Watching similar anime with similar vibes guarantees they will likely have positive reception. Over the years I’ve been picking up shows with similar feeling to them for an equally or even better dose of entertainment based on the ones I completed. They were titles initially unknown to me which derived from already existing ones, largely technically dissimilar yet often closely in nature so with a little push in the right direction I happen to stumble upon them.
Kara no Kyoukai after Type of Moon
I’m not much a movies person thus Kara no Kyokai’s extensively long number of movies put me off at first because I wasn’t sure I could sit through that many hours to get what the story was reaally about. After discarding the thought of “isn’t this way too many movies for a story?” I gave it a fair shot. I’ve had watched Tsukihime ages ago and I liked F/S Night so giving Type Moon a fair shot was only proper. And there it came a bizarre trip of directing ala Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya type of disorganized episodes that always seem to work with me, where in KnK the latter parts are lukewarm and the most exciting parts of the show are in the middle.
Initially drawn in by Bakemonogatari I picked up Katanagatari right after, just to watch it months later. Not a bad move because that was the best way for me since I might not had enjoyed it otherwise. It was 12 OVAS, one per month resulting in a whole year of following the same show. It was a looong show. I was surprised it didn’t lose its touch after waiting a whole month for a new addition of sword hunting and one-hit-killer-moves it delivered. I interesting show but I credit it not to the main leads but to the “mani-wani” crew who served as sacrifice sheep to keep the action going (sorry guys)
I’m curious to see Nishio’s own “work” rather than Shaft’s so it’s a shame that most of Nishio novels aren’t translated (as far as I know) because he has some clever ideas I’d like to see more of.
Otaku no Video is a classic GAINAX show from way back in the 90’s that promptly comes up along with Genshiken whenever talk about otaku is addressed. Like many older shows I was aware of its existence but never felt the need to watch it until Genshiken came along years later. Otaku no Video is about hardcore “otaku” (in the full sense of the word) and these hardcore fans taking it to the next level with plenty of non-animated sections and meta-talk behind the camera. What was that about?
Paranoia Agent marked the beginning of my appreciation for Satoshi Kon movies. Having missed (then corrected it) all time classic “Perfect Blue” back in 98, the name Satoshi Kon’s hadn’t yet made an impact for me until Paranoia Agent. The show itself is hard to describe but I’ll refer to it as trippy look at society, the fragility of it, and yes, paranoia, in which you learn many things by watching this show. 1) Talking pink stuffed animals can be creepy 2) even more when you can only hear them.
Once you’ve watched a Takoshi Kon show you know what to expect – and you can expect the material to be only good. For that I can proudly say I have watched all Takoshi Kon movies and loved all of them.
Both are as hard to follow as knowing what’s going on, in a moment something is going on and in another something else is happening, but that’s part of the fun. In a way Lain cemented the concept of mind screw in anime for me, there were others before it but Lain as one that I watched from start to finish and got to that what the deuce is up with this show? idea. Boogiepop was definitely on something different but if you can sit through one probably you can sit through the other.
Akagi is one of those shows that usually many skip. It’s not because it isn’t interesting or because of the characters, it’s more of a trial to get past the rough character designs and a game neither you (nor me) likely understand well. Surprisingly Akagi manages to work for those who can make it work for them. Probably if you’re past episode 5 you’ll finish the show and words like “riichi” and “RON” will become part of your vocabulary.
Natsume Yuujinchou after xxxHOLIC
Similarities are plenty and fantasy may not be my fav genre but I liked Clamp’s xxxHolic and Natsume’s take on spooky Japanese ghost stories. In my experience I like Japanese horror in general, but what I like the most is the mixture these stories with folklore tales that I’ve never heard about which makes it more of a new experience for me. Add of all these rich supernatural tales to an anime and you get something that is just dying to be written.
Curious because hack & slashing and revenge as fuel for a story isn’t really innovative as a main theme but all around classic Berserk is the only one that came to mind when I watched Claymore even thought I’d think there’d be more shows with similar plots. Claymore better known as chicks with long swords delivered a vast amount of entertainment through most part, that is until it fell into an abyss of crappy Raaki and awkward romance, but still it was a memorable show that I’d like to see more of some day (make it happen?) Hack and slashing and mentally derailed #’s worked wonders for Claymore. They could always try to keep it that way.
Back in Winter 10 DRR! was one of the most popular shows because of the Bacanno’s large fanbase and my main motivation (and still) was due to its predecessor. Baccano! ways didn’t show much on Durarara as far as I had watched but I had my hopes it would. I still hadn’t finished the show but the general idea I got was that it didn’t come that close to Bacanno’s level, then again I figured was that possible in the first place? Yeah, I should really get back to this one.
It feels like “Fukumoto’s work, it looks like it, it sounds like it. I can’t believe they aren’t related!
Moving the story from casinos, unlucky men paying off their debts or putting their sense of hearing on the line, OU’s story is mainly and for the best centered in the field with Toguchi as main lead, a more talkative and charismatic Akagi inspiring to be as analytical as him. OU lacks long noses and, for sure, Baseball has nil to do with table games and the like but is easy to feel the same upbeat and air of “gambling” from One Outs after watching either of Fukumoto’s work. Even non anime sports fans would grow interested when they notice there’s more than hitting and throwing the ball in OU. There’s a plan for everything and team work can mean several things. Especially when Akagi’s other reincarnations are present in the field.
Action, comedy, drama and as many twists as one could imagine in a single show. Code Geass can be defined as a standalone project of mixture of so many awesome things already existing that few had managed to make it work so successfully. CG reminded me and just about everyone familiar with Ohba and Obata’s most successful piece of work to “Death Note”. CG has a Death Note vibe all over it like it had been dipped into a jar of Death Note goodness even though CG is a mecha show and DN isn’t. Once the first episode was over there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to watch and this show and like it. The rest is history.
Monoke after Ayakashi
Or the other way around as Monoke is a spin off from Ayakashi, if I may add, is one of the best spin offs ideas out there. Monoke is one of the best arc and highly responsible for Ayakashi’s mystique aura. Each time there’s a different case, a combination between supernatural elements and some addictive mystery where an ever mysterious medicine seller solves the mysteries and exorcises the demons once he understands the causes. Nothing like a nonchalant looking man who is “just passing by” and “just happens to be there” in the right place at the right time to make a story be so casually bizarre. Monoke and its trippy mysteries and animation are in another level. Favorite Arc? Bakeneko.
Other Shaft shows after Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
SZS was Shaft being bizarre at its peak for me with SZS. Granted SZS’ “funny era” might’ve lost its sparkle after 3 full seasons plus a couple of OVAS but it remains to be memorable in the mind.
SZS is the type of anime that to everyone that hasn’t watched SZS is hard to explain what it is about because most of the time it purposely skips from topic A to topic Z. It’s a curious thing because the author might not be so serious about it, but SZS raises valid some points not many consider. Why are things that way or why do people act the way they do? SZS feels like a social studies and economic class combined in anime format. A concentration of rhetoric questions and ideas taken from granted – all the way being awkward and awfully cheeky about it.
Key’s clever homage to the ever hyper Haruhi Suzumiya was the main reason to watch Angel Beats for me. Right from the start I was interested and knew I was going to watch it be it good or not. Angel Beats was a thing hard to miss because even if you weren’t either a Haruhi or Key fan, the temptation that there was someone doing such a direct and shameless homage to the SOS leader was something that had to be seen. No comparison but still..
Some things are similar and too good to miss out on.