Lesser known Anime from the 2000's: Because they still make great anime

Status
Not open for further replies.

Jex

Member
Nov 16, 2009
34,464
0
0
#1
Introduction

It’s sometimes said that that there were few good works produced in the years 2000-2009. This isn’t too surprising, considering there were roughly 1519 titles made in that decade! It’s not hard to see why people missed out on all the gems that were still produced, as a deluge of trash effectively buried many of them.

So I decided to put together a list of shows you might not have heard about, but which are still pretty darn good. I’ve included; a brief description of each work, it’s length (if it’s a TV show) and whether it’s been licensed. I hope this list will helpful for those who are no longer up-to-date with the current anime releases, or for those who never were in the first place.

TV

Aishiteruze Baby



Branduil said:
If you can overlook the sometimes poor animation, this is a charming story of a teenage boy who is forced too look after his young niece after her mother abandons her. Through this experience he gains an understanding of just how immature and childish he was before, attended by some typical shoujo drama. The use of an actual child for Yuzuyu's voice lends the show some authenticity rare in anime.

Length: 26 episodes.
Aoi Bungaku



Aoi Bungaku is a series composed of six story adaptations from classic Japanese literature, with each story being handled by a different director.

“Aoi Bungaku still manages to be one of the more ambitious and interesting series to come out of year 2009, where bitter sadness, suffering, things that made these modern classics so timeless and evergreen (aoi) were painted over with Madhouse’s own colourful flair, for better or for worse. We definitely need more novel-to-anime adaptations like Aoi Bungaku to show that adaptations aren’t always doomed to be cast as fading shadows.” – Gaguri (http://guriguriblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/aoi-bungaku)

Length – 12 episodes.
Aria Licensed



firehawk12 said:
Considered by some to be a "healing anime", Aria is a science fiction show that eschews the classic tenements of science fiction anime, opting instead to portray a hopeful and utopian view of humanity. Our protagonist sets off to start her new life as a gondolier on Neo-Venezia, and her youthful exuberance and joie de vivre encourages you to be swept up into her journey. Although Aria is very much a slice-of-life show, its science fiction setting gives it a sense of adventure as well; indeed, exploring and finding the many hidden wonders of Neo-Venezia (and Mars itself) is as important as seeing our characters grow and develop over the course of the show.
Perhaps the most important aspect of Aria is its optimistic outlook on life; it is a show that celebrates living, reminding us that although time passes, there is always something new for us to experience and enjoy.

Aria is recommended for someone who wants to watch a science fiction show that is about character development, world building and the wonders of being alive.

Length: Season 1 – 13 episodes. Season 2 – 26 episodes. Season 3 – 13 episodes.
Banner of the Stars Licensed



“This sequel to one of the greatest space opera series (Crest of the Stars) has lost none of its charms. Subtlety governs just about everything here, including character interactions, humour, space battles and even fanservice. Banner of the Stars find it crass in explicit display of brutally butchered soldiers screaming horribly in pain, it much prefers to let silent cries of lost souls resonate under the quiet surface, ever so softly, but with a resounding ring of longevity. Classy, philosophical, but not without its own share of witty humour and heated conflicts, the Stars Trilogy is a must-see for every fans of space opera.”- Gaguri

Length: 13 episodes.
BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad Licensed



Yukio, known by his friends as "Koyuki", is a regular 14-year-old Japanese boy who enters junior high school with two childhood acquaintances. One is a pervert, and ironically the other is a highly sought after female student. Koyuki's boring life is changed when he saves an odd-looking dog, named Beck, from some kids. Beck's owner turns out to be an emerging rock musician, Ryūsuke Minami, who soon influences Koyuki to start playing the guitar, and even gives one to him. The story focuses on the trials and tribulations of their rock band named BECK, and Koyuki's relationships with the members of the band, in particular Ryûsuke Minami and his sister, Maho Minami.

Length: 26 episodes.
Big Windup Licensed



jman2050 said:
You get a sports anime that actually *shock* focuses on the sport itself and how baseball affects the lives and relationships of the main cast. If you're at all a baseball fan and can get past the first episode I don't see how you can't eventually get hooked.

Length: Season 1 – 26 episodes. Season 2 – 13 episodes.
Boogiepop Phantom Licensed



“The story takes place in an unnamed Japanese city, a month after a pillar of light appeared in the night sky and five years after a string of serial killings. Boogiepop Phantom follows an ensemble cast. of characters, mostly high school students, who are witnesses to the incident and its consequences. At the time of the series, high school students have started to disappear again and the blame is placed on Boogiepop, an urban legend who is said to be the personification of Death.”

This complex, mysterious title is certainly intriguing and distinctive. However due to obfuscated events, non-linear storytelling and a seemingly disjointed narrative this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Then again, lots of people enjoyed Serial Experiments Lain, so what do I know.

Length: 12 confusing episodes.
Casshern Sins Licensed



The lone figure of Casshern roams aimlessly through a dying landscape, unsure of who or what he is. All he can be sure of is the constant attacks he receives from those who blame from the current state of the world. Eventually Casshern decides to embarks on a journey to learn more about himself. Kind of.

Despite the familiar “hero with no memory” set-up Casshern Sins manages to be a poignant, beautiful but rather dark tale of a world on the brink of death. And it has totally sweet action scenes to boot.

Length: 24 episodes.
Dennou Coil



“The anime tells the story of Yuko Okonogi a girl who moves into Daikoku Upon arriving in the town, she finds herself integrated into the glasses community of the local children, and discovers that her shrewd grandmother has become a focal point for a major club of these children, called the Coil Cyberinvestigation Agency. This leads to later encounters with the enigmatic Yuko Amasawa a girl with abnormally powerful hacking skills who seems to be hunting for computer viruses in the system known as "illegals" for her own unknown ends, and discoveries tying the various characters' pasts with the truths behind the city's cyber-network...”

More importantly then any of that, this beautifully animated show really shines when it’s telling imaginative and charming one-off tales about children interacting with a virtual world. Such as when all the children’s glasses cause them all grow living, electronic beards. Yeah.

Length: 26 episodes.
Detroit Metal City



“Soichi Negishi is a shy and gentle young guitar player / singer who dreams of a career as a pop musician. Dreams don't pay the bills, so he's ended up as the lead singer and lead guitarist of a death metal band called “Detroit Metal City.” In stage costume he is Johannes Krauser II, rumored to be a terrorist demon from hell, to have killed and raped his parents.”

Any show featuring a band with Krauser’s ten-rapes per second (just a lyric, I assure you. This is but a comedy!) certainly won’t be at home with more sensitive audiences. Yet for those who enjoy a refuge in sheer absurdity, as well as ridiculously over-the-top lyrics and antics, this show is a must.

Length: 12 half-length episodes.
Fantastic Children Licensed



“The story begins with the mystery of a group of five strange white-haired children, who have been sighted at various points throughout history, stretching from the 1600's to the present day. A detective who has heard of this enigma discovers a strange connection between it and a missing persons case he's been working. Meanwhile, an island boy embarks on a journey with a mysterious orphaned girl who never speaks but is constantly painting pictures of bizarre, incomprehensible landscapes”

There are a number of things about Fantastic Children that are ‘classical’. It’s art design, it’s character work, it’s storytelling and the slow but satisfying build up of the central plot. Truly one of my favourite works of the decade, this work seems sadly unknown despite critical acclaim. Go and watch it now.

Length: 26 episodes.
Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji



After graduating from high school in 1996 in Japan, Itō Kaiji moves to Tokyo to get a job, but he fails to find steady employment because of his eccentric disposition and because the country is mired in its first recession since World War II. Depressed, he festers in his apartment, biding the time with cheap pranks, gambles, liquor and cigarettes. Kaiji is always thinking about money and his perpetual poverty frequently brings him to tears.
Kaiji's unrelenting misery continues for two years until he is paid an unexpected visit from a man named Endō, who wants to collect an outstanding debt owed to him in Kaiji's name. Endō gives Kaiji two options - either spend ten years to repay this outstanding debt, or board the gambling ship Espoir ("hope" in French) for one night to clear the debt. Using a con, Endō pressures Kaiji into accepting the deal, believing he will never come back from the voyage.[/I] - Wikiepedia

For fans of despair, hope, elation and more despair, this brilliant and tense 2007 show is a must-see. Especially true if you enjoyed the psychological warfare found in works like Death Note.

Length: 26 nerve-wrecking episodes.
Gankutsuou Licensed



It’s the Count of Monte Cristo: the anime. In space. No, really.

Not only is the one of the most faithful adaptations of the original work (seriously) it’s also a bloody good show as well. In a stroke of genius the creators decided to make Albert the protagonist and being the anime in media res (the middle). For those already familiar with the work this provides a novel view of the main events and for those unfamiliar with the tale it allows for a certain air of mystery.

Adapting classical literature into anime probably isn’t the easiest task but some how they pulled it off. This anime is easily one of the best shows of the decade.

A small section of viewers may be adversely affected by the unique visual animation within this show, seeking out some videos beforehand may be useful for those prone to motion sickness. In truth, I have no idea how many people this would affect.

Length: 26 epispdes.
Haibane Renmei Licensed



Branduil said:
Yoshitoshi Abe's art will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has watched Serial Experiment Lain or Texhnolyze. Abe conceived of and wrote the series himself, and he brings the same unique sensibility to storytelling that he does to his art. A young girl with no memory of her past wakes up as an angelic-type being. The world they inhabit is vaguely European, with a large wall enclosing them into an area of only a few square miles. Those expecting answers to all of the world's mysteries will be disappointed, as the story is focused on psychological drama and character development. After an opening act that establishes the setting and characters, the series ripens into a potent drama. The soundtrack by Kou Otani(The Shadow of the Colossus) is a masterpiece and perfectly complements the imagery.

Length: 13 episodes.
Hataraki Man



“The story centres on 28-year old Hiroko Matsukata, editor at the magazine Weekly JIDAI. Talented and hard-working, Hiroko's colleagues refer to her as Hataraki Man (literally "working man") because of her dedication to her job. But despite her successes in the workplace, she struggles with moments of self-doubt and with the challenge of balancing life and career.”

People occasionally say they’ve outgrown anime, as they can no longer relate to the child/teenager-orientated content. Yet here’s a show about normal people, living normal lives, struggling with issues we can all relate to. Anime isn’t exactly well known for dramas about everyday people living normal lives. So when, through some fluke of chance a show gets made, and happens to be excellent, it’s certainly deserving of your attention.

Each episode manages to have a well-told story with interesting, believable characters and sometimes genuinely moving scenes. I can’t ask more then that.

Length: 11 episodes.
Hidamari Sketch Licensed



Branduil said:
A peppy slice-of-life comedy from SHAFT, it stands apart from its peers through its use of clever direction and art. Set in an art school, the imagery often approaches collage with Shinbo's mixing of drawn and photographed art, and his attempts to flatten the frame and focus on 2D forms. The music is light, jazzy, and fun. If you are predisposed against the genre you probably won't like it, but others may find it a refreshing change-of-pace from the typical slice-of-life.

Length: Season 1 – 12 episodes. Season 2 – 14 episodes. Season 3 – 12 episodes. And plenty of OVA’s.

Kaiba



“One day a young man wakes up in an empty room, with no idea of who or where he is. His only clues are a strange marking on his stomach, a hole in his chest and a locket containing a blurry picture of a girl.”

Set in a bizarre universe where people’s minds and bodies are thoroughly malleable and interchangeable (for the right price) this story examines our preconceived notions of identity, memory and romance all through the unique lens of it’s creator, Masaaki Yuasa, one of the most interesting and original directors of the whole decade.

Everything he produces is worth investigating, although some find the strange stories and designs present in his works to be off-putting.

Nevertheless, I have no trouble recommending this show because there is really nothing else like it.

Length: 12 episodes.
Kemonozume



“The story involves the existence of a race of flesh eating creatures, they remain hidden among human-kind while feasting on them secretly. A martial-arts styled school known as Kifuuken was founded to combat the menace, training and arming combatants to face the Shokujinki threat, with the teachings formerly passed down through the Momota family.”

Another thoroughly bizarre set-up, coupled with unique design work and animation from Masaaki Yuasa. I’m certain that the general look off this show has put people off in the past, which is shame considering that it contains one of the most well-portrayed romances in anime that I can think of (and doesn’t revolve around angst teenagers. Huzzah!) Like all his work, it needs more attention.

Length: 13 episodes.
Kimi ni Todoke



Branduil said:
A shoujo romance, it stands apart for being incredibly well produced(by studio Production I.G.), and for its enduring cheerfulness. Heroine Sawako(not Sadako) is so optimistic, that even her rivals are rendered impotent in their machinations. The secondary characters are also quite charming, perhaps even moreso than the main ones.

Length: 25 episodes.
Koi Kaze Licensed



“After his girlfriend dumps him for someone else, 27 year old Koshiro has a chance encounter in the subway with Nanoka, a 15-year-old high school girl. He later meets her again at the entrance of an amusement park and since he was just given two free tickets, he invites her to go with him. They immediately feel some connection, despite their age difference.

On leaving the park, they meet their father, leading them to realize that they are brother and sister. This startles them immensely, as they haven't seen each other since their parents got a divorce with split custody some 10 years ago.”

“Despite sounding like the setup for a hundred erotic anime, Koi Kaze is nothing of the sort. It’s a serious, well written show about forbidden love.”-Helen McCarthy.

If you can handle the subject matter, you should find this show rewarding.

Length: 13 episodes.
Kurenai



Branduil said:
From a series of light novels, Kurenai is the story of a poor teenage "negotiator" who is assigned as the bodyguard for the kidnapped daughter of an evil aristocratic family. Produced by the reputable Brains Base, the animation is fluid and uniquely styled, and it takes its story and characters quite seriously.

Length: 12 episodes
Le Portrait de Petit Cossette Licensed



Branduil said:
Anyone who has ever watched a SHAFT show in the past few years will find this short three-episode OVA familiar. Directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, this psychological thriller focuses on an art student who becomes obsessed with a girl he can see when he holds an antique glass. Using a unique blend of CGI and 2D animation, the series establishes a creepy and disturbing mood, as well as being an unsubtle criticism of contemporary otaku fandom.

Length: Three episodes.
Marmite Licensed



Firehawk12 said:
in many ways, the modern successor to Onii-sama e..., Maria-sama ga Miteru is about a girl who is new to an exclusive Catholic school and is inadvertently thrust into the middle of a seemingly high-stakes battle within the student council. What makes MariMite different from its predecessor is that the angst and the drama is considerably dialled down. Our characters fret about Valentine's Day chocolates, not about suicide pacts. Very much a character drama, the show charts the development of these relationships and friendships over the course of 4 (and possibly more) seasons.

MariMite, or Maria Watches Over Us, is recommended for someone who wants to watch a realistic character/relationship drama set in contemporary Japan.

Length: Season 1 – 13 episodes. Season 2 – 13 episodes. Season 3 – 13 episodes. Not to forget 5 OVA’s.
Michiko to Hatchin



“Michiko Malandro, a sexy and fierce young woman, breaks out of jail and liberates a young Hana “Hatchin” Morenos from her Cinderella-esque life of humiliation and slavery. At Michiko’s insistence, the two set off across an unidentified Brazil-inspired South American country on the trail of Hatchin’s father (and Michiko’s former boyfriend), Hiroshi, a rather unassuming and soft-spoken gangster who supposedly died in a bus explosion ten years prior. Along the way our heroines dart in and out of the lives of figures from Michiko and Hiroshi’s past and a number of other unfortunate souls who are drawn into the seedy underbelly of society.”- Jeff, of Colony Drop.

A unique setting, a series of strong (but far from perfect) female characters, vibrant art, a strong central story and the occasional Lupin-esque action sequence. Must I say more?

Length: 22 episodes.
Mononoke



“Mononoke follows a wandering, nameless character known only as the "Medicine Seller". The series is made up of individual chapters in which the medicine seller encounters, combats and subsequently destroys various mononoke. The "mononoke” are a type of ayakashi, unnatural spirits that linger in the human world.

The Medicine Seller always proceeds in the same manner, using his knowledge of the supernatural to fend off the mononoke until he can learn the spirit's shape (Katachi), truth (Makoto) and reasoning (Kotowari). Only then can he unsheathe his sword and exorcise the demon.”

Like many great shows dealing with the supernatural, what the Medicine Seller investigates is usually the dark and twisted corners of the human soul. He proceeds like a detective, determined to find the truth, which needs to be brought to light. Dark, mysterious and often complex this show requires the audiences full attention if they wish to plumb it’s dark depths.

Length: 12 episodes.
Monster Licensed



I won’t reveal the specifics of the plot, even though the major plot set-up happens fairly early. Suffice to say, this is a detective/mystery work, originally created by Naoki Urasawa.

This suspense thriller is clearly more inspired by Western sources then anything else. The series was produced by studio Madhouse, who produced a near perfect adaptation of the original manga. This really sets it apart from any other anime that you might have seen. More importantly, the shows complex plot and story reveal themselves in a manner which suggests the author actually planned the whole story out.

It’s the longest show on this list, and one of the works I imagine people might already be familiar with. I have no problem saying that it’s also one of the finest anime ever made. If you've some how missed this show, you should rectify that now.

Length: 74 episodes.
 

Jex

Member
Nov 16, 2009
34,464
0
0
#2

Mouryou no Hako



This is another story which is hard to summarise without spoiling the plot. Suffice to say it’s a mystery story, often viewed through the eyes of a series of investigators researching what appears to be a set of murders.

What it actually is may well be something completely different. Individual episodes are told through entirely different perspectives, shaping and distorting the narrative through their blinkered understanding of the events that unfold around them.

The confusing nature of all these plot threads layered on top of each other will probably confuse you on first time through this extremely impressive series. It wasn’t till I had begun watching the series for a second time that I even grasped the implications of the opening scene. Your hard work in deciphering this mystery really does pay off in the end, unlikely so many other shows.

Length: 13 episodes.
Mushi-Shi Liscened



Mushi-shi essentially stars 'Ginko', a Mushi-shi in 19th century Japan (which is cut off from the rest of the world, for some reason not relevant to the series). A Mushi-shi is a strange cross between a scientist and a doctor. Their job involves understanding and researching strange creatures known as Mushi. Mushi are fairly hard to describe as they come in such a weird variety of shapes and sizes and have such different effects on the world. Only a few people, such as Ginko can see the Mushi and they are the ones sometimes tasked with dealing with the effects of Mushi on normal humans. These effects run whatever range the show desires - it may make people blind, drive them crazy, kill them or whatever. Ginko spends most of the episode trying to work out what Mushi is causing the problem and how he can remove the Mushi.

It’s not often that I want to use terms like “flawless” or “perfect” but really, I can’t think of anything I don’t love about this show. The art, animation, music, characters, story, direction – it’s all great. Not just one of the best animes made in this decade, it’s one of the best animes ever produced. If you only see one show from the list, it should be this one. (But then go watch Monster.)

Length: 26 episodes.
Natsume's Book of Friends (Seasons 1+2) Licensed



“Takashi has been cursed by the ability to see spirits a power inherited from his grandmother Reiko. Upon her death, Reiko bequeaths to her grandson her Book of Friends, a book containing the names of spirits Reiko had bullied into servitude. The Book of Friends is a highly prized item in the spirit world, and spirits hound Takashi constantly. Takashi spends his time dissolving the contracts and releasing the various spirits that come to him for help. But that doesn't mean there aren't malicious spirits trying to kill him. Which is where Madara comes in; Madara serves as Natsume's bodyguard even though he is motivated by his own desire to possess the Book of Friends”

There’s nothing particularly unusual about this shows concept, or even the characters that populate it’s world. What separates it from the crowd is how well it manages to deliver a complete narrative package in every single episode. This certainly isn’t easy to do, as it’s more often the case that long-running stories are the ones that hold my interest.

But the direction here from Takahiro Omori (who also directed other well received shows such as Baccano!, Koi Kaze, Durarara!! and Kuragehime) makes this possible.

Length: Season 1 – 13 episodes. Season 2 – 13 episodes.


Nodame Cantabile



JKTrix said:
Nodame Cantabile is a shining example of a manga that really deserved to be brought into multimedia form. A story about music students really comes to life when you can actually hear the music. The characters are all adults (in age) as well, which sets it apart from your average cast already. It is largely a romantic comedy between an Odd Couple of talented musicians, and the music is a good anchor for the show's other plots to develop so that the whole thing doesn't revolve around their relationship. Easy to watch, frequently heartwarming. The first season of the anime is the strongest.

Length: Season 1 – 23 episodes. Season 2 – 11 episodes. Season 3 – 11 episodes.
Noein Licensed



A Black Falcon said:
The story is complex -- it's got lots of travel between alternate worlds that are at different points of time -- but it explains itself fairly well and I found the series pretty interesting. Good story, interesting characters and plot. I liked it from the beginning and it made me want to keep watching to see what would happen next.

Length: 24 episodes.
Oh! Edo Rocket Licensed



Going to the moon by building rockets in Tenpou era? Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it. That’s because it is and the show knows it. Filled with self-awareness, humour and wit, Oh! Edo Rocket never misses a chance making fun of its own historical inaccuracies, as well as the idiocy of 2D drawn figures trying to be more than what they are; endearing characters in a beautiful story of hope and love. Funny thing is that we do fall for these characters by the end due to the kind of characterisation rarely seen in comedy series, and we can’t help but root for their hilarious attempt to reach the moon. -Gaguri.

Length: 26 episodes.

Planetes Licensed



Oh to become an astronaut and travel to space, what an awe inspiring job that would be!

That might not always be the case, argues Planetes, the story of a bunch of folks working in the Space Debris section of a major corporation. Essentially they’re space garbage men, cleaning up all the junk humanity has left in orbit, which now threatens manned space exploration.

This unglamorous look at man’s role in space also happens to be one of the best sci-fi animes of the decade because it is as concerned with developing an interesting cast of characters as it is displaying it’s hard-sci-fi trappings.

Length: 26 episodes.
Princess Tutu Licensed



“Princess Tutu is the story of a duck who wants to rescue a lonesome prince. It's also the story of a girl who attends ballet school, although she's not very good. It's also the story of Princess Tutu, a ballerina magical girl whose mission is to find the shards of a prince's heart and return them to him.

Also, these are all the same person.”

Don’t be put off by this shows magical-girl trappings, it’s actually an impressively told fantasy story that explores the very nature of traditional narrative along with the possibility of free will.

Also it has ballet battles. Hell yeah.

Length: 26 episodes.
Shigurui Licensed



“Violent manga-to-anime adaptations are rarely better than its predecessor, simply because the animated violence can almost never triumph over the meticulously painted scenes we envision in manga. Shigurui is a miraculous exception to this in that the Madhouse studio managed to breathe life into the repulsive, yet absolutely captivating world of cruelty without losing an ounce of the original’s vigour. Shigurui sings song of merciless brutality, but does it with a voice of an alluring siren, and any hard-seasoned viewers sturdy enough to stomach gratuitous gore will be treated to an enrapturing symphony of disgust and pleasure.” – Gaguri

Length: 12 episodes.
Sketchbook



Branduil said:
A light-hearted slice-of-life series. Like Hidamari Sketch, Sketchbook is set in an art school, but the direction is much less avant-garde, using an unoffensive pastel art style. Sketchbook focuses more on jokes and character humor, like Azumanga Daioh. Remarkably free of fan service or crude sexual humor, it's a series you could safely show to anyone in your family.

Length: 13 episodes.
Spice and Wolf Licensed



“Spice and Wolf's story revolves around Kraft Lawrence. His main goal in life is to gather enough money to start his own shop, One night when stopped at the town of Pasloe, he finds in his wagon a pagan wolf-deity girl named Holo who is over 600 years old. She introduces herself as the town's goddess of harvest. Holo wants also to travel to see how the world has changed while she has remained in one place for years As they travel, her wisdom helps increase his profits, but at the same time, her true nature draws unwanted attention from the church.”

Spice and Wolf is certainly an odd concept – mixing economic discussion with playful banter and wolf-girls in a faux European setting is not usually the kind of thing that works. But it does here, and it’s the characters who will draw you back, episode by episode.

Length: Season 1 – 13 episodes. Season 2 – 12 episodes.
Starship Operators Licensed



Branduil said:
A rare instance of anime sci-fi that falls squarely on the hard end of Mohs Scale. A crew of cadets on the initial cruise of a flagship are thrown into a galactic war when an enemy alliance declares war on their planet. Defying their own government's surrender, they declare themselves a government-in-exile, and make a deal with a Galaxy-wide TV network to fund themselves. Though the characters are rather flat at times, the unique presentation of the battles and the strategies employed thereof are enough to recommend it if you enjoy hard sci-fi.
Length: 13 episodes.
Tatami Galaxy Licensed



Ironically, one of Masaaki Yuasa’s most “normal” shows is surprisingly tricky to describe. It essentially follows the story of an unnamed protagonist, a university student trying to achieve the “ideal campus life”, and usually failing due to some personal shortcoming.

Of course, there’s a twist to the story but I won’t give that away at this point. If you’ve enjoyed the visual flair offered by Yuasa’s other work this is certainly worth a watch, or if you were put off by the subject matter in his other shows you might actually enjoy this one.

Length: 11 episodes.
Tentai Sunshi Sun Red



This is the story of the battle between good and evil which takes place in the city of Kawasaki.

This would be the set up for a fairly standard action show, except that our hero, Red, is kind of an lazy jerk, and our villain, General Vamp is hardly an evil genius.

This comedy shows starts off as a parody of Super Sentai/Power Rangers type shows, but the writers are sharp enough to realise this can’t stay funny forever, and they soon expand their horizons with a lot of the humour deriving from the characters themselves.

Length: Season 1 – 26 episodes, Season 2 – 26 Episodes (note, all episodes are half-length in both seasons).
Time of Eve



This brief sci-fi series touches on a theme that any reader of Asimov would be familiar with: human and robot interaction within a society where the rise of intelligent robotics is causing a shift in how we perceive human and machine.

Each of these stories is extremely well crafted, with the tale of rather worn-out robot sticking in my mind long after the series had finished.

Length: 6 episodes.
Toward The Terra Licensed


“This epic (in the classic sense) space opera follows the lives of Jomy Marcus Shin and Keith Anyan, two characters on either side of a galactic content revolving around a new variety of humans known as the Mu.”

If you sit through the occasionally rough opening act and endure the rather low-budget presentation you’ll be rewarded with one of the of the most overlooked space operas anime has to offer. Unlike some of the ‘colder’, classic space opera, such as Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Toward the Terra practically runs on emotions with Jomy being particularly prone to emotional utterances. This annoys some viewers, but the show certainly matures as it progresses and frankly he’s no worse then a Gundam protagonist.

It’s key strengths involve: a story spanning decades, one of the most sympathetic antagonists in anime, retro character designs, Orwellian governments, space battles and Peter Pan. If you enjoy space opera I insist you give this show a chance.

Length: 24 episodes.


Trapeze



Trapeze follows the exploits of one particular psychiatrist, Ichiro Irabu, as he attempts to help a number of patients with pressing psychological problems.

Despite the rather garish presentation this show isn’t as surreal and wacky as one would think. Each episode covers the arc of one patient, and the stories told through this examination are usually pretty darn good. I certainly wouldn’t pass this show up.

Length: 11 episodes.
Movies

Metropolis Liscened



“Japanese detective Shunsaku Ban arrives in the mega-city Metropolis accompanied by his nephew Kenichi-their mission, to arrest scientist Dr. Laughton. But Laughton has friends in high places: he has been hidden away by the industrialist Duke Red, who wants him to create the final part of his Zigguraut super-skyscraper

This is sumptuous movie was produced with a stellar crew and directed by Rintaro. It certainly lives up to the immense visuals that are conjured up in your mind when you hear the word “Metropolis”.

Based on a manga Osamu Tezuka finished in 1949 the questions it raises about society are still as a relevant then as they were now. Of course, it’s questions about robotics aren’t relevant yet, but they’re certainly explored as elegantly as any previous sci-fi work.
Mind Game



I’m not sure how best to summarize Masaaki Yuasa’s feature length movie. You’ve got guys, girls, car chases, Yakuza, God, giant whales and lots of introspection.

Even more so then his other works, this movie really isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve come to love his charming brand of insanity coupled with mind-bending visuals, you should definitely check this out. But I probably wouldn’t stat here.
Tekkon Kinkreet Liscened



“The plot centers around two delinquent brothers called Black and White. Black acts as the tough, streetwise leader, while White is the childish and innocent half of the pair. Together they form the gang known as the Cats and rule Treasure Town, a decaying metropolis that is both peaceful and dangerous. However, the yakuza known as the Suzuki the "Rat" and his boss move in and their plans change Treasure Town with negative consequences for the Cats.”

“The combination of childlike gaiety, animal violence, and the experience of feeling the adult world close in to take that innocence and spontaneity away is hugely powerful.”
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You might also be aware of…

All the shows above are those which I don’t think most people would be aware of. However, there are also plenty of other excellent titles in the 2000’s. I believe (wrongly or rightly) that most people are already aware of these, so I haven’t written anything up about them. Here’s that list:

Movies

5 Centimeters Per Second



Evangelion 1.0 and 2.0



Howl’s Moving Castle



Millennium Actress



Paprika



Ponyo



Spirited Away



Summer Wars



Sword of the Stranger



The Girl Who Leapt Through Time



The Place Promised in Our Early Days



Tokyo Godfathers



Voices of a Distant Star





TV
Air Master



Akagi



Baccano!



Black Lagoon (and Second Barrarge)



Death Note



Eureka Seven



Fullmetal Alchemist



Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood



FMP! Fumoffu



FMP! The Second Raid



Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (First and Second Gigs)



Gungrave



Hajime No Ippo: New Challenger



Honey and Clover



K-On! (Seasons 1 and 2)



Kino’s Journey



Moribitio: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit



Paranoia Agent



RahXephon



Samurai Champloo



Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z Hen



Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann



The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya



The Twelve Kingdoms





OVA
Diebuster



FLCL



Gundam Unicron



Hellsing Ultimate



JoJo's Bizarre Adventure





These are also all excellent, and should be watched. If anyone wants to hear something specific about one of these shows, I can do a summary of it the main thread itself.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other useful resources
NeoGAF’s very own Retro Anime Thread: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=347831
NeoGAF’s Top Anime List: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=173356
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Special Thanks

-Branduli, jman2050, firehawk12 and JXTrix for supplying their synopses for shows I have not seen. (And don’t blame me if you don’t like those shows!)

-Gaguri of http://guriguriblog.wordpress.com/ - Which introduced me to a lot of great shows, and whose words I’ve occasionally borrowed for this thread.

-Everyone else in the seasonal anime thread for helping to narrow down what shows should be represented here!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Free Streaming

leroy hacker said:
Some of these can be watched (by Americans) legally for free on Hulu.

Big Windup
Casshern Sins
Gankutsuou
Monster
Mushi-Shi (but not the entire series)
Oh! Edo Rocket
Shigurui
Spice and Wolf
Tatami Galaxy


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

********The list continues here! http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=414748&page=5********
 
Jun 17, 2008
16,480
5
835
#4
Of all of these I've only seen Haibane Renmei, but that show was really amazing. Ver ysad, but a really good watch.

EDIT: Didn't see the second post. I've also seen and fully recommend Paranoia Agent, Samurai Champloo, FLCL, Tokyo Godfathers, and the Ghibli stuff.

Time of Eve and Sketchbook look like something I might like so I'll have to check that out. I've heard good things about Gurren Lagann too.
 
Jan 23, 2009
13,054
0
0
Canada
#5
I'm currently watching Planetes and it's been great so far. No annoying characters and good cast. Though I'm still waiting for something major to happen cause it's been problem of the week type of anime so far.

Nice to see Time of Eve listed. Awesome anime. Though I am a sucker for anything with the 3 laws of robotics.

Good job on the list. Gonna have to go through some of these titles during the holidays.
 
May 18, 2007
2,256
0
0
#7
wow great thread! i wish there was one for anime movies as well.

for example: time of eve also has a movie adaption, which quite truthfully summarizes the plot, i just saw it and really liked it. will check out some stuff from the op
 

MetatronM

Unconfirmed Member
Jun 7, 2004
40,238
0
0
#9
I came in here to demand Fantastic Children, Kemonozume, and Kaiba be included, but it looks like everything has been taken care of. Dennou Coil too. UNCHI!

Also, Monster is the best series of the decade.
 
Aug 25, 2010
15,217
0
0
#12
Excellent list, definitely a lot of titles on there I need to check out sooner or later. Only one I've watched to completion is Mushishi, though I have Gankutsuou sitting in a box on my shelf, waiting for whenever I have time to get through it.
I find it amusing, though not surprising, that with the exception of Eva and SotS, the rest of the well-known movies are entirely composed of Miyazaki, Shinkai, Hosoda, and Kon works.
 
Jun 12, 2009
8,691
0
0
Toronto, ON
#13
Awesome thread! Though I thought Spice and Wolf, Monster, and Mushi-Shi were pretty well-known. That's some incredible anime watching right there. Christmas break is literally a week away so I'm hoping to catch up on some. Maybe watch Gurren Lagann all the way. :D
 

Jex

Member
Nov 16, 2009
34,464
0
0
#15
thetechkid said:
The bad outnumbered the good so no.
That's always the case though.
Earl Cazone said:
wow great thread! i wish there was one for anime movies as well.

for example: time of eve also has a movie adaption, which quite truthfully summarizes the plot, i just saw it and really liked it. will check out some stuff from the op
I've listed some movies as well, but most of the anime movies produced in the 2000's (e.g. Ghibli stuff) are fairly well known.
Dissonance said:
Awesome thread! Though I thought Spice and Wolf, Monster, and Mushi-Shi were pretty well-known. That's some incredible anime watching right there. Christmas break is literally a week away so I'm hoping to catch up on some.
If I didn't include those various people would shoot me :lol
 
Aug 9, 2009
9,031
0
0
#17
Jexhius said:
Gankutsuou Licensed



Michiko to Hatchin



Spice and Wolf Licensed

Amazing shows, loved the art work in Gankutsuou, but then again, I don't know anyone who didn't. It was also pretty cool that they followed the book more closely than the movie did.
 

Lafiel

と呼ぶがよい
Feb 20, 2009
10,525
0
0
Australia
forums.meronsoda.com
#20
I wonder if this thread will stop the "There is no good anime in the 00s" comments we see often here! :lol

Mmm, surprisingly i haven't seen a number of the shows in the OP such as towards the terra, boogiepop phantom, splice and wolf. (which are the most interesting to me).
 

K.Jack

Knowledge is power, guard it well
Mar 10, 2007
24,188
0
1,130
#22
Great thread.

Of those detailed, I own Shigurui, Gankutsuou, Haibane Renmei, Noein, and Mushi-Shi. Haven't watched any of them, yet. I've been meaning to pick up Fantastic Children and Planetes for quite some time.

Yes, I buy anime, maybe too much.
 
Mar 5, 2009
32,281
1
0
#23
Lafiel said:
I wonder if this thread will stop the "There is no good anime in the 00s" comments we see often here! :lol
As noted with the amount of shows that were produced in the time frame, the amount of good is pretty minute. But one could probably claim similar in past decades as well, though there was more "classics" before that people tend to remember than coming from the 00's
 
Apr 17, 2007
2,785
0
0
#24
Toward the Terra is licensed, as is the manga it is based on.

Also, I feel it is useful to mention that the mangas on which the shows Nodame Cantabile and Detroit Metal City were based are both licensed.



Regarding Boogiepop Phantom, one reason it's so confusing is that it is a continuation of a light novel series, the first novel in which was made into the live action film Boogiepop and Others. Also worth noting is that the series concept was by Sadayuki Murai who wrote the screenplays for Perfect Blue and Millennium Actress, and it shares a character designer and key animator with Serial Experiments Lain. I highly recommend this one to fans of either Lain or Paranoia Agent. It also has an excellent and unusual electronic soundtrack.
 
Aug 9, 2009
9,031
0
0
#28
Not sure how many people know about Beck.

BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad

Yukio, known by his friends as "Koyuki", is a regular 14-year-old Japanese boy who enters junior high school with two childhood acquaintances. One is a pervert, and ironically the other is a highly sought after female student. Koyuki's boring life is changed when he saves an odd-looking dog, named Beck, from some kids. Beck's owner turns out to be an emerging rock musician, Ryūsuke Minami, who soon influences Koyuki to start playing the guitar, and even gives one to him. The story focuses on the trials and tribulations of their rock band named BECK, and Koyuki's relationships with the members of the band, in particular Ryûsuke Minami and his sister, Maho Minami.
 
Sep 20, 2006
64,608
1
0
Excellent Eriador
#29
Adam Blade said:
The Kurenai anime is garbage, so I'm not sure why I see it on that list.

Also, the list fails for not having Oh! Edo Rocket and Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto.
I think Jexhius just forgot Oh! Edo Rocket, because I remember him mentioning it earlier.

I'd add Darker than Black(1st season only), Gunslinger Girl, and Higurashi to the known list.

wwm0nkey said:
RahXephon - terribly under-rated anime in my opinion.

AARRHGGGGGGFGLDF;GH KDHFGKSHG
 
Aug 9, 2009
9,031
0
0
#32
wwm0nkey said:
RahXephon - terribly under-rated anime in my opinion.
It always falls under the inferior version of "Neon Genesis Evangelion," which tends to ruin the whole conversation when you're describing it to people. Shame.

Branduil said:
I'd add Darker than Black(1st season only)
Yeah... Second season was not good.
 

Jex

Member
Nov 16, 2009
34,464
0
0
#33
wwm0nkey said:
RahXephon - terribly under-rated anime in my opinion.
I like it too, but I think it's relatively well known.
ChubbyHuggs said:
Not sure how many people know about Beck.

BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad
Respectable people have told me it's good, and I can certainly update the list with it - Done.
Branduil said:
Gunslinger Girl
I've certainly seen some positive mention of that, I should probably see it sometime.
 
Aug 9, 2009
9,031
0
0
#39
Jexhius said:
Respectable people have told me it's good, and I can certainly update the list with it - Done.
It's pretty good; worth watching for something a little different and they get into a whole culture you don't really see in other animes.
Am I one of those respectable people? :D
Better say yes, or I will cry myself to sleep with my anime pillow.
Branduil said:
There is no second season. Don't even bother googling it because it doesn't exist.
Sigh, if you say so.
 

Jex

Member
Nov 16, 2009
34,464
0
0
#40
Brobzoid said:
No K-on? damned haters >:I
Haters? If you'd care to read through, you'll see I include it in my "Excellent, but already well known list". K-On! is hardly dying for attention like some of these other works. It rightfully gets plenty of love elsewhere.
trejo said:
Jex, you jerk. Where's Oh! Edo?

You're breakin' my heart here, man.

It's a solid list, though. Barring that glaring omission.
It's already there.
 
Apr 17, 2007
2,785
0
0
#42
Another thing I think it's useful to mention: Some of these can be watched (by Americans at least) legally for free on Hulu.

Big Windup
Casshern Sins
Gankutsuou
Monster
Mushi-Shi (but not the entire series)
Oh! Edo Rocket
Shigurui
Spice and Wolf
Tatami Galaxy


It's a shame they don't have all of Mushi-Shi because that is one of the most refreshing anime I've seen this decade. If you want to see something different from the usual anime character or plot tropes, you should definitely check this series out.
 
Jun 7, 2004
5,376
0
0
#47
Dennou Coil had a ton of potential. Absolutely love the first couple episodes and 1 or 2 others, but it ended up being pretty disappointing. :/
 

Brobzoid

how do I slip unnoticed out of a gloryhole booth?
May 8, 2006
14,295
0
0
#48
Jexhius said:
Haters? If you'd care to read through, you'll see I include it in my "Excellent, but already well known list". K-On! is hardly dying for attention like some of these other works. It rightfully gets plenty of love elsewhere.
I need pictures to hold my attention. >_>

In an effort to save face and add something to this thread I suppose Kamichu is a lesser known anime from the 2000's that would apply.



about a moe girl who becomes a god and, along with her moe friends, has to figure out what type of god she is and what she gon do about it. like some superhero with-powers-comes-responsibilities shit. genre: moe-ass moe.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.