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Old 2010-06-02, 23:50   Link #1
devildog23
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Mature anime with Character Bonds and Plot

Okay I haven't been able to watch anime in a while, but it's summer now and I need a way to pass the time . So looking through my list of anime I've realized, most of my favorite anime have similar standards.
I'm looking for a mature anime, with a really good story, and strong character bonds. The bond between the characters can be through friendship, romantic feelings or just that they need each other psychologically. To sum it all up, I want the series to semi-focus on the characters' bond strengthening throughout the plot. I'd also like for the series to start off with the main characters just meeting each other (don't know each other prior to start of series).

I don't mind the genre, but I'd like for the characters to be in the teens w/ a male lead. Also, no shoujo. NO ANNOYING MAIN characters(IE, snobby, obnoxious, or just outright stupid) - this is the big thing, you can be the judge for me .

If you are going to suggest a sports anime, please suggest one that has romance, no just bonds between the teammates (all sports have strong bonds formed in the team).

If I'm not clear on what I'm looking for (which I don't even feel I am) look at the examples below.

Spoiler for Examples of what I'm looking for:


Thanks
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Old 2010-06-03, 00:51   Link #2
Lemming_King
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I would suggest Berserk, good mature character development and plot progresion throughout, with the exeption of some extra comic relief that's not in the manga. though i would watch the first episode last unless you like spoilers. btw read the manga best of all time by far.
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Old 2010-06-03, 00:54   Link #3
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For romance and "bond" just starting at the series I'd recommend Clannad, and Toradora both are fairly mature in my opinion. Also Clannad has good bit of friendship development between quite a few characters, while Toradora is focused on a smaller group.
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Old 2010-06-03, 01:08   Link #4
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I had a bunch of series to suggest, but once you said 'male teen lead', that really cut out nearly everything I would suggest. -_-


The Sky Crawlers - Very critical but clever movie looking at modern life, particularly the upcoming generation, through wars in the sky fought by people who never grow up and relive the same things over and over for eternity.

Beyond the Clouds-The Promised Place - Very high quality movie on romance and the friendship between three highschool friends where both guys like the girl. Later on in life after taking completely different life choices, the two guys have to combine to save the girl from a fate worse than death.

Samurai Champloo - Brilliant action series set in 1600/Edo period Japan but with hip-hop influences. A wild animal-like samurai and a ronin-like schooled samurai make an unlikely team with a teen girl looking for the 'sunflower samurai.' Along the way, insight into key & more unknown moments in Japan are delved into along with some wacky moments.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - Sister&brother and a 'good samartian' adult female try to make their way home after an 8.0 earthquake devastates Japan. Okay, no male teen lead, but you liked Seirei no Moribito and this series has the same director, so I think you should give this once a chance.

Mushishi - Very mature look at rustic life in a world heavily bonded with micro-organisms that affect life as much as humans. Very strong male lead shows us his journey through highs and lows and all that life gives us. He isn't teen but this is essential viewing regardless.


Hope that helps.
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Old 2010-06-03, 01:09   Link #5
jedinat
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I dunno what you've seen, but...

Kurau Phantom Memory - an anime all about bonds, and one in particular. The beings the show features basically come in pairs, and the story details what occurs when some of these beings are forced into the human world and into human bodies... the two main characters are a pair and spend much of the series just trying to stay together.
Lamune - a conflict-free slice-of-life anime... the male and female lead are attached at the hip and act like a married couple long before they admit their feelings for each other. They already know each other at the beginning of the series, but oh well.
RahXephon - a decent mecha anime. The romance transcends time, etc.
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Old 2010-06-03, 02:10   Link #6
airstorm
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Hantsuki would fit the bill. The two meet in hospital and grow to depend on each other. Its really sweet, but a bit sad.
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Old 2010-06-03, 11:21   Link #7
Coruja
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Go watch Monster right now.

The characters are mostly adult for a few exceptions but it's an amazing series.

Also, Rainbow: Nisha Rokubō no Shichinin, it's from the new season and it seems to fit your criteria perfectly.
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Old 2010-06-03, 11:57   Link #8
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If you loved Fate/Stay Night then you'll like Kara no Kyoukai and Tsukihime. They're written by the same writer and set in the same world. Both also involve a developing bond because of difficulties.
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Old 2010-06-03, 12:11   Link #9
devildog23
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I'm liking the suggestions so far, thanks . Some of the series that caught my eye were Rainbow, Kurau Phantom Memory, and The Skycrawlers looks particularly interesting. I've been putting Clannad off, but maybe I'll pick it up soon

For Berserk, I've seen the anime, but I've been wanting to read the manga. So would you suggest I read the manga?

For Monster, Hantsuki, Tsukihime and Kara no Kyoukai, I've seen them lol sorry I forgot to put them on the list

Quote:
I had a bunch of series to suggest, but once you said 'male teen lead', that really cut out nearly everything I would suggest.
Lol sorry about that ._. i'll look into the anime w/ female leads, I'd just prefer a male lead

Thanks for the suggestions keep em' coming
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Old 2010-06-03, 12:16   Link #10
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I'd recommend Rainbow, as suggested by Sara.

Quote:
Originally Posted by devildog23 View Post
For Berserk, I've seen the anime, but I've been wanting to read the manga. So would you suggest I read the manga?
From my point of view it's hard to say wether you should pick it up or not. First of all the entire atmosphere changes drastically after the the anime ends, and it changes several times. You can't compare the current berserk with the berserk of 15 years ago. Also, chapters are released irregularly nowadays, with maybe 5-6 chapters a year. Lately there have even been chapters only 10 or so pages long. It's a great manga, but don't expect to pick it up and see how it ends any time soon.
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Old 2010-06-03, 18:07   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casshern View Post
I'd recommend Rainbow, as suggested by Sara.


From my point of view it's hard to say wether you should pick it up or not. First of all the entire atmosphere changes drastically after the the anime ends, and it changes several times. You can't compare the current berserk with the berserk of 15 years ago. Also, chapters are released irregularly nowadays, with maybe 5-6 chapters a year. Lately there have even been chapters only 10 or so pages long. It's a great manga, but don't expect to pick it up and see how it ends any time soon.
It is well known that the manga-ka uses Berserk as a break from his gaming habit. Hence the sporadic releases.
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Old 2010-06-03, 18:26   Link #12
CeDeR
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Denpa teki na kanojo Be sure to watch this one, it has everything you asked for and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that you will love it!!!
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Old 2010-06-03, 21:57   Link #13
SeijiSensei
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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
I had a bunch of series to suggest, but once you said 'male teen lead', that really cut out nearly everything I would suggest.
I was in the same boat. Usually I don't associate "mature anime with character bonds and plot" with "male teen lead." I don't see many shows like Kure-nai. Maybe Aishiteruze Baby?

If you're willing to accept a broader definition, I'd start with Nodame Cantabile. While the female lead, Nodame, is in the title, the show actually revolves around the male lead, Chiaki. There's a lot of "bonding" in this show and not just between the male characters.

Nodame depicts a "senpai" relationship that blossoms into romance between the main characters. Two other shows that pursue this theme are Planetes and Toshokan Sensou. Both also depict a variety of relationships among both the main and supporting characters.

Another possibility might be REC. The main characters meet accidentally, then "stuff" happens, then they spend the rest of the show coping with their feelings for each other and the "stuff."

Finally, I'll suggest one of the current Noitamina shows, House of Five Leaves, as a story about bonding, though all the main characters are in their 30's and 40's.
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Old 2010-06-03, 23:58   Link #14
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I was thinking PlanetES, but they're all very adult. There's no teens. And the females are somewhat predominant after the lead guy. House of Five Leaves is quite mature, but again, very adult people. Age-wise, Toshokan Sensou (Library Wars) fits that criteria more as they are end of teens/fresh adults mainly, but I somewhat question its maturity - it came across very drama queen at critical moments, which made it hard for me to take that series seriously. And also on his criteria, that series centred around a female lead, so again, doesn't quite fit his specific criteria.

But I agree with SeijiSensei generally and on most points - teen male and maturity don't generally mix in anime. Male teen leads are used more for their angst and their ability for directors loving to inflict anything under the sun on them. Directors have freely admitted that unleashing hell is easiest to do on teen protagonists.
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Old 2010-06-04, 11:48   Link #15
SeijiSensei
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Two other recommendations, both with teen male leads:

Ghost Hound has a mysterious story that mixes the supernatural, neuroscience, and psychiatry. There's a bit of romance, but it's of the "puppy love" variety, and some male bonding issues among the three main boys.

Second is the Summer Wars movie. There are a variety of relationships, both romantic and familial, an intriguing story, and great animation by Madhouse.
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Old 2010-06-04, 17:11   Link #16
Vantek
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I'm going to have to reccommend my favourite - Claymore... It is well towards the mature end of anime spectrum, and certain bondings in the anime are fabled to make grown men cry. Though the cast is nearly exclusively female and there are only a couple of non-adults :P It's suspicious on the annoying charachter count as there is a hate club for a certain charachter, but personally I know exactly what you mean by the annoying charachter thing and I didn't find him annoying at all. If you could handle Shinji, you can handle him. I think the hate stems from people's personal insecurities or fanatical adherence to lame social rules. Oh, and be prepared for an utterly butchered ending for the anime series. About five eps from the end the story suddenly starts to take a disturbing twist, and last two or three eps are total garbage.

Claymore and Eva are my two favourite animes. Partially for similar reasons - dark depressing apocalyptic serious atmosphere and charachters. If that rings a bell, you should give it a shot.

I also love Berserk and it is mature, but I didn't personally notice much bonding going on there. I mean there is some obviously, but if it's the main thing you are looking for then it might not deliver. Same goes for Samurai Champloo.
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Old 2010-06-04, 22:22   Link #17
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I still cannot believe that you only 'enjoyed' Spice and Wolf... when I first read your post, it was the first anime that came to mind.
Anyway, I have to second Samurai Champloo, Hantsuki, Shingetsutan Tsukihime, REC and Berserk.
Some others that I think would fit your criteria:
Death Note(I alwayd recommend it , give it a go)
Sola - first encounter of the 2 main characters, it has good plot with romance and tragedy.
Black Lagoon- mature anime with a strong plot, character development (a lot), and lots of interesting stuff going on (mostly gun fights)
Karin (although not very mature) - it follows the development of the relationship between a normal boy and a ... vampire girl (romance+comedy)
Speed Grapher- this one fits perfectly, it has a good plot and strong male lead, and most of what you are looking for.
Suzuka - romance + sports anime, very mature, interesting relationship development (with its ups and downs) between boy and girl.
Ajimu Kaigan Monogatari - love at first sight, short anime (4 eps.)
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Old 2010-06-05, 13:42   Link #18
devildog23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I was in the same boat. Usually I don't associate "mature anime with character bonds and plot" with "male teen lead."
Quote:
But I agree with SeijiSensei generally and on most points - teen male and maturity don't generally mix in anime. Male teen leads are used more for their angst and their ability for directors loving to inflict anything under the sun on them. Directors have freely admitted that unleashing hell is easiest to do on teen protagonists.
Haha sorry about that I wasn't really clear with what I wanted. I meant that I wanted the characters to be at least in their teens or older.

And thanks for warning me about Berserk I was about to start reading, but if its not even close to a conclusion its not worth it

I'm liking the suggestions so far these will last me a while haha thanks
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