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Novice Anime Discussion Part I

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Rob Lutter, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. Tony-B

    Tony-B Well-Known Member

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    Deciding what to put in there, and to make sure that everything is correct. Maybe someone could co-write it with me.
     
  2. Brendan Brown

    Brendan Brown Well-Known Member

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    Incidentally, caught the first volume of Banner of the Stars on DVD yesterday, shaping up to be as good if not BETTER then Crest of the Stars Picture and Sound quality is quite decent too.
     
  3. James_Kiang

    James_Kiang Well-Known Member

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    I'll throw my recommendations in:

    Fist of the North Star - referring to the movie version here as I have yet to see the tv series, though hoping that changes come March [​IMG]

    Ninja Scroll - I would say this is more action-oriented than story-driven, but the story holds up

    Vampire Hunter D:Bloodlust - I was blown away by how nice this one looks; more action-oriented than the original...

    Vampire Hunter D - ...though I still have to recommend it as well

    Record of Lodoss War - really surprised no one has mentioned this one yet; I did not feel it was as great as I was hoping it to be, and I definitely recommend not watching it all in one sitting, but very much worth seeing
     
  4. James_Kiang

    James_Kiang Well-Known Member

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    I have a question I'm hoping you guys can help me with. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am a big fan of Fist of the North Star. I know the first 36 episodes of the TV series are coming out over the coming year or so. However, I have seen the whole series of 150 some odd episodes on Ebay for about $100 and I know of another place locally that I could get the entire run in like 2 sets for $100 each. Do these sound legal? As nice as it would be to have them all at one time, I wouldn't purchase them if they were boots. Thanks.
     
  5. Woo Jae

    Woo Jae Well-Known Member

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    James Kiang:

    Chances are, if it's too good to be true, they are bootlegs. As they say, caveat emptor

    Perhaps you can go to AnimeOnDVD's Chris Beveridge or PM him to ask if the ENTIRE series has been licensed or not. Or even Jeff Kleist, who is quite knowlegeable in these matters.

    For those new to anime, I would heartily recommend Anime on DVD's Essential collection as a good primer to anime. They are a good introduction to the diverse world of anime and offer different things for different people.

    The best anime that ALL movies lovers should own are all the films made by Studio Ghibli. They are extremely well animated and offer an aura of reality (by this, I mean that the worlds portrayed FEEL real and completely possible) that just isn't present in most North American productions.

    Anyhow, kudos to Rob Lutter and Tony-B for setting this one up, though I do agree that the list HAS to be trimmed (that's the hard part for those of us who have seen it all).
     
  6. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Well-Known Member

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    Trim my recommendations as much as you want... but keep Cowboy Bebop in there! [​IMG]

    I think you should start by eliminating some of the stuff that isn't even licensed here in the states yet (Gundam Seed, Abenobashi Mahou Shotengai). Good shows (Sunrise? GAINAX? [​IMG] ), but the newbies won't be able to see them and might get confused [​IMG]
     
  7. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Well-Known Member

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  8. Artur Meinild

    Artur Meinild Well-Known Member

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    I'm also an Anime Novice (which means I don't have too many titles).

    I would recommend the following -

    Series:
    El-Hazard [OVA] - Science Fiction/Comedy/Romance
    Tenchi Muyo [OVA] - Science Fiction/Comedy/Romance
    Record of Lodoss War [OVA] - Fantasy/Adventure
    Samurai X [OVA] - Historical/Action/Drama
    Macross Plus [OVA] - Science Fiction/Action
    Serial Experiments Lain [TV] - Science Fiction/Drama

    Movies:
    Castle of Cagliostro - Adventure/Comedy
    Kiki's Delivery Service - Adventure
    Princess Mononoke - Fantasy/Drama
    Akira - Science Fiction/Action
    Ghost in the Shell - Science Fiction/Action
    Metropolis - Science Fiction/Drama
     
  9. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Well-Known Member

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    Hi everybody,

    How about a category on the recommendations list for CLASSIC titles such as Astro Boy, Gigantor (both of which I can recommend), and Speed Racer (which I actually have never seen).

    Also how about a warning at the top of the thread about BOOTLEGS and how to avoid them. Virtually any DVD that is "Region 0" or "playable worldwide" and with "Chinese & English subtitles" is a fake from Hong Kong and should be avoided. (However, there is a small handful of US Region 0 titles, such as the original Barefoot Gen, I believe. Maybe the more experienced among us can come up with a list of legit Region 0 titles.) In addition to the Hong Kong bootlegs, I understand most discs from Taiwan tend to be boots as well.

    Put me down as recommending Cowboy Bebop and Ranma 1/2 as well as Princess Mononoke and all the works of Miyazaki.

    Has anybody else been watching Ranma 1/2 recently? My best friend in S.F. introduced me to this show when I visited during Xmas and I've been enjoying the first few box seasons. I love this show! It is funny, cute, charming, sexy without being extreme. I love the absurd music & sound effects. I love the way the characters treat their ridiculous situations as though they were deathly serious. I love how every conflict can be settled with a martial arts challenge. And I love how virtually every human activity has a martial arts variation (Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics, Anything-Goes Martial Arts Ramen Delivery, etc.)

    I know many fans, especially anime novices, like to listen to dubs but this is one case where the voice performances of the original actors carry the emotional weight of the story, particulary since the animation itself is so crude. I watched three whole seasons, fell in love with the characters, and tried to watch one episode in English. I can only describe it like trying to watch The Simpsons with a new cast.

    And I'd like to put in a few words about my current obsession, Cowboy Bebop. I'm sure this will end up being one of the most-recommended titles in this thread, and with good reason. It is the most unique and ambitious anime I have seen. The setting is futuristic sci-fi, but unlike much other sci-fi, they haven't gotten around to remodeling everything yet. [​IMG] There are some new buildings, sure, but we also have lots of the same old buildings, only they are now 100 years older. This gives the series a dirty, lived-in look, not unlike the original Star Wars. This is a future that was built gradually, rather than jumping fully formed off an architect's blueprints. In contrast to the setting, the plots and characters are all taken from detective movies, gangster films, westerns, Hong Kong action pictures, and film noir. Our heroes are lonely and have dark pasts and yes, there is a femme fatale or two. But the most important element is the soundtrack, a blend of jazz, blues, country, ska, surf, opera, pop ballads, techno, and heavy metal, where appropriate. I understand the upcoming movie includes a bossa nova number in the form of convenience store muzak. The music is often used in counterpoint to the image, so a chase scene might be accompanied by a gentle ballad rather than the stereotypical "chase" music. One thing I appreciate about the storytelling is that we are not hit over the head with the plot; the audience is given only the minimum amount of information necessary to convey the story. This makes for efficient storytelling. I am often surprised at how "dense" the 25-minute plots are. And I love the Welsh Corgi "Ein". If I ever move out of my apartment and into a house, this will be my next pet. [​IMG]
     
  10. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Well-Known Member

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  11. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Well-Known Member

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    Another thought:

    I've heard some good things about Trigun but I see only one person has mentioned it on this thread. What is this series like? I understand it is a western that begins with a silly, outrageous tone that develops into something much more serious.

    Also what is X: The Series like? I never saw the movie by the same title, as the reviews I read made it sound like I would not be interested, but I've heard good things about the series.

    Also I'd like to mention that after enjoying Cowboy Bebop I went on a quest to find something in a similar vein. So far I have been disappointed. I picked up Macross Plus on the basis of it sharing the same director, writer, and composer as CB. The quality is excellent, and I'm sure it's head and shoulders above the typical giant robot anime, but it was by no means as ambitious as Bebop. I also watched Escaflowne the Movie and was similarly underwhelmed. On the other thread, I noticed that Escaflowne the Series, which I have yet to try out, was highly recommended, more often than the film. How does the series compare to the movie? I thought the characters in the film were underdeveloped, and the plot seemed like a blend of the "magic girl" and "giant robot" genres. Does the series explore different themes? Maybe fans of the film can tell me what they appreciate about it, so I can watch it again and see what I was missing.

    Also I'd like to add my recommendations for the following films, directed and/or written by Katsuhiro Otomo, Akira, Roujin-Z, and Memories. I agree with the comment above that Akira can be confusing but I think the stunning visuals and soundtrack make it worthwhile even for a novice. I understand Memories is only available on R2 (with English subs). Maybe the recommendation list should include availability info. Are there any other works by Otomo available in English?

    Also folks at the top of the thread might want to list links to places to buy R2 discs. On the other thread, CD Japan was recommended to me. Amazon Japan is another option, although they do not have an English interface on their site.

    Also you may want to put info at the top of the thread about soft subbing; the practice of using DVDSubber on an HTPC with timed subtitle scripts, to provide English subtitles to titles that do not otherwise have them. I plan to do this with Miyazaki's Future Boy Conan and Lupin III (first series) as they are only available in Japan, without English subs of any kind. Maybe links to DVDSubber, as well as some sub script sites, would be helpful.
     
  12. ShaunS

    ShaunS Well-Known Member

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    I think Cowboy Bebop is a great series, both exciting to watch and listen to (how are the cd soundtracks?), but I don't think it is as unique and ambitious as most seem to. I'm hardly an anime expert (I consider myself a novice so this thread is perfect for me) but, after watching a couple more series, it strikes me more and more as the "Hollywood Blockbuster Action Film" of the anime world. Especially after watching a couple other series, it just lacked a truly great core story that sucked me in. I realize it is more episodic than other series, and maybe it is this style I just don't like as much.

    That being said, I think it is the perfect series for any newbie to start off with. It started an obsession in me a few months back that does not seem to be slowing down. Since then I've watched Escaflowne, which was great. I'm currently watching the X tv series, which is slowly beginning to get its hooks into me, and have almost finished Neon Genesis Evangeline. NGE is turning out to be one of the most fascinating, surprising, and engaging things I have ever seen. I can't recommend enough to anyone who is starting out in Anime to watch this series through at some point.

    That being said, I am in need of something to move onto next. I'm interested in finding a series that is not science fiction or fantasy. What I'd like to see is a series dealing wholly with character development, relationships, etc. Any recommendations?

    Shaun

    P.S. Perhaps someone should put up some polls on a website and direct those on the advanced anime thread to vote on various questions (i.e. "What is the best series to start with", "What is the best SF Series", etc). Then, a simple link to the results page at the top of this thread. Just a thought.
     
  13. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Well-Known Member

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  14. Kong Chang

    Kong Chang Well-Known Member

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  15. Doug R

    Doug R Well-Known Member

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    A big fan of Cowboy Bebop will have trouble getting through Trigun's first 5 episodes (it happened to me, and as Rob indicated, him). But the macrostory begins to pick up just after episode 5. But it's the second half of the series that really picks up and, in my opinion, surpasses Cowboy Bebop in terms of characterization and emotion.

    If you can handle a goofy lead character (who gets more serious with each episode) with the realization that there's a lot more going on underneath, then give it a shot.
     
  16. Kong Chang

    Kong Chang Well-Known Member

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    X-TV is based on the manga series, with their own interpretations of the ending. The manga story has yet to end (with another 6-8 volumes left) and CLAMP will make sure to end it like neither the movie ending or the TV ending. This is a story about destiny...the destiny of Kamui, his choice will either save the world or destroy it. Either way he chooses, there will be oppositional forces at hand to prevent him. Without spoiling much, in typical CLAMP form, we do get a lot of great death scenes though à la RG Veda, CLAMP's first major manga series. Due note, a few of the characters come from other manga series, namely, Subaru and Seishiro, and Subaru's sister, who all come from the manga series Tokyo Babylon. To make this a little clearer to you, although the TV doesn't go deep into it, but fans of CLAMP already know, is that Seishiro and Subaru were lovers in Tokyo Babylon. It makes their "upcoming" scene together a little more cathartic. [​IMG]


    More Recommendations from Old Anime-Loving Fogey's (not in age) of series to come this year:

    Rahxephon (mecha) (Studio Bones production)
    Chobits (romance, drama) {shounen) (another based off of CLAMP mangas)
    Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (action/adventure, sci-fi)
    12 Kingdoms (aka "juuni kokuki") (epic drama, adventure)
    Full Metal Panic (mecha, comedy) (Gonzo production)
    Saiyuki (aka "gensoumaden saiyuuki") (action/adventure)
    Read or Die (aka "R.O.D.") (OVA) (action/adventure)

    More Recommendations of some new (or relatively new) Anime not released or licensed in the U.S.A.:

    Azumanga Daioh (comedy pure and simple)
    Saikano (aka "saishuu heiki kanojo") (depressing romantic drama, action/adventure)
    Hikaru no Go (drama, sports anime about "go")
    Prince of Tennis (aka "TENISU no oujisama") (drama, sports anime about "tennis")
    Abenobashi Magical Shopping District (aka "abenobashi mahou shotengai") (wacky parody comedy, adventure)
    Naruto (action/adventure, comedy)
    Charcoal Feather Federation (aka "haibane renmei") (drama) (From the creators of "Lain," "Niea_7," "Boogiepop Phantom")
    Cyborg 009 (action/adventure) (based off an old manga series from the 60's or 70's)
    Macross Zero (OVA) (sci-fi, action/adventure, mecha)
    Sentou Yousei Yukikaze (OVA) (sci-fi, action/adventure) (Gonzo production)
    Heatguy J (sci-fi, action/adventure)
    Wolf's Rain (action/adventure) (Studio Bones production)
    Gundam Seed (mecha)


    This list will relatively be updated soon enough. I'm probably forgetting some other stuff.
     
  17. Woo Jae

    Woo Jae Well-Known Member

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  18. Brendan Brown

    Brendan Brown Well-Known Member

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    ShaunS:

    Cowboy Bebop is hardly revolutionary in terms of plot, but it is revolutionary in the complete unity and execution of its style, which is considerable. That is why it will never be my absolute favourite animé, but one I will never hesitate to recommend to anybody as surefire entertainment. Evangelion is one of my favorite all-time shows, not because of the cool mecha designs, or spectacular fight sequences (anybody can do that with enough of a budget) but simply because it pushes the storytelling envelope as far as it can, and that's what draws me to the medium.

    As for the Cowboy Bebop soundtracks? They're excellent, pick them up if you can.
     
  19. Tony-B

    Tony-B Well-Known Member

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    Ok, what should I trim off the list? Feel free to E-Mail or instant message me over AIM for things to get rid of. I will back up the existing list on my hard drive so it isn't lost. Remember, I am going to need help with the FAQ. So I need some of you to get into contact with me about it.

    By the way, I would really appreciate it if you would make a distinction between YOUR FAVORITE and NOVICE-FRIENDLY anime. This is a novice list, not a favorites list. The titles on here need to be good and easy to jump into. Thanks!
     
  20. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Well-Known Member

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    Tony,

    Here is what I recommend for the recommendations list: do not remove anything. List everything that is mentioned along with a vote count. Items with high numbers of votes are listed in bold or some other color for emphasis. Also designate "novice friendly" on certain titles, for example Cowboy Bebop but leave it off titles like Lain.
     

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