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So, you want to watch anime...

mnkykungfu

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@Jrzag42 LAIN is one of my absolute favorites. @Q2 is right that it's super trippy. I wouldn't recommend it for someone just getting in to anime. But for you, go for it! It's not that long, very thought-provoking, ahead of its time, and has great music!
 

Racerx1969

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amazon.com/gp/product/B00NP06DJE
I don't think so. The image of the case back says 26 episodes + extras on 4 BD. For me this is a good deal--I've just watched the first disc (9 episodes) via my Netflix physical disc subscription--now I can pull the rest off my queue.
The package arrived (early!) and I've already ripped all 4 discs in preparation to dump to my Plex server. No movie there; 3 discs of episodes, 1 disc all of extras. Don't pay any attention to the whining "top reviewer" reviews on Amazon--there are indeed the Japanese audio tracks there, I had to select them in MakeMKV (due to my settings). Now in Handbrake so my little RPi server can handle streaming them.

BTW, I ran across mention that Netflix has a live action series coming up imminently. Apparently it was slated for 2019, but an actor injury & then Covid shelved it for a while.
 

mnkykungfu

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^Yeah, news of the initial casting and pre-production of the series left me thinking I probably won't want to watch. I suspect it won't be as bad as most live-action Japanese adaptations of anime, but it'll likely lose a lot of what I love about the series. The noir-ish tinged episodes are my favorite.
 

mnkykungfu

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@Malthus your first post here referenced how to break down anime in different ways and suggested some shorts. Your second "lesson" was on TV series. Your third one was on Gundam films. I wonder if you're ready to do another one?
A request? How about a lesson on a director? I mentioned Kon before, and everyone knows Miyazaki, but maybe you have a favorite director who you'd like to give a primer on? One that has works that make a good starting point for people without much anime experience?
 

Malthus

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@Malthus
Maybe you have a favorite director who you'd like to give a primer on? One that has works that make a good starting point for people without much anime experience?

I'll see what I can do. It's do nice that this thread has taken on a life of its own, I stopped writing posts because I don't consider myself an expert in anyway. I love that people are sharing thoughts and options for streaming content but yes, I'll be back with a new lesson soon.
 

It'sOnRandom

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Finished the first season of Re: Zero - Starting Life In Another World. Dare I say this is near perfect. As I foundd some of the dialogue cringey at first I struggled to REALLY get into it. However by the third episode I bloody loved it!!!!

The story to this great and the charecters themselves are awesome as hell. Anybody else here like this show? Gonna watch season 2 soon :)

MV5BN2NlM2Y5Y2MtYjU5Mi00ZjZiLWFjNjMtZDNiYzJlMjhkOWZiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjc2NjA5MTU@._V1_.jpg
 

Jrzag42

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Finished the first season of Re: Zero - Starting Life In Another World. Dare I say this is near perfect. As I foundd some of the dialogue cringey at first I struggled to REALLY get into it. However by the third episode I bloody loved it!!!!

The story to this great and the charecters themselves are awesome as hell. Anybody else here like this show? Gonna watch season 2 soon :)

MV5BN2NlM2Y5Y2MtYjU5Mi00ZjZiLWFjNjMtZDNiYzJlMjhkOWZiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjc2NjA5MTU@._V1_.jpg
I haven't watched it, but I've known a few friends who were really into it.

For a second when I saw you mention Re:Zero, my mind went to No Game No Life, which I have seen, to which I was going to say "That show is absolutely not perfection!" but then I remembered what Re:Zero was.
 

It'sOnRandom

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I haven't watched it, but I've known a few friends who were really into it.

For a second when I saw you mention Re:Zero, my mind went to No Game No Life, which I have seen, to which I was going to say "That show is absolutely not perfection!" but then I remembered what Re:Zero was.

I'm guessing No Game No Life is very bad :)
 

mnkykungfu

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Just to center back on the title and first post of this thread for a moment: What anime could someone find compelling if they so far haven't liked much anime?

I'm old enough to remember when liking anime was a pretty weird thing in the US. There was no manga available, much less having its own section in Barnes & Noble. If you wanted to watch an anime movie (pre-streaming!), there wasn't even a section for it at a rental store. Anime would be mixed in with Kids films like Aladdin and G.I. Joe: The Movie. It was uniformly associated with Japan, and mostly called "Japanimation", and people thought it was super weird. And honestly, a lot of it was. And people thought anime fans were super weird. And honestly, a lot of them were. If you walked down a high school hallway (no one older or younger knew about anime) you could easily find the freaks/losers who might go on about some Ranma 1/2 bootleg they got:
Hackers1.jpg

Anime fans looked pretty damn close to this, and it didn't do much to make the general public want to join them in learning about anime. Before it became cool to call yourself a nerd, back when San Diego Comic Con never had A-list actors walk through the doorway, anime was a doorway into creativity and wackiness that mainstream culture rejected. It was 10x more creative than the normal films out there, and owning being an anime-lover was like turning your Outcast status into a badge of courage. You were a free-thinker, a creative, an individual.

Of course, in and of its nature, that means a lot of anime is not easy to get into. And as it has gained a wider following in the US, the amount of anime available has ballooned...but not at the end of the spectrum where it's become more accessible. Reel Rundown has put together a lovely primer on the genres of Anime, and the sub-genres of Anime. And the sub-genres are where shit gets really weird. I'm sure people have done whole Anthropology dissertations on how an anime gets popular, then the central idea from that anime is piggybacked by other anime, then the conventions of those other anime become part of what's seen as the original idea. All this is tied up in the specifics of Japanese culture too, so that's how we end up with a common sub-genre like "Harem".
HAREM-ANIME.jpg

Playing on the pretty normal Japanese trait of a guy who'd prefer to run away from a romantic encounter rather than deal with the stress of one, this sub-genre inevitably features a nice guy main character who ends up with a bevy of beautiful babes of all sorts virtually (or explicitly) throwing themselves at him. There are so many cultural aspects and anime tropes being built upon in even the most basic of these stories that I wouldn't recommend it for anyone new to anime. It would probably just come off as creepy, juvenile, and even misogynistic. (And some of them may well be!)

In fact, most of the sub-genres of anime are built on decades of series and films and manga being made, a kind of cultural piling-on, building the national conversation about what makes a gratifying adventure of this type. Whether it's Shounen anime or Josei anime, these films are aiming at a very specific thing and I think odds are not great that a Western viewer will really appreciate them if they haven't been into much anime before.

Even from the main categories of anime, it's important to keep in mind that almost all anime is made for the domestic market, without much thought to how it will play outside Japan. If it's not successful on NHK (or wherever it airs) then they'll probably never have the chance to export it to foreign markets anyway. My guess is that this is why a lot of anime seems to have a higher proportion of over-the-top comedy/romance/tropes in the first few episodes and then straightens out. They need to capture that viewing audience early. But these anime are still made by Japanese for Japanese, and lemme tell you brother, it's a whole different emotional world there. I lived in Japan for over five years, and the cultural subtexts are killer. In good anime, a lot of that gets worked in to the drama or the romance, and I'll admit that made it harder for me to understand before I'd experienced it. Even after knowing why, for example, a romance series will go 22 episodes and have declarations of undying love but never even have the main characters kiss...it still doesn't mean I respond to it. That means even a relatively straightforward Drama like Kanon is not something I'd recommend to someone not already an anime fan. The characterizations and motivations are likely to be hard to grasp and not resonate.

All this is to say that perhaps the best way to find a gateway into anime, is to look for anime that seems somewhat similar to Western films already being made... just with a unique Japanese twist. What I think Japan does really well is to come up with nuanced visions of the near-future, and to compellingly direct action. As Western films have started adapting many of the aesthetics from Japan (starting with films like Blade Runner) and Western cartoons have started animating action more like Japanese anime (starting perhaps with The Powerpuff Girls and Avatar), Western audiences have perhaps gotten more accepting of anime and willing to check it out. But they still need something familiar to hold on to at the start, like the police procedural of Psycho-Pass. Slight sci-fi elements are a lot easier to take in than something like an anime that mostly exists in a virtual world (Sword Art Online) or is entirely in space (Martian Successor Nadesico). Shows like Psycho-Pass hearken back to the anime that helped break into the Western world in the first place, films like Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed, and even Macross Plus.

I'd recommend starting with this Action/Sci-Fi genre, as it's just Japanese enough to justify watching these instead of live-action Western films, and yet the animation style, voice work, and story development tend to be fairly realistic, For people who are turned off by CGI too, this has the added benefit of being able to depict insane action sequences in ways that aren't possible in live action films without lots of CGI. Collider has a good anime good for beginners here too, and they list several action and sci-fi anime. For me, just the fact that Western anime fans have gone from being outcast weirdos like in the top picture to a mix of fun quirky people like in the picture below.... well, it warms my heart and makes me feel like maybe there's a little anime fan in all of us.

anime_expo_selfie.jpg
 
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Jrzag42

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I'm guessing No Game No Life is very bad :)
Well, it has its highs and its lows. It has some neat lore and a cool world, but it suffers from being awfully perverted and gross like a lot of series unfortunately. It's one of those shows where at the time I just thought "That's weird, but okay," but looking back I realize that there's a lot in the show that's just fucked up and I don't want anyone to ever have to watch it. Not the worst anime I've seen by any means though.
 

Racerx1969

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Just to center back on the title and first post of this thread for a moment: What anime could someone find compelling if they so far haven't liked much anime?

I'm old enough to remember when liking anime was a pretty weird thing in the US. There was no manga available, much less having its own section in Barnes & Noble. If you wanted to watch an anime movie (pre-streaming!), there wasn't even a section for it at a rental store. Anime would be mixed in with Kids films like Aladdin and G.I. Joe: The Movie. It was uniformly associated with Japan, and mostly called "Japanimation", and people thought it was super weird. And honestly, a lot of it was. And people thought anime fans were super weird. And honestly, a lot of them were. If you walked down a high school hallway (no one older or younger knew about anime) you could easily find the freaks/losers who might go on about some Ranma 1/2 bootleg they got:
Hackers1.jpg
Dang, that sent me back in the wayback machine. Yep, I remember when it was termed "Japanimation" and used the term myself. A friend and I discovered a local collectibles shop that had a good selection of rental VHS tapes--meaning a couple of book shelves. We went through a lot of those. I had been primed for it with early Robotech and Space Battleship Yamato airings on network TV. Also, I instantly recognized the cast photo there! Loved that movie.
 

mnkykungfu

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Alright, game over, shut it down, I've found the perfect answer! ;)
Originally, this thread stemmed from a conversation about Studio Ghibli films (Miyazaki's, specifically) being some of the only ones that appealed to someone who didn't watch anime. They'd seen other stuff but just couldn't get into it. So the idea was to find other films with a low barrier to entry that hit that same sweet spot Miyazaki's films do....

And I've got one! It's called A Letter to Momo, and it was made by Production I.G., one of the best studios in the business. Even though they're more known for detailed and realistic art and fluid action sequences, I found their different style here really charming as well.
Letter.jpg


The film starts off as a grounded, slice-of-life drama about a tween girl who has to relocate to the Southern Islands in Japan after growing up in the city. Obviously, traditional Japanese spirits come into the story later and it really takes off, but the dramatic elements slowly unfold too, making this at once one of the funniest and also most dramatic anime I've seen in years. I wrote about it more here, but in short: this is a real under-appreciated gem that I think perfectly fits alongside Miyazaki's films as something that non-anime fans will be able to get into (and hardcore fans will like it too!)
 

mnkykungfu

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If you've ever wanted to watch a 100+ episode anime series but couldn't bring yourself to commit the time, here's a short that played at that 2015 Japan Animator Expo. It effectively boils down an entire epic series into 5-minutes, told as a musical, "I Sing With All My Heart". :D

No subs, but I don't think you need them. It's easy to follow. (Written and directed by Takashi Horiuchi, an animator with Studio Khara.)
 

Malthus

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Very much looking forward to this, particularly the Production IG and Kinema Citrus episodes.
 

It'sOnRandom

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I took a break from anime over the past month or two, however I'm back to binging again.

I have now actually finished both two seasons of 'Re: Zero Starting Life In Another World' and I think it's fair enough to say, I actually prefer the second season quite a bit more compared to the first.

After fininishing that I went onto another anime called 'Clannad'.
According to my friend (who adores anime), this show is one of the most emotional animes you will ever watch.
So far im around episode 11 and I'm enjoying it quite a lot.
Will try and finish season one within this week :)

MV5BN2VmM2NmMGUtOGQ2OC00Y2ZjLTljNTctYjhmMDJjZjM1NTY3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDgyODgxNjE@._V1_.jpg
 

Jrzag42

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I took a break from anime over the past month or two, however I'm back to binging again.

I have now actually finished both two seasons of 'Re: Zero Starting Life In Another World' and I think it's fair enough to say, I actually prefer the second season quite a bit more compared to the first.

After fininishing that I went onto another anime called 'Clannad'.
According to my friend (who adores anime), this show is one of the most emotional animes you will ever watch.
So far im around episode 11 and I'm enjoying it quite a lot.
Will try and finish season one within this week :)

MV5BN2VmM2NmMGUtOGQ2OC00Y2ZjLTljNTctYjhmMDJjZjM1NTY3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDgyODgxNjE@._V1_.jpg
Yes, Clannad is a masterpiece.
 
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