2007 year became a turning point for my hobbies and life style. I moved to relatives who had a great ISP with local ftp. So what was the trigger, you ask? Well, I was searching for ugly 3DPG porn on the ftp. But the only result for "XXX" was "xxxHOLiC", since porn was prohibited there. The anime folder certainly aroused my interest even more back then! I started reading anime reviews on a local site, downloading stuff from ftp and such (It was still the time when we didn't have fast internet and the easiest way to download something bulky from the Web was LAN ftps/DC hubs and so on). I started with ecchi genre, but after few years became more picky and started choosing more "intellectual" shows. There also was a period when I watched only unorthodox titles, but happily enough it didn't last long. Now I'm watching like everything, excluding shows with nothing but fanservice, boobs 'n stuff (and gay).
In 2008 I stopped watching movies/TV/sport/playing games, instead I threw myself into anime, japanese culture, and also started learning japanese. I had zero resistance immersing into the new culture, probably because I have played many jRPGs since the young ages.
Thanks to the ftp policy, I started watching everything with russian subtitles, instead the dub. On the next year I realised that it would be more effective to learn english (well, we have very shitty teaching system in Russia so you have to learn it yourself) and watch anime with english subs. As you may have noticed, my grammar sucks even now, but that let me completely migrate to english subs around 2011. I also started fansubbing in 2008, and that helped me a lot in learning languages. I stopped that activity in 2013, though.
It's always about willpower when you learn some language yourself. And of course my willpower didn't last long — I stopped somehow-active learning japanese after two years or even less. Well, actually I just had too many things to watch, read and play — that's what I call passive learning. I started watching slice-of-life anime without subtitles, then playing RPGs on japanese, reading raw manga etc. Another turning point was a Little Busters VN. After reading it I realised that visual novels can boost your japanese dictionary and reading skills like nothing else (and, of course, I fell in love with Key). After hundred of hours spent on VNs I decided to try myself in JLPT and passed N2 without any troubles in 2013. Following, N1 next year.
Finally, I wanna finish this story with these words: "I absolutely have no regrets".