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Confessions of an Anime Know-nothing

The shocking revelations of an HLJ employee 

Hi, my name is Jarod. I work for HLJ. I have a great job in the Sales Department, providing you with all of your favorite Japan-related things. I have a confession: I know NOTHING about anime


Now since I work in sales, I am going to flat-out tell you that this article is sprinkled with keywords linking to products we sell. That’s what I’m paid to do, so if you can forgive my ignorance you can forgive my shameless promotion! Feel free to not click any of them, but they’re good products that people love, so you actually might find something you like.

What is Anime?

To start, I’m not going to say I’ve never seen or enjoyed any anime. As a young teen I got really into Dragon Ball Z; it’s what led me to first come on an exchange program to Japan when I was 14. I was hoping to pick up a bunch of cool figures and stuff but was shocked to discover it wasn’t popular here anymore at that time. The only Dragon Ball Z-related thing I found was used manga at a thrift book shop (which I did actually buy and still have somewhere!). But needless to say, I was a bit disappointed.

Dragon Ball Z

Later in high school I got into Initial D a little because they had it at my local arcade. My friends and I would skip class, pile in my car, and enjoy racing each other for a few hours a couple times a week. My friend downloaded the anime and we watched some episodes together, but that was about it. I remember the main guy was named Takumi, and he drove an 86. Impressed??

Takumi 86

As I got older I just had less and less time and even less interest. (Sorry ><) I have never watched Naruto, never seen One Piece, and not caught more than a few seconds of anything Gundam. I kind of remember the Sailor Moon song, and the main part of the English Digimon theme, but other than that I’ve managed to skate through life without anime.

I’d like to name even more series I have never seen and get a couple more good product links in, but I’m drawing a blank…


“So what the hell is the point of this article?” you may ask. You may also wonder why someone like me even works at HLJ. Well, there’s no cool reason, really. I like the business side of things, and have always had a love for Japan; that’s pretty much it. But!! There is redemption in my story–kind of. Little by little, step by step, day by day, my coworkers have been rubbing off on me… I see the posters on the wall by their desks… I see the figures they’ve put on display. I hear them talk to each other with passion about recent anime and manga. 

Boku no Desk

Hearing and seeing all of this kind of made me feel left out, so I asked for help. I requested some simple recommendations to kind of get me back in the game. Everyone was more than happy to rattle off lists of “must watch” anime, but I ended up just picking one that sounded kind of cool. I gave Mob Psycho 100 a chance, and to my great surprise, I liked it. A lot! I watched season 1 over a few days and then watched season 2. Damn, anime is kind of fun!

Mob Psycho

I asked for another recommendation and was steered towards The Promised Neverland. I went into it with no expectations, and wow! The story had me on the edge of my seat, and I was really bummed to find that season 2 wasn’t available yet. 

Promised Neverland

My latest foray into the anime world may be a bit “mainstream” for some of our more enthusiastic readers, but cut me a break! I’ve been watching, and really, really loving My Hero Academia. I’m on Season 2 Episode 15 (now episode 18 by the time this goes live!), and I can’t wait to see what happens next and where Deku’s story takes him. I also really like that frog girl


You may have noticed, I still haven’t really gotten to the point of this article. So here it is: I want to change. I don’t want to be a know-nothing. I want to know and understand what our customers love and are passionate about. I am tired of living life in ignorance and kind of fake-smiling as I hear conversations around me that I have no clue about. So help me out! Leave a comment here, or on Twitter, Facebook, or wherever else we throw this to get some clicks, and tell me what I should watch and WHY! Why do you love it? What makes it great? What is it that makes you go from just watching something, to wanting to own something related to it? I am ready for a whole new world, so hit me with some good recommendations and I will get to work!


Oh yeah–I remembered a couple other anime I could link stuff to! We have some good stuff from Pokemon, Demon Slayer, Dororo, and that nasty anime with those big naked giants that bite people!

Also be sure to subscribe to our anime newsletter if you want updates on some pretty cool stuff! (Even I subscribed!)

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