This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution!
The first anime I can remember watching was probably Pokemon with my little sister, but at the time I didn’t understand what anime was and didn’t realise that I was watching it! I probably watched it on Jetix on CITV (in the UK).
Another thing people might find interesting is the fact that I never played any of the original Pokemon games until a few years ago in University and was never interested in the card game as a kid. But me and my sister did collect the Pokemon stickers and would spend near enough all our pocket money on them every weekend.
I also remember arguing over which one of us was getting a Pokeball and Pokedex toys for Christmas one year because one of us had to have the Pokeball and one of us had to have the Pokedex as we couldn’t both have the same one! I had the Pokeball game and she had the Pokedex in the end.
Honorable mentions: Yu-Gi-Oh!, Cardcaptor Sakura, Beyblade and Digimon.
The Cosmic Anvil team are all about the same age (children’s of the 90s), so we’re probably all going to have similar answers to this question! Many people regard the 1990s as a ‘golden era’ for anime in terms of popularisation in the West, with Akira, Ghost In The Shell and Neon Genesis Evangelion being hugely influential.
Unfortunately, none of the above were my first exposure to anime as I was far too young to have any knowledge of their existence. Like Jess, I grew up on a diet of Jetix and watching Americanised dubbed versions of shows, and again like Jess, the first anime I remember watching was Pokemon. I was very much sucked into the whole Pokemon franchise phenomenon – the show, the games, the films, the cards, the stickers, the figures… I even still have a t-shirt that I can just about squeeze myself into!
I also still have the special edition cards that were given out at the cinema when the first film – Mewtwo Strikes Back – came out, and I still remember the sinking disappointment upon discovering that the super shiny Mew card (which I thought would one day be worth ALL the money) was simply a sticker on some cardboard.
Now, my first anime… you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s called Pokemon…?
Yeah I know, Hannah and Jess have already talked about it but I’ll try to tell you my own experiences with Pokemon. Not only was Pokemon my first anime, but it introduced me to what being an anime fan means. First off, you can’t just enjoy anime casually, you have to immerse yourself into it. The video games lead me into the anime, and so it goes without saying that I had those, but there was so much more to Pokemon.
My Pokemon merchandise collection was pretty big. I had a Pokedex in both toy and book form, a Pokeball game, Pikachu plushies, Pokemon with marbles in them so you could roll them around, a Pokeball shooter that shot a Masterball on a string, the cards, marbles and marble pouch, bouncy balls, clothes, game guides, novelisations of the anime, toys, toys, and more toys! The list goes on, but my point is, this was when I became a true fan of an anime.
Pokemon also taught me that being a fan of anime means that you will seem strange to others who are not, and not everyone gets it. My Dad would always watch it with me if he was in the living room at the time and ask me: “What the hell is going on?” I also remember him being one of the first to joke about Brock having his eyes closed all the time. My Mum was also confused, but still took me to see the first movie in the cinema, even though she fell asleep during it. My brother and sister took me to see the second movie in the cinema. My brother was terrified when he thought that the whole film would be like the opening Pikachu short with no dialogue, and my sister tried to understand it by telling me her favorite Pokemon was Pikachu, but once I told her mine was Lugia I saw that she was completely confused! Anime is hard man, but we’ve got to stick by it.
Written by The Cosmic Anvil team.
Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! AND if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter campaign!