At this time almost exactly a year ago, I took my first huge leap into a medium I wasn’t versed in much at all and with just a simple click of the play button on Netflix. Following my first episode of Attack on Titan, things were never going to be the same. Here are a few thoughts on what I have seen and what my journey has been like over the course of the past year.
As all fans of anime are aware, there is a very large stigma against this genre and animation style as a whole. Honestly, I was no different. I had the perspective of how I could only remember watching Digimon, Pokemon, Gundam, and Dragonball Z as a child. And as far as manga went, I read Love Hina once when I was particularly bored during the long sessions of standardized testing that exists in the US, because a kid who declared himself an otaku brought the whole series with him to school. So I was relatively in the same boat as others, I had dabbled but I steered clear of it due to this mindset.
Before BentoByte and anime, I was still heavily involved in gaming, cartoons (for example: Adventure Time, Avatar the Last Airbender, and other various ones) as well as other aspects of that culture. But up until that moment, I have never taken that plunge again into that world. So this step happened all thanks to a job I had at the time. I was a tax accountant at a firm at the height of the tax season (nicknamed the busy season for accountants) and since it was that time a year I was working around 70 to 80 hour weeks. My daily schedule consisted of waking up, going to work, and then getting home with barely an hour or two to watch something on Netflix. So over the course of this busy season, I managed to watch everything I had an interest in (not everything on Netflix, that would be absurd). Therefore, I was bored, so very, very bored.
When Attack on Titan showed up in my list of suggestions, I was really considering watching it. Through Reddit and other outlets I had actually heard a lot about this animated show. So I figured what the hell? I’ll give it a shot. Things have been a journey since. The main thing I didn’t realize is that anime could be violent and brutal. So I was a bit surprised to see Eren’s mother getting devoured within the first episode (sorry spoilers). After binge-watching the rest of the season I couldn’t stop. I knew there were not any more Attack on Titan episodes so I dove head first into a couple of series that my friend/future business partner Matt, my brother, and r/anime suggested.
I couldn’t stop, I was hooked. I could experience a whole new library of super imaginative stories and there wasn’t anything that was going to prevent me from it. To start off, I went through Sword Art Online (I know there’s a division here but it became one of my favorites), FMA: Brotherhood, Death Note, The Devil is a Part-Timer, Knights of Sidonia, and Future Diary. I just couldn’t believe the amount of fascinating stories and boundless entertainment was out there for me to experience. But this was something that I was still awfully quiet about. Aside from my brother and two friends I had told and who had given me recommendations, I kept this fascination to myself. However, as time progressed and the more and more stories I dove in to, the more I couldn’t resist the urge to chat and share stories about what I had seen.
Over the year I have seen a lot. Suffice to say my year has been a crash course in everything that I have been missing. I will say this, the reason I have enjoyed all these stories so much and have been so engrossed in everything is because cartoons and anime do not have a boundary. There aren’t many subjects that anime is not willing to push the envelope on. Because the subjects are so expansive and they are made for all different fields of interest, it feels like there will never be an end to all the amount of different stories you can experience. And since most of these shows are typically only around 13 episodes long (25 for those lucky enough), it is easy to watch quickly. If you had told me there was an adult space mech-anime that killed off characters as if George RR Martin was the head writer, then I probably would have tried it sooner.
So fast forward a bit of time later, now I partially own and run this site. If I hadn’t taken that leap a year ago, I wouldn’t be here today working with a wonderful team of dedicated writers and get to talk about all the incredible adventures, I am so glad I did. If there anything preventing you from trying it out, I would highly recommend just setting aside any opinions or predispositions and giving it a shot.Tweet