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What's a good Anime series?

I rarely watch anime. I just can't get into the stories nor characters, in general. However, there are some exceptions. I really enjoyed Wolf's Rain, which is my favorite anime series of all time. I also really enjoyed Cowboy Bebop, which apparently was done by the same group(?) I also enjoy most of Miyazaki's films. Anyway, I know many of you are huge anime fans, so I was wondering if people had recommendations for any good series? I think the last anime series I tried watching was Witch Hunter Robin, and after a few episodes I gave up (did help my insomnia though)! I realize everyone has different tastes, and I'm happy to hear of any suggestions. Cheers!

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Witch Hunter Robin was a series that was way too slow to develop. I watched it through to the end, but I have no intention of revisiting.

The last modern anime series to really interest me was Code Geass. It's a really nice war tale, with a lot of politics and characters that are neither good or bad (shades of gray, if you will). A lot of anime nowadays is really cheap looking (kind of like a lot of American animation, to be honest), so they can't quite get away with being a snooze-fest because they're not quite as pretty to look at.

Me personally, my favorite anime series' are some of the stuff that populated Toonami back in the day. Outlaw Star, Dragonball Z, Rurouni Kenshin, Yu Yu Hakusho Tenchi, even Sailor Moon. Also, I have the whole Ranma series and frequently revisit it (Love Hina is nice too, but the manga blows it out of the water in absolutely brutal fashion). Also, Slayers is fun. Is like watching a cool JRPG at time.

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

It really depends on what type of story you like (SF? Fantasy? Politics? War?), but as someone who has no great interest in anime, I really really enjoyed Full Metal Alchemist (can't really go wrong with that one) and Death Note, although I lost interest in the latter around the second half.

Full Metal Alchemist is definitely worth checking out though, it's incredibly addictive.

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Rurouni Kenshin
YuYu Hakusho
Noir???
Gundam Wing
Fist of the North Star

That's all I can think of right now.

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

OK, not too big on anime, but I'd suggest the original Neon Genesis Evangeleon. (Side note: I haven't seen any of the remake.) If you check it out definitely track down The End of Evangeleon movie (which seems to be out of print and goes for a lot now... which is really annoying) that replaces the original "TV" ending. Really, I don't care how anyone wants to defend the original ending (the most common defense seems to be "well, it's a work of art") but when you have people calling in death threats to your company because they have no clue what happened in last half hour of the series I think some criticism is deserved.

I also recommend Full Metal Alchemist, but go with Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood over the initial series. Brotherhood is (from what I'm told) is closer to the original manga and this is another case where the ending is then times better than it was the first time around, if you could even call it an "ending."

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

My favorite series is Escaflowne. Fantastic art and animation, great plot and characters, and amazing music.

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

avatar! wrote:

I rarely watch anime. I just can't get into the stories nor characters, in general. However, there are some exceptions. I really enjoyed Wolf's Rain, which is my favorite anime series of all time. I also really enjoyed Cowboy Bebop, which apparently was done by the same group(?) I also enjoy most of Miyazaki's films. Anyway, I know many of you are huge anime fans, so I was wondering if people had recommendations for any good series? I think the last anime series I tried watching was Witch Hunter Robin, and after a few episodes I gave up (did help my insomnia though)! I realize everyone has different tastes, and I'm happy to hear of any suggestions. Cheers!

You sound a lot like me, I really can't get into watching series anymore.  I just can't find the time to watch my normal American tv shows + do everything else AND wait for subs and find them, etc etc.  I find I enjoy watching movies much, much more.  Mostly because I can make a day out of it by going to some limited showing in NYC once every couple months.

Based on what seems like our similiar attitudes, I would not recommend watching Kenshin or Yuyu Hakusho because they're retardedly long series.

Some movies I can recommend that I've seen recently in NYC:

Summer Wars
Anything by Makoto Shikai (5cm per second, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, tv series called Hoshi no Koe which I think is only 13 episodes so it's fairly short, and one OVA)
The Sky Crawlers
Paprika
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Genius Party (a selection of short animations, has a short by Shinichiro Watanabe of Cowboy Beop)

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

I don't give two shits what people wanna say about it, Neon Genesis Evangelion was a post-modern masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. I highly recommend it, though I will warn you it's slow to start and a lot of the psychoanalytical stuff may come off as a bit heavy handed. Still, excellent series. End of Evangelion is fantastic too, but being the thematically convoluted conclusion to an already complex story, it's definitely an acquired taste.

The Rebuild of Evangelion movies are a kind of alternate retelling of the series condensed into a movie series with some interesting liberties taken with the story. If you dig the TV series, they might be worth a look. They're definitely more accessible, though.

There's lots of pretentious art garbage that I completely dig, but again, acquired tastes. I discussed a lot of what I like here.

EDIT: I'll second Makoto Shinkai's works. He's an absolutely fantastic filmmaker. A large portion of his body of work also has the distinction of being short films, so the problem of many anime series being a time sink isn't really present with him.

Last edited by Idolores (Dec 27, 2011)

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

I also have always liked anime, but not that many things have grabbed me over the years. One movie I just saw the other day which was quite cool was 'Perfect Blue.' It's a psychological thriller taking place in contemporary Japan. It's a movie, not a series though. As far as series go, someone already mentioned Ranma, well I am a big Rumiko Takahashi fan, and if you like screwball comedy I would recommend 'Urusei Yatsura.' It is a bit old school though (like early 80s).

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

a great Magical Girl series - Madoka Magica

Weird series - Mawaru Penguindrum (if you can handle the craziness of Ikuhara)

violent weird series - Mirai Nikki

comedic shonen-ish/fighting/gag anime - Beelzebub

just some suggestions (i.e. what I've been watching lately)

jb's list of movies is good - although I would strike The Sky Crawlers from that list... ughhhhhhhhhhhhh (sorry it was that bad)

Last edited by James O (Dec 27, 2011)

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

jb wrote:

Based on what seems like our similiar attitudes, I would not recommend watching Kenshin or Yuyu Hakusho because they're retardedly long series.

As someone who's seen both series, I can say I would not recommend watching ALL of either of these. Honestly, Yu Yu Hakusho is finished as soon as the Dark Tournament arc is done with and Kenshin...you can almost skim the first 26 episodes or so and skip the final arc altogether (it's mostly filler), but the Kyoto arc is definitely worth watching.

Neither of these reach the ridiculousness of Dragonball Z, Conan or even Sailor Moon, as far as length goes. I remember enjoying Yu Yu far more than DBZ back in the day because stuff actually happened in each episode.

Last edited by GoldfishX (Dec 27, 2011)

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Lots of good recommendations so far! Some of my favorite series include:

Baccano!
Durarara!
Eureka Seven
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Gunslinger Girl
Kino's Journey
Last Exile
Martian Successor Nadesico
Spice and Wolf
School Rumble
Time of Eve
Tower of Druaga


I can also strongly second the following recommendations:

5cm per second
Escaflowne
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Paprika
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
Summer Wars
Voices of a Distant Star

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Some titles that could be worth of your time (at least they were worth of my time):
Planetes (Good realistic (if you even can call anime series that) scifi)
Black Lagoon + Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage (Damn good action anime, I'd suggest watching this with dub btw)
Paprika
Princess Mononoke
Both seasons of Victorian Romance Emma (even if I recommend reading the manga, especially when second season differs from manga a bit)
Last Exile
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex + 2nd GIG
Ouran High School Host Club

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

I am partial to most things Satoshi Kon.  His movie Paprika was already mentioned a couple times.  Though it is one of my least favorite Kon works, I still highly recommend it.  Perfect Blue is one of his oldest movies, and while very good, it shows its age a bit now.
Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers are incredible movies.  Finally, Kon's actual 13 episode series, Paranoia Agent, is my favorite of all his works.  If you like any bizarre horror/mystery sprinkled with some social commentary, I would check it out.

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

If you dig Cowboy Bebop, then an obvious pick may be Samurai Champloo, a series by the same director. I know exactly what you mean by the disconnect between oneself and the characters/story... some series seem to do a lot of crazy things and have some insanely intricate plot, but at the end of the day you're kinda left with this empty, "so what?" feeling. Champloo sucked me in from the very beginning with its endearing characters and their gradual development through episodic adventures. The episodes are pure fun, but still have depth somehow. I think its appeal is inherently more westernized, despite its cultural trappings... so it should have a lot more crossover appeal.

Echoing the recommendations for Satoshi Kon's work as well, although you probably weren't expecting to see anything like it. It's damn good though. My favorite movie of his is Perfect Blue, mentioned above

Last edited by Kanji (Dec 28, 2011)

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

This isn't really a anime series but if you have the time I'd recommend watching all the video from the first Xenosaga on the PS2. There are parts and characters (well, the most interesting one is ironically a bat-shit insane NPC with a Russian surname - suck on that Shion) that are just awesome and there is very little reason to play the actual game again if you've already played it. I just re-watched it all on You Tube and had a blast.

Edit:

Also, I'd like to know what my mother's deal with Evangeleon is. I've had this on my Christmas list for three years and I still haven't gotten it. I think she has a prejudice against anime or something. It's not like I'm asking for Bible Black or something - which would be a totally creepy thing for a twenty eight year old to ask his mother for.

Last edited by Ashley Winchester (Dec 28, 2011)

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Ashley Winchester wrote:

Also, I'd like to know what my mother's deal with Evangeleon is. I've had this on my Christmas list for three years and I still haven't gotten it. I think she has a prejudice against anime or something. It's not like I'm asking for Bible Black or something - which would be a totally creepy thing for a twenty eight year old to ask his mother for.

Maybe she knows how overrated that shitty and boring series is? :p (well, at least in my books, only good thing about the series is Shiro Sagiru's score.)

Also, forgot to recommend Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, especially if you're into mecha-series.

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Razakin wrote:
Ashley Winchester wrote:

Also, I'd like to know what my mother's deal with Evangeleon is. I've had this on my Christmas list for three years and I still haven't gotten it. I think she has a prejudice against anime or something. It's not like I'm asking for Bible Black or something - which would be a totally creepy thing for a twenty eight year old to ask his mother for.

Maybe she knows how overrated that shitty and boring series is?

Actually now that I think about it she did say that, but I countered with how shitty her country music is.

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Also, the Viz website has a bunch of free anime online: http://www.vizanime.com/

I haven't seen much there, but if you are feeling adventurous (or bored), there's lots to pick from.

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Initial D. Now we go full speed and funky beat!

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Ashley Winchester wrote:

This isn't really a anime series but if you have the time I'd recommend watching all the video from the first Xenosaga on the PS2. There are parts and characters (well, the most interesting one is ironically a bat-shit insane NPC with a Russian surname - suck on that Shion) that are just awesome and there is very little reason to play the actual game again if you've already played it. I just re-watched it all on You Tube and had a blast.

This post totally reminded me that they released a DVD that had about 4 hours of in-game cutscenes from the first game as a pre-order bonus for Xenosaga II. I tracked down a copy - hopefully it contains my favorite scenes.

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Smeg wrote:

Initial D. Now we go full speed and funky beat!

Seconded.

Last edited by Idolores (Dec 30, 2011)

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Ashley Winchester wrote:
Ashley Winchester wrote:

This isn't really a anime series but if you have the time I'd recommend watching all the video from the first Xenosaga on the PS2. There are parts and characters (well, the most interesting one is ironically a bat-shit insane NPC with a Russian surname - suck on that Shion) that are just awesome and there is very little reason to play the actual game again if you've already played it. I just re-watched it all on You Tube and had a blast.

This post totally reminded me that they released a DVD that had about 4 hours of in-game cutscenes from the first game as a pre-order bonus for Xenosaga II. I tracked down a copy - hopefully it contains my favorite scenes.

So I got this today, I have to say it's pretty solid for something that was initally a freebie. There are parts where the editing is a bit sketchy (and there was one small part where the audio seemed to drop out completely for some reason) but it's great if you want to revive the game in a little over 4 hours. Still, there were a few parts that didn't make the cut that really should have been there:

1. Virgil's talk about his feelings towards the Realians in the 2nd Division Wing of the Woglinde. Yes, the scenes that are included are enough to establish his hatred towards them but the loss of this scene was a definite blow.

2. Virgil's self-destruction of battle Realians. This scene is included, but it's edited to the point that is no where near as heart-wrenching. We see the said realians twitching on the floor but they never "cling" to the Gnosis before Virgil blows them up. It's a devastating loss to a great scene.

3. No introduction of the Elsa crew. Point blank the scene where you're introduced to crew is gone. The fact is when you go from being in space to washing dishes with nothing in between it kind of draws you out of the experience.

4. Chaos, Cherenkov and the Gnosis. This really could be combined with the above considering it happens within the same string of scenes but I'm amazed that the first exhibition of Chaos' powers was cut when one considers how important that is. One can witness Cherenkov's "whitening" via flash back but it would have made all the later scenes with him (all of which are there! YES!) much more clear.

But really, a nice item. Still, as nice as is it only serves to point out that Xenosaga is a game that has a NPC (Cherenkov) with a backstory that easily rivals any of it's playable characters. Not really the best tagline for a game really... nor is Shion.

Edit: I know this technically doesn't "fit" here but I didn't know where else to put it since I decided to forgo posting any more reviews.

Last edited by Ashley Winchester (Jan 8, 2012)

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

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Re: What's a good Anime series?

The last two series which I very much enjoyed (and which both are from 2011) are:
1) Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai
2) Hanasaku Iroha

I mainly started watching Hanasaku Iroha because of the beautiful soundtrack (by Shiro Hamaguchi) though, but it turned out to be a wonderful thing smile

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