My name is Naru and I live in Finland.
I started watching anime and reading manga when I was in junior high and my story of how and why I started is a little different than other people's. And I would like to share it with you if you are interested. The reason why I am writing this is because I want to show everyone just how much anime and manga mean to me and that it's more than just being a fan.
Ever since i was a little, I was always home alone with my alcoholic mother while my dad was working abroad. My mother's fond of alcohol made me realized that at the age of 12 my childhood was over since I had to take care of myself and my drunken mother who often slept on the floor. But at that time, my problems were not only at home but also at school.
I was bullied for 6 years through elementary school and junior high. I was stuck with the same people for 6 years 'causeI had a learning disability. I couldn't change classes or schools because of that. Most of the junior high days, I skipped school because I was afraid of my bullies. But there was no place for me to run. I didn't have many friends and those who I had, were too afraid to defend me. I was really stressed and unhappy for a long time. No matter how many times I asked for help, it didn't work.
I'll admit that back then life for me was pure hell. My life had no meaning to me or to others around me, but then one day everything changed. I was on my way home from school when I passed this very weird looking store called Fantasy Games. I decided to go in. And that little store gave me a spark of hope called manga.
I remember the first manga that I bought from that store: Inuyasha! First I tought that I could give this comic a shot and from the first volume, I fell in love with the series. Thanks to Inuyasha I found the reason to live! The passion to go on! I was really happy, for the first time in a long time! Because of Inuyasha and many other mangas, I was able to live through those really tough times.
For the past 12 years, I have watched many good animes and have read interesting mangas. After 3 years of wathing anime, I noticed that I could understand japanese! So I started to imitate the lines in anime and practiced the pronunciation. Before I knew it, I could also speak japanese fluently! I have made many japanese friends here in finland and also in japan.
My love for anime and manga is very pure and so great that I could not live without them. I hope that someday I can express my gratitude to the mangakas for creating new worlds, new stories and new charecters. Someway, somehow I'm going to tell them how grateful I am and how anime and manga saved my life! That is my main goal in life. :D