My First Anime

Inuyasha Festival Official Art

Yesterday’s question to the now-annual 30 Days of Anime for Anime@UTS was What was your first anime?

This can be a difficult question for some people, and a very easy one for some. For me, it’s the former because I had pontificated in the past: is it your first anime if you didn’t know that it was anime when you were first watching it?

Cartoons are just cartoons

In the past, Pokemon to me was the same was watching The Animals of Farthing Wood or Skippy on various Australian channels. Watching Doraemon was the same as watching Aesop’s Fables or Care Bears. Kiki’s Delivery Service and Sailor Moon could have been produced by the same people as far as I knew.

Children are indiscriminate. Cartoons are cartoons.

Many club members gave typical answers to the question above that were echoed among the others of the club, such as Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, Pokemon (dubbed The Classic Three), and even Love Hina.

My answer at the time was:

Probably Doraemon/Detective Conan/Pokemon but I’m only going to put the one I first consciously watched as ‘anime’.. Inuyasha.

Clare and Liria at the heart of it all

Inuyasha was the first series that I consciously sought out as anime, after seeing an image on a friends’ MSN Spaces Blog in her photo gallery. I was intrigued by the characters and that was the first time I discovered this phenomenon called ‘anime’, after much searching for the name of the series on her blog.

It became my mission to find the series and watch it. Although I only ever managed to obtain 67 episodes of the anime, I was content, reading the manga where I could and purchasing pirated DVDs from a local Chinese store, as well as expensive official Madman releases from JB Hi-Fi.

Cardcaptor Sakura was my first manga though, brought to me by a friend in high school in year 8 as she allowed another friend and I to borrow the volume from her to read over lunch. She had purchased it after getting a refund from a game in JB Hi-Fi and mentioned the manga there was cheap. Going there, I bought a volume of manga for the first time — Love Hina volume 1.

And thus began my journeys in the anime and manga world.

But being asked my first anime, it’s impossible for me to mention Doraemon or Detective Conan or perhaps even Ultraman, even though they would be more correct answers from a completely literal point of view. Although they are fond memories, I never even realised until many years later that these series I had watched and loved were originally in Japanese and were anime — so therefore, in my eyes, they do not count.