Why? No, seriously… why?

A lot of people wonder and ask me why I like anime so much. Some people I know do watch anime back then, but they what they watch are the usual shounen series like Naruto and Bleach, and very few would even consider looking at the synopses for other anime. I was considered a deviant for quite a while back then for liking drama-driven series like Kanon and Clannad, which they had incorrectly assumed was for little girls aged 10-12.

But I have to admit, I was not always such a big fan. I did not like anime back when I was younger, you can even say that I hated them. I was unaware of the existence of the other genres of anime that they never show here in the Philippines unless you have cable TV. However, one night at the dormitory, a very fateful event turned my whole world upside-down. A friend who was living in the same dormitory brought a Negima! DVD into our room to share with a roommate of mine. As for me, who had an indifferent view on anime, I didn’t really care about what they did in our room as long as it did not cause trouble for me.

They then started to watch it in my friend’s laptop. I was a bit annoyed and a bit curious on why my friend would explain very minor details about the anime while I was trying to sleep. I finally gave up on sleeping and decided to check out what they were doing. The first thing I saw was Negi’s infamous sneeze that lifted up Asuna’s skirt. Presented with a rather disturbing scene, I asked for an explanation on why the child could generate strong wind from his sneeze. My friend then said, “Basta, panoorin mo na lang,” which roughly translates to “Just watch it and find out.” Curiosity getting the better of me, I decided to watch the whole episode. It turned out to be something that I have never seen before. Back then, and even now, Philippine entertainment doesn’t evolve too much due to the majority of the population being too conservative. I began to take interest in watching a few episodes, just to satisfy my curiosity and before I knew it, I finished all of them, not getting even a minute of sleep. Yes, it was very entertaining compared to all those mainstream Filipino dramas which always involved someone who was either an adopted child or a bastard son, the poor girl and the rich, handsome guy, and cheap adaptations of fairy tales that would run for months to years, five days a week.

After that, I asked around for people who watch different anime. And a year later, another good friend of mine introduced me to Clannad. That was the series that truly started it all. I borrowed the DVDs from him and watched until episode 14. Those were the first times that I had tears in my eyes from watching cartoons. I felt that I should not be the only one who gets to enjoy these heartwarming masterpieces, so I brought the DVDs to the dorm and started to recommend it to people. I was met with different reactions, some were annoyed, some even laughed at me for watching such “girly” cartoons. However, I did not give up and finally got some people to watch it. Some time passed and almost everyone in the dormitory in the same grade as myself had “Dango Daikazoku” playing in their heads. Not only that, they’ve started to take interest in other anime, too and recommended pretty good watches to me like Zero no Tsukaima, Kanokon and plenty of other interesting anime. I was was quite proud of myself for being able to convince people that there are better anime than the shounen series that they show on TV.

So, you see, my greatest reason for watching anime is that it’s entertaining. All the juicy things that come with enjoying anime are just very big bonuses. 🙂

P.S.: I’m proud to be Filipino. I just don’t like how entertainment is so clichéd here.

P.P.S.: Clannad is the reason why I decided to play visual novels.

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  1. Nice read. Btw… just curious about something….

    “those mainstream Filipino dramas which always involved someone who was either an adopted child or a bastard son, the poor girl and the rich, handsome guy, and cheap adaptations of fairy tales that would run for months to years, five days a week.”
    Is that kind of drama is the most popular story type of drama in South East Asia or what?
    The drama shown on television in my place also more or less similar like that, and that kind of story has been shown for at least 13 years in my country. ==”

    • Woah, thirteen years… that’s too long. Anyway, yes, those are the kinds of dramas that we have here. Most are retelling of famous movies back in the eighties, a Filipino adaptation of Marimar and some other Mexican dramas, several adaptations of hit Korean drama series, and inventing another sister for Cinderella called “Grazilda.” seriously, it’s a bit messed up.

      • Oh, and I forgot to mention cheap knock offs of School Days and Twilight.

      • Ugh…
        Speaking of cheap knock offs, I think there were plagiarism of 1 Litre of Tears too a few years ago.
        But at that time, I had stopped watching anything but anime and news so I don’t know if it’s truly similar.
        I don’t have any idea how the hell people could stand watching drama with that kind of storyline for years.
        13 years is already more than half of my age dammit! ==”

      • Oh, really? I didn’t know about that one.

        “But at that time, I had stopped watching anything but anime and news so I don’t know if it’s truly similar.”

        I also stopped watching stuff except the news. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

        On a note: 1 Litre of Tears was good. It aired here some years ago. I’m a bit disappointed at the end though. It’s too clichéd in my opinion.

    • Yi
    • January 19th, 2011

    Wow, you actually got your whole dormitory to watch anime? That’s impressive.

    Anyway, a very fun read about how you got exposed and started loving anime.It’s interesting you could point to a single event/ anime that begin it all. My first time was much different. I kind of just grew up with it, but not really.

    • It was really unforgettable. That night made me realize what I’ve been missing, and I’m glad I found it.

  2. My career as an animeniac was as simple as Yi-san’s, it just grew on me. your introduction to the mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world of anime is quite an interesting one indeed. Glad to have you on board the madness express fellow animeniac. (that’s a compliment in case you’re wondering)

  3. I’m proud to be Filipino. I just don’t like how entertainment is so clichéd here.

    totally agree. there’s nothing fresh, nothing new when it comes to entertainment for this country. almost everything are westernized: twilight becomes a hit and we get a soap opera about vampires. the local romance stories are always the same but with different actors for fangirls to go crazy about or female leads for fanboys to even fap to. geez! they say Filipinos are good and I can attest to that talent when it comes to work but we are only good at making other countries prosper! why is it that when it comes to our country, we seriously suck?! :<

    • I think the more specific problem is that Filipinos seem to be more concerned about who does the leading roles and all the tension and angst involved in their recycled romances. Heck, they even extend the issues into real life. Just look at those worthless talk shows… they’re getting gold every week just because many Filipinos care more about the love lives of celebrities than their own damn welfare.

      Another serious problem is that companies are afraid to take risks and produce work that subverts common Filipino soap opera tropes. They’re just too cautious with their money. They’d rather produce mediocre recycled shows and make sure profit than take risks and revolutionize Filipino entertainment.

      >”they say Filipinos are good and I can attest to that talent when it comes to work but we are only good at making other countries prosper! why is it that when it comes to our country, we seriously suck?! :<"

      It's because Filipinos are very fascinated about foreign culture, just like any other country. The problem is that we TRY to copy them, even if we cannot, to the extent of neglecting our own culture. It's the mentality set to the Filipino culture ever since the Spaniards came. It's very sad that even low-budget indie films have even better stories than those so-called "Hollywood Class" Films that they hype up during the Metro Manila Film Festival yet they don't seem to attract that much attention due to indie films rarely having famous celebrities in them.

  4. am san po nakakabili ng cd ng negima ?? natapos ko na kc ung season 1 tas andun nako sa ala alba .. hanggang episode 300 plus yun ehh nd na nakalagay sa pinanonoodan kong site .. taga cavite po ako kung meron po kayong alam na bilihan nd cd ng anime i would like to know po . by the way napanood ko na din po ung clannad haha 😀 and i really like nagisa 😀

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