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> Favorites Of All Time (and Why), READ GUIDELINES BEFORE POSTING
omoikane
Posted: Dec 31 2004, 10:51 AM
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The original thread can be found here.

Post your favorite anime (and manga) here. Please explain why and follow the guidelines below. The purpose of this thread is not just so you can tell us what you like and why you like these things, but also so others can read about it and find out if they like it or not.

GUIDELINES - read and follow (originally by jaxelrod, thx~):
  • Feel free to post more the one anime. There are many different genre of animation and it is hard to choose just one. I know I can't choose just one. I have an infamous "Top5" list that lots of people always ask me about, but it does change; though rarely, it does change.
  • This post is for your favorite anime of all time, not what you believe to be the "best" anime of all time. Such as Please Save My Earth and Saishuuheikii Kanojo, the two anime I considered to be the greatest anime ever made; yet somehow not my favorites.
  • Do not simply list your favorites, if you wish to be a part of this thread you must explain something about the series. Feel free to divulge as much as you wish. But please, no listing.
  • Zero tolerance for insulting other's taste in anime. Do not insult others tastes. Everyone has different tastes, leave the insulting to other posts and private messages. If you wish to say "I didnt like that anime for these reason...", feel free; but please, no insulting. NO FLAMING.
  • Be warned. This post contains some spoilers.
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omoikane
Posted: Dec 31 2004, 10:51 AM
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ugh.

Martian Successor Nadesico - This anime STILL remains one of my favorites of all times, for a lot of reasons. I've gone a long way with it; both in terms of as a fan (and doing the work, research, web swiss-knifing, chatting it up with others, and watching it over and over), also because it was a sci-fi (as my leaning) piece, with all the proper "features" and eccentricities, and I was exposed to it at the right "age" as an anime fan (ie. relatively early but not so early that I couldn't apperciate it). What's good about it? I'll just quote myself: "To make a lofty and senseless analogy, Nadesico is like a man's heart. Deep, subtle, but very real. On the surface it's superficial and it can be really funny at times, but each passing wave is just a shadow of the profound inner workings that lies beneath. The uncovering of that is what made Nadesico my favorite ever since I watched it through the first time. It managed to be funny, easy to swallow, but my mind chews on it like tough jerky, releasing pleasant "flavors" each time I think back to it."

Magic Knight Rayearth - My first love, and it's as good as any show that introduces you to the wonderful wickedness that is CLAMP. Pretty, great designs, good music, good songs, good voice acting, emotive, dramatic, all that. It's a little "shoujo-y" but the first season rocks regardless. Lots of angst expressed right.

Millennium Actress - See this post.

FLCL - Style. Mad pimp style. Everything.

His and Her Circumstances - Only if all shoujo anime can be as good as this one. The incessant self-introspection aside, it's great for laughs and great for those tender moments.

Scrapped Princess - I like this show for its drama. While it's fun and exciting to see how the story play out in this altered future of our world, Pacifica and her siblings rises beyond just mere anime characters and into very personable entities that I see everyday. The high fantasy feel also came across very well.

Rahxephon - I don't know if I like Rahxephon, or Akihiro Yamada smile.gif But nonetheless it's a very pretty show that just doesn't stop at being its own exotic, senseless shounen exposition. It has some great moments and even blundering through its cloudy plot there's a lot of wonderful tension. It's also one of the better-written/scripted giant post-Evangelion robot shows.

GunParade March - I'm amazed that it's still on my list, but for a subtle military romance story, it really captures that whole ishin-jiishin idea excellently. very Japanese. Don't let the giant-robot thing throw you off.

Evangelion - I added it back to my list partly because I think most of the Eva fans have already gone off and rant about other crap so it's just generally less annoying, but also over the years I've never really stopped appreciating what this show has to offer, so I might as well add it here. Also, the rebuilding isn't so bad so far.

Rurouni Kenshin (OAVs, Kyoto Arc) - It's really the only shounen fight anime that I truely liked, and probably the last. And the 4-episode OAV (or 1, director's cut) of the Tomoe tragedy...SO GOOD. It's possibly the best samurai anime "film" ever made.

Manabi Straight - this is probably one of the new title I'd latch onto this list after a drought of personal inability to really like a show--basically it's not to say there haven't been great shows to recommend others between 2004 and 2007, but this one manages to strike a chord in me that elevates it above others. It's a feel-good high school affair with a lot of heart. If you can cut through the cutesy loli (or rationalizes it away), there's a gem waiting for you.

Simoun - What wins with Simoun is its intricate writing to display the really odd human relationships wrapped around a very creative sci-fi/fantasy backdrop. It doesn't help if the ensemble cast is also awesome and full of good girls.

5 Centimeters per Second - It captures both the subtle Asian zeitgeist in the 21st century as well as the ageless star-crossed-lover schtik. The music video montage you can take or leave, but what it accomplishes in 60 minutes is more than far, far most can ever.

Notable mentions:
Yamamoto Yoko TV - Greatest scifi girls-in-space anime ever.
Witch Hunter Robin - Does goth style right -- alternatively could check out...
Utena - TV and Movie...wonderful surrealness
Wisper of the Heart - My favorite Ghibli movie ever
Porco Rosso and Princess Mononoke - My two second favorite Ghibli movies
Bubble Gum Crisis - I like Sci-fi. I like a reasonable dose of 80s-ness. It rocks like a hurricane. I also like BGC2040, because I like sci-fi. I like a reasonable dose of 90s-ness. It rocks like a hurricane.
Ghost in the Shell TV - The unlearned man's version of Shirow's Ghost in the Shell. With twice of the cuteness and half the nudity!
PLANETES - No man's an Island, and no man should go without seeing PLANETES because it's awesome drama. Notwithstanding the sci-fi element and the goofy things about it.
Dokkoida?! - Possibly the best sentai-style anime ever. It's a giant self-referencing troupe, but it's the best there is out there. The sisucon episode is perhaps the funniest and yet the most riveting episode of LOL ever.
Koikaze - While the anime tackles a subject matter that's all too taboo (incest), this anime is directed and put together with superb craftsmanship that it even does the subject matter with some justice, at least superficially.
Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - just for the fact how it raised the bar for TV animation alone is worth it. It's a boon that it's also one of the best adaptation of juvenile science fiction for anime that I've ever seen. Especially with the Kyon episode order.
Full Metal Panic Fumoffu - Possibly the widest-appealing slapstick anime ever.
Cowboy Bebop - You already know this.
Earth Maiden Arjuna - It's a little too new-agey for my taste, but it is a solid production with a daring message.

This post has been edited by omoikane on May 2 2012, 12:02 PM
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Randomkun
Posted: Dec 31 2004, 11:15 AM
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Squee~

FAVORITES (In no particular order)

FLCL:It's something original, and it's just plain fun to watch. Gainax does what they do well~

Witch Hunter Robin: Very angsty and gothic, and it portrays it oh-so-well. Great mood music, too.

Digimon Adventure-Fronteir:I'm a sucker for all the Digimon series. They introduced me to anime, and I'm going to continue to be a fan for a long, long time. Wado Kouji and AiM consitently make very good music for the series, too.

CardCaptor Sakura: The first anime I ever watched after Digimon. I think this is like my Rayearth for Omoi, it's just an introductionto CLAMP. I'll always have a soft spot for the voice actors, too.

Midori no Hibi: I love this anime. It's an original story, and I always laugh no matter how much I watch it. Cuteness^353526426.362

Di Gi Charat: So cuuuuuuute~ I forever Love KogeDonbo.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

PitaTen: For the same reasons as Di Gi Charat. Cuuuuuuute~:3
Evangelion: It introduced me to the "Harder", more tohughful side of anime like GitS. Always good when you rewatch it.
BGC/BGC2040: To quote Omo,
QUOTE
It rocks like a hurricane.

Alien Nine:Sooo cute, and it's a very interesting story. Very interesting animation, too.
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Rah-Rah
Posted: Dec 31 2004, 11:17 AM
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Sakura Taisen-From the games to the movie, I love this series. It is bishoujo steam punk, and is fun (and funny) to watch.

Berserk- This is, IMO, how dark fantasy should be done. Great, complex characters, wonderful art, and a well thought out world make this a winner.

Twelve Kingdoms- Same as berserk, in terms of praise. It is also, IMO, the best fantasy epic ever (Cym agrees).

Angel Sancuary-This is how shoujo should be. It takes John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost, and makes that the basis for the story. I found me self being becoming connected to all the characters( and this series has a large cast). Also, Kaori Yuki is the best Shoujo artist ever, and blows away all that CLAMP has, IMHO.

Rurouni Kenshin OVA- It is an anime Samurai "film", and is just as good as anything Akira Kurosawa has made, nuff said.

Martian Successor Nadesico- For the same reasons as Omo biggrin.gif .

Mobile Suit Gundam- This series is what got me into anime. I'm also a Sci-Fi fan, and MSG is the Star Trek of anime.

This post has been edited by Rah-Rah on Dec 31 2004, 11:26 AM
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dm
Posted: Dec 31 2004, 01:16 PM
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Martian Successor Nadesico. What Omoikane says. At first glance, it's fluff. But as you watch, and watch again you see that the fluff is just a mask that covers layers and layers of meaning.

Serial Experiments Lain. This series captures something of the atmosphere and illusions of the heady days when the Internet was new and we really did think it would change how we perceive the world. Don't believe me? Go read John Perry Barlow's "Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace". From LISP to Memex to John Lilly and Ted Nelson, Lain seems to have gotten so many things right about the expectations of those early days, even though what we expected at the time hasn't panned out. Lain is also a favorite because it has a distinctive look, one that shows signs of experimentation with new computer tools in a way that I've not seen repeated.

Haibane Renmei. A sweet, melancholy look at a sweet, melancholy young woman who awakens one day to find herself transformed and in a strange world. She cares about her friends and struggles hard to help them heal the psychic scars that cause them to awaken from nightmares. At first you watch because you're curious about the world. Then you watch because you care about the people you've met.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Even though it has a sappy, deus ex machina ending, and is really an all-time favorite because of the manga it's a pale shadow of, it's still a beautiful film about a completely admirable character. Besides, the success of Nausicaa led to the creation of Studio Ghibli. Finally to be released on DVD in the US (with Patrick Stewart voicing Yupa!) in Feb '05.

Porco Rosso. "A pig who doesn't fly is just a pig." The closest thing to Casablanca in animation. Also getting a US DVD release in Feb. '05.

Whisper of the Heart. A lovely film about discovering yourself, and deciding to become what you want to be. Oddly, the bits that Miyazaki did in this film (the fantasy sequences) are the ones I like the least.

Read or Die (OAV). All those movies adapting comic-book superheroes to the screen? This is what they aspire to be. What lover of books can resist a film that centers on the activities of the Special Operations Branch of the British Library? With two of the most charming superheroines (one of them with the most surprising and amusing super-power derived from bibliophilia) of all time. The TV series, while enjoyable, doesn't live up to the original OAV.

FLCL Sheer exhuberant style as a bunch of talented animators get to play with their new computer toys. A six-episode music video. Oh, there's some story under there, but I think it takes a back seat to the fireworks.

Noiseman Sound Insect. FLCL in fifteen minutes.

Cowboy Bebop. It does well both when it is drama and when it is comedy. The drama is quintessentially fatalist. Spike has an end that draws him inevitably nearer. The comedy is light-hearted, and draws heavily from what you have learned about the characters and the way they behave. The soundtrack, entirely new for the series (composed by Yoko Kanno), is a tour de force. Kanno turns out pieces in dozens of styles that sound exactly right. I was stunned when I learned that they weren't "traditional" works adapted to the series.

Vampire Princess Miyu (OAV). Creepy, subtle horror in the form of a 13-year-old immortal Vampire cursed to police the border between the worlds. She has her own agenda, and it's only occasionally aligned with ours (the manga is also excellent).

Boogiepop Phantom. A tale of life in a very strange town in which strange forces are at work is disentangled in a non-linear series of vignettes. The story is a little implausible, but the way it's told is made up of some fine film-making. More anime directors should be this experimental.

Kino's Journey. Kino journeys from one fablistic scene to another, staying long enough to see how each place has gotten trapped in its own way of seeing things. It's like a collection of short stories read at the end of the world. Is Kino a young woman dreaming she is a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming she is a young woman?

His and Her Circumstances. It has the full complexity of a novel, giving you looks into the interior monologue of several of the central characters. The recaps get annoying toward the end, and if you don't realize that the series is actually about the circumstances that hes and shes find themselves in, not about a particular him and her, you can be disappointed at the ending. All romantic comedies should have this depth. Another series with an interesting visual appeal.

Maison Ikkoku. Another romantic comedy with depth --- at least, after the pratfalls of the first few episodes are gotten through. Godai starts out as a mildly repulsive lech, and, over the course of several years (96 episodes) evolves into a young man worthy of Kyoko's love. Kyoko also evolves, learning that accepting a new love does not mean betrayal to her old love. The last dozen episodes are vicious in the way they tease the viewer. Be grateful you can watch them all at once, instead of having to wait a week between episodes. This may be one of the few Takahashi stories that actually makes any progress and reaches a conclusion.

I like a lot of the other things that people talk about here, but the above are my favorites.

Some honorable mentions:
My Neighbor Totoro, Laputa, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service. For a long time, I wasn't really an anime fan as much as I was a Miyazaki fan.
Our neighbors the Yamadas, Pon-Poko, Only Yesterday. Isao Takahata's (the other half of Studio Ghibli) films are often deeper and more interesting than Miyazaki's, but they tend to run on a trifle long.
Kodomo no Omocha. Sana-chan is frenetic and frequently annoying, but the series is a lot of fun.
Juuni Kokki. This is how fantasy should be done. Youko starts out sniveling and annoying, but as the series progresses, you see her grow into the role that fate has declared for her.
Evangelion. Complex, and often not successful, it still breaks new ground in exploring the inner life of its characters.
Tokyo Godfathers. Miracle on Roppongi Street. A heart-warming Christmas movie, with just a touch of magic.
NieA_7. It's really about Mayuko. It's so neat to see a story set outside the circles of wealthy Japan (and all those kids living in free-standing houses with bedrooms of their own are very wealthy). It's like a flashback to the rural Japan in the sixties, with unpaved paths and a depressed economy. Do you think maybe Mayuko was reborn as Reki in Haibane Renmei?
ROD the TV. Nowhere near as good as the OAV that preceded it, it still has its moments (those moments do not include the last few episodes, sad to say).
Gunparade March. Love and laughter in the time of war. The first couple of episodes are the best, with a strong ensemble.
Neo-Ranga. This series is a mess, but it's an interesting mess. Politics, comedy, romance, and a giant, mobile clay idol stomp their way through an impoverished Tokyo suburb.

This post has been edited by dm on Dec 31 2004, 04:43 PM
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pflorian
Posted: Dec 31 2004, 01:18 PM
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Kimagure Orange Road - It's apparent that not enough of you have seen this show, and if you like anime romantic comedies, I strongly recommend that you take a look at KOR if you haven't seen it yet.

I'm not expecting you to like it as much as I do. It was originally broadcast in 1987-1988, and thus there are a variety of issues that a newcomer will find somewhat off-putting: animation that was good for its time (for a weekly TV series) but nothing compared to what they can do these days, the fact that the show was very much a product of its time and will seem dated to many of you, the use of a lot of 80's J-pop which might not appeal, the fact that the series is forty eight episodes long and many of the ones in the middle are entertaining but don't significantly advance the underlying story or the character relationships.

But what was really good about it is still good. There are not words that will completely describe what a terrific character Ayukawa Madoka is: multilayered, mercurial, and charismatic. She is lovingly drawn (I'm very fond of the character designs for this series), expressive in face and body language. Further, the character's chemistry with the male lead (Kyosuke) is tremendous, better than any pairing in anime that I've seen since then. The supporting cast is quite engaging, and the situations are timeless and classic; if you enjoy reading Piro's misadventures with the bevy of pretty girls that surround him, you should have no problem getting into the plot of a typical KOR episode. And the ending of the TV series is flat-out terrific.

Another reason to watch KOR: in the context of the appreciation of the anime romantic comedy, KOR is important, in the same way that Macross and Gundam are important to mech anime, or Mach Go Go Go (a.k.a. Speed Racer) is important to sports anime. A lot of what we see today in romantic comedy anime was derived from KOR (and its contemporary, Maison Ikkoku), and KOR was key in demonstrating that as long as you have good characters, you don't need an unrealistic setting or a raft of gimmicks (yes, Kyosuke and his family have psychic powers, and Madoka is incredibly gifted, but the world at large is recognizable and believable) to create a good story.

When it comes to love triangles and romantic comedy, Kimagure Orange Road did it first and in my opinion did it best. Those who appreciate that sort of story and have not yet seen it are in for a treat.

Fruits Basket - Easily one of the most good natured stories that it's ever been my pleasure to experience. The lead character (Honda Tohru) is...well, the term "genki" fits her perfectly, but though she is incredibly sweet I do not find her cloying (though some people do). The show has a terrific sense of character, with some of the tightest and fiercest friendships I've seen in an anime. There is plenty of laughter and not a few tears to be found here. The animation is simple but elegant, and uses SD and other anime tricks cleverly. The OP is a favorite and the music suits the show well. The writing is consistently very good, with a pace that is often leisurely but never dull, though it was a bit rushed at the very end. The show's "gimmick" (the Sohma curse) is simple, but played in seemingly endless variations and all to good effect. I look forward to repeated rewatchings in the years to come.

The Vision of Escaflowne (specifically the TV series and not the movie, which is prettily done but not nearly as appealing to me as the series) - This one has it all...drama, romance, a scope that is well and truly epic, a terrific score, gorgeous animation. The opening theme sweeps the viewer into the story, which often moves with a speed and power that is breathtaking. It took me a short time to get used to the character designs, but once I did they seemed to fit the show to a T. Hitomi is a fine heroine whose efforts, though small and personal, guide the story rather than being swept along by it. This is a series that might stand up to the test of time better than any other anime.

Cardcaptor Sakura (specifically the original show, not the mangled edited version known as Cardcaptors) - CLAMP takes the magical girl concept and does amazing things with it. Kinomoto Sakura (the lead) is sunny, vibrant, human, and engaging, and her supporting cast is equally compelling. The show is laden with romantic yearnings, which are sweet and sad and oftentimes perverse but never evil. Though there are filler episodes, there is always the sense that the story is going somewhere: characters evolve, relationships evolve, there is continuity. I am nowhere near the target demographic for this show, but it is just plain good and I get a great deal of pleasure out of it.

There are many other anime shows I've greatly enjoyed (including many of the ones listed above and the others sure to be listed below), but these four are the ones that jump out at me when I think of my favorites.
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Hobo 22
Posted: Dec 31 2004, 06:07 PM
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In no real order...

Juuni Kokki - I loved this show, it had well developed characters along with a great storyline. What especially stood about about this show was the third story arc in the anime, which I believe was done very well. The way the show ended was a bit abrupt, but it was a great series none the less.

Kare Kano - Good story, good characters, and good animation (well for half of the show at least). This show ended even more abruptly and with less grace then the already mentioned Juuni Kokki, but I love it anyways.

Princess Tutu - I love the characters for this show. Ahiru is just so cute happy.gif The story is very well done as is the music for this show. A very likeable show in a very inexpliciable way.

Kaleido Star - I think this show is very well done too. The characters in this show are just as likeable as the ones in Tutu. It sounds like a strange concept for a show to be about a circus like place, but the show and story is very well done.
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Zorrah
Posted: Dec 31 2004, 08:59 PM
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Rouroni Kenshin. I Just don't know what it is about this series, be it the TV series or the OAV. I think the childish badass sort of thing is just a little corny, but there are a couple of my favorites that do this. This one and

Trigun. I have seen a music video portraying the series as a drama, while in the first half of the series, this is clearly not the case, the transition to second one, which kind of is, is smooth and both aspects of the series are strong.

Dragonball/DBZ. Yeah, nothing but craziness and smack talk. I think I like Dragonball a little more than DBZ, cause it's a little more about the ass kicking and less about the smack talk. It also has that childish badass syndrom.

Vampire Hunter D. While I don't think its as great as I used to think it is, it's still pretty damn good.

Excell Saga. Pure Craziness. I watch it and I'm entertained and enjoy, then I look back on it and ask myself, Why? Then I watch it again, and fucking enjoy it.

I turn into a sap watching cheesy romantic anime. With Love Hina, I think I like the craziness more than the romance. Oh My Goddess was probably one of my favorite for the romantic comedy sort of thing.
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Cosmo-san
Posted: Dec 31 2004, 09:55 PM
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FLCL wild. crazy. shiznat.

Lupin the Third I don't know what it is, but Lupin's style just gets me in a good way, and Goemon, because I'm a sucker for swords. But It's a long-running series, and since it isn't glittery in the graphics department, you pay more attention to the little details that tell the story.

Cowboy Bebop yeah, it's popular, but there's a reason for that. It's good. Spike isn't angsty, mentally gone (Chiiiiiii), or suffering from any other disabilities that seems to be rampant. It's not repititious, always something different each ep and somewhat furthers the plot. And it has originality, at least for me.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (Gits: Sac) Although it's not really legal to say this with only seeing a few eps, it follows the goodness of everything else Ghost.

Full Metal Alchemist Good, old-fashioned original storyline. I don't like the English dub when i am used to the Japanese.

Naruto A little on the long side, but again, magic is my vice, no matter what form it is.

Wolf's Rain Other people don't like it, i do. For reason's I can't discribe, it got me hooked. And it seems more philisophical without trying to be, to much.

Studio Ghibli I'll put these in the same general category, just because they resemble each other. Studio Ghibli has nice, warm, fuzzy feelings attached to it's movies. Kiki's Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke, just to name a few. If you have money and you see "Studio Ghibli" on the side.
Trade that pocket change!

This post has been edited by Cosmo-san on Dec 31 2004, 10:05 PM
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phantomditto
Posted: Dec 31 2004, 10:15 PM
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Out of the few animes that I've been able to watch all of...

RahXephon- Being a musician, all of the musical references made my day because they often had some significance... and because it was one of the first animes I watched all the way through, I was able to go back and analyze it time and time again. However, the thing that really got me was the music. It seemed that every scene had the right background music for it, whether it was light progressive jazz, with a sax frantically grasping for notes, or a determined military trumpet piece, to a concert piano solo, it always seemed to fit.

Since it was a main theme of the show, the dialogue had a fairly musical quality as well, although I can't really describe it more than that. Kinda like notes in a good solo, every word said contributed. There were a couple of odd fourths thrown in, and maybe some dischorded places, and bars where an accompaniement would have helped hold the melody, but all in all, it wraps up very well.

The coda made me fall on the ground.

~pd

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Loismustdie
Posted: Jan 1 2005, 11:49 AM
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Favorite Manga As Of Now:

1) Buddha - Osammu Tezuka: The man behind Astro Boy's take on the life of Buddha. Absolutely amazing artwork I.E. the only manga I would consider to be a work of art as apposed to say a manga which just has very good art. Huge landscapes, great character design, and nice spine art. The story is that of Buddha's life, birth to, well I'm only on volume 3 of 6 so I assume it ends at death. Osammu's side stories and fictional characters are excellent and only and to the joy of this manga as apposed to making you think "historically inaccurate"
Very underatted, a joy to read, anoying expensive, Buddha.

2) Shaman King - Hiroyuki Takei: Hehe, I am a big fan of most of what Shonen Jump release, and if you are into Shounen Jump Shaman King should not disappoint. It's not a classic, the art work is very nice if nothing special, the characters are fun, and the story is silly. By no means one of the best mangas of all time, but it is one of my favorite purely because it is really good fun. Shaman King is about a teenager who is learning to become a Shaman, a person who can help ghosts pass on into the after life, and with a ghosts permission, they can take the ghost and put them in their body, the ghosts skills becoming theirs for a short period of time. Very worth the read, just a fun comic, how manga should be.

3) Naruto/Dragonball - Massashi Kishimoto and Akira Toriyama respectively:
I put these two together as they are very similar, I am sure you all know all about both of these books so I need not waste time explaining the characters and story. I like both these mangas on the same level, Fun Men/boys-beating-each-other-up type Shounen manga. They are both highly addictive, with great battle scenes and semi-serious back-story. Both are mostly loved or hated, the people who love them normally taking them too seriously, both look nice on any shelf and are good fun.

I would post more but I'm bored now.
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Lain of the Wired
Posted: Jan 2 2005, 01:25 AM
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-------Series---------



The first entry here will be sorta anecdotal, Ďcause I feel like it. If youíre not interested in hearing the story of my obsession, skip to the end.


Serial Experiments Lain

Anyone whoís ever talked to me or even looked at my username can tell how I feel about this series. Yet after 3 years of fandom, itís almost lost some of its significance. I still search for Lain fanart whenever I can, and use Lain avatars, because its style, its coolness, is so enduring. But what did I really love about the series when I first watched it, and what do I still love? Itís hard to say. My unhealthy tendency of getting nostalgic for everything clouds my memories, and itís hard to watch Lain now and try to evaluate its quality objectively. Of course perhaps itís fair to rate a series by looking at the time it had the most impact on you. To give it the benefit of the doubt in, other words. And the first time I watched Lain, its impact was huge.

I got the first DVD of Lain through Netflix, on the recommendation of an internet friend who had good taste. But I was not impressed by the first episode. In many ways my complaints with it were the same that many have about the whole series; I thought it was pretentious, and artsy for the sake of being artsy. But I changed my mind quickly. And now whenever I dislike a series after and episode or two, I hearken back to this, and remind myself that my first impression of my all time favorite series was a bad one. Itís a good thing to remember. But anyway, it was interesting enough that I was compelled to watch the second episode immediately. It blew me away. Looking back now, I love the first episode as much as any other in the series, so itís hard for me to tell what about the second episode I found so much better, but I was hooked after that. I watched the third and fourth episodes, stopping only maybe for a moment to get some water. When I was done I immediately went to tell my brother about how great it was, and in an hour or so I convinced him to watch it. I then sat down and watched the first four episodes again. I never was as obsessed with an anime as I was with Lain in those first few days. I went to bed thinking about it, and when I woke up the next day the first thing I did was go listen to the OP again. When I went to school that day I was scolded for not having done the previous nightís homework. Iíd completely forgotten about homework! Lain distracted me so. Having no money, I desperately tried to coerce my brother into getting the rest of the series as soon as possibly. Lain was not like some anime that I came to really love when I looked back on it; I KNEW lain was special while I was watching it. Consequently, I was afraid if I didnít see the rest of it soon after seeing the beginning Iíd ruin the experience. My brother ended up scrapping up the money for volumes 2 and 3, but 4 had to be acquired as a Christmas present (Christmas was about two weeks away) so I got to watch up to episode 10 and then had to wait till Christmas day to finish it. And yes, I watched it on Christmas day.

If I had to say what I liked most about Lain, it was its mystery. The character herself, Lain, was like no other Iíd seen in an anime before, and her predicament too, was like nothing else. I was intrigued by the idea a normal person having hallucinations, being contacted by the dead, and having another life they didnít even know they had. Iíve always said the early episodes of Lain are the best because nothing was yet explained. There was just enough to send my mind into a frenzy of thought and speculation. The explanations that were finally offered in later episodes were satisfactory, though nothing next to my imagination. Perhaps no explanation would have been good enough. Yet even now I can go back and watch the early episodes and still get that same feeling I had the first time through. The eerie, creepy, surreal atmosphere is still there.

Ultimately, it was the emotional impact of Lain that I liked so much. I canít begin to tell you with any authority what it was about, or if it had any message or moral. But it was compelling none the less. It combined the foreboding of a good horror movie with the wonderment of a fantasy. It was serious the whole way through, without the tinges of fan service and slapstick that even good dramas like Eva have, giving it a certain cohesion of mood and theme that made it transcend the medium of a weekly anime series, and feel more like a movie. But itís not like a movie either! The ends of the episodes always suggest a temporary stopping point. A brief calm in the storm. I always loved the way the series was paced. It was not like so many anime, that being with an introduction of the characters and the premise, and then move on to a few adventures these characters have, hinting only briefly at the underlying conflicts throughout the series before launching into full ďseriousĒ mode at the end, just before the climax, so that the final episodes are nothing like the rest. Lain steadily builds for the entire run of the series, starting from the beginning. Itís different and very effective, for what they were trying to do in the series.

I could go on, talking about the great artwork, music, and other things, but that would be irrelevant. They all contributed to the final product, and the emotional impact it had on me, which is the reason I love it so.


Tenchi Muyo OAVs

Before Lain came along, it was unquestionably my favorite series. Before I was ďJoseoftheWiredĒ on this forum, I was ďKagatoXLĒ on another. Sasami was undoubtedly my favorite character. But that obsession faded, and now itís not a show I don't think about so much anymore. But it really was great. I liked the drama as much as the comedy (though perhaps I wouldnít be as impressed by the drama now) and I always thought the series was just executed perfectly. Even though the characters were clichťs, they were fully realized and likable. And the show had many original touches too, like a rabbit creature that turns into a spaceship, that seemed to set it apart from other anime. Also from the creators of Tenchi, El Hazard was, I thought, very unique in many ways, despite its generic harem anime antics. But that series ended badly, and Iíve never really had a good idea as how much I like it. The early OAVs suggest a classic, and the later ones suggest a melodramatic throwaway series. Perhaps itís something I need to watch an re-evaluate.


Neon Genesis Evangelion


I could go through a long story about my experiences with this anime, which was nearly as world-shaking as Lain, but I won't bother. In this thread from 2 years ago I attempt to explain why Evangelion is good. Read it if you like.


Ranma Ĺ

Another anime I watched a long time ago (5 years now? Maybe more?) it has a lot of nostalgic value, but I have enjoyed it whenever I have rewatched it. And by rewatch, I mean about through season 4. It goes downhill from there.

Iím sure Ranma could be torn apart as a simple harem anime with obnoxious characters thatís not nearly as good as ::insert other series:: but I donít care. It has always made me laugh. Be it Kunoís over the top phony chivalry or Soun and Genmaís scheming, it's consistently amusing.


Card Captor Sakura

Itís been years and I still havenít watched it all. But oh well. Itís very fun and very cute (did I just say that?) but yet it seems a little more aware of itself and a little more clever than most magical girl shows. Itís not a full on parody, indeed itís very sincere, but it doesnít take itself too seriously, which is a constant problem with these kinds of shows, and anime in general.


NieA Under 7

This is a woefully underappreciated series with character designs by Lainís Yoshitoshi ABe and an undetermined amount of input from Lain creator Yasuyuki Ueda. It is in some ways like Lain, in that I think it is paradoxically more realistic than most anime, yet about something unrealistic. In this case, aliens. It has so many charming, quiet moments, and also moments of quiet desperation by the long suffering heroine Mayuko. But it mixes with these moments outrageous, over the top slapstick humor. It sounds like it wouldnít work, but I think it does. It handles both its comedy and drama excellently, both its realistic and unrealistic aspects, but doesnít feel disjointed. Most people haven't seen it, and those that have are usually split 50/50 between liking it and not liking it, so itís something Iím hesitant to recommend. But to me, itís almost the perfect anime.


Haibane Renmei

I watched the end of Haibane only a few months ago, and long after watching the third volume. I havenít gotten to watch it again since. So I have difficulty gauging how good it really it is. To me it seems like two series. The beginning is a quiet one, full of the kind of mystery Lain had, but with no tension. Yet as it progressed the charm of the early episodes, the tea sipping and the day- in-the-life adventures, are replaced by drama. Real intense drama. ďIntenseĒ is not a word I ever hear used to describe Haibane Renmei, but I can think of no better word for it. The later episodes plunge into darkness, a more human darkness than the cyberpunk nightmare of Lain. I was actually blown away by it. Both parts of the series were wonderful, but which I preferred, and how well they actually work together to make a whole series, that I cannot say.


Now and Then, Here and There

Thereís not much I can say about it that hasnít already been said. Itís very effective drama and a look at the worst of human nature. And it doesnít accomplish it with mood or atmosphere or all the stuff I usually mention when Iím talking about shows I like. It does it with an uncompromising look at reality, with harsh scenes that sometimes actually make you uncomfortable (if youíve seen it, you know what I mean). The emotional load is only lightened by the improbable idealism and heroism of the protagonist. One feels that the creators were afraid to go too far into despair and tragedy, which is perhaps cowardly. On the other hand, I couldnít help but appreciate the hope presented by Shu, as some relief from the sadness. Watching his insane attempts at rescuing Lala Ru are actually inspiring. This series isnít popular like Evangelion or even Lain, but it deserves to be.


Azumanga Daioh

I donít need to say much. Itís funny. Slice of life humor, like I like. The characters are all likable. Not as good as the manga however, as it stalls at times and some stuff that was great in the manga doesn't work on tv.


Honorable mention:


Cowboy Bebop: Fun. Good characters. I could never get into it like most people though. Iíve always liked it, but true love has eluded me.

Magic Userís Club Oavs: Full of clichťs, but itís just too funny. The main character is a lovable pervert who gets hit on by his gay friend, and I dunno, it just cracks me up. The girls are hot too.

Haunted Junction: WEIRD comedy about a high school that is overrun by spirits. Three students, one the daughter of a Shinto priest, another the son of a Buddhist monk, and one the son of a Christian minister, are the members of the schools Holy Spirit Council that deals with problems involving ghosts. The Buddhist guy is a lecher who is always getting possessed by the spirits of animals, the Shinto priestess is a pedophile who molests little boys, and the Ministerís Son is a normal kid who just wants nothing to do with any of it. Iíd recommend this to anyone with a sense of humor.

Excel Saga: The early episodes are comedy gold. If the whole series was like it, itíd be in my top 5. Unfortunately, the later episodes get woefully unfunny. Only at the very end does it redeem itself a little. Overall, itís too inconsistent.




----------One shot or short OAV series----------


Mermaidís Forest

A short movie based on Rumiko Takahasiís manga, itís violent but effective horror. Not brilliant, but fun. The Laughing Target, another Takahashi story, is also fun, and has EXCELLENT music.

Pet Shop Of Horrors

Iíve never met another person whoís seen it, which is a shame. Itís a weird series of a few episodes centering around a Pet Shop in LAís Chinatown that isnít quite right. ďThe CountĒ is its eccentric proprietor, who sells pets that areÖNot quite what they seem. In each episode we see the story of a pet that was sold and the inevitable misfortune it caused. Usually the pets expose some moral flaw of the person who bought them. The lessons taught are usually good ones, but the consequences for the sinful or foolish buyers is so horrifying it is disturbing. Itís a very interesting values conflict. There is also a police officer who investigates the pet shop and its connection to various murders, resulting in hilarious interactions between the Count and the Cop.

Blood: The Last Vampire

Too short, lacking in plot, and with a stupid tacked-on moral message at the end. But itís cool while it lasts. Very cool. Saya is one of the most badass characters there ever was. The pornographic manga follow-up is fun too, if you can stand to see some bloody lesbian vampire sex tongue.gif



----------Movies----------


Miyazaki movies

Since everyone knows all about them, letís go through this quickly. Kikiís Delivery Service is my favorite; itís so charming and entertaining. Spirited Away is fantastical and fun, I could watch it over and over. A bit of a rehash of his earlier concepts, though. Castle of Cagliostro is the best use of the Lupin character I have ever seen. It expertly combines the essence of the rascally thief with Miyazakiís own sensibilities. Thus, Lupin and his criminal gang coexist with the kind of innocent young girl Miyzaki is so fond of. Itís amazing how well they work together. Itís just fun. Fun. There is no artistic aspect that one needs to consider. FUN.


Grave of the Fireflies

Had more emotional impact on me than any other movie, not just anime. It transcends anime. It makes other anime seem silly in comparison. Itís not just its subject matter, itís the way it handles it. And knowing it is a true story, and with repeating viewings, Iíve found thereís more to it than I had originally thought. Itís not just a tragic cryfest. There are other things at work here. Itís certainly something I continue to enjoy analyzing and thinking about.

Satoshi Kon movies

Heís only done three so far, but they are all excellent. Kon is, as far as I am concerned, the best director in anime today (although I havenít seen Miyazakiís latest, perhaps that would push him ahead). Perfect Blue is just a smart thriller. Hard to follow, but fun to watch. Millennium Actress is even better, if nothing else because it aims higher than Perfect Blue, chronicling a personís life instead of just toying with themes of fear and paranoia. The way in which the movies of the actress Chiyoko reflect her actual life is interesting, as well as having the documentary makers participate in the story by appearing in her flashbacks. Tokyo Godfathers is quirky and imperfect, but the ending is so good, it works out.

Night on the Galactic Railroad

Another anime that seems to be largely unseen, despite being so excellent. It is supposedly based on a famous Japanese kids novel, although Iíd say it is anything but kiddy, as its subject matter is nothing less than death. The author of the story was a Buddhist who also studied Christianity, and imagery from both religions are present here. Oh, and all the characters are cats. But donít let that discourage you from seeing it. Itís better than it sounds, and I thought it sounded pretty good to being withÖ


Honorable Mention

Akira: Great action, but not nearly as good as the manga.

End of Evangelion: It can be easily written off as pretentious blather; a scattershot of morbid imagery and deathÖ But I like it a lot.



--------Manga--------



Azumanga Daioh: Better than the TV series. I never get tired of reading it.

Yotsubato: Like Azumanga Daioh but perhaps better. Every character is fun and likable, and the humor is somehow silly and high brow at the same time.

Ichigo Mashimaro: Like Azumanga, but with a sharper edge, and a loliness that is either unsettling or erotic, depending on your taste. At the time of this writing, my sig is of Miu from Ichigo. While the characters are sitting around doing nothing, she randomly blurts out ďIím really cute!Ē Thatís my kind of humor.

Gunsmith Cats: Fanservicey and shallow, also a bit more edgy and adult than the normal girls with guns story.

Akira: Great illustrations and action.




Gah, I wish I could write short explanations like Omo or DM...

This post has been edited by Lain of the Wired on Jan 2 2005, 02:58 AM
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omoikane
Posted: Jan 2 2005, 01:52 AM
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♪mojimoji shite kimoi ne♪
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QUOTE (Lain of the Wired @ Jan 2 2005, 02:25 AM)
Gah, I wish I could write short explanations like Omo or DM...

I wish you could write short explanations like me or DM, for it will be easier to read for the rest of us.

I ought to put out a book: "How to be cryptic in three easy steps!"
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Lain of the Wired
Posted: Jan 2 2005, 02:16 AM
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Sometimes Iím not sure if youíre being cryptic on purpose or youíre just not very good at expressing yourself.


And if you want me to shorten my post I can. But I doubt anyone would read it either way.

This post has been edited by Lain of the Wired on Jan 2 2005, 02:21 AM
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Great S.G.
Posted: Jan 2 2005, 02:48 AM
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Movies

Galaxy Express 999
I blame GE999 as being my gateway into my love for anime, and also my strange obsession for classic and older anime series most fans today pass over because the artwork isnít glossy eye candy. Speaking of artwork though, that was the first thing that struck me when I first saw it was the art style and world Matsumoto had created. Images of the worlds that Tetsuro and Maetel journeyed to will always stay with me, especially Maetel and Captain Harlock; Arcadia forever!

Perfect Blue
Satoshi Kon simply put, is the David Lynch of Anime; and if you know me, you know I am a huge David Lynch film fanatic. Perfect Blue is a truly amazing dark suspense thriller that only Kon could pull off so wonderfully in the animated form.

Angelís Egg
Yoshitaka Amanoís art and Mamoru Oshiiís directing bring to life this strange and mysterious story layered with symbolism and complexity. Itís definitely not for everyone, especially people with short attention spans; I believe thereís a mark in the movie where no dialogue is spoken for 20 minutes; but the guided ambience of Angelís Egg is what makes it so incredible.

Memories
Three short stories, each of them unique and good in their own way. Magnetic Rose, the best of the three is an amazing work and the cinematic technique is some of the best ever seen in animated form.

Millenium Actress
Another work from Satoshi Kon, and to truly sum up my thoughts of this film is to simply say, ďWow.Ē Seriously, Iíve never been as captivated by an animated film as much as I was watching Millenium Actress weave itself between fantasy and reality, truly breathtaking.

Shows and OAVs

Haibane Renmei
There are few anime series out there that truly strike me for their emotional levels and truly incredible worlds and characters. Haibane Renmei is one of those shows for me.

Megazone23
High octane action-packed 80s sci-fi mecha, what more do I need to love about this show? Aside from the fact itís one of the most influential anime series ever made and helped pave the way for a lot of ground-breaking elements we now have in todays anime world, this classic is a must see.
himself with this show. Plus he knows how to take risks and not be afraid to kill off the

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
If only all of the Gundam franchise could be this good, Tomino completely outdid majority of the main characters. Plus after watching the dvds I am still baffled at just how good the animation is for a show of itís age.

Iria: Zeiram the Animation
This has always been a guilty pleasure series for me; it was also one of the first anime series I ever got on video. Iria will always remain one of my favorite anime heroines for a long time. Plus the Zeiram is one of the most badass looking monsters ever created.

More to come later... ninjanatsD.gif

This post has been edited by Great S.G. on Jan 2 2005, 02:55 AM
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omoikane
Posted: Jan 2 2005, 07:56 AM
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QUOTE (Lain of the Wired @ Jan 2 2005, 03:16 AM)
And if you want me to shorten my post I can. But I doubt anyone would read it either way.

Too late, already read.

QUOTE (Lain of the Wired @ Jan 2 2005, 03:16 AM)
Sometimes Iím not sure if youíre being cryptic on purpose or youíre just not very good at expressing yourself.

It wouldn't be so cryptic otherwise. Heck, either it's one or the other or both; I don't even know anymore.
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Dje
Posted: Jan 2 2005, 04:03 PM
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Mostly copy-pasting the old entry. Only Now and Then Here and There could have entered the "10 favourites" list but I couldn't decide on which to eliminate...

Azumanga Daioh : fun, characters you grow fond of and a simple and sometimes weird sense of humour. Also peacefull and calm, going at it's own rythm (as it is adapted from a strip comic, the pace is different than most anime). (and Osaka rocks)
Berserk : A dark and cruel depiction of a tale of ambition, set in a mediaval fantastic world on the brink of chaos and destruction. A reliable but human hero (and a real badass one). There is much violence and gore, but it's not what that anime is about, that is just a mean to the story.
Cowboy Bebop : a classic, funk and jazzy, with characters each having their own distinct story, that you grow attached to. They have their own lives too and aren't together simply because of the scenarists will. I particularly like how each episode, filler or main plot, does contribute to the depth of each character.
Excel Saga + Puni-puni Poemi : Fast-paced madness and absurdity, making parodys of everything out there. A revelation in term of how far anime can sometimes go
GTO : A fun anime depicting a former biker gang leader trying to become a teacher. The shock of two worlds, the normal one and Onizukas is what gives this anime it's attraction : Onizuka didn't change at all, he still is himself while trying to land a respected teacher job. No compromises and always getting forward. The graphical style might put some people off, but it would be sad to miss it solely because of that.
Haibane Renmei : simply the mood and the art... Not much happens but we are being shown a slice of the life of strange beings not so different from us. Calm and slow, but conveying all that's important about each character.
Rurouni Kenshin : a very good samourai anime, with a hero in which violence, peace and regrets are trying to come to terms. Good music some historical background (I know it's not the real history, but some of the background helps to understand the changes of that era), and well done sword fights.
Princess Tutu : excellent music (classical), a background of fairytales gone dark and sad (but not violent), a great ending (the 4-5 last eps), some absurdness and laughs and a good realisation. I thought it would be a typical magical girl show in the beginning, but it is much more powerfull.
Slayers : A very fun show that is parodying many fantasy cliches. I especially like Slayers Next, especially the last two eps, a very big ending putting the whole Monster race under a new light...
Trigun : a mix of western and sci-fi (but mostly western), with a hero who chosses the hard way, clinging to pacifistic ways despite all that happens to him. Dynamic music and a very good villain help this show too (the big story starts late in the show, but i liked it all)

Movies :
Millenium Actress : the strange depiction of the life of an actress, where the telling mixes with the memories.
Most Gihblis for the good slice-of-life feeling (particularly Mimi wo Sumaseba, Nausicaa and Totoro)


Other favourites include Maria-sama ga Miteru, Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai, Soultaker, X TV, Kousetsu Hyaku Monogatari and Vampire Princess Miyu TV.

This post has been edited by Dje on Jan 2 2005, 04:13 PM
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OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol
Posted: Jan 2 2005, 04:57 PM
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"Space Adventure Cobra". I watched quite a lot of anime in the late 70ies-early 80ies but most of them are either starting to fade from my memory, or watching them back made me realize how old and outdated they are. Save for Cobra. Of them all, it's the one which manga I still enjoy reading and which anime is still awesome whenever I watch it. I think it's mostly because of the main character himself: Cobra, the Invincible, who is a sci-fi James Bond at his best for some points (a ladies' man, an invincible hero who stays cool everytime), the lonely independant wolf fighting against an evil organization as Harlock is for some points and yet the cunning thief with a good heart as Lupin III is.

"Urusei Yatsura". If Cobra caught my heart with its cool factor, UY caught it with its zaniness. Who could not like the lecherous yet comical Ataru and his antics with Lum and the gang? It's stupid, it's zany, it's absurd, but yet you cannot prevent yourself from loving the characters in their everyday lives. Even nowadays, its movies are the anime I watch the most.

"Kimagure Orange Road". The freshness of youth is how I'd define KOR, as it smells of teenagers' time youth... The fact I watched it when it was first broadcasted ('87) and I was about Kyousuke's age helped, probably. Love romance as it is not anymore, sweet, fun, intense, dangerous and tempting sometimes, and ending with the bittersweetness of adulthood.

"Vampire Princess Miyu", OAV. I love tragedies. When I may have liked other anime before watching Miyu, I always intellectually deprived of the tragedy factor, even more as far as the main character is concerned. Miyu changed my opinion by being the first inhuman (thus amoral) hero I met, not caring a bit about the human beings upon whom the Shinma were preying. I fell fascinated -- bewitched by her golden eyes, her mystic presence and her mysterious laugh...

"Z Gundam". Though I like the original series, it didn't grab my interest like ZG did. I missed its craze (i.e. when it was broadcasted) and found about it thanks to Animag which had back then regular synopses of it. It wasn't until the end of '90 that I could at last find copies of it, and then... I was taken aback by the depth of its story, its characters and, I have to admit, the dynamism of its mecha fights. happy.gif

"The Castle in the Sky, Laputa". I can say I like every work the Studio Ghibli did. However, none caught my heart like Laputa did. It may be the fairytale-like story, it may be the greatness of Pazu and Sheeta (as heroes), it may be the beauty of the backgrounds, it may be Hisashi's music, I don't really know. It has a magic which entranced me until today.

"Grave of the Fireflies". There's nothing much I can say which would be true to GotF. It's a fragment of mankind's history, it's a testament of the human's nature, it's so true and so sad, there are few works IMO (even movies or litterature) which could rivalize with its beauty.
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Cymbaline
Posted: Jan 3 2005, 02:02 PM
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In order:

Anime

1. Samurai X, Trust & Betrayal, AKA Rurouni Kenshin OVA - This is my favorite anime, with very little doubt. It depicts war in rather brutal fashion, while still portraying our protagonist as a badass. It's beautiful, harsh, and tragic. The music is excellent, the art is excellent, and those things combined with the superb climax make for one of the most moving segments in anime (the denouement).

2. Cowboy Bebop - My favorite anime series. I'm constantly amazed by the amount of depth in this show. It's worthy of literary-style analysis. The attraction here is not the plot - because there isn't a constant one - but rather the characters. That's not to say that the stand alone episodes are worthless in and of themselves, though; they're not. This show is many things, but to me, personally, it's an exploration of death. How a person deals with his own. How friends deal with it. How family deals with it. And the main characters who are our story tellers, in their own way, are wonderfully complex and real in their emotions. Perhaps the greatest thing about this show is how subtle the relationships are. To top it all off, it has (with Samurai X being the only competition) the absolute greatest ending of any show ever made.

3. Now and Then, Here and There - Not my favorite, but definately the best anime ever made, and quite probably the best work of video, period. This show is fucking harsh, no question. It's dystopian, like 1984, and like that wonderful novel, it crawls inside of your head and heart, and it fucks you up, and it makes you hurt, and think, and it leaves a lasting impression. This is a show about the best and worst of humanity. This is a show in which there is good, and there is evil, and yet there's little if any black and white. It is, no question, spectacular.

4. 12 Kingdoms, AKA Juuni Kokki - The best fantasy epic ever. Screw The Lord of the Rings and all that. This is where it's at. As with many good shows, the cast is wonderful. The main character starts out as an unsympathetic bitch, and grows (realistically grows) into the greatest character in all of anime. That's not to diminish the plot or setting, though - both are superbly crafted. The world is so real it breathes (and the superb music helps that). The plot is excellent. This show is dark, and harsh, and gritty, and real, all without being overly so or being a huge downer over all. This show is so goddamn good that I did something I don't do - I took a day off of work and watched it nearly start to finish in one sitting. It. Is. Awesome.

5. Planetes - Again, excellent cast. Both the secondary characters and the main are wonderfully flushed out and put into situations which challenge their cores. All of this over a wonderfully done hard science fiction backdrop. Perhaps the biggest draw, though, apart from cast, is the writing. It is superb. The short stories, in and of themselves, say something. They are often simple, but they are touching, and somehow profound.

6. Berserk - A character development epic clothed in a tale of a violent, badass fantasy epic. The violence and fighting and the ridiculously awesome badass that is Gatts pull you in, but halfway through, you start to realize just how well done the character growth is, and that that's why you're watching it.

7. Haibane Renmei - A wonderful introspective mood piece. Great art, absolutely superb setting, and easily one of the best anime soundtracks ever written and recorded. This one is unique, and just... well, it feels. It simply drips with mood.

8. Gunslinger Girl - Harsh and fucked up; just the way I like it. =) This one has a sympathetic cast, some pretty good writing, nice atmosphere, and if you give it a hard enough look, it's quite thought provoking.

9. FLCL - Style. Oh, style. That's not to say that there isn't content, because there's a great coming of age story in there, but man, it's the style.

10. Jin-Roh - Again, harsh and fucked up, just the way I like it. Dark, moody, slow, and admittedly possibly boring to some, the wonderful ending makes it all worth while. Man, it hurts.

11. Rurouni Kenshin - The mother of all fighting shows. This one has its ups and downs, lots of filler, and is way longer than it should be, but when it's good, holy fuck, it's good.

12. Scrapped Princess - A truly enjoyable fantasy piece with an enjoyable cast. That alone makes it great, but on top of that, there's some really heart wrenching bits here and there.

13. Hand Maid May - My guilty pleasure. It's a harem romantic comedy for guys. There's too much fanservice, and it's formulaic and cheesey, but my god, I love it so much. It just does something so very, very right. It's funny, it's heart warming, it's moody, it's lovable, and it's just... goddamn, I love it.

14. RahXephon - Another good cast here that I loved virtually from top to bottom. A well done and entertaining show with some emotional moments.



Manga

1. Berserk - Nothing. Fucking. Compares. Nothing. This manga blows the living dogshit out of all else, and even out of the Berserk anime. It starts out kind of rough, but by the time you catch up with current, it has the best art in manga, bar none, the best characters, best plot, best everything. There's no comparison. None. The grey morals have me so confused I can't tell who's good and who's evil (and I love that, because it's real). I love the cast so very much. Gatts is a ridiculous fucking badass. Ridiculously fucking badass. So much so that it's hard to cope with at times. On top of that, there has been actual insightful and moving commentary on a more... significant level from time to time. This manga is it.

2. Planetes - Wonderfully, wonderfully done. The first two volumes are absolutely superb. The writing is it here. I swear, it's better writing than you'll find in many classic novels. I get done with a chapter, and I put the book down and just bask in how good it was. Each chapter says something. There's a statement. They each make impact. Planetes is very, very good.

3. Gunslinger Girl - As with the anime, harsh and fucked up. It'll make you think, if you let it. Not only that, but the cast is great. Very good stuff. If only there were more.

This post has been edited by Cymbaline on Jan 4 2005, 12:10 PM
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Razzen
Posted: Jan 3 2005, 09:07 PM
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Not wanting to be redundant, I don't think I'll write as much about shows I listed in the old thread and try to focus on some of the new ones instead:

Haibane Renmei
When it comes to pure drama in the animated art form I don't think it gets any better than this, and its entire set-up is fantastic. Following Rakka from her "hatching" into a strange, self-contained world, we grow into awareness just as she does in her interactions with the others at Old Home and in the rest of the town, and it's what she has learned in the first half of the show that makes the dramatic problems that unfold in the second half very believable and worthy of our sympathy and respect for how they are resolved. Combined with a beautifully mysterious setting that fits its apparent theme, top-notch art and music, a highly likeable cast and just all of the little touches make it thoroughly worthwhile.

Twelve Kingdoms
I still haven't finished this yet but in everything I've seen from episodes 1-36 it stands as my favorite of the animated fantasy genre. Unlikeable at first, Youko's arduous personal journey toward true heroism hits all the right notes along the way. The second story arc may seem somewhat out of place compared to the first and third ones, but I think it tells a nice parallel story to the main plot. The third arc is where it's at though, as the show takes two more unlikeable characters and makes them more sympathetic as they grow up. The setting is substantially different from the fantasy staples of the Western world so that helps add to its mysterious and exotic quality, and the character designs are terrific.

Now and Then, Here and There
Loved it but was so utterly crushed by it that I don't think I could watch it again, though I would recommend everyone to see it once, not just anime fans but everybody. While some might say that Shu's unyielding optimism in the face of the worst that humankind has to offer detracts from the show by making it unrealistic, but it would be unwatchable I think without that, and we should keep in mind that he did come from a society where such horrors weren't common so he at least knew that people are capable of good as well as evil. At any rate, it's stories like the one in NTHT that must be told to remind us of certain truths we might not like to see.

Martian Successor Nadesico
As others have said, the depth of this show is simply amazing with new layers uncovered that completely turn upside down the viewer's expectations. More than a satire, more than an homage, more than its plot and characterization, Nadesico is about history, culture, and ultimately about the vicissitudes of life. But I've written a lot about this show recently so I'll just point to this thread and leave it at that.

Cowboy Bebop
Style and substance, Bebop has both in spades. I would have loved for the show to have focused a bit more on the Spike-Julia-Vicious story but since Faye, Jet and Ed are all great characters in their own right I'm glad that they were developed within their own backstories as well and how their pasts all come together in their present. The music is perhaps the best part of the series, since each piece contributes so well to the progression and mood of each episode.

Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal OVAs
I think I spoiled myself by watching this four-act tragedy before having seen any of its source material, the long-running TV series of the same name, which I still enjoyed but nothing could really live up to this "prequel." I would compare it favorably to Othello with betrayals perhaps even more fierce and sorrowful, and it should be required viewing for drama students. With a couple of exceptions the art was great and the music superior.

Neon Genesis Evangelion
What more can I write about this series that I haven't said already a thousand times before? The Moby Dick of anime, this show has everything, both good and bad, and even with such a massive scope and absurd circumstances it never loses sight of its humanity (much credit to the VAs for that, and directing that would enable them to really throw themselves into it), which in the end is why it's still my favorite anime. There is beauty to be found in flaws, and that's definitely true about Eva and its memorable people.

RahXephon: Despite the parallels between it and Evangelion, the two shows are very different in their aims--RahX uses the medium to tell a good story, Eva uses it to tell the story of the human condition. There are many good things about it, with likeable characters, lovely music and art, but it still left me wanting more--more exposition maybe, or just more emotional depth in the principle characters.

Serial Experiments Lain: Been too long since I've seen this to say much about it, but I enjoyed it stylistically as well as its unique overall sense of mystery. Perhaps a bit too experimental and mysterious though making it hard to follow, but it is a show that rewards patience greatly in the end.

Vision of Escaflowne: Perhaps a bit too pretty for my tastes now, but when I first saw it I simply couldn't stop watching it. Aided greatly by a beautiful score, it's yet another fantasy epic with a girl sent to a mysterious, magical world, but it works well and has one of the best villains ever.

This post has been edited by Razzen on Jan 3 2005, 09:15 PM
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TheEndIsNear28_06_42_12
Posted: Jan 5 2005, 07:26 AM
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Naruto: This anime has an excelent plot, the pace doesn't go too slow, it's funny, and it has amazing characters. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a series with flat characters. Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura contrast eachother very well and have an interesting relationship. Plus, this story's about ninjas. Everyone loves ninjas.

FLCL: (Fooly Cooly) This show is AMAZING. The style, the madness... don't try too hard to interpret it. Just enjoy the surrealness of FLCL.

Haibane Renmei: One of the most intriguing plots I have ever seen. All the characters are girls, and they find themselves living in this alter dimension... but I'm not going to spoil it for you. It has this very sentimental and delicate mood about, with a bit of underlying angst.

Inu-Yasha: This show I got really into. There are good things and bad things about the series... you see, there start to be aLOT of filler episodes. There are alot of new caracters introduced, and there are alot of one-episode characters. But when you watch the important episodes, this is a very good series. I especially like the love triangle. If you like demons and monsters, you will also like this series, because I've seen odder creatures than I can dream up on Inu-Yasha.

Ranma 1/2 First off: the manga kicks ass, plus it's cheaper than the anime. So just get the manga. Ranma 1/2 is interesting, hilarious, and by the same creator of Inu-Yasha. The main characters seem to resemble one-another, which is interesting.

invader Zim: This is NOT anime. It's an American children's cartoon. But it is also better than any anime I've seen, so I wanted to include it. Hilarious adventures of an alien, Zim, and his robot/dog/mongoose/thing named G.I.R.
If you haven't seen Invader Zim, you should either kill yourself, or go buy the DVD. biggrin.gif

Teen Titans I don't know if this is anime, either. It's American. But the STYLE is just like Japanese anime. I'll bet we'll be seeing more wanna-be anime as time goes by. But it just so happens that Teen Titans is a great show. Each episode is about a different member of the team. I reccomend the Raven eps, because they're the most interesting. You can watch Teen Titans on cartoon network, weekdays at 6:30 pm and 10:00 pm. All new episodes starting January 8th!!! (I'm such a dork...)


The end.

This post has been edited by TheEndIsNear28_06_42_12 on Jan 5 2005, 07:29 AM
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TheVoices
Posted: Jan 8 2005, 03:16 AM
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Yes, yes - I'm a complete ammy in the myriad of die-hard otakus and whatnot that post here, but I'll type somefin up anyway. Keep in mind my anime resevoir is kinda limited (mostly what they play on adult swim or what have you), but I'm quite fond of discreet ones as well. ^^

-Cowboy Bebop- I'd have to say this is close to my favorite (ties with others). The music is the best feature, hands down. At first glance I thought it was a typical oh-dearie-me-apathetic-cool-guy-with-a-gun, but I was immediately turned on when I heard the ending theme. The character designs imply that we tend to build shells around ourselves and think things the way we'd like them to be. Very satisfying storyline and plot, if not a little elusive. It's a bit rough around the edges with vulgar scenes and ideas, but the overall blueprint of it consilates and then some.

-Voices of a Distant Star-The first time I saw it, all I could think was 'Huh?'. After my brain had a chance to chew on it for awhile, though, it all sort f fell into place. Very interesting concept, but the music left me hanging a bit. The length is also a bring-down ( only around fifteen minutes ); then again, if it was any longer, there would no doubt be some redundancy and get boring. Quite nice.

-Furuba- Yes, yes, call me a sucker for Shoujo if you will, but this is by far one of the best. The character designs and makeups are a bit typical (I honestly prefer the manga to the anime ), but the overall feel of the storyline feels nice. Good symbolism and metaphors and the like - oh, you'll just have to read it. ^^

-.hack//SIGN- Mmm... a deity. The music in .hack//SIGN was phenomonal, simple as that ( Rain and Storm blew me away. ^^). Looking past the relative gloomy personna everyone seemed to have, the weavework in the character designs, personalitie and the like were prime. The storyline seemed to meander a bit, and understanding the plot was like nailing oatmeal to the wall, but it tied together quite nicely in the end. Seeing how highly I think of this series, you can imagine how mortified I was when .hack//LEGEND OF THE TWILIGHT BRACELET finally aired. I'm surprised I didn't go into a diabetic coma - which is odd, because I don't have diabetes. Describing it would be less enjoyable than sticking my hands in a meat grinder, so I'll just leave it at that.

-Mononoke-Hime- This is the only Hayao Miyazaki movie I liked - the character development was a bit below scratch, but hey, how much character development can you expect in a movie? The music was very nice, the clarity of the graphics was excellent, ( forgive me if I seem a bit starry-eyed throughout this ), but it was mostly the idea and stoyline that jerked me. The plot is a bit Captain Planet-esque, but that's never stopped me the 350 times Ive watched it. happy.gif

There are others (mostly manga) that I'd like to post, but I have neither the time nor attention span... so.... uh, yeah. o_O; Don't do drugs.
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Posted: Jan 8 2005, 04:00 AM
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Cowboy Bebop. It had great story, awesome music (loved it being a jazz and blues fan). Each episode was different, yet a bit the same.
Samurai Champloo, see above (but replace jazz and blues with hip-hop and japanese rap).
the Kenshin OVA's. Easy to watch, fun to watch, and very well done in pretty much every end.
Naruto. I'm not sure why, I just enjoy watching it a lot.
Outlaw Star. It felt like star wars on crack minus the lightsabers.
Mobile Suit Gundam. I can't hate it. Regardless of how bad dialogue might get in certain series, I love it. The mechas are just wonderful to watch.
the Tenchi series. easy to watch, Ryoko is great.
Excel Saga. Great entertainment and very random.
Midori No Hibi. Great little series to watch, always a great laugh in each episode.

Ah! My Goddess!!. I'm a sucker for romance comedies. Plain and simple.

This post has been edited by Misfit on Jan 8 2005, 04:02 AM
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Pero^2
Posted: Jan 10 2005, 12:41 AM
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Neon Genesis Evangelion (w/ EOE): The most intricate, masterfully paced/directed anime ever made. Insightful, HUMAN characters with realistic emotions that are never compromised for a cool action shot. Subtle references to Religious systems that actually leads up to characters being reincarnations of the Sephiroth Tree of Life, and tons of clever symbols that tie into the story for the astute viewer. An instant classic, one thats required viewing for any anime fan.

Paranoia Agent: Simply put: Satoshi Kon is a genius. Hes like Milos Forman, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock and Shinya Tsukamoto rolled into one man. While this is his first foray into series-length stories, its the strongest of any of his works. The story is completely fresh, something that never feels familiar in an anime, even if Kon uses a few familiar almost-trademark sequences/shots every now and then. I think this show is very mislabeled, while it has a few tense, horror-esque moments, its a heavy drama studying the extremes of the human condition. In adition to having a great story, the show's style is unreal. The animation and character design is so fucking fluid and life-like, unlike a majority of anime. So defined, so out-there, so damn cool. The production design is also very high, you'll forget you're watching a TV series altogether, since everything looks so damn perfect and complete.

I only finished watching this show last week, but already am on my 5th rewatching. I fucking love this show. If it weren't for Eva, this would be my favorite anime.

The SoulTaker: A love song to Dario Argento and other Italin horror directors. An oddball that has just enough development, action and drama that tie together seamlessly. Though it recieved syndication on TechTV, SoulTaker never found a wide auidence and is considered a cult title. Which is appropriate, since cult film fans will find the most to love about it.

Boogiepop Phantom: Probably the most daring, experimental anime to this day. While a few things never connect, the storytelling method is original and confusingly fun. Great on rewatchings.

Bible Black: Easily the best hentai since the original Urotsukidoji OVAs. An astounding amount of character development for a hentai title, combined with great production values and direction make Bible Black a giant cut above the usual hot 'n heavy H fair. Fairly intense and downright tasteless in parts, its not for everyone, but for those that can stomach it and take it seriously, its a great ride.

Berserk: While it cuts out alot of the meat/enjoyment of the first 13 volumes of the manga, its about as good as anime gets. You will never enjoy watching your favorite character's downfall as much as in the Berserk anime. A great story of ambition, comradery and self indulgance, you won't talk to many who dislike it. Contains great animation and the -best- anime OST ever.

Wicked City: My favorite feature-length anime (not including EOE). Packed with bizarre imagry that is still disturbing to this day, truly awesome characters and slick-as-fuck animation. May be a bit too straightforward for some, but I don't think action anime gets any better than Wicked City.

-Manga-

Berserk: There is nothing that comes close to it. Perfection in every way, shape and form.

This post has been edited by Pero^2 on Jan 10 2005, 12:41 AM
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the_amazing_dancing_asian
Posted: Jan 10 2005, 06:28 PM
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QUOTE (Pero^2 @ Jan 10 2005, 12:41 AM)
Bible Black: Easily the best hentai since the original Urotsukidoji OVAs. An astounding amount of character development for a hentai title, combined with great production values and direction make Bible Black a giant cut above the usual hot 'n heavy H fair. Fairly intense and downright tasteless in parts, its not for everyone, but for those that can stomach it and take it seriously, its a great ride.

biggrin.gif yeah. thats good stuff. wub.gif hahahaha
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