When I was in middle school every day I would come home have something to eat and watch cartoons. I started watching sailor moon due to the fact I was impressed by the character detail, at that time never seeing anime before.
One day Toonami had one of there DBZ movie days, where they show the first three Dragonball Z movies. Being a person who liked martial arts and just a general fan of animation I was impressed. I started watching the Ocean Group Dub of Dragonball Z after school.
When I reached High school most of the people I knew who liked Dragonball Z stopped watching it due to Toonami’s repetitive broadcasting. They never made it up to the switch to the Funimation Dub of Dragonball Z.
My group of Dragonball fans slowly grew; most of them where in to the computer. With those friends backing me up I was able to convince my parents that we should get a computer. Being able to do this allowed me to learn about computers like most of my friends did. We would often get together play computer games over a network, trade pictures and watch anime.
One day when I was at lunch Matt, a guy from across the table, was drawing a picture of a person shooting an energy blast. We started talking about Dragonball and became instant friends. We got together all the time and watched the show, played the SNES/ Super Famicom games, and draw.
Matt a year after we meet introduced me to an e-mail based Dragonball online RPG. We would send requests to train and type up battles. It was fun! The site fell apart about a month later so we decided to make one our selves since I had some experience in Microsoft Frontpage. The next semester came up and I got in to a Photoshop class to help the sites look and feel. Many of our friends were on the site as well as some of the people from the old site. It progressed for quite a while It ended up becoming so popular that I couldn’t ad anymore Dragonball characters. Becoming a fan of more anime then just Dragonball I changed it in to an anime RPG creating a whole new non-DBZ world and getting really good at Photoshop and webpage scripting. Eventually I stopped because I had no time to do it any more, because I wanted to keep my creativity going I ended up joining a Dungeons and Dragons group.
Matt and I through our friendship discovered our respect and love of the culture of Japan ranging from the martial aspects, to the animation, to there honor, and respect. One of our teachers in high school went to Japan to train in the martial art of Aikido. He taught English for a job and trained in Aikido on his free time. My teacher started both a Japanese Club and an Aikido night class. I being who I am, went to both after Matt persuaded me to how cool it was. Being in Japanese Club introduced me to many of my current friends as well as it enabled me to go to Japan on a two week trip and while being there I was able to do Aikido with some amazing people.
When I got out of high school I went to college. Seeing my interest in the world of animation and having the knowledge I gained from my work with the Dragonball RPG and other projects I made, I ended up going for Computer Graphics and Animation. Now, I have a degree in both. I’m a Shodan rank(black belt 8ish years) in Aikido, Matt is still my best friend, I still play Dungeons and Dragons, and I’m planning on moving to Japan in about a year from now. Needless to say Dragonball shaped my entire life from friends to my career.