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.