Have you ever tried anime?
Too many silly jokes and ridiculous powers? Overly endowed female character designs a bit offensive? The same story again and again with different character designs? Is a cartoon just something for children? Well perhaps you should try one of these carefully selected animes for the discerning viewer:
The second attempt to bring Hiromu Arakwa’s manga series to the screen saw a much more faithful adaptation of the story of a young alchemist searching for a way to restore his brother and his body to the way they were before a terrible alchemic accident.
The most traditional anime from our list, this epic story of tragedy and the toppling of a fascist state, set in the early 1900s in a world not unlike our own but where alchemy has been perfected, contains a lot of comedy asides and manga visual cues that maybe be unfamiliar to some. Yet it rises above its peers with a scope of storytelling and characterisation often left out of a monthly manga.
A series that defines the word cool; from our lead, bounty hunter (or cowboy)Spike, with a tragic back story and a lone wolf attitude, to the deftly designed universe of a future where humanity has colonised the galaxy, Cowboy Bebop drips with excess style.
As Spike takes on bounties across the galaxy with his rag tag gang of misfits aboard the spaceship Bebop to a perfect soundtrack of jazz and blues-infused classics by the eminent Japanese soundtrack artist Yoko Kanno, there may not even be a need to watch the subtitles, just sit back and soak in the experience.
Number three on our list steps up the quality by taking us into the realms of the true head (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
After receiving an email from a school friend who committed suicide, telling her that she has become part of ‘the Wired’, Lain is dragged into a world were ’the Wired’ (the internet) has reached a point where human consciousness can be integrated into it, beginning an exploration into human consciousness and the philosophy of technology involving conspiracy, heartache and haunting, sometimes confusing, imagery.
This seventy-four episode drama strips away all pretence of anime as it is usually seen: no powers, and no ridiculous comedy characters. Monster is the story of a renowned brain surgeon making one mistake, when he chooses to save the wrong life one night, and the years following as he tries to make up for it.
An exploration into evil, the morality of our choices and whether we have the ability to atone for our sins.
OK, so our number one has a little more of the traditional anime than we’d like, with a lead built like a broom dressed in tight latex carrying two melons, and a setting of the not so distant future where cyberization is common place.
But with a supremely intelligent writing staff this series continues where the film left off, giving us a commentary on where technology is taking us and the question of what is human, as computers reach a stage of unprecedented awareness. Mixed in with a story of corporate terrorism and societal manipulation through modern media, this could be a lot closer to the truth of what is to come than the well-endowed character design of Motoko Kusanagi may lead you to believe.