Diving into a peculiar second life.

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This is my first journey through the “100 Days of Anime” Challenge, an ambitious project that I’ll be taking starting today. For the full list of prompts, click here.

Way back in 2012, I started my first anime series. Up until then, I was hopelessly addicted to gaming, only dabbling in the occasional episode of Sailor Moon or Pokemon my grandpa had acquired on the VHS. With video games and books (my other true love) taking up most of my spare time, I didn’t even know anime existed. After all, none of my classmates ever mentioned this ‘anime’, even if they were obsessed with things like Pokemon cards and Yugioh. High school broke that trend however, with so many students from different backgrounds and interests coming together until one day, my little circle suggested a show I should try out. One that sent me and thousands of others through a spiraling plot filled with mystery, drama and intrigue that I had never known existed.

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When I first jumped into the world of Death Note, I brought with me some misconceptions. Firstly, that it would fail to get me emotionally invested. After all, I never really cared for Ash Ketchum nor was I afraid of Yugi ever losing a duel. These are cartoons! Surely our protagonist will end up stomping the big bads in dramatic fashion. As incorrect as that mindset was, I still fully believed in that logic β€˜til the very end of Death Note. However, there was something fundamentally different about the theme of Death Note, one that not only caught me off guard, but threw me way out of my comfort zone.

An introduction to the morally gray.

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The misconception that there must always be a clear-cut good guy and an antagonist left adolescent me conflicted. On one hand, I wanted to agree with Light’s actions and ideals. But on the other hand, was that truly justice? Torn between two sides, I watched the final scene in awe until suddenly, the credits had rolled. With my laptop closed and set aside, I realized something. That THIS was the emotional investment I was looking for, one that I craved. A new and exciting perspective that opened me up to shows such as Akame ga Kill, Darker than Black, and even Baccano!

From there, I branched off into other genres of anime, happily consuming everything the medium had to offer. Fantasies like Log Horizon that fueled my escapism with its colorful world and light intrigue. Slice of lifes such as Working! that took me through the warm everyday journeys of the cutest cast. The hilarious party members of Konosuba and their shenanigans to even the long-winded but intricate character growth of Naruto. New depths and perspectives that I have learned throughout these seemingly short five years until finally, blogging.

A desire to give back to a community that introduced me to this wonderful medium. This is for you guys.

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