I would like to tell you all the story of how I started watching anime. It's a beautiful story where a young 12-year-old girl was told by her older brother "You see these VHS tapes? These are mine; don't watch them." Of course, being the wonderful sister that I am, I watched one as soon as he left for a football game.
So, who remembers "Inuyasha"?
It's pretty great. High nostalgia factor. Long AF. For many, the first season was one of the best. And it was slightly... grittier than the rest of the show, in my opinion. The first episode I ever watched, which weirdly enough sparked my anime addiction, was "Cursed Ink of the Hell Painter." I was very intrigued and decided to watch more. That is how I became an anime addict.
Over the years I have watched many an anime: new and old, romantic comedy horror. Some may call me obsessed; I prefer "expert in my interest area." That being said, I decided to craft a list of anime to share with the world.
This is the list of the "Some Anime You Probably Haven't Seen But Should Stop and Watch Right Meow." (Not a good title but whatever whatever I do what I want)
Now I composed this list trying to find anime that were released before the 2000's and weren't as popular. I took some different polls and asked around, and these were the ones I came up with. Again, this is an opinion piece. If you disagree, be nice about it. We are all nerds here.
Giant Robo- The Day the Earth Stood Still
So I heard that you like "Tenga Toppa Gurren Lagann"? You do? Then let me introduce you to it's spiritual ancestor, "Giant Robo - The Day the Earth Stood Still". Now, the whole premise of the show is shown in this trailer, so I won't tell you. I'll just wait for you to watch it quick.
... Did you watch it? You did? Awesome.
First of all, yes, it is subtitled. Yes, it does come in dub. Should you watch the dub? That's up for debate. The Japanese cast is brilliant, so I recommend that.
Now, I honestly don't have many words for this OVA. It's one of the best OVA ever. Period. It hits so many things with such grace and is way more than meets the eye. It has twists and turns and it's just amazing, okay, and it's only like seven episodes.
So you have no excuse!
Nadia: The Secret of the Blue Water
This anime was inspired by "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". Have I piqued your interest? Fantastic.
The strength about this anime is the character development. With 39 episodes, you'd hope they would take time to make you like their characters. And they did. From Jean and Nadia's relationship troubles and triumphs to the supporting cast, there is nobody you don't develop some type of feelings for (which is something I can't say for many anime I watch now.)
Okay, so this show was something else. The premise is just hilarious.
A lecherous, unlucky boy named Ataru that has zero luck with girls is our hero. And one day, aliens come invade Earth. But the aliens are merciful and decide to give the Earth a chance to save itself: a random human pitted in a game of tag against their princess Lum. Ataru--as you might have assumed--is chosen. Ataru is driven to succeed by his crush, a girl who promises to marry him if he wins. He does win and exclaims "Now I can marry her!" And the aliens and princess Lum take this proposal to heart.
What follows became one of the most revolutionary anime of all time. Many we watch now can trace back some elements to this show. It created one of the first "mascots" Lum, and crossed over from young children to adults.
Don't reject this because you have watched "Ranma" or "Tenchi Muyo", or the like. This is a classic comedy series that shows how weird Japanese anime can be. It's one of the first mega hits, and deserves to be viewed and relived.
So this show was just a blast, plain and simple. I am thinking the first one. The first season was the best season. Each main character is derived from a classic RPG archetype: sorceress, swordsman, etc.
What this show does well is comedy. It's hilarious, doesn't take itself too seriously, and is quick to parody other anime for pure comedic gold. They just don't make comedy like this anymore, in my opinion.
Also Lina is the bomb. Strong, passionate female protagonist FTW. Also Amelia and her demand for "JUSTICE!" Also Gourry.... just everyone is great and you should watch it.
Okay, the name is a turn off for you huh? Well come back here my friend - don't be afraid - and let me tell you a story about a duck who became a girl. Wait, wait, don't leave! Because this show is so much more than that. It is dark. So much darker than you think a show called Princess Tutu could be.
That's right, this show is about a duck who becomes a girl in order to dance with a boy she is infatuated with. She eventually learns more about this boy she likes and it just explodes out from there. While not as dark as Madoka Magica, it still explores some interesting "untold" themes in the magical girl/shoujo genre. And it has one of the trippiest, craziest middle portions ever. AND THAT ENDING.
Kino no Tabi
I will admit, this is a very biased choice on my part as "Kino no Tabi" or Kino's Journey is my favorite anime of all time. I included it in this list because, of the people I talked to, maybe five had heard of this anime. And three of those were friends of mine so it had to be added.
You follow along with an androgynous main character and her talking motorcycle (I know, just stick with me) as they travel to different lands. It isn't action packed (though two episodes are more gruesome and violent), doesn't have romance, and isn't very funny. What this show does is make you think. It exposes you to numerous ideas of culture and philosophy and "What is really beautiful?" *shivers* It still has some of the most thought provoking episodes I have ever seen. I can watch this over and over and still find something new to think about.
Episode five and episode 13 are my favorites, BTW.
Oh, the work of Rumiko Takahashi. I enjoy her. So much. One of my favorites is definitely "Maison Ikkoku". While it is 96 episodes long - this may seem cringe worthy to some and "only 96?" to others - it has by far one of the most satisfying endings to anything ever. It just... was perfection.
This anime is more "slice of life" so the characters are the most important part and boy, are they great! The cast of characters is memorable, multi-dimensional and so real. It feels like you could meet any of these characters off the street or in your life.
It will have you in tears from both laughter and sadness in the same episode.
So good! But it is 96 episodes long. But if you breakdown shows and seasons now, it isn't that bad. If a season has 24 episodes, then "Maison Ikkoku" is 4 seasons! Not so bad right?
There you have it! Some great anime that you should all take a look at. Make sure to be open minded and you will have a great time.