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Old 2013-03-16, 05:22   Link #1
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Idaho
Age: 26
Shockingly Great Anime

We all have our own interests. Those of us that have watched anime for quite some time have a good idea of what we like, and what we hate. We've our own little filters, and an eye for the good and the bad of a particular season's lineup. Sometimes though, there's that anime (or manga, I suppose) that you picked up either for no real reason, or because someone suggested you watch it. Something that you know you would have never watched under normal circumstances.

So regardless of whether or not it's a popular show, or even a really terrible show, what are some anime that Asuki members couldn't believe they had passed up, or berated, or otherwise at first glance? In the great words of teachers everywhere: Explain!

For me, my starting mention goes to Demon King Daimao. I had never even heard of this show before, and casually discovered it on Netflix. I found the synopsis to be very uninteresting, and the show itself sounded stunningly boring. It was something that had been done before, and that I had seen before to make matters worse. After all, when you see the hundredth rendition of "singled out MC and his harem" you can't exactly expect greatness. But sometimes boredom gets the better of you...

Honestly though, Demon King Daimao was one of the better shows I watched that year. I went in expecting crap, with terribly shallow characters and horrible love interests. I expected to see something I had seen countless times before, and worse than every other attempt. What I ended up with was one of the smarter MCs I had seen in years. YEARS. I have no idea what the writer was thinking when they decided to make a main character in a Japanese anime with a harem actually understand how people think, because that decision is just ludicrous. Sure, the plot wasn't exactly the best thing ever, and the supporting cast wasn't necessarily full of diamonds. Yet, the way the main character interacted with everyone and handled his situation was so proper that for all its mediocre and average content, I found it to be quite good. It actually taught me a valuable lesson about what good characters can do for a series: A whole heck of a lot, really.
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Old 2013-03-16, 07:19   Link #2
AS Oji-kun
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Under a Starry Sky
Age: 68

It came out when I had pretty much decided to ignore any show about adolescents. Only strong encouragement by people like Guardian Enzo and Kirarakim made me watch it. Now it's moved into my top tier of shows.

I'm still really tired of shows about teenagers, though.

Last edited by SeijiSensei; 2013-03-16 at 09:14.
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Old 2013-03-16, 08:59   Link #3
'Dear Elhit'
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 43
It was the early 2000s. The World Wide Web was still young. Bittorrent and social media did not yet exist. I was a recent graduate, still struggling to find meaning and satisfaction in my dead-end IT job. Anime is a niche genre in Singapore but, back then, it may as well not exist. It would take a few more years before VCDs of long-outdated titles would even appear on our shores, courtesy of the now despised ODEX.

Still, I was aware of anime, having grown up on cartoons like Macross and Voltron. Yes, cartoons, because that was what they were to me and my peers. The idea of "anime" being artistically different hadn't yet registered in most people's minds (it still probably hasn't for most Singaporeans today). At best, I was only vaguely aware of the genre's geek-chic novelty, having watched films like Akira and Ghost in the Shell during student cinema nights in university.

Anime, to me at the time, was heavily associated with sci-fi, self-important philosophising, gratuitous violence and, quite often, pointless nudity. The few titles I occasionally stumbled upon, amid stacks of pirated VCDs hawked at shady shops in discreet corners, didn't help to dispel that image — shows like Serial Experiments Lain, Neon Genesis Evangelion (Cantonese-dubbed, surprisingly good voice-acting, I might add), Ninja Scrolls, and so on.

Studio Ghibli hadn't yet entered my consciousness, though I was vaguely aware of them through a friend who collected pirated VCDs of the then-released movies. I did have hazy memories of Nausicaa, which was once shown on free-to-air terrestrial TV in Singapore, but I did not know the title nor what I watched at the time.

So, when I spotted an original DVD of this Ghibli movie at the now-extinct HMV store in Orchard Road, embossed with plaudits from prestigious-sounding events like the Chicago International Children's Festival, I thought: "Heck, why not give it a try?"

That weekend, I ended up emotionally drained and devastated. Inside me swirled a bottomless pit of grief no words could fill.

Spoiler for Hotaru no Haka, a montage:

So this was anime! A harsh, neo-realistic exploration of issues that mattered to me as an Asian. My eyes were opened to a whole new world of experience.

It would take a few more years before I truly dived into the sub-culture. But I will always remember Grave of the Fireflies as one of the first few shows that changed forever the way I looked at animation.

Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2013-03-16 at 09:25.
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Old 2013-03-16, 09:22   Link #4
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Old 2013-03-16, 11:41   Link #5
Akuma Kousaka
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: 346 Otonokizaka
Age: 26
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Time of Eve

What I expected:
Pretentious shit with characters not worth caring about.

What I got:
A masterfully crafted story of the age-old science fiction question of what would happen if robots resembled people. In a sub-genre where robots are indicated by slightly cryptic speech and accompanied by shadows and overwhelming artificiality to represent their less-than-humanity, what this anime delivers is a bout of equality where the lighting and arrangement of the scenes and the fluidity of the dialog neversays who is what. It's thought provoking in the truest sense of the word with characters I daresay might be better described as people. Time of Eve is authentically intelligent and surprisingly human.
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Old 2013-03-16, 12:10   Link #6
Prefectural Magical Girl
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Paris, France
When I first heard about Sengoku Collection, it'll be another generic Warring States show with genderbended warlords and a lacking storyline. Then when it aired, it didn't surprise me much in the first few episodes. Around the middle of the airing, it makes me surprised : everything were so excellently well-endowed it was assorted with masterful visuals, a charming episodic story and the music was great. It developed a story that takes a trump card with the variety of genres and its references it played, develop its characters decently in their own episodes, and I liked the character-driven approach of it as well.

The same goes for The Ambition of Oda Nobuna, I expected it to be a generic historical action series with genderbended warlords being the only redeeming value. The great animation from the PV was great but the plot wasn't groundbreaking. Then when I finally watched, everything rocks so much that it becomes my favorite show of last summer ! The story turns out to be very surprising and it was developed in a such masterful manner, the characters nicely progressed throughout, the protagonist puts enough effort and the girls are very likeable. I was dissapointed by the ending, and it left me wanting more !

Recently, GJ-bu takes the winter-themed cake for me : When I first heard it, I dismissed it as a ordinary slice of life show about cute girls doing cute things. Then I heard some great things in the SeventhStyle website, but doesn't convince me enough to watch the show in its entirety. When I finally watched the first episode, I have some feelings that it might be good and when watching a few more episodes, it was very astounding and increases the fluffy atmosphere of moe in a good way, thus keeps me watching until the end and I'm glad I did.
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Old 2013-03-16, 14:07   Link #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Austria
I watch a lot of anime (26 shows this season), and I tend to at least moderately enjoy all those I don't drop (dropped two this season, or I'd be watching 28 shows). My taste is very broad and I'm capable of enjoying many different shows. I'm surprised quite often by the quality of shows, and sometimes shows go into directions I don't expect (such as this season's Kotoura san), but that's no real shocker to me. There are genres, though, I don't normally watch. One of those genres is sports. I don't watch sports anime.

So a year back or so, I find out that lots of people recommend a show called Cross Game. Fine. There's always an exception. So I look up the show. Plot: a mix of drama, romance, and I-want-to-go-to-koshien? Meh. Well, maybe. But that art... ugh. Not my style at all. And 52 episodes? Too many. Not worth the commitment. Too much else to watch.

But the show keeps coming up. So eventually I cave in and watch an episode. Another. The third. Four, five, six... I went through the show in a few days. Did I really think the art was ugly? Why? (I remember why whenever I look at a picture, but in the context of the show it transforms....) While it's still not among my favourites, I just love the characters, and the low-key, ironic mood. The show is just... friendly, really friendly, from a place that knows life isn't just sunshine and lollipops.

I got a very pleasant viewing experience from a show that turned me off so much I actively resisted watching it despite multiple recommendations from people of different taste. Never say never, except in "you never know".
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Old 2013-03-16, 14:36   Link #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: East Cupcake
There is no real difference between this thread and the hundreds of other "Favourite/Best/Worst <x> in anime" threads that have now been deemed to be unnecessary and redundant. If you want to talk about a favourite anime just choose any of the previously existing threads. Thread is closed for now.
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great, shocking, surprise

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