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Old 2010-08-22, 21:19   Link #1
Proto
Knowledge is the solution
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: U. of Pittsburgh, Previously in Mexico City.
Age: 30
Coming of age anime/manga

Hi, I'm seeking for something new to watch read from this delightful, yet often overlooked genre. I-m searching for something of the likes of Cross Game or CLANNAD, where we follow the life history of a person/group of people and their simple ordeals as they go through their lifes. Unlike slice of life, which tends to focus on the background setting and the description of a world, coming of age shows a greater focus on the characters and their situation.

Some manga I've read on these lines and that I greatly liked:

-Houro Musuko
-Piano no Mori
-Most Adachi works

Some anime I've watched that falls on this category and I greatly liked:
-CLANNAD
-Cross Game
-Genshiken

Things I'm NOT searching for:
- Series that focus on a melodramatic romance (CLANNAD doesn't pertain here since the scope of the series goes much beyond that part).
- the so called "slice of life comedies" (I loathe the term). Not that I don-t like them, but it-s not what I'm searching for.

edited: also seen

Kurenaib (so-so)
Zettai Shounen (Excellent)
Assate no Houkou(really good)
Someday Dreamers(good)
Maria Sama(really good)
Aoi Hana(really good)

edit2:
Nodame Cantabile
Hikaru no GO
Tokyo Magnitude 8
Dennou Coil
Twelve Kingdoms

edit3:
Everything by Studio Gibhli.
Onani Master Kurosawa
Noein
PlanetES
Kamichu
Twin Spica

edit4:
bokurano
Now and then here and there.

My watched list

Last edited by Proto; 2010-08-24 at 07:15.
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Old 2010-08-22, 21:45   Link #2
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FLCL - Virtually every main character in that show has to face the facts within the hilarious yet cleverly constructed insanity that is FLCL, where by the end of the final episode (6th), they have come of age and it shows.

Kurenai is about Shinkurou, a 16 year old boy who is lacking direction and confidence. He is assigned to take care of Murasaki, a 7 year-old girl who is bitter and shattered. The struggle of caring for Murasaki causes Shinkurou and Murasaki to both grow in ways they never expected.

NANA is essential if you are able to watch serious romance. Easily the best josei title ever made. About two 20 year old women, both called Nana, and their very different experiences in Tokyo.

Kimi ni Todoke is very good at 'coming of age', looking at an innocent, sweet girl gradually stepping out of her shell and becoming a better person. Good romance, very strong character cast, great animation and music.

Zettai Shounen is a somewhat slow series, but it is very coming of age. My mentor utterly adores it and he is very hard to please.

Daughter of Twenty Faces looks at a young girl who is liberated from cruel relatives by the altruistic thief, Twenty Faces, and her resultant quest to track him down.

A Direction of the Day After Tomorrow (Assate no Houkou) is about a girl and a woman who are in weird relationships and wishing they were someone else. They end up swapping bodies. They find things end up nothing like they thought they would be.

Aishiteruze Baby is about Kippei, a ladies man, who ends up having to take care of Yuzuyu, who is looking for her mother but needs a carer in the meanwhile. An oddball duo that somehow works.

Someday's Dreamers is a fantastic series about Yume, a 17 year old girl who is training to be a mage. Her experiences in the big world are a mix of drama, tragedy and ultimately heartwarming, as she ends up being the perfect apprentice for her shattered sensei.

Maria Who Watches Over Us - 4 season series about an all-girls school and the relationships between the older girls who take the younger girls under their wing to be their 'mentor'.

Welcome to the NHK - Dark, black humour series about a couple of hikikomoris and their gradual struggle from getting out of a crap life into something better - while sinking even deeper at some points. A very frank look at the hikikomori lifestyle and social problems within Japan. Call it a more hardcore version of Genshiken.

Aoi Hana - Mature look at romance via two girls who were childhood best friends and are suddenly reunited ten years later. Examines how they handle their new lives, with and without each other, as well as those of side characters.

And I wouldn't term any of the above as slice of life. These are very character and situation oriented series.
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Last edited by Last Sinner; 2010-08-22 at 22:18.
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Old 2010-08-22, 22:42   Link #3
Proto
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Thank you(+rep). I haven't seen a good number of those. Among the ones I had already saw ( I edited my list above), I especially liked Zettai Shounen, it is one of the most creative and unique serie I've ever seen.
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Old 2010-08-22, 23:09   Link #4
SeijiSensei
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Nodame Cantabile deals with the beginnings of professional music careers. I think it's actually more a coming-of-age show than a romantic comedy.

Hikaru no Go and Shion no Ou both depict youngsters who have embarked on careers as, respectively, professional Go and Shougi players. Shion has rather a more difficult and complex life story than does Hikaru.

In Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 the protagonist is a self-absorbed middle-school girl who is forced to mature after a major earthquake.

I'll also suggest Dennou Coil as a show that hides an excellent coming-of-age drama in the clothing of a sci-fi comedy thriller.

Of all the characters I've seen in coming-of-age situations, no one grows more than Youko in Twelve Kingdoms.

Last Sinner has some excellent suggestions; of the ones you haven't watched, I'd endorse NHK and Daughter of Twenty Faces.
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Old 2010-08-22, 23:10   Link #5
Falkor
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there's a couple of manga that comes to mind: (I get the feeling you might be already reading some of these, though)

Seishun Kouryakuhon (B-U link), written by AKIZUKI Sorata. there are only three chapters so far scanlated, but I felt so captivated by the romance and the characters. and yes, there's a certain coming of age feel to it. can't really explain it.

Akagami no Shirayuki Hime (thread at AS), currently my favorite manga. written also by AKIZUKI Sorata with twenty chapters so far scanlated. the main character is a very strong, intelligent and enthusiastic female. throughout the story she faces different ordeals and solves all her problems with great resolve and determination. she is surrounded with great characters, too. can't really say that it's coming of age, and I'm not doing a good job explaining why you should read it, but you should. :P

Sangatsu no Lion (March comes in like a Lion) (thread at AS), written by UMINO Chika (of Honey and Clover fame). the story is centered on a very young shogi player, as we explore his life and his interaction with other characters (mostly a family or two and a fellow shogi player/friend of the same age). you should definitely check it out. there's great character development and drama as well.

Amanchu! (thread at AS), written by AMANO Kozue (of ARIA fame). the story is about scuba diving and is centered on a group of friends and their school-life. There's a strong coming of age aspect, I think, as part of the story deals with one of the girls as she learns scuba diving. if ARIA is about finding meaning/beauty in the ordinary, Amanchu! is about having fun with the ordinary.

Chihayafuru (B-U Link). There's sadly only 5 chapters so far scanlated. this work strongly reminded me Hikaru no Go, but instead of go it's about playing cards (see here). the story is centered on a group of three friends who enjoy playing this game. you should definitely check this out.

Flat (AOGIRI Natsu
) (B-U Link). The story is centered for the most part on the interaction of a high school student and his very young cousin. can't say exactly that is coming of age, but it gives me that kind of feeling.

My Girl (SAHARA Mizu) (thread at AS). The story is centered on a single father and his daughter. it explores the family theme through their interaction, as they start to live together and face different ordeals.

Bakuman (thread at AS). coming of age I think. anime is coming out soon and it deals with a pair of teenagers who want to become mangaka while in high school. they go through different and interesting ordeals the moment they discover that being a mangaka is no easy job. one of the most interesting manga (about manga) I have read.

Angel Densetsu (thread at AS). very old and funny manga about a person misunderstood by his looks. coming of age, yes.

Baby Steps
(B-U Link). I thought I should include some sports because they usually have some kind of coming of age. it's about someone who wants to learn how to play tennis and faces different kind of ordeals in the process, all of which he solves with great dedication, effort and brains. you might want to give it a try.

Ice Revolution (thread at AS). another sports manga, though short and "unfinished". it's a about a boyish girl who wants to do ice skating. it's funny, yet interesting.

Overdrive. the manga/anime is about cycling. There's great character development, not only of the main character. coming of age, yes.
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Old 2010-08-22, 23:24   Link #6
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Thank you kindly.

SeijiSensei named the one I forgot. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. I heavily endorse this. The female lead starts the series as a very self-absorbed brat. By the end, she is a very different person. The adult female that accompanies her on the trek home also undergoes some signficant change through the ordeal. This was one of the standout series from 2009 but didn't receive much recognition, sadly.

I wasn't into Dennou Coil, but it is an intriguing one for many. Very much in the vein of Serial Experiments Lain.

Shion no Ou - this can be very hit and miss. You have to handle the culture shock factor of shogi as well as the fact that the person responsible for making Shion's life a mess is obvious - but the reasons for it are rather...O_O. However, a protagonist that can't speak at all - that is quite fascinating. Character motivations for the various competitors were also interesting.
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Old 2010-08-22, 23:30   Link #7
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Yours is a fine line between slice of life and this "coming of age" category... considering they aren't mutually exclusive at all...

Ebisu-san and Hotei-san - nice one volume yuri story; I'd say its coming of age
Aoi Hana - nice anime/manga by the mangaka of Houro Musuko
Planetes - I never did see the last few episodes; don't remember why...
Majo no Takkyuubin - really good film...
Kamichu! - may be too slice of life
Paradise Kiss - may be too dramatic, and I didn't like how it ended...
Futatsu no Spica - may be too coming of age (lol)
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Old 2010-08-23, 00:00   Link #8
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PlanetES was stronger the deeper it went into the series. There were some real moral dilemmas and turning points for the characters. The final ep had an ending that made my jaw drop, but considering how the series goes, maybe I shouldn't have been surprised. It's very realistic, gritty and full of clever, dry humour. Goro always knew how to get impact from a series and to develop characters. But watching this, it's hard to believe this guy went on to make Bamboo Blade and Code Geass. They're so different.

Kamichu can get a bit too slow at times and perhaps its innocence can get a bit overbearing. But it's such a joy. I mean, a young girl becomes a goddess - that is awesome! And it was character/situation oriented. It depends on how much saccharine you can tolerate.

Paradise Kiss - Oh, George...But it's Yazawa material. She has great material, but it is always painful on some level. Justified though.

Twin Spica - I never ended up finishing it. Might have to. It was very coming of age.
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Old 2010-08-23, 00:25   Link #9
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Onani Master Kurosawa is an excellent coming of age story. It's about a guy who gets caught in the girl's bathroom, and a girl who recruits him to get revenge on everyone she doesn't like.
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Old 2010-08-23, 00:39   Link #10
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I want to say Itazura na Kiss. In terms of chronology and progression it's the same as Clannad but more comedy and a lot less drama.
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Old 2010-08-23, 00:39   Link #11
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Surprised it hasn't been mentioned, but Noein is a great choice. It focused very much on the coming-of-age theme for it's multiple young leads (I could elaborate on the multiple ways it does so, but not without spoiling) and is a creative and enjoyable series.

BTW - always nice to see some love for Zettai Shounen. It's one of the most underrated shows out there.
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Old 2010-08-23, 01:47   Link #12
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Originally Posted by Scorch View Post
Onani Master Kurosawa is an excellent coming of age story. It's about a guy who gets caught in the girl's bathroom, and a girl who recruits him to get revenge on everyone she doesn't like.
seconded

it's really about a guy who faps in the girls bathroom, till one girl finds him and uses him to *punish*
you might think it sounds ridiculous buts its way better than you might possibly think
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Old 2010-08-23, 03:14   Link #13
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There are two Studio Ghibli films which i highly recommend;
Whisper of the Heart
Only Yesterday
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Old 2010-08-23, 03:42   Link #14
MeoTwister5
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Also yes I'll second Onani Master Kurosawa. Slightly melodramatic heavy at some points but poignant nonetheless.
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Old 2010-08-23, 08:42   Link #15
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Whisper of the Heart

You might also try Maison Ikkoku. It's older, and unlike most coming of age stories it is not set during highschool, but instead during the college years.
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Cross Game - A Story of Love, Life, Death - and Baseball. What more could you want?
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Old 2010-08-23, 10:44   Link #16
Proto
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Updated my post above with the shows I've seen. It kind of becomes difficult to find new good shows when you have pretty much watched them all, but I think I've picked up some gems among what you guys have mentioned. Keep them coming
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Old 2010-08-23, 11:08   Link #17
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Indeed your previously watched list is impressive. You'd fit into the anime club in my area quite well (South Australia), from the sounds of it.
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Old 2010-08-24, 04:54   Link #18
MeoTwister5
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In retrospect Bokurano could actually fit this request... except maybe for it not lasting very long...
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Old 2010-08-24, 05:23   Link #19
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Now and Then, Here and There - a dark series, but the character growth is not worth missing. About a boy who travels to another time and place where children are soldiers.
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Old 2010-08-24, 15:39   Link #20
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In retrospect Bokurano could actually fit this request... except maybe for it not lasting very long...
Go with the manga then. Which is also a lot better in my opinion then the adaptation that didn't really do it justice.
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