Non-"humorous" anime geared towards teens and adults?

I got .hack//sign for Christmas, a series I found wonderful, and it reminded me of how few anime anything I’ve ever enjoyed. Watching the pilots of Black Butler and Bleach, which I did not enjoy, I think I’ve finally figured it out:

What people who write anime find funny, and what I find funny do not overlap. At all. (well, except Tokyo Godfathers - that was actually funny)

So, can you recommend any anime meant for older viewers that isn’t supposed to have any “funny” scenes in the series? Especially childishly funny, anyway: I want to watch something with no zinging noises to indicate humor is happening, no lightening outlined characters jumping up in a humorous open mouth startle etc.

Big plus if the recommendation is on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime, but I’ll try to check out things that aren’t if I can.

Thank you :slight_smile:

I’m afraid I’d need a little more information, as “anime,” even “non humorous anime” is a bit of a wide field—do you want more “drama” or “action and gore”? Series’, or movies, or either?

Cowboy Bebop
Key: The Metal Idol
The Hakkenden
Katanagatari
Berserk
Now and Then, Here and There
Vampire Miyu (TV)
Death Note
Orguss 002
The Big O
Noragami
Revolutionary Girl: Utena
Spice and Wolf

I don’t really care about the genre. And I’d prefer series, not movies.

Well, it’s a movie, not a series, but my personal favorite is Wings of Honneamise. It’s about a world taking their first fledgling steps into space.

Well, in that case (including miniseries’)…

Genocyber
Black Jack (1992)
Hellsing
Gyo
Emma: A Victorian Romance

But I can really personally recommend…

Attack On Titan
Black Lagoon
Paranoia Agent
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Planetes

And a “second” Sage Rat’s suggestions, especially Bebop, Death Note and Big O.

Both have been mentioned above but I just want to say that if you just watch two series, make them Cowboy Bebop and Paranoia Agent. These two have seemed to me to be absolutely the best of the “serious” anime I’ve seen–and great TV in their own right.

There’s damn few animes with no attempts at humor. Sort of like action movies with no one-liners.

Cowboy Bebop is great, but has plenty of humorous scenes.

Just entering its second season is **Gate **- JSDF counter-invades a fantasy-world Roman empire.

Of course, since you were that fond of .hack//Sign, you may also want to watch:
.hack//Beyond the World
.hack//G.U. Returner
.hack//G.U. Trilogy
.hack//Legend of the Twilight
.hack//Liminality
.hack//Quantum
.hack//Roots
.hack//Versus - The Thanatos Report

Yeah - don’t ask me what order those are supposed to be in.

I largely agree with the OP about anime and Japanese humor in general. I do not care for extremely overwrought reaction shots and nonsensical wackiness, which is about 95% of what passes for humor. I try to be a positive person, but I could criticize and complain about Japanese humor for hours.

As others have mentioned, Cowboy Bebop is great. The creators clearly drew a lot of their inspiration from more Western sources and so it largely escapes the cliches and tropes that drag down a lot of anime. Things like jazz, film noir, blaxsploitation, and Alien are pretty heavily referenced and drawn from. There’s a wacky comic relief character, but she’s mostly bearable. It’s pretty much the only anime series I would recommend even to people who don’t like anime.

Death Note was also legitimately good and very light on attempted humor. I’m more critical of it than many others, but it’s pretty worthwhile overall.

Full Metal Alchemist was also rather good as I recall. The early parts were pretty anime-y, and probably would turn off the OP, but once it got rolling and the plot got darker it mostly eschewed the wacky humor. It’s been quite awhile since I watched it, though, so younger me might have been more forgiving of its faults than present me would be.

Is it, or is that just the portion of the humor that survives translation? Maybe there are a bunch of subtle jokes there too, that are just lost on foreigners. General nonsensical wackiness, though, is pretty universal, so we still catch that.

Attack on Titan is certainly not humorous.

Cowboy Bebop has some humor in it. Frankly it would have been terrible without all of Ed’s hi jinks.
The Big O has a kind of subversive low key humor.
It’s my theory that Death Note is actually a black humor comedy.
Revolutionary Girl: Utena: Some of the filler episodes maybe some of the most hilarious shows I’ve ever watched.

I’ll echo Attack on Titan as the first thing I thought of (partly because it’s on NetFlix streaming and partly because I’ve convinced a friend to come watch it as a marathon this weekend).

One that hasn’t been mentioned: Neon Genesis Evangelion is the least funny thing you will ever see, overall. As with almost all anime (really, almost all media of any sort) there are some moments intended to be funny, but if you don’t pick up on the creator’s clinical depression, you weren’t watching.

To me, Cowboy Bebop is largely comedy, but there’s also some very serious undercurrents.

Some others that haven’t been mentioned:
Blue Gender.
Bubblegum Crisis, but even more so the spin-off episodes AD Police.
Patlabor
Appleseed

Since it hasn’t been mentioned yet, I’m recommending Monster.

I’ll nominate Grave of the Fireflies. I haven’t seen it, but from the plot description it looks very much like it’s meant for older viewers, and probably has little or no funny content.

You haven’t seen Now and Then, Here and There.

Technically, I think that Patlabor is mostly comedy. But I would agree that it’s probably not the stereotypical Japanese humor that’s liable to set off the OP. Still, the OP might want to rent before he buys.

I recommend Last Exile, Mushi Shi, and Vision of Escaflowne, none of which are humorous, though they also lack the almost hilarious grimness of Attack on Titan.

Another with little humor in it: Blood +. It’s 50 episodes of weirdness, but it does avoid the zinging noises and ‘startled’ faces.

I nominate Hellsing and Claymore.

Walk… No, run to the closest place where you could find it and do yourself a favor by watching PLANETES.

26 episodes of the hardest sci-fi ever put in anime form. There are a couple of humorous moments but the whole story is uplifting and magnificently told.

Check it out. Now. You can thank me later.