Recent anime recommendations
February 23, 2014 7:20 PM   Subscribe

So after a hiatus of several years I've started watching anime again, and would like recommendations for anime that came out in the past 5 years. I've watched anime on and off over the years, so I am already familiar with a lot of the older stuff, such as the recommendations from past AskMe anime questions.

Stuff I have watched recently and enjoyed:
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
Gatchaman Crowds
Tiger & Bunny
Log Horizon
Tokyo Ravens
Shinsekai Yori

Stuff I regretted watching:
Valvrave the Liberator (Eru-Erufu was great, but everything else ...)
Red Data Girl

I haven't really been able to get into Attack on Titan, mainly due to the animation style. Kill la Kill has been enjoyable, but a little goes a long way.

I also welcome recommendations for good anime review sites.
posted by needled to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I really liked "fairy tale" not sure if that I'd your style or not.
posted by Jaelma24 at 7:39 PM on February 23, 2014

Anime is a wide and varied in it's genres. Could you describe what you liked about the anime you've watched in the past? Or perhaps the type you didn't like?

Outside that, if you haven't seen it yet, my #1 suggest is Code Geass and Code Geass R2
posted by royalsong at 7:54 PM on February 23, 2014

posted by Standard Orange at 7:56 PM on February 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not sure what style you like but "Clannad/After Story" is one of the best stories I've ever seen in any genre. It's more "real-life drama" and less "crazy flying robots" but just so so so so good.

If you want the same Key/Visual Arts feel with a little more supernatural, "Angel Beats" is also extremely good.

As far as visual beauty, you can't do much better than "5 Centimeters A Second" or anything else by Makoto Shinkai.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:58 PM on February 23, 2014

("Clannad" may be a little older, sorry. But seriously SO SO SO good.)
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:12 PM on February 23, 2014

Given your tastes (excluding SSY), I'm not sure how well my recommendations will overlap with your taste, so your mileage may vary. These were the biggest hits of the past two or three years: Steins;Gate, Madoka, Mawaru Penguindrum, Aku no Hana, Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (film)

Slightly less emphatically you also have: Fate/Zero, Uchouten Kazoku, Ano Hana.
posted by SollosQ at 8:22 PM on February 23, 2014

Have you tried Space Dandy? The plot is dissimilar to the ones listed above (more Cowboy Bebop by Mushroom Samba) but the animation is incredible.

For reviews, I'd look at the anime news networks preview guides. They are grouped by the date the shows came out, so you can figure out which years you don't have covered. Given the timeline you set out, you may want to try Watamote, The Eccentric Family, Flowers of Evil, Mayou, Kids on the Slope, Polar Bear Cafe, Lupin the Third - The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, Bodacious Space Pirates, Chihayafuru, Penguindrum, Steins; Gate, Little Witch Academia, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

I mainly went through the list of ANN's preview guides for the last 3 years or so, grabbing anything that sparked critical acclaim and fan buzz, with a slant against straight comedy and fanboy pandering (there is a little in there, but Bodacious Space Pirates, despite its name, really isn't). Little Witch Academia isn't on the preview guide, because of it's Youtube origins.
posted by zabuni at 9:20 PM on February 23, 2014

Please see my user page for descriptions of Mouretsu Pirates and Girls und Panzer. Much recommended!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:31 PM on February 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, and for movies, which really aren't available on Streaming sites:

Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, or Wolf Children, as mentioned above.
Summer Wars.
From Up on Poppy Hill.
Garden of Words
Children who Chase Lost Voices.

No links for these, as they don't really get streamed like series do legitimately.
posted by zabuni at 9:31 PM on February 23, 2014

Oh, and for another movie, Redline, if you like balls to the wall action.
posted by zabuni at 9:36 PM on February 23, 2014

If you like fan service shows which offer more than just fan service, there are two excellent examples that came out in the last five years.

Asobi ni Iku Yo! (alias "Cat Planet Cuties"). There are aliens among us, and they're catgirls! Eris is an advanced scout from a Cathean starship, which is exploring this section of the galaxy looking for civilized worlds with which to establish diplomatic and trade relations. She lands on Okinawa and ends up moving in with high school boy Kio, whose house eventually becomes the official Cathean embassy. On the surface it's a harem show (two other girls in the harem) but there's a deeper story going on, because there is another race known as Dogisian who are galactic outcasts, who are operating surreptiously on Earth. The Dogisians don't want the Catheans there, and the Dogisian commander makes several attempts to drive them away.

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimou (alias "Demon King Daimaou") is about a guy named Sai Akuto (which can mean "Extreme villain" depending on how it's written) who is a high school guy entering the Constant Magical Academy. His goal in life is to become a high priest. However, upon his entry an oracle (which has never been wrong) declares that his fate is to become the Demon King. This horrifies him, especially since word spreads and everyone begins to treat everything he does as if it is part of some terribly deep evil plot.

The thing is, he isn't evil. He's kind and caring. After a while, a handful of people get to know him well enough to see through the rumors to the real guy underneath, and become his friends. But there are too many people who can't, and eventually it all hits the fan in a truly spectacular ending.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:46 PM on February 23, 2014

I've been out of touch with anime for a while, but I liked Romeo x Juliet, which is a modern, sci-fi retelling of the William Shakespeare classic.

I also generally go with Noitamina's anime listing.
posted by Carmine Red at 10:10 PM on February 23, 2014

MyAnimeList seems to have pretty good reviews, ratings and recommendations, in my (limited) experience.

As far as recent stuff goes, I'll second the recommendation for Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Also, if you've already watched the Haruhi Suzumiya series, the sequel movie The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is really good.
posted by teraflop at 12:05 AM on February 24, 2014

The Nihon Review is my go-to site for Anime recommendations and reviews. The link above is to their anime reviews. I usually sort by Rating, and give a look at everything getting an 8, 9 or 10.
Their reviews are exceptionally thorough and well written.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 3:24 AM on February 24, 2014

The commonality of the recent anime I've enjoyed is that they are all sf / fantasy with some interesting world-building going on (esp. with Gargantia and Shinsekai Yori), with relatively well-fleshed out supporting characters. I don't enjoy slice-of-life type anime although I enjoy the genre in manga form. "Crazy flying robots" (or massive magic battles à la Tokyo Ravens) are a plus for me in anime ... And it helps if characters maintain some consistency in their behavior or motivation through the series, which was a problem with Valvrave.

Probably the worst type of anime for me would be where the main cast consists of painfully cute middle school or high school age girls agonizing over their love lives, with random gratuitous male-oriented fan service thrown in.

Of the recommendations so far, Penguindrum is the one that sounds most interesting, and I hadn't previously heard of it.
posted by needled at 5:30 AM on February 24, 2014

The four-part Ghost in the Shell: Arise series started last summer. It's good, especially if you watched the Stand Alone Complex series.
posted by neushoorn at 6:39 AM on February 24, 2014

You may like:
Psycho Pass
Sword Arts Online
Kuroko's Basketball (husband loves it, and he hates basketball)
Give Strike the Blood a chance... it has some harem elements, but is still enjoyable.
Witch Craft Works may look like it has fan service (main character is chesty) but is worth a try.
Fate/Zero (intricate story, consistent characters)
Also give "Future Diaries" a go, but has a bit of disturbing stuff in it.
Tagami Bachi

Edited to add: Project K

Enjoy :)
posted by Verdandi at 3:32 PM on February 24, 2014

Sorry, Witch Craft Works is turning into crap.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:00 PM on February 24, 2014

needled: "The commonality of the recent anime I've enjoyed is that they are all sf / fantasy with some interesting world-building going on (esp. with Gargantia and Shinsekai Yori), with relatively well-fleshed out supporting characters.

5 years is a decent span of time, so let me dig into the archives. If you haven't seen the Fullmetal Alchemist reboot (Brotherhood), just start there.

If you have, then I recommend:
Darker Than Black and it's partner miniseries. Very full of sci-fi and world building.
Durarara!! is kind of an ensemble cast of European myths just trying to get by in modern Tokyo. From the same mind as Baccanno!!
Soul-Eater is a light hearted fantasy show about an academy training Soul Reapers. Features a bit of man vs. self in the sense of not going insane with fear, which I found unusual for the genre.
Real Drive is a sci-fi show with the same themes as Ghost in the Shell, but also features a) a lot less combat and b) realistic female body types.

"Crazy flying robots" (or massive magic battles à la Tokyo Ravens) are a plus for me in anime ..."
Eureka Seven: AO (and if you haven't seen it, the original Eureka Seven).
Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing features huge flying ships, and builds off the fairly unique world from the prequel from like ten years ago

I have to say Redline is a completely ridiculous movie, and should be experienced at least once.

needled: "I also welcome recommendations for good anime review sites."

I like AniDB; you can sort by ratings, and they have a decent recommendation system.
posted by pwnguin at 8:56 PM on February 27, 2014

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