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17 August 2014 @ 09:08 pm
Anime/Manga Recommendations  
So I've decided I'm just going to make a recommendation list for my friends to look at. My first warning is that I don't really like comedies. You'll be hard pressed to find vulgar humor in the series I like to watch. However, I do appreciate witty banter. Secondly, character death is not something that will make me stop watching/reading a series; neither is excessive violence. You can look below and see if my tastes are compatible with yours and see what you like. I do distinguish between series that are completed by simply placing a (complete) notice by the title. As always, my little blurbs by the title are my opinion. Feel free to google a title if you want another summary or review of the series. Also, the entry will be continuously edited. Later on, I plan to make an asian dramas rec list as well as a TV (western) show rec list. Also, if I recommend an anime series that I also like the manga of, I will simply say (refer to manga review) or (refer to anime review) to avoid redundacy.

Anime (all complete): This does not include anime movies, only aired shows and OAVs. Currently under edit. Skip down to look at the completed manga section.
Arslan Senki (OAV) - Although it might be considered a bit old, I really love the music and the characters. The story is also interesting too. I think it's something worth watching just for the music, personally, but I do love Arslan, Daryun, and Narsus. Released as 3 OAVs, it'll only take you... around 3 hours to watch it, and you'll just wonder what is going to happen after that. Of course, that would require reading the novels, but my knowledge of Japanese is not up to par to do such a thing, so I'll just have to live the OAV.

Baccano! - So this show is sort of... crazy. Apparently "baccano" means noise in Italian, and good lord, the show is sort of chaotic. It's based on a light novel series, but I think it's fascinating because you follow a multitude of characters whose paths just happen to coincide. You get to see the same event happening but from many different characters' perspectives sort of midway through the show, and I thought that was really well done. It really gave me a sense of the drama and the characters at that moment. It's quite short, being only 12 episodes, 15 if you add in the extra DVD releases, so it won't take you long to watch it.

Casshern Sins - I feel like Madhouse really outdid themselves on this one.  It feels like a new Casshern, and it is; it's gritty, dark, and the lines between good and bad are blurred into a shady gray landscape where our protagonist gleams white in the foreground. Madhouse managed to preserve the look of the old Casshern series but put a glossy sheen on the everything to modernize to now. It's visually stunning and emotionally touching. I really appreciated it.

Chi's Sweet Home - It's the cutest thing ever. The sugar, oh god, the sugar. It follows a kitten named Chi and the family she lives with. An episode is only 3 minutes long and is simply a short glimpse into Chi and her family's life. It's really adorable and heartwarming; I think it's best watched when you're depressed or have finals, hahahahaha.

Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch [Lelouch of the Rebellion] - The politics~! CLAMP character designs~! The angst~! The strange mystical powers~! The mecha~! And of course, the plot, we can't forget that. Code Geass is great to watch if you want a meaty series to really analyze and that forces to consider the current state of society. There are a lot of what ifs floating about in the air, but that's what makes it interesting.

Cowboy Bebop - It's sort of classic. I mean, doesn't everybody end of recommending this at one point or another? I think Cowboy Bebop's soundtrack remains one of Yoko Kanno's best achievements, and it has a great cast of characters. The animation style is a bit old for some, but it remains a really great solid show, perfect if you want to burn time and watch some action-packed fun with a side of social commentary.

D.Gray-man (see manga review)

Darker Than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha [The Black Contractor] - What makes us human? How can you be a living being but still be considered as having no "soul?" Darker than Black brings up these questions and make us wonder exactly what the limits of humanity are. With the existence of "contractors," people who have supernatural powers, a sort of societal prejudice has arisen. Contractors aren't human, they feel no pain, they cannot cry, etc. How do we define who we are? That is what Darker than Black presents us with. It also has music done by Yoko Kanno, yay, which I think help sets the mood. The animation is really well done, although I have slightly mixed feelings about the 2nd season.

Death Note (see manga review)

Ergo Proxy - If nothing else, I feel that Ergo Proxy is stunning aesthetically, especially if you watch it in HD. But what I feel is so powerful about this series is that it questions so many beliefs that we have about existence, self awareness, and humanity, and then says, "Well, what do you think?" A little thing I like about the series is that every episode is called a meditation, referencing Descartes' "Meditations on First Philosophy," while the Cogito virus waves a hand to the phrase "Cogito, ergo sum." There are so many allusions to philosophers, mythology, and aspects of science fiction that sometimes I felt watching an episode really tested me on what I could recognize beneath the initial layer of plot and characters. By preference, I recommend Shinsen-sub's version of Ergo Proxy because they included fairly comprehensive translation notes at the end of each episode to help watchers catch those little references that slipped by. Overall, I really came away thinking about my beliefs and my perspective of the world after I watched Ergo Proxy. I hope you'll check it out!

Gankutsuou [The Count of Monte Cristo] - Studio Bones really pulled out all the animation stops for Gakutsuou. I love the soundtrack, the moving patterns on the clothes, the screwed up plotline courtesy of the actual book, and the modern interpretation of the source material. Definitely worth watching at least once.

Hagane no Renkinjitsushi [Fullmetal Alchemist]

Higashi no Eden [Eden of the East]


Kekkaishi (see manga review)

Kidou Senshi Gundam 00 [Mobile Suit Gundam 00]

Kidou Senshi Gundam Wing [Mobile Suit Gundam Wing]

Kino no Tabi -the Beautiful World- [Kino's Journey]

Koukyoushihen Eureka Seven [Psalms of the Planets Eureka Seven]



Last Exile

Le Chevalier D'Eon




Natsume Yuujinchou (see manga review)

One Piece (see manga review)

Ookiku Furikabutte (see manga review)

Ouran Koukou Host Club [Ouran High School Host Club]

Rurouni Kenshin

Saiunkoku Monogatari [The Tale of the Country of Colored Clouds]

Samurai Champloo

Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei [Farewell, Teacher Despair]

Scrapped Princess

Seirei no Moribito [The Guardian of the Spirit]

Shin Seiki Evangelion [Neon Genesis Evangelion]

Tenkuu no Escaflowne [Vision of Escaflowne]

Wolf's Rain

xxxHoLiC (see manga review)

Area no Kishi [Knight of the Area] - I can't help it. I love soccer manga in general? Erm >_> But I like this art style, and the story is like a lot of sports manga: focused on the main character but also on his teammates. I like also that Kakeru, the protagonist, has to rebuild his confidence and regain the determination to become a great soccer player after overcoming a tragedy within the family. It's a heartwarming story that's great to read at anytime. The characters are original enough to stand on their own, and you can learn some soccer terminology while you're reading~! The anime is totally not worth watching and is a disgrace to the manga source material.

BECK (complete) - Because Koyuki remains one of my favorite characters. He's not smart, he's not particularly determined, but damnit, he loves music. And if nothing else, this boy has a voice. Beck is the story about a teenager trying to find his way in life who discovers that he really loves music. He becomes a member of a band called BECK, and from that point onwards, that's where our story starts. BECK is about discovering yourself and the determination to persevere against outrageous odds. It's an absolutely great read. And it's finished! What are you waiting for?

Bleach - Well, if you read shounen manga, you sort of have to read it. Um. But peer pressure set aside, it is a good read. Even though, it can get a bit... long at times. Kurosaki Ichigo, your protagonist, can see ghosts. He can also see other things too, but putting that aside, he meets a girl named Rukia. And well, it turns out that she's a Shinigami, a god of death. And yeah, stuff starts from there. Lots of shit goes down. There are sword fights. And other fights. And strange humor. And Spanish terms. Um. Read it if you want something long and with some semblance of plot and fights. Yeah. It's not the best manga work, but it has its moments.

D.Gray-man - Plagued by multiple hiatuses due to the mangaka getting injured, this is still by far one of my favorite series that is still being serialized. It's beautiful. It's complicated. It makes your brain hurt at times, but that's okay as long as you can keep reading. It's amazing. In a world where the person next to you might turn out to be an Akuma, a weapon built for a mysterious purpose, the Black Order, an organization of exorcists and their leaders, fight to stop the Millenium Earl from succeeding his plan to destroy the world. You follow a young man called Allen Walker, a boy who possesses Innocence, the anti-Akuma weapon, and who wants to become an exorcist. Read it. Just read it.

Death Note (complete) - If you could kill people by writing their names in a notebook, would you? And if you would, who would you kill? Light Yagami picks up the notebook of a Shinigami, a god of death, and seeks to change the world with this newly attained power. It's intelligent, it's dark, it's ugly. It's beautiful, too, in a way. Read the manga that got blacklisted in certain countries because of its controversial nature. Wonder what you would do in the same situation.

DOLLS - I bought copies of this manga in Japanese when I was in Tokyo. The art style is one of my favorites. The plot is convoluted. The society is corrupt. The government develops a special force and well... Those people have issues. But aren't they wonderful issues?

Eyeshield 21 (complete) - This is one of the few comedic series I read. Like all sports manga, the teams are what I like. The different characters you get to meet and learn about - it's what I stick around for. Sena is a wimp. He's a errand boy for bullies, but one day, he's forced to join the American Football team at his school. And there, our story starts. It's cute. It's uplifting. It's good for a rainy day.

Fairy Tail - The current chapter threw for a complete loop. Good lord, I was like O_____o! I love the characters, and boy, are there a lot! The art might remind you of One Piece, but it's not drawn by the same guy. Nope. There is plot. There is a really interesting world. There are very very interesting magic theories, and there are most definitely kickass female characters. With lots of kickass male characters, of course; but it's so hard to find kickass female characters in shounen manga! Anyways, it's a great series and not super long yet, so it's easy to catch up to the current chapters. Go read it if you love your fantasy~!

FLAT - It's heartwarming. It's cute. It's about a guy who could care less about life and his nephew. The teenager helps the little boy learn how to be open up to people. It's adorable. If only it wasn't so short ;_;

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e [For You in Full Blossom] (complete) - One of the few shoujo series I read. But I read it. Every last page. Girl sees boy. Girl idolizes boy. Girl crossdresses to go to an all-boys school to be closer to her idol. They are roommates. Things happen?

Hikaru no Go [Hikaru's Go] (complete) - It's a manga about go, a very old game of strategy played with black and white stones. They called the game of generals. The game of war. A young boy picks up an old goban, a go board, and meets a ghost. There, he learns about go and sets off to discover himself and grow as an individual. It's a great manga. You'll learn about go, meet a great ensemble of characters, but above all, you'll follow Hikaru as he grows up. You'll empathize with him, you'll feel for him. You'll hope his goal is attained. It's a great story.

Houshin Engi (complete) - It's complicated, even though it starts as a comedy. But no, that is just a disguise for deeper plot. And oh, is there plot. There is lots of plot. I think I cried when I read the ending, because it really touched me. It's a great read.

HunterxHunter - A boy named Gon wants to find his father. Along the way, he becomes a Hunter, he meets a crap load of people (very very interesting), and he almost dies. A lot. Done by the same mangaka as Yu Yu Hakusho, this is a great series. The art is beautiful in its own way, the world is really interesting, and the characters are not easily forgettable at all.

Ilegenes - It's a world I wouldn't want to live in. Although the series is fairly short at the moment, it makes my head spin. It's really interesting. It's beautiful in the way only a series of this type can be. It makes me wonder about humanity.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn! [Home Tutor Reborn!] - Although the beginning volumes might deceive into thinking Reborn! is all about puns and lame jokes, this is not the case. True plot kicks in with the Varia Arc and never stops. It just keeps going. Your wimpy main character suddenly isn't so wimpy anymore as time goes by. He gains confidence, but above all, just wants to protect his friends. With that motivation, can he really become the true 10th Head of the Vongola mafia family? You'll find yourself rooting for Tsuna, the protagonist, and wonder about some of his... dubious allies. And as always, the art gets really amazing as the series goes on.

Kekkaishi (complete) - It's a compelling read. At first, it's your standard set up. There's a boy. He's an heir to some magic guardian type clan. He needs to prove himself. He protects a sacred ground. And then certain events happen. He sort of proves himself. He realizes he has a deeper connection to this sacred ground. He can change things. If only-! You should read it. It just sucks you in, until you can't let go.

Kuroshitsuji [Black Butler] - I like the art, and I like the angst. It's not a happy series. There's no saving the world, good deeds, or helping the weak. Ciel Pantomhive is an arrogant and ambitious brat, and that's the way he'll remain. He's signed a deal with a demon, but that's not going to stop him. If anything, it's going to help him. Set in Victorian England, we follow Ciel and his butler, a demon called Sebastian, as Ciel unravels strange mysteries around them.

Monster (complete) - It's done by the king of manga, Osamu Tezuka. It's heartwrenching. It's evocative. It makes you question morality and faith and people. It's a stunning masterpiece that displays what can be done with this form of media.

Nabari no Ou [The King of Nabari] (complete) - It's about ninja, but nothing like Naruto. Maybe that's why I like it. There's not much comedy, but there's a lot of questions. A lot of distrust. It's the type of world I like to wonder about. Good for a rainy day or if you want to see how a secret society of ninja could exist in the modern world.

Naruto - The definitive ninja manga? That's what comes to mind when I think of Naruto. There's plot. There's a world ripe for fanfic. It's very shounen, and recently, becoming more Bleach like >.>. I'd say the first 20 volumes are worth reading, and then after that, hmm.

Natsume Yuujinchou [The Natsume Book of Friends] - It's heartwarming. It's about the connection between people. Believing in people. There's no saving the world antics, only a boy who slowly learns more about the mysterious book his grandmother left him. He tries to deal with being able to see things nobody else can see and has major trust issues because of this. His only friends seem to be the spirits he can see, but ever so gently, he finds himself more immersed in the world he used to be afraid of and surrounded by people who support him, his existence. Great if you're feeling down and want something uplifting and touching to read.

Nurarihyon no Mago [The Grandson of Nurarihyon] - I like the art. I like the world. I like the main character. It's almost straight shounen, from the plot and the main character, but I can't help it. I like it. It sucked me in. Just read it and see if you like it. I like the minor characters you meet quite a bit.

One Piece - The definitive pirates manga. Perhaps one of the definitive manga series. I'm also waiting for the latest chapter because this series never gets boring. It never lets up. And the characters! Oh, the characters. The back story that's revealed on the myriad cast Oda Eiichiro sets up is fascinating, and his world doesn't disappoint. It's a rich story, full of characters that breathe and tug on your heartstrings. You worry for them, you follow them, you hope they attain their dreams. It's really no wonder it's one of the bestselling series in Japan.

Ookiku Furikabutte [Big Windup] - Called the best baseball manga, it's really about a boy named Mihashi who has no self confidence due to his former middle school teammates. Upon joining his new junior high school's baseball team, we read about his struggles to live up to his teammates' expectations, their hopes for him, and his growth as an individual along with the rest of his team. It's heartwarming and wonderful, although the art can take some getting used to.

Pandora Hearts - The plot makes my brain hurt. It moves very quickly. Lots of bad things happen. Very few happy things happen. Sometimes I wonder why I still read it. But I do. Because I want to know what is happening. In fact, seriously, what is happening?

Psyren (complete) - Ageha, you're now a member of game! And it's a game of survival! But actually, this game takes the player to the future, perhaps in hopes to change the past to change the future. What exactly is going on? Is the key these psychic powers the players seem to gain when they reach the "new world?" Why is the future so bleak? Psyren is an interesting read, but was shafted by the fact that the mangaka was forced to end the series early due to lack of popularity. What a pity.

Silver Diamond (complete) - The world is fascinating. The art is beautiful. I want to buy it. It's fantasy and the power of words and the destruction of nature and the rebirth of a world. Read it.

Tennis no Oujisama [Prince of Tennis] (complete, but there's a sequel) - Um, the definitive tennis manga. It's not really tennis, seeing as it defies physics and all, but it's entertaining and great fun. Follow Echizen Ryoma and his school, Seigaku, as they try to become the National Champions. They meet a lot of interesting people along the way, and the series really does make you wonder: are these tennis matches or magic shows?

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle (complete) - Read it with xxxHoLiC because the series do have overlapping chapters. It's drawn by CLAMP, whose art style I love, and the plot is interesting but quickly becomes more convoluted. You'll see characters from CLAMP's other series, which is part of the interesting bit, but in different worlds. Different roles, different lives. Who exactly are we? Are we the same from world to world or is really the environment that defines us? Syaoran searches for Sakura's memories across dimensions, but then he finds out...?

Whistle! (complete) - My favorite soccer manga? Maybe because it was my first or maybe it's because Sho, your protagonist, isn't a good soccer player. He wants to be, but he's not really talented or anything. But he's determined. He practices, and practices, and practices. And he rises to the challenges he faces. His teammates are inspired by him, and he changes their lives. Follow his journey to become a better soccer player! It's a really great heartwarming story.

X (hiatus) - CLAMP's put it on hold for Tsubasa. But it's CLAMP so it's beautiful. And it's dark, angsty, gritty, broken. It remains one of my favorite worlds and has a multitude of my favorite characters. It might be the series where I like the cast the most. This particular combination of these type of people. It really touched me. I won't say that there aren't any happy moments, but they are hard to find. It's about the end of the world and the people who fight to protect the world and to destroy it. It's about human relationships and futility and power. Read it.

xxxHoLiC (complete) - Fate, destiny, inevitability. What exactly defines a wish? Or even, ourselves? Watanuki meets Yuuko, a woman who grants wishes to people who find her shop, drawn there by their wish. It teaches us different ways to look at the world and makes us wonder about the little things in life. Read it along with Tsubasa due to overlapping plots.

Yakitate!! Japan (complete) - It's actually a comedy. Yes, I do read the occasional comedy. Also, it's about bread. A boy who bakes bread and his desire to make bread that represents Japan. Um. Yes. But it's interesting! You can learn a lot of things about bread, and the puns will help you learn random information on Japanese culture. Anyways, it's funny. It's a lighthearted read if you're looking for one, and one of the few you will find on this list.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Linkin Park - The Little Things Give You Away
樱樱美代子: squealfantasia0829 on August 18th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
Mononoke. One of my fave anime ever. :DDD
terialkterialk on August 18th, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
It is really nice, isn't it? I really like how visually striking it is.
樱樱美代子: AerisSmilefantasia0829 on August 18th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
The art style reminded me very strongly of Russian cartoon. :DDDD Extremely colour, somewhat flamboyant, a little 2-D looking, and it had many layers of meaning and lessons to be learnt. Loved it. ♥
I especially love Kusuri-uri's voice. ♥ ♥ ♥
Mnemelady_theta on August 19th, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)
..I love Monster. It was the first manga, not THE first, mind you, I read when I got to college.
terialkterialk on August 19th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
Really? That's sort of interesting. I read it... junior or senior of high school, I think? Something like that ^^
Mnemelady_theta on August 20th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
I've also realized that I've been staring at your lj for the sole purpose of staring at Aiba...