You should be so lucky (watching anime with your girl).

I’ve learned watching anime with your girl/guy is not a common thing in the anime watching world. But when it does happen it’s special. It is probably even more unlikely that they get to follow you through your growth as an anime fan. With this post I’m going to illustrate OUR progression through MY anime growth. And maybe at the end you’ll find out how one anime lover became two.

My journey with her started where most anime lover’s journeys begin, with a good starter anime. You may have already guessed it was Dragonball Z. Not just a legendary shounen anime/manga, but for Americans one of the great introductory anime out there that got so many people started. Anime like Cowboy Bebop, SDF Macross, Akira and Gundam Wing; and like most of these anime they are not very appealing to the opposite gender. The case wasn’t any different with her. She couldn’t be any more bored with aliens staring at aliens and then punching themselves in the face.

I didn’t really make any progress until Adult Swim’s heyday. She popped in every now and then to check on Cowboy Bebop (the episode with the crazy assassin with the top hat still freaks her out to this day) and got into InuYasha with me. That may be the first show she was genuinely excited about. We still argue every now and then over the Kagome & Kikyo situation.

I have to give credit to her for diversifying my taste in anime as well. During a viewing of Big O she walked up to me and told me all I ever watch is violent anime. Everything in it has robots or violence, or more likely robots AND violence. Almost as if it was a challenge I scoured through my Newtype USA (*sniff-sniff* I miss that magazine) and found Azumanga Daioh which is one of my all-time favorite anime.

Now we come to ADV’s heyday, and I certainly gave them plenty of my money. But what was important was that my girl finally found an anime that she could obsess over and care about and another anime where we actually had a serious discussion over. The first being RahXephon and the second anime I’m referring to is the End of Evangelion movie.

With RahXephon she started shipping (oh god!) and looking on in amazement as the story unfolded for her. It was pretty nice to watch someone experience an all consuming anime like I did when I first watched the Evangelion series. It was like watching someone change from an anime caterpillar to an anime butterfly. And speaking of Eva, we still can’t agree on how we feel about that ending. It speaks perfectly to our unique personalities. While I thought the end that most of those people chose was a horrible thing, she loved it. I hate to say it, but I went with Shinji on that one.

As time passed she matured in her anime watching and followed along for some great series, like Fullmetal Panic: Fumoffu, Noir, Fruits Basket, Chrono Crusade (a great shared moment for us was that show’s ending), Champloo and her other obsession besides RahXephon. FLCL. Damn it! My girl has good taste!

The next stage in our anime loving relationship was fansubs. As my tastes got more diverse, the American anime market was crumbling around me. With ADV and so many other anime dubbing studios closing shop; Adult Swim shunning their anime; Newtype USA being cancelled; Suncoast my favorite movie store closing and Best Buy damn near hiding their selection I started to feel like an anime loving dinosaur after the meteor hit. I was starving for content and recognition. It makes me wonder how I survived honestly.

Well despite those troubled times I did survive… by my laptop. That’s right, fansubs. I was pretty ignorant before; I knew about fansubs and had watched them before. But always had crappy internet and a crappy computer. Now with the anime market all sh*tty and ever expanding desire for classics and brand new anime I learned quickly. This let me and my girl watch the nearly impossible to find Revolutionary Girl Utena which to this day is one of our favorite watches.

The next step was brand new anime and it wasn’t until Toradora that I started keeping up with a series “in season” that she found interesting. It’s an unparalleled experience being able to anticipate a show week to week and experience it brand new with someone you love. What’s funny is I had a girlfriend (not the same one I speak of) in middle school that could have cosplayed Taiga perfectly. She was just as mean, too.

Through all this I’ve learned much about her and how she thinks. I’ve learned that her love of a good romance and relatable characters is as strong as my love for giant robots and stylistic violence. I’ve learned that the two genders can come together on the nerdy things. I’ve learned that no one can hate a b*tchy female character like a female can hate a b*tchy female character. And I’ve learned that there is no explaining away episode 7 of Strike Witches at 2 o’clock in the morning. Ay! Don’t shoot me those looks! That’s my normal time for watching anime!

And this is far from the end of our journey. Real life is like death and taxes, there is no avoiding it so it has slowed us down quite a bit over the years. And our differing schedules ensure that I consistently leave her behind on just about every series that comes out. But we make time, I go back for her or wait for her. We still remember love for Toradora! and Utena in conversation. And our current weekly watches are still high points we anticipate. She’s keeping up with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which I find impressive, and like alot of anime loving women she’s cheering on Sawako in Kimi ni Todoke. And we’ll do this forever, because anime isn’t a hobby for us. It’s part of our relationship. You should be so lucky.

I have an extensive list of triumphs and failures when it comes to women & anime.  For those of you with girlfriends, what 3 shows would (or did) you show her to get interested in anime?  Try not to be too sexist; keep the shoujo to a minimum.  And “anything with bishies” isn’t expressive enough.

For the other social aspects of loving anime.

Though my girl is far from one of these, I can only hope.

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49 Responses to You should be so lucky (watching anime with your girl).

  1. digitalboy says:

    Very cute story! My only intimate experience of watching anime with a girl was watching anime with my hug pillow….

  2. doriinatrix says:

    D’awww, this post warmed my heart!
    >>I’ve learned that no one can hate a b*tchy female character like a female can hate a b*tchy female character.
    So damn true. Bitchy female characters remind me too much of mean girls I know IRL 😦

    • donkangoljones says:

      Very true. I’ve watched plenty of shoujo with my girl & I’ve asked her if that stuff really went on behind our backs. It was a resounding yes from every and any girl I’ve asked. Art of often imitates life. Too bad we don’t always have something profound to say like the do on TV.

  3. chii says:

    This is funny (and cute of course) to me because in my relationship I’m the one being anime obsessed and the boyfriend is the one that I got into anime and we watch plenty together now.

    I’m not a typical girl in my anime favourites but i would suggest the following to fellow male anime viewers to get their girls into anime a little more.

    Chobits, light and fluffy.
    Cowboy Bebop, story driven with male characters (spike) that most girls would love.
    You’re Under Arrest, action with hints of romance here and there

    Baccano!, if she likes to watch violent movies. it’s a fun watch with strong lady leads too

    • donkangoljones says:

      Count your boyfriend as a very lucky man. And good choices. There’s a little bit of everything. If a guy can’t enjoy Cowboy Bebop, he can’t enjoy anything. You should leave that person immediately.

    • Dylan says:

      Haha chobits is awesome. I just started it.

  4. Baka-Raptor says:

    Come to think of it, I’ve never watched anime with a girl. I’ve kicked girls out of my dorm room for making noise while I was watching anime, but I’ve never actually watched it with any of them.

    • donkangoljones says:

      Maybe you should give it a shot. But it’s just like when you try the same thing with sports. Everything’s okay as long as they honestly want to give it a shot. But if they start complaining through the whole episode or start getting offended by little crap, then go back to kicking them out. It’s okay to not like my anime, just don’t ruin it for me.

  5. Pontifus says:

    An ex-girlfriend of mine introduced me to Escaflowne, which was quite a favor, I guess. On the other hand, since Escaflowne and Fushigi Yuugi were quite literally the only F/SF stories in any medium she’d ever been able to enjoy at that point — never have I met someone (who didn’t write for the New Yorker) with such an active dislike of speculative fiction — I didn’t exactly have an easy time of getting her into things I liked. Then she gave up anime entirely in favor of such television masterworks as Sex and the City and the Golden Girls. Clearly it was not meant to work out between us.

    • My wife introduced me to Escaflowne and the OST found its way to our wedding reception ^_^

      • Pontifus says:

        Nice man. I’ll certainly count myself lucky if Yoko Kanno music ends up in my wedding reception. Though if pressed, and if I could find an appropriate track, I’d probably go with the Turn A Gundam OST 😉

      • gaguri says:

        LOL. Was this song being played when you started marching?

        • LOL NO!

          The music was played during the reception, when we played AMVs/slideshows of us as individuals and as partners in love.

          I used this track to score my personal photo editorial slideshow:

          • Deckard says:

            My guess was Gloria since it was used in the series in the context of marriage of Millerna and Dryden.

          • donkangoljones says:

            I didn’t do anything as grand as play anime songs during a wedding reception. Though I did use the song “YOU” from Champloo during a dinner after I got married.

            Nice going Ghost, I was a little surprised you didn’t use a Macross song. ^__^

          • There weren’t any pieces in Macross Plus that I found appropriate at the time (Kanno Yoko works). Beyond Escaflowne though, we used pieces from Kare Kano (My wife used the Yukino theme I –the one that sounds like Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto), and Beck: MCS LOL

  6. Hogart says:

    Nice. My wife just found this post and we reminisced a little about the anime we’ve watched over the past few years. We have few favorites, but it’s shocking just how much we love or loathe a series together. It’s a blast to rewatch the classics with someone you love, even if you know what’s coming… it almost even feels worthwhile to watch the crap together. But I think the best part is knowing that when I cosplay as Lawrence for her, she’ll be there to be my Horo.

    • donkangoljones says:

      I agree. Though my tolerance for crap is much higher than hers. She probably figures that if I can’t get into it it’s not worth her time.

  7. kadian1364 says:

    Aw, that’s sweet. Although I’ve not shared anime with any romantic interests, my sis and I always watched the toons together. Stored away somewhere we still have boxes full of tapes of recorded Toonami shows, from Kenshin to G Gundam to Zoids. My limited manga experience is mostly having read her stuff, Kare Kano, Kodomo no Omocha, CCS, Rayearth, and D.N.Angel, and early on, she was the one hanging out in IRC downloading the latest and greatest, I being just a passive follower/leecher to her hobby. We laugh about this now, but back then she traumatized me with the Utena movie; kept me away from the series for nearly a decade!

    Obviously we’ve gone our separate ways to college and life, and she’s passed on the hobby while I’ve forged on, but we still get together on holidays and break and it’s my turn to show her the latest and greatest: Haruhi Suzumiya, Gurren Lagann, and most recently we flew through 12 Kingdoms during winter break. It’s a blast to share some favorites with a close friend, her being a girl is only incidental.

    • donkangoljones says:

      Now that’s love. My sister is much less involved in anime than I am. But I give her credit for indulging in my nerdy habits when she didn’t have to. Whether it be anime or video games. I’m out of college and she’s in the middle of it. But every now & then, she comes down and we’ll watch FMP: Fumoffu or reminisce about our epic balloon battles in Super Mario Kart.

      By the way, shame on her for ambushing you with the Utena movie when you hadn’t even seen the series or read any of the manga! Incest, raep, fawning “bishies” and that final scene with the moving castle are no ways to introduce somebody to an anime!

  8. adaywithoutme says:

    I watch anime with my harem.

  9. aoineko says:

    Don’t hate me but Nana, Ghost in the Shell and for something current, Kimi ni Todoke. I picked those three because the first is a great girl friendship series with cute guys and rock and roll, the second for the strong female lead and robots, and the last because it’s lovely to watch and very sentimental. Plus being female I kind of know…

    And if all else fails, Evangelion.

    • donkangoljones says:

      Nothing wrong with any of those choices, I won’t judge. I’ve been told plenty of times that Kimi ni Todoke is every girl’s dream. And there are a a hundred reasons to love Ghost in the Shell. Above all, if a woman says it’s cool that’s as good and endorsement as one could get for this post.

  10. glothelegend says:

    I have not only not watched anime with a girl, but I have also not watched anime with anyone else ever (unless you count watching DBZ with my friend back when we were small kids…I’m not 22 and finishing college, so I don’t count that).

    • donkangoljones says:

      I encourage branching out, but I can’t complain if you want to keep it a solitary pursuit. I understand. The online community is good enough for most people.

  11. Nosferato says:

    that’s so nerdy waaaah

    I watched 3 shows with my younger bro, DBZ, the first FMA-which I made another sibling watch too-and cowboy bebop.

    a great expeirence now that I think about it, ok you’ve convinced me, I’ma watch an anime or three next time we meet.

    • donkangoljones says:

      A smile graces my face. I find that when introducing anime to somebody it’s usually not about tailoring your choice to fit a specific person, but about picking just a good “starter” anime. Something that is easy for newbies to get into without being enamored and familiar with all the tropes, cliches and rules of anime. Fullmetal Alchemist certainly fits that criteria.

  12. foomafoo says:

    I’ve watched anime with a girl classmate and it was ROD OVA as far as I could remember. I guess it really is a good feeling having someone share your interest with but I was kind of surprised because she also liked Elfen Lied o_o… (which really isn’t my cup of tea).

    • donkangoljones says:

      HA! I’ve watched enough Elfen Lied to know to know that it’s not your traditional starter anime. But hey, if she likes that then that opens up a whole world of opportunities for her. There’s no pussy-footing around your anime viewing if she can take ultra-violence. You found a winner!

  13. Caddy C says:

    Although you didn’t ask for girls sharing their experiences with the guys in their lives, I’m going to share mine anyway.

    My guy and I knew that we’d hit it off immediately when we both discovered that the other loved to watch Adult Swim. He tried to do the really smooth “introducing your girl to anime slowly” thing … but I was way ahead of him. He tried to get me started with Cowboy Bebop, and I told him that I owned the entire series on VHS. 🙂 So we watched it together!

    We saw “Howl’s Moving Castle” in the theaters together (and kindof hated it, actually). I watched the most misogynistic anime I’ve ever seen because it’s his favorite, and I still love him. (Berserk) He watched Trigun with me and countless others. We watched “Gankutsuou” together and even though I’m way ahead of him Naruto-wise, we still enjoy catching up on it every now and then (despite filler).

    We aren’t watching much in the way of anime together right now because neither of us have really found a series we are that into. We’ve been trying various Western shows for a change … and haven’t found much there either!

    One show we love (because we are dorky cat-loving people) is Chi’s Sweet Home – it’s funny, sweet, silly, and the best thing is – it’s only 2 minutes long. 🙂

    Congrats on finding a girl who shares your interests, it’s always so much more fun that way.

    • Caddy C says:

      Oh yeah, and count me in the fujoshi category. For sure. 😀

      • donkangoljones says:

        Congrats to you, too. As I’ve said sometimes it’s not just about time, but opportunity. If you can’t vibe on a show together then you just have to wait for the next opportunity. My girl and I have found Western, live-action shows we love to watch together, too. Scrubs, Entourage, The Office (obviously we’re veering towards comedy) and a few others. I think the best and easiest choice of I’ve heard was Chi’s Sweet Home. Could there be a better starter anime? Even my grandma could get into that show.

        ….When you said “fujoshi” I thought, “yeah, she’s leading the way on this one.” HE should be so lucky! 🙂

        • Caddy C says:

          Yeah, my guy and I like to watch Western shows too – South Park, The Daily Show, The Office, 30 Rock, etc. We also tend to watch comedies 🙂

          Chi’s Sweet Home is perfect – it’s anime, but it’s short and so cute that you can’t help but smile when you watch it. We showed an episode to his mom last night just to show her what it was 🙂

          You’re definitely right – if one show doesn’t work out, try another one! That’s the great thing about anime nowadays, you can find tons of the stuff. When my guy and I were first dating, you still had to rent VHS tapes with two episodes on them and you were lucky if they had the volumes in sequence!

  14. hero factory says:

    First part of the short Kamen Justice Herofactory produced by and directed by Fernando Pereira Barbosa (creator of the short). This production has the fourth Hero Fcatory and progress is being more duias productions Cyberbio-III and XD robo rescue.

  15. Umm, Who said 30 rock? lol.. that’s absolutely my favorite show, ever!

  16. Evelance says:

    Um the whole reason i met my girlfriend was that she also likes anime!
    And we still watch together

    • In the words of my hero, the guy who announces for Street Fighter II, “PERFECT!” Do you two have any favorite shows together, or amusing stories? I’d love to her some.

  17. antu says:

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  18. Takano says:

    wow… you are amazing! my girlfriend also watches anime, and we also started with Dragonball (both of us consider Akira Toriyama as a god), and she’s really into those kimi ni todoke-like stories :), she als o like FMA and sailor moon

    we haven’t watched any anime together because of the time… but we always plan it xD
    i know both of us will love that experience.

    Thnx for that amazing post! i really enjoyed it 🙂

    • Your welcome and thanks for the comment. It always brings a smile when I hear the stories of anime loving lovers. It’s especially amazing that she can watch shounen material with you. Besides FMA my girl won’t touch that genre.

  19. Sugar Cookie says:

    Like so many of the above, I just wanted to comment and say how much I enjoyed reading this. My best friend and I absolutely love watching anime together and sometimes ending up curling on the couch beneath a blanket just to watch the latest anime like MM! or to watch our absolute favorite: ToraDora. It strikes me as strange that I myself fell for an anime like ToraDora when I, too, would only watch anime with violence and gore. I write in my sparetime and have won several contests for short-stories, and I can’t get enough of how well the characters evolved and how well it was executed.

    Eh. I believe I’m rambling too much and getting off subject. Both my best friend and I enjoy watching anime together, me usually waiting until she can get a break from work and school. I sometimes wait a whole week just to watch it with her. The most surprising thing is that my fiance, who has never touched anime, joined my friend and I in our ToraDora adventures and is now joining us in finding the latest and greatest anime and sharing her opinion and love. We always find time to get together, my best friend feeling like a third wheel and at the same-time the sterotypical childhood friend you find in anime nowadays. It’s a wonderful event in my life and, as you have mentioned, it’s not just a hobby for us, but part of our relationship. So, the three shows I would have to say got my fiance interested in anime were: ToraDora, our all-time favorite, Azumanga Daioh, because she absolutely loved Chiyo-Chan, and Elfen Lied, because she a sadistic little lady

  20. Pingback: The Best Anime Experiences Shared with the Best Person to Share Them With | We Remember Love

  21. Dylan says:

    I watch anime with my persocom.

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