Start With What You Like
This is the first, yet most important point. Don’t go nuts and try to force yourself into something you might hate, just because you want to be different. Everyone has an idea of what they enjoy and dislike from the get go. And, typically, people that try to go against the grain end up burning out before too long.
Don’t Dive Too Deep, Too Fast
Most of the conception of anime being “weird” comes from people diving straight into shows that many would deem “otaku pander.” Seriously, if I had a nickel for every fan that tried to convince their friends that shows like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya or Genshiken, which rely heavily on prior knowledge of other anime titles are good starting points, I’d be able to retire. The problem with this approach is that these friendly fans mean well, but they tend to forget that shows of this sort rely heavily on a knowledge of other anime titles, conventions and stereotypes to really appeal to the viewer. And, if you’re starting out, you simply don’t have that baseline to work with.
Ignore the Hardcore Fans… to an Extent
Hardcore anime fans are a great resource for show recommendations as you get accustomed to the hobby. However, there are a ton of shows that tend to be hate-bait. Titles like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, or Bleach tend to have huge followings, but at the same time, there are dozens, if not hundreds of fans that would gladly put these shows down as abominations, or “shames to anime.” Of course, at any given time, it also seems as if half of the subculture hates your favorite show at any given time, with certain exceptions. Frankly, these people are either full of crap, or so insecure in their tastes that they refuse to acknowledge that a show they dislike can be enjoyable to others. But these special individuals will be discussed at length in an upcoming chapter.