Honestly, I don’t remember what was the first anime I watched. Classics like Digimon, Dragon Ball, Case Closed and Sailor Moon were on German channels when I was in elementary school. Digimon got me all right, I still remember all the “öffne dich, Tor zur Digiwelt!” cries (and later ran a Digimon fansite for years). That formed a foundation. I guess if I had to I could say Digimon is what got me hooked.
I’m not sure if I ever got into anime at all. I watched a lot, that much is for sure, but that was rather thanks to the introduction of broadband internet than because of the influence of a particular series. I watched French-subbed Naruto episodes streamed through WinAmp (I don’t speak French), and shows that aired on Animax (Cowboy Bebop, Full Metal Panic, InuYasha, Slayers, Trigun, Yu Yu Hakusho etc), but that was just a small bit compared to the vastness of what the internet had to offer.
On the other hand, I could never (and I mean it) get myself to watch weeklies. When I actually got the urge to watch anime, I’d marathon a few series on a weekend.
This all was triggered by a poll I ran into the other day. It has some really interesting details on what people (grouped by age and gender) consider the anime that got them hooked. Considering how I haven’t seen a single TV anime episode since I reviewed some last season (not counting the BD-only director’s cut of the final CROWDS episode and the 6th Unicorn we watched at the studio), I don’t think I’m hooked at all.
I sure got some weird looks in the first weeks of work, when everyone was talking about their hobbies and they all dutifully said “watching anime” – and I was like, “but I don’t even watch anime”. I could read their minds like open books: “what the hell are you even doing here then?” Sometimes I wonder too.