Underrated Anime

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Underrated Anime

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Postby Director Black » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:19 pm

Making a thread for anime that not many people have heard of. Any user can share anime that they find to be underrated. The anime must not be widely known in the community and not have that much buzz around it to be mentioned. Since I'm the creator of this thread, I'll share mine. I haven't watched enough anime, but I can give this one.

Now and Then, Here and Later: Follows a boy named Shu who's transported to a future controlled by an insane king who operates under child soldiers. While the animation had not aged well, the characters are well-developed and the series has a lot to say about the nature of humans without going the pretentious route.
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Re: Underrated Anime

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:03 am

Now and Then, Here and There gets mentioned quite regularly here, I would say, and even from time to time figures in people's "top anime" lists.

It can be interesting to look at very old anime which is cited as influential, but remains hard to access - things like Astro Boy, Yuusha Raideen, and Space Runaway Ideon. I've watched little of the first, but some of Yuusha Raideen and most of Ideon.

Yuusha Raideen Is a very repetitive "battle of the week" show, and the characters got no development in the amount I watched (it's 50 episodes of which only 25 have been fan-subbed - it was broadcast subbed in Hawaii and a very few other places in the 70s, but that sub appears to have been lost); it's quoted as the source of the way that Ayato enters the RahXephon.

Ideon is cited as one of Anno's influences for Evangelion; I'm watching it right now. It has serious pacing problems and is riddled with plot holes; like Yuusha Raideen it is a battle of the week show, and the first two dozen or so episodes are boringly repetitive and show only very slow development with little real hint of what is to come (that the mysterious power the protagonists are using may lead to the end of humanity or even the universe). After about episode 30 things start to get a lot more interesting and we start to see some (erratic) development, but then the last few episodes (there are 39) are a mess, as the show was pulled and they had to wrap up in many less episodes than planned (that's the section I'm just going in to). Lastly, there's a film summarising the series and another giving the "real" ending with something a little like instrumentality turning apparent disaster into a possibly hopeful future - sound familiar?

Martian Successor Nadesico is a later show (contemporary with Eva) that doesn't seem to get the love it deserves. It has much more variety than the shows listed above, with plenty of humour and romance along with the conflict. There's also a film, but that's bit weird, as it seems disconnected from what went before. That's because the intervening part of the story was told as a game which has never been translated, and barely even summarised - and there's also a game that follows the film as well.

Looking at romance, Honey and Clover (manga and anime) is well known, but the comparable Bokura ga Ita (We were there) manga, which is at least as good, only ever had the first half of the story animated. Although the ending of that half works well enough, it's a crying shame that the other half of the manga wasn't animated - in some ways the story ramps up the feels even more, rather as happens in Clannad's second season.
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Re: Underrated Anime

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:44 am

It's a "Hidden Gems" thread. Related: thread/6311/Anime-Most-Overrated-Underrated-Anime/ from 7.5 years ago -- but that iteration focussed more on the "over-" part.

Reprising from that thread, definitely Simoun which, ten years after airing, has really vanished from sight. Key quote: "What is all this awesome doing in my lesbian fanservice anime?"
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At the time of the last thread, Mouryou no Hako was only 2/3 fansubbed, and would take most of the rest of the year to complete. Madhouse doing the anime adaptation of a weird detective novel that had already been made into a movie.
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And what I feel to have been the best late-night magical girl anime of the decade, Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de aru, but that one's probably influenced by also following the other elements of the XXX YYY wa Yuusha de aru franchise as well.
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Re: Underrated Anime

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Postby Director Black » Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:32 am

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Now and Then, Here and There gets mentioned quite regularly here, I would say, and even from time to time figures in people's "top anime" lists.


Maybe from what you've seen, but it doesn't really come up into the topics among the general community. I've seen it mentioned mostly in "Underrated Anime Lists."

Putting that show aside, I would like to mention Aku no Hana. I got interested after seeing GoatJesus list it as one of his new favorites on Hummingbird, and the fact that it was a psychological drama focused on teenagers made it even better for me.

It does get a lot flak for the fact that's it's rotoscoped, but I got used to it and eventually, it began to suit the style of the show.

The anime is flawed. The pacing can be really slow and the animation can come off in the uncanny valley, but the seeing the three main characters develop under stress or sadness helps it a lot.

Now if I can just get past the 6-minute mark of Texhnolyze's third episode after attempting it three times...
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Re: Underrated Anime

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:45 am

View Original PostDirector Black wrote:it doesn't really come up into the topics among the general community.

What do you mean by "the general community"? Anyway, this is essentially the only place I read about anime.

Aku no Hana I hated both the style and the premise, and dropped it quite quickly; and Yuuki Yuuna didn't float my boat either, but simply from lack of interest for me.

Losing the will to live is part of the Texhnolyze experience, I think. If you can't find it in you to keep going, I sympathise - but for me it's worth the effort.

Two more I enjoyed:

Infinite Ryvius is another little-known show with spaceships, battles and a lot of psychological drama - children in a sort of "Lord of the Flies" situation and a "Spirit of the Machine" manifestation.

Zegapain is a mecha show in which the protagonist comes to question which of the world he lives in and the world he pilots in is real and which is the illusion as he battles to save the servers on which one or other of these is hosted.
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Re: Underrated Anime

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Postby Director Black » Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:10 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Losing the will to live is part of the Texhnolyze experience, I think. If you can't find it in you to keep going, I sympathise - but for me it's worth the effort.


Maybe, but it mostly had to do with the slow pace. I don't mind slow paces in anime (Serial Experiments Lain is one of my favorites), but it just takes forever.

Zegapain is a mecha show in which the protagonist comes to question which of the world he lives in and the world he pilots in is real and which is the illusion as he battles to save the servers on which one or other of these is hosted.


That sounds interesting. Between this and The Eccentric Family, I have two anime you've gotten me interested in.
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Re: Underrated Anime

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:37 am

Underrated thread, too, from the looks of things.

A few more thoughts --
Level E, a sort of "Japan does Men in Black" was the underdog of the Winter 2011 season, buried at the time by Madoka, Infinite Stratos, and, of all things, Fractale.

Sora no Woto, which is the next title I have queued up for the recommendations thread -- often dismissed from appearances as "K-On! in uniform", but really lives in the space between Haibane Renmei and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō.

Kemono no Souja Erin, a beautifully executed, understated fantasy story that hardly anyone watched.

View Original PostDirector Black wrote:Now if I can just get past the 6-minute mark of Texhnolyze's third episode after attempting it three times...
That puts you over 7 minutes further than I got. Texh is one of the titles we have a dedicated thread for, down in the depths of the archives.
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Re: Underrated Anime

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Postby pwhodges » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:03 am

I will strongly second the recommendation of Beast-player Erin. You have to be happy with watercolour-style backgrounds - if you are, it is quite beautiful as well as being an engrossing story. No mechas or anything - just a good variety of people, and the "Beasts", which are endearing but dangerous. The story is long, and follows Erin from childhood to parenthood.
Last edited by pwhodges on Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lavinius » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:26 am

Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Postby Sachi » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:01 pm

Darker Than Black. As my avatar suggests, I'm a huge DTB fan. People that have seen it say good things about it, but I don't usually come across people that have seen it, so I considered it underrated. If you like the sci-fi aesthetic that NGE flaunted, as well as a story of super powered special agents (many refer to the protag as the chinese electric batman), conspiracies and mystery, and some emphasis on character drama and emotions (or lack thereof), then Darker Than Black might be worth checking out. It's a shame they never continued the series beyond the second season, as there was so much potential with this show.
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Postby Rosenakahara » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:41 pm

*cough* Twelve Kingdoms *cough*
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Postby Director Black » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:08 pm

Thinking about it more, I've finally came to the conclusion that Kaiba is a great show. Love the artwork, the world-building, and the soundtrack isthe most underrated soundtrack in anime. I'll give it a second watch to see if those feelings still hold up.
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Postby Director Black » Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:02 pm

Would Fullmetal Alchemist 03 count as underrated? I know that FMA's obviously one of the most noteworthy anime franchises, but it seems like many people forgot about it once Brotherhood came along.
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Postby Alaska Slim » Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:56 pm

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Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan

3-minute short comedy. Premise sounds like Mob Psycho 100, but it's nothing like it.
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Postby Squigsquasher » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:19 am

Fireball (no not him, though the world is forever a worse place for not having an anime with our Fireball as the protagonist). It's a CGI production by a Japanese subdivision of Disney of all things, and it's pretty great. It revolves around a scatterbrained robotic princess named Drossel and her long-suffering robot butler. Kind of a mix between high science fiction and stoner comedy. I did a (badly written and overly waffley) review on it for QNUW if anybody cares. Also, the Charming design for Drossel is adorable.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:22 pm

Idly scanning through anime charts, having realised that many of the titles I mentioned above were from the winter season, there often seems to be "that one nobody watched" from that quarter, like Rocket Girls, Hakaba Kitarou, or Ayakashi[Bakeneko arc] that may not be ZOMG timeless classics, but which one would have expected to have moved the needle more than they did.
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