18 votes

What anime, old or new, did you not expect to enjoy, but now highly recommend?

For me it's two:
The Vision of Escaflowne
and
Samarai Champloo

Both are wonderful world-building. They are so very different, but I feel they stay true to their themes and entertain the whole way.

20 comments

  1. [3]
    culturedleftfoot Link
    I got two - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and Madoka. A friend of mine kept asking me to watch FMA so she could talk about it, and after about a year of being skeptical I gave it a go. I...

    I got two - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and Madoka. A friend of mine kept asking me to watch FMA so she could talk about it, and after about a year of being skeptical I gave it a go. I lasted 10 episodes with FMA 2003 and thought there was some promise but found the style too juvenile. I watched an episode of Brotherhood just to see what the difference was, and proceeded to blow through it in a couple of weeks.

    As for Madoka, that should be pretty obvious. I was totally judging that book by its cover.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      Atvelonis Link Parent
      I had a similar experience with FMA, albeit the other way around. I was shown Brotherhood first, and absolutely loved everything about it (I've seen it perhaps five times now). I think it may be...

      I had a similar experience with FMA, albeit the other way around. I was shown Brotherhood first, and absolutely loved everything about it (I've seen it perhaps five times now). I think it may be my favorite show in general, even including non-anime series. I gave FMA a shot sometime afterward but felt that it couldn't really live up to Brotherhood in the way I had been hoping for.

      1. culturedleftfoot Link Parent
        I think my experience was probably for the best. Brotherhood skips a fair amount of stuff in the beginning (probably expecting that most viewers had seen 2003 version in the first place), so the...

        I think my experience was probably for the best. Brotherhood skips a fair amount of stuff in the beginning (probably expecting that most viewers had seen 2003 version in the first place), so the Nina scene didn't have anywhere as much impact as the previous version.

  2. tesseractcat Link
    Space Brothers/Uchuu Kyoudai is probably one of the best anime I've ever watched. Most people get relatively turned off by the description, since it seems very realistic. I put it off for a while...

    Space Brothers/Uchuu Kyoudai is probably one of the best anime I've ever watched. Most people get relatively turned off by the description, since it seems very realistic. I put it off for a while since the description didn't catch my interest originally. But it's actually really exiting, with an amazing story, and amazing characters. From what I've heard, it does a good job portraying JAXA and the process for becoming an astronaut, along with other details related to the space industry. Although it isn't obvious, it's technically sci-fi, since it takes place sometime in the future, but it's very realistic, making it one of the best hard sci-fi anime I've watched.

    7 votes
  3. Emerald_Knight Link
    The Vision of Escaflowne was actually my first real introduction to anime and is what initially sparked my interest in the medium. I recall watching it when it was on-demand while I was home from...

    The Vision of Escaflowne was actually my first real introduction to anime and is what initially sparked my interest in the medium. I recall watching it when it was on-demand while I was home from school one day, and while my family was away and I could actually enjoy the TV to myself. There was nothing on any of the channels I would normally watch, so I started browsing what was in the on-demand section, stumbled across it, and gave it a watch. I was surprised at how much I was enjoying it, but looking back it made sense that I would be interested in an artistic style and plot that differed so much from all of the American media I was used to seeing. Even now, nostalgia aside, I would still very much recommend it. It's a mecha anime that doesn't feel like a mecha anime because the world building is done is such a way that they feel organic both to the world and to the story.

    As for others, Assassination Classroom definitely makes the list. The cover art looked silly to me and I was skeptical that it would be any good, but the reviews were pretty solid, so I gave it a shot. It's definitely not ground-breaking in any way, but it's a fun watch and easy to follow.

    Kill La Kill is also pretty incredible. The fanservice is definitely off the charts, but save for a couple of scenes in particular (anyone who has seen it will know which ones I'm talking about), it kind of just blends into the zany theme of the anime and you sort of forget that it's even there. It's whacky from start to finish and I didn't think I was going to like it, but it grew on me very quickly.

    6 votes
  4. Grzmot Link
    Angel Beats, most likely. The theme and set up is not something I enjoy and actively avoid when I (rarely) watch anime, but the quality of animation, the characters and the plot... It's so good. I...

    Angel Beats, most likely. The theme and set up is not something I enjoy and actively avoid when I (rarely) watch anime, but the quality of animation, the characters and the plot... It's so good. I find it very sad that due to budgeting issues they had to cut down the episodes from 24 to 13 (or 12, I think) because in the end, it shows that they wanted to give each character more screentime. But somehow they managed to keep the plot working and all the important resolutions in the finale and it works magnificently.

    It'll also make you cry a lot, so there's that.

    5 votes
  5. [2]
    zaarn Link
    Megalobox. I don't watch sports anime. Not normally. It's probably some form of multiple factors to why but Megalobox turned out to be different. It surprised me with a good amount of nostalgia,...

    Megalobox.

    I don't watch sports anime. Not normally. It's probably some form of multiple factors to why but Megalobox turned out to be different.

    It surprised me with a good amount of nostalgia, reminding me of shows like Cowboy Bebop in it's animation and style. It was like I was watching a 90s anime but it was modern. The story was also impactful and quite enjoyable unlike most sports anime I tried.

    5 votes
    1. FreeLunch Link Parent
      Right there with you on Megalobox. I've never been one for sports anime, but Megalobox has this almost film noir aspect to it that really sucked me in. On top of the classic character designs...

      Right there with you on Megalobox. I've never been one for sports anime, but Megalobox has this almost film noir aspect to it that really sucked me in. On top of the classic character designs which scratched a nostalgia itch that I really wasn't expecting to encounter in a show from 2018.

      1 vote
  6. yamalight Link
    Yakusoku no Neverland. I mean, how interesting could "kids escaping from orphanage" thriller be? Turns out - so interesting, we literally watch every episode as soon as it is online.

    Yakusoku no Neverland.
    I mean, how interesting could "kids escaping from orphanage" thriller be? Turns out - so interesting, we literally watch every episode as soon as it is online.

    5 votes
  7. [2]
    pvik Link
    Darker than Black 1. I had put this off multiple times, before I started watching it on a Friday night and ended up watching the entire series over a weekend. Since then this is one of the few...

    Darker than Black 1.

    I had put this off multiple times, before I started watching it on a Friday night and ended up watching the entire series over a weekend. Since then this is one of the few anime series I have re-watched several times!

    4 votes
    1. Chopincakes Link Parent
      HA! This is an anime I've been putting off for close to a decade now. I HAVE all the files to watch it, I just haven't done it yet. Maybe I will soon!

      HA! This is an anime I've been putting off for close to a decade now. I HAVE all the files to watch it, I just haven't done it yet.

      Maybe I will soon!

      1 vote
  8. xstresedg Link
    The Cat Returns. Unfortunately I have no reason for the former or the latter.

    The Cat Returns. Unfortunately I have no reason for the former or the latter.

    2 votes
  9. Micycle_the_Bichael Link
    For me it was Baccano! and Eden of the East. Both I went into thinking they'd be pretty meh but ended up really liking. Kind of related: I didn't expect to be as emotionally crushed by "no Hi Mita...

    For me it was Baccano! and Eden of the East. Both I went into thinking they'd be pretty meh but ended up really liking.

    Kind of related: I didn't expect to be as emotionally crushed by "no Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai" as I was. It's not very long, but man it'll fuck you up emotionally.

    2 votes
  10. thelastbanana Link
    That's gotta be Code Geass. The first couple episodes felt really generic and almost was ready to move on to another anime. I was maybe ~6 months into anime then (and had watched just stuff like...

    That's gotta be Code Geass. The first couple episodes felt really generic and almost was ready to move on to another anime. I was maybe ~6 months into anime then (and had watched just stuff like DN, FMA:B, OPM, etc so that didn't help) so judging based on first episodes factor was quite high.
    Still completed given how much highly regarded it was in the community and now it's one of my most favourite animes

    2 votes
  11. lesicnik Link
    I was never much into anime (still am not) but the first one I watched was Code Geass and boy was that an experience. Beautifully written and animated with a super engaging plot (to a non anime...

    I was never much into anime (still am not) but the first one I watched was Code Geass and boy was that an experience. Beautifully written and animated with a super engaging plot (to a non anime watcher).

    The other one I watched was Initial D, but that's only because I'm into cars.

    1 vote
  12. [3]
    Gully_Foyles (edited ) Link
    Ping-Pong the Animation. I've never been a huge fan of table-tennis, I usually find it kind of boring to watch, but this anime had me hooked. I had already seen the director at work in Kyōsōgiga,...

    Ping-Pong the Animation.

    I've never been a huge fan of table-tennis, I usually find it kind of boring to watch, but this anime had me hooked. I had already seen the director at work in Kyōsōgiga, but while I appreciated the artistic ability, it didn't really grab me.

    However, the art style, the themes of perseverance in the face of self-doubt and loneliness, all resonated with me. There's not much else like it in anime right now and I usually recommend it as a gateway series to people that have never watched any anime before.

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      culturedleftfoot Link Parent
      You sure about that? Yuasa, the director for Ping Pong, wasn't involved in Kyosou Giga.

      I had already seen the director at work in Kyōsōgiga

      You sure about that? Yuasa, the director for Ping Pong, wasn't involved in Kyosou Giga.

      1 vote
      1. Gully_Foyles Link Parent
        You are correct actually. My mind apparently conflated the two. I went ahead and edited my original post to reflect that.

        You are correct actually. My mind apparently conflated the two. I went ahead and edited my original post to reflect that.

  13. Durinthal Link
    Probably the Gundam franchise as a whole. I'm still not a fan of action shows as a whole, mecha didn't really appeal to me, but it ended up drawing me in with the One Year War and the different...

    Probably the Gundam franchise as a whole. I'm still not a fan of action shows as a whole, mecha didn't really appeal to me, but it ended up drawing me in with the One Year War and the different viewpoints it ended up touching on through different series.

    1 vote
  14. Yome_sai Link
    Your lie in April,genocyber

    Your lie in April,genocyber

    1 vote