Concerning Anime


After taking note that you’ve repeatedly referenced Cowboy Bebop, I’d like if you could include in a blog any favorite/recommended anime. I understand that you are busy or may not have enough interest in writing such a blog. Or may be hesitant to receive the potential fan outlash because you didn’t mention “insert anime name here” or haven’t seen “insert more different anime name here”.

But I would just like your opinion, as that is one of the primary reasons I read the blog – to learn more about the author. I’d like to think I’m not alone.

Until next time, fellow space cowboy!

Ben (Twin Cities, MN)

First off, Ben. I have to say I love the term “outlash.” It fills a good linguistic niche. It’s different from backlash. Outlash is less of a reaction, more of an upwelling of directionless vitriol. It’s less justified than backlash.

Off the top of my head, I’d say that roughly 27% of the internet is composed of outlash.

Here’s my utterly off-the-cuff top five Anime recommendations.

1. Last Airbender.

First off. We’re not talking about the movie. We’re talking about the animated series. I hear the movie sucked to such a degree that words cannot fully encompass it.

This series was absolutely brilliant. I could easily hold forth for an hour on the clever storytelling techniques they use. I’m looking forward to the day that little Oot is old enough so that I can watch it with him.

2. Princess Mononoke.

Out of fairness to all other anime, we’ll only include one Miyazaki title in this list. Though it’s hard to narrow it down, this one has to be my favorite. Probably because the translation and dub is absolutely first rate.

Normally I’m a subtitle guy. 99% of the time, I go for subtitle. But this is one of the rare cases where I really do like the dub more. It made me feel better when I learned that Neil Gaiman was in charge of anglicizing the screenplay for the English version.

3. Cowboy Bebop.

A true rarity. A brilliant Japanese Anime series that doesn’t turn to total bullshit at the end.

4. Trigun.

Piece and Love!

5. Akira.

Okay. You know that crack I made up there in #3 about anime turning into total bullshit at the end of the series/movie? This is the perfect example of that. The last 10 minutes of the movie are like a bad acid flashback.

But you know what? This still makes the top five despite the fact that the movie as a whole makes no goddamn sense. The music and cinematography are enough make up for the largely nonsensical story/plot/character conflict.

And believe me, that’s probably nothing you’ll ever hear me say again, that the cinematography alone makes something worth watching.

But in this one case it’s really true. Despite the fact that this is largely an action movie, I consider it a brilliant study in silence and stillness. If you’ve watched it closely, I’m sure you know what I mean.

*      *     *

Now before y’all start your anguished screeling that I didn’t include Inuyasha or Witchunter Robin or  whatever your favoritiest BFF anime of forever is. Keep in mind that I might not have seen it. If you look at the dates of the above titles, you’ll see that I’m not really on the cutting edge here. I haven’t watched hardly any TV at all in two years. I’ve heard of Bleach but never watched it. Same thing with Death Note. (I read it.)

Then again, it’s quite possible your favorite show simply didn’t flip my switch. I watched Full Metal Alchemist, and while parts of it were cool, as a whole it felt draggy and slow. Though it came highly recommended, Monster just bored me, and I quit watching halfway through.

So much of this is a matter of taste, you realize.

Honorable mentions:

  • Ninja Scroll. Subtitled. (I once watched it three times in a row.)
  • Anything by Miyazaki.
  • Lupin the Third.
  • All Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku Nuku. (Seriously. It was great.)
  • Cutey Honey. (Because you have to respect the concept.)
  • Paprika.
  • Millenium Actress. (A story about stories.)
  • Ghost in the Shell.

If any of y’all have some particular favorites, I’d love to hear about them. Not that I have much time for watching TV these days. But someday I hope to be able to veg out in front of the tube again….


This entry was posted in Fanmail Q + A, recommendations, Things I Like. By Pat189 Responses


  1. Karaminxe
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

    Avatar the Last Airbender. Yes.

    • Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:35 AM | Permalink

      As much as I love Avatar: TLA, and I do sincerely, it’s been knocked off my charts by the glory that Korra has shown so far. Unfortunately, the first two episodes were streamed online only this last weekend, but when April 14th comes around – pour yourself some jasmine tea, and prepare to be swept away.

    • RegistrationIsStupid
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

      Well, please take note: “The Legend of Aang / The last Airbender” is not an Anime, it is a cartoon. Just like Mikey Mouse, the Looney Toons

      Enough outlash by me. I do love it myself ;) I even liked the Live Action Movie.


      • IvoryDoom
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

        If you want to get technical I believe it falls under the sub-catagory of “amerime” (american made anime) Anime really is just the japanese way of saying animation, but Last Airbender falls into the catagory due to the way the drawings are rendered, specifically color adaptations, have you seen the final scene of airbender? Also the eyes and facial shapes are good examples. Another reason it would fall into this catagory is that not all the content is made just for children. Looney Toons drawings are much different from those featured in Last Airbender and clearly made for kids to watch on Saturday Morning. I pretty much lost interest in them after 5th grade, whereas I watched Last Airbender when I was 17 (when it came out) and again at 23 when they released it on Netflix. Its not extreme adult content or anything, but still adult enough in my opinion.

        • happyguyxlii
          Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

          Looney Tunes? For kids?!

          It was originally made for adults, you know.

          And I still get good laughs at it.

          The ones not made by Chuck Jones are oriented towards children, though. I don’t bother with those.

      • furrowedetc
        Posted March 28, 2012 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

        ‘Anime’ just means cartoon in Japanese. If you’re using the word to mean ‘animation with similar styles and conventions mostly derived from Japanese animation series’, then Avatar is clearly part of the anime umbrella genre. An Americanized take on anime, perhaps, but still clearly anime.

      • Fattimus
        Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:21 AM | Permalink

        Avatar: The Last Airbender is primarily animated in South Korea, where a lot of what falls under “Anime” is also animated.

        This is notably different from, say, The Simpsons being animated in Korea, because it’s not just a sweatshop doing motion tweens — Avatar was/is storyboarded, keyframed, and tweened all in one studio in Korea. It’s a real bonafide animation studio that has a lot of freedom to do what they think is best, and that’s part of why Avatar has such stellar animation. A lot of supposedly Japanese animation is also animated entirely in Korea.

        Kind of blurs the line right there on what’s really considered Anime.

  2. itsjusthim
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    Kanon. It’s delightfully awkward at times

  3. nickvicious
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 11:59 PM | Permalink

    I don’t consider myself an anime fan. Like at all. In fact, I think that the rest of it either a.) doesn’t make sense or b.) for whatever reason the story doesn’t translate into english well. But, I have surprisingly seen all of your recommendations short of Airbender. And for that, I feel like perhaps I’m a bit more of a fan than I previ0usly thought. Good stuff, Pat.

  4. jpbook117
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    No scruples, just happy Avatar is your numero one-o also. I’m relatively inexperienced with anime however, i can’t imagine avatar being bested. and the first two episodes of the legend of korra are out so…bring on the goodness. Miyazaki is incomparable. It might as well be in the same category of refuteability as toast.

    I started watching avatar on a wim when i heard M Night Idiot was doing the movie i thought “huh, see what its about i guess” and the first episode i saw was season 3 episode 1. the drama in it was gut wrenching for me at the time. Thanks for sharing pat! If it at all matters you could check out Birdy the mighty. it has whale space ships

    • jpbook117
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

      grammar bomb

      • hewhocomeswiththelocust
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:30 AM | Permalink

        I think it was beautiful.

      • ecna1ab
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

        I laughed out loud to your reply jp. Thank you for that.

  5. Hxlgg
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    The Last Airbender is quite possibly the best animated series I’ve ever come across. Every episode was done to perfection and even after years later and many times watching through the entire series, I find myself laughing at the precise comedic timing and feeling my emotions pulled in every direction.

    I know the next Avatar series – Korra – will not be as good (I mean, how can you add upon perfection?), but I intend to watch it and hope it will spark some of the same connections I felt with TLA. Go Team Avatar!

    Going to go watch it again now….

    • CrymsynEve
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:18 AM | Permalink

      I don’t know about you, but I loved what I saw of Korra. I think it added a lot more scope to the world we’re all used to and it was awesome to see a female avatar.

  6. rudejude00
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    Good list! Though I have to say that FMA still rates as my Favorite Anime Ever. Something about it just seriously resonated with me, and even after years I still think about it from time to time. If you didn’t see the movie, you should, since it involved the good guys fighting Nazis and winning (plus the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen between a little boy and a sort-of octopus man).

    Have you seen Samurai Champloo? Stylistically it’s brilliant (same guys who did Bebop). Also, and I’m so not embarrassed to admit it – Ouran high school host club. It’s totally ridiculous and over the top, but it’s probably the most clever, self-referential and ironic anime ever made for the shojo genre. It makes fun of itself and Japanese culture so hard you have to watch it more than once to get all the jokes.

    • cynrtst
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:15 AM | Permalink

      Love love Samurai Champloo..see my list below…

      • hewhocomeswiththelocust
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM | Permalink

        I couldn’t finish it, I never wanted their adventure to end.

        • Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:12 AM | Permalink

          I watched it, but couldn’t really get into it. Whatever made Bebop great just wasn’t there for me….

          • BurstDragon
            Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:27 AM | Permalink

            Yours reaction to the live adaption of Cowboy Bebop, starring Keanu Reeves?

          • Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:33 AM | Permalink

            100% with you about Samurai Champloo “Whatever made Bebop great just wasn’t there for me”.

          • Valarya
            Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM | Permalink


            Samurai Champloo is one of my top 5 favs. The soundtrack is good, too!!

          • rmcphail
            Posted March 29, 2012 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

            I could never get passed the name. I kept wanting to think of Samurai Shampoo. Which would be a shampoo that if it failed to get your hair clean would puncture itself and spill the rest of the bottle down the drain. Which is wasteful, but awesome.

  7. Beau Joshua Amor Davidson
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

    Great Teacher Onizuka. The anime does little justice for the manga, but I will show both to my future children. It was one of the best stories ever written.

    • Alan Martin
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

      First few were brilliant. Slowed down after the first few episodes but I was hooked enough to finish. I would probably stop at episode 12 or so these days.

  8. Blarghedy
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

    Planning to see Legend of Korra, Pat?

  9. Starshinne
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

    While I enjoyed Full Metal Alchemist, I must say that the remake they made of it, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is awesome. It is much darker and all the filler has been left out.

  10. cynrtst
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    I loved:
    Escaflowne, The series, not the movie
    Last Exile
    Gankutsuou (A retelling of the Count of Monte Christo in space, with vampires)
    Samurai Champloo
    and last but not least Beck (or Mongolian Chop Squad, to distinguish itself from the musician, Beck)

    • Jaimey_1982
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

      Haha…I’m the exact opposite of you on Escaflowne. Hated the series, but the movie is one of my favorites. :)

    • Valarya
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

      Absolutely yes to a couple of your mentions. Specifically:

      – Neon Genesis Evangelion
      Really. Who doesn’t love Mechanars?! This series is top-notch & should not be missed by anyone who loves anime.

      – Samurai Champloo
      Wonderful story. Amazing soundtrack. Ace series.

      – Last Exile
      Siiiiigh :)

      I would like to add two other top-favs when it comes to series:

      – Elfen Lied
      Absolutely bloody/gory series. At only 13 episodes it is paced wonderfully and has a story that will hook you in within the first few minutes of Episode 1.

      – Nodame Cantibile
      Not your typical series. There are no warriors or heroes with giant weapons or badass abilities. Nope, this is a story about a pianist becoming a conductor and the various people he meets through music school. Beautiful soundtrack (the classics!) and fantastic story.

      I can’t wait to check out your recommendation of Gankutsuou!!! Never heard of it, so thanks for that. Sounds great just from the short description you gave! :D

      • BobaFert
        Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

        Definitely agree with Elfen Lied and Last Exile. Darker than Black was good enough for me to watch all the episodes.

        Top 3 are Avatar:TLA, Cowboy Beebop, and Last Exile in that order.

  11. Nixorbo
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:15 AM | Permalink

    My anime collection consists of, in alphabetical order, Cowboy Bebop, Halo Legends (only worth obtaining if you’re a fan of the Halo lore), Outlaw Star, Read or Die (just the OAV, R.o.D. the TV was way too much emotions and not nearly enough paper mastery [the following sentence only makes sense if you’ve seen either]) and Trigun. If we include my fiancee’s collection, that gives us the entire Ghibli catalogue, including Castle of Cagliostro. So kudos on your tastes in anime.

  12. PJ
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    You should take a trip to the Studio Ghibli museum next time (or if ever you’re) in Japan. It’s a fantastic exhibit, and every aspect of the place is designed to be significant, even the building’s facade.

  13. pdxtrent
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:18 AM | Permalink

    Oh my god!
    I can’t believe you forgot to mention _______ ___ ______ it’s the best thing EVER!
    You’re dead to me Rothfuss! Dead. To. Me.

    (Just kidding, I wanted to try out this outlast thing, I’m not sure it’s for me:-)

    • hewhocomeswiththelocust
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:35 AM | Permalink

      You thought I was going correct you on your spelling error, you thought wrong.

      • hewhocomeswiththelocust
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

        Ah that was a bit dickish, I’m sorry you’ll have to excuse me I am a horrible human being.

  14. PieFormation
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:19 AM | Permalink

    Clannad is one of the few works of fiction that has managed to legitimately move me to tears. I am of the opinion that anyone with a functioning soul should be required to watch it.

  15. Evenglare
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:19 AM | Permalink

    Fantastic List. I would just like to point out that Avatar :Legend of Korra actually does keep the high quality of story, I personally had extremely high expectations, and they surpassed them. I am impressed with what I have seen so far. It’s like the show never left. You can watch the first 2 for free ,and legally at .

  16. Tortuga9321
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:19 AM | Permalink

    Scrapped Princess is absolutely amazing! Probably one of the best out there. Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood comes in a close second.

    • MatrixM
      Posted April 14, 2012 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

      I disagree with this one big-time. I disagree with a few of the other ones but i feel the need to mark this one out as it did receive some very positive reviews. I didn’t like how everything changes at the end. I remember one critic said something like “I don’t mind sci-fi series. But I’d to know i’m watching one beforehand” which pretty much sums up my feelings. Perhaps the original novels were better and it didn’t translate well as a tv series. I also just didn’t like how things ended and the reasoning of that character introduced at the end.

      Thena gain, I was around 10 when i saw it, perhaps i’d change my opinion after 8 years :P

  17. jasontilli
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:22 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat…. along with your books, anime is a great passion of mine. I want to ^5 all of your top 5. I would like to say that Full Metal Alchemist was revised into a better series called Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. I’d like to add a reall classic – Fist of the north star. Thanks for your awesome writing and entertaining blog. I hope that fame only hones your greatness instead of dulling your shine. Peace Out

  18. CrazyCineFan
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

    Princess Mononoke is my favorite one from Miyazaki hands down. I would like to recommend Code Geass. The BEST anime serie you could watch. The second season is juste so great and Lelouch will always stay in my heart. On an other note, I can’t wait for Avatar: Legend of Korra, hopes they keep the good job! (Sorry if you find some mistakes, I need to practice my English a bit more)

  19. aphitt119
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

    Fist of the North Star. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a man wanders around and does awesome shit. He has some rivals, knows a secret karate where he press pressure points and peoples head get blown the fuck up. When he fights he makes this awesome noise that is hilarious. The beginning is random episodes but it has great story as it progresses.

    • IvoryDoom
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

      That sounds freakin’ sick. I’m searching that shit on Netflix tonight, they have a TON of anime.

  20. Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

    When I saw “The Last Airbender” as your number 1, I died and came back to life out of pure joy. I own a copy of all three seasons and am in denial that the movie exists. It was disgraceful. Do not bother.

    I haven’t seen any of the others you mentioned on the top 5 list or the honourable mentions list (I might have seen A LITTLE Ghost in the Shell, but my personal taste stopped me from watching much), though Miyizaki is a god by all means… Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle <3

    I like Fullmetal Alchemist, though the series went forever! Death Note is pretty amazing, I have the boxset for that, and Hellsing, if you've never watched it, and you like vampires and whatnot, you should get into it :) If you're after something cute/funny/stupid, then go Chobits or Hetalia.

    Well that's my rant in response to this blog! :D

  21. toastedfroglegs
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:25 AM | Permalink

    i can agree with you on FMA. i was a huge fan of the original manga, and i felt that the show took the story in a totally different direction. one that wasnt as cool.

    my favorite anime is and always will be Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo. not only is it based on my favorite book next to American Gods (HBO please pick up the show!), but it also features Space and Demons and a color scheme that will fry your brain. its relatively short, about 26 episodes or so, so even if you dont have a lot of time, its worth it.

    • IvoryDoom
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

      Gankutsuou is sick ass. I concur! Was hoping someone would throw that out. This blog rocks.

  22. Jeadom
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:25 AM | Permalink

    Although the pacing bogs down and the ending is a giant cluster I will always love Neon Genesis Evangelion. I’m also incredibly fond of the original Bubble Gum Crisis OVAs.

  23. hewhocomeswiththelocust
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:27 AM | Permalink

    I’ve rewatched it about ten times. It’s very relaxing. I would write more about the anime but I feel insufficient as a writer to fully captivate my true feelings towards it.
    It makes me feel high. Yeah that’s good.

    • benlodin
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

      I have to second Mushi-shi. The story telling is top-notch, the series is short (26 episodes?), and each episode is self-contained. Relaxing, thought provoking, mystifying, and at times a little disturbing, it should not be missed. Just don’t watch it if you are delerious with fatigue, because it may put you to sleep!

    • hewhocomeswiththelocust
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 3:29 AM | Permalink

      Ahhh I can’t believe nobody mentioned Gintama
      Go watch it right now on crunchyroll
      The funniness (is that a word?) is on par with Louis C.K. no joke that freakin funny

  24. William Wall
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:29 AM | Permalink

    “Avatar: The Legend of Korra” just started. They’re two episodes in and it’s pretty frickin’ brilliant. I can already tell the script has improved; there appears to be less holes in the story and not such a plethora of “duh” moments. The targeted age of the audience has been changed to conform to those who watched the original series. In the second episode they stole your sword-tree idea, it made me laugh.

    • Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:37 AM | Permalink

      Heeheehee, I noticed the exact same thing with the leaf on the wind.

  25. MLBurt
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM | Permalink

    Cool to know we have similar taste! If I had to pick one Miyazaki film, it’d be Mononoke. Ghost in the Shell is also fantastic, though the sexualization is a touch troublesome.

  26. Jam
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:37 AM | Permalink

    Great animes I have to agree! All of them great.

    btw the other 99% of the internets is porn..

  27. ShaneJ
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

    I have to say I love that your first two favorites are my first two.

    I’ve loved the Last Airbender since the very first episode, a very well told story! Any interest in the little spinoff/sequel series their doing the Legend of Kora?

  28. Fluffybunnywant2kill
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM | Permalink

    Major WIN on the majority of your choices (Havnet seen Trigun or Akira).

    If this comment happens to grab your attention I HIGHLY Recomend Samurai 7 and Samurai Champloo. Samurai 7 was actually a classic japanese live action film way back when and they tweaked the story and adapted it into an anime series. VERY good!

  29. Alison
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:52 AM | Permalink


  30. Alison
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:53 AM | Permalink

    I enjoyed The Last Airbender. I enjoyed even more the fact that you just made a verb out of the word “screeling”.

  31. triteconfessions
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

    I think you would enjoy Hunter x Hunter – it’s a wonderful best friends journey that includes a lot of fighting.

    Time of Eve is a really well drawn anime that explores the relationship between humans and robots in a world where the rules are very strict about regulating robots. In a small, unknown underground cafe, the rules don’t apply and robots can shed their one identifying marker as robots. Here robots and humans mingle as sentient beings with desires and emotions.

  32. Mcduk
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

    I found Avatar to be completely charming, and am quite pleased to see it on your list. While there were sneak peeks of the premier episodes available over this last weekend, the sequel, “The Legend of Korra,” premiers April 14th.

  33. KoolKoal
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

    Genshiken is my personal favorite. It’s old, but I re-watch it about once every year. Once I do, I invariably become upset that they never made the whole story into an anime, and go read the manga. Perhaps I would suggest anyone interested just reads the manga then? I can’t decide.

    Anyway, its a “slice of life” style story that focuses on the life of an otaku and the various trials of being a geek that ring true no matter what culture you’re a part of.

  34. laura118b
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

    Iria: Zeiram the Animation, is really very good. Also Pet Shop of Horrors. That one is full of twisted little morality warnings as only a Japanese music tv station could serve up.

  35. PostaKiwi
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:21 AM | Permalink

    Avatar: Masterpiece (the movements, the landscapes… everything is so damn perfect) , its an animation but I think is not within the genus of anime.

    A bit of my favorites in anime movies:
    -Perfect Blue (same director of Paprika)
    -Redline (“brand new” but made every frame was made by hand)

    -Samurai X (most of it was great… then the anime reaches the manga an it all fell apart…)

    There’s a lot of good stuff out there n_n

  36. Arcy
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:23 AM | Permalink

    I would like to reinforce the recommendation for Legend of Korra. It is same-y enough while being different-y enough that I think long time Avatar: The Last Airbender fans will be pleased.

    If (generic) you like Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki, please do not miss the forthcoming video game for the Playstation 3 entitled “Ni no Kuni”. The game surpasses mere “art”.

  37. Oatmeal
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:35 AM | Permalink

    My absolutely favorite anime movie was Grave of the Fireflies. It’s beautifully done, and utterly heartbreaking.

    • Valarya
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

      I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard during any media material as I did during Grave of the Fireflies. Cripes. :'(

      • Stina
        Posted March 28, 2012 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

        Yeah, had a really crappy day and thought I should just snuggle up at home and watch some anime…biggest misstake ever. The shitty day just became awful after watching that movie… Great movie, but I cried a lot :(

        • Oatmeal
          Posted March 28, 2012 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

          Oh no. It’s not what I would call an uplifting film…. :o(

  38. Sianika
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

    I’m not sure if you are still reading this, but I must mention “Ergo Proxy”. It is simply amazing, but you have to watch it a couple of times to get everything. :)

    Also, yay Avatar the Last Airbender. I’m 20, so I thought I was biased about it’s awesomeness. I’m happy to find out that I’m not.

  39. Tehanu
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:43 AM | Permalink

    I would definitely recommend Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood which follows the manga quite closely.
    I also think you would enjoy Tekkonkinkreet. It’s a movie and is sort of hard to find but has beautiful story telling.

  40. Yossarian
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

    I think its worth pointing out, if only simply for the historical record, that Akria actually a pretty sensical film in the right context. What makes it difficult for most viewers to grasp is that it’s: 1) the condensation of a 2000 page Manga into a circa 2 hour film, meaning that its the bare bones of a very long and convoluted plot and 2) *very* historically specific regarding a certain moment in Japanese post-war history. Akria is a product of a deep malaise in Japanese politics born from the complacency of the bubble era, and its difficult to parse its narratives about political corruption, rebellion, and social degeneration without understanding contemporary Japanese politics. That being said, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the movie without these things (one does not need a degree in Asian Studies to watch a little Anime), but it goes a long way to explaining why it appears as such a trip to Western viewers. Imagine watching Dr. Strangelove without knowing anything about the Cold War and you start to get the idea.

    • Valarya
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

      Not to mention there hasn’t been an anime movie to top the soundtrack of Akira, yet! ;)

  41. crystalv54
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:58 AM | Permalink

    Chobits is really good, and I think a lot of people were misguided by the girly Sailor moon looking cover into thinking it was a girly tween anime series when its not.

  42. Jay7
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:10 AM | Permalink

    Think you’re getting a taste for Japanese humour? Try these on for size, in descending order of accessibility:

    Azumangah Daioh

    A slice of life Japanese schoolgirl series chock full of adorable silliness which I didn’t think I would like, but couldn’t help loving. Great characters, wonderfully voice acted (although I’m definitely a sub-snob and can’t comment on the english dub without ignorance fueled derision), and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. Never gets TOO in your face sickly Japanese. If Lucky Star is overripe pineapple, this is fresh summer peach.

    Yakitate!! Japan

    One of the things I really admire about anime is how it can take the perfectly mundane and overdramatize it to extreme and exhilirating heights. When trying to describe this phenomenom to outsiders, Yakitate!! Japan is the perfect example. It is about baking bread. There are bread contests. There are bread tournaments. There are wild and crazy and unrealistic breadmaking techniques. There are extended sequences of people freaking out over how delicious the bread they just ate is (and how). Although subject to last act anime bullshit (due to a huge chunk of the manga being cruelly condensed) it is far more engaging and addicting than you would expect from such a ridiculous premise, and often hilarious.

    Golden Boy

    A short 6 episode OVA about a young lad and his heartwarming adventures of self discovery and the people he helps along the way. Oh, and he also has a somewhat dehabilitating toilet fetish. Good unclean fun.

    Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo

    Must be seen to be believed. Explanations defy it. Although forced to do so considering I’ve never been able to find subs of it, it’s one of the only anime I’ve ever thoroughly enjoyed in English. The Localization was Pullitzer Prize worthy, and I sincerely doubt any other anime has ever been more effectively translated and voice acted in English. Hold on to your hats, it gets really weird really quickly.

    • Jay7
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:12 AM | Permalink

      Whoa! I didn’t mean to blather on so extensively! Must be the neckbeard coming out in me. Grad school tends to make one long winded, I suppose.

  43. Envinyatar
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:28 AM | Permalink

    Pat, you wrote “Anything by Miyazaki”, then you definetly must give a try on Makoto Shinkai’s works. They call him “The New Miyazaki”.

    Cheers from Brazil!

    • JulianCellini
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:24 AM | Permalink

      I vote for “5 Centimeters Per Second”. But if you have only 5 minutes (really) you must see “She and Her Cat”. I still fell how the time stops while I’m watching Shinkai Works.

      Saludos from Argentina!

      • Envinyatar
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

        Hey, neighbor! “5 Centimenters Per Second” is amazing indeed! And i know exactly how it feels that time stop sensation.

  44. Tini
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:28 AM | Permalink

    First: excuse my awful english, please because I’m german and don’t be used to speak or write it…

    So, Pat, I love your List!
    But nobody mentioned “Record of Lodoss War” – that suprises me. This series was one of the first fantasy anime series, I think. It’s a wonderful story with some (I agree) stereo typed characters, but it was a kind of entry to enjoy fantasy plots…
    I know, there are more modern and more tricky series than that and Miyazaki is out of competition (!) but the child inside my heart isists to recommend it here.

    • fallenshell
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

      I was looking to see if anyone would mention it as well. I enjoyed it a lot growing up. I don’t think it’s as “simple” as people think but that may be my inner child screaming at me to remind me how lovable it was.

  45. AtheistPreacher
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:01 AM | Permalink

    Oh boy. This may be a long post. I’ve always loved that you made the Cowboy Bebop reference, but I wasn’t sure you’d ever do any kind of blog about anime.

    I’m a huge anime nut. A list of what I’ve watched, organized by my personal 1-10 rating of it, can be found here:

    I think it’s interesting that you’re on the subs side. I’m very much on the dubs side myself. My position is that, sure, the subtitled translation may be closer to the original in some cases, but I don’t think you actually get much from hearing Japanese voices unless you actually speak Japanese. Any “authenticity” you get from doing so is lost by the unnatural mechanic of having to constantly read translations of what’s going on. To me, it’s a much more “authentic” experience to understand what’s being said.

    Then again, maybe you’re just jaded by poor English voicework, but that may have something to do with the vintage you’ve watched. It’s been getting better and better and better, so that the newer shows usually have really awesome voicework.

    Princess Mononoke is a good pick. And you’re right that pretty much anything Miyazaki is fantastic. My own favorite is probably Howl’s Moving Castle, because I find the whole age of Sophie dynamic based on her emotional state fascinating. But it’s pretty much up for grabs which of those movies is the best.

    Cowboy Bebop. I hate to sound elitist, but although I did like it, I think it gets overblown, probably because it’s simply the more adult-oriented anime that’s gained the most exposure in the States. But I will say that it probably has the best music of any anime ever, period. Yoko Kanno is a genius.

    And you are absolutely right to say that Akira doesn’t make any damned sense. But let me tell you a secret. It was only after I went back and read the original manga that I understood the full truth of this statement. The film literally doesn’t give you all the pieces that you need to make sense of all that goes on story-wise. However, if you ever get a chance to read the manga, then finally it will all make sense, because you’ll actually get the whole damned story.

    Love that you’ve got Ghost in the Shell on there. Not sure if you’ve seen the series, in some ways it’s even better than the film.

    Ninja Scroll is another great one. Ever seen Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust? Same director, same great sense of perfect story pacing.

    Glad that you like some Satoshi Kon movies — Paprika and Millennium Actress. Not sure if you know this, but he died two years ago of pancreatic cancer at the age of 47. Truly tragic, as he was destined to make a lot of other mind-blowing stuff. His other two films are Perfect Blue and Tokyo Godfathers, both of which are good, although I think the two you’ve mentioned are better. He also did one 13-episode series called Paranoia Agent, and I consider this his best work of all. In fact, if there is one anime I’d recommend for you, Pat, knowing what little I know of you from following your blog and watching you speak, this might be the one I recommend. Either that, or Kino’s Journey, or Mushishi. Hard to go wrong with any of those three.

    Well, anyway, I could go on for ages, but I’ll stop. It’s not about me, after all. I will say that my favorite series ever is probably an obscure one called Texhnolyze, but this is not one I easily recommend, as it is really very slow, and quite confusing.

    • Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:54 AM | Permalink

      As I was reading through the comments, I kept thinking, “Am I the only one that is going to appreciate Rothfuss’s Satoshi Kon love?”…then, last comment here, and there you are. =)

      I am definitely in agreement with you on “Paranoia Agent”…absolutely blew my mind when I first watched it. I believe it was only three or four episodes in when I decided that it was going to be a very strong contender as my favorite.

      • AtheistPreacher
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

        Indeed, always nice to meet another fan. He truly was an amazing director and an amazing storyteller. When I think of all the great movies Miyazaki made after the age of 47, when Satoshi Kon died, it still makes me weepy. He had so much left to give.

        But part of the reason that Paranoia Agent is so brilliant is that most of the episodes can be watched either stand-alone or seen as a part of the whole. I’ve showed, for instance, just episode 5 (the police interrogation) to friends, or just episode 8 (the funny suicide club one), and they’re great just as individual things. But when you put it all together, it’s still cohesive, and is all the better as a whole.

  46. SarahS
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:11 AM | Permalink

    Urgh Avatar. LOATHE IT. Blame my boyfriend. We don’t really have time to watch it, so he records it. Then when the hard drive can not take any more, he sets himself down and spends the ENTIRE weekend watching back to back Avatar. I’m sure it’s a great show. Hell, I love chocolate, but if I stuff my face with it all weekend I– wait wait, bad example.

    I love reading, but force me to re–, okay wait, that doesn’t work either.

    Okay, I’m just a hypocrite then :( Let him watch Avatar even if it drives me insane.

  47. thendavesaid
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:57 AM | Permalink

    You should try FLCL. It’s a blend of action, music, satire, and nostalgia. With only six half-hour episodes it’s a small investment of time and a great anime.

  48. David B
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:03 AM | Permalink

    You’ve allready mentioned it and it is SO DAMN WORTH watching: Death Note. Even though the second half of the series slacks off a little bit, I think it is still one of the most brilliant anime series I’ve ever seen.

    I also love Hellsing, just for the fact that Alucard is one of the most kick ass characters of all time (I’d so love to see a suvudu kinda cage match between him and a certain Edward :D) and so is the music.

    Well… and then there’s my childhood heart that screams “Saberrider and the Starsheriffs” all over the place. While it’s pretty lousy in terms of plot and the animation is definately not top of the list, I still have VERY warm feelings for that one :D

    • Valarya
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

      I listen to L’s theme often. Love that series.

    • Stina
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 1:13 AM | Permalink

      Yes, Death Note is definetly on my list…I read half of the manga and loved it. But then I sort of felt like there was such a perfect ending in the middle of it, so I stopped reading, because I thought “this is perfect, and I guess it will only go downhill from here” I did watch the entire thing when it came as anime though, and even though the second part was a bit slower, I still liked it.

      And of course Hellsing Ultimate, I dont even know if it is finished yet, but OMG, IT’S EVIL NAZI VAMPIRES! …amazing :)

      And Miyazaki…

      Totoro is my favourite…there’s not really any obstacles for them to overcome, no danger or action…it is just so cute. The whole movie is super sweet and funny and colorful and I just sit there smiling.

      I also love Spirited Away. Great movie, amazing music!

      • DrFood
        Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM | Permalink

        Totoro was the first movie we showed to our daughter #1. Hubby purchased a multi DVD set of Miyazaki films, all subtitled. I heard that Japanese soundtrack so many times I started to learn to speak it!

        DD#1 went through a serious Kiki phase where she only wanted to wear plain black dresses and ride on a broom. DD#2’s favorite Miyazaki is Nausicaa and I like that one as well.

        If you described Porco Rosso to me I would think you were pulling my leg, but there it is–a pig flying a fighter plane with a girl mechanic. My favorite thing about the Miyazaki films is all the strong girls.

  49. Marcus Cox
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:22 AM | Permalink

    Really dig your top 5. Cowboy Bebop, Trigun and Princess Mononoke are some of my favorites as well. I’ve tried wrapping my head around Akira and just fail miserably so it’s hard for me to see the marvel in it, but that’s just me.

    Another one I enjoyed was Last Exile. It’s truly a beautiful and quite enjoyable show. Then there is also Wolf’s Rain. It was created by Keiko Nobumoto, who also created Cowboy Bebop. I really enjoyed the hell out of this one too. Not quite the same level as Bebop, but it’s hard to be as good as Bebop.

    Lastly I liked the first half of Gungrave. Once Brandon turned into Beyond the Grave is when it really started to loose my interest. Just watching the friendship of Brandon and Harry was way more interesting to me than a guy returning to life to get revenge.

    • Odelay321
      Posted March 29, 2012 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

      With out divulging too much about it I need to ask if you watched it till the end? Because the end is definitely worth watching.

      • Marcus Cox
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

        I did and I agree. The last episode is really good and feels more like the first half of the series. I’ll admit it caught me by surprise and honestly made me a little mad at first, but the more I thought on it I realized it was the perfect ending for the series.

  50. Vincent
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    – Stein;s Gate – Very good, time travel using a micro-wave!
    – Appleseed 1 & 2 – very nice sci-fi (post-apocalyptic dome)
    – Dead leaves (absurdistic)
    – My neighbour Totoro (if Oot is old enough – great Miyazaki for children)

    For the rest I agree with: Avatar, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Code Geass, Death Note, Gankutsuou, Kanon, Millenium Actress.

  51. Rahl
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:05 AM | Permalink

    Why no love for the new Thundercats?? I’ve really enjoyed it! if you haven’t seen any just watch the pilot and you will be hooked.

    Films :
    Appleseed is great..
    Mononoke everyone loves..

    Series :
    Death Note started good but kinda lost it towards the end and the ending was a huge disappointment to me.
    Escaflowne (other than the first epp) is amazing.

    I understand that there is a new Airbender series that started last week that is supposed to be good! Also there is a Mass Effect series on the way.

  52. dmbeucler
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    I will second what has been said above about the Legend of Korra. The first episodes aren’t online anymore (they were a teaser just for the weekend) but they changed the look of the world enough that you can tell the difference between the stories right away. Korra is very different from Aang but they did a good job of making that shadow underneath, and it’s believable that she’s a new incarnation. It’s going to be a different story from the first one, but I’m very interested in what they are going to say. They also included a character named Mako who I think is going to become a series regular. I love the homage.

    Another series I enjoyed was Fushigi Yuugi. It’s two seasons (there may be extra stuff but I haven’t seen it) and it’s a good story with an ending that isn’t crazytown.

    Anything by Miyazaki is worth watching. Howl’s Moving Castle is a favorite (even though it’s a different story then the book the movie is still a good story).

    • dmbeucler
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

      And now I see that I missed the honorable mentions. Obviously I need my metaphorical coffee before posting. :-p

      • IvoryDoom
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

        Nothing ever leaves the internet, you just arent looking hard enough.

  53. Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

    The graphic novels of Full Metal Alchemist are a lot stronger than the anime. (I haven’t watched Brotherhood though, not sure which anime series you’ve seen)

  54. Jaimey_1982
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    Excellent list. My personal favorite is Wolf’s Rain, but I tend to like stuff like that. I would highly recommend Texhnolyze. Futuristic, dystopian, and the first episode only has three lines of dialogue; if you like Ghost in the Shell, you’ll probably like Texhnolyze.

    I’d also recommend Escaflowne, the MOVIE, not the series. As far as I’m concerned, the series doesn’t exist. But the movie is amazing and worth a watch. Beautifully animated, good story, and the Yoko Kanno soundtrack; you can’t go wrong.

    • Jaimey_1982
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

      Also, Detroit Metal City, if you like hilarious and super awkward.

  55. nil
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:47 AM | Permalink

    Nice choices, though I do not count Avatar as an anime – it’s a cartoon(mostly because it is not asian and the style is different, still a lovely piece). You are probably fed up by now with recommendations, but I hope you don’t mind several more.

    As you inclined that you pay attention to the story and the way it is told you should definitely watch Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai /a very long title I know/. It is brand new – just from the last spring season. It is the best slice of life story I have ever seen. It has a slice of drama, a slice of childhood, a slice of real emotions.

    Another recommendation is Studio 4°C’s Genius Party and Genius Party Beyond. Both consist of short clips from different directors. An absolute eye candy. I can’t even start to describe it. It’s kind of the best way to show what anime is capable of. It’s a journey through the dreams of different people.

    And I’m going to leave it at that. Have a nice day ^^

  56. rainshadow
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:48 AM | Permalink

    Clannad, Trigun, Cowboy Bebop are all great series.

    Also love Gurren Lagann, an colorful epic that never takes itself too seriously.

    Blue Gender, relatively similar to Starship Troopers, but a much darker tale IMO.

    Full Metal Panic, about a boy soldier who grew up in the Middle East being thrown into civilization to protect the Japanese version of the All-American girl. Great action, comedy, and a slice of romance.

    Code Geass, perhaps the best anime I’ve seen to date, about an exiled prince in an alternate universe who fights to overcome the odds to change the world. A dark tale filled with war and intrigue.

    • Valarya
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

      Was waiting for someone to mention Gurren Lagann. It’s the god-series amongst the depths of the internet. :)

      • duke7883
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

        I have been scrolling FOREVER looking for someone that mentions Gurren Lagann. This one gets my vote. Definitely worth watching.

        This coming from a guy who doesn’t particularly like anime. Other than this one I’ve only really enjoyed Ninja Scroll and Samurai Champloo. That’s about it. Didn’t see Cowboy Bebop. Didn’t like Code Geass or Deathnote, couldn’t get interested. Akiira was alright, Princess Monokoke was alright. FMA didn’t float my boat. Various others in this list that just didn’t keep me coming back.

  57. AdamG
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

    I really think that you would get a kick out of Baka and Test (Baka to Test to Shokanju). It is relatively new to the market and it is one of the few anime comedies that excels in English. The writers elevated parody, misunderstanding, and ridiculous situations to an art form. Episodes can be watched on Hulu for free.

  58. keebelf
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    Great list! Airbender is a GREAT show!

    Other faves of mine that I can watch over and over are Full Metal Alchemist, Witch Hunter Robin, Wolf’s Rain, Elfin Leid, Princess Tutu and Fruits Basket.

    Oban Star Racer is a good one also but doesn’t get the credit it deserves.


  59. fathomtalon
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

    If you have a moment and the video stays available since you are a Trigun fan:

    Also for anime if you have time I would recommend if you haven’t sen them:
    Howl’s Moving Castle – pure awesome
    GunxSword – Van makes it, I just love his character.
    Guilty Crown – It just sucked me in.
    Gintama – for humor and occasional serious story
    Grenadier – Trigunish with well…boobs

    And since I know your time is liited i will leave it at that.

    • fathomtalon
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

      sorry that’s supposed to be limited. I blame it on the keyboard…cause I can.

  60. spoonyspork
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

    Great list! Avatar (I will always call it such!) is definitely in my top picks as well – great blend of goofiness and seriousness and just outright good storytelling. My son was 2 when it first came out and he watched it with us. It kept his attention and he seemed able to appreciate it as much as us adult-folk. When it came out on netflix last year we all watched it over again, and he’s watched the whole series at least twice more on his own. Any time I happen to walk into the room while he’s watching it I’ll sit down… and suddenly we’ve watched 3 or 4 episodes again XD

    Paprika is awesome mostly because it managed to be Akira on crack. I thought Akira took the cake for insanity… then I saw Paprika. It was just so beautiful and insane I was utterly fascinated.

    Ghost in the Shell is among my favorites for the music more than anything, though the whole cyberpunk feel of it was fun as well.

    A few top favorites for those that didn’t make the list:

    Full Metal Alchemist (both versions): for steampunk goodness and a great story in general. The ‘alchemy’ would probably be familiar to you and readers of your series as well.

    Rurouni Kenshin: Fantastical retelling of real history. A little over the top for fights from time to time (so many animes are guilty of this), but generally a cute, fun story.

    Code Geass: GIANT ROBOTS! …… eer, it’s basically ‘modern day… if Rome were replaced in history by the Celts, which didn’t ultimately fall… with a l’il bit of magic thrown in’. Did I mention giant robots? The characters – hero and villain alike – are all in shades of grey rather than ‘evil’ and ‘good’ … especially the main character, a concept I really like. I always see it compared to Death Note (and I think it’s done by the same people), but to me it’s really nothing like it.

    There are so many others, but those are definitely my top picks other than the list you’ve already given :)

  61. bluezone
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

    Since someone already mentioned the great ‘Tekkon Kinkreet’ I will chip in with ‘Wonderful Days’. Amazing dystopic animation from South Korea.
    I would recommend the original with subtitles as ALL foreign anime overdubs (including Princess Mononoke) can’t do justice to the original voicing. Impossible.

    Thanks for the other tips, I will check them out.


  62. bluezone
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    oh and totally forgot ‘The Secret of Kells’!
    Beautiful and great mystic/druid story. Outstanding voice acting and music.

  63. Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:09 AM | Permalink

    The first Anime I ever saw was “Vampire Hunter D”. It will always have special place in my geek heart.

  64. Lucas
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    No One Piece love from anyone? I’ll blurb about it. Though I can’t quite put my finger on it I jst absolutely love One Piece. My favorite anime series. Something about it just draws me in. The humor. The emtional moments. So much more. I just enjoy it so much. I would recommend it to anyone. Though a super long sereries, 500+ episodes and still on going, I look forward it each new episode.

    I have to admit I’m not much of a manga guy. I just stick to anime.

    Now after reading everyone’s comments I can’t help but feel left in the dark when it comes to anime. Though I have watched some of the many suggestions, in the blog and comments, I feel I haven’t cast my nets wide enough in search for a deversity in anime. I’ll definitely be looking in to most of not all of these seriers suggested.

    List of suggestions:
    One Piece
    Death Note
    Yu Yu Hakusho
    King of Thorne (absolutely great psychological anime movie, though I’ve read the movie didn’t do the manga justice. I still loved it.)
    FLCl (saw this anime in a comment. I was bewildered and intrigued through with this series and found it pretty enjoyable. I would say worth a recommmendation, especially since its only 6 episodes long.)
    Soul Eater (though I watched most of the episodes I never finished the series. Still rather enjoyable. I would have more to say about it but it’s been a while since I watched it.)

    Whoa, 30% battery gone on the my phone. I could go on but I suppose I should log off now. Thank for the suggestions everyone. Looking forward to some anime now! Hope everyone is having a fine day.

  65. Neiel
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:21 AM | Permalink


    I see you have a lot of recomendations, but I’ve another one for you, if you ever have enough time for it!
    – Karas, a six-part animation with one of the best photography I’ve ever seen in an anime (
    If you see even a chapter, tell me what you think!

    In any case, I agree that everyone has their own taste and, obviously, the age at which you see something, influences you like it or not ;)

    Greetings from Spain! ^_^

  66. Kelly
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    Despite the fact that you already have a ton of recommendations, I have to chime in with my favorite anime series, Revolutionary Girl Utena. The entire series is basically about subverting tropes in extremely clever ways. I’m not sure if the director entirely intended it, but I consider it an essential feminist text and I want everyone to watch it while I point at the screen and yell, “Yes, this!”

  67. journeymanNW
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    The live action movie “Casshern” is about at the limits of how many amine tropes you can cram into a movie, including a mystical (claymation?) tree of birds, a completely incomprehensible ending, a train so wide it needs three or four tracks, and a scene that has lead me to work on an entirely new form of table top RP game, tentatively titled Shout a Castle…

    John in Seattle

  68. Sokol
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    Nick has been running reruns of Avatar for years, and so my daughter and I got in the habit of watching. However, they would only show groups of shows in order and then suddenly jump into a different segment.

    Finally, I looked at my daughter, and said, “We just have to by the entire series, don’t we.”

    We then spent many happy geek hours watching the series in order.

  69. Anonymous
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    Here’s some good ones for you –

    Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero. Beginnings are both a little slow, but they are both brilliant stories.
    Death Note. Good series. Really makes you think.
    D. Gray Man. Decent story. Not the best anime ever, but it definitely has some brilliant moments.
    Gundam Seed. Everybody loves giant robots.
    Hellsing. For the love of God, you need to watch this.
    Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. For reasons listed elsewhere in the comments.
    Great Teacher Onizuka. Fine, fine anime.

  70. RegistrationIsStupid
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Hey there Pat, well every now and then there comes a time when one of us can repay you for your advice on other topics.

    I’m infinitively happy to see you mentioned Ninja Scroll. It is the above all best Anime I have ever watched. I totally love Jubei Kibagami. Is that a kick-ass cool character or what?!? There is a second movie “Ninja Resurrection” and a series named “Ninja Scroll”. First movie still beats them all in awesomeness though.

    And since you mentioned Ninja Scroll I’d like to point you to Hokuto no Ken “The Fist of the North Star”. It is an fairly old Anime. What story there is is in the 109 episodes TV-Show is wrapped up pretty good in the movie with goes by the same name. Also by the same name goes a 3 part OVA with came out in 2003 with way cooler animation art, if you like the computer added design Animes better, that is.
    2005 brought a 5 movie series with cool animations and even a good story background portraying the main characters one in each movie. All of them a great watch. Don’t bother with the later released prequel Souten no ken, nice animations but boring as hell.

    Other stuff I liked and I think might fit to the Animes you mentioned – not necessarily in order of there individual greatness:
    * Elfen Lied (German for elven song)
    * Wolf’s Rain
    * Samurai X (a.k.a Rurouni Kenshin)
    * Claymore
    * Berserk
    * Bastard
    * Basilisk (watch this if you liked Ninja Scroll)
    * Visions of Escaflowne
    * Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
    * Blade of the Immortal
    * Samurai 7
    * Afro Samurai (highly commercial, but still way cool)
    * Tenjo Tenge

    More Fun and happiness dominated Animes I liked include:
    * Slayers
    * Zero no Tsukaima
    * ..

    As you can see there is a lot of Madhouse, Bones and Gonzo productions in my recommendations. So check out the
    MADHOUSE wiki page, Gonzo wiki page, Bones wiki page
    for an easy overview what else was made by them.

    If you ever get the chance to watch any of these please let us know your opinion. And now I will read through all the comments hunting recommended Animes I haven’t seen, yet.


    • AtheistPreacher
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 2:04 AM | Permalink

      For the most part I love your list. We seem to have similar tastes.

      Of the stuff you mentioned, I haven’t seen bastard, Blade of the Immortal, Afro Samurai, Slayers, or Zero no Tsukaima. Seen everything else you mentioned.

      Wasn’t crazy about Fist of the North Star… though it was kinda meh. Loved the Kenshin OVAs, but not so much the series. Basilisk was a bit too focused on killing people off in surprising ways to be all the interesting for me. And Tenjho Tenge… well, I don’t mind a little fanservice, but it seemed that was pretty much all that show was. Lastly, Escaflowne had a great soundtrack, but I just couldn’t get behind the idea that they’re in this medieval swords-and-sorcery world with castles and such, and yet they ALSO have GIANT ROBOTS with laser beams. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t generally mind the mecha shows, but that struck me as an odd juxtaposition. Plus the story was just a bit too generic.

      But all the others you mentioned are some of my favorites… Ninja Scroll, Elfen Lied (not for the faint of heart), Wolf’s Rain, Claymore, Berserk, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Samurai 7.

      Makes me wonder, have you seen Gunslinger Girl, Black Lagoon, and the Hellsing Ultimate OVAs? Those would probably be right up your alley if you haven’t seen them yet.

      • Jaimey_1982
        Posted April 15, 2012 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

        Have you tried the Escaflowne movie? The mechas are presented much more as organic beings, dragons, if you will, rather than mechas. And the story is just way better condensed into the movie than it is in the series. The movie is a little steampunk too, so that helps with the mecha thing.

  71. patrickatx
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    There are already a bunch of good recommendations, but one I haven’t seen anyone recommend is Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal. This is one of my favorites. It’s meant as a prequal to the tv series (which is also good).

    Another one that I enjoyed that I don’t think has been mentioned yet is Darker Than Black. The anime is one of the first ones to be totally done in HD, and it is gorgeous. The plot is pretty interesting. Sadly the ending leaves some things open, and the following seasons that try and tie up the holes aren’t very good, but I still think the first season is worth a watch.

    I’ve never watched Avatar so I’m going to have to check it out. Always love getting new recommendations for anime.

  72. Jongleur
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my favourite tv shows overall, and I’m generally not an anime fan. I can’t wait for Legend of Korra, it looks pretty awesome too.

  73. Molliangelo
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    Please, please, watch One Piece! (In Japanese… the English version has been bastardized.) It’s incredibly long, but as we all know, long, intricate stories are the best kind. And, it’s hilarious and deep at the same time. Of course, I should really not suggest this as I am looking forward to book 3 and One Piece is currently on episode 540… but it’s SO good. :D

  74. Terry_D
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    Fine list, Pat. And you have a lot of readers with good taste, obviously. I second the comments about the Ghibli Museum — worth the trip, and my wife, who does not much enjoy anime, still loved the museum. Others:

    – just about anything from Satoshi Kon, esp. Tokyo Godfathers & Perfect Blue
    – just about anything from Oshii, esp. GitS & Patlabor
    – Hosoda’s Girl Who Leaped through Time & Summer Wars
    – Moribito
    – Planetes

    I know what you mean about Monster. Urasawa is great but digressive. His manga of Pluto is just write, but that’s a different discussion.

  75. Cellophane
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    I believe that animes can be separated in to three groups: set structure/episodes, growth of character, and growth of power.

    The more repeated group, to me, is the growth of power. I would classify Dragonball, Yu-Yu Hakusho, Veritas, Naruto, Bleach and the like here. While they are fun to watch, there is no point other than being the strongest.

    More interesting is the growth of character. I would classify Hikaru no Go, Avatar and the like here. They are more then one season long (greater than 26 episodes) and, while there may be a growth in power of some fashion, the more important growth is in the main characters.

    The greatest diversity is in the set structure/episodes anime. They are almost always one season long, characters growth is minimal, “power” growth is minimal, and the main objective is to tell a story. I would classify stand alone movies, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Berserk, Hellsing and the like here. To me, these are the most engrossing set because they tell a complete story which is almost always more intriguing than their power up counterparts.

  76. Alan Martin
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    In my opinion the best anime ever is ‘The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya’.

    I like anime because it often has a novelty with respect to western media. Sometimes in subject matter or morals, sometimes in sense of humour or sometimes it has a strange mode of narrative.

    TMOHS has all three.

    The first episode is presented as a short film made by the schoolchildren characters, complete with dodgy special effects, terrible camera work and a ‘pan to sky’ at the end of every scene. The episodes jump through time seemingly randomly. The main character is God but doesn’t realise it; she thinks she’s an ordinary schoolgirl with a penchant for the occult, aliens and time-travellers. The other characters are a magic wielding alien, a time travelling waitress, a guy with ESP powers and the thoroughly ordinary love interest who narrates the entire show but has no idea what’s going on. Haruhi doesn’t know that the world revolves around her and no one dare tell her in case it destroys the world, they just want to keep her happy.

    Honestly I’ve never seen anything like it before or since and it’s a joy to watch every time I do.

  77. Malthol
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    Twelve Kingdoms

    For depth of world, nothing tops it. The only downside is that it was canceled after the first major story arcs wrap up, but that’s still 45 episodes. This is one of the few my wife and I completely agree on (we have distinctly different tastes in anime).

  78. Brett de Jesus
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Being old (35+), I recommend checking out Kimagure Orange Road. You got a telekinetic family whose powers they’re trying to hide, and a girl based on Phoebe Cates that he’s trying to impress.

    Also recommend El-Hazard: The Magnificent World OAVs and even the series that followed. And Ah, My Goddess. Both have gorgeous animation, great characters, great voice acting (both Japanese and dubbed).

    Then there’s a pile of stuff I watched because a boy with too many love interests was too entertaining, and obviously wish fullfilling. (Love Hina, Hand Maid May, Ranma 1/2)

    Every few years I go back and rewatch these, but now I need dvds since the VCR has been long retired.

  79. IvoryDoom
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Great Blog Pat!
    I have to say our first three are completely in line, I havent watched the other two you mentioned, but I will now since we seem to have similar tastes.

    Princess Mononoke was actually the first anime I ever watched and its what made me love watching and drawing scenes from this genre. I still remember when my Dad rented it from the ONLY video store in our town and my mother was tramatized by Ashitaka shooting off peoples arms and heads. Yah, what can I say, it was love at first sight for me.

    Bebop also holds a special place in my heart, I used to stay up till nearly midnight just to watch it on TV and coincedentally its the reason I started watching Metalocalypse, which isnt an anime, but is still super funny and worth watching. With 15 minute episodes its pretty easy to throw into a slow day. Used to come on right after Bebop.

    And Avatar. I was sort of stoked you put it up there and was surprised more people didnt “boo” because thats what I generally get when I suggest Avatar is the shit (which it completely is) People who dont like it are just elitists who think all anime has to be made in Japan. That was some of the best storytelling ever and didnt require shock value. (America…Fuck Yah) I actually painted some of the scenes from the show that I found breathtaking. Specifically when Aang takes Ozai’s power, god, chills just thinking about that scene. But yah, the movie, dont bother. Lets just say, how can you fit something that took something like 20 episodes to convey into 90 minutes? Answer…YOU CANT! Thats why they made 20 episodes to begin with. The idiocy of Hollywood never ceases to amaze me.

    And yes, I realized this is getting long, but I wanted to throw out Blood+ since I didnt see anyone mention it. Saia is rockin’ awesome in my opinion and I actually hide renditions of her in paintings I do (I know, weird) but whats amusing is they are the ones that always sell :P and almost no one has ever recognized her.

    Maybe I’m the only one in america who actually watched Blood+ :(

    Also, I feel like I’ll probably get chopped to bits saying it, but I really liked Afro Samurai since you dont seem to mind American Made Anime its totally worth the try. I loved the bloodlust of the series.

  80. AngryOgre
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    Have to say, the Akira manga is several orders of magnitude better than the book. It also gets a little bit nuts at the end (ok, a lot nuts) but there is so much more character and world development leading up that craziness. Of course, its also 2000 pages long.

    • AngryOgre
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

      and by “book” I mean movie. I should sleep more often.

  81. Hugo
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    I like your taste, Pat!
    I watched some videos about the “Princes Mononoke,” but nobody ever recommended to me… but now, after your, post I will give it a chance!

    Thank you!

    • IvoryDoom
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

      One of my favorites!

      I had nightmares about that forest spirit thing for a week afterwards. Not the awful wake up screaming kind, but the cold sweat, holy shit I gotta remember that for later kind.

  82. gingitsune23
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

    “BFF anime of forever”?

    The funny things is, “Best Friend Forever Anime of Forever” is probably a real Japanese term.

    • Lucas
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

      I really enjoyed that specific line. Made me lol for real.

  83. Lucas1112
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    One i would highly suggest if you are into history is Hitalia: Axis Powers.
    The show is centered around the world just before WW1, and continues on past WW2. It personifies all the countries, creating characters out of the countries stereotype (and refers to them by their countries name). Germany is mean and tough, but secretly wants a friend, Japan is distant, and really loves his personal space, and Italy is an air-head, and very cowardly. The rest of the countries are there too, and each episode is based off of an event that actually occurred, only boiled down to one or two characters talking or fighting (and in some cases, all of them are present). It really is funny if you know your history, and the dub (i think) is better than the original just because they say whatever they want, no matter how outrageous. Also, Russia is kind of freaky.

    • Lucas1112
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

      I forgot to mention the part that will interest you the most. Each episode is only a few minutes lone (7 minutes i believe), so you can watch a few in the time it takes to watch one regular show.

  84. rain
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    I’m sure you got plenty of recommendations already, but I jsut have to mention the single best thing I’ve ever watched (and I watch alot of stuff, animated or not)
    Code Geass!
    I just finished my Avatar-marathon and while I did like it, I don’t consider it perfectly executed, especially regarding facial expression and voice-acting. It just falls a bit short in comparison to it’s Japanese models I think. Code Geass is perfect in every way. It starts out weird but the story is pure genius. It’s dramatic, sad, morally questionable, somewhat bloody and all in all just perfect. Especially those two main charakters will stay with me forever!
    Another big plus is it’s “brevity”. As opposed to neverending series like Bleach, Naruto, One-Piece, etc (which still can be good!) it tells a complete story in two seasons with 25 episodes each.
    Everyone who likes stories should go check it out sometime. ;D

  85. Jen-cha
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    PAT! I love you. I love your taste in everything. I wish you had a brother, or a clone, or maybe a copy from another dimension… Because you are so awesome.

    Enough gushing, just want to recommend one thing: Summer Wars. It’s a movie that I felt was very much in the style of Satoshi Kon (I thought it was his, actually), with wonderful animation, a fantastic plot with just the right sense of whimsy. It is an incredible feel-good, family-based flick with plenty of fun little action type bits. I loved it to the nth. Almost as much as I loved TLA, and that’s saying something!

    We’re reading you in book club this week! I made them!

  86. RoyceShatzel
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat!
    Which Fullmetal alchemist did you watch? There were two different versions released and honestly the first one was boring and dragged way too much. The re-released version was more entertaining, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. You may not love it, but figured you’d want to know that a better version was out there :)

  87. Merus
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Ghost in the Shell is… okay, but Stand Alone Complex, the series, is really excellent and a bit safer to watch on public transport. It explores the territory that the movie does without quite so many tedious philosophical dialogues.

    • Jexral
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:36 PM | Permalink

      I haven’t watched ‘Stand Alone Complex’ yet, but your post kind of makes me not want to. The philosophy was what I loved about ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ For me it did a good job of remaining engaging while provoking thought about a lot of varied subjects.

      ‘Serial Experiments Lain’ and ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ are in a similar vein as ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ Mr. Rothfuss, if you are interested. They are probably my favorite two anime series.

  88. Skye
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    I think you would love Baccano! (The ! is in the series title, not in my sentence…)

    Crazy train fights, ridiculous 1930’s mobsters and a touch of alchemy all thrown together with a dash of immortality. It’s taken Last Exile’s place as my favorite anime. And that’s saying something.

  89. rappy7
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

    I want to be able to make full-length posts to your blog, like you do. Make it so. Share, Pat. Share.

  90. pickman1926
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    Holy wow, no Pat comments in so long… this may not be seen, but I gotta post it anyway. The first three anime I saw, almost back to back when I was finally able to buy my own movies, was Perfect Blue, Ghost in the Shell, and Akira. I love each one for specific reasons, but I’ll get into Perfect Blue just because it has yet to be mentioned.

    Perfect Blue concerns the blurring of reality and the fantasy we tell ourselves, and how narration can often times be dishonest. It has been described as Hitchcock meets Disney, and has been grudgingly admitted that it bears resemblance to Black Swan…. over ten years before Black Swan was made. It has real intensity in fear, violence, paranoia, but never beyond what can happen in an ordinary mental break with reality. It is a beautifully told story even though some of it is lies, and half-truths, and some of it is ambiguous, especially the end. The only ending of a movie of any genre I’ve seen where you don’t know if the character succeeded or failed, or if you’ve been rooting for a heroine, or a villainess. I would try to sell it more, but its late, and I must head to bed or sleep at work.

    • Jexral
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 1:21 AM | Permalink

      I had kind of forgotten about Perfect Blue. That movie is incredible, along with everything else I’ve seen of the late Satoshi Kon’s.

  91. farleykj
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

    To hear such high praise for Cowboy Bebop warms my little heart. It is one of those rare shows where I really like all the characters. They all have their flaws, but damn, I miss the hell out of them.
    What tickles me the most, though is that of all the characters and their various backgrounds, the one whose past remains a dark mystery is Ein, the corgi data dog.

  92. crystalku
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

    Pat, how can you be such a geek and yet so super cool? How can you be such a nerd and have hobbies which stereotypically render should render you socially inept, but actually be so suave and write such amazingness! You’re a walking juxtaposition! :) Makes me happy.

  93. Thorax
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    Vampire Hunter D
    Elfen Leid
    El-hazard (first series, not the wandering years)

  94. Panss
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 1:55 AM | Permalink

    Since you Akira, Cowboy Bebop, Paprika and Mononoke Hime (or princess mononoke, as you wish) I can rest in peace with no doubt that you know much about the best of japanese art.

    But buddy, just lemme ask you a thing (And I really hope you can answer me because Im a little desperate about that) :
    When you’ll release the 3rd book? I just finished WMF and now Im pretty curious about the 3rd one!

    and just another thing, did you saw the Brazillian versions of the book cover?
    they’re REALLY amazing and beautiful.

    Thanks, bro.


    • Panss
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 1:55 AM | Permalink

      I mean “since you mentioned” in the beggining

  95. Posted March 28, 2012 at 4:06 AM | Permalink

    Wow, people sure love recommending Anime – which would go for me too. I wonder what it is about recommending things we love that makes it so attractive to do?

    Anyway… Pat, if you love intelligent, anthropologically rich, well told stories with solid endings, internal consistency and budgets that don’t run out after the third episode, then…

    Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit (terrible name, great show!)

    It also happens to be animated in Japan, but I couldn’t recommend it highly enough to anyone who loves storytelling.

  96. rcole
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    Wow… lots of posts before me, so I don’t have much more to add. One I didn’t see on anyones list is Gurren Lagann. It is paced wonderfully in that “go bigger or go home” style. It hits very emotional chords when it wants to. Its a good ol robots meet resistance fighters in a twisted earth-like world.

  97. Odelay321
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    If you liked Trigun you should try Gungrave, by the title it sounds like something worth passing over, but it’s not. Its made by the same people as Trigun, and its a Japanese mafia thriller with themes of family, loyalty and revenge thrown into to the mix(as is normally the case). If you haven’t heard about it at all I would recommend not researching it before you dive into the series, only because there are so many spoilers out there, and it is too easy to stumble upon them.

    P.S. I got a corgi 7 years back because I loved Cowboy Beebop so much. I wanted to name him Ein but my mom didn’t let me so I went with Odelay

    Here is a video of him if any one is interested.

  98. vig oss
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    watch Code Geass

    That is all.

  99. Posted March 28, 2012 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    I am a large fan of Wolf’s Rain. The soundtrack for it is gorgeous, and the artwork is also well done. It’s depressing as hell, but at the same time, uplifting. It’s one of those that will stay with you after you’ve finished it because it makes you think.

    Mushishi is also one I recently discovered. There’s no overarching plot line, so you can watch in any order you want. Very much a Zen-type of show, and I also watched this one for the style of artwork that it features.

  100. Vinny K
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    I’m rather surprised that no one has mentioned Chrono Crusade or Spice and Wolf or Deadman Wonderland or Highschool of the Dead. My list of recommended anime is much to long to type out, so I’ll just leave a link at the end.
    As for top five:
    Elfen Lied
    FMA: Brotherhood
    Zero no Tsukaima
    Chrono Crusade
    Spice and Wolf

    And here is the promised link to my list:

    May fortune smile upon you,

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