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Old 2010-11-28, 11:23   Link #1
matrixdutch
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Philosophical/Surreal Slice of Life Anime?

Hi all,

The suggestions I'm looking for mainly fall into a rather strange mix. The main thrust is something that has a philosophical theme though, but the gamut can run from being somewhat dark like the Garden of Sinners and Kino's Journey, or light-hearted and uplifting like Someday's Dreamers and Windy Tales. I hope that's not too ambiguous a description to go with. I'll provide a list of anime I liked and disliked to hopefully assist in member's reccomendations.

Anime Liked:

Kino's Journey - Best anime ever to me
Haibane Renmei
Planetes
Windy Tales
Paranoia Agent
the Garden of Sinners
Eden of the East
Shingetsutan Tsukihime
NieA Under 7
Death Note
Akagi
Someday's Dreamers
Serial Experiments Lain
Karas - tolerable to me
Mushishi
FLCL
Welcome to the NHK - tolerable to me
Elfen Lied
RIN ~Daughters of Mnemosyne

Anime Disliked:

Canaan
Monster
Code Geass
Ga-Rei -Zero
Gunslinger Girl
Speed Grapher
Gantz
Read or Die
Hellsing
Witch Hunter Robin
Claymore
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Old 2010-11-28, 11:28   Link #2
Haak
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I recommend:
Casshern Sins - Dark philosophical apocalyptic future
Tatami Galaxy - Light hearted and crazy groundhog day loop story.
Time of Eve - What measure is a robot? (I recommend the film)
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Last edited by Haak; 2010-11-28 at 11:44.
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Old 2010-11-28, 11:28   Link #3
MeoTwister5
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Well my best suggestion would be Tatami Galaxy. Trippy yet deep character study into the mind of a clumsy yet sincere college student trying to find his "rose colored campus life" with a time-traveling core.

Also try Ergo Proxy, a post-apocalyptic series on the nature of man and his will to survive.
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Old 2010-11-28, 13:30   Link #4
Guardian Enzo
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Feels like Mushishi would be perfect.
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Old 2010-11-28, 13:56   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haak View Post
I recommend:
Casshern Sins - Dark philosophical apocalyptic future
Seconding this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Feels like Mushishi would be perfect.
OP said they've already seen it
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Old 2010-11-28, 17:34   Link #6
matrixdutch
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Ah, thank you all. I will add the following to my list:

Casshern Sins
Tatami Galaxy
Time of Eve
Ergo Proxy


I also have the following that I will watch sometime soon:

Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Hi No Tori
Maho Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto Natsu no Sora
Narutaru
Shinigami No Ballad
Angel's Egg
The Diary of Tortov Roddle
Quiet Country Cafe
Ghost in the Shell: SAC

Hopefully I'll like the majority of them.
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Old 2010-11-28, 20:38   Link #7
Guardian Enzo
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Originally Posted by JRendell View Post
OP said they've already seen it
Dammit!

I'm going with Natsume Yuujinchou, then. If you like the one, I think you'll like the other.
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Old 2010-11-28, 22:46   Link #8
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matrixdutch
The suggestions I'm looking for mainly fall into a rather strange mix. The main thrust is something that has a philosophical theme though, but the gamut can run from being somewhat dark like the Garden of Sinners and Kino's Journey, or light-hearted and uplifting like Someday's Dreamers and Windy Tales. I hope that's not too ambiguous a description to go with. I'll provide a list of anime I liked and disliked to hopefully assist in member's reccomendations.
I understand that every request is unique, but given that it's usually the same few anime that are recommended for their philosophical content, I do suggest taking a look in this thread: Existential, philosophical or sociological anime.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not criticising your request. It's more an attempt on my part to bring attention to that old but fairly comprehensive thread.

Meanwhile, seeing that you've enjoyed Haibane Renmei (my favourite anime), NieA Under 7 and Serial Experiments Lain, you might want to try out Texhnolyze, which also features the character designs of artist Yoshitoshi ABe (who was also responsible for Haibane Renmei's screenplay and storyboard).

I never managed to get beyond its fourth episode but, from what I hear, Noein is also supposed to be a pretty good watch, since it toys with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, a branch of science that is still so experimental that it may as well be "philosophy".

For something that deals more with political philosophy and (Confucian) ethics, I highly recommend The Twelve Kingdoms. If nothing else, this anime classic offers an interesting take on the fantasy genre based on East Asian archetypes and myths, rather than the dwarves and elves mainstay of Western counterparts.

Finally, since you've also asked for something surreal, I'd definitely recommend Mononoke:

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Old 2010-11-28, 23:35   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haak View Post
I recommend:
Casshern Sins - Dark philosophical apocalyptic future
I really cannot understand how this show is any philosophical. Ok. maybe the theme...

----

@OP

What do you mean by "Slice of Life"? Aren't there non-slice of life's in your list?

It seems you have Akagi. How about Kaiji?

Maybe Angel Beats? Legend of Legendary Heroes? One Outs? There is less philosophy in these but perhaps a sufficient amount?

I find that there is more symbolical, hidden philosophy in anime than outright analytical philosophy. Personally, I prefer the latter. Kaiji delivers it almost sufficiently. almost.

Judging by your use of "surreal", it seems that you are liking the more subtle/symbolical one. In that case, Bakemonogatari? Unfortunately, although there is clearly subtlety, I don't remember if it ever had a philosophical intent.
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Old 2010-11-28, 23:40   Link #10
SuzushinaYuriko
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Recommending Wolf's Rain and Dennou Coil. Both were wonderful and had deep themes prevalent in them, although I'm not sure Wolf's Rain can be called "slice of life"...
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Old 2010-11-29, 16:11   Link #11
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The same team that made TRL's suggestion, Mononoke, also made Kuuchuu Buranko (aka "Trapeze"). It's also surreal and about a psychiatrist to boot.

Mononoke is actually the sequel to the three-episode closing arc of Ayakashi Samurai Horror Tales called "Bakeneko". I actually think this story arc is the best one of all. It's remade in Mononoke itself, though that version is set in a very different historical period. Personally I prefer the Black-Sheep version of Mononoke. Not to take anything away from Shinsen, but "Black Sheep" consisted of some very prominent fansubbers who got together for one time only to sub this show as a labor of love.

I happen to be re-watching one of his other suggestions, Noein. This is probably my fourth time through, and I still find it a lovely show. While the story plays with various quantum paradoxes, I find the human relationships in this show much more compelling. Haruka is one of the most winning young heroines in anime, and the interactions within her friendship group seem remarkably true. I also think its animation is quite remarkable and under-appreciated.

I'm a bit surprised Enzo didn't mention Ghost Hound. It definitely fits your requirements as well. You can watch the first episode for free here. It's also streaming on Netflix.

Aoi Bungaku is a set of anime adaptations of famous Japanese novels. I think it could probably be considered "philosophical," but it's not especially surreal.

Finally I'll suggest Oh! Edo Rocket if you're looking for the surreal. It has a bit of philosophy sprinked around, and a bit of Japanese history as well. It's an alternative-history parody where Edo residents have TVs and blogs in 1843. Rocket consistently "breaks the fourth wall," and the characters often comment about the fact that it's an anime.
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Last edited by SeijiSensei; 2010-11-29 at 16:24.
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Old 2010-11-29, 19:02   Link #12
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I recommended GH three times in one day already - I was getting a little embarrassed, frankly!
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Old 2010-11-30, 06:59   Link #13
matrixdutch
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Wow, thank you all for your suggestions and links!
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Old 2010-11-30, 08:24   Link #14
Haak
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Oh I forgot to mention Fate/Stay Night. Same writer for Kara no Kyoukai and Tsukihime.

I recommend the Visual Novel since both anime adaptations cut out much of the philosophy (and don't animate the best route)
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Old 2010-11-30, 09:34   Link #15
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I forgot one more must-watch surrealistic gem that seems to have slipped under everyone's radar: Kaiba, by master animator Masaaki Yuasa (the same guy responsible for the aforementioned Tatami Galaxy).


Quote:
A young man wakes up one day in a broken room. He has no memories, and carries only a locket with a picture of an unknown woman. Suddenly attacked by unknown assailants, he escapes into space on board a luxury space liner. He travels to various planets and encounters many people while slowing retrieving his memories. He recalls his agony on an inconsistent and decaying world and, most of all, he remembers Niero, the mysterious woman pictured in his locket.
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Old 2010-12-01, 07:05   Link #16
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Legend of Galactic Heroes is one of the anime that has best Philosophy and Politics which are convincing. Though the genre is Space Opera not slice of life
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Old 2010-12-05, 07:53   Link #17
matrixdutch
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Thanks again for the updated recommendations!
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Old 2010-12-06, 18:26   Link #18
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No one mentioned the most whacked-out of all slice-of-life shows, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya?
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Old 2010-12-07, 08:18   Link #19
matrixdutch
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
No one mentioned the most whacked-out of all slice-of-life shows, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya?
Ah yes! This looked quite good from the trailers I saw. On my list now! Thanks!
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Old 2010-12-07, 09:43   Link #20
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No one mentioned the most whacked-out of all slice-of-life shows, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya?
That is surprising . Somewhat similarly Bakemonogatari should be mentioned since it's a pretty "Surreal" series that could be maybe be called somewhat of a Slice of Life .
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