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Ariurotl

Picky snob asking for anime recs!

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It's been a while since I last bothered to watch anime, so what the heck, I might as well ask. I haven't seen much anime in general, so that makes it easier for you.

 

What I generally like: Serious stuff, really. Or at least original and/or thought-provoking in some way. Social commentary in particular gives me a raging boner. Dystopian settings alone can elicit a serviceable semi as well.

 

Shows I particularly enjoyed:

- The Tatami Galaxy (very original and just generally refreshing)

- Darker than BLACK (first season at least, it was kinda cool)

- Ghost in the Shell (especially the first movie, the rest was also okay, I guess)

- Welcome to the NHK (social issues, somewhat relatable characters, all that lovely stuff)

- Madoka (well, it's Madoka!)

- Fate/Zero (the only Fate series entry I genuinely loved)

- Mononoke (originality up the wazoo)

- Baccano (I'm also a sucker for character studies and ensemble casts)

- Haibane Renmei and Paranoia Agent (appreciated those two as very solid works)

 

Shows people thought I would like but I didn't (much):

- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (I was told it's a science fiction show, and then it turned out to be glorified tedious slice-of-life with people using their supernatural abilities for playing fucking baseball, thus making all this supernatural gloss essentially pointless... I've got a whole bunch of other problems with Haruhi, but I won't bore you with them)

- Psycho-Pass (started brightly, then ruined everything in one fell swoop with that idiotic reveal that shifted focus of the show from important things to irrelevant bullshit... I must be the only person who preferred season 2)

- Elfen Lied (blood stains do not sufficiently cover up the vapid plot)

- Monster (rubbed me the wrong way throughout with its sanctimonious drivel, then just copped out of all important questions and split)

- Durarara (I kinda liked it when it started out as a character-focused ensemble piece in the vein of Baccano, but then [spoilers] were revealed as [spoilers], the whole thing focused on them and I couldn't take it seriously anymore... never got around to starting season 2, and probably won't)

 

So there it is... Please gimme something to watch, and I'll probably shit all over it later.

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Serial Experiments Lain 

Quote

Lain Iwakura, an awkward and introverted fourteen-year-old, is one of the many girls from her school to receive a disturbing email from her classmate Chisa Yomoda—the very same Chisa who recently committed suicide. Lain has neither the desire nor the experience to handle even basic technology; yet, when the technophobe opens the email, it leads her straight into the Wired, a virtual world of communication networks similar to what we know as the internet. Lain's life is turned upside down as she begins to encounter cryptic mysteries one after another. Strange men called the Men in Black begin to appear wherever she goes, asking her questions and somehow knowing more about her than even she herself knows. With the boundaries between reality and cyberspace rapidly blurring, Lain is plunged into more surreal and bizarre events where identity, consciousness, and perception are concepts that take on new meanings.

http://myanimelist.net/anime/339/Serial_Experiments_Lain

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3 minutes ago, ittaku said:

If I can recommend only one anime it would be Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood.

Seconded. It's far from a perfect anime, but it's definitely something everyone should check out at least once.

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1 hour ago, Ariurotl said:

What I generally like: Serious stuff, really. Or at least original and/or thought-provoking in some way. Social commentary in particular gives me a raging boner. Dystopian settings alone can elicit a serviceable semi as well.

Off of this (and the fact that it seems we have very similar taste), I could highly recommend Kino's Journey. It's thought provoking, has Dystopianish settings, and social commentary. Its about this traveler who visits different cities, and has a rule not to stay in any one place longer than three days. Needless to say, each place that Kino visits is unique and interesting because each city showcases a philosophical theme in their respective cultures.  

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kino no tabi (as already mentioned above)
shin sekai yori
trigun
blue gender
wolfs rain
akira
city hunter series (incl. angel heart)

other than those, you might want to watch out for the upcoming "genocidal organ", which should start airing sometimes later this year and/or evangelion´s 4th movie, now that anno hideaki finally (2years late :P) begun his work on said title

honorable mentions, you may also find interesting:
tsubasa chronicles (+related media)
empire of corpses
cowboy beebop
 

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21 minutes ago, XReaper said:

cowboy beebop

Seen it. It was okay, but not good enough to make it to the good list. Relied too much on western sci-fi tropes wackified by Japan (dat fridge episode made me facepalm... but I wasn't annoyed, just bemused). Style very much over substance. But a decent one nonetheless.

 

Thanks for all the recs so far!

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Have you watched Death Note?

That's definitely a must-watch anime, especially if you like interesting stories.

It's basically a high school student who stumbles across a book that has 'Death Note' on the front cover, and it looks pretty much like you're average notebook. Only if you visualise the person you want to die, and then write down their full-name, they die shortly afterwards. So he ends up taking it upon himself to 'rid the world of evil' and starts killing criminals who get broadcast on the news.

This attracts the attention of the world's most renowned detective who nobody knows anything about who he is or what he looks like other than he refers to himself as 'L'. Thus starts the epic battle of wits between two brilliant-minded individuals where they have to try and trick and outsmart one another in order to defeat the other. It's a really good psychological thriller mixed with just a touch of supernatural fantasy.

I second the other people who recommended Fullmetal Alchemist Broterhood. Don't watch the original series though, I felt that it started off really good (where they followed the manga's storyline) but then after they ran out of material from the manga, they decided to take it in a completely different direction which felt really crappy to me, some things just didn't really make sense. So many people recommended it to be years ago, and I agreed with them on how good it was up until that point.

Fast-forward years later when the manga is finished and they do a proper adaptation of it, and it's absolutely brilliant. It has the right amount of action with enough mystery to keep you interested and wanting to know more, and plenty of things get revealed at a good steady pace. I highly recommend FMA: Brotherood.

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You could try Kuuchuu Buranko, it's a bit of a weird one but deals a fair amount with psychological issues which could be your cup of tea? Dunno, I enjoyed it. The mood isn't particularly serious though so maybe it's not what you're looking for.

How about Gankutsuou? It's based on The Count of Monte Cristo  and personally, was a bit too confusing for me to enjoy, but fits your criteria decently.

Another one would be Gosick. This one, again, I wasn't a fan of, but it was entertaining enough and even though I haven't watched Baccano I think it might have a similar feel to it.

Off topic, but, your signature made me laugh way more than it should have.

 

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12 minutes ago, Barktooth said:

You could try Kuuchuu Buranko, it's a bit of a weird one but deals a fair amount with psychological issues which could be your cup of tea? Dunno, I enjoyed it. The mood isn't particularly serious though so maybe it's not what you're looking for.

I love Kuuchuu Buranko. It spins the usually uncomfortable topic of mental health issues into comical dark humor, telling you that everyone is a little abnormal in his own way. I love how it deals with social anxiety in a tasteful manner.

 

3 minutes ago, KuroganeHomura said:

Shigurui

If you want serious, it doesn't get any more serious than Shigurui. It's pretty harsh in its telling, showing you the blunt honest truth about Tokugawa period of Japan (albeit taking some trivial liberties), whether it's the treatment of women or how honor can come back to bite you. It's pretty great storytelling.

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Based on what you said you enjoy I would recommend the following:

Death Parade+ Death Billliards (The episodic stories in this one are deliciously emotional and really pick apart human nature. The only downside is that the overarching story isn't developed very well so the last few episodes are kinda lack luster. Note that Death Billiards is a movie that was produced before the series that contains content not found in the series, but it's not vital to watch in order to understand the series. Death Parade has a DAMN GOOD opening too If you care about that:wahaha:

Ergo Proxy (Here's your dystopian recommendation and it doubles as something thought-provoking too, since the show is put together in a way that the more you think about it the better it becomes)

The Kara no Kyoukai movies (If you liked Fate/zero you're probably going to like these movies. Be aware that these movies were not released in chronological order so the first movie isn't actually beginning of the story)

Mushishi (It has a really soothing unique atmosphere that I have yet to see duplicated by another anime. It's composed mostly episodic stories, but each story is quite engaging and whimsical) 

Aoi Bungaku (Keep in mind this series is composed of 6 adaptations of classic Japanese/Asian Literature)

I hope my recommendations were helpful! :sachi:

Also finish Ayakashi:JCH that shit is a pretty nice collection of folk tales, even if the first two stories aren't to your liking try out the last story. It's the true beginning of Mononoke and is superb. No excuses for that opening though, it's straight up bizarre.

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While they aren't dark they are more serious than most in the themes imo, I also am really biased towards them. 

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Usagi Drop

Chihayafuru

None of them are action oriented or in a dystopian setting however they do play on what I felt to be very real emotions. These shows have a way of truly making me feel like all of these characters lived at one point in time, and if not they have in my mind. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is more on the historical side with emphasis on emotions of jealousy and more realistic love, Usagi Drop is about your average single man taking on a child and all the troubles that go with it, and finally Chihayafuru is about passion, hard work, and the drive/inspiration to really chase your dreams. 

I really love all three of these shows. Each one touched a different base with me, the Rakugo one being the furthest from relatable to me personally however.

They may not be exactly what you want but I whole hardheadedly recommend at least looking into them. Also I would go out and say they are original in their own rights, so another positive. 

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.hack//Sign is a good one. It gets really high marks for its animation (at the time) and soundtrack. If you enjoy Yuki Kajiura's work at all, you're in for a real treat here. Unique setting too; it's much better than all the other anime that have copied its "trapped in a game" scenario most recently. Just a quick word of warning though, the story in the anime isn't complete and continues on in the 1st 4 PS2 games of the franchise. But if you're okay with being left confused about the last episode, or interested in pursuing the games afterward, then it's definitely worth giving it a shot.

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