15 Jan 2003 9:02 pm

If you watch anime with any kind of frequency at all, then let me pose this question to you: which series introduced you to anime? What was your gateway?

For me, it’s a bit of a toss-up (as my memory of early childhood is fairly hazy), but I clearly recall Galaxy Express 999 being one of the seminal shows that a very young me enjoyed. The other would be an obscure Giant Robot / sentai show called Voltes V, which was one of the first shows which had specialized vehicles join each other to become a cool, kick-ass robot fighting off legions of Robot Space Beasts sent to destroy / enslave the Earth (with appropriately shouted attack names like “Voltes Bazooka!” and so forth…).

Volt IN!

A good friend of mine has mentioned Ranma 1/2 as his gateway; the girls say that Martian Successor Nadesico was theirs. I can’t help but wonder about the kind of effect this has on future viewing habits; whether or not this influences one’s choice in other anime. My modern awakening into anime would have to be Evangelion (as long-time readers have probably noticed, due to the preponderance of Eva toys adorning my monitor). Genre-defining and iconoclastic as it was, it’s pretty much ruined the “Giant Robot” genre for me; nothing has proven to be anywhere nearly as good as Evangelion was — Gundam (in all of it’s infinite fractal iterations) pales by comparison, and there really hasn’t been a Giant Robot show that’s grabbed my attention, though ADV’s trailer for Dai-Guard has me intrigued, but not so much that I’ve plunked down the cash for a DVD yet.

On the positive side, starting one’s otaku journey with a definitive anime like Eva frees you up to take on some really strange and interesting series, like Serial Experiments Lain, or Boogiepop Phantom, or the ever-zany Excel Saga. Ah, Excel Saga… quite possibly the only anime ever committed to the screen where the author of the original manga and the director of the anime face off in a duel to the death in the last episode of the series…

The members of the Secret Idealogical Organization of ACROSS

On other news, I’ve restarted Progress Quest at work (quite possibly the only game I can play all the time whilst at work without being immediately sacked), and I am once again sucking miniscule but constant:00 AMounts of CPU time and bandwidth as I do so. I was heartilly:00 AMused that they’ve incorporated “realms” and “guilds” like other, significantly more pricey and more time-sucking games, so I bit the bullet and loaded both my old character and started a new one in the guild-capable Realm of Spoltog.

Watching PQ run is sort of mesmerizing in and of itself, as you read of your character’s exploits on the killing fields as they level up and gain stats and magic spells. It’s oddly enjoyable to see them collect [email protected] l3wt and return to town to sell said l3wt for better equipment. And then, afterwards, cycle, rinse, and repeat. The joy of it all comes from the actual wordage used; reading that my 55th level Demicanadian Bastard Lunatic has been busy “Executing a passing Porn Elemental”, collecting “Porn Elemental Lube” as l3wt, and then selling it for a +23 Vicious Serrated Stabbity Peen-hammer whilst on a quest to “Pacify the Beige Dragons” brings an odd tingle of joy to my heart. Well, either that or the gnawing realization that I’ve still somehow managed to be sucked in by what is essentially a Fire and Forget Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.

C’est la vie. Oh well. Back to the siren-song summons of FF IX…

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