I'm an undergrad history major specializing in East Asian history with a minor in Japanese. I first was exposed to Japan when I saw Godzilla Vs Mothra when I was 5. I got my first NES when I was 6. My first anime's were Street Fighter and Sailor Moon when they used to air on the USA channel when I was like 7 or 8. I went through the DBZ and Pokemon phase and kinda grew out of anime stuff.
Bleach was my first manga when I was 18. Afterwards I started watching a LOT of anime and reading manga. I figure I've seen more than 60 series now either manga, anime, or both. I generally prefer supernatural action shounen but have seen just about every genre at some point. I've recently heard about Manhwa but don't know a good place to start yet.
As a history major I'm trying to learn as much as I can about Japan but also found that Korean history (and food) is really cool too. I've completed Japanese at the 100 level but have a long way to go before I can play JP games and TL stuff.