Twelve Days of Anime 3: The Roots of My Obsession

The roots of my anime obsession go back at least ten years. At least, that’s what Amazon tells me. My first Amazon anime purchase was Cowboy Bebop, in 2004, and my second was Porco Rosso, in 2007. My first aniblogging entry was about Red Garden, in 2010, and I’ve averaged just over one entry a month since then.

But that’s just the surface artifacts, as it were. The remains of threshing floors that say agriculture was practiced here, without telling us when the hunter-gatherers first settled down and subscribed to cable. To sift out these other dates we will need some indirect evidence.

The indirect evidence says it can’t be in an earlier century. Then, I was living in Northern Virginia, working in DC, and between work and commute, my hours were measured in the teens. Towards the end of the century I became a college student (again), with no TV, a slow modem, and a burning desire to finish my dissertation. Any spare time was spent drinking craft beer and writing equations at Portland’s Market Street Pub, the unofficial headquarters of the Systems Science grad students.

So that brings us up to late 2000CE, when I acquired a job and a house and was reunited with my wife and other household goods. At that time, my main TV fare was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I had been introduced to it by my niece when she visited from Georgia (yes, I have a niece, and a grand-niece as well). For the next five years or so I collected Buffy/Angel DVDs and books and, OK yes, graphic novels. Or at least, that’s what Amazon says. I also had time to hang out on the kinds of places on the Internet where Buffy-like things were discussed, and those were just a few IP numbers away from the otaku boards.

Unfortunately, I have slept since then, and have forgotten just where and how I started watching. Obviously I was interested enough by 2004 to buy Cowboy Bebop (and loan it to friends). By that time as well, Miyazaki Hayao had issued over a dozen full length movies, most of which had already been released in the US, so I was undoubtedly exposed to long form anime. Relying on Amazon, again (there’s no other source for anime in this one-Starbucks town), my next purchase was Porco Rosso (and some other Miyazaki,in May of 2007) and for some strange reason Moon Phase (in November, what was I thinking?). By the time 2008 came to an end I’d bought Wolf’s Rain, Whisper of the Heart, Cat Returns, Last Exile, Castle in the Sky, Ah, My Goddess, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. The rest, as they say, is filmography.

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