Re: Anime Recommendations

I finished The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya this week: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haruhi_Suzumiya


The story revolves around a girl who is bored with mundane life and wants to live in a world of time-travellers, aliens, psychics, and dimensional sliders. It is a combination of slice-of-life and a sci-fi show. [You may want to skip eps 13-18 as they are part of a time loop with VERY small variations. 12 is the start and 19 is the end.]

A sequel film, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, is the wonderful conclusion of the show.

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"Feel free to flame me. I don't like Legends of Korra or Gravity, either."

Re: Anime Recommendations

Naturally, to watch it correctly, you have to see the episodes out of order. The producers deliberately screwed up the running order when it first aired on TV, so the viewer who hadn't read the books would be confused about continuity. As with the time loop, fucking with the audience was their goal. The books are available in English, I believe.

I write stories! With words!
http://www.asstr.org/~Invid_Fan/

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Re: Anime Recommendations

Yeah. Plus, there's at least 3 different worlds in the series...  smile  Luckily, you can watch it all in order now.


I finished Akame Ga Kill today: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akame_ga_Kill!

Ignore the promo art, it looks like most anime. The brilliant part, though, is that the plot follows two groups of assassins; one for the kingdom and one against. And, it's a kind of anti-Dragonball Z. Meaning, expect everyone to die and no one ever comes back. The fights are fun and interesting and the ending was not standard.

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"Feel free to flame me. I don't like Legends of Korra or Gravity, either."

Re: Anime Recommendations

From the New World (新世界より Shin Sekai Yori): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_the_New_World_(novel)
A story set in a future distopian town of psychics. The first half is children going to school and investigating. the second half is one piece of the distopia going out of control. The story really gives you a chance to get emotionally involved. There are lots of things I liked about the show but shouldn't you watch it just for the FUTURE DISTOPIA? (I am working really hard to avoid spoilers)

Sword Art Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_Art_Online
In the first series, 1000 beta testers are trapped in a VR game and told they cannot leave until they beat all 100 levels. If they die in the game, their game system will kill them. The story is often tense while the characters are a bit thin. It does, however, introduce a few interesting ideas (level 22) and has a good twist mid-series and at the climax.  The second series continues with a fairly light gun-based story arc and finishes with 'Mother's Rosario', a plot involving non-gaming uses of the VR technology. [Log Horizon has a similar premise but SAO seems focused on the main characters' romantic relationship and the PTSD/long-term effects  of the initial event. SAO= Fighting, Romance, Emotional scars; LH= Talking, Politics, Changing the Game World]

Last edited by Jp12x (2015-01-23 23:11:24)

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"Feel free to flame me. I don't like Legends of Korra or Gravity, either."

Re: Anime Recommendations

Space Battleship Yamato 2199http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Batt … amato_2199
If, like me, you grew up with Star Blazers, Space Battleship Yamato 2199 will be hugely nostalgic. Star Blazers was the US adaptation of the classic Japanese series.
2199 is a loving retelling of the first season of the anime: There are new characters; the more childish humor has been removed; the enemy motivation and politics is more fleshed out; I think it is just plain better. There is also about 40 years of nerd arguing behind the changes. For example, the original Yamoto was found. And it was busted to sh!t. So, 2199 uses the ship design but the new Yamoto was not built from the wreck of the original.
Just check out the intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEC8bnqux44

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"Feel free to flame me. I don't like Legends of Korra or Gravity, either."

Re: Anime Recommendations

I realized I haven't stated this: I watch anime with subtitles. Most dubbing ruins a series for me. I tried the dub for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and it genuinely pissed me off that the characters seemed so different. Moreover, the dubbed lines are different than the subtitles and can impact your understanding of what is going on. I always recommend hearing the voices originally cast for a show.



Gintama: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gin_Tama
It's the late Edo period in Japan and aliens show up. The samurai fight and lose. Swords are outlawed. Alien technology spreads across Japan. 20 years later, one of the surviving samurai starts a handyman agency.

The setting mixes classic samurai elements with utterly modern technology and magic and aliens. It is both ridiculously humorous and, in story arcs, serious. To quote Wikipedia: "Although the series' story is commonly episodic, there are also a few story arcs which are developed through several chapters." So you sometimes get a multi-episode arc about a gang feud taking over the town and you sometimes get a single episode about eating dinner, or working at a sushi restaurant, or about working as a barber the day the undercover shogun sees how the common people get their hair cut.

The worst episodes of this series are entertaining. The best have me laughing out loud. With over 200 episodes and a new season starting in a couple months, you won't get bored anytime soon.

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"Feel free to flame me. I don't like Legends of Korra or Gravity, either."

Re: Anime Recommendations

Jp12x wrote:

I realized I haven't stated this: I watch anime with subtitles. Most dubbing ruins a series for me. I tried the dub for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and it genuinely pissed me off that the characters seemed so different. Moreover, the dubbed lines are different than the subtitles and can impact your understanding of what is going on. I always recommend hearing the voices originally cast for a show.

My hate of dubs died decades ago. I enjoyed the dub of Melancholy of HS. If nothing else, subtitles ruin the the timing of most jokes. Good vocal directors will rework things in the dub so the humor is still there. The gold standard for this is the original El Hazard. I watched it subtitled and didn't care for it, watched the dub and fell in love. Given both the English and Japanese vocal tracks are created after the animation is done, I treat both as adaptations and enjoy each for what they are.

Also, never assume subtitles are accurate.

I write stories! With words!
http://www.asstr.org/~Invid_Fan/

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Re: Anime Recommendations

So, less a recommendation, than the appropriate place to reivew this (however, ups to the SAO rec up there).

https://img7-us.anidb.net/pics/anime/154980.jpg https://myanimelist.cdn-dena.com/images/anime/8/26197l.jpg

I finished the short series éX-Driver last night, a while after having read an article on Jalopnik about how it handles the autonomous-car future. In short, a crew of people driving ancient gasoline-powered cars are an emergency response team for when an autonomous vehicles goes "runaway". (They use "gasoline" as the distinction, rather than manually-driven, because electric cars weren't around in any viable fashion when this series came out in 2002.)

The makeup of the cast isn't that adventurous; the three main characters are two high school girls, one demure and shy (Lorna) and the other one outspoken and brash (Lisa), and a kid who's so smart that he's moved up to their grade (Sōichi). School factors into just one episode as Lisa wrestles with whether to save the runaway van that's carrying a test she didn't study for.

éX-Driver is a six-episode series, annoyingly split up onto two DVDs that have the most hilariously bad menu design I've ever witnessed. Visually it looks fine but navigating it is awful. I might make a video review of the series and devote about 30 seconds to these menus. But the series is short, which makes for easy viewing. The first four episodes are all self-contained (while still happening in a specific order, their individual plotlines don't cross over), while the last two episodes form a concluding arc. You never find out why autonomous cars go runaway, which was annoying, but in such a short series they decided instead to focus on the characters, which I'll reluctantly admit was smart.

Episodes go predictably with the emphasis being on the car chases, which are a delight. Cars don't always move realistically - instead feeling a bit like playing with Matchbox cars as a kid, you emphasize cool movements over realism - but it's well choreographed and conveyed.

In short - find the DVDs on Amazon used for nice and cheap and enjoy it. It doesn't break new ground but it's entertaining, and its short length is refreshing as I work my way through some series with a hundred episodes.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: Anime Recommendations

You know what, man? Fuck it. I've seen a buttload of anime, but a lot of my favorites never get any love, even among anime nerds. These are in no particular order and are mostly gonna be films. I don't have much time for series, but I've seen a few worth watching:

1) Tekkon Kinkreet:

(HOLY SHIT this is the real trailer for this movie...  it's terrible. The crap music from the trailer isn't in the movie, and this does a fucking terrible job of making it look good... It's just a jumble of random shots with crappy text effects in between... Just wow...)

A multi-faceted look at how a bunch of different people from different backgrounds all fight each other for what they think their city is supposed to be. There's a lot of stuff going on and the film benefits from multiple viewings. There are some fantastic character beats and some really great imagery. It's a great look at the clash between those who want to return to the past, those who will gladly demolish the old to make way for the new, and those who would prefer if everything just stayed the same. I super-love this flick.

2) Grave Of The Fireflies:

This used to be my favorite film. Period. I then learned quite a bit more about the making of the film and the director's intentions, and I ended up losing a lot of respect for it, but having seen it again not too long ago, I just can't deny the greatness of this film. It is one of the most well-crafted films I've ever seen. Every single shot of this movie is doing something, and I'd say most of them are doing multiple things. The animation is fantastic, and the music is fucking amazing. If you want to see a master at the peak of his craft, watch this movie. The fact that the story is also one of the most emotionally draining things ever is just a bonus. This is one of the most well-made films of all time. I don't think that's an exaggeration.

3) Your Name:

I already gushed about this movie last year, but I've seen it like ten times now. I really seriously love this movie. It's got it's problems, but this was easily my favorite film of last year (and I'm not the only one...  GoodBadFlicks gave it his top spot on his annual list of favorite films, ahead of Three Billboards, Logan, Blade Runner...) Which isn't to say that it's as good as any of the other potential 'best of the year' films... It's not. It's got problems, but it captivated and engaged me more than anything else I saw last year. Don't read any reviews that might divulge too much of the plot before you see this. Just watch it, and keep watching it past ten or fifteen minutes, because I promise you the movie is doing a thing and is not nearly as goof-ball comedy as it starts.

4) Akira:

Yeah. Seriously. This movie is fucking fantastic, and if you want to watch an anime and you've never seen this, then fucking go watch it. It's like THE anime that is not only one of the high-water-marks of anime in terms of story, but I would argue that it is probably still the single most well-animated 2D film of all time. Possibly the single most ambitious film of all time in just about every way. The animation is second-to-none, the story is vast and sprawling while still having time for intimate scenes, it thematically tackles some of the most daunting and complicated existential questions you can try to put into a film, the soundtrack is brilliant, it took like 6 years to make, was the most expensive film in japanese history up to that point, etc. The word 'epic' is overused a lot, but that's what this film is, in every way.

5) Perfect Blue:

Really interesting film about obsession and identity. It's Satoshi Kon, so expect to be confused at times, as he had a very interesting style of filmmaking that allowed him to do some really amazing scene transitions and play about with time and editing in such a way that you kinda don't notice sometimes that you're actually in a new scene. If you like to study editing, check it out (or Millenium Actress, which has even more amazing editing and is possible his best film...  I just kinda prefer Perfect Blue as a movie to watch...)

6) Now And Then, Here And There:

The only series on the list for now. It runs at (If I recall) 12 episodes of about 30 minutes each. The first couple of episodes are essentially set up to make you let your guard down for the most fucking brutal coming-of-age story you may ever see. The general story is that a young boy befriends a mysterious girl he kinda has the hots for after having met her for like 5 minutes, and then they both get kidnapped into an alternate dimension where the world is a desert wasteland. It sounds goofy, but man... this was one of those anime I watched where afterward most other anime shows just felt so shallow and dumb. There is definitely some rough patches in this series, but overall I feel that it's criminally underrated, even among anime fans. I hardly meet anyone who has even heard of it, but it's so worth a watch if you like anime that goes to some dark places. It's not overly graphic or anything, it's just... dark... and explores a lot of stuff that you generally wouldn't see getting explored in a show where the main character is like 12 or 13.

7) Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade

I'm honestly not sure if I 'get' this movie, but the main characters are really well fleshed out and the plot is engaging as all hell. It can feel a bit sluggish at times, but there's a great, weird mystery going on in the movie. It's like it keeps making you question what the hell is happening, what's the motivations behind the characters...  It feels really well-written in that sense. There are - obviously, if you've seen that trailer - a lot of allusions to the story of Little Red Riding Hood, and I'm not sure if I'm on the same page as the filmmakers. But the visuals are quite gritty and ...  i dunno...  kinda grungy feeling, and the tone of the film is bleak as fuck. If you can get past that, there's an interesting romance going on and there are all kinds of weird cloak & dagger shenanigans going on.


NOTE FOR ALL OF THESE MOVIES:

Please watch them subbed. Dubs are awful in general, but anime dubs are especially heinous most of the time. There are few anime dubs I've ever heard that weren't cringe-inducing or just horribly acted. Of these, I would say that the dub of Tekkon Kinkreet and Jin Roh are easily the worst, and those should absolutely not be seen dubbed. Watch them subbed.

Perfect Blue is actually one of the better dubs I've ever heard. Not as good as the subbed version, but not horrible. Kinda flat, but not bad.

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Re: Anime Recommendations

Thanks for writing this.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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