Growing up in Asia, I often watched anime about giant robots, angsty boys saving the world and teenage girls in love quadrangles with way too much drama in their lives. Then I grew up. And while I still like cartoons, I thought my interest in Japanese animation had waned.
Until one night when I stumbled across Inuyasha on Cartoon Networks Adult Swim line up.
Inuyasha tells the story of Kagome Higurashi, a 15-year-old middle school student, who was pulled down a well in the family shrine by a centipede woman and transported five hundred years back to Japans Warring States Era. Kagome then woke up a half human, half dog demon called Inuyasha who was sealed to a tree. To save herself from the centipede lady, she somehow dissolved the arrow that pinned Inuyasha to the tree. He killed the monster and went after Kagome but was thwarted.
Did I forget to mention Kagome was the reincarnation of a priestess who was the protector of the Shikon no Tama or Jewel of Four Souls? Said jewel came out of Kagomes body when the centipede woman bit her side. And many demons and humans want the jewel for the power it grants the bearer.
I thought the first two episodes were inane. But I was back two weeks later and have since followed their adventures.
From watching the series, I went into buying DVDs of the show and its four movies to reading the latest manga chapters released in Japan from a fellow fans Web site. I own pins of the Inuyasha characters, the shows soundtracks and a mini statue of his older full-blooded demon brother, Sesshomaru, who many fan girls just adore.
In the past two years, Ive watched 133 different anime shows or movies. Im currently following a dozen shows right now.
The pile of anime DVDs and tapes in my room have been joined by CDs of Jpop and Jrock, manga (Japanese comics), toys and a couple of Playstation Two games based on shows.
At work, I sometimes wear a baseball cap featuring a gun-wielding monk from Saiyuki or a military cap with a ninja pin or my pin of Inuyasha. Characters from Bleach dangle from my car keys and the CD player in my car always blares out a tune from an anime show.
But hey, Im not obsessed with anime.
I havent taken to dressing up as an anime character or cosplaying as fans call it. And while I have the occasional box of Pocky in the fridge, I dont subsist on these cracker sticks coated in chocolate.
Hmmm I wonder if the latest DVD of Saiyuki Reload Gunlock is out already and if the anime store is still open. But I digress.
Im not an anime addict. Really Im not.