Anime Recommendations Thread (READ RULES BEFORE POSTING)

Non-Eva Anime and Manga discussion

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Postby Dima » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:48 pm

So after finishing Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden i am curious to see one of the old classic robot anime. I am thinking of choosing one of these.

Mazinger Z
Daitarn 3
Brave Raideen
Combat Mecha Xabungle

Anyone could help me choose one? I am not sure how many of you have seen at least one of them since these animes are very old so any advice of which to choose would be helpful since all of them have many episodes and i dont have much free time.
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Postby pwhodges » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:00 pm

I watched half a dozen episodes of Brave Raideen (Yuusha Raideen), and could see no reason to continue; they were all essentially the same. Of the full series of 50 episodes, only 25 have been fan-subbed so far (when the series was young, they were all broadcast subbed in Hawaii - but I can find no trace of that version being accessible, or even still existing). The only reason I'd even heard of it was that it was supposedly the origin of the method of entering a robot by "fading in", which was copied in RahXephon.
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Postby UrsusArctos » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:49 am

Yamato 2199. It's very much a retelling of the old story with a lot of changes, a whole lot of new characters, more real-world science and sorting out a whole lot of the logic holes that plagued the original. What it lacks in charm compared to the original, it certainly makes up for in a whole lot of other areas.

First, the lousy part - the CGI sticks out in a lot of scenes and there are a few moments towards the end that should be emotional but come off either as flat or as contrived (no spoilers). There are also some major "science derp" moments, such as the fictitious "cosmonite" on Enceladus - admittedly a hangover from the original series, but it ruins the suspension of disbelief since this series actually tries to put in some real-world science. However, the 2D animation is superb, and the discussions of Hawking Radiation, string theory, and so on didn't seem too tacky.

There are a whole lot of new characters, both male and female, a whole lot of them with clearly detailed backstories and motivations. Some of the old-series characters like Kodai, Shima and Okita have changed relatively little, and Sanada doesn't seem to be a cyborg this time around. Analyzer is no longer a drunk and a pervert (I am glad that the most puerile displays of sexism in the original series have been removed, those were disgusting to see). Dr. Sado looks the same and chugs his sake like beer, but even he gets to show that he's more than mere comic relief.

The new characters - including the gender-swapped Yamamoto - are actually well done for the larger part. Rather than just having Yuki around, there's a whole assortment of female characters. While I wouldn't go as far as to call Yamato feminist in nature, its female characters are vastly superior to what you'd see in most anime. They did a very good job in this department.

And then there come the bad guys - many of whom are 'bad' simply because they have different motivations and interests. Very few of them come off as truly, or entirely villainous, and many of the truly awful ones tend to have some redeeming characteristic or the other, even if in death. One of the few exceptions is voiced by the great NORIO WAKAMOTO - who, true to his legendary reputation, delivers a spectacularly hammy performance.

Dessler's now voiced by Koichi Yamadera - giving him the same voice as old flesh-and-blood Togusa from GitS and our beloved lady-killing Ryoji Kaji - but hey, he does a great job. Dessler's more obviously modeled on Hitler than before, but even he has more depth to him than before, coming off as a megalomaniac but one who genuinely believes he's doing the right thing (a little bit like Light Yagami, only without the potato chips and scheming). The pluto base commanders are treated as truly heroic, and the same goes for a great many Gamilon soldiers. Domel is as great as ever, and Wolf Fleurken (or is it Frakken?) stands out as well - Fleurken is pretty much a blue-skinned Nemo from Nadia! They might as well make a spin-off series featuring Fleurken and that submarine now.

The plot - without spoilers, it's far better thought out than the old Yamato, and it has quite a bit more complexity added on to it. The script writers really did a good job in this area.

The music? Most of it is reworked from the old Yamato's themes, and there is plenty of pure bottled nostalgia here. Having Isao Sasaki return for the main theme was excellent.

One little detail was the rather frequent use of English around the Yamato - and that came off as very nice touch, showing that although the ship may have been built by Japan, named after Japan, and with an entirely Japanese crew, it was still part of a multinational space force. There are other similar projects being started around the world, or so it is said, which makes this less "Japan saves the world" than "Japan was the first on the scene and does its part to clean up the mess it started" (Implied - you'll see what I mean if you watch the show).

Given the old Uchuu Senkan Yamato's colossal fame (and the sunken battleship's nigh-mythic status) this show had some really big shoes to fill, but it filled them very well indeed. As far as remakes go, this has really set the benchmark high.
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Postby UrsusArctos » Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:46 pm

Mouryou no Hako --

What do I say about this one? A murder mystery, yes, but not like any other. This anime is adapted from the novel of the same name by Natsuhiko Kyugoku, a Japanese mystery thriller author who specializes in stories featuring yokai, supernatural creatures from Japanese folklore and mythology.

This starts out creepily enough - in fact, creepily enough to make me wonder what the hell was going on and whether this was a mind screw to avoid. A mistake, it turns out, because once you get past the initial creepiness and weirdness you have a mystery unlike anything else turn out. It's very convoluted, complex and pretty darn unpredictable in places, and the end result is excellent. No spoilers, of course, because that would kill the fun.

Music - well, the opening and closing themes are mediocre, although the visuals in both fit the show perfectly. That being said, the rest of the soundtrack is pretty good.

Visuals - wow. MnH is incredibly beautiful, and the imagery alternates between surreal, beautiful and eerie perfectly, as the situation demands. Some of the backgrounds are amazingly vivid, and overall it's a delight to look at. The character designs may be a little bit off-putting because they are by CLAMP, and there were moments when a few characters looked like they came right out of Code Geass. All in all, the character design is a pretty minor complaint - I'd say that some characters, like Kogyokudo, have turned out perfectly.

One thing that stood out was the extensive discussion and use of Japanese mythology, with a great deal of the story discussing Japanese mythology, folklore, and the supernatural. It's actually pretty educational on how myths and folklore lead to the idea of supernatural beings, and how these grow and evolve. Akihiko Chuuzenji (aka Kyogokudo) is a walking encyclopedia on this sort of stuff, and it's pretty darn fascinating to hear him talk about Japanese mythology and the practice of onmyodo. Post-war Japan's problems also turn up and make themselves felt - in the countryside and also in the mindset of the characters. It's set in 1952, the year that the American Occupation of Japan came to an end, and although the physical scars of the war have already been largely erased, the psychological scars of the war and the change it brought are still around to see.

That being said, there are a few things that didn't seem right in what was otherwise a superb anime - more of being a "fly in the ointment" sort of thing than any serious defect in the show. One of those being an exposition at a particular point that went on for too long, and was too complex and too theatrical to fit with the rest of the show. The other was one character's tendency to stare in bug-eyed shock in several scenes, in one scene doing it in reaction nearly all the time. The former, I heard, is actually a characteristic of Kyogoku's work. The latter...well, MnH could have done without those facial expressons, they looked utterly ridiculous after being done again and again and again.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:18 pm

^
While the source novel hasn't been translated, for those wanting a further fix the previous (and first) novel in the sequence has been, though it appears from the prices being quoted to have fallen out of print already. Reading the first story will also explain one of the otherwise disconnected seeming fragments in the anime.
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Postby UrsusArctos » Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:36 pm

Having read rather mixed opinions of the author's style, Summer of the Ubume is a book I would much rather borrow first before I buy it, because there appears to be a significant amount of caveat emptor regarding Kyogoku's tendency to go into exposition. When Chuuzenji is using it to explain creatures out of Japanese mythology and put them into context the results are splendid - that's the part I enjoyed the most - but, if the anime is any indication, there are spots when it becomes excessive. I have the impression that Madhouse scripted the anime to get rid of any excessive exposition on the part of the author, but I wouldn't be able to say that for sure unless I read Ubume.
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Postby Shinoyami65 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 3:16 pm

^Yeah, I'd recommend you borrow it before buying it. Having read through the book I was surprised at the amount of exposition (the book moves smoothly enough outside of exposition scenes) and it's definitely 'one man's meat is another man's poison' kind of deal.
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Postby StarShaper7 » Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:10 pm

Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra is one of my top 10 anime of all time. Warning, don't watch it dubbed.

If you watch/read Game of Thrones, you'll know that no main character is safe from death and there's really no "right/wrong, good guy/bad guy" sort of deal. The same is true for Bantorra. It's morally ambiguous, violent pulp fiction with a setting to suit that tone and style. I'd say it's like 1800s Western civilization, but 20th century inventions pop up here and there. There's an ensemble cast of characters who are each unique in their motivations and get an opportunity to shine at one point or another. By the end of the first arc I was in love with this show. The only complaints I have are that the ending isn't as awesome as the rest of the series and the animation isn't very consistent. I'd recommend it to anyone whose looking for a fantasy series that doesn't have a Medieval setting, as so many of them do. If you like Space Adventure Cobra, Star Wars and stuff like that, you should check out Book of Bantorra.

This is a general recommendation, but I think people should see at least one of Masaki Yuasa's anime in their lifetime. It's completely counter to the mainstream, with animation that feels vibrant and electrifying. Some people call it ugly, I think it's beautiful. To newcomers, I'd suggest watching The Tatami Galaxy first. I still haven't seen Genius Party or Kaiba yet, so I can't say much about those.

I love Tatami Galaxy, Mind Game, Kemonozume, Cat Soup, Ping Pong and Kick-Heart. I think Ping Pong is probably the most accessible of those, but also the weakest (above Kick-Heart). Kick-Heart is a 10-15 minute short that showcases Yuasa's style of animation and storytelling. It's just a fun little anime that could serve as a glimpse at what you can expect from Yuasa.
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Postby IronEvangelion » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:01 am

View Original PostHunter21 wrote:*grumbles at Mr. Tines for stealing his pick*

Another anime I have been enjoying lately is The 12 Kingdoms. While the actual animation is not the greatest in it I have enjoyed the way they tell the story. It has a good mix of narrative and normal story telling that I find enjoyable. Plus the character development is very good in it and I liked the internal demons struggles that most of the characters have to go thru as they are very common ones that everyone deals with. Plus the main star is a redhead and that almost always gets a thumbs up from me.

I second this recommendation. Amazing show, and well worth the time it takes to watch all 45 episodes.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:42 pm

It's been a while since there's been a series out where I've felt like being a gushing fanboy; and when the series sticks around a month after it's finished airing, definitely it's time to put out a recommendation after all these years -- so, my anime of the year, 2014:

Yuki Yuna is a Hero (YuYuYu)

This is a series that has become a surprise hit for Studio Gokumi (the Gonzo derived studio that has done series like the Saki sequels); it rather went under the radar to start with by being advertised in the pre-season charts as "Genres: school, slice-of-life" (PV here) and getting reactions accordingly, like it were another Hidamari Sketch or Non Non Biyori just with a different bit of chrome:

Image

so it wasn't until mid to late season that I picked up on the "and now the suffering begins" chatter; at which point the reactions had become more like:

Image


though the Madoka allusion gives a little too much credit to that series for inventing the idea of little girls suffering -- bad things (albeit often in the form of mundane "Shit happens" that their magic can't do anything about) happening to magical girls is about as old as the genre.

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This magical girl needs no jewelled sceptres -- just GARmoe and KONJOU


You can do a lot of pointing at which elements were done earlier elsewhere, but saying things, however true, like "It's Madoka meets Vividred Operation meets ..." or "part-way between NGE and Bokurano, only with magical girls" rather misses the point by concentrating on which building blocks have been used at the expense of how they are used. Personally, in the game of "which anime is this most like?", I would instead point at Simoun in that both are about a cast of clerical girls (if one forgives the D&D terminology) pressed by their respective authorities to fight a war of national defense that they didn't quite volunteer for -- YuYuYu just does it without the enthusiastic tongue-wrestling. And like Simoun, this is a primarily character driven story, with the cast dealing with the lousy hand they've been dealt; because this is war, and war means sacrifices, and their powers being essentially sacramental in nature, the sacrifices involved are not metaphorical.

This is where the school/SoL slant stood the series in good stead -- the mundane business of school life and the after-school club give us chance to get to know the characters well enough that they engage our sympathy when things get bleak (and by bleak, I would expect that unless things have changed a lot since Paranoia Agent came out, this series would get cuts and an 18 rating over here). I would imagine that it also works better when taking the series at a leisurely pace rather than all in a rush, at least after the first few episodes, as was necessary coming to it while it was airing -- the week between the last two episodes particularly so. Watching with a group who are also getting off on being kicked in the feels is probably a plus, too.

Final episode sweepstake -- do not open until after episode 11  SPOILER: Show
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This is about 20% correct


The anime is actually part of a whole multimedia project -- there's a prequel and epilogue LN, a couple of VNs (one included with the first volume of the home video release, the second with the final volume), and a PS Vita game, all in various stages of fan-translation -- with the supplementary material making explicit some of the things that are shown but not told in the anime, about the nature of what is going on. The extra material isn't necessary to enjoy the series (the important bits can be spotted by re-watching, only carefully this time, like we used to do for NGE), but it does appease the desire for more, at least this side of the probable second season.
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Postby Alaska Slim » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:12 am

Taking the opportunity to address yet another underserved letter here:

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Flag

Helmed by famed director Ryousuke Takahashi (VOTOMS, Area 88, Gasaraki), this series is a standout in many respects. Not the least of these is the mecha, as Mr. Takahashi is known for, but in this series the bots take something of a back seat. Instead, what is perhaps the most striking about Flag is (first) it's premise; an in-depth look into war photo journalism, and (secondly) how it decides to present itself. The audience watches the story not through an omnipresent 3rd person perspective, but rather through cameras (both video and stills) that the characters within the story are holding, resulting in a pseudo-documentary narrative style.

The setting for the story is a fictional mid-Asian country in the throes of a civil war, with on-sight involvement by the United Nations. The main character, Saeko Shirasu, hits stardom by taking a photo of a re-purposed U.N. flag being hoisted by civilians demanding peace. This picture, the flag and the moment they come to represent, end up serving as a catalyst & symbol for the entire peace-process that follows. When the flag is stolen by one faction seeking to keep the fighting going, a special combat unit of the U.N. is dispatched to retrieve it, with Shirasu tagging along as an embedded photographer.


Flag's narrative is split between following Shirasu and her observation of the U.N. SDC team, and her mentor, veteran photographer Keiichi Akagi, who spends most of his time traveling among the people of war-torn "Uddiyana". The story thus is partly a juxtaposition, with Shirasu being thrown directly into the middle of firefights; struggling as to how to process it (and equally how to approach it with her camera), while Akagi takes his time both learning of and depicting how this fighting is affecting the civilians, many times long after the gunfire has ceased.

Flag at its heart is a speculative, yet informed look into how media and photographs affect war, and how their facilitators (journalists) affect what is seen. This may sometimes be drowned out by the eye-catching spectacle the series presents, the National Geographics-esce depiction of Uddiyana, the gritty-realism of the mecha combat, the all-too-human political intrigue stemming from the conflict, etc. But all of these things are just the back drop for a story about how journalists go about telling a story.

As one reviewer put it "It's an anime that can only be made once." The hand-held camera-as-viewer device works in the context of this story, but I can't imagine it being useful for telling many others. Even here, certain moments the characters decide to capture on film can feel a bit contrived or forced, but overall I'd say it works.

This series isn't one for action junkies: the combat is largely slow, and methodical, and more of the series is about examining the aftermath than the fighting itself.

This isn't a series for *shipping*, as romance is quite absent from the plot.

Flag is simply a tight, 13-episode series that stays focused on the delivering the realism-centric story it's trying to tell, and does so through a unique narrative mechanic. It'd be memorable for this mechanic alone, but paired with a humanized setting & story, and grounded in no-nonsense real-robot action, there's plenty in the series to appreciate. Can't recommend it enough.


... Btw, it's also the most plausible scenario for "Capture the Flag" showing up in war that you'll ever see (just sayin').
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Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:49 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:(and by bleak, I would expect that unless things have changed a lot since Paranoia Agent came out, this series would get cuts and an 18 rating over here).

Much to my surprise, all six Japanese disks as displayed on Amazon.co.uk are "Rated: Universal, suitable for all"; the two (a third to come) US releases on amazon.com are all "Rated: R (Restricted)".
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Re: Anime Recommendations Thread (READ RULES BEFORE POSTING)

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Postby cunning linguist » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:15 pm

Hold onto your dicks, boys, it's time for...

Mad Bull 34

Image

Now I hesitate a little to recommend Mad Bull 34, since it's not "good" in the traditional sense of the word, and certainly isn't for everyone. However, it's most certainly entertaining, in a "so bad it's good" way, and not like anything most of you guys have ever seen. Mad Bull 34 is many things, but unlike most bad anime, it isn't boring. If you watch it, you're in for a ride, one which may result in drunken MST talents you never knew you had, and injokes that will last an eternity. It's hilariously bloody in a 90s oav way, and if nothing else will make you question Japanese assumptions about American culture.

Here's the story: in the 34th precinct of pre-Guiliani NYC, land of the brave and home of the guns, where hooligans reign free, prostitutes are legal tender, and murder is the official language, cops are in deep doo-doo. Enter Daizaburo "Eddie" Ban, a straight-laced, uptight (in a bit of self-stereotyping), by-the-book Japanese-American police cadet, who is paired with officer John "Sleepy" Estes. Sleepy is the titular mad bull, a crude, lewd, bloodthirsty and sex-crazed renegade who paints the town red with the blood of scumbags, while running a sex ring on the side. His methods are unorthodox, and anathema to everything Eddie's been taught, but once he realizes their effectiveness and Sleepy's heart of gold, he and Sleepy become blood brothers. Together over a whopping 4 episodes, they tackle pimps, pushers, kingpins, and the cast of your average exploitation film...tackle them to death, that is. They meet opposition from the bleeding-heart media and police bureaucrats, but always get the job done, permanently.

Sounds tasteless? Well, it is. Boobs, butts, bullets and blood dominate the series. It has one of the highest visible body counts of any anime I've seen, not to mention all the rape. Thanks to the animation, people don't just get shot, they explode with blood and guts. It's misogynistic by anyone's standards, and sometimes racist too. There's a scene where Sleepy makes Eddie stick his finger up a catatonic woman's vagina to bring her out of shock after he shoots one of her assailants' heads clean off. It revels in a trashy kind of violence for violence's sake, without any sort of point to justify it. The animation is bare bones, the plot is almost nonexistant, and the dubbing is pure schlock. Like I said, it's not for everyone.

But there is a certain underlying goofiness to it that makes it entertaining. The violence is to such a ludicrous level that it's hard not to laugh, and the whole thing plays like a hyper-exaggerated, funhouse-mirror parody of classic cop films. You have the cliches (loose cannon cop who doesn't play the rules, stiff idiot bureaucrats, bleeding-heart liberal media, hookers with a heart of gold) played to such a hilarious extreme that the creators had to know they were making schlock. In addition, there's just silly anime stuff like crossdressing and gag faces that takes the edge off and makes the comedy clear. Like many great parodies, it's playing itself straight while letting you in on the joke. It's definitely a breath of fresh air compared to the lolrandumbXD and "look, here's a reference to a thing that you like/cute girls! Isn't that hilarious?" humor of many modern anime.

And while it may not be entirely unintentional, the depiction of New York is...truly something. Although the cityscapes are weirdly accurate, our Japanese friends seem to be laboring under the assumption that America is a land of constant, non-stop sex and violence, with ethnic stereotypes, drugs, and guns absolutely everywhere, just like in the movies. As an American, it's kind of funny to see how warped their perception is, but it makes you think: If the Japanese are that wrong about us, how wrong could I be about the Japanese? It's a setting that lends itself well to the irreverent tone.

Whether you're gawking at how over-the-top the latest gangster death was, laughing at Sleepy's crude antics, embarrassed at the image we've created for ourselves overseas, or just wondering if it can get any weirder, Mad Bull 34 has something that anyone with a strong enough stomach can chuckle at ironically. I recommend watching it drunk, high, or with friends: there's a drinking game in there somewhere, I'm sure. It may be a train wreck, but it's one of those train wrecks you just have to see. If nothing I've said can convince you, I leave you with this: there's a scene where Sleepy comes to the rescue, pulls his pants down, and blows up the bad guys with a dozen hand grenades tied to his pubes. I don't know about y'all, but I would watch just for that.

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Re: Anime Recommendations Thread (READ RULES BEFORE POSTING)

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Postby Xxx_Generic Name_Xxx » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:54 am

I recomen the masterpiece that is called MARS OF DESTRUCTIONS because:

Story 11/10
Absolutely Briliant.This story is so deep and non-linear it makes artist is like Kafka into shame.That briliant plot-twist it was heart-stopping and I was thinking who was that genius who made this heart-wrenching story JUST IN 19 MIN.PEOPLE!

Characters 11/10
These characters are so believable and all of them were flesh out It was impressing.The moment when the green-haired girl exploded her head it was flawless and when the doctor checked her if she was alive was heart-wrenching because I don't know if she died when her head blow out.

Sound 20/10
The sound effects were briliant.I needed to check outside because their were so realistic.The voice acting was briliant because all voices felt perfectly into the characters it naturally. The sound was briliant and Bethoven it outstand itself this time.

Art infinte/10
The Art look so realistI can, I needed to check outside 3 times to see if they are related or not
Overall Doritos/10 (this whole message was sarcasm).
Asuka Langley Soryu is our Lord and Saviour.


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