Anime recs

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ryan

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I'm looking for a new series to watch. As I get older it seems like I find fewer and fewer anime that I really enjoy. Most of the stuff I like is from the 90s-early-00s. The last show I enjoyed was probably Attack on Titan which is extremely normie of me.

I just can't really get into anime anymore that's clearly like fanservice, jerk off bait, or escapism for hikikomori, and that seems to be at least part of most shows I see people watching now. But it's also equally likely that I'm just not looking hard enough.

For reference these are the shows/movies that have stuck in my mind throughout the years as the greats:

Evangelion: not only my favorite anime, but my favorite work of art of all time

Cowboy Bebop: Jazz music and space cowboys. Pure, unfiltered cool

Samurai Champloo: Hip hop and samurai. Same director, arguably even cooler. Nujabes is the greatest hip hop artist to walk the earth

Anything Miyazaki: what can be said that hasn't been already

Akira: The most beautifully animated film ever created. Every single frame could be hung up in an art museum and wouldn't look out of place I swear.

Berserk: the manga, not the anime. Worldbuilding and storytelling that I feel rivals the fantasy storytelling western media easily, with a surprisingly dark and mature tone. Some of the artwork is stunning, the amount of detail created with just black ink on white paper is jaw dropping. Really surprised this isn't more popular in western countries.

Anyway yeah does anyone have any recommendations for something to watch? I really want to believe there's good stuff being made today but I haven't been able to find it.

Edit: can't believe I forgot Lain. Up there with Evangelion for me. Incredible show.
 

№56

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I just can't really get into anime anymore that's clearly like fanservice, jerk off bait, or escapism for hikikomori, and that seems to be at least part of most shows I see people watching now. But it's also equally likely that I'm just not looking hard enough.
I think you've just grown up. The vast, vast majority of anime and manga are made for kids and teenagers (even obsessive otaku types are mostly in their early 20s, from what I can tell) and it's normal for people to lose interest in it as they age out of the target demographic. Trying to find an anime made for adults is like trying to find a young adult novel written for adults, you might find something close to what you're looking for but you'll also end up doing mental gymnastics and losing some brain cells in the process. Whatever you do, don't become one of those guys who become convinced that some kid's cartoon or mediocre OVA from the 80s is the absolute peak of cinema just because it's hopelessly obscure and they can get e-penis points for blogging about its release history on their lost media anime twitter/youtube channel or whatever.
That said, I re-watched Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (the second season is the high point of the franchise) and Texhnolyze recently and enjoyed them both. Other shows/movies that I think would still hold up as an adult are Ping Pong the Animation, the Patlabor movies, and Satoshi Kon's stuff (I didn't like Paranoia Agent, though.)
You should also consider reading the Akira manga if you liked the movie, in my opinion it's way more interesting.
 
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remember_summer_days

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Yuiui

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For manga I'd recommend (if you've not read it already) Monster or other works of Urasawa
Otherwise I've been trying to catch up with all of Lupin III. as I liked to watch it many years ago and it's pretty cool I think.
You could also just try looking for more seinen manga specifically. For anime I can't say too much because I agree for the most part that it has become 90% Isekai Power-fantasy bullshit (though I did enjoy Frieren: Journeys end which came out a few weeks ago so far)
 
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I think you've just grown up. The vast, vast majority of anime and manga are made for kids and teenagers (even obsessive otaku types are mostly in their early 20s, from what I can tell) and it's normal for people to lose interest in it as they age out of the target demographic. Trying to find an anime made for adults is like trying to find a young adult novel written for adults, you might find something close to what you're looking for but you'll also end up doing mental gymnastics and losing some brain cells in the process.
I've experienced a very similar thing. It's weird because when I was in HS I watched a lot of anime and it was a huge part of my self-identity, but now I hardly watch it anymore. Sometimes I'll rewatch my old favorites, but in terms of watching series that are new to me maybe I'll get through 1 or 2 a year at this point.

That said, and this may just be lingering cope on my part, but I do think the quality of anime coming out since 2011 has been on the decline. I remember complaining about this over a decade ago when I still was in HS, but there just seems to be an overall decline in studios that are willing to do anything experimental and interesting. And while I'm not paying super close attention anymore, it seems like that trend has only continued.

As far as recommendations go, I'm going to have to second Naoki Urasawa's Monster and what @№56 said. As well as: Revolutionary Girl Utena, Tatami Galaxy, Akagi and Kaiji, Welcome to the NHK, Kino's Journey, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes. As for more comedic shows, I don't think you could go wrong with Great Teacher Onizuka and School Rumble.
 
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Kyou

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I think you've just grown up. The vast, vast majority of anime and manga are made for kids and teenagers (even obsessive otaku types are mostly in their early 20s, from what I can tell) and it's normal for people to lose interest in it as they age out of the target demographic. Trying to find an anime made for adults is like trying to find a young adult novel written for adults, you might find something close to what you're looking for but you'll also end up doing mental gymnastics and losing some brain cells in the process. Whatever you do, don't become one of those guys who become convinced that some kid's cartoon or mediocre OVA from the 80s is the absolute peak of cinema just because it's hopelessly obscure and they can get e-penis points for blogging about its release history on their lost media anime twitter/youtube channel or whatever.
This is off topic since I have zero anime recommendations for OP, but could you elaborate on this perspective? I've seen it often but it has never really sounded nuanced to me. This is like, top 3 things I want to argue about with people but can't, because I don't even know where to start in terms of focus. Could you give me a bit more to work with?
The grounds on which you have the ability to speak of things in terms of demographic——it sounds like bit of a rhetorical mess, but if it makes any sense I would like to make clearer something along those lines maybe
 
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remember_summer_days

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School Rumble's ending is almost so terrible as to make the rest of the manga unreadable in retrospective. I know the author is active online, maybe I should write him a letter asking him to write and a proper ending via doujinshi or something ffs.

On the note of modern anime being worse than older anime, I feel like there's very little evidence provided to substantiate such an opinion, especially when we all admit we're not closely following modern anime releases. Something annoying about newer anime is the mass appeal it has gained, but this doesn't imply it has to be worse. Its like there's this fallacy of, my shitty 90s anime I'm fond of is better because it's obscure, rather than modern shitty anime that is just regular shit. And honestly, the few western dramas I've seen btfo anime storytelling in every regard its not even funny. Watch Better Call Saul or Band of Brothers. One episode of either has more stuff to think about and appreciate than whole seasons of most anime.

As for anime recs... Idk anon, I haven't seen any anime that's actually good good, that I can say it's a real work of art to the point it was worth your investment. There's no anime I've seen that warrants watching it instead of spending the time appreciating great art. Yet you could say that about tons of things, I guess.

Maybe I'm being kinda salty. Yes I'm salty that more than a healthy dose of anime fans I've encountered seethe at their suggestion that anime consumption is as deep as the MCU.

But here are some anime I'm fond of.

1.Toradora.
2.School Rumble.
3.Ano Hana.
4. School-Live! Actually I wanna talk about this one. When I read the premise I thought it was gonna be your average moe torture porn, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was a rather clever coming-of-age story. The girls are trapped in HS and are afraid of coming out into the outside, more adult world, which is literally filled with zombies. I think the manga goes downhill to generic zombie apocalypse material after the school arc ends. I think its clear the author didn't think the manga would've gotten as much attention as it did, so the new characters/character arcs feel really dumb.
5.Watamote. Another great coming of age.
6. I love you cruddy. Great yuri guro manga. Best guro I've read other than Shintaro Kago. I really love how this manga portrays love, although I suspect it might be pseud. I also really appreciated how balsy it was in its portrayal of mental illness. Turns out being mentally ill is narcissistic and really unsympathetic when you go drive away from its romanticized and pitiful image, just like in real life!
7. Backstreet Girls. Yakuza manga parodying idol tropes with very grungy humor. Even though I think it's hilarious, its kind of a shame how the author used such an interesting concept, making obvious yet clever comparisons between being a yakuza and an idol, into a platform for MTV humor and nothing else.
 
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Antoine

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Monster is SHIT. Do not read it. Do not watch it. SHIIIIIIIIT. It is ironically exactly what people who watch it claim to be trying to get away from. Retarded shallow piece of junk that has lots of mature media for mature hardcore persons such as myself signals you can feel cool about. Mobile Suit Gundam is a genuinely far richer, more complex, and mature human-driven work than Monster.

OP asked specifically for anime rather than manga, so there's my recommendation. Mobile Suit Gundam 79. And if he likes that, Zeta, and so on. I know the robot looks a bit like a toy, but give it a chance. I decided to watch it just to appreciate some history and was almost immediately engaged. It's brilliant television. Serious and thoughtful without getting on a soapbox. Visual, exciting, fast, just excellent stuff. Western tv can't compete. Star Trek can't compete.

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Kind of trying to make a broader case for anime through suggestions here, balacing watchability and importance. Another one OP probably hasn't seen. Devilman: Crybaby. Devilman is one of the biggest deals in the history of manga, had a goofy tv show when it was new, and has had a bunch of spinoffs, sequels, spiritual continuations through other works, etc, in the decades since its original release. This thing is old an important.

What Devilman: Crybaby is is a retelling of the original story brought into the 21st century, with a new look and visual style, incorporating elements of successor works and under the direction of a younger talent who is a success in his own right, working within his own style, who is still a reverent fan of the original work and its creator. Devilman Crybaby could be considered an ultra-accessible condensed japanese pop culture history lesson. It's all here. And it's fantastic. You don't need to be a big anime guy to appreciate this. I've shown it to people on the more normal side of things who have loved it.

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Okay, what else is obligatory?

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Berserk.

Watch Berserk. And then read Berserk. It's a masterpiece made by a reverse weaboo who wanted to combine the appeal of violent edgy male manga, the intricate character-drama of girl manga (a bunch of anne rice type stuff), and his favourite hollywood stuff (John Milius, Paul Verhoeven, etc). The man also had a surprisingly rich appreciation of genuine European history. Perhaps something he got from Go Nagai (Devilman guy). While not the point, this show does a far better job of being historically informed and drawing from real culture, events, and persons than most western works that seek to ground themselves in history.

Last off let's have a contemporary one, since some people are being critical of the state of the industry in this thread.

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Made in Abyss

Manga and anime, take your pick. An absolutely beautiful fantasy work that's still ongoing. A truly fantastical work. This is not an arbitrary rearrangement of Tolkein with new names. Instead, actually like Tolkien, it is almost entirely new and idiosyncratic. It feels like something which naturally emerged from and reflects the nature of its creator. Some people call it edgy. But there's an implied puerility in that term. The darker side of Made in Abyss is owed to the man it came from. It is a complex work. Not because of careful intricacies of its construction, but rather because it is so shamelessly and completely open about what it is and what it's doing. It is so blunt and honest that it is confronting. This is also where its radiance comes from. It is a bizarre and beautiful work that is only possible because such a unique man was willing and able to be so entirely honest about his interests, concerns, passions, and desires.

What do I mean by all of that? Why don't you watch it and find out?
 
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Maybe I'm being kinda salty. Yes I'm salty that more than a healthy dose of anime fans I've encountered seethe at their suggestion that anime consumption is as deep as the MCU.
Not gonna lie brother, you're coming across a bit salty.

And honestly, the few western dramas I've seen btfo anime storytelling in every regard its not even funny. Watch Better Call Saul or Band of Brothers. One episode of either has more stuff to think about and appreciate than whole seasons of most anime.
Can't comment on Band of Brothers, but I watched and quite enjoyed Better Call Saul, even more so than Breaking Bad. It's a great show. That said, I personally still get more out of Serial Experiments Lain, Evangelion, and Revolutionary Girl Utena. As in, I've watched each of the mentioned anime all the way through at least 4 times, and some individual episodes way more, and pretty much every time I come away with something new. I personally, got and continue to get a lot from them, plenty of other people I've spoken with said they've gotten next to nothing from watching them. On the other hand, I've rewatched Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, and while fun, I didn't get as much out of it. That's not to say that there isn't plenty more to get out of them, but at that time I didn't. It's just me, and that's the broader point I want to make. What's the point in this media-dick waving? Does it really accomplish anything to shit all over somebody who gets more out of anime than live-action TV? Or vice versa for that matter. Especially online, all these conversations accomplish are heated arguments where nobody listens to each other.

All the conversation is really accomplishing is that you're telling somebody that your own subjective experience of something doesn't align with the other person's proclaimed subjective experience. You can agree to disagree, but beyond that there's not much that can be accomplished other than putting everyone in a bad mood.
 
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remember_summer_days

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Not gonna lie brother, you're coming across a bit salty.


Can't comment on Band of Brothers, but I watched and quite enjoyed Better Call Saul, even more so than Breaking Bad. It's a great show. That said, I personally still get more out of Serial Experiments Lain, Evangelion, and Revolutionary Girl Utena. As in, I've watched each of the mentioned anime all the way through at least 4 times, and some individual episodes way more, and pretty much every time I come away with something new. I personally, got and continue to get a lot from them, plenty of other people I've spoken with said they've gotten next to nothing from watching them. On the other hand, I've rewatched Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, and while fun, I didn't get as much out of it. That's not to say that there isn't plenty more to get out of them, but at that time I didn't. It's just me, and that's the broader point I want to make. What's the point in this media-dick waving? Does it really accomplish anything to shit all over somebody who gets more out of anime than live-action TV? Or vice versa for that matter. Especially online, all these conversations accomplish are heated arguments where nobody listens to each other.

All the conversation is really accomplishing is that you're telling somebody that your own subjective experience of something doesn't align with the other person's proclaimed subjective experience. You can agree to disagree, but beyond that there's not much that can be accomplished other than putting everyone in a bad mood.
That's fair lol.

The difference is that I don't see media consumption as merely a subjective experience. In this sense I'm an elitist. In another sense, you can ignore every argument ever because human psychology doesn't allow ppl to change their minds, not often at least, through argumentation. To me, it feels kinda trivial to point out that convo accomplish nothing because most of the time we're not really considering another opinion. Of course this just doesn't apply to is anime worthwhile discussion autism. This is how political and religious discourse works. It requires a truly noble mind to listen to reason, and I don't expect that outside of personal conversations.

With media dick waving as you call it. Idk. If society suddenly decided to give deep importance to the garbage pall kids franchise, go around discussing its intrinsic and meta meaning on forums, well that would be a shitty society to be in wouldn't it? I would rather have people discussing higher things. I'm assuming garbage pal kids is not a high thing. The lazy metaphor is that I don't think most anime is a worthy thing to talk about.

I think we're misunderstanding each other. You bring up "personally" a lot in your post. That's all rather fair. Personally I enjoy Equestria Girls or Puffy AmiYumi even if its mostly pointless. But I don't mind personal enjoyment in these sort of conversations. Rather I care about which piece of media is better, and thus which deserves wider attention: The job of the critic is to distinguish what is worthwhile vs what ought to be forgotten. You can get a lot of subjective depth from terrible media, but my post was trying to look at the merit in an objective fashion.

(Btw, i've never seen Lain or Eva, maybe they're better than Breaking Bad idk.)

This is a common offense in media criticism for some reason. I've got way too much shameful experience in Star Wars Sequel internet criticism dialectics, and people who defend the sequels often get offended at their critics, because they feel as if the critics pointing out that the sequels suck is a statement that they are not allowed to enjoy them. I never said someone isn't allowed to enjoy anime or lowly media. I still think its lowly though. Do I still think time would be better spent watching something else? Yes of course, but you're the master of your time.

Furthermore, I didn't mean to imply there's no anime worth watching, just that I haven't seen any that were impressive. Though I forgot Ghibli exists, and I think those fall under the "anime" category. So I was wrong in that statement. Yet, is it really a hot take to say that someone who gets more meaning from (all things considered, generic) anime than (to use a more proper example than live action tv lol) literature deeply missing something from his life? Ppl reading this shouldn't answer this publicly...

I mean, if it makes anyone feel better, I'm no better than the anon who gets more depth and enjoyment out of moe nonsense than Moby Dick. I spent way too much time writing an essay on Sunset Shimmer, I have pages upon pages of fire emblem character analysis on my PC. I'm probably worse than many anons in this regard. Unlike most people however, I think this is a bad thing. I also feel guilty about it. Which is a sad thing to feel. This may be why my post came off as "trying to put everyone in a bad mood". I apologize if I made anyone feel sour: I'm salty in my posts because I'm salty at myself.
 
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remember_summer_days

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but rather because it is so shamelessly and completely open about what it is and what it's doing. It is so blunt and honest that it is confronting
For me it was comforting rather than confronting. I really appreciated how from the first episode you knew what you're getting into. I only saw S1, though I felt like *that* character backstory was very melodramatic, there's real strength in the relationship of the two protagonists.

Still, the cutesy aesthetic of the children put up against gorey events feels kinda tasteless, but I can forgive it because of how honest the narrative is with its premise. Its not trying to shock you, rather it's telling you a story with shocking events.
 
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remember_summer_days

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Trying to find an anime made for adults is like trying to find a young adult novel written for adults, you might find something close to what you're looking for but you'll also end up doing mental gymnastics and losing some brain cells in the process
This is an insightful comparison. Though I know far too little about either subject, preliminarily, the anime and YA industry and tropes do seem very similar. Didn't the mother of the YA genre, Hunger Games (though a lot of people will say its Harry Pottter) was heavily inspired by a japanese piece of media in Battle Royale? Both anime and YA are focused on the teenage experience, both are often commercial goyslop people look way too deeply into, and both have stablished archetypes that stories within the medium are expected to follow.

All I'm saying is that the Fault in our Stars could've been turned in a sad coming of age romance anime like Your Lie in April, I want to Eat your Pancreas, Ano Hana...
 
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vect0r

Monster is SHIT. Do not read it. Do not watch it. SHIIIIIIIIT.
Kek, doubt it.


6. I love you cruddy. Great yuri guro manga. Best guro I've read other than Shintaro Kago. I really love how this manga portrays love, although I suspect it might be pseud. I also really appreciated how balsy it was in its portrayal of mental illness. Turns out being mentally ill is narcissistic and really unsympathetic when you go drive away from its romanticized and pitiful image, just like in real life!
Interesting concept, so I'm reading that currently.

Well since you've mentioned guro and OP mentioned anime that sticks through one's mind, I feel like Shoujo Tsubaki is relevant to this thread. And yes, it too is a manga but has an anime adaptation so it still counts as anime. Now while the overall quality of the adaptation is crude/amateurish at best, it still manages to convey themes of hopelessness and despair effectively; especially considering how incoherent and perhaps even dis-jointed it is at certain points. And that's all while ignoring the "shock" scenes. Though to my knowledge it became somewhat popular because of said shock scenes.

Guro is such a powerful genre to tell good depressing stories when used correctly.
 
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I have pages upon pages of fire emblem character analysis on my PC

I would unironically read some of that. What characters from which games have you done?

I mean, if it makes anyone feel better, I'm no better than the anon who gets more depth and enjoyment out of moe nonsense than Moby Dick. Unlike most people however, I think this is a bad thing. I also feel guilty about it. Which is a sad thing to feel. This may be why my post came off as "trying to put everyone in a bad mood". I apologize if I made anyone feel sour: I'm salty in my posts because I'm salty at myself.
I feel where you're coming from man, and I've been there. All I really meant from my post is that I've found it better for my own mental/emotional well-being to ignore people I disagree with on the internet than fight them. For instance, someone earlier in this thread was talking smack about Monster and I could waste an hour typing a heated response, but I think we'll all be better off if I just let it go lol.
 
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Claymore is more or less shorter Berzerk with a female lead, you would probably like that but the anime simply doesn't end soo you have to read the manga to end it./

You might like Gurren Lagann too but you said you don't like too much fanservice and Yoko(whih is the front of the advertisement for Gurren) is literally nothing but fanservice. They were also soo lazy about female characters that Yoko is the romance option for 3 different characters.
 
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Animes are only good when you're teenager, besides, you can count on your fingers how many good animes are out there nowadays, most of anime produced today as already said is just isekai bullshit produced to the mainstream audience, and the ones who aren't, are always following the evangelion/naruto formula, that's why i like Eva but completely despise Darling in The Franxx and Chainsaw Man. The plot is always: you have this loser virgin guy, the guy suddenly gets superpowers and then a group of hot girls (one of them has to be clumsy and shy) approach the protagonist, and start to flirt with him yada yada...

Just watch asian films bro, animes are over, asian films are better than animes in many aspects. Japanese, chinese, taiwanese and many films from these regions are interesting, i believe that the film industry can be mainstream while also being experimental, different from anime that has to make the idiotized audience like a more and more superficial product, so the studio doesn't go bankrupt, in the film industry you can have a director who just grabs a camera with no great purpose, and he will deliver a masterpiece.

Having said all that, watch Shiki Jitsu(Ritual) from Hideaki Anno (Yes, the creator of Eva) it's a very overlooked movie — not underrated — but rather overlooked, film critics like it a lot so it would be unfair to say it is underrated. The theme that the film talks about and the way it talks, it's really good. Worth checking it out if you want something more interesting than virgin with superpowers and fanservice girls with big booba.
 
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Antoine

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That's fair lol.

The difference is that I don't see media consumption as merely a subjective experience. In this sense I'm an elitist. In another sense, you can ignore every argument ever because human psychology doesn't allow ppl to change their minds, not often at least, through argumentation. To me, it feels kinda trivial to point out that convo accomplish nothing because most of the time we're not really considering another opinion. Of course this just doesn't apply to is anime worthwhile discussion autism. This is how political and religious discourse works. It requires a truly noble mind to listen to reason, and I don't expect that outside of personal conversations.
If you were really an elitist you would be on the side of anime. Your case for American tv consists of two shows made over a decade apart which are rather serious outliers within broader surrounding cultural currents. And if you want to talk about "anime" and "western tv" in such broad terms it only seems fair that we take in everything. You're playing the Japan Media Racist game right now where the low point has to stand for the entirety of one culture/medium's output, while you pick high outliers to stand for your own. Then act like you're this disappointed sighing romantic who really wishes it wasn't this way, when obviously the opposite is in fact the case.

If we're diagnosing cultural health based on long term mainstream trends anime is at worst idealistic and very eager to please. Even the low points are exploding with colour, novelty, life. I look at them and don't want to kill myself. At worst it's a bit frivolous. Anybody who says that the big mainstream anime that the weebs like is dogshit and proof it's all puerile garbage for mental children deserves to be strapped down in the Clockwork Orange chair and forced to watch Family Ties for three hours straight. After that point if I offer you a choice between three more hours of Family Ties or a change of channel to the most vulgar shonen Isekai you will be BEGGING for the merciful relief of the worst Japanese taste.

Sorry, I really should have started at your first post.

On the note of modern anime being worse than older anime, I feel like there's very little evidence provided to substantiate such an opinion, especially when we all admit we're not closely following modern anime releases.
Correct so far.

Something annoying about newer anime is the mass appeal it has gained
Anime always has mass appeal. Huge. Everyone paying at least a bit of attention in Japan. What's new is mass WESTERN ATTENTION. And at the same time the "west" is becoming less white. Meaning THIRD WORLD ATTENTION.

Lots of dirt eating retards have always had a tendency to unconsciously start talking about anime like it's American, blaming weebs for its nature. Now we're in the first time where there's really a lot of true and honest non-Japanese taste driving directions in anime. Anime studios putting themselves at the service of non-Japanese (Netflix Castlevania), being bought by non-Japanese (Saudi Arabia), foreign money becoming a bigger deal (that giant retarded Jewish subversion hedge fund thing). This on one hand, and on the other armies of South American shonen fans. If things look worse in general around anime, consider that this is what you're observing.

but this doesn't imply it has to be worse. Its like there's this fallacy of, my shitty 90s anime I'm fond of is better because it's obscure, rather than modern shitty anime that is just regular shit. And honestly, the few western dramas I've seen btfo anime storytelling in every regard its not even funny. Watch Better Call Saul or Band of Brothers. One episode of either has more stuff to think about and appreciate than whole seasons of most anime.
Back to this comparison. again, specific high points in opposition to generalised low points. First off, "storytelling" is a meme word that's only good for exciting Indians. Second, it's absurd to suggest western tv is serious about stories when you consider how rare it is for a series made in America to have a planned run with a start, middle, and ending. Anime (and manga) are auteur driven fields where it's expected that a work develop to some kind of point and pay off. The seasonal structure of 26 episodes heavily encourages this. When American tv started doing this in the 21st century it was considered a stunning and bold innovation, to be occasionally and tentatively imitated. The American tv standard was always to drag things out until you die. Even the prestige works of HBO just went on and on and on, and generally had nothing of great interest to show.

I haven't seen Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad but people I consider intelligent have told me that they're all right. They're a product of personality and vision. Things play out according to ideas rather than to fill time. Their existence seems more justified than most American tv. But again, outliers. Late developments. And Band of Brothers. Seriously? Oh it made you think did it? World War 2... le happened. Bad... but le brotherhood of arms... le humanity in harrowing times... le looking exactly like Saving Private Ryan but longer...

I don't watch western tv much because it's very boring. A thing is boring if it provides little to think about or appreciate. And the impression I get here is that you look at this sort of like how idiots look at video games, where we have story and gameplay. Only on tv I guess it's story and themes or something. The visual parts of tv are for doing show don't tell moments so that youtube has things to make videos about. I write this part out because I really am lost. What the hell is there to think about and appreciate in tv for someone who doesn't like anime? What tv has going for it, that makes these shows potentially worth watching rather than merely reading summaries of if you're vaguely interested in the fates of characters or whatever, are primarily its visual elements. Images, sequence, flow, I guess more broadly I mean the cinematic. A significant factor in my preferring to read manga over anime is that generally these elements aren't incredibly well implemented to the point I would rather watch an anime at a directed pace than read and look at pictures at my own.

HOWEVER, anybody who says that anime is visually/cinematically uninteresting, and then proceeds to watch American tv, is an idiot who cannot defend their choice on the grounds of taste. By sheer virtue of the fact you have to manually will everything that appears on screen into existence from scratch anime will always tend towards being far more visually expressive and interesting than low effort live action tv. Colour, motion, it's far harder to sleepwalk along in default when every last visible detail is hands bringing a decision into being. Multiply this factor by the innate craft skill and taste of Japanese pop artists and it's really no contest most of the time. Plenty of forgotten mass anime, that 90s shit we're deriding in this thread, looks nicer than anything on prestige western tv now.



Look how blue and purple and pretty it is. When's the last time you heard somebody talk about Hikaru no Go?

The only American tv shows that immediately come to my mind as interesting to look at are Twin Peaks and The X-Files. The former is basically a big movie made by an outsider filmmaker, and the latter was kind of fluked into being riding the popularity wave of the former. And again, rode on outsider culture to drive its aesthetic and premise and came about during a unique time when people were willing to give more cinematic tv a chance thanks to Lynch's work.

X-Files might not offer that much to think about, it's episodic entertainment wearing a subculture as a costume. But episode to episode it's tight and cool, and rides on extreme novelty afforded by its fantastical premise to keep things fresh. This is cool. The premise is, dare I say it, kind of anime. It's fantastical. It doesn't give a shit about stodgy convention and takes itself rather seriously within its defined radical limits.

And then Twin Peaks. That is something we can actually think about. Because it's so personal. Every manga (and so most anime) typically has one creator. It's their vision. You can clearly read the human ideas, tastes, and sensibilities that formed what you're looking at. You know it is what it is because somebody cared for it to be that way. Twin Peaks is a rare outlier in American tv because the same can be said of it. It's the David Lynch show. It's cool because it's Lynch. And thinking about it isn't fruitless or pointless because we know that the answer to our questions is some more or less complex variation on "because of David Lynch". Except of course for the parts where, in true American fashion, he was chased off of his own project, causing its quality to sink. Lynch is not a quirky idiot, a schizo, a moron, or random, whatever else idiots say. He's an old fashioned American man, a bit eccentric, but some rather clear beliefs, tastes, and sensibilities emerge if his works are viewed with him in mind as a man expressing himself. We can think and get somewhere because he puts so much of himself into his work over and over again. This is why he is an artist, rather than a typical interchangeable tv craftsman. Who directed individual episodes of The X-Files? Who knows? Who cares. Who directed Twin Peaks? David Lynch, mostly. You can see it and feel it. It's auteur media.

That's where I'm going. Anime is also auteur media. And if our media is not that what the hell is the point? It'd better be extremely superficially cool and novel for me to otherwise pay attention. And those are words which do not come to mind when I think of American tv.


As for anime recs... Idk anon, I haven't seen any anime that's actually good good, that I can say it's a real work of art to the point it was worth your investment. There's no anime I've seen that warrants watching it instead of spending the time appreciating great art. Yet you could say that about tons of things, I guess.
I want to address this "great art" neurosis but will save it for where you mention Moby Dick. I think that's a better starting point.

But here are some anime I'm fond of.

1.Toradora.
2.School Rumble.
3.Ano Hana.
4. School-Live! Actually I wanna talk about this one. When I read the premise I thought it was gonna be your average moe torture porn, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was a rather clever coming-of-age story. The girls are trapped in HS and are afraid of coming out into the outside, more adult world, which is literally filled with zombies. I think the manga goes downhill to generic zombie apocalypse material after the school arc ends. I think its clear the author didn't think the manga would've gotten as much attention as it did, so the new characters/character arcs feel really dumb.
5.Watamote. Another great coming of age.
6. I love you cruddy. Great yuri guro manga. Best guro I've read other than Shintaro Kago. I really love how this manga portrays love, although I suspect it might be pseud. I also really appreciated how balsy it was in its portrayal of mental illness. Turns out being mentally ill is narcissistic and really unsympathetic when you go drive away from its romanticized and pitiful image, just like in real life!
7. Backstreet Girls. Yakuza manga parodying idol tropes with very grungy humor. Even though I think it's hilarious, its kind of a shame how the author used such an interesting concept, making obvious yet clever comparisons between being a yakuza and an idol, into a platform for MTV humor and nothing else.
Can you name 7 works in any other medium that genuinely mean as much to you as these seven anime do?

With media dick waving as you call it. Idk. If society suddenly decided to give deep importance to the garbage pall kids franchise, go around discussing its intrinsic and meta meaning on forums, well that would be a shitty society to be in wouldn't it? I would rather have people discussing higher things. I'm assuming garbage pal kids is not a high thing. The lazy metaphor is that I don't think most anime is a worthy thing to talk about.
"You like Toradora... *sigh*... well kid... I used to be like you... used to like things and not be bald but... *sigh*... you see, liking things other than jewish movies about being scared of Richard Nixon is immature. It's junk food... It'd be pretty sad and depressing to see the whole world eating shit and mcdonalds and saying it's the best right..? There... *sigh*... I hope you see now that I have rationally refuted your enjoyment of Toradora..."
 
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I think we're misunderstanding each other. You bring up "personally" a lot in your post. That's all rather fair. Personally I enjoy Equestria Girls or Puffy AmiYumi even if its mostly pointless. But I don't mind personal enjoyment in these sort of conversations. Rather I care about which piece of media is better, and thus which deserves wider attention: The job of the critic is to distinguish what is worthwhile vs what ought to be forgotten. You can get a lot of subjective depth from terrible media, but my post was trying to look at the merit in an objective fashion.
You seem to be under the impression that there's a wrong way to enjoy things, which is personal, and actually enjoyable. And a correct way, which is boring, unpleasant, but correct. junk/vegetables dichotomy. If it feels good it can't be good. A less learned from decades of American (and so english speaking) culture being dictated by cliques of increasingly obnoxious and talentless Jews from New York, abusing terms like "art" as cheat codes to hack the brains of unsatisfied audiences. Leaving confusion and misery in their wake. Enjoying art and media isn't supposed to be some esoteric process. If the right way was completely miserable and completely contrary to our instincts and desires what the hell would be the point? But the damage is done. The hack-smokescreen is now a fixture of our cultural landscape. People are anxious about anything they plainly enjoy.

Taste is real, and I believe that a critic's job is to share and enlighten. To help people enjoy things. Not to punish incorrect enjoyment, but rather bring about more true enjoyment. And of course, to interest and entertain by sharing their own enjoyment and perspective. To some extent a critic has to be someone you watch watching things. It's possible to make quite a good show of that.

What you're calling "subjective depth" is probably what I would call the point.

This is a common offense in media criticism for some reason. I've got way too much shameful experience in Star Wars Sequel internet criticism dialectics, and people who defend the sequels often get offended at their critics, because they feel as if the critics pointing out that the sequels suck is a statement that they are not allowed to enjoy them. I never said someone isn't allowed to enjoy anime or lowly media. I still think its lowly though. Do I still think time would be better spent watching something else? Yes of course, but you're the master of your time.
The Star Wars Sequels never had actual fans. They were hollow void-works defended solely to troll or spite da choodz. If people seemed angry it's because it was proxy warfare all along. That or they were just fucking with you to waste your time. That was my problem with the Star Wars sequels, and what truly defines low media in my opinion. That nobody was actually talking about it, because it was just about impossible to. There's nothing there, so having an actual opinion on the films themselves isn't happening on either side. There is no issue of whether or not people are allowed to enjoy this. It's simply impossible to enjoy. Impossible to be stimulated by it. Impossible to engage with. Bad in about the only way media truly can be.

This is not something that the star wars sequels have in common with "anime" (again talking about media in general is an infuriating tendency). As you say yourself, even in a lot of mass oriented popular japanese media you were writing pages on what you made of individual parts of them. Fire Emblem character analysis and such. If that's happening we're alive. We're in business. There is substance.

We still aren't there yet, but my point with Moby Dick. That's what people who actually enjoyed Moby Dick (and so were reading it properly, not doing so as a chore) were doing. My point is not that retarded hopepunk capeshit apologetic of "anything you enjoy is shakespeare, the greek classics were basically the MCU, etc". My point is that this general style of approach and spirit of enjoyment is correct. Moby Dick probably is better, in the sense that it is far more complex than Fire Emblem, there's far more going on to be appreciated if you are the kind of person who understands and recognises what it is doing. You might not be that kind of person now. Maybe you never will be. But if you aren't that person feeling bad or guilty for not reading Moby Dick would be very retarded of you.

If you are actually interested in human character and complex fictional character interactions, settings rich in history and allusion, well, by following those interests, perhaps you will one day find yourself the kind of person who is capable of and eager to read Moby Dick. But if you don't, that's also fine. Taste doesn't have one destiny. What would be a waste, is to spend your life consuming media and art and not develop taste at all.

You can keep playing Japanese video games, becoming more familiar with their history and development, the people who made them, the intricacies of individual works. I know several people I would consider deeply intelligent and cultured who love doing this. They are absolutely having their lives enriched by this. And, not a rule, but something I consider almost an inevitability when done correctly, they can talk about things other than Japanese video games. If you can write textwalls about a fictional character in a video game, there's no reason why you shouldn't also be able to write textwalls in response to a film or a novel. Naturally it would follow that someone who does this a lot will develop more complex tastes and grow bored of simpler, and perhaps lower works. That is the real test. Are you beyond anime, fire emblem, or whatever, or are you just insecure about it? Considering how many intelligent people I know love video games, love their anime, I'm inclined to think that a truly experienced surpassing is actually quite rare.

Furthermore, I didn't mean to imply there's no anime worth watching, just that I haven't seen any that were impressive. Though I forgot Ghibli exists, and I think those fall under the "anime" category. So I was wrong in that statement. Yet, is it really a hot take to say that someone who gets more meaning from (all things considered, generic) anime than (to use a more proper example than live action tv lol) literature deeply missing something from his life? Ppl reading this shouldn't answer this publicly...
Too late. I already did. I've spent a lot of time in /lit/ circles, and a lot of time in Japanese pop culture circles. You want my opinion on whose lives were lacking?

I mean, if it makes anyone feel better, I'm no better than the anon who gets more depth and enjoyment out of moe nonsense than Moby Dick.
Again, a person's capacity to appreciate Moby Dick depends at least as much on cultural grounding and context than intelligence or maturity. If you aren't already deeply grounded in the literary culture of the period in which it was written most of Moby Dick's appeal will naturally be lost on you. Moe's appeal might be light, but at least it's there. I have more respect for the moefag than the tool trying to watch Alan Pakula movies in 2023.

I spent way too much time writing an essay on Sunset Shimmer, I have pages upon pages of fire emblem character analysis on my PC. I'm probably worse than many anons in this regard. Unlike most people however, I think this is a bad thing. I also feel guilty about it. Which is a sad thing to feel. This may be why my post came off as "trying to put everyone in a bad mood". I apologize if I made anyone feel sour: I'm salty in my posts because I'm salty at myself.
Like many unfortunates on the internet, you regret what you actually are and defer to what you've been told you're supposed to be. If I sound salty it's because I consider it my mission on Earth to fight this tendency. In the popular arts especially. The you who was enthusiastically analysing Fire Emblem characters is a you who could plausibly have one day appreciated Moby Dick. The you who is ashamed of having written Fire Emblem character analysis is going to struggle to ever appreciate anything until he gets over that.

The rest of the posts ITT I'll come back for. Already had to cut this post in half and put it back together. The rest is yet to be written.

It's not over yet...

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This is off topic since I have zero anime recommendations for OP, but could you elaborate on this perspective? I've seen it often but it has never really sounded nuanced to me. This is like, top 3 things I want to argue about with people but can't, because I don't even know where to start in terms of focus. Could you give me a bit more to work with?
The grounds on which you have the ability to speak of things in terms of demographic——it sounds like bit of a rhetorical mess, but if it makes any sense I would like to make clearer something along those lines maybe
There's not a lot to elaborate on. Most anime are stories about teenage characters dealing with teenage problems related to growing up, finding your place in the world, figuring out your relationship with the opposite sex, etc. This isn't a bad thing at all, in fact I think part of the reason anime got so popular in the US is because it generally handles these themes in a better and more compelling way than American YA fiction and its spinoffs. The downside is that when you grow up and figure out your own answers to these questions (at least in my personal experience) it's harder to be as engaged with stories based on them as when you were part of the target demographic. When I saw Evangelion for the first time when I was 15 years old it was easy to see myself as Shinji, when I re-watched it again recently my reaction was "that was totally me when I was also 15." (I'm using Eva as an example here because it's got a lot of adolescent angst and because everyone's seen it, but I've had similar reactions to other shows and other characters.) Again, this isn't a bad thing and my inability to have a "literally me" moment doesn't retroactively make Eva a bad TV show, but there is an age-related disconnect now and I think other people have experienced the same thing.
My argument is entirely grounded on personal experience. I was really into anime when I was a teenager and now I'm not, and many other people I know seem to have experienced the same thing. I've met a number of older sci-fi, fantasy, and video game nerds but I've never met someone older than 30 who was still into anime in a "hardcore" way. Everything I've seen of the Japanese anime fanbase seems to back this up, but I could be wrong there because all my information is second-hand. I still think this is all demonstratably true for Americans, and I'm assuming that OP is an American, hence my advice to him.
Honestly, I think the fact that people have the freedom to "grow out" of anime is a really good thing and a sign that the Japanese are doing something right. Compare this to American pop culture's obsession with making everything nerdy mainstream and targeting the maximum number of demographics possible. Having something that's hyper-targeted towards teenagers is way better.
 
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