Sunrise has, without a doubt, produced more of my favorite anime than any other company. From everything Gundam to Cowboy Bebop to Witch Hunter Robin to Outlaw Star to Dirty Pair and so much more, Sunrise has consistently produced quality animation and enjoyable stories.
Their animation work in the 90s stands head and shoulders above everyone else. Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team has top-tier animation. Cowboy Bebop looks better than most anime being produced for television today. The vibrancy of the colors in Outlaw Star, which looks like a million dollars on bluray, is absolutely incredible. The shading in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory is almost unparalleled. And these only just scratch the surface.
The first ending theme for Psycho-Pass is just as amazing as the first opening theme. Everything about the first season, especially the first half of it, is so well constructed and that includes the opening and ending themes and their respective videos.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (Yoko Kanno – “Lithium Flower”)
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is one of the most well constructed shows in existence, making Psycho-Pass look like child’s play. From the first moment of an episode to the last, you experience the emotion the director wanted fully and the music is no exception. There is a reason that it, along with a few select other anime, are “American classics.”
Cowboy Bebop (Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts – “The Real Folk Blues”)
Speaking of anime that are, for lack of a better term, “American classics,” it’s probably the best of any of them. Cowboy Bebop is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best anime ever produced, and its ending theme (and opening, for that matter) is indicative of that. If a show so deeply entrenched in music and musical references didn’t have a great ending theme, it wouldn’t make sense would it?
My favorite anime opening is tied between two series that I’ll probably be mentioning again later in these 30 days. Since YouTube doesn’t have it, I’ll go ahead and say that the first is Psycho-Pass (Ling Tosite Sigure – “Abnormalize”). Psycho-Pass is everything I could want. It’s the right mix between a police procedural and a dismantlement of an almost-cyberpunk futuristic dystopia.
The second is Witch Hunter Robin. Also a “detective drama” to some degree, this series trades the science and philosophy behind Psycho-Pass for witchcraft. A gorgeous and dark TV series from the early 00’s by Sunrise.
FLCL is 6 episodes of a show giving itself a sad handjob while screaming to the world that it’s the most amazing thing that’s ever happened ever. There’s no cool animation being shown off. There’s no incredible soundtrack being put on display. The plot is hardly interesting. I made it through the series because I could not believe that people would like 3 hours of nothing so much, that I believed that something had to happen eventually. Mars of Destruction tried to not suck . . . FLCL tried less.
Out of the 6 episodes of FLCL, there’s about 20 minutes (roughly one episode) of actual plot-relevant content. The other 5/6ths of the series is pointless drivel. Every few minutes something would happen, for no reason, and the only emotional response I could muster was “neat.” The comedy fell flat. Any seriousness was downplayed. Haruko is as generic a character as they come. The main character (who was so uninteresting that I can remember Haruko and her Vespa before his name) had just started going through puberty: woo.
The show sucked. And now Toonami is co-producing TWO new seasons? I would rather Adult Swim tuck the money away for a rainy day or even use it to drive The Big O into the ground before spending effort on TWO new seasons of FLCL. But that’s just me.
I believe that too many people sleep on Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team. Just like Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, The 08th MS Team suffers from a change in direction mid-series. Most people consider that the death of the series, but I look beyond that.
The animation is immaculate. When the blurays released in Japan and I saw how amazing it looked, I thought that I was going to need to change pants. The soundtrack fits the series PERFECTLY. The English dub is as good as one could hope for. The series satisfies multiple requests from Gundam fans all in one go: The pilot isn’t a NewType, nor is the pilot protected by superhuman abilities; the series takes place almost entirely on Earth; the main characters develop a relationship and grow together, instead of being presented to the audience as already established group.
Yes, the series gets jolted midway through and turns into a rendition of Romeo & Juliet featuring mobile suits for a few episodes but even that shouldn’t be too jarring for anyone that watches the series from the beginning and isn’t only paying attention to the mecha.
This is a tough one. I am always adding tons of anime to my Plan to Watch list, and no matter how many I go through, the number is always going up. So, I’ll be making this about anime that I’m angry that I haven’t gotten around to yet.
A cool, early 00’s series about beautiful women shooting guns? I’ve been sold since I layed eyes on it.
A classic, as far as North American fans are concerned at least. I never watched it on Adult Swim. I even bought it (and Brotherhood + all of the OVAs and movies) on bluray right before Funimation lost the licenses for all of it. The more people say, “You haven’t seen FMA?” when I know they haven’t seen Cowboy Bebop, the more I am tempted to continue putting off watching it.
I want to watch this so bad, but I either don’t have the time or I’ve already dedicated my time to another series. The only parts of the series I don’t own are the OVAs and the movies. The discs are just sitting there, taunting me every time I go in and out of my bedroom. One day, I’ll get to watch the adventures of Lina Inverse.