Anime that flew under the radar... and just plain underrated anime

SckizoBoy

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Good evening, all.

A fairly old thread (with recent posts, anyway) had that grand old question 'what's your favourite anime' and the number of times I saw Naruto/Bleach/One Piece/Death Note/Fullmetal Alchemist (and so on and so on) got me thinking about the arthouse animes out there that few people watch, let alone like. For example, I loved Fuujin Monogatari, but when I tell people that, they give me o_0' because they've never heard of it.

Therefore, I'm sure there are many out there who liked lesser known releases that weren't really publicised (that I've never heard of, probably). Also, there are some series that are just plain underrated (or at least I think so).

So, what series have you watched that when you speak to your anime-addicted acquaintances they give you funny looks?

I'll start (and please give justification for liking the series beyond 'just 'cos'):

Fuujin Monogatari (Windy Tales) - the art style is an acquired taste, but it was refreshingly simple, and the story was quaintly charming, about a village of 'wind-users'. There's a recurring theme of photography, a romantic subplot that's very well executed given the context, oh, and flying cats!

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - I got this purely on its premise (i.e. an earthquake... well, the title says it all) but didn't watch it for a while. When I did, it was well worth it. It's a very personal story and a brilliantly performed piece of work, especially considering the protagonists, which makes all the companionship and bonding feel very real (along with the unfortunate delusion that takes over for the final third of the series).

Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi (Miss Wolf & her Seven Companions) - I'm including this because I've seen it a total of zero times on Escapist forums (I might have missed something there). But this is an amusing take on children's stories and folktales (Western and Japanese) with a high school setting. Well worth the watch, if only for Ookami's meowing boxing gloves.

And here are a couple of series that I reckon are very underrated:

Gankutsuou - I've never seen this on anyone's top-# lists. However, I think it's one of the best (and very faithful at that, except for the ending, but it still pulls it off admirably) adaptations of The Count of Monte Cristo. The voice cast is full of well-known names and it lives up to the billing, and yet reviewers considered it mediocre at best for hashed story-telling and OTT visuals. To me, neither were a problem (the story is complicated at the best of the times, but I'm a fan of the book, which is even more complicated, so maybe it's just me) and the animation and art style give the series a uniqueness sorely lacking in a lot of series these days.

Kurau Phantom Memory - I think this fits both criteria. Released in 2007, it's a sci-fi/alien/superpower story that's really just an unorthodox love story (unorthodox in both a 'love' sense and 'love story' sense) that's just so difficult to explain and yet it niggles at you for nine hours. It's one of those series that is impossible to pigeonhole into a genre because it involves a conspiracy, quite a lot of action, along with some very banal periods (as well as the sci-fi etc.), and yet for once it all fits together very well.

Anyway, enough from me, are there any series that you think didn't receive enough attention? Or you think were unduly trashed? Or, if you agree/disagree with my choices, discuss.

I'll probably mention a couple others along the way.
 

DeadMix

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Ergo Proxy has not received enough love, that's for sure. Not that anyone's unduly trashed it, It's just that I'm the only person I know who's even heard of it.
 

Zannah

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I'll throw in "Le chevalier D'eon" and possibly Black Lagoon, though Bl is pretty well known.

DeadMix said:
Ergo Proxy has not received enough love, that's for sure. Not that anyone's unduly trashed it, It's just that I'm the only person I know who's even heard of it.
Unfortunately with that series, hearing of it, and finding out what on earth is going on, are two completely different things :|
 

JoJo

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Aishiteruze Baby is one of the few animes I've ever seen and I very rarely hear about it anywhere, which is a shame because it's light-hearted and some of it's characters (especially Yuzuyu!) are absolutely adorable, but at the same time it tackles issues including suicide and child abuse very sensitively and maturely.
 

Zetatrain

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Good call on Gankutsuou. Although I admit that the visuals are very...unique (probably the only anime where you can get motion sickness just by looking at the clothes), I was not aware that reviews considered it mediocre at best. Most reviews I've read praised it for its story. Still, it a shame that more people do not know about it.

I also agree that its the best adaptation of the Count of Monte Cristo. Its probably because its the longest time wise and its easier to adapt the Count of Monte Cristo into 26 epsiodes than a 2 hour movie.

As for my underrated anime...I'm gonna say Area 88 (the OVA movies). Its about Japanese commercial pilot who gets tricked by his best friend into signing up with a foreign legion as a fighter pilot. The legion is fighting in a civil war in the Middle East and in order to be leave, pilots most either complete a three year tour of duty, pay 1.5 million dollar which is earned by destroying enemy planes, tanks, etc., or they can desert.
 

Reliq

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Nice list, only one i havent seen so far is Gankutsuou but its on my todo-list. I´ll throw in a couple of my own.

Mezzo - DSA

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Ultress

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I don't know if it counts but I'm gonna say Time of Eve,everything about it is just beautiful.
 

SckizoBoy

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Zannah said:
I'll throw in "Le chevalier D'eon" and possibly Black Lagoon, though Bl is pretty well known.

DeadMix said:
Ergo Proxy has not received enough love, that's for sure. Not that anyone's unduly trashed it, It's just that I'm the only person I know who's even heard of it.
Unfortunately with that series, hearing of it, and finding out what on earth is going on, are two completely different things :|
Two things: I was waiting/hoping for someone to say Le Chevalier D'Eon, and I agree, awesome series, but didn't get much coverage.

Also, Ergo Proxy, I understood that quite well. RahXephon is one of those confusing series as well (it took me two full watch-throughs to get that, but it was manageable).

RahXephon - your thoughts...
 

Outright Villainy

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Almost certainly Bacanno, it seems to have gone way under the radar, which is a damn shame, as it's one of the best animes I've ever seen.

It's set in 1930's america, and focuses on a wide group of people, with no real main character. It flits back and forth between 1930, 1931 and 1932, as well as a brief detour in 1711, which spices up the plot considerably. I can't really give much more of the plot away with getting into spoilers, given that it's largely mystery drien, but suffice to say, most of the characters paths interlink on a train ride, and the events that follows. There's immortals, a hilariously psychotic hitman, and some of the best comic relief I've ever seen. (they ended up being my favourite characters in fact.)

Oh, and don't read the wiki description of the plot overview. It goes through it chronologically, revealing a lot immediately, as well as ruining half the fun of seeing it all slot together piece by piece. It stands up really well to repeat viewings because of this too.

Anyway to sum it up: Why the hell aren't you watching this already?

Edit: 2 more things. Firstly: Watch the dub. It's fantastic, and it feels a lot more authentic given that it's set in america, and gangster era at that.

secondly, you can watch the first few dubbed episodes for free on youtube. (it gets better after the first by the way, which is a bit too chaotic.)

 

SckizoBoy

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Outright Villainy said:
Almost certainly Bacanno, it seems to have gone way under the radar, which is a damn shame, as it's one of the best animes I've ever seen.

It's set in 1930's america, and focuses on a wide group of people, with no real main character. It flits back and forth between 1930, 1931 and 1932, as well as a brief detour in 1711, which spices up the plot considerably. I can't really give much more of the plot away with getting into spoilers, given that it's largely mystery drien, but suffice to say, most of the characters paths interlink on a train ride, and the events that follows. There's immortals, a hilariously psychotic hitman, and some of the best comic relief I've ever seen. (they ended up being my favourite characters in fact.)

Oh, and don't read the wiki description of the plot overview. It goes through it chronologically, revealing a lot immediately, as well as ruining half the fun of seeing it all slot together piece by piece. It stands up really well to repeat viewings because of this too.

Anyway to sum it up: Why the hell aren't you watching this already?

Edit: 2 more things. Firstly: Watch the dub. It's fantastic, and it feels a lot more authentic given that it's set in america, and gangster era at that.

secondly, you can watch the first few dubbed episodes for free on youtube. (it gets better after the first by the way, which is a bit too chaotic.)
I've watched this series, too, and yes, very pulp-fiction awesome. Watching it Japanese may have spoiled it a bit because of their dodgy pronunciation. I honestly thought quite a lot knew about it (watched it with an anime society at uni). Still, a very well paced series and even better characterised.

Must re-watch now *curse you*
 

Griffolion

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I watched Beserk with my friend, it seemed pretty good but it didn't seem to get much mention on the internet, i could be way off base there.
 

littlecrow

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I don't think most people have even heard of Solty Rei so I'll throw that one out, it's actually a good underated/unheard of show.
 

Aethren

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There's so many, it's pretty impossible to list them all. Here's a few off the top of my head.

Gantz
Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei
Azumanga Daioh
Ookami To Koushinryou
Fairy Tail
Great Teacher Onizuka
Air Master
Gintama
Yakitate!! Japan
Read or Die: The TV
Hikaru no Go

I'm too tired to bother explaining these choices, but I greatly enjoyed each of them for different reasons.
 

My name is Fiction

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Aethren said:
There's so many, it's pretty impossible to list them all. Here's a few off the top of my head.

Gantz
Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei
Azumanga Daioh
Ookami To Koushinryou
Fairy Tail
Great Teacher Onizuka
Air Master
Gintama
Yakitate!! Japan
Read or Die: The TV
Hikaru no Go

I'm too tired to bother explaining these choices, but I greatly enjoyed each of them for different reasons.
*Bone Crushing Bear Hug*

Thanks for mentioning on of my faves, Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei.
Wish I could find more of the episodes but last time I hunted for them I gave my friends computer a virus. :/

this caste me in DESPAIR!!!!
 

blind_dead_mcjones

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Patlabor, seriously, its about as 'real' as real robot mecha anime can get (to the point that it shows that giant robots quite frankly suck, case in point: the mecha in patlabor, known as labors, are little more than glorified cranes/forklifts, its only due a rise in the use of them in run of the mill crimes that the police are outfit with specialised law enforcement labors, and even then all they have are an upscaled revolver and telescopic baton (the cherry on top being that to reload the revolver the pilot has to get outof his mecha and reload each shell by hand)) well developed stories and nicely choreographed fight scenes, flawed yet believable and likeable characters, and a complete absence of fanservice or angsty teenage protagonists

also armored trooper VOTOMS for similar reasons (it did the skating mecha deal waay before code geass did, and again the mecha are as real as you can possibly get (both technically and asthetically, the scopedogs are as butt ugly and mundane as you can get, no flashy super prototypes here)

another one that i hardly hear of is martian successor nadesico, which is a shame as its awesome, brillaintly taking the piss out of space opera shows, anime tropes and the anime fanbase in general
 

SomeLameStuff

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Scarecrow 8 said:
I may be wrong, but I haven't met many who know of 'Spice and Wolf'
*raises hand*

Anyway, a surprising amount of people I've met haven't heard of Wolf's Rain.