Anime You Might Not Have Tried/Heard of #3

So after trying to keep all the things in track after school started while being too busy playing Minecraft, I finally manage to have some time and energy to do this again.

For those who haven't check out the first two but interested, here are the two previous post:

http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/19/3252665/anime-you-might-not-have-try-heard-of

http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/24/3264181/anime-you-might-not-have-try-heard-of-2

As mentioned before, I will try to keep it a wider variety rather than focusing on one genre, and I am not saying that they are good or definitely for you, but rather as the title suggests, some anime you might not have heard of, or you did, but haven't really give it a try.

ZETMAN

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via cdn.myanimelist.net

Zetman Anime Opening 1080pHD (via redeyestint)

Genre: Action/Sci-fi

Studio: TMS Entertainment (Bakugan)

Director: Nabeshime Osamu (D.Gray-man)

Adapted From: Manga by Katsura Masakazu (I's, Video Girl Ai)

Localized By: Currently none

Cast:

Namikawa Daisuke/Pak Romi as Kanzaki Jin/ZET

Miyano Mamoru/Kaida Yuki as Amagi Kouga/Alphasz

Hanazawa Kana as Amagi Konoha

Ise Mariya as Tanaka Hanako

Story: Takes place in a close future, creatures known as Players, created by Amagi Corporation, secretly blended in and threatening human crowds. Under the shadow of Players, there is Kanzaki Jin, known as ZET, a superhuman life from who is destined to hunt down Players, and Alphasz, a superhero with the real identity of Amagi Kouga fighting for justice, with each of them fighting for their very own "justice" and "evil" that conflicts with the ideals of the others.

Impression: I always have a thing for dark heroes story, so ZETMAN was caught on radar right away when the anime adaption was announced. Katsura Masakazu was known for being a Batman fan, and ZETMAN shows that well. There are influences of American superheroes, but also has the shine of Japanese style dark heroes. The theme of the story, as many of you have guessed, is justice. But unlike other superheroes, it goes a lot more in depth to the theme, it makes you question what does justice and evil really means.

My favorite part of the story is the portrayal of Kouga/Alphasz's character. At first he started out like a both stereotypical shounen protagonist and superhero. Admiring the idea of justice, with a rich family and a crew back him up with gadgets to help him achieve his dream of being a hero. However, as the story goes, rather than actually watching him executing his justice, saving people and punishing bad guys like every other superhero does, it goes into a different direction that makes you question about the meaning of justice you have learn through superheroes. Seeing a typical character like this being handle into a different direction is a quite fresh experience.

The main character, Jin, takes the opposite direction. While he firmly believe his own justice, what the character is trying to discuss is "humanity". He is centered by the question of "what it takes to be a human". Through the story, it constantly shown that he is biological not identical to human, sometimes even being mistaken as a Player, and try to distance himself with human to prevent them to get hurt. How the story tackle his humanity is just as well done as Kouga's justice.

Another thing that worth mentioning is the voice acting. They are generally great, but the one I want to mention is Kouga's voice acting. His voice actor, Miyano Mamoru (who also did Flynn Scifio in Tales of Vesperia, which is rather fitting) did a great job at presenting the character through his voice. I can't say much about it due to spoilers, but in one part of the story, Kouga will act completely out of character as he is not even the same person you know anymore, and you get to hear how the voice actor perfectly shifting his emotions 180 degrees.

I have never read the original manga, and I did hear lots of fans said that the manga was better and a lot more mature. However, they also praised it for being a adaption that is good enough. Either way, I will definitely recommend to people who wants something different from your average superheroes anime.

Fun fact: Before ZETMAN was written, it made a cameo in another Katsura's work "I's" as a in-story movie parodying Batman.

Legend of the Legendary Heroes

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via i.imgur.com

The Legend of the Legendary Heroes OP HD (via Taumaturgos)

Genre: Fantasy

Studio: Zexcs (Chrome Shelled Regios)

Director: Kawasaki Itsuro (Chrom Shelled Regios, Listen to Me, Girls. I Am Your Father!)

Adapted From: Light novel by Kagami Takaya (A Dark Rabbit Has Seven Lives)

Localized By: Funimation Entertainment

Cast:

Fukuyama Jun/Ian Sinclair as Ryner Lute

Takagaki Ayahi/Luci Christian as Ferris Eris

Ono Daisuke/Eric Vale as Sion Astal

Sugita Tomokazu/Jerry Jewell as Lucile Eris

Fujita Saki/Jamie Marchi as Milk Callaud

Story: Ryner Lute is a lazy mage who want to do nothing but sleep 50 hours a day. However, the lazy him possess avery special ability known as the Alpha Stigma. One day, in the academy, he met a friend from the royal family Sion Astal. After Sion told him that he wants to become the new king and change this corrupted country, and understood that Ryner's dream of creating a peaceful world where everyone can sleep all day free of worrying about anything, Ryner decided to aid him to achieve both of their dream.

Impression: It's a very typical fantasy anime, but a good one though, as this kind of show is kinda hard to find right now, since the currently highest demand after Madoka and Fate Zero was aired is dark urban-fantasy where everybody died. While the story does has some light hearted comedy moment, it's mainly composed of serious atmosphere with blood splattering and body parts flying around. There are some parts you feel things are going too fast, as they were trying to compressed 11 volumes of novel into 25 episodes, but overall it's still kinda impressive that they managed to do that. The ending is rather confusing due to the issue I just spoke of, but most of the time you will be focusing on the characters, since that's what they were mainly focusing on.

The two main characters, Ryner and Ferris have a very interesting and attractive relationship. Ferris like to tease and bully Ryner like every anime heroine ever, but unlike the others, you can see the strong bond between the two rather just one side bullying that satisfy the masochistic audience. Sion in the other hand, is less comical. His character development focus more on how he try to change the country as a king, and his melancholy of realizing how much is needed to sacrifice for his dream.

The ending is the biggest cliffhanger ever since Halo 2, and the sad thing is the anime didn't do too well in Japan even it deserve to, so is unlikely that we will see the sequel. That said, it is still worth watching if you are looking for a fantasy that contains both element of conflicts between different nations and adventure.

Sankarea

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via www.animehere.com

Sankarea OP 1080p (via HoukaKetsueki84)

Genre: Romance/Drama/Zombie

Studio: Studio Deen (Higurashi, Hakuouki)

Director: Hatakeyama Mamoru

Adapted From: Manga by Hattori Mitsuru (Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho)

Localized By: Funimation Entertainment

Cast:

Kimura Ryohei as Furuya Chihiro

Uchida Maaya as Sanka Rea

Yauhagi Sayuri as Saoji Ranko

Story: Furuya Chihiro is a high school student with a zombie obsession. While attending to an all-male school, separated by a river, there is an all-female school, which our heroine, a popular girl among both male and female students, Sanka Rea attends to. While everyone of his fellow classmates were totally building up their hormone about it, Chihiro himself never really paid attention due to his zombie obsession. One day, his beloved pet cat Babu was killed in a car accident. Sadden by the Babu's death, Chihiro found an old manuscript in his house about how to revive the livings as zombies. Doubting it ever gonna be real, he decided to give it a try anyway. While secretly testing out the potions he made every night in an abandon building, he saw a familiar face, Sanka Rea. Being a rich girl who knows nothing about the outside world, Rea was very interested in Chihiro's little experiment. However, she was soon found out by her father. Being sick of her father harsh restriction and obsession with her, she decided to give up her own life by drinking the poisonous potion Chihiro made...

Impression: It was cute, and a little bit... "retro"? There is just something about it make it feels like an old romance anime from 90s, maybe is the fact that it doesn't have 10 girls falling in love with the main character for no apparent reason. The one thing that caught me a little off guard is the main character. After reading the description, I thought is gonna be some pervy messed up fetish show, but the Chihiro was actually a rather normal dude despite his fetish, so normal that even he himself realized that he is a weirdo from the very beginning. Rea in the other hand, well I guess you can say she made a pretty cute zombie. I even have a friend who hates anime to death when he was in high school, but one day he PM me on Facebook talking about how "delicious" Rea is (I almost spit my tea on the screen).

There are some comedy in the story, but it also has some heavy and serious moment. The seriousness mostly comes from Rea's dad's obsession, and how to preserve Rea as a decaying corpse. The story did greatly to constantly imply that they are serious issues that needed to be solve as soon as possible. The characters are also likable enough to make you care for them. One complain will be the second heroine, Ranko. She feels more like a character that's just there because of the formula, especially the Chihiro X Rea pairing is so strong that you just don't care about her at all. The fact that she has nothing to do with the zombie part doesn't help at all either.

Another thing I like is the opening, which I believed it's something I had mentioned on Kotaku. The overall white background with the light color usage and the light hearted tone song just ironically goes along well with the dark tone of the serious part in the story, while also match the innocence relationship between Chihiro and Rea.

Overall, it was pretty enjoyable for me. If you are looking for a nice little romantic twist in a zombie story, do give it a try. By the way, if it gives you a little bit of Shinbo feel, your eyes did not deceive you, the director use to work in Shaft. For those of you doesn't know who Shinbo is, he is the guy who directed every anime from Shaft. For those of you who don't know what Shaft is, it's an anime studio with 90% of their budget goes to cocaine.

Inu X Boku SS

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via i.imgur.com

SM Hantei Forum ED Lyrics (via OzakiKitsune)

I can't find the opening on Youtube, so let's substitute it with Ragna the Bloodedge's beautiful voice and lyrics.

Genre: Romance/Comedy

Studio: David Produuction (Super M)

Director : Suda Naokazu

Adapted From: Manga by Fujiwara Cocoa (dear)

Localized By: Sentai Filmworks

Cast:

Hidaka Rina(M) as Shirakiin Ririchiyo(M)

Nakamura Yuichi(?) as Miketsukami Soushi(S)

Hosoya Yoshimasa(N) as Sorinozuka Rensho(?)

Hikasa Yoko(M) as Yukinokoji Nobara(S)

Sugita Tomokazu(self-claimed S) as Shokiin Kagero(S)

Hanazawa Kana(both) as Roromiya Karuta(S)

Eguchi Takuya(Super M) as Watanuki Banri(M)

Miyano Mamoru(B) as Natsume Zange(S)

Story: The story begins with Shirakiin Ririchiyo moving into a apartment know as Maison de Ayakashi, an apartment that was build for the descendant of both humans and demons who inherited their demon ancestor's power, with each resident being guarded by a Secret Service bodyguard. While Ririchiyo herself didn't plan to get a Secret Service and tried to distance herself away from people due to her childhood experience, a mysterious man named Miketsukami Soushi appeared and claim to be her Secret Service who was in her debt, and willing to pay her back with his life by being her dog.

Impression: I am sure those of you ho have never watch it and clicked on the video is pretty confused right now. Don't worry, I'm just trolling you for a bit, the story is not about S&M, but exactly what the description said.

Story wise, it's pretty much a dramatized love story from your typical Shoujo manga. Story like this is pretty much based on how much the audience like the characters and willing to care. For me, the characters are pretty interesting, especially Kagero the master of S&M. Each character comes with an unique personality, and their interactions are pretty funny as well. As a character-based story, each episode in the first half of the show was dedicated to a character and their development, which got you to know the characters a lot more. For a straight male like me, I was surprised how curious I was about Miketsukami's mysterious past too(or maybe I just like his voice, those of you who hanged around in PC might already know).

Another thing I like about it is each episode has a different ending song sung by the cast in the show depends on the contents of that specific episode. The one above is from that character's debut episode. Overall, if shoujo style love story or comedy with bunch of weirdos are what you are looking for, here is one for you.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

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via i.imgur.com

Opening Toppa Tengen Gurren Lagann (via IH8Utube0)

Genre: Mecha

Studio: Gainax (Evangelion, FLCL, Gunbuster)

Director: Imaishi Hiroyuki (Re: Cutie Honey, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt)

Adapted From: Original

Localized By: Bandai Entertainment

Cast:

Kakihara Tetsuya/Yuri Lowethal as Simon

Konishi Katsuyuki/Kyle Hebert as Kamina

Inoue Marina/Michelle Ruff as Yoko Littner

Fukui Yukari/Hynden Walch/Bridget Hoffman as Nia Teppelin

Hiyama Nobuyuki/Sam Riegel as Viral

Story: Takes place in a distant future, where human's civilization was degraded and forced to live underground without knowing how the outside world looks like. One day, Simon, a young boy who worked as a digger in his underground tribe, found a small drill and a weird looking artificial face while he was digging. Not knowing what it was, he went to tell Kamina, a man in the tribe who Simon looked up to and believed that there are something up above the ceiling other than dirt and rock. While everyone thought that Kamina was just crazy, a giant mech was fallen down along a girl named Yoko fighting against it.

Learning from Yoko that the mechs took command from Lordgenome, the ruler of the surface world, and human live on the surface have fight against them everyday, followed by Kamina's lead, Simon activated the artificial face he found earlier and launch a counterattack to the mech and fly to the surface he and Kamina longed to see after the victory. The story about a boy piercing through the heaven begins.

Impression: Okay, I know, everybody heard of it. But I am aware that there still people haven't watched it (*cough*LulzJager*cough*), so I decided to pick this one to write about. It's probably one of the most influencing anime in the 2000s, as even Green Lantern made a reference to it. Now let me warn you, nothing about it makes sense, but that's what make it so good. It's actually what the show's about, "exceed the illogical and kick all the logic out". It's your typical "believe in yourself" story, but it was so well done that rather than making you go like "yeah I was told that a million times before", it really makes you realize that believe in yourself and you will achieve what you want. It has many things that had been done long before, but Gurren Lagann pretty much perfected them.

For the story, it might sounds a bit corny (well that's what the show is), but the word that I think of is "emotional", as your emotion can get pretty intense while watching it, either when it's an awesome scene involving a giant robot kicking ass or a sad scene about a death. Simon has a pretty awesome character development as well. Watching him grew up from a timid boy who can't do anything without Kamina to a man who can do the impossible and see the invisible is indeed very touching.

To be honest, I will recommend it to anyone, whether you like mech anime or not, scratch that, whether you are into anime or not, you have to watch it. All I can say is that your life is not complete without watching it, as it can be very inspiring and have a huge impact on you. There are two movies came out after the original, which is a retelling of the TVA. I would recommend watching it after you finish the original too. It's pretty much the same story with some minor changes, but it's just something that you won't get tired of no matter how many times you watch it. Another thing is the performance of Kakihara's voice acting has significantly improved in the movie too.

I was about type like 4 more, but I think that's enough, as I had actually been typing this for 2 days, and I don't think my brain can handle another one more. Though I have whole 5 weekdays off, so a new thread might be up few days later. As for now, I wholeheartedly thank you for reading my poorly written thread.

EDIT: I think faster than I type, so if you spot any errors or missing words in a sentence, feel free to inform, I would like to correct them myself too.