When I first started watching anime as a kid, it was as a complement to the science fiction I was reading. Books like Starship Troopers and Armor came to life in anime like Robotech, Bubble Gum Crisis and Black Magic M-66. The things in my head had form, color, and gratuitous explosions with shell casings raining to the ground. But as time went on, I found that anime was also doing something completely unexpected. It was teaching the hell out of me.
For a long time, I felt embarrassed by the things that inspired me as a writer.
I mean, for most people, the decision to be a writer means putting in the work. Looking at what has come before. It means studying the masters of the craft, going back over your Shakespeare, your Milton, your Joyce, and your Hemingway. If you’re slumming it in the ghetto of genre fiction, then, begrudgingly, some will acknowledge the necessity of referring to the masters. In the case of science fiction and fantasy, your Tolkien, Asimov, Le Guin and maybe some newer names like Gibson and Jemisin.