Mature / Intelligent Anime

I’ve been searching for a while for some good anime. Specifically, I’m interested in the few anime that are meant for the older folks to appreciate. Something artistic and interesting, though not so fantastic and silly as to be only appreciable by kids. The few anime I’ve enjoyed so far include (in no particular order):

Shigurui Death Frenzy
Cowboy Bebop

That’s all I can really recall, unfortunately. I’ve tried searching for recommendations in anime specific forums, but upon following their recommendations I often find my self disappointed. I’m hoping that some of you Dopers can help.

I’m watching Full Metal Alchemist and it is pretty mature.

Ghost in the Shell. There are two movies, Ghost in the Shell and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, and then a weekly series, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and SAC 2nd Gig. The SAC series are the same characters, but as though the movies didn’t happen.

I’ve seen tid bits on Adult Swim in the past. Seemed pretty cool, i might give it a chance.

I watched a few episodes of the series, though not from the beginning. Unfortunately, I felt a little underwhelmed. I’m guessing the movies are a little higher in quality?

I’d also like to mention that I forgot to mention the film Grave of the Fireflies. It was probably the best anime movie I’ve ever seen.

A lot of anime is like, I might sit through it once, but I would never inflict it on anyone else. With a few exceptions:

The works of Satoshi Kon are really well done. My favorite of his is Millennium Actress. These are fully realized films and don’t have any lame anime silliness in them.

If you liked Cowboy Bebop (and who doesn’t?) then consider watching Samurai Champloo, from the same director, Shinichiro Watanabe.

I would recommend Kon and Watanabe to anyone without embarassment :slight_smile: Miyazaki is alright, too.

If you enjoy watching interminable board room scenes, interrupted by some really great music and action, watch Ghost in the Shell, Stand Alone Complex, and 2nd Gig.
Another show that falls into the never ending talking head stuff is the first season of Gunslinger Girls. You could fast foward through like 1/3 of some episode and not miss a thing. Those staff meeting scenes must be really cheap to animate!

I really liked Noir, at least the first time I sat through it. Excellent music (I try to watch anything scored by Yuki Kajiura) and fight choreography, but it relies a little too heavily on reused footage flashbacks. The first episode has a flashback! The second has a flashback to a scene that just happened a minute earlier! What the heck?

Planetes is some very nice hard sci-fi about orbittal garbage collectors. It’s better than it sounds. Sadly netflix doesn’t have disc 4 so I couldn’t tell you how it ends, or if it gets stupid :slight_smile:

Hope this helps!

I liked Baccano! which is a prohibition-era mafia and supernatural thing. Wolf’s Rain was nice, with really pretty music, about wolves who can take on human forms and are searching for a place to live in a world that’s been taken over by humans. Paradise Kiss was an interesting look at Japanese fashion students, and Red Garden, about girls who are forced to become super-killers, for some reason takes place in my NYC neighborhood.

For a good movie try Tekkaman Blade II (I don’t actually know if they ever made a one) it’s episodic in it’s presentation but it all goes together like a giant three hour movie. It’s your standard “people fighting in mechs” anime but the characters are pretty good and the story is very compelling.

I also think Gundam Wing isn’t too kid based. It gives a lot of insight over the various viewpoints of war.

I’ve investigated everything that you’ve mentioned, and they all look really good. I’ve already seen Samurai Champloo, I loved it’s style, and the fact that the dub had the same guy from Cowboy Bebop - plot was ok, fight scenes were fun.

Anyway thanks for these titles!

Another for Ghost in the Shell, especially if you’re getting into one of the arcs involving heavy political conspiracy, and moody ruminations on the nature of humanity in a world where technology is rapidly blurring the lines between the mechanical and organic, and outstripping the ability of the human mind to comprehend. And then something like this happens, and you notice you’ve started bleeding from the ears. :eek: :cool:

Also, Black Lagoon—about mercenaries/pirates in Southeast Asia. A bit over the top, but it’s ultimately grounded in reality. A grim, violent one where life is a cheap joke.

And, along with everyone else, anything by Satoshi Kon. Really, go find something of his right now. I said now. Start with Tokyo Godfathers.

I liked “Perfect Blue” from Satoshi Kon. It’s kind of an Alfred Hitchcock anime.

As far as series go, you might like “Musi-Shi”. It’s quite laid back and nature-y. About a guy who travels around helping people with their problems which always involve Mushi, supernatural beings that take many forms and only he can usually see. It’s an anthology so each story stands on its own with its own set of characters.

I don’t know if this fits your criteria but I absolutely loved “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.” It would require you to watch the first season and the first episode of the second season of “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” to understand it, but I enjoyed those also.

A very current one I’ve enjoyed very much is Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It’s a…unique take on the magical girl genre, and it is so very not for children.

It’s a very recent anime, so episodes may be hard to come by, but they can be found online.

Moribito. It’s on Netflix instant watch. A warrior is charged to protect a young prince from assassination by his father. It is visually beautiful, culturally nuanced, and certainly mature. It’s not frenetic like many anime, and has a slower pace, but that pace brings out an incredible richness in every moment. One of the things that most impresses me is what it can do with silence. I’ve never seen silence so artfully used.

Seconded Fullmetal Alchemist. It is amazing from start to finish. Even though the focus is on children, it is definitely not for children.

I’m not quite sure if Serial Experiment Lain fits in that definition. It’s certainly “intelligent” and not for kids on account of simply how complex and messed up it is.

Rurouni Kenshin has its ups and downs. The series itself is a run of the mill, light hearted shonen young adult show (hero meets villain, hero fights villain, villain becomes ally of hero, heroes go on to fight bigger villain). Think Dragonball with samurai swords instead of fireballs. It’s not a bad one at that, but it’s nothing special either.
The prequel OAV however is quasi flawless (and not the same tone as the series at all). If you’re into bloody tragedies with amazing musical scores, don’t miss it.

From the same director, I also really liked Paprika. If Perfect Blue was Hitchkock, *Paprika *is David Lynch, in the “What the hell just happened ?!” sense of the name. Lots of layers and symbolism - though some might be lost to people not familiar with Japanese culture and icons.

Another for Ghost in the Shell. I’ll throw Macross Zero in there as well. Macross in general can be rather childish, but Zero certainly brings a darker, mature and more grounded approach to the series.

Definitely give Death Note a try.

Darker than Black.

Serial Experiments Lain is pretty dark, and I personally find it so intelligent as to sometimes be opaque. Granted, I haven’t seen it in ages, and it may differ from what I remember.

I also will again recommend Trigun. It’s a Space Western that starts as a comedy, and you might find silly, but gets really deep and dark starting about halfway through. And, even early on, it keeps you guessing, as the Dark elements are there, hidden.

I guess I could go on a trifecta and also recommend Digimon’s third season again, but, while more adult that any of the others, it’s still probably too kiddy for what you want.

I’ve said this in just about every anime thread I’ve ever been in, and I will say it again: Monster. It’s about a surgeon chasing a serial killer (the full synopsis is much more complicated than that, but it would take too long to explain and really, the less you know going into it, the better), and it is most definitely intelligent and mature. The writing is great, the characters are fantastic, and the story is fascinating and at times deeply disturbing.

Ooh, I forgot about Monster. Yes, that was good. “Boku o mite. Boku o mite. Boku no naka no kaibutsu wa konnani ookiku natta!” (“Look at me. Look at me. The monster inside me has grown THIS big!”) That kid was terrifying.