Total Recommendations: 240
If the nightmare fuel, eclipse-esque monster designs and gore did not already make it clear that Berserk was inspired HEAVILY by Devilman, the last few episodes most certainly do... for entirely different reasons. Seriously: after finishing Crybaby, there can be little doubt over which work was most directly responsible when Miura came up with his own series. Thanks to Crybaby, I got to understand how Griffith came to be, as well as watching something quite special. Can't ask for much more than that, really: enjoyment and insight.
Realistic superhero series; at least as far as focusing on the 'human' aspect goes. Idealistic heroism is contrasted with everyday life. Or, put another way, it's down-to-earth, as opposed to series like One Punch Man that indulge in their flashy over the topness. Tiger & Bunny is consistent and is what it says on the tin, where as Flamenco starts out purely as a parody before jumping the shark in dramatically low budget fashion. Ye be warned!
Kakegurui is best described as the 'Gambling School' equivalent to Prison School. Femdom over the top absurdity with similar, liptastic art styles. Entertaining if you can forgive mostly self-aware silliness. Unfortunately tits & arse perversion are largely replaced by orgasmic-ahegho faces in Kakegurui, but heyho: tights do it for me. And that ending animation.
If you found Watamote to be too cringey and just wanted the laughs derived from a good-for-nothing sister pissing off her brother by being a lazy otaku, then look no more: Himouto is the cute-chibi spazzy answer to Watamote's black comedy despair.
Planes being used as weapons by unkillable sociopath villains that take bullets from armies of normal humans, then get back up and kill everyone shooting at them, no puks given. The same sort of entertaining craziness, in short.
Manga adaptations of literary classics from the 1800's. The Count of Monte Cristo is faithful to the time period of the original, where as Crime & Punishment is a modern re-imagining. The core theme of both is punishment for prior actions, with Monte Cristo being driven by an intricate revenge plot and Crime being driven by a search for redemption after a plan backfires.
An all-consuming need for vengeance after the leads lose their homeland, lover, and everything else due to the betrayal of friend(s); taking place many years later. Good deeds are mixed with seeking revenge. The Count of Monte Cristo is THE ultimate revenge saga, and the manga adaptation is surprisingly excellent given the short length compared to the novel.
Ousama Game: Kigen / Origin was clearly heavily inspired by Higurashi, and with thankfully very little to do with its rather comical prequel/original. Definitely read it if you liked anything about Higurashi, as it's by far the most similar series to it. Psychotic waifu included. Kigen is set during 1977. Higurashi, 1983. Both are set in rural, isolated villages where supernatural-esque, gruesome murders start occuring. Very atmospheric and immersive.
Mobile phones get used as tools of survival game warfare, whilst characters act stupid and die/suicide for 'so bad, it's kinda good?' entertainment purposes. This is why I don't have a phone. Ousama Game has Light Yagami's voice; Mirai Nikki has cute waifu yandere Yuno. Make your choice wisely. Mirai Nikki also has a budget.
If you like the idea of Battle Royale showdowns involving magic and supernatural powers, then GET READY... for 20-minutes of exposition/waffling, followed by maybe 30-seconds of action. Yeeeeee-haw!
If characters being vampires / lusting for blood presented as a drama with a subdued sexualised edge is your cup of tea, read Lament of the Lamb whilst waiting for Happiness. LotL has more of an emphasis on family, with a strong incestous edge. The mood, with a dark undercurrent and sexual tension, that both authors are able to create without doing anything outlandish is very similar and perhaps unique to them.
Whilst Bokurano goes in a sci-fi / mecha direction, where as Ikigami has an alternate universe totalitarian Japan setting, the approach these two take is equally grim and different. Characters are introduced, get their own 3+ chapter mini-arcs and then - after being fully developed - die. There is an overaching narrative in both (more so in Bokurano) that ties everything together but the cycle of characterisation>death remains throughout.
The stories of Fantastic Children and Please Save My Earth involve reincarnations attempting to make amends for their past sins. And love is an important aspect of both. Fantastic Children cannot compare to the depth of Please Save My Earth's characters, but it's still an excellent series, regardless. Just make sure you don't judge it based on its sluggish first half - its story only truly getting going in the absorbing last half of its story.
Aside from these series being stories of revenge against three people that ruined the lives of the respective lead characters, there does not initially appear to be too much linking the two: 91 Days involves 1920's American gangsters, where as Gankutsuou is a multi-layered 'dish best served cold' saga involving French noblemen. But, by the end, the 91 Days scheme for vengeance turns out to be more complex than it first appeared... So, read the words of Edmond Dantes and understand: "Bide your time and hold out hope." Also, watch Gankutsuou. Now.
Instead of being reminded of Shinkai's other FAR more melancholic/sappy offerings, watching Your Name reminded me very much of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time in tone and direction. They begin as something akin to 'supernatural sit-coms' where a supernatural element is inserted into the daily lives of high school kids and fun silliness ensues. They do later switch their emphasis to drama but there's never an overwhelming sense of despair. There's also a spoilerific aspect that links Your Name with TGWLTT... but, yeah: SPOILERS.
Re:Zero and KonoSuba take the same 'NEET transported to a medieval-fantasy' premise and go in differing directions... yet still somehow end up with their respective leads in mental anguish of varying extremes due to harem-related woe. Re:Zero has its lead die over and over and over and over and over again trying to save the girls he encounters in his new world. KonoSuba also has its lead die from time to time... due to his moronic (yet lovable) band of misfit female party members that make him want to punch himself/them in the face. One is a drama. The other is a comedy. But both will most likely appeal to one that the likes the other. This is because, via equivalent exchange, they give what the other cannot.
Very similar, VERY underrated series about a sort of fictional culture clash between the existence of witches and warfare. Maria is set during the medieval period and Izetta during World War 2 but, other than that, the almost anti-war theme explored by a scantily clad witch trying to attain peace using her powers links the two series closely. Maria is the darker and more graphic of the two, though. If you can overlook middling budgets and some pandering in terms of boobs/skimpy attire/light yuri then you're in for a treat 'cause there's nothing else quite like these two underappreciated gems.
To mine eyes, Izetta is a love child of the game Valkyria Chronicles and Virgin Witch Maria. Valk Chron's alternate history World War 2 setting paired with a near extinct supernatural race/power and Maria's attempting to prevent/end a war as a witch with magic. I strongly recommend everyone go play Valk Chron (unless you can handle the cheap art style + love triangle added to the anime!) and more people give Izetta a chance; overlooking the light yuri/boobing in the middle. That is all.
Girl on the Shore is like a FAR more sexualised/smutty companion piece to Aku Hana. The same intoxicating, utterly depressive vibe as kids at school enter into manipulative relationships as a depressing, suicidal tone permeates everything. Kids dealing with sex and fetishes more casually, in contrast with the purepure 'first kissu' approach of practically every other manga/anime.
The author of Dimension W was the character designer for Darker than BLACK, and this little fact seems to explain why there are so many striking similarities between the two series: DW is probably best described as the author's very own edited version of DtB. Firstly, there is DW's dead-eyed, knife-rope badarse lead with an initially mysterious past as a soldier in a fictional war; currently finding himself working as something of a jack of all trades mercenary. Then there is the main plot involving a largely unexplained supernatural phenomenon that allows for all kinds of episodicness, such as even a ghost murder mystery story. So far, I would describe DW as 'Brighter than BLACK' and something of a slightly inferior series to DtB that fans of it will still enjoy regardless.
Blue Gender is the largely unknown AND under-appreciated survival gem that came LONG before the fall of Wall Maria. The grim, 'horror' tone so rarely seen in anime as characters are introduced only to be killed off without mercy (initially, in Attack on Titan) is present in both. BG has VERY little pandering, whilst AoT was influenced by shounen tropes. The most obvious similarity is the heroines of the two: Mikasa from AoT and Marlene from BG are both stoical killing machines that are shown to have softer sides via romantic feelings for the respective male leads. The most striking similarity visually is how the bugs squash humans they kill into small, horrifying balls--just like how the undigested corpses in AoT look. Near identical, actually. Gigantic bugs are the threat to humanity in BG. And, king of the obvious: titans in Attack on Titan. AoT has a 'base defense' premise involving defending huge walls in an unclear past/alternate history setting, where as Blue Gender is an 'episodic road-trip' series centered around the lead duo attempting to escape from a modern, post-apocalyptic Earth. So, different types of survival desperation, linked mainly by the whole death-filled despair thing. Not many happy faces to be seen in either.
Hypothetically, if I were ever to be cryogenically frozen in the hope of people from the future coming up with a cure for a fictional, incurable disease, I would feel a tad concerned. Why? Because anime has taught me that whenever a character does so, they wake up at some undetermined date with the apocalypse seemingly having occurred whilst sleeping - with the character forgotten - and there being very angry, man-eating creatures prowling around. As well as healthy plant overgrowth. I would opt to go back to sleep until the world unbuggers itself, personally. The above is the premise of both series, by the way: survival horror after awakening from a very long dream, only to find there are few humans left and a whole lotta monsters.
Guyver was heavily influential for Zetman. Dark superhero series with similar premises and character dynamics; a fan of one is likely to enjoy the other. The plots of the two revolve around powerful corporations responsible for the creation of monsters with the ability to disguise themselves as humans. Rivals of the leads in both are sons (adopted in Guyver) of the heads of the corporations and share hero/anti-hero relationships. And, of course, in both series full-body combat suits are used against the monsters.
The author of Attack on Titan, Hajime Isayama, said the following in an interview: "My earliest inspiration was the adult game Muv-Luv Alternative, in which aliens invade and humankind is on the brink of annihilation." Total Eclipse is a spin-off of what Isayama is referring to, but the influence was blatantly obvious in episode two: a cast of characters were introduced and then brutally killed off in quick succession; one being eaten in gruesome fashion in front of a despairing friend. HOWEVER, later the series goes 'full harem' and there is very little additional alien bug slaughter. In contrast to Shingeki, it does NOT convince as a survival series, overall. At all. In any event: the settings differ, and the enemy of mankind are creepy-bugs-with-mouths rather than titans, but the execution of the start was still much too similar to overlook. But, unfortunately, that is where the similarities start and end.
Blue Gender is best described as a MUCH more serious/gritty, FAR less fan service-y equivalent to Muv Luv. Where as Muv Luv's origin lies in visual novels and is full of haremish rom-com pandering NO, Blue Gender is simply an anime original, very grim post-apocalyptic survival series. Just watch Blue Gender unless you like 'bait & switch' harem fluff. Alien bugs have overrun Earth and robots are used to fight them in desperate battles. Expect to see brutal, graphic deaths. The two also share male/female lead duo romance subplots: Blue Gender treats sex casually, whilst Muv Luv focuses on... blushing wuv.
Kuroneko fans, rejoice: your waifu may be no match for incest but in Gate her more sadistic, raunchy clone returns to anime and is seemingly determined to kill men with a huge axe. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?... In all seriousness: I refuse to believe Rory Mercury from Gate is not based on Kuroneko from OreImo. THEY EVEN HAVE THE SAME NAME: Rory / Ruri! To be more precise, Kuroneko from OreImo looks and acts like Rory whenever she is cosplaying as a 'GothLoli'; complete with a haughty / condescending-but-playful persona. All Ruri would have to do is cosplay as her namesake from Gate and, BOOM: samesame.
Gate is best described as something akin to the spiritual successor of 'Those Who Hunt Elves'. People from modern Japan find themselves in medieval fantasy land... and they come equipped with guns and tanks! TWHE is more small-scale in terms of scope since there are only three characters that travel to a new world; armed with only one tank. And the plot is simply 'strip elves so we can get back to our world!'. Gate, on the other hand, is a modern vs. medieval culture clash series, complete with humvees, tanks, helicopters, mortars, etc being used in battles against a less advanced civilization. Both series are basically comedies, though--it's just Gate has a more serious underbelly than TWHE.
The Irresponsible Captain Tylor's warfare is of the intergalactic variety, where as Gate's is a mixture of modern / medieval fantasy. But what links the two is the manner in which slacker main characters unwittingly find themselves promoted in the military and in charge of others after actions they themselves did not perceive to be that much of a big deal. And how they then proceed to become increasingly famous as heroes... despite having little to no motivation! The tone of the two series is also very similar: comedies with a harem-ish edge. Gate is more otaku pandering in this regard, but Tylor also has females lust after its lovably idiotic titular lead as they join his misfit crew; which is also true of Gate.
Whilst the similarities between the two are largely superficial, the short gap between their airing dates and period piece shoujo anime (complete with princes and sword fights) revolving around red-headed heroines not being terribly common still makes this recommendation obvious. Even without mentioning the cutting of hair. What is most striking about the two is the very similar yet contrasting approaches of their adaptations. Akatsuki has a vibrant Korean period piece design, complete with an 'Ancient Asia' classical-style soundtrack. The world-building is also strong. Akagami has something of a medieval Europe design with a 'fairy-tale' bright colour palette and a 'magical' classical-style soundtrack. Both series absorb the viewer into the atmosphere created by the combination of period piece design and music. The plots do differ considerably, though: Akatsuki is built around a princess being betrayed and is revenge-driven as a man/dragon-harem gathers to protect her. Akagami, meanwhile, is a more relaxing 'red-headed herbalist girl x prince' series, with some action but that not being the main focus.
A modernised and commercialised / 'business' approach to the concept of superheroes existing in our world. Heroes are ranked based on points awarded AND subtracted for their actions in the line of duty. Public relations - mainly in terms of popularity - is also a factor. Every self-respecting hero needs a fan club, after all! In One Punch Man it is less important since it is more of a cartoonishly over the top series with hero rankings as window dressing, where as in Tiger & Bunny the entire plot is built around 'idol culture' televised heroics. But they are the only two series I have come across with the 'world-building' premise they share.
Broship road trips. In Supernatural the 'bros' are actual brothers by blood and in Stardust Crusaders the cast also travel by air and sea, but eh: technicalities. The point is, both series are episodic and revolve around male bonding as they travel; with only the occasional 'guest' female character welcome. Fujoshi bait. Stardust Crusaders does not take itself very serious (to put it mildly), in contrast to Supernatural, but many of the episodes/arcs have a horror theme--seemingly paying homage to numerous live-action horror flicks. And Supernatural is best described as episodic horror; complete with unusual-for-anime truly black shadows. So, the content is similar in that sense. Maybe.
Noragami's anime original end is a blatant copy of what happened between Kenshin and Jinnei in Rurouni Kenshin. Formerly kill-happy (during the samurai period) leads that no longer wish to kill are forced by another character from their pasts to fight with the intent to kill once more. In both series, the already FAR more pacifistic leads became even 'softer' after interacting with useless-outside-of-romance heroines, and the heroines lives are threatened in an attempt to make the leads have the desire to kill once more. I had noticed Noragami is basically Rurouni Kenshin but not a period piece in terms of characterisation earlier, given Yato's goofy facade and the 'eyes of a killer' samurai flashbacks. Plus, Yato fights with a katana in modern times! But the ending certainly cleared away any remaining doubt.
Ito Junji's recurring protagonist, Oshikiri, reminded me A LOT of Goth's lead. Despite being normal students on the surface, both have an abnormal, sociopathic edge to their characters and are surrounded by death/murder in each chapter. Oshikiri is a more balanced character in the sense it is usually his alternate universe selves killing and he is more of a 'good guy', where as the lead in Goth is just outright fascinated by death and on the cusp of becoming a serial killer. But both are killers that lack basic emotions; finding themselves involved with troubled females along the way.
The mere notion of combining tits & arse fan-service with serious subject matter/direction is usually a BIG no-no. People that want smutty antics usually do not much care for death and non-orgasmic thrills, and vice versa. But these two series are a special kind of exception to that most logical of rules. HotD refreshes the quite literally done-to-death zombie genre with a haremish, alpha male approach to survival. The other pokes fun at any and every prison escape story with the aid of srsbiz 'horror' male faces and femdom overload. Money is also happily thrown around in the way of budgeting to improve the eye-candy AND action; complete with stellar direction/timing. They are undoubtedly trashy forms of entertainment that target males, yes, but by combining polar opposite subject matter with a heavy dosage of lulz and thrills, they became different from everything else in a strangely satisfying way. Granted, some people will question why they are not just outright hentai, whilst others will be distracted by the subject matter clash. But those that can walk the 'middle road' and just accept / enjoy the two for what they are will be in for a treat. Non-lesbian females and gay males aside, possibly.
JoJo is a series that has been heavily influenced by many titles, such as FotNS, but it has also had an influence over other series. The most obvious of these influences is the concept of 'Stands' and how similar - tarot cards and all, but thankfully without fusion - it is to 'Personas' seen in the Persona series. Whilst the moment Jotaro put a gun to his head instantly reminded me of Persona 3, rather than superficial aspets, it is more just the basic concept of a person having another self that fights for them - linked to tarot cards reflecting their combat abilities - that makes the two bizarrely similar. Persona goes more in a 'know thyself' narrative direction, with personas reflecting the true selves of people, where as in Stardust Crusaders Stands just exist almost as cartoonish exaggerations of their users in most cases. Still, the similarities are obvious to all that have sampled both series.
Female assassin action, set in ancient, male-dominated Japan. Azumi is the only female in her group, where as the assassins in Yagyu are all female. In both the assassins have a male teacher to guide them, but the narratives of the two do differ considerably: Azumi's assassins were raised from childhood and brainwashed to be used as clueless puppets by the government. Yagyu's assassins are just normal women that are hastily trained in order to get revenge for their families being slaughtered in front of them.
An all-consuming, intoxicating lust for young teenage women with moles beneath their left eyes. That is what these two are about. Tomie is an episodic series built around a regenerating monster of a seductress that ruins any male she encounters. A horror series about the ultimate narcissist, basically. Lament of the Lamb revolves around an incestuous, vampiric bond shared between a previously separated brother and sister; the brother needing to drink his sister's blood. The line between 'sister' and 'lover' gradually becomes distorted by the sister's mature / strange allure.
It surprised me when I learned that the novel Basilisk adapted, 'The Kouga Ninja Scrolls', came out in 1959--many decades before Battle Royale. The idea of forcing people to kill each other until there is only one/a few left is a simple one, but the way human nature is depicted with the violence, rape and whatnot that follows in this two is very striking. Survival series without morality bullshit is the way I would describe them. Basilisk is a ninja warfare period piece. Battle Royale is set in a modern day, alternate history Japan and involves high school kids killing each other. But the insanity that results when characters are given 'do or die' choices is very similar. Prepare for characters you grow attached to dying!
Just like with Basilisk and Romeo x Juliet, Chrono Crusade is another example of Gonzo's love of tragic romance in their works. And a word of warning: CC is the most depressing of the three by the end due to some choice anime original alterations. A demon and a nun with a gun: never going to have a happy end, that! What makes Chrono Crusade especially NOOO in terms of emotional overload is that, in order for the titular lead to use his demonic powers, he has to drain the life of the heroine, Rosette. Never have I encountered a similar 'superpower limiter' before. As for Romeo x Juliet, the similarities begin and end with the slightly spoilerific title.
Gonzo used to have something of a Romeo & Juliet fetish, as well as being one of few studios to have the balls to adapt material not destined to be adored by otaku. And this resulted in two very different anime, linked only by their usage of R&J tragedy as a main theme. Basilisk is best described as the Japanese period piece, ninja warfare equivalent of R&J. Meanwhile, Romeo x Juliet is a re-imagining of Shakespeare's work... complete with flying horses and other fantasy elements sure to irk purists. The names are the same and core theme, but little else. The series themselves do differ considerably, with Basilisk being a Battle Royale style bloodbath and RxJ being more of a tragic/romantic adventure. BUT, one only has to read 'Romeo & Juliet' to understand where the similarities lie...
If after watching Fate/Zero you were left wanting more in the way of 'Battle Royale' believable brutality and less in the way of circle-walky talking, then Basilisk is the anime for you! Instead of Zero's premise of seven masters with seven revived heroes of lore (complete with 'middle-man' pace slowing rules overload) battling it out until only one pairing remains, in Basilisk ninja with superpowers (two sides, with ten on each side) every bit as powerful as those wielded by servants, quite simply, fight a desperate battle to the death; dying in quick succession. You can not get much more intense! In contrast, no-one really died at all in Zero until the last half, and even then it had an open-end for the visual novel 'sequel'.
Bullying, guilt and redemption. Bullying is a taboo subject matter in fiction. Even more so when it is the main character of the series him/herself either doing something that is perceived as bullying or just outright bullying another person. No-one wants to make their lead characters unlikable and hurt their sales, after all. And there can be few more distasteful acts than ejaculating on a girl's clothes (Onani) or abusing a disabled girl (Katachi)! The true similarity between these two is how their respective anti-social leads go on 'crime & punishment' paths of redemption after doing despicable things. They both find themselves being bullied in a sort of karmic response to their own actions and eventually grow after the guilt sinks in; culminating in romance. It is an interesting brand of characterisation where the lead characters are broken before being re-built into something more than they were originally.
In these two, death is only the beginning. Initially average lead characters find themselves confronted with monsters and fight death-matches over and over AND OVER until they become killing machines without fear or doubt. Not even death itself is an escape since characters are revived in Gantz and death results in a never-ending time loop in All You Need Is KIIIIIIIILLLLLLL. There is no other similar characterisation that I have encountered. There are plenty of survival series out there, for sure, but none where characters grow mentally stronger by dying and gradually abandoning fear. Death being the starting point of both series, rather than an end that will never come to pass due to your typical main character plot protection in other series, makes for unique and gripping reads.
"Clenched teeth, meet cruel smile." The author(ess) of Wolfsmund, Mitsuhisa Kuji, was once Kentaro Miura's assistant. So, it should come as no great shock to learn that her debut work shares a number of similarities in terms of its medieval setting, grim tone and brutal, 'EVERYONE DIE!' approach to storytelling. But Wolfsmund truly comes into its own with its sketchy art style and a medieval depiction so realistic that it is one of very few series that could accurately be described as a 'bad guy wins' series. Although there is, eventually, a hero of sorts, there is no Guts here: just a villain so wonderfully sharp and intelligent that his trademark sinister smile/smirk used when exposing the truth will remain with me. Unlike Berserk, which has fantasy/monster elements and no real world setting, Wolfsmund is historical fiction focused on one very specific point: a checkpoint pass separating Switzerland and Italy. Austria are occupying the land and trapping the locals in their own borders. The pass is the only viable escape route, which leads to many trying to deceive the infamously cruel governor of the checkpoint, Wolfram. But none have ever managed to deceive their way past him, for the checkpoint has become known as Wolfsmund: 'The Wolf's Maw/Den'.
Two sexy sketchy art series set in medieval Europe, built around the theme of episodic suffering. Don't expect to smile and laugh whilst reading... unless you happen to be sadistic, that is. But do expect to 'enjoy' something a little different from the norm. Wolfsmund is worth reading for the most hate-love worthy villain in recent memory. Bradherley? The artist of Blade of the Immortal, Samura, created it. Enough said. <br><br> Wolfsmund wastes no time showing readers what type of series it is as it set the tone by opening with an execution where a man asks to be killed by a sword instead of an axe - with honour - only to get the back of his knees kicked in response and is killed with an axe anyway. Some hope is then given by the author for the characters he introduces, but the medieval period was a brutal one: there are no happy ends. Bradherley, in contrast, starts without revealing what kind of series it is, before potentially traumatising readers. Both have been described as 'torture porn', but emotional torture aside, that only applies to Bradherley, in truth: it was serialised in 'Manga Erotics F', after all. Wolfsmund just tries to represent history with brutal accuracy. <br><br> Characters / potential protagonists are introduced in both and then cruelly discarded. If it is unflinching realism you are looking for in order to escape the happy end NO seen in other generic vanilla series, search no more: enjoy Wolfram mentally breaking those trying to get through his checkpoint by lying. Spoiler: it never ends well. Once he smiles, it is over.
Just a warning: for the MANY less manly men than me/those with empathy, these two will be hard to stomach. They are the only two series I have read - and will probably ever read - built around a premise of gang-rape. And not just rape: beatings and abuse so extreme that, at times, it enters the realm of torture. YE BE WARNED! Bradherley is an episodic medieval fiction mini-series set somewhere in Europe where orphan girls think they have won the equivalent of the national lottery, get all excited/happy about leaving their orphanage, get taken somewhere... and I will leave the rest to your imagination. As the series progresses it does shift from showing what happens and is less 'Manga Erotics F' pandering. And Samura's works are always worth reading/looking at. But, yeah: not for the faint of heart. Or females, really. 17-sai is probably the more disturbing of the two, purely because it is based on a true story. It is also a FOUR VOLUME series about ONE girl. Not chapter-to-chapter heroine changing: the consistent, chapter-to-chapter abuse of one character. She is kidnapped and a group of young males continue to escalate the rape and abuse until... the end. Not a series full of happy thoughts, in short. No puppies here.
It is not often one comes across a TRUE 'bad guy wins' series. Usually, not long after a dastardly deed or two that sets up a character as evil incarnate, justice is done and the heroic heroes prevail. In Wolfsmund? The villain, Wolfram, cruelly smiles as he sees through ALL ploys of those trying to get through the checkpoint he governs; leaving their bodies outside the gate as a warning for those that dare to follow. Sadistically toying with people is what he lives for, and his checkpoint is called 'The Wolf's Maw' by locals for good reason. <br><br> Ikigami has no bad guy, per se, since it is the government and a law that plays the role of villain. But the structure of the two series is so similar that the recommendation is an obvious one, regardless. Both series - initially, anyway - consist of episodic arcs where lead characters are introduced. Then, each arc ends with the characters (increasingly predictably) dying: brutally murdered in Wolfsmund's hellish medieval Switzerland setting. In Ikigami's modern Japan setting, the characters simply die after being notified that they have only got 24hrs left before death due to something everyone was injected with as children; 1% later dying 'for the greater good' of a Battle Royale-esque society, at predetermined dates. You get to know the characters, feel attached/pity... then, tragically, DEATH.
Anime adaptations of josei manga with an emphasis on fashion. One would assume this means most males should run far away with their anuses clenched and never look back, but no: they are strangely accessible and appealing even to the more manly males that frequent this site, such as myself. Seeing adult(ish) characters mentally dealing with the highs and lows of AN ACTUAL SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP IN ANIME!!111! is appealing in Paradise Kiss. Princess Jellyfish's fujoshi-in-a-boarding house freakout gag humour makes it more of a comedy than a drama and even more male-accessible as a consequence. And the fashion aspects are presented from the respective heroine's clueless perspectives so as not to overwhelm viewers/males. The basic premises of the two are really quite similar: normal/average young women find themselves SUDDENLY thrust into the world of fashion/modeling/dresses after encountering eccentric-handsome males that sweep them off their feet via charisma. Paradise deals FAR MORE HEAVILY with fashion and romance since the entirety of the heroine's connection with the rest of the series is modeling. Jellyfish involves a cross-dressing ladyboy invading an all-female boarding house and is naturally more comedic (no romance advances in Jellyfish, in stark contrast to Paradise Kiss, which has a clear start and end). In Jellyfish fashion comes into play more towards the end when dresses based on jellyfish are made. But the fujoshi cast's fear of "STYLISH!" and the cross-dressing male lead's varied attire does get touched upon a lot.
Before watching 'When Marnie Was There', I would have described 'A Letter To Momo' as the Ghibli film that Ghibli would never create: a film grounded in reality by the relatable social anxiety / awkwardness of a young girl, with a fantasy aspect in the background. Not a magical adventure with Miyazaki's trademark lack of characterisation-reality attentiveness--a film with a very real emotional undercurrent people can relate to. And although Marnie is most certainly not a Miyazaki film (which I am eternally grateful for after enduring 'The Wind Rises'...), it most certainly is a Ghibli film. A nice way for Ghibli to end their anime love affair, if it is indeed to be their last. Both films involve heroines you could describe as anti-social moving to rural settings, with family difficulties being a key theme. Then, a supernatural aspect in Momo and more of an imaginary aspect in Marnie gets used to develop the characters and resolve the respective family issues. Momo was more cohesive in terms of blending the social woes with fantasy, where as Marnie was more of a tug of war between social anxiety and imaginary friendship; with an artificial seeming end. But one listen of Marnie's beautiful end credit music, when paired with how it started, and I can't help but link the two.
Expelled From Paradise is Ghost in the Shell, minus Oshii's existential dialogue and atmosphere. Motoko is replaced by Asuka Tsundere... and a whole lot of CG boob jiggling. You just have to compare the difference in tastefulness between the nudity at the start of both films to know that Expelled is GitS gone ANIME. Even the basic plots are similar: the hunt for a hacker that takes an interesting A.I. turn. And Expelled DOES try to deal with the question of what it is to be human without a body... just with nowhere near the same depth / level of introspection. Having a tsundere caricature that places her hands on her hips, points and looks perma-pissed kinda works against depth. With Oshii's Motoko, on the other hand, there was an intellectual loneliness that needed no words to convey.
To truly understand just why Shin Angyo Onshi (SAO) *IS* the Korean Berserk, you would have to read the manhwa (which, by the way, arguably has better art than Berserk). Seinen excellence. The SAO movie is best described as being like Berserk's first episode: before the flashback arc that filled in the blanks... just without the other 24 episodes. Both anime are, in essence, incomplete manga/manhwa teasers, but this is far more true in SAO's case since the back-story of its lead, Munsu - whom is VERY similar to Guts from Berserk in terms of VENGEANCE motivation - only gets revealed further down the line. The good news is, unlike Berserk, SAO's manhwa is finished. IT HAS AN END. The bad news is, you have to go into the anime aware it will only serve as a cool introduction. And in case you're curious just how similar SAO is: betrayal, rape, revenge, smiling pretty boy nemesis, amazing flashback arc. That's all I'm saying.
The theme of everlasting brotherhood: brothers that would willingly die for each other. Brings a tear to my manly eyes, it does. Two brothers - more emotional older; calmer, more rational younger duos - travel together in search of what they have lost, knowing full well the price of what they can never get back. The mothers of both duos died when they were young; the deaths acting as catalysts for the respective journeys that would follow. What is more, both sets of brothers have fathers that mysteriously vanished and play pivotal roles in what unfolds. But, in the beginning, the brothers are something akin to orphans united by their brotherly bond and determination. FMA is an alchemy fantasy adventure epic which involves lots of early episodic traveling. Supernatural is an episodic road-trip (think FFXV, minus the obvious fujoshi bait). FMA has lighthearted anime humour, whilst Supernatural is goes for gritty realism.
Much like 'Now and Then, Here and There' (NaTHaT), Maria lulls viewers into a false sense of security with a beginning that does not suggest horror and despair. At all. Then, without hesitation after the misdirection, they both proceed to make viewers so uncomfortable with scenes involving death and rape and everything horrible about war that mouths will almost certainly be left open. Just to be clear, Maria is nowhere near as extreme as NaTHaT. Maria stops right where NaTHaT twists the knife, to be as non-spoilerific vague as I can be. But I could not help but think of NaTHaT during one scene in particular. UNCOMFORTABLE. When you see bruises visible on a 2D female anime face, it is strangely unsettling. That is what Maria taught me. The series have totally different settings (post-apocalypse in NaTHaT; medieval France in Maria) but the shocking directions they take and the emphasis on war links them quite strongly.
These two are rather misleading, to begin with. FAR more so in the case of Maria since the females dress like strippers (fits the 'heretic witches' angle + a succubus, but still...) and a great deal of emphasis is placed on the heroine's virginity; often comically so. In the case of Spice & Wolf, it was just the heroine - Howo - being naked when she was introduced that set off early furry alarms... before she proceeded to put on and not remove clothes. They do what few to no other anime do: introduce a fantasy (animal 'Gods' in S&W; witches in Maria) element, then ground it in HEAVY medieval realism. Both are built around a human-supernatural romance, and that is then paired with the sinister/manipulative nature of religion during those times. The true power was the Catholic Church, and they crushed all opposing beliefs. The fact that the the respective heroines are regarded as heretics results in a head-on collision between anime fantasy and brutal realism. Spice & Wolf dealt with economics, where as Maria involved war, but the benevolent facade and sinister underbelly of religion is undeniably prevalent in both. More so in Maria since a surprisingly gripping drama involving manipulating the titular heroine in the war between England and France and then brain washing the locals in an attempt to burn her at the stake played out. And, unlike in S&W (no war scenes), the brutal realities of war were not shied away from. Limb removal, rape, mercenary pillaging, etc. Every attempt was made to highlight that Maria's naive idealism involving her preventing battles only resulted in more death and more resources being used, in the long-term. That sort of grim human ugliness is usually avoided in anime. As is anything serious to do with religion.
Two modern mecha classics which, aided by Sawano's subdued brand of music, forever imprinted themselves into the minds of their viewers. These two definitively proved that all-star writer / director staff lists, when paired with original robot anime, leads to greatness. Never will what they contributed to anime be forgotten. Ever. Code Geass was heavily influential for both shows. More so in the case of Guilty Crown since it was created by the same people and had the same basic plot/everything, along with robots on roller-skates. The idea of marrying magic powers with robots is how Geass came to add new life to the mecha genre, which is so notoriously narrow Gundam has been unofficially remaking itself for decades. Aldnoah is like a twisted love child of Geass and Gundam. And on a semi-related note, Aldnoah was so heavily influenced *COUGHPLAGIARISMCOUGH* by Gundam that it even shares the same red-gold uniforms. One must be cultured to truly appreciate what these two have to offer: their respective stoic heroic and unheroic wuss leads. In Aldnoah, whenever Gary Inahoe's Engrish win-button theme song starts playing, like myself, you will be doing hip thrusts in-sync with the music. I assure you.
Aldnoah R2 is the spiritual successor to Code Geass R2, in my factual opinion. Geass made magic + robots THE in thing, and Aldnoah decided just to have outright magic robots. They are also, quite possibly, the only two series in existence that share an intense hatred of the word 'ORANGE!' Magic robots are not even half of it, though. It is the cliffhangers to end ALL cliffhangers the respective first seasons end with and the highly logical way in which they are continued on from in these sequels that makes them one and the same, along with the shared character dynamics. However, a key difference is the added GENIUS of Aldnoah R2's cliffhanger continuation: unlike in Geass, it showed you what happened at the end of S1, in graphic detail, and then proceeded to have its lead, Blame Tryhard, climb back up the cliff he had just suicidally jumped off. In contrast, Geass just ended with a dramatic gunshot, THEN continued with a gravity defying lulz spinkick... and 'I'LL KILL YOU' revenge somehow turning into some kind of round-the-world straight jacket trip. Never again will my mouth be left so agape. In truth, I expected Aldnoah R2 to start how it did, simply because Geass R2 had already shown me SO MUCH of the joys that come with original anime mecha series. The caliber of writing just will never be matched. Period. Blame/Slaine is a lot like Suzaku, both in terms of character consistency and cliffhanger actions. Probably more accurate to describe him as a headless chicken merger of Lelouch and Suzaku in terms of his goal. I suppose if you take Suzaku's desire to sacrifice himself and Lelouch's brain, minus the brains, you get Slaine. There is also the princess obsession angle. Always has to be a Princess Moe stuck in-between the lead characters. Always.
These two managed to unsettle me more than almost anything else, and I didn't even realise why Aku Hana disturbed me so greatly until re-reading Usamaru's No Longer Human (NLH) manga. As an example of how much NLH in particular affected me, my username came to be after watching the anime adaptation (Aoi Bungaku) of NLH. It struck me that the irony of the author's semi-autobiographical suicide note disguised as a novel was that, rather than him not being human, his struggles were very much that of a human. His failing was that he was too human, if anything; too sensitive to what others were not. I have always assumed Aku Hana is a story destined to end with suicide. I was unaware at the time of this being due to the striking similarities Kasuga and his character arc share with NLH's Yozo. They both feel a need to put on a public facade and feel uncomfortable around others; as if they have to pretend just to fit in. The idea of being ordinary and leading an ordinary life scares them on a subconscious level, yet they find themselves drifting along, helplessly. But various encounters with sexualised female characters in both stories end up pulling the characters off the rails until they become rebels without a cause. They both have an artistic ideal of purity: Kasuga putting Saeki on a pedestal as his angel before realising she's just a girl in Aku Hana and Yozo, despite having slept with countless women, finding 'salvation' in the form of his very own virgin angel in NLH. If there's a difference between them, it's that Yozo begins as an older, more mature, far more calculating person than Kasuga. ...So, yeah: although Aku Hana was inspired by a book of French poetry, I get the impression that's mainly in terms of symbolism. It has too much in common with NLH for it to be purely coincidental. I won't spoil (I haven't even finished it, out of disgust) but Aku Hana disappointed me since the author suddenly decided not to follow-through with what he started. You only have to watch how the anime was adapted to get an idea what sort of vibe the manga gives off to different people. NLH's manga also shied away at the last, but given the complete mental destruction that came before, it was less of an issue. But, either way: I STRONGLY recommend these two to anyone looking for psychological despair that is sure to resonate with anyone that can relate... and is able to overlook Aku Hana's early lulzy antics.
The premises of both involve their respective main characters (usually mistaken as being mere medicine men due to their appearances) traveling around period piece Japan and solving supernatural problems. But Mononoke lacks Mushishi's depth since, where as the Mushi in Mushishi are an extension of nature that aren't inherently good or bad (nature can be cruel, folks!), the titular Mononoke are vengeful spirits that need to be put to rest. Both series follow a pattern of gaining understanding before the problems can be resolved, but Mononoke's stories nearly all being related to vengeance left much more restricted and limited: always having a murder mystery 'whodunnit?' approach. Also, Mononoke's nameless lead was never explained, and never will be since there's no source material. On the other hand, Mushishi's lead, Ginko, has a full back-story. In a nutshell, the premises are very similar but what separates the two is that Mononoke is very much style over substance, where as Mushishi is substance over style.
As much as I approve of how Aoi Bungaku adapted long forgotten Japanese novels that may very well hold more meaning now than they did when they were first wrote, my biggest disappoint was how 'Run Melos!' WASN'T adapted. Instead of just adapting THE story of ultimate trust/faith set in Italy during the time of the Romans, instead the main focus was switched to some sort of yaoi-lite top/bottom pairing in 1950's Japan as some four-eyed abandoned crybaby attempted to re-write the story to work as a play. The actual novel that was supposed to be adapted played a supporting role. HUH!? Luckily, there exists a little known and criminally underrated full movie version of the story, which was released in 1992. It's everything the cliff notes version in Aoi Bungaku could've been. The premise of the story is this: an unwitting country bumpkin manages to get himself sentenced to death and makes a stay of execution plea so he can see his sister married and return within three days. Someone else has to step in to risk sacrificing themselves in case he doesn't return. And so ensues the ultimate test of trust: will the lead return, knowing he's running to his death, or let his stand-in die for him?
The only two anthology anime that I am aware of where Japanese classics (novels in Aoi Bungaku; plays in Ayakashi) were adapted into mini-series/arcs; each with their own director/staff and art style changes. Outside of that, the biggest link they share is that only DARK stories were adapted: in the case of Ayakashi because it's a horror-themed series, and in the case of Aoi Bungaku because the title translates into 'Blue Literature' (fun fact: a lot of the authors of the novels adapted killed themselves). Every episode of Aoi Bungaku had a live-action intro, where an actor would delve into the back-stories of each author, while the Yotsuya Kaidan arc of Ayakashi had something similar in the form of a quirk where its dead author's spirit provided fourth wall breaking insights into how the ghost story became a sort of urban legend over time. The only fully original / non-adapted content in both series are Ayakashi's Goblin Cat arc and, in Aoi Bungaku, Kokoro's second episode, as well as most of the Hashire Melos episodes. Aoi Bungaku had a more impressive budget (a Madhouse production; the art often being reminiscent of Death Note), as well as its opening four episode No Longer Human arc ranking highly among anime's best with its relatable glance into suicidal despair. After that, though, only largely unsatisfying one-two episode adaptations followed. Ayakashi's claim to fame, on the other hand, lies with its arsty-stylish Goblin Cat arc, which would later be turned into a full series of its own titled Mononoke. The Yotsuya Kaidan arc did, however, have Final Fantasy character designer Amano design its characters.
As obvious as this recommendation may be, the fact that only the last three episodes of Ayakashi relate to it and the first eight are entirely unrelated make it worth making, if only for the sake of clarity. Ayakashi is a collection of three totally different samurai period horror stories. Only the third and final arc links into Mononoke, which is an episodic 'supernatural case of the week' series where a traveling medicine man exorcises vengeful spirits after playing out 'whodunnit?' murder scenarios. Ayakashi's Goblin Cat arc is best described as being equivalent to a US TV pilot--it obviously proved popular enough for a full series to be made after its test-run in Ayakashi. The full series is, of course, Mononoke. The artsy screen-filter effect, murder mystery structure, main character, exorcism items: EVERYTHING remained identical. A supporting character even made a cameo appearance. Since Mononoke was just an extension of what was in Ayakashi with added episodicness, in my holy opinion Ayakashi's Goblin Cat arc bettered all of Mononoke's, which quickly grew stale.
Immortality, presented as a soul-destroying burden the female lead in 3x3 and male lead in Mermaid are desperate to be rid of. In both shows, immortal pairings (male & female duos) wander the world out of a desire to live and die as humans. Also in both, the male leads do the fighting / act as protectors yet nearly always - especially in 3x3 - end up getting beaten to a pulp and/or 'dead'. Often a combination of the two. The differences between the two lie in their executions. 3x3 has an old school, shounenish (I believe the manga actually involves power-levels, later!) vibe to it: the heroine, Pai, acting childlike / MOE and, even when the male lead has his head hanging off, it was often strangely lighthearted. Mermaid's approach was darker and restrained--a more... human approach to immortality that was more disturbing as a consequence; even without 3x3's gore. Mermaid focused heavily on episodic tragic stories of those that ate mermaid flesh, and there were no happy endings allowed. 3x3 does get darker in the sequel OVA, but in the first OVA series the only horror-ish aspects were the gore and music.
The similarities between Basilisk and Ninja Scroll, which are so obvious in terms of the ninja superpowers that one could almost argue plagiarism, are down to Ninja Scroll being a homage by its director/creator (Kawajiri) towards 'The Kouga Ninja Scrolls'--the novel that Basilisk would later adapt. Kawajiri added his own story and distinctive style to Ninja Scroll but, since both anime are centered around fights where ninja use very similar / often the same supernatural skills, it's easy to mix them up. As an example, doomed love is the key theme in both. In Ninja Scroll the heroine kills any man she kisses/sexy time with (which is a power a character in Basilisk also has, though not the main love interest) since her body is poison, which is a wee bit of problem when she spends the film bonding with its male lead! In Basilisk it's in the form of a Romeo & Juliet forbidden love between warring ninja clans. Also: the big bad in both anime just happens to be an evil immortal guy that doesn't die when he's killed. Just 'cause.
Kenji Kamiyama's mentor and the man most responsible for 'Ghost in the Shell' as we know it, Mamoru Oshii, was asked for his ideas when season two of 'Stand Alone Complex' was first being conceived. The end result was essentially a remake - with edits - of another of Oshii's movies: Patlabor 2. Both Patlabor 2 and SAC2 share an equal parts interesting and gripping premise: an attempt is made to orchestrate a Japanese civil war by a third party for their own interests, and as the crisis escalates, the core cast of main characters from both series find themselves as the only ones aware the situation is being manipulated by a puppet master. In Patlabor the civil war is between the Japanese military and police; in SAC2 it's between the Japanese and three million Asian refugees (following fictional World Wars III & IV) given a Japanese island as their refuge.
Immortal male leads chase other immortals all the way from the ancient past into post-apocalyptic dystopian futures, armed only with their swords, and find themselves involved with resistance groups. In both love is the driving force but where they differ is Highlander's driven emphasis on revenge as its lead, Colin, gets his arse kicked for 1000+ years by his immortal arch-nemesis, Marcus: the man responsible for killing the woman he loved. Kurozuka just has its lead fight people as he desperately searches for his immortal woman; trying to unravel the mystery of what happened before he woke up in a bleak future. Madhouse created both titles. Highlander has Kawajiri's distinctive action flair and is far more focused as a movie than Kurozuka is as a TV series. In fact, Kurozuka is all over the place after its two excellent / stylistically-gruesome first episodes.
There is no other anime quite like these two films. They are, first and foremost, slow-paced character studies. Pacing is secondary to characterisation. There is also something undeniably 'art-house' about the way they are directed: Honneamise in particular basically being 2D art/animation porn (the time before CG shortcuts were possible), with a wonderful chase sequence. And Colorful has its own intense 'run with girl' scene that has stayed with me. Honneamise is sci-fi (set in an alternate world; about being the first astronaut), where as Colorful is a modern suicide & rebirth tale about a 14-year-old from our world. So, superficially, totally different. BUT, what both movies are truly about is their respective lead characters finding a place for themselves: rising above being an unmotivated nobody in Honneamise and accepting the realities of life in Colorful, whilst being rejected by the person they desire. The vibe this similar characterisation approach gives off is what makes me link the two. The most obvious 'OH SNAP!' similarity would be the rather random rape attempt scenes. Honneamise's seemingly random / serious faced scene is (in)famous, and Colorful had its own - less graphic - abrupt equivalent. The similar(sh) undercurrent running throughout them is why these otherwise very different movies both have such a scene included.
More often than not, anything with a period piece setting has an artificial, glorifying gloss painted over it. And this is a problem with Japanese period pieces in particular since there was never anything beautiful about a culture where atoning for mistakes involved other men watching as someone stabbed themselves in the stomach and attempted to slice diagonally across (FYI, this is how Shigurui begins, complete with intestines hanging out). The samurai period in Japan was a cruel one, and that's what these two series capture superbly. Shigurui would have been described as an 'ultra violence' series, had it came to be during the OVA boom years. Stylised, unflinching brutality where violence is the main focus as samurai kill, maim and/or dismember each other. Hakkenden isn't quite so... extreme since its focus is more on its supernatural / symbolism / broship plot, but there are numerous scenes where blood splatters, hands/heads are cut off and - yes - a belly-cutting suicide scene. A web of grim misery connects the characters, and Shigurui has that same grimdark tone; albeit with a far darker, more depraved edge than Hakkenden.
Evangelion and Nadia share the same director (Anno), character designer (Sadamoto), composer (Sagisu) AND animation studio (Gainax). As well as numerous other staff. So, expect MANY thematic and aesthetic similarities! Nadia's character was very much a prototype for Asuka: THE tsundere that made tsunderes both common and popular. Watching Nadia be naturally bitchy towards Jean and give him a hard time over very little instantly made me remember Asuka's "Anta Baka?" self. Both Shinji in Eva and Jean in Nadia are easily dominated by strong-willed female love interests (often in comical fashion), so the similarities between their relationships are obvious. I STRONGLY recommend Nadia to ANYONE interested in a slightly more down-to-earth, less otaku friendly Asuka. And/or to fans that want to see what influenced Evangelion--Anno's very own Laputa (based on the same concept as Miyazaki's): a classic gem of a characterisation-heavy adventure.
'A Distant Neighborhood' is basically 'About How I Die if I Lose My Virginity' aimed at an older audience. They both have almost the exact same premise: men looping back in time to when they were still teenagers in school, with their adult memories still intact. However, they have very different focuses. Distant is more of a... nostalgic mid-life crisis. It explores the family life of its lead and if he can change what happened to his father and mother, using his memories and adult perspective. Time looping similarities aside, the one aspect that connects the two series is how, with the maturity and post-puberty calmness provided by experience beyond the lead's apparent years, he's able to win the heart of the girl he never even spoke to originally. About How I Die is, first and foremost, a thriller. The lead is murdered as an adult at the start and then finds himself transported back in time; needing to figure out why he was killed. Similar(ish) to in Distant, the accumulated experience of the lead's adult years allows for girls to suddenly become interested in someone surprisingly mature and chill for his young years. The difference compared to Distant is that there's more than one girl and it's far more graphic/shounen-haremish. Plus the prior philandering of About How I Die's lead being a key factor in why he was killed / time-looped, where as in Distant there's no real reason.
Ignoring a Naruto movie and Ashita no Joe (not a series about prison life, but the lead does spend time in prison), the only two prison anime in known existence. Shawshank Redemption they most certainly are not. But Rainbow at least tries to be taken semi-seriously with its 1950's setting and anti-moe 'WHERE GIRL?' approach to prison life. Deadman, on the other hand, blends a prison theme park (!?) and shounen power-ups into a bizarre yet entertaining mix. Shallow and with little planning beyond shock value, but definitely fun. Rainbow does, deceptively, seem like it's actually going to be anime's attempt at one-upping Shawshank at the very beginning. There's even gay rape (taken to anime extremes: fat 1D doctor x ladyboy). But if the TEEN opening theme didn't already give the game away, Rainbow - in its more subdued-realistic way - is just as over the top as Deadman. The macho cheese, aided by guitar riffs, as a band of bros gather around their invincible alpha male "aniki" is quite something. The lead in Rainbow is like Kamina from TTGL without the vibrant colours and glasses--an inspirational heroic man's man that can't help but make everyone around him turn slightly homosexual. The soundtrack makes the cheese even more intense-funny. Deadman is so far out there it's impossible to even view at is a prison drama with its ill-defined post-apocalyptic setting and school trips where people cheer as prisoners get dismembered. It's a glorified shounen fighting series where blood is used as a weapon, with prison just used as decoration. Prison life soon gives way to death battles and rebellion, so it doesn't even try to mask what it is. I can't knock it for being what it was intended to be but its stylised opening did make me expect more than what it had to offer.
The best of the best in terms of psychological mind-game series. They don't come any better than these two; Kaiji's initially alarming yet charming big-nosed art style aside. When you include One Outs, it's fair to say that Madhouse are THE studio to go to for detailed schemes and counter-scheming internal monologues. The tense intensity, which is amplified by the amazing soundtracks (same composer) and Kaiji's 'zawazawa' / narration, is truly something. Two aspects of Death Note and Kaiji differ from each other. The first is that DN has a supernatural edge while Kaiji does not. The second is Light (DN's lead) and Kaiji's (titular lead) personalities. Where as Light is so brilliant only his arrogance and an autistic rival genius can bring him down as he kills everyone in his path, Kaiji is a gullible loser. They couldn't be more different as people. To give an example, the very first game scenario occurs in Kaiji because Kaiji is in debt after co-signing a loan and is then tricked into entering a 'money or slavery', do-or-die gamble. The simplest way of explaining the series' differences is that Kaiji is always an underdog (hence the 'Ultimate Survivor'). Light, on the other hand, always holds all the cards. Of course, the above doesn't mean anything negative about Kaiji as a series. If anything, finding yourself willing on a loser and always being surprised over how he snatches victory from the jaws of defeat is more involving than watching a character such as Light win almost on auto-pilot as he attempts to become a God. We all love an underdog. What does matter is the mind-games themselves, and mind-games are where Kaiji excels. Where as Death Note didn't have any outright games to be dueled over with rules and winners, Kaiji does. There are three separate games in the first season and the stakes increase with each new challenge, to the point where they become life or death and every choice becomes agony, despite them being seemingly straightforward... but there's always a catch. It becomes so gripping you have to marathon the series.
If you've ever found yourself wondering about what would happen if Light Yagami was a pitcher in a baseball series, instead of attempting to become a God using his notebook of death, then the answer is simple: One Outs. It was made by the same studio, Madhouse, and every aspect of the show - ranging from the dull colour choice and realistic art style to internalised thought emphasis - highlight this fact. It's impossible for anyone aware of Death Note to watch One Outs without thinking 'DEATH NOTE!'. Both the series itself and the way it was adapted are just too similar. Even the vibe the opening and ending give off just screams DARK PSYCHOLOGICAL, as opposed to baseball anime. What you have to understand about One Outs is that it isn't a sports anime. Baseball, taken to absurd extremes for entertainment purposes, is just for decoration. What One Outs is is a psychological warfare series. Every pitch becomes a life-or-death mental battle. This is because, rather than just winning matches, Toua (the lead of One Outs) bets everything on not giving up even one run. By the end he has to deal with sabotage from his own team, in addition to the opposing team, due to his Light Yagami-esque genius resulting in his 'no outs' contract bonuses costing his team so much money. The series is actually more enjoyable if you don't know anything about baseball and can overlook the baseball rule absurdity.
War is horrifying. But what amplifies the horror tenfold is when children are forced to confront human nature that even adults cannot cope with, as they struggle to survive in the midst of war. And this is a subject anime depicts more disturbingly than live-action ever could. 'Grave of the Fireflies' is a period piece set during World War 2, when Japan was being bombed and innocent civilian lives and families were destroyed. An older brother and his dependent younger sister are left with only uncaring relatives as food becomes scarce and starvation becomes a reality. Desperation and despair is the least spolierific way to describe its ending. What makes it especially unnerving is that the movie is based on a true story, wrote as a sort of attempt at atonement. You might assume 'Now and Then, Here and There' would be easier to watch, given that its first episode has its two leads transported from our modern world to another one. Many viewers either wrote the series off or were lured into a false sense of security based on how it began. But what follows goes to darker depths than most fiction ever dares. In its alternate post-apocalyptic world where water is almost non-existent, child soldiers are brainwashed and raised into killers by a deranged Hitler-esque madman... basically, anime's take on real world Africa. Killing is second nature and even underage females are used and abused like breeding cattle. I won't spoil but what happens to Sara is more disturbing than 99% of fiction. It could only be done in anime.
A line from Apocalypse Now sums up Barefoot Gen, in particular: "The horror, the horror..." Essentially the same film. Barefoot Gen has always, rather unfairly, existed in the shadow of Ghibli's own 'war through the eyes of innocent children' masterpiece. Both films are based on the true accounts of child survivors of the bombing of Japan during World War 2. And in both films children are suddenly thrust into the world of adults: having to find it within themselves to protect their loved ones as their world falls apart around them and chaos ensues. In Gen it's the lead's mother; in Fireflies it's the lead's younger sister. Gen is far more horrifying than Fireflies, simply because Gen deals with the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, where as Fireflies deals with the fire-bombing of Kobe. The atomic bomb sequence where skin is shown melting off people's faces is one of few instances where anime disturbs more than any live-action war movie could ever hope to. In both films the main focus is on the aftermath as the child leads try to survive; the bombing setting up the rest of the narrative. And in Gen the aftermath is also more unsettling due to radiation sickness.
One look at Tytania's opening, which is almost entirely dedicated to showing close-ups of serious business male faces (and the occasional spaceship), would set any LotGH ho... lover's heart a flutter. The OP/ED even break up the two halves of the cast, just like in LotGH's. Don't let the brief shot of a girl with antenna hair fool you! Tytania was written by LotGH's author and its anime was directed by the same director. Although no famous classical music is used, rest assured that an orchestra performed the soundtrack. There's the same ancient nobility setting / attire blended with spaceships that comes across so un-futuristic it would be a period piece if not for spaceships. And just like LotGH had manly men charge at lasers with axes - and win - brute force wins out in Tytania as military goons with guns opt to run at the main characters. Think of Tytania as mini-LotGH, complete with a less talky female narrator and no "another page in history" previews. Unlike LotGH elitists and underage anime fans yet to experience the... joys of LotGH, I went into Tytania happy that it was smaller scale and didn't throw 100 characters on both side of an intergalactic war at me. That was its main appeal. 26eps > 110eps. The colour-coded (seriously) four dukes dynamic as they vie for power by trying to catch the unwitting rebel Fan was great, and Reinhard's equivalent, Jusran, made for a surprisingly more interesting character than Reinhard himself: not caring about his clan's power and certain to do what Reinhard did in LotGH by changing the empire from within later. But Tytania's greatest strength turned out to be its greatest weakness: NOTHING HAPPENED. And since the anime is a faithful adaptation of an unfinished series of novels, it's paced like it had 110eps and just... ends. After more brute force HULKMAN silliness. Fan Hyulick is an edited Yang Wenli... which is to say Yang without being a convincing genius (no basis beyond luck, where as Yang used his knowledge of history), lacking any principles (such as Yang's unbending love of democracy) and doing nothing but meander around. And I'm not joking: Fan spent the entire series wandering around with a JRPG-esque party aimlessly; doing nothing to validate his existence other than existing as the four dukes drank tea and discussed Fan / their power struggle. But, regardless, Fan winning when he wasn't supposed to as his government wanted rid of him, being laid-back / lazy and lacking military discipline is too obvious to ignore. Tytania does do a few things that LotGH should've, such as having female characters of significance / a sexual side. There's even a cute little princess who, as the narrator liked informing me, is going to be important... later. The problem is, later is never since it's an unfinished anime adaptation of unfinished novels. Having CG for spaceships was another plus point over LotGH's non-animation 2D warfare. The problem is, there was never any sodding space battles: rather than a war between two halves of space, Tytania deals with an oppressive empire very much in control of all. For every positive Tytania had over LotGH, there was at least one negative.
Just to get it out of the way: this 'recommendation' would get a tad technical if it focused on arm loss. In the manga, Kurokami's lead, Keita, loses his arm at the start and has it replaced with someone else's as part of a life-saving contract. In both Parasyte's manga and anime, its lead, Shinichi, also has his arm replaced by another lifeform. So, a superficial similarity exists. HOWEVER, this becomes confusing due to Kurokami's anime being a bastardised version where, instead of arm swapping, HEARTS are exchanged. And in Parasyte... /spoiler ...but I'm not here to compare the two based on arms/hearts. That would be daft. You see, the true similarity is how main characters from seinen manga were altered in more shounenish adaptations. An ignored detail of Parasyte's anime (due to its popularity / ignorance) is how, early on, it was 'modernised' to appeal more to otaku. In the manga, Shinichi didn't wear glasses, nor did he ANGST over Migi's existence. Girls did not gather to blush discussing him. In fact, manga Shinichi acted similar to Kurono Gantz: an average guy dealing with an almost black comedy situation. EVENTUALLY the anime had Shinichi act like his badarse manga counterpart as the two versions sync'd up, but even now it's irksome how the female characters' design / PINK EARPHONES and personalities were altered in order to appeal to... a wider audience. Kurokami's anime is more of a complete butchering. Firstly, Keita: he's lowered in age so he can attend high school (he's an adult moocher that programs games, in the manga) and changed from a very human arsehole (violent and abusive; usually comically so) to some kind of internal monologuing emo whose only comfort is riding a bicycle alone in the dead of night. ALL of the appeal and comedy is drained by Mr. Average Nobody replacing someone with a naturally dickish yet strangely likable personality. It becomes a different, far inferior series because of this alone. But, unlike in Parasyte, the entire structure of the story was altered and it went anime original BAD. The early Shinichi edits in Parasyte have nothing on how the entirety of Kurokami was ruined: fights even being shortened to the point fighting styles are removed! TLTR: Seinen manga get an added shounenish edge when turned into anime as their main characters are changed to appeal more to... a certain type of male viewer. You need only listen to Parasyte's opening song in order to gain an understanding of what demographic it was targeted at.
School life, with an added unnerving edge rarely seen in fiction. Until the latter stages of The Flowers of Evil's manga, I had thought of it as a sort of fictional suicide note where the normality of life would eventually crush its lead. And the anime amplified that feeling tenfold with the realism added by its rotoscoping (both titles are low-budget yet artistic) and its ambient soundtrack. The execution just gives off a feeling of undefined dread. Flowers and King of Pigs are different and the same. The emptiness and bleak school life is an obvious linking factor but Flowers relied far more on atmosphere and puberty / sex. Pigs doesn't have a sexual edge (all-boy school; younger characters) and, instead, focused heavily on preteen violence. Flowers does have what you could describe as physical bullying by Nakamura, but it's nearly all psychological, where as in Pigs it was more balanced. When you strip away the violence and sexual aspects of the two, what you're left with is a desperate desire to escape the shackles society imposes on children as they grow up and/or enter adolescence. The leads in both series are pushed to breaking point by peer pressure and the need for social conformity.
Nihilism presented as animation. Both are by the same South Korean director & studio, and the themes explored are very similar. Sadly, the animation is limited to stiff (though expressive) low-budget CG. In 'The King of Pigs', two former friends sinking in despair meet for the first time in 15 years and find themselves reminiscing over their middle school experiences. Typically violent Korean school culture (as depicted in fiction, at least!) gets injected with the struggles of trying to rise above a social hierarchy where the rich have free reign to intimidate and abuse those without money. One psycho child temporarily gives hope by fighting against those oppressing others, with the two leads left watching on helplessly as the situation spirals out of control. Thoughtful emptiness is all it leaves you with. 'The Fake' is also about abuse of the poor, but from a different angle: RELIGION. A swindler has an unwilling priest deceive clueless rural folk and steal all of their money, while a horrible excuse for a human (a man that steals from and hits his daughter) happens to be the only person aware it's a scam... yet no-one believes him because of the sort of person he is. Violence and despair follow. Unlike with Pigs, it's hard to sympathise with anyone by the end of Fake, and the change of stance over religion at the end rams home the pointless emptiness of it all. There's very little else like these two titles. Anime is WAY too mainstream for Japanese studios to allow such bleak, unhappy films to be made. There is a film called 'Tatsumi', which adapted numerous short stories from Yoshihiro Tatsumi (the GOD of adult-orientated manga and a master of nihilism) into an animated movie. Unfortunately, because it was done by a Singaporean studio, MAL won't add it to their database. But I STRONGLY suggest looking it up. It's far more anime than Korean CG films, at the very least.
If Bahamut is similar to anything, what it's similar to isn't anime. The wheel scene in ep1, in particular, rammed home the dark-yet-funny tone that's reminiscent of Pirates of the Caribbean, which has the same two male (Mr. Uptight Honest & Mr. Laid-back Criminal) and one BEAUTIFUL female lead trio as Bahamut. ...but, yes: if there's an anime Bahamut IS similar to, Samurai Champloo is it. Bahamut is an anime that will be enjoyed and appreciated more by Western audiences than the Japanese, and that's Watanabe's claim to fame as a director: WESTERN STYLE. Champloo has the same male lead duo dynamic where both want to fight each other (one uptight; one an idiot) yet end up unable to and, instead, protect a weird girl on a quest as they travel together. And the girls in each series are the driving forces for both plots. Honestly, Bahamut's popularity is down to there being no other anime quite like it. Champloo is similar, yes, but it's a samurai-Japan period piece mixed with hip-hop stylin'. Bahamut is a dark medieval fantasy with angels, demons, Jeanne d'Arc and all the rest. They mostly just FEEL similar due to a lack of Westernish anime and share similar character dynamics.
"A famous violinist once said that by exchanging (musical) notes, you get to know one another; to understand one another. As if your souls were connected, and hearts overlapping. It's a conversation through instruments. A miracle that creates harmony. In that moment, music transcends words." Kids on the Slope has its two MALE leads connect via music. There's every suggestion that the thugish drummer would like to pound more than his drums as they compete and connect by playing jazz together. The glasses-wearing, scrawny lead finds liberation by escaping from the restrictions of classical piano playing and happiness by bonding with his 'friend'. The show does try to mask the homosexual undercurrent with heterosexual romance subplots for both characters, but since music is the main focus, both subplots remain on a road to nowhere. And, fittingly, the male leads end together... in a spiritual sense, at least. It's all too obvious the series was created by a female, both in terms of top/bottom character designs and the actual content. Shigatsu is a far more male-orientated, shounen experience. The piano playing lead in Shigatsu is still very much four-eyed and scrawny, just like the lead in Slope, but his musical performance partner is a beautiful long-haired blonde violinist. The same way jazz liberated the lead in Slope, the heroine in Shigatsu injects life into its male lead by inspiring him with her rock-star style violin playing and energy; prompting him to be her partner. Like Slope, there's also romantic subplots with other characters, but it's crystal clear the musical pairing will later pair up in other, just as passionate ways. Maybe. Also, although it's just a matter of preference, I prefer Shigatsu's shouenish FREAK OUT humour over Slope's more subdued, realistic tone. That's a key difference between the two. Shigatsu presents an inexplicably anime mental block issue over piano playing, yet it's never as depressing as Slope because of the injection of humour. Childish but fun. Also-also: THE MUSICAL PERFORMANCES. A lot of attention was put into them; especially in Slope where an actual person did the drumming motions. And the violin playing in Shigatsu was equally captivating.
Midori is the EVEN MORE bizarre romantic equivalent to Parasyte's grotesque parasitic broship. They present the same problems - namely, how it's too awkward to masturbate with a talking hand - but go about them in very different ways. One involves a lot of death; the other involves a lot of love. The 'hand' in Midori is more like a female talking hand-puppet that JUST HAPPENS to be joined to the lead's arm one morning when he wakes up... and is the girl the lead has a crush on, ofc. On the other hand, Parasyte has a transforming alien life-form that, initially, had every intention of eating the brain of its host. So, slight differences. But these are the only two series in known existence that deal with a symbiotic person-hand relationship and all of the WEIRD bonding that occurs as a consequence. Watch Midori for laughs and Parasyte for disturbing action... and Migi. How can you/guys not like a right-hand with a mouth and Aya Hirano's voice?
Red-haired heroines find themselves forced to make a transition from ignorant and inexperienced to queens/empresses (or, in the case of Akatsuki, growing as a person to be fit for the role) of kingdoms. They both have handsome protectors willing to put their lives on the line for them. And the character arcs required as they go from dependent to independent in order to become rulers makes the two series very comparable. Both have ancient China/asian costumes and design. A key difference between the two is that Twelve Kingdoms is far more fantasy, with a talking mouse-person and the like; its plot starting with a high school girl from our world being transported to its fantasy-medieval setting. Akatsuki Yona is closer to being an outright period piece involving a coup d'état where its heroine has to go on the run to survive; far outside of her previously pampered comfort zone.
The many-worlds interpretation and quantum physics. Not your usual anime bedfellows. Both series deal with time travel under the assumption that every choice we make can create an alternate, divergent time-line / dimension. Noein is a lot more ambitious than Steins;Gate, which preferred to stay within time travel limited to days-weeks and the same area. In Noein, the other selves of the child cast time travel with enhanced bodies; conversing with their younger selves as they fight using superpowers and struggle to sustain their bodies in a dimension they don't belong in. The future involving an entity known as 'Noein' destroying all alternate dimensions is a clear reality. Steins, on the other hand, shows nothing of its future; just mentioning what happens. Okabe in Steins uses time travel between time-lines as a sort of... ladder. He has to do such and such to make a number go high enough to change from a few preset futures. Noein differs in its approach since it presents each dimension as an individual one that all lead to doom only because one of the other dimensions is destroying the others.
If these two are anything to go by, lately there has been something of an anime fad where DARKDEATHBLOODDOOOOM subject matter gets blended with... the desires of otaku. One minute you'll be watching a gruesome dismemberment scene; the next you'll be watching lighthearted anime humour, with boobs and pantsu thrown in. HUH!? Brynhildr has a premise involving predicting future deaths, human experimentation, needing medication to not die horribly whilst coughing up blood and many other feel good aspects. Then, naturally, you have Mr. Average Harem lead forming a girls-only observatory group--the heroine, ofc, being a childhood friend with no memories. New girls are introduced one after the other, with pantsu and perverted humour at the ready. Akame has a premise involving assassination, corrupt nobility, torture and many other happy thoughts. The lead quickly becomes a member of an assassin group, determined to right the wrongs of society... but not before getting to know each female member of his group; including a tsundere with a gun that is angered by the lead walking in on her naked. In fact, even the 'villain' of the series - known for her cold-hearted, sadistic slaughter - sees the lead and instantly decides she wants to mate with him. Akame is more over the top with its shounenish character design exaggerations and more entertaining because of it, but both shows SHOULD leave the viewer perplexed. If you go into it wanting DARKNESS, harem time will result in cringing. If you got into it wanting future waifu candidates, you'll want to skip the whole blood-death thing. The question is, who actually gets what they want out of these shows? NOT ME!
Not only the futuristic sci-fi crime investigation team premises (heavy on characterisation) but also the series' structure and execution mirror each other. Ghost in the Shell was one of the many works Psycho Pass' creators were open about having influenced them; one even going so far as to say they wanted to surpass GitS. Even the animation studios (Production IG) are the same. The setting of both is 'a future not far away from our reality'. This means our real world logic is applied to series where full-body cybernisation is possible and artificial intelligence can think for itself. To better connect the viewer, both GitS: Stand Alone Complex and Psycho introduce rookie characters that are left somewhat alienated to those around them. GitS: SAC has Togusa be the human element: all of his teammates having undergone some level of cyberisation, while he refuses and relies only on his wits and revolver. Psycho has Akane play a very similar role where she is left aghast over how calm her superior and subordinates are over killing people, just because a number is high and their 'A.I.' controlled guns tell them to shoot. In terms of the plots, aside from the eventual unraveling of CONSPIRACIES, it's the basic structure that links them. Both shows have main plot threads - The Laughing Man in GitS: SAC and Makishima in Psycho - that are briefly touch upon in earlier, episodic content before they become the main focus as the series' draw towards their climatic conclusions. Along the way, the main characters are explored via 'case of the week' stories. The key difference between the two is that Psycho is about a controlled society, reliant on A.I. to do their thinking for them, where latent criminals are used to catch other criminals. GitS: SAC has a team of (mostly) ex-military badarses investigate terrorism, among other things--Japanese society not being very different from how it is in reality.
Many have linked Attack on Titan to Evangelion since long before AoT's anime came to be, for highly spoilerific (NOT MECHA) reasons. To be slightly less vague, Eva deconstructed the feel good / manly / heroic mecha genre with a combination of depression and tragedy. And, to a lesser extent, AoT went against the flow of shounen fighting cliches/tropes enough to make it stand out in the same way. So, both series' differences from the norm makes them comparable, in essence. Unlike in its manga, near the end (ep24) AoT's anime had Eren act very much like Shinji from Eva: needing a peptalk and FULL EPISODE of agonizing to... do what was required. And - also anime only - then came ep25 with the most obvious Eva reference I've seen: a character standing watching a battle of gigantic proportions, an arm flying off towards him and blood splattering; his reaction being the same non-reaction as Gendo's in Eva. Whether the AoT anime team did these things well aware of the Eva similarities in order to add more meat to the Eva-AoT argument, I know not. But it isn't the first time a popular anime was referenced: a character does her very best Kira impression in ep23--the director of both Death Note and AoT being one and the same.
CULTURE CLASH / SHOCK! Off the top of my head, I can list a number of Hollywood films with a premise involving a character from a more advanced culture coming to understand and eventually find the beauty in a more primitive culture. Lawrence of Arabia, Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai, Avatar... Pocahontas, even. In comparison, anime has next to nothing. In fact, out of all the anime I've seen, only Macross Zero and Gargantia deal with the subject. Neither series can compare favourably to some of the Hollywood classics mentioned in terms of the culture clash/shock aspect - it being more of a subplot in Zero - but it's better than nothing. The male leads in both shows pilot robots (well, robo-jets in Macross!) and have heavy military backgrounds. At the start they become stranded WAY outside of their comfort zones after a battle goes wrong, without any way of linking back up to their comrades. Zero's lead wakes up to find himself on a remote island where the natives worship a bird God, which leads to much confusion... until he gets to know two sisters; one of which being the love interest--an openly hostile priestess, wary of outsiders and the "Kaduns" they bring. Gargantia's lead wakes up to find himself on a post-apocalyptic, water-covered Earth with some level of technology but nothing compared to space war robots. Language issues provide an initial barrier before a difference in mentality between a soldier trained to kill and people not accustomed to killing adds conflict. But, like in Zero, romance proves to be the key - forming a bridge between the culture gap - as a squirrel-loving girl becomes close to the lead. Gargantia's lead starts as blank slate; only knowing how to kill and follow orders. This allows for a basic 'see how we do things here; NO DEATH' adjustment--a black & white development path. In contrast, despite being a solder Zero's lead isn't clueless due to not having being brainwashed/having grew up on the same planet. So, while he does come to understand and care for his new surroundings/nature, it's not a case of becoming a new person by learning lessons--both himself and his love interest learn from each other. This is the main difference between the two; the other being that Gargantia's setting is all water and metal, while Zero is all about nature/an island. Before long, the wars they had temporarily left behind finds the respective leads in their new peaceful environments; bringing tragedy and destruction. A choice has to be made, and it is...
The Irresponsible Captain Tylor HAS TO BE a parody based on Yang Wenli from Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Not so much in terms of their personalities - both being lazy slackers by nature aside - but in terms of the small things. Ignoring superficial aspects, their characters are actually totally different: Tylor is a happy-go-lucky, idiot-genius hybrid; surviving using his unlimited supply of luck, while Yang uses his love of history and intellect to preserve democracy. A serious/comedy series divide. Yang would most certainly live as carefree as Tylor if he was allowed to but, alas, he wasn't. Fate was cruel. ...BUT, there are similarities between the two, even when ignoring laziness that makes even Yang appear irresponsible at times. For example, both comment that they remain as soldiers for the pension and make actions that conflict with heroic military ideals, such as retreating rather than battling to the death. And then there's the more concrete plot links: the respective planet alliance governments in both series sending the characters off with misfit crews, hoping they don't return, only to have their hopes dashed when they return from their missions successful, against all the odds. And then, of course, they have to be promoted for their success. A VICIOUS CYCLE. Basically, Tylor is Yang without the smarts / principles / political musings but with enough instinct and luck to emerge victorious from any battle against geniuses. As a series, I can't help but see Tylor as an attempt at poking fun at serious business attempts at having space battle commanders go at it mentally, and that points it squarely in LotGH's direction. In fact, episode 23 of Tylor is almost certain to be an actual LotGH parody: Tylor leading the entire planet alliance fleet with unusual seriousness as classic music plays.
There are definitely parallels between the main four geniuses that become engaged in mind-game warfare in Death Note and Legend of the Galactic Heroes; to such an extent that it's very possible for LotGH to have been an inspirational factor for DN's author. On one side you have pampered pretty boys (Light and Reinhard) that ALWAYS seem to hold all the cards and have events play out in their favour. Their handsome appearances and manipulative abilities are used to their advantage. On the other, you have pure geniuses (L and Yang) that have to contend with never having the advantage due to their circumstances and never being able to fight on an even playing field. One is eccentric, while the other is lazy and has no desire for warfare of any kind--both failing to appeal in terms of social skills (mainly L, although Yang is also clumsy in this regard) / politically. There are differences, however. DN has Light and L get to know each other up close and personal as their mental battle plays out. LotGH, on the other hand, only has its leads meet ONCE in its 110 episode entirety: Reinhard and Yang battling it out at a distance by commanding space fleets against each other and making assumptions based on what little they know about each other. The mind-games having a third factor - circumstance - that pushes the plots in the required directions is too obvious to ignore. Also: successors continuing the battle.
Beck is a modern high school coming-of-age story where a nobody becomes a somebody by becoming a member of a rock band. Kids on the Slopes is a josei romance drama disguised as a high school coming-of-age story centered around jazz in the 1960's. On the surface the two series appear similar. They both use music as a way of introducing and connecting their characters with the rest of the cast; including love interests that act as motivational factors. However, where as jazz is just a means to romantic ends in Kids on the Slopes, in Beck music is the most important aspect: it's the driving force of a story where character growth is linked into the titular band's successes and failures. There's a romance subplot in Beck that causes frustration and rage, for sure, but there's no denying that Beck is, first and foremost, about music. Kids on the Slopes' greatest problem is this: its manga was serialised in a magazine called 'Flowers'. Hardly the ideal platform for a coming-of-age story with a a male lead, and that shows through; both in terms of the romantic focus AND male lead characterisation that's overly feminine. Jazz barely gets a look-in aside from when the cast hang out together. In contrast, Beck is more male-orientated with its lead's characterisation, and although romance gets far less attention, the heroine has caused anger in more than one fan for being realistically bitchy. That sort of naturalness is missing from Kids on the Slopes with its far more shoujo / soap operaish approach to romance. In short: if you're looking for something shoujoish with music on the side, watch Kids on the Slopes. If you're a male looking for a coming-of-age story centered around music, watch Beck. Simple as that.
Remakes of space opera classics. Space Battleship Yamato is credited as being the first space opera anime (1974-5). Toward the Terra's manga began only a few years after Yamato (1976-80). Before the TV remake of Terra in 2007, there had only been a rushed movie adaptation in 1980. The space opera genre and the fact they're both remakes of classics links them, obviously, but they also share a key plot point: the planet Earth. In both series the planet has become a barren, uninhabitable wasteland. Where as humans are forced to live underground in Yamato, humanity in Terra live in space; far away from Earth in order to aid the planet's rejuvenation. Yamato starts by beginning a desperate quest to travel 100's of light-years and back within a year to save the planet from DOOM, while in Terra psychic outcasts attempt to travel back to their home planet just for somewhere to call home. A key difference between them is why their respective space wars are being fought. Yamato's war involves an alien race thinking of themselves as something akin to ancient Rome attempting to conquer the universe; Earth standing against them. Terra's plot deals with evolved humans (mutants; X-MEN!) that find themselves forced to fight a desperate war for survival against the rest of humanity, as well as the A.I. that controls them. There is a link in terms of middle-of-series 'shall we fight for the Earth or abandon it for another planet?' sub-plots, though. As far as I'm aware, Yamato is more akin to a remastering than an outright remake: the opening, for example, being identical to the original. Since there never was a full Terra TV anime in the past, Terra went in a more of an 'expanded manga' direction. But, regardless, there is a very similar 'old school' vibe given by both series. There's no pandering or any attempt to please the otaku of today. Character-driven (slightly bland due to lack of 'playing up' to appeal), episodic with pit-stops on various planets and absorbing. There's ultimately something missing from both, in my opinion, but they're special enough to warrant a modern glance into the past.
Koko from Jormungand and Integra from Hellsing are females able to scare men with their eyes and destroy them with their wit. Scary smiles come natural to them. They don't do the dirty work themselves: instead, they have badarse underlings that do as they command. They're both mentally strong enough to handle giving commands that will lead to slaughter without batting an eyelash. In short: FEMDOM!
Black Lagoon and Jormungand share NUMEROUS similarities. The emphasis on dominant, psychotic women, both in the physical AND mental arenas, is one. A heavy focus on guns is another. And perhaps the most obvious is that both series revolve around mercenary crews that make money via smuggling goods. I made a manga recommendation based on this years ago. But what I find far more striking, after finishing the anime, is how they differ. Lagoon sets an infectiously dark mood from the outset with its 'slums of the world' setting. It's set in the real world but the fictional city everything is based out of is a mixture of ugliness taken from different places. In one arc a character describes it as being disturbingly reminiscent of Vietnam at its worst. And that sums up Lagoon: it goes to dark yet believable depths as its initially ignorant lead, Rock, is slowly tainted by his surroundings and adapts. The action is completely over the top - Revy dancing in the open and avoiding bullets - but the core of the series is grounded by an examination of human nature. Jormungand starts out similar to Lagoon, with the same 'OUT IN OPEN' action silliness: an outsider joining a team of mercenaries, with a clear suggestion that human ugliness will be examined through the arms trade and Jonah (a child soldier) coming to terms with his hatred for guns/killing when he's so good at it. But what actually happens is that the series jumps around from unnamed country to unnamed country in mostly shallow, episodic fashion. There are ten in the crew in Jormungand and four in Lagoon. This results in a distinct lack of character development for Jonah, in contrast to Lagoon where Rock was vital to everything going on around himself. By the end, Jormungand comes across as an empty shell with over the top action.
Aldnoah copies so much from Gundam that it may as well be Gundam. Humanity has been broken up into two factions: one on Earth (and colonies, in Gundam), the other in space (and Mars, in Aldnoah). The half of humanity living in space consider themselves superior to the 'inferior' Earthlings to the extent they think of them as a subspecies. They're basically space Nazis fond of red uniforms. War starts as a temporary peace gets shattered and a young male / school kid finds himself in the middle of it from the get-go. Through a set of circumstances, the respective leads end up fighting for their lives whilst on the run from pursuers aboard a military vessel; trying to get to safety. ...see what I mean about the 'similarities'? The main difference is that there's no Gundam in Aldnoah... yet. In Gundam series there's always some new, EDGE OF TECHNOLOGY robot that an inexperienced-heroic lead finds himself piloting. In Aldnoah the lead is a Gary Stu: always knowing what to do and how to do it; defeating veteran enemy commanders in an inferior training robot when no-one else can / everyone else dies. Only the space Nazis have super robots. Going for intelligence over an overpowered machine is fine... just not when there's no way a school kid should know or be able to do so much. THE MILITARY HAS YET TO DESTROY ONE ENEMY! A tad unfair for a war... The biggest problem Aldnoah has is its length. 12 episodes only leaves room for lots of action. The space Nazis may as well just be EVIL cackling villains, with a 1ep u-turn 'stop the war... no, on second thought, kill them all!' leader. There's no time for their development. Its a 'mecha battle of the week' series, with little in the way of anything else and utterly derivative... until the predictably twisty late twist.
It's rare enough for an anime NOT to pander to otaku with sexual fetishes disguised as female characters. Death Note and Terror in Tokyo have roughly FOUR noteworthy female characters between them, much less fanservice! I could recommend the two based solely on that aspect... even though Terror is undermined by its two plot device female characters. But there are NUMEROUS far more concrete similarities, ranging from the tone / direction (subdued real-world grit) to the characters and plot that made me automatically link them in my head. DN and Terror are mind-game series where geniuses go head-to-head with one another. A police investigation is started in the wake of vigilante acts of terrorism / murder, with a task force formed, and an extremely intelligent detective appears to duel with with his new nemesis / nemeses in the public domain. From there it becomes a game of cat & mouse, with the respective leads leaving clues for the police whilst also covering their tracks perfectly. Also, it in both series genius children are 'cultivated' at orphanages and - I assume - are ranked according to their intelligence. In Terror the leads even refer to themselves and other children from their orphanage by their numbers, rather than names. In DN each genius child had a false name starting with a different letter from the alphabet, rather than numbers to distinguish themselves. But, regardless, Terror follows DN in terms of the mind games involving more than just the initial characters. In addition, Near in DN and Five in Terror are introduced as the two series progress; both backed by the FBI. AND THAT HAIR! Fans will argue that both characters' introduction coincides with a nosedive in quality in terms of the series themselves, but Five having little to no motivation, or depth, seems to bother people more than Near.
What I HATE about romance series is how, typically, the ENTIRE duration gets spent on a couple getting together. They usually end when there's no more drama to be milked from the 'will they won't they' scenario. If you're lucky, you get an epilogue to close off the story. If you're unlucky, NOTHING; maybe just a kiss. This is why Sekitou Elergy surprised me. It's 15 volumes long and within the first few volumes the lead duo meet, kiss, have sex and start living together. Instead of all the fannying about leading up to a relationship, in Sekitou you get see a relationship developing over time as naturally awkward - and funny - dialogue leads to love. Sex isn't hidden away: instead, it's treated as a natural part of life and human relationships. And the characters aren't high-class university students: they're real people that have to do part-time work to make ends meet. It's hilarious, touching and - most importantly - believable. There aren't many series like Sekitou. And that's why Yonensei also stood out. Where as Sekitou wasted no time in getting its couple together, Yonensei begins with its couple having already been together for a year or two. This allows you to see the comfort zone couples reach when sex becomes casual and what was initially endearing becomes a source of conflict. The series are very similar - natural dialogue with mature humour / sex (males wanting sex; females being less needy) - but Yonensei's starting point puts sustaining a long-term relationship under the microscope--even more so because the heroine is an overachiever and the male lead is a slacker. ARGUMENTS. In short, both series are MUST reads for anyone tired of what is generally the shoujo definition of love. They will appeal more to the seinen demographic, granted, but the strong female characterisation will appeal to both genders. As will the laughs.
Historical fiction epics that are full of dismemberment and gory battles involving samurai, assassins, ninja & everything else you'd expect to see in a Japanese period piece where swords are used. Azumi is as unknown outside of Japan as BotI is known. This is because, until very recently, NONE of the manga had ever been translated into English. Dark Horse have been releasing BotI officially for nearly two decades, as well as there being internet translations by fans. The only translated Azumi content before the recent manga fan translation started was for the two live-action movies. And it's a pity because Azumi is a long-running manga classic on the same page as Berserk and other old/endless series loved outside of Japan. The biggest linking factor BotI and Azumi share is their female characters. In BotI mentally strong female characterisation (the most skilled fighter, Maki, also being a female) defines it as a series. During a time when females held no power in a man's world, it's the heroine Rin that drives the story onwards and grows from a girl into a cunning woman over the course of the series. Azumi's titular heroine walks a similar path to Rin - growing as a person and a woman with each trial she faces - but, unlike Rin, Azumi starts out extremely skilled as a warrior. Azumi is like Maki and Rin from BotI being merged into one character. If there is one negative Azumi has that BotI doesn't, it's the art. The titular heroine, Azumi, is beautiful... but the HUGE old school male eyebrows and some cartoony design choices hurt it. Having said that, BotI's art improved over its lengthy duration, and Azumi's artist improves later as well if the sequel scans are anything to go by. It's hard for an artist not to improve when drawing a series for 1-2 decades!
If not for the Break Blade movie series breaking up the content into six parts, I would've made this recommendation far sooner. What links these series is the main characters and the unglorified manner in which they deal with the 'mecha' (technically, neither are mecha shows, with rock/quartz manipulation instead of mechanical control in Break; Rygart aside) genre. Neither lead wants to be a pilot in a 'robot'. In other shows you'd have a young boy that dreamed of piloting a giant war machine, with maybe some harsh lessons learned along the way, but you'd still describe them as heroic. In stark contrast, both Shinji in Eva and Rygart in Break Blade instantly want to escape what is depicted as being a realistically horrible situation. And they both try to leave before finding themselves trying to endure: resulting in mental breakdowns further down the line. Shinji was a student; Rygart was a farmer. Both have personalities that avoid fighting. And they find themselves thrust into kill-or-be-killed situations--expected to act like trained soldiers. In Eva the battles are against alien entities that attack individually, where as in Break Blade it's simply a war between nations, but both take their leads in PTSD directions where everything eventually weighs too much on their shoulders. Rygart is older and doesn't cry or act quite so pathetically (though realistic) as Shinji, but how they deal with their situations is still very similar. In a nutshell, the sheer reluctance to do what other characters in mecha series WANT to do, when paired with the psychological distress, makes these two almost anti-mecha series. Like, the same message WWII anime films such as 'Grave of the Fireflies' and 'Barefoot Gen' carry, but with a different angle: aimed at an anime genre.
Maison Ikkoku nostalgia hit me hard during Kawai's first ep. You have a student moving into a boarding house, finding his new room invaded by a weirdo, and - on the way out of the door - seeing a girl he falls in love with at first/second sight. And, of course, he then decides to stay--putting up with the other residents. IT'S MAISON IKKOKU BORN AGAIN!!!!.... ...well, not really. I mean, it was obviously inspired by Maison Ikkoku - as all boarding house rom-coms are to a certain extent - but the main romance is nothing like in MI. The heroine in Kawai is more like a slightly less bitchy/more eccentric version of Suzuka (heroine from another series that took a little from MI), where as in MI Kyoko was a widow in her early 20's with LONG hair. And, whatever Godai's failings were in MI, he didn't blush constantly over purepure lovelove. Or stalk Kyoko, as Kawai's lead stalks his love. Plus, the leads in Kawaii are both still in high school--considerably younger than the leads in MI. The main similarities lie in the old-fashioned boarding house setting, where practically all of the scenes take place (like in MI, where college appeared rarely), and the vibrant/eccentric supporting characters that live there. In MI, poor Godai was bullied/tortured 'lovingly' by the other residents as he pursued his love, and although Kawai's lead doesn't have it so bad, he still has to deal with a drunken-sluttyish character (two of MI's characters rolled into one), a weirdo room-mate into S&M (equivalent to MI's snake-like voyeur, Yotsuya) and a twisted-pure college girl that has already gotten him beaten up. There's a whole lot of trolling potential, in short.
Manga adaptations of threads started on 2chan where zero-experience-with-females males, whose natural habitat is a room with an internet connection, find themselves in an unlikely situation: in contact with an attractive female (or 3/4, in Chikan!) that's out of their league. Their response to these turn of events is to post SOS messages on the internet. (More than once, Train Man gets referenced in Molester Man.) In Train Man, its lead stands up to a drunk on a train and ends up in the good graces of the woman he got hurt protecting... after a visit to the police. In Molester Man, a paranoid woman assumes its lead is stalking her and ends up getting him arrested... meaning another visit to a police station in order to clear things up, which left Ms. Paranoid feeling indebted to the lead for creating such drama. The responses of the anonymous leads to these events was the same: go on 2chan and make a thread asking for advice over what to do next. The threads became the stuff of legend. In Train Man its lead was a glasses-wearing, high-level type of loser, and he did everything he was told. In Molester Man the lead didn't have the look of a loser and it seemed to be more a case of reporting the events that transpired, most of the time. Train Man was a lot more straightforward in the sense there's one girl, one goal and no distractions. In comparison, Molester Man throws an early curveball into the romance.
"Cease what you are doing and gaze at me. Stop everything, except for the beat of your heart. Theft: It is an especially sweet vice; more elegant than vandalism and more complex than simple robbery. A beautiful blend of secrets and crime and mischief and fear. Like dear Heathcliff, I'm defined by my all-consuming passion. Stealing is my great carnal pleasure, a pleasure for which which I will risk my life; a sexy prison from which there is no escape. Why am I this way?... Who can know? Who is the slave, and who is the master? Do divine eyes fall upon me any longer, or have they given up? The rush of the theft allows me to forget all, and yet distantly remember all as well. Run, and speak not. Hide, and run not. When you've found me, punish me. When you've punished me, kill me. Save me. Little boy, there is nothing left to steal from you: You've long been an empty shell, just as I have. And so, if would gaze at me, cease what you are doing; stop everything... except for the beat of your heart." ---------- Theft has never been so sexy. Femme fatale heroines wrap men around their fingers with their feminine wiles and powers of seduction in order to get what they want. Whether it's displays athleticism in skintight attire or disguise, there's no stopping these ladies. Cat's Eye is far more cartoonish and nowhere near as sexual as Fujiko--probably much closer to the older Lupin anime in terms of tone.
The "What if Satou was a girl?" recommendation by another user is a fairly accurate, short 'n simple way of summing up the similarities between these two. Usually social awkwardness is used purely for laughs and never explored too deeply. It's rare to see/hear what's going on under the hood of someone dealing with social anxiety and the failure that results even in the most basic of social situations. An example: At the start of NHK, Satou has become a recluse due to no longer being able to handle being around people; paranoia having made him think the people around him were laughing at him. When some random religious woman knocks his door, even with preplanned dialogue, it turns into a disaster and he panics due to how hard he finds talking to others. Another scene I recall is one involving Satou forcing himself to go to a class to fill something out, then reacting badly to criticism from the teacher due to his paranoia/anxiety and humiliating himself. Watashi deals with the same themes as NHK, such as blaming others instead of looking at the real problem, but the most obvious link is the exploration of social interaction failure. Like in NHK, Watashi's heroine starts out reclusive and, also like in NHK, struggles with the most basic of social interaction. The key difference is that Watashi's art (alien-eyed), voice acting (almost too pathetic to take seriously) and timing of comedy that breaks up the gloom (joy at saying one word to someone; viewing that as a conversation; skipping home... etc) make it a lot more lighthearted than NHK. NHK is a comedy as well as a drama, yeah, but there's a difference in direction that makes it easy for me to laugh off Watashi, where as NHK's realism was often able to get under my skin.
Different is better. As soon as something comes along that isn't a harem and/or doesn't have generic moeblob character design, BEST ANIME OF THE SEASON! For better or worse, this is ALWAYS how it goes. In the case of Tatami it's highly regarded across the board since there wasn't any manga artwork to disregard for the purposes of ART. Aku Hana is FAR more of a love/hate series; people familiar with the source material generally disliking it and people unfamiliar often labeling it as the best anime of the season. The approach of both series is, simply put, style over substance... and cheap over expensive. Aku Hana had real people/locations rotoscoped. Tatami often used real stuff as backgrounds and/or flashed through images of real things, with artsy/unfinished drawings of the characters themselves. Aku Hana's stylistic selling point, rotoscoping aside, was turning one panel transitions into repetitive eight minute walks. Tatami's was repeating the same episode over and over, with the same characters playing the same roles and there being no character growth in any of those episodes. Any and all failings relating to substance should be overlooked with these two. Half an episode dedicating purely to walking is more important than pacing. Likewise, the same events playing out with minor differences matters not when it moves the soul with an idea. If you don't approach these two with that mindset, disappointment awaits. There is one key difference between the two: for Tatami you'll want the pause button handy if you have any hope of being able to read all of the subtitles. For Aku Hana, it's the opposite: you'll want the fast-forward button at the ready whenever anyone starts walking. An ironic difference, for sure.
Ideally I'd make a manga recommendation, but since I've only read High School Girls: The way a bunch of spaz girls at an all-girl school get together to talk about love and how to go about getting a boyfriend puts them on the same page. HSG - so far, at least - is a lot more... vulgar, with hair removal/tampons/anuses being touched upon, but the basic idea of a bunch of clueless girls gathering together to discuss males for the purposes of comedy as they deal with school life is the same. It remains to be seen whether only 2/5 of the girls in Love Lab will jump on the idealistic-perversion train or, like in HSG, if all of them will, but it's certain to amuse regardless.
Watashi is the OreImo only reality can offer. What this means is Watashi's sister heroine isn't beautiful, isn't an athlete, isn't at the top of her class and just generally doesn't have the world at large fawn over her. In OreImo acting bitchy whilst having a sexual fetish typically associated with fat otaku men is rewarded, and the icing on the cake is a doormat brother willing to do anything to appease her--incest not withstanding. OreImo delivers as far as entertainment goes. This is true. But after following Kirino's tsundere self down the road toward incest for long enough, it makes a nice change of pace to see Watashi's socially awkward sister heroine have to practically blackmail her brother into just talking to her as she deals with being a weird outcast in comical fashion.
Even though these appear - superficially - to be totally different (furry love vs. elf love; trading/economics vs. intergalactic warfare), you'd have to blind AND somewhat stupid to watch these two and not link them. For starters, anyone watching at length will only be in it for the SLOWLY developing romance between a human and his nonhuman, can-live-for-100s-of-years life partner. A HUGE amount of time gets put into complicated subplots, for sure, but that's all decoration. What people want is for the leads to take their relationships forward beyond unsure friendship/lovers territory... which, of course, NEVER SODDING WELL HAPPENS since interest would fade once the deed is done. No sexy-time here! Both Lafiel (CotS) and Howo (S&W) are characterised by a strong sense of pride and some light tsundere 'won't be totally honest' traits. With Howo her pride over her tail is used more for laughs, where as the only similar scenes in CotS are those relating to Lafiel's fondness of her blue hair. And Lafiel has a more... socially awkward edge to her pride as an Abh, compared with Howo's gained-over-100s-of-years witty banter, but their interactions with their FAR MORE normal male counterparts does still make their similarities readily apparent. One key divide between the two series is which character is the driving force. In S&W, Howo uses her intellect to assist Lawrence (S&W male lead) with his trading business ventures as they traverse together. In CotS - and even more so in BotS - Lafiel leads the way on her war-filled path to becoming Empress of the Abh empire--Jinto (CotS male lead) openly admitting he just wants to be with Lafiel, having no goal of his own; even getting teased about it by Lafiel. But, regardless: the true shining lights in the series are their heroines. Like the male leads, the viewer can't help but be dazzled by them in the exact same way. Also: although the C/BotS anime doesn't go into it (though the novels apparently do), the differences between life expectancy of humans/Abh and the problem of having children are sure to link CotS with S&W in some form.
No, this recommendation is *NOT* because Legend of Legendary = Legend of Galactic. Going in, I was aware of the similarity between the titles and thought they ended there. They didn't. Oberstein in Galactic and Miran in Legendary play the exact same role: convincing an initially idealistic king/commander to do evil for the sake of the greater good. Where as the rest of Reinhard & Sion's war councils wouldn't dream of using underhanded tactics and/or sacrificing innocents, Miran & Oberstein would do anything to bring about the required results. Their characters exist to bring out the darkness lingering behind idealism. It's worth noting that in Legendary Miran ACTUALLY USES THE POWER OF DARKNESS, as well as dressing in a manner befitting of one with evil thoughts/intentions, but that's the only real difference between their characters. And, really, those sort of superficial differences just go with the SERIOUS sci fi vs. medieval fantasy genres. ...Did I mention both series deal heavily with war?
It's safe to say Berserk anime fans were left shocked & traumatised by its haunting finale. You get that feeling on a regular basis with Shingeki as characters are torn to shreds before your eyes. Not as extreme (or as sexual!) as Berserk at its most (in)famous, no, but you get the point. Images that won't leave will remain imprinted in your brain, after viewing--ye be warned! In terms of their settings, Berserk and Shingeki are both set during medieval times. Aside from Shingeki's 'Spiderman' way of doing battle with gigantic threats, you're gonna get a STRONG taste of bleak realism from medieval/fantasy epics, here. Unless you plan on getting up-to-date with Berserk's manga (...), don't expect too much 'happy time' to be found in either. Lighthearted laughs ain't what you're gonna get outta these two!
If you take away Gantz's fondness of boobs/nudity/twisted humour, the death games between humans and creatures that crush men like insects - not even the respective main characters being safe - makes Gantz & Shingeki one and the same. The despair the cast convey when confronted with the terror of a threat beyond human understanding sticks the two together like glue. There's very little out there that can make people feel the same sense of dread as its characters do, whether on page or screen. The casts of the two are forced into 'do or die' confrontations with freaky creatures, knowing either it or themselves will die, and the bloodshed that results is a matter of inevitability. ...However, these were both aired on TV. Since the respective manga series never pandered to the faint of heart with their gory/brutal death scenes and general violence, there HAD TO BE censorship. In the case of Gantz, content from episodes had to be held back until the DVD releases and it didn't get the best of adaptations. In the case of Shingeki, so far there's been a 'cut away from death-shot' policy. Just pointing this out since the shock value is obviously drained by censorship.
'Teen Romantic Comedy Gone Wrong', or whatever typically long-winded light novel jibberish 'Yahari Ore' translates into shows all the signs of being Boku Friendship DONE RIGHT. As another user noted with their recommendation, Boku Friendship gradually turns into something of a full-on ecchi harem fest. Unlike Yahari, Boku wa started out as purely lighthearted rom-com fluff--causing later developments that expand on previously 1D comic relief characters to be awkward & its lead's turn towards a more... emo stance coming across unnaturally. Yahari one-upped this by presenting its characters as humans with relatable social difficulties from the get-go whilst still retaining sharp, witty dialogue. Instead of, say, a blonde Japanese guy everyone assumes is a thug without talking to him & a blonde American-tit'd #1 school idol that refers to herself as a Goddess and has men kneeling before her at will, Yahari presents a dysfunctional lead trio, consisting of: a misanthrope lead pushed away from social contact by rejection, a beautiful girl well aware that her physical beauty causes others problems & an average 'TRYING TO FIT IN' girl--her attempts to climb the social ladder being illustrated nicely in ep2. While it's true that Yahari still leans more on the side of fantasy than reality with its 1x loner guy x2 beautiful girls in an empty club premise, the set-up/presentation/illustration of social woes is executed much better than in most other similar works. Paint me impressed!
Only Himitsu springs to mind when thinking of other sci-fi 'investigation team' series involving the usage of futuristic scanning technology that reveals the truths people try to hide from others. In Psycho-Pass technology exists that can display a number for each person, revealing if people are "latent criminals" or not. In essence, it's technology that allows for the punishment of thought crime. In Himitsu the last memories of those murdered can be viewed in order to catch the criminals responsible. It's very similar to how in Minority Report the pieces of visions would be put together in an attempt to solve crimes... only after the crime is committed, rather than before. Both series begin with a rookie cop just starting at their new jobs and having to balance the practical realities against the moral weight of their actions. Then, until the last stretches of the two (/end of series arcing), it's episodic psychopath hunting.
Although it's been quite some time since Penguindrum's incest love-tri x stalking love dazzled me, it's the only anime that truly reminds me of Tempest. They both have a love triangle at their cores that crosses over into obsessive love; a 'sister' being caught in the middle as the love of those closest to her pushes them to do anything to gain understanding and protect/avenge. There's this feeling nothing else I've watched quite captures of the balance of the bond shared between two male leads being closer than anyone, yet at risk of being damaged beyond repair by how strongly the feelings for the 'sister' in the middle stretch.
Two anime fond of shaking that age-old spear that is Shakespeare. One is the loosest of adaptations (RxJ); the other takes inspiration from Shakespeare's work as it happily throws around quotes from Hamlet & The Tempest (ZnT). It's HIGHLY DOUBTFUL Shakespeare would've envisioned flying horses, trees fighting and the like. And you aren't going to find dialogue that tries to be faithful to the source material's old English roots unless you watch RxJ dubbed. BUT, both anime are tragic love stories given an anime twist, so they're still easy to link as anime.
The studio behind Maoyuu have CLEARLY embraced the fact that the source material came to be thanks to S&W making a serialised story of economics and love economically viable. They've also taken advantage of the desperation S&W anime fans feel for a S3 that - probably - won't ever be. Why not employ the same JP voice actors, the same director and other people that worked on S&W? It makes good business sense. As an enlightened fellow pointed out in passing, Maoyuu started out on 2chan and - more than likely - panders to the wants of its target audience as much as it does because of this. Gone is the witty banter shared between Howo and Lawrence--in their place, you get Demon Queen's tits and 'jokes' about her "useless meat" shoved down your throat 24/7. There's the intelligent dialogue that made S&W a favourite, for sure, but even that is questionable (war = good) and learning about the economical benefits of certain food ain't all its cracked up to be, to tell you the truth. Maoyuu will probably be one of the better anime going around the block, don't get me wrong. It having S&W staff employed makes me confident of that. But that line of thought is part of the problem: Maoyuu will always - rightly - be in Howo's shadow. Will JRPG cliches/tropes being added to the S&W mix make-up for a lack of the personality/charm that made S&W such a fan favourite?... I doubt it. Very much.
For whatever reason, this didn't hit me until I watched the first episode of Tomodachi's second season but there's a SUPER OBVIOUS linking factor to be found between these two: - Crazy bitches/galpals in a small school clubroom. - One crazy bitch/galpal bullying the other in a "friendly" way. - The male lead quickly becoming indifferent to the chaos surrounding himself; going with the flow due to being smart enough to know that it's pointless to either resist or intervene. (Instead, it's OBVIOUSLY better to commentate to the viewers with his internalized thoughts about what's going on.) I suppose the whole love triangle thing is worth noting, as well... although it's only REALLY a love-tri in Tomodachi since the situation is far more competitive and up in the air compared to what's offered by Haruhi. ...oh, and the losers of the love-tri, according to the first girl rule, both have HUGE TITTIES!!!!! Fan-service. YES.
Anno of Evangelion fame hit the big time in animation by quite literally knocking on Miyazaki's door and showing him his animation skills when Nausicaa's production ran out of animators. Afterwards, Anno was inspired by Miyazaki's concept for Laputa and ended up directing his own version of the story with his own studio. This is how Nadia came to be. If Miyazaki has one weakness visible throughout his films, it's characterisation. More often than not, his imagination for story-telling leaves little room for the nitty-gritty of making his characters into relatable humans, as opposed to plot devices. Anno, on the other hand, is most famous for the creation of Evangelion; arguably THE psychological anime. Evangelion was a series that focused almost exclusively on the exploration of its cast; story details being viewed as less important and, ultimately, making the conclusion near enough incomprehensible. And it's this plot/characterisation divide that defines two anime that begin with the same premise. In Laputa, the hero and heroine might as well have been nameless. They had their roles and there had to be a hint of romance. There was NOTHING else. Their dull designs went along with how hollow they came across. Part of the blame for this failing lies with a restrictive film time limit and the film targeting younger viewers, but it's still hard to imagine if, say, Anno had directed Laputa that the end result would've been the same, for better or worse. Nadia's different, of course. Rather than a happy-happy Ghibli heroine, Nadia's titular heroine is best described as bitchy--a tsundere before Asuka made tsunderes so popular in - OF COURSE - Evangelion. She gives her eccentric and nerdy romantic counterpart a hard time throughout the series as their relationship gradually evolved; even chastising him for killing for food and refusing to eat meat, among other things. Others may see Nadia's personality and find such a heroine distasteful when a Mary Sue type could've took her place. I, however, see human imperfections in a character and see a person, rather than a drawing. I see two people overcoming their differences through disagreements and see growth. In summary: Laputa's the title for those looking for an adventure filled with magic. Nadia is also a lot of fun but contains more of the genuine human qualities that I love to see.
The other day, I was reading an article about Miyazaki. If I'm recalling correctly, it was mentioned how a member of his staff had argued with him during the production of Spirited Away about how its heroine should've acted more hesitant and fearful when confronted with monsters. I'm mentioning this because I think this disagreement touches upon my biggest gripe with Miyazaki's 'kiddy flicks': they lack a relatable human edge that would've allowed me to become involved. For example, I was re-watching Laputa a week or so back and it struck me how, in real life, a girl would be left SOMEWHAT traumatised by falling from an airship and being pursued by a group of military nasties. But, in Miyazaki's world, everyone is all happy-happy, smiley-smiley, and while that might work when viewed through children's eyes, it doesn't cut it with me. And this brings me to Momo. If memory serves, the person that disagreed with Miyazaki during Spirited Away also worked on Momo. Maybe that's a coincidence and is entirely irrelevant but, regardless, Momo is a lot closer to my ideal take on the 'girl meets magical creatures after moving to the middle of nowhere' premise. To be human is to be troubled and troubled is an apt way to describe Momo's titular heroine. She avoids social contact, rarely displays emotion, is uptight, unhappy to find herself relocated and deeply regrets the last words she aimed at her father before his death. Her struggles with life also went hand-in-hand with her reaction to finding herself housed with monsters; first running as far away as possible before attacking them when confronted. And, for me, her realistic behaviour both better relates to modern life than Ghibli's older, more child friendly offerings and works better as a consequence. As for Totoro and why I'm linking it to Momo: it shares the most similar premise out of Miyazaki's films.
-- Children being kidnapped, brainwashed and turned into unfeeling assassins. -- A male and female assassin pair bonding; their bond being shattered by their organization forcing them to kill each other. -- The assassins having to come to terms with normal life, after previously only knowing a world of murder and death. After an intense opening arc, AH becomes more like City Hunter: the emphasis switching to episodic, more lighthearted content. Phantom, on the other hand, is dark and serious all the way through.
There be a demon in Neuro. There be a girl from hell in Hell Girl. This is MAL--RECOMMENDATION TIME! Neuro is your typical detective series reliant on episodic clue-gathering, followed by the big reveal at the end. Hell Girl isn't, but its episodic unravelling-reasons-for-hatred, followed by punishment being dished out at the end, does make the two rather similar. Getting something new each episode makes them highly watchable; easy to pick-up without having to remember details. Neuro's lighthearted Shounen Jump vibe allowed for a more forgiving attitude when dealing with one-dimensional 'black & white' characters (can only do so much inside 20 minutes!), but in the case of Hell Girl it often wasn't as good as it could be due to its more moody, mature direction not meshing with its simplistic characterisation. So, while Hell Girl improved in its sequel series with lengthier two-episode arcing - allowing for a less clear divide between good & bad - Neuro was generally at its best when its silliness wasn't put under a magnifying glass with lengthy arcs.
Wolf Children is the Spice & Wolf anime continuaton/epilogue/whatever we're never gonna get. As soon as I read the description, I KNEW: Madhouse had come to the rescue of Howo. Furries across the globe can now die happy, along with me... even though I'm not into animals; Howo aside. Without spoiling too much, let's just say Wolf Children goes in the general direction S&W EVENTUALLY does. Yes. The genders are reversed (DO NOT WANT MALE HOWO--NO!) from S&W's pairing but that matters not when the movie is about half wolf, half human children coming to terms with life. (What more could you ask for from an unofficial S&W movie, really?...well, maybe Lawrence and Howo getting it on, BUT THINK OF THE CHILDREN!) And S&W3 is the next film of the TGWLTT / Summer Wars guy? THREE IS A GOOD NUMBER--THE OMENS ARE GOOD!
MM is built around a sadomasochistic pairing. Working isn't. So, when you first read Working's summary and note that it has a restaurant setting, you'd think it'd share few to no similarities with MM's school club shenanigans. BUT, Working may as well be about the members of a club interacting, so reliant on character gags it is--the whole at-work-not-school aspect getting overlooked... with school girls STILL being main characters. (Anime, I am disappoint...) What makes these two super-easy to link is MM's Arashiko and Working's Inami. They have a phobia of all things male and react with EXTREME violence whenever one comes close to them. And although Working's male lead isn't a masochist (though he does come to question whether he is), he's a freak in his own right with his "minicon" fetish. Like I typed above, Working cares little for actual working, and a GREAT degree of emphasis is placed on Inami punching the lead in S1; falling for him more with every punch. In fact, the series has more to do with the lead being punched than serving customers. The hate-to-love-via-punching 'romance' as the respective male leads get used as punching bags in order to cure their violent lady friends = THESE SO SIMILAR!
Aside from to laugh at it, the ONE reason I finished Mirai Nikki was Yuno. Never before had I encountered a character that made me love her for her single-minded devotion cuteness but also ponder whether I'd be able to deal with the whole axe-killing aspect, if she wasn't 2D. She's half lovestruck girl, half psychotic killer, and that made me want to violate her in my mind, as well as laugh as her PATHETIC beloved cried himself to sleep over her stalking ways. Unlike Mirai Nikki, which is first and foremost a psychological thriller, KnH is a full-on romance... or rather, a full-on tale of stalking-love that somehow develops via many tongue-tangling sessions into a romance. As you'd expect in reality, the lead was disturbed to the point of running away early on as Koharu attempted to glue their hands together and abused his flute, but his lust and her creepy-cuteness won against his fears in the end. Koharu hasn't YET attempted to kill anyone, so she's not as lust-worthy as Yano (also: short hair = NO!)... however, she HAS sexually assaulted a love rival by forcing her down and shoving her tongue into her mouth in order to 'retrieve' the first kiss of her boyfriend, if that compares in your mind to murder.
Credit must go to NoNameNoOne's 3-4 word (deleted) recommendation, for this. Judging a man for being one of few words is harsh--Kenshiro wouldn't last long on MAL! What was so unusually interesting about Persona 4 was its all-out-in-the-open, character breakdown style of development. Its cast each had a dungeon crafted from their inner desires - including but not limited to a homoerotic sauna - and, for the story to progress, each character had to face up to their true selves--accepting both the good and the bad, in front of their friends. Since it was first and foremost a game, the manner in which the cast got over their issues (following a boss battle) did come across a tad rushed and take some polish off, but it was a pretty unique method of characterisation, nonetheless. Going into Kokoro, I figured it'd be this silly, perverted 'we swapped bodies; our genitals are different!' school club anime. It isn't. Like Persona 4, it's reliant on a supernatural element forcing its way into the lives of the cast and making the five lead characters confront themselves. They swap bodies, are forced to say and do what they're thinking... basically everything insecure kids going through puberty don't want to happen. Instead of this playing out individually, everyone suffers from the same problems at the same time, and this means that everyone's dirty laundry gets distributed evenly. The series is one full of soul-searching, following arguments fueled by what draws the five closer and, at the same time, pushes them apart. ...so, yeah: Persona 4 is the only other anime that springs to mind that's comparable. The best thing about this is that, with Kokoro's origin being a series of novels, its dialogue and execution are both a lot more polished than that of a JRPG.
Adaptations of ENDLESS (1000+ pages) French novels from well over 100 years ago. Typical of the anime community, Gankutsuou (The Count of Monte Cristo) has roughly as little as HALF the listing of other classics inspired by world-renowned literature, such as KissxSis, and no-one even seems to be aware of Les Mis' anime. I'm not surprised but I am pained by this blatant injustice. In the transition from neverending walls of text to TV (which is almost an impossibility to pull off 100% faithfully), both stories had to have content removed and alterations made. Most notably, the lead characters were shifted. Naive Albert replaced Dantes in Gankutsuou in order for a mystery genre shift to be made; allowing for the first 300-400 pages to be skipped almost entirely. In Les Mis there was nothing so extreme but, as its sub-title highlights, there was a shift from Valjean to Cosette--Les Mis' anime being a World Masterpiece Theater title and WMT titles following the tragic struggles of children. As mentioned above, Dantes (Gankutsuou) was replaced as the main character from the novel, where as Valjean (Les Mis) - to the best of my knowledge - simply had the spotlight moved away from him a little. Had the adaptations been fully accurate, Dantes would've been depicted changing from a good-natured yet simple young man into a caculating avenger. This would've linked him to Valjean more strongly, in an ironic sense; a character that started out as a sinner then did a complete 180, opting to do everything in his power for the good of the people. It's these two all-time great characters and their respective journies which make the two series so epic in scope and fascinating to follow--truly worthy of favourite character spots. As for how these adaptations are generally regarded by fans, Gankutsuou is referred to as the best Monte Cristo adaptation ever, in spite of the changes made and content cut. It was re-worked so it'd fit into 24 episodes when it'd need 50-100 to function as a full-on adaptation and is great in a different way than the source material. Les Mis is simply regarded as a far more kid-friendly version of the novel.
Are you tired with the prepubescent ideal of love, which claims that angsting over love-love confessions and - MAYBE - a peck on the lips is all you're gonna get out of your cartoon rom-comedy? Yes? Yes. I like B-Cupped Pervert/Slut (?) and KissxSis. It isn't JUST because there are amazingly hot (and illegal, depending on your country/state) 2D school girls forcing themselves on witless males. Nor is it JUST because I have no non-blood related sisters (or actual sisters, for that matter) and would very much like to have non-blood related sisters give me some morning kisses. No. It goes deeper than that. MUCH deeper. Y'see, 2D school girls are put on some kind of virginal pedestal where they A) have no sex drive and B) must be pursued by males. But with B-Cupped Pervert/Slut you get Yamada trying to force herself onto an unsuspecting average virgin in order to lose her virginity, with equal levels of humiliation resulting, prior to sleeping with 100+ guys. And KissxSis? Well, you have a pair of nympho twin 'sisters'; taking every chance they get to tongue-insert and crotch-rub. In summary: these be the two most raunchy TV cartoons I've seen. All brothers NEED to see them to be free of the chains placed on them by fictional virgin maidens. Yes.
According to MAL, Gosick ended on the very day Kamisama started airing. HMMM. There must've been some kind of loli detective craze over in Japan, at the time. (Either that or the anime people were running low on material to sell to those looking for 'daughters', at the time, and opted for the not-so-popular aging detective genre. Idk.) These two are built on the same foundations: In both there's an all-knowing reclusive loli, solving every case with their intellect/deus ex machina powers. They recruit Mr. Plain Average to be their masochistic doormats; mostly only existing to go from A-to-B on command and have things thrown at them from time to time. Gosick has more than in the way of romance; Kamisama only offering tsundere rage over teddy sniffing. Gosick also has its heroine display adult maturity, as well as be childish over sweets... where as Ms. Kamisama wears teddy bear attire and, outside of case-rambling, might as well be the preteen she appears to be. BUT, if you're proud of being unemployed and not receiving education, Kamisama is for you.
They both have 'Blade' in their English titles. Thus, I'm posting a recommendation. This is MAL. Yes. For those interested, there ARE actual similarities between the two titles. They share the same composer, for one. Story/character-wise? A tough, roguish ADULT traveling with a much younger, much prettier female companion on a path of vengeance. There's lots of blood & death, naturally. These introductory adaptations are gateways to the best of seinen manga. They may not impress on their incomplete lonesomes and would annoy anyone looking for a start-to-end anime-only story, but for those willing to read manga you seriously can't get much/any better. Jaw-dropping artwork is only the beginning (not kidding: these two are contenders for best art). It's just a pity both series have so few readers. Especially BotI since it began in the 90's and unlike other series - such as Berserk - BotI remained quality and ACTUALLY ENDED!
Until finishing Ano Natsu, I had thought the OBVIOUS similarities between the two were nothing more than examples of the anime industry's lack of originality. But it turns out they were written by the same person, with Ano Natsu linking into Onegai Teacher at the very end. So, it wasn't theft: it was just the writer being lazy. Glad that's clear, now. Two alien Mary Sues come from space. They have the same basic character designs. One becomes a teacher; one becomes a student. They fall in love with scrawny, four-eyed midgets. There's drama.
B Gata is ALL about a Japanese school girl going against the anime stereotype that presents them as pure maidens. Yamada wants 100+ male conquests, and she's DETERMINED to use an inexperienced Mr. Nobody to lose her cherry with. Hilarity ensues when she turns out to be a clueless tsundere when it matters; resulting in much date-kiss-sex fail. Seitokai is similar in the sense it presents school girls as sex-crazed nymphos, with only one train of thought. However, where as B Gata's humour comes from sexual failings, Seitokai's humour is built around two girls turning EVERYTHING - no matter how innocent - the male lead says into sexual innuendo. Nothing that rocked my world, but 100x more enjoyable than pure-pure rom-coms and the like.
Younglings being guarded from pursuers by skilled fighters, whilst indulging in slice-of-life 'parent-child' bonding on the side. The settings are different, the genders are reversed AND the ages/age-gap also differ (Kurenai's bodyguard lead being but a kid himself), but the core elements of protecting a child from danger and gradual bonding between characters makes these two easy to compare.
Mermaids and squid both come from the sea. This is MAL and that's enough to justify linking the two. Yes. ... It's also worth noting that both series consist almost entirely of gagtastic slapstick comedy. Mermaid Bride has romance and haremish humour powering a hefty chunk of its jokes, where as Squid Girl has its titular heroine and is devoid of love-love... aside from a lesbian stalker. But those minor differences aside, these two are aimed at 100% the same crowd.
Dal Young - a MASTER at taking from other popular titles - used Mirai Nikki for 'inspiration', in this instance. We've got the play-or-die situation, a useless & naive male lead and the love-love yandere that's the only reason he's able to remain alive. And instead of thanking her, he continues to place both of them in life-threatening danger whilst spouting goody-goody nonsense. (This description works for both series, no?) The differences? An infinite number of players (not reliant on mobile phones) and 'angels' that suck souls outta people in order to set the game of death in motion, in Re:Birth.
At first I was left perplexed: how could Dal Young have been 'inspired' to create Maian when Maoyuu Maou Yuusha seemingly came to be a good few years after Maian began?... Then, I remembered that Superior and Maoyuu have practically identical premises. Maian, Superior and Maoyuu share one vital element that makes them the series they are: a hero (descendant in Maian) finds himself traversing the world with an 'evil', world-conquering, voluptuous woman. As they travel together, it *SHOCKINGLY* turns out that Ms. Evil is actually a good person, and romance blossoms.
Spirit of Wonder consisits of sci-fi shorts irrelevant to this recommendation, as well as the Engrish rom-comedy relevant to this rec (Aion doesn't approve of hard-to-follow sci-fi shortness). China girls speak Engrish. China girls be very much violence. Men run fast from scary woman; they no like this. Both story be very short, yes, and no end completion. You get ONE VOLUME (x2) or go away bye-bye now. Understand? The differences are few as they're both rom-coms reliant on violent, Engrish-speaking Chinese ladies causing much lulz. However, in Spirit of Wonder Ms. China chases a guy, while in China Girl Ms. China gets chased.
These two are so similar that the OreImo cast made a 'from behind' cameo appearance, in episode 11 of Boku. Kirino and Sena are the same character... breasts aside. Their spoiled princess attitudes, erotic game addiction, prideful arrogance getting in the way of friendship and fangs are NEARLY IDENTICAL. What's more, Kuroneko and Yozora ALSO MIRROR EACH OTHER--sharing 'bickering love' friendships with K&S respectively. They argue CONSTANTLY when together, oblivious to the how similar their personalities are. The only difference of note in the relationships between the shows is that Yozora clearly has the upper hand against Sena--often forcing her to run away, crying. THERE'S EVEN A GUY IN THE LOVE-TRI MIDDLE, IN BOTH SHOWS! The episodic content is VERY familiar, also: making friends is central to Boku's story but even OreImo had an episode about trying to make friends. And both shows deal heavily with otaku/gaming jokes.
Natsuyuki is how Maison Ikkoku would've been, had MI's cast been presented in a less likable manner and those same characters not taken SIX YEARS to resolve their non-starting relationship issues. Maybe because of how fast the pace moves in NR, in comparison to MI's drawn out deceased lover rom-comedy, but NR's cast come across as inconsistent and (in mine eyes) are cheapened by their actions. NR's lead goes from a bumbling idiot lacking confidence to a dickish, I-don't-care-if-husband-watches playboy, and the wife doesn't take much to accept a new man, considering how much she's still in love with her dead hubby. (Plus, her short-haired look is lacking, when put alongside the allure of Kyoko's long-haired beauty.)
As the king of the faux-MMORPG arena (.hack started development in 2000, then released in 2002; SAO was first wrote in 2001/2002), .hack can claim a lot of the responsibility for SAO. In the anime universe, the idea of being trapped in a fantasy virtual reality setting, via playing a MMORPG, is already 10+ years old. Even Yuki Kajiura's wonderful (though underwhelming, in SAO) music became famous as a result of her best-soundtrack-ever work on .hack//SIGN.
Note: The first episodes of both series include the villain 'SPOILERS' required for this recommendation. Read with caution if you know nothing about either. Otherwise, read on. ---- Both shows begin in a very similar manner, with teaser first episodes where monsters exist. Then, they jump into lengthy flashback arcs where there aren't monsters and political/gangster intrigue is focused on. Characterisation heavy excellence. The similarities don't end there: the most obvious similarity between the two is the way two best friends' relationship worsens over the course of the story until the best of friends become the worst of enemies. Protagonists become antagonists. While not identical (Berserk is set during medieval times, where as Gungrave is about gangsters), the core themes are definitely similar enough for fans of one to like the other.
Dapple and Chinatsu give off a different vibe from everything else. Not only do they deal with nature (rural setting in Chinatsu; tree-talking in Dapple), the slice-of-life antics of the two get propelled onwards by prepubescent romance subplots--boy x supernatual, attention-grabbing girl lead duo pairings. What's more, both series ended inconclusively with their third volumes. How similar can you get!? In Dapple the heroine is an unaging girl with the appearance of a pre-teen and the ability to communicate with plants. In Chinatsu the heroine can sing and give life by doing so. It's such a shame neither was ever completed because both were an absolute joy to read. The more drama-filled bits were as touching as the lighthearted comedy was amusing. I can only assume they failed to attract attention for the same reasons, such are there similarities...
Japan IS FotNS... just drawn with Berserk's art and with a strong message about Japanese society. (Many seem to comment on it being pro-Japanese propaganda, but I find that hard to agree with when the author goes out of his way to depict his country's men as being spineless sellouts and the women whoring themselves to the highest bidders.) Super-large men battle it out on a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The strong conquer the weak; women are taken as possessions. And, of course, the BIG lead smacks everyone who crosses his path silly with his manliness. There are bandits, desert buggies, manly broship... everything. The bad? It's dumb and ends without any sort of ending.
When considering going on vacation, jumping 100's of years into the past to the times when the Mongolians were invading and conquering all wouldn't be ideal. But that's what happens in these two: the respective leads finding themselves right in the middle of hellish warfare. Naturally, there are romantic subplots and duels to the death with swords... what more could you ask for? Since King of Wolves was drawn by Berserk's author, wrote by FotNS' author and shares obvious similarities to Threads of Time, it's best described as a blend of the three. (Thankfully, only the FotNS LARGE man thing got added from that. Far more similar to Berserk.) Threads of Time is where it's at if you're looking for a well-developed story with a killer twist, rather than lots of fighting, though. In King of Wolves you even get to learn the TRUE identity of Genghis Khan. How awesome is that? The info even made watching Kurozuka seem somehow more worthwhile.
As I read Sense, with one hand on my mouse and the other at the ready on my pet snake (Wormy, FYI), something occurred to me: I'd seen the panty-detail and arses somewhere before. The heroine also reminded me of a character from elsewhere. But I couldn't put my finger on it... until I checked out Haruki's MAL page, read that he/she'd once drawn doujins of Katsura's work and it all fell into place: Haruki has a MAJOR hard/wet(?)-on for Iori, and other girls in Katsura's manga that look like her. In Sense, Iori returns from I''s; once again playing the role of a school girl idol (I *think* even the uniforms are very samey). The key difference between I''s and Sense is that, where as I''s never went beyond non-penetrative ecchi, in every chapter of Sense one of MANY girls around Mr. All-Girl School Teacher receives non-genital sexing--either in the mind of the delusional perverted teacher or - probably later on - in reality. Also: in Haruki's other work, Hishoka Drop, AGAIN the heroine looks like Iori. However, in that she's a pure working woman at a company, as opposed to being a school girl idol. But if you can manage to look beyond your school girl fetish, Hishoka Drop is closer to being classified as a hentai, and contains much whited-out penis.
What links these two is what separates them from everything else I've read: three people living together under the same roof (one guy and two women) and the guy managing to have an intimate relationship with the two of them, without war breaking out. The respective trios in the two come to share a close bond, in spite of the obvious jealousy issues that come with one guy doing two girls. There are countless harem series where multiple girls go after one guy and sod all ever happens. There are also many where the lead and his harem live together. But series with adult, 20+ characters, with relationship complexities and LOTS of wank-worthy sex?... Nah. In Sakuranbo the girlfriend of the lead doesn't just go, "You need to snog my man to avoid aging backwards, every day?... Ok, no problem!" - she starts out incredibly hostile and jealous, as you'd expect. But once the two women get to know each other and it's clear there aren't any romantic feelings between the snog-needer and the man in the middle, they start living together and act like a happy family. In Honeymoon Salad it's FAR weirder. The ex the lead has dreamt about for half of his life turns up on his doorstep. At the same time, he starts having sex with another woman. One thing leads to another and all three start living together. You'd expect lots of jealousy, but Ichika (the lead's girlfriend) runs away from men once they start loving her back and actually wants Youko (the ex) to stay, where as Youko gets on with Ichika - despite having the opposite personality - and doesn't mind about the other two getting it on.
Sisters showing their bodies to their brothers in order to tease/mentally torture them, knowing just how much their brothers want them, as they live together. The heroines in these two enjoy NOTHING more than seeing the male leads squirming in anguish over them. There are a few significant differences: #1: In Hozuki the siblings aren't actually related, and only got to know each other starting with middle school. In Oniichan the siblings are related. (Why they aren't related in Hozuki, yet everyone reacts as if they share the same blood (including the 'siblings' themselves), is beyond me...)) #2: Oniichan's sister is a manipulative yandere. Her brother doesn't know about her yandere side, or that she's as into him as he's into her. In Hozuki, only the 'brother' is shown to be 110% into his 'sister', and it ends without anything resolved.
Hard not to compare these two. In both super-intelligent heroines outsmart their respective male companions as they travel. Along the way, lessons on economics are given - in S&W through trading chatter and in Maoyuu through Demon Queen actually teaching Hero how war can be beneficial, as well as sharing with other lowly humans the wonders of potatoes. The chemistry shared between Horo and Lawrence in S&W is mostly absent in Maoyuu; jokes instead being made about Demon Queen's large (and much-too-exposed) breasts; oft described as "useless meat". Hero intentionally being a clone of white knight JRPG leads doesn't help matters. It's still amusing to watch the two interact... just not with the same wordplay goodness in S&W.
It's strange that two on-going seinen series with practically the exact same set-up can be on-the-go at the same time, but that's the case with these two. In both two male characters come together; one with intelligence to spare and the other with ESP. In both they end up working together to change the world. There's even romantic subplots slowly developing in both. What separates them clearly is their differing executions; one being involving and other pushing me away. Nanika's a far more artificial-feeling, juvenile story, where some pathetic four-eyes kills whomever a sociopath of a transfer student tells him to. No effort was put into pre-ESP characterisation, and this fact - alongside people using cell phones in cars and comedians being world-changing targets - gives the series an edge of fake absurdity. Destroy and Revolution dealt with its lead characters first, then moved onto terrorism via gradual building destruction. The reasons for the leads doing what they do and their friendship, unlike in Nanika, allowed me to care and understand. And when the ESP-terrorism did become important, politicians - rather than random people in cars - were targeted, which give the series a much appreciated semi-realistic edge.
Let me be clear: I wouldn't describe Ashita as a yandere. At the very least, she lacks the creepy-stalking side that made me INSTANTLY link Koharu from KnH and Yuno from Mirai Nikki. HOWEVER, the alien Ashita can destroy buildings by firing a laser from her finger and becomes mentally unstable when she thinks the male lead is cheating on her; at one point, exploding inside a building when angry. So, although she's USUALLY calm, the lead has to be VERY careful not to piss her off. ...but, even if you only want a nutjob heroine that leaves you torn between fear and love, you should still read Ashita. It's a seinen rom-com with a true touch of originality, stemming from its CRAZY alien-sphere --> 2x Ashita premise. It's art is sexy-greatness and it's truly quite funny. (And, since KnH also happens to be a seinen rom-com different from the norm, I figured I'd link them up!)
With one volume of Underdog under my belt, I think of it as Mirai Nikki done right. What do I mean by that, you ask? I mean that, so far, it's been closer to reality with its lead's views on life, his reactions to others and his... hobby--what you'd expect from a seinen title. I also mean that no dogs controlled by a diary have been used, as of yet. NO SUPERNATURAL DIARY STUPIDITY = YAY! Underdog is like some kind of holy union between Mirai Nikki (KILL EVERYONE ELSE!) and Liar Game (OUTSMART EVERYONE ELSE!). What I like A LOT about it is that face-to-face intensity gets combined with the need for thinking. Since it's against the rules in Underdog to DIRECTLY kill the other players, the aim of the game is to make the other player either kill themselves or INDIRECTLY cause someone else to kill them. It's great! Based on the author being the creator of Shamo, there might be a fair amount of unpleasant, not-so-nice things around the corner to keep me hooked. (....LITTLE SISTER!)
There aren't many manga (or stories in general) with psychopaths as leads. Their lack of feeling and/or traces of normality makes it hard for readers to relate, and most authors probably assume MOST manga readers aren't nutjobs. But these two short series differ from the norm. It's arguable that the biggest similarity between the two is obsessive love and murder going hard-in-hand. In Goth it's more a case of wrist-lust than love, really, but it's a fact that both of the female leads find themselves toyed with by dangerous people. If you like your manga happy and without gruesome death (as well as a lil' rape), it might be wise to stick with shoujo instead of reading these. Du Ming starts out innocently enough but I can assure you that both series are VERY twisted.
Those familiar with Parasyte would view 7 Billion Needles as something of a rip-off, should they read it. An eccentric alien entity comes from outer space, merges with the lead and slowly-but-surely comes to be friends with its host, as they battle together against other alien enemies. If you're experienced, you've read it all before. The first two volumes aren't bad - the characterisation being solid enough - but the last two turn it into a nonsensical mess that would most likely leave you with a desire to have re-read Parasyte instead. In terms of the 'merging' itself, 7BN has more in-common with Birdy than Parasyte since in both the leads die and need to rely on their new companions to survive. However, since Birdy has a human form all of her own, the relationship development isn't really very similar to what 7BN has to offer.
Out of these two, I'm not sure which is the dafter: the one with a prison that's used as an amusement park or the one where a classy all-girl school has the students try to kill edge other for badges after lessons. It's a tough one. In Deadman Wonderland a class is slaughtered, some average-but-naturally-heroic midget gets blamed and then attempts to unravel the conspiracy in prison... while playing death-games in order to earn enough credits for food and death-aversion candy. In Tokyo Girls Destruction a girl transfers to a school built on a man-made island in order to discover the truth behind her older sister's death... because the school can keep bodies and do what they want, or something. Once there, she has to fight to keep her badge in order to be able to eat, while acting like a useless shoujo heroine (tomboys replace protective bishie love interests). They're both dumb. Very dumb. But TGS wins because A) it has an all-girl cast B) it has pantsu and C) the art is sexy... for 2D drawings that fit into small boxes, that is. So, drop DW and start TGD if you have a penis.
Let's see... -- An endless series of 'play or die' games, where survivors from each game must continue to work together. -- The enemies in both are aliens... until the aliens start being dicks and make humans fight it out. There's no text-sharing black sphere in Kamisama but the aliens themselves tend to be quite chatty, with the same sort of twisted humour. -- Almost anyone can die. Getting attached to characters is a bad idea (until Kurono appears in Kamisama with his 100-points, anyhow). -- No attempt is made to explain why, exactly, people are finding themselves forced to go at it with weird as hell enemies (Gantz goes to shit once info is shared). And a high-schooler slaughtering people with a sword is just normal. Accept it! Kamisama is a lil' more shounenish than Gantz with its typically average>winrar lead and a girlfriend character or two wanting his 2D dick from the get-go, but it's in the same magazine as Shingeki and there aren't any orange ninjas. I like it. The games play out more along the lines of Liar Game than Gantz, but with aliens and its sense of humour and level of craziness...
Don't you just love it when manly battles to the death get accompained by manly narration and manly animal representations of the characters?
As far as graphic violence in Japanese graphic novels go, these two are in the top-tier. Ichi has a modern setting and far more sexual content/rape, but Shigurui's ALMOST as fun to read as Ichi when it comes to OTT violence; body parts flying everything as both fists and swords kill everything. You could describe Shigurui as Ichi's samurai equivalent since the main draw of both is seeing people get brutally murdered and, strangely, enjoying it.
Flowers & Bees is not about flowers or bees. What it is about is a young man's journey through adulthood as he's mentally abused by two sadistic sisters at a salon for men. He just can't get laid... though he does get 'raped' by a love-hole wielding sadistic sister, if that counts (?). Haunted House is not about a haunted house. What it is about is a young man whose family intentionally scare away EVERY girl he brings home by going full-on goth; make-up, costumes and all. They miss no chance to add to the mental wounds of the lead as he fails to get laid throughout his high school and early working years. Female authors known best for shoujo/josei/ladyworks creating something with a male lead and then drawing the lead in question be tortured always makes for an especially amusing experience. Maybe guys are just too simple, or maybe the authors in question have had too much practice in real life... or maybe creating these types of stories works as a form of sexual frustration release. I don't know. But what I do know is that they're quite amusing.
I thought I'd made this recommendation already. I hadn't. (True story...) After reading the BR manga, I went on to read the novel. There's a world of difference between the novel and its completely over the top manga adaptation. The simplest way of explaining it is for me to tell you to imagine the author of Gantz, Oku, was allowed to insert as much graphic violence and nudity as humanly possible, while keeping the story and characterisation as is. Remember that part in the novel where - in a flashback - the Terminator/final boss character plucked an eyeball out at school?... No? What about the part where a girl reverse-raped a boy to reward him, as he lay dying from a wound in his stomach?... Still no? Ok, then: you MUST remember the bit where, in a martial arts showdown with the series' final boss (one of the best fights ever, FYI) the good guy hit the bad guy with a mini-kamehameha?...... I give up. If you loved Gantz for its boobs, violence and general craziness, you'd LOVE BR to bits. Seriously.
Two of the funniest anime in existence. And, perhaps coincidentally, the only two anime that spring to mind where the 'half-episode' mark often meant a different short story/chapter. You know how those other unfunny anime drag-on for the full episode run-time... despite being unfunny? These two don't. Clearly, 10-minutes is the best for animated comedy silliness.
This recommendation was a bizarre toss-up between Darker than Black and Spice & Wolf for Blood Alone's 'partner'. S&W won because I'm referring to an anime in the case of DtB, where as S&W has a manga adaptation complete with much Howo wuvliness. Y'see, BA is a lot like DtB in the sense that a guy with supernatural powers called Kuroe beats/kills supernatural foes, relying far more on his human fighting skills than his own special powers. Kuroe even looks like Hei AND is searching for his sister. There are also plenty of episodic showdowns where Kuroe gets to do his kick-arse thing. But BA isn't really an action epic, or anything of the short. The S&W similarity lies with the wordy bond shared between Kuroe and the vampiric loli he protects. He sees her more as a younger sister; she loves him; they develop as characters through lengthy exchanges + sleeping in the same bed together. Little Misaki is no Howo in terms of intelligence, experience, wit and tail... but they're both headstrong and both are immortals stuck in one never-aging form. And With BA's author caring MUCH more for characterisation than action, with almost random slice-of-life singles thrown around to great effect, I can only compare it to S&W in terms of its focus.
It's hard not to see Guilty Crown as something of a Code Geass rip-off when they're similar to the extent the main character receives "the power of the king" from a mysterious female, before involving himself in a Japanese rebellion against foreigners discriminating against the Japanese. There are even robots on roller-skates in it! So far, what keeps the two as separate entities is the respective leads. In Code Geass Lelouch starts the rebellion himself and is driven by both hatred and the desire to protect his disabled little sister. In Guilty Crown the lead is (mod edit) a bit emotionally unstable and gets himself pulled into the rebellion of another man. If the school-mecha warfare blend continues as the series progresses, those linking the two will only increase in number. It's a good thing Guilty Crown has outstanding visuals and music, as well as fast-pacing--people would look down on it otherwise.
'Generic' is frequently used to describe Broken Blade's tale of mecha warfare, and even I - with my limited experience with mecha - must confess to being reminded of Gundam SEED on a few occasions when watching. It's so well-executed and beautiful looking & sounding that I cared not, but the similarities are worth noting. The first SEED-BB similarity is the 'Friends becoming enemies' subplot prevalent early on in BB. Just like in SEED, the two friends went to school together; one being averse to war and the other being a pacifist. But skip a little into the future and two find themselves on opposing sides in a war, piloting robots. The second comes in the third movie. Halfway through SEED, the series reached its peak when Kira confronted Athrun and his team on his own. The two were finally prepared to kill each other, they screamed their names at each other in their cockpits, etc etc. Guess what happened halfway through BB as Rygart imitated a rhino and fought with his old friend, Zess? You guessed right!
Until Black Lagoon starts getting released again, Jormungand is where its fans should look for their psychotic lady sexiness + guns fix. The blend of light-hearted interaction, death and serious subject matter in general, as well as the emphasis on scary-but-hot ladies, makes them easy to place together. Both deal with the transporting of cargo as mercenary teams attempt to protect the goods until they reach their destination; shooting anything that gets in their way. Women lead the way with insane smiles/laughter in Jormungand, as well as Black Lagoon. The most deadly characters in the two are female and in Jormungand the heroine is the lead in a seinen--a rarity. I prefer Black Lagoon because Jormungand starts out by throwing ten characters at the reader at once, instead of slowly introducing everyone--meaning it takes time to remember names and start caring. Jormungand's more global, country-to-country episodicness also gets in the way of attachment, compared to Black Lagoon's clusterfcuk setting. Without the Revy-Rock interaction, Jormungand isn't as good as Black Lagoon, but it's still a damn good read.
Modern, 21st century re-imaginings of famous novels. One is best described as a lengthy suicide note written by the author (No Longer Human); the other is a story of murder, guilt and redemption (Crime and Punishment). Both are aimed at the seinen demographic and get inside the heads of the respective leads--clearly showing the thinking of those unable to connect with society and examining the human condition in detail. In short, they're fantastic psychological rides. As a direct result of the edits made to the Crime and Punishment adaptation in order for those of today to better relate to its lead and the content (reclusion, prostitution, etc...), the struggles of the leads are more than likely far more similar than in the original works.
Psychological profiles of different types of killers. One is an unfeeling sociopath who feels nothing; killing purely to ease his boredom and express his disgust with humans (God's Child). The other makes himself into a killer out of desperation--his plan to earn himself money for his family and remove "vermin" from society coming together months after he became recluse due to his inability to connect and work together with others. (Crime and Punishment). Crime and Punishment is a modern remake of the classic novel. The author connects the people of today with a story from the 1800's by inserting common social issues - such as the hikikomori phenomenon and teenage prostitution - and staying true to the original story of murder, followed by crushing guilt. It's a masterpiece--the art and dialogue being truly wonderful. The tension built at certain points is crazy. God's Child is a surreal, style over substance stab at looking into the mind of a monster. Rather than believable events, its story goes more in the direction of a gay cult of pre-teen boys forming around a nutjob. I wasn't overly impressed by it.
Koimoku is Bakuman with less detail on the manga creation process and more boobs. In spite of being an aggressive loser, the lead quickly finds himself with a harem as busty manga editors battle it out for his talents and inspire him by getting naked/letting him touch their boobies. My favourite aspect of Koimoku is how a career woman walks around with her tits exposed, acts like a ditz and offers the lead ANYTHING he desires for the puposes of inspiration. The hooker the lead uses for first impressions of his work is realistic, also.
The main trio's relationship (and character designs, in terms of the guys) is SOMEWHAT similar to that of NHK. A loser(ish) lead gets pulled into a plan to save himself from being a nobody (NHK = hentai game creation; Spike = exam question theft) by a glasses-wearing intelligent fella, friendship blossoming between the two and an ever-so-slightly crazy girl in the middle of all the psychological foreplay/characterisation. The plots are different but there are some definite similarities.
Btooom! is the end result of the premise of Battle Royale being combined with a fictional Xbox 360 game. Or, put another way, Btooom! is Battle Royale with bomb-grenades as weapons + otaku bait. HOWEVER, Btooom! is FAR less extreme in terms of violence and the contrived 'plot armour' writing eventually weigh it down. Instead of a class of school kids finding themselves forced to kill each other until only one is left on a deserted island for totalitarian dictatorship lulz purposes (with timed bombs around their necks in case they refuse), in Btooom! a game company decides to let those unwanted by society test out their online game in reality by blowing each other up with bombs on a deserted island. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE/A FEW, etc etc... Btooom!'s lead just happens to be one of the top ten best players in Japan, and his online waifu JUST HAPPENS to also be along for the real-life game ride. (Even better, she's a busty 15-year-old school girl--RESULT!)
The nutty female loner of your class catches you doing naughty-naughty at school. There's only one solution: become her slave and do what she says, in the hope of avoiding the truth coming out. Onani is one of the best character-focused psychological manga around. Aku Hana begins more along the lines of a trainwreck where logic is defied, before becoming something much more ominous and disturbing--perhaps THE most unsettling psychological manga read.
The male leads in both are unadjusted to normal life but find themselves living around those not accustomed to times of war. They swear to protect the respective heroines from all threats and hilarity ensues as their lack of understanding/common sense creates more problems than it solves. FMP is aimed at males and, as a result, has MUCH more comedy in its romance than shoujo series Shinobi Life does. Only the early parts of SL are comparable, though - in fairness - FMP itself does go in a darker, more drama-oriented direction itself, as its story progresses.
Yoko may not be anywhere near as intelligent as Horo from S&W, but her possessive jealousy and tail - like in the case of my beloved Horo - making me think about my Westie (Princess, FYI) differently makes it easy for my to recommend the two to fans of one for the heroines' similarities. Lawrence would very much like Horo to be as raunchy and forward as Yoko. Witty banter/flirting is nice and all, but forced blowjobs are where it's at. Of course, Yoko having the ability to express her rage with fire and clothes removal/teleporting does make her the more fearsome of the two, so she's something of a double-edged sword...
Dragon Head was in its element when, following an earthquake, three people found themselves trapped underground after their train derailed, surrounded by corpses. Where as DH's characters don't stay underground for more than a few volumes, Metro Survive's tale of survival starts and finishes with its character underground. The two are different, as a result, but to begin with the feelings of claustrophobia and panic expressed make it easy to link the titles. (FYI, DH goes to shit after its early earthquake/train drama.)
Creepy stalker-girls strike fear into the hearts of men. DON'T LIE TO GIRLS, OR TALK TO GIRLS THAT ARE SITTING NEAR RUBBISH!!!!! Ibitsu could be compared to many of Higurashi's unhappy, disturbing offerings, but the ever increasing creepiness seen in the opening Higurashi arc as its lead desperately tries to escape from a girl following him with a sharp, not-so-friendly weapon probably best matches up.
More in-line with plagiarism than a show of respect, the beginnings of The Breaker cannot but help one think of GTO/Onizuka. A new badarse teacher starts teaching at a school, bumps into a bullied kid, has to save him from jumping off the school roof and - of course - tries to get it on with a hot female teacher. If not for the art being so fantastic and GTO being equally fantastic, I'm sure this issue would be touched upon more than it has been. Awhile after its GTO-theft introduction period, it does go off in its own martial arts / The Karate Kid direction. However, it completely goes to shit once the martial arts elite nonsense takes over completely, late on; becoming a subpar shounen fighting manga with A++++ art.
To the best of my knowledge, City Hunter was the manga that got the ball rolling as far as episodic tales of heroism + perversion go. Even though Ryo would rub most hotties up the wrong way with his perviness, to begin with, his manly actions would eventually make them fall for him as he saved their lives... repeat x200. Sadly for poor ol' Ryo, for one reason or another, he'd neither get lucky with any of the ladies he saved, and this has become something of a tradition for series that followed it. In the case of Saru's Lock, it set itself apart by the lead using his lock-picking skills as he found himself in unlikely situations where babes needed him, time and time again. Like City Hunter, a romance subplot between the lead and a certain girl GRADUALLY advances - never getting very far because of the outrageous content, such as the lead's girl walking in on him attempting to suck himself off. Gimmick! is the more inventive because of Hollywood special effects and make-up tricks having a lot more variety than simple lock-picking. But it isn't as crazy-perverted as Saru (not as funny, in short) and seems to lack a romance subplot.
They're both 11 volumes long. They were both licensed by Tokyopop. They are now both OOP. They are both owned by Aion. (This makes Aion happy.) Also, they're both war epics heavy on main character growth. After seeing loved ones die and - in the case of ToT - raped, the two respective leads experience the hardships of war first-hand; killing in order to survive and eventually becoming leaders. ToT is the more realistic of the two because, where as SIII is an adaptation of a JRPG, ToT depicts the Mongolian invasion of Korea and all of the 'spoils of war' taking / raping / slaughtering that occurred in reality. I'm happy to report that younglings do get murdered in both, but ToT is definitely the more difficult to stomach.
Due to the manner in which the past-lifing issues get resolved in the two, they could be viewed as opposites, to a certain extent. Where as in PSME nothing could be done about the past in the past itself, ToT differs because its story gets told via the perspective of a time-traveling kid in need of much karmic suffering (from 1999), during the 13th century. Reincarnations, past sins, shadow vs light love triangle woes - the two share all of the good bits. And, like the other series dealing with past-lives that I've read, the level characterisation makes it impossible to stop reading them... unless you're called Tumerking.
Two short thrillers where two men find themselves in the middle of a blizzard, find shelter and talk about their crimes. In BB it's already known the leads are criminals because of its premise, but the waters are far more murky in the case of Confession; its leads talking too much and quickly discovering that their shelter won't protect them from the dangers of the human mind.
Shin Angyo Onshi is the Korean Berserk. It is as simple as that. There are too many similarities to count, such as even the more superficial things like the lead, Munsu, being branded with a 'curse'. Few manga/manhwa can compare to Berserk in terms of art, but SAO even rivals Berserk in that area. Although Munsu looks... off at the start (similar to Guts in Berserk), the artist quickly became my favourite. For the sake of spoilers, I'll avoid going into detail, but I will say this: the structure of SAO as a series is VERY SIMILAR to Berserk and Munsu's personality / actions mirror Guts'. His hatred and need for vengeance are powered by what forces Guts forward (the 'betrayal' of a best friend, as well as a woman in the middle of them and a word starting with 'R'). And as for SAO's villain, not only does he look like Griffith, he has the same creepy smiling-but-evil/manipulative aura. Need I say more than highlight that SAO has its very own 'Golden Age' flashback arc? Not really. HOWEVER, the one thing SAO has that Berserk probably never will have is an ending. And with how similar Munsu is as a character to Guts and how his nemesis is so overpowered... let's just say SAO's end is a decent substitute for Berserk's current non-ending hiatus hell.
Ano Hana is similar to Noein executed in reverse, without the sci-fi. If you got a lot out out of the slice-of-life parts of Noein, and found yourself moved by how time changes even the best of friends, then you'd LOVE Ano Hana. Noein focused on the bonds of a group of childhood friends before a tragic glimpse into their future showed how they'd all drifted apart. Ano starts with five childhood friends having drifted apart; the ghost of the sixth inspiring one to reunite them.
Titles sure to be appreciated by feminists. One need only glance at a certain Taisho review's beginning to learn this. Naturally, if you're a guy, seeing lots of 2D school girls get sweaty at all-girl schools is a plus--there's no denying this. So, you could say the content is sure to please both genders, for differing reasons. Girls want to play baseball. Men don't want women dirtying their sacred sport. The girls continue onwards regardless; building a team and edging towards a showdown with the boys' team. Expect girly manliness, lighthearted fun, and heart-strings to be tugged at as romantic subplots develop in the background; the subplots driving the baseballing onwards. Taisho is a period piece (1925), and sexism plays a slightly more significant role in its story because of Japan only just starting to embrace Western culture at that time. But neither title is of the gloomy, depressing variety--you're meant to smile as you watch the silly antics of girls. And smile you shall... unless your blood runs icy cold.
I would say Maoh is Code Geass without robots on roller-skates... if not for Geass' manga adaptation having removed the robots on roller-skates. Supernatural powers exist. An attempt is made to take control of the masses by a gifted individual and his equally gifted comrades and, in-turn, gain a foothold in Japan, with the intent being to become a god-like figure. Mental duels and do-or-die situations are ten a penny. The key difference between Geass and Maoh is that Maoh's lead is the one trying to stop his nemesis from gaining complete control over his town--he's not attempting to start a rebellion himself. He has to walk the tightrope between doing nothing as a bystander and risking his life to stop a man revered by others; a man only the lead knows the ugly, manipulative side of. An important aspect of the two is the balance between good and evil; the thin line between right and wrong. Black is very much grey.
For the leads, as well as the (male?) readers, nothing else matters other than the dazzling heroines of these two. With their worldly experience and intelligence - as well as their beauty - they draw men to them, and even conversations become exciting. Young though they may appear, they moist certainly have an adult allure. Two stories pushed forward by lengthy exchanges that never bore, the titles' similarities are many. And you shouldn't mind this because, even with only black & white images and text, it's understandable why the 2D ladies are so fascinating, for no mere mortal could hope to resist them.
Episodic series aimed primarily at the more mature, non-cutesy humour/bishie crazy females out there. Confidential Confessions covers a variety of subjects--suicide, rape, sexual harassment, and parental pressure, to name a few. Delivery focuses pretty much exclusively on the sex industry as it gets revealed through the eyes of different heroines how they got involved in it, how it affects their relationships with their partners, and so on. If you like one, you'll like the other. The execution and content of the episodic shorts make this a certainty.
Psychic powers; visions of 'other selves'; experiencing the emotions of others--these three things link the two together. What made me compare the titles was, rather oddly, a comedy element present in both: experiencing sexual pleasures through others--via recollections of past lives in PSME and a psychic connection shared by twins in Perfect Twins. In PSME it's ever-so-slightly awkward because two guys share memories of intimate moments from when one of the two was female. And in Perfect Twins the innocent, still-a-virgin heroine has to endure feeling EXACTLY how her nympho twin sister does when she's creating babies with her boyfriend. Trying to understand why fate links the characters together is a vital component of both.
When part of your body belongs to another entity, where does the line between you and this other existence get drawn? - That is the question Heads and Parasyte ask. In Heads, its lead gets shot in the head and is saved from his coma by becoming the first ever adult brain transplant patient. In Parasyte, the arm of its lead gets replaced by an alien. In both the once calmer, more timid personalities of the leads gradually change until they no longer can be recognized as who they once were. Heads in particular is recommended to those looking for psychological thrills with a difference. It deals exclusively with the small but significant differences that separate individuals, and how everything can change so easily.
Since Saru Lock's story consists of its titular lead repeatedly saving well-drawn, busty ladies (and never getting laid) in the hope of sleeping with them, how can I not compare the two? Ritsuko doesn't have Kaori's hammer from City Hunter but it's already been made obvious that, despite Saru's perverted failings, he's destined to only get it on with the girl closest to him. Saru's a virgin/midget/not hunky, unlike Ryo, but if anything that makes Saru Lock more enjoyable. It gets boring following the antics of a Superman after awhile, and Saru's room for growth makes the action exciting and his development more interesting. Definitely recommended to those into Onizuka-esque pervy heroes.
Yotsuba follows the daily randomness and amazement with everything of its titular heroine. She's got a screw or two lose/is mentally disabled and likes smiling as she gets involved with the family next-door, after moving to a new town. It's purely slice-of-life and - in the first five volumes, at least - has no real direction. Chinatsu, like Yotsuba, follows the life of its titular heroine after she moves to a new town. Unlike Yotsuba, Chinatsu comes across like a person, despite of her friendliness and cheerful, smiling nature, and it's easy to understand why everyone come to love her. There's a touch of romance and some moving drama in Chinatsu - the angelic heroine finding herself involved with her future boyfriend/best friend's possible parent divorce woes and, from time to time, using her 'healing' voice to help them. Slice-of-life aside, one of the things that links the two closely is the clouded pasts of the heroines. Neither Chinatsu nor Yotsuba's parent confusion is cleared up straight away, and in the case of Chinatsu her mother's past is an important part of the story. Chinatsu was created by one of the best artists around. Definitely the best at slice-of-life I've come across. So, in my opinion, Chinatsu is better than the far more well-known Yotsuba.
It took me by complete surprise just how similar the two are, when I read B Reaction. To begin with, both of the hot-headed, aggressive teenage male leads find themselves at war with hot-as-hell teachers in their 20s. Misunderstandings result in the two getting thought of as perverts, and all-out verbal (UxU) and physical (B) warfare results. As the stories progress, the relationships quickly take romantic turns after the misunderstandings are cleared up and the pairings find themselves in increasingly compromising positions. Hate turns to love, etc etc... One of the things that links the teachers - 2D attractiveness aside - is how they're both *SOMEHOW* virgins and both *SOMEHOW* never dated. UxU had more background info on this but, whichever way you spin it, in this world it wouldn't be possible for females with those looks to evade men for so long. (Just put logic aside for romanticism, Aion...) B Reaction has stunning, drool-worthy art, and I'd say its first volume betters UxU with its combination of exciting action and amusing/panty-flashing romance. But then the art became inconsistent and it was canceled... which means it ended without ANY ending.
Hotman is a slice-of-life master's take on GTO. Enzo is pretty much Onizuka with a daughter & four younger siblings. Where as Oni made his class his 'family', Enzo sacrifices himself for his real family as he deals with the mistakes of his past. Along the way, he finds himself becoming romantically involved with another teacher at the school he teaches at... but, of course, he never seems to get around to sealing the deal. There are differences between the characters, such as Enzo trying to atone for his past by being a health freak and Onizuka being a complete pervert, but both kick arse... and neither ever have any bubblegum. GTO has more direction in the sense that Onizuka's goal of winning over a class of rebellious teens is made clear near the start, where as Hotman wanders from mini-arc to mini-arc without warning. But, nonetheless, a fan of one SHOULD love the other.
Apparently, if you're a 30-something basement dweller still living with your parents, there's still some vagina out there, just waiting for you. And we're not talking about the loose, overly used variety here: we're talking about the kind you should by rights only be able to touch after paying lots of money beforehand. Oku of Gantz fame/infamy's take on the hikikomori phenomenon was always going to have at least one sex scene with a boob-boobed, far too kind to be real woman. Not even the reclusive lead kissing a puppy was surprising after Butter Dog. But Ressentiment giving hope to every fatty in need of love (/all) out there as its lead first pops a virtual cheery and then rides his potty-mouthed boss-lady comes damn close to breaking imaginary decency laws with its 'laugh at the manga, as well as yourself, loser!' story. Read both. Internally laugh. Internally cry. Then, resume to masturbating over 2D depictions of women/children.
The manga content covered by Beck's anime and the first three volumes of Ciguatera are incredibly similar in terms of both their content and tone. The two are coming of age stories where a nobody tries to become a somebody and overcome their insecurities, with the main driving force being romance. In both the leads suffer from daily bullying at school and just deal with it because, like in the land of the real, crying like a bitch doesn't help any. Ciguatera has less far less drama on the romance side and - until the final chapter - is FAR less frustrating. It also has various hilarious black comedy moments.
SWWEEET is the version of Touch where the the twin complex spirals out of control. It's the version where sex/reverse raping occurs and two of the childhood love triangle trio are mentally disturbed because of events in the past. If you found yourself reading/watching Touch and got frustrated over Tatsuya's lack of balls and him suggesting placing a picture on the wall to prevent sex, SWWEEET is the manga for you. It's insanely underrated and is in desperate need of attention.
Both deal with violence in an equally disturbing manner. Few manga can compare when it comes to making one uncomfortable by avoiding 'happy endings' as much as possible. And, maybe purely because of how the subject matter is dealt with, I found the art of the two somewhat similar. There are parallels between the titles' leads, such as them both seeing one of their parents seriously wounded/murdered. And dealing with loss - as well as the desire for revenge - is a key factor in both.
What connects Gantz and Shingeki is their equally brutal, unflinching violence. Gantz offers 'guilty pleasure' elements (namely, huge boobies) not present in Shingeki, but in both titles characters are introduced and then, without warning, murdered in graphic detail. The intensity level of two is high enough to keep one on the edge of their seat throughout. If the games from Gantz excited you, then the giants raiding the last home of humanity - and ripping humans apart like toys - would also excite you. The quality characterization in the two makes it impossible not to care.
These two titles share only one similarity, but it's one of significance: they're standalone movies which are, essentially, longer than average, high-budget episodes from the two series they're connected to. The movies capture perfectly what makes people love the respective main characters and there's rarely a dull moment in either film.
Those reserved, uptight Japanese folk need to learn how to insert lots of swearing, vulgarity and sex jokes into their cartoons. But until then, there's always the witty English dub rewriting teams who make it their duty to turn once dull, lifeless exchanges into laugh out loud material. Desert Punk Example: Junko: "...Over time, we've (women) learned to use every accessory we have as weapons." Punk: "Including birth control?" Junko: "Well, I've always found the best 'birth control' to be to simply point at it and laugh, little guy." TWHE Example: *two fisherman sit by a river* Man #1: My rod hasn't moved all day. Man #2: It will now! *naked elf floats down the river, tied to a log* (...In case you're wondering, these anime are linked by witty banter present in the English dub versions. DON'T WATCH THEM IN JAPANESE!!!)
So similar are Onizuka (GTO) and Ryo (City Hunter) that I have to assume Fujisawa was inspired by City Hunter when he created GTO. The way the two alternate between perverted idiot mode - always making women fall for them but, for one reason or another, never getting laid - and superhero mode makes it impossible for me to think of one without thinking of the other. Nothing is impossible for them, no matter the circumstances. Boys are inspired to become men after watching their actions, and no woman can resist the duo's manliness for too long--even if they do get slapped a lot, to begin with. ...oh, and it goes without saying that banging school girls is viewed as morally wrong by them, no matter how... hard they find... it. Taking advantage is also a no-no, comedy scenes aside. Real men aim for fully-developed ladies and don't need to get the object of their affections drunk to do the deed. It's impossible to like one without liking the other. City Hunter is entirely episodic and lacks the drama of GTO, but the feel of both series is very, very, VERY similar.
Figure 17 and Kurau are remarkably similar. As well as having a blend of slice-of-life and sci-fi, the two share one other fairly unique element: the development of a relationship between two girls; one of which being an 'alien' twin, in both shows. In terms of characterization, Figure 17 is the better the two--the introduction of Hikaru into Tsubasa's once timid life changing her for the better. In the case of Kurau and her relationship with Christmas, neither of the two had a huge impact on the growth of the other, and the focus was always on remaining together as opposed to growing together. What lets Figure 17 down is its repetitive, undeveloped sci-fi side and a number of its 40 minute episodes suffering from bothersome pacing issues. Kurau has issues on the sci-fi and pacing fronts also, but not to the same extent. Be sure to watch the two of them if heartfelt family drama and character-focused stories are your cup of tea.
In spite of the descriptions and (Witchblade's, in particular) advertisement images suggesting the two are very much action series, deceptively enough the titles are actually character-focused stories of family and love. The sci-fi elements are never satisfyingly explained, and the pacing would put off those looking for non-stop flashy action/boobs/lesbianism. The averages of the two being at around the 7.5/10 mark is probably down to them attracting the wrong crowd; those not interested in the bonds of love shared by a mother & daughter and two 'sisters'. Both are highly recommended to those who value characterization above everything else.
Two anime that deal with incest without glorifying it, or attempting to pander to those with a fetish for such things. People are often put off Koi Kaze due to the age gap between the older brother and much younger sister. Boku wa would probably appeal more to those people because the siblings are twins. In both stories the leads try to fight off their romantic, lustful feelings for their sisters; ultimately failing to do so. And in both it's made crystal clear how society views incest and the hardships brothers and sisters in love must face. Neither title is smutty... though, going on what I've read, the Boku wa manga does have numerous graphic sex scenes.
NG Life is how PSME would've been, had it been a comedy. The ultimate two questions that can be asked (for males) are dealt with: 1: If the love of your live was reincarnated as a guy, would it be gay to want to do him? 2: If your best (male) friend was reincarnated as a hot girl, would you be gay for wanting to screw her - in spite of the broship memories? NG Life is hilarious - make no mistake about it. In fact, it's probably the funniest thing I've come across. But the subject matter, if viewed seriously, could easily depress - the plot dealing with lovers tragically separated and, when re-united, being unable to be together; only the lead even remembering what happened long ago in Pompeii. Already, after only one volume, the series has made me laugh but also come close to making me cry.
The two top-tier anime for REAL MEN; those who follow the philosophy of 'treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen' a little too closely. Makoto of School Days infamy sees it as perfectly fine to sleep around/have orgies with as many girls at his school as humanly possible over a short period of time... immediately after confessing his love to a sweet, innocent, melon-breasted girl. Why should a guy give a toss about things like feelings and impregnation - after all, they're just stupid hoebags if hey get all clingy after sexy time, and it's their fault if they get preggers. Ryuuichi of Blue Flames infamy goes more down the Light Yagami path; not caring for the joys derived from sexy time. He's willing to enslave as many girls as it takes with his (presumably) massive penis in order to take over the world. Using and abusing hoebags is like breathing for manly man Ryuuichi. Put simply, he's like Light would be if he used vaginas instead of deadly pieces of paper to achieve his goals. Note: those with the brains of squirrels may want to avoid these two. I'd hate to unintentionally offend anyone by recommending these titles.
The only story of any kind I recollect seeing executed like the fifth Kara movie, where the events switch between past, present and future on the fly for mindfuck purposes, is Baccano. Neither of the stories when told in order are complex, and Baccano in particular is easy enough to follow as is if you pay attention, but they can give headaches due to the mindfuckery. Unlike Baccano, Kara 5 starts out totally linear, and stays that way for the first 40 minutes or so. Then, it proceeds to jump around like a rabbit on crack, and it left me pondering at the end whether I'd seen one of the best movies of all time or a movie executed in such a way that its flaws were well-hidden. Even without much understanding and a lot of confusion, it was totally gripping.
In Midori Days, a delinquent with a deadly right-fist wakes up to find his right-hand replaced by a noisy/cute girl who's madly in love with him... and isn't afraid to express her feelings. In B-Shock, a crazy scientist decides to use two university students with different social standings in an experiment: joining them together with a bomb that will detonate if they stray too far from each other. This, inevitably, leads to much hilarity as the 'posh' girl refuses to use the bathroom when her new partner is near... unless he sings in order to mask the pooping noises. Cohabitation rom-coms with a difference, FTW!
A wimpy guy gets his arse handed to him by the new girl (in Nozomi, the heroine moves in next door, as well as starting at the same school) and he promptly falls in love/lust with her. Then, for love/boobs, the wimpy guy decides to train in order become strong and, sometime along the way, get together with the girl of his dreams. ^ That's the basic premise both series are built on. The two combine moments of comedy with fighting throughout and both are sure to be enjoyed immensely by someone who liked one of the two.
Yakumo is, in essence, a more rushed and poorly written version of Ghost Hunt. The two leads and their relationship is the same in both, though in Ghost Hunt the heroine's thoughts are expressed internally frequently, which makes her have far more depth and spunk than the hollow shell of a character that is Haruka. And the episodic stories themselves are far more involving and, at times, creepy than the average predictably on show in the first few Yakumo episodes.
In one, a delinquent winds up with an innocent (but surprisingly noisy!) girl as a replacement hand--the girl informing him she was in love with him from afar. As a result, they're forced to start out as friends as a bizarre boyxgirl-hand rom-com plays out. In the other, on the day before a young boxer/delinquent's date with a girl he fell for at first sight, he dies. But all is not lost as an angel that resembles Buddha gives him a second chance at life... as a penguin. The penguin lead then moves in with his love and hilarity ensues. If you're looking for rom-coms with a difference, these two are MUST reads. Gin is criminally overlooked; probably because I think only 5/15 volumes are on the net--me owning all 15 of Viz's releases.
Ignoring the obvious criminal underworld and assassin lead links between the two, there's a parallel of sorts between Brandon & Harry and Reiji & Claudia's relationships. Where as both Brandon and Reiji do the dirty work required to push their 'bosses' further up the ladder, Harry and Claudia fight their battles in the criminal political arena; trying to get ahead of their rivals. There are VERY few anime in existence that deal with assassins killing too many people to count and their involvement with criminal organizations. So, though the directions the two go in differ, if you liked one then it's definitely worth checking out the other.
Two mature final movies to what are two mostly childish, haremish romantic comedies. Tenchi 3, in particular, isn't loved because it differed so greatly from what came before; disconnecting it from the fun-loving fanbase. KOR: Summer's Beginning probably suffered as a result of its tone being so different from the silliness that preceded it, too... though I'm sure it - a light novel adaptation - also satisfied a great many because it provided the perfect pay-off for long-time fans; also resolving the Hikari subplot. In the previous offerings of both KOR and Tenchi, there wasn't any sex and the subject was dealt with in an immature manner - as you'd expect of typical rom-com works. But Tenchi 3 went in a totally different direction; bringing in a new female character, having her live with Tenchi and the two having sex - much to the annoyance of those with favourite Tenchi pairings. And, as for KOR: Summer's Beginning, it provided the mature writing and closure to the main relationship I wanted to see in what came before; the main two finally doing the deed and acting like adults throughout as they conversed.
Very similar in terms of the character roles of the main four, as well as the 'mercenaries for hire, on a spaceship' premise. The lead, Joe, is a little like Spike; him being a quiet, charismatic, and somewhat cool young guy. His love interest, and the second crew member, Alfin, is like Faye in the sense that she's the noisiest character, as well as the only one with sex appeal. Talos is CJ's Jet - his bulky build and wisdom gained from living longer than the others making him the most mature of the team. And, completing the list, Ricky is CJ's very own Ed - him being the required kid of the team and the the one with the know-how to fix their ship. All that's missing to make CB and CJ match-up fully is a Welsh Corgi. If you found the struggles of the Bebop crew entertaining as they tried to make money, CJ's action-packed story is sure to please, too.
It's wrong for two short adaptations of works created by (Rumiko Takahashi - Gospel) and worked on by (Mitsuru Adachi - Witches) to have such low scores AND number of ratings. Nozomi Witches in particular deserves a hell of a lot more love. What both titles share in common is their wonderful blend of comedy, romance, and boxing. They're both very easy to sit through and, rather than being stressful, are highly enjoyable. Romance pushing forward the boxing sides adds a sense of purpose, as well as some much appreciated humour, and I couldn't help but care about the boxing matches because of how much I liked the main characters. I can't remember much about Gospel, in truth, but I only finished Witches yesterday and find it hard to imagine anyone being able to truly dislike it. It looks identical to Adachi's work (such as Touch) due to him handling the OVA's art, and I found it hard to believe he hadn't created a story of love & sport, complete with a fat dog, that's very much like his own work. Honestly, the story of a wimpy guy getting dragged into the boxing ring after meeting, getting punched by, and falling for his cute new next-door neighbour should amuse most MALtards, for I am hard to please (not really, but whatever - I'm trying to be convincing.)
So far, in all the time I have spent dementing myself with Japanese cartoons and comics, Junk Boy is the ONLY title similar to Golden Boy I've come across. The basic gist of Junk Boy is this: an average, horny guy finds himself in a line of work that allows him to interact with/seduce babes. With his ability to get a boner at any time/lift tables with his boner, no woman can resist his idiotic, surprisingly seductive ways for long - not even an idol he once masturbated over being safe from his clutches. Just like Golden Boy, it's sure to piss off women with the way females are shown to be easy to spread. But it's the sort of thing most guys can chill and enjoy; getting a fair few chuckles out of the dialogue/maybe blowing a load over the detailed nipples. Also, using the logic of other MAL members, both anime have 'Boy' in their titles and, because of that, are comparable.
Madonna: An OVA clocking in at not too far under two hours that's in desperate need of lovin'. Its current 6-something rating is a joke, and under 100 ratings - even though it was released in America - is puzzling. Also very frustrating is the fact I can't read the 20+ volume manga to see another possible GTO through to its conclusion... Madonna is about a a woman fresh out of college looking for an easy life - starting teaching because of the amount of holidays she'll get. Naturally, she decides to teach at an all-male school for delinquents and finds herself needing to win over a bunch of horny thugs; dealing with constant sexual jokes, mild rape attempts (contests over what colour panties she's wearing), and other fun. At first she's scared and on the verge of running away... but, after throwing her shoe into the face of one student and - in spite of being nervous - standing on a desk and revealing herself to be wearing a leotard, then telling the students they're still boys if they're excited over such things, she becomes the idol of their school. As well as because of the obvious teaching aspect, Madonna is similar to GTO in the sense that the teachers in both have positive impacts on the lives of their students. Madonna's almost Onizuka-esque, hones/often amusingly silly and direct lead ends up being the manger of the school's new rugby club; motivating the students to pour their energy into something productive for her. Extra: in episode two, there's a rugby coach introduced. He has the same voice actor/methods as the famous Gunbuster coach-person. His manly voice makes me want to reveal my chest hair to the world.
Light and Ryuuichi share a lot in common: they're both sociopaths, they're both willing to use and discard women, they both view their families as expendable, and they're both more than willing to do anything to achieve their goals. They should be best friends, really. Blue Flames is a lot more appealing to those lacking vaginas - that has to be said. Its story is about a guy sleeping with various woman, getting what he wants, and then moving on to his next target - not giving a damn about their feelings. It's captivating because so rarely does something show the true selfishness of humans, but it goes without saying that the ladies won't be best pleased seeing representations of their own gender getting deceived over and over/won over by the power of Ryuuichi's penis... Of course, it also goes without saying that they wouldn't mind so much if the story was about a woman tricking foolish men instead. You probably won't like Ryuuichi very much, but - just like in the case of Light - you might still find yourself cheering him on order to see what nastiness he has up his sleeve next.
Considering 'Aim for the Ace!' inspired Gunbuster, it's shocking that there's NO recommendation for the original TV series or this - its movie adaptation. If you exchanged mecha with tennis, they are so similar that you'd feel like you've watched one already when you watch the second of the two; no matter the viewing order. There's the instructor who says very little and picks a nobody, ignoring the arguments of the elites; there's the hard-working heroine who overcomes everything by enduring and never giving up; and there's the super-elite, naturally talented rival who, initially, is dismissive of the heroine. Even teamwork between the hard-working rookie and her skilled rival plays an important role in both stories. In short: no matter if you like sports or mecha titles, you'll like one if you like the other. It's that simple.
Fantastic Children's sci-fi side deals with reincarnation, where as Noein's deals with multiple dimensions, but in both you get to see multiple versions of the same characters. The key difference is that characters interact with their younger/older selves in Noein. Both series alternate between serious sci-fi and lighthearted, slower paced character-focused sections. Noein's 'down time' parts have more of a slice-of-life feel, but the blend of sci-fi and everyday actions means the two give off a similar vibe.
The clue here is kind of in the titles, but since I'm always willing to lend a hand to those in need: Both stories are about fujoshis; crazy females who create ladyboyxladyboy fantasies in their depraved minds and scare me. Rumi is a little over the top compared to Kanojo, and its titular female lead is what I imagine to be a severe/worrying case. This is because, where as Rumi is fictional, the Kanojo manga was based on the real-life experiences of a blogger who detailed what he has endured to be with the woman he loves. But both series have plenty of 'laugh out loud' moments, in any event, so it matters not in the grand scheme of things. Read both and you'll either A) laugh a lot; internally or otherwise or B) reveal to yourself that you're too dull to ever get laid. One of the two.
FlameKissedHeart has already pretty much nailed this with the first recommendation, but just to add weight to what she said: TOSotM is like a shorter version of Mars. The art is very similar - the male leads in particular bearing a close resemblance - and the story of troubled individuals discovering a love of life after falling in love with each other is, obviously, also reminiscent of Mars. The two main characters, like those featured in Mars, have troubled pasts, though their pasts didn't get anywhere near as much time as the Mars' leads did. If the length of Mars scares you but the description intrigues you, then reading TOSotM first wouldn't be a bad way to go.
The artist behind both of these adaptations of much loved JRPGs has a very distinct style. If you read one of 'her' (I'm assuming she's a she due to the amount of whiteness/lack of backgrounds in her work!) works, then you would almost certainly recognize another. Before the start of Tales of Symphonia, it was mentioned by the mangaka that her favourite game is ToS. And her being a fan of the game and, presumably, the JRPG genre as a whole shines through in her work. She's very attentive when it comes to expressing the emotions of the characters, and that part of her drawings injects life into the interactions of the characters. As an example of how her ability to express emotions with her art improves things, I'll use the lead of Breath of Fire IV, Ryu. As BoF fans will know, Ryu is a silent character in the game. In the manga he does have some lines, and those lines do add to his character a little, but it's his eyes and the expressions he makes that make him standout, rather than his words. I'm not really a fan of ToS, and I can only really praise the amount time spent on Colette becoming less and less human when typing about it, but I have more to say when praising BoFIV's adaptation. The best part of the BoFIV game's story is, without a shadow of a doubt, Fou-Lu's journey that follows his reawakening into a world that no longer desires his existence. And the mangaka was near enough 100% faithful when covering his sections. That said, with me already having mentioned how the mangaka's art alone adds a personality to Ryu, the BoFIV adaptation is near enough flawless. It's THE best video game adaptation I've encountered to date, and I strongly recommend it to all BoF/JRPG fans. Short version: BoFIV's story being split between the good guy (Ryu) and the 'bad' guy (Fou-Lu) made it an interesting game, and such an execution makes it an involving story to read. (How often in a story do you get to follow both the hero and villain?) It's easy for me to recommend, and it deserves more attention.
For a Maison Ikkoku lover, the first 60 or so chapters will almost certainly make you at least a little nostalgic. There's the loser guy (Aetera's loser is far more of a loser, though.) There's the long-haired, easily angered/cute when jealous stunner. There's the athletic, sporty guy with a nice car. There's the short-haired girl who pushes herself on the pathetic lead; getting in the way of the main relationship. ...Does that sound familiar at all, MI fans? If so, give Aetera a go. It does kind of go downhill starting somewhere around the middle - the story being dragged out far more than is good - but the early sections of the story make it a worthwhile read.
If the idea of living with a sexy young woman arouses you, and you're easily pleased by perverted humour, then both of these series will provide A+ entertainment. Ane Doki is about a 13-year-old finding himself living with a 17-year-old... a 17-year-old who likes sleeping in the same bed as young boys, and pestering them about showering together. (She's the big sister from every guy's wet dream, basically.) Dousei is about a college student finding himself living with his high school girlfriend, and misunderstandings resulting from shaving woes (the lead thinks her father abused her) and movement restriction (the lead misunderstands; assuming his love wants some S&M action, rather than to be prevented from moving whilst she sleeps.) Both are hilarious, cute, and touching. If you liked one, the other won't let you down.
Suppli and Tramps start out practically identically: working women in their 20's break-up with partners they'd been together with for many years and, after dedicating so much to work, struggle to come to terms with dealing with the romantic drama that ensues. Tramps is the more comedic of the two, and the focus is mostly on Sumire dealing with her ladyboy-pet outside of work. Suppli, however, has no ladyboy-pets, and a lot of attention is paid to Fuji's working life; gender equality issues and work-related stress getting covered in a lot more detail. If you're just looking for a story with an adult, mature working woman, then both will do it for you. But Suppli is definitely aimed at those looking more for drama with a serious edge. If you're looking to get off over the idea of living with an obedient ladyboy, then Suppli isn't for you.
In my review of Fujoshi, I described it as a love child of High School Girls and Genshiken. Fujoshi was actually recommended to me because I liked High School Girls as much I did, and it's easy to see why a fan of it could go on to like Fujoshi, if they were to give it a chance. From Genshiken the otaku side was given, as well as all of the main characters being in a club together. From High School Girls the semi-realistic, ever-so-slightly crazy, larger than life high school girls got transferred over. There's no discussions about the drama females go through to remove hairs from their bodies in Fujoshi, but Matsui has enough spunk to make up for that, all on her own. Genshiken > High School Girls > Fujoshi = Happiness
Yagyu was created by the same artist/author as Basilisk. The art, as well as the execution, is very similar. You could actually describe Yagyu as a sequel--its story occurring not too long after Basilisk's end. Where as Basilisk involved two ninja clans with a lot of hatred for the other being forced into a 10 vs. 10 battle to the death, Yagyu has a war of the sexes theme. At the start, seven of Aizu's strongest warriors - warriors working for the evil lord Akinari - are forcing a rebel Aizu faction to walk many miles to their execution ground; tied up and dragged by dogs. But, instead of being taken to their place of execution, they're instead taken to the convent where their wives and daughters are hiding, following the failed rebellion. The seven Aizu men break down the gate of the convent - entering a female only sanctuary - and start killing the women in front of the men. In the end, only seven of the women survive, and that's where the Yagyu story begins proper. The main difference between Basilisk and Yagyu is that the girls have justice on their side. In Basilisk neither side were fully in the right, and that made it easy for the numbers to decrease evenly on both sides. But, in the case of Yagyu, the girls are trained to get revenge on evil men; men lead by a man who kidnaps, rapes, and murders the women in his province for fun many times over the course of the story. The end result is the women surviving and the men not, and that has, to a certain extent, taken away the kind of intensity that the shorter, far less predictable Basilisk had. What Yagyu does have going for it are the strategies Jyubei comes up with that allow the seven women to get their revenge. Jyubei mostly just trains the women and comes up with strategies for them to kill vastly superior opponents. The variation between the mini-arcs where his plans play out are what make Yagyu so gripping to read. For example, in one part, Jyubei and one of the women act as husband and wife in order to get themselves kidnapped and, by doing so, infiltrate enemy territory. Seven volumes in, out of what I believe to be eleven volumes total, Yagyu has been well worth the money paid for it. It is inferior to the faster-paced, more tragic Basilisk, and there is a bizarre amount of very nice nudity present in the story, mainly as a result of one of the main villains being an evil rapist guy, but I can't knock it too much. The art is distinctive, the small bits of humour have amused me (such as when Jyubei opened his eye after acting blind during one of his plans, saw two of the girls naked, and they blushed/hid behind another, tomboyish character), and the action has been intense.
This is a recommendation with a difference: rather than recommending both, I'm recommending UxU to those who read or watched Please Teacher and were left unimpressed by how fake the characters acted. Where as PT is aimed squarely at those who fantasize over big-breasted doormats, UxU is a far more realistic take on romance between a student and his teacher. A must read for those who were left wanting more from PT. ---------- What sells UxU to most people is the lead. Usually in these type of stories the male lead defines pathetic; having no backbone, no strength, and still somehow getting a gang of hotties after him. But UxU's lead differs from the norm. He'll argue with aggression if anyone disagrees with him, and he has a nasty side to him where he totally loses it; even hitting females. He also wants to be a movie director, and one of his early encounters with the teacher he loves involves an argument over him watching what she considers to be porn at school--him questioning whether she's inexperienced and getting slapped to death as a result. What's so great about him is that, as a reader, I could believe he'd have girls interested in him. Strong, protective, loyal, good looking--he has a lot of qualities. And, of course, because of his horrible temper, he also has a bad boy thing going for him. There's even the typical haremish bit where a slutty character throws herself at the lead to make him blush... and he responded by turning the tables on her; pushing her down, having a feel, and leading her to believe he was going to make a move on her. As for the teacher the lead lusts after, she's not an alien posing as a teacher; determined to marry the king of all losers--that much is certain. It's hard to believe that a 26/7-year-old hottie could be a virgin who hasn't even had a boyfriend, but her total mistrust of males following her father abandoning her as a child just about explains her past actions, and why she's so resistant to trusting the opposite sex. A big part of the story is her fighting a mental battle between her duties as a teacher and her feelings for the lead, and she's far from an easy lay--not giving into the lead's persistent advances; even going as far as to challenge him to win her over within a short period of time or risk losing her completely. There's a fair bit of genre confusion that makes the series more interesting, also. It starts out more as a rom-com as the main two get to know each other in comical circumstances - the two ending up believing they had a night of passion whilst drunk - but it's definitely more of a... uhhhh, 'rom-dra'; drama taking over almost completely later on. And, just to fill the Korean comic book violence quota, around halfway through there's a totally random delinquent arc where the lead gets it on with some nasty guys and girls from his school; showing his true, violent colours for the first time.
Are you a lonely otaku, in need of love? Do your figurines and BL comics just not *do it* for you in anymore? Are you in need of reassurance that even you, with pretty boy rape fantasies, can find love? THEN READ THESE SERIES. RIGHT NOW... I MEAN IT! Genshiken does, towards the end, deal with the subject of nutty yaoi fangirls, but the majority of the content is focused on anime, manga, and other more 'normal' otaku activities. Fujoshi, however, is all about the dark shadow that plagues MAL and makes me clench my anus in disgust: females who are into yaoi. After reading it, I actually started to think less nasty things about those who finger themselves over ladyboys, and that's saying a lot. Read my review if you want to know why I like Fujoshi more than Genshiken. (You could also read my Genshiken review, too, but I doubt you'd survive until the end...)
Females are illogical at the best of times, and when in love they're impossible to understand. Young females are scary and strange creatures. So, it almost goes without saying that both of these titles focus on female characters as they're still learning about life; during their school years. Hatsukoi focuses heavily on romance and includes a considerable amount of males. High School Girls is set at an all-girl school and focuses on the shaving woes of females/silliness in general. The two are easy to recommend because of how raunchy and, more often than not, downright hilarious they are. An interesting point worth highlighting is that both series were created by females. And in the case of High School Girls, the mangaka actually went to an all-girl school herself and included her own experiences in the story. So, even though both titles include boobs and panties, there's a female touch to the characters. ...Basically, you should read these series if any one of the following three rings true: 1: You are a male with a disturbing interest in seeing girls wear school uniforms. 2: You like comedy that doesn't stray too far from reality and, in some instances, is based on reality. 3: The idea of reading perverted, romantic comedies (in the case of HSG, occasionally romantic; it's mostly perverted comedy) drawn by females excites you, for some inexplicable reason.
These two share a number of things in common: #1: Both are six episode (25-29 minutes per episode) OVAs. #2: Both are based on two different 15 volume manga series created by Katsura. #3: Both are romantic comedies, and both share many of the same character types. (FYI, a typically pathetic/weak-willed rom-com lead, a tomboy and a reserved 'dream girl'.) #4: Both are high quality productions; the artwork remaining faithful to Katusra's wonderful, ecchi style. #5: Both end each episode with extras, though the I''s Pure extras are far better than Ai's--the Pure extras focusing on its lead's perverted fantasies from the manga. #6: Both are incredibly under-rated, by MAL's shitty standards. If Giant Robo is worthy of over 8/10, these two are most certainly not worthy of close to 7/10 averages. #7: Both have been released on DVD in the US: Ai was released years ago by Geneon, and I''s + Pure got released by Viz last year. Also, I can't comment on how good of an adaptation Ai's OVA is, but the I''s Pure OVA is as good as you can expect a six episode adaptation of a 143 chapter manga to be. The execution (starting in the present, two years in, and then going back to certain points in the I''s story) was perfect and mostly only meaningless content got cut.
Green Legend Ran is like a far more rushed, prototype version of NaTHaT. It lacks the extreme tragedy of NaTHaT, but there are a TON of similarities between the two, such as... -- The lead being a simple-minded young boy, who makes it his goal to protect a girl with a mysterious power; a girl an army want to capture. -- A post-apocalyptic setting where the planet is dying and water is practically non-existent. -- The planet the story is set on being ravaged by war between two factions. -- People being killed without there being an attempt to tone down what's shown; there being blood when people get shot. It's pretty safe to say that someone who likes one would like the other. NaTHaT is superior due to how messy the story of Green Legend ended up being, but both are worth watching.
Pet Shop reminded me of Mushishi because of how supernatural creatures were mixed together with everyday, normal characters; the sort you'd see in slice-of-life titles. I suppose Pet Shop is more 'horrifying', while Mushishi is more relaxing, but there are definitely similarities between the executions of the two.
Kurokami is good because, despite it plainly stealing from Naruto in the more recent chapters, it brings some new into the mix and executes everything else very, very well. I suppose the main appeal is that, rather than it having a male lead, it has a female lead do the fighting and a male support her from the sidelines. And, like with any top notch action manga, the artwork is lovely, as well as being clear during the many lengthy but fairly epic battles. Aside from the obvious artwork and female lead plus points, the blend of comedy and drama is what makes me rate Kurokami highly. The writer knows how to time the events so that the story is never too depressing or light-hearted. With his ability, he manages to have Akane run out of the shower naked after a dog one minute and then move onto a back-story involving an Orochimaru-esque (though far more graphic' with live, naked subjects being worked on) 'experiment' scene the next. It's reminiscent of how, back in the Naruto good days, when there was a good blend of NarutoxSasuke/Jiraiya humour one minute and intense drama the next. The Naruto links do run pretty deep; a little too deep, perhaps. First of all, Kuro is the last of her clan; her once nice (to her), elite brother wiping out the rest of her clan, mother and all. Even though Kuro is NOTHING like the ever depressive and angsty Sasuke of Naruto fame - her being simple-minded, running around without underwear and eating 24/7 - it's hard to not see the similarities between Itachi and Reishin. And, like I mentioned before, there's an Orochimaru type character from Kuro's clan who experimented/killed lots for his own amusement; the end result being him exiled and escaping from death. ...In short, I guess what I'm trying to say is that Kurokami will have a lot of appeal to Naruto fans and the like; the lack of an orange ninja, the cleavage shots and Keita being so much of an arsehole that he's great to watch be a dick to everyone and get away with it (like Haseo from .hack//G.U.) all adding to its appeal. Bleach? Naruto? Nah; the Koreans know how's it's done. Screw the Japanese!
Human Crossing and RT's Anthology have quite a lot in common. Both were licensed by Geneon in America; selling terribly. Both are totally episodic, slice-of-life titles. Both are underrated; Human Crossing having an average below 7/10, which is terrible by MAL's standards. Both don't stray enough from reality to appeal to most users of this site. Human Crossing offers more hard-hitting stories, where as Takahashi's charm prevents Anthology from ever being truly depressing. That's the main and only real difference between the two. The first episode of Human Crossing is about a boxer. It explores his reasonings for starting boxing, jumping back into his past to reveal the truth about the scar on his face and the reason for the distance between him and his mother. Like all of the stories in the series, it ends on a happy note--one of the main flaws of the series being how, often, happy endings seem forced due to the short length of each story. The first episode of RT's Anthology is about a a family living in an apartment complex. The husband/father of the family has a pet penguin forced on him by someone, and his wife has to look after it... even though pets aren't allowed and her neighbors cause problems. It sets the tone for the rest of the series and, like much of Takahashi's more serious and shorter efforts, the series as a whole was hard for me to stop watching. It's too late to support Geneon now, but I STRONGLY recommend trying to track the DVDs down; be it on eBay or elsewhere. They're worth a place in anyones collection and should be appreciated by most; adults in particular.
Ikigami is reminiscent of Battle Royale. The fictional Japanese totalitarian settings where human rights are cruelly ignored and the people are manipulated is eerily similar. In Battle Royale, a class of teenagers are kidnapped, left on an island and given three days to kill everyone else before the bombs placed around their necks explodes. In Ikigami, everyone as children were forced to be vaccinated, and those unlucky enough to have been injected with a 1/1000 odds something that makes their heart go bye-bye between the ages 18-24 get told - 24 hours before what was injected into them explodes - that they are going to die; they are even given their time of death! But their deaths are for the greater good, of course.
Both manga are short series that are heavy on realism. They're very similar because both are about discovering what happened to 14/5-year-old (iirc) girls. Even the artwork of the two is quite similar; both artists being skilled at drawing adults, which gives the titles mature looks. In Seizon, the lead is a man with cancer who, with only six months or so left to live, sets out to find the person who murdered his daughter many years before in order to atone for what he views to be his sins as a husband and father. He retraces the steps of his daughter in a desperate attempt to discover what lead her to be killed before his time runs out. In 'The Quest for the Missing Girl' (the English title of Sousakusha), the daughter of the lead's deceased best friend goes missing and, in order to keep a promise to his friend and atone for what views as his sin, he leaves his mountain refuge in order to find her, investigating by retracing the steps she made before she went missing. He ends up searching for her by delving into the seedy world of child prostitution. The Quest for the Missing Girl is far more straight-forward, without there being constant twists occurring in order for justice to prevail, where as Seizon has a more likeable lead. I feel The Quest for the Missing Girl could've used more 'down time' in order for increased character development and I think I would've preferred Seizon if the author had just got on with the story rather than dragging it out at times. The titles are pretty much equal in my mind. Going on the small amount of people who've read it, you might believe that The Quest for the Missing Girl' isn't out in English. That's incorrect. It was released around a year ago, and I got my copy in the post today. I don't believe it’s on the net, though, and that's why so few have read it - because no-one pays money for anime/manga. (I was going to try my hand at a review, but I feel too lazy, and my back is hurting after struggling to read an awkward to hold (it's big!) book under the light. This will have to do, I'm afraid.)
Are you a shut-in, scared to go out and living in isolation? If so, excellent - these two are perfect for you! Me-Teru No Kimochi is the spiritual brother of NHK. In both the main character are recluses (although Me-Teru's lead has been one for far longer) and in both a beautiful woman enters the picture, intent on changing their lives. NHK is more believable and has a girl with small breasts, Me-Teru has a sillier premise and a woman with big breasts. If in doubt, go with the one with the bigger boobs - that's my suggestion.
While Onani starts out purely as a Death Note parody about masturbation, complete with Light's 'Just as planned!' faces and in-depth planning, it quickly takes a turn for the serious, delving into anti-social behavior, bullying, first loves and, basically, school life in general. Think of it as a realistic school slice-of-life (with masturbation in the girls’ toilet!) about Light, without Death Notes and his popularity, and you wouldn't be far wrong. NHK deals with many similar issues, such as not making friends out of fear of rejection and hiding away from the world. There's even a 'contract' with a weird girl in both, though what the contracts involve differ greatly. Both are very hard-hitting if you can relate to the struggles and emotions of the series’ respective leads. The only real difference is that, where as there's a good balance between comedy and drama in the case of NHK, the two often being blended together, in the case of Onani it's more along the lines of the story getting progressively darker as it goes on. I hope Onani gets released in English at some point since I want to own it. But, until then, I recommend everybody ignores the title, as well as their initial impressions and reads it. By the end, you'll more than likely love it, and like me, add to your top manga list. I know I couldn’t stop reading it once I got into it.
The first half of TPPiOED is a lot like Ocean Waves. There's a love triangle, where two guys (one with glasses, one not) get involved with a girl. The girls in both differ greatly, Ocean Waves' being very selfish, but you'll watch both and have similar feelings. Unlike TPPiOED, Ocean Waves doesn't turn into a sci-fi mess half-way through. That's why I rate Ocean Waves a lot higher. In terms of other Ghibli titles, Ocean Waves is very similar in execution and 'feel' to Only Yesterday and Whisper of the Heart; two of the more mature Ghibli releases.
A quote from my review: "The best way for me to explain the series to someone totally in the dark is to use Mushishi; a very popular, totally episodic title, with very little development for its lead and few recurring characters. Like the lead of Mushishi, Black Jack is always on the move, attempting solve mysteries in order to save the lives of his patients. Each episode focuses on a different problem, and Black Jack often finds himself in a race against time to save lives. There's isn't much in the way of greenery, the stories mostly taking place inside towns, and there isn't any relaxing music that soothes the soul, but the basic premise of both titles are very, very similar. There are even a number of supernatural cases included, meaning there's no realism/supernatural divide separating the two. Black Jack does try to stick closer to reality, with its lead using the power of science rather than information about supernatural life-forms, though."
Both are slice of life, telling the stories of two children growing up, falling in love for the first time and all the rest. 'Whisper of the Heart' focuses more on romance and deciding what direction to take life in beyond school. 'Junkers Come Here' focuses more on a young girl trying to carry on, despite not seeing her parents and them being on the verge of splitting up, also spending a lot of time advancing its lead by using her first crush. I'd say most that like 'Whisper of the Heart' will also like 'Ocean Waves' and 'Only Yesterday', too - all the titles mentioned are mostly realism heavy titles, aimed more towards mature viewers.
The main characters of both shows are remarkably similar. The only significant differences are that Lelouch, unlike Light, has more reasoning behind his actions than simple boredom and Lelouch cares about more people than just himself. If you've watched Death Note first you'll half expect Lelouch to start screaming about becoming the God of the new world. The series themselves are quite different. Death Note is set in our world, where as Code Geass is set in an alternate universe where Britannia rules most of the world. Code Geass has bright colours, comedy and ecchi, Death Note does not. However, there really aren't many anime with characters quite like Light and Lelouch, and the similarities they share are more than enough reason for a fan of one to like the other.
Claymore is basically Berserk with females doing all of the killing, instead of just being raped. They are both set during the medieval period and have very dark, revenge-driven stories. Although the actual plots differ considerably, the fact that both are dark fantasy series where gigantic sword are used and people turn into man-eating monsters is more than enough reason for a fan of one to try the other.