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20 Years Ago: The Best Anime of 1999


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hooliganj



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
Posts: 102
Location: Longhorn Central
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:20 pm Reply with quote
The best anime from 1999 was the first OVA for Rurouni Kenshin, but I suppose that falls under your rule that the show has to have started within the year.

In that case, I choose Crest of the Stars as my favorite new show of 1999, though a longer list would probably include I'm Gonna Be an Angel!, Jyubei-chan: Legend of the Lovely Eyepatch, Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko, Magic User's Club, and the afore-mentioned Legend of Black Heaven.

Looking at that list, 1999 was a peak year for a lot of good-but-weird shows.
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Huffdaddy



Joined: 04 Aug 2017
Posts: 8
Location: Philadelphia, PA
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:25 pm Reply with quote
I'm very surprised that Daryl neglected to mention my personal favorite anime that started in the Fall of 1999. Now And Then Here And There. Fantastic show. One of Akitaro Daichi's best works...even more so because it plays very much against what you would expect from an Akitaro Daichi show. I admit that I have not revisited it in a very long time, but I am sure it still holds up in 2019. Parts of that show are still seared into my memory 20 years later.

Highly recommended.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1573
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:05 pm Reply with quote
In a lot of ways I prefer the 1999 version of Hunter x Hunter over the reboot because I really like the atmosphere of the show, the older animation style, and the haunting music, especially that beautiful opening theme song. I feel like 1999 is one of my favorite years for anime with a lot of great classics like Magic User's Club, Crest of the Stars, Serial Experiments Lain, and of course, one of my big favorites, Digimon Adventure. 1999 seemed to be a big year for proxy battle anime in general with two more of my favorites, Medabots and Monster Rancher, also coming out the same year as Digimon. I guess it's not surprising since it's right off the heels of the success of the Pokemon anime. I still wish we could get Phantom Thief Jeanne licensed as I always wanted to see it but at least the manga is available.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3448
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:24 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
My Neighbors the Yamadas, you see, was fully animated through digital animation that emulates the visuals of hand-drawn animation, with its digital paint meant to evoke that of a watercolor painting in motion; most of the movie is set against a white background to simulate a comic strip being brought to life before your eyes.
I find it sort of odd that they had to use digital paint to make the film look like it was draw in watercolour. Sure you can't paint a cel with watercolour, to get around that they could have done all the frames of animation in watercolour, scanned them into a image software program and cut them out. It may have taken longer, but that wouldn't have made any difference with Takahata.
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ErikaD.D



Joined: 09 Jun 2019
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:53 pm Reply with quote
I'm surprised he didn't mention Digimon Adventure (original). 20 years?! Time surely flies.
I barely remember watching Digimon when I was little but I did watch it.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 750
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:28 pm Reply with quote
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The story is great, the English dub is solid, but speaking as a person who regularly watches old anime that just doesn't get what people are talking about most of the time when they say they can't get into those shows for looking old: the digital pans and shortcuts combined with the standardized character design pool make 1999 AIC shows like Black Heaven and Evangelion parody Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure look OLD. Kind of like how sprite-based NES and SNES games still look good to me while 90s polygon-based ones just don't.

So very true. Even at the time, it was a shock for some of us kids who had just been getting into anime, coming off of some of the very best cel animation had to offer, and then...lots of this stuff. I feel like that digital weirdness only started to finally go away completely from everything after 2010 or so. Although it's also interesting to me when early digital anime that isn't at a movie budget manages to look pretty good (FLCL, the second Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou)

Admittedly I remain rather bummed how common the narrative that The Big O's weird ending was a rip off is now - maybe it was just the circles I ran in, but it seems like more people were accepting of it at the time. I still like it for what it is, and I hope people don't avoid this show because of it.

Speaking of being bitter about common old anime takes
Quote:
...but also the fact that Tomino was coming off two now-legendary train wrecks (Garzey's Wing and Brain Powered)...

I will do it. I swear, I will do it.

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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1021
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:39 pm Reply with quote
Very surprised nobody's mentioned Great Teacher Onizuka!

Somewhat less surprised nobody's mentioned Excel Saga or Infinite Ryvius. (Haven't seen the latter, but seen its name come up a number of times over the years.)
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AholePony



Joined: 04 Jun 2015
Posts: 288
Location: Arizona
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:47 pm Reply with quote
Yeah GTO, Crest of the Stars, Blue Gender, Initial D, Excel Saga, and Now and Then, Here and There seem like pretty glaring omissions from this list.
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 1098
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:03 pm Reply with quote
I feel that the Tenchi in Love 2/Tenchi Forever movie deserves a mention. It's a surprisingly beautiful cap-off to the Tenchi Universe storyline, and Tenchi finally (albeit implicitly) chooses someone, which is more than anyone can ever say for what will ever happen in the Kajishima storyline.
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ChibiGoku



Joined: 29 May 2004
Posts: 622
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:15 pm Reply with quote
Really upset that Ojamajo Doremi was, for all intents and purposes completely skipped over, despite how much it influenced and looked fondly back on by many animators even today... You make a brief blip on the article, but that's it.

Sigh...
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LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
Posts: 112
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:25 pm Reply with quote
The first Zoids anime, sometimes called Chaotic Century, started in 1999. I think it's underrated and notable for a number of reasons: unique and interesting art direction; fun and compelling characters; a coming-of-age story that mixes a hero's journey-type adventure with military-based war and an almost supernatural mystery; solid OST; plenty of twists and turns that have people switching sides and running into various conspiracies or emotional interludes; and a different sort of take on the mecha genre by nature of its mechanical designs. Actually, the scifi world it presents in general is fairly different.

And since you talked about One Piece long-term, the way the time skip is handled and plays out is very intriguing in how it mixes up the status quo while building on previously unresolved questions. It results in one of the better anime climax arcs; I haven't seen many time skips work this well. In some ways, while not recognized as such, this Zoids was the Eureka Seven or Gurren Lagann of its time, having elements both of those stories would focus on years later. But perhaps most importantly, it was an early series that relied heavily on CG with cel-shading, and it is perhaps the most prominent and successful example of its time, in my opinion--which got better and better as the seasons progressed through direct sequel Guardian Force and spinoff/sequel New Century ZERO. I often wonder if the techniques it pioneered led to stuff like GitS: SAC's CG look...and basically the kind of cel-shaded CG and anime-style movements we take for granted in anime today.

At the end of the day, though, Zoids deserves credit for just being such a rewarding series to watch. It pays off on basically every story thread and character it introduces, and keeps you guessing a lot along the way. I think the fact that it is based on a toy line is the first reason it is overlooked, second reason is the genre and its unique spin on it, and third reason is people don't realize how much the story and characters develop over time.

While the idea of sentient robot creatures as controllable mecha seems totally absurd and goofy, the way it's presented makes it as good, if not better, than the average Gundam series, and it has moments that stack up with the best of Gundam. I say this as a Gundam fan, too. I was completely surprised by Zoids. And for Gundam fans, I would say it is sort of a spiritual successor to After War Gundam X.

As a fun aside, years afterward, a number of notable voice actors worked on the slightly edited English-dubbed version of the show, including Mark Gatha (Mega Man X, Domon Kasshu).

EDIT: There was supposed to be more to BIG-O, and there's a lot more that's given in the show than it's a TV show. It's unfortunate it had that lasting reputation. See this thread for more info on Season 3 and broader theories: animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3092613&highlight=bigo


Last edited by LightningCount on Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:00 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 714
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:30 pm Reply with quote
It is funny what has endured the passage of time since 1999. I can still remember the days in the fandom when the One Piece anime was consider a great masterpiece and what 4Kids would do to it was famed as a crime against humanity. Nowadays? Still well liked but Toei's adaptation is much more open to criticisms and the view is there have been other shonen series that have surpassed it. Hunter x Hunter? A cult classic that only the real hardcore fans of Yu Yu Hakusho were into. Now, thanks to Madhouse, It's in the running for the best and most well-received anime of this decade.

Kicksville wrote:

Speaking of being bitter about common old anime takes
Quote:
...but also the fact that Tomino was coming off two now-legendary train wrecks (Garzey's Wing and Brain Powered)...

I will do it. I swear, I will do it.


Don't. There are so many better and saner hills to die on.
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KyokoBestMeguca



Joined: 05 Aug 2018
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:05 pm Reply with quote
How have we gone this long without mentioning the true best anime of 1999: Reign: the Conqueror? In all its bizarre terribleness I can't help but love it.
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Heishi



Joined: 06 Mar 2016
Posts: 973
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:13 pm Reply with quote
So glad someone put Legend of Black Heaven as their best anime of 1999.
I do think its one of the most underrated anime ever made.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 8522
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:36 pm Reply with quote
It would be best to understand that this was before anything like streaming or simuldubs. While these shows came out in 1999, that was not how many of us experienced them. I am not into fansubs so I was dependent on official releases. Because of this the only thing I might see while they were comine out is some mention in one of several anime magazines of what was out in Japan. Those notices were not provided for all shows as far as I know, only the most notable.

After that there would be nothing out except for very notable shows. Usually we had to wait two or more years for the show to be licensed, (sometimes much longer). At that point you would start to see publicity in the anime magazines a few months prior to the release of the first single. A lot of these were 26 episodes series and depending on how the publisher wanted to milk the release it might be a year or more before the last of six or eight singles completed a single series.

It didn't help that the publishers in this country seldom provided any information as to when the show came out in Japan. A show that came out two to three years ago (that is very recent) could easily be issued at the same time as shows that were five to ten years old. I initially came to ANN to check the Encyclopedia to find out just how old the shows and manga I was buying were.

And Daryl's selections were impeccable, even though I have been into anime through the entire period since these shows were released in Japan, I haven't seen any of them except Colorful.
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