Recommend Me (A nOOb) Some Anime

I’ve never quite gotten the appeal of anime, but I have a couple of buds who are into it, stuff like Gun Busters (?), or Full Metal something or other, so now I’m ready to give it a try. Please recommend me (a relative n00b) some sweet anime to get me started. I’ve got their recommendations, now I’m ready for yours. Not really interested in predominantly hentai stuff though, thanks.

I’ve only got two recommendations off the top of my head for you;

You can’t go far wrong with the the movie that you could argue started the upswell in anime in the west, Akira.

& also find Ghost in the shell.

Both excellent Anime movies.

Full Metal Alchemist is a good series, assuming you like fantasy. Kinda steam-punky, and I like the characters. Watch a few epis and see if you don’t like it.
For movies, I just saw Howl’s Moving Castle. It was good, if kinda quirky.

Cowboy Bebop. You must watch Cowboy Bebop.


What kind of fiction do you like?

It’s really difficult to recommend something without that baseline.

I’m not going to recommend Dirty Pair to someone who doesn’t appreciate a hefty dose of female flesh, or Shin-Chan to someone who doesn’t dig vulgar (and fourth-wall breaking) humour. Don’t like extreme violence? Ninja Scroll isn’t for you. Like to understand the story without a road map? Avoid Evangelion.

I would recommend that you at least look into Cowboy Bebop, Noir, and FLCL.

I third the Cowboy Bebop suggestion. The music alone is reason to watch, or listen.

**Grave For Fireflies ** is one of the saddest, most beautiful films I’ve ever seen, anime or not. It’s about two children struggling to survive in Japan during WW2. Definitely worth a look.

Hie thee to Steven den Beste’s anime blog.

Another strong recommendation for Cowboy Bebop. This was the title that made me an anime fan but also spoiled me. There’s a huge amount of anime out there and such a huge amount of it is mediocre or just downright awful that it can be hard to find the good stuff without somebody pointing the way.

With that in mind, I recommend anything directed by either Hayao Miyazaki (esp. My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away), or Satoshi Kon (esp. Perfect Blue and Millenium Actress). Miyazaki’s films are filled with childlike wonder, gorgeous, surreal landscapes, stunning flying scenes and tales with mythological sweep.

Conversely, Kon’s films are often unsettling psychological studies with fractured and shifting viewpoints (Tokyo Godfathers being a notable exception). To this day, I think Perfect Blue is one of the most disturbing psychological thrillers I’ve ever seen.

If you really want to experiment, check out Serial Experiments: Lain, which is downright Lynchian in it’s cyberpunk surrealism.

Not the first time this has been said, but the traditional reccomendations for a newbie aren’t necessarily the best to suggest to someone who’s just getting into anime. GitS is a good candidate to bore a person to sleep the further into it you get (don’t get me wrong, I’m a complete fan-girl but I’ll be the first to admit it’s not for everyone). The series is more accessible for the average person IMHO, although it still has it’s slow points.

I have to ditto the Kon nomination, especially Millenium Actress. Along with Perfect Blue it’s likely to confuse you at the beginning, but both are great movies, and if you don’t like thrillers MA is more likely to be up your alley.

Beyond that, it really would help to know what kind of fiction you like. Anime is too broad to really be considered a single genre, and I’d hate to recommend a mind-fuck show to someone who likes magical girl, or a harem comedy to someone who likes mech action.

Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Vampire Hunter D and, since Cowboy Bebop has been mentioned, I suggest Trigun.

My GF has still not forgiven me for showing her that. She agreed it was a wonderful film, but it was the saddest, most depressing thing she had ever seen and would have liked to have finished her lifer never having seen it. I still recommend it though.

FLCL? To a newbie? Why?

Cowboy Bebop is good, as is its more madcap knockoff, Outlaw Star. I tend to go in for madcap humor, and I enjoyed the series Great Teacher Onizuka which is about a small-time gangster who sort of accidentally becomes a high school teacher. Hijinks ensue.

And speaking of knockoffs, if you’re a huge Firefly fan, after watching Cowboy Bebop you may find yourself retroactively annoyed at how much of it is obviously and unrepentantly ripped off from CB.

Another thing to know about certain anime – it is to some degree “expected” that you also read the parallel book-length graphic novels (“manga”); although theoretically both print and animation cover the same material, some anime is extremely inscrutable if you haven’t read the manga (Akira, I’m looking at you. I know there are fans, but standing on its own this movie makes absolutely no sense).

I came in here to mention Miyazaki. He’s an obvious choice, but for good reason: his work is accessible for those new to anime, yet still of amazing depth and quality.

How So? I mean specifically with regard to Akira?

I’ve never read Akira, but the movie made sense to me. I may have missed some finer points by the sound of it, but I quite happily followed the plot. (I think. You have me concerned now :confused: )

I was never a hardcore anime fan, and my tastes run more towards fantasy, but my favorite will always be Slayers. It’s a series focusing on a sorceress and her madcap adventures, where she ends up saving the world although she doesn’t particularly set out to do so. The storyline has enough twists to make it interesting but not so much that you end up needing several flowcharts just to figure out the relationships between all the characters (which happens a lot, I find, in fantasy anime).

Inuyasha and Bleach are a bit more fluffy than Slayers, I think (especially Inuyasha, which has quite a bit of romance in it as well) but might be a good place to start.

Escaflowne and Trigun are also two of my favorites. They have a more serious tone than the ones I’ve mentioned above, but nothing like Evangelion (which is not only depressing but confusing and disturbing to boot).

As someone that thinks that 99% of anime is horrible, retarded bullshit, I wholeheartedly recommend (and own):

the “Cowboy Bebop” series
“The place promised in our early days” and “voices of a distant star” (by the same director)
“Night on the galactic railroad”
the “FLCL” series (really pushes it at points with complete absurd inanity, but more than makes up for it with strangely touching and introspective moments)
“Vampire Hunter D” - a classic
“Millennium Actress,” “Perfect Blue,” and the just-released in theaters “Paprika”

Oh, and if you like Dungeons and Dragons, then give Record of Lodoss War a try. It was the first anime I was really able to get into.

Really? I’ve seen it three times and never made heads or tails of it. shrug Wanna explain it to me? :slight_smile: