There are many turning points in a person’s life. An important friend you made, who influenced you in a positive way. A special book that changed you forever, like the way Ray Bradbury’s short story Frost and Fire enthralled me at age 11 and turned me into a lifelong reader of science fiction. And for many of us, there was that one anime show that was so bold in its ideas, its characters and execution that we were changed forever, unable to resist the pull of anime fandom and becoming an anime otaku.
I asked J-List readers to share the anime that made them a lifelong anime otaku, and here are the responses!
What Anime Made You an Otaku?
Sailor Moon was a huge event in the history of anime, delighting millions around the world whenever Sailor Moon uttered her famous words, “Moon Princess Power, Make Up!” It also had some enjoyable content for boys, too.
Another show that pretty much everyone in the world watched back in the day was Lucky Star, which helped cement otaku culture as a topic of anime.
Another legendary series was Haruhi. With its complex story and episodes airing out of order, who couldn’t be pulled into anime through this show?
Considered by many to be the best anime ever, FMA Brotherhood is a legendary dark anime with steampunk themes.
Not just an influential anime, but an anime whose explosive popularity is responsible for the existence of the industry in its current form. I pretty much learned Japanese by memorizing all the songs from this series.
Like Akira, Ranma 1/2 was one of the first shows that were so popular, people who didn’t know anything about anime at the time could get into it.
A legendary anime from the early 2000s. Are you a fan?
Pokemon was another smash hit that turned many young kids into future otakus. Kasumi/Misty was the first crush of a lot of them.
Many fans of fond memories of this epic 90s series on Cartoon Network. My memories are of scouring Tokyo for ecchi doujinshi of it to sell on J-List.
I remember that first year we sold calendars on J-List, this was the top-selling calendar because of its huge popularity.
Macross, shown as Robotech around the world, is still my single favorite anime series. And the Do You Remember Love? film is the single best film ever made. Fight me!
Like Ranma 1/2 a generation before, Naruto became a hugely popular gateway into the deeper world of anime for many fans.
Writing about what anime were responsible for turning us into otakus has made the Gundam Wing opening theme get stuck in my head. pic.twitter.com/2N6sHdBqRg
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) May 6, 2020
Another hit from the golden age of anime, Gundam Wing was an awesome show that brought not only male fans into anime, but females fans.
Another beloved show, Toradora is just about the best 24 episodes of romantic comedy anime you could find.
Often fans become lifelong anime otaku when they encounter a series that opens their mind in unexpected ways. Gainax’s Fooly Cooly certainly did this for a lot of fans.
Speaking of anime that open our minds, Serial Experiments Lain brought the ideas of Carl Jung’s collective unconscious into the anime universe, the same way Gurren Lagann explored Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Yabai desu ne! — how cool is that?
Thanks for reading! Did we miss your favorite anime series? What show was responsible for making you a lifelong anime otaku? Post in the comments below!
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