By this I mean trying to find anime which have been around for a while which have themes you are interested in or were recommended to you by a friend. It’s risky just to order a set of DVD’s for something you’ve never watched before because who wants a DVD set of something they didn’t like sitting with all the good anime on their shelf. Tracking down the really old stuff which never even got an official release can be more trouble then it’s worth as well and ultimately taint the experience even if the anime was good and this problem is even more frustrating if you are looking for a movie.
You know you’ve done it before you’ve overlooked an anime when it aired but after hearing it was good or seeing it again you realize you want to try it out only to realize it’s impossible to obtain (Especially if you don’t know Japanese) If it’s been a over two year since it’s release then it’s online sources tend to dry up leaving you in that tricky spot where you can’t ever watch it.
There is always that problem when an anime has half a dozen seasons which aren’t numbered and movies stuck in the middle of those to confuse matters Natsume Yujin-cho or xxxHolic for example then you tend to be daunted by the challenge of simply collecting up the anime and give up before you start. I know this to be true for a lot of anime but there is a solution I’ve found which works on a fairly regular basis and that is manga. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on which way you look at it manga is available in mass online. If you know where to look you can even find ancient manga from the dark ages where all the girls have giant eyes and the scans aren’t clean or tidied up.
I think a lot of anime fans forget that plenty of manga is the source material for anime and that it can be just as enjoyable as anime if not more so in some cases. The experience is different but the overall outcome is the same and you should never underrate the value of a good manga.