Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Anime Suggestions for Anti-Anime Audiences

K is not an anime lover. He enjoys Japanese video games and American comic books, but it's like pulling teeth to get him to watch any Asian animation with me. Sure, he watched Macross Plus and Robotech in his youth (blargh, I hate "fighting robot" mecha anime), but nowadays, he feels that anime all has the same, stupid characteristics:

Bleach - Ichigo serious and silly face
Faces that abruptly transform from serious to super silly, disproportionate expressions
Boys that accidentally faceplant into female chests (I agree, overt fan service is pretty annoying... ¬_¬)
Anime wounded warriors - Jin from Samurai Champloo and Vash the Stampede from Trigun
Super awesome sword fighters/warriors that can barely be touched in battle but have secret emotional wounds/vulnerabilities (I don't quite understand this one, but K referred to something like "adolescent power fantasies etc etc")

Anyway, what I'm hearing is that the only way he'll watch anime is if it's as non-typical as possible, so I'm thinking:
  • Serious drama or action genres (definitely no comedies because he doesn't find most anime humor funny)
  • "Mature" content (aka avoid shows for kids like Bleach and Naruto) 
  • More realistic drawing styles
Based on that, I've honed down my selection (no more Mushishi or X, which are both very Japanese in their own way). Maybe you'll find this list interesting/useful, but mind you, I'm catering to K so these are a) pretty guy-friendly series and b) not necessarily good for people who are completely new to anime. So yeah, take these suggestions with a grain of salt:

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Futuristic crime thriller involving a special ops task force and sentient robots (robots are kinda like mechs, right?)
Think The Untouchables violence meets chronologically challenged Momento, but set in 1930's New York with a huge cast of immortals, Mafia gangs, and more (yeah, K likes complexity...)
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
An action-adventure fantasy set in ancient Asian lands, where an honor-bound spear-wielding warrioress protects a young prince on the run from his father, the Emperor

So far, K has watched a few episodes of Ghost in the Shell and Baccano, and they appear to be real contenders for holding his interest. However, with 3 Star Trek series on his plate (yes, I said three because he just added Enterprise x_x), it's hard to make time for them. Will let you know how it goes...

What series would you recommend to people who have watched anime before and hate it?


Jessica said...

So far my anime has been limited to Studio Ghibli films and 'Final fantasty the spirits within' though I've just noticed that my husband has some 'ghost in the shell' so will have to give those a try next.

Good luck with the Star trek overload... I love them but not all at once! Currently we're trying to get through Enterprise which is a bit of a slog - hope it gets more exciting soon.

ingrid said...

Hi! I just wanted to tell you that I love following your blog. The mix of crafty, nerdy, and gaming hits home for me! My husband and I recommend "Deathnote" as an awesome, serious, thought provoking anime. Have you also heard about the new PS3 game coming out, done by Studio Ghibli, Ni No Kuni. It looks really good!

A Gamer's Wife said...

@Jessica - Yeah, K actually skipped the first 2 seasons because he heard it doesn't get good till the series was slated to be canceled. Hope you'll give Ghost in the Shell a try! I find it helpful to have the subtitles on because there's a lot of political groups and government departments to keep track of. ^_^;;

@Ingrid - Thanks for reading my blog and commenting! That really means so much to me. :) I actually watched a good portion of Deathnote, but stopped because my friend told me it has a horrible ending. O_O Ooo, I'd never heard of Ni No Kuni. I may have to ask K to get it for me for Christmas!

geekturtle said...

definitely death note, very interesting and "brainy", I also recomend full metal alchemist, is a tale of two brothers set in a kind of magical world.
these are the two series I always recomend for grown ups that have never seen anime, and I have not receive a complain
I hope you enjoy them

A Gamer's Wife said...

@GeekTurtle - I loved Full Metal Alchemist! Just finished watching the second version FMA: Brotherhood with some friends, and we really enjoyed it. :)