Strip Talk #14: My love of anime began with comics

Lyndsey-101612-cutoutMany a time, my origins as a comic book nerd has come up in this column. And it’s no surprise, given that I spend a lot of time researching my favorite franchises and characters as well as playing various video games involving superheroes and villains teaming up. But what’s a little less well-known about me is my love for anime.

True, you can see some of that fervor spilling over in the Anime Lounge, the newest addition to The Strip. As I’ve pointed out before, I watched a lot of anime when I was in college and didn’t really pick it up again until after the end of my marriage. But, my love for anime really began with comic books. I loved to imagine my favorite characters in cartoon form and what better way than to read manga or watch anime? As it turns out, I preferred my adventures in animated motion form so I stuck with anime mostly, but I have been known to read a little manga in my day.

Comic books paved the way for my love, though, because it was printed material and I loved to read. I still do. Believe it or not, I parlayed my love for samurai and their history into a love for the X-Men that still stands today. That love of the X-Men turned into a need to watch the legendary Fox animated series, which in turn lead me to other series that became anime in the form of Cartoon Network’s Toonami. The long, convoluted chain of like breeding love actually got its start even further back because I originally got into comic books through Archie Comics and the printed tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

So you see, this relationship with comics and roundabout relationship with anime merely began with a simple exposure to mutated amphibians, mutated people with special powers and kids living in Riverdale. How I managed to move from samurai to the X-Men, I’m not sure, but I do know that I equated the group with samurai being farmed out on retainer from a lord — that’d be Charles Xavier — who wanted his interests respected and protected in the world. My fondness of the romance between Archie, Betty and Veronica led directly to my preference for romantic comedy anime and just about any anime dealing with the start of relationships.

It’s amazing how young love can shape future viewing habits.

Lyndsey Hicks is editor-in-chief of Gaming Insurrection. She can be reached by email at gicomics@gaminginsurrection.com

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