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Mushishi (if you've seen the first series, it got a second series and a special hour episode this year)

Kino's Journey (older show)

Crest of Stars + Banner of the Stars (older show)

The Legend of the Galactic Heroes (older show)

Spice and Wolf

Baccano

Dennou Coil

Ping Pong

Seirei no Moribito

Time of Eve

Sword of the Stranger

Tsuritama

Hyouka (might be hit, might be miss)

Girls und Panzer (very hard sell but honestly, it's more about the tanks!)

Aku no Hana

Silver Spoon

Space Battleship Yamato 2199

The Tatami Galaxy

Kaiji

Mamoru Hosoda's trilogy of films - The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children.

Trapeze

Astro Fight Sunred (If you can withstand offbeat Japanese humour)

Steins;Gate (might be hit, might be miss)

Usagi Drop

The Light of a Firefly Forest (more aimed towards women but still a great short)

Wasurenagumo

Space Brothers

That's most things notable and fairly well regarded since about 2007 that aren't perhaps too cutsey as well as a few old ones which deserve a watch.

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Damn, I'd completely forgotten Kino's Journey - pretend I put that in my initial post, because that deserves to be in the list. Lovely show. I've also continued to watch some films, it's only series I completely dropped - so I've seen The Girl Who Leapt Through Time* and Summer Wars. Not seen Wolf Children, though.

Thanks for that list, though - I'll take a look at all of those and see what jumps out at me. Amused to see that there's a new Space Battleship Yamato, too - I'm tempted to have a look see just to compare to the original! And The Light of a Firefly Forest sounds lovely, too - I'm definitely not put off by stuff being designed with women in mind, as my enjoyment of Otome games would attest.

Again, thanks for that list, it's appreciated.

*which I absolutely loved

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I've been watching JoJo (I enjoyed the Dreamcast fighter years back, and remembered reading about the series at the time and it sounding endearingly ridiculous) - and it has been pleasingly daft. Will try the next pass tomorrow/at the weekend, find out what's going on with this new, American JoJo... I'm also totally planning on watching Persona 4: Golden, at least once the series is complete, having loved the game.

I actually caught the first few episodes of Attack on Titan at a friend's house earlier this year/late last year - didn't really get on with it, so I'll probably leave it. And I'm amused to see Hunter X Hunter is doing the rounds again (just like JoJo, I guess), as I remember the fansubbed 90s version from when I was a teenager. Not sure I'd really enjoy it, though - I enjoy JoJo because it's so absurd, but a straight action/adventure has to be something special to really grab me - particularly one so seemingly endless as Hunter X Hunter! I like my series to have a clear end in sight, if possible.

I watched the 90s version - it really finished just as things were getting interesting; I know it's daunting but HxH really *is* something special, it's misleading because it's a boy on an adventure with lots of episodes etc but the writing is such top quality that it dwarfs all similar anime. Actions have consequences, rules are rules (and they're interesting) and every arc takes things in a new direction. It's smart, things rarely turn out the way you expect and best of all; every episode advances the plot.

It's hard to explain but the fights aren't just who's the most powerful, they're mind-games revolving around the situation the characters are in; it's never a straight-forward fight it's like an individual game in each one.

As for Attack on Titan, I'm realizing now it's a bit of a marmite anime, I can feel for the suffering the main characters go through but he does have that Shinji-ness to him that people dislike, but that to me absorbs me into the universe as it's the most believable trait you'll ever see in anime. That's how people would really be in that situation and it strikes a chord, never have I seen such a realistic feeling apocalyptic event like in AoT, but I suppose you've got to want to feel that drudge.

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Gurren Lagann looking at first glance to be a series reuniting Gainax with giant robots, a whiny protagonist and copious amounts of fanservice didn't really appeal to me.

That's fair enough I guess. Would still suggest giving it a go - beyond the initial surprise at Yoko's outfit, there is very little fanservice; the story follows the protagonist's journey out of being a whiny bitch; and robots are cool what the fuck

If you've prior negative experiences with Gainax material then this might be full of the things you hate that I didn't notice, but if you already have a Netflix sub then I still reckon it's worth giving a few episodes a chance. It's a space comedy drama! What more could you ask for.

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Have you seen The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars? They both have a nice feelgood atmosphere with sci-fi and comedy.

Yep:

I've also continued to watch some films, it's only series I completely dropped - so I've seen The Girl Who Leapt Through Time* and Summer Wars.

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If you liked Haibane Renmei and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Aria and Sora no Woto might interest you.

I'd also recommend.

Jormungand

Nodame Cantabile

Chihayafuru

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Birdy The Mighty

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That'll teach me not to skim read. Try Baccano!, that's a good one (although that's already been mentioned before too) and I really enjoyed Death Note even if it is completely doolally.

Ha, it was quite a block of text, I think it's understandable you'd miss it!

If you liked Haibane Renmei and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Aria and Sora no Woto might interest you.

I'd also recommend.

Jormungand

Nodame Cantabile

Chihayafuru

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Birdy The Mighty

Gankutsuou was one of the last series I put on (I used to run a little anime night every week while I was still at uni); very enjoyable, particularly if you're a fan of the book, though the odd static textures thing took some getting used to. I'll definitely look into the other titles you've listed!

Now, just need to sack in my job and kick out my girlfriend so that I've actually got time to watch all of the shows recommended thus far...

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Madoka, perhaps? I watched it purely on the strength of, um, a parody song being used in a Dota video and ended up really liking it. I found the presentation a bit off-putting initially, having not watched any anime for years, but it was worth persevering with. It's pretty short and self-contained, too. My favourite series from THE PAST were Serial Experiments Lain, Paranoia Agent and Revolutionary Girl Utena, which all strike me as pretty Wiper-ish, but I've been on this forum long enough to know that predicting your tastes is a fool's errand! :P

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FLCL I half-enjoyed - I liked the art style and the music but the characters and fanservice put me off,

[...]

So yeah, Gurren Lagann looking at first glance to be a series reuniting Gainax with giant robots, a whiny protagonist and copious amounts of fanservice didn't really appeal to me.

See, FLCL has some edgy content, but it's not what I'd call fanservice - any sexuality is employed in service of the story and characters. As I read it, it's all about just how confusing everything is at that age, especially girls. With added insanity.

In contrast, yeah, Yoko in GL is initially presented with a side-helping of fanservice, or at least, the Gainax jiggle - but rapidly becomes the most interesting character of the lot of them despite this; the 'schoolmarm' episode is pure awesomeness.

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Oh, and having looked at Gurren Lagann - I didn't recognise it by name, but I recognise it as it started while I was still watching anime.

Unfortunately I never really much liked what I saw of Gainax's output, His & Her Circumstances aside.* FLCL I half-enjoyed - I liked the art style and the music but the characters and fanservice put me off, and Evangelion wowed me as a teenager, but on rewatching it years later I just found the whole thing immensely irritating. Meanwhile Abenobashi and Honneamise are fun ideas ruined by madly creepy, lecherous direction. So yeah, Gurren Lagann looking at first glance to be a series reuniting Gainax with giant robots, a whiny protagonist and copious amounts of fanservice didn't really appeal to me.

*that, and a soft spot for Gunbuster as it was one of the first anime I watched

While I understand your logic here, I really must say that you have to watch Gurren Legann. Despite your fears, it is literally the anti-Evangelion. Perhaps consciously on the part of the makers. Worrying about a "whiny protagonist" is actually pretty funny from the viewpoint of someone who has seen the whole series. And the fanservice isn't that prevalent by anime standards.

Seriously, watch it.

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If you liked Haibane Renmei and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Aria and Sora no Woto might interest you.

I'd also recommend.

Jormungand

Nodame Cantabile

Chihayafuru

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Birdy The Mighty

Birdy's an odd one - if Wiper's not a fan of fanservice, the female costume designs may be a bit offputting. It's also schizophrenic - the first half is a fun romp, but the second half can be very dark in places.

Edit: OK, looks like the collection I have is made of two separate OVA series: Birdy the Mighty: Decode, and Birdy the Mighty: Decode 02, which explains the split personality.

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Try Baccano!, that's a good one

Strong stuff, mind - ultra-violent fare. I loved it but would be careful who I shared it with.

It's asking a lot, so I'll understand if nobody responds, but if anyone could suggest any series catered to my tastes that I might enjoy I'd appreciate it: going back to the days when I watched anime series, the series that I really love are (really obvious, popular shows follow): Serial Experiments Lain, Azumanga Daioh, Planetes, Boogiepop Phantom, Ouran, Cowboy Bebop, Great Teacher Onizuka, (the first half of) His & Her Circumstances, Haibane Renmei and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (though that was just a couple of OVAs, so not sure if it really counts).

So basically: I really like romance, drama, comedy and mystery as driving mechanics, and whimsical and sci-fi dressing tends to appeal to me. And the series absolutely must have an ending (in mind). Any good examples of those come out in the past half-decade?

Maybe Samurai Champloo in the Bebop mould, albeit not Sci-Fi (although nearly a decade old, now). And I don't think anyone has mentioned Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which is epic stuff. If you haven't seen it yet, maybe Last Exile.

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Thanks for that list, though - I'll take a look at all of those and see what jumps out at me. Amused to see that there's a new Space Battleship Yamato, too - I'm tempted to have a look see just to compare to the original! And The Light of a Firefly Forest sounds lovely, too - I'm definitely not put off by stuff being designed with women in mind, as my enjoyment of Otome games would attest.

Hmm, in that case I'd also recommend Natsume's Book of Friends by the same authour as The Light of a Firefly Forest. It's about 3/4 seasons so it's less of a complete work but it's still a good watch.

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Given all the recommendations on here, I'd be daft to not try Gurren Lagann, so I'll give it a go. I'll also definitely be looking at Natsume's Book of Friends and Light of a Firefly Forest, and then looking through all the other recommendations given. I've had to make a spreadsheet to keep track of everything...

Madoka, perhaps? I watched it purely on the strength of, um, a parody song being used in a Dota video and ended up really liking it. I found the presentation a bit off-putting initially, having not watched any anime for years, but it was worth persevering with. It's pretty short and self-contained, too. My favourite series from THE PAST were Serial Experiments Lain, Paranoia Agent and Revolutionary Girl Utena, which all strike me as pretty Wiper-ish, but I've been on this forum long enough to know that predicting your tastes is a fool's errand! :P

Heeey, my tastes are very predictable! Just a bit, you know, fussy... And yes, I did like Revolutionary Girl Utena back in the day, a series which makes JoJo's adventures look positively mundane.

Maybe Samurai Champloo in the Bebop mould, albeit not Sci-Fi (although nearly a decade old, now). And I don't think anyone has mentioned Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which is epic stuff. If you haven't seen it yet, maybe Last Exile.

Last Exile I did like, though I've only ever seen the first half of it (in French). I really ought to watch the rest of it. Never watched Samurai Champloo, though it was around while I was still watching anime, and I never got on with FMA - is Brotherhood distinct from the original series?

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I tend to watch stuff on DVD, and Last Exile was fairly recently re-released. I like the world, and the characters are easy to like.

You have to give Samurai Champloo a run - same creator as Bebop, with similar attitude and style. Great fun, superb action.

I don't know about animation style and quality, or the characters involved, but Brotherhood was released in order to follow the manga more closely - now, it may be that the characters and world are similar, so you won't like it any more the second time around, but most people seem to think Brotherhood is better than the first. I've only seen Brotherhood, so can't comment.

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Cool, I'll stick them all in the list - give Brotherhood a few episodes at least.

Well, assuming I manage to get through the 38 other series that are in the list already, at least :lol:

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There should be more to come. They stopped after getting close to where the manga is.

Speaking of Space Brothers, I watched a planetarium special last weekend. It's made for projection on a planetarium dome. What I watched was mostly reformatted for DVD but there are still parts partially or even fully formatted for a dome and it looks like it would be an incredible way to watch it. Screw IMAX, I want to see this.

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For some reason I find myself keeping up with SAO II weekly...

Kirito has turned into a giant bellend over the course of SAO II. His actions towards Sinon are utterly baffling - just when you think he's patched things up with her he'll do or say something ridiculous.

Also why they didn't get together between rounds 2 and 5 of the tournament to chat about why he'd gone from a giant arsehole to a quivering wreck eludes me.

He used to be an overly-serious but well-meaning boring sword man. Now he is just a cretin. Wonder if I'm missing something?

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I think the problem is the last few episodes have been purely talky types yet very little plot development. The first series flowed brilliantly and had next to none of this.

Haha, I feel largely the opposite! I found the first series really disjointed and lacking in exposition, whereas this one has the pacing down a lot better and has covered off a load of important points over the course of the first few episodes.

I have a feeling in true Anime style that Kirito's behaviour towards Sinon will have a hidden motivation behind it that we'll find out about later, as I cannot explain in the slightest why he is suddenly being a dick.

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