30 Day Anime Challenge-Day 1: My First Anime

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound?

Think about that for a minute,  I’ll wait…got your answer? Okay good! Well let’s take this same scenario and apply it to anime.

If a child watches an anime but doesn’t know it’s an anime, is it still considered their first anime?

Like many of you my first exposure to anime were those shown on Cartoon Network’s Toonami or on Kids WB after school. You guys know what I’m talking about, the big three: Sailor Moon, DragonBall Z, and Pokemon. Just about every 90’s kid remembers plopping down in front of the TV after school to watch one of these three shows, but back then they were little more than your typical cartoons. Sure the art was different, but for all intents and purposes, I thought they were cartoons. I didn’t find out until much later that they were even called anime, let alone what an anime was in the first place. So even now it’s hard for me to even think about them as anime, I still think of them as cartoons… So when I read that I had to talk about my first anime, I was at a bit of a loss for what to do. Sure, I could write at length about Sailor Moon or Pokemon, which are technically tied as my first anime, but that doesn’t sit well with me. I consider my first anime to be the first show that I actually knew was an anime when I first watched it, so my “first” anime is…..


Yup, my first anime was D.N. Angel, you can call me a cheater if you want, but this was the first anime that I was actually aware was an anime while I watched it… I remember going over to a friend’s house one day and watching the first few episodes online. I’d had no idea what an anime was (mind you I hadn’t seen Naruto yet) so my friend had to explain it to me. After explaining what an anime was she then started listing off the Big Three, two of which I’d personally watched as a kid…let’s just say my mind was blown! So after my BSOD expression cleared, we settled in to watching the first 3 or four episodes until we fell asleep. My dreams filled with images of Dark Mousy in all his snarky glory.

D.N. Angel, released in 2003, is a 26 episode slice of life, fantasy series adapted from the ongoing manga series of the same name by Yukiru Sugisaki. The series follows, 13 year old Daisuke Niwa, an average Joe….who happens to be descended from a long line of phantom thieves. On his 14th birthday, he plucks up the courage to confesses to the girl of his dreams, Risa Harada, but she turns him down hard. Heart broken and full of teenage angst, he heads home for a good long mope. In the midst of his despair, Daisuke’s body undergoes a strange transformation…it’s not what you think…that night Daisuke’s appearance changes into that of the handsome, legendary phantom thief, Dark Mousy. Before he can fully freak out, his mother explains that the transformation is completely normal, having affected all of the Niwa men for generations. The change she explains is triggered by the host’s romantic feelings of love, so think magical puberty. The rest of the story follows Daisuke as he tries to balance his normal life with that of his secret phantom thief alter ego. To make matters worse, Dark has his own consciousness within Daisuke which often gets him into trouble as they both struggle to coexist.

I know this isn’t the best anime ever and that it’ll never be a fan favorite, but none of that matters. This anime holds a very special place in my heart as my first real anime experience.  Sure it was cheesy and sure the plot was kind of rushed, but I just liked the characters, Daisuke was a likable underdog, and Dark a lovable rouge. I liked that despite being two separate entities with their own thoughts and feelings, they still managed to come together for their own mutual benefit.

I was so in love with the series that I even went out and bought all of the available manga volumes (this was before I found out how bad Yukiru Sugisaki was at finishing series). I never had that with with Sailor Moon, hell, I couldn’t even have told you what all happened in Sailor Moon until a few years ago in college, when I went back and re-watched the whole series. As for Pokemon, while I loved the first few seasons of the series, I was much more into the games than anything else. So, while both were memorable, I consider D.N. Angel and not Pokemon or Sailor Moon to be my first anime!

What do you think about my choice? What was your first anime series? Was it Sailor Moon, Pokemon, or DBZ…or was it some thing different? Let me know in the comments section! As always, Thank you for reading!!

33 thoughts on “30 Day Anime Challenge-Day 1: My First Anime

  1. Sailor Moon or Astro Boy, but the first anime I watched knowingly was Evangelion or Bleach (can’t remember now). Thanks for sharing yours.

    1. No, thank you for sharing! I watched Sailor Moon as a kid too, but I found that I really didn’t remember much about it so I had to go back and rewatch the whole series…

      I watched Astro Boy a few times on CN, but I never really got into it….and I have yet to finish Evangelion (but shhh that’s a secret lol)

      1. Evangelion is kind of a love or hate thing. Fortunately I loved it because it (and Bleach) are what really got me into anime. I loved Sailor Moon but if that had been it I probably would have just moved on and never found so many amazing shows to watch.

      2. Lol I feel you, I used to watch Bleach too, but after the Bount arc I just gave up… but, I will say this, Sailor Moon Crystal is much more in line with the manga than the 90s anime

  2. You and I are in the same boat. I didn’t know what anime was until I was in middle school. By then I was already watching like 4 of them religiously, lol.

    The first one ever for me was Samurai Pizza Cats.

  3. D.N. Angel, nice! I haven’t seen that show, but I’ve heard of it for sure. Definitely not bad as a first anime. My first anime was Sailor Moon, then Pokemon, then DBZ, which is the same order you describe in the end of your post, haha. I knew they were anime when I watched it, so it definitely counts for me. After that was a more obscure, but fairly renowned anime from the 90s, Ranma 1/2. It’s still one of my favorites and has stuck with me even today. My name, Mr. Panda, actually comes from the show!

    1. I adored DN Angel for what it was and I’m glad that it was one of my first anime experiences!

      I watched a bit of Ranma 1/2 but I never actually finished it. From what I saw it really liked (I’m just horrible at finishing series).

      Oh my word, I didn’t get the connection until just now but now your username makes sense! Lol

  4. yeah I was mindblown when I found out that pokemon was anime. I would of chosen to state the first series I’ve watched being aware it was anime as well because it would make things more interesting.

    1. Lol, being told Pokemon was an anime was on par with being told Santa isn’t real… I had to take a moment to process it all…

      Yeah, I figured writing about that would have been better than writing about SM or Pokemon. I’m glad you enjoyed my post:D

      1. All good, it’s because generally a person wants to be introduced or find out something new. =D
        Oh and that moment of finding out that pokemon was an anime, I was there like, I’VE LIKED ANIME ALL MY LIFE, IT WAS MEANT TO BE.

  5. I remember reading part of the manga for D.N.Angel. Is it worth picking it up again if I’m not a big fan of romance? My first anime I watched while aware it was anime was Sailor Moon. I watched 4 dubbed episodes but then got turned off from the dubs after finding out they dropped an episode (because of “objectionable content”, haha). From there, I watched it subbed on YouTube, but I only saw season 1 and season 5 for some reason.

    1. DN Angel is a great series, while romance plays a role in the overall plot of the story the relationship between Dark and Daisuke is really the main focus. So yeah even if you aren’t a fan of romance DN Angel is a solid series. However, the author left the series off on a huge cliffhanger and there are no signs of her coming back to give the series a proper ending.

      I loved Sailor Moon as a kid, but it wasn’t until much later when I revisited the series that I really understood what was going on lol.

      1. Huge cliffhangers with no signs of the mangaka coming back… sounds like Berserk. 😛 Oh well, I might as well read the volumes my library has anyway. Thanks!
        If I were a year or so older I feel I probably would have really liked the Sailor Moon anime, but I think it was off-air when I started watching TV regularly.

      2. Lol yup! I really hope you like it!!

        Yeah, that’s how Sailor Moon is, I guess that’s one of the reasons I liked Crystal so much.

      3. Huh, Crystal is an interesting subject. I personally felt they got cheap on a lot of technical stuff (and I Really like 2D transformation sequences more than the 3D ones), but what’s your take on it?

      4. As far as story Crystal is a lot closer to the manga, and it doesn’t suffer from too many fillers or cuts so that’s good. I agree about the technical stuff, the art is awkward at times and the 3d transformation scenes weren’t the best to look at. Nostalgia is really what keeps me from putting crystal over the 90s anime, but in terms of story, crystal is the better show

  6. Out of the big three you mentioned, I think my first anime was Pokemon. I still remember Ash and Pikachu traveling with Misty and Brock. Along the way of learning about anime, I remember seeing DragonBall, DragonBall Z and DragonBall GT.

Gush about cute otome boys~