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Old 2006-01-23, 23:42   Link #1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Psychological/thought-provoking or symbolic anime?


Well, I'm wondering if any of you know any good deep/psychological anime. By this, I mean stuff like Haibane Renmei, Kino no Tabi, Mushishi (haven't started watching Mushishi yet, but it looks really interesting.) Oh, and Zettai Shounen was good too...although I enjoyed the first arc more. At the moment, I'm watching Juuni Kokuki. I also recently got RahXephon, since I heard that it has some psychological themes in it, but I haven't started it yet.

And here is just a random list of anime that doesn't fit into the description of anime that I elaborated on above, but I enjoyed nonetheless: Full Moon wo Sagashite, Hachimitsu to Clover, Air TV, Rozen Maiden, Fruits Basket, Scrapped Princess, Tenshi na Konamaiki, Last Exile, Mahoraba ~Heartful Days~, Genshiken. Wow, that's a long list. And I still ended up leaving out a heh.

Anyway, thanks in advance! =)

~ Noodlehead
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Old 2006-01-24, 00:04   Link #2
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4 quick titles off the top of my head.....

Paranoia Agent
GITSSAC 1st and 2nd Gig
Serial Experiments Lain
BoogiePop Phantom

Each of these titles provides psycological intrigue on the highest of levels...Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex (GITSSAC) and Serial Experiments Lain are two series that are in my top 10 animes of all time....Paranoia Agent will mind-rape you, while BoogiePop Phantom is a true psycological thriller...So do a little research then enjoy these great titles...
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Old 2006-01-24, 02:57   Link #3
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Neon Genesis Exangelion AND RahXephon


Death Note
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Old 2006-01-24, 03:04   Link #4
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Almost anything by Mamoru Oshii. GITS2 Innocence was one deep show. But his shows are more toward philosophy and religion.
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Old 2006-01-24, 03:19   Link #5
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If you look for a psychological portrait of the characters, in a very mature way, then most of the Studio Ghibli movies may do for you.
Titles as:

Whisper of the Heart
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Graves of the Fireflies
Princess Mononoke
My Neighbour Totoro
Laputa: Castle in the Sky

The psychology inside these ones is enormous. And as well the "thought provoking" matter, since they easily denounce modern society's flaws.

As for still unmentioned tv series.

Spiral: Quite of a misteryous (detective like) story, but going much into characters' indepths and existentialisms.
Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto: Life of a young female magician, with both happy and painful experiences. Very introspective as well.

Last edited by Pellissier; 2006-01-24 at 03:33.
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Old 2006-01-24, 03:55   Link #6
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Revolutionary Girl Utena
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Old 2006-01-24, 06:39   Link #7
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OK, I'll firmly second Lain, Evangelion, Utena, and anything to do with Ghost in the Shell. Not quite sure Boogiepop is quite what you're looking for, but it certainly engages the brain. And here are some more which haven't been mentioned:

Key, the Metal Idol: Matches the cliched view of anime created by Akira reasonably well, it's certainly very interesting.

Angel's Egg: An animated art film with very little actual dialogue, which is certainly a lot better than any live-action art film I'm aware of. This comes under the 'Almost anything by Mamoru Oshii' category.

Alien Nine: Now, this is all symbolism. The surface and the depths are two entirely different things.

And there's always Texhnolyze, though it's not exactly easy to like.

Oh, and I'm not sure quite how well it fits this category, but watch Princess Tutu too. You won't regret it.
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Old 2006-01-24, 06:48   Link #8
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Originally Posted by Pellissier
Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto: Life of a young female magician, with both happy and painful experiences. Very introspective as well.
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Old 2006-01-24, 07:55   Link #9
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Serial Experiments Lain ...

very heavy thought-provoking stuff

all but lightweighter
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Old 2006-01-24, 08:23   Link #10
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You could try the movie Perfect Blue
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Old 2006-01-24, 08:25   Link #11
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Ikki Tousen is a very thought provoking anime.
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Old 2006-01-24, 09:53   Link #12
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How could you forget about PLANETES? o.o
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Old 2006-01-24, 09:56   Link #13
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Definitely Serial Experiments Lain then maybe Blue Gender and Ghost in the Shell ohh and Vampire Hunter D:Bloodlust <------------ doesnt fit into the category that you are looking for very much but I just love this anime..... .
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Old 2006-01-24, 10:29   Link #14
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ya. I agree with Lambda. Alien 9 is very thought provoking and how about Elfen Lied ?
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Old 2006-01-24, 11:04   Link #15
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Kousetsu Hayaku Monogatari: At a first glance the series, episodic in nature, appears to be about ghosts and ghouls but then you realize, the content of those stories do not revolve around the supernatural. They are the portrayal of a few psychologically disturbed individuals whose horrible acts only reflect human nature too well.
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Old 2006-01-25, 01:50   Link #16
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Old 2006-01-25, 16:31   Link #17
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If your looking for really deep stuff, Mushishi is excellent.

Mushishi is very nicely animated and has some of the deepest psychological stories and themes in any series anime in quite some time. Not for everyone (all drama, no action) but if you like something with some real depth, its great. It develops over time, and the series is looking really good. Great music as well.

Other than that;

RaXephon- despite the mecha, this has a very deep commentary on who we are and what life is about. I thought it did a much better job of presenting the concept than Eva did, and I didnt hate the main character like I did with Shinji in Eva.

Neon Geneisis Evangelion-
Pretty much the "must see" anime, especially in US, along with Akira. The show is deep, and the concepts it touches on are signifigant. The down side to Eva is that the series kinda loses focus and the ending is pretty hard to piece together. Also the series as a whole is one huge collection of very damaged characters, and the main character can be strongly repellent to a lot of people. Eva pulls no punches though, and its focus on some of the uglier aspects of the nature of life still makes it a stong series.

Ghost in the Shell 1 & 2
Shirow is hard to beat when it comes to deep introspection. These movies are VERY deep, and to be honest, you can watch them a couple of times and still come away noticing new details and a have a slightly different perpective on where he was going. Excellent stuff.

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
It may sound weird, but the movie has a lot more going on that just action. The plotline about what is good and what is evil isnt handled badly, and the there is a pretty good undercurrent of isolation and abandonment as well. You have to look for it a little harder than some of the other shows, but its there.

Excellent slice of life show set in the near future. Deals with a whole host of issues, and most of them relate well to current day. Like VH: D, you do have to look a little harder at the series, but the themes and concepts are all there.

Blue Gender
This one is entertaining and action filed while still examining things like what is "human" and at the same time presenting a pretty strong message on ecology.

Requiem for the Darkness
The animation here is very different from a lot of anime, and it puts a lot of folks off, but at the same time the "ghost stories" it talks about are a mix of human decption and trickery, and some real real supernatural stuff thrown in to boot. Some pretty strong episodes, covering a host of different issues.

Some other good ones to check out;
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Old 2006-02-06, 00:09   Link #18
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Metropolis and Akira
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Old 2006-02-06, 18:50   Link #19
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Smile Thought Provoking Anime

Most of the anime's ,have a sense of right or wrong after the protagonist of the show kills someone, he/she then tends to Q morals i.e Have I done the right thing..etc.Conscience is the key.
Most thought provoking anime I have watched is

Lain : Is the wired real ,am I real,do we exsist (Its before matrix so lets give credit)

Elfen Lied : Need I say more

Gungrave : Two men can love each other, without being yaoi

Ebichu : Hamsters are smart !!!

Last edited by Zu Ra; 2006-02-06 at 21:33.
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Old 2006-02-06, 19:50   Link #20
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A Wind Named Amnesia is a very deep and interesting movie:
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intellectual, psychological

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