Anime recommendations for a beginner


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Hey everyone, I thought I'd try asking for some advice. Id like to get my girlfriend into some anime, trouble is she has a rather short attention span. For her to like or get into something, stuff has to be constantly happening. Id prefer to avoid stuff with excessive fanservice though I feel like she could deal with a little bit.

She's only watched the first 8 episodes of Attack on Titan so far but she seems to be enjoying it. She also loves Kiki's Delivery Service strangely enough.


I'm old school-ish on anime:

Akira
Megazone 23
Mospeada
Macross
Golgo 13


If she likes Kiki's Delivery Service, any of the other Studio Ghibli stuff would be a good bet.


You can't go wrong with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood or Trigun. Top notch series, both low on fanservice.
Ao no Exorcist / Blue Exorcist is a series that I really like in manga format, but the anime annoyed me more and more as it went on due to not following the manga. If you're only watching the anime, maybe it's worth it? There's quite a bit of action right off the bat, and except for one character (Shura), fanservice isn't really a thing.

But wait, here I'm just suggesting Shounen series. What does your girlfriend like? Action? Comedy? Romance?
Speaking of romance, please have her watch Ouran High School Host Club. It is insane, there's always something crazy lurking around the corner, and all the fanservice is aimed at the female viewers.


Get thee to the "let's talk about anime" thread so we can all reminisce there.


Both vampire hunter d's, both full metal alchemists,Trigun, samurai champloo, cowboy bebop, berserk, and flcl.
Vampire hunter d is what got me into anime way back in the day when it was shown on the scifi channel. Flcl is what got my woman into anime but her favorite is cowboy bebop.


Action and comedy are her favorites. I dont think she takes non-live action romance seriously though. And I showed her Spirited Away (my all time favorite Myazaki film) and she was pretty meh about it.


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Hm... How is she about romantic comedies?

-Romantic Comedy that are funny (imo)-
Lovely Complex (equal mix)
His and Her Circumstances (equal mix)
My Bride Is A Mermaid (Mostly comedy)

-Action-
Gundam
Guren Lagann
Linebarrels of Iron
Spriggan (movie)
Fate series (/Stay, /Zero, and one more I can't recall)

-Action and comedy with a hint of romance, neh?-
Baka and Test (there was not an episode where I didn't need to pause to catch my breath)

-Action with a bit of romance-
Hiiro no Kakera

-Miyazaki-
Probably would've been better off with something like Howl's Moving Castle. It's got bombs and pseudo polymorphed wizard fights....

-Other stuff-
Di Gi Charat
Chibi Vampire (Karin)
Ragnarok Detective Loki
Sister Princess (hilarity)
The Gokusen (slice of life about a yakuza princess becoming a high school teacher at a delinquent boy school)
Real Bout Highschool (Action, with some comedy, such as dressing up as magical girls, including the one male)
City Hunter (I've only got the .357 Magnum movie, also funny, but it's one of those very old anime, like had the random little bird going over the heads, the dragonfly leading the dots in a ... across the screen....)
Hellsing & Hellsing Ultimate (need I say more?)
Vampire Hunter D (she might like the second more than the 1st)
Vampire Knight (Action with a hint of mystery and romance, a few funny parts)

Hmm... That's a pretty good selection for now. Personally I'd suggest showing her the more unknown or older animes, rather than get her started on the mainstream "Big Three" (Naruto/Bleach/One Piece).

Just... Try not to introduce her to Pani Pani Dash, Puni Puni Poemy, or Excell Saga too early. They're generally more geared for their comedy towards people who are already familiar with and like anime. The humor in those 3 are just strange in comparison to what one would be used to if one wasn't into anime.

Edit: Most of what I suggested isn't generally 'mainstream', as in, they weren't on TV. Okay a few were, but still. Reason I suggest avoiding mainstream to start off with is that they are EVERYWHERE! On youtube, commercials on TV, chats and forums on the web. Hell, most of them even have video games. Anything with a metric ton of AMVs on youtube should generally be watched a little later.

Any exposure to too much of that has a strong chance of biasing one towards said anime. IF the AMVs suck, then there's a chance the anime sucks. IF the AMVS are awesome, then the anime must be awesome, right!? That kind of thing. Not to mention they give away way too damn much.

Also if there's too much of a fanbase and she's like my fiance, having too much of an obsessed fanbase could turn her off to a particular anime. Like literally, searching up on an anime and wind up finding nothin but internet forum fights about who's with who or "he belongs to me", both of which are shockingly common when anything with Naruto or Bleach crops up. My fiance gets disturbed with that kind of fandom so generally winds up getting turned off to whatever anime that happens with. I don't think I'll ever get her into One Piece or Bleach ever again, lol. The fact that a bunch of rabid fangirls got into a hair pulling-biting-fist fight over which one of them had claim to Sasuke and Itachi at the single anime con I ever convinced her to go to, doesn't help matters.

Edit 2: Oh, more anime.

3x3 eyes
Bastard!! (six episodes taken from various points in the manga, kind of confusing, but badass nonetheless)
Blue Gender
... I'll probably drop by to drop off some more anime later.


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Monster. It's very engaging. It's a fantastic, psychological thriller with one of the scariest and most intelligent villains I've ever seen.

It'll definitely hold someone's attention. I was captivated by it!


I did say romance about Ouran High School Host club, but it's mostly comedy. For the most part if you take Ouran seriously, you're doing something wrong. Especially early on.

Time for a bad suggestion:
How about Silver Fang aka. Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin? That's the first anime I ever saw, and six or seven-year-old Thymus Vulgaris was totally into it. Now, it's not a bad suggestion because I liked it as a kid. Gods no, that show is not appropriate for children. It just moves at a snail's pace unless you have the (heavily) censored version that we had on VHS here in Scandinavia. It does have action, and it gets very bloody for a show about talking dogs. Even the censored version is very bloody, and the uncut version has 200 minutes worth of content that was too brutal.

Okay, no, that was indeed a bad suggestion for someone who needs action all the time. (I think, I haven't watched it in ages). The rest of my own personal anime shelf is either pokémon or Ghibli, so how about... I like Fairy Tail, but it might have too much fanservice. Maybe Dragon Ball (not DBZ!), for a combination of action and gag/comedy, although it admittedly does have some boobs. But again, they're more there for comedy than to be titillating.
I can't swear to the pacing, but I think Rurouni Kenshin might be a good bet. I've only seen 30 or so episodes and that was over half a decade ago, but I think it was pretty good about stuff happening. (Note: I did read the entire manga later on). Fanservice isn't much of an issue, if at all.


Artemis Moonstar wrote:


The Gokusen (slice of life about a yakuza princess becoming a high school teacher at a delinquent boy school)

The Gokusen is amazing. Drawing style maybe not so much, but once you get past that, it's great :D I've probably seen the anime twice, and then the two first drama seasons once on top of that ^^


Im taking Hellsing and Cowboy Bebop into consideration. Also really thinking about showing her Black Lagoon.


If she likes "action and comedy," I'd suggest Samurai Champloo as well as Cowboy Bebop.

Space Dandy might be okay for that, but as it's highly episodic and disjointed until the big reveal, it might not be suitable.

If you want oldschool action AND comedy, go with Dirty Pair, Lupin 3 (any of them), and hm... Porco Rosso?

No offense intended to anyone who's suggested it, but I found the second Vampire Hunter D film to be grossly inferior to the original (and it felt really contrived), but many people like it, so...

If she likes AOT, maybe PMMM? Turn the Magical Girl trope over a few times and lop off it's head?

Community Manager

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Azumanga Daioh.
Fruits Basket (though I don't remember how fanservicey it is)
Twelve Kingdoms (which I need to finish watching).
Knights of Sidonia.

Paizo Employee Software Test Engineer

I would recommend The Devil is a Part Timer! I haven't met a person yet that didn't enjoy it. Even better is its all on Hulu for free.

Also +1 for Space Dandy, it took me a few episodes to get into, but once I did I ended up marathoning the entire series.


Liz Courts wrote:

Azumanga Daioh.

Fruits Basket (though I don't remember how fanservicey it is)
Twelve Kingdoms (which I need to finish watching).
Knights of Sidonia.

12 Kingdoms is one of my favorite series and I am so sad it isn't longer.

Accountant

I'm going to also throw my votes behind Fairy Tail and The Devil is a Part Timer!

Fairy Tail is a bit on the fanservicey side, but I feel like the ladies in that anime have really great stories which helps to balance that out for me.

I've only just started to watch The Devil is a Part Timer but it cracks me up every time I watch an episode.

Howl's Moving Castle is my favorite Miyazaki film to date, closely followed by Porco Rosso, though that <i>might</i> be a touch on the romantic side for her.

I know that our library system has a really good selection of anime, so if you can't find something on Netflix or Hulu or other streaming services check that out. I also like picking up the mangas of the animes I'm watching to see how close they are :).


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Ranma 1/2.

Perfect blend of action and comedy.


I'd have to say Fairy Tail is good for a beginner. Lots of episodes there, but not as dauntingly so as One Piece. Very light and fun for a beginner.

If you think about fanservice as "this character normally wouldn't go shirtless, but we'll do it now for you," You're good on that front. He just usually doesn't wear a shirt.

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On another note, I've watched Summer Wars three times in under a year, just because it's so darn good. You should have an appreciation of Japanese culture before you watch it, or you miss some of the jokes.


+1ing Cowboy Bebop, Akira, and all Miyazaki

If she likes slow-burn political/cultural machinations and existential analysis with gunfights and mechs in a post-cyberpunk setting, try her on the first Ghost in the Shell movie/OVA (from 1995). If she enjoys that, I'd then follow it with the (soft reboot) Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series, GitS: S.A.C. 2nd GIG (season 2) series, and GitS: S.A.C. Solid State Society movie. You can go back and watch Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence movie/OVA, but it's really a Batou movie with very little of the Major. I'd strongly recommend skipping the recent GitS: Arise miniseries entirely; it was awful.

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And while it isn't anime, I'd strongly recommend both seasons of the very funny and twisted Invader Zim.


Going to go with stuff I've watched recently that was good to balance out all the old staples.

Does she like manly guys doing manly flamboyant flamboyantly manly things?

Then JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a good one. Only "new" by anime standards, since the manga first came out in the 80's, but still great.

Been watching Blood Blockade Battlefront recently. It's pretty good. By the guy who made Trigun, and there's a good mix of action and comedy.

Space Dandy is pretty great. Mostly comedic.

One Piece is good, but takes a while to really hit its stride. No shortage of action though.

Parasyte is one of my all time favorite manga, and the anime they made recently is really good too. If she likes Attack on Titan, she'll probably like this (and it's far better IMO).


Thanks to everyone for your suggestions! Ive never seen Ouran High School Host Club before, ill have to give the first few episodes a watch to see if its something shed been into.

Shadow Lodge

Kyoukai no Kanata covers basically every genre. Plus, the animation is gorgeous.


I prefer Guyver to parasyte.


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Oh!

Tiger and Bunny is really great if she likes super heros. Like The Avengers, but with company sponsors.

The Exchange

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a must watch action.

Spacy Dandy is excellent also and I really enjoyed it. The episode A World with No Sadness was amazing (rewatching it now because it was just that good).

EDIT: Forgot to mention Space Dandy did simultaneous airing in both English and Japanese and had puns localized for each. You will get a slightly different experience depending on which you listen in.

These are a bit out the genres you had but I consider them both must watches for anyone getting into anime.

Death Note. Stop at episode 26.

Steins; Gate: A Sci-fi classic.

And then a pick that is probably not what she was expecting at all but could be enjoyable if she likes music "Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso" or Your Lie in April. It aired rather recently but has very high ratings.

Sovereign Court

Bleach, Naruto.

If you wanna get depressed and vein cutty, Bokurano or Evangelion

If you like mecha: Gundam and Full Metal Panic! Guilty crown too

Parasyte if you're into weird stuff.


Avatar the last airbender. Yes, it is not technically anime, but still worth watching.

Blood +

Black Lagoon is dark but fun.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

If you have Netflix or even regular Hulu, I highly recommend Sword Art Online, particularly the first arc.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Full Metal Alchemist/Full Metal Achemist: Brotherhood
Attack on Titan
Shingeki no Bahamut
Gundam
Eureka Seven
Fate/Zero
Fate/Stay Night
Psycho Pass
Soul Eater
Magi
Ghost in the Shell
Sword Art Online

Pretty much anything my Hayao Miyazaki


Add RWBY to your list of "anime" to watch.

And Appleseed.


KaiserBruno wrote:

Hey everyone, I thought I'd try asking for some advice. Id like to get my girlfriend into some anime, trouble is she has a rather short attention span. For her to like or get into something, stuff has to be constantly happening. Id prefer to avoid stuff with excessive fanservice though I feel like she could deal with a little bit.

She's only watched the first 8 episodes of Attack on Titan so far but she seems to be enjoying it. She also loves Kiki's Delivery Service strangely enough.

What non-anime stuff does she like? (My wife's intro to anime was Perfect Blue - but I'm not going to suggest that unless your girlfriend likes psychological thrillers. Perfect Blue is what you'd get if Alfred Hitchcock took over the Disney studio for a film)

Seeing as she likes Attack on Titan I'd recommend Knights of Sidonia, and if she likes Kiki's I'd also suggest other stuff by the same studio. Nausicca and Princess Mononoke should appeal.


Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns by Ghibli are technically prequel-sequel, but they are completely different. Whisper is gushy and lovey, but Cat is action-adventure.

Whisper is a Ghibli classic, while Cat is lesser known, but I /much/ prefer The Cat Returns.


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Whatever you do, don't let her watch Grave of the Fireflies.

You shouldn't watch it either.

In fact, you shouldn't let anyone watch it unless they are suffering from staggering levels of positive self-esteem and extreme happiness... which it will totally crush.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The anime movie "Sword of the Stranger".

Saw it as a Fathom movie event, very well done.

Grand Lodge

Of the classic Ghibili the only I don't really care for or recommend is "Princess Monoke" of the newer I don't care for Ponyo and prefer the UK dub of Arriety (if you can find it).

Dark Archive

I recommend Cutie Honey (the original 1973 and the new Cutie Honey Flash series (which as I understand it is a full reboot more geared toward girls than the original (which was kinda popular with both girls and boys) not so much the 90's New Cutey Honey, that version wasn't shy about the nudity, although if she really likes the 1973 series, then go for the New Cutey Honey as they are actually sequels taking place 20 years later.)

It's similar to Sailor Moon (though it came out 20 years earlier) in that it's a 'magical girl vs. monster of the week' series, so with half hour episodes it is pretty quick with the action.

Here is a link to the specific version I am recommending (the Cutie Honey Flash I haven't even seen myself, as it's never been released in America, sadly... even this original 1973 version just got released finally in November 2013)

Cutie Honey Complete Series


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

Whatever you do, don't let her watch Grave of the Fireflies.

You shouldn't watch it either.

In fact, you shouldn't let anyone watch it unless they are suffering from staggering levels of positive self-esteem and extreme happiness... which it will totally crush.

Most likely the most depressing animated feature ever made, and in the running for most depressing film of all time as well. My wife refuses to consider watching it until she has much, much better antidepressants.


Grey Lensman wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

Whatever you do, don't let her watch Grave of the Fireflies.

You shouldn't watch it either.

In fact, you shouldn't let anyone watch it unless they are suffering from staggering levels of positive self-esteem and extreme happiness... which it will totally crush.

Most likely the most depressing animated feature ever made, and in the running for most depressing film of all time as well. My wife refuses to consider watching it until she has much, much better antidepressants.

Yeah, they really shouldn't shelf it in with the light-hearted anime where a mildly depressed 14-yro slaad can rent it. Sweet Jeebus, I've never cried that hard.


The Devil is a Part Timer,
Fairytail,
Lodoss War


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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Yeah, they really shouldn't shelf it in with the light-hearted anime where a mildly depressed 14-yro slaad can rent it. Sweet Jeebus, I've never cried that hard.

I remember when Revolutionary Girl Utena DVDs had "From the director of Sailor Moon!" on the cover.

Hooooo boy.

Liberty's Edge

Shakugan no Shana
Is This a Zombie?
Sorcerous Stabber Orphen
Trigun
Outlaw Star
Mobile Suit Gundam: 08th MS Team
Yamada's First Time: B Gata H Kei
Scrapped Princess
Rune Soldier Louie
Cowboy Bebop
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki (the three OVA series)
Eureka Seven and Eureka Seven AO
Last Exile and Last Exile: Fam The Silver Wing
Bodacious Space Pirates
The Devil is a Part Timer
Tiger and Bunny
Martian Successor Nadesico
Macross Plus (all of them really, but Plus is more compact than the three shows and easier to find than Zero)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

All of the above mentioned plus I really liked Naruto, Bleach, Record of Lodoss War, and Princess Mononoke.


I see a lot of good ones. Did anyone mention these yet?

Clannad
Clannad After Story (if she doesn't cry over these Clannad love stories, you better check her to see if she's a Cyberdyne Model 800, because you can be sure she's not human)

Angel Beats
Ghost Hound
Kamisama Dolls
Canaan
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
Night Raid 1931
Crest of the Stars
Banner of the Stars

Sovereign Court

Oh yeah!

Macross
Gal force
Record of Lodoss war


Liz Courts wrote:
Fruits Basket (though I don't remember how fanservicey it is)

If I recall correctly, there isn't really any fanservice. It is a shoujo series after all, so even if there were any, it would probably be guys serving as eye candy for the girls.


Devil is a Part Timer is also on Netflix.

Let me add to the catpile for Cowboy Bebop as well.

For fast paced action, as well as quirky humour, try Flcl. If you think she'd like moe with her action, try Girls und Panzer. If you think she'd like a Bruce Wayne esque hero and giant robots with her action, try Big O.


Gosh no some of the stuff people are suggesting are bad ideas...

Beginner! Remember that. So show her top notch stuff without some of the dark things or fan service.
-Moribito: An amazing piece that keeps you interested all the way through.
-Rideback: An under appreciated piece with a bit of a confusing political back story, BUT it is intensely character driven and will leave you crying by the end.
-Anything by Miyazaki: He is the Asian Disney.
-Cowboy Bebop: Fun characters and a bad ending... But it is a really fun ride while it lasts.

I would show some Ghost in the Shell... BUT I may totally be biased here. Since I GM a setting like this and LOVED every show or movie they made. Yes I think Arise is great, the only jarring thing in it for some people is getting used to the Major using a very different body than the one everyone is used to.

Liberty's Edge

I stand by my recommendations. I'd even add both Dirty Pair series and AD Police Files and Bubblegum Crisis. Oh, and Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01.

Admittedly Is this a Zombie? and Nadesico do loose a little without a good working knowledge of the genres involved and the first two episodes of Shana can be hard

Sovereign Court

While we're at it. Recommend me good Mecha and Cyberpunk anime please.

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