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Old 2015-09-25, 00:29   Link #1
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Recommendations: Melodrama

Provide your recommendations for anime, manga, light novels, web novels, visual novels, games, and other media within the genre: Melodrama!

Special Note: Melodrama in this case is used to denote shows with plots that are sensationalized to appeal primarily to strong emotions. Not to be confused with drama.

These should be works that you've experienced personally and would like to recommend to others. No "troll" recommendations, or non-recommendations in this thread. For longer series, you don't necessarily need to wait until the whole work is finished before recommending it, but please at least wait until you've at least experienced enough of it to make a good judgement.

Please don't just post a list! You don't need to do a full review, but for each title you suggest, please also consider providing:
  • The full title
  • The author, studio, or other information that will help identify the work
  • A brief explanation of the setting and premise (no spoilers!)
  • A brief summary of why you like it and/or why you think others might like it
  • How much of it you've experienced (particularly for longer series)
  • Other works that it reminds you of, if applicable
  • A link to a review you wrote on our site, if applicable
  • Any other information that might help someone know if they should give it a shot
You may optionally post a few images if it helps, but please use thumbnails, and/or place it inside an [images] tag. Most third-party image hosting sites will provide a feature to copy/paste BBCode that uses thumbnails.

Please DO NOT post links on where to illegally download/stream/view the work you're recommending.

Again, for the purposes of this thread, please avoid all spoilers or hints that may ruin surprises in the plot, and absolutely no flaming another person's recommendations. If you see any problematic post, please report it so the moderators can review and take any needed action.
Kairin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-09-27, 22:22   Link #2
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Join Date: Jul 2009
This one is one of my stock recommendations, as well as one of my all time favorite series.

Title: Mai-HiME
Studio: Sunrise
Year: 2004

At first glance, this series may appear to be just a cutesy, mildly ecchi bishoujo action series. But at it's core, it is a show about characters, their feelings, and their motivations. The early parts of the series are relatively light entertainment (with hints of darker things) in which the show has fun with anime cliches/conventions and gradually develops it's large and diverse cast of characters. Then the much darker final third sticks those characters in an emotional pressure cooker and watches them come apart at the seams. Despite this, it is still a series that has a lot of love for its characters, seeking to humanize them even as it reveals their dark sides. The series is also constructed with surprising care -many little details in the early parts take on new significance in light of later revelations. I have found myself making new observations about the show even after multiple rewatches.

Here's a summary I did up for the series:

Mai Tokiha is a first year high school student who has received a scholarship to attend a prestigious private academy on the Island of Fuka along with her sickly younger brother Takumi. While en route to the island, she helps save an unconscious girl clutching a large sword and witnesses a highly destructive battle between the girl she saved and a mysterious intruder, both of whom fight with strange powers. After arriving on Fuka Mai begins to learn the truth behind why she was brought to the island –she is a HiME, one of twelve girls who have been granted magical powers. Supposedly the HiME have been gathered on Fuka to fight monsters from another world called Orphans, but if the suspicions of one of the less trusting HiME are correct, that isn't their real purpose. Unsure of whether to trust her benefactors but resolving to protect her brother and her new friends, Mai reluctantly takes up the fight. But does she really know what she’s getting herself into? And does she –or any of the other HiME- truly understand what it means when they’re told they must risk the one thing that’s most important to them?
My one big reservation about recommending the series is its ending, which got decidedly mixed reviews. I've come to appreciate it more after multiple rewatches, but it was quite jarring the first time around.
Darthtabby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-09-30, 13:48   Link #3
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Title: Ga-Rei Zero
Year: 2008
Length: 12 Episodes
Notable Staff: Ei Aoki (Director)

This series was made as a prequel to the shounen manga Ga-Rei, but is more than capable of standing on its own merits (in fact many people consider it better than the manga its a prequel to). Initially appearing to be a supernatural action series focused on an elite paramilitary unit composed of personnel with the ability to see spirits, the series is actually about two young exorcists, Yomi and Kagura. Yomi more or less adopted Kagura after the latter's mother died, and the two are closer than many blood related siblings. But when Yomi "turns to the dark side" Kagura finds herself faced with the reality that she may have to kill the sworn sister she cares about more than anyone else in the world.

Of course, the series is Yomi's story almost as much as Kagura's (if not more so). Yomi is a tragic character in the classic sense of the term -an admirable person brought low by their own decisions. One of the questions viewers may ask as flashbacks reveal Yomi and Kagura's backstory is how such a strong and kind big sister figure could become the ruthless monster seen at the beginning of the series. Fortunately the series answers that question quite convincingly.

One criticism that can be leveled against Ga-Rei Zero is that it has major tonal shifts -it begins in media res with Yomi already on the rampage, then jumps back to when she and Kagura first met. There are points towards the middle of the series when it gets outright silly, particularly when Kagura and several of Yomi's co-workers band together to try to improve Yomi's relationship with her arranged marriage fiance Noriyuki. However if you can handle the mood shifts the show does everything it sets out to do pretty well, whether that be silly comedy, bloody supernatural action, or emotionally intense drama.

Also, the series has an awesome OP song (Paradise Lost sung by Minori Chihara):

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