30 Day Anime Challenge: #1 – The Very First Anime That I Watched

I keep seeing various thirty day challenges popping up on blogs, so I figured, why not try a few myself? This being anime week, I figured that I’d start with that! Now, I won’t be posting a new piece every day with this. Rather, you’ll get one or two a month, thusly drawing out the whole process a little. Still, it should be fun!

So … The very first anime that I watched. This actually took me a while to figure out how to answer. You see, in terms of watching stuff that I knew was anime, that began with buying a handful of VHS tapes in one go. Those tapes were Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Ninja Scroll, Project A-Ko, and the Fist of the North Star OVA. Given that this was back in 1997 when I was thirteen, it took a while to figure out which one it was that I watched first. Now, I may be wrong here, but I believe that it was the Fist of the North Star OVA.


Released in 1986, this was a condensed version of the 1984 TV series. While it took liberties with the running order of events (and of course missed large chunks that the 152-episode series covered), it was actually the more violent adaption of Buronsen and Tetsuo Hara’s manga. If I’m being objective, I’ve seen far better anime since this one, but I would be lying if I said that it didn’t still have a special place in my heart. From the iconic, “You’re already dead, you just don’t know it yet,” to the awesome Heart of Madness, it had some wonderful moments in between all the weird growing/shrinking bodies and ultra-violence. Sadly, I don’t believe that it ever had a DVD release in the UK, so I’ve been unable to grab a new copy and enjoy the nostalgic goodness. But there you go.

Like I said though, which anime I watched first is a complicated issue. You see, there are several other shows that I watched long before this, though I had no concept of them being anime at the time. I started watching Ulysses 31, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Starvengers (Getter Robo G) and Spaceketeers (Starzingers) around the same time. On top of this, the original ThunderCats was also animated by a Japanese studio. This being the case, it could be said that my first anime was actually one of these and viewed way back in 1990.


How about yourselves? What were your first series? And should I class the old anime that I didn’t know was anime as the first, or the first that I was aware was anime?

27 thoughts on “30 Day Anime Challenge: #1 – The Very First Anime That I Watched

  1. My first….. And I’m dating myself here was Battle Of The Planets when I was about 6. Gotta love Saturday morning cartoons! If that doesn’t sound familiar BotP was a very watered down and Americanized version of Gatchaman which I still love to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do indeed know of Battle of the Planets, though I’ve not watched it. For me, a lot of my earlier viewings that I didn’t know were anime were Sunday morning things. Apart from Ulysses 31. They put that on early every weekday, I’m certain as a means to get kids up for school. 🙂


  2. My first Animeseries was Robotech (although one could argue tattoos technically wasn’t anime since it was an Americanised version of three unrelated Japanese animated series). I think my first “real” Animeseries that I bought was Orguss02, which was released on the manga label. Great…these trips doen memorylane. (Even though they make me feel old as well 😂😂).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sure my first was Pokemon though I didn’t even know the term anime at the time. I watched a lot of series without knowing it was anime.

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  4. Yeah, I had the same issue when I did this. With the possible exception of Battle of the Planets (which I have only very vague memories of), it was probably the anime version of The Little Prince. But it could also have been Voltron, Mysterious Cities of Gold, a movie called Moon Madness, or something else.

    But I think Sailor Moon was the first anime I watched after knowing what anime was.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mysterious Cities of Gold and Ulysses 31 – cartoons back in the day had some awesome music.

    I have no idea what my first anime was. Must have been something with giant robots that my parents rented on VHS. Probably Robotech, Voltron or Mazinger Z.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have fond memories of the Gobots. Shame that these days they only get a mention when people mock the show for being a Transformers knock off (which technically it wasn’t.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aye, I never viewed it as a knock-off, and actually liked both series growing up. I think that the team that did the Thundercats remake were at one point going to do a remake of Gobits too.

        Liked by 1 person

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      1. Thanks. That was a surprise and the connections made too much sense. They stopped using him most likely so they wouldn’t get sued by Katsuhiro Otomo. The fact they got the same voice actor was mind blowing. I jokingly refer to him as the 2nd biggest evil clone of an anime character and you also saw the 1st in that list, too. :3

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup. I’ve had people freak out with me when I showed that #1 choice and even I was shocked when I first watched that old-school anime. The comparisons were just so obvious. Wait, they mentioned that controversy with Disney on a documentary? I know there was The Lion’s Share which talked about how “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was plagiarized from a South African song, and there have been some video essays, but I didn’t know there was some documentary about that anime thievery issue.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It was a documentary about the evolution of anime on NHK. They showed some clips, which made the comparison obvious. They didn’t outright mention controversy, but I think they did briefly mention the Lion King alongside it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Gotcha. That sounds like a good watch. Good on them for making those comparisons. It’s also interesting how the creator of Astroy Boy would make Kimba. Did you also know Kimba was the first anime TV series to be created and broadcast in color a year before Speed Racer came out? Yeah, there’s no way Disney didn’t watch that anime before making TLK. It would be funny if Tetsuo was complaining about being cloned and Claw responds with “At least you’re more popular than your ripoff.”

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hahaha! Glad you appreciate the joke. I was curious if you knew that given how influential Tezuka was. Yeah, that anime certainly has the reputation for being “The anime The Lion King stole from” since that’s how people know it if they didn’t grow up in the 60s or lived in Japan for example. Other fun facts: Kimba is a mascot for the Saitama Seibu Lions baseball team and was even the inspiration for the Pokémon Shinx.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I wasn’t too familiar with Shinx at first since I lost track of Pokemon years ago, but when I heard about the connection, it did make sense especially with the ears of both characters.

        Liked by 1 person

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