Adding these to the list of anime

Since we talked about anime a few months back, I’ve been watching a few more that I’d recommend. I’m only a bit into most of the first few—I’m watching several at a time through Netflix, so I’m staggering the discs.

SPOILER WARNING: I’m linking to the Wikipedia articles about these anime and the manga or light novels they’re based on. Sometimes there can be spoilers on these pages with no warnings, so proceed with caution. There are no huge spoilers in my descriptions—everything I mention is mentioned in the descriptions of the anime on the Netflix or Hulu page—but those of you with low spoiler thresholds have been warned.

DN Angel (more, including content/age range info & no spoilers, at Anime News Network)—I’m just starting this one through Netflix and it’s been making me giggle. Daisuke Niwa is a pretty normal 14-year-old kid who turns into a notorious thief when he sees the girl he loves, and he can only turn back when he’s won her love in his thief form. His mom and grandpa as accomplices are hilarious.

Darker than Black (more at ANN)—also just started this one (have only watched the 1st disc so far) and it’s okay. Definitely at least PG-13 for gore in some places–don’t recommend it for kids. The stars have gone out and are replaced by the “stars” of what they call “contractors,” people who have a superpower that is constrained by a habit they hate. So, someone who can manipulate water, for example, might be required to smoke, that kind of thing. I’m still trying to figure out the thread of the plot on this one.

Tactics (more info at Anime News Network)—LOVE this one so far. Also only past the first disc, but it’s really great so far. I would LOVE to see a YA novel focusing on this kind of folklore—Shonen Onmiyouji (ANN), another anime, also features the same kind of concept, a boy/man who can see spirits and banishes them using traditional Japanese methods (which I believe, but I’m not sure, are based on real Shinto practices—someone correct me if I’m wrong). (Nevermind, I will correct myself—if Wikipedia can be believed, Onmyodo was a spiritual practice in and of itself, but influenced by Shintoism as well as other religions.)

Point being: We’ve had plenty of YA books in which teens can see spirits or demons or fairies. But I’d love to see one set in Japan or using these kinds of Japanese folkloric influences. I think it makes a familiar story into something completely different, something fresh and new to a U.S. audience. (As always when I hope for stories like this, do your research and know the culture!)

Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok—halfway through this one. Pretty great so far. Anime News Network’s plot summary: “Loki, the Norse god of mischief, has been exiled to the human world for what was apparently was a bad joke. Along with being exiled, he’s forced to take the form of a child. He’s told the only way he can get back to the world of the gods is if he can collect auras of evil that take over human hearts, and so to do this he runs a detective agency. Loki is soon joined by a human girl named Mayura who is a maniac for mysteries, and she soon helps out in her own way. However, soon other Norse gods begin to appear, and most have the intent to assassinate Loki for reasons unclear.”

Kyo Kara Mao! (ANN’s take on it here)—yet another one I’m not far into but love so far. Another giggle-worthy one. Main character Yuri Shibuya is flushed down a toilet into a parallel world where he is proclaimed the Demon King and accidentally proposes marriage to another guy by slapping him on the face for insulting his mother. Hilarious to watch him try to navigate a culture so different from his own (which is what parallel-world fantasy is all about, though it’s not always supposed to be funny). The more serious plot arcs are great, too—Yuri has no idea what he’s doing as a king, and he tries to avoid war between demon and human kingdoms, which baffles a lot of people.

R.O.D. the TV (ANN link)—Actually, I covered this one in my original post.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (ANN link)—somehow this one got left off my last list. Watch this one! It’s hilarious. Only 12 episodes, I think, so a relatively quick watch.

M0onPhase (ANN link)—A hilariously different take on a vampire story. I love the relationship between Kouhei and Hazuki. And the opening sequence is hilarious. I’m only about halfway through this one on Hulu—I discovered it over the holiday break and haven’t had time to go back to it. (Reading subs makes it harder to do other things while watching. I love listening to the Japanese inflections, but listening to dubs (even bad ones) makes it easier for me to accomplish other things at the same time.)

I also re-watched Fruits Basket recently (it’s on Hulu!) and again recommend it to anyone. It’s a classic YA fantasy story.

I really wish there were a second season of Ghost Hunt available (this one’s on Hulu, as well). From what I can tell, it was written by the same woman who wrote Twelve Kingdoms, which might be why I like it so much.

10 thoughts on “Adding these to the list of anime

  1. Thought I was an anime junkie but I haven’t seen most of these. THe only one I saw is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (both seasons!) Thanks for the list, I’ll check them out. Always on the look out for new stuff.

  2. Mushi-shi is one you should check it out. Wonderfully drawn, fascinating stories. (We haven’t gotten to the end yet.) It’s about the phenomenon behind the folkloric things. A few of the episodes have heavier themes; I would generally rate it PG-13.

    Another one I’d recommend is Figure 17. It seems like a pseudo-mech type of story at first, but it’s really a great character study. Also has some heavier themes.

    You should come to the anime panel at LTU&E. We’ll be discussing all sorts of good stuff.

  3. Oooh! Good ones! I loved Tactics and Manatei Loki Ragnarok (I still say Loki Ragnarok is Norse Mythology crack). The new season of Darker than Black just wrapped up and I’m a few episodes behind. So far, it’s been AMAZING. DNAngel is fun, but from what I’ve heard the manga is better. And I still haven’t watched the most recent season of Kyou Kara Maou!–I’ll get to it. Eventually.

    I think I need to pick up Ghost Hunt and continue with 07 Ghost (I like the manga, but only watched the first few episodes of the anime before life got too busy). Let me see if I can come up with some other recommendations. Have you watched Kaze no Stigma? Or the new Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood episodes? (Funimation has subbed episodes up on their website.) The new episodes of Inuyasha Kankei Hen (The Final Act) has been VERY good as well. (Available on the VIZ Shonen Sunday website.) Baccano! has also been very fun–it’s told with a large cast of very fun characters and a plot that follows a non-linear format. I’m also finishing Gankutsuou and I highly recommend it.

    I am missing my Mushishi box set, though. Among other things.

    1. I haven’t seen Kaze no Stigma, though I’ve seen it around. Haven’t looked at what the story is. Haven’t tried 07 Ghost, either. I’ve been meaning to watch Brotherhood (it’s on Hulu, too) but haven’t had the time yet. I might have watched the first episode, but I think it was too close to watching the original and I wanted to have some space.

      I haven’t watched *any* Inuyasha, and there’s just so much of it. One of these days I’ll start from the beginning.

      And all you need to do for the Mushishi is come back! (I know. Easier said than done. But you should see Teri’s 57-inch TV! Which is where most movie nights are recently.)

    2. Also, I realized while watching Tactics disc 1 that you hadn’t gotten too far into it when I saw an ep at your house. It had to have only been the 2nd or 3rd episode.

  4. There’s less of Inuyasha than Bleach, which is also lots of fun (but has annoying filler arcs, and I’m not sure it’s the type of thing you’re most interested in).

    Another excellent one we watched recently is Kamichu!

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