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[LTTP/WIW] Various anime from the 00s and beyond

Arnino Storm

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Banned
#62
Re: FLCL

I humbly suggest Eden of the East:

[video=youtube;4pdqeu9LW2c]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pdqeu9LW2c[/video]

Basic idea: A guy wakes up naked with a gun in front of the White house, with no memory of how he got there. Hilarity (and plot twists!) ensues.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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Validated User
#63
Re: FLCL

Er... I've already given my thoughts on both way back on page 2.


I humbly suggest Eden of the East:
I saw it about six months ago, some time before I started this thread. Eden of the East is a true gem. A rare anime that's interested in current-day politics and builds a thrilling narrative out of it. It suffers very slightly from playing its momentum by ear and not really thinking it all through (the first movie spends half its running time disentangling itself from the dead-end the main series had cornered itself into while searching for a climax)... but then, since this is Akira's whole modus operandi, it's perfectly fitting and part of the charm of the show.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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#64
The Tatami Galaxy

The Tatami Galaxy (Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei)
(11 episodes, 2010)

My previous exposure

It's a noitaminA show whose OP sequence was among JesuOtaku's "best of 2010". Beyond that, I knew nothing of it.

What's it about ?

Our unnamed protagonist/narrator is a young college student who has spent the last two years in a quirky club ; he thought that'd be an occasion for socializing and having a great time, but it made him miserable and the only "friend" he made was Ozu, a backstabbing asshole who even looks impish. Well, there's also this Akashi girl from the engineering department who might be a possible prospect... but our protagonist has by this point made such a mess of his life by this point that he thinks it's too late to make a move, and really wishes he'd joined another club and never met Ozu.

The joke is that each episode has him joining a different club as he enters college, still meeting Ozu somehow, and still making a mess of his life in a completely different way. The series plays quite a bit on the format, first in #6-8 by having him join three clubs at once (with three different endings to about the same series of events), and then by climaxing in a tale where he never joins any club and things get really weird.

What did I think of it ?

Well, this is certainly a different anime from about everything else I've watched. I'm reminded a bit of some of the works of Satoshi Kon, with a stream-of-consciousness kind of storytelling that leaves a lot of room to dreamlike imagery. The character designs are deliberately cartoony, which helps when the plot gradually becomes more insane. I also love the ED sequence, which can only be described as "blueprint porn", as rooms shuffle around rhythmically and thrust into one another along the tune.

This is a very wordy series. The characters are very talkative, and when they shut up, the protagonist takes over and never lets go. It could be tiring (and it is a bit), but the series is funny enough to get away with it. There are some great gags in every episode, the highlight probably being ep #3's Cycling Club and its feud with the Illegal Parking Brigade.

What truly makes the series remarkable, though, is that the repetitive structure works. Each episode is different enough to entertain, and through each iteration we get a better handle on the supporting cast and how they all fit together. Especially remarkable is the final reveal about Ozu : he does have a purpose and a plan beyond random mischief, and it's actually quite endearing. The weakest link may be Akashi, who doesn't show that much personality beyond "ideal love interest", but there's still enough depth in her for the romance not to be forced. (It helps that some episodes have the narrator pursue some completely different women... or approximations thereof.) The ending is a bit weakened by the obviousness of the fractal structure of the narrative being made into the actual text, but there are enough pay-offs to what initially looked like throwaway bouts of weirdness for it to work.

This is a very good show which tried to do something very different from the norm and pulled it off. And it's a lot of fun, too.
 

Shimauma

Awaits the Ponylarity
Validated User
#65
Tsukikage Ran seems to keep getting mentioned, so I'll add that I enjoyed it, but it essentially has no more ambition than to be a light ronin drama of the sort I imagine must have been ubiquitous on Japanese TV, only with female leads. Still good fun, though.

I don't know what your tolerance for iyashikei anime is (slice of life/"soothing" anime, wherein nothing particularly dramatic happens.) but the two that stand out for me are Windy Tales, a 13 episode series with a somewhat novel art style about schoolgirls who catch their teacher manipulating wind, and start practicing the skill themselves. The sight of a sky full of cats (evidently cats can do it too, which must be how they always land on their feet) sold me.

Then there's Aria, which it a bit lengthy for your guidelines, but can be regarded as three separate series (Aria the Animation (13 eps); Aria the Natural (26 eps); Aria the Origination (13 eps)), none of which require you to carry on to the next. It's the story of the apprenticeship of a girl gondolier in the idyllic city of Neo Venezia on Mars, a painstaking recreation of Venice. Nothing much happens apart from making friends, exploring the setting and growing into her profession, but it's directed by Junichi Sato, who makes almost every episode a beautifully crafted jewel.
 

B Nakagawa

Registered User
Validated User
#67
How about Planetes? 2003-2004 26 episodes.

Hard SF series about garbage collectors who work in Low Earth Orbit. And other stuff.

the OP
[video=youtube;cfd3NujZq0k]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfd3NujZq0k&feature=related[/video]
 
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Capellan

Member
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#69
Simoun. 2006. 26 eps. A friend pithily described it as "lesbian nun top gun".

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. 2007. 27 eps. Absurdly over-the-top mecha show.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#70
I don't know what your tolerance for iyashikei anime is
I'm not entirely sure myself, mostly because my exposure to it has been limited. I know I enjoyed Kamichu! and Haibane Renmei, but I'm not even sure they belong in that very narrow genre.

I do know that when Junichi Sato forays into it, I find the results middling at best (La Croisée dans un Chemin Etranger was harmless fluff at best, and I found Tamayura boring beyond belief). It doesn't help that I'm mostly insensitive to scenery porn for its own sake.

On the other hand, from all accounts Aria is THE iyashikei anime, so I should probably watch (the first season of) it just for that alone. But I'm not really looking forward to it.

How about Ghost Hound as a recommendation?
Why not. What's the genre and the basic pitch ?

How about Planetes?
It's in my top 20. I watched it... three years ago ? Definitely the most hard SF anime I've ever watched, which doesn't prevent it to use it as a springboard for impressive character work and comedy (as well as some decent social commentary). It also communicates some real sense of wonder about space that many space-opera can't provide.

Simoun. 2006. 26 eps. A friend pithily described it as "lesbian nun top gun".
It's been on my radar for a while, so I'm glad to see an actual recommendation despite the, er, slightly dodgy premise.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. 2007. 27 eps. Absurdly over-the-top mecha show.
Ah, TTGL. Finally sat around and watched it last year. Where to even start ? It took me a while to really get into the mood for enjoying it (I think it was they waterproofed their walking mecha base and gave it a giant paddle to get across the ocean), but it's very fun stuff indeed that knows how to double the scale every three episodes. It starts a bit too slowly, but it works.
 
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