Favorite Anime/Sci Fi/Fantasy movie/show?

I became curious after some talkin-age about stuffs what people's favorite anime may be.

After a little bit of thought I thought I would open it up to the other stuff listed in the Topic line to be more inclusive, but I'm primarily interested in fave anime. Smile

Forums: 
MeiLin's picture

Most High

Anime series: "Cowboy Bebop." Hands down. That's if we're talking series. Nothing else touches it for me.

Fantasy: "Howl's Moving Castle," "Spirited Away," and "My Neighbor Totoro" (the latter being my favorite movie of any kind of all time). If you insist on live action, the Lord of the Rings films.

Science Fiction: That's too hard. I'll have to think on it. The facile answer is "Serenity," but I have some problems with that film.

judisheshok's picture

Postulant

I need to watch Cowboy Bebop, have heard greeeeeat things, just never got around to it.

I'd agree with you about Serenity...there were way too many things that bugged me about it, so while good its not really in my top anything, other than it came from Firefly, which I heart.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

Favorite anime series is Samurai Champloo, but Ghost in the Shell:SAC used to be. So we'll say it's my favorite Sci-Fi series. I don't have a favorite in terms of Fantasy, but I usually prefer cheesy, MST-worthy ones (like Dragon Storm) over the srs-biz, big-budget movies.

Despite my preference for cheesy as far as fantasy is concerned, I dislike cheesy Sci-Fi. They leave a bad taste in my mouth. Plus, you end up with things like this.

applejax's picture

Supplicant

My roommate keeps telling me to get it from netflix, but I don't really know a lot about it. Should I just start watching from the beginning or is there a certain episode that's better?

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

Not all the episodes are part of the meta plot, and the first 10-15 or so don't really have anything to do with it, but if you watch the later ones out of order it will get confusing and/or spoil the earlier ones.

Also, as long as the style of the anime and humor appeals to you, all of the episodes are awesome. There isn't a single one that I don't like.

I haven't seen more than one episode of the English dubs. I should probably watch them, since I have them, but I know from the fan subs that the original dialogue contains cultural and historical references that the average person will not understand, so I am very grateful for the fan subs that I have. The parts where it's needed, it gives an intro with some historical information that will put the references into context.

Edit: those parts are probably left out of the English dubs, which is why I felt the need to clarify that I have only seen one episode of them.

judisheshok's picture

Postulant

I love Ghost in the Shell: SAC. I just never get to watch it. I'm a bad fan. Smile

Poisonous Giraffe's picture

Devotee

my favorite anime is probably Baccano! although Darker than Black is tied with it. my favorite would have been Gundam 00, but the second season kind of ruined it Blush

seia's picture

Devotee

favourite sci-fi: Stargate sg-1, but only the first 8 seasons.
favourite fantasy: I've yet to enjoy non-written fantasy..
favourite dystopian fiction: V for Vendetta (the book was far better, but the movie's good too)
favourite animé: don't watch 'em :X

Kittae's picture

Postulant

If we're looking at anime, I'm much bigger on movies than with serieses--I've lost a lot of enchantment with series lately. But I like the movie "Perfect Blue" (be warned that it's not happy-skippy if you plan to watch it), and "Fruits Basket" and "Chobits" if we look at serieses.

Right now, though, I'm going to count "Venture Brothers" as sci-fi. I-m so happy I love this show!

And "Princess Bride" is my fantasy of choice. I can watch it over and over and never get tired of it.

judisheshok's picture

Postulant

For all of five minutes I wasn't sure what to think about Venture Brothers...then I came to pretty much love it, also. It definitely falls into my niche wierd sort of thing without being completely completely stupid.

Kittae's picture

Postulant

I like Venture Brothers, because my first instinct is to say that it has a touch of reality. But the creators say it better--the Venture Brothers is all about failure. Which is why it's hilarious and touching at different times.

Ilyndra's picture

My favorite anime, umm, I have many. Hunter X Hunter is on the top list, I've seen it 9 times .... I once counted that it took me something like 2 weeks of non-stop watching to achieve that x)

My current on going favorite anime is One Piece, it's not that pretty and I was thinking I was never going to see it, but I'm happy I have. I've cried gallons of tears and laughed my self silly with that series.

For sci-fi series I have to go with an anime as well, Ghost in a Shell Stand Alone Complex :love: It's just brilliant.

I can't say I have ever seen a good fantasy anime, the genre is kinda fucked up there x) I also roleplay fantasy so, I'm more used to what we play than what they would like to animate. I've seen some 'good' ones tough xD

But as for recommendation, I have to give a shout out for Tokyo Godfathers and Millenium Actress. The latter I've seen at a movie theater 3 times x)

Kittae's picture

Postulant

OMG how could I have forgotten that movie?! I love that movie so hard! Especially the spontaneously-poetic crossdresser. I-m so happy

How was Millenium Actress? Our school has a channel that they show recently-released movies on, but their DVD for MA was all screwed up. I mean, it's gotta be good to see it that much, but what kinda genre was it in?

The only fantasy anime that comes to mind at all is Slayers, which is awfully fun. Well, the only thing that I equivalate with being "Fantasy".

GreyKnight's picture

Scifi Series: Going to agree with most people here and go with Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

Scifi Movies: Akira is just a classic and everyone should see it once, the Cowboy Bebop movie was good as well.

Fantasy Series: If you are just going for good fantasy then take a look at Record of Lodoss War, this one is literally someone's fantasy role-playing campaign put to anime. Another good one is Escaflowne.

If you really like rich stories then the best 2 anime out there for that are certainly Twelve Kingdoms and Moribito: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit. I can't say enough good things about either of these series. They were both done by NHK in Japan which is their version of PBS and were just most excellent.

Fantasy Movies: Gonna go with Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Porco Rosso.

On another note, all the Fantasy series I recommended I would really encourage you to watch in Japanese and read the subtitles, there is just too much in those series that is lost in the dub since they are trying to match mouth movements. Also, the voice acting in those series is great as well.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

Quote:
On another note, all the Fantasy series I recommended I would really encourage you to watch in Japanese and read the subtitles, there is just too much in those series that is lost in the dub

Lol. When is that ever not the case?

MeiLin's picture

Most High

...is freaking Yoko Kanno. My GOD that woman can write music.

The actual opening:

...and live:

Watch all the live Yoko Kanno you can on YouTube and prepare to have your ears pinned back, especially if you're a jazz fan. Which I am.

judisheshok's picture

Postulant

I heart this song...I can just leave it on and on. Smile

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Does anyone else here remember the series Reboot? It wasn't anime, per se, but it definitely wasn't your standard "Itchy & Scratchy show"-esque cartoon. Used to be on Saturday mornings back in the early 90s. I used to love that show.

"We are helping, we are helping, we are helping!"

Otherwise, I'm all about the written entertainment and very little about the video/television/movie formats.

Um, let's see... Princess Bride was good, LotR was good enough (I don't really blame them for the plot cuts they made, since they were going for a movie triology's worth of material, not several TV season's worth...!), Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle both were good. The vast majority of anime does nothing for me.

Labyrinth and Dark Crystal are fun in an ohmigod-what-was-wrong-with-the-80s-yet-still-entertaining way :grins:

The only fantasy TV series I can think of is Highlander, and the one episode of that that I saw didn't impress me (again, wtf 80s? Especially the power synth ballad background music).

SciFi TV... Star Trek:Next Generation is the Star Trek that I grew up with, so naturally I'm biased Wink I really liked the recent Star Trek movie, though! I'm not such a fan that I'm obsessed with canon, it was just a fun as hell summer "popcorn flick".

Doctor Who, the new series, is probably my biggest fan obsession. So. much. awesome. Firefly is a comfortable second to that.

That's about it on the A/V front for me, I think.

Shade's picture

Supplicant

I freaking *loved* Reboot. Adored it. Wanted to be Bob :P. And then, when I went on to actually learn about computers, was even more cracked up by all of the ridiculous programming jokes.

I'm a Cowboy Bebop fan too (Spike and Vicious :love-oni: ). I also really liked Trigun. Wolfwood and Vash were absolutely heartbreaking.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

I like it so far. Cowboy Bebop was the first anime I ever saw, and I like it a lot, but it's been replaced as the favorite.

Incidentally, when I started watching Firefly, my brain went "Cowboy Bebop!" and kept expecting to hear the intro to "Big Shot" in the background

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Yeah, many people have commented on that.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Y'know, I've never watched a single episode of Cowboy Bebop, but my brothers watched it at one point. So even my minimal awareness was enough for me to go "hey, River is sorta a knockoff of that crazy girl from Cowboy Bebop!" Also, Kaylee's character seems fairly stock anime-cheery-girl. So maybe Firefly is the closest I come to liking anime?

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

What is it you don't like about it?

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Well, like I said above, I don't enjoy a lot of video-based entertainment, so it takes something above average in those media to engage me (for example: sitcoms and 99% of comedy movies need not apply).

Anime plots rarely interest me, since their two main qualities are bizzaro (Ed from Cowboy Bebop) and/or high school drama and soap opera stuff. If the HS/soap opera drama doesn't just bore me, it'll make me want to get violent towards the characters involved for unnecessary angst and perhaps beat an ounce of common sense, self-respect, and reality into their heads. Two prime examples from webcomics: Megatokyo and Red String (sorry, I know there's lots of fans here, just not for me!). I have a strict policy of avoiding excessive high school-esque angst as much as possible in real life and in my preferred entertainment Wink

Also, the art style is take-it-or-leave-it for me.

Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle weren't terribly bizarre or angsty, and they were produced by a master, so they're the sort of above-average example of what will engage me.

ETA: and on the topic of my previous comment, Firefly is a genre-bender produced by another pro, so again with the "more than the status quo" interest in it.

Shade's picture

Supplicant

In your case, I would really recommend giving Cowboy Bebop a shot, if you're even remotely interested. Ed isn't there at the start and isn't really too bizarro. Spike and Jet are pretty awesome.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Really? Alright, if the opportunity arises, I'll give it a shot.

Do you know if its on hulu.com, or similarly available?

Shade's picture

Supplicant

because it's been licensed in the US for quite a while. A lot of video stores should have it though, it's kind of an anime staple :P. It's also probably on a lot of the less-than-legal streaming websites . . . *coughcoughsidereel.comcoughcough*

I've found that it's a good intro to anime because it's not extreme at all. It's really focused on music as well, and the score is simply *amazing*. I'd watch it just for that (episode 5 is beautiful in more ways than one :P) if I didn't love Spike so much :P. If you happen to find it at a video store, definitely check it out.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

are not at all indicative of most anime. Anime is just the all encompassing term for Japanese-style animation, and the genres and plots are as varied as they are in any other medium.

Samurai Champloo, for example, is set in Feudal Japan, and is humorous in the good way. The plot gets a little heavy toward the end but it's not anywhere near how heavy the plots of some movies get, and it's never high school drama angst heavy, it's adult drama heavy. You've been watching teenage anime. That's a small portion of what's out there, and a lot of anime is directed at adults. The Japanese don't seen animation as something for children like we do.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is another one that's not like that at all, and as far as cowboy bebop goes, while Ed's a little irritating, she's not in every episode, and she's not just the nutty person you see, the rest of the cast is not like that.

Something I think you should know about anime series, they are short. 24-28 episodes on average. It doesn't require a huge investment of time like many American shows, and if an anime goes on for longer than that, it's a big tip off that it's directed at a younger audience and will contain many of those attributes you say irritate you.

judisheshok's picture

Postulant

Furi Curi! Smile

judisheshok's picture

Postulant

...Summarization is a word, right? You'd think college would make my vocabulary better, instead I have seemed to have de-evolved. Grr. Anyways. Title says it all.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Hm, what do you mean by Samurai Champloo being "adult drama heavy"? Because right now it reads to me as another way of saying "soap opera" which irritates me just about as much as HS angst.

I mean, I could look up these anime shows... or I could read a new David Weber novel. Sorry! I'm just really not a television or movie person! It took multiple friends multiple attempts over two years to get me watching the new Doctor Who, and another two years of hearing everyone and their cousin (and y'all here in the forum) praising Firefly to the high heavens to get me to watch that. In both cases, it came down to someone else watching it in the same house as me, and more or less dragging me over to watch it with them. Anime, as a genre, doesn't have anything about it to inspire me to put in the effort to seek it out when I won't even put in the effort to seek out the cream of the TV/movies from my own culture.

I was aware of Japan's different attitude towards cartoons, both in regards to anime and manga. However, you're right in that my initial secondhand education about anime was the kiddy and teenager-oriented stuff, which probably didn't help.

But y'see, new authors/books I will actively seek out and devour. Screw the pictures, I want my text! (But good text. I've read waaaaaay to much fantasy and scifi, and fanfic, and spent 4 years analyzing media/communication/writing in college. I go into critical editor mode very easily.) It's mostly just a function of how I tick. Yes, I am fussy, picky, and stubborn. I've reached the point in my life where I'm not ashamed to admit it Blum 3

Also, I've been working outside in the heat and blazing sun all day, so if this seems more aggressive than usual, I totally have an excuse!

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

You could argue that the stuff in IHGK is soap opera (ETA: I don't think it is, but my point is that you can argue that about anything drama-related and directed at an older audience). The thing that bothers me about soap opera drama is that characters are shallow and the writing sucks and it's repetitive. By the end of several seasons everyone's slept with everyone else, and anyone who was pregnant either lost the baby or discovered that the father wasn't who they thought it was, and one or more characters have staged a coup against one or more other characters. By adult, I mean adult. Mature, intelligent adult, not shallow, shitty, repetitive adult. Like I said, length is an indicator of whether it's worth your time or not. When you only have 26 episodes to tell your story, you make them count. You don't waste time going around in circles with the bullshit.

Also, many of those animes were originally a manga. They were written first. And if you want text that badly, it's actually a bonus, since I have been converted to anime-snobdom by my friends and will only watch fansubs (fan subtitles). If you get a good fan-sub, you'll also find notes about cultural in-jokes and historical references, as well as translations of signs and titles written in Japanese.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Ah, okay on the adult thing. I generally use 'drama' in the narrower sense of the excessive drama/melodrama/stupid stuff like you described for soap opera.

Still, I really am just that unengaged by imagery versus text, and subtitles are NOT what I meant by text Blum 3 Not that movie, cartoons, and TV can't entertain me; it's just that for a given story told in pictoral format and textual format, I'll be more engaged by the text version 99 times out 100 (no, I haven't done the math, but roughly speaking). So anime already starts out on losing ground with me, and nothing about it recommends it over any other version of television or movie storytelling genre. Like I said before, "eh" and "take it or leave it". Obviously, I realize that I'm not in the majority on this, but I don't anticipate changing my opinion since my addiction to and preference for the written word seems to be hardwired into my brain.

And even 26 episodes is probably too much for me Blum 3 Doctor Who only has 14 per year (including the Christmas specials)! This is a hiatus year for Who, though, so that's how I'm managing to fit in the 14 episodes of Firefly instead Wink

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

so doesn't count. I realize there's a new Doctor quite often, but it's still a continuous story with many more than 14 episodes. We are talking 26 episodes, 2 seasons, end. And they don't all have happy endings. Many times the ending will make you think.

We're going to have to just leave it at agreeing to disagree. I read obsessively, and not just books. I will read anything you put in front of my face. Shit, I actually completely read the EULA and TOS before I finish installing a game, and if it came with a manual, I read that too. But I am mystified that some people will just completely ignore one medium in favor of another. If you don't have the attention span and fall asleep like my mother and aunt do, I suppose it can't be helped, but they do that with any for of entertainment, including books.

To me, the concept is foreign. They have their individual merits, and there are things that a movie or TV series will always be able to do better (you can't appreciate the beauty of Mugen and Jin's respective fighting styles in Samurai Champloo on paper. That one was an anime first and to read a manga based on it isn't consuming it in its intended form). It sounds a little absurd, like if you said you will only eat chocolate bars as opposed to rabbits or kisses or any other shape it could presented in. I'm not saying any of this with the intent to express disdain or negativity, just that I'm honestly completely perplexed by it.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

However, if Capriox prefers reading to looking at entertainment generally, it seems to me that anime, manga, even graphic novels are fundamentally different from strictly-text or even occasionally-illustrated writings.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

They are all different, and comics are a transition from one into the other. The line isn't clearly drawn. They all have something about them that makes them better for conveying the specific story they tell. There are reasons an author chooses the medium they do, and when you move it to another medium, something must be changed, something has to be added or taken away to make the move, and it's not the same story any more. Shit, even a story driven video game won't translate into a book with anything approaching perfect accuracy.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

The chocolate-bar vs. chocolate-rabbit comparison pretty much seemed exactly on point. I tend to be a "it's really the difference between a hershey bar and a mocha." Both may purport to be chocolate, but many people may profoundly prefer one to another.

Your perplexity confuses me! Wink

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

A chocolate bar may taste like shit and the chocolate rabbit may be the best chocolate you'd have ever tasted. I am speaking specifically about the shape the chocolate comes in.

Besides, this is what happens when you reject the chocolate bunnies.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

taken off to the bottom.

judisheshok's picture

Postulant

I've been slow in checking back on this thread...stupid having to work when I'm normally on the computer! lol

I remember being young and watching this as a whole family, was good times...damn. I'm coming close to what I call my impulse buy phase, in which I pick up all sorts of things, multimedia wise. It's probably a good thing that I'm poor right now. Sad

Vayshe's picture

Petitioner

(whose soundtrack is also done by yoko kanno)is my favorite, hands down. but samurai champloo, trigun, the big o and lain are on the favorite list as well Smile

judisheshok's picture

Postulant

I do want! Wolf's Rain, that is. Much hearting for it...but I do not posess. Again, must correct. I have a thing for actually owning something, not just having a digital representation...So I'm all about my books, dvds, and cds. Call me materialistic...except I could care less about other things than those particulars.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

From above:

A mocha is a chocolate-flavored coffee drink.
Which is how I'd compare movies to the hershey bar of a book.

Much less similar (in my head) than they appear to be for you.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

You're going for a food an beverage comparison, which I suppose to me seems like a sports/art comparison. I'm just looking at it from the point of view of art, more specifically a story-telling medium.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I think it's possible, even reasonable, to like some story-telling media well better than others, and to, consequently, choose to devote one's leisure time (much) more to one set than the other.

I imagine I'd grow weary of photoessays or anime (the aesthetics I've seen just don't really rock it for me) much more quickly than I would of books.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

My mediums of choice are decidedly video games and books, and I rarely watch TV or movies myself. That being said, when someone goes, "This was awesome, you should watch it" no one has to struggle to convince me that it would be worth my time, simply because it's not a video game (ETA: or a book). If I can access it easily, I will check it out. The resistance to that was what perplexed me.

ETA again: In fact, because I read so many books and play so many video games, people have to work harder to convince me that one of those is good, just because I have so much time devoted to other books/games already, and because my consumption of that entertainment has been so broad, that it's unlikely it will be new to me, even if I haven't read/played it before.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

Are there any types of books, or movies, or anything that people would have to work harder to sell you on?

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

Books in the genres I prefer to read. I have read so many of them that I have a keen sense of when a character is shallow, a plot thin, or a trope over-used. So it's a hard sell if it's the thing I like the most.

An interesting biography, which is something I rarely read, I would pick up without question, if I were able to get a hold of a copy with it. In the past access has been the only thing stopping me, especially in terms of anime, and one of my friends, knowing this, decided to give me a hard drive full of about 200gb of his favorite anime movies and series as a christmas present, since he knew that access was the only reason I was ignoring his suggestions to watch.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I would kill for that kind of leisure time. Wink

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

I have this kind of time because I am unemployed. I will no longer have this time when I return to school in the fall.

That being said, there are certain kinds of leisure that are important enough to me that I will not make concessions about how often I allow myself to do them, otherwise I will go batshit insane.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I honestly haven't done leisure dead-tree reading in a looooong time. since last summer, really. I borrowed a book then, still haven't finished!

netta's picture

Petitioner

Favorite series -- it's a tied between Firefly (oh, Hulu, how I love thee!) and Carnivale, which was from HBO. I could watch those episodes a billion times and never get tired of them. At least Firefly fans had some kind of closure with "Serenity", but for Carnivale lovers, HBO just left us hanging. There's a special fire in hell for that.

Movies -- Princess Bride is one, and so are the Blade movies. For shitz and giggles, Galaxy Quest. I love teh funny.

Never did get in to anime.

Please don't ask about favorite books. I'd be here for years.

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

Finally got my hands on BSG 4.5, loved the final episode. Not to mention the DVD had deleted scenes and extended versions of three different episodes...

Now, on to FireFly...

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