Anime You Might Not Have Tried/Heard of #1

Hey, I'm back. Most of you from the Verge probably already know what this is, but for those of you who don't , it's a series of thread where I become cocky and egoistic and tell you what anime you should watch as the title suggest, where I will be introducing you anime you might not have heard of, or you have, but never watch, and give a bit of what I thought of them, and why you should try it.

While most of the time I will tend to avoid focusing on one specific genre too much and be more diverse, I might also include one or two anime that I had already talked about back in the Verge into the list starting from the next thread (which will NOT be copy and paste, but a complete rewrite, since there are few I want to rewrite and reintroduce). Sometimes, I might have an exception and focus on one specific studio in the entire thread as well(especially Shaft, the cocaine sniffer). But for now, this thread will be all new and diverse.


Martian Successor Nadesico

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Year: 1996

Genre: Mecha/Comedy/Romance/Harem

Studio: Xebec (Fafner in the Azure, Heroic Age)

Director: Sato Tatsuo (Stellvia, Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne)

Adapted From: Original

Localized By: Nozomi Entertainment

Cast:

Ueda Yuji/Spike Spencer as Tenkawa Akito

Kuwashima Houko/Jennifer K. Earhart as Misumaru Yuriko

Minami Omi/Kira Vincent-Davis as Hoshino Ruri

Story:

In the year of 2196, Earth is invaded by group of aliens known as Jovian Lizard. Tenkawa Akito, a young man who was once a Martian resident and developed a trauma toward Jovian Lizards ever since the day Mars was invaded, had somehow ended up as a crew of the battleship Nadesico and a pilot of a Aestivalis, a type of humanoid mechs that are used to fight against the Jovian Lizards. What's worse is that while everyone on board are good at their field, they seems to be all weirdos, including the captain Misumaru Yuriko who claimed that she was his childhood friend and was madly in love with him.

Impression:

It's a pretty nice mix of both seriousness and comedy. The show start off as pretty lighthearted, but as the story progress, it starts to show more serious side of the plot step by step, and even tragic at times. The topic it discussed at the second half of the story had really stroke me. I guess it's not exaggerating to say that it's one small part of my childhood that changed the way I think. For the fans of various old school mecha anime like Macross and Getter, there will also be lots of homage and influences, or sometimes even a bit mocking for you to enjoy. At the end, I really think that it's something that people can enjoy regardless of which generation you are from, and still manage to deliver something new to the genre even till this day.

Fractale

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Year: 2011

Genre: Sci-fi/Romance

Studio: Ordet (Black Rock Shooter), A-1 Picture (Sword Art Online, Kannagi)

Director: Yamamoto Yutaka (Kannagi)

Adapted From: Original

Localized By: Funimation Entertainment

Cast:

Kobayashi Yu/Brina Palencia as Clain Necran

Tsuda Minami/Caitlin Glass as Phyrne

Hanazawa Kana/Luci Christian as Nessa

Story:

In the distant future, human becomes dependent on "Fractale System", a system that allows people to live by solely relying on virtual avatar and live without working for themselves. The protagonist, Clain, is a young boy who lives in a house alone, as he refused to use avatar like his parents do. One day, he encountered a girl named Phryne, who was being chased after a mysterious gang of three. After Clain let her stay at his house for a night, he found out that she was long gone in the next morning, leaving a virtual avatar Nessa behind. After that, Clain decided to look for Phryne with Nessa, and soon discover the secret and true purpose of the Fractale System.

Impression:

Well, at first, I watch it solely because the infamous director Yamamoto had made one of the most cocky rant about anime history, and keep implying how awesome he is, so I decided to check out what he really got. I have to say, I was impress he was able to make something good, but not so impressed by the fact that he is just not as awesome as he thinks he is (what his co-workers complained about him after the show ended doesn't help at all either). That said, other than the fact that it tries way too hard to be Miyazaki, Fractale is still a pretty great show on it's own. It deal with many issues we have in today's society, and the story is really enjoyable. While some people think the ending was a bit too rushed, I personally think that it was a pretty nice ending. The bad thing about the show is what I have previously mentioned, it tries too hard to be something that it isn't. Even the character designer complain that the director asked her to make the characters look more "Ghibli" so hard that it change her own style. My comment about it will be that I enjoy it, but it does change my view about the infamous director. Those who watched it, or if you are going to watch it, please do leave a comment about it and tell me what you think, I am very curious about other people's thought about it.

Hyouka

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Year: 2012

Genre: Slice if Life/Mystery

Studio: Kyoto Animation (Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-ON!, Nichijou)

Director: Takemoto Yasuhiro (Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, Lucky Star)

Adapted From: Novel by Yonezawa Honobu

Localized By: Currently none

Cast:

Nakamura Yuichi as Oreki Houtarou

Satou Satomi as Chitanda Eru

Sakaguchi Daisuke as Fukube Satoshi

Kayano Ai as Ibara Mayaka

Story:

While many high schoolers tend to enjoy their lives as much as possible, Oreki Houtarou is the complete opposite, if he doesn't have to do it, he won't do it, and if he has to, he will do it quick. Living a dull and grey life and had no interest in joining any club, his sister, who was a graduate from the same high school, told him that he should join the Classic Literature Club as she didn't want the club get abolished due to the lack of members. Along with his three fellow club members, including Chitanda Eru, a rich girl who get curiosity hooked easily, and Fukube Satoshi and Ibara Mayaka, Houtarou's friend from middle school, Houtarou found out that his grey life is starting to be filled with many more colors with all the everyday mystery he will soon be solving.

Impression:

If it's an anime from Kyoto Animation, usually I expected it to be great at least, and I got to say, it's still caught me by surprised and exceed my expectation. It's not usual to see a mix of the slice of life and mystery genre, and it's even more unusual to see an anime with such unique presentation as this. The story has a really nice balance between the two genre that usually don't goes well together.

Of course, there won't be anyone dying, instead, Hyouka focused on the everyday mystery we encountered in our ordinary lives, like why is the door locked when no one has the key, or why is that book keep being borrow by a different person in the same time everyday. Instead of just having two people standing there talking like you see in a typical scene from a mystery movie where the detective is revealing the truth, the show comes with a very interesting flashback type scenes to tell you what happened, and each of them has it's own unique visual to match the mystery itself.

The story itself mostly focused on how Houtarou's "grey life" changed. At first, he never do anything unnecessary unless he has to, but through the story, he will start thinking more and more about the way he lives, and troubled by the fact that he slowly being changed by the people around him unwillingly, but in the same time his life has also became more "colorful". Other than the story itself, the show really did a great job at the character development, as you can feel connected to the characters, and understand why they will act that way.

One bad thing about the anime, is that while the animation is superb, it has lots of unnecessary body movement that can slowed down the pacing of the whole show. I believe it was one of those realistic movements and facial expression they were doing back in Haruhi. I personally didn't mind it, since the animation alone has already impressed me, but there are indeed people who can get easily annoyed by that. The other thing is that they managed to catch up with current progress of the novel, and the last few episodes just ended as a giant ship tease. There are people enjoy it, but then again, if you get annoyed easily by that, be warned.

Also, if you play BlazBlue with Japanese voice, pay attention to this line.

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Shakugan no Shana

Shakugan no Shana II

Shakugan no Shana Final

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Year: 2005(Season 1), 2007(Season 2), 2011(Season 3)

Genre: Action/Fantasy/Romance

Studio: J.C. Staff (Toradora!, A Certain Magical Index, Revolutionary Girl Utena)

Director: Watanabe Takashi (Slayers, Lost Universe, Aria the Scarlet Ammo)

Adapted From: Light novel by Takahashi Yashichiro

Localized By: Funimation

Cast:

Kugimiya Rie/Tabitha St. Germain/ Cherami Leigh as Shana

Hino Satoshi/Kristian Ayre/Josh Grelle as Sakai Yuji

Kawasumi Ayako/Chantal Strand/Brina Palencia as Yoshida Kazumi

Story:

Sakai Yuji, and high school student living an ordinary life, was suddenly attacked by some creature that he had never seen on his way home and was soon saved by a young girl. However, as the girl defeated the creatures, she told him that he was already dead, and as a "Flamehaze", she is now obligated to protect him from those creatures known as "Crimson Denizens". As Yuji was dragged into the whole affair, it started to change the lives of both him and the girl.

Impression:

First let me say, I won't say it's the best anime ever with the deepest story ever told, however, I do have many fond memories of it (except for the first half of the second season). While the story seems cliche, it does has it's own unique twist, in fact, I don't think anyone will argue with me if I say this is one of the anime that popularized those cliche. It's also worth mentioning that it's one of those super long light novels that actually has an ending to both the original and the anime adaption, which is rare in these days.

The story sometimes has some really slow pacing, and sometimes it doesn't even make sense, but the most charming part is definitely the setting, which made the flaws easily overlook. My favorite, along with many other people's, it's definitely the final season, where things started to get serious with no time for fillers. The other things worth mentioning is the super crazy and unique character design it has in the third season, which is something many people had enjoyed too (seriously, a two-headed man wearing a gas mask on each of his head, who thought of that?). Plus, it's a really nice feel to see something you have been watching for years was given a proper and nice ending. The flaws, other than the one I had spoke of, will be the first half of the second season, something that wasn't in the original novel and the anime studio decided to add, which are bunch of slice of life story that do nothing to the plot.

And that's it for today, hope you have enjoyed my poor writing. If you have anything you want to recommend, or some grammar fail you want to point out, feel free to comment.

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