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Drama anime recommendations.


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Kruszer
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Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:40 pm Reply with quote
This is the new official drama recommendation thread. If you're having trouble locating this type of anime try here. So what in your opinion are some really good reality-based (or mostly so) drama programs? Recommend them to others here.

For Reference:
Quote:
drama (intense emotions, character development)
Allows the viewer to experience the intense emotions of the protagonists through in-depth character development and interaction. Highly emotional themes, conflicts and tension are the norm.
[cannot be combined with slice-of-life]


Something that comes to mind immediately to me is:

Hell Girl-This show revolves around Ai Enma and her demonic companions who run a internet website called Hell Correspondence. Through this website, which is only accessible to those with strong grudges and desires for revenge, she sends the person's tormentor to hell on request. The only price is the one who makes the request also goes to hell after they die.

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Last edited by Kruszer on Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:08 am; edited 4 times in total
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Youkai Warrior



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:25 pm Reply with quote
ADV Films has Angelic Layer listed as Drama (as well as action). Not sure if anyone else agrees with this, but I know I agree.

Angelic Layer is about a country gril, Misaki Suzuhara, who moves to Tokyo to live with her aunt. Upon arriving there, she discovers a new electronic game sweeping Japan called Angelic Layer, where you pit dolls called Angels against eachother in Martial Arts tournaments.The Angels are controlled by your thoughts. Misaki becomes hooked and makes an Angel of her own, Hikaru. Along the way, Misaki makes friends, wins tournaments, and is emotinally reunited with her mother, who has Degeneritive Nerual Syndrome, and was getting treatment since Misaki was in Kindergarten. Misaki is a character than many viewers can relate to. Misaki is unathletic, so finds no talent in sports, but is excellant at Angelic Layer. She can be shy and alittle clumsy, but tries her best and doesn't give up. She sets a good example for many young viewers.
Angelic is also a tournament style anime, hence why ADV listes it as Drama/Action
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:55 pm Reply with quote
ah, drama seems to be one of my favorite lately.

Phoenix
A 13 episode series comprised of 5 mini segments, 5 stories are told of people of the world, and their relationship with the Phoenix, the mythical bird whose blood is said to grant eternal life. Each segment brings a unique idea and aspect of the search for the Phoenix, eternal life, and humanity to its 1-4 episode duration.

Princess Tutu
You would almost think that this was an episodic show based on the first few episodes, but Princess Tutu encompasses the drama and tragedy present in many classic fairy tales (before Disney made them all happy) and ballets. With a very good and emotionally stirring ending, Princess Tutu is an unusual take on the drama genre by combining with the magical girl genre.

Key the Metal Idol
Key is a robot who needs 30,000 friends in order to become human. When I first heard this, I thought that this would be some slice-of-life show, but instead I was treated to a very dark and highly enjoyable drama series. Its rather difficult to say a lot of things without giving away huge spoilers though, unless someone else can add something more useful, you may just have to check this one out yourself.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross or Robotech: The Macross Saga
I'm going based on Robotech here, but I'm getting around to the original version soon. Rick Hunter was a boy in the air circus who went to Macross island to visit his friend, Roy Fokker. During this visit, circumstance activated a defensive mechanism on the SDF-1, an alien spaceship which had landed on the island 10 years before and caused the island to populate which was then fixed by humans. Shortly after, the SDF-1 was forced to make a warp trip which accidentally took the entire island and population of Macross with it. Relocated to the space outside of Pluto, the SDF-1 and all of the inhabitants of Macross Island (including Rick Hunter), now inside the spaceship, must try to make it back to earth while being pursued by the Zentraedi, and alien race who wish to take the SDF-1.
Not only is there great drama within the spaceship, but also during combat and in the enemy's fleet. The series oozes great space opera drama, great characters and settings, and all the while doesn't insult the viewer's intelligence (not even the edited for American TV version from the 80's, which is the one I've seen).

I can't be sure how this compares to the original Macross series, but I heard it was the least edited of the 3 series that made Robotech.
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Kruszer
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:03 pm Reply with quote
Also, it's a romance too, but Rumbling Hearts is also an excellent drama series. It revolves arround Takayuki who begins dating Haruka after she finally works up the nerve to ask him out after her best friend Mitsuki's meddling. However, a trafic accident leaves Haruka severely injured and comatose for 3 long years. Years during which Takayuki suffers from severe guilt and depression. Mitsuki cares for him and falls in love with him despite the guilt at betraying her friend, and soon the two begin sleeping together. Just when they begin to settle down and decide to live together, they get the phone call that throws both their lives back into chaos. Haruka has woken up, and now Takayuki has a decision to make, but the situation is complicated by Haruka's partial amnesia. He loves both girls but how does he choose?

Last edited by Kruszer on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mushi-Man



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:40 pm Reply with quote
Well there's the obvious ones like Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Full Metal Alchemist, Code Geass, Death Note, ext. But at this point those are basically standard watching material for most anime fans (that I know of anyways). Besides that I would suggest...
1. Mushi-shi
2. Ergo Proxy
3. Paranoia Agent (all though it is more of a horror/ dark comedy)
4. Wolf's Rain
5. Darker Than Black
6. Now and Then, Here and There
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:02 pm Reply with quote
How could I forget Mushi-shi?
A 26 episode series that is entirely episodic (heck, you could probably watch the whole thing in reverse order and be just fine), each episode involves humans or nature and their relationship with the Mushi, which are the very essence of life. The artwork and music only add to the atmosphere here, and unlike other series where its easy to tell you what you're in for, its rather difficult with Mushi-shi. It is most certainly an episodic drama, each with a similar setting and a similar idea, but all executed very differently. I almost feel it easiest to compare it to Shadow of the Colossus (PS2 game), where it looks like you take down a bunch of colossi and you expect to use the exact same tactics, but while the idea is similar, it all feels different, yet familiar in a good way.
The setting and the atmosphere created in each episode successfully suck you into stories each episode tells. And the music, while minimal in instruments, helps this a lot as well. And the artwork is just gorgeous.
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Psycho 101
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:13 am Reply with quote
To me when I think about good drama series, that really get you into the series and keep you wanting to know what happens next to the characters, I immediately think of Haibane Renmei and Texhnolyze. For starters both have wonderful character designs by Yoshitoshi ABe and the art in both is simply stunning. So visually both are wonderful series just for that aspect alone. In terms of drama though both are two of the best examples that you can get.

Haibane is definitely the softer and mellower of the two but no less powerful. It's a very sweet and engaging tale that follows Rakka as she finds herself in this new world. There's no big battles with mechs. No hordes of pantie shots and gag comedy. No sappy or heart breaking romances either. It's a series that really just focuses on the main characters and their daily lives and their interactions with others. The only real "battle" per se is whether or not the characters find their day of flight and what happens to them on it. Some may say it's simple, and perhaps it is, but it's just a very sweet and engaging show. You'll definitely wish it was a full 26 episodes by the end of it.

Texhnolyze is just a gritty and dark series. It's not one you go into lightly. It's definitely a more thinking man's anime (which could be said more most of ABe's works really) and you need to go into it with an open mind. The dark and haunting landscapes of Lux (underground city in the show) are amazing (to me anyways) on their own. It's definitely a show that will make you think a bit and keep you wondering what will happen next.
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Kruszer
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:45 pm Reply with quote
Mushi-Man wrote:
Well there's the obvious ones like Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Full Metal Alchemist, Code Geass, Death Note, ext. But at this point those are basically standard watching material for most anime fans (that I know of anyways). Besides that I would suggest...
1. Mushi-shi
2. Ergo Proxy
3. Paranoia Agent (all though it is more of a horror/ dark comedy)
4. Wolf's Rain
5. Darker Than Black
6. Now and Then, Here and There


This forum does not allow listing without some further information due to the rules. If you don't want one of the mods to delete your post I'd suggest writing a sentence or two for each of those. A description of the plot is the best method since you're recomending these to people. Also most of those would fall under other genres and aren't really chiefly drama series. This thread is devoted strictly to drama series, the other genres all have their own threads. Death Note, Wolf's Rain, and Now and Then Here and There would work for the thread thogh I think.
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FLMikeATT



Joined: 17 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:38 pm Reply with quote
It falls into many categories besides 'drama', but Higurashi no naku koro ni is a definite must watch, if you are into suspense, drama, and great character development.

I would also recommend Mushishi and Darker Than Black as a few others have already mentioned.

Also, Mnemosyne no musume tachi. You won't regret it.

edit: I should probably expound on this post a little bit, but all these series are easily viewable a few clicks away in the encyclopedia.
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ShadowTrader



Joined: 29 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:08 am Reply with quote
Kruszer wrote:

For Reference:
Quote:
drama (intense emotions, character development)
Allows the viewer to experience the intense emotions of the protagonists through in-depth character development and interaction. Highly emotional themes, conflicts and tension are the norm.
[cannot be combined with slice-of-life]


I'm almost afraid to post anything here, because I believe most of the titles mentioned do not fit into the category of "drama." When I think of drama I think heart wrenching, tear jerking, can't stop watching on the edge of your seat, heart pounding character development and twists around every corner.

Hence it is my belief that sci-fi shows like Mushi-shi, Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, etc. are not drama series. I.E. I wouldn't watch them for the drama but maybe for the action or other characteristics.

Drama has to be more down to earth and relateable to really be considered drama in my point of view. That's why a lot of romance anime would fit into this category as well as slice of life anime. A prime example would indeed be Rumbling Hearts because as Kruszer explained it revolves around deep character developments and a lot of heart heavy situations that move character lives in dramatic new directions.
My recommendation of a good drama series would be NANA. This series follows the story of two completely different women who struggle to pick their path in life. Their stories are realistic and not always happy ones, but they are deep, tragic, bittersweet, enthralling, and most definitely dramatic. To me this series is the true embodiment of the word "drama." Although a bit long it is definitely worth the investment and I sincerely recommend it to anyone reading.
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AndrewIsAzn



Joined: 12 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:11 am Reply with quote
Even though they're not anime series, I think the Makoto Shinkai movies ought to be mentioned.
5 Centimeters Per Second is a story that revolves around two elementary school friends (a boy and a girl) who gradually grow farther and farther apart. It mainly follows the boy as he tries to keep hold of what he had with the girl.
The Place Promised In Our Early Days is about 3 childhood friends (2 boys and a girl) who make a promise that they will fly to a tower on the other side of a divided Japan. I don't want to give away the story, but the movie covers all the trouble they go to in order to fulfill the promise.

The artwork in both of these anime are breathtaking which makes both movies all the more beautiful. Shinkai has another 25 minute movie that anyone who liked the ones listed above would love called Voices From a Distant Star
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ShadowTrader



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:43 am Reply with quote
Now that I thought about it a bit more there is a sci-fi anime that I believe can be classified into the drama genre: Infinite Ryvius. The story here was brimming with drama, deep psychological emotion, and fantastic antagonistic forces which made the characters feel human and extremely interesting. Today's mecha shows feel static, sustained with unrealistic scenarios and shallow emotions which miraculously vanish with every episode. No sci-fi show that I have seen has been able to hold such a good story for 26 episodes and consistently deliver plot twists, build on character depth and escalate the drama to the highest climax. This is a true classic and if you have yet to see it, now is the time!
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Kruszer
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:43 am Reply with quote
Hmmm....yes, I would definitely have to agree with that. I slso found Infinite Ryvius to be pretty powerfull. I think I'm going to give credit to the director, Goro Tanaguchi, for that. He also directed Planetes to a similiar effect. Drama was a big part of that one as well, though it didn't have an amazing non-stop story like Ryvius though, it was more episodic.

Quote:
I'm almost afraid to post anything here, because I believe most of the titles mentioned do not fit into the category of "drama." When I think of drama I think heart wrenching, tear jerking, can't stop watching on the edge of your seat, heart pounding character development and twists around every corner.


It's probabally a common sentiment considering the subject was left untouched and forlorn for over a year, until I made it a little while ago. I was initially only going to do a couple but was convinced make the rest of the forgotten genres as well. Smile
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ShadowTrader



Joined: 29 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:50 pm Reply with quote
Kruszer wrote:

It's probabally a common sentiment considering the subject was left untouched and forlorn for over a year, until I made it a little while ago. I was initially only going to do a couple but was convinced make the rest of the forgotten genres as well. Smile


Its good that you did, I have been starving for a good drama anime, and this thread might produce some results.
I just finished Kure-nai which I would also classify as a drama series but it just didn't give me the heart wrenching excitement that I'm looking for. I've kind of given up a bit because everything I test fails to peak my interest. I've checked out a lot of the shows on your list too but I dropped all of them after the first episode, nothing is penetrating these days, : (.
I'm just hibernating this winter and waiting on Madhouse to come out with another masterpiece, but their next season line up looks just as grim.
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eyeresist



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:44 pm Reply with quote
Now and Then, Here and There is certainly an emotional rollercoaster, though I don't know if it fits my personal definition of "drama", which makes me think more of soap opera.

Gundam Seed is a dramatic epic, though the hero does have a tendency to break into crying that sounds like weird screaming.
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