. Though clannad wasn’t actually the first anime brought me into the fandom, it remains the best show I have ever seen. I have watched some anime earlier in my life, but always thought that they were just another type of cartoons. Even when I started to comprehend it a bit (Death Note, Shakugan no Shana, etc.) I still couldn’t really get into it. Like you, it was a Key anime that managed to change my point of view, though not the same one. While randomly browsing, I came across a certain Angel Beats, which I confused with Angel Sanctuary (mentioned to me by one of my friends). Thus, my fandom was born. I devored anime at a decent speed after that, I checked out blogs, etc. I actually found Listless Ink before I knew about VNs. After reading Yi-san’s artical on Sono Hanabira, I became intreagued by these games, and since a dl link was already there, I went and tried it out. I would say that I immediately became a fan, avidly waited for translations to come out, played other VNs, and eventually got on twitter. That is sort of my story, a bit less amazing and life-altering than yours, but I’m proud of it xD.

    Excellent post

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