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  1. #1
    Veteran Member El Sombrero's Avatar
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    Default Best anime available on Blu-Ray

    Hello, I am looking for some recommendations of the best anime series (or OVAs, films, whatever) available on Blu-Ray. I got a Blu-Ray player earlier this year and I love it, and I think anime just looks exceptional in the hi-def quality.

    I don't care about special features at all, and I'm not very picky about picture or sound quality as long as it's quite good. By "recommendations," I just mean more the content of the anime itself.

    For some reference of what I like, I have FMA Brotherhood, NGE Rebuild, and GITS (just the original movie, not the OVAs). I absolutely love all of the above; I generally like action, adventure, sci-fi, suspense, horror, stuff like that. I like things that are stylish and intelligent. I plan to buy the Berserk films when they come out later this year. I enjoyed reading the manga for Gunsmith Cats and Death Note but see they are unavailable on Blu-Ray. And I want Akira but not at the current prices; it's a popular enough film that I am hoping it will be re-released at some point.

    Thanks for any and all input, I made a thread asking for manga recommendations a few years back and the forumers were very helpful here.

    EDIT: Also, I live in the US so they would have to be region-free or Blu-Rays that play on US players.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    I think the Tenchi movies are coming out this December in the USA. They don't really require that much knowledge of the OAVs, or the spin off TV series (On which the films are mostly based). Basically these alien girls end up living with this kind of nervous guy, who actually is an heir to an alien royalty himself. There's a lot of references to Japanese religion as well in the series. It's basically a comedy but with a sci-fi touch and some decent action, mainly Star Wars style swordfights and space battles. Like a lot of other series, the various shows/TV series/Movies tend to take place in their own kind of continuity, although some elements are shared between them.

    Tenchi Muyo In Love is the first one, the story is kind of similar to Back To The Future but with more of an action/sci-fi element. The second film is sort of it's own thing, but the third-with Tenchi missing and brainwashed is probably the most serious of the whole series.

    The animation of the movies was pretty good for it's time (Mid to late 90s), and the score to In Love was actually done by an American composer I believe.


    There's also Gundam Unicorn which is a recent OAV that returns to the original Gundam timeline with a story set between the movies Char's Counterattack and Gundam F91. I actually have not seen it but the animation looks pretty good.
    Last edited by ChrisIII; 10-27-2012 at 11:21 AM.

  3. #3
    Blind Resolve Hazard's Avatar
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    Okay, so this is a tough one. Not really familiar with what's available in the american market.

    My automatic answer for a resent anime in Blue-Ray would be Tiger and Bunny, which is awesome super hero anime. Yes, super hero anime. A world where all superhero activity is televised in a hit TV show and heroes ranked according to their scores. Veteran Hero, Wild Tiger, finds himself with a brand new cynical partner, the up and coming rookie Barnaby Brooks, after the company that sponsored him went bankrupt.

    Starts seemingly as a deconstruction but is more of a reconstruction. Doesn't hurt that Wild Tiger is very much like an older, single parent Peter Parker would be like.

    But I'm not sure if that one is out yet or if it has been dubbed to English at all. I do know Hulu has subbed episodes though.

    I'd advice against Tenchi series in general, but that's just my personal preference. Even as a fan of harem comedy I could never get into them.

    Yes, on Gundam Unicorn though. While the amount of back-story the series has may seem intimidating (especially since Unicorn takes place in the UC timeline), I don't really believe it is necessary to have watched all the UC series to understand the story. The basic set up, like in most Gundam shows, is fairly simple. Boy finds giant robot. Boy finds himself in the middle of a war. What should he do?
    Last edited by Hazard; 10-28-2012 at 06:19 PM.

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    Redline is a good one, especially if you like highly dynamic animation and the high-octane racing.

    A lot of anime doesn't look that much better in Blu-Ray than on DVD, in my opinion, especially the older stuff. I have Nausicaa on Blu-Ray, and while it looks as gorgeous as any Miyazaki film it's not like there's an amazing difference.
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  5. #5
    Tell me a story.... Melchior's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, Tiger & Bunny is not out in the States until February.... though I believe you can get official episode downloads before then (I know I can on my PS3 for at least episode 1).

    Redline is real fun, and I would definitely suggest it.

    The Ghost in the Shell TV series is good, and available in Blue Ray.

    I enjoyed Puella Magi Madoka Magica a tale of Faust in a deceiving moe package, but I know it is not everyone's cup of tea.

    Baccano! and Black Lagoon are both fun action series, with Baccano! requiring a bit more thought, mostly due to the way the story is told.
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  6. #6
    Veteran Member El Sombrero's Avatar
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    Tiger and Bunny looks really fun! I love superheroes and it looks like it has some nice comedy / satire elements. I do think I will wait for the US release next February though. I forgot to say this but I would prefer dubs if possible. I'm sure that's kind of blasphemy but I try to avoid reading subtitles since it affects my ability to really get immersed in what I'm watching.

    I had never heard of Nausicaa, it looks very good and got such overwhelming praise that I definitely think I will pick that up.

    I didn't really care for the animation style and direction in Redline, it looked like it would literally give me a headache. Did look very stylish though.

    I read the first volume of Black Lagoon and didn't care for it, so I think I will pass on that. Baccano looked pretty cool though, I like mob fiction so I may have to give that a look. The Puella Magi one didn't really look like my thing, although people did comment that the trailer on YouTube was kind of deceptive for what it is really like (I am watching trailers for these series to make impressions).

    For Tenchi Muyo, I don't really think I would get into a harem series that much. It did seem very popular though. For Gundam, is that different enough than Evangelion? I don't know anything about the series, I know it's very popular but it seems like another "kids pilot mechas" deal, and I REALLY like Evangelion so I think it may pale in comparison for me. If the two series are very different though, that would make me more inclined to give Gundam a chance.

    Also, these are some series I was considering, if anyone has feedback:

    Hellsing Ultimate - I'm not sure how to feel about this series, something about the art style bugs me a bit, but I love gothic fiction so it looks like something that should ideally be my thing.

    Dragonball Z Kai - I have never seen DBZ, I've obviously heard of its massive popularity. It looks fun but the trailers heavily, heavily stressed that it was "all action," to the point where I wonder if that means it's truly all action and there is not much substance or depth behind the story.

    Inuyasha: The Final Act - would I have any idea what is going on / be able to appreciate this at all if I jumped right to this one, without watching the preceding volumes? I know this series is popular and the animation looks really nice.

    Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne - I saw this recommended on another site and read about it, it sounded very cool but I read some reviews that stressed that the gore and sexual content was like excessive. I can handle gore and sex but if it is over the top and excessive I think that would turn me off.

    FLCL - I tried to watch the first episode of this but I found it irritating and turned it off. The visual design is really, really appealing to me though, and I wonder if I just didn't give it enough of a chance.

    Highschool of the Dead - yes, I know this basically looks like trash, but it also looks like so much fun! Is it enjoyable in a guilty pleasure sort of way, or just really trash?

    Thank you to everyone who has replied, I really appreciate the help.
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  7. #7
    Blind Resolve Hazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Sombrero View Post
    For Gundam, is that different enough than Evangelion? I don't know anything about the series, I know it's very popular but it seems like another "kids pilot mechas" deal, and I REALLY like Evangelion so I think it may pale in comparison for me. If the two series are very different though, that would make me more inclined to give Gundam a chance.
    Ah, the age old debate.

    Okay so some background info first, Robot shows are generally divided into two categories. Real and Super Robot shows.

    If you have an evil space empire opposed by a single robot (though more may be added) and its brave pilot who win through the power of courage, you have a super robot show. It's more fantasy like of the two, to put it simply.

    Real Robot shows, as the name implies, try to take a more realistic look at the thing. The robots aren't this super mysterious one of a kind things build a by a single scientific but rather mass produced stuff that can be and is used in regular wars or just for regular police duty (Patlabor focuses on the lives of a sector of the police dedicated to deal with crimes committed with giant robots whose primary purpose is actually construction work, but that doesn't stop criminals from getting creative).

    Evangelion is a bit of an odd duck here in that it has some elements from both.

    Gundam was the first real robot show. The robots were tools of war. The war it showed was quite ugly, and the enemy soldiers were very sympathetic characters, which made you feel bad when they died.

    Gundam shows are not all the same, but they have some key similarities that makes them Gundam shows. First of all, Space Colonies. Humanity has gone into space and made colonies there which usually leads to friction between the People of Earth and the Space guys.

    Second, the moral ambiguity of war. The key point in any Gundam show IMO, the bad guys aren't faceless guys (well maybe in some cases which should not be mentioned here). They are living, breathing characters which have their own reasons for doing what they do (which is not to say there aren't some real monsters as antagonists). A Gundam show is good when it manages to clearly convey the clash of ideologies between 2 sides.

    That's more or less what you can expect going in to a Gundam shows. Of course, not all gundam shows are good. Some can be bad. Some can be disappointing Unicorn, however, I hear good things about.

    Dragonball Z Kai - I have never seen DBZ, I've obviously heard of its massive popularity. It looks fun but the trailers heavily, heavily stressed that it was "all action," to the point where I wonder if that means it's truly all action and there is not much substance or depth behind the story.
    Let's see. One upon a time there was manga, and people loved it. Then there was an anime, and because 24 minutes of animation can tell a lot more than 17 pages of comics the anime had to expand a lot of stuff, because otherwise it would catch up to the manga (it was still on going while it was being animated).

    A lot of stuff. The result was making the anime adaptation an incredibly long. About 291 episodes long. The entirety of DB was 46 volumes. For comparison FMA: Brotherhood adapts 27 volumes into 64 episodes.

    Kai cuts all the stuff away and leaves it as 98 episodes.

    As for the story. DB tells a very simple story and never pretends to be more than what it is. It is far from being a particularly deep work. However it is a fairly popular and beloved series.

    I personally find it quite enjoyable.

    However a warning with Kai is that you will go in not knowing any of the stuff that came in the before Z period.

    Inuyasha: The Final Act - would I have any idea what is going on / be able to appreciate this at all if I jumped right to this one, without watching the preceding volumes? I know this series is popular and the animation looks really nice.
    I haven't watched this one, but I have read enough of the manga to know you would likely be quite lost without having watched the stuff that came before.

    Highschool of the Dead - yes, I know this basically looks like trash, but it also looks like so much fun! Is it enjoyable in a guilty pleasure sort of way, or just really trash?
    It is a very enjoyable guilty pleasure. For me at least.
    Last edited by Hazard; 10-29-2012 at 06:25 PM.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member El Sombrero's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight, particularly about the "real robot vs super robot" stuff. I am not very deep into the manga / anime world, so I appreciate all the info I can get. What you described does make it sound like Gundam is unique enough from Evangelion to be worth a look.

    Part of the reason I have been getting into anime a bit more is that it's a more palatable way for me to enjoy these series. I started getting into manga a few years ago, and I read a bunch of series that forumers here recommended me. I enjoyed a bunch of them, a few of them enjoyed A LOT, but the extremely large numbers of volumes was a time and financial turnoff. I don't feel morally comfortable illegally reading manga online, and I like to have fun collecting things, so I was buying every volume of the series I was reading...for the average series, that's like 20 volumes (at least, some way more), so that's like $200 per series, which is a great deal of money, and I'm a slow reader so that would just take forever. I can get a great anime series for under $50 and I am also more likely to rewatch anime than reread manga.

    The series that have seemed to give me the greatest enjoyment so far are the ones that have some kind of emotional or intellectual depth paired with really strong style and character design. Like with FMA, all the characters are fleshed out really well, and you have that strong emotional drive and bond between the two brothers. With Evangelion, it's very stylish but anchored by the psychological weight. Ghost in the Shell has great tech design and really fascinating evolutionary applications. Something like Black Lagoon, on the other hand, looked cool but didn't seem to have any real depth or substance behind the sheen. I freaking loved the art in D. Gray-Man, but that's another series where I wasn't getting the sense of character depth and true meaning. I CAN enjoy something that is "all style no substance" if the style is completely over the top and ridiculously fun, hence my kind of guilty pleasure interest in Highschool of the Dead.
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  9. #9
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    I liked the surprising amount of character growth for Rock in Black Lagoon. He starts out as the typical salaryman "fish out of water" character, and over time becomes possibly one of the most ruthless characters in the group, in his own way. But to be fair, what I really enjoyed were the best-drawn gunfights since Gunsmith Cats.

    If you enjoy the future-prediction and evolutionary applications of Ghost in the Shell, you might enjoy the manga. It's a pair of graphic novels (there's a third, smaller volume but it's very interstitial, unless you're a huge Togusa fan), and while it tends to get a little... dense... it's interesting to see how all the various anime versions are recycling and remixing and reinterpreting the original storylines and "big moments" and original ideas. I especially like how Shirow (quite accurately, it would seem) predicted how terrorism and warfare would evolve in the 21st century to take a forefront role in warfare. Plus, you can pick 'em all up for about $50 or less. If you just want to test it out, pick up the first one and see how you like it. It's over a decade old and (I think) holds up nicely.

    Back to good stuff on Blu-Ray, have you tried Cowboy Bebop? Should be on Blu-Ray, and it's probably one of the most brilliant series ever.
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  10. #10
    Veteran Member El Sombrero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkthinker View Post
    I liked the surprising amount of character growth for Rock in Black Lagoon. He starts out as the typical salaryman "fish out of water" character, and over time becomes possibly one of the most ruthless characters in the group, in his own way. But to be fair, what I really enjoyed were the best-drawn gunfights since Gunsmith Cats.

    If you enjoy the future-prediction and evolutionary applications of Ghost in the Shell, you might enjoy the manga. It's a pair of graphic novels (there's a third, smaller volume but it's very interstitial, unless you're a huge Togusa fan), and while it tends to get a little... dense... it's interesting to see how all the various anime versions are recycling and remixing and reinterpreting the original storylines and "big moments" and original ideas. I especially like how Shirow (quite accurately, it would seem) predicted how terrorism and warfare would evolve in the 21st century to take a forefront role in warfare. Plus, you can pick 'em all up for about $50 or less. If you just want to test it out, pick up the first one and see how you like it. It's over a decade old and (I think) holds up nicely.

    Back to good stuff on Blu-Ray, have you tried Cowboy Bebop? Should be on Blu-Ray, and it's probably one of the most brilliant series ever.
    I've read the first GITS manga, I actually think it was the first manga I read. There were some aspects of it I really liked (the art, the ending), but I didn't really like the way it jumped all over the place. It felt more like a load of ideas thrown together than a real concrete story. The anime maintained most of what I liked about the manga and felt a lot tighter, with fewer interludes all over the place.

    I got the Cowboy Bebop movie on Blu Ray, I thought the first half was really strong, but my attention really nosedived in the second half; it felt like the movie hit a climax halfway through and couldn't really follow that up. I did like the animation and characters quite a bit and would be interested in seeing the entire series. I know it's cheap on DVD, I dunno if I should just buy that or hope / wait for a Blu Ray remaster (only the Cowboy Bebop movie is currently on Blu Ray).

    I am really bummed that the Gunsmith Cats anime is out of print. I loved the manga and saw a few clips of the anime and it looked gorgeous, like drop-dead gorgeous. I want it! I don't like buying used DVDs, but this one may be too tempting.

    I remember that I really liked your recommendations in the manga thread I made a few years ago, feel free to just list a bunch of your favorite anime (that obviously goes for other posters as well).
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  11. #11
    Senior Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    Gundam does have a few 'leftovers' from the super robot genre. The Samuraiesque design and bright colors of the main mecha for example, the way with other components to form a kind of tank thingy, and the original series was often "Robot of the week" with a few exceptions. There is also some influence from Star Wars and Star Trek of course. The Gundam carries what's pretty much a giant lightsaber, Amuro is somewhat patterned on Luke, there's a small robot used for comic relief, characters have a sort of psychic power...although one of the twists of Gundam anticipated similar revelations in the later Star Wars movie.

    The Gundam trilogy of movies sort of offer an abridged version of the series, with the animation slightly updated, and some parts changed completely. The first original movie, Char's Counterattack I believe is out on Blu-ray in Japan. Char's counterattack basically wraps up the character arc of the original series, and doesn't really require knowledge of the Z and ZZ Gundam sequel TV series that followed the original (Although Zeta is very good). There's also a few series that take place decades later (Gundam F91 movie and Victory Gundam) side stories(Gundam 0080, 0083, 08th Ms team) and as mentioned above, the alternate universes on which most of the later TV series are based. The most popular stateside probably "Gundam Wing".

    Dragonball Z is sort of Superman meets the Monkey king legends. It also is rather interesting in that time passes and the characters age for the most part-but it isn't for everybody and the fighting can get kind of boring after a while. There's also the original Dragonball series (On which the awful live action movie was mainly based), Dragonball GT, a sort of mix of the original series and Z taking place after the latter (But not based on any manga), plus about a ton of movies (Also not based on any manga and sort of non-canon).
    Last edited by ChrisIII; 10-30-2012 at 01:46 PM.

  12. #12
    Blind Resolve Hazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisIII View Post
    The most popular stateside probably "Gundam Wing".
    Behold! The power of pretty boys.

    :)

    It also is rather interesting in that time passes and the characters age for the most part-but it isn't for everybody and the fighting can get kind of boring after a while.
    The main character ages, gets married, has kids, who also age and get married (well, one of them gets married). He is already a (young looking) grandpa in the epilogue of Z.

    That part of it is really interesting. JoJo is the only other series I can think of right away that has had a main character have kids over the course of its story and have those kids age a great deal.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    Gundam Seed and 00 are also fairly popular. Seed is sort of a retread of a lot of the elements of the original Gundam, but done with modern animation (Although it still uses a lot of stock footage) and multiple Gundams like the majority of the alternateseries.

    Gundam 00 initially seemed to be very similar to WING but sort of branched off to do it's own thing. I think the movie is in blu-ray...

    One thing about the series is that it's set mainly in our solar system, with no aliens (Although I've heard that 00 changes that a bit).

    Gundam also has a lot of model kit merchandise, so it's kind of like Transformers in that a lot of the mechs introduced are mainly intended to sell merchandise.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Sombrero View Post
    I remember that I really liked your recommendations in the manga thread I made a few years ago, feel free to just list a bunch of your favorite anime (that obviously goes for other posters as well).
    Thanks!

    If you have not seen the Cowboy Bebop series, then the movie lacks some impact, especially as it's part of the series continuity (fitting somewhere between 21-24, though this isn't much excuse... ideally any feature-length film should stand on its own). I cannot praise the series highly enough, except perhaps to say this: It's one of the very few series that I can watch again and again, every episode, no matter how many times I've seen 'em. Even the episodes I don't like have something I like about 'em. If you live in the US and have cable TV, they play the series late on Saturday nights... 2 episodes back-to-back, rotating it all out every 13 weeks.

    Other stuff I like (but I make no promises, this is my taste now. Also I have no idea which, if any, are on Blu-Ray): Samurai Champloo, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, FLCL (Fooly Cooly), Macross Plus, Paranoia Agent, Gurren Lagann, Noein, Baccano!, Michicko e Hatchin (which I think only recently got licensed) Sword of the Stranger (a little slow, but amazing fights) and pretty much anything directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Bear in mind though, as an animator what gets my engine revved is as much about technical animation production value as it is about good, accessible stories... for instance, I love Gurren Lagann, but I'll be first to admit, it's a little weird. Noein is surprisingly smart sci-fi, and maybe too smart for its own good. FLCL seems to make no sense at first, then makes perfect sense (if you were ever a boy going through puberty). And I think Redline is just the bees balls, it punched all my buttons.

    So your mileage may vary. But I firmly believe everyone should see Cowboy Bebop. I'm actually a little shocked they haven't re-released the series on Blu-Ray, there must be some licensing fight going on about that behind the scenes.


    -EDIT-

    If you're chasing Gundam, the only Gundam series I personally liked were 08th MS Team and War in the Pocket, both of which are on the harder and darker side of the Gundam Sci-Fi continuum. They focus more on the common soldiers and the effects of war, not on the epic, heroic struggles of a young teenage boy and his super-robot. I've kinda lost the charm on teenagers and their super-robots (I'm a grumpy old man, get off mah lawn)... it's why I can't watch Eureka 7; even though the animation is gorgeous, Renton annoys the living SHIT out of me with every word he whines. Also, the way they mispronounce "Eureka" is sad, I'm fairly certain the Japanese didn't intentionally mangle the pronunciation, but the English dub doubles down on it.
    Last edited by Inkthinker; 10-30-2012 at 09:56 PM.
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    Blind Resolve Hazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisIII View Post
    Gundam 00 initially seemed to be very similar to WING but sort of branched off to do it's own thing. I think the movie is in blu-ray...

    One thing about the series is that it's set mainly in our solar system, with no aliens (Although I've heard that 00 changes that a bit).
    I'll point out that changing was a bad thing. 00 is good. Cool first season. Kind of okay Second.

    Movie was boring though.

    And stay away from Destiny.

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