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A Beginner's Guide to Anime

For many people, everything about anime is simply absurd. Japanese animation is just too weird, too silly, and too juvenile to be worth watching. Of course, anyone who has ever seen a good anime would disagree with that assumption. But it's hard to convince someone to take the plunge and give anime a shot. That's where this article comes in. I aim to proclaim the virtues of this often overlooked genre, including this tightly kept secret only known by the anime viewing community. Even now, during television's golden era, a lot of the biggest and best shows are anime. Programs like BoJack Horseman , Archer , The Simpsons , and South Park have demonstrated that audiences are hungry for animated shows. But these comedies are nothing compared to the powerful and emotionally charged stories anime portray. The best anime can rival the feels of a classic Disney movie and surpass the sophisticated complexities of House of Cards . How do they do it? Anime is such a rich combination of storytelling and art that its quality often exceeds even the best "ordinary" television shows. If you truly consider yourself a fan of television, it is time you gave the anime genre a chance. And here are some suggestions for how to start. If you like Dexter , try Death Note Serial killer who kills bad guys? Check. Murderer hiding in plain sight while he works with the police? Check. Satisfying conclusions? Well... while Dexter 's ending (and the last few seasons) left some fans disappointed, Death Note is consistently entertaining. Watching as main character Light Yagami uses his "Death Note" to murder evil-doers and create a new world is as addictive as it is fascinating. If you like your television shows smart and dark, Death Note is the perfect anime for you. If you like Game of Thrones , try Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Both of these shows have the familial backstabbing, political warfare, grand battles, and desperate fight for the throne that you crave. In Code Geass , an outcasted prince of Britannia fights against his father's empire to seize control of Japan and the world. This brilliant anime has just the right mix of action, humor, and intellectual depth to sustain you while you wait for winter to finally come. By the time you're done watching Code Geass , you'll be more obsessed with Zero and the Black Knights than you ever were with Westeros. If you like Top Chef , try Food Wars (Shokugeki no Soma) There's a reason why cooking shows are so popular nowadays. "Food porn" (a phrase I am wholly uncomfortable with) is super fun to watch. Seeing delicious-looking food get prepared and learning how to cook it at home has universal appeal. Somehow, Food Wars elevates this art to an entirely new level. Watching as aspiring chef Yukihira Soma cooks mouth-watering dishes and battles other talented chefs combines all of food porn's appeal into one appetizing show. Not only do you learn about amazing high-end cooking techniques, this show features more exquisite international dishes than you'd see spending a whole day watching the Food Network. If you like The Walking Dead , try Attack on Titan The Walking Dead and Attack on Titan have the same premise. The few people still alive after a global catastrophe band together to fight off human-eating monsters in an attempt to kill them all! In The Walking Dead , Rick and the gang just have to kill some plain old zombies. In Attack on Titan , Eren and his friends have to kill giant naked people-eating monsters called titans that have destroyed most of humanity. Both of these shows are exciting, action-packed, and often depressing. But not only is Attack on Titan faster-paced and more interesting, it actually offers up the hope that humanity can defeat these monsters. If that midseason premiere left you hating life or you've been off the TWD train for a while now, try Attack on Titan . It's just as hyped as The Walking Dead , but much more deservedly so. If you like American Horror Story , try Another Nothing is as thrilling as a terrifying mystery. While AHS runs the gamut of mildly scary to just plain weird, Another is a show that's guaranteed to scare the pants off of you. Kouichi Sakakibara is a new student at his school. In his class there is a mysterious girl who everyone else seems to ignore for some reason. As his classmates begin to die in strange accidents, the mystery surrounding this girl and these deaths only grows. If you enjoy a satisfying and scary mystery, Another is an anime worth checking out. If you like Supernatural , try Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is considered by many to be the greatest anime ever made. It is centered around the Elric brothers, who, after the unfortunate death of their mother, try to use the power of alchemy to bring her back to life. Edward (who lost an arm and a leg trying to bring his mom back) and Alphonse (who lost his whole body) journey out into the world desperate to find a way to get their original bodies back. Like the Winchesters, they battle against demons called homunculi, all while trying to overcome an incredible loss. If you only view one show mentioned in this article, this is the one you should see. It is a truly moving tale of sacrifice, human nature, and the innate goodness inside of all of us. While not exactly comparable to television shows currently on the air, there are many other anime shows that beginners to this genre should consider checking out: Durarara!! , Madoka Magica , Steins;Gate , and Naruto are all fantastic anime to start with. If you think I'm a jerk for leaving out your favorite, you have a question about a show I recommended, or you have a recommendation of your own, leave a comment below! div.post p { text-align: justify; }

The 5 Best Intellectual Anime Series

Love anime? Heard of it but never indulged and looking to check it out? Why not start with the five best?! As an anime conoisseur, I can say without a doubt that the fundamental aspects of intellectual anime are the ingenuity, originality, and high-level of intelligence that go into the writing of these iconic titles. You may have heard of the first two series here, but that's why I'm including five, so even people who're familiar with Death Note and Code Geass can find something of a similar intellectual caliber to watch. If you've been hesitant about anime in the past, it's never to late to start, and there's no better place to begin with than those which contain some of the smartest writing in the animeverse.     1. Death Note   Genres: Mystery/Thriller/Supernatural Description: A brilliant young idealist finds a journal granting him the power to decide who lives and who dies. Why: Death Note is one of the most popular anime franchises in all of Japan, and for good reason: it's extremely original. It is not an action-based series, but rather the start of a small sub-category of anime that focuses on extremely intellectual writing, including mind games, brilliant plans, masterminds and games of cat & mouse. Like the BBC ’s Sherlock where you watch and become entranced by the ingenious deductions of the protagonist, Death Note is similar as you watch the protagonist, Light, attempt to use the titular "Death Note" to create a world free of crime—and the brilliant ways in which he hides himself from the genius detective that is after him. It’s truly unique.           2. Code Geass & Code Geass R2   Genres: Mecha/Action/_television/genres/syfy Description: A man with a mysterious paranormal mind-control ability uses his gift to start a rebellion in a world rife with turmoil. Why: Unlike 99% of mecha anime, if you Google Code Geass , you will be hard pressed to actually find a giant robot. That's because although the show focuses on combat, the method of combat for a considerable amount of time, it isn't the focus of the show. What makes Code Geass so exceptional is how main character Lelouch uses his ability to read the battlefield, plant spies from within, and create a whole hidden network/rebellion all while maintaining a separate identity.             3. Eden of the East   Genres: Suspense/Thriller/Mystery/Action Description: Three months after a carefully orchestrated missile attack on japan with no casualties, 12 seemingly random people are given ¥10 Billion by the terrorist and told they must spend it to "save the world"—or be killed Why: Eden of the East , like Death Note , is highly intellectual. While not primarily an “action” show, it doesn't lack for suspense. It's somewhat conceptually similar to FOX ’s 24 : using a large pool of money, but given virtually no clues, Akira must use everything at his disposal to uncover a terrorist plot, and save Japan from total annihilation. Along the way he encounters other players in the game: a detective, a hospital director, a serial killer, and more. Rather than a second season, there are two movies that continue the story.           4. No Game No Life   Genres: Fantasy/Ecchi/Adventure Description:  The world's best online gamers—a brother and sister collectively known as blank—are sucked into an alternate reality in which the outcome of everything is determined by games. Why: First of all, No Game No Life has some of the most colorful and beautiful art of any anime out there (though, fair warning, this series is intended for a male audience, and it can be intensely sexual). Everything in the world of the show must be solved using games, of which the creators determine the rules. The loser of the game is then magically forced to comply to the agreed upon terms. It features clever schemes, plots, and games orchestrated to bring humanity—here a nonmagical group—to the forefront of the many powerful, magical races that populate this strange colorful world. Don’t underestimate protagonist Sora: he may be a pervert, but he's no less a hero than the others on this list. Together with his sister, they can beat anyone—even a god.         5. Steins;Gate   Genres: Science Fiction/Mystery/Comedy Description:  Real world Mad Scientist Okabe Rintaro accidentally invents a time machine, triggering a series of events that put him and his friends in danger. Why: Stein’s;Gate is both a highly popular anime, and a game series. It’s quirky and fun with a good balance between humor and seriousness. In this mind-bender, Okabe and his friends must wrack their brains to unravel the mystery of how their (accidental) time machine works. Though not as good as any of the above animes, it still stands above the rest of the anime genre in terms of intellectuality.          

New Code Geass Projects Green-Lit for 2010 - Featured

The Japanese site for Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, the smash hit sci-fi/political thriller from Sunrise, was updated today with an announcement from producer Kawaguchi Yoshitaka. Yoshitaka's message contains some notes about the future plans for the world of Code Geass, with a full-on multimedia blitz coming in the near future. From a new manga set centuries before the events of Lelouch of the Rebellion to a whole slate of new books, CDs, merchandise, and visual work, Code Geass looks like the next coming of Gundam for Sunrise. The first step of the new multimedia project is to be announced in this week's Newtype magazine, but sources say that the first piece of the puzzle will be a manga called Code Geass: Shikkoku no Renya (roughly, "Renya of the Darkness") and will be set in the Edo period of the Geass world's Japan. Surprisingly, the manga isn't being handed off to an artist and left to roam free - Taniguchi Goro, the co-creator of Code Geass himself, is going to be writing the story. The manga will star a young man named Renya, who meets a mysterious witch named Reifuu C.C., as well as a man who bears a striking resemblance to everyone's favorite Machiavellian high school student. While it's no surprise that they aren't directly continuing the story of Lelouch given the ending to the series, it's interesting that Sunrise is going to hop around history with this new manga. With a whole host of other works related to the Code Geass universe ready to rush to market over the next couple of years, you have to wonder just what they'll do next to expand the world they created. We'll find out next year! Read this and more anime news at AnimeReel, the anime arm of SideReel!