I cannot really say "As a kid" because when I was little I didn't know about anime.
Ahem, let me just talk about 日本动漫 characters I didn't like as much as I did now!
Hate me for this, but I used to not like Claude but then I thought he was OK and now I 爱情 him! :D
And with Cure Melody. With her looks, I was expecting her to be an ultra dull character. But when I looked her up, I realized she was pretty much everything I like about a character. She's energetic, athletic, a tomboy, and LOVES sweets! :D :D