Alright ATS, so every once in a while I get a real urge to take a breather from work and learning and just sit back and enjoy one of my guilty
Sure, there are hundreds of anime related websites and forums that I could drop this on, but the thought occurred to me that in order to have input
that is meaningful to me, I should present the question to a crowd of like-minded individuals. Even if we are non completely like-minded on this
forum, at the very least there is a good chance that just by being here you demonstrate a level of intelligence and critical thinking I'd not likely
find in your run-of-the-mill anime group.
So the question is: What anime series would you recommend I purchase next?
And to follow that up: Where do you buy your anime?
Keep in mind I am by no means rich, so with the decline of anime licensing
in English speaking countries and the subsequent price increase I tend to lean towards HK products
So, in order to give you an idea of what I enjoy, and why, I'll list a few animes that I've already watched and found interesting.
1. Cowboy Bebop
I enjoy the use of music to create moods here. There is a palpable atmosphere to most episodes, created by interesting environments, characters, music
and amazing direction (i.e. the director intentionally spent enough time showing the character of a given location, through slow-paced cut-aways and
nat sound, that you came to understand it and appreciate it). That being said, I tend to enjoy a space-cowboy setting, anyhow. I like sci-fi, but I
get tired of shiny mechs and laser beams...
Although each episode has a distinct theme and set of circumstances, there is an underlying plot throughout the series. I know this is how a series
should be, but so many miss the mark.
This is really one of only a couple anime series that I can truly say I miss the characters from.
2. Wolf's Rain
The character development in this show is monumental. I thoroughly enjoyed the wolf/human plot device as well.
There is something about their search for where they felt they belonged that appealed to me, and tugged on a heart-string. I often get homesick for
some unknown place as well, so I can relate to their drive.
This anime made me cry. Bonus points for that as I'm pretty stone-cold most of the time. Just shows how much it made me feel for the characters.
3. Last Exile
Remember how I said I like sci-fi, but dislike shiny mechs and lasers? Here's another good example. I tend to love steam-punk too, and this was
pretty close. To me, this show was like an anime version of the web-comic Alpha Shade, and that is what initially drew me to it.
The art is fantastic. Great production quality, and that goes a long way.
Again, the relationship between the character here was very well developed. I was saddened by the betrayal, and moved by the death to a point that I
was elated at the mere image of the antagonist returning in the credits.
4. Samurai Champloo
Funny character interaction, good action scenes, an underlying plot. This is just a good series. There have been better, but I thoroughly enjoyed my
time with this one.
I have a thing with Asian culture, so any anime set in the Edo period in Japan has already got me hooked. This series did a good job with setting
moods as well.
5. Witch Hunter Robin
I enjoyed the semi-gothic atmosphere invoked here. The characters were mildly interesting, and the series just kept me coming back for more. Just an
interesting premise I think. Something fresh, with good art direction.
6. Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
This one was a little outside my normal comfort zone, but I have to say I REALLY enjoyed it! First of all, I LOVE anything that has to do with
time-travel or dimensional-shift plot devices, and to throw situational comedy, character development and a tiny bit of love in the mix really set
this one apart.
Every episode was unique, yet they all (with maybe two exceptions) progressed the plot a little bit further. Just what I like! It made me think, too,
which is something I appreciate above all else in a series. I don't want to sit back and have everything spoon-fed to me. I like to figure things
out, reflect on things, even be blessed with a new perspective from time to time through the medium of anime.
I highly recommend this series to ANY anime fan. With the exception of maybe two episodes and the terrible YuGiOh-esque costume that you are assaulted
with in the final episode, this series nears perfection.
7. Outlaw Star
This was one of my first anime influences (luckily it wasn't Pokemon or DBZ), so I may have rose-tinted glasses when remembering it. I do really like
it, though. It's another of those space-cowboy type settings.
I can't list anything that stands out to me in particular, but I will say that for some reason this movie invokes a sense of nostalgia and longing in
me, which is strange for a movie set in the future.
8. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Well, it's just epic. It may be mechs, but they aren't your standard shiny mechs. While this series has a lot of the elements that I don't normally
care for, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
Rahxephon was pretty much an NGE rip-off, but I enjoyed that one too. All in all I enjoyed the action of the shows, and the (sometimes)
thought-provoking twists at the ends. I do like twists
How could I not list Akira. This is THE first anime movie I was introduced to. I was young enough that I had to watch it a couple times to work out
all of the subtleties... That's one of the things I LOVE about it! You have to THINK if you want to really GET it.
The art is wonderful, the action is satisfying and I don't think I've ever heard an intelligent person complain about the plot. I just plain like
2. Ghost In The Shell
Unlike it's sad impersonator, Armitage III, Ghost In The Shell verges on perfect. This is a classic, so they didn't have all of the fancy digital
techniques available to them that we have now, but even so the quality of the animation here is second to none.
Much like Cowboy Bebop, it really does a great job of establishing a solid atmosphere. You can practically feel the locations.
The plot is PERFECT, and this was well before any influence from The Matrix which so heavily influences most movies of it's kind these days.
3. Millennium Actress
This one keeps ya thinking, which is something I like. The twist in the end is brilliant. This is the OTHER anime that made me cry. The story-telling
in this movie is grade A.
4. Miyazaki movies
I can't pick one. They are all brilliant. There's no big foozle that some heroic protagonist has to defeat. There's just a believable (in most
cases) central character who is normally thrust into unusual circumstances and gorgeous, imaginative environments. He/she goes with the flow and takes
life lessons away.
Miyazaki movies are magical. I can't even describe why. I can't find these qualities anywhere else, as I don't think anyone else has the genius
that he did. he will be sorely missed in the world of anime...
So there you have it. A long-winded sampling of what appeals to me.
I like fantasy. I like sci-fi. I like comedy. I like adventure.
I like movies that make me think.
I like deep characters.
What have you got for me?