I stuck my toe in the water, now I'm ready to dive. Anime Advice Thread

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Alright, being a general nerd, I finally got into a couple animes. Specifically, i was on touchanime.com to watch avatar tla a while ago, and got bored. So I clicked a show at random, and landed on PERSONA 4. which launched me into the game as well. 2 for the price of one. the next show I clicked at random was Beelzebub. Was funny, seemed decent enough. Next I found Desert Punk from which my sides still hurt. Most recently i watched Sword Art Online (Shut up I enjoyed it). So i have started a little anime resume. that being said, I implore you great men and women of escapist to direct me to some good anime that isnt 300 episodes long, but still has quality. And while i can toe the line, (seeing as i enjoyed Desert Punk) I'd appreciate being steered away form the type of anime that makes you go "Dear God, why Japan?"
Thanks for sharing your experience with a hopeless novice like me.

Edit: Death Note was another I saw and forgot to mention.

Baccano!, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Steins;Gate, and perhaps Outlaw Star.

Then it depends on what you prefer from a dubbing perspective. Baccano! and Cowboy Bebop have stellar English dubs, but for me, Samurai Champloo and Steins;Gate "clicked" a little better with the original Japanese dubs because it feels more authentic for anime shows actually based in Japan. Outlaw Star is a bit iffy on both ends of the dubbing spectrum, but the writing and plot overall are generally good enough to overlook it.

Baccano! is... well, tough to describe. But it's set in Prohibition-Era US and I like to think it's what you'd get if old-school Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie made an anime. It may not be for everyone, I suppose, but I thought it was absolutely fantastic.

Cowboy Bebop is a space-western (other notable examples of the genre include Firefly), and the "main" character of the ensemble cast in English is voiced by Steve Blum. Bitches love Steve Blum. More seriously, it may be over a decade old but it still holds up to even better standards than some more modern anime shows.

Samurai Champloo was made by the same guys responsible for Cowboy Bebop (the English dub even has quite a few recurring voice actors), but is set in -- I think -- Feudal Japan. With samurai and kimonos and one of the main characters in English is again voiced by Steve Blum. Really nice balance between absolute hilarity, high-octane action, and more somber, slow moments in both of them.

Steins;Gate is a modern-day sci-fi show that really delves deeper into heavy subjects, and includes time travel, a fair bit of techno-babble, and a tsundere redhead love interest. :D It's got some slow pacing to start with, the first six episodes or so feel more like a slice-of-life comedy than anything else, but once it gets going it really gets going.

Also, the Japanese dub gives us such gems as this:

And I'd describe Outlaw Star as what you'd get if you crossed Cowboy Bebop with Dragonball Z. By which I mean it's a sci-fi shonen series (think DBZ, Naruto, etc.) and certainly feels as such. Lots of fun action, funny dialogue, a bumbling comic-relief character, censored nudity if you get the original English releases... it's got it all.

They're all 26 episodes or less, as well, so it won't completely destroy your schedule to try following through on them.

Kino's Journey is 13 episodes mlong, philosophical, beautiful, so good that it caught my interest despite the way I never watch anime otherwise (more of a manga fan, me), and has a great opening and outro.

You might want to state your preferences first. Also a more clear title would probably net you noticeably more useful responses (I, for one, clicked this thread by a mere accident).

Smertnik:
You might want to state your preferences first. Also a more clear title would probably net you noticeably more useful responses (I, for one, clicked this thread by a mere accident).

This.

But I'd go for Cowboy Bepob. They're great for people who don't worship anime but like style. A fantastic blend of sci-fi, comedy, intrigue and action with a soundtrack and characters so cool it'll give you chills.

BeoW0lfe:
Edit: Death Note was another I saw and forgot to mention.

If you liked DN, I'd suggest Code Geass - it has a lot of similarities and it and DN are often talked to together. I personally liked DN more and CG wasn't quite to my taste but it was, for the most part, OK. It has more (as in "it has") giant mecha in it and I've never really found them fascinating, so that's probably part of why. At any rate, do give it a go - the protagonist is again a student who comes across some supernatural power and decides to use it to fulfil his dreams. And the protagonist is quit smart and able to think of complex strategies on the fly - he adopts an alternative persona, similar to Light/Kira but has to hide it from those close to him and pretend he's just a normal person. So that's how the two are similar. To go into more detail - Lelouch (the protagonist) gets the power to control minds (namely, give people orders they must obey - hence the Geass in the title) adopts the name "Zero" and wants to fight for freedom (basically - the English took over Japan). And, as I said, there is giant mecha - the main fighting implements. Season 1 is good - I liked it, season 2 is...well, people have mixed opinions about it. I liked it also, but it's a bit different than the first one.

Hellsing Ultimate - it's pure distilled awesomeness. Fight scenes, vampires, action, explosions - everything. And it's also good, I love it. I think it's the anime I've watched the most - I rewatch the whole of it, every time a new episode comes out because, shut up, it's awesome. Actually Hellsing, the original anime (it's OK but Ultimate is...well, ultimately better) was the first anime I watched. Erm, purposefully, that is - I've seen others before but they were on TV, I didn't seek them out.

shrekfan246:
snip

I love you. Basically all that.

I'd add Code Geass, FLCL, and Paranoia Agent.

I remember my first experience with anime... I was channel surfing when I caught a glimpse of Princess Mononoke, and started watching it and enjoying it. Unfortunately, it was late and I was tired, so I popped a cassette into the VCR (yeah, I'm old) and hit record. The next day, I saw the end of the film... But, wasn't expecting what came on afterwards, Ghost in the Shell. Mind = Blown.

So, yeah. Come for Princess Mononoke, stay for Ghost in the Shell.

Also, in addition to the others listed, Viper's Creed.

Well, Shrekfan already said most of the good stuff, but I also recommend Durarara!!

26 episodes, very interesting, written by the person who made Baccano (also very good) and the dub is excellent.

Also, Gurren Lagann, always Gurren Lagann.

Jojo's Bizarre adventure(2012) This show just oozes style from every pore and is loads of fun.A very over the top show that is so manly that you'll grow a beard by just being near it.

Paranoia Agent, a tense thriller that looks at physiological issues of various people and the assailant Shonen Bat.

The Slayers, a classic comedy mostly riffing on fantasy tropes but really goes after any and everything.

Great Teacher Onizaku, a street thug becomes a teacher and helps his students out with their problems.It manages to be pretty heart warming and at the same time funny as all get out

Also while I'm at it Farewell Mr.Despair,a great dark comedy that makes fun of societal issues though the use of a sucidal teacher and his students.It can be quite an odd show, so here's a clip to show it off.

I don't watch much anime either, but one I just got into was Soul Eater. What can I say? Everything works. The characters, the animation, the writing, all smooth as hell.

Gundam if you want to watch a space operas with giant robots.

You seem to like comedy so try History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, Tiger and Bunny, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood,Chobits

Can't give you a really good list unless we know what genre of anime you enjoy and find that out your have to watch more anime.

myanimelist.com here's a site where you can record what you've watched and use it to find other anime you might like.

Gurren Lagann is my personal favorite. It's an insanely fun series. Don't think too much about the plot, though, that's really not the point. Just enjoy the ride :D

If you're interested in shonen, watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I'm not fond of the first anime, but that's just because i watched Brotherhood first which has much better animation, story, and characters imo. It's fairly long - a little over 70 episodes, I think, but totally worth it.

Baccano! is great for it's characters and unique storytelling.

And as a bonus, Little Witch Academia. It's an OVA from the creators of Gurren Lagann made with a grant to give young animators on-the-job training. It's absolutely brilliant and a welcome breath of fresh air.

Edit: I forgot about Haruhi Suzumiya! Starts out as a pretty standard slice of life comedy anime and tuns into... something else entirely. I won't spoil anything, just check it out. Just be sure to watch it in chronological order, not broadcast order.

Risingblade:

You seem to like comedy so try History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, Tiger and Bunny, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood,Chobits

myanimelist.com here's a site where you can record what you've watched and use it to find other anime you might like.

Full metal alchemist brotherhood comedy? Ye nothing says comedy like dead mommy-like thing coming back form the dead and 2 kids losing theyr body parts in the process.

This is NOT a comedy.

I would also like to post some of my favorit anime that have not seen in this list.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica. A "magical girl" anime deconstruction with amazing story and characters and accomplishing what i call a "full story twist" meaning that the entire show is a gigantic plot twist.

Monogatari series. A show that is basicly 90%talk but damn is it entertaining.

Gungrave. With a realy good story and the best ending i have seen in a anime to date. This might be the best action anime ive ever seen.

Ghost in the shell + Stand alone complex. MY favorit anime movie of all time with a very intelectual tone. Plus SAC is a pretty damn good show to.

Serial experiment lane. Interesting and very deep. But very slow story and sometimes it stumbles in its storytelling but it's still a master piece

And Usagi drop. This is my feel-good anime. I mean it every second i watched it i sat with a big grin on my face.

Kara no kyokai. This is the best looking anime ive seen ever with some amazing fights and set pieces. Btw this series is split up in 7 movies with varius lengths so maybe u will be confused.

Spice and wolf. I put this one here mostly to have a romance anime but dont miss this one this anime got some of the best writing in any anime and they realy nailed the medieval setting.

The dissaperence of haruih suzumia. Realy REALY great movie but u have to watch the haruih series before u watch this one and in my humble opinion the show is kinda meh.

SeriusWill:

Risingblade:

You seem to like comedy so try History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, Tiger and Bunny, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood,Chobits

myanimelist.com here's a site where you can record what you've watched and use it to find other anime you might like.

Full metal alchemist brotherhood comedy? Ye nothing says comedy like dead mommy-like thing coming back form the dead and 2 kids losing theyr body parts in the process.

This is NOT a comedy.

Fullmetal Alchemist has a lot of comedy elements in it though it just manages it really well with the serious stuff.

ninjapenguin1414:

SeriusWill:

Risingblade:

You seem to like comedy so try History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, Tiger and Bunny, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood,Chobits

myanimelist.com here's a site where you can record what you've watched and use it to find other anime you might like.

Full metal alchemist brotherhood comedy? Ye nothing says comedy like dead mommy-like thing coming back form the dead and 2 kids losing theyr body parts in the process.

This is NOT a comedy.

Fullmetal Alchemist has a lot of comedy elements in it though it just manages it really well with the serious stuff.

I would say that comedy elements doesnt make it a comedy show but ye i can agree some times it made me laugh.

The:
I don't watch much anime either, but one I just got into was Soul Eater. What can I say? Everything works. The characters, the animation, the writing, all smooth as hell.

I really couldn't get into Soul Eater sadly. Not sure if it was Death's son bein incredibly annoyin or what, but yeah...couldn't get into it.

I will second Baccano! though. I found it while flippin through random animes on Netflix, thought it sounded interestin and gave it a whirl. Watched the entire thing in a 2 day binge. I can not recommend it enough.

The Last Exile was pretty cool too.

Darker Than Black is a good one, though season 2 was...uhhh...not so fun. I enjoyed it, yeah, but there were definitely some really creepy undertones to the whole thing.

Oh! Spice and Wolf is a really nice anime as well. Almost 0 action, but the character interaction is brilliant and the voice actin for everyone (especially Holo) is wonderfully done. It could be accused of draggin along at a snails pace, but meh to that!

edit -

If you're lookin for some of the best fight scenes in anime ever, but jack all story, Afro Samurai is an amazin thing. The story is barely there (though I got into it pretty well), but the character designs mixed with the absolutely fantastic fight scenes and Samuel L. Jackson's voice comin from a black ninja, too fuckin awesome to pass up.

Legend of koizumi
Where else can you get world leaders from all different time periods fighting for the fate of the world through Mahjong :D
It has super Aryan Hitler/bishounen Hitler vs pope Benedict as well as badass Papa Bush American president >_<




SeriusWill:

Risingblade:

You seem to like comedy so try History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, Tiger and Bunny, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood,Chobits

myanimelist.com here's a site where you can record what you've watched and use it to find other anime you might like.

Full metal alchemist brotherhood comedy? Ye nothing says comedy like dead mommy-like thing coming back form the dead and 2 kids losing theyr body parts in the process.

This is NOT a comedy.

What are you talking about? That part is hilarious! Ed's face when he sees the thing he created, priceless

WHY SURE! JUST LET ME DIG INT-

BeoW0lfe:
I'd appreciate being steered away form the type of anime that makes you go "Dear God, why Japan?"

I... I... hm. Stuff that isn't "Dear god, why!?"? Uhm... OH! I KNOW! I KNOW! WATCH ACCEL WORLD! You said you watched (and liked) SAO, so I'm sure you'll like the vastly superior version that is by the same author!

Also, while some may call it vastly overrated (and in all honesty it is) Neon Genesis: Evangelion is most definitely worth a watch.

And because I can't go through a list of "anime to watch" without mentioning this:

Kara no Kyoukai, Mushishi, NANA, Elfen Lied, Great Teacher Onizuka, When They Cry, Welcome To The NHK, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai, Black Lagoon...

BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE!

Eden of the East, Lucky Star, Kanon, Durarara!!, Highschool of the Dead, Mirai Nikki, Nichijou, Clannad,
Samurai X Trust and Betrayal, Eve no Jikan Gekijouban, Moyashimon.

All of the above are animes that are pretty popular but from different genres.
I enjoyed all of them. I wouldn't just pick random animes if I were you but start off with the most popular ones because they're likely popular for a reason. That doesn't mean that you'll enjoy them all but it's more likely that you find something that you do and maybe even something you usually wouldn't watch. I fore one liked Code Geass even though I dislike mecha anime. Oh and Neon Genesis Evangelion is pretentious shit imo ^^

And how others already mentioned definitely Gurren Laggan!

How could you guys forget Trigun?

Most of the things I'd recommend have been mentioned, but one I think is pleasant (if flawed) is El Hazard: The Magnificent World. It has a similar vibe to Lunar: Eternal Blue if you've played that. I've only seen the 7 part OVA series, so I don't know if any of the other adaptations or sequels are any good.

Risingblade:

SeriusWill:

Risingblade:

You seem to like comedy so try History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, Tiger and Bunny, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood,Chobits

myanimelist.com here's a site where you can record what you've watched and use it to find other anime you might like.

Full metal alchemist brotherhood comedy? Ye nothing says comedy like dead mommy-like thing coming back form the dead and 2 kids losing theyr body parts in the process.

This is NOT a comedy.

What are you talking about? That part is hilarious! Ed's face when he sees the thing he created, priceless

/Sarcasm. Yea Fullmetal Alchemist is definitely not comedy but rather an supernatural action adventure drama interspersed with some comedic scenes (more in Brotherhood than in the original series) to help lighten up the tension. I would recomend that (both series) and Cowboy Beebop.

Baka to Test


Along with the funny plot in a slice of life type anime, the voice acting is hilarious so if you can get a dub, do so.

Sakurasou


This one has some pretty interesting insights on inspiration, jealousy and Talent. The resolution is also one of the most heartwarming in any anime.

The Legend of Black Heaven


Just so there are no spoilers this is about an ordinary office chump with a not so ordinary past. Great music, a bit lacking on the animation side of things.

Beck


Kinda similar to Sakurasou but it is slightly more relate-able. Brilliant anime though, and very charming over all.

One word...gintama

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, it's 52 episodes plus one feature length movie. It's smart and the English dub is very well cast. I'll even make this super easy for you to do. Here are the first 26 episodes available on Youtube, yes it's all legal, they were put there by Bandai. Enjoy

Puella Magi Madoka Magica. I consider myself a somewhat picky anime fan and this is still the best anime I've seen in the last 2 years.

If you watch it though, make it past at least the first 3 episodes. The first two give you the impression that you're going into something like Sailor Moon, but thats completely wrong, an narratively it's probably intentional. After episode 3 it quickly becomes one of the best deconstructions of a genre I've ever seen and the plot is pretty good on it's own even not counting that fact. It's some impressive "whammy moments" and is one of the only anime to make me hate a character for for most of a series then COMPLETELY change my opinion in one episode, which is one of the best character-development moments I've ever seen. (For those that have seen it, I'm pretty sure you know what I'm referring to with episode 10 here).

You're probably best going in knowing absolutely nothing about the series, but if you'd like a better explanation of why this is a must-see, I refer to this:
http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/ir/jo/jar/36398-madoka-magica

EDIT: It's also only 12 episodes long, so it's not a completely arduous watch. It's almost more like a really long movie than a series. I recommend watching subbed (japanese voice actors, english subtitles) rather than dubbed (english VA's) because the English voice actors... terrible IMO. If you live in the US, the subtitled versions are availiable legally and for free on Crackle (either it's website, or it's service on Xbox Live) and Crunchyroll (I think).

Galaxy Railways. FLYING SPACE TRAINS!

FLYING!
SPACE!
TRAINS!

Seems most of the ones I'd recommend have already been noted, but fuck it, here's a list disregarding all that anyway, in alphabetical order:

Angel Beats,
Azumanga Daioh,
Baccano!,
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu,
Bakemonogatari,
Black Lagoon,
Blood+,
Clannad and Clannad: After Story,
Cowboy Bebop,
Darker Than Black,
Durarara!!,
Elfen Lied,
Full Metal Panic, all of it,
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (or the first one, though I prefer Brotherhood),
Great Teacher Onizuka,
Higashi no Eden (Eden of the East),
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni,
Kanon,
Kekkaishi,
Kokoro Connect,
Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?,
Mirai Nikki (though I actually haven't watched it, and as such am really just recommending the manga),
Neon Genesis Evangelion,
Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai,
Samurai Champloo,
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu,
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann,
The World God Only Knows,
Toradora!,
Welcome to the N.H.K.,
Wolf's Rain.

And there ends this list that I set out to make of only the best I've watched. Quite a few, oops.

If I had to pick only a few:

Cowboy Bebop, Welcome to the NHK, Clannad, I'd say these three are my all-time favourites. Though it's hard to really say, love that whole list quite a lot, and more.

Anyway, enjoy your new hobby, I know I did (and even learnt japanese from it, maybe I enjoyed it a bit too much).

I always recommend higurashi no naku koro ni (when they cry). I warn you, its very brutal and confusing. If you can handle it though, it has one of the best stories and best story telling of any anime I know. There are 2 seasons, and the others afterwards are not important.

Other animes I consider to be the best:
Darker than Black
Samurai Champloo
Trigun
Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood
Fooly Cooly
Baccano

I have seen 492 different anime. If you need advice, I'm your man ;)

What you should do is give me a list of:
A) Favorite genres
b) Western (not the cowboy kind) films/TV shows that you liked, and what it was you liked about them.

I should be able to pick one to your tastes.

But aside from that, I can reccomend you a few anime that in my experience, tend to be popular with people who have never really seen any anime:

Fullmetal Alchemist (either the 2003 original or the 2009 remake)

There exist those with special abilities to manipulate objects and transform them into other objects called the Alchemists. However, this manipulation process comes at a price, since the basic alchemy rules state that something with equivalent value is needed to perform the manipulation.

The renowned alchemist Edward Elric loses his little brother Alphonse in an accident. Edward manages to contain his brother's soul in a large piece of armour suit, but by doing so Edward loses his arm and leg. And so the brothers set out on a perilous journey to regain their original bodies.

This series is a great place to start, it's very well paced and the story (and character) are complex, interesting and thrilling. I have known many many people who don't watch anime who loved this series.

Cowboy Bebop

The year is 2071 AD. With the systematic collapse of the old nation-states, a mixed jumble of races and peoples were driven out of their terrestrial Eden and spread to the stars, taking with them the now confused concepts of justice, freedom, violence, and love. New rules were established, and a new generation of bounty hunters came into being. People referred to these bounty hunters as "cowboys".

Meet Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, a drifter and a retired cyborg cop who have started a bounty hunting partnership. In the converted ship The Bebop, Spike and Jet search the galaxy for criminals with bounties on their heads. They meet a lot of interesting characters, including the unusually intelligent dog Ein, the bizarre hacker child prodigy Ed, and the voluptuous and vexing femme fatale, Faye Valentine.

A lot of old-school fans started with this one, and it's not hard to see why it instantly appealed to them. The show is very Western influenced (both the cowboy kind and the American films kind), so it's not unfamiliar and threatening.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

In the year 2015, the Angels, huge, tremendously powerful, alien war machines, appear in Tokyo for the second time. The only hope for mankind's survival lies in the Evangelion, a humanoid fighting machine developed by NERV, a special United Nations agency. Capable of withstanding anything the Angels can dish out, the Evangelions' one drawback lies in the limited number of people able to pilot them. Only a handful of teenagers, all born fourteen years ago, nine months after the Angels first appeared, are able to interface with an Evangelion.

One such teenager is Ikari Shinji, whose father heads the NERV team that developed and maintains the Evangelions. Thrust into a maelstrom of battles and events that he does not understand, Shinji is forced to plumb the depths of his own inner resources for the courage and strength to not only fight, but to survive, or risk losing everything.

This seems like a typical weird Japan giant robot anime, but it's the show's characters and the tweaks it makes to the giant robot formula that makes the show interesting. Many people became anime fans after seeing this show.

FLCL

A young boy named Naota is hanging out with Mamimi, the girlfriend of Naota's absentee brother. Their relationship is an uneasy one, since Mamimi seems to enjoy teasing Naota quite a bit. Suddenly, their time together is interrupted by the arrival of a seemingly insane girl on a motorscooter. She runs over Naota and then whacks him in the head with her guitar...

Another anime popular with newbies, and a great choice thanks to it's stylish animation and kick-ass music.

Elfen Lied

The diclonius, otherwise known as a two-horned human, are mutants of the human species, may well be the next step in human evolution. The diclonius have horns and strong telekinetic powers represented by arms. However with this great power, they can easily destroy the human race. Fearful of their power, humans quarantined the diclonius into secret research facilities to study. However, in a freak accident, a enraged female diclonius escaped, killing many guards in the process. Interesting enough, the female escapee appears to have suffered amnesia after her escape and floated to Yuigahama of Kamakura city. There, she meets two people named Kouta and Yuka, who name the female diclonius "Nyuu", and decide that they all should live together.

Personally, I wouldn't have thought this series would appeal to new fans, since it seems like the sort of thing people stereotypically think anime is (graphic violence, nudity, characters with crazy hair colors, big eyes etc), But I've known many newbies who loved it. Perhaps the way show tries to juxtapose the typical cute anime stuff with the horror and gore grabs people's attention.

BeoW0lfe:
Snip

There are several animes that I consider a MUST watch if you are looking into getting into Anime. Plus side is almost all of them have good to great english dubs. These are my own descriptions of them, so they may be a bit off as I try and veer away from any sort of spoiler territory.

Rurouni Kenshin: Set after the Meji Revolution, Kenshin is a Samurai that fought for the Meji Government during the revolution. Famed for his skills as a manslayer, he is Dubbed the Batosai and is considered the greatest swordsman alive. For the ten years after the revolution he has lived as a wanderer, vowing never to take another life with his sword. However, the man who took his place as the assassin for the Meji Revolution seeks to take revenge on the Government that wronged him and he is the only swordsman alive who can stop him. (I suggest stopping at the end of this arc, the series goes on for another 30 or so episodes but it lacks direction.)

Wolf's Rain: Set in the near future in a fantasy world where Wolves are semi-magical creatures. They have the power to change their form to a humanoid, as well as have super human strength and features. Wolves are however hunted by humans, and they must fight for their lives as they try and get to their mythical Paradise. (Thirty episodes long I believe, and my god. It was one of the first animes I have watched, and remains a favorite to this day.)

Gurren Laggan: Quite possibly the most bombastic and badass anime ever made. Set in a dystopian future, where humanity has been forced underground, Kamina and Simone discover a small Gunman (Mecha) and use it to escape to the surface. Once there their lives become a constant battle against giant mecha, and their mechs are powered by fighting spirit. Seriously, thirty episode long, and you will love every minute of it.

Trigun: Think Future Western, and you're on the right track here. Vash The Stampede is the most wanted gunman in the world, framed for slaughtering an entire town he is now an outlaw, but his friendly personality makes most doubt his actual abilities. However he is every bit the skilled gunslinger of legend that his reputation makes him out to be. It is very much a Ruruoni Kenshin but with guns, and thats one of the highest compliments I think I can give an anime.

Initial D: Even if you don't like cars, this racing anime is absolutely superb. Having three seasons and a movie finished and in English, what is thought to be the final season is currently being aired in Japan and will be dubbed soon after the anime finishes in Japan. It follows the story of Takumi Fujiwara, a racing genius and prodigy as he learns his love for racing cars, and finds out he has a god given talent that is almost unrivaled. I watch this every month when the new episodes come out with my brother, and he hates anime. I'd say it is the best racing Anime out there. (And the live action movie is fucking hilarious in a bastardized, what the hell did they do way.)

Japanese Dubs:

These are animes that should be watched in the Japanese Dub or only have it in Japanese, but are fantastic.

Code Geass: Another Mecha Anime, however this one revolves more around strategy and tactics then fighting spirit. (Though the fight scenes are exceptionally badass.) Lelouche Lampage is one of many Princes of the Britanian Empire, however when he was a small child his mother was murdered, and his sister paralyzed and blinded by the attack. The Emperor sent them to Japan afterwards as bargaining chips for the Prime Minister of Japan. Japan is then invaded and taken over, and renamed District 11, and all Japanese citizens are called 11s and forced to live in small ghettos. Lelouche plots his revenge to take over the District 11, and then the entire country, and is given the Geass, a special power that makes anyone listen to whatever he says, one time. The second season starts off a little wonky, its a real twister off the first one, but once it gets going, I personally think it is the better of the two seasons.

Sword Of The Stranger: Not an Anime Series, but an anime movie. It's a little less then two hours long, and is one of the most beautifully animated movies I have ever seen. It is about a wandering Samurai, and his protection of a small child as he escorts him to his temple. The child is hunted down by Chinese warriors, as his blood is said to be the key to immortal life. The fight scenes are top notch, and the voice acting is well cast. IF you have two hours, don't pass this one up.

Its already been mentioned. But Full Metal Alchemist as well. I recommend Brotherhood over the original personally.

If you want more, let me know and I'll see what I'll dig up some more.

knight steel:
Legend of koizumi
Where else can you get world leaders from all different time periods fighting for the fate of the world through Mahjong :D
It has super Aryan Hitler/bishounen Hitler vs pope Benedict as well as badass Papa Bush American president >_<




....da hell did I just watch?

Anyway back on topic: Hellsing is always good for vampires and them being badass. A bunch have already been said-Deathnote, Code Geass, FMAB, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, etc.- so you can't go wrong with those. Have to add Monster to that list. Think Deathnote but with a more capable Light.

If you don't mind retro anime, I would like to recommend the original Dirty Pair - series. (I'm pretty sure I could confidently recommend most of the later stuff as well, but I haven't watched it yet.)

It's about Yuri and Kei, two female all-purpose troubleshooting agents employed by an interplanetary organization which lends their services to the highest bidder, mercenary style. This allows for some wonderfully diverse missions. One episode might have the girls end a mafia war which spans an entire planet, and in the next one they'll be hunting down someone's missing cat.

Yuri and Kei are proud of both their beauty and their skills, and collectively refer to themselves as "The Lovely Angels". To the rest of humanity, however, they are universally known as "The Dirty Pair". Not for the sort of reasons one might think, though - it's because they are infamous for causing staggering amounts of collateral damage any time they do ANYTHING (yes, this includes the aforementioned cat episode!), to the point where they have even been known to blow up the occasional planet.

The series is lighthearted and funny, with no really overt fanservice beyond the girls' trademark battle bikinis and occasional lounging-around-in-a-towel scene. (I'm told that later works ramp up the fanservice somewhat, though.)

You should also check out:

Lupin III! This guy is basically a criminal version of James Bond - always either attempting to pull off some spectacular heist, trying to get into the pants of any woman he meets, or both. He is assisted by Daisuke Jigen, who possesses superhuman marksmanship skills, and Ishikawa Goemon XIII (13th direct descendant of the original Goemon of legend) who can slice through absolutely anything with his sword.

Lupin's adventures are sporadically available on DVD from various Western distributors, one of whom has recently released the complete second Japanese series. This series is notable for being directed mostly by animation legend Hayao Miyazaki himself, in the days before his big breakthrough.

Incidentally, Miyazaki's breakthrough was another Lupin work: The feature-lenght, theatrically released "The Castle of Cagliostro", hailed to this day as the finest Lupin-related work ever created. This movie is a masterpiece in its own right, and has been widely available to Western audiences for years. It does assume that the viewers are already familiar with the various characters from previous works, but I myself first watched it with no previous knowledge of the Lupin franchise, and had no trouble understanding who was who.

In short, "The Castle of Cagliostro" is a classic piece of anime history and a timeless testimony of Miyazaki's genius. I highly and wholeheartedly recommend it! (Fun fact: The climactic fight inside the clocktower was ripped off by Disney years later in "Basil the Great Mouse Detective". It should be noted that Disney resorted to computer-assisted graphics, whereas Miyazaki and his crew did EVERYTHING by hand!)

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