By – Mohammad Hajou ( Anime India Reader )
Dragon Quest was the very first anime that I watched, surprisingly at that back in 2001 I didn’t even know that this animated series that has hooked me so much to an extent to binge-watch it on VC recorders and TV is anime as it was all dubbed in Arabic. Anime came into my life this way and today I cannot even imagine my life without anime.
I still remember how we just binge watch Dragon Quest and then imitate the heroes, the way they talked and walked although at the time I did not know that this something that I was watching is anime which is a huge thing on its own, still there was this connection that I had with the characters on the screen. Waiting for every day to buy dubbed CDs of anime shows, getting the time out of the family to play them on VC recorders, getting up early too and slotting time to have control over the television amongst other kids in the family so that I can watch the anime shows and form my world around me was mostly what my childhood was all about.
RELATED: Current State Of Anime In India
After many years of watching shows on TV and some on the VC records I discovered that this is not the original language of the show, it is Japanese and my hunger to know more started from there. I wanted to watch the raw and pure thing which was anime, understand the Japanese culture in it’s voice and language and at that time maybe like 2013-2014 there was internet but there was no Netflix or apps to watch your favourite shows. So we used to go to websites and they would have links for the episodes we used to watch at that time. I was watching one anime which was Naruto. Googling everything about Naruto and finding the website to watch it in Japanese with English subtitles was like my life goal at that time. It was like my purpose, something that made me wake up every day and look forward to it.
I remember I had a small phone an LG phone with a broken screen and I would sit on my bed and put on my headphones and watch anime for hours and hours, I liked to go outside but I was never a person who initiated an outing so I just wait to be called out, or I go out alone but I lived my whole life in an Island so there was like 3000 people in it only everyone knows everyone. Sometimes it got too claustrophobic. It was like life became suffocating and monotonous and I wanted a way to get out of it with my imagination. That’s where anime helped me.
Taking my broken phone and lying on my bed while binge-watching Naruto, watching him fight and imagining myself in his shoes living his life in my imagination gave me an identity and a character. With anime, I built my world where I could be Naruto or Itachi and just be out there away from my original reality and live a life with them.
RELATED: How to Watch Anime In India
Apart from helping me create my little world, anime also helped me be able to feel a little comfort at home. The house we lived in was small for a family of six, and I did not take up much space, just a couch and a bed, and I could shut the whole outside noise off and be comfortable in my little anime world.
Since I started watching anime with English subtitles, I was always improving my English because I was one of the few kids in my class who watched anime. I had my circle, well it was more of a line we were two kids only me and my friend Momen, we used to talk about the weekly episodes he only watched one anime, Naruto but for me, I discovered that there is like countless amount of anime for everything in the world, there are anime about: Pirates, Ninjas, every possible sports anime from football to swimming, anime for kids, anime for grown-ups, anime for teenagers and even anime for just raising plants. I have been exposed to a wide variety of things by watching anime.
My favourite thing about anime to date has been the dedication put into making it; most of the art is drawn by hand slide-by-slide, and the drawing is so complicated that it takes years to make it, as well as the storytelling and the emotions that are represented in it. Now that I am 23 years old, I still enjoy watching it, and I’d like to visit Japan once to learn more about it and to visit the studios that are a part of my childhood memories.
RELATED: Top 15 Most Popular Anime in India