I remember this question being asked a number of months ago, so I thought I'd bring it up again. What is it that attracts you to anime/manga specifically, as opposed to other - Western, on the whole - forms of entertainment? As a casual watcher of anime, I always find it interesting how and why people get so into the subculture; and that the things they like about it are often completely opposed to the things I like about it. So... yeah. Go nutso.
I like stuff that people usually find unappealing due to its being "out of the norm". I found anime through Kirby, actually. I was listening to The Gourmet Race on YouTube, and I saw the video, "Kagami's Gourmet Race" (Lucky Star was my first ever anime). I began to explore the anime world, and seed a deeper personal meaning into it, and here I am now.
This account is dead and has been for a long time.
I did, however, remake it on August 09, 2014. You can find my new location here.
I got an IPad for school ('twas issued to me) and a lot of other kids had Netflix, naturally. Followed the crowd and surfed Netflix (other kids were not neccisarrily watching animes though.) At first I watched all of south park, family guy, and futurama. But then when there were no more episodes, I was lost, what could I possibly watch now! (I had video games, but those were lame and I usually played Starcraft while watching on my iPad anyways)
One day my friend came over and was like, "Dude check out this crazy video" (Reread that in a stoner's voice) I watched the video, (it was the Soul Eater: This is Halloween, AMV). Liking the video and figuring the anime must be pretty good, I watched Soul Eater (All 52 episodes. In. One. Freaking. Week)
After I finished that, I got hooked on animes, at first I tried to watch only action type ones, or ones that were dark, (Elfen Lied, Ga Rei Zero, D grey man, Full metal Alchemist, corpse princess, damn Rin, ) Then comedies, (Baka and Test, Girls Bravo, Baccano!, Sekirei) Then I started watching some emotional ones, or whatever genre they are, (Xxxholic, Clannad, .hack, Chobits, Spice and Wolf)
I've also seen a few not on Netflix, like Pokemon, deadmans wonderland, one piece, bobobo-Bo-bobobo, some of Naruto, Sword Art. But the only reason I watched them was because of a fad, unrelated to animes and a subsequent video that was shown to me.
I can't say I prefer animes over Western shows/movies, nor can I say I prefer mangas over comics, considering I like to be in the grey area of things, (Favorite comic is Scott Pilgrim, favorite series is Xxxholic, favorite movie is also XXXholic, and animes are really sad, but AI think western humor is generally better, if not more tame.)
Why am I attracted to anime...? Guess because I'm simply addicted :D
I always feel most happy when I can watch anime and I can be drawn into the story and maybe even learn something more about my beloved Japan.
I don't like anime any more than I like Western cartoons or television, honestly. So what attracts me to a certain anime will be storyline, characters, and style--the same things that would attract me to any other type of entertainment.
What primarily attracts me is the artwork. Since I've been drawing myself for as long as I can remember, I've always been interested in media that includes drawings instead of live acting. So my childhood is filled with cartoons, and primarily comics (mostly gag comics like Beetle Bailey).
I was introduced to the anime style in Pokémon, Digimon and the likes. Especially Pokémon was interesting, and after I started playing the games I began drawing in a style very reminiscent of Ken Sugimori's. So by this point, at age eight or nine, I'd already basically started drawing manga/anime. So when I was finding comics and cartoons with more developed art and plot, like anime, obviously I was intrigued.
For a while I had the whole holy crap this is the best thing ever-mindset, and started getting heavily invested in the culture (as a result, I probably know much more about Japan and know the language more fluent than I like to admit). But nowadays it's just an artform with a distinct humor and some really good series here and there. By now I've realised the plot and art often are "inferior" to many western productions, though. I've gotten rid of most of the original bias.
It's possibly because I am Asian, I never felt anime was a subculture (for me at least). When I went to Hong Kong, My cousin introduced me to Pokemon...and when I came back to the U.S., tthe enjoyment of it didn't stop there. (I was pretty obsessed)
In elementary, I made a friend that was pretty obsessed with Pokemon too. And when my friend branched off to Naruto, I felt like I lost contact with her. Eventually, I tried all different kinds of anime, had my otaku ways, etc. I eventually stopped watching anime for a year in middle school. But when freshman year came up, I made a tumblr and I constantly saw Reborn! on my dash. I went back to anime (and Pokemon). Lucky for me, BW1 would release and strengthen my love for Pokemon.
I don't think I would stop watching anime or manga. I truly regret not watching more anime in my middle school years. I have so much more pressure now as compared to then.