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Old 2012-04-08, 16:25   Link #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Age: 29
Lesser-known anime films of the 1980s-2000s

Please list some suggestions of lesser-known anime films or OVAs released roughly within the 1980s - 2000s that you consider to be of high quality but are not well-known. A quick line or two about why you like it would also help. I'm trying to find some underrated gems here that may elude me in google searches.

I have a preference towards either character-oriented stories revolving on personal conflict, or adventure, but with this request I am quite open to genres. As a point of comparison, some anime I have enjoyed the most are include Planetes, nearly all Ghibli films, Banner of the Stars, Mushishi, Haibane Reinmei, and so on.

My relatively complete anime list is here:


My only restrictions are, not action-heavy, not aimed at the otaku market or containing fanservice elements, and preferably standalone (i.e. not tied with any longer series or franchise).

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Last edited by Theowne; 2012-04-08 at 17:10.
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Old 2012-04-08, 16:38   Link #2
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Er...I may have to break the rule a bit for this one but I think you'll like it anyway. I recommend Ouji-san no Lamp since it has that retro feel. It's about a kid who goes into the lamp business but faces some real and down to earth struggles so it's very character-orientated. It's just a one episode special.
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Old 2012-04-08, 17:05   Link #3
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Have you watched Gauche The Cellist? Directed by Isao Takahata, so there's a 50/50 chance you have come across this movie before. I watched this almost a decade ago, so I can't remember much but one thing I remember is that music aspect is done really well, and the interaction between Gauche and the animals(especially the cat,lol) is cute.
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Last edited by MUAHAHAHAHAHA; 2012-04-08 at 19:02.
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Old 2012-04-09, 17:12   Link #4
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Age: 29
Indeed, I have seen both of the mentioned films (I really should update that list more often). I guess the tumbleweeds in this thread are to be expected based on the nature of this request...

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Old 2012-04-09, 20:53   Link #5
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Have you seen The Wings of Honneamise? It’s the first sci-fi movie made by Gainax. It is quite underrated and didn’t do well in the box office but I think it’s good. It’s about an astronaut-in-training and the woman he likes. Beside the actual space mission, it also involve some conflict in the MC’s relationship.
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Old 2012-04-10, 01:28   Link #6
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My Dear Marie. Good damn comedy about a science geek that makes an android that resembles an associate of his that he likes(except 'up top') and how she integrates into his life. 3 ep ova series.

I know you don't want an action series, but Casshern was pretty good(the 4 ep 1993 OVA, not the 1970 TV series), probably known a bit more since Casshern SINS was made, but still a solid action series with a hint of romance.

Escaflowne's not on that list!? Good gosh man(or woman(>.>)) you need

edit: Escaflowne is popular. Nevermind =0p.
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Last edited by frubam; 2012-04-11 at 10:33.
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Old 2012-04-11, 07:42   Link #7
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Well for something different, you can try the shorts in Studio 4C's Sweat Punch.
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Old 2012-04-11, 10:04   Link #8
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Junkers Come Here
Mahou Tsukai Tai OVAs
Video Girl AI
Roujin Z'
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Old 2012-04-12, 17:42   Link #9
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Green Legend Ran: A little rough around the edges, but if you liked Miyazaki's stuff this one should be interesting. The aesthetic and setting looks kind of like Now and Then, Here and There if you've ever seen that.
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Old 2012-04-12, 17:54   Link #10
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Age: 29
Thanks for the suggestions - I'll check them out.

Re: Stealther - I recently came across Junkers Come Here. A very nice little film.

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Old 2012-04-13, 00:55   Link #11
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How about you try Akira... in my opinion its not so action packed, but has some mindfu*k moments. Quite dark, revolving around a kid with psychic powers...
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Old 2012-04-13, 01:25   Link #12
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Cream lemon
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Old 2012-04-18, 13:38   Link #13
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Rose of Versailles is really good.

Ie Naki Ko has a hell of story Remi get's treated like crap the whole series.

Someone else mentioned Wings of Honneamise which is a really good anime about a space race between 2 super powers on the brink of war.
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Old 2012-04-21, 17:05   Link #14
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Might as well start with the most well known anime films since I don't see Akira and Ghost in the Shell in your list ? (maybe you stayed away from them because you don't like SF ? If not, you need to check them out, as well as Patlabor 2 (don't be afraid, unlike the rest of the franchise, it's not really a mecha anime (and if mecha = gundam in your mind, it's not a mecha at all) and you don't need to have watched anything else of it to enjoy it)

You can't go wrong with Perfect Blue. It's weak on the animation side for a movie (it had an OVA budget), but there are reasons it jumpstarted Satoshi Kon's career and was shown in festivals all around the world before Miyazaki "redeemed" anime in the western world.

Finally, Memories is another favorite of mine. It's 3 different completely independant stories by 3 different directors (Otomo being one of them) The first one (Magnetic Rose, a SF variation on the Phantom of the Opera) is visually stunning, but my favorite might be the second one (Otomo's Stink Bomb, about some lab accidentally turning himself into a biological weapon)
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