Hi. My name's Dan... and I've been an otaku for two years now. I guess it really started in high school. My friends got into anime before I did. They tried to show me Akira, but even after three viewings, I still didn't understand the storyline. I was hesitant when they started going to biweekly showings at the MIT anime club (free plug); I figured was another phase that my friends were going through. Soon enough, it would pass, and we'd go back to video games and sci-fi movies.
A year later, I tentatively asked my friends if I could join them. I was tired of spending my Friday nights watching reruns of Nash Bridges; I needed to get out, enjoy life! It's a good thing that they said yes, or what else would I be doing with my Saturday nights at Cornell??? I was fortunate at my first showing, as I witnessed the first two episodes of Vision of Escaflowne and the Slayers movie. I knew I was hooked when I came home early from an ultimate frisbee tournament to catch ten straight episodes to finish off Escaflowne. Soon, I was an otaku in training, between watching the "introductory" anime (such as Macross Plus and Ghost in the Shell, plus a few more viewings of Akira... it still doesn't make sense) and being assaulted by my friends trying to talk in Japanese ("BAKA!" is possibly the most useful interjection known to man, and at least one of my friends has taken to saying "ja" whenever he leaves). Soon, I had Fushigi Yuugi under my belt, followed by parts of Gundam Wing, Slayers, a Marmalade Boy, and the entireties of Saber Marionette J, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Ah! My Goddess. Then, I was blowing money on anime CDs, wall scrolls, posters, and a darn cute Pen-Pen keychain.
Well, now a new chapter in my life has opened: I still return to my home to purchase anime merchandise, but now my primary source for anime is right here at CJAS (another free plug... then again, it is their newsletter). As I was converted, I have now started to convert others. At least three loyal compatriots accompany me to every CJAS showing to watch FY, Nadesico, and Rurouni Kenshin in awe; the list is still growing. Kenshin desktop wallpapers are popping up all over the floor. Some of them try to fight the influence, but they don't hold out for very long. Some people scoff at what they term my "obsession," but hey, anime is a perfectly respectable form of entertainment. After all, it's not like it's ruling my life! Now where did I leave that Add/Drop form for Japanese 101...?