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Old 2011-07-14, 18:48   Link #1
MidoriHiME
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Epic Mindf*ck anime?

Like the title says, I'm looking for something that will mess with my mind. Something suspenseful and full of mystery and plot twists. And by that, I mean those plot twists where you go WHAT?! WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?? BUT NOW EVERYTHING TOTALLY MAKES SENSE! OH MY GOSH THIS IS AWESOME MY MIND IS BLOWN!! Time travel and infinity loops don't hurt, either, as long as they're handled well and are well-explained. Basically, I'm looking for something like the visual novel Ever17, but in anime form.

So, I'm not looking for something that is so bizarre that you feel mindf*cked, but rather something with an underlying mystery that the viewer is trying to work out as he or she watches but probably will never be able to, and the mindf*ck occurs as the mystery is revealed. An underlying mystery isn't necessary, though, as long as the plot twists are cool enough.

I realize I am not really wording my request very well, but here are some anime I've watched that sort of fit the criteria:

Madoka Magica
Steins;Gate (which has yet to blow my mind but seems to have the potential to)
Chaos;Head (which I didn't like, but the overall premise is sort of what I'm looking for)
Mai HiME (doesn't really fit the criteria, but I loved the plot twists as the series got darker)
Higurashi & Umineko
Death Note
Code Geass

Complete list of what I've seen HERE

Also, I don't really like shounen ai, shoujo ai, yuri, yaoi, or mecha. Yes, I realize Madoka is up there and it's got shoujo ai tendencies and Code Geass is mecha, but those genres are generally not my cup of tea. I'd also like to avoid extreme gore or violence, but I'll deal with it if the series is *that* good. Fanservice is ok but I'd rather avoid it. I'm also trying to find anime I've never heard of, so please bring on the obscure mindfuck series recommendations!
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Old 2011-07-14, 19:54   Link #2
SeijiSensei
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Monster and Bakeneko/Mononoke might have some appeal. Kure-nai has a big reveal just past the midpoint as well.

I'll also recommend Level E, though it's a comedy. The super-sentai story arc in the middle is a bit slow, but the opening and closing arcs are both quite funny and well connected.
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Old 2011-07-14, 20:15   Link #3
caddyalan
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There's a pretty obscure show called Evangelion. ^_^ I heard it's kinda confusing. And some people like it.

Revolutionary Girl Utena is also mind-melting. The TV series has crazy symbolism, and the writing is quite odd. It's a rather divisive show -- some people love it, others think it's disappointing. But I recommend avoiding the movie, which I think condenses it badly, messes with characterization, and seems way too blunt about relationships.
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Old 2011-07-14, 20:37   Link #4
MidoriHiME
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Thanks for the suggestions. I've been looking at Monster and Kure-nai for awhile so I'll probably give those a shot. I'm looking for something more serious, so I don't think Level E is what I'm looking for.

I'm not a huge fan of mecha or shoujo ai, so no Eva or Utena for me, I think. Thank you for the suggestions so far, though! Keep them coming!
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Old 2011-07-14, 21:31   Link #5
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^ caddyalan: You got to him first....

Does Code Geass qualify or Death Note (it's L and Light mindscrew)
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Old 2011-07-15, 00:04   Link #6
4Tran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidoriHiME View Post
I'm not a huge fan of mecha or shoujo ai, so no Eva or Utena for me, I think. Thank you for the suggestions so far, though! Keep them coming!
Even if you're not interested in shoujo ai, you shouldn't automatically disqualify Utena. It arguably isn't about girl-girl relationships of that nature, and even if it was, it does not play out the relationship like you would see in more modern anime. Instead, it's about positive and negative passions played to the hilt: nobility, friendship, jealousy, obsession. It's also very much about building expectations in the audience and then subverting them in often clever ways.

The one caveat is that it also has very shoujo-esque art design and themes.
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Old 2011-07-15, 00:40   Link #7
Kerspunkle
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I think Baccano! and Durarara! would fit what you're looking for. If you haven't seen Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, you could also watch that. You might like Paranoia Agent (I'd research this one first though, since it might not be your cup of tea. I know it certainly wasn't mine. lol). Those anime have the "WHAT?! WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?? BUT NOW EVERYTHING TOTALLY MAKES SENSE!" factor. I'll suggest Gad Guard even though you said you don't particularly like mecha because I think it fits your criteria and it's pretty different from most mecha anime.
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Old 2011-07-15, 02:40   Link #8
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does high school of the dead count as Epic mind F*cking anime....
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Old 2011-07-15, 04:41   Link #9
MidoriHiME
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Ohh, I totally forgot Higurashi and Code Geass, they're definitely the sort of the thing I'm looking for, but I've already seen them. I'll add MyAnimeList to the top post so people have a more general idea of what I've seen.

lol no I don't think zombie fanservice is what I'm looking for. Durarara maybe, I've been meaning to check it out. I guess I'll give Utena a chance too. I've been debating about Paranoia Agent for a long time too, so I guess I should finally check it out.

Once again, thanks for the suggestions! I would like to hear a few more obscure suggestions, though, since I've heard of all of these shows. I'd sort of like to find some hidden gems I haven't heard of before, too.
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Old 2011-07-15, 04:44   Link #10
Ziziphus
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Try Mouryou no Hako! It kept me on the edge of my seat during its run and my mind was blown away when it finished. The anime has a perfect conclusion, great storytelling, great atmosphere and gorgeous visuals. But be aware of two things:

1. There's a bit yuri implication in the 1st episode, but that's about it. It's not the focus of the story, just part of the characterization for one of the characters.

2. There are some episodes that are dialogue heavy (one episode consists of nothing but the four main characters sitting and talking in a room). But if you can somehow tolerate that, the rest of the anime is a treat.

Also seconding these recommendations:

Death Note
Code Geass
(Just saw above post, you've seen them already)
Monster
Utena
(to some degree. It's a great anime but it's not meant to blow you away with epic plot twists or a suspenful story. And no, it's not yuri.)
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Old 2011-07-16, 09:42   Link #11
noktown
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Welcome to NHK,although there is no part where you go like "OH NOW IT MAKES SENSE" ;o
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Old 2011-07-16, 09:58   Link #12
Haak
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I see you dropped Kara no Kyoukai at Episode 3 but I strongly recommend Episode 5. It's one of the most epic mindfucks you'll ever see. It's even called Paradox Spiral to reflect that.
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Old 2011-07-16, 12:40   Link #13
Tetra Vaal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidoriHiME View Post
I'm not a huge fan of mecha or shoujo ai, so no Eva or Utena for me, I think. Thank you for the suggestions so far, though! Keep them coming!
This post is a bit fickle. You listed 'Code Geass' as a frame of reference and that is a mecha anime. And not to mention, 'Evangelion' is infinitely better than 'Code Geass' and provides much more of a "mind fuck" than any Sunrise production ever could.

Anyway, I don't know if this recommendation is up your alley, but it certainly qualifies as a mind fuck: 'Paranoia Agent.'
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Old 2011-07-16, 14:46   Link #14
MidoriHiME
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Yeah, I know I listed Code Geass but I liked it because it didn't seem like there were all that many mecha battles and the protagonist wasn't the ace pilot. Eva seems much more centered on the battles to me, none of the main characters seem likable, and a ton of it has been spoiled for me, so I doubt I'd get much out of it.

As for Kara no Kyoukai, is Epsiode 5 the one where they're stuck in a building? Because if so I tried to watch it and was bored out of my mind (like with most of Kara no Kyoukai, actually). But if it is not, is it possible to watch that movie on its own?

Thanks for the recommendations, everyone! I've hear of most of these, though...anyone have obscure series recommendations?
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Old 2011-07-16, 15:09   Link #15
Haak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidoriHiME View Post
As for Kara no Kyoukai, is Epsiode 5 the one where they're stuck in a building? Because if so I tried to watch it and was bored out of my mind (like with most of Kara no Kyoukai, actually). But if it is not, is it possible to watch that movie on its own?
Probably, but you may be refferring to the first film. If you're sure you're not then it definitely is episode five. I think it should be possible to watch the film on it's own anyway.
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Old 2011-07-16, 19:33   Link #16
SeijiSensei
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How about Boogiepop Phantom?
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Old 2011-07-16, 19:37   Link #17
Mizuno
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I would recommend Kaiba. It's unorthodox, strange, crazy but you can sympathize with the characters, and things all make sense in the end.
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Old 2011-07-17, 00:04   Link #18
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It is rather surprising that someone has yet to say Serial Experiments Lain. It's pretty go-to-it-first fare as far as psychological series go, and it's not on the list linked in the OP. And if Paranoia Agent is enjoyed well enough, then Perfect Blue and Paprika should also suffice pretty well.
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Old 2011-07-17, 00:40   Link #19
amasposu
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In terms of plot twists, The Law of Ueki has excellent plot twists. Fullmetal Alchemist the manga is full of plot twists as well. They are missing the mystery element that you are looking for though.
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Old 2011-07-18, 03:32   Link #20
sangofe
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Like people've said before... Paranoia Agent, Serial Experiments Lain, Evangelion... I think those are the only "mindfuck" animes I know of.
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