Myth's Anime Thread

Discussion in 'Film & Television' started by Mythopoet, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Dark Lord

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    I love anime. I have a hard time, in general, finding fantasy books/movies that I enjoy. But the opposite seems to be true in the medium of anime. When it comes to anime I can't find enough time to consume all the great shows that I find. Over the past several years I've gone from completely ignorant about anime, to skeptical, to fan, to obsessive fan. I don't know what it is about Japanese storytelling as experienced through anime, but I love it.

    I pretty much browse for anime randomly and watch whatever seems intriguing. And I've found that I enjoy anime from a much wider variety of styles and genres than I generally do with books. (I pretty much just read fantasy with a side of sci fi). Here's a list of shows I've finished or in the case of long running shows at least watched more than one arc of:

    A Certain Magical Index
    Ah My Goddess!
    Bamboo Blade
    Black Butler
    Bleach
    Blue Exorcist
    Campione!
    Clannad
    Code Geass (finished first season, working on second, no spoilers please)
    Cowboy Bebop
    D. Gray Man
    Demon King Daimio
    Fairy Tail
    Fractale
    Full Metal Alchemist
    Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
    Hakuoki
    InuYasha
    Is This a Zombie?
    Kaicho wa Maid-sama
    Katanagatari
    Kaze no Stigma
    Level E
    Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok
    Negima!
    Neon Genesis Evangelion
    One Piece
    Ouran High School Host Club
    Rah Xephon
    Romeo X Juliet
    Special A
    Tears to Tiara
    The Book of Bantorra
    The World God Only Knows
    Toriko
    Yu Yu Hakusho

    Right now I'm working through several series:
    Code Geass
    Clannad After Story
    Get Backers
    Angel Beats!
    Sword Art Online
    Is This a Zombie of the Dead?
    A Little Snow Fairy Sugar

    Actually, I feel like I've watched more than this, but these are what I can remember. And there are quite a few others I've tried and didn't like or watched some of but never finished. (I've tried to watch Le Chevalier D'eon a couple of times, but I get bored.)

    I watch anime both subbed and dubbed. There are shows that just sound better to me in Japanese (Bleach, Full Metal Alchemist, Maid-sama, Black Butler), shows that I thought had fantastic English voice acting (The Book of Bantorra, Is This a Zombie?, Level E), and shows that I've enjoyed in both languages (InuYasha, Ouran High School Host Club, Toriko, Fairy Tail). And I always like to find shows in English that my 10 year old daughter might also enjoy. (She's a big fan of InuYasha among others.)

    So I guess this is a thread to talk about the anime I'm watching and the story telling lessons I'm learning from it. I'd love to talk about anime with any other anime enthusiasts and I like recommendations.
     
  2. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Dark Lord

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    Which FMA did you watch first? On a related note, which FMA did you like most? (I read the manga first, so I got really attached to its consistent and sensical worldbuilding--unusual in shonen, which tends to follow the Rule of Cool. The first anime started with consistent worldbuilding, but became more cool and less sensical the more it diverged from the manga, so I got kind of frustrated with it.)

    It looks like you mostly watch shows targeted to young men (with a few surprising exceptions like Ouran), and my favorite shows are targeted to women or older men, so I'm not sure how much our tastes will overlap. If you are (or your child is) at all interested in trying girls' shows, Princess Tutu is a good place to start--it approaches complex ideas about fate, free will, and literary postmodernism in a simple fashion even a child can understand and enjoy. (Alternately, watch Madoka Magica, which I maintain is just Princess Tutu for people who like action and hate ballet--but don't let your kid see it, at least not after episode 3.)
     
  3. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Dark Lord

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    I have watched more anime and read more manga than would be reasonable to list here. It's been a hobby of mine for a decade, and for a fair few of those years, I didn't watch much American or British telly to split up my entertainment time. A few of my favourites, though, and ones of yours that I've also seen.

    • Fullmetal Alchemist, both series. I adore them both, but I prefer the 2003 series marginally. Mostly because I really adore the first 20-30 episodes or so, which are condensed into about 10 in Brotherhood.
    • Sakamichi no Apollon
    • Real Drive, fantastic series from Furuhashi Kazuhiro and the creator/studio of Ghost in the Shell. I'd really recommend it if you're a fan of that series, which I know many anime fans are.
    • Kuragehime
    • Ouran High School Host Club
    • Fruits Basket
    • Fairy Tale, I haven't started the anime yet but I do adore the manga from what I've read of it.
    • Negima!?, one of my favourites back in high school and I still adore the characters.
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion, have you seen any of the remake movies? I haven't watched them yet, but I've seen screen shots and they look fantastic. I might watch them and go see the third one in theatres, since it's playing in the city.
    • Kiki's Delivery Service, really everything by Miyazaki is at least good, but this one is my favourite both for the story and for the nostalgia. It's just a beautiful little film.
    • Baccano!, possibly my favourite non-linear narrative of all time. Highly recommended to anyone, even if you're not a fan of anime.
    • Kimi ni Todoke
    • Revolutionary Girl Utena

      And a couple that are currently only manga, but are good enough to be worth mentioning.
    • Uzumaki, you'll never look at a cinnabun, snails, or your fingertips the same way again.
    • Vinland Saga, relatively historically accurate, gruesome Viking story.
     
  4. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I'm not a huge anime fan even though I live in Japan I guess people would expect me to be. I actually prefer manga more and have even experimented with the medium some (me and another guy wrote 4 manga together). However, there are a select few that have intrigued me and ones I'm interested in seeing. I'm mostly a Studio Ghibli kind of guy, but I do like some old classics like Akira, Fist of the North Star, and Berserk. I'm interested to see Attack on Titan since a lot of my students have said it's very good. I guess I'm in to darker kind of anime for the most part. I do like lighter stuff like One Piece on occasion, but I wouldn't say it's the kind of stuff I typically watch.

    If anyone has recommendations for the darker kind of stuff, I'm open to any thoughts.
     
  5. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Dark Lord

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    @Phil: Does Monster count? It's not a fantasy series, but it certainly takes a walk on the unpleasant side of the human mind.
     
  6. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Dark Lord

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    Vinland Saga is dark, bloody historical fiction, no fantasy, but who doesn't love Vikings? It gets compared to Berserk a lot, so if you liked that, you might like this. Not an anime yet, but they've been teasing an announcement, so maybe soon...
     
  7. teacup

    teacup Dark Lord

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    I've watched a few anime shows/movies. I usually check out the first few minutes in both Japanese and English to see which I prefer.

    These are my top ones (no real order) :

    FMA/FMA:B - I watched FMA first, and then Brotherhood, and loved them both, but I definitely prefer Brotherhood. (I went for English.)

    Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann - This is fantastic, and I don't see many people who've watched it here. Very fun and hilarious, with great characters, and it goes way over the top as it goes on, but it works well. This might be my favourite, I don't know. (I'd go for English on this.)

    Death Note - The first anime I watched, and I loved it. (Jap/Eng, either or.)

    Kara no Kyoukai - This is a series of anime films (7, I think) which are not in chronological order. They're really good, but the best is definitely #5 - Paradox Spiral. (You could watch #5 without seeing the rest, and not be confused at all. Great film.) (Only subbed.)

    Perfect Blue - As if Gurren Lagann isn't crazy enough, this movie is crazy in a whole different way. If you want something to confuse and mess with your head, go with this. It's hard to keep track of which scenes are reality and which aren't. (I've only watched it in English so can't comment.)

    Berserk - This was kinda "meh" for me for the most part, but the last 10 (I think, around 10, anyway) episodes were brilliant, so much so that for me, they made up for the rest of the series entirely. (The rest wasn't bad, but without those last episodes this wouldn't have made the list.) (I went for English, but for this I didn't give subbed too much of a try.)
     
  8. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    @Feo: I have heard of Monster and that it has a very bizarre villain. That may be worth checking out for me.

    @Ophiuca: I've also heard of Vinland Saga. I haven't read it, but I've seen it around. It sounds like something I'd like. I've often thought of trying my hand at some kind of Viking fiction down the line. For some reason I get this one and Claymore mixed up. I don't know why. By the way, I like what I've read of Claymore so far.
     
  9. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Dark Lord

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    Curses. I was just writing up a long reply and lost it. Here we go again...

    I probably should have mentioned that everyone in my family is a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki and we have all his movies. The kids probably like Totoro the best. For me it's a toss up between Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky and Howl's Moving Castle. In fact, I liked Nausicaa so much that when I learned the manga goes way beyond the movie I had to read it. It's the only manga I've read. The manga format just doesn't feel comfortable to me. It's not easy for me to follow. Though I've started getting my more visually attuned daughter into it. I started her with Fruits Basket. She's read 2 volumes so far and we watched the anime together up to the point in the manga she'd reached. I just got her the 3rd volume. She loves it. (Any recommendations on manga for 10 year old girls would be great. Though she's not a girly girl or anything. Her favorite thing in the world right now is Power Rangers.)

    I usually watch anime with my husband and we don't really pay any attention to what audience it's aimed at. We just try out what sounds interesting. He actually tends to enjoy the lighter romantic comedy fare more than I do. I love the really long fantasy adventure type series like InuYasha, Bleach and Fairy Tail the best. But we both enjoy all types. I love that anime embraces long running series with multiple arcs as well as shorter, contained stories equally. We can just look for whatever we feel in the mood for with the assurance of finding something good.

    FMA was one of the earlier shows we tried. We watched the first series and then learned about Brotherhood and watched that second. I agree with Ophiucha that the first 20 or so episodes of the first series were stellar, but the ending was a disappointment. We didn't even bother to watch the movie. We LOVED Brotherhood. It was the first anime we watched that really showed me what the medium is capable of. I was a fan from that point on.

    We hated Neon Genesis Evangelion. I would nominate it for worst ending ever. (Yes, including the movie.) I would only watch the remakes if someone paid me to.

    We've got a long list of anime to watch we're slowly working through. I'll probably post here to do a short review for whatever we've just finished in the future.
     
  10. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Dark Lord

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    If it's a manga you want, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne is cute and charming. It's probably the most morally centered thievery story since Robin Hood.

    I will give one caveat: works based in a particular mythos often experiment quite a bit with the details of that mythos. Jeanne is very heavily Christian-influenced, so while it's quite respectful to Christian ideals, it reinterprets Genesis in a way that, to my knowledge, doesn't match any denomination's views. I'm not sure how much that sort of thing matters to you.
     
  11. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Scribal Lord

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    I skew towards stuff that's adult in focus for the most part (FMA being the exception), and I'm kinda snobby about only watching Anime in Japanese. English-dubbed Godzilla movies, English-dubbed Chinese and Korean movies have ruined it for me. I know the dubbing has gotten better, but I'd rather listen to something in its original language and read the subtitles than be left hanging by a mismatched sound track. (This has led me to being a bit confused by why Vic Mignogna is such a big deal at conventions.)

    A few recommendations:

    Witch Hunter Robin. One of the best story telling animes that I've seen. Great characters, great story, the only problem is that it was too short.

    Helsing. This one comes with some interesting religious overtones, and interpretations of Catholicism. Overall, I liked the story and the characters.

    Vampire Hunter D. The gateway anime of my generation, if you didn't get sucked in by Miyazaki as a kid. I enjoyed both movies, but prefer the first to the second.

    Chobits. This is absolutely not suitable for kids. I enjoyed it, overall, but there were definitely bits that had me shaking my head and laughing at the absurdity. I should have figured that the boyfriend at the time had a good reason to be laughing hard when I asked what it was about. I can't even really describe it, other than to say it's the weirdest anime I've ever watched. And anime gets pretty darned odd, sometimes.

    High School of the Dead. I don't know how many seasons of this are available now, but I watched the first one and got pretty hooked. This was before the Zombie thing exploded everywhere, so that may have something to do with my enjoyment factor. It does feature scantily clad women, but that's to be expected in anime.
     
  12. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I'm not really a connoisseur of anime, but I've seen a few and I tend to like them.

    One that has not been mentioned earlier and which is a personal favourite of mine is Noir:
    Noir (anime) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Noir (TV) - Anime News Network
    The later half of the series isn't all that, but the earlier episodes are great. On top of that the soundtrack is superb.

    I also watched Ergo Proxy:
    Ergo Proxy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Ergo Proxy (TV) - Anime News Network
    This one's a bit weird and I'm not entirely sure how I actually feel about it. What I do know is that it's quite beautiful - as long as you like the colour grey in all its nuances. The opening song for it is also very good:


    Finally, of anime that has not been mentioned yet I'll bring up the incomparable FLCL:
    FLCL - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    FLCL (OAV) - Anime News Network
    I haven't seen chobits, which was mentioned earlier, but I suspect this is in the same vein. It ranges from vaguely coherent to absolutely incomprehensible and mixes slow parts with action sequences at breakneck speed. This too, has a great soundtrack.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
  13. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Dark Lord

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    Audience-wise, I think my preferences tend to fall firmly into my own demographic - my favourite is josei (older women), then seinen (older men), then shoujo (teenage girls). I used to watch shounen when I was younger and a bit more tomboy-ish, but only through nostalgia or exceptional writing am I likely to love it these days. Josei is a really under-targeted audience, but what few series the demographic does have are excellent.
     
  14. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Dark Lord

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    Chobits does something unusual. It starts out as a wacky romantic comedy that happens to have a robot as the female lead. It's kind of odd for the genre--the male lead is much smarter than is expected, the female lead is genuinely robotic, and there are occasional hints that their relationship might not be entirely healthy--but most of the time, the things that happen and the jokes that are made are the same ones you'd see in any romantic comedy made in Japan. The thing is, every once in a while there's reference made to an in-universe manga called The Town With No People, and every time it shows up, the series starts to hint at serious questions about everything from the relationship between man and machine to objectification of women. Then a few minutes later, it's back to wacky comedy. And then in the final third of the show, The Town With No People starts appearing in the end credits, and the series transitions permanently to serious science fiction!

    The question to determine "Will you be able to stand this show?" is "Can you stand this scene?" If you're okay with it, you'll probably find the show at least watchable.

    Incidentally, I'm a big fan of the anime reviewer Jesu Otaku. She's done quite funny reviews of both the above shows, recommending them both to fans of the relevant genres. It could be worth looking into her reviews if you're interested in finding new shows.
     
  15. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Dark Lord

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    I didn't mind all of the fanservice when I read the High School of the Dead manga, but I think seeing it animated pushed it from gratuitous to ridiculous for me. I haven't read the manga in years, but I did like seeing an anime!take on the zombie apocalypse genre despite its massive (bouncy) flaws. A manga recommendation if you're a fan of zombies, Mouryou no Yurikago. It's zombies on a sinking ship! Sort of like the Poseidon Adventure, but with the undead lurking around as well. It's got a lot of the same gratuitous fanservice, but I thought the premise was interesting and it's only six volumes, complete.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  16. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Scribal Lord

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    I cut anime a lot of slack. I understand that it will be the rare case where women are respectfully written (i.e. serve functions outside of a sex appeal role). Or find one doesn't require the female leads to have an abnormally large chest to hip ratio to be included in the show. And, it's part of the fun of deconstructing it. I do the same thing in superhero movies.

    I also try to not bring a Western worldview into judging the representation of women. I may not like it, but it's not my culture, and I don't really have a right to say much about it. That said, I do avoid the worst of the bunch. Things like High School of the Dead are borderline territory for me, I by far prefer things like FMA and Witch Hunter Robin.
     
  17. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Dark Lord

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    Is it odd that a 31 year-old married woman with 5 kids would be attracted to stories aimed at teen boys? I don't know. All I know is that I find most teen characters in anime to be about a million times less annoying than most teens in western stories. In fact, I actually find them compelling and generally awesome.

    Speaking of which, my husband and I have both fallen in love with Sword Art Online. Kirito and Asuna are our favorite anime couple since Keichi and Belldandy.

    In my opinion there's fanservice and then there's fanservice. Most of the time I don't mind it, even when it gets a bit over the top, if it's just the icing on the cake and not the actual cake. Shows like Fairy Tail have a fair amount of fan service, but it's never much dwelt on. Shows like Campione have a lot of fanservice but it works with the premise of the show and never gets to the point, IMO, of overshadowing the plot or characters. There have only been a couple shows I've tried that had too much fanservice for me. The first was Demon King Daimao, where I couldn't figure out what the stupid show was supposed to be about so the fact that it spent so much time showing girls' panties instead of developing the story bothered me. More recently was To Love-Ru which doesn't seem to have any story at all except Aliens! Boobs! Panties! This rather bland high school guy who accidentally touches more female genitalia than most of you will in your entire lives! Did we mention Naked Aliens! The whole show's premise is really just an elaborate excuse for fanservice. That's when it goes to far for me.

    I rather like how female characters are portrayed in most anime I've watched. Characters in general are so much more varied and interesting than anything in recent western media.
     
  18. JRFLynn

    JRFLynn Mystagogue

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    I feel the same way, if the story is compelling why not go along for the ride? It doesn't bother me that most animes are aimed towards teens as growing up is pretty befuddling and frustrating, and teenage angst mixes well with action. I think it would be neat to write a book that reads like an anime, heck, I'd love for it to become an anime lol!

    You're right, western characters do seem a bit annoying and cocky, like Ben 10, Kim Possible, and Dexters Lab among other things...I realize most western shows are for entertainment and not that bent on telling a complex story (unless you read the comics), but then there were some that really surprised me like Batman Beyond. I haven't watched too much stuff on superheros, but that show hooked me. There are many western cartoons I like, but japanese narrative definitely has quirk, conflict, and depth that is masterfully done.

    All-time favorites:
    Naruto
    One Piece
    Berserk
    Gantz

    If you haven't heard of Berserk or Gantz, the manga is way, way, WAY better than the anime!
     
  19. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Dark Lord

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    Gantz is kind of iffy. It's clear from the beginning that the author has some really, really good ideas, but for the first ninety chapters, they're constantly buried under a deluge of sex and violence. After ninety chapters, something major happens that redefines the story, new elements begin to be introduced, and the violence starts to feel like it means something--but it still swerves back and forth between brilliant and frustrating, to the point that I eventually gave up on it. (In particular, every time the author tries to write about women's sexuality, it gets really creepy and objectifying, even by Japanese standards--which is odd, because after chapter 90, he's becomes unusually good at writing likable female characters so long as they're not having or pondering sex at the moment.)

    If you're at all interested in a Gantz-like manga, I think Cannon God Exaxxion is better in every way. The parts of Gantz that are good are great in Exaxxion, and the parts of Gantz that are horrible are merely bad in Exaxxion. I have no idea whether that makes Exaxxion good, but it's at least farther from being bad.

    As for Berserk, I haven't read it, but I've read that this is what begins the series:

    Courtesy of a parody series on Youtube:

     
  20. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I watched half of the first season of Gantz before I stopped. I guess it has its points, but it just felt really slow to me, as if everything took too long to happen and it got a bit silly.

    Correction: I didn't actively decide to stop. But I couldn't be bothered to go change the disc and watch the next episode after the last I saw ended - and I still haven't worked up the energy to get back into it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
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