I’m going to hope this means “the first anime I ever watched all the way through,” as in from beginning to end. Otherwise, I’m not sure what the first anime I ever saw was. There were several that I saw an episode or two of on TV but I wasn’t allowed to watch them. There were also a few that my sister showed me bits of when she snuck and watched them. Also, for this post, I’m only using Japanese anime. Avatar: The Last Airbender is an animation and therefore an anime, and it was the first I saw, but it isn’t a Japanese animation. So anyway. The first (Japanese) anime that I ever watched (all the way through) was Wolf’s Rain.
I’ve written a review for Wolf’s Rain on this blog and a second post analyzing the themes in the show if you are interested in either. Writing too much about it here just feels repetitive. What I can say is a little bit about the anime in general, and then whether I liked it, how I found it, and if it got me interested in anime fandom/ being an otaku.
What is Wolf’s Rain? To start, it’s a 2003 show by Bones that qualifies as post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, fantasy, action/adventure, and psychological. The main character is Kiba the white wolf. Like most of the mystical kind of wolves that exist in the anime’s world, Kiba is instinctively driven to look for Paradise, a heaven that opens only for wolves. The story follows the adventures of Kiba and the unlikely pack he around him.
Did I like Wolf’s Rain? Saying I liked it wouldn’t be enough. I adore and hold in high esteem the anime Wolf’s Rain. It’s still in my top ten favorite anime ever, probably in the top five. Here are just a few reasons to love it. 1) Great art and animation for the year 2003, most of the time. 2) A perfect musical soundtrack. 3) Well-drawn, realistic-looking wolves. 4) Awesome fights involving people vs. wolves or wolves vs. wolves. 5) The characters, including Blue, the hot female wolf-dog hybrid, and several memorable human characters. 6) The profound themes of existentialism and the meaning of life, mostly explored toward the end of the series.
How Did I Discover Wolf’s Rain? I grew up in a very strict family. They were fundamentalist christians of the Quiverful Movement, and didn’t let me watch anime as a kid. When I was 18, I used my life savings to buy my own laptop. I got a lot of sh*t from my family about it, but since I honestly really was using the laptop for college, they had to let me. I used it a bit now and then, of course, to listen to music or explore videos. One day, I decided to try an anime series, because I had loved the anime film I saw earlier that year, Princess Mononoke. Wolves and weasels are my favorite animals. I simply googled “anime about wolves,” and one result that came up was Wolf’s Rain. It was available (at the time) on Funimation’s YouTube channel. So, knowing nothing else about it, I started watching “an anime about wolves.”
Did Wolf’s Rain Inspire Me to Join Anime Fandom? The answer is a wishy-washy “sort of.” It set the stage for me to get into anime. That same year, I watched several more anime movies, plus the series Death Note, Ouran Highschool, and some of Soul Eater. Then college and other things got in the way. I watched 8 or 10 series in the two years following that: all pretty short ones, none of the classics. But after college, that’s when I became a real otaku. Falling back on shows I remembered like Wolf’s Rain and Death Note, I found out what I would like and started watching anime like crazy whenever I had time. I became an anime otaku. And I’ve never regretted it.
Next time: Day 2: Favorite I’ve Anime Seen so Far