Most were introduced to anime in a similar way outside the U.S. in particular. In Mexico Candy Candy, Heidi, and Saint Seiya. When I was a kid we saw Samurai Pizza Cats and because of the localization...really never knew it was Japanese. Going back to watching older anime is something that is really only for a more particular people who have taste in classic animation in general. It's not really an anime thing and when I first got into it in the late-90's, no one was cosplaying or branding themselves as "Otaku." Pretty much the few I knew who were watching on VHS just liked the anime and didn't take the fandom part any further than the visual experience. Nobody was collecting figurines, wearing clothing with anime, or trying to speak Japanese. It was and still is an enthusiast hobby for me that attracts me for the story value and traditional animation used during those times. I can't get into modern anime because I don't get into things with big fan bases and the mentality of creating and marketing anime has changed. I tried to get into maybe 8-years ago but as much as I watched and tried; it felt weird and didn't seem to really be about animation anymore. Just seems like a fad for a younger generation of nerds now.I haven't watched a lot of retro anime besides Astro Boy and Transformers and morning cartoon stuff like Samurai Pizza Cats and Voltron as a kid. I was really fond of a show called the Mysterious Cities of Gold which I think was a French-Japanese production. I didn't know any of this at the time though, just thought of them as cartoons. I got interested in "anime" when I saw Ninja Scroll on TV one night and thought it was so much better than other cartoons I had seen up until then. I hired some titles that my video store had, like Akira, Ghost in the Shell and some others that I can't remember. I think Patlabor sounds familiar. Being a kid at the time though, I didn't really understand much of what I was watching and can't really remember a lot. I had a few video catalogs I had requested from the distributor and I remember looking over them and marking all the titles I wanted. Never was allowed to order any though and being too young I just eventually lost interest.
I have recently watched Ghost in the Shell again and I think I enjoyed it far more than I did when I was a kid. I'll looking at watching the new 4K Akira after I get a new TV later on, so hopefully that will be as enjoyable. The reason I'm posting though, which may sound strange, is I found myself watching some 80s Japanese pop music videos on YouTube and scrolling through a bunch of 80s Japanese ads and anime stills that had this weird effect of making me feel nostalgic about something I'm not sure I ever experienced. I don't know how to explain it. I started recently watching some modern anime, and while some titles like Demon Slayer I think are great, it's a very different experience to the older stuff. Not sure if this post is appropriate here, I just thought I'd share.