I'm listening to the podcast and hearing the people on the panel tell about their first anime...
Damn I'm old!
I remember watching anime on TV (not cable) on a local channel that had 5 shows that rotated every day.
I recall watching (each on it's own day in the same time slot):
1) Battle of the Planets
2) Star Blazers
3) Not sure if it was Voltron, but it was similar.
4) Something where all the bad guys had horns in the middle of their heads.
5) Force-5 ???
Some of the above may describe the same show, It's been a looooong time.
I also watched Robotech when that was on TV...
Does anyone remember a weird TV show where the bad guys were half plant/half machine? The main "good" guy had half a seed hanging around his neck, a "gandalf" type character/sidekick and a Han Solo knock-off guy who owned the ship? They had a toy line...
I think I mentioned all this on the webcomic round table, though...
There were Transformers and Voltron back when I was real young, but I didn't even know they were from Japan.
Then there was that Macross movie I saw with a friend when I was still youngish, since he was a bit of a Robotech fan - the one with the Zentradi idol. I sort of new that this had something to do with Japan and OMG he said "shit" in a cartoon.
Then there was Gall Force on Saturday Anime on the SciFi channel and the shows that came after it, and suddenly I was a self-identifying anime fan.
On second thought the show I am thinking about, I believe, is Noozles. They both aired during the same period and are somewhat related, you know, because of the koalas and all.
The first anime that I knew was an anime was The Lensman.
I remember distinctly catching random eposides of Neon Genesis and wondering if the mechs ever worked! ^_^
As for the first anime I knew was anime, that would be Dragon Ball Z which started running on US tv when I was in middle school.
Japanimation all the way!
My mom would always ask why japanese people were obsessed with huge eyes.
I also have distinct childhood memories of watching Ninja Scroll when I was a real young lad, though I can't remember the exact chronology for that.
I didn't start paying attention to the anime world until college and the RIT Anime Club, though.
I think my first taste of anime was Doraemon, possibly when I was around 6. However coming from a Chinese family, I assumed it was just Chinese cartoons (since they were dubbed in Cantonese). I assumed the same for the first Ghibli movies I saw ( My Neighbour Totoro, Lapute and Nausicaa), Gundam F90 and F91 and Dragon Ball. I think the first time I actually associated anime with Japan was at the age of 16 when I saw Ninja Scroll (the movie) and Vampire Hunter D:Bloodlust, which rekindled my interest in anime.
btw I don't care what Rym and Scott say about Gundam F91, they had the best mecha-designs out of all the Gundams. Damn the bastard producers for not making a full length show and effectively castrating what could have been a kickass Gundam series.
From there, I watched Project A-ko on the Sci-fi Channel, along with Vampire Hunter D. After getting an issue of Animerica, I saw some articles on Evangelion and Rayearth, and soon branched out into those. Also, luckily enough, the local comic book shop sold single issues of manga, so I got my hands on Gunsmith Cats, Tenchi Muyo, and Lodoss War. It only exploded from there, I'm afraid.
Learning about anime also got me interested in learning about Japan, though, and other cultures after that - and now I'm an anthropology major. I'm living proof that fangirls, given a little intellectual stimulation, can grow into something entirely less scary, and more productive. Whee!
On another note, it's interesting to see how the Moonie phenomenon is sort of dying out.
Note: As most people can tell, I enjoy a lot of anime music.
It was only when I worked in a comic store in Dublin that similar to Anime, my first was Ghost in the Shell.
It was only when I really got into it, borrowing those old VHS tapes of Akira, Appleseed, Legend of the Four Kings, Wicked City etc. Great stuff