New to Anime and Funimation: Suggestions, Please?

  • Hey all! My name's Stevens (yes, that's actually my first name).

    I've only recently started subscribing to Funimation and am a bit overwhelmed by the number of titles they offer. I could use some help in figuring out my list of things to try.

    In reading other posts on this forum, I see the most common thing people say in reply to requests for suggestions is (if the poster hasn't already done so) to tell the poster he/she needs to give some guidance on what they already like. So, here goes:

    Inuyasha - I liked how poignant this was, and how the characters were distinct, but pulled together when they had to.

    Ghost in the Shell - Sophisticated story lines and the right level of cyberpunk.

    Death Note - This was really, really cleverly written, and the horror aspect was compelling. It lost me, though, about mid-way through (a result, I think, of the writers not knowing how to keep the cat-and-mouse aspect going any further).

    Naruto - I like watching this with my 13-year-old son. The childish humor is a bit tedious at times, but the process of maturation for the young characters is actually a bit inspiring.

    Code Geass - Another one with a boatload of poignance. The lonesome, noble, imperfect protagonist was a very sympathetic hero. Nothing's ever easy for him, but he can't avoid his destiny. Very powerful, if a bit melodramatic.

    I did not care much for Chobits or A Certain Scientific Railgun. Both seemed kind of aimless. Dragonauts: The Resonance seemed kind of meandering as well. Casshern Sins felt like it was trying for the same sort of "tormented hero" effect that Inuyasha and Code Geass achieved, but laid it on way too thick to be convincing. (I did like both "Airbender" series, but I'm reluctant to say so in an anime forum, as I am told that risks getting me dragged into the alley and pummeled.)

    Other pointless biographical info: I'm 56, mostly a computer programmer, though I've also practiced law and been an elected local official. I love science fiction, particularly Niven, Baxter, pre-Stranger Heinlein, and Ken Liu. I loved reading Tolkien, Donaldson, and Gaiman, so I'm into fantasy too.

    Any and all suggestions gratefully accepted.


  • Welcome to the forums, Stevens. Let me know if there's anything I can help you with. :)

    As for recommendations, I think I can offer a few.

    First off, anything and everything by Shinichiro Watanabe, which includes Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Space Dandy, and Terror in Resonance. Also there's Michiko & Hatchin, which he didn't direct but did the music for, which is very similar in style.

    If you liked the original Ghost in the Shell, there's a brand new addition to the series called Arise. Also if you want to go further into the cyberpunk genre, try out Ergo Proxy, Serial Experiments Lain, and Akira.

    Then there are the works of Yashiro Nightow, which are Trigun, Gungrave, and Blood Blockade Battlefront. These three shows are all drastically different from one another but are all terrific series nonetheless.

    Also, if you're a fan of shows like Inuyasha and Naruto, you might want to give One Piece and Fairy Tail a try. And of course there's always Dragon Ball (stay away from GT, though).

    Other shows from FUNi that I can recommend are Baccano, Darker Than Black, Death Parade, Rage of Bahamut Genesis, Garo the Animation, Yatterman Night, Attack on Titan, and Assassination Classroom.

    Just don't watch Master of Martial Hearts. Not even as a joke. Not even if you're dared to do it. Friends don't let friends watch Master of Martial Hearts.

    I hope that helps you out! Let me know if you need any more recommendations.

  • In addition to SpacemanHardy's recommendations I'll add Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. While the shows feature the same basic premise, they're very different shows in themes and tone. Brotherhood is more story-driven and has more action, while the original series is more focused on characters.

  • Thanks to both of you! I'll add all of those to my queue (assuming the Roku queue bug is fixed ;-) ).

  • I would 110% add Steins;Gate to the list– really interesting time travel related sci-fi, with a lot of call backs and references to classic sci-fi characters/tropes/ideas. It's both funny and genuinely well-written/put together in terms of plot. If you're familiar with classic sci-fi you will almost immediately figure out one of the major puzzles they have to solve, but even if you do, it's still enjoyable watching the characters get there. :)

    I'd also like to second Ergo Proxy and Serial Experiments Lain as some good sci-fi titles.

    Baccano is one of my favorite animes of all time. I'm not sure if it fits in with your "profile" but I pretty much rec it to everyone.

  • I just want to thank you for understanding the multiple levels of Naruto. It's good storytelling! It's definitely the deepest of the long-running battle shows, though, so if you think it's the furthest away from your tastes compared to what else you've watched, One Piece and Fairy Tail might not be your style. They're comparable to Avatar though, so you might as well check them out!

    All else I can really recommend that hasn't been said is Psycho-Pass (if you don't mind how they lay the literary devices on thick), Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (a pretty interesting post-apocalyptic idea with space robots and a seafaring civilization), and Jormungand (weapons dealers in third world countires!) and/or Black Lagoon (the same thing but pirates!), all of which are varying levels of dark (Jormungand is probably the most light-hearted)

  • CJ, I will add your suggestions as well. I've seen Baccano on a lot of "bests" lists, so was already inclined to give it a try.

    Riles, Naruto bored me for a long time, until I realized it did have multiple levels. It has an after-the-fall, post-apocalyptic quality that is both daunting and uplifting, as though a better time might come if the world implodes. The mix of old and new tech that allows them is something I always find beguiling (if anyone watched The Galaxy Rangers, that was something I liked about that one, too). Also, like Inuyasha and Code Geass, I see Naruto as another individual forced to come to terms with a destiny he didn't choose for himself, yet is too big to discard or avoid. He comes at it from a very different angle than those others, but that's because he's still an immature kid (a "shonen," I think). That just makes his problems somewhat more complex, but his solutions somewhat more satisfying.

    You folks are very kind to help out a noob this way. I'll make a point of commenting on each suggestion as I watch them, so maybe others can multiply the value of the time you've given me on this.


  • I can't believe I forgot about Psycho-Pass and Steins;Gate. Definitely check those out too. Some other sci-fi shows you might enjoy are Gankutsuou (which is a retelling of the Count of Monte Cristo…. in space!) and Last Exile.

    Oh, and if you take Riles' suggestions and watch Jormungand and Black Lagoon, you also might want to check out Gangsta. It's still currently airing in Japan, but you can catch the simulcast episodes every Sunday, and it'll also be getting a broadcast dub in English starting this coming Wednesday.

    One more recommendation I'd like to make because I know someone is going to bring it up eventually, but be sure to check out Mushi-shi. It's one of the more relaxed, thought-provoking anime out there, and I highly recommend it. FUNimation has the first season and the live-action movie available, but you'll have to to go Crunchyroll for season 2.

  • If you like Shounen sci-fi I would definitely recommend Accel World. Though seeing as you're 56 you are a bit out of the shounen demographic so it would be a bit of a hit-or-miss, or I feel it would be anyway.

    Attack on Titan is pretty much a prerequisite.

    Fate/Zero, Akame Ga Kill, and Hellsing Ultimate if you like action. Personally I like Akame Ga Kill because of the whole "rebellion against the empire" thing that Star Wars allowed me to love.

    I will add that if you want to maybe try and venture out of your comfort zone, Puella Madoka Magicka and The Devil is a Part-Timer would be some pretty good ones.

  • Welcome to the forums Steven. Hope you enjoy posting with us. A few suggestions I can give that may or may not have been said. Heroic Age, Black Cat, Shakugan no Shana, The Devil is a Part-timer, Ben-to!, and i fyou can manage to find it somewhere, Yu Yu Hakusho. All funi shows. A couple no funi shows, Bleach (VIZ MEDIA) , Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (VIZ), Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (VIZ), Log Horizon (Sentai Filmworks), No Game No Life (sentai), CLANNAD (Sentai), Kill la Kill (Aniplex of America) and Wagnaria (NISA). Hope you enjoy a few of them.

  • Welcome to the forums, Stevens! I love reading Tolkien as well, as my username suggests :)
    I also strongly suggest Psycho-Pass (it's the best anime ever!!! Well, that's my opinion, anyway!); and the sci-fi Knights of Sidonia, as well (streaming on Netflix). For fantasy anime, Laughing Under the Clouds is another one of my favorites.

  • Welcome to the forums; hope that you post a lot around here.

    Here are some of my recommendations: Shingu: Secret of the Stellar War, Heroic Age, Samurai 7, and Summer Wars.

    If you are interested, don't forget to check out the link in my sig about requesting the FUNimation Channel, the only 24/7 anime channel in North America.

  • I had Verizon cable, which dropped Funimation a while back. In the ultimate act of protest, I have dropped Verizon cable. I stream Funimation now, which I like a lot better than getting it on cable anyway.

  • Wow, I just typed up a list of all the suggestions you folks have made. It's 56 entries long!

    Here's the whole list:

    Accel World
    Akame Ga Kill
    Assassination Classroom
    Attack on Titan
    Black Cat
    Black Lagoon
    Blood Blockade Battlefront
    Cowboy Bebop
    Darker Than Black
    Death Parade
    Devil is a Part-Timer, The
    Ergo Proxy
    Fairy Tail
    Fullmetal Alchemist
    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
    Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
    Garo the Animation
    Hellsing Ultimate
    Heroic Age
    Kill la Kill
    Knights of Sidonia
    Last Exile
    Laughing Under the Clouds
    Log Horizon
    Michiko & Hatchin
    No Game No Life
    Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan
    One Piece
    Puella Madoka Magicka
    Rage of Bahamut Genesis
    Samurai 7
    Samurai Champloo
    Serial Experiments Lain
    Shakugan no Shana
    Shingu: Secret of the Stellar War
    Space Dandy
    Summer Wars
    Terror in Resonance
    Yatterman Night
    Yu Yu Hakusho

    That's a lot of television to watch, at 24 minutes each. I've had a look at Cowboy Bebop, and liked that. Shakugan no Shana was also pretty good. Bleach was a bit over the top, for me, likewise Fullmetal Alchemist. Naturally, after SpacemanHardy's warning, I was curious about Master of Martial Hearts. Had a look at the trailer, and… well, thanks for warning me ahead of time. I'm not a prude, but I will say I agree with your advice on that one.

    So, if you all had to pick three as the best of the best above, which ones? (And thanks again for all the good counsel.)

  • Defintely Steins;Gate and Attack on Titan as #s 1 & 2. The third would be up for a matter of debate because everyone has their own opinions, but we all agree that AoT and Steins;Gate are probably one of the best representations of anime that Funimation has (basing this on frequency of recommendation throughout multiple threads). And considering I haven't watched even half of this list my #3 would be out of my preference, which based on your OP and what I could compare what you've watched to, I would feel confident saying Fate/Zero being #3.

    But I would concede the third suggestion so someone like Spaceman because he seems to have watched a more diverse amount than I have.

  • I highly recommend the following anime titles
    Speed Grapher
    Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
    Welcome to the NHK
    Rumbling Hearts
    5 Centimeters Per Second
    Elfen Lied
    Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
    Genshiken ( this one could be somewhat hard to find nowadays, there is no legal way to stream season 1 & 2, but the dvds are kinda cheap if you buy them used)
    Golden Boy
    The Garden of Words

  • @darthrutsula:

    But I would concede the third suggestion so someone like Spaceman because he seems to have watched a more diverse amount than I have.

    Thanks Darth. :)

    I would say that if you liked what you've seen so far of Bebop, that should most definitely be the first series you finish. It's considered a time-honored classic and the quintessential "gateway drug" of any and all new anime fans. It's also thought by many fans (myself included) to be arguably the greatest anime ever made.

    If FMA started out a bit "over-the-top" for you, I'd definitely recommend sticking with it. It gets VEEERRRY deep and philosophical as it goes on. And I'd definitely recommend starting with the original 2003 series before Brotherhood, despite what others might argue.

    After Bebop, then yeah, Steins;Gate and AoT sound about as good as any to follow it up. Maybe Trigun and Black Lagoon after that. After you've sunk about 4 or 5 series down, then go for Baccano.

  • Okay, this is great. I had a look at Steins;Gate last night. Pretty cool. Quirky, edgy dialog, which I do like. Story was a bit confusing, but I expected that with a time-travel premise. Will keep with it. On the short list, now, I have these:

    1. Cowboy Bebop
    2. Steins;Gate
    3. Attack on Titan
    4. Trigun
    5. Black Lagoon
    6. Baccano

    That ought to keep me busy for a bit. Of those, which, if any, are most akin to the "tormented hero" character of Inuyasha? That's a dramatic trope that seems to work well for me in this art form.

  • @stevensrmiller:

    That ought to keep me busy for a bit. Of those, which, if any, are most akin to the "tormented hero" character of Inuyasha? That's a dramatic trope that seems to work well for me in this art form.

    Probably Trigun. The main character Vash the Stampede at first comes off as an incredible goofball, but once you get into his backstory you realize he's had to go through a LOOOOOT of crap.

    Spike from Bebop and Revy from Black Lagoon both have tragic backstories as well, and with Eren from AoT you actually get to see him endure his torment in real time.

  • Oh my god. I just finally went through this whole thing and just realized how this was the most shockingly welcoming and informative introduction to the medium I've seen in a while. Mr. Miller, I just want you to know there's a lot, and I mean a LOOOOOOOOOT of places on the internet where discussion of the anime medium is most definitely a controversial one, and the topic of where newcomers could or should start typically go in a variety of directions, but you seemed very willing to discuss and share what interests you an/or a willingness to try new and different things. I'm legitimately surprised you've found much joy and intrigue out of shows like Inuyasha and Naruto by looking under the deeper layers of the shows. I'm kind of surprised I guess.

    Personally I'm more glad that you've had a welcome experience with many of our forum members willing to share and recommend you all sorts of different shows. You've got a LOT of shows already thrown at you, and not every show is the same as the other with varied levels of quality and length. But even so, of the six shows you've got on your current watch list, those are definitely some fine titles that are worth watching. Figured I'd vouch for a few more favorites of mine.

    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is one of my personal all-time favorites, with a variety of different subjects and philosophies containing a diverse cast of characters alongside a pretty nice blend of action, drama, and comedy without ever seeming too out of place. Also combined into a gripping epic tale with one of the most complete conclusions I've ever seen in an animated series. Alongside your love of Sci-Fi, Psycho Pass is a pretty strong one too, particularly the first season (22 episodes long). Jormungand and Michiko & Hatchin are great shows if you come out liking both Black Lagoon & Cowboy Bebop too. Also whether or not it is your cup of tea or not, I feel like Gurren Lagann is definitely an experience to watch at least once. It's another epic tale filled with some pretty interesting themes and is definitely filled with a lot of visual flare and style that really makes it a unique story all its own.

    Alright I got my list of things down pat. You don't have to watch all or any of them, but I just thought I'd share as you were so eager to embrace this definitely very curious but fascinating medium and be welcomed with warm arms rather than turned away due to some of the more curious vocal majority of those that inhabit the internet. And I hope you enjoy what you find.

    Welcome to the Forums.

  • Glad to be here, classyspartan. Thanks for the additional recommendations. You and burrahobbit1987 both mentioned Psycho-Pass for my sf needs, so I'll add that to the short list. This really is working out to be a great source of guidance. With so much to choose from, I could easily imagine someone randomly choosing things, not liking what they saw, and giving up before discovering the shows they like.

    I do know what you mean, about online discussions sometimes degenerating into chaos, brawls, or both. I find that's easy to avoid if you: 1. Read what's already there before you post, so you know the local standards and avoid wasting people's time, and 2. Admit your ignorance when asking for help. At my age, I don't mind admitting when I don't know something. There's plenty that I do know (heck, I've been qualified as an expert witness about a dozen times, so I guess I must know something, right?), so I don't worry about it when I ask for help on something that I don't know. A little humility goes a long way when one is making new friends, and it can help avoid some of that online nastiness.

    Good moderators are a big help too. SpacemanHardy jumped right in and took me up on my request for suggestions with some very helpful stuff. I hadn't thought of making choices based on directors, but, now that he's brought it up, that seems like a good angle to use. Thoughtful answers like that tend to breed more thoughtful answers.

    Oh, I watched Attack on Titan last night. Great suggestion! I've got that in my queue now. My son's back from a week at camp, so we'll be back to Naruto as well. (Being that he's thirteen, I imagine he will eventually discover the "fanservice" genre. But, I have the password to the full-access account, so maybe I can hold that off a little longer…)

    Side-note: If anyone attends the MarsCon convention in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, my family and I go every January. Be glad to see you in person.


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