Journey To 300

Alright so what am I talking about with a title like that?

The title is referring to my journey to completing 300 total anime series and movies completed. Now for a lot of people, that probably isn’t very much and considering how long it’s been since I started watching anime, it’s not all that impressive. According to the anime-planet website, I’ve alloted 300 completed anime series and movies as of 11/18/2018. That amounts to 6833 total episodes, and is approaching 4 months of total time watching anime. There are definitely some series in there that I’ve watched a few times to those numbers are a bit inflated, but statistics aside, I figured I would make a post talking about the shows I’ve watched up to this point. I won’t be going over all 300 so don’t worry, I’ll just be going over some note worthy ones that stood out to me and have left an impression. I don’t have dates for everything but I have a general feel for the year that I really got into anime and a few of the shows I started with.

Let’s get started then, like most people, *around my age at least, I was exposed to the usual. Things like Pokemon, Digimon, Yugioh, Sailor Moon, Card Captors and the like. I try not to count that though since at the time, I was pretty young and didn’t know about the wonderful world that is anime just yet. It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I sumbled across the afternoon/evening block of anime that ran on Toonami. Still not really knowing about anime but knowing I was hooked on these cartoons that just felt like they were meant for an older audience. I remember waking up late one night while sleeping in our living room and catching the ending of shows like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Fullmetal Alchemist and the show that made me feel like I shouldn’t be caught watching, Ghost in The Shell. All of it was so mature to me at the time, and being the 15 or 16 year old I was, my still somewhat impressionable mind couldn’t get enough of it. The first show I really started to seek out was Fullmetal Alchemist, I was drawn to the characters and the story, I even went out and bought a book on the history of Alchemy, real alchemy though, not the stuff in the show. Back in the days of MySpace, they would let users upload videos, since there wasn’t much in the way of copyright flagging at the time, I found as many episodes as I could using myspace. I was then turned onto shows like Trigun, FLCL and Bleach. I got heavily invested into all three of those, more so in Bleach, but being the general target demographic for that show at the time can you blame me? Bleach probably still remains one of the longest series I’ve completed and the series that took the longest for me to watch, since I was on the english dubbing schedule and didn’t really get into watching subs until a year or two later. It took me from the premier of Bleach on Toonami, till late 2012 to finish that series. Now considering the series finished earlier that year, I guess it didn’t really take me any longer then most. Moving on though, Shortly before moving to a new state back in 2007, I saw the premier of Eureka 7. From the very first episode I fell in love, everything from the mysterious girl who crashed through his room in a bad ass mech, to the lifting with cool futuristic surfboards that used the wind. Aside from trying to find episodes to watch of FMA on MySpace, Eureka 7 was the first show I really tried to watch start to finish in one sitting. I’m a bit fuzzy on the site I used back then to watch it, but it was all on there and I spent the next couple weeks watching it on the slow internet I had at the time to completion. Even downloaded the episodes and burned them to disc, which I’m pretty sure I still have somewhere. Another series that caught my attention around the same time was Code Geass, I had also caught the premier of that and if you couldn’t tell by now, there was a bit of a pattern beginning to develop with the anime that I enjoyed. Big Mechs, cute female characters and some magical force that tied everything together. On a side note, a series like Full Metal Panic should have been right up my alley, but for some reason or another I just couldn’t get into that series. Anywho back to Code Geass, the thing the brought me in with that series the most was the art style and music, now, I don’t rate my anime based on Openings and Endings, but those were good enough that I was once again hooked into another series. By this point I was getting ready to move back to the state I had moved from only a year earlier, and while I did still have internet, I didn’t get much chance to continue to watch anime like I had been. Shortly after though we had to get rid of the internet so I just watched through the series that I had burned to discs or had bought. It was a few months before I could watch anything new and by that point I was feening. When I was able to get back on the net, I had started to find dedicated sites that had dubbed anime on them, I was in heaven. I started making my way through everything that looked like it would hold my attention, which was just about everything sadly. Looking back I watched a lot of pretty bad anime, but I loved it all the same. While looking through the sites though, I saw a show called Lucky Star, saw the cover art and thought the characters looked cute and decided to start up the first episode. After about 10 minutes of hearing the characters talk about which end of a choco cornet is the head and realizing that for some reason I just couldn’t look away, I had found the next series that I would binge. Funny enough this was also the show that got me to start watching shows with subs, since about half way through the series, I hadn’t noticed that the dub video wasn’t working so it switched to the subbed version. I got about half way through the episode before realizing that I was reading the subs. I have to give props to the dubbing of Lucky Star, because in my experience they cast the voice actors well enough that I barely noticed. I know there are a good bit of people who didn’t really enjoy the show, but it remains one of the few anime that I can just put on and still get a good laugh out of. It will probably always be in my top 10 for that fact alone. *plus Aya Hirano will forever be best girl, even with the scandal that ended her career. After moving yet again in the same year, I had another short lull in my anime watching. I was without internet yet again and after exhausting my physical media, I was again feening for more. Once I was able to get back on the internet, I jumped into the deep end like an Olympic Diver going for gold. It honestly started to take over my life, in a not so positive way. I’d stay up to the point of passing out at my desk, frequent forums finding new series recommendations, staying awake for a couple days at a time just watching everything I could. I was so invested in anime that I would avoid looking for work just so I could spend time watching anime and later finding and playing Visual Novels (but this post isn’t about that). Even in this flurry of anime watching I still managed to find a few anime that really stood out to me and stuck with me. One of those being Kurokami or “Black God”, This was actually the first anime that got me to read the manga. I binged all 23 episodes of that series in one sitting. The story of the doppeliner system sucked me in, the fighting was amazing (at the time) and I loved the characters. I still find myself naming pets in games after the dog “PuniPuni” from the series. After I finished Kurokami I watched a few other series that weren’t as noteworthy, jumping from one show to another before finally being offered a job where my Mom worked. Finally snapping out of the trance that I had put myself in with anime, I cut back most of my bad habits of staying up until sunrise and watching anime until I passed out slumped over my desk. I was finally making money! I could go out and just buy anime now! One of the first box sets that I bought was a series called Eden of The East. Not knowing at the time the one directing the series was also responsible for directing Ghost in The Shell. To say old habits die hard would be an understatement, on my next day off I binged not only the series, but also the two movies that finish the story. I loved the series so much that I wanted to import a phone from japan that was modeled after the phone used in the series. Of course, making minimum wage and having to help out with rent, that wasn’t a realistic dream. I continued to work and slowly fell back into old habits like staying up too late and suffering the next day, but it was worth it for my anime. I started getting back on forums looking for recommendations and one night stumbled across a website claiming it was the Anime Social Network. That site was called Anihub, it honestly just looked like a facebook rip off at the time, but I figured I’d sign up and see what it was about. They had some pretty active forums and I found myself interacting more with the people on there, they had customizable profiles similar to how myspace had back in the day before facebook took over the world and made everything bland and brought out the worst in people. It was a safe place to talk about your favorite anime and look for recommendations from passionate fans. Thanks to that site I learned a little bit about HTML and CSS, although that’s all pretty much gone bye bye, I’m still thankful to that site and the community that was on there. Thanks to that site I was also able to find series like Black Rock Shooter, Durarara, and one of my favorite Romance style anime, Toradora. Aside from having watched Fruits Basket I hadn’t watched to many romance focused anime. Even though I wasn’t all in on the romance aspect to start, I loved the comedy used in the series. By the end though, I was starting to get invested in the romance genre. I started to ask for recommendations on romance anime, and the unanimous response was, “well if you’re not afraid of crying like a baby then you should watch Clannad”. Not wanting to dive that deep in I put off watching that series for a couple more years. Another person then recommended a show called Angel Beats, sadly at the time I watched the first episode and had to finish the series a year later thanks to losing my job due to the company shutting down. Thankfully and surprisingly not due to my bad habits. Since I was out of work I jumped back into old habits and my anime was there to welcome me with open arms. Unsurprising to no one but me, lack of sleep, poor eating habits and zero physical activity can lead to some pretty crappy stuff. I had stayed up one night which wasn’t uncommon for me, but not having eaten much led to my first hospital overnight stay. We had gone to see my Sister’s Grandmother and as we were about to walk out of the door, I fainted, slid down a wall and into my Mom’s back. I woke up not knowing what had happened with an ambulance already on the way and even though I wanted to say everything was fine, I knew it wasn’t. My hobby turned into an obsession and it was effecting me negatively, to the point I was hospitalized for 3 days. I came away from all that with Low Blood Pressure, A lower then average Heart Rate that is possibly the result of being born with a small hole in an inner wall of my heart and a realization that the thing I love, although not a direct cause of my neglect, contributed to the incident. I wasn’t planning on including this little story about my health but figured it was related enough to my journey to 300 that I could include it. Moving on from health scares, I started getting my act together, while still watching anime every now and then, not allowing myself to fall into the same bad habits that put me in the hospital. I still binged, but not nearly to the extent of watching the sun come up every morning. Since then I’ve watched a lot of anime *in my eyes at least, I’ve watched a lot of the notable series that have come out over the years, but of course nothing quite sticks with you as much as it used to. I come across a series every now and then that will get me really hyped and excited to continue watching. Since the anime market is a bit over saturated every season, it’s a bit more difficult to find those gems that put a sparkle in your eye.

This post was supposed to be about the anime I’ve watched over the years but I think making it more of a personal story with anime is a better fit for my site. I still have a few bad habits, but I’ve learned from my past and can say I’m in a better place now. I’m back to watching more anime again, but I’m watching only when I’m actually able to do so, I’m not shrugging my responsibilities like I would have even just a few years ago.

So from me to anyone who may read this, Keep on watching, don’t let it control your life, and keep being passionate about it, even though that sounds contradictory.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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