Born in DFW and growing up not far from there, I grew up on Disney movies and afternoon cartoons. Disney's Robin Hood was my favorite and I watched Tom & Jerry, then later with Tiny Toon Adventures, Rescue Rangers, and Duck Tales. Then, one day, it all changed.
Sci-Fi Channel aired a block of animation when it was still often called Japanimation. My first anime was Akira and Project A-Ko. Sci-Fi's Saturday Anime then included Vampire Hunter D, Project A-Ko Uncivil Wars, and Record of Lodoss War. For months, I would watch these same anime every time they were on, particularly Uncivil Wars, Akira, and Record of Lodoss War, which became my favorite anime and still remains a favorite.
I was particularly drawn to anime because of the extensive detail in the animation and how the stories were, to me at the time, so much more mature and intricate than anything I'd seen from US animation. Through high school and college, I delved further into the realm of anime and manga.
My last two years in college, I was hired for a part time job at the local mall at Waldenbooks. Our manager also liked anime and started to order select manga titles, which the Waldenbooks system believed were orders from customers. We soon got random titles of manga included in our regular shipments, but our manager continued to hand select titles and customers started to buy them.
Before long, our store located in Arlington, TX had grown to a full bin of manga and then two and four bins. A year later an entire half of the store wall was manga from top to bottom. We carried every title that was popular and plenty that weren't. Eventually, Manga and Romance were head to head for the top genre in sales. It was a great time getting a store discount on manga plus being able to read for free on lunch breaks!
I've continued to watch anime, though my manga reading has gone down due to the cost. Netflix, Amazon, and Cruncyroll make for affordable anime access!