My anime firsts

二つしかなくても。 by たいよー

Being an anime fan for over ten years now, I’ve gone through quite a lot of firsts. Since anime is such a complex hobby, encompassing many different branches of fandom, there are a lot of potential firsts besides just “first anime.” So today I’ll be listing as many of those firsts as I can think of…

First Anime Watched (English dub)

Might as well start with the most basic one. The first anime I ever watched was a dubbed episode of Sailor Moon, specifically episode 59, “Much Ado About Babysitting.” It was 1995, I was in elementary school at the time, had no idea what anime was, and only had a very vague idea of what Sailor Moon was about before watching it. But little did I know that I would become a fan of these kinds of shows several years later.

First Anime (Japanese with subs)

While Sailor Moon was the first anime I ever watched, as well as the first dubbed anime I watched, episode 1 of Cardcaptor Sakura was the first anime I ever watched in Japanese. After buying volume 1 of the VHS release of uncut CCS, I was surprised at how different it felt from the (butchered) dub, Cardcaptors. Surprisingly, it didn’t take me long to get used to the sound of Japanese voices, even the many high-pitched ones in CCS.

First Seiyuu Heard

As mentioned above, since Cardcaptor Sakura was the first anime I watched in Japanese, the voice of Sakura Tange (Sakura’s seiyuu) became the first seiyuu voice I ever heard. The first line I heard her say was her first line in episode 1 “だれ…私を呼ぶの?” (“Who is calling to me?”)

First Non-Kids Anime

Since I didn’t have cable TV or high-speed Internet until mid-2005, most of the anime I watched on TV were dubbed kid shows. The first anime I watched that wasn’t specifically marketed towards kids was the 13-episode series, Jubei-chan. I watched it dubbed on VHS in 2000 I think. It might have also been the first anime series I completed, but I honestly don’t remember.

First Anisong Heard (TV size)

Once again, since Cardcaptor Sakura was the first anime I watched in Japanese, the TV size version of “Catch You Catch Me” performed by Gumi was the first anime song I ever heard.

First Anisong Heard (full version)

This would be the Jubei-chan ending song, “Forever,” performed by 0930. God, I loved this song back then and I still love it now~ I downloaded an mp3 of it in 2001 on my old iMac computer via Napster…how old-school is that? XD I believe this is also my first anime download (though that honor might have gone to a random Pokemon or CCS picture).

First Japanese Video Game

The Sonic the Hedgehog line of video games was the first Japanese series I got into. The first Sonic game I played was Sonic Triple Trouble on the now ancient Sega Game Gear.

First Anime Obsession

To make a long story short, Pokemon, starting in late 1998 and still going strong today =P

First Anime Movie (franchise-based)

The first Pokemon movie of course! If I recall correctly, I saw it four times during its theatrical run in the U.S. in 1999.

First Anime Movie (original)

Princess Mononoke, not in the theater unfortunately, but dubbed on VHS. Still my favorite Ghibli movie to this day and one of the best dubs I’ve ever come across; I actually like it better than the Japanese version.

First Anime Ship

If anyone remembers my post about shipping, my first would be Rocektshipping – pairing the two Team Rocket characters Jessie/Musashi and James/Kojirou. Unlike my other ships, I don’t care a thing for Rocketshipping now, but boy was I obsessed with it for roughly three years back in the day.

First Character Obsession

Technically it would be the above mentioned Team Rocket duo, but I was more into them as a pairing than individually. My first obsession with a particular character from an anime would be Washu from Tenchi Muyo!. She was the first character whom I actually sought out pictures of online and preferred only episodes where she was the main focus. My love for her was also one of the reasons I like the Tenchi OVA and manga more than the TV series – she’s much more developed and appealing in the former two.

First Product Bought (non-video)

The strategy guide for Pokemon Red and Blue. I bought it even before I knew I would buy the game just because I wanted to have available pictures of all the pokemon XD For a non-Pokemon product, I could be wrong but I think it was either some Digimon toy or a plushie of Kero from CCS.

First Figure (Japan imported)

I haven’t been collecting figures very long, so my first would be the Haruhi nendoroid, which I bought sometime in early 2008.

First Video Collection

For VHS collections, it would be a box of the first 13 episodes of Slayers dubbed. For DVD collections, it would be the 26-episode box set of Tenchi Universe (I remember when I bought it too, March 2001).

First Manga

The 4-volume Pokemon manga series by Toshiro Ono. Besides Pokemon, I just can’t remember but it must have been either Cardcaptor Sakura, Magic Knight Rayearth, Love Hina, or Fushigi Yuugi.

First Japanese Learning

I first dabbled in Japanese study by learning some random vocabulary words used in anime during my early years as a fan (I think the first word I learned was “neko” for “cat,” but I’m not sure). I built up a fairly decent vocabulary from being involved in anime (mostly nouns and common phrases) before I began my formal study of the language in mid-2004 through college courses.

First Convention

Anime Expo 2005. Even though I only stayed for one day, I had a blast. Definitely one of the funnest days of my life~

First Fansub

Some of the anime screened for my high school anime club was probably a fansub, but as for one I got myself, it would be Naruto sometime in 2003/2004. Since I didn’t have high-speed Internet yet, a friend burned the episodes onto CDs and gave them to me.

First AMV

The first AMV I watched that I actually remember (there may have been a few more before this one) is “Right Now Someone is Reading This…” by doki doki Productions. I watched it in my high school anime club and found it very clever and funny. It’s still among my favorites today. It’s pretty outdated though as it only uses scenes from 90s anime – wish they would make an updated version with the same song and idea but with newer anime.

First Fan Fic Written

In 2003 I wrote a humorous Pokemon fan fic where the pokemon were the trainers and the humans were the ones that battled. You can read it here. My interest in fan fiction was very short-lived; I only wrote a total of four, all in 2003, and haven’t read any since then either.

First Long-Running Shonen Series

That would be Inuyasha, which I first watched in 2002. As for my first long shonen series that’s still ongoing and that I still watch, that would be Naruto.

First Slice-of-Life/Comedy/Moe Series

What defines this kind of anime can vary depending on who you ask, but there’s a general acceptance of what it is. In this case, my first one of these would be Azumanga Daioh, which I watched sometime in 2005 or 2006.

First Mecha Series

Evangelion – it’s interesting because Eva is also the only anime to this date that I bought the DVDs for without having watched it elsewhere first. I decided to buy it solely by my classmates in high school pouring out praise for it. I first watched it in late 2002.

First Anime Web Site Made

My first and only anime web site, which still exists today obviously, is AnimeYume, first created in June, 2002. This blog is also hosted on the domain name and was made in October, 2006. The domain name was originally from GeoCities but I’ve since moved it to Yahoo!’s general web hosting.

First Anime Blog Visited

Before I even knew about anime blogs, my friend pkjd created the blog that is now moetron. I was one of its first visitors before it became as complex as it is now. This was back in 2005 I believe.


I’ll probably think of more firsts categories but I’m gonna stop here. Also, some potential categories will apply to certain fans but not others. For example, “First Doujinshi” wouldn’t be a good category for me since I don’t read/buy dounjinshi, but for someone else it would be.

Anyway, feel free to share some of your own or point out any that we share =)

33 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. kluxorious says:

    Mine would consist of DBZ, Samurai X and Bleach.

    • Yumeka says:

      I never got into DBZ mostly because I didn’t have cable TV to watch it when it was all the rage. I’m not familiar with Samurai X and Bleach didn’t come till about five years into my fandom. My three most common “reoccurring” firsts would be Pokemon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Sailor Moon =P

  2. chii says:

    what a great post idea! I bet a lot of your firsts were other people’s firsts as well. especially with the sailor moon/pokemon stuff hehe

    • Yumeka says:

      Thanks~ It’s interesting how you can make inferences about a fan’s age based on what their first anime is. For example, people around my age got their start with Sailor Moon and Pokemon, while for some younger fans it would Naruto or Inuyasha, and for some older fans it would be Macross or Voltron XD

  3. Tsuki says:

    The thing for me was that my uncle was a hardcore anime guy, so a lot of times he gave me anime VHS stuff, and at times entire box sets of anime, that he thought I would like.

    I remember watching the first VHS of anime that he gave me, which was a copy of Nadia: Secret of the Blue water, which is a pretty old anime to say the least.

    My favorites over the years ranged from stuff like Rurouni Kenshin, Hunter x Hunter, Yu Yu Hakusho, Cowboy Bebop, Cardcaptor Sakura, the infamous Inuyasha, and, of course, Pokemon.

    Now that I think about it, I’ve been watching anime for more than 75% of my entire life. Kind of scary (o.O);;

    • Tsuki says:

      Err, actually, I worded that “75%” part wrong. I make it sound like I’ve literally watched anime for 75% of my life. I meant to say I was an anime fan for more that 75% (which is still kind of scary…).

      • Yumeka says:

        Yeah, having a family member give you easy access to anime from a young age would help you become a more well-rounded fan as you grow up =) I was a bit slow with developing my fandom since I didn’t get cable TV or high-speed Internet until I was already into anime for about five years. I didn’t have any family members who were into it, but luckily I made a lot of anime-loving friends in high school who let me borrow their VHS tapes and fansubs.

  4. Myna says:

    I share a bunch of the same firsts with you. :)

    The first anime I ever watched was either Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh (my first anime obsessions). CCS was also the first show that I watched in Japanese, so that means the first seiyuu I ever heard was Sakura Tange, and first anisong was Catch You Catch Me. However, the first anisong I heard in full was probably Hiru no Tsuki from Outlaw Star. (My first J-pop song was Love and Joy by Kimura Yuki. Still love it. What was yours?)
    First non-kids anime? Yuyu Hakusho. Or Rurouni Kenshin. (The classics. Always have a special place in my heart.)

    First Japanese video game was Pokemon Blue Version (good times).
    Manga: To Heart (it left me very confused).
    Convention: NYComicCon ’08.
    AMV: (It’s where I heard my first J-pop song! I loved looking up Fruits Basket AMVs. I had pretty good luck and found some good ones initially, too.)
    First long running shounen series would be Naruto.

    First anime (franchise) movie was the first Pokemon movie, and first non franchised movie was Spirited Away. (First saw it in my third grade class when this kid brought it in.)
    First anime ship and character obsession? Ash/Misty and character obsession…not so sure. It was possibly either of the two of them.
    (sorry, it always seems like I post really long comments orz)

    • Yumeka says:

      You’re right, we do share a lot of firsts, especially with Pokemon and CCS ^^ Indeed, those were good times. Like I mentioned above, Toonami/Adult Swim shows like Yu Yu Hakusho and Rurouni Kenshin probably would have been firsts of mine if I had cable when I was growing up.

      No worries about having long comments. I enjoy reading them~

  5. f0calizer says:

    A list of firsts is always a good idea. Here are three of my own that weren’t on your list:

    First anime song I memorized:
    Maaya Sakamoto’s Yakusoku wa Iranai. Escaflowne was one of the first anime series (along with Ghost in the Shell: SAC and Cowboy Bebop) that got me back into the fandom after many years.

    First anime that made me sentimental:
    Miyazaki’s Whispers of the Heart. Made me tear up, in a happy way. This was the scene where Seiji is playing the violin and Shizuku is singing her version of “Country Road,” and then Grandpa and the band members sneak in and suddenly start playing together. A beautiful moment.

    First anime that made me bored:
    Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles. Disclaimer: I love CLAMP’s manga and the characters and wonderfully interwoven stories, but the anime went wrong somewhere and became really plodding and dull even with such good source material.

    • Myna says:

      Whisper of the Heart is one of the new Ghibli/Miyzaki films I haven’t seen yet.

      Yeah, I agree about Tsubasa. For some reason, anime adaptations of CLAMP works tend to stray off the manga a lot, or are just bad (with the exception of CCS, but it too strayed form the manga, but in a good sort of way).
      But the Tokyo Revelations OVAs were fantastic.

      • f0calizer says:

        Yeah, I felt the same way about the anime adaptation of X/1999, although the manga’s on hiatus so I have no idea how it ends. The Tsubasa anime had too many long close-ups of Syaoran’s face, the pacing of each episode felt the same, and they kept using the same music over and over and over again for the battle scenes, which got really tiresome.

    • Aaron B. says:

      The list of “anime that made me sentimental/cry” is a short one for me, but is definitely one I can relate to. GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES

    • Yumeka says:

      I can’t remember the first anime song I memorized precisely, but I got pretty close with “Give a Reason.” If you don’t count Engrish songs like “Gravity,” “Give a Reason” and “Kokoro no Chizu” are probably the ones I know the most words to.

      The first anime that made me sentimental was I think Fushigi Yugi when Nuriko dies, since he was my favorite character XD

      And first anime that bored me was an ep of FLCL I watched in my high school anime club. But that’s only because I was still a new fan and not yet open to unconventional anime like that one. I’m sure if I watched the series now it wouldn’t bore me =P

  6. glothelegend says:

    I can’t remember anything.

  7. ~xxx says:

    My first anime would be Dragon ball…
    If my memory serves me right I think I could have started off with Voltes V…
    I don’t really recall.

  8. Kal says:

    Oh wow… You have a good memory :) I cannot remember in such detail, but the few I remember watching when small were Mazinger (the original, and in a our first TV in black and white!), that was back in early 80s.

    I also remember watching “Maya the bee”, That anime is from 1975 :S I watched that early 80s as well, in TV. I still remember the opening song in spanish.

    Also, Kujira No Hosefiina. “La ballena Josefina” in spanish. I don’t remember much about this one other than the opening song as well.

    Later 80s, I saw Robotech which I really, really liked. I thought that was an original anime production, and it was until much later that I found out it was a ripoff from actual anime. Still, loved that series.

    My first anime movie was Vampire hunter D back in 95 or so (In VHS, english dub). It was also the first anime I watched that was not aimed towards children, so it was pretty shocking. The hand that speaks, the evilness of it all… I was scarred!! :P ok, not really, but it was a real shock. That’s when I came to the realization, that anime is not necessarily for kids (which some people, specially parents, sometimes never realize).

    After that, internet came into being, and made things much easier. I can’t remember from there out what happened, but I have been a fan of anime for a while. I only have a Haruhi super deformed figurine that I got for Christmas last year, so my collection is only anime.

    I guess I was hit with anime pretty early on, and it really attracted my attention from the beginning. I’ll probably keep watching anime till I grow old and wrinkled so I’ll be here for a while :)

    • Yumeka says:

      It sounds like you’re from the generation of fans that came before my time (grew up in the 80s whereas I grew up in the 90s, but didn’t discover anime until the 2000s). Haven’t seen any of your firsts unfortunately, as the only pre-90s anime I’ve seen are Akira and Ranma 1/2. But I have heard of Vampire Hunter D.

  9. So many firsts! I can’t even begin to remember all of mine. But I will be doing a post on my anime history for the thing Nopy has decided to do. Still–Sailor Moon, a first for so many of us. Though it may have been my second or third…

  10. Aaron B. says:

    A lot of my earlier years of anime fandom, in the early to mid 90s, run together a lot. I watched anime long before Toonami went on air in 1997 (when everything really clicked and took form), but sometimes it’s hard for me to remember where/when I got my fix. The cable channel formerly known as The Sci-Fi Channel used to have a ball with old school action/adventure anime films. And those were the days that Suncoast was still in good business, too. My friends and I used to hang out at Suncoast for hours on Saturdays… which amazes nowadays as I remember how small and packed those stores were.

    • Yumeka says:

      I do wonder how different my beginnings with anime would have been if I had cable growing up…but for someone without cable TV until I was in college, I managed to see a pretty good variety of anime thanks to borrowing from friends and anime club XD

      I have fond memories of Suncoast too. There was one at my local mall and I used to go there all the time with friends and make my mom buy me anime! I was so sad when I came there one day and saw it was gone and replaced with yet another fashion store.

  11. Fernando says:

    I remember my first anime was actually inuyasha, somehow inuyasha got to cuba when one of my relatives visited there and i saw the show for the first time. it was the episode where naraku shows its true self for the first time and i loved it, years latter i moved to the US and i saw the show on tv lol. hey does that show eve end. it stop half way to the end and it never continued.

    • Yumeka says:

      I was already into anime for a few years before I watched Inuyasha, but it become one of favorites for roughly five years.

      The show does end with a second anime series, Inuyasha: The Final Act, which was streamed on Hulu from Oct. 2009 to Mar. 2010 I believe (hasn’t been on TV yet).

  12. H says:

    Sorry i was too lazy to read through the whole list but here’s what i have to say about it so far. Not much. But i hope it will be okay to share my first as well. Um… Oh, the firt anime i ever watched was Spirited Away and although at the time i couldn’t understand what was going on i still liked it. Mainly because the style was different from the cartoons i watched. Then about a while later my sister’s freind introduced me to Kitchen Princess wich was the first manga i ever read. Then my freind showed me Funamation. Then my mom wanted me to stop reading manga, so in utter relaliation i began to learn how to draw it. So now i can watch anime and read manga and somewhat draw. ^^

    • Yumeka says:

      Cool, thanks for sharing your firsts. I’m glad Spirited Away inspired more people to like anime. I saw it twice during its theatrical run in America – once with a friend and once with my mom.

  13. MkMiku says:

    It’s amazing how many old and new fans got into anime via Pokemon. Then again, it was a major video game as well. Actually, back in the day, I found out about the anime first; it wasn’t until I saw some kid playing it at school that I discovered the game. I told my class that there was a Pokemon “cartoon” on TV; apparently I was the only one who knew. @_@

  14. Bass says:

    Lol I’m racking my brain to think of firsts, but my memory is not really helping me atm.

    I guess my first anime was pokemon, as well as my first obsession. My first anime movie I recall was the Digimon Movie and my first manga was Naruto back in 2005. Other than Pokemon though, Dragonball and Digimon were my obsessions in my childhood, much like others in my age bracket I suppose. To this day, the only fanfics I have read about were from Digimon haha, it left quite a big impression on me (at least the first two seasons did)

    As for conventions etc, I have yet to go to one >_<

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