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Old 2012-05-09, 21:18   Link #1
Qilin
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Age: 23
A bittersweet story about youth

Good day fellow forumers. I've been growing bored with anime/manga lately, so I decided that a nice recommendation thread was the way to go. I need a few good titles to get myself started again.

Let's see. As the title suggests, I'm looking for stories about youthful characters, maybe high school, college, or early adults. It would be nice if it actually has a direction and I want it to be meaningful. To be clear, I want something covering the ups and downs of youth. Bittersweet is good, but not absolutely necessary. No formulaic romcoms, drama sobfests, or over-the-top grimdark stuff. What I'm looking for here is realism.

Examples:
Welcome to the NHK
Cross Game
H2
Onani Master Kurosawa
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Old 2012-05-09, 21:22   Link #2
MeoTwister5
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Tatami Galaxy, definitely about the ups and downs of college life. Uses cosmic resets at the end of every episode, but the actual events are very real.

Also since you already have Cross Game and H2 in that list, Touch if you haven't seen/read it yet.
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Old 2012-05-09, 21:23   Link #3
NoemiChan
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Eh, Clannad? That's the first anime that pop in my head
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Old 2012-05-09, 21:25   Link #4
Theowne
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You would probably enjoy Honey and Clover, a series about a group of friends at an arts college.
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Old 2012-05-09, 21:30   Link #5
SeijiSensei
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I strongly recommend following Sakamichi no Apollon ("Kids on the Slope"), the current noitaminA show about teenagers in 1966 who discover a love for American jazz and each other. Jazz plays the role of subtext in this show as well, with its lack of formalism and reliance on improvisation being a metaphor for adolescence.

For a show with an older group, college-aged classical musicians, I'll also suggest Nodame Cantabile. Romance plays a role in this story, of course, but it's the dedication of the students to their profession, and their successes and failures, that is its true theme.

Moyashimon is a college hijinks type of show with a protagonist who has the power to see microbes. It's largely comedic, but it has some more dramatic touches, and you'll learn some biology as well. Plus the microbes are incredibly cute in both their 2D and 3D incarnations. If you enjoy it, the sequel will be airing on noitaminA this summer.
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Last edited by SeijiSensei; 2012-05-09 at 21:41.
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Old 2012-05-09, 22:46   Link #6
Kirito
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Toradora, Yosuga no Sora, Black Rock Shooter, Kimi ni Todoke, and Kowarekake no Orgel come to mind.
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Old 2012-05-09, 23:35   Link #7
Qilin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
Tatami Galaxy, definitely about the ups and downs of college life. Uses cosmic resets at the end of every episode, but the actual events are very real.

Also since you already have Cross Game and H2 in that list, Touch if you haven't seen/read it yet.
I've seen Tatami Galaxy, and it was multiple shades of awesome.

Touch is on my reading list, so I should probably follow-up on that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
Eh, Clannad? That's the first anime that pop in my head
I never watched Clannad until the end, but I think the story's focus was the drama. Also, it didn't have the realism I was looking for.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
You would probably enjoy Honey and Clover, a series about a group of friends at an arts college.
Oh, yes. Honey and Clover probably fits my criteria to a T. It's also on my list.

I should give it a try soon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I strongly recommend following Sakamichi no Apollon ("Kids on the Slope"), the current noitaminA show about teenagers in 1966 who discover a love for American jazz and each other. Jazz plays the role of subtext in this show as well, with its lack of formalism and reliance on improvisation being a metaphor for adolescence.

For a show with an older group, college-aged classical musicians, I'll also suggest Nodame Cantabile. Romance plays a role in this story, of course, but it's the dedication of the students to their profession, and their successes and failures, that is its true theme.

Moyashimon is a college hijinks type of show with a protagonist who has the power to see microbes. It's largely comedic, but it has some more dramatic touches, and you'll learn some biology as well. Plus the microbes are incredibly cute in both their 2D and 3D incarnations. If you enjoy it, the sequel will be airing on noitaminA this summer.
Sakamichi no Apollon, huh? I've been hearing a lot of buzz about that show lately. I guess I'll try it out for curiosity's sake.

As for Nodame Cantabile, I already completed the manga and it was brilliant.

I'm a bit skeptical about Moyashimon though. From the looks of it, comedy might be its focus. I will research a bit more on this title.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deikan View Post
Toradora, Yosuga no Sora, Black Rock Shooter, Kimi ni Todoke, and Kowarekake no Orgel come to mind.
That's a lot. Let's see...

Toradora is a pretty standard romcom, albeit a well-made one. I've watched it already, and it's not exactly what I'm looking for.

Yosuga no Sora is not something I would touch with a 10-meter pole based on what I've heard of it.

As for Black Rock Shooter, it depends. Does it get better? Last I saw it, the conflicts were pretty shallow.

Kimi ni Todoke focuses too much on romance to care about anything else.

I've never heard of Kowarekake no Orgel, but it seems that it might be okay. But since my only source is a Wikipedia article, I'll take that impression with a grain of salt.

I appreciate the recommendations. If you have any more, kindly just share.
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Last edited by Qilin; 2012-05-10 at 02:42.
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Old 2012-05-10, 01:23   Link #8
Haak
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Definitely have to second Sakamichi no Apollon.

I also recommend Colorful but it's centred on a kid. ([EDIT] The film and not the TV series. The TV series is something else entirely)
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Last edited by Haak; 2012-05-10 at 06:51.
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Old 2012-05-10, 01:29   Link #9
Masuzu
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How about 5cm/s?

Seconding Colorful, though it's about a kid instead.
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Old 2012-05-10, 02:03   Link #10
kk2extreme
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Beck - now there is a real band
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Old 2012-05-10, 02:27   Link #11
MisaoFan
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Second Yosuga no Sora, but does that "10 meter of pole" means plenty of sex scenes ?
Second Black Rock Shooter, but I definitively recommend the OVA. It depicts the relationships better than the 8-episode alternate retelling TV series.
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Old 2012-05-10, 05:27   Link #12
NoemiChan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haak View Post
I also recommend Colorful but it's centred on a kid.
Nice choice...hehehe
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Old 2012-05-10, 10:13   Link #13
Qilin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haak View Post
Definitely have to second Sakamichi no Apollon.

I also recommend Colorful but it's centred on a kid. ([EDIT] The film and not the TV series. The TV series is something else entirely)
Yegads. I was almost sure you were joking when I looked it up.

Then I noticed that you were referring to the movie. After reading a synopsis, I'm definitely sold on this one. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Detective-san View Post
How about 5cm/s?

Seconding Colorful, though it's about a kid instead.
I've already seen 5 Centimeters Per Second, and it's a pretty good choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kk2extreme View Post
Beck - now there is a real band
Beck's focus is more towards the music industry than what I'm looking for.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisaoFan View Post
Second Yosuga no Sora, but does that "10 meter of pole" means plenty of sex scenes ?
Second Black Rock Shooter, but I definitively recommend the OVA. It depicts the relationships better than the 8-episode alternate retelling TV series.
I actually bothered looking up Yosuga no Sora this time, but I still don't think I'll like it. Besides the sex scenes, I don't think it conveys the sort of realism I'm looking for.

I think will pass on Black Rock Shooter, but it's fun on its own right. The OVA was okay, but I'd say it was lacking something.
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Old 2012-05-11, 11:04   Link #14
Stealther
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Definitely Honey and Clover I+II. Exactly what you're looking for theme-wise, even though it might be hard to get into in the beginning. Paradise Kiss might be of interest too.
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Old 2012-05-13, 02:57   Link #15
Syantax
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Everyone's reality is different, so everyone sees something different when they think of what is real or not, especially in terms of being able to relate. That being said, I'd suggest Ano Hana (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai)

It's very touching, and something that hit me as very down to Earth and real, while still having some fantasy.
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Old 2012-05-13, 03:24   Link #16
Kirito
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For manga how about these choices:

Orange Marmalade, Octave, Uwakoi, Namiiro, and Koimoku.

What do you think?
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Old 2012-05-13, 05:08   Link #17
Aqua Knight
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Some think that Kurenai is a bittersweet story about coming out of age.
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Old 2012-05-13, 10:53   Link #18
Kirarakim
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I am going to recommend Chihayafuru available on Cruncyroll.

It's a wonderful sports series about Karuta. But the reason I think it fits your criteria perfectly is because the characters lose just as much as they win, but the experience they gain something positive even when they lose, hence the bitter sweet quality of the story. Plus is has great character development & is just extremely moving.
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Old 2012-05-13, 18:45   Link #19
Qilin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealther View Post
Definitely Honey and Clover I+II. Exactly what you're looking for theme-wise, even though it might be hard to get into in the beginning. Paradise Kiss might be of interest too.
Paradise Kiss is iffy for me. Don't get me wrong, the OP is gorgeous, and the all-around reviews are pretty positive. Call me closed-minded guy, but I often find myself reluctant to try shows with a vastly different aesthetic style to what I'm used to. It also explains why it took me so long to try Tatami Galaxy (and be amazed).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syantax View Post
Everyone's reality is different, so everyone sees something different when they think of what is real or not, especially in terms of being able to relate. That being said, I'd suggest Ano Hana (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai)

It's very touching, and something that hit me as very down to Earth and real, while still having some fantasy.
When I say realistic, I'm talking about the characters. "Is this how a real person would act?" is among the first questions I ask when I evaluate a show. After all, a show can be as off-the-wall as it can possibly be, but without any characters to empathize with, it would mean very little in the end.

That said, I've already seen Ano Hana. I enjoyed it for the most part, but the ending was just terrible for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deikan View Post
For manga how about these choices:

Orange Marmalade, Octave, Uwakoi, Namiiro, and Koimoku.

What do you think?
Preliminary impressions based on TV Tropes/Wikipedia:

Orange Marmalade- To be clear, this is referring to a Korean web comic, am I right? If so, it could be good or it could be bad. I can't tell from the premise. As long as it doesn't fold to the typical shoujo disease, it should be fine. Still, a romance story isn't exactly what I'm looking for...

Octave- Yuri, huh. Well, like above, I'm not really looking for something that focuses on its romance too much.

Uwakoi- I don't think I'll be able to stand this, I'm afraid.

Namiiro- Also too romance-focused, and the premise doesn't really jump at me.

Koimoku- Can't say a lot about this yet, but it's not exactly what I'm looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Knight View Post
Some think that Kurenai is a bittersweet story about coming out of age.
Looking at the premise, Kurenai seems like it'll have a more action-oriented focus.

Maybe it'll have some slice-of-life scenes in the style of Usagi Drop. Just maybe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I am going to recommend Chihayafuru available on Cruncyroll.

It's a wonderful sports series about Karuta. But the reason I think it fits your criteria perfectly is because the characters lose just as much as they win, but the experience they gain something positive even when they lose, hence the bitter sweet quality of the story. Plus is has great character development & is just extremely moving.
Ah, Chihayafuru. It's actually pretty close to what I'm looking for.

I've already seen the anime, but I'm holding of on the manga until its plot (the translated one) gets past what the anime covered. I don't want to feel any abrupt withdrawal again.
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Old 2012-05-13, 19:00   Link #20
Kirito
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Okay how about this anime:

H20: Footprints in the Sand - It deals with the beauty and cruelty of life. The characters are well developed, and their interactions with one another makes the story unique and pleasurable
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