Overlooked and Underrated Anime
Sep 25 2022, 11:58 PM | Updated Oct 14, 9:01 PM
Sep 25 2022, 11:58 PM | Updated Oct 14, 9:01 PM
Anime that are heavily overlooked on MAL (at the time of writing, under 20k members). Most, if not all of them are also underrated. Will likely add stuff in the future as I watch them.
Movie, 2001, 1 ep Me:- Author:8
Directed by Keiichi Hara: One of the most acclaimed anime films ever in Japan, and ranked 4th on Kinema Junpo's 2009 Top Anime Films of All Time list, the highest ranked film not directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It also represents well the fascinating ability of the Crayon Shin-chan series to have lowbrow humor in one scene and then handle mature themes in the next.
Movie, 2002, 1 ep Me:- Author:9
Directed by Keiichi Hara: Another highly acclaimed anime film, and probably the Crayon Shin-chan film which bears Hara's style the strongest, as well as the last to be directed by him. It likely features the most somber tone of all the Crayon Shin-chan films, with fewer jokes than usual.
Adventure of Gamba
TV, 1975, 26 eps Me:- Author:10
Directed by Osamu Dezaki: One of the few shows produced in part by the legendary A Production, the predecessor to Shin-Ei Animation. It's an epic adventure, full of everything you could want from one. Noroi is also one of the most effective villains ever.
TV, 2004, 26 eps Me:- Author:9
Directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa: A 21st century adaptation of the manga classic. It suffered from a lack of budget during production, which meant less commercial success from its target demographic of young boys who wanted to see giant robots fight every episode, but more than made up for it with its mature themes and storytelling, which were generally faithful to the source material, which, like a lot of other early shonen manga like Astro Boy or Cyborg 009, featured some heavy themes, due to being created in the early post-war era.
TV, 1983, 46 eps Me:- Author:10
Directed by Takeyuki Kanda: Inspired by Jules Verne's 'Two Years' Vacation', Vifam presents situations that may seem bleak, but addresses them with a sense of endearing optimism. The cast is likable and well-developed, and the series itself has a mature tone, despite the main cast being all children.
The Hakkenden: Legend of the Dog Warriors
OVA, 1990, 6 eps Me:- Author:8
Directed by Takashi Annou: A series notable for its great direction, and gorgeous chambara animation.
The Hakkenden: Legend of the Dog Warriors Part 2
OVA, 1993, 7 eps Me:- Author:7
Directed by Takashi Annou: More of the same. Episode 4 is particularly noteworthy, though it was controversial among fans when it first released.
TV, 1976, 54 eps Me:- Author:7
Directed by Tadao Nagahama: On MAL, Voltes V seems to be slightly more popular. However, in Japan, Combattler was, and still is, the more well-known name. If Mazinger Z and Getter Robo represented the 'Super Robot' in the early half of the 70s, then Combattler represented the 'Super Robot' of the later half; it often featured alongside Uchuu Senkan Yamato in many of the anime magazines of the time. Visually, it was ahead of its time, and featured one of the strongest staff lineups for any TV anime in this regard, one which even among subsequent TV anime, perhaps only Escaflowne could compare with.
Movie, 1969, 1 ep Me:- Author:9
Directed by Kimio Yabuki: A film which features many of Toei's greatest staff ever, from Yasuji Mori and Hayao Miyazaki to Yasuo Otsuka and Yoichi Kotabe. Ranked 6th on Kinema Junpo's 2009 Top Anime Films of All Time list.
The Ideon: Be Invoked
Movie, 1982, 1 ep Me:- Author:9
Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino: One of the major influences on End of Evangelion, and well-known for its shocking ending.
TV, 1998, 12 eps Me:- Author:9
Directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama: Katayama is a great director whose style may be more akin to live-action than most other anime. Having been mentored in direction by Hayao Miyazaki himself on Nausicaa, he's since directed a lot of very unique works, but amongst all of them, he considers this show to be his magnum opus. Serving as a prequel of sorts to a game which failed critically and commercially, and has since largely been forgotten, the anime gained a cult fandom due to its high quality, even showing at the SUNRISE Festival 2018. Episode 6 is particularly noteworthy for its uniqueness.
Aim for the Ace! (1979)
Movie, 1979, 1 ep Me:- Author:7
Directed by Osamu Dezaki: A condensed retelling of the first series, and now often considered the better iteration. This film in particular influenced the likes of Hideaki Anno and Mamoru Oshii.
OVA, 1988, 13 eps Me:- Author:8
Directed by Osamu Dezaki: This sequel was made to follow on from the film, due to the popularity the film held at the time.
OVA, 1989, 12 eps Me:- Author:9
Directed by Osamu Dezaki: The final season, mostly anime original content.
Summer Days with Coo
Movie, 2007, 1 ep Me:- Author:9
Directed by Keiichi Hara: One of the very few non-Miyazaki anime films to ever get listed on Kinema Junpo's annual critics' Top 10 Japanese Films. Features Hara's style well, one reminiscent of directors such as Yasujiro Ozu and Isao Takahata.
Movie, 1997, 1 ep Me:- Author:9
Directed by Takashi Annou: A film based on a manga which aimed to eradicate stereotypes of the disabled. It strives for realism without exaggeration, and Annou's strength at overcoming a low budget through strong direction is very evident here.
Movie, 1981, 1 ep Me:- Author:7
Directed by Isao Takahata: The original manga was acclaimed by several Japanese literary figures, and this film adaptation was also acclaimed, featuring great animation and art.
Space Warrior Baldios
TV, 1980, 34 eps Me:- Author:7
Directed by Hirokawa Kazuyuki: A series infamous for its shocking ending, which was conceived by Takeshi Shudo, who made his name known through this series.
The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon
Movie, 1963, 1 ep Me:- Author:7
Directed by Yuugo Serikawa: Another Toei film featuring some of their greatest staff ever.
Movie, 2010, 1 ep Me:- Author:7
Directed by Rie Matsumoto: Matsumoto's style is made apparent, and the film feels more like Kyousougiga than it does to other Precure films. It was also the first time any Toei anime film got nominated at a foreign awards show, at the 2012 Kidscreen Awards.
Urusei Yatsura Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer
Movie, 1984, 1 ep Me:- Author:9
Directed by Mamoru Oshii: A film critically acclaimed by many, and the Urusei Yatsura work that bears Oshii's style the strongest, meaning it goes completely against the general style of the source material, similar to Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro.
Crayon Shin-chan: Serious Battle! Robot Dad Strikes Back
Movie, 2014, 1 ep Me:- Author:9
Directed by Wataru Takahashi: The most acclaimed Shin-chan film since 9 and 10, and written by Kazuki Nakashima of Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill fame. Features the series' signature strengths well, whilst remaining wholly unique.
TV, 1984, 26 eps Me:- Author:7
Directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko: In regards to art, one of the greatest TV anime of its era, and is also just solidly entertaining. Generally considered Yasuhiko's best work as an anime director.
Triton of the Sea
TV, 1972, 27 eps Me:- Author:7
Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino: An adaptation of a Tezuka manga, and Tomino's debut as a director. Its mostly anime original, especially in regards to its infamous ending. It was also notable in that it had more female fans than male fans, which was almost unheard of for shonen anime at the time.
Panda and the Magic Serpent
Movie, 1958, 1 ep Me:- Author:8
Directed by Taiji Yabushita: The first color feature-length anime. Also came out before the limited animation boom led by Astro Boy, and features animation that still looks amazing. Ranked 7th on Kinema Junpo's 2009 Top Anime Films of All Time list.
Long Life To The Ancestors
OVA, 1989, 6 eps Me:- Author:8
Directed by Mamoru Oshii: Even today, there is nothing quite like it, and it has a devout cult following, though it was a commercial failure upon its initial release.
Go! Princess Pretty Cure
TV, 2015, 50 eps Me:- Author:8
Directed by Yuuta Tanaka: One of, if not the best in the franchise on a visual level, even just from Episode 1, particularly some of the action sequences. All the other aspects of the show are also great, and it is generally considered one of the best entry points into Precure.
Movie, 2003, 1 ep Me:- Author:8
Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima: Even amongst all the films, probably the greatest Crayon Shin-chan film in regards to comedy.
Movie, 2004, 1 ep Me:- Author:8
Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima: A solid film, with an entertaining story and somewhat bittersweet ending.
Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato: In the Name of Love
Movie, 1978, 1 ep Me:- Author:9
Directed by Leiji Matsumoto: The original ending to Yamato, and considered the definitive one by some of the original Japanese fandom. Incredibly commercially successful, and responsible for Japan's SF boom of the late 70s, along with the Japanese release of Star Wars.
Movie, 1980, 1 ep Me:- Author:7
Directed by Osamu Tezuka: An original Hi no Tori story. Though overall it may not be as strong as any of the individual stories of the source material, it features smooth animation, generally great art, and a very distinctly memorable atmosphere.
TV, 2018, 49 eps Me:- Author:7
Directed by Junichi Satou: The 15th Anniversary series, which did a lot of new things comparative to its predecessors. Its story is particularly noteworthy in comparison to most other Precure series.
Movie, 2020, 1 ep Me:- Author:7
Directed by Takahiko Kyougoku: A visually beautiful film with a memorable finale.
The File of Young Kindaichi Returns
TV, 2014, 25 eps Me:- Author:7
Directed by Yutaka Tsuchida: More Kindaichi. Though there are noticeable animation errors, the stories themselves are adapted well.
The Goddess is a Middle School Student
Special, 2005, 4 eps Me:- Author:10
Directed by Koji Masunari: Additional episodes for Kamichu which serve as a perfect conclusion to the series.
TV, 1978, 26 eps Me:- Author:9
Directed by Osamu Dezaki: Considered a classic, generally among Dezaki's best.
Galaxy Express 999
Movie, 1979, 1 ep Me:- Author:8
Directed by Rintaro: One of the most acclaimed anime films ever, and what Ginga Tetsudou 999 is generally remembered for today.
Invincible Superman Zanbot 3
TV, 1977, 23 eps Me:- Author:7
Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino: 'Kill 'Em All Tomino'
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