Something mindblowing - Dark/Serious/Memorable Anime wanted! :)
I'm looking to find some more anime to watch together with my boyfriend. We both haven't watched much in the last years and we are trying to get back into watching some quality shows. It doesn't really have to be a recent show. We're just after something mindblowing & memorable. :) Would be nice to finally find an anime again where we have to keep watching episode after episode cause it's so damn good!
Here is a list of stuff we'd like to be included:
- interesting setting
- memorable characters
- serious theme
- dark enviroment
- psychological drama
- an ongoing storyline. (kinda find it hard to get into shows that are episodic)
- decent animation quality (would be a nice bonus)
Here is some Anime we really enjoyed:
- Death Note
Other Stuff we watched and liked / found ok:
Black Lagoon, Elfen Lied, Basilisk, Evangelion, Chrono Crusade, Last Exile, Full Metal Alchemist, Saikano, Gantz, Hellsing, Witch Hunter Robin, GunGrave, Texhnolyze, Mononoke, Clannad & Clannad Afterstory, Eden of the East, Shigurui, Trust & Betrayal...
- Guilty Crown (liked, although a bit confusing at points and the ending was a bit too simplistic)
- Phantom - Requiem for the Phantom
So ya ^^ suggestions please!
Thank you. :)
Guilty Crown ~ It'll blow your mind.
Baccano! - action with great style of story telling.
Code Geass - just like Death Note, it has an anti MC.
Fate/Zero - great action series with memorable cast and dark story.
Ga-Rei: Zero - dark setting, psychological, memorable main heroine... Series start from the end, then go into flashback and lead us to the start of the show.
Aggressive at first, comedy later and then aggressive again.
Slightly reminds to Teresa's arc in Claymore.
Ghost Hunt - great series about ghost hunting. Knows how to build the atmosphere. Series are more arc/case based though but they all are connected to each other. My fave arc is Bloodshed Labyrinth, probably the darkest of them all while second arc is the creepiest.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica - despite looking all cute, series are dark and cover some psychological topics. #at least give first 3 episodes a try.
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom - MC is given a choice: get killed or kill and survive. He chooses to become a professional assassin. Series are not scared to cover some dark and important topics.
Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin - great series about friends who meet in prison. Series follow their life while in prison and after. Covers variety of topics like bullying, rape, abuse, lost dreams, lost love and etc.
Shiki - villagers suddenly start to die and epidemic is suspected, but is it really the case?
Steins;Gate - shows how tiny changes in the past can change everything. Gets better in second half.
Not my fave but you could also try Another, especially if you like Final Destination movies.
Shoujo Kakumei Utena
I'll start with a couple of Asian imperial epics, the classic Junni Kokki or Twelve Kingdoms, and Seirei no Moribito. The first is bloodier than the second, but the sporadic fighting scenes in Moribito are remarkably well-animated. Both tell serious stories, though they have a good dose of the supernatural in each case.
Next i'm going to suggest a show that will make you wonder whether I read your initial posting. I did, but I'm going to suggest you give Hikaru no Go a try anyway. All the battles in this show take place across a Go board, but that doesn't mean they aren't exciting or dramatic. If you find you like Hikaru, I'll suggest the recent Chihayafuru and the somewhat older Shion no Ou. The latter has a parallel mystery concerning the murder of young Shion's parents. The reason I suggested Hikaru is its very effective use of cliff-hangers. It's a hard show to stop watching.
Another show that might fit your interests is Ghost Hound. The main character is a thirteen-year-old boy who is suffering from PTSD. He was kidnapped with his sister as a young boy and watched her die next to him. He connects up with a couple of other boys who also have some issues. They all discover they have a knack for "astral projection" which they use in an attempt to discover the identity of the kidnapper. Psychiatry and neuroscience meet mysticism in this show.
You might also enjoy the recent Lupin III/Mine Fujiko remake. It's quite a dark tale though you may want to consider whether you want your boyfriend watching a show with a seductive female lead who appears nude or nearly nude in every episode.
Mouryou no Hako is a fascinating show in many respects though it's a bit slow going in the middle episodes. It's a bit hard to find out there since it was subbed piecemeal by a variety of groups.
Finally I'll suggest Welcome to the NHK!. There isn't any bloodshed or even much in the way of violence in NHK, but it's got characters with psychological issues by the boatload. It starts off hilariously enough, but soon you discover there is a much deeper and darker story behind the laughs. The streams at Funimation and Hulu are both dubbed, but there are fansubs floating around in the ether.
Maybe you may like these Anime!
~Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan
~Yuu Yuu Hakusho
~Flame of Recca
~Vampire Hunter D
Wow thanks alot for all the suggestions :) I really appreciate it.
There are lots of interesting shows there.
We'll work our way through all of those and keep you updated.
- interesting setting: might not seem interesting at first since the setting is just a rural village but the anime does a very good job of making the most out of it
- memorable characters: with so many moraly ambiguous characters I think you'll find some of them quite interesting
- serious theme: quite serious,the anime spawned lots of debates about the characters' action,there is no clear good and evil here.
- dark enviroment: i'd say the ost sets the tone
- violent: the 2nd half of this show is a bloodbath with some quite graphic deaths
- psychological drama: again,lots of morally ambiguous characters.
- an ongoing storyline. (kinda find it hard to get into shows that are episodic): the first episode is really slow paced but it really starts to get going afterwards with plenty of cliffhangers
- decent animation quality: it's just decent,nothing amazing, the chara designs are a bit weird by they contribute to the athmosphere of the show,here's the OP
Be sure to watch the OVA's as well they help give closure to some of the characters' stories
Madoka Magica :
- interesting setting: it might not seem so at first but the staff really tried to make everything about the "witches" the girls have to fight unique and interesting,can't really be described with words
- memorable characters: If anything, the magical creature Kyube has become one of the most iconic characters in recent history
- serious theme: Is it really a good idea to ask 14 year old girls to fight deadly monsters?
- dark enviroment: all promotional material for this was misleading on purpose,even the character designer wasn't told how dark this would be when she started working on it , the ED's the only thing that hints at the true nature of the show
- violent: well,not very gory but there is violence
- psychological drama : all the girls here are going to go through psychological breakdowns
- an ongoing storyline. (kinda find it hard to get into shows that are episodic): it really starts off on episode 3 after the first couple serve as an introduction,after that it's a roller coaster ride
- decent animation quality: again nothing amazing but they went out and experimented with plenty of different styles.
Based on your favorites I think Gen Urobuchi's Fate Zero and the unfinished Psycho Pass will be right up your alley.
Those would be my suggestions
I totally recommend Madoka Magica and Psycho-Pass : both are created by the creative mastermind of horrors named Gen Urobuchi, and they're both good.
Shiki, Rurouni Kenshin (you mentioned the OVA, have you not watched the TV series itself?), Yuu Yuu Hakusho (it's not really a 100 % serious/mature work per se but hey you liked Claymore and Death Note), Higurashi, Ga-Rei: Zero, Baccano pretty strongly.
Madoka, Fate|Zero, Psycho-pass, Code Geass fit your taste and are very good but I hold the opinion that people rate them too highly.
Utena and Penguindrum are good shows but not exactly for everyone and you will miss a lot of stuff if you don't get all the references and/or symbolism. And even if you get everything, it's still a bit nonsensical anyway.
Flame of Recca, Nurarihyon, Steins;Gate, Mirai Nikki (crazy, seriously crazy girl warning) etc. are fun shows too.
And I will add these recommendations:
Now and then, Here and there is a classic. It's serious, dark, mature, tells a good story and has memorable characters. Among the best that anime as a medium has to offer.
Haibane Renmei is everything that a serious anime should be.
Casshern Sins may not be for everyone but it's dark, serious and memorable as it gets alright.
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is a recent show that's all about dark comedy and satire of the human race as a whole. You may want to keep this for after you are more familiar with the Japanese "anime and manga" / "otaku" culture though as some of the best episodes in there are heavy parodies of the said culture.
Level E has very memorable characters and is fun enough that you will want to watch it in a go. It's a comedy but it definitely doesn't lack the dark elements.
Mushishi is memorable, serious and has interesting characters. You will get your share of the dark and the happy sides of life.
Kuchu Buranko (Trapeze) has a quirky psychiatrist as the lead. It is rather unique due to its artstyle and has an actual human nurse with emphasized cleavage as a character (letting you know because you will be watching this with your bf hehe) but definitely worth checking out.
Un-Go has interesting characters and a dark, memorable setting. It may be a tad bit uncomfortable to watch for you guys though. And nudity warning for this one as well.
I can keep going but these should keep you more than busy for a while :heh:
Thanks again! :)
So much stuff to keep us going. Thank you, all!
Just to keep you guys updated, we watched some episodes of Guilty Crown. We watched some of the openings of the Animes suggested in this thread and we both found it quite interesting based on that. Anyway, so far we haven't been disappointed with the show and we're enjoying it. ^^
Well, in that case, you ought to go for Code Geass next. It's right up your alley. I count stuff like Death Note, Code Geass and Guilty Crown to be superficially deep and pretentious myself, and in an increasing order (meaning Guilty Crown is very superficial and pretentious compared to Death Note but that's not saying much because Death Note itself is somewhat like that, especially the anime version) but that's just me. But yeah, if you liked Death Note and also found Guilty Crown interesting, the best you can go for is Code Geass. It's a very fun (read: fabulous!) ride for sure, just not exactly what I would consider serious and memorable, especially in the face of other titles mentioned in the thread. Matter of taste though and based off your history, it fits yours perfectly.
Also, you may see a repetition of themes and very visually similar images and stuff as you go through these shows. It's because anime world is not that large and make references to previous works very very often. It would be awesome if you went through these works in terms of broadcast date so that you would get the references but that's just too tedious for little benefit I guess. Just don't be surprised when you see essentially the same stuff in different shows :heh:
I suppose what I like about Guilty Crown (i only watched 4 episodes so far) is that it's catchy and very easy to get into while some other shows just take a while to kick in... I don't deny that it seems a bit shallow / pretentious at times, tho. :) Maybe it's just what we need to get back into Anime atm, before we can move on to more serious / hard to stomach stuff. ^^
I actually noticed the repetition of themes you mentioned. There were moments in the show that just made me think, "hey, this is just typically anime. Haven't I seen exactly this already?" ^^"
Now that you mention Code Geass (and since it's been mentioned before), I have to admit that I have given it a go some years ago. I think I ended up watching 2 episodes and then I dismissed it, thinking it was rather childish. I can't even say what I didn't like about it but at that time it just didn't grab me much. I suppose I should have given it more of a chance...
I also feel a bit strange about Madoka being mentioned SO often. I looked at pictures, checked the opening and it just seems cute and not serious at all. ^^" Actually that style kind of turns me away from even trying the show, but at the same time I'm curious to find out what all this hype is about. :)
Judging by the opening and summary, I feel that I would really enjoy Phantom - Requiem for the Phantom, btw. What I've seen appealed to me right away. Since my bf isn't interested in it (he wants to see Psycho Pass after Guilty Crown) I might end up watching that one alone. ;)
I know exactly what you mean, this kind of shows are not my stuff either but trust our word. This show is very deceiving!
As you said it looks all happy and cute. OP makes you facepalm thinking "Not another dumb show about cute girls" and etc.
However, all of that are lies that are meant to make you feel secure.
As someone once said "It lures you into a false sense of security and punches you in the face with depression."
Series don't even show a proper ED until episode 3 where walls of security start to crumble and ED reveals real colours of the show.
As I said try to watch first 3 episodes. If my words are not enough then there is no other choice but to show you this ED:
Spoiler for ED:
Does it still look cute? :p
Not to spoil anything but song lyrics have far more meaning than you might think at first. They pretty much sum up key things from the show. But you mostly will understand meaning behind them after you watch the show.
Hope this sounded convincing :D
And Phantom series are aweasome! :p
Kitten320 already pretty much covered what needed to be,however I do want to mention the OP.You're probably blinded by all the pink and the fanservicy transformation sequence but look closer again and pay very close attention to the pink haired girl at all times,if this was a lighthearted fun show,surely the girl would be shown happy,laughing,smiling...but is that really the case?
My favorite part is from 00:24 to 00:34 , the animation distracts you with a few silly illustrations when in fact you should be really be paying attention to the bottom left corner.
The streams at Funimation and Hulu are both dubbed, but there are fansubs floating around in the ether. http://www.wengmj.com/1a4.jpg
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