Film & TV

Film & TV
Damien Mason's avatar

Fullmetal Alchemist (both series)

I'd dabbled in anime before, growing up with Pokemon, Digimon, Yugioh, Cardcaptors, and the like, but it was just the odd episodes here and there. I'd never truly followed any of them from start to finish. Fullmetal Alchemist was the first to hook me and carry me right the way through until the end.

First, you must know that there are two series: Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2008). The first follows the manga up until partway through, then diverges into its own story because it caught up with the source material during its original run. The second re-tells the story but in a more faithful way to author Hiromu Arakawa's vision once the manga had finished. Most people immediately say to watch Brotherhood and ignore the original. That's certainly the simplest advice for anyone just starting out, but I'm going to buck that trend.

The original anime paces itself better in the early story, with the more harrowing details hitting home harder. Brotherhood rushes through the beginning because it's aware that many people have already experienced that part of the story. If you have to choose just one, Brotherhood is the pick, but watching both really gives you a deeper appreciation of certain elements.

Why is this good for first-timers? Well, it's mature in its themes, so perhaps not ideal for the youngest of viewers, but the original is 51 episodes, and Brotherhood is 64 episodes. It's impossible to get lost in thousands of episodes, and they each tell a pretty tight story with nearly no filler.

It's a Shonen, designed with action in mind, but has a greater heart. It's not about the sparkly fights but the journey of two brothers searching for things they've lost in a desperate, misguided attempt to break the rules of physics in their world. Set in a European-inspired fictional world, it's incredibly distinct to look at compared to most anime and still stands out today. If nothing else, it's a narrative-first piece that isn't designed primarily to sell you toys or merch.

Sturmer's avatar

I've watched both, they are tough and grim!

Damien Mason's avatar

Yeah, you're not wrong about them being grim. I didn't particularly find them tough, though.

My point is mainly that it doesn't have the same intimidating episode count as One Piece, it doesn't get lost in the sheer amount of filler that Naruto does, and there aren't a whopping amount of interconnected series like Gundam. It has a story to tell and tells it well, from start to finish.

Genre-wise, it's certainly more mature. I just chose to approach it from an accessibility standpoint rather than how easy of a watch it is. If I were to choose easy, it'd probably be Fruits Basket, but I didn't find that half as engaging.

Sturmer's avatar

There is nothing wrong with it, i got a trauma cuz of...

Alex Sinclair's avatar

Fantastic entry and fantastic suggestion. I watched 'the wrong one' first, and still haven't finished Brotherhood. But I still loved it; it made me laugh and cry and all the rest. It was one of the first anime series I watched beginning to end, and it would have definitely be my recommendation for first-time anime watchers too. In fact, I'm pretty sure it has been.

Makster's avatar

Another point is that the original FMA's story ends with the movie Conqueror of Shamballa which gets pretty wacky

FMA: Brotherhood is more of a complete story but I think introduces too many characters that just seem to re-occur near the end of the story

Scrbzy's avatar

Grade A write up, I stumbled across FMA late into my anime watching career but it immediately went into my top 3.

It's a perfect show from start to finish

Stella's avatar

Nana <3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tad-n4Xh3nI

Nana is a relatively short (to my sadness) and is pretty much just a cute girl meets rock-star girl and they go through life together - it's a little slice of life ^-^

It's a simple plot really but I think that's why it works <3

Sturmer's avatar

Cowboy Bebop

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0213338/

Cowboy Bebop is frequently my top recommendation for those new to anime, and for good reason. It's an ideal gateway into the vibrant world of Japanese animation. Here are several reasons why it is great:

  • Perfect Length: Not too long and not too short.

  • Episodic with Depth: The plot features self-contained "quests" in each episode, woven with subtle character development. This structure allows for casual viewing - watch an episode, and you can easily pause your binge without cliffhangers.

  • Genre Blend: Cowboy Bebop masterfully mixes elements of detective stories, comedy, adventure, and sci-fi, offering a rich and varied narrative experience.

  • Unique Setting: The combination of space exploration and a cowboy theme in a distant future offers a distinctive and intriguing backdrop. The world and its inhabitants are meticulously crafted, providing a sense of authenticity and depth.

  • Memorable Music: The soundtrack, primarily jazz, complements the mood and era of the series beautifully, enhancing the storytelling and making it even more engaging.

  • Cultural Impact: Beyond its entertainment value, Cowboy Bebop has had a significant influence on both anime and popular culture globally, making it a must-watch for its historical importance as well. And now there is a TV series adaptation too!

These aspects make Cowboy Bebop not just entertaining, but a solid introduction to what anime can offer as a form of art and storytelling. And you won't find these elements in other 'schools' of animation.

Kane Carnifex's avatar

<3 Love it

This means i will open the pandora's box.

Sturmer's avatar

if you will enjoy - on next Fanfest you owe me a beer =)

Kane Carnifex's avatar

I am already a bounty hunter, but doesn´t mean i don´t want to enrich you beer tasting universe on Fanfest.

https://justabout.com/film-tv/35180/which-90s-show-was-ahead-of-its-time-tell-us-for-dollar2#post-24145

EveOnlineTutorials's avatar

In my opinion, the show I would recommend to anyone to start Anime is:

Sword Art Online

In this show, we follow Kirito, a young man who puts on a VR helmet that is fully VR, hundreds of thousands of gamers do the same, but the maker of the game, has rigged the headsets so the "log out" button, is gone and anyone in the real world who removes the helmet, instantly kills the player.

To leave the world they must complete the tier dungeon system, but the twist is, if you die in the game, you die in real life to...

Best Anime I ever saw.

Lanah Tyra's avatar

Sword Art Online is so good! If you liked it, I'ld recommend watching .hack//SIGN which is pretty much paved the way for SAO.

Scrbzy's avatar

I think FMA Brotherhood is an excellent suggestion but my general go to would be Attack on Titan.

I think a lot of people are put off by the generic anime tropes that exist in most mainstream shows (Think blue haired characters, sometimes cringe dialogue and over the top reactions). AoT does a great job at avoiding most of these and breaks the mould as such, the first season is action packed and contains stellar world building, character progression and emotionally charged moments.

Damien mentions that FMA is mature in its themes, I very much agree and think AoT holds that similarity. I think this helps combat the idea that cartoons are for kids which is an opinion I've come across a lot with speaking to non anime watchers. Much like FMA, AoT also has 0 filler (that I remember) which makes it much easier to digest and commit to.

I don't really want to talk about what it's about because I think if you haven't watched it it's best to go in blind, I would also encourage you to not watch the linked trailer below unless you really want to!

It's all in all just an excellent show and that's evident by its popularity alone, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that the trailer came out 11 years ago...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGRm4IzK1SQ&ab_channel=NIHONOMARU

Alex Sinclair's avatar

I'm very happy AoT has a shoutout here too. It's phenomenal.

Scrbzy's avatar

I actually recommended it to a friend about a week ago, he hasn't watched any anime in his 30 years on this planet so this bounty came at a good time! 😂

I've neglected to finish it because I don't want it to end but just writing about it has reminded me how much I loved it. I'm currently tying up Hunter x Hunter but Solo Levelling will have to wait, AoT must be finished 🫡

Alex Sinclair's avatar

I'm in the same boat. I have about half a season left. It feels a little daunting to return to it because, genius aside, the latter seasons were a little confusing. But finish it we must!

A

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood had already been proposed and it was my first pick as it is the anime that for me started it all for real. SAO is the second long one I watched and it had also been proposed already, then Cowboy Bepop which is a masterpiece is also already taken.

What am I left with... it's a list, and not a short one... I'd propose Ghost in the Shell, a forever classic but it's a film and not a series. Thus... I have to pick something else... and I go for...

Sousou no Frieren (Frieren: Beyond Journey's End)

"During their decade-long quest to defeat the Demon King, the members of the hero's party—Himmel himself, the priest Heiter, the dwarf warrior Eisen, and the elven mage Frieren—forge bonds through adventures and battles, creating unforgettable precious memories for most of them.

However, the time that Frieren spends with her comrades is equivalent to merely a fraction of her life, which has lasted over a thousand years. When the party disbands after their victory, Frieren casually returns to her "usual" routine of collecting spells across the continent. Due to her different sense of time, she seemingly holds no strong feelings toward the experiences she went through.

As the years pass, Frieren gradually realizes how her days in the hero's party truly impacted her. Witnessing the deaths of two of her former companions, Frieren begins to regret having taken their presence for granted; she vows to better understand humans and create real personal connections. Although the story of that once memorable journey has long ended, a new tale is about to begin." Synopsis from MyAnimeList

This is a masterpiece. It's long with 28 episodes, compared to the standard of 12, but it doesn't feel neither long or boring; they took their time to develop the story of Frieren and its companions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwr1aLEDpe4

It aired between September 29th, 2023 and March 22th, 2024.

Other animes that were running for the pick were Violet Evergarden and Haikyuu. And a few others as well but oh well.

Kane Carnifex's avatar

Grave of the Fireflies

It will touch you Try to resist It will touch you again Once you connected…  You remeber the ONE Candy Box...

###################################

This one is a masterpiece far away from SciFi, Fantasy or the usual anime stuff. The Storyline, the depth of the characters, the touch of detail given.

Also it is kind of a forbidden Fruit. Good Luck, you will need it.

Limal's avatar

this one is sad, my eyes were wet!

Lanah Tyra's avatar

When someone tells me that anime is for children I just nod, tell them to watch this and then wait for them to admit they were wrong.

Kane Carnifex's avatar

If somebody does this its an Asshole.

Boomer's avatar

I don't understand why some people feel the need to belittle the interests of others.

Anime has its merits, just like any other creative work.

Kane Carnifex's avatar

My understanding was based recommending adult stuff to younger folks. Ghibli for example, is for Children and adault in both way. But also here some of the movies are diffrent than the others.

Lanah Tyra's avatar

Maybe my reply was not quite clear, I wouldn't recommend adult stuff to children. But I got questioned by my parents and friend's parents, also teachers many times why I'm watching anime when it's for kids. And they wouldn't understand that not all anime are for kids just because they are cartoons. This movie is a perfect example, because it is definitely not for kids, and usually the one which will make people realize they were wrong thinking that all anime is for kids. Hope this makes it more clear what I meant.

Kane Carnifex's avatar

Ah jeah, i know these. They are no good people due the lack of understanding and knowledge.

Hope they all grow. <3

Lanah Tyra's avatar

Guardians at our uni dorm kept telling us we shouldn't be watching anime because it is for kids and no matter how hard we tried to convince them that there are different anime, some for children, some not, they still didn't get it. So for the dorm film club I brought this...

Gav's avatar

Sand Land.

Sand Land is currently available on Hulu/Disney+ and is by the anime god himself, Akira Toriyama. Known for the Dragonball series. I'd recommend it as a good entry to anime because it's completely self contained and you can watch it with subtitles or with an English dub. There are 13 episodes and the first 6 are an adaptation of the manga and the other 7 is a new story written by Toriyama himself, sadly, just before his death. On top of that though, there's a video game just released that covers the entire series too! And it's good! It has cool characters, fun story with some deeper themes if you want to dig a little deeper, gorgeous visuals and a fantastic soundtrack. I highly recommend it.

https://youtu.be/-E5-KAOjgiY

S

I started watching anime back in 2022. One of the shortest anime, but also one of my favorites is Death Parade. It's about a bar that some people end up at after their death. It's almost like purgatory for them. They are greeted by the bartender named Decim. He introduces a game each guest must play in order to decide where they end up. It's a very intriguing show that teaches us about the importance of life and not to take anything for granted.

It's only 12 episodes long and I was very fascinated by it from the start. Also, I love the opening theme. It's a very bright and uplifting tune, despite the dark tones of the show. It's a perfect introductory anime. Here is the opening theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca5Tf5BDSYI

Limal's avatar

Ghost in the Shell (1995)

A neo noir cyberpunk action masterpiece. Its very dark, brutal animation, definitely not a thing for a family watch. But i think its very representative, its truly show the difference between western ans eastern animations. It's also considered as classic and became inspirational for many games, books, and movies.

Oh, and music is great too! Those tracks are great on their own

L

i would definitely recommend death note. many many years ago I sat down to watch it with a friend was hooked by the concept of the death note book and battle between yagami (i think) and L. I think what was interesting was the exciting idea of someone ordinary being given a power. Normally its a good wholesome power but this was dark and evil. which then starts to raise questions with you as the viewer... WHAT would i do with the death note !

Also it introduced the supernatural element, which is often done in a horror way. whereas here it was part of the story and a dark creepy element rather than something just designed to scare you.

Horror and Cats's avatar

Attack On Titan is the only anime I recommend to anyone, especially people who haven’t seen/have an aversion to the genre.

I am misophonic which essentially means certain sounds rub me the wrong way (to put it mildly and VERY simply). Japanese voice acting conventions are a trigger for me, but Attack On Titan is so compelling and cool, I was able to get past it and keep watching.

Also, before someone asks if I don’t like the Japanese acting, why I didn’t just do dubbing, that is even worse lol.

Makster's avatar

I also think AoT has been by best gateway into the genre. Just like Lost - it sets up a really compelling and interesting mystery but still heightens the threat of Titans and that anyone could be killed - suddenly and gruesomely as well. However I have to dock points from it as after an amazing first episode it does become lower stakes and almost slice-of-life when they go to the training camp and you meet the core cast of cadets

Kane Carnifex's avatar

Submit one.... i can submit more and more... but lets start slow :P

Chobits

Where is the powerbutton again?!

Dears

Cute Aliens or so

Full Metal Panic

Season 1: normal Season 2: Funny+

Season 3: Super Serious+

Golden Boy

School of life, a golden boi

Pumpkin Scissors

901-ATT (ANTI - TANK TROPPER) There is a blue light on the battlefield.....

Samurai 7

  • Samurai Mechs

Samurai Champloo

Sunflower

Afro Samurai

More,more!!

Last Exile

Epic "Steam" Engine Air Battle

K-On!

It is a band :)

Genshiken

Otaku

Elfenlied

18+ cause of flying Pencils...

There are many more... but this is enough for now. Handle this first and we may contiune.

Shovel's avatar

my first anime show was Tokyo ghoul and I definitely think it sat a limit as to how good anime could be. Tokyo ghoul is about someone who basically dies but turns into half a ghoul so it is half and half ghoul and it’s just him trying to navigate his new life. The soundtrack is pretty cool and it’s a good Segway into what other shows can be. so after this I started an anime called attack on Titan and that would be a good Segway into half and half monster sort of storyline

Gaypengwing's avatar

I’d say Haikyu!! or Yuri on ice are both good starters because they are short, sweet and fun to get in to. Although if people are looking for a long running anime with badass characters to get invested in, I will always say Fairytail

archkyrology's avatar

The Apothecary Diaries!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYNGkSvFT8c

This is a new anime that is actually based off novels that were then turned into manga! It's visually stunning, has a beautiful score, and is unique in it's story/genre. It's based in feudal China and follows the story of MaoMao as she solves crimes related to poisonings. For an anime about solving crimes, it's actually quite relaxing and engaging- and I cannot wait for season two. A lot of anime is focused on fighting or battles, and as much as I love those, this anime relies on being clever and funny- just like MaoMao is! I have been recommending this to everyone I know who enjoys anime and everyone absolutely loves it.

The Apothecary Diaries is great for someone just getting into anime and might be intimidated by longer series, or is not particularly interested in more fighting/action anime. With 24 episodes in season 1, and season 2 on the way its a great starter for those just getting into anime to see the variety and potential of anime in general!

Lanah Tyra's avatar

Howl's moving castle

A true masterpiece from Miyazaki, beautiful graphics, the characters are all well written and very human, easy to get attached to or relate with their life. It has the right balance of despair and happy ending which is probably the best for someone just starting out with anime.

The English voice acting is very good as well, though for me the true anime experience comes with watching in Japanese with subtitles, but I know that's not everyone's cup of tea. But this is one of the rare ones I don't cringe when watching in English.

I think a lot of people still assume that anime as all comedy and for children because it's not live action so it can't be serious, right? But in reality most anime is touching very serious subjects and is definitely not aimed at children. Even people who generally don't like anime seem to like this one, and refuse to admit they are watching anime.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwROgK94zcM

A

Attack On Titan

I don't care how cliche this is, this is one of the best shows of all time. You're introduced to a world with eren, mikasa and armin, what seems like a peaceful time of literally children living their lives, when out of nowhere these massive human looking monsters start attacking the wall and destroying absolutely everything, even a relative of the main characters!! I won't spoil who, you'll need to watch. This peaceful start turns very very violent, and levea the viewer with so many questions, who and what are these titans, where did they come from? How are these people going to survive further attacks?

What will happen to eren, mikasa and armin?

The show is great in introducing elements and you'll slowly start to learn key features of the titans before the show gets very complex, but boy is that complex story INCREDIBLY REWARDING, go watch the first episode right now if you've never seen it

Available on crunchy roll

Makster's avatar

It's a difficult question. Anime is a medium in of itself just like Rock music - you can go down to different subgenres that some people will take to more than others. So it will have to be based on what a viewers taste is.

I wouldn't want to recommend one of the bigger anime like Dragon Ball or One Piece or Naruto due to the episode count can be intimidating and off-putting for new-comers. With that said I think a great starter show is:

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad (2004)

A story about a teenage boy (Koyuki) that was drifting through highschool without any real passions before he discovers Rock Music and forms a band. What I like about this anime is that it is quite grounded in reality and character driven drama. Each band member has a little backstory leading them to form Beck and you can really feel the connection between each of the band members. Koyuki has his own hang ups, reservations, being a shy awkward boy, being bullied, having trouble talking to girls but being able to have a creative outlet through music. Honestly one of the realist anime I've been on being able to relate to a character on a human level. It's my recommendation as it retains that anime artstyle but tells a relatable realistic coming-of-age story that anyone can enjoy

Paul's avatar

I have always found it hard to get in to anime but the Castlevainia series on Netflix was brilliant and I highly recommend it even if you dont think anime is for you.

The story is gripping and easy to follow and the characters are really well written.

https://youtu.be/m3jNb7IdJHQ?si=yjLeSff4VtJVD42y

Horror and Cats's avatar

Of course! I can't believe I forgot about Castlevania, that would be a great jumping off point for people who aren't used to anime.

taha's avatar

Erased

https://youtu.be/DwmxEAWjTQQ?si=89oucf8XwAeVQ-zL

This anime is one of my all time favourites and it's only twelve episodes and one season. It follows Satoru, a manga artist who has a strange condition that sends him back in time to just before something life-threatening happens, allowing him to alter events. This gets tested further when he is sent back in time to when he was a kid in order to solve a mystery from his past. It may be a murder mystery with some sci-fi elements but to me, it's also a comfort anime that I really enjoy watching for its art and setting. Because it is only twelve episodes, it feels almost like a five hour movie and it gives a great glimpse into what anime can do when it comes to storytelling and while it has had a live action adaptation, the story just fits the hand-drawn medium of anime so perfectly. Would highly recommend before taking on other anime with multiple seasons or more than twelve episodes!

Scrbzy's avatar

I watched this years ago and loved it, perhaps I should re-watch it soon! ☺️

taha's avatar

Hell yeah, I really wanna rewatch it too! 🤩

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