Anime Future Series

A few years ago (has it really been that long), I asked for some recommendations for anime series to watch. While I haven’t completely exhausted the list, I have seen a good portion of them and I’ve started to get other recommendations. It’s getting hard to keep track of them all, so I figure I should create a list of future series (not unlike some other folks’ lists). The idea will be to maintain this post going forward, unless a better way of maintaining the list becomes available later. Before I list the series, some general info about what I’ve seen and what I’m looking for:

What I’ve seen: The Anime category archive contains all my posts covering the grand majority of the anime that I’ve seen so far. If you want a more concise list, I created one on ANN here (it can be sorted, though I’m not used to their rating system so some of them might be a little different). I’d recommend looking at the sorted ranking and if you’re curious about why I liked (or disliked) a given series, check out the category archive for full posts.

What I’m looking for: I want to watch a series, but not something too long. I don’t want to have to wade through 18 DVDs or anything absurd like that. In fact, I tend to prefer 13 episode series, though I can accept 26 episode series as well (generally, I feel 26 episode series have too much filler. This isn’t that bad when I like the characters, like in GitS, but it’s really bad when I don’t, like in Trigun). The series should contain a full story arc (i.e. no Twelve Kingdoms). In general, I prefer a good story to things like character studies or narrative wanking. In the past, I’ve asked for action packed and fun. While I certainly enjoy that, I’m not opposed to other genres. However, some things I’m not interested in at the moment: downer endings, post-apocalyptic settings, incomprehensible or severly obtuse plots (i.e. Serial Experiments Lain) and steampunk. Some things I do like: Science fiction, action, suspense, thrillers, horror, good stories and twists. Nothing comprehensive about my likes or dislikes, but I thought it might help. The series must be available via Netflix. Bonus points for a series available via Netflix Instant Streaming or Blu-Ray!

Currently on the list: Based on recommendations from my first Anime post as well as stuff I’ve picked up on later posts and elsewhere. Taking my cue from Steven’s list, I’m labeling each one:

Yes – Means I’ll probably watch it

No – Means I probably won’t

Maybe – Means I’m unsure or not yet ready

Unsorted – Means I haven’t looked into it at all

Obviously this is very subjective activity. I’m not as allergic to recommendations as some folks, but that doesn’t mean I’ll watch anything! Anyway, here’s what’s on the list right now.

  • Banner of the Stars IIYes – I loved Crest and Banner of the Stars, so it makes sense to watch this. The only major problem right now is that disc 3 is on semi-permanent “Very Long Wait” status at Netflix. Perhaps I can find an… alternate… way of viewing those episodes.
  • Samurai 7Yes – I like the original Kurosawa movie (and some of the remakes and updates), and this got a recommendation in the last post. Also, it’s one of the few Anime series available on BD.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’sYes – The big question here is whether or not I need to watch the first Nanoha series. Author asked the same question a while back and the consensus seemed to be to watch from the beginning (Ben also recommends starting with the first series). But then I’ve heard that the first few episodes of the first series are hard to watch and atypical of the series as a whole. Still, I tend to be a completist, so I’m leaning towards watching the whole thing (for the record, I’m in the camp that would recommend watching Crest before Banner, even though I did the opposite).
  • Someday’s DreamersYes – Based mostly on rave reviews and recommendations. Also, I could go for something “brain engaging” as someone put it.
  • Shingu: Secret of the Stellar WarsMaybe – Based mostly on high ratings of everyone else, I need to look into this one a bit more.
  • Irresponsible Captain TylerMaybe – Recommended by my friend Roy, it seems like a bit of a farce. Not sure I’m in the mood for that right now, but the premise of the series does seem kinda fun.
  • Samurai ChamplooMaybe – Another earlier recommendation. It’s made by the same folks who did Cowboy Bebop. Now, I enjoyed that series, but the ending was a bit sour for me (though it didn’t hit me nearly as hard as SDB). This series also seems generally different than CB anyway, so I want to find out a bit more before committing to it.
  • Divergence EveMaybe – I have to admit that the fan service seems a bit strange, but I’ve heard it’s got good story, so there’s that.
  • Neon Genesis EvangelionMaybe – Supposedly a “classic” but I’ve been warned not to watch it until later, something that I’m inclined to agree with.
  • Excel SagaMaybe – I get the same vibe from this that I get from NGE above… so perhaps too early to watch this one.
  • Great Teacher OnizukaUnsorted
  • Darker than BlackUnsorted
  • Black LagoonUnsorted
  • GantzUnsorted
  • Elfin LiedUnsorted
  • GungraveUnsorted
  • TexnolyzeNo – Post apocalyptic
  • Ergo ProxyNo – Post apocalyptic
  • Last ExileNo – Bad reviews from Alex, Fledge and Shamus.

Well, that about covers it for now. Recommendations are welcome, as are comments about the movies on the list right now (particularly the Maybe and Unsorted ones).

8 thoughts on “Anime Future Series”

  1. Excel Saga didn’t age well for me. I liked it back in the day, but now it’s just mostly annoying and I don’t rewatch it. I was rediscovering the modern anime when it came out, and I think I just didn’t know better. On the other hand, it’s pretty decent for what it is. It’s Nabeshin’s direction.

    Speaking of direction, Shingu is, as Lawson put it, “that Tatsuo Sato show that’s not Nadeshiko or Stellvia”. Having seen all three, without doubt Shingu is his finest work by far. Nonetheless, something prevents it from being an all-out favourite. I cannot explain. I enjoy rewatching all of Shingu, but I only saw Stellvia once in full and then only see bits and pieces (such as the two mission endings).

    Champloo, I think, is a series made for you. I cannot stand when midnless violence is the spine of anime, and indeed it’s very Bebopish. It’s quite good in its art though. BTW, also Nabeshin. He’s matured well, you’ll see.

  2. One thing I’ve realized of late is that I’m not all that familiar with Anime directors. Aside from Miyazaki (and I guess Oshii, though only the GitS movies), I can’t think of another director that I know I’ve watched multiple series of (and both Miyazaki and Oshii do primarily features, not series). I watched Haibane Renmei and Serial Experiments Lain, I guess… but other than that, I’m not sure I have a good grasp on who the good directors are. Not sure if there’s a direct correlation here, but in the world of live action film, I’ve found that directors are a much better predictor of a movie’s quality than anything else (i.e. writer, actors, etc…) This, I guess, is another plus for Champloo… perhaps I’ll upgrade to a yes…

  3. It just occured to me suddenly, you might want to consider Eureka Seven. It’s supposed to be well made, dynamic, gritty action with memorable characters. Unfortunately, I read enough spoilers about it to know that I won’t like what happens to those characters, so I probably won’t be seeing it. It’s available on Netflix, last I checked.

  4. Ugh, I’m back. I just noticed that RahXephon is missing. Again, I think you might like it, especially if you see it before Eva, like I did. I liked the most how the old trick “the world is not what it seems, in fact it’s all inside-out” was handled in the beginning. Later though, everyone gets killed, heroes and villains alike, so I’m not very big on that. Plus the ending was controversial (it’s not as bad as Eva’s, of course, but nonetheless). But it clearly was a quality production throughout, which is frankly uncommon. You seem like a mind who is likely to enjoy it.

  5. I missed the recommendations thread, and you’ve got plenty of quality recommendations so I won’t add to it. A few IMHOs on some of the titles.

    I found Irresponsible Captain Tyler so boring that I quit after, I think, 5 episodes. However, that obviously isn’t the common response (similar to discussions regarding Noir.)

    Gantz is very violent and visceral, but it’s one of my favorite anime. Interesting sci-fi premise, decent enough story. I actually prefer the English track on this one (mostly). But by violent, I mean the kind of violence that would give Jack Thompson spontaneous heart failure. The kind of stuff Tarantino would shy away from.

    Elfen Lied, in regard to Gantz: The production team probably thought Gantz was too pedestrian. Not that the two shows are otherwise similar. And if you can sit through it, there’s some good stuff in Elfen Lied. I don’t think I would personally ever recommend it to someone without knowing them *really* well, but I don’t regret watching it.

    When you’re out there looking for BotS II, might as well grab three while you’re at it. Two episode OAV that takes place shortly after the events depicted in two.

  6. Thanks for the suggestions Author:) Both sound interesting enough and will probably make their way to the maybe list…

    “…the kind of violence that would give Jack Thompson spontaneous heart failure.”

    So, like, a lot of nerf balls flying around? Hehe.

    Thanks for the comments Ben. Will probably be helpful when trying to sort the unsorted…

  7. If you’re hoping to avoid downer and incomprehensible plots you might want to skip NGE. Don’t get me wrong. I like the show. Enough that I’ve sat through multiple viewings. But it is incomprehensible and it’s additional kind of…suicide inducing? Put it this way, the first time I finished it I blinked a few times then turned to my husband and asked him to pass the dran-o.

    Ben’s right on Gantz. It’s awesomely violent. Asks some deep and philosophical questions while maintaining a plot that’s surprisingly simple to follow. And the theme song will burrow into your head and re-emerge months later for no apparent reason.

    For additions to the list try Witch Hunter Robin – supernatural fantasy with action and suspense. It’s kind of weird at times but a good, solid ride.

  8. Thanks Mari! Witch Hunter Robin… that sounds familiar. I may have seen an episode or 2 on Adult Swim at some point, but I never really knew what was happening so I never got into it… But I’ll add it to the list and take a closer look…

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