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"Surprisingly" good anime?


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louis6578



Joined: 31 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:06 pm Reply with quote
Now, I hesitate to call them guilty pleasures, because that implies that they're bad, but I think we all know the genre of anime that's the lowest common denominator. The kind with cute girls or guys doing fanservice things, ecchi or harem shows that lack the drama of something like Steins;Gate or the Fate series, most light novel adaptations with a bland main character who is clearly just meant to be the viewer's proxy and gets all the girls, wins all the fights, and is just vaguely heroic enough to root for. The types of anime that make some of us ashamed to admit we like anime to our friends and family.

Now, with all this in mind, is there any anime in a genre that you hate that you actually loved? For me, Oreimo stands out as one of my favorites, but I can't call it a guilty pleasure because it's actually good (in my opinion). Eromanga Sensei is closer to a guilty pleasure for me, but I don't enjoy it nearly as much as I loved its predecessor.

Anyone else got an anime that they love, but probably wouldn't list in the wide range of anime to recommend to friends?
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:19 pm Reply with quote
Oreimo is a great show. Great depiction of the closet otaku's anxieties. Anyway, Oreimo shows how sad a country Japan is since it's own people are ashamed from enjoying their own domestic culture.

The bad show I enjoyed was Symphogear, that one is really silly but I couldn't help myself and watch all the 3 seasons of it. That's was a real guilty pleasure that one: girls with guns/swords attacking each other in the most ludicrous ways imaginable.

Also, I don't like "anime", I like great works of art that happen to be animated and made in Japan. Is like being ashamed from "liking" American live action movies because of the existence of Adam Sandler's movies.
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:40 pm Reply with quote
I would nominate Ikki Tousen in this category. I know a lot of people consider it absolute crap and many others would consider it a guilty pleasure, but I think it stands on its own as a sexy, well-directed action title with some decent humour (I've only seen the dub, not the sub). Sadly, the three subsequent seasons didn't measure up. I could type virtually the identical paragraph for Queen's Blade.

I would also nominate the first half of Gunparade Orchestra which was the sequel to the thorooughly mediocre Gunparade March. I can't vouch for the second half of GO because I haven't seen it. The first half, from what I can remember, was a fairly engaging bug hunt show.

Now in the guilty pleasure category (which, yes, I know is OT in this thread, but come on) I nominate a fairly obscure 2003 title called Lime-iro Senkitan. To date, this title remains unlicensed in North America but it wouldn't shock me if either Discotek or Maiden Japan didn't eventually snag it (assuming there isn't some hidden licensing obstacle beyond the simple notion that it is hard to imagine a company making any money off this one).

I suppose I could describe the show in my own words, but I'll let ANN's plot summary do the heavy lifting for me:

Quote:
Around the the 37th year of the Meiji Era (1904) in the midst of the Russo-Japanese war, the small Japanese army, in need of assistance, uses its special flying (thanks to a benevolent demon) ship, the Amanohara, to attack Russia's major base at Port Arthur (Lushun). Umakai Shintaro, a Russian diplomat originally from Japan, defects and goes to Sapporo to teach at a girls academy. However, that girls academy is not typical - it is on board the Amanohara, and the five girls Shintaro teaches are known as the Raimu Unit - girls with the ability to summon powerful beings to fight for them. Shintaro eventually becomes their teacher and general in battle, and so the six embark on a weird and excessively erotic journey, as Shintaro helps the girls overcome their weaknesses, become stronger for the final stand at Lushun, and also understand the motives of the "Russian Spiritual Corps" that assist the opponent, which, unfortunately, has one member whom Shintaro knew well....


There was a TV sequel and an OVA, neither of which I have seen and both of which are - shocker! - unlicensed. Anybody else see this title or am I alone in my degradation? It's been a number of years since I've seen it, but I do remember liking the female cast and snickering at some of the dumb humour. I ain't recommending it to anyone, so if you do watch it and hate it, don't come whining to me, mmmkay?
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Psycho 101
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:44 pm Reply with quote
Jose Cruz wrote:

Also, I don't like "anime", I like great works of art that happen to be animated and made in Japan. .

By now we all get it, you're a sophisticated hobbiest and enthusiast or fine art, not simply some lowly "fan" of pedestrian merchandise. Especially those from the west which are all far inferior. You bring this haughty attitude into most generalized discussions involving anime and manga.

louis6578 wrote:
Now, I hesitate to call them guilty pleasures, because that implies that they're bad, but I think we all know the genre of anime that's the lowest common denominator. The kind with cute girls or guys doing fanservice things, ecchi or harem shows that lack the drama of something like Steins;Gate or the Fate series, most light novel adaptations with a bland main character who is clearly just meant to be the viewer's proxy and gets all the girls, wins all the fights, and is just vaguely heroic enough to root for. The types of anime that make some of us ashamed to admit we like anime to our friends and family.

So anything you might be ashamed to admit to friends and family is this lowest common denominator show eh? Now by that same logic one might consider Yuri on Ice a lowest common denominator show. I mean if the basis of this category is something you wouldn't show people or admit to watching a fan of YOI, or say Sasameki Koto for a show with Yuri in it, could fall into that category if they grew up in a very conservative household. Or have conservative friends. There might be an array of reasons someone would not suggest a show to friends. Maybe they have friends or family who are not into gore and lots of violence. Not Attack on Titant, Berserk, or Hellsing for them. Yet under your definition they would be considered part of that "lowest common denominator". Not just LN adaptations or ecchi shows. Hell, plenty of people DO suggest those shows to friends and family. It's also rather disingenuous to say you hesitate to call them guilty pleasures because it implies they are bad, but yet you label them as being part of the lowest common denominator. Calling them that is honestly much worse and far more offensive to fans then simply saying they're bad. Simply calling them bad is a personal preference and opinion. Where as calling them part of the lowest common denominator of shows is a judgment against them and also casts the inference that fans of those shows like trash and have bad taste. You don't outright say that buy that sure is the message sent when someone says something like that.

Point being I think taking a group of shows, any group. and labeling them all as the "lowest common denominator" is a bit of a blanket judgment and not really a fair assessment. Your thread title is also quite misleading compared to what you ask in your post. You ask, "Anyone else got an anime that they love, but probably wouldn't list in the wide range of anime to recommend to friends?" but yet the thread title is "Surprisingly Good Anime". So which is it? Do you want to know people's dirty little guilty pleasures and discuss shows they wouldn't suggest to friends/family and why, or do you want people to discuss anime they didn't expect much from but were surprisingly good?
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:16 pm Reply with quote
First I have to think of genre that I hate, and I think "hate" can be strong actually because I have seen some good examples that actually have had me seek out further in that genre to find more surprisingly good anime for a genre.

Actually, I have a big one. I hate sports anime, I don't really care for sports personally, and always thought that there could be no real sports anime that could really garner my interest. But Haikyuu is awesome, even more surprising that the sport is volleyball, and from description alone I was writing it off, but now I am a huge fan of that series. Most sports anime still bore me to tears, but Haikyuu is something so good. Perfect use of getting you pumped, and I actually find all of the characters charming.

So I think that my dislikes in anime fall into sports, and the similar groups of bishie boys acting in those ways, extends to BL, and a little into the reverse harem genre, the ones that have those sorts of boys. I keep trying them, and I usually end up writing a huge rant about how much I did not like them, but I want the rare ones that I will really like.

For reverse harems, which I don't as a whole totally hate, I put forward Kamigami no Asobi. In general I don't see this show talked about that much, but it felt like it had a perfect mix of taking a laugh at itself, staying interesting with its own themes, and importantly the heroine is not just a pushover. It made at least for me, the entire show pretty easy to swallow.

And, I know this might sound bad, but I have not tended to be so hot on shows that showcase a "so mature drama", where time periods could come into play, and there be some obscure art as a main focus. Like I don't really want things like say BL teasing, with pretty archaic social rules, and expected to feel invested in something that culturally was falling out of relevance. But all of those things describe Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū, with plots of an ex-con in the past doing a 10 minute performance of telling a story while sitting down the entire time, surprisingly hooked me with being damn awesome.

And lastly, I am not sure how much I can say it was great, but for a BL anime, I did not find Love Stage to be that terrible, with the provision that it had some parts that were still not so hot. But I would say that I surprisingly found it okay.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:07 am Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
I could type virtually the identical paragraph for Queen's Blade.

I was about to do that very thing. QB has a much better story, characterization, and artwork than you could expect given what is primarily a fanservice feast. The quality declines beginning with the third season, "Rebellion," though. I also liked the even-more-ecchi "specials" that accompanied the disc releases. They were witty and cute.
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:43 am Reply with quote
For me, the decline in QB started in the second season. It's been a while since I've seen it, so I'm light on specifics, I just remember not being as engaged with the story as much as the first season.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:50 pm Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:
Jose Cruz wrote:

Also, I don't like "anime", I like great works of art that happen to be animated and made in Japan. .

By now we all get it, you're a sophisticated hobbiest and enthusiast or fine art, not simply some lowly "fan" of pedestrian merchandise. Especially those from the west which are all far inferior. You bring this haughty attitude into most generalized discussions involving anime and manga.


You misunderstood it.

I was just saying that I do not stereotype a culture. Because saying that you like "anime" means that you like "animation made in Japan", as if all animation made in Japan were similar to each other just because it was made in Japan. As if Hyouge Mono and Symphogear were roughly the same thing....

Considering the enormous cultural impact and diversity of manga which is reflected into its animated adaptations, saying that that you like or dislike "anime" is as meaningless as saying that you like or dislike American music. Like American music, manga is extremely varied. So one cannot make those crude generalizing statements regarding the visual culture of Japanese civilization. And so I naturally tend to point that out when someone stereotypes it.

Anyway, western animation fans by stereotyping anime hurt its image and generate prejudice against it. By the way, I am a westerner too.
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Psycho 101
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:26 pm Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
For me, the decline in QB started in the second season. It's been a while since I've seen it, so I'm light on specifics, I just remember not being as engaged with the story as much as the first season.

If season 2 didn't grab you Rebellion probably would not as well. You know by now my love of T&A and even I was yawning through QB Rebellion and the second half of season2 before it. Same thing happened to Ikki Tousen as well. Both actually had half way decent plots and the fights were the draw of course. Then the fights got lack luster and even the T&A got boring. Sad.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:19 am Reply with quote
Interesting, at least at the time, which admittedly I did not watch a lot of heavy fanservice shows, I actually found a barrier for me at the first episode with the clothes destroying acid, which may or may not have come from nipples. And that is something surprisingly good?

For fanservice shows I could say surprisingly good (which I did not because I don't automatically hate them) I think Highschool DxD, which actually has some not too bad plot despite everything.
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niji9t



Joined: 12 Jul 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:52 am Reply with quote
'Surprisingly' good anime automatically means guilty pleasure to me and in that case I'll have to go with Watashi ga motete dousunda. (which has the stupidest English title ever, the Japanese one is way more accurate and funny) I'm not into BL but to me it's a parody to the whole otaku/fujoshi fandom and I just love that. [/i][/b]
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phia_one



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:49 pm Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:
For reverse harems, which I don't as a whole totally hate, I put forward Kamigami no Asobi. In general I don't see this show talked about that much, but it felt like it had a perfect mix of taking a laugh at itself, staying interesting with its own themes, and importantly the heroine is not just a pushover. It made at least for me, the entire show pretty easy to swallow.


I actually enjoy reverse harems, but it's rare to find one that I find 100% enjoyable so I'm in complete agreement about Kamigami no Asobi. I can't help but compare other reverse harems to it when I find one worth watching.

Though it's not quite as good, I'd also add Magic-Kyun Renaissance which aired last year. It actually had a lot going for it: interesting premise, character development for the heroine, and nice art. The writing got sloppy toward the end though and I didn't like all the guys like I did in Kamigami no Asobi


Last edited by phia_one on Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Kruszer
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:24 pm Reply with quote
Coyote Ragtime Show-Despite how it first appears it turns out to have a lot more depth with spoiler[deadbeat dad, Mister, and his estranged adopted daughter burying the hatchet as he takes her on an adventure to find her father's legacy.]

Innocent Venus-This one has some interesting plot twists.

Zone of the Enders TV-Another show that ended up being more than meets the eye as as divorced man lands in a heap of trouble and his estranged family get dragged into it as well, but spoiler[through the course of the show the family that was torn apart become closer again. ]
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Chiibi



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:28 pm Reply with quote
Kodomo No Jikan really surprised me by how good it was. Because the premise is so controversial that it would send 9 out of 10 people commanding that all fans of the series should be sentenced to prison, it's extremely difficult to talk about it, even on anime forums.

Pushing the 'lolicon' themes aside, it deals with three children having serious issues and how the adults around them respond to these issues. And these same adults also have issues themselves. So everyone is messed up and it's rewarding to see them all develop and grow. It's really an excellent psychological character study with some heart-breaking drama among the laugh-out-loud 'that's so inappropriate that you can only laugh because real kids do this'-humor.

It's just that a lot of people can't get past the squick factor (which I can't blame them for since the manga made me extremely uncomfortable at times) but if you can and are not easily offended, I'd recommend it.

Blood- wrote:
Anybody else see this title or am I alone in my degradation?


A "friend" (he's not so much now) really likes Lime-iro and he showed it to me. I did not much care for the one episode...but I can assure you, other people like it, apparently. Anime hyper
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:59 pm Reply with quote
phia_one wrote:
Though it's not quite as good, I'd also add Magic-Kyun Renaissance which aired last year. It actually had a lot going for it: interesting premise, character development for the heroine, and nice art. The writing got sloppy toward the end though and I didn't like all the guys like I did in Kamigami no Asobi

I think that they played it too safe, they did quite a bit of the heroine having worries, on top of trying to help the dudes. But it kind of felt her part was more incidental, it did not entirely feel like there was an active thread of her helping them, some of the resolutions would come out of nowhere, especially with the last boy, who was the closest to feeling like a challenge to the heroine. And it might not even help that on some level I felt like I was comparing it to Mikagure School Suite due to a kind of similarity in setting, but a heroine with a quite different mode of action. It was not a total loss though, I seemed to remember thinking that the female friend was a pretty good character.

But maybe I also should mention rather than before, a reverse harem anime with BL themes, that I quite liked by premise alone to a point I think I might don't really feel like calling it surprising. It would be Kiss Him, Not Me. Its reasons come down from kind of letting itself be silly like it should, a great heroine, and some real feelings of awareness of problematic elements of the genre.
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