I Used to be an Anime Girl (Until I Grew Up)

My first experience in anime was at my grandparents’ house in Fayetteville, Arkansas. My cousin Paul and I used to sit in front of the television and watch Inuyasha. We watched it all the time when we were there. At home, we never had cable so instead, I’d peruse YouTube and find the episodes. Usually, one episode was broken up into at least ten videos that were between 4 to 5 minutes long. Sometimes, I couldn’t find an episode so I’d have to skip to the next one. Sometimes I couldn’t find it dubbed or subbed so I’d watch the episode in Japanese.

Inuyasha wasn’t the only anime I did this for.

From the age of maybe 12 to 15, I watched my anime on YouTube. I’d watch Inuyasha, Vampire Knight, Bleach, Fushigi Yuugi, Ranma 1/2, Hellsing, Peach Girl, Aishiteruze Baby, Chibi Vampire, Chobits, Naruto, and many others. I’d get my manga from my middle school, Haskell Middle School in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. We had this small section of manga, tucked away and hidden like it was something to be ashamed of. I read every single manga we had there. Most of the time, the manga wasn’t complete. I’d go from volume one to volume five, etc. At the school, they had Inuyasha, Fruits Basket, and many others. None complete, of course. I went to the library so much that the librarian would tell me when she got more manga in.

At some point, I had a subscription to one of those manga magazines which was a huge collection of the most popular series at the time. Up until the age of 15, I was all about anime and manga. I was obsessed. I’d stay up for hours watching it on YouTube, and when we had cable, I’d watch Adult Swim when all the anime came on. My friend and I would stay up late at her house and watch anime together. Ranma 1/2 was one of our favorites. So was Fushigi Yuugi. My brother Tristan got really in Peach Girl and Aishiteruze Baby and got so mad at me one weekend when I went ahead and watched episodes without him.

Now that I’m older, I have to be in the right mood for anime. And I haven’t read manga since I was probably 15 years old. Honestly, if I tried to read manga now, I’d probably have to Google how to read it. It’s been that long.

There are quite a few anime that people have been telling me to watch such as The Seven Deadly Sins, Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, Soul Eater, Fairytale, and Castlevania but I haven’t really gotten to watching them. I’m not sure why I can’t watch anime anymore. Why is it that I can sit down and watch Criminal Minds over and over and over again, or watch Mulan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I can’t watch anime anymore? Is it because I am older? Can I no longer relate to the anime I watch? Does this mean that I need to find anime that appeals to my 27-year-old self rather than my 12-year-old self?

That’s not to say I haven’t tried. I’ve watched a few episodes of Soul Eater and Fairytale. I couldn’t get into either of them. They are a bit too like Ranma 1/2 and by that I mean, they aren’t very serious. They’re a bit too silly for me. Now I did watch some of Sword Art Online (SOA) and I found it fascinating (though apparently, the second season is trash according to some of my friends).

The anime that I really got into the past few years is RWBY. My baby cousin Pagan begged me to watch it. Trust me, she had to work for it. The first season’s animation was not good. It’s hard to get past it. But now the story. Now that was well worth it. It was new and interesting. It’s about a place called Remnant where these creatures known as Grimm run amuck. Huntresses or Huntsmen well, hunt these creatures. What I find so awesome is that like every character, just about, is based off characters in fairytales or mythology. It’s just cool. But we’re not going to talk about RWBY today. If you haven’t watched RWBY, I heavily recommend it.

We’re going to talk (write, read, whatever) about my favorite animes when I was a kid.

Let’s get started.

Inuyasha

Inuyasha, Kagome, Shippo, Miroku and Sango

Recently, I watched the first three Inuyasha movies. I was randomly in the mood to watch it, and in fact, I might watch the show from the beginning.

Admittedly, this anime has not aged well. Watching it now, it’s a bit cringeworthy. I watch it because, well, nostalgia. It’s still one of my favorite animes, and it’s still like what got me into anime.

Inuyasha follows a modern girl (Kagome) who follows in the well at her family’s shrine and ends up in Feudal Japan. There she meets a half-demon (Inuyasha) and after a bit of complications, they end up on a journey to search for the shards of the Shikon Jewel. There’s a bad guy (Naruku) who wants the Jewel all for himself and that’s more or less it.

As always there are fillers between the searching for the shards of the jewels. Those fillers get a bit tedious at times, not going to lie. (But nothing compares to the fillers of Bleach and Naruto, we’ll get to that a bit later though.) Inuyasha is one of those animes where I don’t like the main characters (there’s a few on my list like that). Kagome gets on my nerves. but also, so does Kikyo.

Now, Kagome gets better. You have to remember that she is a 16 year old girl. Inuyasha gets better too. He grows as a character. Trust me, if you compare the Inuyasha of the first episode to the last episode, there’s a huge difference. Kikyo, however, is just so full of bitterness and rage for something that Kagome had no control over, in fact, was not involved in. Like why treat this girl like shit when it wasn’t her fault? It was Naraku’s. Get over your damn self, seriously.

Some of the best characters are the side characters.

Like Sango, the badass demon slayer whose brother Kohaku killed their entire village thanks to Naraku.

Miroku, the pervy monk who was cursed with a Wind Tunnel. (If you have watched this show then you totally heard that in Miroku’s voice. Totally.) He was cursed thanks to Naraku. (Basically, Naraku fucked up a lot of people’s lives. More or less.)

Shippo, the kid fox-demon who ends up tagging along after some wolf demons kill his entire village basically.

Then there’s Sesshomaru, my favorite character. He’s all cool and confident, controlled. He hates humans but then he meets Rin, a young girl who tends to his wounds even though he snarls at her. He finds someone to protect, and though it is subtle, he does change because of this human girl. Some of my favorite episodes are with Sesshomaru and Rin.

Recently, they released a sequel to Inuyasha called Yashahime: Princess Half Demon. This anime follows the twin sisters, Towa and Setsuna, daughters of Sesshomaru and Rin. Towa somehow ended up in modern times and was raised by Kagome’s brother. The twins join with Moroha, Inuyasha and Kagome’s daughter to find answers to their missing past. I haven’t watched it yet. It’s received mixed reviews. But I do plan on watching it at some point.

Vampire Knight

Kaname, Yuuki, and Zero

This show would be so much better without the main character, Yuki. Seriously. Compared to her love interests and the other side characters, she’s so. . .blah. She’s always getting in the way and fucking things up. She’s a crybaby and I can’t stand her.

Vampire Knight takes place at Cross Academy where there is a Day Class and a Night Class. I mean, it should be obvious what the Night Class is. Vampires. Duh. Yuki was found by Kaname Kuran who saved her from a rogue vampire. She has no memory of who she is. Kaien Cross, the Headmaster of Cross Academy takes Yuki in. Eventually, he also takes in Zero Kiryu, the only (or so we think at least) surviving member of his Hunter family.

Zero hates vampires, which hey, makes sense. A vampire did slaughter his entire family and uh, turn him into a vampire. More on that in a bit. Yuki is very naïve, thinking that all vampires are like her precious Kaname, when really, he’s just as cruel and vicious as the rest of them.

Now in this universe, vampires are born. They are just a subspecies of humans. There’s no reason given as to where vampires came to be, not that I recall at least. Purebloods are those who do not have a single human relative in their family tree. Nobles are under them. Now, humans can become vampires if bitten by a pureblood vampire. However, they turn into what they call Level D and Es, which means they go crazy with thirst. They are eventually put down by Hunters or other vampires to ensure that they (vampires that is) remain a secret.

Zero is a Level D, a step above a Level E, so he’s not quite lost it yet, and he starts feeding on Yuki whose blood is like crack for some reason. I won’t ruin the entire thing. It’s a good show. Though it does get a bit. . .weird and complicated. It’s confusing. (Which is why I said fuck it and went to a fanfiction instead because it was less weird. . Of course said fanfiction is a slash with Kaname and Zero as the main pairing)

If you can get past Yuki, you will love the other side characters besides Kaname and Zero.

Such as:

Hanabusa Aidou or “Idol” by the Day Class girls who is like every girl’s crush. He’s very protective of Kaname and lowkey, totally think he’s in love with Kaname. He is always getting smacked. He seems almost like a goofball but he has a deeper side.

Senri Shiki who is very distantly related to Kaname. He makes Zero looks expressive. The interesting things about him happen later and boy do you feel bad for him.

Kain Akatsuki has no time for anyone’s bullshit. He’s pretty carefree and totally in love with Ruka Souen, who is in love with Kaname. . .who wants nothing to do with her. Kaname is kind of a jerk, honestly, but you kind of think he’s not. He wears a lot of masks.

Takuma Ichijou is the most human vampire of the bunch. Seriously. He’s probably my favorite. He and Kaname are childhood friends. In fact, pretty sure, Takuma was Kaname’s only friend growing up.

If you can get past Yuki, you’ll like this show. If you can’t, then well, fanfiction? No, seriously, there’s this fantastic Vampire Knight fanfiction, it’s got like four pieces and it’s well. . .*coughs* Zero x Kaname slash. Ahem. But it is SO good. It’s beautifully written and completely in character. Honestly, I haven’t even finished this show or the manga. I went to fanfiction. Lol. (I’m not even kidding on that.)

(Note: I hope y’all get cool with incest real quick, like Game of Thrones level incest, because (SPOILERS) Kaname and Yuki. . .yeah. . .they are brother and sister. Their parents were brother and sister too. Also, Yuki has a kid with Kaname and a kid with Zero, and these half-siblings are. . .attracted to each other.

We seem to just forget that tidbit. But yeah, it’s a thing.)

But if you get over that and the really obnoxious and awful main character, it’s not a bad show.

Fushigi Yuugi

Miaka with the Seven Warriors of Suzaku

You know how in Inuyasha Kagome falls into a well and ends up in Feudal Japan? Well in this one, the main girl, Miaka, gets sucked into a book. Or a scroll, I guess, whatever and into like Feudal Japan. Oh and her friend Yui is the priestess of Seiryu and is going up against Miaka because she blames Miaka for her (Yui that is) treatment when she first came into the scroll world. Poor Yui gets attacked and the way they gloss over her sexual assault and her trauma is not okay. Now, that’s not on Miaka so it seems a bit of a weak reason for a friend to betray another? But also this bad guy Nakago totally feeds into Yui’s emotions and turns her against Miaka. Fuck Nakago.

Surprise, surprise, I don’t Miaka. Her entire purpose is to be rescued by these seven warriors who are ALL in love with her. That’s it. That’s the show. Or rather, that’s her story in the show. Her purpose is to unite the warriors. Basically, unite the seven warriors and then the god Suzaku will grant three wishes, or something like that. Again, it’s been a while.

Per usual the side characters are the best.

Take Tamahome for example, one of the seven warriors of Suzaku. Tamahome comes off initially as a bad guy jokester type but then you find out he’s just trying to take care of his family. You have Hotohori who is a king or something like that, but he’s like a genuine good guy (who Miaka first thinks is a woman because he’s like ridiculously pretty). Hotohori and Tamahome are the two main love interests for Miaka, but let’s be real, once you see her and Tamahome together, it’s done.

There’s also the very interesting character of Nuriko whom everyone assumes is a woman. And for Nuriko, she is. As usual, they don’t handle that well and she’s constantly being misgendered. Also, Nuriko and Miaka had such great chemistry. I could never tell if it was romantic or not, but either way, Nuriko and Miaka. ❤ Basically.

it’s an interesting show. Though only watch the first season. The second and third are trash. Keep in mind that it isn’t always a serious show so it does have some major cringe moments.

Bleach

Ichigo

Oh my god! A main character in an anime I like! Seriously, I love Ichigo. He’s my favorite. And I’m pretty sure he remains my favorite. He’s an angry 15 year who can see ghosts and helps them move on and he loves his sisters and his dad. He’s just a great character. He gets thrown into this life as a Soul Reaper. Then it gets so damn complicated.

I think at some point he also becomes a Quincy? And like half-Hollow? It’s a mess, basically.

Either way, I always like Ichigo. He doesn’t always make the right decisions, and yeah, he’s a total hot head, but at the end of the day, he just wants to help. Now I don’t like his love interest, Rukia. She blames him for this whole mess but. . .and correct me if I’m wrong. . .isn’t it, her fault?? Just saying.

There are as always some great side characters. Like Orihime who is just so sweet and everything thinks she’s dumb. I think there’s this strong guy type named Chad? There’s so many characters that it’s honestly hard to keep track of at times. Which brings me to my next point. . .

I have never finished this show. Do you know why? My problem with this show, or rather everyone’s problem is. . .SO MUCH DAMN FILLER.

Seriously. I think I read something that said Bleach has the most filler of any anime. Like ever. There is so much filler that at times, you forget what the larger plot of the show is. It’s fucking ridiculous. There’s no need for that much filler. Some? Sure. But that much. Jesus. No.

Might be easier to just read the manga to finish this show, tbh. I’ll have to remember how to read a manga. I haven’t read manga since I was like 15 years old.

Naruto

Let me tell you something.

Before Shippudeun came out, I hated every single character in Naruto other than Kakashi. Seriously. All of them. They were all awful. They were a bunch of stupid kids. Sakura had no purpose other than being obsessed with Sasuke who was a total dick to her. Naruto was obnoxious to the point where it was too much to bear. It took me ages to get through Naruto so I could watch Shippudeun.

Then we have Shippudeun and I’m like, wow. Okay. I like Sakura and Naruto. (Okay, I always liked Sasuke, admittedly. Come on, angsty bad boy? Don’t y’all know by now that is my type? (Not in real life though, in real life, I like the nerdy types.)) I never thought I would like Sakura but man, she becomes a straight up badass. I love it. I’m here for some badass women, (if you know, they’re done correctly. No one likes an arrogant badass woman *coughs* Ahem. Captain Marvel. Arrogance used to be something we’d like as stupid kids, whether it was an arrogant man or an arrogant woman, but now that I’m older? Yeah, it’s a turn off. Thanks.) Naruto becomes more than some stupid, obnoxious goofball. He really grows as a character. They all do and that’s so important.

Also, we get Gaara, who could be like a member of My Chemical Romance.

Thus concludes our journey into my 15 year old viewing pleasures. It certainly has changed since then.

Here are some other animes I watched as well.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Peach Girl
  • Aishiteruze Baby
  • Chibi Vampire
  • Ranma 1/2
  • Chobits
  • Hellsing
  • Fruits Basket
  • Rurouni Kenshin

Until next time! (Whenever that is. Lol.)

-K

P.S. Featured image is me as Blossom from The Powerpuff Girls from Halloween 2019. I also dressed as her when we went to Arkansas Comic Con 2019 as well.

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