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How Anime made me a writer

by Jenny Sal 9 months ago in humanity

Part 1

When I was about 13 years old I was such a dorky kid, I wasn’t bullied per say but I was a teacher’s pet and I loved getting good grades. I had Harry Potter glasses (super hip now, of course) that I did get made fun of for but I really didn’t pay attention.

One day my mom was in the shower and I remember this moment so distinctly. I was in her room watching this show, it’s called “Tenchi Muyo” I was watching it soooo intensely. It was on the epic Toonami line up at the time. And if you know, you definitely know. Best line up ever. I remember the episode and just falling in love, it was the episode when Tenchi and the gang have to babysit and Washu ends up getting super attached to the baby. From that moment on I watched Tenchi every day.

I had seen quite a few anime’s before that. I was a huge Sailormoon and Cardcaptor Sakura fan. But I’m not talking about kiddy anime’s like Yu-gi-oh and Pokémon cause everyone knew those. The ones on Toonami were more “adult themed” anime’s that made me wonder about love, relationships, and altered realities. Not that Sailormoon didn’t tackle those, but it was just different. (Yes! I know Sailmoon was on Toonami, but I’m talking about darker and serious anime’s like Wolf’s Rain and Trigun, that weren’t aimed at kids. People will probably argue that Sailmoon is adult themed but I was 13 at the time and watched the boring dubbed and child friendly edited version.)

I became so invested. I bought the box sets and CDs from Tenchi Muyo, I obsessed over it. That’s when I started writing. I didn’t know what fanfiction was at the time but I was writing it. It was so much fun, I would spend hours in my room, just writing. It was probably the best use of my time at that age. After, I started watching Adult swim. Again, if you know YOU KNOW. It had the best line up back in 2004-2005. I used to sneak downstairs to watch it and stayed up past midnight, every night I could. I was introduced to so many stories and worlds that just blew reality away. Samurai X was the one that got me, it was super gory and the plot was so intense. Kenshin became my dream guy and majority of my stories revolved around a character based off of his personality and look.

The stories I wrote became more vivid and more real, my characters had backstories, they had personalities, they had emotions, and tragedies. I relished in the idea of forming surreal worlds that no one else had come up with. It was my constant escape from life, and it took me to a place that I could shape to my hearts desire. I had a friend in school who would read the chapters of my story as I finished one each week. She would hype me up every day to write more.

Then as I got older, that all started fading away. (I won’t even get to the part when my mom shipped me off to India for 3 years to boarding school, that’s a whole other story.) Once I turned 19, my own life started taking shape. I got a boyfriend, hung out every weekend with my friends, smoked at hookah lounges, went to parties, got broken up with, and repeat.

I got into a serious relationship for 3 years and continued hanging out, working hardcore, and trying to figure out school. The unique characters from my teenage years were just a forgotten memory. I didn’t think about writing anymore. I didn’t pick up a pencil and paper when I was sad, or when I needed to vent everything out. I turned to my friends, or texted, and spent hours at a time on the phone. Grabbing a notebook didn’t have the same enthusiasm as it did before, writing for my college classes didn’t fill me with passion. I continued getting sucked more into life and everything that comes with it.

Also, I would like to mention that I love drawing, that also took a hit the same time that my writing went down the drain. Here and there over the years I would draw a masterpiece and call it a day, that at least gave me some solace that I didn’t lose myself completely.

Then recently, I came across Vocal, dude this is in no way sponsored or anything! I actually came across it on Instagram and I was like hmm, this is interesting. I wrote a story for a challenge and submitted it just a day ago. Ever since, I’ve had a passion to write again. It’s odd. Did all it take was one challenge on a website I had never heard of to start writing again? Or did I just need encouragement? Did I need other writer’s reflections and work to show me? I honestly don’t know. But my mind has been working ever since. I feel ideas pouring into me. They’ve always been there but now they’re actually taking shape. It feels good. Really good! I thought I had lost my talent. I know I’m not amazing, but I would like to think I can write a good story or two. Oh! And I do still watch anime, like the ever loving nerd that I am (that’s cool now too right?) haha, I could never stop that!

Moral of the story? Don’t lose your passion. Don’t lose that child like wonder that makes you say “What if?” I miss that little girl that used to spend hours losing herself in her endless thoughts. She was so carefree and her imagination was limitless. I forgot how easy it comes to you when you believe it is there. Don’t let life pass you by to the point that you get completely sidetracked by the mundane things. And even if you do... Don’t forget those worlds out there that live inside you, don’t let go of that piece of paper and pen, typewriter, or app that can take you away when you need it. Don’t deprive yourself and the world of where you can take them. Your escape is just a sentence away...

humanity

Jenny Sal

Welcome! I always suck at bios but here goes. I love writing, it’s come passionately since I was about 12. That’s when I became a peak anime and video game nerd. I dabble in short stories and poetry :)

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