anime - kare kano

Anime, Manga and Drama recs...

This was originally a response to quivo's latest post since she's interested in jumping into anime and manga but isn't sure where to start - it kinda got long so decided to post instead ^^

Generally, my top faves are listed here. Have rewatched most of those multiple times and they've got a special place in my heart :3 Additionally, here are some other titles, depending on interests and what people are in the mood for:

12 Kingdoms is an anime with great world building. Also, for new and old anime viewers alike, the first episode of The Tower of Druaga is a must see, since it parodies most cliches in anime and is hillarious.

Skip Beat as well as Koukou Debut are decent shoujo manga/anime titles. Ouran High School Host Club is a school anime with a reverse harem situation (multiple boys and just one girl) but is rather hilarious too. Other shoujo titles are The Wallflower and Lovely Complex and the recent but spectacular Kimi ni Todoke. Kare Kano is still my favorite though.

There is also Great Teacher Onizuka which is a classic school!title with focus on the teacher's side - it has a manga, anime and drama series of it (with a super young Oguri Shun <3)

XXXholic anime is a good Clamp title (with supernatural "I-see-ghosts" thrown in) - Watanuki is hilarious and Yuuko rather fascinating.

Red Garden (and the follow up OVA), Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Michiko to Hatchin are anime titles with kick ass heroines.

Gakuen Alice has cracky humor - other young!student anime titles are Card Captor Sakura (the classic main Magical!school girl title IMO) and Kodocha - also enjoyed Hyakko and K-On to an extent but it depends person to person. In my top favorite list linked above, Nodame Cantabile is absolutely awesome and insanely cracky.

For the mind fuck value, you have Evangelion, but I actually don't like it much (apart from the character Asuka) and tend to prefer stuff like Baccano and the currently airing Durarara. I even prefer Death Note, but only till halfway through the manga where it really should have ended instead of gone on. These days I'm more likely to watch Showtime's Dexter.

For samurai titles, there's Rurouni Kenshin which is kinda dated but still well regarded - a darker manga title alternative is Vagabond. People have also raved about Samurai Champloo.

Summer Wars is a recent awesome anime movie - Princess Mononoke is an older fave. Other movies: Howl's Moving Castle, Escaflowne: the Movie, Vampire Hunter D: Blood Lust (for the supernatural eyecandy) and Voices of a Distant Star

For sports titles (which are suprisingly crazy addictive) there are a boatload including Cross Game, Hikaru no Go, Initial D, Prince of Tennis, Slam Dunk, Eyeshield 21 and Hajime no Ippo

For mecha and giant robots, we have Full Metal Panic and the Gundam franchise (have only tried Seed, Wing and 00 though). Gurren Lagann is popular these days but left me with mixed feelings.

Unusual titles that don't quite fit anywhere are Tales of Agriculture, Genshiken, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Soul Eater (shounen but kinda different) and Komatta Toki ni Wa Hoshi Kike which is almost a shounen-ai manga but not quite.

Darker than Black is a generally good/great shounen anime. The bigger shounen titles tend to be more formulaic but are worth marathoning when you have the chance, like Naruto, One Piece (the art takes a bit of getting used to) and Bleach. Fullmetal Alchemist (both the first anime and the second one, Brotherhood, and the manga) is fantastic. There's also D. Gray-Man which is kind of different too.

Yaoi/Shounen-ai anime (boys love as opposed to Shounen which is just anime targetted at male audiences) you have Junjou Romantica while a lot of the others tend to jump to the smut or are rather dated.

For manga titles of the slashy variety, there's Totally Captivated and Viewfinder, and crazy amounts of titles, which really depends person to person (seriously, shounen-ai/yaoi titles are very much hit and miss in a lot of cases).

Recent regular manga titles are The Breaker (a korean manhwa with fantastic art), Yanki-kun to Megane-chanOtomen and Dogs: Bullets & Carnage

Something that feels like a cross between XXXholic, Natsume Yuujinshou and Mushishi is the manga Hyakki Yakoushou.

For far eastern dramas, I recommend: Coffee Prince, GTO, Nodame Cantabile, Kim Sam Soon, Style, Dal Ja's Spring, Gokusen,  Powerful Opponents, Goong and period pieces like Seodong Yo, Jumong and The Legend. Again, its all about personal taste but as you go along, you'll probably get an idea intuitively of what would work.

That's about it - more of a scatter shot than anything else and I'm sure I've missed titles. Still, if anyone's been wanting to try something different, here are some options :D
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I'm adding these two anime films: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time of a girl who jumps time and 5-Centimeter Per Second, a bittersweet anime about love and distance.

Don't forget Honey & Clover S1 which is great. :)
Time travel movies always leave me with mixed and bittersweet feelings (TGWLTT being one of them) Still have to watch 5CPS *ducks head*

Honey and Clover was adorable but didn't quite stick with me over the years - might have been more timing of when I watched it tho ^^
I forgot another time travelling anime, Noein. This one has so many jargon and facts about alternate worlds and people and time travel that my head spins but it's so engaging.

I only like the first season of H&C. Didn't like the second season but it was also my first foray into shoujo that time and it left me frustrated because why so complicated?

Are you watching anything new this season? I find that I haven't been. Too preoccupied with non-anime shows.
Oooh, Noein! Never did finish it (or don't recall the ending?) but it started out cool and then yup, super confusing ^^

Think I might have watched both seasons back to back which might have affected the overall impression of H&C D:

Actually thinking of following a few: Oofuri 2, K-On 2, Giant Killing and might marathon Kaichou wa Maid-sama after it ends.

The list of stuff I still have to try: Hakuouki, Working, Senkou no Night Raid, Rainbow, Uragiri, Saraiya Goyou and Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei - no idea if any will stick though!
It ended with the boy's future alternate self disappearing, I think but the world was saved. lol. I haven't watched it in ages.

I heard that K-On 2 is as good as the first, tho I'm not watching that. I want to try Heroman. Bones & Spike Lee combination should be for win.

lol. It's like we pick up series, watch halfway and forget about it.
Man that's depressing D:

Heroman kind of made me headdesk and I know I won't watch it all the way through ^^ I'm hoping for more from ironman though.

Totally But then with so many titles every season, that's probably the norm. Have noticed a lot of anime!bloggers seem to have dropped off in the past year or two though :( Not sure if its general burn out or if the anime!fare lately has been a bit lackluster...
I think it's because aside from Macross Frontier (2008/2009), there hasn't been any really big titles. There's Durarara!! but it's more on the quirky side like Baccano. Most series are harem, reverse harem, fanservice, or sequels. There just isn't anything new or refreshing. I feel quite burn out myself because the storylines are all blending together in one huge blur and they all seem the same.


Junjou Romantica makes me smile a ridiculous amount. I love the dynamic btwn Usagi-san and Misaki. ;adjksfhlajkshfldas Soooooo adorable!

Also, I really enjoyed GTO, though it's been YONKS since I've seen it. I was just thinking of starting NOdame Cantabile soon. I'm watching Personal Taste right now. The first episode was slow, but it really picked up. By episode 4, I was really hooked. I laughed pretty hard at a couple scenes. It's filled with tons of gay jokes that (thus far) aren't hateful towards gays (shock!). It's quite humorous. :D
I got series 1 and 2 of JR this weekend and hope to finally marathon it till the end :D

GTO is definitely a fave in all versions - a lot like Nodame Cantabile (didn't matter if it was the drama, manga or anime, Chiaki and Nodame were still fantastic)

Personal Taste's description squicked me (pretending to be gay made me worry about verbal gay!bashing) so I didn't give it a chance yet. Will try it though! Cinderella's Sister also turned out different from the wiki!blurb so that might be the trend this season lol XD
You know what shocked me? The show is actually NOTHING like it's description. In the description, it makes it sound like the boy and girl are friends, the boy pretends to be gay, and falls in love with the girl when they're living together. The actual show is NOTHING like that. In the show, they hate each other and the girl ASSUMES the boy is gay (he doesn't actually say he is) through a series of awkward encounters, all giving the wrong impression. He needs to live with her for work purposes, and since the only reason she lets him live with her is bcs she thinks he's gay, he doesn't actually say he's not, though he doesn't say he is. Actually, he's adamant about her not saying he is. So it's quite humorous. :D Again, however, I must say that it's slow to start. I didn't really get into it until the end of the second episode. The only reason I didn't stop was bcs I couldn't understand how they came to live with each other, and I was dying to find out (since it ended up being NOTHING like the description blurb). By the time I found out, I was enjoying the show's characters. By the 4th episode, the show really hits its stride. :D

What was Cinderella's Sister about? I've seen the blurb, but now I know not to trust it...*L* Did you like it?
Definitely interested now :3 Will get the available eps and marathon them!

CS's description was all about the Cinderella character taking revenge on her older sister for years of aangst. However, the first two eps who really cool, since the focus was completely on the sister who's mother has awful taste in men (the latest one gets abusive when drunk) and the girl is usually the one looking out for the both of them - but is reaching the end of her tether.

Through a chronicle of events her mom finally nets a good man and the girl is plunged in this generally well to do house with a sister (aka 'Cinderella') who never stops talking about nothing at all, and completely doesn't get the girl's issues.

The characterization of Cinderella's sister and how they play out her relationships is very interesting and at the end of the four episodes they've fast forwarded to the future with them older. I'm hoping it doesn't falter now but will tune in to the 14th/15th for the next two eps in any case :D
I love this post kind of ridiculously. ♥ All of the series on here that I've given a shot, I've loved, so I'm really eager to try out some of the others you've mentioned, since I've really come back around to anime/manga again lately.

But mostly I just love it for being a really excellent starting point--I love seeing "here's some recs to get you started" posts, but so often nobody says WHY you should get into a series or puts them into categories based on what you're in the mood for. (Sometimes I want shounen! Sometimes I want shoujo! Sometimes I want mindfuck! And MyAnimeList recommendations are useless at least half of the time!)

I'm also impressed at how well you kept things down--I'd have wanted to recommend at least ten different series for every genre. XD
♥ Missed anime something fierce lately so have been trying some of the titles I'd passed by earlier (Genshiken being the latest example) - will see what else I've missed out on ^^ Am happy things titles clicked for you! I usually just hope there are more hits than misses in these cases - it such a diverse topic!

ITA - reccing anime is like reccing western TV shows and IMO without knowing what genres the person is into, it can go very wrong. Always read recs by checking if the anime is slice-of-life or fantasy or sports etc. and I usually go hunting for titles in specific genres usually. Am never in the mood for just anime but almost always its shoujo or sports or fantasy!shounen.

It's such a link!spammy post already haha - am afraid I've already scared off any newbies who might have been interested, lol
I almost always get a little excited about every new anime season that's upon us (and this one is no exception, especially with all the BL anime coming out lately), but there's something to be said for a complete series that I've passed up in the past, that I can marathon all in one go.

And, actually, your post on Genshiken finally convinced me to give it a go, too! I've heard good things about it, but it wasn't until you posted those caps that I finally admitted, well, okay, maybe I do have to make time for this one. (Apparently, I really am that fan, the one who is lured in by the fanservice. XD) And Hyakki Yakoushou sounds supremely interesting, given that I love Mushishi, xxxHOLiC, and Natsume Yuujinchou ridiculously as well.

I totally agree on the difficult of reccing being able to go very wrong--I still "WTF" at MAL's recommendations pages for something like Higurashi, which is very clearly horror. "This other anime also has a main cast of five characters who do stuff together!" WHAT? THAT IS NOT THE POINT OF HIGURASHI, THE TOTAL NIGHTMARE FUEL IS. HOW HARD IS IT TO RECOMMEND SOMETHING WITH NIGHTMARE FUEL INSTEAD?? orz
I love reading these kind of lists from you. You and I have similar taste in anime. ^_^