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Howdehhhhh. I've been watching anime since the beginning of 2008 (since I was a sophmore in highschool). Perhaps like you, I began watching primarily dubbed shounen (Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Bleach) until one of my friends forced me into watching Naruto and Bleach in subbed. Although I was totally opposed to it at the time, it wasn't long until fell in love with the Japanese language and voice acting.
I was hooked. What happened next was that I began exploring the realms of anime. I was hungry for action, drama, and of course... ROMANCE! The kind of excitement I experienced from watching those animes and considering the fact I could finish an anime and be able to start another adventure in the same day granted infinite joy! But... it didn't stop there...
I was insecure about my newfound "addiction." And I was especially secretive about my love for the Romance genre. Thinking back, I remember being teased by one of my best friends about how I watched "girly anime." My default retort was that I had "taste." Back on subject, I wasn't very picky about animes. Everything was new, fresh and exciting. I thought everything was quality... until...
A trip to the Philippines changed the course of my anime "career." After admitting to one of my cousins that I was obsessed with Romance animes, he explained how much MORE he liked it, and even recommended some titles (which I wrote down without question). Also on that note, he told me about a site that may have changed my anime life. It was there I had a much broader library of titles to choose from. For the first time, I was able to pick and choose genres (even preview titles) instead of just stumbling upon titles in the google search query and yahoo answers.
The amount of anime I watched that year and the next is disgusting. I was watching so many animes that I began to mix plots and characters and sometimes altogether mistaking a certain series for another. But things started to change for the better. I began to deplete the Romance genre quickly. This caused two things: I began to slow down the pace, and I started watching different genres. It was THEN I began to develop a real "taste" in anime.
Ever since then, my anime diet has become more and more strict. Even to the point of being an "anime elitist." Although I am not as seasoned as some other anime veterans out there, but I believe I have valid insight when it comes to anime.
If you fast forward to the present (2013) I say that anime is really a part of who I am. A majority of my friends watch some anime, and a couple of them fully understand where I'm coming from.
My take on anime has evolved. Much thanks to anime-planet.com and many others websites like it, I have been able to choose quality shows and thouroughly enjoy them. One thing I've found over the years of watching, is that my tolerance for subpar anime (which had used to entertain me) has become almost nonexistent. In pains me to say it, but I feel this change is for the best.
Over the years I've been able to separate myself from the anime enthusiasts out there and join a more serious group of anime connoisseurs who can truly differentiate the good, the bad and the ugly. To me, it feels good. Not because I feel like I'm better than anyone (wouldn't that be great?) but because I feel in order to truly appreciate a great anime, you need to have been around, you need to understand what's out there, and you need to understand what it means to be an anime fan.
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Favorite Anime Genres: Romance, RomCom, Comedy, Slice of Life, Drama, Action, Mystery, Horror, Sports