I always recommend to people to watch RahXephon
after they watch Neon Genesis Evangelion
, because it's basically NGE +1. All the things you love about NGE, and none of the psychological stuff.
Now as for what I would recommend... I'm going to start with movies since they're easy to find, don't take forever to watch, and to be honest I only got into anime movies within the past month so they're rather fresh in my mind: Spirited Away -
Back in 2002 I watched this win an Academy Award, and honestly I was immediately interested in it. Why I waited almost 7 years to watch it I'll never know, because I loved every single moment of it. It held onto me from the moment Chihiro entered the abandoned amusement park, right to when they left it. I should also point out that most of the time I hate English dubs, but the voices for this fit perfectly. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind -
After watching Spirited Away I went on a mini Miyazaki binge (he's the director of Spirited Away, Nausicaä, and the next two I'm going to list). I thought I might be turned off by the animations quality as this was released in 1984, but I found out I'm a sucker for the older quality ;3 Very nice movie to watch, and I finally found out where one of the more popular avatars I see on the web came from. Howl's Moving Castle -
I will say that I enjoyed watching this movie, and I would recommend it to anyone. The one downside for me is the story never really gets around to focusing on the war that's going on, or character development. Besides for that, it was a very enjoyable movie. Princess Mononoke -
I saved this one for last while watching because I had heard so many good things about it, and it didn't disappoint me. Great characters, beautiful animation, and a wonderful story. I can see why so many people say this is what got them into anime.
I thought I might as well mention Grave of the Fireflies
and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
. I haven't watched them yet, but I have heard some good things about them. I actually plan on watching both of these tonight or tomorrow so I might update this then.
Now as for anime, I'll probably miss a number of them because it's hard to remember all the anime I've watched, but I'll give it a shot.
I'll start out by recommending Neon Genesis Evagelion
, just because it's one of those staples in anime. Many will argue it's overrated, and I agree, but that's namely because it's one of the anime titles that introduced the western world. As I also mentioned at the start of this post, I'll recommend RahXephon
for watching afterwards, because it's Evangelion without the psychological stuff.
I can't really do a recommendation list without recommending Elfen Lied
. For me, it's the anime that really sold me on anime. It was the first series that I ever marathoned, and it's always going to be in my top 10. The series is not for everyone, and I'll paste a quote which I always feels sums it up:
And what discussion of opening scenes or episodes would be complete without a mention of Elfen Lied? What better way to start a series than by showing a guard with his arm ripped off? The series was brutally honest with viewers about what would be in it; blood, naked females, more blood, exploding heads, blood, graphic deaths, and finally blood. Either you stopped watching before the opening seven minutes were up, or you finished the episode and probably the entire series. Yeah, it was that sort of show.
The next two anime I'm going to recommend, I'm a bit iffy on. The first is Death Note
. The whole series is basically one big mindgame between the characters. It's one of those series where you don't know who you want to win, the main character who is a "bad" guy, or the ones against him who are "good". I'm hesitant about recommending this only because of the second half. The first half (L Arc) was fantastic, and I feel the series should have ended there. The second half I felt was slow, boring, and I almost dropped the series. The ending... well let me just say some people wish they could write the creator's name in their own Death Notes.
The second anime is Claymore
. Great series, nice action, great story... to a point. I'm a reader of the manga for Claymore (still ongoing) and near the end the anime is forced to go for an original ending which was like nails on a chalkboard for me. It didn't solve anything, and there were inconsistencies all about it. I would highly recommend this series, and then near the end (I believe it started to diverge after Riful of the West was introduced) just switching to the manga.
Next up we have Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
. I watched the first episode and wasn't all that impressed; by the time episode 6 or so rolled around I was hooked. Really, this is a mecha anime that's all about going over the top. Just when you thought they couldn't push it anymore, they do it again. I'm actually considering rewatching this series very soon (which I rarely do).
Yesterday I ended up marathoning Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (aka Rumbling Hearts)
and while romance/drama is not something I typically watch, this was the first time I have ever openly wept while watching a final episode. Something like this I just can't pass up on a recommendations list, as I will probably remember it for the rest of my life.
A series which I recently watched was 12 Kingdoms
. This is actually an incomplete series right now (eventually they plan on finishing it) but that doesn't deter from it being a great anime. I will admit that I had to push myself through the first half dozen episodes, but after that it turned out to be worth it.
I'm going to add in Last EXILE
here. I watched it a few years ago, and honestly I don't remember the specifics. What I do remember is that I did enjoy this series, so it did something right.
An anime which just recently aired was Macross Frontier
which is probably one of my all-time favorites now. The mix of of beatiful animation along with a wonderful soundtrack (moreso because it focused on songs), made this my favorite anime of last year.
I suppose after last year there's no list without Code Geass
(both seasons). It was sort of like Death Note meets Gundam. I love animes that have the whole anti-hero protagonist thing going, and really this series was just all around epicness. Soul Eater
was an anime which I just picked up the other month a few weeks before it ended. Immediately after watching the anime up to the most recent episode, I ran on over to my favorite manga sites and marathoned it all in a few days. Very nice anime, stays true to the manga as long as it can and then some. It had an original ending, but right up until the last episode it kept mixing in manga material, which revived my view on anime original endings which was shattered so badly by Claymore.
When I first started watching The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
I had no idea that it already had a cult following, and really had no idea what to expect at all. I thoroughly enjoyed this; was a great thing to watch every week, and I can't wait for the second season to arrive.
I suppose including Full Metal Alchemist
is standard on these lists. It's a great anime up until the anime original ending (notice a trend here?). Luckily (or not so for us manga lovers) the manga is ending soon, and they have started airing a second "version" of FMA, which will follow the manga material more closely (hopefully to an end).
On the same note as FMA, I'll have to include Cowboy Bebop
. It's a classic anime, very solid, and I don't think I've ever heard of anyone who didn't like it. You should also watch this so that when the live action movie is released, you can join everyone else in laughing at Keanu Reeves.
I'm going to include the next four anime together. First off we have Air
which I suppose was really my first romance/drama anime. Next is Kanon
, and Clannad Afterstory
. I'm including these four together because not only are they by the same director, but they're all very similiar. I personally haven't watched Clannad, but I followed it from an anime blog (didn't have time, but I'll fix that soon). The team working on these took a formula that worked in Air, and have worked it through Kanon and Clannad to come out with some beautiful series.
I don't watch many comedy animes, but the Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu
series with some nice laughs. On the same comedy note, I haven't personally watched it but I'll recommend Lucky Star
for comedy just because I hear it's one of the greatest in it's genre.
People told me for years to pickup Samurai Champloo
and for some reason I never listened (I think it had something to do with my mind connecting Champloo to Shampoo and thinking it was a comedy series). Really this is all-around wonderful series. It's a Samurai meets hiphop kind of story, what more could you want?
Now, I've purposely left out some anime that I'm sure everyone who watches anime has seen at one point or another but I'll make comment on them here. Namely the giants Naruto
, and Gundam
. First off, I've seen Gundam Wing through Gundam 00, and I personally enjoyed them all (maybe not Destiny as much). All of them are your typical mecha anime, and it's up to you to decide whether or not you want to watch it; I know many people who stay away from the usual mecha. Naruto and Bleach... where to start. Bleach is one of my favorite anime hands down, I'm still watching it today. It's good if you can manage to avoid the fillers (in Bleach there were maybe 2 filler arcs, so it's not that hard). Then again it's your typical Shounen anime, and like Gundam, it's up to you to decide if you want that (I'll make a note here that the anime is right behind the manga, so there might be a lot of fillers soon)). Naruto... /sigh. This started out good, and it remained good for the first 150 episodes or so. After the Sound 5 arc it went into a ton of filler and in my opinion killed the series (I personally stopped watching it). They came out with Naruto Shipuuden which was the same story but after a time skip; the first episode was promising and then they start adding in fillers... fillers everywhere... fillers left and right... fillers inbetween the frames. There are maybe three dozen episodes that aren't infected by fillers. The largest issue here is that they are not even remotely close to catching the manga. My personal recommendation is watch the original Naruto until the end of the Sound 5 Arc, and then pick up the manga to save yourself many headaches.
There, now I have that out of my system.
So that basically concludes what I would recommend for finished series. I'm sure I've forgotten any number that I've seen over the years, but these ones stick out. Just to give an idea for current and future anime, I'll make a short list here.
Right now the anime I'm watching every week consists of Bleach
(non-fillers), Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
, Chrome Shelled Regios
(only reason this didn't make the list is because it's on-going), and Dragon Ball Kai
(DBZ without the filler; just started so I'm not sure how it will be). I usually wait a bit before picking up new series, so this Spring some of the interesting ones which I'll take a shot at soon are 07-Ghost
, Eden of the East
. Gonna wait a few weeks to see what people say about them, but I'll probably end up watching the first few episodes anyway. I did watch the first episode of Queens Blade; I promptly lost all faith in anime for the next 60 minutes before watching the new FMA. Infact, as you noticed, it does not even deserve to be bolded.
To finish this off I just wanted to list some completed anime that I'm planning to watch soon (I listed a few above). These include Monster
, Clannad & Afterstory
, Grave of the Fireflies (Movie)
, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Movie)
, School Days
, Hunter x Hunter
, and possibly Hikaru no Go
. So after I get through my next round of marathoning, I'll see if I can come back and update this ;3 Note to the Wise: Below is why the Preview Message button was created. Edited, Apr 12th 2009 7:06pm by UnknownSoldier Edited, Apr 12th 2009 7:10pm by UnknownSoldier Edited, Apr 12th 2009 7:11pm by UnknownSoldier Edited, Apr 12th 2009 7:12pm by UnknownSoldier Edited, Apr 12th 2009 7:12pm by UnknownSoldier Edited, Apr 12th 2009 7:15pm by UnknownSoldier Edited, Apr 12th 2009 7:18pm by UnknownSoldier Edited, Apr 12th 2009 7:23pm by UnknownSoldier Edited, Apr 12th 2009 7:29pm by UnknownSoldier