I wasn't into anime or manga at all.
Then I happened into Death Note and became completely unhealthily possessed and obsessed.
Not knowing how to rate Death Note because I had never seen any other manga/anime. Did it truly shine above the others or was it merely par for the course for those who were in the know?
So I explored the internet for commentary, info, advice.
I looked at Bakuman since it had the same mangaka team, but I wound up Bakuman since it just seemed a bit too mundane in comparison with the gothic world of Death Note. However, Obata had previously done Hikaru no Go, and I guess I'd seen some positive review of it, and besides, it was available to watch on hulu, where I already had an account, so popping in to watch one episode wasn't a hardship. In fact, watching episode after episode was easy.
After 75 episodes, I'd practically forgotten Death Note. Hikaru no Go was my new love, Akira Touya my new fascination.
Completely overwhelmed by these stories, I now had to wonder again if all manga/anime are this awesome or if I'd just happened in my first 2 goes to stumble upon the most amazing stories ever. I mean, honestly, after finishing Hikaru no Go, Death Note seemed less amazing. Would further exposure to the world of manga/anime give me the framwork to see that my beloved Hikaru no Go was less than I thought, too? Maybe everyone knows Hikaru no Go is just a pale shadow or copycat of something else. So I searched the internet for commentary and advice again. I joined anime planet.
I've watched 2 episodes of Cowboy Bebop and have been impressed with everything except the storylines. The atmosphere, the soundtrack, and the characters are all awesome. But the stories have not kept me watching. I will continue to watch Cowboy Bebop.
I watched Elfen Leid and was less than astounded. This actually comforted me. I did not want to have my adulation for Hikaru no Go and Death Note reduced by finding out they were more ordinary than I realized.
I also wanted to know if it was possible for me to find a manga/anime that I loved featuring a worthwhile female character. Neither Death Note nor Hikaru no Go were strong in female characters. Isn't it possible to have that same kind of fascination in a female character?
Right now I'm 3 episodes into Glass Mask. The side-by-side comparisons with Hikaru no Go are abundant, but it definitely is girlier and hints at romance. Personally I work in the theatre so that is appealing, although I have to say that the treatment of acting is kind of cheesy in this story - but then again the treatment of Go is kind of cheesy in Hikaru and I didn't mind that. Right now I look forward to watching the rest of Glass Mask.