I don't watch as much anime as I used to. I remember growing up watching cartoons that were anime, although I had no idea they were. Years passed before I realized they were; I also learned the difference between anime and manga (in a nutshell: anime=video, manga=comic book).
It also took a while for me to discover that the Japanese culture was a little different than western culture.
At first, to me anime meant a 20 minute cartoon where the main character - and his/her friends -gets in trouble, everything is about to collapse, and then the hero/heroine is victorious.
It wasn't until I started college that I discovered the other anime. Anime that was not meant for kids. As much as I enjoyed Sailor Moon or Saint Seiya, it was nothing like watching Akira for the first time.
Anime like Akira, Alita Battle Angel or Evangelion, meant to me that a story could be crazy, magical, impossible... and still make sense.
The Japanese had a different way to looking at like and not just because the storylines didn't follow the format of the American storylines didn't make it wrong. On the contrary, it still make sense and could even get to be poetic.
I loved that!
Characters in these animes also had a different depth than western characters. They talked, thought and experience things that I experienced that I was still to find in American television.
Anime is definitely an inspiration to me, because even when it all seems like it doesn't make any sense, or if it seems like no one should like it, there's always an audience for everything.
I had to get used to the way anime was presented, I had to get used to make sense of it and, I believe that it changed the way I look at things.
My husband and I are always looking for new anime to experience. Lately, we highly recommend Claymore and Another.
Want to know what I'm talking about, check out these great anime: