A not-particularly-new-anymore form of crack, also known as a unique and (potentially) beautiful style of Japanese animation. AnimE
can also refer to any of the numerous TV series that use this style of animation. AnimE
series tend (I stress the word TEND) to emphasize plot and / or style more than American cartoon series, which tended to fall into the Saturday-morning cartoon style during the 90s.
Here are some AnimE series (I don't guarantee their quality). Feel free to add those you have seen.
- In a world seperated by the four schools of 'bending' (elemental manipulation through martial arts-based choreography), the Fire, Water, Earth, and Air nations face a war that can only be stopped by the fabled Avatar, who can use all four elements. Thing is, he's missing, and the Fire nation's in the process of kicking everyone else's ass. Sound interesting? Add some really cynical humor, and it's suprisingly well-suited for a variety of age ranges. I think it's best described as a combination of Wheel of Time and Firefly. Is it an anime? It certainly matches the style, but this is one of the first original American anime series, and it's actually pretty good! Throw in the fact that it's made by Nickelodeon, who hasn't made a decent show in quite a while, and it's a suprisingly fun series.
- By the way, after seeing this: I have no idea how it could possibly be considered a cross of Wheel of Time and Firefly. I mean, I guess..both have characters, and Avatar does too...
- It is because of the flying bison that has a prominent role in Firefly. Obviously.
Banner of the Stars / Crest of the Stars
- A futuristic space opera, this show centers around an Abh captain and non-Abh prince Jinto Linn. Despite the exaggerated, flashy space battles and shallow romantic plot, I'm still watching this series for the well-depicted setting. I guess I'll post a more complete verdict once I've finished enough of the series to come to a conclusion.
- Fairly Shonen anime about Soul Reapers, who attempt to preserve the balance in dead souls. Somewhat of a have-big-sword-will-slash anime, but the overall storyline tends to be entertaining, and the characters are quite excellent (similar to NaruTo in that regard). The filler is more painful than NaruTo, if only for..well...this deserves its own indent
- In Fall 2009, the past 2 years of episodes consisted of one main-plot fight (not yet resolved) and filler arcs. You have been warned.
- Dear god, yes. Don't watch this show. It was entertaining for a while, but if even I stop watching a series..
- To elaborate somewhat on the filler comments: NaruTo filler is painful because the (enjoyable) plot is being delayed for random stuff, even though the show is pretending that the filler is plot-relevant. Bleach filler does not make this effort. The last couple filler arcs have been "We interrupt this plot for a filler arc. We will not act like it makes any sense in the continuity of the series." While it's understandable that the animators have to do this (there have been no actual breaks in the action between Fall 2007 in the anime and early 2010 in the manga), it's rather jarring and makes the filler really feel like a waste of time. Plus the plot hasn't progressed a hell of a lot either.
- If you've thought you've seen series that were on crack before, they're nothing compared to this.
- Futuristic sci-fi about a bunch of bounty hunters who for some reason never seem to get the hit just right. Not to mention exploring in an episodic way several different issues of society and the main characters' mysterious pasts that seem to keep coming up right when they want it least. The music is often considered one of the best parts of the show.
- Soundtrack=awesome, seconded. Probably the most visible work of YokoKanno.
- Also seems to be one of the most universally appreciated anime series, especially around campus.
- Extremely engaging anime about a boy who finds a Death Note, which gives him the power to kill anyone given a name and a face. The boy then uses it to try to create a new, just world free of crime. It mostly centers on the cat and mouse game between Kira and the brilliant detective L, who tries to capture him. The first 22-something episodes are amazing, although I found the series bogged down a bit from that point until just before the end (although the ending was worth it). There are many times you might say, "Wait, shouldn't the series be over now?" 37 episodes in length.
- May cause addiction to apples.
- The manga does a better job filling out the latter part of the series, incidentally.
- God help us.
- God cannot help you, for he has a power level of a mere five billion, while I have raised mine up to fifty trillion! And I will show you my true power, as long as you don't mind waiting a week while I stand in one place, yell, and glow pretty colors!
- What, fifty trillion? That can't possibly be right!
- Based mainly around the premise that certain people have special super powers, but then are compelled to perform a remuneration (ranging from annoying to painful) immediately afterwards. The product placement gets annoying if you're marathoning it, but the plot is pretty cool and, more importantly, the show is cool-looking.
- Sequel to DTB. Takes place after the events of the final episode, and features a new main character contractor (she has the power to create a big-ass sniper rifle!) who joins Hei (who needs to stop drinking alcohol :(). Still pretty awesome. Short (only 12 episodes).
- Kind of hard to describe. Somewhat of a coming of age story about a boy named Renton and his relationship with Eureka, the pilot of the Nirvash for a group of rebels who call themselves Gekko State. Story expands a lot from there, but much more would be spoilerific.
- Probably the most popular series on campus. Two brothers teach themselves alchemy from an early age, but are then cursed (in a physical, not magical, sense) when they try to revive their dead mother. Follows their adventures in working as State Alchemists and their pursuit of the Philosopher's Stone, the ultimate (albeit not very imaginative) source of power for alchemists. Revolves around the philosophical statement, Principle of Equivalent Trade (You must present something of equal value to gain something). A decent series, but I stopped watching after episode 36 or so. Has now been syndicated in the U.S., though I'm not sure when / where it shows. Available on the network in a number of locations.
- Absolutely my favorite series. Very painful emotionally at times, but absolutely worth watching, even as sort of an introduction to anime.
- As of 2009, is being remade, this time to follow the manga more closely (the original diverges significantly about halfway through). I enjoyed the first episode, but won't have anything more substantial to say until there's a bit more to go on; however, recent (and not-so-recent) chapters of the manga have been sufficiently awesome that I have high hopes.
- The aforementioned reboot of the series. It moves at a much quicker pace (it covers the ground the previous series covered in 25 episodes in about 11 episodes, albeit at a lower quality as a tradeoff). Improved greatly once it got into new stuff. Is closely following the manga and is 64 episodes long in total. If you aren't familiar with the manga story, definitely check this out.
- A teenager who has spent his youth training to be an elite military commando / mech operator is sent to guard a 'Whispered', a young schoolgirl who is able to quickly understand and control various machines and other devices. He tries to adopt to her culture as a teenage classmate, while she comes to terms with outside threats to her life. Chaos and / hilarity ensues (depending on the season). I found it amusing at first, but it wore out before long. Someone else want to post a more complete review?
- I found that the first season was the weakest of the three, which isn't saying that much, since I liked them all a lot. A lot of the plot in the first season was weaker than the plot later on (mostly in that there's much more character development in the last season). The series is split into three seasons. The first season mostly combine plot and lols, whereas the second season (Fumoffu) has very little actual plot but is really funny, while the third season focuses more on the plot (but is still really funny). Unlike previous poster, I found it stayed fresh the whole way through.
- It's probably worth noting that much of the plot and character development that gets started in the last season is continued in the light novels that haven't been animated (fan translations exist on the Internet, although the quality isn't always the greatest). Sadly, much of the humor goes away, but I found it quite worthwhile to find out where everything that got introduced in the anime was going. And with any luck they'll be animated at some point.
- Fan translations of some of the short stories that keep the humor going can also be found.
GhostInTheShell: StandaloneComplex, SecondGIG
- First, there was the manga (basically, Japanese comic book). Then it was made into a movie, one of the original films that started the anime craze in the U.S. (or so I'm told; I never saw it until years later). The AnimE series (the first season of which is known as StandaloneComplex, the second as SecondGIG) is still being released. An excellent, though bloody, series whose claim to fame is its unique philosophical approach to plot, though there's some great action sequences - and some great music - too. You should probably see the original movie (by the same name) first. For a more detailed description of the setting and plot, refer to the GhostInTheShell wiki-page.
- Starts out with a cool battle between weird monsters and some badass dude. Make you think it's gonna be some insane mass slaughtering kill the monsters sci-fi horror show. Well, you're wrong. It's actually about two best friends as they enter a mafia organization called Millenion and how their two different ideals on family, loyalty, and freedom push them apart and yet makes them the best of friends. Oh, and then killer battle scenes in the last couple of episodes. With lots of monsters.
HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi? / HigurashiNoNakuKoroNiKai? / HigurashiNoNakuKoroNiRei?
- Really awesome series about a really fucked up town (Hinamizawa) that seems to have history repeat in a loop. The series focuses on a group of kids and the ways each time through the cycle is similar and different as we begin to uncover more and more about Hinamizawa. Any more detail would probably be incredibly spoilerish. Kind of a combination of mystery/suspense/horror genres, although the horror part really isn't that scary.
- The horror part really isn't that scary, compared to an impending nuclear winter, but is definitely scarier than most Hitchcock movies or The Shining.
- Quick note: in the Spring of 2009 they released a 5 episode OVA called Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Rei, which had two comical episodes and three serious episodes, which had a short arc. It didn't really advance the story, but was still fairly interesting to watch.
- Except for speculation related to Umineko (see below). Wheee!
- A less-than-serious series about a kid who encounters a millenia-old ghost of a court go-player ('go' as in the Japanese board game). The boy (and the viewer) are instructed in the rules, tradition, and culture of go. While lighthearted (the ghost, Sai, provides much of the entertainment), there's a couple of pretty dramatic matches. Episodes conclude with a small anime-instruction series called GoGoIgo?, which will give you the basic rules and, eventually, advice for learning more. Not as good as LastExile or the GhostInTheShell series, but nonetheless a painless way to learn go.
- A very deep series about life, growing up, and the masks people wear. It still finds time for a lot of silly in the middle of the profundity, however, and blends it together very well. Done by the same person who did NeonGenesisEvangelion, but without the insanity. Notable for having an entire episode done in paper cutouts, which is almost indescribably cool to watch.
- A beautiful, but short (26 episodes) series set in a fantasy industrial-age world where battles take place on giant frigates that float majestically above the clouds. Smaller craft, called vanships, are used for postal and reconnaissance. Society is very Victorian, with emphasis on class differences and honorable, Guild-moderated battles. A young pair of vanship couriers / racers find themselves in the middle of schemes of politics, war, and destiny. Probably my favorite series, particularly because it tries very hard - and succeeds - to avoid falling into typical AnimE cliches.
- 26 episodes is a standard season of anime
- Perhaps I should clarify: it's only one season. I would have loved it if they would have taken more time with the second half and maybe extended it to a second season. (26 episodes is a standard season for pretty much everything.)
- Immelman Tuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrnrrnnnn!!!
- It's about ninjas. What more could you want? Except maybe if it also had pirates. Had about a year or so of fillers, and is now back on track with the manga storyline, albeit dragging its feet so it doesn't catch up and have to do fillers again.
- There are more fillers in Shippuuden. Skip episodes 57-70, 91-111, and 144-??? if you don't care about them. They are moderately entertaining but nowhere near as good as the actual plot. (This count should be updated but right now I'm too annoyed at the filler to do so.)
- It's about pirates. What more could you want? Except maybe if it also had ninjas. Oh, and the pirates have super powers. And BandAids? heal everything. And I mean EVERYTHING.
- This series is rated E for Emo.
ReadOrDie? (along with the TV series)
- It's about a substitute teacher with telekinetic control over paper who, as part of the British Royal Library, fights to save the world. It gets more ridiculously awesome as it goes along, but describing exactly what happens would be spoilery. Has a rather an intricate plot.
- The above is a good description of the OVA; the TV series focuses on three sisters who have similar telekinetic control over paper as they are hired as bodyguards to defend a popular author. The characters from the OVA certainly tie in heavily, but not until the latter half of the series.
Romeo x Juliet
- Somewhat similar to what you'd expect, though not nearly as much so as you'd expect. The setting is quite different from the play, and while there are Montagues and Capulets who are feuding and Romeo and Juliet fall in love, just about everything is different from the play except the names of characters. From the same studio that did Last Exile, so the animation is predictably beautiful. Is just really well done in general.
- I watched two episodes of the anime series and gave it up as pointlessly slapstick and childish. On the other hand, the OVA - a four-part prequel series kind of thing - is incredibly beautiful and well-done. About a total of 2 hours in length, you can treat it as one movie from start to finish and watch the whole thing in one evening. Very, very gory. But one of the best movies / AnimE I've seen. - BrianKirkpatrick
- In my opinion, you didn't watch enough of the anime then. It does have some silliness in it, but it also deals with some rather deep issues, and manages to mix plot with humor sucessfully. And I agree that the OAV is very good.
- Agreed. The first 20-30 eps are about two-thirds silly with one-third everything else, including badassness. Around 30ish the Kyoto Arc begins (which goes through early 60s), which is about 90% total complete awesomeness. Some patience may be required, but it's extremely worth it.
- After finishing the series, I'm going to have to hold on to my original evaluation. Even with the Kyoto arc, there was only one episode I enjoyed. ("A Killer Without Mercy"). Everything else was repetitive, either a variation on "Kenshin, save Japan!" or "Kenshin, don't return to your Super Duper 1337 Assassin Mode!". What little badass-ness existed was the only reason I finished the series. It's attitude towards mixing plot and humor is very similar to American saturday-morning-style cartoons, which is exactly what I watch anime to get away from.
- Good, but kind of on crack. (Just saw the "Japan is for man-love!" episode). By the same people who did CowboyBebop. A rogue swordsman, a stoic ronin, and a ditzy girl go on a journey in search of the samurai who smells like sunflowers. Set in Edo-era Japan, but with strong influence from hip-hop culture.
- Shown by AniMotion spring semester, 2006
- A rather entertaining series mixing a serious fantastic adventure with magic and swords and all that fun stuff with a rather silly set of adventurers who are more concerned with their next meal than saving the world.
- A series set in a completely different world where all humans live underground and focuses upon a group of people who emerge, and the conflict that ensues between those people and the inhabitants of the surface. It appears to be nothing more than the typical gundam anime at first but really evolves into something spectacular and far better. Definitely one of my favorites.
- Tone-wise, it's the exact opposite of NGE.
- Futuristic western. If you can get past the first couple of slap-stick silly episodes, it opens up into one of the most serious classic Animes out there.
UminekoNoNakuKoroNi? / UminekoNoNakuKoroNiChiru?
- The successor to Higurashi. This story centers on (and by centers on, I mean the initial premise you are given :x) eighteen family members trying to solve a riddle on an epitaph in order to claim their family's treasure before, well, let's say "time expires". Plenty of gruesome murders only complicate issues. There's much less of a horror element in Umineko, although the murders are more gruesome and much more frequent. It has been confirmed for there to be a second season named Umineko No Naku Koro Ni Chiru for the last four arcs, much like Higurashi.
- While I enjoyed the anime, it's worth noting that the VisualNovel? that it's based on contains a lot more details, especially in the fourth arc. Highly recommended if you're trying to seriously solve the mystery.
Hauru no Ugoku Shiro (aka Howl's Moving Castle)
- A HayaoMiyazaki? movie about an unconfident girl living in a sort of colonial-industrial world integrated with magic as a war develops between two of the nations. She is cursed and transforms into an old woman, and becomes the cleaning lady for a wizard named Howl and tries to break her curse at the same time as the curse on Howl and his fire demon.
- Speaking of Batman and HayaoMiyazaki? movies, in the english dub Christian Bale is the voice of Howl.
- Loosely, loosely based on a novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones. Most people say that the book is better, but the movie is still really good.
Kaze no tani no Naushika (aka Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind )
- One of HayaoMiyazaki?'s greatest works, Nausicaš tells the story of Earth 1000 years into the future when humanity has polluted the earth so much that it has driven itself into a dark age. Humanity has struggled for decades in a losing battle against nature as toxic forests consume the world. It is up to Princess Nausicaš to figure out the secrets of this world and restore the bond between humanity and nature before it is too late.
- Excellent movie, also includes commentary on the pointlessness of war between humans in a time of greater need.
Kurenai no buta (Porco Rosso)
- Yup, yet another HayaoMiyazaki?! One of his earlier films, strongly rooted in his fascination with flying machines. While not as heavily philosophical as his later works, it's flawlessly charming and well worth your time.
Laputa: Castle in the Sky
- Another HayaoMiyazaki? movie. In this one, a girl and a boy are trying to reach a city in the sky while being followed by pirates and government agents. The plot isn't actually as silly as the previous sentence makes it sound. One of the head guys at Pixar says that the opening sequence of this movie is the best opening sequence of any movie ever made.
- The English dub has Mark Hamill playing the villain, which makes for a very surreal experience. ("but I was going to the Tosche station to pick up some power converters!...and then kill you all!")
- This is nothing new. He was playing the Joker on the Batman animated series, and he was damn good at it, too.
- He was also the robot on Time Squad, but that was surreal too.
- Why not include all of HayaoMiyazaki?'s movies here?
Majo no TakkyŻbin (aka Kiki's Delivery Service)
- HayaoMiyazaki? film about an innocent and enthusiastic witch who leaves her family to spend a year honing her craft; it's a bildungsroman type of story of her adventures and delivery service (and her cat, who is awesome).
My Neighbor Totoro
- Yet another HayaoMiyazaki? film. Two sisters move with their father to a new house "near" the hospital where their mother stays and befriend a large, grey, fluffy forest spirit and his two miniature companions. Also has a very fuzzy CatBus which would be awesome to ride around in.
- w00t Totoro! The Totoro song gets stuck in your head very easily. "To-to-ro, to-tooooo-ro..."
- The most loveable fluff I have ever seen. The only fluffly movie I will ever watch.
- Also fun to watch when sick ("Meh...cat...bus?....zzzz...Right, yes, trees grow....zzzz...that's kind of cute....")
- A spectacular HayaoMiyazaki? film about the prince of an obscure peoples who gets cursed from an iron bullet and travels to discover the origins of demons and his curse. He find an ancient forest inhabited by animal gods and the Great Forest Spirit, and the conflict between nature, an iron mining city and its ambitious leader, a king who desires immortality, and a girl who was raised by the Wolf Gods.
- Script for the English dub written by NeilGaiman?
Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (aka Spirited Away)
- A girl and her parents encounter a resort area for spirits and are trapped unless the girl can survive working in the spa and breaking out of the identity trap. A random but exquisite film that is much better than that synopsis I just typed. Yes, it's a HayaoMiyazaki? film (they're really the only AnimE movies I watch, which is why I added almost all of them to the list. They're just that awesome.)
Add your favorite (or least favorite) AnimE here!