Anime impressions and recommendations
Periodically-updated gist. Check later for more.
published Mar 08 2022
Recommended without reservations
- Attack on Titan. Extremely competent writing; avoids many anime tropes; written like a detective story, rewards watching slowly and thinking ahead; full of competent characters who think ahead.
- Death Note. Extremely competent writing; not subject to anime tropes; detective story that rewards watching slowly and thinking ahead; has very competent characters who think ahead.
- Code Geass. Saturated with coolness; competent writing; has competent characters who think ahead; avoids some common anime tropes but falls prey to others; prone to deus ex machina and angst ex machina; watch with English dubs, they’re better than the original.
- Parasyte. Very competent writing; explores deep moral topics, gives you something to think about; has competent characters who think ahead; avoids most anime tropes; rewards watching slowly and thinking about the implications. Read my analysis.
- Naruto. Saturated with cool characters and action scenes; the plot keeps getting deeper and more convoluted; great music, tone, atmosphere; saturated with optimistic morals about never giving up; about half of the anime is fillers, skip most of them for better enjoyment.
- Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Somewhat unique theme; has various flaws, but manages to avert many common anime tropes; some mediocre parts, some really good parts.
- Hellsing OVA (2001-2002). Stylish vampire action; solid atmosphere and music; avoids many anime tropes.
Recommended with reservations
- Mushishi. Requires tolerance to body horror.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion. Requires special preparation and coaching, such as mine, to get the most out of it.
- Perverted Prince and Stony Cat / Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko. Requires tolerance to embarrassment. Don’t get confused by the name; this is a lighthearted romantic comedy about children.
- Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust. High-quality production, but mostly senseless violence.
- One Piece. Like Naruto but dumber, uglier, with worse music, and still unfinished.
- FLCL. Nonsensical mash of metaphors and angst.
- FLCL Progressive. Like the original but with more angst.
- A Certain Magical Index. The anime is unfinished, needs season 4. The anime is compressed and doesn’t make sense at times, especially in season 3. Obnoxious “small world” syndrome.
- Tokyo Ghoul: anime followed by manga. The anime sets the tone, but is horribly butchered and incomplete. You need to read the manga to actually finish the story.
- Great Teacher Onizuka.
- Full Metal Panic. Not to be confused with “Fullmetal Alchemist” which is unrelated. Combines embarrassing romantic comedy with military action. Full of dumb anime tropes. The anime is unfinished, lacking at least one season.
- Shinmai Maou no Testament. Has better music than the story deserves.
- Cowboy Bebop. Pretentious and nonsensical.
- Ergo Proxy. Pretentious and nonsensical.
- Trigun. Lots of violence without style.
- Ninja Scroll. Senseless darkness and violence.
- Bleach: the anime is incomplete and ends on the crappiest arc, missing the coolest final arc. If ever finalized, this might rate as “neutral”.
- Black Butler. The anime horribly butchers the source material.
- Ranma. Garbage source material, adaptation even worse.
- Mahou Sensei Negima. Could only handle a few episodes.