Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My First Anime: Attack On Titan

So I just finished binge-watching the first season of Attack On Titan last week, and I have thoughts.





Yes, it's shockingly gory for an animated show, and gut-wrenching, and the subtitles can be hard to keep up with during some of the action sequences, and everyone just. keeps. DYING!

...but you should totally watch it. 


 
The premise of the show is as compelling as it is crazy: all of humanity now resides inside a single enormous walled city, hoping to defend itself against the scores of human-eating giants outside called Titans. The soldiers who fight the Titans use a funky harness-and-cable system around their waists to zip around like Spider-Man, hacking at the giants with swords. This makes for some super fun fight sequences that almost feel like a virtual roller coaster.

Attack on Titan is one continuous narrative, so don't expect any resolution from episode to episode; you'll just get more cliff-hangers. The mystery of the Titans is addictive, though, and even now I cannot WAIT to see what happens in season 2. Plus, at only 22 minutes per episode, you could find yourself binging on 5 or 6 a night like I did. (There are 23 episodes in the season.)

The three main characters -  two boys and a girl - are childhood friends who enroll in the academy to become Titan-killing soldiers. They each have tragic pasts and buried secrets, but their loyalty to each other is what really ties the whole series together.

And I've gotta say, I especially appreciate the women in Attack On Titan. They fight alongside the men as equals, wear the same uniforms, have realistic anatomy (no comic book boobs here), and demonstrate equal amounts of eminent bad-assery. And while only one of the main characters is female, there are plenty more in the ensemble cast.


Mikasa here is also the best fighter in their class, and routinely kicks Titan butt.

Be prepared for a truckload of heart-wrenching awfulness in the first episode, but if you can make it through that, you can make it through the season. Also don't expect many light-hearted moments, though there are a few. It's mostly death and war and striving to survive. 

And yet, threaded through all that, there is friendship, and loyalty, and strength against impossible odds. You'll find yourself cheering for the team, and desperate to see what happens next.

You can watch season 1 of Attack On Titan on Netflix streaming, but be warned there's no English dub available there, so you're stuck with subtitles. (I know most anime purists say you should only watch with subtitles, but I find a lot of the original voice actors a little... over the top. Plus it's hard to appreciate some of the stunning fight sequences when there's so much text flying by.)

English dubs of the episodes just started airing in May on Cartoon Network, so if subtitles are a deal-breaker for you, check there or elsewhere online. Or just wait, since I'd guess (and hope!) the dubs will eventually be on Netflix, too.


So what do you think, guys? Anyone out there willing to give Attack on Titan a try? Anyone already watching it? If so, tell me what you think, and maybe how it compares to other popular animes, too,  since this is my first.

62 comments:

  1. My husband just found this series on Netflix. He binged on it and is heartbroken that season 2 won't be released until 2016! I, myself couldn't get through the first episode - but then I have never been an anime fan outside of Galaxy three-9. Glad you found it and I think my husband might have become your newest fan!

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  2. I binge watched with my brother a few months ago and we CANNOT WAIT for season 2. I used to be alot more into anime when I was in high school but now it's harder for me to find a series such as this that I can really stick with and enjoy from start to finish. There are some other ones I would recommend that many people would consider essential such as Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Death Note, Wolf's Rain (I know Trigun is on Netflix last I checked. And the others can be found online I'm pretty sure). All of those shows have no more than 26 episodes max I think.

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    1. Death Note is on Netflix too! Both the dub and the original. It's one of the few anime shows I've gotten into. Really good.

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  3. That sounds like a good one! I think I'll wait for the English dubs though. I dislike having to read subtitles because I feel like it distracts me from actually watching the anime. If you like Attack on Titan though, I would have to suggest Knights of Sedonia. The premise sounds pretty similar, and I really loved it and can't wait for season 2.

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    1. Just watched this one, and recommended as well. Great sci-fi anime!

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  4. I watched this with the Simulcast and also have friends reading the books (I used to live in Japan.) I found the story very interesting as well. I enjoy the mystery of it all, and the fight scenes are great! I tend to watch shows that are a bit different. I highly recommend Black Butler (also known as kuroshitsuji) for an interesting watch. Stay away from Season 2, but Book of Circus (season 3) is shaping up to be the best yet. It is set in Victorian England with some modern technology. It has a steampunk feel at times and is usually good for a laugh when they parody other shows or stories (the books have a great story arc where it is zombies meets the Titanic.) If you are looking for another show that has a bit of mystery throughout with a bit of gore, I would recommend Baccano!, which at 16 episodes, is very short.

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    1. If you can stomach Attack on Titan, you're probably good with Baccano. Only difference is that it's people on people violence, as opposed to monsters attacking, not sure if that makes a difference.

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  5. Myself and my husband have watched Attack on Titan, and we enjoyed it. I'm so ready for season 2! If you enjoyed it, I'd recommend Knights of Sedonia as well, which is essentially AoT in space. Also fun is No Game, No Life, and if you don't mind the nudity, Kill la Kill. Both are on Hulu Plus.

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  6. I enjoyed it, but I felt that it wasn't what the fandom made it out to be. I really appreciated the female characters though, because it is hard to find equally strong female characters who wear practical amounts of clothes when they are fighting. I'm planning on reading the manga too, to see if there's anything that got cut out of the anime. By the way, If you liked Attack on Titian, you should try Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which in my opinion is even better. It's a bit gory too, but the story and characters make it worth it. Most of it is on Netflix, though the last season is not, so you might have to rent it from somewhere if you decide to give it a try. (Please don't judge it by the first episode! It's pointless and confusing, but it gets better after that)

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  7. I keep holding off on watching this because there was soooo much buzz over it. I feel like my expectations are higher than the anime could reach. But then a friend said it was decent and they don't tend to exaggerate, and now this soooo.... yeah. Guess I'm watching some of it!
    I would recommend Cowboy Beebop, Darker Than Black, Read or Die and just because it's very well known and historied, Ghost in the Shell (Movies, series, both, your call. I loved them all equally.)
    I also really like Boogiepop Phantom for the intertwining of tails and Hellgirl for the tragedy and psychology regarding people in their need for vengeance and why. It's not as horrible as it sounds, although it might leave you sad a few times!

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  8. My daughter who knows all things anime says "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Black Butler, and Fairy Tail."

    When you are ready for more let me know and I'll ask her. She and my husband just spent three days at the AnimeFest here in Dallas. She actually Cosplayed this year. She looked adorable!

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    1. Yes to all three of those! If you have Hulu, add in Naruto, Black Cat, Darker Than Black. Fruits Basket, Ouran Host Club and Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends), are much quieter tales that might be more up your alley, with loads of laughs and tears. Fruits Basket and Ouran Host Club are complete, as are Darker than Black, Black Cat, Trigun, and Cowboy Bebop ( those last two also deserve an upvote). Oh, there are so many more. I'm a huge anime addict and I just haven't felt any interest in Attack on Titan. It just looked too ick for me, and I love action shows. I may give it a go, but not until I've caught up on Fairy Tail. I just got Hulu and found that they had (literally!) a hundred more episodes than Netflix. Not even kidding on that. Prepare to lose days on end laughing cheering and crying with Natsu and the other Fairy Tail wizards.

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  9. I won't watch Subtitled Anime...yeah purists are gonna complain, but If i wanted to read I own a LOT of books. I want my stories to involve me and subtitles aren't as involving as a voice. On NetFlix I recommend Knights of Sidonia, Angel Beats and Full Metal Alchemist(there are two versions, the orginal is finished, FMA: Brotherhood isn't). If you wanna watch something a bit comedy and character driving, Ouran Host club, Great story and good characters. Off Netflix i recommend Habane Renmai. It's beautiful, it's non-violent and non-romantic. It's purely character driven storyline.

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    1. There's an option for a lot of anime on Netflix to be dubbed. You can also try funimation.com which is dubbed versions of the most popular animes, including SAO & AoT.

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    2. I personally prefer subtitles over dubs but don't judge anyone about their preference. Some of the voice-acting in English dubs are cheesy or poorly acted, in my opinion. That pulls me out of a story almost immediately. I've also seen where the dubs didn't quite match up with the subs and the meaning or subtext was lost. Luckily, more and more American distributors are provided both options so both camps can enjoy.

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  10. Sweet Jeebus! That's what you started with? I've been reading the manga but haven't been brave enough to begin the anime. The mystery is indeed addictive, but it is a bit of a horror show. Not something I can read before bed.
    If you're looking for something more Disney-esque, try just about anything by Miazaki. My personal favorite is Spirited Away ( I love the dubbed version. Suzanne Pleshette voices Yubaba! <3 ) and of course, Totoro.
    Someone earlier suggested Cowboy Bebop. Yes, yes, yes! One of my favorite series, and the soundtrack is phenomenal! Mushishi is visually very interesting, with a beautiful water color feel to it.

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  11. Watched it! (I think all anime fans have watched it or swore not to by this point...)

    As for compare, it's kinda similar and kinda different from most animes Kickass women, spirited heroes, over-the-top action and suspense? Every action anime has this. Gore and blood and this level of drawing? It's in a category of anime like that (and still kinda stands out on it's own, ESPECIALLY on the blood. Outside of horror animes of course).
    I'd suggest sticking with anime that is aimed at the 15-up range (this one is highest age grouping- 16 to adult, or a mix between our PG-13 and R) if you liked this. For more fun anime, Soul Eater is a great middle ground (black humor- as in goth and slapstick mixed- dominates the show). For another similar style, Fullmetal Alchemist (I'd suggest Brotherhood, as it's most manga/lighthearted, and the 2003 is more angst).

    And of course, staples are Fairy Tail (fun. Wild, INSANE, fun), D-Gray man (gothic action), Sword Art Online (it was the AoT a year before) and others real anime fans will list off.

    And over-the-top? Which sub has that? I switched from dub to sub because the over-the-top, childish English voices were getting on my nerves. Maybe it differs from anime to anime, but usually the dub has the worse actors (as Japan dominates the market and thus has more actors to pick from. There is a reason so many dubs have the same voice actors) and they sound more... squealy. At least in a more shouting anime.

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  12. I'm seconding Black Butler and Angel Beats. I also recommend Darker Than Black, Chobits, Serial Experiments Lain, and Trigun.

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  13. You must watch Princess Jellyfish (on Netflix) and Big O. Princess Jellyfish is a bunch of misfit girls that feel likr they dont belong anywhere but with eachotherx heartwarming and heart wrenchingly only 1 season! Big O is Not on Netflix, it was my first Anime that my husband introduced me to. Just awesome.

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  14. Absolutely try RWBY (Pronounced Ruby) :http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqQlY90pxxD-Dn28Y8ErevU5SF3o_KpdP
    Or you can find it on Roosterteeth.com and Crunchyroll.com :http://www.crunchyroll.com/rwby

    It's very well written and animated, story driven but lighthearted, has super bad-ass fight scenes, funny, compelling, and best of all has not one but FOUR strong female lead characters and much much more. Think Anime fairy-tale characters re-imagined and made better. SO many awesome characters and it just started it's second season. There are so many awesome characters I don't have a favorite because it's way too hard to chose just one!

    Seriously, try it. You won't be disappointed.

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  15. My whole family loves it. We're actually planning a family cosplay. I already have an entire Hanji outfit done for my youngest daughter. I'm going to be Levi & we're getting a Colossal Titan skinsuit for my husband.

    Next you should watch Sword Art Online & Rwby.

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  16. Ghost in the Shell was/is pretty popular. It's kind of a futuristic cop show where most of the main characters are part human-mostly robot, and I gotta say, it's one of my all time favourite series.

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  17. AoT is good, I generally prefer the girlier shows though. Fruits Basket is amazing (though way better as a manga) and right now I'm binge watching Princess Jellyfish and it is AWESOME!!!!!

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  18. I couldn't really take the first episode so I haven't continued watching. If you want a fun series to watch for epic battles and fun/funny characters plus BADASS moments you should check out Bleach. I just checked and it is not streaming on Netflix but if you have a membership with ability to get discs then I would say it's worth checking out. The subtitles are not too much, you can follow what is happening and the acting is not over the top. Let me know what you think :)

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    1. Forgot to mention that I second on Black Butler. My husband LOVES Sword Art Online and Fairy Tale (both of which I have not checked out yet but he is a good judge of anime). Naruto is great for cool fights, funny characters (some groan moments but not too bad), great character development, subtitles not too fast, AMAZING music and fight sequences. Some anime lovers don't love it because it's not "hard core" but I think it would be right up your alley. I tried watching D Gray-man as well, really enjoyed it but haven't watched all what is available on streaming. Vampire Hunter D and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (not pornographic I promise) are amazing anime movies but you will most likely have to buy them on Amazon since they are older and I doubt Netflix will have them. Ok, I think that's enough for now :D

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  19. First anime for me too, and I LOVED it. I've tried watching some others and couldn't get into them, but the grittiness, cool animation and just plain cool concept drew me in to this one. If it weren't anime it would definitely be too gory for me, but as it is, it has the same drama as other anime, but the extremity of the situations make the drama seem more acceptable. I was not prepared for it to be as ruthless as it was though!

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  20. Oh, you've entered the realm. Welcome! :D

    Eureka Seven - The main character, Renton, is super annoying for the first ...8 episodes or so? Try to ignore him and focus on the cool sky surfing, and his character definitely grows as you watch. Plus it has a great message and resolution - totally worth the time to watch it all! Perhaps my favorite anime??

    Trigun - my very first anime. A lighthearted anime that quickly develops the characters and story until you're really invested, with several great twists!

    Ai Yori Aoshi, Fruits Basket, Love Hina, Oh My Goddess - all leaning more into the romantic comedy side of anime, but still some fun stories. These also introduce you to the "harem" style anime, where one guy (or girl) ends up in a house full of the opposite gender. (Another of these is Ranma 1/2, which is a protagonist who changes gender depending on what temperature of water is thrown on them...)

    My husband recommends: Slayers, Cowboy Bebop, Those Who Hunt Elves (which has a secondary title line of "Elf stripping for fun and profit" - it's completely silly: in order to get home, the main characters drive around in a tank and tear the clothes off of girl elves to find pieces of a spell that will send them home. But don't let it fool you; there are some super strong female characters in there too. But yes, the occasional cartoon boobs as well.)

    And there is so much more... :) :)

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  21. I'm new to anime myself and lean toward funny and/or romantic. Here are a few I recommend:

    Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time. Very short episodes (approx 7 minutes long) of how a boy wastes time in school and distracts the girl who sits next to him. Found this on Crunchyroll.com and was skeptical about the high ratings. Watched it and was won over. The ones with the robot family (such as ep 6: Disaster Drill) are the highlight for me.

    Maid Sama (aka Kaichō wa Maid-sama!): Misaki is the first female class president of a formerly all-male school. Despite her tough-as-nails appearance, she secretly works part-time at a maid cafe in order to support her family. Unfortunately, her hard-earned reputation is threatened when a popular male student stumbles on to her secret double life. Very cute romantic comedy, and, despite the title, has surprisingly little to-none 'fanservice' (e.g. scantily-clad outfits, panty shots, etc.) Available on Hulu.

    “The Daily Lives of High School Boys” (aka Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou). This slice of life anime is comprised of short comedic vignettes about (surprise) how high school kids spend their days, such as dealing with sisters, describing the perfect girl, and hanging out at your friend’s house. Very, very funny and I still giggle every time I see the end credits song. This is also on Hulu.

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    1. Completely seconding Tonari no Seki-kun. It is wonderful in its simplicity. It's a fun, short time-waster. Seki-kun would be proud!

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  22. This sounds like an interesting one I may have to try! In the meantime, I'm surprised no one has mentioned it yet, Last Exile is beautiful in the art department, full of strong female characters, friendship, trust, vaguely steampunk, and awesome airships! Looks like it is available to stream on Hulu plus and funimation in both subbed and dubbed, I recommend the subbed for that, the original voices are really good!

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  23. Coming out of the woodwork to highly highly recommend Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which has a fantastic fantastic plot and some of the greatest female characters I have ever encountered! And if you're in the mood for something happier and less bloody I'd try Ouran High School Host Club, which is insanely funny and very cute and sweet, also with great characters. :) Excited to hear about your future adventures in anime!

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  24. My husband and I didn't finish AoT...I think we should give it another shot, though! My first anime was Iria, which I still love. She is an amazing character! I also love all three Appleseed movies. Inuyasha is my favorite series based in the manga of the same name. We've watched a lot through Netflix - you never know when you're going to find a real gem!

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  25. We tried this on Netflix recently because everyone seems to be into it right now ... we didn't make it through the first episode :( Does it get better, should we push on through? My husband actually hates to watch the ones with subtitles so that also dinged it for us. We are currently in the midst of watching Fairy Tail, which is quite fun and more light hearted it.

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  26. Seconding the recommendation for 'Princess Jellyfish'. It's on Netflix, it's sweet, it's short, and it's focused on a group of girls with eccentric interests and extreme social anxiety. They literally turn to stone around popular people. The story cuts off because it is so short, but you can find the manga with a little internet-fu to continue the story (sadly it's never been officially licensed here).

    I don't think Netflix has it anymore, but there's a series called 'Moribito' that focuses on a 29 year old heroine (this is crazy rare, usually you have to be no older than 16 to save the world!) The production budget is high, and at times takes cues from Studio Ghibli with fantastic creatures. It can be a little slow, but has a compelling story and is beautifully animated.

    'Read or Die' (the OVA, not the series) is one of my faves too. Yomiko Readman has the superpower to manipulate paper, but is a reluctant hero who would rather read her books than tear them apart. There's some fanservice (big boobs) but I don't think they detract from the story. The OVA is 3 short episodes that feel like a movie, lots of cool steampunk elements in the bad guy's machinery. The series (Read or Dream) is ok too, but not as good as the OVA.

    Be wary of 'SAO / Sword Art Online'. The first half of season 1 is very good, but then the heroine gets fridged and there's an unnecessary incest subplot. I haven't seen season 2 yet, I hope it's better.

    If you want to branch out with some crazy art styles, I suggest 'Gankutsuou', which is a retelling of 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. The visual style is really something else with bold, crazy patterns. Also, the Count is now a blue space vampire...for reasons? I don't know, but it's much better than I'm making it sound.

    As others have said both 'FullMetal Alchemist' and 'FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood' are excellent. The original came out when the manga was still being created, so at some point it diverges and makes its own ending. Brotherhood follows the manga more closely, and includes a few more strong female characters. I think both are dubbed on Netflix, but as someone said the end of Brotherhood is missing there.

    I see a lot of recommendations for 'Utena', which I love, but is kinda crazy. It's heavily stylized 90's shoujo. In the end it has a great message, but there's a bit of filler to get there. The series is dubbed on Hulu (web only) so it's easy to access. The movie is visually stunning, but man were the creators smoking something when they wrote it! If you enjoy the series it's definitely worth watching.

    If you want a comedy, hear me out- "Yamada's First Time". It's on Netflix, it's pretty short, and very silly. It's about a girl who wants to sleep with 100 guys, but can never quite manage it with her first target. It's refreshing because 99% of anime sex comedy comes from objectifying women, and this one spins it around.

    Finally, I'm going to throw in another great one available on Netflix- 'Puella Magi Madoka Magica'. It takes the magical girl genre and turns it on its head. I don't want to say much more than that, but it's another short one, available dubbed or subbed and only 13 episodes (plus a heartwrenching, soulcrushing movie!)

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    1. Oh, yes, Moribito! I just posted a list of my favorites and I knew I was forgetting some; that one was lovely. And that one reminds me of Saiunkoku, another series with a strong heroine (though this one's strong intellectually, not in a warlike way).

      And then there's Twelve Kingdoms... Oh, drat, it'd take years to watch all these things {grin}.

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  27. Haha, it's like we all watch the same things... I'm going to also recommend Cowboy Bebop (the dubbed version is amazing) and Black Butler (dubbed if you can find it - though there are some yoai undertones that made me squirm a little) I would also like to throw in Hack Sign and Bleach, if you're down for the long haul...

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  28. I have three words. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It is quite literally my new childhood. I would personally watch this first and then the original, because I believe that Brotherhood makes a bit more sense. That's not to say that the original isn't great, but I personally prefer Brotherhood. Also good are Soul Eater and Madoka Magica. If you don't like the idea of Madoka, just get to episode 3. I SWEAR.

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    1. Brotherhood follows the source material more closely. The first run of Fullmetal Alchemist went its own way. It's still great, mind you, but it has almost nothing to do with the manga.

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  29. I thought it was repetative at the beginning of each episode, and i found myself fast forwarding a good 5-10 minutes into each episode. My favs are TriGun and Cowboy Bebop (amazing!). Both also have movies as follow ups.

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  30. I have always struggled with getting into anime, my brother loves it though and i will deffinatly tell him about this one :) I may even suffer through a few episodes and watch it with him :)

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  31. Another vote here for Trigun. It's a great first anime. Fun, sentimental, and great story arc over the whole series. I'll also suggest Gurren Lagann. By the end, the battle escalates to the point of being a little silly, but it's still great. Awesome soundtrack, too, you could probably enjoy just looking that up on iTunes.

    Also, another vote for subtitles. Especially for the lesser-known animes that haven't had big-budget English dubs, the Japanese voice acting is much better in terms of tone and emotion!

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  32. I started with Ouran High School Host Club, and then Sword Art Online (SAO). My husband and I just started Full Metal Alchemist which we are enjoying immensely but be aware that there are 51 episodes :) I also enjoyed Vampire Knight. All of these are available on NetFlix with English Dubs. Happy Watching!

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  33. My husband and I binged the dubbed Attack on Titan a few weeks ago, and are eagerly awaiting new episodes as they come out!

    Yet another vote for Trigun here! It was my first, and is still my favorite. I'm currently working my way through the dubbed version again (I have a hard time following subtitles in anime) after quite a few years since the last time I watched it. DEFINITELY my favorite!

    Full-Metal Alchemist is great too, though I started with the original, and my husband started with Brotherhood (before we met, lol), so we're a house divided when it comes to FMA. I love the original, and I'll be trying Brotherhood after I've gone through the original again (I stayed away from anime for awhile, and I just recently dove back in).

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  34. I love this show! I was floored by how good it was when I started watching on Hulu. I've got so many theories about the Titans. Beware! Readers of the manga have many spoilers to give, so avoid them if you want to be surprised. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this anime! :D

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  35. The anime parallels the manga almost exactly, and I can't wait for the second season, even though I will have read the story by then. If you are interested in Levi's story, I see that they are making an anime out of the "AoT: No Regrets" manga. Can't wait for that myself.

    Other anime that may interest you (some of which have already been mentioned):

    Last Exile
    Death Note
    Read or Die
    Black Butler (though the anime tends to have a bunch of silly spots, it can be quite dark)
    Baccano (this can be a little dark too...and bloody)

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  36. I'll add this one to my queue. I can recommend Full Metal Alchemist and Fruits Basket.

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  37. I'm loving the comments here, both because so many people are recommending the same ones I would (yay, shared fandoms!) and because there are multiple recommendations for a few I haven't heard of before (thanks everyone!). Since so many of my favorites have already been mentioned (several times) I'll throw in one that I haven't seen here yet-

    Princess Tutu

    Yeah... the name sounds silly, but it is amazing. The main characters attend a ballet school in a little town where stories and reality are thrown together. It takes a lot of elements from fairy tales, both the magical sparkly variety with talking animals, and the darker more serious variety. It has classical ballet music (as used in Disney's Sleeping Beauty) all throughout the show. It's cute, funny, sad, triumphant... just a good story all around.

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  38. I'd recommend Darker Than Black and Sword Art Online. DTB has a really cool, mysterious premise, and a no-nonsense lead female police detective that I really liked. SAO- AWESOME female character named Asuna that kicks as much ass, and probably more, than her male counterpart. Yes, she has a slightly revealing costume but it's not too crazy. Bear in mind, though, that I'm only halfway through and I've read that she's kind of shunted off to the side for the 2nd half of the show, which worries me.

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    1. I totally loved DTB! Was totally addicted and binge-watched that whole series in a couple days. Love the random silly moments that lightened the mood, like how the main character had an insatiable appetite for soba noodles as his "price".

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  39. Ok fine. I'll have to try watching this again. I heard so much about it that I tried watching it earlier this year, but quickly got lost in the subtile/action sequences. Sounds like I just need to buckle down and watch it. ;) Thanks for recommending!

    A really great anime series I just recently watched is the Netflix original series "Knights of Sidonia" (on streaming). Based on the manga series, this anime is full of many great characters (but try not to get too attached, like AoT, there are MANY sudden and unexpected deaths), amazing animation, areal space fight sequences, and all kinds of sci-fi goodness. I really enjoyed the first season and can't wait for season two!

    Another anime series I watched a couple years ago was "Claymore", and is my favorite anime I've ever seen, to date. Also based on the manga, this series has an all-female cast that are totally badass. Loads of action-packed sword fighting sequences, and the characters are all very interesting and mysterious. And no overly-busty/cartoony characters here: the anatomy is pretty realistic as far as that goes. I highly recommend watching (English dub used to be on NetFlix streaming, but is now DVD only. I believe you can find the series on Hulu and a couple other places streaming, though).

    Congratulations on your first anime! Welcome to the dark side. We have crazy colored hair, sparkly eyes, and humor you may or may not understand... ;D

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  40. I will recommend my top five:
    Fullmetal Alchemist grew up with this my all time favorite for nostalgia

    xxxHOLiC: unique and beautiful art style It’s funny – thanks to Watanuki’s wild antics as well as Mokona’s drunkenness. Creepy – mostly because it scared the heck out of me sometimes (especially episode 10, 12 and 24). Dark, because it presents the world in a way that people rarely see. It’s interesting – you get hooked into it and you actually become an xxxHOLIC-holic. Finally, it’s clever because it doesn’t take the viewers for fools.

    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: closer to the manga and a beutiful story even without watching the original series

    Ghost Hunt:Pretty attractive name for those looking for some horror anime. Well, you might not completely be in the blood/gore/heart attacks section but you'll definitely regret if you choose to leave it.
    It is quite a unique anime. The series is not a typical fantasy/thriller horror. It infact, shows 'ghost hunting' by means of technology and modern day equipment and ofcourse, the old purification and chanting ways are included too.
    The series does not have a main plot. There are small arcs which usually don't last for more than 3-4 episodes thus not dragging the anime and neither taking away the viewer's attention.

    Angel Beats!" This actually made me cry, and no other movie/carton/tv series/ etc. has ever done that, but it was a good tear filled ride.In short, Angel Beats! is about people who are trapped in a purgatory type state after death because they cannot find peace in their lives to move on. They live in a school where they can make anything they remember out of dirt, or alter the place through programming. The protagonist Yuzuru Otonashi wakes up in this world in the middle of a fire fight and is soon 'killed' where he learns that death isn't permanent in a world after death.The story is about Otonashi trying to regain his lost memories and help those there find peace. The story itself is somewhat simple, but each character's back story and attempt to find peace is incredibly well written. The character's stories should make even the most hardened individual think about their life and what it means to be alive. Angel Beats shines in making you think about life and death and what makes life worth living in a way I have never seen before.

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  41. Yay!! I love anime. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is my absolute favorite of all time. I started watching the original during college when it was on Cartoon Network at night and then found Brotherhood. Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Blood+, Ghost in the Shell, Spice & Wolf, Inu Yasha are some other favorites of mine. There's so many good ones depending on what you like.

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  42. I wasn't really feeling Attack on Titan at first. Too bleak, gory, etc and then episode 5 happened and I was hooked. I've don't there's been many shows that have made me scramble for the remote to watch the next episode quite like AOT did.
    I will be another voice recommending "Cowboy Bebop" Its a fantastic series.

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  43. So glad you're enjoying Attack on Titan! Though it is pretty extreme for a "first anime" experience. If you want something sweeter as a chaser, try Natsume's Book of Friends or Chi's Sweet Home.

    I've seen many other favorites of mine listed here, from Death Note to Fruits Basket, Black Butler to Fullmetal Alchemist, and Gankutsuou (aka "Count of Monte Cristo IN SPACE!") to Ouran High School Host Club (my first anime series, and still a favorite); I'd recommend all of those.

    If you want a more realistic story that's more crime drama than superhero, check out Monster - totally compelling. And then there's Master Keaton, not as well known as it should be IMO; it's about a man who's taught archaeology, been an insurance adjuster, a hostage negotiator, and a member of an elite military team - and who spends a lot of time coping with his teenage daughter, roue father, and an assortment of cases from lost loves to kidnappings. (Those have Naoki Urasawa in common; I love his work. 20th Century Boys is also very good - and if they ever do an anime of Pluto, his manga re-imagining of "Astro Boy", I'll be first in line!)

    If you haven't seen the anime film Summer Wars, do so immediately; it mixes virtual-world combat with real-world family dynamics, and it's utterly charming.

    I do like most of the CLAMP series, including xxxHolic, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (though they didn't complete the whole series and left out some key bits), and even the made-for-a-very-young-audience Cardcaptor Sakura.

    Um... this is probably getting overwhelming - so much anime, so little time! I dived into Netflix when I discovered it, bought a few sets and rented more, and spent a LOT of time watching the anime and often reading the manga as well. I'm sure I'm forgetting more favorites, but you should have more than enough to go on {wry grin}.

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  44. I've binged on it twice now, and have decided that there will have to be at least three more binges, as well as collecting the Manga so I can read that while I wait, broken hearted, for season two to be made and aired...oh, the waiting! It's as bad as watching the colossal titan!

    I have to say, I love the females in the series. Smart, strong, loyal, delightfully silly (potato girl) and I want more of those sorts of women in my geekery!

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  45. I'll give it a try, though this won't be the first anime I've watched. First one I've watched is the Inuyasha series which I actually liked a lot.

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  46. I recommend:
    Read or Die - The main character has power over paper. It's awesome.
    Heroic Age - A show that didn't get a lot of hype, it wraps up its entire story in a single season (which says a lot, believe me). It's as good if not better than AoT.
    Kaleido Star - My personal favorite, a magical Cirque. A girl chosen by the stage to be the best, and her journey to get there.

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  47. "the subtitles can be hard to keep up with during some of the action sequences"

    Well, I guess it's to be expected from someone who likes this show.

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  48. SPOILERS!

    I have actually watched Attack On Titan, although my anime days are mostly behind me now. I absolutely loved the beginning of it, but actually found myself getting bored as the series went on. I think this was because I'd been forewarned that 'everyone dies', when actually ... very few important characters do.

    Don't get me wrong, it is gruesome, and in real life so much death would be horrifying. However, it's not real life. In order to grieve a character death I need to know that character. I need to be attached to them. Most of the death in Attack On Titan, though, is of side-characters and general 'red-shirts'. When Eren was eaten I screamed. It was the first character death that gave me a real, emotional reaction. The protagonist was dead! Surely that meant anyone could be next!

    But ... no. Eren wasn't dead. He survived, and so did virtually every other major character - even after venturing on a mission with a >50% survival chance. I'm not usually a bloodthirsty person, but for a series meant to be all death and destruction and no-one-is-safe, AOE turned out to be pretty darn disappointing.

    That said the world building and art is incredible. Although there are a lot of annoying still-frame scenes, I was willing to shrug them off because the budget was obviously going into the beautiful 3DMG battles. And, as you said, Jen, the character - male and female - are fantastic. Even if they are strangely indestructible.

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  49. While Attack on Titan is very emotionally heavy, I don't think it's any gorier than a lot of other anime. If you feel like trying out other anime I'd suggest Fullmetal Alchemist (not Brotherhood if you're just starting out). It's also pretty dark and emotional, but the characters are fantastic and it has a lot more lighthearted moments :)

    And trust me, the English voice actors for AoT are WAY more over-the-top than the Japanese.

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  50. Haven't seen it mentioned in the comments yet, but now that you've watched season one, I highly recommend watching TeamFourStar's version, Attack on Titan Abridged. It is hilarious. It can be found on youtube.

    ~Kit

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  51. i LOVE attack on titan!
    i can't WAIT for season 2!

    p.s., check out the cosplayers on youtube. there are hysterical dance numbers.
    that you must see. because of giggle-fests.

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