Now that you say it, as a teen I’ve also had a Japanese phase, mostly because I was fascinated by Nintendo and my dream was to become a game developer for that console. I also liked kawaii stuff and manga-like cartoons. The word animé I’ve only heard in recent times.
However I snapped out of it when I realised real life Japan is anything but a walk in the park, there’s heavy bullying in schools too and an endemic incel (herbivore) problem. I started an India phase because I found desi girls very pretty and thought any slum dweller would want to marry me and follow me home. It’s not really the case though.