Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Top Serious Anime of the Decade

This i figured would be a good inaugural post it was gonna be on a forum i hang out on but well i decided to make it my first post here. Other than two series both having aired in japan starting in 99 but ending in 2000 all of these will be solely 2000-20009 series. I should also add none of these are in a particular order the numerals are just to keep track of the number.

1.Turn A Gundam- In my opinion one of the best Gundam series made yet if not THE BEST. The story is set in a time reminiscent of early 20th century U.S. on earth while in space or should i say the moon technology is as grand as ever. The main character Loran Cehack was sent to earth to scout for the moonrace who were supposed to settle peacefully but well the best laid plans and so on the night he was undergoing his coming of age ritual the moonrace comes down and he finds out the idol is a Mobile Suit not just any suit but a Gundam though only a few remember what a Gundam is or how fearsome they are (to the uninitiated a Gundam is a WMD on legs a mech far above the rest think namebrand war machinery) as the show goes on innocence is lost in the fires of war and strife. This show to me is what Gundam is all about a message of peace and how war can destroy lives no matter who you are. It should also be noted this was the last gundam series creator Yoshiyuki Tomino aka Kill em all Tomino (due to his penchant to kill off main characters) directed.

2.Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion- Now if you haven't heard of this either you live under a rock or have no kids/teens that are even remotely nerdy. This show is about a boy named Lelouch last name varies by his role and who he's speaking to (for damn good reasons too. Through various circumstances i shan't ruin he gains a power called geass which allows him to control a persons action there are catches but i shall not name them for you see this is one of those shows that if you know enough it could very well ruin it for it enjoys surprising you with unconventional tactics, twists and turns among other things and thus i shall end the description with but 1 more point and that is that Lelouch has a grudge and now a means to get his revenge.Now It should also be noted that being a hardcore republican or similar could also ruin it due to OBVIOUS references to the way the U.S. did things under bush and how the "terrorists" are the good guys. It's a show of the times but a great one nonetheless it will be a worthy show for many decades (at least) due to it's insight into human nature.

3.Elin Lied- This story revolves around a boy named Kouta who finds a naked girl on the beach after moving into a house owned by his aunt and uncle. Catch is she's a massmurderer with superpowers. However she knew him as a child and he was the only one to treat her as a human and thus she cannot kill him and instead regresses creating a new persona known as Nyu. He however does not recall her for reasons that become wholly apparent later. As the story progresses more girls come to live with him each with their own troubles and scars that come up and show the darker side of humans. This show has many a cliched or sad/depressing moment but despite all of this or perhaps because of it i find a certain attraction to a type of show i would normally not like and an underlying message i can see and relate to and that is don't hate people because they're different and accept them. After all you never know who may turn into a massmurdering psycho with superpowers.

4.Bokurano- Never aired or translated in the U.S. or at least not yet. A VERY VERY dark story about a bunch of kids who come across an old man at a cave during summer break and get roped into piloting a giant robot. Now you may ask what's so special or dark about that and to be honest not much until you learn the truth which happens in the first or second episode after the first kid pilots the robot. Turns out it runs on your life 1 chance to pilot 1 chance to win. Now you may ask why don't they quit because if they did EVERYONE THEY KNOW WOULD DIE not just know but their whole universe. Now I'm not going to spoil much more but suffice to say not all of them deal with this well in fact none do they all have their own issues and THAT is what makes this show great. These kids having to overcome their lives their troubles and most of all there feelings to be able to fight cause after all they could just wipe everything out by giving up and believe me some if not most of these kids have PLENTY of reason to want to do just that. From sexually abusive/manipulative teachers to being abandoned by their parents or just not loved these kids got issues and the few who don't have to deal with leaving their families behind. Just a warning about Bokurano it's damn depressing so if you're prone to depression AVOID IT.

5.NOEIN- definitely one of my favorites of this decade. Partly because it deals with quantum physics and the multiverse two of my favourite subjects but also because it has a good compelling story. The main character Haruka has good friends a nice mother and one WHOPPER of a destiny she's the dragon torc i/e a dimensional nexus being if you don't know what that is i feel kinda sorry for you but I'll tell you it means she's like a keystone in an arch. and what powers she has from this well she can manipulate reality by swapping pieces of hers with others or just traveling between ones linked to her. Now this show deals with some interesting queries about life the universe and many other things so if you don't like heavy stuff stay away. As an interesting side note the conversation at the start of one episode about quantum theory is how ALOT of conversations with my friends and family go I'm the woman while their the detective.

6.This Ugly Yet Beautiful World- A truly interesting show about a couple of boys who find a girl a naked one i should add glowing in a sphere in a tree after a meteor crash. Now if this sounds like it's going to turn into a stereotypical girl from space comes to save earth show THINK AGAIN this girl has a twin a nice innocent girl who is found and is taken care of by one of the two boys and as these two girls hang out with their respective boys they see both the good and bad of humanity. It's a very good show that unlike most shows aired in the U.S. shows many things and not all of them pretty.

7.Please/Onegai Teacher- this is a show i showed to a non anime loving friend of mine and he seemed to like it. It's about a boy with a rare disease who's "time" froze as he puts it he stopped aging so he's an 18 year old in highschool as a 1st or second year student (boy can i relate damn credit system) now some if not most of this you don't find out till the end of episode 1 but what is interesting and earns it a spot is how he finds out his new teacher is an alien and is forced to marry her. Ok that doesn't sound so epic but it's how the show displays relationships not as oh we're married everything is perfect lets make a comedy no it's about the troubles that can come about the hardships of a relationship and dealing with new lives. That is what has earned it a place here the fact is that as the series progresses it covers more than just this couple but how the main characters friends grow mature and form relationships truly a wonderful tale and one that should be seen by those suffering illusions about how perfect this world is and how marriage is a blissful la la land.

8.Xam'd Lost Memories- This series was the first Playstation Network exclusive anime and currently the only though it has since had a tv version made. Now that may be enough for some as a hallmark series but not for me for me it's the story about a boy who becomes cursed shall we say to deal with a special power that has either driven many mad or destroyed them and a message about as cheesy as it may seem love and acceptance. The boy has to undergo training to learn to control his new power he also has to deal with the prospect of losing himself and protecting the world. Now i'm not gonna ruin some of the best points but i will say this like many of the shows on this list this shows deals with changes and how people deal with them in many different ways whether they be good or bad.

9.Eureka Seven- This is one of my favourite shows but just being one of my favourites won't make the list if it did The Wallflower and Zero no Tsukaima (aka The Familiar of Zero) would be here but they won't maybe on another list. As many if not most probably know this series was aired on Adult Swim on cartoon network where i first saw this program i have since rewatched and i still love it it the story of a boy who falls in love at first sight with a girl named Eureka again starting off cliched since as you'd expect he joins her on the ship she's on but again as well you'd be wrong this story covers how he watches her falls further in love with while she discovers emotions runs away in fear as does the boy and eventually the two achieve something that has never been done before and save their world by uniting their two people though at a great cost and no it's not their lives wanna know then watch it.

10. Death Note- This is a show about a murderer and the detective who tries to catch him. Okay that sounds like pretty much all detective shows however in this one the killer is using a magic book to kill not only that but he only kills criminals why? Because he wants to make a better world. This show is more about psychology mental battles and asking tough questions such as is it okay to kill criminals without trials or for one man to judge them all or should the current system remain and does it work. In short it is a show that tests your views challenges them and does it well.

11.Zegapain- this show was translated by bandai slated for a U.S. box set after the initial release and then canceled (DAMN YOU BANDAI DAMN YOU). This show has many interesting traits along with the now required big bouncing boobies and fan service you get a story involving the intricacies of quantum mechanics what can be done with it and how the human race nearly destroyed itself and it's plan to save itself backfired BIGTIME. as the series starts the main character (well the obvious male one anime tends to have no single main character) is going for a swim in his club when he sees a girl he's never seen before and as you may guess she ropes him inot many a battle but what you may not guess well I'll just leave it to you to find this show and see but suffice to say we kinda ripped ourselves a new one along with the whole planet and it will NOT be all hunk dory at the end only more hopeful.

12.Guyver 2005- This show is a remake of an OVA (Original Animation Video or in lamens terms straight to video) Series that was based on a manga. Now while i was not expecting this show to be as great as it was i must say it was FANTASTIC cliche in some ways to anyone familiar with such shows as Kamen Rider (masked rider in it's original U.S. release by Saban) or power rangers only one BIG difference this show is what is affectionately termed hyper violent. You sill see limbs being severed monsters dying by energy blasts and blades with blood and gore. Now you may ask how does something like this make the list I'll tell ya underneath ALL that blood and gore (and believe me theirs enough to make a small mountain out of it) is an interesting message about how humans have almost always fought and seem to crave battle in times of peace. Though the reasoning behind it is as crazy as you can get though yet again i'm not gonna spoil it lets just say ufo nuts would be happy. Though i'm sorry to say the series ends at episode 26 after the reappearance and upgrade of Guyver 1 it's still is a very nice story with a very interesting outlook.

13 Welcome to the NHK- This is a show about a guy who is what is known as a hikkikomori or in other terms a hardcore shut in. He doesn't like going out in fact other than a few rare exceptions he's downright TERRIFIED of humans and being judged and thus our story begins when a girl tries to help him. She's what pretty much all people like him want to find in a mate(i speak in an unusual way for me depending on my personality/energy level at the time could be girlfriend,lover or any other variant) which is someone who will be tolerant and while not fully accepting is kind and gentle when trying to help him come out of his shell. It's truly a wonderful story with a not too happy ending. Though it is also quite depressing at points. This show is a must see if you want to understand how someone could be scared of humans or why also if you want to understand more about how people can get lost in things. In short it's a great psychological program about a condition almost exclusively found in japan.

14.Blue Gender- This is the other one from 99-2000 airings and i must say watching it's butchered Cartoon Network version does not do it justice. I quite literally would not be who i am today were it not for this series well its opening song at least. However that alone is not enough to make this list no it certainly is not. The story is what helps it make the list. Said story is about a man who is awakened from stasis to find a world overrun by monsters and humans living in space and fighting them with mechs . Okay we're into cliche land already yet again right well yes for now that is. However it turns out that he was frozen due to what at his point in time is a rare disease and it was the very egotistical attempts of humans to cure said disease that created these monsters. Now again cliche right, and yes you're fairly right the cliche ends however around the last episode when we learn WHY the Blue as the monsters are called exist and what COULD have been. As it turns out the disease was humanities' last test and the Blue were the F (no you're not gonna hear about god in this one but maybe a variant). This series like Guyver and Elfen lied it should be noted is hyper violent though no human limbs really go flying (not that often at least) and it's more the monsters that are the one getting slaughtered in gory detail. The other important note is that there is a movie called Blue Gender The Warrior this an alternate retelling upon reaching the space station.

15.Raxephon- Okay to anyone who knows anything about anime i'll give ya a quick short summary with a comparison think Eva only GOOD (yes i don't like eva deal).
Now for everyone else here it is. Our story begins as most shows with mechs and young male pilots does it's an ordinary day and nothing is new or is it. Okay again cliched boy do we ever start with alot of cliched stories these days. But things change quickly when the enemy attacks in what look like ufo's a woman comes to try and save him men in black come after him to save him from said woman and in it all he's seeing a girl who's leading him somewhere not that he knows where. At the end of this he finds a mech the Raxephon upon starting it (which as usual only he can) he escapes with a passenger in tow only to find out that tokyo is encased in a bubble everything he thought to be true was not and that almost everyone inside is well lets not spoil anything else suffice to say this show will deal with emotional bonds issues with new circumstances and well end of the world stuff resulting in crazy god class shit. Yep religious references abound in this one. I just realized but this description does not do the show justice and the description is limited to about episodes 1 and 2 which are quite confusing.

An honorable mention and i say this cause while it WOULD be on the list and SHOULD be i don't wanna go full OCD and make a 20 something series list so i'll give it's name and refer you to a similar series on the list. It's name is Aquarion related series for content and style Raxephon. Both deal with end of the world type deals with mechs and religious references galore.

Okay this list and my first post is done next up will probably be the fun non serious shows or as i like to call the the Bon Bon Series.