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Top 5 Anime That Made Me Who I Am

When looking through the annals of history one finds many instances of brutal causality, where something leads directly to events that affect the world in big ways. As I look throughout my history I find that anime has often been my cause, and affected me, in big ways, and here are my 5 favorite examples, lets get biographical.

Another Note to begin, these are not necessarily my favorite anime ever, however they are the ones I believe have prompted me to change my life the most.

5. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

I only watched the show recently, but its paid dividends
"Believe in the me that believes in you" is something I said to the cast of a play I was part of recently, becuase our show wasn't going how we wanted, and things turned around, probably not because of my quote but still, if nothing elseGurren Lagann has stuck in my mind and has caused me to make pushes to get what I want, or try something new, or meet someone new, I often think of Kamina and Simon and their adventures.

For the unfamiliar, Gurren Lagann is about Simon and Kamina, two subterranean people who end up leading the charge for a rebellion against humankind's alien slavers, which causes the world to almost explode and a battle against evolution, exploring the medium of anime and the stories it tells all the while. Gurren Lagann has stuck with me because of things Kamina says to Simon, and has led me to play a varsity sport, start acting, and even singing in front of audience, and I couldn't be happier.

4. Cowboy Bebop/Gundam Wing

Yeah it's two series, get your own list if you're mad.
I dont remember much of Gundam Wing, I was around 5 when it was on TV, and the show was past my bedtime, so my memories are hazy at best. However a few distinct shots of gigantic robots fighting in space stick in my memory, and have left me in awe of space, and the stars. Now I'm 17, and I've seen Cowboy Bebop(when I was like 13, and I've been continually DVRing and watching my favorites since), and space continues to fascinate me, to the point where its what I want to work about for the rest of my life. I know space isn't like how Bebop portrays it, but even so the possibility of other worlds, infinite space, and aliens continues to hook me on what's out in the sky.

If you haven't seen Cowboy Bebop you can get out from under your rock and buy the dvd's, or watch it on Toonami on saturdays (LATE), so that you too can enjoy the exploits of space bounty hunters Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed, and Ein, and their exploits throughout the galaxy, along with a perfect soundtrack and jazzlike structure. Gundam Wing however, is Gundam and I imagine many of you know what to expect, the best mecha action scenes around, along with a great plot, and good characters that I can't remember at all. I tried to revisit Wing recently, only to find the dub intolerably bad, and just not hooked by the series anymore, find it on DVD or online somewhere.

3. Naruto

I dragged my father 2 hours away on a school night to see this movie
Naruto served as an awakening to me, an awakening to the American anime (and manga) community through Shounen Jump magazine, and the old Toonami block on Cartoon Network. When I first saw Naruto I was in 4th grade, and I hated the idea of it, thinking it was just like Avatar: The Last Airbender(hate that show), but then my friend Simon forced me to watch it (in the middle of the Chunin Exam arc), and I fell in love immediately with the action, and the characters, but mainly the action. Naruto was a lifestyle to me, I bought the games, I subscribed to the magazine (American Monthly Shounen Jump, which was a fantastic product by the way), I saw the one night only movie, and I regret nothing, because it introduced me to the Japanese side of manga, because I heard of a mysterious Naruto Shippuden in Japan, and wanted to be more in the know than my friends, and this led me to manga scans, and online anime sites (sorry fans, I buy stuff now).

Much like a later series on this list, Naruto is a fantastic introduction to anime, with gobs of western appeal, and flashy action to keep kids hooked. Naruto is the tale of Naruto Uzumaki, and his squad of other ninjas as they go about the ninja world doing ninja things, and end up getting involved in political warfare, and conspiracies involving demons. I love Naruto and read it to this day, and think it's relevant to people of all ages and should be seen by all, period.

2. Dragon Ball/Z

I see so many Cells in anime today
Dragon Ball Z is another Gundam Wing to me, except I kept up with it, and I continued watching DBZ, and thus my memory of it is crystal clear, and what a memory it is. Dragon Ball/Z is remarkable if not just for the fact that it tell's our hero, Goku's whole life story, but also because of how innovative it's action and plot structure are, and for it's widespread appeal, how many other 20 year old series still get western releases, none. Dragon Ball had me trying to shoot lasers out of my hands, buy video games, even take karate classes, all to be like Goku, the man who taught me the value of hard work. which my father should've done (no fault to him, he's a wonderful father, its just Goku beat him to it), Goku taught me I have to work for things, mainly by how he beats things up so well.

I distinctly remember being three years old and living in Maryland, I had stayed home sick from preschool, and turned on the TV and watched Dragon Ball Z for the first time, it was the Majin Buu arc at the time, and I remember seeing Goku and Vegeta fighting it out, and obviously my young brain was taken captive. Since then I've watched every episode of Dragon Ball and DBZ, along with DBZ Kai and all the movies, talk about addictive. But DBZ is more than addictive, I grew up with Goku, as he grew up, and while I didn't develop into the biggest asskicker this side of Superman, I did mature with him, and that isn't seen in many other series, and it's a very personal trait, and I've come to adore the series for that reason, and I imagine if I ever have children they'll be watching DBZ from early on.

1. Pokemon

Wish I could've been like that at 10
Much like DBZ I've been watching Pokemon since around age 3, and while I've dropped Pokemon due to it's drop in quality season by season, the first few seasons introduced me to video games, the DS generation introduced me to eSports, roguelikes, gaming clans, and import gaming. The first video game I ever played was Pokemon Crystal for my blue Gameboy Color, which I have to this day. I've now played Pokemon Crystal seven times, most recently importing in Kanto starters and a Mew I glitched in Pokemon Red, but I'm getting off topic. Ash, Misty and Brock kept me hooked on video games throughout generations, by supplementing my gaming imagination with their tv adventures, which led me to subsequent Gameboy Advances, Gamecubes, and Dses (I jumped ship to Pc and Sony handhelds, but X and Y may change things).

Pokemon[i] taught me many things: trust your friends, be kind to others, value the good in the world, and much like DBZ, that I have to work for things, valuable lessons to say the least. However it's the unspoken that makes [i]Pokemon[i] important in my life; [i]Pokemon made me lifetime friends, through trading and general Gameboy envy at young ages, Pokemon also brought me into the eSports community through a clan I joined ({UA} Ultimate Annihilation), I learned about forums, IRC, tournaments, and metagames, which has served me so well that I play on a sponsored DOTA 2 team now (we aren't that good but still), and various eSports have carried my social life in various points of time, all due to my introduction through Pokemon.

Pokemon has led me to buying several game systems, and has often carried my interest in video games, and their surrounding media, and it's impact on who I am cannot be understated as without it I'm not sure where I'd be in this point in time, but what I do know, is I certainly wouldn't be blogging here, because if all of it's other effects weren't enough; Pokemon was my first real foray into anime, if that's not a clincher I don't know what is.

Lastly I have a few other series worth noting that didn't quite make the cut
Honorable Mentions:
Spirited Away: Saw it when I was really young, various psychological impacts.
One Piece: Similar to Naruto but I was way more into Naruto
Yu Gi OH: I ate it up, period.
Fullmetal Alchemist Another one of my major early anime encounters.

Wow it's been a long time since my last blog! Thanks Japanator staff for this wonderful bloggers wanted topic! I've been busy lately and I hope to keep up a more regular blogging schedule, but annyways....
What anime have affected you in your lives? Drop me a comment! I'd love to hear. And until next time...

Auf Wiedersehn
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About CharismaJusticeone of us since 7:05 PM on 09.30.2012

Hi I'm Hamilton and I have opinions on things! I'm from the south (lets keep that on the down low), I read lots of manga, and watch anime (less than I read manga), I also play way too much video games and like RPGs and Shooters.

Follow Me on Twitter @Im_Hamilton if you wish
Instagram: @hamiltonohtoole

Stuff I Like:

Some of my favorite manga(s?) I've read are(in no particular order): Berserk, Zetman, Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Gantz, Blood Lad, Air Gear, Black Jack, Naruto, the first few Bleach arcs, One Piece, Gintama, Hunter X Hunter, Ratman, Black Cat, Gamaran, Shingeki no Kyojin, Cage of Eden, Fairy Tail, Magi, Slam Dunk, Akira, History's strongest Disciple Kenichi (I've Read way more but this list is getting long)

I like anime too!: Most Ghibli works, Eureka Seven, [C], Samurai 7, Casshern Sins, Gurren Lagann, Trigun, Hellsing, Durarara, Dragon Ball(and Z)

Music I like: Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Oberhofer, Modest Mouse, the XX, Matt and Kim, Crystal Castles, No Age, Pavement, Neutral Milk Hotel.

Games I Like: Fallout 3, Chrono Trigger, Dark Souls, Skyrim, Minecraft, Day Z, Portal 1&2, Counter Strike, Street Fighter, Marvel Vs Capcom, Assorted final fantasies.

Sorry if my lists are too long for you.