Anime Lounge #01: Welcome

Hi, I’m new to anime

with Lyn­d­sey Hicks Mosley, editor-in-chief

It wasn’t that long ago that I was a new­bie to the world of anime and manga, or so it seems. I was in high school when Dragon Ball Z began air­ing on Car­toon Network’s Toon­ami block. The saga of Veg­eta, Goku and the gang res­onated with me and the folks that I hung out with at the time, so we all watched it faith­fully. While my friends were mostly into DBZ, I was dis­cov­er­ing other shows such as Sailor Moon. Say what you will about the show, but I could relate bet­ter to the rela­tion­ship of Ser­ena and Dar­rien more than any­thing else.

By the time I grad­u­ated from high school, Poke­mon had hit the air­waves in Amer­ica. Not know­ing that this was con­sid­ered anime, I was all over it in the form of the Gameboy’s Red and Blue ver­sions. There was some­thing about the RPG aspect of it that helped force me to nearly catch them all. But the real explo­sion in otakuism didn’t hit until col­lege. It was then that I dis­cov­ered and fell in love with a vari­ety of shows off the beaten path.

Thanks again to Toon­ami, I got heav­ily into Inuyasha and Yu Yu Hakasho. Sat­ur­day nights were my immer­sion and escape into the other side of the world, or so I thought. A lit­tle Iron Chef, some anime and Chi­nese food to pig out on? I lived for the week­end and the Toon­ami Ris­ing Sun block. At the time, I did watch a lit­tle Tenchi Muyo and Ronin War­riors, but not much.

Once I grad­u­ated and got out on my own, my anime tastes were refined. Toon­ami changed the lineup and new shows were in place. In came a new crop that sent my anime aware­ness soar­ing. In 2003 and 2004, I jumped into Cow­boy Bebop, Big O, Tri­gun, Out­law Star and His and Her Cir­cum­stances. Along for the ride was Witch Hunter Robin and FLCL. I got a feel for the unknown and tried new things, such as Read or Die and Ninja Scroll. I even watched a lit­tle Ruroni Ken­shin. Sure, these are mostly main­stream titles — His and Her Cir­cum­stances excluded — but they were my way of stay­ing sane and escap­ing into my own world of awe­some char­ac­ters. As I delved into anime, I was drawn to manga, as well. I decided to start two titles — Rurouni Ken­shin and Love Hina — as a test to see if I could adapt to the printed form. I found that while I do love read­ing, tak­ing in manga took some get­ting used to.

After my mar­riage, my ardor for anime sud­denly cooled. I’m not sure why other than the fact that I sud­denly had less time to watch TV. It was some years before I found the abil­ity to devote time to watch TV again, and with the end of my mar­riage, I’m find­ing myself back where I started in terms of time to watch.

So, what do I watch these days? Well, through rec­om­men­da­tions or hav­ing picked up brief snip­pets ear­lier, I’m watch­ing or have com­pleted sev­eral shows: Samu­rai Sham­ploo, Soul Eater, Death Note, Bleach, Afro Samu­rai, Naruto and Ouran High School Host Club. Again, these are mostly main­stream titles but take it from me, it’s bet­ter than noth­ing. The advent of video on demand is per­fect for folks like myself. There’s noth­ing bet­ter than com­ing home from work, fix­ing a snack and watch­ing a block of my favorite shows at my own pace. I’m thank­ing my lucky anime stars for Hulu Plus right about now.

So, here I am: The pur­pose of the Anime Lounge is to sup­ple­ment Otaku Cor­ner, which is writ­ten by one of our res­i­dent anime and manga con­nois­seurs, Bran­don Beatty. I hope to dis­cuss some of my favorite anime, give my insight into the plot — which may be dif­fer­ent than the manga that Bran­don may be chron­i­cling of the same name — and tell you if it’s a show to give your time to or stay away from. I hope you will join me as I start out on my jour­ney to delve deeper into one of my favorite past­times: Watch­ing the ani­mated best of the best from Japan.

Lyn­d­sey Hicks Mosley is editor-in-chief of Gam­ing Insurrection.

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