Today's "Recommend an Anime" thread, brought to you by Zhukov.

spartan231490

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Jan 14, 2010
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Darker than Black
Sword Art Online
Busou Renkin
Full Metal Alchemist
FMA: Brotherhood
Code Geas
Soul Eater
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom

That ought to get you started. They're all pretty good action anime, there's gonna be comedic relief, but none of them have a big focus on it. It's probably most prevalent in Busou Renkin, and least prevalent in Sword Art Online, and Phantom.
 

Sparky184

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Dec 23, 2010
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I have recently been watching a couple of Anime in hopes of getting into it. A while ago I watched Persona 4: The Animation which is based off of Persona 4, and I really enjoyed it, having played the game first. Recently though I watched Madoka Magica and I must say it's simply amazing. It's been recommended multiple times in this thread already, but seriously, watch it.
 

Fox12

AccursedT- see you space cowboy
Jun 6, 2013
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It sounds like you have similar taste to me.

Berserk, assuming you haven't seen it. I've said it many times, if you only watch one anime in your life time then watch Berserk. The more I think about the series, the more brilliant it becomes. The tone is dark and serious, but it's also philosophical and brilliant. It's similar to Game of Thrones in some ways, but it has a more intense character focus and the overall plot is more tightly paced.

You may like Serial Experiments Lain if you liked the philosophical aspects of Evangelion. There's no action, and the pacing is painfully slow, but it's also thoughtful and well written. It may be too "weird" for some people though, it's definitely a head trip.
 

Mister K

This is our story.
Apr 25, 2011
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Hmm, I didn't watch that many anime series and you've already mentioned all sci-fi series that fit your criteria and I've seen. So, I'll recommend non sci-fi.

Baccano
How to describe it better? Well, take Pulp Fiction-esque montage, throw in gang wars in 1930's USA, add a wee bit of humor and a big deal of outworldly.

Hellsing: Ultimate
It is about vampire-hunting order of Hellsing. You'll get vampires, vampire-nazis, gore, pretty nice characters and Alucard, a guy you can't stop liking although he IS a sadistic blood-sucking monstrosity.

Samurai Champloo
Setting: Edo-period Japan. Soundtrack: Hip-hop of Japanese legacy. Basic story: a girl saves two great swordsmen (one is rough break-dancing bastard, other is a cool, calculated ronin) from death sentence. In exchange, she asks them to protect her on her journey to find the Samurai that smells of sunflowers. It is made by the same guys who made Cowboy Bebop, so you can be sure in it's quality.
 

Dinosorcerer

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Sep 5, 2013
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check out the Berserk movies, not the anime series. it was made in the nineties and the animation is shitty even by those standards. the movies have this annoying tendency to put every fight into really obvious-looking cgi, but if you aren't bothered by that then it's very good.
also, a Myazaki that is often overlooked but is very good is Porco Rosso. it's about a man who gets hired to do jobs with his airplane in the 1920's. the animation on that one is absolutely fantastic as is expected.
 

Hagi

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Not sure if this is the type of serious you're looking for but I personally consider these two awesome things:

Planetes: A story about orbital garbage men and women. It's hard sci-fi and greatly enjoyable.

Toshokan Sensou: Library Wars. There's massive censorship in Japan with bookstores only being able to sell books approved by the government. Libraries are the one exception to this and can still keep all books on premise and have even been authorized to form militias to defend those books against the government agencies in charge of censorship. The premise is a tad whacky but I found it a great story well worth watching.

They're both anime that are serious in the way real life is serious, very understated. Mostly just a whole bunch of relatively little things happening that only really have any importance because the characters involved care about them. Not what seems the usual school of serious in anime where the darker, bloodier and more tragic you make something the more serious it is. Or god forbid utterly failed attempts at shallow philosophy...
 

Stryc9

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So if you dug Ghost in the Shell there's more now, they're doing a four part thing called Arise that shows how Section 9 comes into existence. Here's the fist part on Amazon Instant Video for $7.99, I've seen it and it was pretty good.

http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Shell-Arise-Border-Pain/dp/B00G0ASR0O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387479041&sr=8-1&keywords=Ghost+in+the+Shell+Arise

There's another part that just came out in Japan at the end of last month plus two more parts at least still to come.
 

Seracen

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Sep 20, 2009
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Welcome to the fold! BWAHAHAHAHA!

Highlander - Search for Vengeance: it's an anime, based on the Highlander franchise. I really don't need to say more...except that it is the BEST THING in the franchise, apart from the original movie...better than the sequels, better than the TV series, certainly better than that crappy animated series...

You heard me. I don't know why they didn't capitalize on it earlier, as anime is an easier way to display the eras of history, as opposed to expensive set pieces. The story is appropriately about two immortals, who face each other throughout time, from ancient Rome, to feudal Japan, to Nazi Germany, to the post-apocalypse!


Outlaw Star: Requisite space opera about a fledgling mercenary, who gets caught up in a conspiracy and adventure that spans the entire galaxy.


Sword Art Online: Think the same concept as "The Matrix," people are caught in a simulation that will kill them, unless they can find a way to defeat it and get out. The "simulation" happens to take the form of a sword and sorcery MMO, and plots actually resolve and evolve!


Darker than Black: Though the ending gets a bit convoluted, it's an interesting mix of mutant powers and espionage


Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood: A masterpiece adventure story of two brothers, told in an era of rising industrial technology and magic.


Tenchi (and all it's spinoffs, EXCEPT Tenchi in Love/Tokyo): Well, it's a harem comedy, what can I say? I have to put ONE of them here, and at least this one has action to boot!

Armitage III- PolyMatrix: Because I always suggest my fave cyberpunk anime whenever I do these lists. If you liked Blade Runner, you should like this. Two cops on Mars investigate a serial killer who targets illegal AI bioroids, and end up opening a powder keg of conspiracy.

I have to stop myself now, or I'll be here all day. Happy Watching!
 

Fdzzaigl

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Mar 31, 2010
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A few:

Berserk: Probably one of the best, set in a brutal fantasy world but isn't too focused on supernatural stuff at first, until crushed dreams and hopes summon the terrors from beyond.

Valvrave the liberator: From the makers of Gundam, very fun mecha show to watch.

Elfen Lied: Extremely bloody show dealing with telekinetic superpowers. Also very emotional to watch however.

Gantz: Also a very bloody show, but worth watching the anime as well because you simple can't predict the outcome when you first see it. Deals with a life & death "game".

Tengen Toppa, Gurren Lagann: Hilarious mecha anime, one of the greats.

Death Note: One of the most thrilling shows ever. About a genius going mad with power after he receives a notebook that kills anyone who's name is written in it.

Code Geass: A bit like Death Note in fact, but with different accents, set in a fictional future.

Blue Submarine No. 6: Jazzy post-apocalyptic anime.

Last Exile: Very good steam-punk anime with flying ships in weird surreal world.

Now and Then, Here and There: Older anime where a boy gets sent into a post-apocalyptic future and is forced to become a child-soldier.

Shinsekai Yori: A really special anime set in the next millenium, very special atmosphere. Deals with the powers of the mind.

...

Those are a few good ones (imo), for the love of god though, avoid the damn dubs. Don't care what anyone says, they totally ruin the spirit of any show. I want to pull my hair out whenever I see more than a minute of any dubbed anime or other show for that matter.
 

Fenra

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Sep 17, 2008
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Mr.Savage said:
Well, you've already watched one of my go-to recommendations (Black Lagoon), my other recommendation would be:

Spice & Wolf

S&W is about a travelling Merchant named Lawrence. In his wandering, he comes across a very strange girl, and stuff just kinda kicks off from there... It's a very unique show, sort of a combination of a travel log and medieval economics, with romance and action mixed in. I've never seen anything like it before or since. However, it's not quite as super action packed as Lagoon, and some might even get bored from the economics part of it. But when things do kick off, it's quite intense.

It's also extremely grounded, there's little to no whackiness in it.

As with Black Lagoon, the English dub is impeccable thanks to Funimation.

Here's the first episode, for your convenience :)

Good on that man! I came here to recomend spice and wolf and its already here!

I throw my hat in with Spice and Wolf, heard good things about it so watched the first episode, was hooked. It's a little slow burning and more often intellectual rather than action oriented but I urge everyone to at least give it a try. Rare to have an anime make me think, to learn some things (from the economy of it, ended up researching stuff online after some episodes) and have characters I truly care about and engage with.
 

omega 616

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Elfgore said:
Fullmetal Alchemist (Both the original anime and Brotherhood)- Both are amazing, but brotherhood is alot darker than the other. The action is good and they sprinkle some comedy in there to lighten the tone.
I'm just watching this for the first time, up to episode 25 of the original.

It's a little ... dry, it's just endless talking but I am still watching so it's doing something right.

More on topic. If you like dragon ball, then watch Bleach ... I know I'm going to get shit for that though. Lots of fighty action and isn't as bad as dragon ball z for stretching out fights. I think it's a good blend of yucks and awesome moments.

Not really an anime watcher myself, that is why I am only commenting on these two.
 

Hagi

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Fdzzaigl said:
Valvrave the liberator: From the makers of Gundam, very fun mecha show to watch.
That's actually by the makers from Gundam?

I enjoyed Gundam 00 and Gundam SEED, not the greatest things but a good watch. But I quit Valvrave halfway the second episode because it seemed to go in the direction of Guilty Crown, which I can safely say I utterly and completely despise.

Namely because it seemed to be heading in the direction of inconsistent self-insert high-school boy protagonist with a plot that's only there to make the viewers feel good about themselves as opposed to actually telling a story.

Should I have kept on watching a bit more? Does it actually tell a consistent story that's not all about the main character?
 
Dec 10, 2012
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Zhukov said:
It's happened. It's finally happened.

I've started... watching anime.

This is it. I've gone full nerd. There's no turning back. Only onward!

So to that end, since I know there's a metric ton of you on here who watch the stuff, I have came looking for recommendations.

I generally prefer entertainment that is more serious in tone. A bit of whackiness won't kill me and levity is fine, but I'm not interested in comedy or shows where the whackiness is the main draw.

Sci-fi/fantasy etc stuff is welcome, even preferred.

...

- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Akira
- Black Lagoon
- Cowboy Beebop (+ the movie)
- Ghost in the Shell (both seasons + movies)
- Toppen Tenga Gurran whatever the fuck it was called.
- Attack on Titan
- Spirited Away.
- Princess Monoko
- Nac... Nars...Someone-or-Other of the Valley of Wind
- Grave of Fireflies
Ah, I remember being in quite the same situation. I'd seen a few animes, thanks to my friends, but wasn't immersed in it yet. When I finally made the decision to leap headlong into the sea of anime out there, I went it alone. I didn't ask much for help making sense of it all, deciding what was good and what was bad.

But you have us. You have me. I happen to have quite similar taste to what you've suggested, and I was very careful in selecting quality shows. I believe I was quite successful.

Since you've already seen Ghost in the Shell, Black Lagoon, and Cowboy Bebop, I'll assume you enjoyed them. If so, you must watch Baccano! It's a bit more lighthearted than these shows, at times, but it is nothing short of the most pure fun I've ever had watching a tv show. It's got sweet action, fun romance, terrifically graphic violence, an ensemble cast of awesome characters, and a fragmented storyline that is just a joy to piece together.

Also, FullMetal Alchemist. I'm sure you know that there are 2 of them, the original and Brotherhood. Brotherhood is almost beat-for-beat a translation of the manga, but the first show takes some severe left turns from it about halfway through the show. And to be honest, I was really impressed by how that was handled. Both shows are terrific, full of truly serious drama, pathos, and effectively harrowing science-gone-wrong horror. But I think that the original show is the more dramatically affecting and emotionally crushing. The last few episodes of the show actually make me want to cry. Good stuff.

Samurai Champloo does, of course, have quite a lot in common with Cowboy Bebop as far as themes and general execution. It's not as good; the samurai western/hip-hip infusion doesn't jive as well as the space western/jazz combo, and it includes a lot more goofiness, but at least half of the episodes are good, and some of them really do recapture the excellence of Bebop.

Death Note is great. Yes, people complain about the second half, and yes, it's not quite as good as the first part, but no other show can make simple conversation and logical deduction so riveting.

Full Metal Panic, not to be confused with the previous show (ha ha), is not really on the same level as my other suggestions, but you'll need something to watch after you see all the best stuff. It has a lot more of the, shall I call it, "animeness"; you know, the weird teenage-type humor based on misunderstanding and pervy hijinx resulting in over-the-top "silly" reactions. But it's still a solid action show.

...aaaaand, for some reason I'm blanking on the rest if my favorite shows. But that's a good start.

[EDIT]Right! Eden of the East. It's a show and 2 movies. I haven't seen the second movie yet, but the series is terrific near-future sci-fi.

Also, someone else here mentioned Serial Experiments Lain. This is a crazy as fuck show, and no one I know can even explain what actually happens or who anyone is, but it is a fascinating trip. Check it out.
 

Ishigami

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Patlabor 1 & 2: Mech animes without the usuall mech anime BS. Director is Oshii, the good GitS Oshii.

Sword of the Stranger: Best animated sword fights I have seen. Rock solid samurai anime story. Main theme is pure awesomeness.

Jin-Roh: Red riding hood a "little bit" different.

Ninja Scroll: Decent ninja anime. Bascially your very standard ninja anime.

Perfect Blue: Psycho thriller. The physiological part maybe sketchy but it makes for a thrilling experience off the beaten track none the less.

Blood - The last Vampire: Some of the visually most stunning animated stuff you will see. Rather short but highly fascinating vampire slayer anime while being rather modest in basically everything. The TV series and other movies got nothing on it, forget about them.

Tokyo Godfathers: Best freaken Christmas anime there is PERIOD

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust: Compelling world and while the story concept on it?s own isn?t particularly new it is flawlessly executed.

Trigun: Alongside Cowboy Beebop one of the best TV series ever to be produced. Why haven?t you seen it yet?

Welcome to the NHK: Depressing and at the same time hilarious anime about a NEEDs and hikikomori.

Planetes: Rather realistic SF anime starting of as trashman in space. Awesome character developments later on. Highly recommended.
 

Elfgore

Your friendly local nihilist
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omega 616 said:
Elfgore said:
Fullmetal Alchemist (Both the original anime and Brotherhood)- Both are amazing, but brotherhood is alot darker than the other. The action is good and they sprinkle some comedy in there to lighten the tone.
I'm just watching this for the first time, up to episode 25 of the original.

It's a little ... dry, it's just endless talking but I am still watching so it's doing something right.
I think I watched the first 15 episodes of FMA three times before I finally could get pass them. It gets better later on, but the ending is really bad. They pull the main bad guy out of their ass. I actually had to pause the episode and go to the wiki to find out who the bad guy was, I don't even think there was any logic behind their choosing of that person. Even worse, to find out the actually ending you have to watch the movie.

If by episode 35 you still are not interested. Drop it and pick up Brotherhood. Everything is better in Brotherhood.
 

Knife

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Mar 20, 2011
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Ishigami said:
Trigun: Alongside Cowboy Beebop one of the best TV series ever to be produced. Why haven?t you seen it yet?
And just like that you lost any and all credibility...
Trigun is like freaking Looney Tunes. Cowboy Bebop is a masterpiece with emotional depth.
 

Ipsen

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Jul 8, 2008
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Just want to throw up Wings of Honneamise and Metropolis. Former is a reject air-force pilot who volunteers to be his country's first astronaut. Quirky, but mainly an introspect piece.

The latter is a bit cartoonish, but has themes of class warfare (with robots, no less), and scripted by Katsuhiro Otomo (same guy who wrote and directed Akira, so if you like that, you know where to go next.

Don't want to forget Boogiepop Phantom. Really strange, complex horror series. Hint to get through it, it's more about the people.
 

Legion

Were it so easy
Oct 2, 2008
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Stryc9 said:
So if you dug Ghost in the Shell there's more now, they're doing a four part thing called Arise that shows how Section 9 comes into existence. Here's the fist part on Amazon Instant Video for $7.99, I've seen it and it was pretty good.

http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Shell-Arise-Border-Pain/dp/B00G0ASR0O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387479041&sr=8-1&keywords=Ghost+in+the+Shell+Arise

There's another part that just came out in Japan at the end of last month plus two more parts at least still to come.
I agree that Arise is a very good one. It is in it's own separate canon (as far as I am aware), a little like how the original GitS and Stand Alone Complex are separate.

Some of the die-hard fans don't like it, but personally I think they have done a fantastic job with it so far. The music doesn't stand out as much, but the characters are still great, as is the style and the setting. I especially love Motoko and Batou's rivalry in this version.

Fdzzaigl said:
Shin Sekai Yori: A really special anime set in the next millenium, very special atmosphere. Deals with the powers of the mind.
I have only recently discovered this one and it has shot up to be one of my favourites. It is incredibly dark, without it feeling contrived. It isn't one of those shows where they kill everybody off to make it so; it just has a very sinister atmosphere behind it.

My only minor dislike is that the main character is occasionally an idiot, who needs things explained to her that other characters (and the audience) have already figured out.

Just throwing in my agreement that both of these are also worth watching.