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#1 Edited by scalpel (314 posts) -

I haven't watched anime in around 8 years which was when I was watching stuff like Naruto and Bleach. Recently, however, I decided to see if Cowboy Bebop was any good and I ended up loving it. In part, perhaps, because it isn't that much like an anime. Many of the things that I can't stand about the medium are absent from it, making it feel more western.

Now I'm willing to give some other anime a chance. I prefer story-focused as opposed to action-focused stuff, with good characters that you can grow attached to, but nothing melodramatic and nothing for kids. Bebop hit a good balance on this front. I much prefer the mystery/neo-noir/cyberpunk-theme over the samurai stuff, but that isn't necessary.

Any help is appreciated.

#2 Posted by Redhotchilimist (226 posts) -

Outlaw Star looks pretty close to a Bebop, but that's coming from someone who didn't see it. That old Ghost in the shell movie also seems to hit this spot for western people who like sci-fi and can't stand anime in general. But I'm not one of those people, so it's sort of hard to put myself in your position and not just recommend whatever shows that have been aired and have a following in the US. Maybe try Beck. It's a very down to earth and "realistic" kind of drama about a kid trying to join a band, so it avoids a lot of the common cliches. Monster, which is about a doctor chasing a serial killer he saved the life of, is also grounded enough in reality to avoid a lot of the common anime tropes, but it's certainly melodramatic. It's probably also worth looking at Samurai Champloo, since it was made by the Bebop guy, but that's another one I haven't seen myself.

#3 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

So silly yet so good, would love for Persona type game to be set in the mountain regions of Japan with racing instead of dungeons. And the dialogue is so funny "OMG INTERTIA DRIFT!"

#4 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

Cowboy Bebop is incredible

#5 Posted by deerpoob (128 posts) -

Baccano, takes place in 1930's in america, tons of interesting characters and a frantic crazy story, not a Japanese character to speak of, the English dub is good too!

Big O looks interesting too, haven't seen it myself but apparently its made by some of the people who helped make batman the animated series and its basically Japanese batman, main guy even has a butler.

#6 Posted by Animasta (14692 posts) -

We have an anime thread people!

watch fullmetal alchemist: brotherhood.

#7 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

I tend to be the same way and not really enjoy serialized animes like Naruto and Bleach.

Give Trigun a shot for a few episodes and see if it's your thing. I'd also recommend Akira and the original Ghost in the Shell movie.

#8 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5008 posts) -
#9 Edited by Kidavenger (3556 posts) -

Try Moribito, not my favorite but it's story focused, completely absent of anime tropes and melodrama, there is action but it's not the focus at all.

I haven't seen Witch Hunter Robin in a long time but that may be worth a look also.

Edit: Perfect Blue would be a good pick for you also, it's an amazing movie.

#10 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -
#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Durarara?

#12 Posted by Turambar (6785 posts) -

Space Brothers. The best unintentional NASA propaganda anime you'll find.

#13 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4679 posts) -

I recommend watching Monster. It is an excellent show that has none of the tropes of anime, which I am not fond of either.

#14 Posted by MiniPato (2741 posts) -

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex seems right up your alley. It's a cyberpunk anime with a serious story. I only watched it with subtitles and I had a hard time following the story cause of it. So I'd probably recommend watching the english dub, which I hear is pretty good.

Eve no Jikan is a short, like 6 episode, series if you're not looking to commit a lot of time. It's a good little show about robots and whether robots are "human" or not.

I don't know what else. Like you I haven't watched recent too many anime in a long ass time so there's not a lot I can draw from the well.

#15 Edited by 00 (125 posts) -

I’m in a similar position. I’m not fundamentally opposed to watching animated content, but most of it is too "anime" for me to enjoy it.

You might want to check out Planetes. It’s hard sci-fi set in the near future that’s relatively grounded in reality, more drama than action, from what I remember.

Outlaw Star is probably a bit too "anime" if you don’t like anime, considering it has a race of cat-people in it, and goes completely off the rails towards the end. If you can look past some of that, you might like it.

I turned to anime because I really like sci-fi and cyberpunk themes that aren’t dealing with lots of friendly alien races (Star Trek etc. I don’t mind things like Alien) and there aren’t that many films that get it right for me, but I haven’t really found much that I can tolerate. While I like a lot of the themes and ideas in there, even Ghost in the Shell is probably a bit too "anime" for my tastes.

#16 Posted by MiniPato (2741 posts) -

@00 said:

I’m in a similar position. I’m not fundamentally opposed to watching animated content, but most of it is too "anime" for me to enjoy it.

You might want to check out Planetes. It’s hard sci-fi set in the near future that’s relatively grounded in reality, more drama than action though, from what I remember.

Outlaw Star is probably a bit too "anime" if you don’t like anime, considering it has a race of cat-people in it, and goes completely off the rails towards the end. If you can look past some of that, you might like it.

I turned to anime because I really like sci-fi and cyberpunk themes that aren’t dealing with lots of friendly alien races (Star Trek etc. I don’t mind things like Alien) and there aren’t that many films that get it right for me, but I haven’t really found much that I can tolerate. While I like a lot of the themes and ideas in there, even Ghost in the Shell is probably a bit too "anime" for my tastes.

I forgot about Planetes. I also second that reccomendation.

#17 Edited by smcn (926 posts) -

How did this thread get so far without mentioning Persona 4: The Animation?! It's a great adaptation of the game, if you listen to the cast commentary you can tell everyone involved cared about it a lot. I only watched it fan-subbed so I can't speak for the quality of the dubbed version, but I do know there were some weird errors with the "official" subtitles (most glaringly mixing up Priestess and Empress in like the second episode). EDIT: Speaking of this, the Collection 2 DVD/Bluray is coming out tomorrow!

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is great if you like near-future sci-fi and has a good English dub.

#18 Posted by Mezmero (1905 posts) -

Bebop is a nice entry way into more anime. Just know going in that the chances of you being disappointed by the next show you watch are very high. Tastes in anime are more varied than most other mediums so narrowing down you're tastes could take a while. I think Casshern: Sins is a pretty dope series about the robot apocalypse though it's very melodramatic. Monster is great, like if The Omen was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I personally think Kaiji is worth watching if you want to see some modern day loser gambler get treated like a pile of shit until finally succeeding in the most pathetic ways imaginable. He's like the Chuck Greene of anime. I recommend One Piece to anyone who likes cartoons even though it does not fit your criteria. It's a whimsical universe more akin to comic books and American cartoons than any of the other anime epics who relish in full blown Japanophilia. It's obviously geared towards kids but everything about it appeals to my inner child from the 80's and 90's.

#19 Edited by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

Tiger & Bunny. It's pretty western-ish and it's a very character/story driven show, based on super heroes who are hired by different companies and star on a TV show to compete for ratings (and yeah, one of them is even sponsored by Pepsi).

#20 Posted by jacksmedulla (279 posts) -

Samurai Champloo is one of my favorite television shows, despite my not usually enjoying anime.

#21 Posted by Coafi (1488 posts) -

-Big O

-Ghost in the Shell

-Lupin the Third

#22 Posted by SecondPersonShooter (618 posts) -

Nobody said Paranoia Agent yet, but I am also not a fan of the tropes of anime, and Paranoia Agent is one of my favorite shows of all time. Anything by Satoshi Kon really.

#23 Posted by DrIntrovert (81 posts) -

Seconding Ghost in the Shell, I'd recommend starting with the movies though as they are less of a temporal and monetary investment.

Serial Experiments Lain is good if you enjoy complex plots. It's hard to get into, but that isn't because it's really stereotypically anime. Just realize that you are going to need to pay attention. If you aren't very intellectual or don't enjoy cerebral works ignore this recommendation.

#24 Posted by isawachuck (105 posts) -

Some anime I suggest to people are:

  • Kids on the Slope
  • Baccano
  • Mushi-shi
  • Psycho-Pass
  • Fate / Zero
  • Space Brothers
  • Naoki Urasawa's Monster
  • Sword Art Online
  • Natsume's Book of Friends (Natsume Yuujinchou)
  • Beck / Mongolian Chop Squad
  • Tsubasa
  • Fushigi Yugi
  • Bunny Drop
  • Tora Dora
  • Ristorante Paradiso

Most of this stuff can me streamed through Hulu or Crunchyroll.

Online
#25 Posted by scalpel (314 posts) -

Great responses, thanks. I'll be checking some of these out, especially Samurai Champloo since it's made by the guy behind Bebop.

Also, as somebody mentioned earlier, an actual ending is pretty much a requirement. Shows like Naruto which go on and on don't really interest me.

#26 Posted by ZombiePie (5673 posts) -

Taboo Charming Mother and Bible Black. Those are what recommended to me when I asked him the same question, and look at me I'm a changed man!

At one point I was providing content for Anime Vice!

Moderator
#27 Edited by notdavid (839 posts) -

I'd recommend Elfen Lied, assuming you can stomach the first 9 minutes of the first episode. It starts off seeming like an offensively sexist stereotypical anime that revels in over-the-top violence, but the beginning is meant to act as a proving ground of sorts. If you can make it through the seemingly flippant attitude toward violence in those 9 minutes, the rest of the series has some genuinely challenging portrayals of the grisly inhumanity of man. It's a damn effective horror story, and it's packed full of emotional moments and fucked up character interactions.

It's short, too. You could knock out the entire series in a weekend.

#28 Posted by phrosen (146 posts) -
#29 Posted by Lavos (69 posts) -

+1 for Samurai Champloo. Hilarious at times as well.

#30 Posted by Aegon (5642 posts) -

@Animasta said:

We have an anime thread people!

watch fullmetal alchemist: brotherhood.

I recommend this along with..

@jacksmedulla said:

Samurai Champloo is one of my favorite television shows, despite my not usually enjoying anime.

that.

Those are my two fave animes. Although I'm not sure if they really lack a lot of the usual anime tropes. They're just well written stories that are really exciting.

I would also say Welcome to the NHK, but that's REALLY different. It can be funny, but also depressing and interesting at the same time. I think it might be the type of thing you have to "get".

#31 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@scalpel said:

Cowboy Bebop it isn't that much like an anime. Many of the things that I can't stand about the medium are absent from it, making it feel more western.

Your view of the medium is a little limited, no offence. You are simply looking for more mature, serious animes. They exist! I'm not too fond of them show-wise, the only shows I can recommend that are aimed at an older audience plot-wise would be:

  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Death Note
  • Samurai Champloo
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Wolf's Rain

You should check these out, especially if you mainly knew Naruto and Bleach. Don't get me wrong, I, myself, love the earlier episodes of these shows. But then it goes downhill, sorry.

Now, I'm more into anime movies. There are some titles that even surpass real movies, quality-wise, in my opinion. But before I make the effort to go through my DVD collection and list them, tell me if you are interested at all. I'd gladly recommend some if you'd like :)

#32 Posted by Undeadpool (4943 posts) -

@scalpel: Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. It's a movie, first of all, and it had a nearly limitless budget, which cuts down on a LOT of the "stand stark-still while only your mouth flaps" moments (as well as giving it a GORGEOUS visual style).

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, actually mentioned by Jeff when discussing the Helghast, and with good reason. It's a taut, political thriller with a lot of layers (another movie).

@jacksmedulla said:

Samurai Champloo is one of my favorite television shows, despite my not usually enjoying anime.

Also this. It's from the same director as Bebop.

#33 Posted by mrfluke (5160 posts) -

Samurai Champloo

Code Geass

and then go play Asuras Wrath,

#34 Posted by BBAlpert (1475 posts) -

If you don't like anime tropes, I wonder if you might like Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni. The beginning of the show is so goddamned anime it hurts, but then shit spirals completely out of control and everything unravels.

I don't think this is a spoiler, since it's not actually referring to anything that happens in the show specifically, but think of how Jeff described (in the QL) the way he hoped Far Cry 3's story would go, given the intro of that game.

#35 Edited by Rudeboy217 (1769 posts) -

Cat Soup if you like drugs.

edit: and like others have said, Monster is an excellent series. I highly recommend it.

#36 Posted by Veektarius (4838 posts) -

Let me tell you, I'm in the same boat for the most part, but I've been working on this problem for years. There are a couple anime series I'd add to Cowboy Bebop as 'guilty pleasures' or 'mindless entertainment' but Bebop's the only one that's a work of art. It's nearly the only one where the characters don't mug for the camera and where the girls don't squeal with hideously breathless excitement. It also has one of the best soundtracks ever compiled for a TV series. If you are considering watching more anime just because you like Cowboy Bebop, you are going to be disappointed, because Cowboy Bebop is not anime.

#37 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

Mandatory plug for my own anime discussion thread, go!

To answer your question: Bakemonogatari. Actually, don't watch it. It was a joke.

EDIT: Whatever, waste of time to try and convince people that they're wrong.

#38 Posted by Kill (298 posts) -

Ctrl+f Berserk 
 
Really, guys? I think that's a great anime to introduce people to the form, especially the new films since the anime ends so abruptly.  
 
Plus, GUTS. 

#39 Edited by Akyho (1652 posts) -

@Mezmero: I think youd love to look at my selection of anime. Cyberpunk and Scifi is my favoured anime and there is tones in the 90s and 80s. Sadly not so much now. Just look and ask me for more if you want.

You seem to not like current anime trends.

Why I stick to older anime.

Dominion Tank police for example.

Gunsmith Cats set in chicago, Rally Vincent and Minnie May are bounty hunters and dealing with each mission as they come. usaly ending with Minnie Mays explosives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXE4wO-Qt48

And a film that goes along with it. Riding Bean. Telling of Rallys background and history with Bean Bandit, a courier for hire on a no questions asked bases. Using his highly tuned car (think Bond highly tuned) he performs his job to anyone be they bank robbers and murderers or someone simply need to get somewhere fast with no questions. Sadly one one film....but it was great.

Cyber City Oedo 808 is an animes 3 part anime series, That revolves around 3 men thrown into prison for crimes they DID commit, however they have been given a second chance by becoming specialised police, the bigger the crime the more your time is reduced. So naturally they go for the most suicidal missions...if they dont do them then the collar on their neck will explode. Lots of Swearing and violence.

Martian Successor Nadesico is a great 26 part series. Its a space opera with mechs and such. Maybe very Japanese vs others however Its not a current anime, fanservice is pretty small thankfully. While it is a harem comeday it is realy character focused.

Code Geass is a more recent anime that while it had alot of mechs and action. The story of the characters and the overall grand scheme of things become more of the center.

Armitage III is a nice Cyberpunk Scifi story. Of a an a rouge android on Mars were android aren't welcomed and she is part of a series that most dont realised they are androids. Untill a spate of "murders" destroy them and reveal their secret.

Bubblegum crisis or AD police are good choices. Both set in the same universe.

Japan was hut by a massive earthquake and to rebuild it they needed manpower. The rise of Voomers a type of robot was used, however after the rebuilding these Voomers are becoming violent randomly. In BubbleGum crisis we follow the Saber Knights a group of young women that are equipped with sleek and powerful armoured suites, that are vigilantes trying to figure out why the Voomers kill.

AD Police sees the battle on the ground with the the specialised Anti Voomer police, AD Police files was great and AD Police the TV series was decent.

Burn up Excess follows a special mercenary group within the police department. made up of 4 massively buxom women and one guy. Its got alot of fanservice however is also stupidly funny to me.

huh.....alot of what I suggested is Police, Bounty hunters (like Cowboy Bebop) or Mercenaries.

Continues that thaught.

Area 88 was an awesome series about mercenary fighter pilots, cant say more than that or else Id ruin it.

Also a more recent series with Mercenaries was Black Lagoon, it a crazy comedy of sorts. Alot of it mirrors Bebop in a way.

Ghost in the Shell movie and the Ghost in the Shell tv serise Stand Alone Complex was awsome. Very character focused a cybernetic police special forces battle cyber crime.

Its a 50/50 point with Neon Genesis Evangelion. A giant mech anime piloted by 15 year olds.......were everyone is a depressive nut and things dont go well most of the time.

BAAAACK! to Police again. Patlabor is about the Mechanised division of the Japanese Police using of course giant robots. However the stories are pretty serious and the characters are varied and distinct.

#40 Posted by Somnus (84 posts) -

This is my favorite. its really made for younger children, but even as an adult i still think its great. Also its very different to most anime.

#41 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@Cloudenvy said:

Mandatory plug for my own anime discussion thread, go!

To answer your question: Bakemonogatari. Actually, don't watch it. It was a joke.

EDIT: Whatever, waste of time to try and convince people that they're wrong.

I got this as a reply in my inbox. Care to tell me what you originally wanted to say?

#42 Posted by LiquidPrince (15950 posts) -

One Piece. If you can get over the initial goofiness of the show and stick with it for a while, you will become emotionally invested in the characters like no show before. Somewhere around episode 50 you should be hooked for life. That's not to say you need to watch 50 episodes before it gets good, but that by that point you will have known whether it's for you or not. Near the climax of the Arlong/Nami arc.

#43 Edited by scalpel (314 posts) -

@Somnus: That's funny, I saw probably all of the Moomin episodes as a kid. Never really thought of them as anime, but I can see that now.

#44 Posted by LiquidPrince (15950 posts) -

@ZombiePie said:

Taboo Charming Mother and Bible Black. Those are what recommended to me when I asked him the same question, and look at me I'm a changed man!

At one point I was providing content for Anime Vice!

Zombie XD

Yeah those were great shows! GREAT!

#45 Posted by david3cm (635 posts) -

Ninja Scroll. I don't like anime, but that movie is crazy, in a good way.

#46 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@Morrow said:

@Cloudenvy said:

Mandatory plug for my own anime discussion thread, go!

To answer your question: Bakemonogatari. Actually, don't watch it. It was a joke.

EDIT: Whatever, waste of time to try and convince people that they're wrong.

I got this as a reply in my inbox. Care to tell me what you originally wanted to say?

Oh, it was because I originally wanted to reply to you with the anime movie thing (recommend The Girl Who Leapt Through Time because that movie is amazing) but I deleted you from my post afterwards.

What I originally said was a response to people putting Bebop on a pedestal as the only anime ever to appeal to Western markets and that it's not "anime". That's pretty much factually wrong but I figured it'd be a waste of time to tell people.

#47 Posted by Illuminosopher (328 posts) -

Don't know if they have been said but Kino no tabi, Noir , Read or Die and Record of Lodoss War might be good to you.

#48 Posted by liquiddragon (241 posts) -

-Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

-Trigun

-FLCL

#49 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@Cloudenvy:

Oh, I see.

Well I have yet to see TGWLTT, but it's high on my list since I read good things about it. But after seeing so much of Nekomonogatari on tumblr, I ordered Bake- and Nisemonogatari, although I hate subs. And then there's Durarara...

#50 Edited by believer258 (11914 posts) -

@Animasta said:

We have an anime thread people!

watch fullmetal alchemist: brotherhood.

As much as I like FMA (and it's no secret that I fucking love FMA), I can't recommend Brotherhood to someone who dislikes many of the things inherent to anime, at least not at first. The original is a pretty good gateway to anime - despite having a slightly inconsistent story, it doesn't have anywhere near as much of the weird humor and melodrama that characterizes a lot of anime. Don't take that as a bad thing, I'm just noting that the OP openly said this:

Many of the things that I can't stand about the medium are absent from it, making it feel more western.

but if you do actually get into anime, @scalpel , then make sure to watch FMA:B at some point. Strangely enough, some of the themes and ideas in the show echo some of Western culture. The whole thing about seven deadly sins sprouting from a being that calls itself Father and whose ultimate goal is to gain the power of what is essentially God? Huh, that doesn't sound familiar at all... And then getting locked up for eternity in a black void?

Anyway, I recommend the Ghost in the Shell movie if you want some philosophy with your cyberpunk (and to see one of the things that inspired the Matrix, plus that scene where she beats the shit out of the dude in the water in the middle of the city), Outlaw Star if you want Cowboy Bebop with space magic, and of course Baccano, which is like a Tarantino movie if Tarantino were to direct an anime based on 1930's American gangsters - it's weird in all the right ways. I also recommend the original, not Brotherhood, version of Full Metal Alchemist, it's what got me into anime in the first place.