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Crispy Dave
2009-03-26, 01:52 PM
Ok so my new GF is totally into anime and Ive been wanting to get into it for a while. So I turn to the playground for your recommendations. I prefer to have it in Japanese with English subtitles but don't mind English voice actors.

and for every good recommendation I will give you a cookie.

good recommendations will include a short description of what it is about and what your parental rating you would give it and for what reasons.

Edit: I have netflix so I can get almost anything. If not I got ways to get imports.

She likes Death Note from what I have heard as well as bleach. When her and her sister get back from their tour I will be able to ask her sister what she has liked.

Twin2
2009-03-26, 02:10 PM
Metropolis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis_(anime))

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/ff/Metropolisanime_poster.jpg/200px-Metropolisanime_poster.jpg

This is an anime movie, but one I can not help but recommend highly. In terms of plot, the movie follows a young boy and his uncle (a private investigator). The story is set in the far future where humans and robots live together, unfortunately not in harmony. The plot starts to unfold when the boy meets a robot named Tima and her mysterious origin.

The film was given a PG-13 rating by the MPAA for violence and images of destruction.

Lord_Gareth
2009-03-26, 02:10 PM
The following are PG-13, for reasons including but not limited to: violence, mild gore, mild cursing (if you give a damn, that is), mature themes -

Fullmetal Alchemist - ....My brother and I thought we had nothing left to lose. We were wrong."

Edward and Alphonse Elric are certified alchemic prodigies - at the age of only twelve, Edward became certified as the State Alchemist, earning the title of Fullmetal. What they haven't told Edward's superiors is that Ed lost his leg - and Alphonse his entire physical body - in a failed attempt to bring their mother back from the dead. Ed gave up his right arm to bind Alphonse's soul to a suit of armor, and together they seek the only thing that can set things right again - the Philosipher's Stone.

The premise might sound a bit cheesy, but FMA is actually a very mature and insightful anime with excellent writing, great creative themes, and characters that seem like people instead of constructs. Definitely something to try if you like explosions with your philosiphy.

Death Note - "I am justice!" Light Yagami's life - and Japanese society - changes irreversibly when Light finds a small black notebook one day. The notebook claims to give him the power over life and death, and when Light learns that its power is no sham, he decides to use it to improve the world by executing criminals.

Death Note is an INCREDIBLE anime with a deep storyline and insights into a lot of common themes in both anime in life, as well as rich symbolism and a serious thing for Xanatos Gambits.

The following animes are rated R, for reasons including but not limited to: extreme violence, harsh language (if you care), nudity, sexual content, explicit gore -

Elfen Lied - Elfen Lied the story of Lucy, a sociopathic killer with telekinetic powers. It is also the story of Kouta, a young man with an unclear past, and the Dionclii, a race of beings that are, one by one, being systematically exterminated to "preserve the human race".

I'll play you straight on this one - I've only seen the first episode of Elfen Lied, but what I saw was incredible, and the series comes highly reccomended to me. Though there is prevalent nudity, this isn't a hentai series, and nudity is in fact an indication that whatever you're about to see is going to be incredibly disturbing. Only fourteen episodes were translated to English.

Neon Genesis Evangelion - "I musn't run away, I musn't run away... The single-greatest deconstruction of the Giant Mecha genre ever...and that's really all I've got. I haven't had the chance to actually watch it, you see. Violence, nudity, swearing - if you're easily offended, this is not the place to go.

Crispy Dave
2009-03-26, 02:20 PM
thanks so far guys. keep them coming.


Only fourteen episodes were translated to English.

How many are out there not in english? Think I could find it with english Subs somewhere?

Lord_Gareth
2009-03-26, 02:24 PM
I honestly have no idea ^_^ Sorry!

Crispy Dave
2009-03-26, 02:51 PM
Elfen Lied - Elfen Lied the story of Lucy, a sociopathic killer with telekinetic powers. It is also the story of Kouta, a young man with an unclear past, and the Dionclii, a race of beings that are, one by one, being systematically exterminated to "preserve the human race".

I'll play you straight on this one - I've only seen the first episode of Elfen Lied, but what I saw was incredible, and the series comes highly reccomended to me. Though there is prevalent nudity, this isn't a hentai series, and nudity is in fact an indication that whatever you're about to see is going to be incredibly disturbing. Only fourteen episodes were translated to English.


Read a few reveiws and I was told this was on the border of hentai which would be awkward to watch with my new girlfriend. It sounds awesome and I may watch it on my own anyway.

Mando Knight
2009-03-26, 03:14 PM
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TengenToppaGurrenLagann): Haven't watched this one myself, due to not knowing when its on and being too lazy to actually pay money for a decent-quality version... but has some memetastic exclamations which have pervaded TV Tropes quite thoroughly.

Bleach: A fairly typical Shōnen anime, involving a fairly intelligent, rather athletic teen gaining supernatural death-god powers and an empathic sword with which to slice through and blow up malevolent post-mortem spirits. His power escalates quickly, attaining the skill and ability level roughly equal to that of characters who have been training for sixty to seven hundred years... within the space of about a month.

Anything by Miyazaki Hayao (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayao_Miyazaki). Anything. Nausicaä, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, Porco Rosso... and due to his studio's rather strict control over the quality of the dubs, the English dubs are pretty decent as well.

Code Geass (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CodeGeass): ALL HAIL LELOUCH! Completely different from Bleach. Non-Action Guy (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NonActionGuy)Chessmaster (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheChessmaster) protagonist gains mind-control powers (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilEye) and rebels against his father to try to take over the world (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TakeOverTheWorld). Amusing note, brought to my attention by Adult Swim airing them consecutively: watch the English dubs of this and Bleach in series, and suddenly super-tough (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Determinator)One Man Army (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OneManArmy) Ichigo Kurosaki's voice comes out of the mouth of the physically pathetic (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NonActionGuy)tactical genius (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheChessmaster) Lelouch Lamperouge. Includes Humongous Mecha (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumongousMecha) and a blind and crippled kid sister.

Suzumiya Haruhi (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SuzumiyaHaruhi): Another tropetastic anime. Not a Shōnen anime, nor a Magical Girl anime... but full of mind-screwage (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MindScrew), and has the ultimate Genki Girl (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GenkiGirl). The actual seiyuu sing the end theme.

Joran
2009-03-26, 03:38 PM
It'd help us if you gave us an idea of what she liked before.

Cowboy Bebop: Widely considered one of the best anime series of all time and is probably the most Western-friendly one. A wacky group of Bounty Hunters (IN SPACE) take on capturing a criminal every episode. Alternately funny and dramatic, it's definitely the best series I have watched. Suitable PG-13, with occasional gun violence, minor drug use.

Trigun: Western-style shoot-em up. Follows the most dangerous man on the planet with a $$60 billion bounty on his head, two insurance girls are sent to try to contain his destruction. What they find completely surprises them. It's a very funny show in the first six episodes and takes a DRAMATIC turn somewhere in the middle. Suitable PG-13 with occasional gun violence.

Detective Conan (Case Closed in the United States, due to Conan the Barbarian) Murder mystery show with the primary detective being an six year old kid (actually a 17 year old high school student shrunk into his six year old kid body). This is pretty light and episodic, so it's a good series to just pick up and play when bored. Suitable PG-13 with occasional cartoon dismemberment.

I also completely second Miyazaki's films; they are absolute masterpieces.

kamikasei
2009-03-26, 03:56 PM
How many are out there not in english? Think I could find it with english Subs somewhere?

There are only fourteen episodes. It started out as a manga, and they made a thirteen-episode anime (with an OVA coming out later) before the manga was done, so it feels a little unfinished, but is in fact complete.

However, while it wasn't a deal-breaker for me, there is a lot of nudity and gore, which it'd be pretty fair to call gratuitous, and I'd have a hard time defending the creator against accusations that he just has or is pandering to a gore fetish. I would still recommend the show, but it comes with major caveats.

Anyway, my recommendations! (I second FMA and Death Note.)

First, the elephant in the room: Cowboy Bebop. Everyone should watch this. 26-episode show, plus a movie that you're probably better off without. In plot and setting it's rather like Firefly: the year is 2071, the hub of human civilization is on Mars, our heroes are bounty hunters ("cowboys") hopping around the solar system on a beat-up old tub called the Bebop. There's an overall arc but it only takes up a handful of episodes; most are fairly standalone. It's jazz + noir IN SPAAAACE! with an awesome soundtrack. I can't recommend it highly enough. Probably a 15s.

Then, the giants of anime movies: Akira, Ghost in the Shell, the Studio Ghibli canon leading off with Princess Mononoke. The last is the one I'd recommend the most highly; GitS is very good but also very weird (and might take a couple of viewings to "get", though that might have just been because I was exhausted and/or a lot younger when I saw it first), while Akira isn't as good but is a head trip you owe yourself. Mononoke is a semi-ecological adventure told in a fantasy version of medieval Japan (and has an excellent dub, unusually), GitS is a cyberpunk meditation on the nature of self in a future of cyborg bodies and brain hacks, and Akira is an anime deconstruction of superpowers where a street punk in NeoTokyo experiences a strange awakening. Akira and GitS I'd call 15s or 18s, Mononoke U or G.

Full Metal Panic! is a fun action/adventure/romance set in a version of the modern day where the cold war is still ongoing, but because of some mysterious source of advanced technology, fought with mecha. Our hero is a child soldier in a mercenary organization who's sent to a Japanese high school to watch over a girl there who they think might be a target for terrorists... and who doesn't much like being stalked by a weirdo gun nut with no social skills, especially since he's kind of cute. Based on a series of light novels, there are three seasons so far: a "main" show of 26 episodes, a spinoff called "Fumoffu!" which focuses on the silly and comedic stories from the source material, and a sort-of-proper-sequel called "The Second Raid" which is more serious. The main show and Fumoffu would be 15s, TSR might make 18s partly because of more nudity but mostly because it's just more disturbing (I found it had serious emotional impact compared to the first series).

Azumanga Daioh is pure silly comedy. It's based off a series of 4-koma comics, which are the Japanese equivalent of "newspaper comics" (in structure and pacing, not content). So the jokes are bitesize and slice-of-life, and the episodes wander around in bizarre directions. It's just some girls in a high school being weird and adorable.

Other good ones that I don't have time to detail right now: Gankutsuou, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Crispy Dave
2009-03-26, 04:04 PM
snip

so your rating system is 15s=15 and older and 18s=18 and older correct?

streakster
2009-03-26, 04:12 PM
Trigun. In the far future on a frontier planet, the world's most dangerous man, the living Act of God, the best gunman to ever live, the Human Typhoon, Vash the Stampede has a 60 billion double dollar bounty placed on his head. Every bounty hunter ever is after him. Sounds typical, you say? He's a pacifist. Only gets better from there. Has a great theme song, too. One of my favorites. Rating: Gun violence.

Slayers. You're here, on a site devoted to a DnD comic. I think you'll like Slayers. Hilarious, good action, and mercilessly makes fun of medieval fantasy and roleplaying games. Also contains the Dragon Slave, which makes it worth watching right there. Oh, and Xellos. And Zelgadis. And the pacifist Prince Phil, wielding such martial arts moves as the powerful "Pacifist Crush" and "Goodwill to all Mankind Smash!". And - you know what, just trust me on this one and watch some. There have been about six series, I beleive. Another favorite of mine. Rating: Well, nuclear-strength explosion are tossed around frequently, but most violence is played for slapstick.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Backing this one up. You'll jump out of your seat and pump your fists in the air in triumph, or you just aren't human. Dunno what I'd rate it - Occasional Fanservice? Epic Mecha Combat? Meh, Rated K for Kamina.

Hellsing. If you're worried about parental ratings, run very far away. Hellsing breaks them all. It has Alucard, though, the cure for the common vampire ( if you hate Twilight, Alucard is the shinyvamps antithesis) As for description, though - Secret Agent Dracula versus the vampire Nazis. Yes.

Bleach. Writing? Decent. (We even have plot twists! Well, a twist.) Interesting characters? LOADS. Monsters? Vile. Swords? Cool. Action? Present. Backing it up. Rating: Violence (natch) and everyone coughs up blood for some reason. Even if you stab them in the shoulder.)

Code Geass. Just backing this one up.

Kekkaishi. Hard to describe, but a decent attempt would be a shonen that replaces offense with defense. Much fun, parentally friendly.

Joran
2009-03-26, 04:25 PM
Crispydave,

It'd probably be extremely helpful if you tell us what you and your girlfriend liked so far, what you've watched. Anime is divided up into several genres and it'd greatly help recommendations if you tell us what type of genres you might like.

For instance, I absolutely love Azumanga Daioh and Yakitate!! Japan, which are absurd comedies. For others, who prefer serious anime, they probably don't do it for them.

Crispy Dave
2009-03-26, 04:36 PM
Crispydave,

It'd probably be extremely helpful if you tell us what you and your girlfriend liked so far, what you've watched. Anime is divided up into several genres and it'd greatly help recommendations if you tell us what type of genres you might like.

For instance, I absolutely love Azumanga Daioh and Yakitate!! Japan, which are absurd comedies. For others, who prefer serious anime, they probably don't do it for them.

I know she enjoys Death Note and Full Metal Alchemist plus tons more.

As for me. I really don't know. Almost any Anime I have watched I have enjoyed besides Naruto which isn't real anime in my mind.

Hunter Noventa
2009-03-26, 04:36 PM
Martian Successor Nadesico- Surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet. it's got a little bit everything. silliness, seriousness, romance, action, GIANT ROBOTS, conspiracies, mysterious actions. It's 26 episodes long, and some of a parody that takes itself seriously.

Vandread- Another giant robot show. Sort of. To sum up the opening, some guys from a planet full of men (don't ask) end up on a ship with a crew from a planet full of women (again don't ask) Together, they fight evil robots with the power of combining mecha, friendship, and suggestive situations.

I also wholeheartedly support Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Haruhi Suzumiya, Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell.

streakster
2009-03-26, 04:46 PM
Forgot to say that Bebop and Haruhi are awesome. Backing those up too.

JeminiZero
2009-03-27, 08:31 PM
Ouran Highschool Host Club: Get past the background and introduction 1st episode and its comedy gold from thereon.

Potemayo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1czIZgt-VA&feature=PlayList&p=AB1BB63FDC737FCC&index=0&playnext=1): The everyday life of a boy and his cat-like chibi.

Mai Hime (with 'Mai' sometimes spelled as 'My'): For the most part a magic girl drama, right up to the last episode. Then you will either love or hate the ending.

Lord of Rapture
2009-03-27, 08:46 PM
Anything by Miyazaki Hayao (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayao_Miyazaki). Anything. Nausicaä, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, Porco Rosso... and due to his studio's rather strict control over the quality of the dubs, the English dubs are pretty decent as well.

Code Geass (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CodeGeass): ALL HAIL LELOUCH! Completely different from Bleach. Non-Action Guy (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NonActionGuy)Chessmaster (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheChessmaster) protagonist gains mind-control powers (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilEye) and rebels against his father to try to take over the world (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TakeOverTheWorld). Amusing note, brought to my attention by Adult Swim airing them consecutively: watch the English dubs of this and Bleach in series, and suddenly super-tough (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Determinator)One Man Army (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OneManArmy) Ichigo Kurosaki's voice comes out of the mouth of the physically pathetic (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NonActionGuy)tactical genius (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheChessmaster) Lelouch Lamperouge. Includes Humongous Mecha (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumongousMecha) and a blind and crippled kid sister.

Suzumiya Haruhi (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SuzumiyaHaruhi): Another tropetastic anime. Not a Shōnen anime, nor a Magical Girl anime... but full of mind-screwage (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MindScrew), and has the ultimate Genki Girl (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GenkiGirl). The actual seiyuu sing the end theme.

Oh yes, Miyazaki. The first taste I ever had of anime. AND IT WAS AWESOME.:smallcool:

For Code Geass: Don't watch the second season, though, because that's when it all goes belly up. Go write infinitely better fanfiction for what comes next, because R2...
*curls up in a corner and whimpers*
Why Sunrise, why must you ruin all that is good and holy?

For Haruhi: When you're done watching, go check out the genderbent version. It makes everything better.

BRC
2009-03-27, 09:03 PM
I feel obliged to mention Baccano. Set in the 1930's America, it's upsides include a gripping story, well-done action scenes, great characters, and the best instrumental theme song this side of Tank!. It's downsides include gore, Names that appear to have been picked out of a dictionary at random (A guy named Claire, another named Jaccuzi), and the fact that it's only 14 episodes long (16 with the bonus DVD episodes I havn't seen). Also, the entire thing is told anachronistically, so it can get kind of hard to follow, but if you can follow it, the style makes it that much more interesting. Plus, it's actually three stories, and it only occasionally tells you when it's switched between them, so you have to be quick on the ball. It is a story of Crimes, both organized and non, conflict, love, and an elixir that makes people immortal. It's characters include mobsters, ditzy theives, psychopathic assassins, thugs, reporters, train conductors, members of an ancient conspiracy, terrorists, and a senator just to keep things interesting. I highly recommend it.

Mando Knight
2009-03-27, 09:12 PM
For Code Geass: Don't watch the second season, though, because that's when it all goes belly up. Go write infinitely better fanfiction for what comes next, because R2...
*curls up in a corner and whimpers*
Why Sunrise, why must you ruin all that is good and holy?

...I like R2...

...I just got this while watching the first episodes of the first season on YouTube:Almost the entire premise mirrors historical medieval European society: the entire show is about a family feud that happens to have international consequences, what with half-siblings at each others' throats for the right as heir and control of the world...

Krankheit
2009-03-27, 09:16 PM
I cant say much about each show as I don't want to accidentally drop spoilers

Ruroni Kenshin - go now, watch this, then read the rest of my list. A great anime set 10 years after the Meji Revolution. Kenshin Himura is a wandering swordsman who is trying to atone for is violent past. His efforts are disrupted by loose ends from his past coming back to haunt him on occasion.

Ranma 1/2 - a funny martial arts anime about a boy with 5 fiances who turns into a girl when splashed with cold water. His father turns into a panda.
^^^WARNING - RANMA 1/2 CONTAINS GRATUITOUS NUDITY^^^^^^^^^^

Gunbuster - giant robots saving the earth from aliens in biological ships. Not in English to my knowledge. and ends with one of the better giant robot vs monster fight scenes that ive seen.

The Big O - Imagine if you took Batman TAS, a few giant robots, and a bit of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. crushed them together and put it in a blender. the result would almost be The Big O, as none of them have the mind screws that this show throws at you. the show is excellent and highly recomendable.

Hellsing Ultimate - One uber-vampire killing lesser vampire by the dozen, with Nazis as his preferred (and most interesting) foes

Trinity Blood - Vampire that feeds on vampires who works for the Vatican. very interesting show, futuristic setting with some cool ideas

Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust - Half vampire D must save a girl abducted from her home by a vampire with the intent of making her his bride. Another vampire story in a futuristic setting, though this one is a bit more wasteland based.

.hack//Sign - Set in an MMORPG where users enter a form of virtual reality, the player Tsukasa cannot log out. fun series, interesting characters

Gundam Wing - 5 teenage soldiers are sent to earth from oppressed colonies to exact vengeance using state of the art giant robots

Robotech- very good giant robot series, just ignore Minmay. Basically a giant spaceship crashes on earth in the middle of ww3, uniting humanity against the potential threat of an alien invasion.

Space Pirate Captain Harlock: Endless Odyssey - a very good sequel to a series that can be found here http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Captain_Harlock#library_viewer_module=group_id%3D4 9950%26tab%3Dvideo (its official and legal ect) Basically both are about pirates in space saving the earth

im going to have to second Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Trigun, Cowboy Bebop and Princess Mononoke

The Evil Thing
2009-03-27, 09:22 PM
Oh God... not this thread again. It pops up like a weed every other month or so and people like me devote countless hours retyping thousand word responses describing in varying degrees of detail why our choices only tenuously match your tastes. You haven't really specified any tastes though, so all of these could apply in principle.

Saved by the quote function (and search function):
Follow the quotes back to the threads where other, more articulate Playgrounders qualify some of them.
Well... I'm lazy but not that lazy. I've played with some of the formatting to make it more readable.

Lessee...

Hayate the Combat Butler
Azumanga Daioh
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (Farewell, Mr. Despair)
Minami-ke
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Lucky Star (watch last)


Let's see... series that haven't been mentioned...

Initial D
I recommend you give this a spin (oh I kill me) even if racing isn't your cup of tea since it's really rather well done. An added bonus is that much of the series was released before fansubbers became enamoured by the abominably low standards of translation that seem so prevalent these days. In other words, you won't need to watch the dub. (Which I don't recommend anyway, since they changed the (mostly English language) soundtrack for some reason.)

El Cazador de la Bruja
After the rather gloomy Noir and Madlax (made by the same studio), this show is much more light-hearted and thus more fun. There are no stormtroopers or faceless mooks* in this one, just a small cast of well defined characters, including perhaps the most charming character in anime ever.

*This is a slight lie but not really a problem.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
This is rather more cerebral than other series I've mentioned but in this case that's a good thing. You might like to take it as a police procedural. With robots and cyborgs. Regardless it's a very good show, just ignore Motoko's ridiculous wardrobe choices.

Last Exile
There's no shortage of people in the forum extolling LE's virtues. Personally I found the plot a little slow-paced but the art really is just that; it looks absolutely beautiful.

Slayers
A fantasy comedy unusual for the fact it's utterly blasé about killing people (at least for the first fifteen episodes or so). There's a bit of DBZing going on towards the end but it's bearable. On the flip side it has occasional very funny moments that catch you off guard.

The Twelve Kingdoms
Recap episodes ahoy! That said, it's very, very good once it finally gets going. It just takes while to do so. This is based on a novel series which I believe is in the well meaning but dodgy hands of Tokyopop.

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
It's the result of watching a super robot show through a magical girl filter. The first season starts off in a typical magical girl fashion but soon brings out the big guns (literally) and we have gratuitous beam-spam'o'war all around.

Full Metal Panic
This is a mostly solid action series, although you may find the Sousuke-Gauron mutually assured destruction theme tiresome after Sousuke "kills" Gauron for the third time. If Sousuke's classroom antics irritate you, give Fumoffu a miss.

Shakugan no Shana
Unfortunately, I can't really sell SnS, I just don't know how; it's kind of like something you just watch for the hell of it. It's not bad or anything and it does the job of entertaining fairly well. It's is based on a light novel series but the licensors have thrown in the towel meaning that the anime is the best way to follow the story. Please avoid the movie which is literally a recap "episode."

Fate/stay night
The general rule is that you will love this show until you play the game it was based on, whereupon you see it as a contradiction to the natural order of the world and attack it as such. What the anime does have going for it is that you can clear it in perhaps 10-11 hours while the game takes about four or five times that. It's also much cheaper since you'll have to import the FSN game for ~$120.


If you liked RuroKen you might want to check out the Tsuiokuhen OVA.

Stay away from the Hellsing anime. If you must look, try Hellsing Ultimate instead.

On the manga front, I'll also throw my vote in for History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi (it's nothing like RuroKen though :smallconfused:) and Negima.

Unless I'm mistaken all of these shows are licensed so you shouldn't have too much trouble getting your paws on them.


Oh, and Haruki-kun, of the Hepburn, Nihon-shiki and Kunrei-shiki romanisation systems, not one uses an e acute; a typist may elect to use a circumflex in place of a macron but only to substitute for a double vowel.
(By which you should interpret that typing "e" instead of ALT-130 in anime is not only convenient but correct. :smallwink:)


Nanoha series
Hellsing Ultimate (might be too gory though)
Baccano! (by popular demand: warning, gore)
Darker than BLACK
El Cazador de la Bruja
Noir
Vision of Escaflowne
Fate/stay night
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (1st and 2nd GIG)
Last Exile
Mahoromatic
Lucky Star
Kimi ga Aruji de ****suji ga Ore de (Use "The are my Noble Masters". If only because this board doesn't like the Japanese term for butler.)
Minami-ke
Neon Genesis Evangelion Just kidding
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Wolf and Spice (Spice and Wolf; Merchant meats spicy wolf - oh god)
Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni (again, might be too much blood)
Serial Experiments Lain
Paranoia Agent
Azumanga Daioh
Hayate the Combat Butler
You might want to follow this quote back since Closet_Skeleton does quite wittily what I couldn't be bothered with.


Let's see... from personal experience in no particular order:

Minami-ke
Simply very funny
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Excellent adaptation of some excellent novels
Lucky Star
Very soothing and low key comedy; an acquired taste; not to be marathoned. Based on a 4-koma.
Ghost in the Shell:SAC 1st and 2nd Gig
See? If you pay attention to the manga and have a huge budget, you too can make an excellent action/social-commentary series.
Monster
Absolutely incredible but is very, very long. The manga is good, too.
Fate/Stay Night
Another anime Marmite; it tries hard but the game is simply too expansive to really adapt. If you can make sense of the title you're a better man that me. Archer is a the origin/cause of the word "gar".
Elfen Lied
The manga is better but this does a fair job. Violence: caveat visor
Baccano!
Just licensed so you can stream a subbed episode off Funimation's site. It's violent like Elfen Lied (though not as much) but fantastic all the same. Isaac and Miria will cheer you up. Based on a series of light novels. (Like FMP and Shana)
Full Metal Panic
Avoid Fumoffu if Sousuke's classroom antics irritate you; The Second Raid is more the of the first season with a big helping of angst. Otherwise good action but you have been warned.
Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
A nice outing in the Gundam-verse, but the series is a big time investment since it practically begs to be marathoned. Destiny is supposed to be good, but for different reasons so I never saw it.
Last Exile
Astonishing visuals and fascinating world complement a well-written (if slightly predictable) story.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, A's, StrikerS
A seinen action series disguised as typical magical girl fare. You can imagine the producers ticking off a list of mahou shoujo clichés. Don't be put off by the first few episodes.
Noir
An action series for those who really, really hate men in suits. Starts slowly but gains momentum quickly. Yes, it does venture into the supernatural, but that isn't really a problem.
Madlax
It's good, but it will forever be in Noir's shadow. It's debatable whether you're supposed to think "Yeah, right," during the first episode.
El Cazador de la Bruja
A much brighter series than Noir or Madlax; a good end to Bee Train's 'trilogy'. Ellis is one of the most charming characters ever.
Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen
Shonen-seinen combination; bypass the main anime series in favour of reading the manga and watching this OVA instead. This is the best way to stop the filler.
Shakugan no Shana, Second
Want to see the ur-Tsundere? No? Well, this anime is good on its own merits anyway so suck it up and have fun.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
"What if I had died!?" indeed. Weird but very stylish gallows humour. The second season gets tiring quickly. Try to get a.f.k.'s sub if possible.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
Based on a doujin VN series. If you like yandere, you'll love this. I won't say any more.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
What the hell do you think this is?!
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, R2
It's rare to have a protagonist who's just so bad.
Excel Saga
Every episode takes the opportunity to remind you that it is completely different from the manga. Go read that too.
Azumanga Daioh
If Excel Saga is crack, Azumanga Daioh is marijuana.
ef - a tale of memories
Another series based on eroge; a decent enough drama and unusually bold considering what we usually get on TV.
Darker than Black
Action series that'll remind most people of X-Men. Features the voice of Kenzo Tenma.
Hellsing Ultimate
Ignore that practical joke of a first series and move straight to this. It's basically an exaggeration of the manga but works very well all the same.
Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke
Ghibli really know their stuff. Pick up anything by Hayao Miyazaki and you won't be disappointed.
Wolf and Spice
Until the manga or novels get licensed - or someone translates them - this'll have to do. Update: Novels are getting licensed.
Kanon
Another eroge adaptation; these seem to be pretty safe bets. For the record, make sure you pick up the 2006 version. The previous one is supposedly not very good.
FLCL
It seems unlikely that Gainax knew what they were up to either. It is surrealist but it's not exactly terrible.
Utawarerumono
The name is the most challenging aspect of this; it's not spectacular but it's fun.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Watch it because it's important. No, you're not necessarily expected to like it. End of Evangelion supposedly documents the real world events of the final two episodes but don't believe it. Just stop at episode 24 and pretend everyone lived happily ever after.
Grave of the Fireflies
You might not cry, but you'll still feel pretty bad.
Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal is one word. Remember that or face internet ostracism. It diverges from the manga early on so feel free to binge on both equally.
Naruto & Bleach
I cannot recommend these in good conscience without giving you fair warning that the are full to bursting with gratuitous filler material borne from the peculiar nature of Japanese programming. Find an episode guide ahead of time or just read the manga - which is cheaper anyway.
EDIT:
Hayate the Combat Butler
I liked this series so much I completely forgot about it. A series that's about as serious as its name suggests. One of the few series in existence that doesn't suffer from its anime-only content.

EDIT 2: Now let's try and make the English a little better...
EDIT 3: Now let's try and correct the grammar...

Wow... that's long.

There's inevitably some overlap in those. However, it's almost two in the morning so I'll probably look at that when I can keep my eyes properly.
REVISION 5: OK, it's now past two and I'm still typing.

As you might have noticed, I seem to enjoy using various permutations (or simply mutations) of the phrase "Let's see".


Come to think of it, I don't see the following series up there...
Kara no Kyoukai
A clear example of why expospeak is not always a bad thing. KnK is firmly entrenched in the Nasu-verse mythology, drawing from its many well-established concepts. There's just a tiny problem: it's all used without explanation; the viewer is expected to know everything from the Tsukihime and Fate/stay night stories. Having said that, once you do know what's going on, it's perhaps one of the most gorgeous anime series ever created.
The most efficient (but incomplete) primer is the Tsukihime manga and FSN anime, with the occasional dip in the Type-Moon Wiki, which is floating somewhere on the net.
Rebuild of Evangelion
For the best effect, watch this (shortly to become these) right after the original NGE to see how far things have come. The series is much more realistic, with Shinji wangsting lyrical on believable issues rather than simple contrived misery. It also looks bloody good.
Haibane Renmei
This is a very slow anime, best not viewed after something like Gundam, but after something like Lucky Star or Minami-ke. Not everyone seems to like it but I found it rather soothing, in its own way.
Cowboy Bebop
I don't know why this wasn't on one of my other lists. I'd write a paragraph but everyone else seems to have done that for me.
Planetes
This is also slow-paced and it's a very rare hard sci-fi show. There are no magical technology wotsits shooting around. Because hard sci-fi is kind of boring, this show decides merely to use the genre as a setting, and becomes a delicately handled drama that almost avoids the undue angst that builds up towards the end, probably in line with the writers who clearly were desperate to do an action series. Luckily for them we got this instead. It's not perfect but it's a very nice gesture.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes
110 episodes! Muhaha!!! Can you last? Well, if I can manage to read Romance of the Three Kingdoms I'm sure you can find the time to watch 44 hours of anime.


Well, that should keep you busy for about a year.

Haruki-kun
2009-03-27, 09:36 PM
Only fourteen episodes were translated to English.

That's because there's ONLY 14 episodes of Elfen Lied.

OK, my two cents... if you like the psychological thriller/mystery sort of thing, I recommend Higurashi no naku koro ni. It's a complex plot, but it's worth it. Also, it's somewhat violent, so if you can't stand it... well, that's up to you. The plot takes place in a small town in Japan during the 80's, and revolves around a murder mystery: The fact that each year during the summer festival, someone has been mysteriously murdered. The story begins two days before the festival for the fifth year in a row. I'd say it's a PG-13, but the DVD's sell it as 16+.

If what you want is more of an action series, then Bleach would be the way to go, but it's very long.

If you like Fantasy and/or Romance, I suggest two titles: Zero no Tsukaima and Shakugan no Shana. Zero no Tsukaima is a bit on the Kinky side, though... about a witch girl in an alternate universe (loosely based on medieval Europe, specifically France) who summons a boy from modern-day Tokyo as a Familiar. PG-13 as well..... maybe higher, but not quite R.
Shakugan no Shana is a little simpler and less Kinky... the story of a boy who is fated to disappear from the world and leave no ecidence of ever having existed, and the story of a Hunter girl, Shana, whose job is to destroy the monsters who consume humans so that they disappear in this way. PG at best.

For mostly romance, Ah! My Goddess!, the story of a goddess who descends to earth to grant the wish of one good man. This man, without thinking, asks that she stay with him forever. Goes PG13, but it's fairly light-hearted.

Chobits is good if you want to get into Anime, but I'm not sure you'd want to watch it with your girlfriend. Watch the first episode on your own, then you decide. PG13..... 16+

For Paranormal stuff, I say go for xxxHOLiC, by CLAMP. I'm not into Paranormal and I still freakin' loved it. The story revolves around a 19-year old male who has the ability to see ghosts, who follow him constantly. One day, he stumbles into a mysterious shop run by a witch who can grant Wishes, Yuuko. In exchange for his wish, to no longer attract or see ghosts, Yuuko asks him to work part-time for her in her shop. PG, though spooky at times.

For pure light-hearted comedy, try out Azumanga Daioh. No real story at all, just 6 girls making their way through high school. PG, maybe even G. It's too innocent to really consider it higher than that.

Finally... for something I can't really fit elsewhere... Rozen Maiden. I suppose it would be fantasy. The story of 7 magical dolls who come to life, one of whom binds a boy to her to be her servant. Sounds simple, but it's really quite good. G - PG, there's really not much to consider it higher.

Also, this won't really help much when you're only starting out, but.... 4chan's /a/ board (anime and manga) has several lists of Anime so that newbies will take a look at it before asking for recommendations. For what it's worth, I'm posting it here. Might help someone, anyway.

(Warning: This picture is HUGE. It WILL stretch your screen.)
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t288/Vaarsuvius89/all.jpg
For information on those, check Wikipedia.

Graymayre
2009-03-27, 09:56 PM
It's a shame, most of the shows I love have already been mentioned.

Here are two that I haven't seen listed here:

Cromartie High School
This comedy follows the transfer of a pacifist student named Takakashi Kamiyama into Cromartie High School, a school filled with the roughest, toughest delinquents in Japan. It contains 26 episodes in convenient 10 minute packages, so all together it's a quick but hilarious and enjoyable anime (if scatter-brainingly random). It should be noted that the english dub was, in my opinion, done fantastically. Rating wise, it has minimal swearing (and even then, its soft core). Furthermore, there is no violence. I'm serious, maybe a punch or two every 10 episodes and that's about it. Overall, I highly recommend it.

But don't take my word for it! Straight from youtube, here is a review, and the first two episodes of the show. If you want to just watch this leisurely, all of the episodes are on youtube
Mr. Anime Reviews: Cromartie High School (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8M6ocriHa4)
Cromartie High: #1 Bragging Contest (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_edcHNUMxo&feature=PlayList&p=158AA932E68532A5&index=0)
Cromartie High: #2 Blade Runners High (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wU2t1cu7io&feature=PlayList&p=158AA932E68532A5&index=1)


Samurai Champloo:
This is by the guy that made Cowboy Bebop. One of the keys about Cowboy Bebop was that the soundtrack was based, almost exclusively, on jazz music (hence the name). Samurai Champloo is similar in that respect, only it features hip-hop and rap (I really don't care much for the music genre, but the anachronistic jolt perfectly fits with the show's style.

A fairly quick series, it's about a young woman who partially black mails two wandering ronin (who hate each other) to protect her while she searches for a samurai who smells of sunflowers. It has its fair share of violence and some sexual situations (but nothing gratuitous), plus swearing. NOTE: I have only seen this show when it appeared on the adult swim line-up, you will probably need to do a little checking with the rating, a huge chunk of explicit material may have been cut from its TV airing. Overall; it has solid plot, dialogue, comedy, drama, and art. A very stylized and wonderful work.

streakster
2009-03-27, 10:14 PM
Oooh, another one: Irresponsible Captain Tylor. Tylor, who is either the galaxy's greatest genius or its luckiest idiot, is put in charge of an aging starship staffed with the worst rejects of the entire Space Service, and thrown into a war he can't win by commanders who hate him personally. Awesome ensues. Action/Comedy. Rating: Been a while, but I don't remember anything being objectionable.

EDIT: Oooh, and has anyone said Visions of Escaflowne yet? A really charming classic - classic fantasy story, but with mecha and one heck of memorable villain. Rather sweet protagonist, too. Rating: Swords.

Starscream
2009-03-27, 10:37 PM
I am not much of an anime fan. In fact I'd say I deeply dislike a good 80% of it.

But I absolutely have to agree with the posters who suggested Trigun. My roommate (a major anime fan) suggested it to me and I have to say I loved it. It was very clever, very funny, and sometimes very touching.

The mere fact that I sat through every episode without complaint is probably the best compliment I can give it. Highly recommended.

Atelm
2009-03-28, 01:49 AM
Too lazy to write my previous list of recomendations by hand, so i'll just copy it here.


Anything by Studio Ghibli should be on the top of the list:


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) - Ignore the old English release of this under the name "Warriors of the Wind"
Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986) - Known under the name "Castle in the Sky" in the U.S (and for a good reason too)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
Spirited Away (2001)
The Cat Returns (2002)
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Tales From Earthsea (2006) - If you are in the U.S the film will not see release there at least until 2009. Don't expect this one to have anything to do with the books.


And then just a general recomendation list for Anime from me.


Last Exile - Sci/fi / Steampunk
Record of Lodoss War - Medieval Fantasy / D&D inspired - Both the OVA and TV-series are worth watching.
Vampire Knight - Fantasy / Romance
Azumanga Daioh - Comedy / Slice of Life
Crest/Banner of the Stars - Sci/fi / Romance - Heavy on dialogue, not for someone with a low attention span.
The Little Norse Prince - Fantasy - And old one from 1968, both Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki (founders of Studio Ghibli) worked on this one
Kino's Journey - Fantasy / "Slice of Life" - A philosophical series in its own unique way.
Fruits Basket - Comedy / Romance - Different from the manga in more ways than one, for one not as deep as, the much longer, manga version.
School Rumble - Romance / Comedy
Castle of Cagliostro - Comedy / Adventure - Hayao Miyazaki's first directed feature film.
CardCaptor Sakura - Romance / Fantasy - Forget about the English version Cardcaptors
Shakugan no Shana - Fantasy / Romance
xxxHolic A Midsummer Night's Dream / Tsubasa Chronicle: The Princess of the Country of Birdcages - Horror (Holic) / Fantasy (Both) / Romance (Tsubasa) - A double feature film, worth watching, forget about the anime TV-series version of Tsubasa (Tsubasa as a manga is worth reading though)
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni/ When They Cry - Horror / Psycological / Murder / Mystery - Watch the both seasons of this, if you wish to watch an anime where the viewers can figure out the mystery by themselves as the series progresses. (I figured out the culprit(s) around 3/4 through season one, but not more than bits and pieces of the whole mystery before it all was revealead)
Neon Genesis Evangelion - Sci/fi / Mecha
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa (since you said you've watched at least a part of the series) - Fantasy - The conclusion to the anime version


And then some Manga worh taking a look at.


Fruits Basket - Romance
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle - Fantasy / Romance
Detective Conan - Murder / Mystery / Romance - Forget about Case Closed, the raped English version of this Manga.
Fullmetal Alchemist - Fantasy / Romance (well at least a bit) - Quite different from the anime version and much better too
Azumanga Daioh - Comedy / Slice of Life
Yotsubato! - Comedy / Slice of Life - From the same person who created the Azumanga Daioh Manga version
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind - Sci/fi / Post-Apocalyptic - Much longer, deeper, and better than the anime movie.
Chrno Crusade
Magic Kaitou / Kaitou Kid - Crime / Romance - Same creator as Detective Conan
Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch - Fantasy / D&D inspired - The first 7 episodes of the OVA series, more or less, in Manga form.
Neon Genesis Evangelion - Sci/fi / Mecha

Kato
2009-03-28, 02:40 AM
Hm... it's hard to make recommendations if you don't say what exactly you want to look at, hehe. If you are into about the same as your girlfriend (Death Note & Bleach, is she in love with shinigami?) I'd either support the already mentioned Hellsing (though I'd prefer the manga over the anime there) DN-wise or maybe some other short, deep series such as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Or Darker than Black. I've heard much good of Baccano as well. Though, lots of different thing shave been mentioned already.
If you are more into Bleach just go for one of the other big Shounen, Dragonball(Z), Naruto, One Piece. Any is good enough if you like Bleach, I guess. Though, there are no shinigami in them.

Though, there have been lots of good recommandations, I always love to add Gundam. Though, it is hard to tell which one to start with. Original series would probably be not to bad, but nowadays kind of outdated. I'd recommend either G Gundam, Gundam Wing or the latest Gundam 00. Latter is better if you can understand the referrences from the older series, though.

Cúchulainn
2009-03-28, 04:04 AM
Black Lagoon is the only thing I can add onto this; swearing, adult themes, set more or less in modern times, great characters in a mercenary lifestyle. It's probably my most favourite anime but only because I love the characters, it gets pretty bleak to say the least.

Hida Reju
2009-03-28, 04:32 AM
I rate anime on how much mind altering pain they can inflict on your view of the world. Here are a few not mentioned..all are finished and might be found for download or on one of the streaming sites.

Gunslinger Girls - Orphaned girls in the 10-14 range turned into brainwashed cyborg assassins having to deal with thier jacked up lives and shortened life spans.

Ergo Proxy - Post nuke setting of mind altering strangness.

FLCL - Some view it as comedy, others as a social experiment of weird. Either way it's insanity in a box.

GANTZ - Ultra violent nightmare from which few escape. The manga was better but I actually still liked the series. Rated M for mature due to nudity and other very violent things.

Gungrave - Betrayal by your best friend and how you handle it. Intense action and decent story.

Mnemosyne - Women that live forever and the demons that hunt them. Deals a lot with themes of lost love and alienation. Another rated M for things like violence, nudity, and rape.

Noein - Think Sliders and mix it with X-men then throw in a story that is way deep and cool.

CHAOS:HEAD - what if you were a figment of your own imagination as the world started to fall apart around you.

Berserk - You will never look at fantasy the same way ever again. Another rated M for extream violance and other bad stuff.

Attilargh
2009-03-28, 05:21 AM
Kara no Kyoukai
A clear example of why expospeak is not always a bad thing. KnK is firmly entrenched in the Nasu-verse mythology, drawing from its many well-established concepts. There's just a tiny problem: it's all used without explanation; the viewer is expected to know everything from the Tsukihime and Fate/stay night stories.
I didn't have any problem going into Kara no Kyoukai without having any knowledge of the Nasuverse whatsoever. All the nagging points are made pretty clear if one just sits still and pays attention during the talky bits.

horngeek
2009-03-28, 05:33 AM
For Shonen anime, I recommend Bleach, for reasons that have probably already been stated.

For other types... I dunno. Bleach is the only one I'm really into.

EDIT: On a completeley unrelated topic, I'm seeing a very large number of times that I post and it starts a new page on the thread recently. It's getting weird.

The Evil Thing
2009-03-28, 08:34 AM
If you like Fantasy and/or Romance, I suggest two titles: Zero no Tsukaima and Shakugan no Shana. Zero no Tsukaima is a bit on the Kinky side, though... about a witch girl in an alternate universe (loosely based on medieval Europe, specifically France) who summons a boy from modern-day Tokyo as a Familiar. PG-13 as well..... maybe higher, but not quite R.
Shakugan no Shana is a little simpler and less Kinky... the story of a boy who is fated to disappear from the world and leave no ecidence of ever having existed, and the story of a Hunter girl, Shana, whose job is to destroy the monsters who consume humans so that they disappear in this way. PG at best.
I'd watch The Familiar of Zero only to illustrate what happens when you ignore the source material to a frightening degree and then hire an appalling writing team.
Shana of the Burning Eyes is a much more bearable adaptation of a light novel series, and quite enjoyable in its own right. This one I do recommend.



I didn't have any problem going into Kara no Kyoukai without having any knowledge of the Nasuverse whatsoever. All the nagging points are made pretty clear if one just sits still and pays attention during the talky bits.
If you pay attention, just about any series will work out for you. Lack of explanation was the commonest source of dislike for people I asked, that's why I mentioned it. Remember that people have trouble following the plot to GITS:SAC, which isn't terribly challenging either.
Perhaps I'm exaggerating here but don't forget the original novel didn't exactly fly off the shelves.



Black Lagoon is the only thing I can add onto this; swearing, adult themes, set more or less in modern times, great characters in a mercenary lifestyle. It's probably my most favourite anime but only because I love the characters, it gets pretty bleak to say the least.
The anime's good but the manga's much better, if only because listening to the VAs attempt English is so utterly horrible I cringe and cover my ears on reflex.

endoperez
2009-03-28, 09:34 AM
Romantic anime is often really bad. Action anime is often really bad. Tastes also differ. Don't be surprised if you find lots of anime you don't enjoy, and don't avoid whole genres just because you haven't seen anything good yet. Also, I have started to appreciate anime that ends. Anything over 150 hours is too long, and I just refuse to start it. 90 episodes is also too long to be comfortable. I've found I have trouble staying interested when I'm on episode fifteen and it looks like things might or might not change a bit from what they were on episode 1, with 70+ still to go...

If you don't enjoy a particular anime, don't watch it. Even if your girlfriend likes it, well, your tastes may differ. Don't force yourself to watch something that you find bland even after you understand what's going on, and instead try to find something that you may enjoy, preferably with her.

Cowboy Bepop has been mentioned many times, and I've seen the first few episodes. It's captivating.

Lovely Complex, REC and Nodame Cantabile are romantic anime series where things actually happen. Even they have lots of unlikely events, general confusion and the protagonists often suffer from severe emotional unstability, but they're the best ones I've found so far. Additionally, none are overly long.

Lovely Complex: very comedic show that takes place in high school. I really like the main protagonists, and the show can be very funny. The semi-side-stories are also pretty sweet, although they aren't really emphasized. 24 episodes.

REC: the protagonists are older and already working, and the series handles more mature problems like work, what's appopriate for people who work together and similar things. The series starts with a woman's house burning down, a man offering him shelter for the night and... things... happening. They're quite embarrassed about it afterwards, when they get to know each other better. Shows quite a bit about how Japanese make their animes, since the protagonists work/want to work at creating them. 10 episodes, each 12 minutes, makes this a short one.

Nodame Cantabile: Romance served with classical music. It's portrayed as a much more competitive world than I thought it was, and Nodame, the female protagonist, is ridiculous. She's as unladylike as can be, and her imperfections make her very endearing. First season has 23 episodes.

Lost Demiurge
2009-03-30, 10:06 AM
I'd watch The Familiar of Zero only to illustrate what happens when you ignore the source material to a frightening degree and then hire an appalling writing team.
Shana of the Burning Eyes is a much more bearable adaptation of a light novel series, and quite enjoyable in its own right. This one I do recommend.



If you pay attention, just about any series will work out for you. Lack of explanation was the commonest source of dislike for people I asked, that's why I mentioned it. Remember that people have trouble following the plot to GITS:SAC, which isn't terribly challenging either.
Perhaps I'm exaggerating here but don't forget the original novel didn't exactly fly off the shelves.



The anime's good but the manga's much better, if only because listening to the VAs attempt English is so utterly horrible I cringe and cover my ears on reflex.

Huh? Now what are you smoking? Black Lagoon's got one of the best voice dubs I've ever heard!

The Evil Thing
2009-03-30, 11:33 AM
Can't speak for the English dub, since I won't/can't watch a dub that isn't made by Disney or 4Kids but the original Japanese has some pretty horrific English in it.

The original Hellsing anime had a few seconds of someone trying (and failing) to emulate a south American accent. It was quite funny. Black Lagoon makes me want to curl up in a ball.

Asheram
2009-03-30, 12:03 PM
Pumpkin Scissors Steampunk without any actual Steam or Punk.
An action-comedy series about a small military divsion on "cleanup" duty after the Great War to perserve peoples trust in the goverment.
It's probably PG-13 but I'd say 15 since a lot of it actually made me twinge a bit.

Serial Experiments Lain Sci-fi acid trip.
I have no clue how to describe this series. I've never been on drugs, but I can imagine that's the sensation the people drawing this series wanted to give when looking at it.
Serial Experiments Lain is a bit like eating candy. You can't explain Why it's good and it's not really That good until you reach the last one in the bag and cries out over why there's not more.
15+ on this one. Great stuff though.

Dual Parrallel Trouble Adventure... Mate Neon Genesis Evangeion with Tenchi Muyo and filter out all the Emo and this is it's offspring.
A great little harem comedy about the main character named Yotsuga who lives in modern Tokyo and have visions about giant mecha.
Everyone in his school thinks he's on drugs, but he believes it's all real. Especially when he gets kidnapped by the Mad-Scientist father of the schools resident hottie, and said father proceeds to tell Yotsuga that what he sees is actually a parallel dimension and then sends the poor kid over there in his patented 'Super-Ulta-Deluxe Parallel World Transporter'
PG-13 and guaranteed to get a giggle out of you.

Mando Knight
2009-03-30, 12:35 PM
I won't/can't watch a dub that isn't made by Disney or 4Kids but the original Japanese has some pretty horrific English in it.

I see (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FourKidsEntertainment) a flaw (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Bowdlerise) in your logic, here... The people rejoiced when Nintendo's satellite company Pokemon USA reclaimed the rights to dubbing Pokemon from 4K!ds... They're very hit-and-miss with their over Bowdlerization and Americanitis. People don't sweat and spit (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BloodlessCarnage) when they get hit. They bleed.

Disney's dubs of Miyazaki's films are good, though.

The Evil Thing
2009-03-30, 01:45 PM
I'm talking exclusively about the translations here. Bowdlerisation isn't my primary concern in this context but even that's not as bad as the rabid propagandists will have you believe.

I have nothing against dubs in principle but in my experience there's going to be a certain "wrongness" about certain voices, even if I haven't heard the original Japanese speech.

In Disney Miyazaki dubs that was absent entirely; in the 4Kids dubs I've heard (Yu-Gi-Oh! and GX, a bit of One Piece, and Pokemon) there was very little. Ditto for Dragon Ball Z (though I can't remember who dubbed that).

I watched dubs for episodes for GITS:SAC and Azumanga Daioh and I just had to switch back to the original audio. The scripts were fine, but the voices were jarring.

I also had the misfortune of playing Persona 4. The dub was the first I've ever described as genuinely horrible. Most people reserve "insulting" for what they perceive as unnecessary Americanisation, I reserve it for this. The game joins Lucky Star on my "JP version NAO!!!" list. Very rarely do I see (and I certainly never expected) such a blundering hack-job 'translation'.

Oh wow, I really got myself worked up there...

Tengu_temp
2009-03-30, 02:40 PM
I also had the misfortune of playing Persona 4. The dub was the first I've ever described as genuinely horrible. Most people reserve "insulting" for what they perceive as unnecessary Americanisation, I reserve it for this. The game joins Lucky Star on my "JP version NAO!!!" list. Very rarely do I see (and I certainly never expected) such a blundering hack-job 'translation'.


Wha? Apart from the unfortunate, but unavoidable lack of Tomokazu Seki and Romi Paku, I didn't see anything wrong about the translation of this game - on the contrary, both the script and voice acting were good at worst, great usually, and super-special-awesome at best.

Lost Demiurge
2009-03-30, 03:31 PM
I'm talking exclusively about the translations here. Bowdlerisation isn't my primary concern in this context but even that's not as bad as the rabid propagandists will have you believe.

I have nothing against dubs in principle but in my experience there's going to be a certain "wrongness" about certain voices, even if I haven't heard the original Japanese speech.

In Disney Miyazaki dubs that was absent entirely; in the 4Kids dubs I've heard (Yu-Gi-Oh! and GX, a bit of One Piece, and Pokemon) there was very little. Ditto for Dragon Ball Z (though I can't remember who dubbed that).

I watched dubs for episodes for GITS:SAC and Azumanga Daioh and I just had to switch back to the original audio. The scripts were fine, but the voices were jarring.

I also had the misfortune of playing Persona 4. The dub was the first I've ever described as genuinely horrible. Most people reserve "insulting" for what they perceive as unnecessary Americanisation, I reserve it for this. The game joins Lucky Star on my "JP version NAO!!!" list. Very rarely do I see (and I certainly never expected) such a blundering hack-job 'translation'.

Oh wow, I really got myself worked up there...


I find your tastes strange. This isn't a criticism, just saying that your preferences go against mine, and just about everyone elses' I know.

::Shrugs::

You don't conform. Such is life.

The Evil Thing
2009-03-30, 07:43 PM
Wha? Apart from the unfortunate, but unavoidable lack of Tomokazu Seki and Romi Paku, I didn't see anything wrong about the translation of this game - on the contrary, both the script and voice acting were good at worst, great usually, and super-special-awesome at best.
The voice acting was... acceptable; I've heard worse but I've also heard a lot better. That's not my complaint.

My complaint was - as implied by the use of inverted commas - directed at the translation. Perhaps our tastes do differ but my opinion of a translation plummets to rock bottom if it becomes clear (and it was abundantly so in this case) that the people paid to translate the game can't be arsed to actually do a proper job. It really makes me wonder if they actually understand the language, or more charitably, if they understand the principle of translation.


In response to Lost Demiuge:
I'm sure there's some sort of incongruity for native Japanese speakers when listening to badly acted anime but since I'm not a native speaker it'd have to be pretty poor for me to pick up on it. For me, this is the principal advantage to watching with subs.

Cubey
2009-03-30, 07:50 PM
What exactly is so horrible about P4's translation? I really can't see what you mean, so could you provide examples?

Artemician
2009-03-31, 02:06 AM
Black Lagoon is the only thing I can add onto this; swearing, adult themes, set more or less in modern times, great characters in a mercenary lifestyle. It's probably my most favourite anime but only because I love the characters, it gets pretty bleak to say the least.
Black Lagoon is ridiculously *not* bleak.

If you want bleak, you got to have more realism. Something like Sanctuary...

Dispozition
2009-03-31, 02:34 AM
H2O_~Footprints_in_the_Sand~ (http://myanimelist.net/anime/3299/H2O_~Footprints_in_the_Sand~) is the only one not in here already that I've ever rated highly enough to recommend to people.

VelvetThunder
2009-03-31, 05:04 AM
I'm shocked to not see my 2 favorites so far, and I'll be adding them to remedy this.

Tenchi Universe.
A regular High school kid gets his house invaded by a bunch of women from space that all fight over his affections. Then throw in some Space adventure Plus Japanese mythos and you've got it.

Outlaw Star.
Wild West meets Space epic. Think Firefly with ships that have arms.

Xuincherguixe
2009-03-31, 05:38 AM
... Huh. Basically everything I've seen has already ended up there.

Claymore I cautiously recommend. There's nudity, but it's not excessive. It has some interesting imagery. After a few episodes though, it starts getting kind of dumb. Still, it has some good characters, and is not particularly sexist.

I'll second Slayers too (since it really needs to be said) I recently watched the whole series awhile back, and it hasn't aged too badly. It's a parody of the whole fantasy genre. Lina inverse is a good model. In that she's a bad one, but the right kind of bad role model.

Dispozition
2009-03-31, 05:43 AM
I watched dubs for episodes for GITS:SAC and Azumanga Daioh and I just had to switch back to the original audio. The scripts were fine, but the voices were jarring.

I'm not sure which dub of Ghost in the Shell you watched, but the one I saw goes on my list as one of the best dubs ever. Also on that list are Samurai Champloo (in which the dub is better than the original, in my opinion), Cowboy bebop (also a very close call, dub wins out again), Haibane Renmei (original only just wins here), FLCL (dub better than original again), and most of the Miyazaki movies.

pingcode20
2009-03-31, 06:19 AM
Black Lagoon is ridiculously *not* bleak.

If you want bleak, you got to have more realism. Something like Sanctuary...

If you want bleak, you watch Grave of the Fireflies.

Once you see it, not a whole lot seems all that bleak afterwards. Extremely depressing.

It's well worth seeing, but if you're looking for a quick laugh or something fun to watch, probably worth steering clear for a while. But, as with all Miyazaki films, it's a great way to get into Anime on the right foot.

Dispozition
2009-03-31, 06:39 AM
Saikano is quite a bleak anime. Not amazing, but well worth a watch.

The Evil Thing
2009-03-31, 09:06 AM
What exactly is so horrible about P4's translation? I really can't see what you mean, so could you provide examples?
I call leaving in honorifics to be pretty darn major. What were they thinking?



I'm not sure which dub of Ghost in the Shell you watched, but the one I saw goes on my list as one of the best dubs ever.
As I said, the script's fine. The voices just felt "wrong" to me, somehow.
(No, not those voices, I'm used to them.)

Atelm
2009-03-31, 09:12 AM
If you want bleak, you watch Grave of the Fireflies.

Once you see it, not a whole lot seems all that bleak afterwards. Extremely depressing.

It's well worth seeing, but if you're looking for a quick laugh or something fun to watch, probably worth steering clear for a while. But, as with all Miyazaki films, it's a great way to get into Anime on the right foot.

Indeed, possibly one of the saddest anime out there.

One correction though, it's not a Miyazaki film. Grave of the Fireflies was directed by Miyazaki's co-founder of Studio Ghibli Isao Takahata. (at the time of GotF's production Miyazaki was working on Totoro, they even were released side by side in Japan on the big screens)

Terraoblivion
2009-03-31, 10:00 AM
That many of the honorifics actually serve a purpose in the writing and that it would look weird if only those were in it? Or perhaps that it is only translation into English that translates titles and they consider that to be a cultural myopia that they want to counteract. But really if you translate an American movie into Danish or German, which are the non-English languages i'm the most familiar with, Miss, Mrs. and Mr. will be preserved as well and not translated into Frøken, Fru and Hr. or Fräulein, Frau and Herr. When referring to native English speakers, that is. At least not in my experience.

And it makes sense given that titles, such as honorifics, are considered to be part of the name and you never translate names.

Cubey
2009-03-31, 10:09 AM
I call leaving in honorifics to be pretty darn major. What were they thinking?


Huh, that's it? I don't understand you at all. Honorifics translate into English pretty badly, if anything I'd be disappointed if they removed them. Regardless, that'd be too small a thing to ruin a translation for me.

The Evil Thing
2009-03-31, 11:57 AM
Huh, that's it? I don't understand you at all. Honorifics translate into English pretty badly, if anything I'd be disappointed if they removed them. Regardless, that'd be too small a thing to ruin a translation for me.
"That's it?" As problems go it's pretty big but I won't bring any others up because there are only so many hours in a day and I now feel compelled to defend this position with a ferocity. *Takes a deep breath*

1:
Why honorifics? Why not sentence particles? Why not familial terms? Why not verb endings? Why not pronouns? All of these are things which translate "pretty poorly" into English going by the standards you seem to be using. Why aren't you disappointed they aren't present either? I'm serious here, why is it all you "inclusionists" (to coin a term) are so obsessed with honorifics and just honorifics?

2:
What about suspension of disbelief? We're playing this game and are supposed to infer that the characters are speaking Japanese to each other; we're just listening 'in English' as it were. The moment they start throwing gratuitous Japanese terms into the fray the whole effect is shattered since we have a mishmash of English and Japanese. Are we supposed to just assume they're speaking English with Japanese thrown in for flavour?

3:
They use English honourifics as well. The result is quite surreal. It seems they use those whenever there's an obvious translation but that's inconsistent and absurd. The only pattern appears to be one of convenience.

4:
Hearing Yosuke whine "saaaan" or "chaaaan" gets on my nerves. Hearing Teddy draw out "Chieee-chaaaan" makes me want to bash him with a rolling pin. It's odd because aside from his running commentary in battles he really doesn't annoy me in the slightest.

5:
By retaining them there's a strong implication that honorifics are extremely important. That simply isn't true. They're merely one part of the whole polite speech package, which is built up from pronouns, usage of names verbs, verb endings and particles. All of these are equally important; getting honorifics right and deciding that you've got politeness cracked is just asking to look like a fool. A rude fool.

6:
Your environment, which I will assume is the standard Western one, has raised you to understand Western honorifics and polite speech, not Japanese speech. How many of are surprised when someone uses yobisute without warning? It should be everyone, but I venture the real number is in the single digits (that's a percentage, of course). It's kind of sad that the most important "honorific" is the one you pick up least of all. Any idiot can read Wikipedia and learn what honorifics mean, but can you tell me what they signify? Can you tell me when a specific honorific would be inappropriate? You can understand personal interactions much easier if you are working in a language you are intimately familiar in. How can you enjoy a medium when social interactions must be studied academically to be properly appreciated?

7:
I shouldn't have to be reminded every other line that I'm playing a translation. Remember the Final Fantasies? Somehow they managed just fine. I wonder how many of you actually realised the game was Japanese when you first played it. Unless the setting is obviously Japan, that is exactly how things should be.

8:
If you're using honorifics, you may not be able to sufficiently divorce yourself from the original script in a way necessary to make the English look good. You've already sacrificed some style for faithfulness, so it's a slippery slope from there. What's next, they put the names the wrong way round so it matches the original script? That looks almost as dumb yet about half of the fansub community act like it's normal.

9:
Say you're a veteran fansub watcher, you've been reading manga for years now and you're intimate with the Far Eastern lingual politeness systems. Why do you insist that other people who don't speak Japanese and just want to play a game have to learn all your little sub club lingo before they can "get it"? How many times has someone asked you what "-chan" means? Can you provide a satisfactory answer without feeling incredibly self-conscious? Aside from being clumsily reminded that I'm playing a translation I feel like an irredeemable nerd for actually understanding the various suffices being flung about.

Lost Demiurge
2009-03-31, 02:17 PM
Uh, Evil Thing, I think we get your point.

Ultimately, you're defending nothing but your likes and dislikes. Those are yours, and you're welcome to them. I have my own, which are not yours, and nothing you say here is going to alter them. You think the Black Lagoon dub sucks, I think it's awesome, blah-blah-blah life goes on.

::Shrugs::

Why yell about it? Why not let the thread get back to its normal topic?

Terraoblivion
2009-03-31, 03:01 PM
There is no such thing as a "western" system of politeness. In addition to my native language of Danish, i have studied two other western languages for six years or more. German for example has polite and impolite forms of imperative verbs and even two levels of politeness in the polite form, it also has two different second person singular pronouns. These things matter, saying du rather than sie to a stranger is not accepted in most cases as an example. You also call strangers by last name and title. In Danish on the other hand you always use first name in speech less formal than courtroom proceedings, in which case you use the full name. You never uses titles either, you simply don't address a random person as the Danish equivalent of sir or ma'am. It doesn't happen, it makes you sound like something out of an old movie to do it. Likewise any terms of politeness such as please are pretty much only used in a sarcastic way, again pretty much entirely opposite German. And as we can probably all tell, both of these forms of politeness are yet again different from English.

In the same sense there is no East Asian system of politeness. I am a Chinese major and Chinese doesn't even have the grammar to support forms of politeness similar to Japanese. The language also has a mere six pronouns in total including the polite version of second person singular, using a suffix to create plural version. No forms of honorifics exists either, nor different versions of verbs. This is not to say that politeness doesn't exist, but it is handled in a variety of ways, generally including terms relating to small amounts. Mostly, however, it focuses on what topics it is proper to talk about and what aren't. Again not really that similar to Japanese.

As for why include honorifics and not other expressions of politeness in Japan comes down to the simple fact that honorifics can be added easily, while the others can't. It really doesn't go beyond that, it is not hard to include honorifics, but it is hard to replace them with natural sounding English, whereas it is impossible to include varied pronouns and have it come out as anything resembling proper English.

The reason to think it is worth including at all is for two reasons, one is that a good translation is as close as possible to the original without comprising the quality of the writing itself. The other is that honorifics is essentially part of the name of the person in question. Just like people keep their original noble titles, Håkon Jarl is not Earl Håkon, despite Jarl and Earl being the same title in different languages, honorifics is a part of the name. So basically if honorifics can be kept without compromising the flow of English language, and they can, they should largely be kept as they are part the name of the character in question in a Japanese context. In a fantasy setting that is not based on Japan, they are essentially not part of the character, nor is it if they are used in a Japanese book or movie taking place anywhere but Japan.

Also what is the alternative? Slapping English language titles such as mr. in front of half the names, which would, to me at least, seem much more grating and out of place in a Japanese context? It would be like a story set in the middle east with all the beys and sheiks replaced with counts and dukes. Also what about other clearly Japanese aspects of culture that would be opaque to a casual western audience? Should they be changed as well or should they be kept because they somehow hold more intrinsic value to the narrative than the honorifics, despite being featured less prominently in the story and the interactions between the characters? I mean i at least didn't know what half the dishes you could cook in the game were and thus had a fair amount of problems doing it properly, whereas they are completely everyday items of food for a Japanese audience. Replacing them with American food would give the same sense of familiarity to an American audience that it currently has to a Japanese audience, but at the same time it would seem entirely out of place in a Japanese context.

So for me including as many original terms as possible without it compromising the flow and quality of writing in the translated version as possible is preferable. It is the experience the closest to the work that was created that can be achieved, without sacrificing quality as a piece of writing.

It is the same reason that it bugs me that so many people and places have different names in English from what they have in the language they originated in. It is jarring to see vikings called Svend and Knud be called Svein and Canute instead or hearing about Silesia and Pomerania rather than Schlessien and Pommern, to bring examples from the non-English languages i know the best. Or to hear people still calling Beijing by the name of Peking and Kong Fuzi for Confuscius. Personal and place names, including what titles people have, are in general simply not translatable and trying to do so will have weird results. The only exceptions are western noble titles, modern military ranks and modern academic titles, but that is solely because all those sets of titles are standardized across languages despite having different names in different languages. A count, an earl and a greve really are the same thing, just in different languages and even for those, i really wouldn't have a problem with them being preserved in the original language in a translation.

Simply put there is a tendency in anglophone countries to translate more harshly and completely than translators in different countries. And i believe that they go far enough to harm the integrity of the original writing and at times also the precision of what is talked about, in the effort to make it fit into being completely English. I consider translating, when possible and dropping when not, Japanese honorifics to be an example of that. But this might all just be due to being used to everything being translated and topics relating solely to various foreign countries commonly coming up in daily life here.

Innis Cabal
2009-03-31, 03:44 PM
Not sure if its been put to anime format yet but Deadman Wonderland has been a great read. So if anything else, look it up to read it.

Fiery Diamond
2009-03-31, 07:04 PM
Stuff.

I completely agree with your entire post.
Also, it ticks me off when people who sub anime drop the honorifics.


As for suggestions, I believe that the majority of the anime I have watched has been mentioned...but I skimmed over some of it, so I'll list my favorites anyway.

Inuyasha- One of the very few anime I prefer in the English dub. The Japanese voices are too harsh in this anime for me.
Bleach- Prefer Japanese with English subs, but the English dub isn't too bad.
Naruto/Naruto Shippuden- EGADS, the dub is horrible.
Shakugan no Shana (and Shakugan no Shana II)- Didn't watch any dub. I love this show.
D. Gray Man- Nice show, read the manga too.
Avatar: the Last Airbender- Isn't anime, but it is just as good.
Elemental Gelade- Prefer the subs. Wonderful show.
Slayers (and all the series of it)- Hilarious.
Trigun- Really funny, really deep.
Sonic X (Season 1&2, not 3)- Absolutely hilarious. 4kids BUTCHERS this show.

Man, I'm not thinking straight...there are a bunch of others. I can name a bunch more I watched that don't rank up there on my list too, but there are some more good ones I'm just not recalling. Ah, well.

The Evil Thing
2009-03-31, 07:53 PM
@Lost Demiuge:
NO U, I'm having a fun academic discussion here. :smallbiggrin:

While we're all having fun telling me how and why I'm completely wrong, allow me to present for your attention the following:
Stigma of the Wind AKA Kaze no Stigma
This is sort of a middle ground between Shana and Zero. On the one hand, they adapt pretty tolerably and there's nothing to make you really cringe but they do bowdlerise it, turning Kazuma from a borderline sociopath into a merely troubled young anti-hero-who-secretly-wants-to-be-a-hero. It has its moments and it's not objectively bad, but I just thought I'd give you some warning.
Martian Successor Nadesico
I actually forgot to include this on my list. It seems to have inspired a number of pretenders who tried to emulate it and succeeded in varying degrees.
Outlaw Star
It's not a brilliant sci-fi, but it seems to have all the bases covered: hot-bloodedness, smartass kid, helpless love interest etc. etc. You might want to give it a shot if you've got nothing better to do, since it's reasonably enjoyable. Actually, I might be being a little harsh here, since it just works well for some reason, although you shouldn't expect a genre piece

Hueg incoming (off-topic) post!!!
Hypothetically speaking, how would you all have responded if I said I disapproved of the inclusion of honorifics because I'd never watched a fansub or read a manga before? (i.e, I'd had no exposure to them.)


There is no such thing as a "western" system of politeness. In addition to my native language of Danish, i have studied two other western languages for six years or more. German for example has polite and impolite forms of imperative verbs and even two levels of politeness in the polite form, it also has two different second person singular pronouns. These things matter, saying du rather than sie to a stranger is not accepted in most cases as an example. You also call strangers by last name and title. In Danish on the other hand you always use first name in speech less formal than courtroom proceedings, in which case you use the full name. You never uses titles either, you simply don't address a random person as the Danish equivalent of sir or ma'am. It doesn't happen, it makes you sound like something out of an old movie to do it. Likewise any terms of politeness such as please are pretty much only used in a sarcastic way, again pretty much entirely opposite German. And as we can probably all tell, both of these forms of politeness are yet again different from English.
In my opinion there is. You see, while I know French and (as you point out) German have separate versions of you for ranges of politeness (English also used to have more than one: e.g. thou), they're nowhere near the level in Japanese which has somewhere in the region of six.
When I said Western system of politeness, what I meant was that there are no specific words that can be used to plot a person's position in the pecking order and variations on pronouns are motivated more by case or number than manners (my memory's rusty but I believe the German ihr is an example of number).
The situation you describe in Denmark is very similar to the one over here, where it's unusual to use someone's surname, even in a professional environment.


In the same sense there is no East Asian system of politeness. I am a Chinese major and Chinese doesn't even have the grammar to support forms of politeness similar to Japanese. The language also has a mere six pronouns in total including the polite version of second person singular, using a suffix to create plural version. No forms of honorifics exists either, nor different versions of verbs. This is not to say that politeness doesn't exist, but it is handled in a variety of ways, generally including terms relating to small amounts. Mostly, however, it focuses on what topics it is proper to talk about and what aren't. Again not really that similar to Japanese.
I freely confess I don't know anything about Chinese, I was merely extrapolating from my limited knowledge of Japanese and various anecdotes from people who speak Korean and Vietnamese.


As for why include honorifics and not other expressions of politeness in Japan comes down to the simple fact that honorifics can be added easily, while the others can't. It really doesn't go beyond that, it is not hard to include honorifics, but it is hard to replace them with natural sounding English, whereas it is impossible to include varied pronouns and have it come out as anything resembling proper English.
Our opinions seem to differ on what proper-sounding English is. I classify it as a sentence containing words one could reasonable expect to find in a dictionary. That previous sentence is an example. This one non est. Furthermore, if it's hard (and I won't say otherwise) then it becomes even more imperative that we translate them, since it's hardly fair to expect the untrained audience to fill the gaps, not to mention I'm not paying someone to not translate and expect me to finish off for him.
Even without that, however, there's no excuse not to since not doing something because it's hard is considered lazy. The people who translated this game are professionals, and I'd hope they have enough experience with Japanese to handle its more subtle points, rather than simply pursuing the path of least resistance.


The reason to think it is worth including at all is for two reasons, one is that a good translation is as close as possible to the original without comprising the quality of the writing itself. The other is that honorifics is essentially part of the name of the person in question. Just like people keep their original noble titles, Håkon Jarl is not Earl Håkon, despite Jarl and Earl being the same title in different languages, honorifics is a part of the name. So basically if honorifics can be kept without compromising the flow of English language, and they can, they should largely be kept as they are part the name of the character in question in a Japanese context. In a fantasy setting that is not based on Japan, they are essentially not part of the character, nor is it if they are used in a Japanese book or movie taking place anywhere but Japan.
Earl comes from Jarl but I was taught the two ultimately mean different things. (Am I wrong on this?) It seems to me that trying to directly compare the two is like comparing mon seigneur and mister.
That aside I don't think it's right to call a translation that uses parts of the source text "close" or even accurate. I call it subordinate. Consider the phrase "dare da, omae?" A close translation would be "who are you?" but a much 'better' translation would be "who the hell are you?"
Finally (sorry, I'm trying my best to respond to your points without lamely breaking your posts up into individual sentences but my phrasing quality is suffering as a result), as illustrated by my point number two, it's actually those series set outside Japan that resist honorifics being left in since the implication is no longer that the characters are speaking English in a Japanese environment. It still doesn't make it acceptable in either circumstance, though, because once you concede that serviceable translations exist in one part of the world, it's only natural that they exist in another part. In other words, honorifics are not part of the character that uses them any more than any other parts of their speech are and none of that is relevant to their geographical location. Consider Walter from Hellsing, who calls his 'colleagues' "Alucard-sama" and "Seras-sama", how is he (in principle) different from RuroKen's Kenshin who uses "-dono" for practically everyone? By restricting yourself to using honorifics you implicitly deprive yourself of the ability to craft his... unusual speech patterns (he uses de gozaru in place of desu) into what could be very creative and enjoyable to read. Compare the Viz translations of RuroKen with the ones done by maigo-chan (in a bizarre twist, the fan translation is much superior).


Also what is the alternative? Slapping English language titles such as mr. in front of half the names, which would, to me at least, seem much more grating and out of place in a Japanese context? It would be like a story set in the middle east with all the beys and sheiks replaced with counts and dukes. Also what about other clearly Japanese aspects of culture that would be opaque to a casual western audience? Should they be changed as well or should they be kept because they somehow hold more intrinsic value to the narrative than the honorifics, despite being featured less prominently in the story and the interactions between the characters? I mean i at least didn't know what half the dishes you could cook in the game were and thus had a fair amount of problems doing it properly, whereas they are completely everyday items of food for a Japanese audience. Replacing them with American food would give the same sense of familiarity to an American audience that it currently has to a Japanese audience, but at the same time it would seem entirely out of place in a Japanese context.
Slapping English titles in front of everything? Oh hell no. Oh hell no. I'm a little surprised at your lack of imagination since judging by the articulation your posts you should be much better at this sort of thing than me (who's a mathematician by training). From your lengthy explanation of Danish interaction, it should be apparent that quite often one foreign honorific's equivalent is simply nothing in the target language. In many cases, we say suffices like "-san", "-chan", "-kun" etc. have no equivalent. That's doesn't mean that their equivalents don't exist in English - that's nonsense - it means that their equivalent is simply nothing. Part of a translator's job is recognising when an honorific means something significant and when it's just there because its absence would be rude (in which case, you'd change the English to reflect that). As I explained in 5 and 6, by including them unnecessarily you are giving the impression that they mean more than they do and depriving the viewers who don't perhaps understand them to the extent you do of what they would mean in terms they understand. Ironically enough, honorifics are the easiest parts of polite speech to translate; it's the pronouns that really come and kill you.


So for me including as many original terms as possible without it compromising the flow and quality of writing in the translated version as possible is preferable. It is the experience the closest to the work that was created that can be achieved, without sacrificing quality as a piece of writing.
Somehow you've arrived at the conclusion that most famous translators haven't :smallwink:. There are two main schools of translation: dynamic equivalence ('invented' by Eugene Nida) and formal equivalence. Formal equivalence is used when your topic is pretty dry to begin with; corporate documents, scientific papers, diplomatic communications etc. A loss of meaning would be unacceptable given the potential consequences. However, dynamic equivalence is used when translating things like fiction, where style and readability take precedence since the reader has no real obligation to plough through it all. This appears to be supported by people such as Venuti, Nida (of course) and Vitalyos, the latter of whom translates from Indian, which apparently presents many of the problems Japanese translators face.


It is the same reason that it bugs me that so many people and places have different names in English from what they have in the language they originated in. It is jarring to see vikings called Svend and Knud be called Svein and Canute instead or hearing about Silesia and Pomerania rather than Schlessien and Pommern, to bring examples from the non-English languages i know the best. Or to hear people still calling Beijing by the name of Peking and Kong Fuzi for Confuscius. Personal and place names, including what titles people have, are in general simply not translatable and trying to do so will have weird results. The only exceptions are western noble titles, modern military ranks and modern academic titles, but that is solely because all those sets of titles are standardized across languages despite having different names in different languages. A count, an earl and a greve really are the same thing, just in different languages and even for those, i really wouldn't have a problem with them being preserved in the original language in a translation.
To be honest, it bugs me when people pronounce Latin incorrectly. It's always going to be the case that you get annoyed when people say things you know are wrong. I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce Knud (does it sound like the k in knight?) which is why I use Canute (though I actually do know it's the wrong name). Of course names aren't translatable, nor was I suggesting they should be. Otherwise I'd have to somehow translate my name from its Hebrew origins.
On the other hand, awardable titles should be translated unless you have the space and time to leave them intact (and the reason). If you've just translated a huge tract of French into English, there's nothing to be gained by leaving seigneur untouched - it'll look odd.


Simply put there is a tendency in anglophone countries to translate more harshly and completely than translators in different countries. And i believe that they go far enough to harm the integrity of the original writing and at times also the precision of what is talked about, in the effort to make it fit into being completely English. I consider translating, when possible and dropping when not, Japanese honorifics to be an example of that. But this might all just be due to being used to everything being translated and topics relating solely to various foreign countries commonly coming up in daily life here.
I suppose it changes things to have a foreign perspective but I've never encountered a translation that seems to have actually damaged the integrity of the source language solely to benefit readability in the target language. I think your viewpoint is too pessimistic and with a bit of intelligence a translator can do a fantastic job. Compare the translations of Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Roberts and Brewitt-Taylor. Roberts's translation is more accurate, indeed there are fewer actual errors, and actually includes a wealth of background information to help the reader on his way. Brewitt-Taylor's translation lacks the background information and his mistakes still haven't been corrected almost one hundred years on but by god it reads beautifully; the old-style language takes a lot of getting used to but fits the whole theme of the book perfectly and is a pleasure to go through.

You should feel happy: it took me two and a half hours to write that. :smallsmile:

Brewdude
2009-04-01, 01:04 AM
On translations to english:Americans suffer from the belief that American English should be everyone's preferred language, and that all other languages are merely quaint aboriginal native customs that will eventually die out if their users want to get anywhere in the world.

Colloraries to this belief are that American English names are preferred, as if the native name was worth keeping, American English would have added the native term to itself, and that where possible, translations should be done into such that it flows naturally to a native english speaker rather than a direct word for word translation.

:)

Oh, And Black Lagoon dub rocks.

BlueWizard
2009-04-01, 02:09 AM
Neon-Genesis

And anything by Miyazaki

The Evil Thing
2009-04-01, 07:39 AM
On translations to english:Americans suffer from the belief that American English should be everyone's preferred language, and that all other languages are merely quaint aboriginal native customs that will eventually die out if their users want to get anywhere in the world.

Colloraries to this belief are that American English names are preferred, as if the native name was worth keeping, American English would have added the native term to itself, and that where possible, translations should be done into such that it flows naturally to a native english speaker rather than a direct word for word translation.

:)

Oh, And Black Lagoon dub rocks.
Pardon? I really don't see what that has to do with anything I wrote.

Oh, and I don't know if there's a Leeds somewhere in America too but I assure you I'm quite British.

Scylfing
2009-04-01, 02:05 PM
Been a long time since I've recommended anime to anyone, I'm pretty well past it, but there are still some that have stuck with me:

The Twelve Kingdoms: A slow-starter but in my opinion believably, realistically so, given its premise, and the last third of the series is pure gold. The setting is rich, well-developed and kind of unusual (mythic China) for fantasy, has very solid production values, it ranges from action to political drama to internal conflict better than most anime, and--mirabile dictu!--it does not sexualize its leading ladies at all. In fact that's going to be a running theme in my recommendations, especially given the reason you're asking for them.

Rurouni Kenshin--Samurai X (OVA) and Kyoto arc (series): I do not like most of the Kenshin series I think because the comedy doesn't really do it for me, but Samurai X is a pure tragedy and the Kyoto/Shishio arc (which builds heavily upon the OVA, or perhaps the other way around) is pure awesome. A few of the fights are a little silly in the Kyoto arc but the final battle is so well-contrasted with the final battle in Samurai X that it must have been intentional. I should note that Kenshin is probably my favorite anime hero, with Youko from 12K my favorite heroine.

Princess Mononoke: The Miyazaki movie I most recommend, primarily because I think here he finally struck the balance between his political/social views and his ability to tell a great story. Production values are of course top notch, but with stylistic improvements over Ghibli's work from the 80s, I really liked the almost feral (do I dare call it points-of-light? :smallwink: ) fantasy setting, and the characters were well-made across the board.

Haibane Renmei: I'm not normally one for slice-of-life but I feel this is worth mentioning as much for its handling of the perspective character as for its moral message. It does have some narrative clunkiness because the setting and situation only unfolds via the main character, which I think is hard to convey well in a visual medium (though when she does figure it all out it's pretty satisfying), and it does get a little heavy on the existential angst at times but there is at least a good reason for that at the end.

Now and Then, Here and There: Like Grave of the Fireflies (which I also recommend with reservations) this is only for the strong of heart and mature of mind, though it's really something everyone in a First World country needs to see. The fact that it's animated probably makes it easier to watch than those documentaries about child soldiers and slavery (re: the series' topic) in Africa though. It deals with extreme adult situations without any prurience whatsoever so for that fact alone it's worth watching, and the moral message displayed throughout by the hero is what will keep you going.

Others:

Crest/Banner of the Stars: Elves In SPAAAAACE! :smalltongue: It has its good moments and handles strategy and tactics better than most shows I've seen, borrowing heavily from some from old school World War 2 films like Das Boot and Midway to do this. Also pretty good for Star Trek or general interspace sci-fi fans, otherwise probably pass on it.

Last Exile: Mostly for the art, which is freaking amazing, and the setting's high-tech meets steampunk, Napoleonic Wars meets Art Deco feel presses my taste buttons. It falls apart at the end though like most anime series with inexplainable stuff, and the cast is too big for itself, but it really is gorgeous and Dio's antics crack me up.

Record of Lodoss War (OVA episodes 1-8) and Chronicles of the Heroic Knight (series): The prototypical D&D series, but the second half of the OVA is horribly paced so instead of watching that I always recommend skipping ahead to Chronicles of the Heroic Knight, which covers the same basic timeline (though the events are almost totally different) but at a more even pacing and in more detail.

All that said, watch Kurosawa films instead. :smallsmile:

Terraoblivion
2009-04-01, 04:12 PM
I see your points, Evil Thing. I just don't fully agree. I believe that a large part of the difference is national or tied to the language at least. Some languages translate more than others. Chinese for example translates everything up to and including personal names, it is largely a function of the complete lack of phonetic writing in that alphabet, but it still means that Chinese people tends to expect people in other languages to do it as well, that is why so many of them takes "American" names ranging from entirely sensible to really, really weird. Danish on the other hand includes so many foreign terms in translations that it is hard for the dictionaries to keep up. A book set in medieval England would be full of sirs and lords rather than herremænd for example. Likewise pretty much any concept that does not have a direct equivalent in Danish will be left in the original language, despite there being pretty close approximations. Elves are still called elves in the Danish translation of LotR, despite there being the Danish term Alfer that is really quite close, just as an example.

This means that not only am i used to seeing preserving as much of the original language as possible, while making it flow well, as being the ordinary thing to do, i'm also used to it really not being a problem for understanding. It is my experience that at least German and other Scandinavian languages does so as well, seeing a Spanish person called Hr. Sanchez would seem a lot weirder in a Danish book than seeing him called Señor Sanchez. So while i will readily believe that most English language theorists of translation believe that all foreign terms should be naturalized, it is not the only way that holds popularity even in scholarly circles. It is a question of different traditions and i believe the more inclusive, open tradition of German languages to be superior to the one of native English speakers. It is a more humble approach to other cultures and to the original text. And really you get used to there being foreign words in your texts pretty quickly if it is the norm.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-04-02, 10:43 PM
To nobody's surprise, I'm going to cite my old standbys. Insofar as anime goes, I find that few have surpassed the ones I am about to list in excellence. I can't help but find fatal flaw in a lot of the others.

The Twelve Kingdoms
It's based on a series of novels, which are actually being translated by Tokyo Pop. Yes, it does start slow.

But it bears mentioning that I think Japanese fantasy writers have moved in a different direction from the days of the early pulp fantasy and imposed their own take on it. I can't really express this to your satisfaction, since I'm by no means widely read in that regard.

It also isn't samurai folk noir.

That said, it is a departure from every Tolkien rip-off, who while a classic, isn't the grandpappy of fantasy that everybody makes him out to be.

Ah yes, but Twelve Kingdoms. It's a Chinese-flavored fantasy that originally follows the story of an average school-girl swept off to a strange land of magic etc. Barring the nasty cliche that plagues too many fantasy anime, this one sets itself apart by gradually evolving to the stories of other characters who live in the setting and eventually developing Yoko into an admirable heroine, whose actual self-mastery has a direct impact on the society that surrounds her.

It also helps that the later chapters focus more on political intrigues and larger-scale social conflicts. It isn't about destroying the One Ring of Power, saving the fair maidens while slaying dragons or a nakedly ambitious party of adventurers accruing power and fortune to themselves.

Monster
It's set in Germany after the Cold War and follows the travails of Doctor Tenma, a disgraced surgeon and fugitive, as he seeks to unmask the origins of a . . . uhh. . . monstrous criminal genius. This man is a man he saved at the cusp of an epiphany of a selfless Hippocratic obligation. Realizing his mistake, he quests to put an end this human evil. It's a thriller with lots of skeletons packed into the closets. That's all that needs to be said here.

It's also actually one of the few anime I've watched that can actually do something cool and fantastic without having to throw supernatural McGuffins into the audience's face.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
It's a novel series which, quite frankly, is excellently interpreted for a different medium. Simply a must-see since it pays tribute to, while parodying, anime. The humor never gets excessively slapstick or painfully random for randomness's sake, and is often humorous because of subtle artistic cues or situational humor. Which isn't to say that it doesn't occassionally get slapstick, it just knows when to stop at the border of being egregarious.

This is rare in comedy anime. A lot of the humor evolves naturally from the plot itself.

It also has a great plot arc that and you'll be mulling it over and putting the pieces together even on your second viewing. The show simply accomplishes more in 14 episodes than many sitcoms or other anime ever accomplish in hundreds of episodes. It also doesn't hurt that even the settings are always rendered from different perspectives, so it's not like they're skimping on visuals.

Oh yeah, and take the first episode with very liberal amount of salt. It is a rather clever bit of foreshadowing, while simultaneously being a later part of the plot.