I started to actively watch anime not because I was interested in it from the beginning, like most others. On the contrary, I didn't even know exactly what it was until I was 22 ... From what I heard from others it was more like adult animated series than what we usually watch in my own country (animation is commonly considered kid-oriented stuff here). My first experience of it dates to when my new friend Lainos, anime watcher, asked me about my general opinion of anime. I thought like "it's better to try once than hear for hundred times" and watched Gantz on his recommendation.
Generally it did not really help anything, expect for making one thing certain: I saw that anime is definitely not for kids. Not only because of the violence: the ideology and the plethora of themes contrasted it greatly with animation I used to watch. On other hand, it proved that even given the above it still has many action scenes that have no purpose other than to catch your eye. I started to think of anime as of an alternative to cinema, free of the necessity to create insanely expensive SFX and not bound by morals, ethics and many other things. Like a freedom for an artist.
My next titles were Elfen Lied, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, School Days and Death Note. All of these were very special to me and remain TOP anime series ever, even though I realize they are not perfect. From that point on I started to dig for more and more, like a hungry machine. But first twinges of dissapointment came way too soon.
The more anime you see the more you recognize it as some kind of a Lego set. All my first impressions proved false in just one year of watching anime. I thought it was not for kids, actually, it is for teenagers mostly and they are not adults either. I thought it transdescended boundaries, but some genres dominate all others and ideas way too often repeat from title to title and it's surely bound by its cliches (like old Indian cinema). My first impresson was a dream to believe, it's what anime intended to but will never be. Anime as a method to express your feelings and ideas. But real anime restricts all these expressions to canons.
Anime is surely a unique world but it's very limited in its uniquess. I still watch it even now. Though it could be much more than what it is, I still like it.