Think back to those early Saturday mornings where you woke up before your parents did so you could watch cartoons. Reluctant to leave bed on a school day,you ran downstairs at 6:30 am for your favorite show. Remember those animes that producers had to dumb down for us to watch? What was the first anime you ever watched? What was that first one that you fell in love with and watched religiously?

Pokemon? Card Captor Sakura? Sailor Moon?

Think about it a little and tell me.

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But if you just mean any type of animation; whether it be American or Japanese, then my very first favorite would be "Samson & Goliath"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samson_&_Goliath

and also the anime that Aggiememenon mentioned.

- Exodia
First was Speed Grapher.
ASTRO BOY.

I also loved old video tapes of Puss in Boots and something called "Sherlock Hound" that I bugged my mum to rent over and over. Years later I found out that the person responsible for both was Hayao Miyazaki, in his pre-Ghibli days.

Sailormoon actually made me very anti-anime in highschool (back then, I didn't even know the previously-mentioned shows were anime), but Evangelion and Pokemon won me over again (Evangelion was so popular here that it started screening again halfway though its first run - it really kick-started the anime fandom in Australia).

Turns out that all along, all you needed to woo me was a cute effeminate boy. Or a snappy British furry in a waistcoat.
In my own case, it was Robotech, and a similar series called Teknoman, alongside Sailor Moon, all as dubs in the morning cartoons. The three series represented to me, regardless of the quality of the plot or the subject matter (and I seriously, seriously never really cared for the actual content of Sailor Moon) a cartoon series (and therefore, directed to me), that had continuity. Tomorrow's cartoon had stuff that was made richer because I saw something that related to it yesterday. The ongoing plots and character development had me rapt - as did the idea that a character wasn't a singular snapshot in time that you could always predict.

Anime felt to me like it was treating me as an intelligent viewer, something few other shows of its generation did. This happened while TV was in the grip of the fading days of the Buy All Our Playsets And Toys generation and the rising day of the Ren And Stimpy Nick-Offs generation, which made this distinction amazing to me.

Then one day I found they all came from the same country, and that that country was Japan. I wound up hiring anime from the local video rental store, on VHS. My mum and I actually shared an interest - fuck, my mum likes Macross!
My first anime was pokemon. My second was digimon. My third was yu-gi-oh.
Pokemon and yu-gi-oh is the reason I avoided anime from my childhood until, like, 2 weeks ago, when I started looking into some *good* anime.
The very first one I recall every fully watching (had ADHD as a kid) was Princess Mononoke...however, I do recall watching Speed Racer. As far as the first one I watched religiously...probably DragonBall Z, however, that is FAR from the one I fell in love with and watched more religiously, which was CardCaptor Sakura (and no, not that raped by WB crap they aired on tv here either)
I think pokemon was the first anime that I ever watched, and then Dragon Ball Z, but at the time I didn't realise that it wasn't a cartoon like all the others. My first anime that I watched that I realised was an anime (because I was old enough to understand the difference) was Golden Boy. It was hilarious once you watched a few episodes and began to understand the humour! That and Neon Genisis Evangalion is what got me hooked to anime.
My first was Sailor Moon. It was on every afternoon, but even as a kid, I hated the "Sailor Moon says" at the end of each episode. >.>

It was when I was in Germany at age 15 and bored out of my mind during the day that I really got into anime. They would have anime shows going from noon to 5pm every weekday, while my friend was at work. I remember getting into Ranma 1/2, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, Fushigi Yuugi, and the like. :3 I can't remember the two weirder ones they showed very well. One involved aliens in the classroom, and the other a little girl and a scientist.
The first anime I ever watched was Sailor Moon. I would go to my cousins house and that was all she watched at the time and I was very little at the time so I just fell in love with bright colors and action then as I got older I started to enjoy the story line.
That would have to be Escaflowne. I remember coming home from school one day and finding it on TV, Fox of all places. After five or ten minutes of bitching about how weird and somewhat girlie the show was, I got sucked in. The characters were likable, the story moved at a fast pace, and it had some great concepts (giant robot sword fights done to Opera music= frakking genius). For some reason I never saw another episode again, but I never forgot it, which is why as soon as I had a stable income it was the first series I bought.
I watched Dragonball Z as a kid. (and recently read all the manga, which is slightly more addictive than crack, and almost as expensive...I want to go back and read Dragonball since I've never read/watched it)

I was away from anime for a while, until a few years ago I got hooked on Bleach when I saw it on Adult Swim. I went back and read the manga from the start to get the whole story, and since, I've been interested in both anime and manga (though recently I've been mostly watching anime since I don't have the money to buy manga, and I can't stand reading it on a backlit screen).
I never saw any as a kid... I was first exposed to it as a teen by my bf, who had great taste, luckily...

I don't remember which came first, but the first couple would've been "Blood: The Last Vampire", "Akira", and DBZ... all of which I still love. Later came "Cowboy Bebop" and "Macross Plus" and "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust", which sealed the deal for me.

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