How I came to regularly watch Anime (since you asked).
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If you were to ask me when I started watching anime, the proper answer would be "since I was four". However, if it's a matter of when I actually decided to make it a prime source of entertainment, the answer would be around 2006.
You see, anime here was widely broadcast as Saturday morning cartoons in the form of Goldorak, Capitaine Flam, Mystérieuses cités d'or, Belle & Sebastien, Remi, Captain Harlock, Kerokko Demetan and many other imported Japanese series. This was a standard staple and I, as a result had little interest for things like G.I. Joe, Cops or any other flavor of cartoons where emotions other than anger did not play a factor in the interaction of characters.
I watched no anime in Grade School or High School, and had absolutely no interest as it was childish to me. A common stereotype.
In college, I've gone through the usual battery of being urged to watch "Akira" and "Ghost in the Shell" but non-anime regulars. I watched them.. but they really didn't hit me all that hard. However it really wasn't until I caught Ninja Scroll at 3am on the Cartoon Network that I was completely taken aback by the level of exhilaration, action, and intense personification of evil that this storytelling medium had to offer. Finding anything akin to Ninja Scroll would have to, as you probably know, wait for many years. I bought it on VHS, almost immediately. To my chagrin, though, nobody in my immediate social circle could recommend think of anything that would come close as a Samurai Epic.
Eventually, I purchased a PS2.
Following the rental of Shadow Hearts: Covenant, I really started to clue in on the depth and research that Japanese teams are capable of. Yes, the scenes were in 3D and non-indicative, but this wasn't the kicker, though. Of all things, it was the cutscenes of Gungrave that would pave the definitive way to my first Anime Box Set purchase. When the game started with the light snowfall over the city, I felt something wonderful at work. In all fairness, as far as Movies/Series based on videogames, Gungrave is way up there at the top.
Since Gungrave, I had been looking for something else to buy. Now, I'm pretty compulsive about spoilers: I'll rarely read a synopsis past the first two phrases if I find the visuals convincing. That being said, I do judge the set by its cover.. but recently, I find that watching the OP is enough fuel for the fire.
In a music store was this massive Basilisk box set that had peaked my attention. I found the price to be quite steep for an impulse purchase, but on hindsight, and seeing just how much I fell in love with it, I should have bought it (I own the Viridian Collection..). Basilisk was the sign and pulse, to me, that there was finally hope in watching things that are as effective as Ninja Scroll. As a side-effect from watching these three titles, however, I've developed an instant aversion to certain styles of artwork. There are titles that I refuse to watch just because of the offending character proportions. I have zero interest for Kawai ^_^ stuff. This might be a blessing, in fact, as there's just an dizzying amount of titles out there.
Nobody is supposed to agree, it is after all, the Internet. This is still the truth, whether my references and causes are valid or not. What matters is that I bask, as millions do, in the wonder of this medium that I am so grateful for.
Anime-Planet (sothis), thank you.