Andrew K.

Reviews 12
Approval 93%

Soundoffs 6
Album Ratings 793
Objectivity 68%

Last Active 03-23-14 8:23 pm
Joined 01-02-11

Forum Posts 7
Review Comments 1,893

04.14.14 Anime You Should (must) Watch03.23.14 Clannad And Clannad: After Story
03.12.14 Albums That Age Well02.27.14 11 Great Albums You (probably) Haven't
02.25.14 Lyrics02.22.14 Toby Driver Full Lengths
02.18.14 Great Closing/final Tracks02.17.14 Pick What I Review Next
02.16.14 Great First Tracks02.12.14 Favourite Albums From Artists
01.19.14 I Want To Review One Of These. Pick One01.17.14 Studio Ghibli Movies
01.05.14 Mystery Fiction04.12.12 Post-metal This Year
03.11.12 Mediafire Ain't Like It Used To Be

Anime You Should (must) Watch

I'm Andrew and I like anime (I'm always down for recommendations too). There are plenty of misconceptions that it's just porn, or that it's nothing but mindless violence, or more commonly some sort of vile combination of the two. That's not the case, and I'm sure a good handful of you guys know that too. So for those of you who may think that, or for those of you just getting into it, here are five series that I think you need to see before you dismiss anime as "just sex and/or violence" or can maybe maintain your interest in the medium. They are ranked regarding how essential I believe they are for viewing, and take into account my own personal enjoyment as well as my objective belief concerning their value as expositional series.
In a Flesh Aquarium

Cowboy Bebop: Easy to get into and easy to get out of. This episodic series is one of the most popular western anime series to ever hit the screen for a really good reason. It has a stunning cast, some outstanding writing, startling coherence in spite of its episodic nature, and a habit of sticking its nose into just about anything a viewer could imagine. Be it classic noir, goofy western, touching romance, thrilling action, or basically anything else, Cowboy Bebop takes a piece of everything and shoves it all into one series in a way that is positively guaranteed to resonate with its audience somewhere. Whether it's the haunting reality of the past, the mysteriousness of the future, the value of ambition or basically ANYTHING ELSE, Cowboy Bebop is apt to address it and of course be wildly entertaining in the process. Timeless art, unique plots, eccentric cast, and thematic diversity, Cowboy Bebop is something that is more likely than any other series to flip your opinion of what anime is by the time it's over. Link to Cowboy Bebop: http://myanimelist.net/anime/1/Cowboy_Bebop
5The Mars Volta
The Bedlam In Goliath

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: What do you get when you combine huge mechs, pubescent teenage boys, big chested women and the fate of all life in the universe? You get drills. Lots of drills. So many drills. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (TTGL) is a show that ramps everything from sex appeal to mech-driven action up to a 10 in the first few episodes and just keeps cranking the knob from there. There's probably not enough space in the known universe to contain the amount of sheer insanity in this show, but it's done so in a way that is never too childish to enjoy and keeps you cheering on your screen. While it may seem goofy and fueled by testosterone (it is), it still finds the time to have effective emotional climaxes and touch on themes of growing up and believing in yourself. What TTGL lacks in thematic depth or psychological whatchamacallit is made up for by its charming spirit and delightfully refreshing sense of style and "HELL YEAH!" factor. If there is a "popcorn anime" it is undoubtedly this one. So strap yourself in sooner than later and get ready for a story faster than light, larger than life, and happier to be alive than that dog that just got a hold of your newest pair of shoes, because this is one story you won't soon forget. Link to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: http://myanimelist.net/anime/2001/Tengen_Toppa_Gurren_Lagann
4Spiral Architect
A Sceptic's Universe

Steins;Gate: Trends come and go, and a trend these days is time travel. But there is a huge difference between a story that HAS time travel, and a story that is ABOUT time travel. Using time travel as a means to lay the foundation for setting, conflict, and characters is one thing. Somebody gets sent backwards or forwards in a timeline, deals with whatever problems arise given the context, return to the original time, and then the story is over. A fourth grader could probably write a story like this without too many inconsistencies. However, a story ABOUT time travel is much different. What happens when instead of just going there and back, there is traveling forwards, and backwards, and back again, and then back again, each time changing a little bit and sometimes changing nothing? Writing a story like that without any inconsistencies is nigh impossible, and Steins;Gate is no exception... but it comes close. Using time travel as a central point to its masterfully woven plot, Steins;Gate features an unstoppably strong cast of characters that find ways to toy with time and space while still furthering the strength of an already magnificent story along the way. Success and failure, fate, power, and simply life are all key themes to the series and it handles each of these with such ease in its engaging narrative that it's almost unbelievable. Science- fiction fans will feel right at home with this one, and likely impressed too. Even non- fans will likely find something in the series to love. I must say that spoilers for this show are positively devastating, as they more than likely affect more than one piece of the story due to the nature of its nnarrative. It has a common criticism that the first half or so of the series is unbearably slow, but personally I felt that each episode from 1-24 flew by; though I did also watch all of them in one sitting. Too good to miss, you would be doing yourself a disservice to not give this series a chance and immerse yourself in the universe that it so effortlessly constructs. A show about smart people, for smart people, and even those who think they are smart people, this is something that you will either really love or really like, and at the very least enjoy. Link to Steins;Gate: http://myanimelist.net/anime/9253/Steins;Gate
To The Nameless Dead

Fate/Zero: Broken up into two seasons, Fate/Zero manages to combine an awesome plot with a stellar ensemble cast of characters. Lots of characters. Like ten main characters. In a War that transcends the barriers of time itself, some of the greatest warriors in history gather to do battle for the Holy Grail and the ability to have any wish granted, alongside their master. Though the first episode is a horribly long expositional episode that essentially outlines the complex structure and mythology surrounding such an event, things pick up afterwards and rarely find a chance to slow down. Action is aplenty in this series and combat scenes are beautifully animated, but what really makes the show shine is the strength of its cast. Each character is blessed with his or her own philosophy, and these conflicting world views can create battles through banter as intriguing as any physical one. Power, loyalty, and religion are all explored in this series and serve as themes that not only the series deals with, but its characters deal with as well. By the end of the series, nobody really turns out to be more or less wrong than the others. There is a brilliant equilibrium present amongst the characters' ideologies even though the viewer may fixate on one or be completely averse to another, making this an easy show to discuss on all levels and an enjoyable one too. If a battle amongst history's greatest warriors along with a battle of wits and philosophies buddied with magic, swordsmanship, and magical swordsmanship doesn't interest you, then I guess you'll be skipping this one. Link to Fate/Zero S1: http://myanimelist.net/anime/10087/Fate/Zero

Clannad: Clannad and Clannad: After Story are - combined - one of the most if not the most emotional stories I've experienced so far. It tells a fairly ordinary story with hints of the supernatural, but overall is a relatively simple narrative. Easy to start and heart-wrenching to finish, this series tries its best to take you on an emotional roller coaster as it delves into the meaning of family and what it means to love and to forgive. Though the character design may be a bit much for some at first, it's a widely accepted notion that viewers will likely grow accustomed to it after a few episodes. Talking about this series is rather difficult, as its best moments are spoilers that could positively ruin the experience of the series. But what can be said about it without spoiling anything is that though it may start off a bit slow for some people's liking, it establishes one of the most well-developed protagonists the medium has seen in a believable, organic fashion absent from many other stories, anime or not. Accompanied with great visual work and a beautiful soundtrack, this series does an outstanding job at conveying genuinely emotional scenes and leaving its mark visually and audibly. Truly an outstanding accomplishment in storytelling, Clannad and Clannad: After Story manage to take what would ordinarily be an unexciting story and tell it in a way such that viewers care about everything that happens on screen. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and for people new or beginning to watch anime, this is the one you simply cannot miss out on. Link to Clannad (warning: the MyAnimeList page for Clannad: After Story contains minor spoilers itself): http://myanimelist.net/anime/2167/Clannad
1maudlin of the Well

Monogatari: This is my recommendation for people experienced with anime (I would say that the checklist to get the most out of this franchise is a dedicated romance series, action series, comedy series, and then any arc-based series; this is only a recommendation though, you can watch this whenever you feel like it I suppose). Beginning with Bakemonogatari, the Monogatari franchise has another OVA (original video animation) series on its way for May 31st with its most recent series ending at the end of December 2013. It is a series is full of self-aware characters and explores a variety of themes such as what it means to save somebody and coming to terms with reality through unique characters, multifaceted dialogue, shot composition, and arc-based storytelling. For those of you well-versed in Japanese history and/or the language, you will find lots of intriguing complexities in the dialogue as the series plays with kanji and words in a way to create comedy, meaning, and plenty more. Or you're like me and you just read about those kinds of things from people that have that ability. While many would call it "slow" due to its lack of a lot of actual on-screen action, those that revel in rich dialogue and enjoy disjointed narratives will feel more or less at home with this. My personal favourite series, this is something that I believe every anime fan must watch and is a crowning example of what the medium is capable of in terms of characterization, storytelling, and thematic expression. Link to Bakemonogatari: http://myanimelist.net/anime/5081/Bakemonogatari
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