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Recommended Anime: TV Series

Last touched: Dec. 6, 2014



      Good! Recommended
      Very good! Highly recommended  (This rating is on webmaster's personal taste.)

 English titleAired in
Japan
Explanatory Notes
 Tetsujin 28
(Gigantor)
1963-
65
An origin of 'Giant Robot' anime genre. Based on Mitsuteru Yokoyama's manga (graphic novel). The story of a boy detective named Shotaro Kaneda, who operates a giant robot called 'Tetsujin 28' ('Iron Man No. 28') by remote control and fights injustice. 'Tetsujin' was originally a classified weapon that had been developed by the Japanese forces during the World War II. One of the early masterpieces of Japanese TV animations. Aired on the US TV under the title of 'Gigantor' in 1966. A monochrome film. The 1st part consists of 83 episodes. The 2nd part consists of 13 episodes. Produced by TCJ.
 8-Man
(8th Man)
1963-
64
A Sci-Fi action anime based on the manga (graphic novel) by Sci-Fi novelist Kazumasa Hirai and manga artist Jiro Kuwata. The story of a robotic detective called Eighth Man (who is an ex-detective of Tokyo police, and his real name is Hachiro Azuma). One of the early masterpieces of Japanese TV animations. Aired on the US TV under the title of '8th Man' in 1965. A monochrome film. 56 episodes. Produced by TCJ.
 Mach Go Go Go
(Speed Racer)
(1st series)
1967-
68
A car action anime. The hero, Go Mifune is a teenage boy and car racer who drives a special sports car and enters races all over the world. Aired on the US TV under the title of 'Speed Racer' in 1967. The supervising director is Hiroshi Sasagawa. 52 episodes. Produced by Tatsunoko Production.
 BEM
(Youkai Ningen Bemu/Bug-Eyed Monster)
1968-
69
An exotic gothic horror anime. The story of 3 humanoid monsters, Bem, Bela and Belo, who want to be human beings and fight against evil for human being. The music is jazzy. 26 episodes. Produced by Daiichi Doga. There are also the 2 pilot films of Bem Part Two (1982) that was not aired on TV.
 Sasuke1968-
69
A ninja action story/historical drama set in medieval Japan in the 17th Century ('Ninja' is the intelligence agents or samurai warriors engaged in espionage activities in medieval Japan.) Based on the graphic novel by Sanpei Shirato. In the period of the Tokugawa Shogunate (Japan's feudal government), a boy ninja named Sasuke and his father Daisuke Ozaru, who were anti-Tokugawan ninjas, make a long journey fighting against the pursuers of Tokugawan ninjas. 29 episodes. Produced by TCJ.
 GeGeGe no Kitaro (The First TV series)1968-
69
The first TV anime series based on the manga 'GeGeGe no Kitaro' (serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine in 1967-1969) by Shigeru Mizuki. The original manga is a popular Yokai (creatures or monsters appeared in Japanese folklore) manga featuring a boy named Kitaro, who is the last descendant of the Ghost Tribe. Kitaro fights against evil Yokai monsters harmful for humans. In the first TV series, the original manga's episodes were made into anime faithfully. The regular characters are Kitao, Kitaro's father Medama Oyaji (Eyeball Father) and a yokai-human halfbreed Nezumi Otoko (Rat Man). The semi-regular characters are Sunakake Babaa (Sand-throwing Hag), Konaki Jijii (Child-crying Old Man), Ittan Momen (Roll of Cotton), and Nurikabe (Plastered Wall). Neko Musume (Cat Girl) appeared only once in the 20th episode. Only the first series was created as a black-and-white anime. 65 episodes. The animation production by Toei Animation. The music by Taku Izumi. The sequels/remakes have been produced many times. There are the second TV series (1971-1972, 45 episodes), the third TV series (1985-1988, 115 episodes), the fourth TV series (1996-1998, 114 episodes), and the fifth TV series (2007-). There are also seven original movie versions (released in the 1980s and 1990s).
 Kyojin no Hoshi/Star of the Giants1968-
71
An emotional, feature-length drama depicting a father and son who had devoted their lives to Japanese professional baseball. Based on the manga (graphic novel) by Ikki Kajiwara (story) and Noboru Kawasaki (drawing). A classic masterpiece of so-called 'Sports Konjou' genre ('konjou' means something like guts or spirit) and one of the nationally-popular manga/anime works. The story of a boy named Hyuma Hoshi, who became a powerful baseball pitcher with precision control and blazing fastball, through his hard practice and special training under his father Ittetsu Hoshi, who was once a third baseman of the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants, a leading team in Japanese pro baseball league, but he injured his shoulder by the World War Two and retired. Hyuma joined the Giants and fights fiercely against his lifetime rival Mitsuru Hanagata, the batting genius of the Hanshin Tigers, developing his 'pitching magics'. Directed by Tadao Nagahama. Produced by Tokyo Movie. 182 episodes. There are also the sequel TV series, 'Shin Kyojin no Hoshi' (52 episodes, aired in 1977-78) and 'Shin Kyojin no Hoshi II' (23 episodes, aired in 1979). 'Kyojin no Hoshi Special Edition: Fierce Tiger Mitsuru Hanagata' (13 episodes, aired in 2002) is the re-edited version of the first TV series (with some new shots added), featuring Mitsuru Hanagata as the leading character.
 Attack No.11969-
71
A classic masterpiece of so-called 'Sports Konjou' ('konjou' means something like guts or spirit) anime for girls. Based on the manga (graphic novel) by Chikako Urano (serialized in the magazine Weekly 'Margaret' in 1968-1970). The story of a girl named Kozue Ayuhara, who transferred from Tokyo to the junior high school of the Fujimi Academy in Shizuoka Pref, and joined the volleyball club. She became the captain of the team. Training hard with the coach and her teammates, she fights against other powerful teams in junior and senior high interscholastic tournaments, aiming for the No.1 team in volleyball. This series became a big hit with the popularity of volleyball in Japan in the 1960s, and aired in European countries too. There were some professional volleyball players (Italian Francesca Piccinini and others) who started playing volleyball under the influence of this anime. 104 episodes. Directed by Fumio Kurokawa, Eiji Okabe and others. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. The Italian title: "Quella magnifica dozzina" (the 1st edition in 1981) and "Mimì e la nazionale di pallavolo" (the 2nd edition in 1983), the French title: "Les attaquantes", the German title: "Mila Superstar".
 Ninja Kamui
(Ninpuu Kamui Gaiden)
1969Another masterpiece of ninja action story/historical drama based on Sanpei Shirato's graphic novel, following 'Sasuke'. Ths story of a runaway ninja named Kamui, who left ninja organization and fought against the pursuers. 26 episodes. Produced by TCJ.
 Dororo1969An unique historical drama based on the manga 'Dororo' by Osamu Tezuka (serialized in 1967-69), which was influenced by Sanpei Shirato's dramatic manga and Shigeru Mizuki's 'Yokai' (Japanese traditional monsters/specters) manga. Set in the Warring States Period of feudal Japan (late 15th century). The leading characters are a boy named Hyakkimaru, who has been deprived of the 48 parts of his body by demons when he was born, and Dororo, an orphan boy (girl in reality) and thief. Wandering about with Dororo, Hyakkimaru gets rid of specters and gets back the lost parts of his body one by one. A monochrome film with massive images. 26 episodes. The first half (episode 1-13) is serious and faithful to the original manga. The latter one (episode 14-26) is more child-oriented and has many original episodes for anime version only. The title has been changed to 'Dororo and Hyakkimaru' since the 14th episode. The supervising director is Gisaburo Sugii. Produced by Mushi Production. There is also the pilot film (in color) produced before the TV series.
 Tiger Mask1969-
71
One of the masterworks in the sports anime genre, ranking with "Kyojin no Hoshi/Star of the Giants" (baseball anime, 1968-71) and "Ashita no Joe/Tomorrow's Joe" (boxing anime, 1970-71). The story of a young man raised in an orphanage, named Naoto Date, who became 'Tiger Mask', a tiger-masked, villainous wrestler because of his training in "Tiger's Hole", an organization for training villainous wrestlers. But he decided to fight for disadvantaged children and broke off with "Tiger's Hole". After that he plays life-or-death battles against villainous wrestlers from "Tiger's Hole" on the ring. Based on the pro wrestling manga (graphic novel) by Ikki Kajiwara (story) and Naoki Tsuji (drawing). 105 episodes. The animation production by Toei Animation. There is the sequel TV series 'Tiger Mask II' (1981-82, 33 episodes) too.
Good!Lupin III
(1st series)
1971-
72
A young-oriented action anime featuring Lupin III (a grandson of Arsène Lupin and elusive master thief) and his gang: Daisuke Jigen (a gunman), Goemon Ishikawa (a swordman) and Fujiko Mine (a mystery woman). Based on Monkey Punch's manga (graphic novel). The first TV series. 23 episodes. The first 6 episodes directed by Masaaki Oosumi were in hard boiled style. The latter half directed by Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki was more comedy-oriented. Produced by Tokyo Movie. In Japan, this first series got popularity on the rerun, and after that the 2 sequel TV series and lots of the movie versions and TV specials were produced, and Lupin III became a nationally-popular anime.
 GeGeGe no Kitaro (The Second TV series)1971-
72
See the paragraph about the first TV series 'GeGeGe no Kitaro'. The second TV series made as the sequel to the first one. The first color film of the Kitaro TV series. The regular characters are Kitao, Kitaro's father Medama Oyaji (Eyeball Father), a yokai-human halfbreed Nezumi Otoko (Rat Man), and Neko Musume (Cat Girl). The semi-regular characters are Sunakake Babaa (Sand-throwing Hag), Konaki Jijii (Child-crying Old Man), Ittan Momen (Roll of Cotton), Nurikabe (Plastered Wall), and Shinigami (Death). About half of the episodes was based on Mizuki's other works except "GeGeGe no Kitaro", so this series became a unique and impressive one featuring grotesqueness, satire (on social situation and environmental problem in high economic growth period in Japan of that time) and irony. The drawings are more Gekiga (dramatic manga) oriented than first series, because the staff of TV series "Tiger Mask" joined. 45 episodes. The animation production by Toei Animation.
 Apache Baseball Team1971-
72
A daring and unorthodox baseball anime based on the manga (graphic novel) by Kobako Hanato (story) and Sachio Umemoto (drawing). A young man named Takeshi Dojima, who had once led Asahi to the high school baseball championship as a left-handed pitcher, went down to the Inosaru Village deep in the mountains in Matsuyama, Shikoku Island of southwestern Japan, and became a baseball coach at the private school. He teaches baseball to poor and rude students, and they try to enter the high school baseball tournament. 26 episodes. Directed by Kazuya Miyazaki and others. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Triton of the Sea1972An ocean adventure story set in the seas of the world. Based on the manga (graphic novel) by Osamu Tezuka. The leading character, Triton is a boy and descendant of the Triton race who had lived in the Atlantis. He fights against the Poseidon race, the rulers of the seas, together with his fellows (dolphins and a girl mermaid named Pipi). Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. The animation production by Animation Staff Room. 27 episodes.
 Devilman1972-
73
An unorthodox hero action/horror anime based on the manga (graphic novel) by Go Nagai. The story of a high school boy named Akira Fudo, who was united with a Demon and became a Devilman, but decided to fight against the Demons to defend his beloved girl, Miki Makimura. 39 episodes. Produced by Toei Animation. There are the OAV series too. The manga version is one of the greatest works of Japanese manga.
 Mazinger Z
(Tranzor Z)
1972-
74
The first big hit in 'Giant Robot' anime genre. Mazinger Z is a giant robot operated by the pilot. The story of a boy named Koji Kabuto, who operates Mazinger Z and fights against Dr. Hell, a scientist plotting the world domination, and his 'Machine Beasts' corps. Based on Go Nagai's manga (graphic novel). 92 episodes. Produced by Toei Animation. Aired in some European countries in the 1970s. Aired on the US TV under the title of 'Tranzor Z'.
 Gatchaman
(Battle of the Planets/
G-Force)
1972-
74
A masterpiece of Sci-Fi action anime. The original Japanese title is 'Science Ninja Team Gatchaman'. A group of five young men (Ken the Eagle/Gatchaman, Joe the Condor, Jun the Swan, Jinpei the Swallow, Ryu the Horned Owl) called 'Science Ninja Team' fights against an evil secret society 'Gallactor' who plots to conquer the Earth. Aired on the US TV under the title of 'Battle of the Planets' in 1978 and made a hit (though almost all the action scenes were cut). There is another English-dubbed version 'G-Force: Guardians of Space' (1986) too. 105 episodes. Produced by Tatsunoko Production.
 Casshern1973-
74
A Sci-Fi action anime featuring an android hero. A robotics researcher, Dr. Kotaro Azuma designed an andorid BK-1 as a robot for pollution processing, but BK-1 set up the robot army called 'Andro Army' and launched a war against humans, calling himself 'Braiking Boss'. To counter the rebellion of the robots, Dr. Azuma's son, Tetsuya changed into an android 'Casshern', and fights against the Andro Army, with the help of his childhood girlfriend Luna Kozuki and a robotic dog Flender. A tragic drama depicting the lonely battle of an android hero. 35 episodes. The general director is Hiroshi Sasagawa. Produced by Tatsuo Yoshida and Tatsunoko Production.
 Babil II
(Babel II)
1973A supernatural Sci-Fi anime based on Mitsuteru Yokoyama's manga (graphic novel). The leading character is a boy named Koichi, who was a distant descendant of a space alien Babil. He inherits supernatural power and super science from Babil and fights with his 3 servants (an amorphous creature Rodem, a monstrous bird Ropros and a giant robot Poseidon) against Yomi, an evil psychic who plots the world domination. 39 episodes. Produced by Toei Animation. There is the OAV version too.
 Ace wo Nerae!/Aim for the Ace!
(1st series)
1973-
74
A sports/youth drama set in the high-school tennis world. Based on the girls' manga (graphic novel) by Sumika Yamamoto. The story of Hiromi Oka, a girl student in Nishi Prefectural High School, a prestigious high school in the tennis world, who had joined the tennis club because of just adoring the ace player Reika Ryuuzaki (nicknamed 'Ocho-Fujin/Madame Butterfly'), but she got intensive training by the male coach Jin Munakata, and became an able player little by little. The 1st TV series. Directed by Osamu Dezaki. Produced by Tokyo Movie. 26 episodes. There are the 2nd TV series, movie version and OAV series too.
 Cutey Honey1973-
74
A heroine action anime with light sexual attraction. Based on Go Nagai's manga (graphic novel). The leading character, Honey Kisaragi is a high school girl at the St. Chapel Academy, and an android created by her father Dr. Kisaragi, an authority on robotics. She fights against the crime syndicate called 'Panther Claw'. 25 episodes. Produced by Toei Animation. There is the OAV version too. The TV series 'Cutey Honey F (Flash)' (1997-98) is a remake of this series in a girls' manga (graphic novel) style.
 Samurai Giants1973-
74
A daring and amusing baseball anime by the creators of the blockbuster 'Star of the Giants': Ikki Kajiwara (original writer) and Tadao Nagahama (director). Based on the manga (graphic novel) by Ikki Kajiwara (story) and Koo Inoue (drawing). The leading character is an insolent wild boy named Ban Bamba, who was raised on the rough sea in Tosa, southern Japan. He was a baseball pitcher noted for the blazing fastball and the worst control, but he joined the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants in Japanese pro baseball league, and fights hard battles against his rival batters (Hikaru Mayuzuki of the Yakult Atoms, and Mansaku Taiho of the Chunichi Dragons), developing his incredible pitching magics such as 'high-jump pitching'. Directed by Tadao Nagahama. The drawing director is Yasuo Otsuka. 46 episodes. Produced by Tokyo Movie.
 Heidi
(Heidi, Girl of the Alps)
1974Well-known in Europe. The story of Heidi, a little girl living at a cabin in the foot of the Alps in Switzerland. Based on the novel by Johanna Spyri, the female novelist from Switzerland. Directed by Isao Takahata. Hayao Miyazaki joined this work as a scene designer and scene organizer. 52 episodes. Produced by Zuiyo Pictures.
 Hurricane Polimar
(Hurricane Polymar)
1974-
75
A Sci-Fi martial-arts action anime. The story of Takeshi Yoroi, a 16-year-old boy and private detective's assistant, who transforms himself into an invincible hero called Hurricane Polimar and fights against crime syndicates. 26 episodes. The supervising director is Hisayuki Toriumi. Produced by Tatsunoko Production. There is the OAV version too.
 Getter Robo1974-
75
The story of a team of 3 boys who operate a giant robot called Getter Robo, formed by transformation and combination of 3 machines in 3 patterns. The original works by Go Nagai, Ken Ishikawa and Dynamic Productions. One of the classics of robot animes. Very influential in the later robot animes. 51 episodes. Produced by Toei Animation.
Good!Great Mazinger1974-
75
The sequel to Mazinger Z. The story of a young man named Tetsuya Tsurugi, who operates Great Mazinger (a giant robot built by Dr. Kenzo Kabuto, father of Koji Kabuto) and fights against the aggression by the Mycenae Empire. Much better in visual quality than Mazinger Z. 56 episodes. Produced by Toei Animation.
Very good!Space Battleship Yamato
(Star Blazers)
1974-
75
A pioneering work of full-scale Sci-Fi anime. In the 2199, the Earth had been bombed by the planet Gamilus and contaminated by radioactivity. The human race was in danger of extinction. The space battleship Yamato and the crew aim for the planet Iskandall, to get the radioactivity removal equipment 'Cosmo Cleaner' there, fighting against the Gamilus. The original works and direction by Leiji Matsumoto, a manga artist. 26 episodes. Produced by Office Academy. 'Star Blazers', aired on the US TV in 1979, was an English dubbed version (a digest) edited from this TV series.
Very good!The Adventures of Gamba1975An impressive adventure story with anthropomorphized animals as characters. The story of a city mouse named Gamba and his fellow mice, who embark on an adventurous journey over sea in order to save island mice from slaughter by a group of weasels led by a white weasel named Noroi. Based on the juvenile by Atsuo Saito. 26 episodes. The chief director was Osamu Dezaki. Produced by Tokyo Movie.
 UFO Robo Grendizer
(Goldorak/
Goldrake)
1975-
77
The 3rd of the 'Mazinger' series. The story about Duke Fleed, the prince of the planet Fleed, who operates a giant robot called Grendizer and fights to save the earth. The original works by Go Nagai and Dynamic Planning. 74 episodes. Produced by Toei Animation. Aired on TV in Europe in the late 1970s and made a big hit. The French title was 'Goldorak'. The Italian title was 'Goldrake'.
 Reideen
(Reideen The Brave)
1975-
76
One of the classics of robot animes. The leading character Akira Hibiki is a junior high school boy and the captain of the soccer club, who operates a giant robot called Reideen and fights against The Devil Empire. The flowing style of character designs and drawings by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Tadao Nagahama. 50 episodes. Produced by NET and Tohoku Shinsha. The latter half directed by Nagahama was the run-up to his later 'romantic robot anime trilogy' (Combattler V, Voltes V and Daimos).
 Marco/From the Apennines to the Andes/Haha o Tazunete Sanzenri1976One of the masterpieces of 'World Masterpieces Theater' (children's anime based on literary works) series produced by Nippon Animation. Directed by Isao Takahata. Based on the short story 'From the Apennines to the Andes', which is an episode from 'Cuore' (1886), the masterpiece of Italian juvenile literature written by Edmondo De Amicis. The original Japanese title 'Haha o Tazunete Sanzenri' means '3,000 Leagues in Search of Mother'. The story of Marco, a boy from Genova, Italy, who makes a long journey from Genova to Argentina in search of his mother. 52 episodes.
 Combattler V1976-
77
The story of a team of 5 teenagers who operate a giant robot called Combattler V, formed by transformation and combination of 5 machines, and fight against the invasion by aliens. The supervising director is Tadao Nagahama. 54 episodes. Produced by Toei.
 Gaiking
(Daiku Maryu Gaiking)
1976-
77
The original robot anime by Toei Animation. The story of an ex-baseball player Sanshiro Tsuwabuki, who became one of the crew of the dinosaur-type space fortress called Daiku Maryu, and started to fight against the Black Horror Corps, invaders from outer space, as the pilot of the giant robot called Gaiking. 44 episodes.
Good!Zambot 31977-
78
Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, director of the Gundam series. His early work. The character designs are cartoonish, but the story is too serious. The starting point of realistic robot animes. 23 episodes. Produced by Sunrise.
Very good!Future Boy Conan1978A Sci-Fi adventure story set in the future world after the final war. A wild boy, Conan goes on an adventurous journey to help a girl named Lana (granddaughter of Dr. Briac Lao, the developer of the solar energy), who was abducted by an autocratic scientific city called Industria. An adaptation from Alexander Key's novel, 'The Incredible Tide'. 26 episodes. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The greatest work of Miyazaki anime. Produced by Nippon Animation.
 Space Pirate Captain Herlock1978-
79
A heroic Sci-Fi drama based on Leiji Matsumoto's manga (serialized in the magazine Weekly 'Play Comic' in 1977-1979). The story of a space pirate Captain Herlock, who takes a space battleship 'Arcadia' (constructed by his best friend Tochiro Oyama) and fights against the invaders from space, called 'Mazone' (a female-type alien race evolved from plants). The storyline is basically based on the original manga version, but it has also original episodes and characters not in the original, such as Mayu Oyama (Tochiro's daughter) and Kiruda (the chief of the Earth Federation Guard). The character designs by Kazuo Komatsubara are very faithful to the original manga version. The chief director is Taro Rin. Produced by Toei Animation. 42 episodes. There are also another films featuring Captain Herlock: the movie 'Arcadia of My Youth' (1982), the TV series 'Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX' (1982-83), the OAV 'Harlock Saga: Der Ring Des Nibelungen -Das Rhein Gold-' (1999), the TV series 'Cosmo Warrior Zero' (2001), the TV series 'Gun Frontier' (2002), and the OAV 'Space Pirate Captain Herlock: Outside Legend -The Endless Odyssey-' (2002-2003).
 Shin Ace wo Nerae!/Aim for the Ace!
(2nd series)
1978-
79
See the paragraph about the Aim for the Ace! first TV seires. The second TV series produced because the first series got popularity on the rerun. Not the sequel, but a remake. More faithful to the original manga (graphic novel) by Sumika Yamamoto than the first series, and more youth/school drama oriented than the first series that was a variant of the 'sports-spirit' genre. The chief director is Minoru Okazaki. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. 25 episodes.
 Galaxy Express 9991978-
81
A fantastic Sci-Fi anime based on Leiji Matsumoto's manga (graphic novel). The story about space travel in the future world. The hero Tetsuro Hoshino is a boy who travels with a mysterious woman named Maetel to get a mechanical body (eternal life) by 999, a spaceship which looks like a steam locomotive. The chief director is Nobutaka Nishizawa. 113 episodes. Produced by Toei Animation. There are the movie versions too.
 Anne of Green Gables1979One of the masterpieces of 'World Masterpieces Theater' (children's anime based on literary works) series produced by Nippon Animation. Directed by Isao Takahata. Based on the novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, the female novelist from Canada. The story of Anne Shirley, a girl living in the Prince Edward Island of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada. 50 episodes.
Very good!Mobile Suit Gundam1979-
80
The highest peak of robot animes. A watershed between the 1970s heroic 'Super Robot' anime and 'Real Robot' anime since the 1980s. The story of a civil war in the future space-colonization age ('the One Year War' between the Earth Federation and Duchy of Zeon in 0079-80 Universal Century). Gundam is one of the giant humanoid fighting vehicles called 'mobile suits', and the pilot is a 16-year-old boy named Amuro Ray. The 1st TV series directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. 43 episodes. Produced by Sunrise. There is also the movie version trilogy edited from this TV series. In conjunction with the popularity of the plastic models of mobile suits, many other 'Gundam' series have been produced as TV series, movies and OAVs.
Good!Lady Oscar/
The Rose of Versailles
1979-
80
Based on the girls' manga (graphic novel) by Riyoko Ikeda. Historical drama/romance set in France on the Eve of the French Revolution. The story of Oscar Francoise de Jarjayes, a military woman, who had worked as the head of the palace guard for the Queen Marie Antoinette, and afterward went over to revolutionaries. Directed by Tadao Nagahama and Osamu Dezaki. 40 episodes. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha.
 Marine Express1979The second of the one-shot TV animations produced by Tezuka Production and aired in NTV's special special program "24 Hour Television" (91 minute). A sea-adventure/Sci-Fi/mystery set in an undersea express train and the super ancient Mu Empire. A Japanese private detective Shunsaku Ban took a Trans-Pacific undersea railroad "Marine Express" and investigated a murder case, but the train suddenly went beyond time and space and jumped to the Mu Empire 10,000 years ago. An all-star film featuring Tezuka's characters such as Rock Home, Shunsaku Ban (Higeoyaji), Black Jack, Atom from "Tetsuwan Atom/Astro Boy", Sapphire from "Ribbon no Kishi/Princess Knight", Leo/Kimba from "Jungle Taitei/Kimba the White Lion", Hosuke Sharaku from "Mitsume ga Tooru/The Three-Eyed One", Don Dracula, Dr. Ochanomizu, Duke Red, Acetylene Lamp, Skunk Kusai, Ham Egg, Marukubi Boon, and Kojiro Sasaki. The original story and organization by Osamu Tezuka. The chief director is Tetsu Dezaki.
 Ashita no Joe 2
(Tomorrow's Joe 2)
1980-
81
See the paragraph about the movie Ashita no Joe. The 2nd TV series based on the latter part of the story of the original manga version. After the death of rival Toru Rikiishi, Joe Yabuki came back as a boxer, won the Orient-Pacific bantamweight championship, and challenged Jose Mendoza, the world's bantamweight champion from Mexico. Directed by Osamu Dezaki. 47 episodes. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha.
Very good!Ideon
(Legendary Giant God Ideon)
1980-
81
A full-scale Sci-Fi drama dealing with the metaphysical theme about mankind's egoism and 'transmigration'. The story of the space war between Earthians and aliens over a legendary unlimited energy called 'Ide'. In the 2300s, the people who had emigrated to the planet Solo from the Earth went into combat with the aliens called 'Baff Clan', and run away into space with the spaceship 'Solo Ship' and a giant robot called 'Ideon', which were the ruins of vanished aliens on the planet Solo. The director of the Gundam series, Yoshiyuki Tomino's another masterpiece. 39 episodes. Produced by Sunrise. There is the movie version (last program) too.
Very good!Urusei Yatsura
(Those Obnoxious Aliens)
1981-
86
Sci-Fi slapstick and romantic comedy based on Rumiko Takahashi's manga (graphic novel). 'Urusei Yatsura' means something like 'Those Troublesome Aliens'. The leading characters are Ataru Moroboshi (a high-school boy and woman chaser) and Lum (an alien girl like 'Oni', the Japanese demon). 218 episodes. The chief directors were Mamoru Oshii (episodes 1-129) and Kazuo Yamazaki (episodes 130-218). The animation production by Studio Pierrot.
Good!Macross
(Super Dimensional Fortress Macross)
1982-
83
A Sci-Fi/love story featuring mecha-action and pretty girl characters. The story of Macross, the supergiant space battleship fighting against alien invaders. The starting point of 'Otaku-ish' anime since the 1980s (anime of the anime fans, by the anime fans, for the anime fans). The chief director is Noboru Ishiguro. 36 episodes. See Macross Official Homepage. The design of 'VF-1 Valkyrie' (the Variable Fighter that transforms into a robot) is modeled after the US Navy's F-14 Tomcat. 'Robotech', which was aired on the US TV in 1985, was a composition of Macross and other two robot animes (Mospeada and Southern Cross).
 Xabungle1982-
83
A humorous and extremely delightful robot anime. The story about a revolutionary war against the governing classes in the future world. The characters are so vivid, and the mechanical designs which look like jeeps or machine tools are unique. Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. 50 episodes. Produced by Sunrise.
 Minky Momo
(1st series)
1982-
83
One of the masterpieces of 'Magical Girl' anime genre. The heroine Momo is a girl who can change into various able women. A fairy-tale slapstick comedy. The theme is "dreaming". The first TV series. The original works by Takeshi Syudo. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. 63 episodes. Produced by Ashi Production.
 Space Adventure Cobra1982-
83
A Sci-Fi action anime in the American-comic/space opera style. Based on Buichi Terasawa's manga (graphic novel). The leading character Cobra is a one-man space pirate who resists Space Mafia Guild. Directed by Osamu Dezaki and Yoshio Takeuchi. 31 episodes. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. There is the movie version too.
 Patalliro!1982-
83
A comedy/gag anime on spy/cloak-and-dagger action and Shounen-ai/boylove (aesthetic homosexuality between males, especially for beautiful boys), which is a popular theme of Japanese girls' manga (graphic novel) since the 1970s. Based on Mineo Maya's popular manga of the same title, which is serialized in the girls' manga magazine 'Hana to Yume' since 1979 for long periods. The leading characters are Patalliro du Marinel VIII (a ten-year-old boy. The king of Marinera, the land of perpetual spring), Major Jack Bancolin (an intelligence officer of MI6, Britain's military intelligence division), Maraich (an assassin-turned boy and Bancolin's lover) and others. 49 episodes. The title is changed to 'Boku Patalliro! (I'm Patalliro!)' after the 21st episode. The chief director is Nobutaka Nishizawa. The animation produced by Toei Animation. There is also the movie version 'Patalliro! Stardust Program' (1983). The TV series 'Patalliro Saiyuki!' (aired in 2005, 26 episodes) is the anime version of the original side story. Patalliro's 'Cock Robin Ondo' (Cock Robin Dance Song), known for its phrase "Who Killed Cock Robin?", is originally a quotation from 'Kotori no Su (Little Bird's Nest)', one of the episodes of Moto Hagio's 'Poe no Ichizoku (The Poe Clan)', which is based on Mother Goose rhymes (English traditional nursery rhymes).
 Stop! Hibari-kun1983-
84
A unique situation comedy/gag anime featuring a boy who looks just like a beautiful girl. Based on the manga by Hisashi Eguchi (serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump in 1981-1983). A high school boy Kousaku Sakamoto came to live with Ibari Oozora, who was an ex-boyfriend of Kousaku's dead mother, but Ibari Oozora is a yakuza (Japanese mafia) boss, and his son Hibari Oozora is a shemale. Kousaku goes to the same school as Hibari, and he found Hibari acts as a girl in school and everybody except the Oozora family don't know Hibari is a boy. A novel work produced as a kind of anti-romantic comedy, which was against the romantic comedy genre blooming in those days. 35 episodes. The original manga was stopped without being completed shortly after the TV broadcast started, so in the latter half, there are several original episodes (not in the manga) and diversions from the stories of other Eguchi works, such as "Susume! Pirates" and "Hinomaru Gekijo". The series director is Takashi Hisaoka. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
Good!Armored Trooper Votoms1983-
84
A realistic robot anime, like the Gundam series. Votoms are robots operated by soldiers, like tanks. It means "Vertical One-man Tank for Offense & Maneuver". Directed by Ryosuke Takahashi. 52 episodes. Produced by Sunrise.
Good!Round Vernian Vifam1983-
84
A Sci-Fi adventure anime like Jules Verne's novel, 'Two Years Holiday' ('Deux Ans de Vacances'). The story of 13 children-Scott Heyward (15 years old), Clare Barbland (14), Roddy Shuffle (14), Barts Lyan (14), Maki Rowell (13), Shalon Publin (11), Fred Shuffle (10), Pench Eliza (10), Katue Pearson (age unknown), Kentz Norton (9), Jimmy Eril (7), Marlo Jr. Bonner (4) and Routinie Pressette (4)-who drift in outer space, taking the training spaceship 'Janous', and fighting against the arien Kuktonian's attack. 'Vifam' is one of the Round Vernians (humanoid mobile weapons) of the Earth Force. Directed by Takeyuki Kanda. The Characters designed by Toyoo Ashida (the character designer of 'Dr. Slump: Arare-chan' and 'Minky Momo'). 46 episodes. Produced by Sunrise. There are the OAVs (1984-85) and the new TV series 'Vifam 13' (26 episodes, 1998) too.
 Magical Angel Creamy Mami1983-
84
The 1st of the 'Magical Girl' series by Studio Pierrot, the production company of 'Urusei Yatsura'. The leading character Yuu Morisawa is a fifth-grade elementary school girl (10 years old) of the St. Remy Academy. She had been just a girl next door, but she transforms herself into a 17-year-old idol singer called Creamy Mami, by the power of a Magical World 'Feather Star', and participates actively in the show business. Directed by Osamu Kobayashi. 52 episodes. The are the 4 OAVs too.
 Aura Battler Dunbine1983-
84
A fantastic robot anime. The scene is laid in another world, like fairyland. Dunbine is a biological big robot, like a bug. Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. 49 episodes. Produced by Sunrise.
 Cat's Eye
(1st series)
1983-
84
An action anime based on the manga (graphic novel) by Tsukasa Hojo. The leading characters Rui, Hitomi and Ai Kisugi are 3 sisters and mysterious thieves wearing leotards, who steal art objects (jewels and paintings) that were once their father's collections, in order to find their missing father. The chief director was Yoshio Takeuchi. 36 episodes. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. There are the sequel and live-action movie version too.
 Nanako SOS1983-
84
The anime version of the manga (serialized in 1980-85) by Hideo Azuma, who is popular with maniacs for his surreal, 'absurd' Sci-Fi/comedy and cute little girl character. The second anime series based on Hideo Azuma's manga, following the previous series 'Koro Koro Pollon' (aired in 1982-83). A nonsensical slapstick comedy featuring a timid girl named Nanako, who had lost her memory, but had got psychic powers and became a 'supergirl'. A self-proclaimed 'scientist of genius', a boy student named Yotsuya tries to use Nanako's powers to make money, administering a handyman company. 39 episodes. Directed Akira Shigino, Tetsuro Amino and others. Produecd by Kokusai Eigasha. The Italian title was 'Nanà Supergirl'. The French title was 'Supernana'.
Good!Tongari Boshi no Memoru1984-
85
"Tongari Boshi no Memoru" (means "Memole in the Pointed Hat"), also known also as "Wee Wendy" or "Little Memole" in English, is an original TV anime series (50 episodes) produced by Toei Animation. A heartwarming fantasy depicting the friendship between a tiny, fairylike alien girl Memole and a human girl Marielle. A spaceship from the planet Riruru, with 246 tiny aliens on board, had an emergency crash-landing on the Earth, and they started to liveon the French-Swiss border, at the foot of the Alps. One of the aliens, Memole meets a sickly, lonely girl Marielle Legrand, and they gradually develop a bond of friendship. An animator Yasuhiro Nakura (original character design) and art director Isamu Tsuchida prepared the groundwork in the initial stage of the project, and made its distinctive, sensitive and beautiful images with an integration between background art and designs. In the storyline, the episodes from 23rd to 25th, in which Memole and Marielle get separated and meet again, are impressive. The series director is Osamu Kasai. The short film "Tongari Boshi no Memoru" (16 minutes), released in 1985 'Toei Manga Festival', is an edited version which mainly consists of the latter half of the 25th episode. The OAV "Tongari Boshi no Memoru: Marielle's Jewel Box" (75 minutes) is a digest version summarizing the TV series with a new short film "Isamu Tsuchida's My Memole: The Song of the Trees and the Wind" (5 minutes). There are the French/Spanish/Italian/Czech/Arabic-dubbed versions and Polish-recited version. The video "Wee Wendy" released in the USA is an edited version with English dub and new musical compositions.
 Hokuto no Ken/Fist of the North Star1984-
88
The anime version of the martial-arts/violent action manga (graphic novel) by Bronson (story) and Tetsuo Hara (drawing). Set in a war-ravaged, lawless world ruled by violence after a nuclear war. The leading character is a guy named Kenshiro, who is a successor of 'Hokuto-shinken', the school of martial arts for assassination (it destroys the human body from within). 152 episodes. Directed by Toyoo Ashida. Produced by Toei. There are the anime movie version (1986) and Hollywood live-action version (1995) too.
 Heavy Metal L-Gaim1984-
85
A stylish and fashionable robot anime. The character designs and mechanical designs are refined. Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. 54 episodes. Produced by Sunrise.
 Panzer World Galient1984-
85
A fantastic robot anime. The scene is laid in another planet, like the world of the medieval knight. Directed by Ryosuke Takahashi. 25 episodes. Produced by Sunrise.
Good!Mobile Suit Z Gundam
(Zeta Gundam)
1985-
86
The sequel to Mobile Suit Gundam. A complicated story about a three-cornered fight of Titans (the elite of the Earth Federal Forces), A.E.U.G. (Anti-Earth Union Group) and Axis (the remnants of Zeon) in 0087 Universal Century. A 17-year-old boy, Camille Vidan joins A.E.U.G., and as the pilot of Zeta Gundam, fights against Titans, with Quattro Bagina (Char Aznable). Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. 50 episodes. Produced by Sunrise.
 Dirty Pair1985A Sci-Fi action anime based on Haruka Takachiho's novel. The story of Kei and Yuri, a girl duo who work in the WWWA (Worlds Welfare Work Association) as galactic troubleshooters. 26 episodes (the 25th and 26th episodes were not aired on TV). Produced by Sunrise. There are the movie version and OAVs too.
Good!Dragon Ball1986-
89
The action adventure anime based on Akira Toriyama's popular manga (graphic novel) 'Dragon Ball', which was serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump in 1984-1995. The story of a martial artist boy Son Goku, who keeps on training himself to be the strongest martial artist, making an adventurous journey with a girl named Bulma in search of 'Dragonballs', magical spheres which can fulfill any wish if all the seven were gathered together. The storyline is basically faithful to the original manga vesion, but there are also lots of the anime original episodes not in the manga vesion. The first TV series 'Dragon Ball' describes the story until Son Goku won the 23rd World Martial-Arts Tournament, beating Piccolo (MaJunior), and got married to a girl named Chichi. 153 episodes. The series directors are Minoru Okazaki and Daisuke Nishio. Produced by Toei Animation. There are also the sequel TV series 'Dragon Ball Z' (aired in 1989-96, 291 episodes) and 'Dragon Ball GT' (aired in 1996-97, 64 episodes).
 Maison Ikkoku1986-
88
Based on Rumiko Takahashi's manga (graphic novel). The comic love story set in an apartment house named Ikkoku-kan. The leading characters are the apartment-house manager Kyoko Otonashi (a widow) and the tenant Yusaku Godai (a student). 96 episodes. Produced by Kitty Film. The animation produced by Studio DEEN. In Japan the original manga version is more famous than the anime version.
 Saint Seiya (Knights of the Zodiac)1986-
89
The martial-arts action anime featuring five good-looking boys, Pegasus/Seiya, Dragon/Shiryu, Cygnus/Hyoga, Andromeda/Shun and Phoenix/Ikki, who are the 'Saints', the fighters in armors called 'Clothes'. Based on the manga (graphic novel) by Masami Kurumada. Gained wide popularity among female fans because of the beautiful boy characters with sex appeal. 114 episodes. The series director is Kozo Morishita. The characters designed by Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno. Produced by Toei Animation. There is the completely new OVA series 'Saint Seiya: The Hades Chapter-Sanctuary' (13 episodes, released in 2003) too.
Good!Dragon Ball Z1989-
96
See the paragraph about the first TV series 'Dragon Ball'. The martial-arts action anime series aired in 42 countries in the world. The sequel to the first TV series 'Dragon Ball' based on Akira Toriyama's manga. The leading character is Son Goku, the world's strongest guy. Five years after beating Piccolo at the 23rd World Martial-Arts Tournament, Goku had been married to Chichi, and they had their son, Son Gohan. Goku and his fellows fight overwhelming battles against new enemies, like Saiyan fighter Vegeta, evil emperor Frieza and so on. 291 episodes. The series director is Daisuke Nishio. Produced by Toei Animation. There are lots of the movie versions and the sequel TV series 'Dragon Ball GT' (aired in 1996-97, 64 episodes) too.
 Ranma 1/21989-
92
Romantic comedy/martial-arts action anime based on Rumiko Takahashi's manga (graphic novel). The story of Ranma Saotome, a 16-year-old boy and martial artist, who turns into a girl whenever he's splashed with cold water. 161 episodes. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama and others. Produced by Kitty Film. The animation produced by DEEN.
Good!Patlabor
(Patlabor The Mobile Police)
1989-
90
See the paragraph about the Patlabor OAV version. Concerning the visual quality, this TV series is a little poorer than the OAVs and movies, but the stories are interesting. Directed by Naoyuki Yoshinaga. 47 episodes. Produced by Sunrise.
 Idol Tenshi Youkoso Yoko
(Idol Angel Welcome Yoko)
1990-
91
A musical-style anime with full of the original songs. Starring Yoko Tanaka, a girl who dreams of being a singer at Shibuya in Tokyo. A series of fairy-tale and touching episodes about 'dreaming'. The original works by Takeshi Syudo. In common with his Minky Momo series, this work implies the theme of "dreaming closely related to harsh world of reality". Directed by Tetsuro Amino. 43 episodes. Produced by Big West and Ashi Production.
Very good!Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water1990-
91
A sea adventure/action story/steampunk Sci-Fi adapted from Jules Verne's novel, '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' ('Vingt mille lieues sous les mers'). In the Paris Expo of 1889, Jean Rocque Raltique, a French boy with a mania for inventions, meets Nadia, an African girl working as a circus acrobat, and they embark upon an adventurous journey for exploring the secret of her wearing gemstone called 'Blue Water'. Directed by Hideaki Anno. 39 episodes. The animation production by GAINAX and others.
 Brother, Dear Brother...1991-
92
A serious campus-life drama set in a private girls' school. Based on the girls' manga by Riyoko Ikeda (serialized in 1974). The original title 'Oniisama E...' means 'To My Older Brother...'. Aired on the NHK (Japan's state-run station) satellite broadcasting. The story of a girl named Nanako Misonoo, who entered the senior high school of Seiran Academy. She was picked to join the 'sorority', a campus social club open only to the students selected, and then she is involved in the intricate relationship with devotion, adoration, jealousy, hidden kinships and so on. 39 episodes. The antique, elegant and aesthetic world of the original manga is finely adapted into an anime with beautiful images and lots of new episodes added. Directed by Osamu Dezaki. The character design and animation direction by Akio Sugino. The animation produced by Tezuka Production.
 Minky Momo
(2nd series)
1991-
92
The second TV series. The first half seemed to be a remake of the first series, but the latter half revealed it had been the sequel to the first series. The original works by Takeshi Syudo. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. 62 episodes. Produced by Ashi Production.
 Sailor Moon
(1st series)
1992-
93
A variant of 'Magical Girl' anime genre. Well-known in the world. Based on the girls' manga (graphic novel) by Naoko Takeuchi. The story of the group of 5 junior high girls (Usagi Tsukino and her fellows) who changes themselves into sailor-suited fighters and fight against the Dark Kingdom, an evil organization plotting to conquer the Earth. The character designs are beautiful. The first of the 5 TV series. 46 episodes. Directed by Junichi Sato. Produced by Toei Animation. The sequels, Sailor Moon R and Sailor Moon S are recommended too.
 Yu Yu Hakusho (Ghost Fighter/Poltergeist Report)1992-
95
A fighting action anime based on the manga (graphic novel) by Yoshihiro Togashi. The leading character is Yusuke Urameshi, a bad boy in the eighth grade, who died in a traffic accident trying to save a child, but came alive again and became a detective of the Spirit World. Yusuke and his party (Kazuma Kuwabara, Kurama and Hiei) fight fierce psychic martial-arts battles against monsters from the Demon World. Directed by Noriyuki Abe. 112 episodes. Produced by Studio Pierrot. There are the two movie versions too.
Good!Slam Dunk1993-
96
The anime version of the greatest basketball manga (graphic novel) 'Slam Dunk' by Takehiko Inoue. The original manga version (serialized in 1990-98) was a popular work that have increased drastically guys in Japan who want to join the basketball club, and the translated versions have been published in North America, Europe and Asia. The story of a red-headed tall guy Hanamichi Sakuragi, who was a freshman in the Kanagawa Prefectural Shohoku High School. He joined the basketball club on the suggestion of Haruko Akagi, the girl he fell in love with at first sight. He made rapid progress in basketball through coaching from the captain Takenori Akagi (Haruko's elder brother) and rivalry against a rookie and basketball genius, Kaede Rukawa, and he becomes a leading player of the Shohoku team that plays regional elimination matches for entering the national tournament. 101 episodes. The series director is Nobutaka Nishizawa. The animation produced by Toei Animation. There are the 4 movie versions (1994-95) too.
Good!Mobile Suit V Gundam
(Victory Gundam)
1993-
94
One of the Gundam sagas. The story of Usso Ewing, a 13-year-old boy soldier of The League Militaire (a civilian resistance organization), who operates V Gundam and fights against the aggression by the Zanscare Empire (in 0153 Universal Century). The theme is something like "a fight against religious salvation as maternal protection/oppression". Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. 51 episodes. Produced by Sunrise.
 I Can Hear the Sea/Ocean Waves1993A one-shot TV special by the younger staff of Studio Ghibli. A youth film on bittersweet memories about fleeting love and triangular situation in adolescence. Based on the novel by Saeko Himuro. The leading character, Taku Morisaki is a student at an university in Tokyo. He looks back on Rikako Muto, a female classmate in their high school in Kochi Pref (a local city in southern Japan). Back in those days, she had transferred from Tokyo to Kochi because of her parents' divorce. She was a beautiful girl who was excellent in school and sports, and Taku's close friend Yutaka Matsuno fell in love with her. One day she takes a trip with Taku to Tokyo to meet her father. Produced by Young Creators' Group of Studio Ghibli. Directed by Tomomi Mochizuki.
 Mobile Fighter G Gundam1994-
95
One of the Gundam sagas. Unlike the serious 'Universal Century Gundam' directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, a laughable and delightful 'martial arts' robot anime going back to the basics of giant robot anime (once called mockingly as 'Robot Wrestling' in the 1970s). In 60 Future Century, to avoid a full-scale war, space-colony nations have managed a proxy war system called 'Gundam Fight', in which each nation sends its representative fighter with Gundam-type robot to the Earth once every four years and makes them fight each other for political hegemony. On the 13th Gundam Fight, a young martial artist Domon Cush on his 'Shinning Gundam', as the representative of the space colony 'Neo Japan', fights against world Gundam fighters, looking for his elder brother Kyoji who seized the supergiant weapon 'Devil Gundam' and ran away to the Earth. 49 episodes. The supervising director is Yasuhiro Imagawa. Produced by Sunrise.
 Akazukin ChaCha
(Red Riding Hood ChaCha)
1994-
95
A slapstick comedy based on the girls' manga (graphic novel) by Min Ayahana. The Japanese word 'Akazukin' means 'a red hood' or 'Little Red Riding Hood'. The heroine Chacha is a little girl going to a Magic School to be a witch. The characters are so cute. Directed by Hatsuki Tsuji. The animation production by Studio Gallop. 74 episodes. There is the OAV version too.
 Magic Knight Rayearth1994-
95
A fantastic giant-robot anime like the Japanese RPG set in medieval world. Based on the girls' manga (graphic novel) by CLAMP. The story of 3 junior high girls, Hikaru Shido, Umi Ryuuzaki and Fuu Hououji, who were summoned by another world calld Cefiro, and there fight to save the world, as legendary 'Magic Knights' operating 3 giant robots called 'Mashin' (Magic God): Rayearth, Ceres and Windom. 49 episodes. Directed by Toshihiro Hirano. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. There are the videogame version (action RPG for Sega Saturn) and OAV series too.
Very good!Neon Genesis Evangelion1995-
96
A Sci-Fi anime that succeeds to the spirit of Yamato and Gundam. In near future 'Tokyo-3', a 14-year-old introverted boy named Shinji Ikari operates Evangelion, the general-purpose humanoid fighting machine (gigantic humanoid robot), and fights against unidentified enemies called 'Angels'. Very high quality drawings/animations. Live-action-style direction. Mysterious plot development. Extremely internal psychological descriptions. Pedantic quotations from The Bible, psychoanalysis, biotechnology... The most important and controversial anime work in the 1990s. A product of self-critical consciousness within anime. Directed by Hideaki Anno. Produced by GAINAX and Tatsunoko Production. 26 episodes. The movie 'The End of Evangelion' was a remake of the last 2 episodes of this TV series.
 Gundam Wing1995-
96
One of the Gundam sagas. The story of 5 boys (Heero Yuy, Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, Quatre Raberba Winner, and Chang Wufei) from the space colonies, who operate 5 Gundams (Wing Gundam, Gundam Deathscythe, Gundam Heavyarms, Gundam Sandrock, and Shenrong Gundam) and fight against the military autocracy of Oz, the secret society of the Earth Allied Forces (in 195 After Colony). Directed by Masashi Ikeda. 49 episodes. Produced by Sunrise. There is the OAV series (the sequel) too.
 Fushigi Yuugi (The Mysterious Play/Curious Play)1995-
96
A fantasy love story based on the girls' manga (graphic novel) by Yuu Watase. The story of a ninth-grade junior high girl named Miaka Yuuki and her best friend Yui Hongo, who wandered off into another world within the book of ancient China. There Miaka became the 'Suzaku no Miko' (a female shaman for Red Chinese Phoenix) to save the Kounan Country with the help of 7 guardian men, and she got into a war with the neighboring Kutou Country, where Yui became the 'Seiryu no Miko' (a shaman for Blue Dragon). Directed by Hajime Kamegaki. 52 episodes. Produced by Studio Pierrot. There are the OAV series (the sequel) too.
 Slayers1995A fantasy adventure/slapstick comedy set in the world of sword and magic. The story of a girl sorceress named Lina Inverse, who practices powerful offensive magic. Based on the original story by Hajime Kanzaka and the manga (graphic novel) by Rui Araizumi. Directed by Takashi Watanabe. The animation production by Easy Film. 26 episodes. There are the sequel TV series, OAVs and movies.
 Tenchi Muyo!
(Tenchi Universe)
1995See the paragraph about the Tenchi Muyo OAV version. Maybe this TV version is easier to understand than the OAV version and suits the popular taste. Directed by Hiroshi Negishi. 26 episodes. Produced by AIC.
 Wedding Peach1995-
96
A girl's anime on the lines of Sailor Moon. A romantic love story. The heroine is a junior high school girl named Momoko Hanasaki, a member of the newspaper club in the school, who transforms herself into a 'Love Angel' Wedding Peach and fights against the Devils. 51 episodes. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by KSS. There is the OAV series too.
Good!The Vision of Escaflowne1996A fantastic robot anime in a girl's-manga (graphic novel) style. A high-school girl, Hitomi Kanzaki is transferred to Gaea, another world like medieval world. There she meets Van Fanel, the prince of the Fanellia Kingdom, who fights against the invasion by the Zaibach Empire, operating Escaflowne, one of the giant robotic weapons called Guymelefs. Supervised by Shoji Kawamori. Directed by Kazuki Akane. 26 episodes. Produced by Sunrise. There is the movie version too.
 Gundam X1996One of the Gundam series. Fifteen years after an all-out war between the Earth and a space colony. Jamil Neate, who was a Newtype child soldier in the Earth Federal Forces fifteen years before, is against making military use of Newtypes, and he looks for Newtypes to protect them, riding a battleship 'Freeden' and working as a 'vulture' (scavenging materials from wasted military facilities and weapons, and selling them). A war orphan boy named Garrod Ran met a Newtype girl Tiffa Adill, and it led him into becoming a member of Freeden. They get involved in the armed conflicts between the New Federation, independent small countries and Space Revolutionary Army. 39 episodes. There is no direct link with 'Universal Century' Gundam series directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, but a serious story can be regarded as a sequel to the First Gundam. In the ending, the concept 'Newtype' is used as a metaphor for the Gundam series themselves, and it implies a metafictional meaning, as if to reflect back on the work Gundam and circumstances surrounding it. Directed by Shinji Takamatsu. The animation produced by Sunrise.
Very good!Martian Successor Nadesico1996-
97
A Sci-Fi anime, like the Macross series. The story of Nadesico, the space battleship fighting against the invaders from Jupiter. A comprehensive compilation of various anime elements, like Sci-Fi, giant robot, galactic war, pretty girls, love story, drama, comedy, and so on. The anime within the anime 'Gekiganger 3' was a crafted parody of the 1970s gung-ho robot animes. Directed by Tatsuo Sato. 26 episodes. Produced by XEBEC. There is the movie version too.
Very good!Revolutionary Girl Utena
(La Fillette Révolutionnaire Utena)
1996-
97
A cult anime by the director Kunihiko Ikuhara, one of the directors of Sailor Moon series. An ideal and metaphorical film, like an underground theater. The heroine, Utena Tenjou is a junior-high student at The Ohtori Academy and girl dressed as a man, who is involved in strange sword duels over Anthy Himemiya, a mysterious girl called 'The Rose Bride'. A highly critical work, like Evangelion. 39 episodes. The animation production by J.C.STAFF. There is the movie version too.
 You're Under Arrest
(1st series)
1996-
97
See the paragraph about the You're Under Arrest OAV version. The 1st TV series based on Kosuke Fujishima's manga (graphic novel). Car/bike action, comedy, love story and so on. 51 episodes (the first 4 episodes were edited versions from the OAV series). Directed by Hiroshi Watanabe and Junji Nishimura. Produced by Studio DEEN. There is the 2nd TV series too.
 Magical Girl Pretty Sammy
(Magical Project S)
1996-
97
A derivative spin-off from the Tenchi Muyo series. A parody of 'Magical Girl' anime genre. The story of a grade school girl named Sasami Kawai, who changes herself into a magical girl Pretty Sammy and fights against another bad magical girl Pixy Misa. Directed by Katsuhito Akiyama. 26 episodes. Produced by AIC. There is the OAV version too.
Good!Kodomo no Omocha/Kodocha
(Child's Toy)
1996-
98
Based on the girls' manga (graphic novel) by Miho Obana. A slapstick comedy at fast tempos, but the story and themes are too serious. The story of Sana Kurata, a 12-year-old girl who is a child actress. Directed by Akitaroh Daichi. The animation production by Studio Gallop. 102 episodes.
 Hyper Police1997A police action/romantic comedy based on the manga (graphic novel) by Mee. Set in the future Tokyo where humans and demons live side by side. The story of a girl named Natsuki Sasahara, who is half-human, half-demon cat and works as a member of a bounty hunter group to hunt criminals. Directed by Takahiro Oomori. The characters designed by Keiji Goto (the character designer/drawing director of 'Nadesico'). 25 episodes. The animation production by Studio Pierrot.
 Shin Tenchi Muyo!
(Tenchi in Tokyo)
1997See the paragraph about the Tenchi Muyo OAV version. The 2nd TV version of Tenchi Muyo series. The story of Tenchi Masaki, who starts to live alone in Tokyo, and meets a girl named Sakuya Kumashiro in high school. I think this is inferior to the 1st TV series in quality. Recommended to die-hard Tenchi fans only. Directed by Nobuhiro Takamoto. 26 episodes. Produced by AIC.
 GaoGaiGar
(GaoGaiGar The King of Braves)
1997-
98
The last and great work of the 'Brave' Series (giant robot animes for boy children in lower grades) by Sunrise. The story of GGG (Gutsy Geoid Guard/three G), the secret defense organization that fights against the invasion by extra-terrestrial intelligent life. A young cyborg named Guy Shishio, as a member of GGG, fuses with machines into the Super Mechanoid 'GaoGaiGar' and fights against the enemy, mechanical life called Zonder. Directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani. 49 episodes. There is the OAV series (the sequel) too.
Good!Berserk1997-
98
A faithfully-animated version of the introductory part of 'Berserk', the dark fantasy saga/violent action manga (graphic novel) by Kentaro Miura. The original manga version is a must-read masterpiece. The scene is laid in another world like medieval Europe. The story of a swordman named Guts, who became a member of the 'Hawk Soldiers', a mercenary group led by the charismatic leader Griffith. As a regular army of the Midland Kingdom, the Hawk Soldiers brought to an end the Hundred Years' War against the Tudor Empire, and Griffith got a peerage of the kingdom, but after Guts left, Griffith lost his position, and transmigrated into 'Femto', one of the 'God Hands', by sacrificing the members of the Hawk Soldiers. 25 episodes. Directed by Naohito Takahashi. The animation production by OLM.
 Eternal Family1997-
98
A short film by Koji Morimoto (the director of 'Memories/Magnetic Rose', 'Noiseman Sound Insect' and 'The Animatrix/Beyond') and Studio 4°C. The 53 episodes (29 minutes in total) was aired as a series of TV commercial films for NTTPC Communications' Internet-access service "InfoSphere". The story of six men and women, who are complete strangers to each other, but they are given artificial memories and live together as a family in a capsule home, and their daily lives are covered live on TV as a realistic home drama in "Hodgepodge City" in cyber space. An unique work with a whirl of surreal and funky images. The director/character designer/production designer is Koji Morimoto. Produced by Beyond C.
Very good!serial experiments lain1998A supernatural psycho-horror anime. The theme is loss of actuality or self-identity crisis in computer network. The story of a junior high school girl named Lain Iwakura, who got e-mail from a self-slaughtered schoolmate, and found another herself in cyberspace called 'Wired'. A difficult and mysterious, but thoughtful film considering critically high-tech mysticism (cyberspace as C. G. Jung's Collective Unconsciousness, David Bohm's Implicate Order, or spiritual world). Directed by Ryutaro Nakamura. 13 episodes. Produced by Triangle Staff. There is the videogame version (Playstation) too.
Good!Cowboy Bebop1998-
99
A cool Sci-Fi action/drama set in the solar system of the year 2071. The leading characters are the quartet of bounty hunters and crew of the interplanetary ship Bebop: Spike Spiegel (a master of Jeet Kune Do), Jet Black (an ex-cop), Faye Valentine (a mysterious woman) and Ed (a hacker girl). Recommended to Lupin III fans. Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe. 26 episodes. Produced by Sunrise. There is also the movie version.
Good!Trigun1998A Sci-Fi/shoot-'em-up action anime based on the manga (graphic novel) by Yasuhiro Naito. On a future colonized planet, a superhuman gunfighter called Vash the Stampede confronts various accidents as an absolute pacifist who never kills people. The first half was a humane story in Western style. The latter half was a serious story about human life and death, which depicted the fight between Vash and the Gung-Ho-Guns, the gang of murderers controlled by his fatal enemy, Millions Knives. Directed by Satoshi Nishimura. The animation production by Madhouse. 26 episodes.
 Outlaw Star1998A Sci-Fi action/adventure anime set in the future of the space age. The story of a young bounty hunter Gene Starwind, who and his boy partner Jim Hawking had run a handyman firm, 'Starwind and Hawking Enterprises'. They take the spaceship Outlaw Star and explore the mysteries of a girl android Melfina and treasure called 'Dragon vein of Galaxy', fighting against space pirates. Directed by Mitsuru Hongo. The manga (graphic novel) version by Takehiko Ito. Produced by Sunrise. 26 episodes (the 16th and 23rd episodes were not aired on TV).
 Cyber Team in Akihabara1998An occult Sci-Fi/comedy set in an alternative, near-future Akihabara (the electric town in Tokyo). The story of a group of girls (Hibari Hanakoganei and her schoolmates) who got ability to summon 'mechanized goddesses' (immortal fighters) called 'Deva', by the plan of the Rose Cross/Rosen Kreuz, a secret society of alchemical scientists. Directed by Yoshitaka Fujimoto. The visual director was Tsukasa Kotobuki. The animation production by Ashi Production. 26 episodes. There is the movie version too.
 Card Captor Sakura1998-
2000
Based on the girls' manga (graphic novel) by CLAMP. The story of a grade school girl named Sakura Kinomoto, who captures magical cards that cause disaster. Directed by Morio Asaka. The animation production by Madhouse. The 1st part consists of 46 episodes. The 2nd part consists of 24 episodes. There are the 2 movie versions. 'Cardcaptors' aired on the US TV was a drastically edited version from this series.
 Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou/KareKano
(His and Her Circumstances)
1998-
99
A comic love story set in high school. Based on the girls' manga (graphic novel) by Masami Tsuda. The story of Yukino Miyazawa, a high-school girl, who had cared too much about her appearance and played the honor student at school, but decided to be herself after falling in love with Soichiro Arima, an excellent boy student like her. Directed by Hideaki Anno. 26 episodes. Produced by J.C.STAFF and GAINAX.
Good!Betterman1999A Sci-Fi horror action anime aired at midnight. Created by the staff of GaoGaiGar. The first wide-screen (vista size) anime series on TV. The story about a mysterious mass death phenomenon called Algernon and an enigmatic humanoid existence calld Betterman, who transforms himself into monstrous creatures. Directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani. 26 episodes. Produced by Sunrise.
 Ojamajo Doremi
(1st series)
1999-
2000
A good-quality anime aimed at girl children, filled with laughter and tears. 'Ojamajo' means something like 'a witch nuisance'. The leading character is a grade school girl named Doremi Harukaze, who is a probationary witch. Based on the original story by Izumi Todo and the manga (graphic novel) by Shizue Takanashi. Directed by Junichi Sato (the first director of Sailor Moon series). Produced by Toei Animation. The 1st TV series. 51 episodes. The sequels are recommended too.
Good!Mugen no Ryvius (Infinite Ryvius)1999-
2000
A Sci-Fi/political drama depicting a group of teenagers who try to survive in an extreme situation. In the 23rd Century, the half of the solar system has been submerged by the sea of high-temperature and high-pressure plasma, called 'Geduld', as a result of abnormal radiation of solar flare. A 16-year-old boy Kouji Aiba and his mates, a total of 487 trainee astronauts drift in outer space, living communally in a giant battleship called 'Ryvius', and fighting against the enemy's attack. Directed by Goro Taniguchi. 26 episodes. Produced by Sunrise.
 Turn A Gundam1999-
2000
One of the Gundam sagas. Set in the Earth in the distant future (in CC 2345) when civilization degenerated into the stage of industrial revolution, after the era of space wars called Black History. The Moonrace, the settlers on the Moon, with their Queen Diana Sorel, tried returning to the Earth, and got into a war with the Militia of the Earth. A 17-year-old boy of the Moonrace, Rolan Seak, seeks to follow a path of coexistence between the Earthians and Moonrace, fighting as a member of Militia and the pilot of Turn A Gundam (a relic of 'Black History'). 50 episodes. Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. Produced by Sunrise. The movies 'Turn A Gundam: I. Earth Light/II. Moonlight Butterfly' (2002) were the re-edited versions of this TV series (with new scenes added).
 Now and Then, Here and There1999-
2000
A serious action adventure/hard fantasy anime, as if Hayao Miyazaki's masterpiece 'Future Boy Conan' was made more realistic and harsh. The story of a 14-year-old Japanese boy named Shuzo Matsutani (nicknamed Shu), who was time-warped to the Earth after 5 billion years, where a dictator named Hamdo had ruled the military state Heliwood and had conducted wars of aggression. In that hellish world, where child soldiers commit massacres, and women are forced to produce soldiers' children, Shu tries helping a mysterious girl named Lala Ru, who was abducted by Heliwood. Directed by Akitaroh Daichi. 13 episodes. The animation production by AIC.
Good!The Big O1999-
2000/
2003
A Sci-Fi/giant-robot anime with a classical and stylish taste, influenced by American cartoons ('Batman' and the like), the US TV drama series of the 1960-70s, and Japanese old 'Tokusatsu' (live-action hero series with special photography/effects, like 'Giant Robo' and 'Ultraman' series). Set in the future city that lost the memories (past histories and technologies), called Paradigm City. The leading character is a man named Roger Smith, who works as a negotiator, and solves variety of cases by operating 'the Big O', a type of the giant robots called 'Mega-deus', developed by hypertechnology of the past. The first season had 13 episodes. Because the first season was aired on the US Cartoon Network and inundated with requests for the sequel, the second season (14th-26th episodes) was produced three years after. Directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama. The screenplay by Chiaki Konaka. Produced by Sunrise.
 Love Hina2000A romantic comedy based on the manga (graphic novel) by Ken Akamatsu. The story of a prep school boy named Keitaro Urashima, who aimed to enter the Tokyo University. He became a manager of a women's dormitory (former Japanese-style hotel) with open-air baths, named 'Hinata-sou', at a hot-spring town, and got emotionally involved with a girl tenant named Naru Narusegawa, who was also a student aiming to get into Tokyo Univ. Directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki. The animation production by XEBEC. 25 episodes (the 25th episode was not aired on TV) and 2 TV specials. There is the OAV series too.
 Vandread2000A Sci-Fi mecha action/romantic comedy like 'Macross' series and 'Nadesico'. The story of a 16-year-old boy named Hibiki Tokai, a mechanic from the planet Tarak (male-only military state), who came upon a gang of female pirates from the planet Mejale (all-women state), and lives with them in a battleship called Nirvana, fighting against unknown enemies' attack. 'Vandread' is a fighting mecha formed by combination of Tarak's powered suit 'Vanguard' and Mejale's fighter 'Dread'. The mecha action by using 3-D CG is cool. 13 episodes. Directed by Takeshi Mori. Produced by Gonzo. There is also the sequel (the second stage).
 NieA_7 (Niea Under Seven)2000A Sci-Fi/domestic comedy anime aired on the satellite channel WOWOW in 2000. Set in Japan of the future world where aliens have emigrated to the Earth and live among humans. The leading characters are: a dirt-poor preparatory school girl Mayuko Chigasaki, who rooms at a public bathhouse 'Enohana-Yu' in an old town and goes to prep school in Tokyo, working part-time, and Niea, an alien girl branded as the rank '_7' (the lowest degree of contribution to the Earth), who somehow stays at Mayuko's room and lives off Mayuko. A unique anime with nonsense laughableness and quiet lyricism. The original story by gK (Geronimo Hongo and Kuso Sensei). The original character design by Yoshitoshi Abe (the original character designer of 'serial experiments lain'). The screenplay and direction by Takuya Sato. 13 episodes. The animation produced by Triangle Staff. There is also the manga version by Yoshitoshi Abe and gK.
Good!s-CRY-ed2001A Sci-Fi martial-arts action anime by Goro Taniguchi (direction) and Yosuke Kuroda (screenplay), the duo of 'Infinite Ryvius'. In the near future in the early 21st century, a great crustal uplift phenomenon made a part of the Kanagawa Pref. an island isolated from Japan's mainland, called the 'Lost Ground'. Some people born in the Lost Ground developed a special ability (called 'Alter') to deconstruct matter and alter it to different things. Two boys who have Alter abilities, Kazuma (born in an undeveloped area in Lost Ground) and Ryuhou (a member of 'HOLY', special forces against Alter users) are locked in a rivalry, and fight hard each other with their Alter abilities. 26 episodes. The animation produced by Sunrise. There is also the manga version (scenario: Yosuke Kuroda, art: Yasunari Toda).
 Haré+Guu2001A TV anime series based on the comedy manga "Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu" (serialized in the magazine monthly 'Shonen GanGan' in 1996-2009. The title was changed into "HaréGuu" in 2003) by a female manga artist Renjuro Kindaichi. A surreal and slapstick comedy depicting the leading character Haré, a boy living with his mother Weda in a jungle, who is confound by eccentric behaviors of the people around him, especially an unidentified orphan girl Guu. Guu has superhuman abilities, such as swallowing anything into the space within her body, and becoming enormous. 26 episodes. The series composition by Michiko Yokote. Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima (known for his directions and storyboards of "Crayon Shin-chan" TV series and movies). The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation. There are also the sequel OAVs, "Haré+Guu DELUXE" (2002-2003) and "Haré+Guu FINAL" (2003-2004).
 Noir2001A hard-boiled shoot-'em-up action and pessimistic criminal movie in the film noir style. The story of a girl duo, Mireille Bouquet (a French from a Corsican mafia) and Kirika Yuumura (a Japanese-named girl who lost her memory), who work as assassins in underworld with the codename 'Noir', and fight against a mysterious secret organization called 'Solda'. The original planning and screenplay by Ryoue Tsukimura. Directed by Koichi Mashita. 26 episodes. The animation production by Bee Train.
 Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden2001A Sci-Fi/romantic comedy based on the original story by Bunjuro Nakayama and manga (graphic novel) by Bow Ditama. The story of a girl named Mahoro, who was once a combat android fighting against invading weapons by aliens from outer space, but she became a live-in maid and started to live with an eighth-grade junior high boy named Suguru Misato, who had lost his parents and lived alone. Faithful to the original manga version, for good or ill. 12 episodes. The direction and screenplay by Hiroyuki Yamaga. Produced by GAINAX and Shaft. There is the sequel TV series too.
 Beyblade
(1st series)
2001'Beyblade' is a spinning-top toy for kids, developed by Takara, the Japanese toy company, based on the Japanese traditional top toy called 'Bei-goma'. Beyblade is an advanced 'Bei-goma', which is customizable by changing the five parts: bit chip, attack ring, weight disk, spin gear and blade base. The TV anime series is based on the original manga (graphic novel) by Takao Aoki, and produced by the collaboration between South Korea and Japan. The Korean title is 'Topblade'. The story of beyblade players (beybladers), a grade school boy Takao Kinomiya and his rivals, who play exciting 'Bey-battle' games for being the world's strongest beyblader. 51 episodes. The animation production by Madhouse. There are the sequel TV series, movie version and game versions (GameBoy etc) too.
 Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi2002A Sci-Fi slapstick comedy by Gainax (the concept and original story). A boy living in Abenobashi shopping arcade in downtown Osaka, Imamiya Satoshi (Sasshi) and his early childhood girlfriend, Arumi Asahina get lost in a variety of the parallel worlds of magical shopping arcade Abenobashi one after another, such as fantasy computer role-playing game, sci-fi, Hong Kong kung-fu, jurassic period, hardboiled, and romantic comedy set in school. Based on the unique setting in which Abe no Seimei's Onmyodo is used to resemble a kind of supernatural science and technology. 13 episodes. Each episode has lots of parodies from anime (1970s robot anime, Mobile Suit Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion and others), manga (Kyojin no Hoshi/Star of the Giants, Doraemon, Hokuto no Ken/Fist of the North Star, Dragon Ball and others), tokusatsu (Ultraman series and others), game (Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior series, dating games such as To Heart, Sentimental Graffiti and Kanon), and films (2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, The Terminator, The Thing, The Shining, Duel, Indiana Jones, Titanic, Back to the Future and others). The high-quality animations full of popping actions are worth seeing. The original concept and direction by Hiroyuki Yamaga. The series director is Masayuki Kojima. The story composition by Satoru Akahori and Hiroyuki Yamaga. The oroginal character design by Kenji Tsuruta. The character design and animation direction by Tadashi Hiramatsu. The animation produced by Madhouse. There are also the manga versions (Kenji Tsuruta, Ryusei Deguchi) and novel version (Satoru Akahori).
 Azumanga-Daioh: The Animation2002A laid-back and carefree comedy depicting the daily life of high-school girls with distinctive personalities. Based on the popular four-panel comic strips, 'Azumanga-Daioh' by Kiyohiko Azuma (serialized in 'Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh' in 1999-2002). The main characters are 7 high-school girls: Chiyo Mihama (a girl genius who entered high school at age ten), Ayumu Kasuga (easygoing. Called 'Osaka'), Tomo Takino (vigorous), Koyomi Mizuhara (cool-headed. Called 'Yomi'), Sakaki (large and reticent. An animal lover), Kaorin (feeling love for Sakaki) and Kagura (all-round sportswoman), and teachers: Yukari Tanizaki (an unconventional female teacher of English), Minamo Kurosawa (a female physical education teacher. Called 'Nyamo') and Mr. Kimura (a teacher of classical Japanese. Suspicious man). 26 episodes. Directed by Hiroshi Nishikiori. Produced by GENCO. The animation produced by J.C.STAFF. There is the theatrical short film (5 minutes) released in 2001, before the start of the TV series.
 Galaxy Angel (2nd season)2002The second season (18 episodes) aired on terrestrial TV, following the first season (26 episodes) of the TV series aired on cable TV in 2001. A Sci-Fi slapstick comedy featuring cute girl characters. The leading characters are the five members (all female) of 'Angel Troop', the special forces of interstellar state Transbalt Kingdom: Milfeulle Sakuraba (17 years old. Cheerful and easygoing. A cooking lover), Ranpha Franboise (18. Aggressive and get-tough. An expert in martial arts), Mint Blancmanche (16. A well-bred girl from a rich family. A cosplay lover), Forte Stollen (22. A big sister. A gun maniac) and Vanilla H (13. A reticent girl with healing power). The planning and original story by Broccoli. Directed by Morio Asaka and Toshimitsu Ohashi. The animation production by Madhouse. There are also the third/forth season of the TV anime series, PC games, video games, manga version and novel version.
 RahXephon2002A mystical Sci-Fi/Giant Robot anime that looks just like 'Neon Genesis Evangelion'. In the year 2027, Tokyo had been occupied by mysterious invaders called 'Mu', and it has formed 'Tokyo Jupiter', a domed space isolated from the outside. A 17-year-old high school boy Ayato Kamina, who had united with a giant humanoid super weapon called 'RahXephon' and escaped from Tokyo Jupiter, fights against Mu's super weapons called 'Dolem', as a member of counter-Mu strategic research institute 'Terra', operating RahXephon. 26 episodes. Directed by Yutaka Izubuchi, who is known as a designer/illustrator (mechanical design in 'Patlabor The Mobile Police' and others). The original works by Bones and Yutaka Izubuchi. The animation produced by Bones. There is the movie version, RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio (Pluralistic Variation) (2003) too.
 .hack//SIGN2002The TV anime series produced as part of the multimedia project, ".hack" by Bandai Group, which is centered on the worldview of a fictional network game called 'The World'. The story of a girl who plays a boy character named 'Tsukasa' in 'The World', the fantasy RPG-style, virtual online game. One day it got impossible for Tsukasa to log out from the game world. After meetings and interactions with fellows within 'The World', Tsukasa tries going back to the real world. 25 episodes and one extra episode not aired on TV. The original characters designed by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto ('Neon Genesis Evangelion'). The screenplay by Kazunori Ito ('Patlabor The Mobile Police'). Directed by Koichi Mashita ('Noir'). The animation production by Bee Train. There are also the videogame (RPG) series ".hack" for PlayStation2 with OAVs, the novelized versions, manga (graphic novel) versions, and the second TV anime series ".hack//DUSK - Legend of Twilight's Bracelet" (2003).
 Haibane Renmei (Charcoal Feather Federation)2002A fantasy drama based on the manga (graphic novel) 'The Haibanes of Old Home', self-published as a noncommercial magazine (issued in 2000/2001) by Yoshitoshi Abe (the character designer of 'serial experiments lain' and 'NieA_7'). The story of the girls who were reborn as mysterious existences called 'Haibane', with aureoles (halos) above their heads and gray wings on their backs, not human and not angel. They had lost their memories of their previous lives, and they are living and working in a town called 'Glie', which is surrounded by walls and isolated from the outside. 13 episodes. The original works and screenplay by Yoshitoshi Abe. Directed by Tomokazu Tokoro. The animation produced by RADIX.
 Princess Tutu2002-
2003
A comedic, surreal and serious fantasy anime with abundant quotations from ballet music and motifs. Set in a mysterious world in which reality is mixed with stories. The story of a girl named Ahiru, who was nothing but a duck in reality, but she studies ballet at the art school Kinkan Academy. She adored a senior boy Mytho, but she learned that he was actually the prince in the story 'The Prince ane the Raven' written by writer Drosselmeyer, and Mytho lost his heart because of the fight against the raven. Ahiru transforms herself into a ballerina 'Princess Tutu' and tries recapturing the fragments of Mytho's lost heart. The original conception, character design and animation supervised by Ikuko Ito, who is known as an animator of 'Sailor Moon' series and others. Directed by Shogo Koumoto. The supervising director is Junichi Sato. The animation produced by Hal Film Maker. 26 episodes. Recommended to those who like ballet and classical music, or 'Revolutionary Girl Utena'.
Very good!Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex2002-
2003
The new TV series with a completely original storyline, produced seven years after the movie version 'Ghost in the Shell', based on the manga (graphic novel) by Masamune Shirow. Set in Japan in 2030, near-future with electronic networks running throughout the world and people cyber-brained and cyborged. The members of Public Security Section 9, an independent unit under the direct control of the Department of Interior, called 'Kokaku Kidotai' (special power-suit assault force), a female cyborg Motoko Kusanagi (the Major) and other team members confront various cases, such as cybercrime, political corruption, heinous murder and assassination. Unlike the 'art film' style movie version directed by Mamoru Oshii, highbrow and entertaining works enjoyable as a police action/detective drama. Aired on pay-TV of digital satellite broadcasting. An ultra-quality TV series with high-definition, full-digital images and 5.1 channel surround sound. 26 episodes. The original works and cooperation by Masamune Shirow. Directed by Kenji Kamiyama. Produced by Production I.G. There is also the sequel TV series 'Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG' (2004-2005, directed by Kenji Kamiyama).
 Overman King Gainer2002-
2003
A TV series produced by Sunrise and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, following "Brain Powerd" (1998) and "Turn A Gundam" (1999). An entertainment-type Sci-Fi robot anime leaning toward slapstick/romantic comedy rather than serious and tragic drama like Tomino's old works. Aired on high-definition system on WOWOW. Set in a future world where people live in Domepolis (domed cities) in desert or tundra areas to restore the natural environment. Against the political oppression on the pretext of environmental protection, people in Wulgusk (a Domepolis in Siberia) try a plan called "Exodus" to move their city units themselves from Domepolis to their ancestral homeland "Yapan". A highschool boy and video gamer living in Wulgusk, Gainer Sanga gets involved in Exodus, and becomes the pilot of a biological giant robot (Overman) "King Gainer". He and his crew make a journey to the holy land Yapan, fighting against anti-Exodus forces, such as Siberian Railroad Police and London IMA (International Monitoring Agency). 26 episodes. The original story and general direction by Yoshiyuki Tomino. The series composition by Ichiro Okouchi (screenplay of "Turn A Gundam"). The animation director is Ken'ichi Yoshida.
Good!Stellvia (Uchuu no Stellvia)2003A Sci-Fi/campus-life drama set in the solar system of the future. In the year 2356 A.D., 189 years after the electromagnetic wave and radiation from a supernova explosion caused a catastrophic damage to the earth. A 15-year-old girl Shima Katase (nickname: Shiipon) enters the Space Academy in 'Stellvia', one of the space stations called 'foundations'. As a student of the preparatory course for pilots, she participates in the project 'Great Mission' to protect the solar system from the second catastrophe (shock wave from the supernova). 26 episodes. The original story by XEBEC. Directed and the series organized by Tatsuo Sato (the director of 'Martian Successor Nadesico'). The charecter design by Makoto Uno (the character designer of 'Love Hina'). The animation produced by XEBEC. There are also the manga and game (PlayStation2, GameBoy Advance) versions.
 Fullmetal Alchemist2003-
2004
The TV anime series based on the manga by female manga artist Hiromu Arakawa (serialized in the magazine monthly 'Shonen GanGan' since 2001). A fantasy adventure set in another world where alchemy has evolved, and a serious political drama with heavy themes such as life-and-death problem. The story of a boy named Edward Elric (Ed) and his younger brother Alphonse (Al), who try to bring their deceased mother back to life using the forbidden science of human alchemy, but they fail in it, and Ed loses his left leg, and Al loses his whole body. Ed is able to settle Al's soul inside a suit of armor at the cost of his right arm, and he wears mechanical limbs called "Auto Mail" in his right arm and left leg. To regain their lost bodies, the Elric Brothers travel in search of "Philosopher's Stone". The anime version is different in setting and plot from the original manga version. 51 episodes. Directed by Seiji Mizushima. The story editor is Sho Aikawa. The animation produced by Bones. "Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shambala" (released in 2005) is the sequel to the TV series.
 R.O.D -The TV-2003-
2004
See the paragraph about the 'R.O.D: Read Or Die' OAV series. The new TV series of 'R.O.D', the media-mix of manga (graphic novel), novel and OAV (Original Animaion Video). An 'academic/literary' spy action anime featuring the three sisters of Michelle Cheung, Maggie Mui and Anita King, who have special abilities to manipulate paper with complete control. The story several years after Yomiko Readman (the leading character of the OAV version) disappeared. The first half is in a sitcom style, in which the trio of Michelle, Maggie and Anita, who had run the 'Three Sisters Detective Agency' in Hong Kong, came to Japan and started living with Nenene Sumiregawa, a female novelist. The latter half is a serious and tragic drama, in which the three sisters and Yomiko fight against the conspiracy of the Great Britain Library. A high-quality TV anime that compares favorably with the OAV version. 26 episodes. The original story and screenplay by Hideyuki Kurata. Directed by Koji Masunari. The animation production by J.C.STAFF.
Good!Planetes2003-
2004
A realistic Sci-Fi drama set in future (the year 2075), where people live and work on the moon and space stations. Based on Makoto Yukimura's manga (serialized in the magazine weekly 'Morning' since 1999 until 2004). The leading character is a 25-year-old Japanese young man Hachirota Hoshino (called 'Hachimaki', it means Japanese headband), who works as a professional astronaut collecting space junks called 'debris', at the Debris Section of Technora, the space development company located within the International Space Station. He was in charge of training a new female employee assigned to the Debris Section, named Ai Tanabe. At the beginning they had been in a conflict with each other, but they gradually developed a close relationship through a variety of experiences. An excellent human drama dealing with subjects with sense of reality and sociality, such as the life and romance of salaried workers living in the space age, the North-South problem and terrorism caused by space development, and the project to fly a spaceship to Jupiter. The original story by Makoto Yukimura. The screenplay by Ichiro Okouchi. The character design by Yuriko Chiba. Directed by Goro Taniguchi. 26 episodes. The animation produced by Sunrise.
 Kaleido Star2003-
2004
An original TV anime series (51 episodes) created by Junichi Sato, who is known for his direction of "Sailor Moon" and "Ojamajo Doremi". A touching success story about a girl aiming to be a star performer on stage. The Kaleido Stage is an entertainment show of the United States, which combines circus, musical and magic show (the setting of Kaleido Stage is derived from the Canadian entertainment troupe "Cirque du Soleil"). A 16-year-old Japanese girl, Sora Naegino joins the Kaleido Stage, and after overcoming many difficulties, she grows into a "Kaleido Star", the star performer on the Kaleido Stage. The highlights are the straightforward storyline like Suzue Miuchi's "Glass Mask", and 'Sports Konjou' genre works ('konjou' means something like guts or spirit) such as Sumika Yamamoto's "Aim for the Ace!", and dynamic animations depicting circus acrobatics. There are the first season "Kaleido Star" (1st to 26th episodes) and the second season titled "Kaleido Star: New Wings" (27th to 51st episodes). The original plan and direction by Junichi Sato (the second season directed by Junichi Sato and Yoshimasa Hiraike). The animation produced by Gonzo Digimation. There are also the three OAVs, "Kaleido Star: New Wings -Extra Stage- The Amazing Princess Without a Smile" (52nd episode, 2004), "Kaleido Star Legend of the Phoenix: The Story of Layla Hamilton" (53rd episode, 2006) and "Kaleido Star: Good da yo! Goood!" (2006).
Very good!Paranoia Agent (Mousou Dairinin)2004The first TV anime series directed by Satoshi Kon, the director of the movies, 'Perfect Blue', 'Millennium Actress' and 'Tokyo Godfathers'. An unique psycho-suspense set in the world as a mixture of reality and delusion. A female character designer, Tsukiko Sagi made a statement to the police that she was assaulted by a boy with a golden baseball bat. A detective, Keiichi Ikari suspected that she faked the case, but after that the people around her are attacked one after another by the unidentified assailant called 'Shounen Bat (A Bat Boy)'... A masterpiece that depicted humorously and critically 'darkness of mind' in modern Japanese society, with the theme of 'delusion as a defense mechanism against trauma'. 13 episodes. The original story and general supervision by Kon Satoshi. The characters designed by Masashi Ando (the animation director of the movies, 'Princess Mononoke' and 'Spirited Away'). The animation produced by Madhouse. The music by Susumu Hirasawa.
 Samurai Champloo2004An original TV anime series (26 episodes) made by director Shinichiro Watanabe (the director of "Cowboy Bebop"). A unique jidaigeki (samurai drama) and chanbara (sword fighting) action anime set in the Edo period of Japan, featuring the elements of hip-hop culture. Like "Cowboy Bebop", basically the story ends in each eposide, and the series consists of serious dramas and comedies, featuring lots of thrilling action scenes. A young girl without family, Fuu is working as a waitress in a tea shop in Yokohama. She is also looking for the "samurai who smells of sunflowers". She meets two young men, Mugen (a swordsman from Ryukyu) and Jin (a cool-headed ronin). She starts out on a journey to find the "samurai who smells of sunflowers", with Mugen and Jin as her bodyguards. The original plan and animation production by Manglobe. Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe. The character designer and chief animator is Kazuto Nakazawa (the director of "Kill Bill Vol.1" anime part).
 Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture2004The TV anime series based on the manga by Shimoku Kio (serialized in the magazine monthly 'Afternoon' since 2002), which is a comedic drama depicting otaku's real campus life. A freshman in Shiiou University, Kanji Sasahara joined manga/anime/game lovers' club named 'the Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture' (called 'Genshiken' for short). His classmate, Makoto Kousaka was a boy with good looks and good fashion sense, so he didn't look like an otaku, but he was actually a diehard otaku, and he also joined Genshiken. Kousaka's childhood girlfriend, Saki Kasukabe (she is not an otaku) wanted Kousaka to stop doing otaku hobbies, and she became to frequent Genshiken's club room, following Kousaka. 12 episodes. Directed by Takashi Ikehata. The animation produced by Palm Studio. Produced by GENCO. Genshiken members' favorite anime 'Kujibiki Unbalance' is a fictitious TV anime series (anime within the anime), but the three episodes (1st, 21st and 25th ones) of the series were really made into films and released on the bonus disc for 'Genshiken' DVD box sets.
 Rozen Maiden (The TV series 1st season)2004The TV anime series (first season) based on the manga 'Rozen Maiden' by female manga artist duo, Peach-Pit (serialized in the magazine monthly 'Comic Birz' in 2002-2007), which is a fantasy drama featuring antique dolls called 'Rozen Maiden', like androids. Jun Sakurada is a junior high school boy, but he is a hikikomori (stay-at-home) child who refuses to go to school. One day, he meets an antique doll who calls herself 'Shinku, the fifth doll of the Rozen Maiden', and then he is involved in the conflicts between Rozen Maidens, called 'Alice Game'. 12 episodes. Directed by Ko Matsuo. The animation produced by Nomad. There are also the sequel TV series.
Good!Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd Gig2004-
2005
The second TV series produced as a follow-up series to 'Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex'. The story describes the Public Security Section 9 battling against a political plot with the refugee problem and Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in the background. Six months after the 'Laughing Man Case' (a serial cyberterrorism incident described in the first series), the Section 9 members investigate the case of terrorists who call themselves 'Individual Eleven', and find out the Cabinet Intelligence Agency manipulating the case behind the scenes. The storyline has a more politico-military flavor than the first series. 26 episodes. The original works and cooperation by Masamune Shirow. The story concept by Mamoru Oshii. Directed by Kenji Kamiyama. Produced by Production I.G.
 Sgt. Frog/Keroro Gunso (1st season)2004-
2005
The first season of the TV anime series based on the manga 'Keroro Gunso' by Mine Yoshizaki (serialized in the magazine 'Monthly Shonen Ace' since 1999). The original manga is a comendy featuring a platoon of frog-like alien invaders who try to conquer the Earth. The Planet Keron sent Keroro's platoon (the captain Sergeant Keroro, Corporal Giroro, Corporal Zeroro (later Dororo), Sergeant Major Kururu, Private Second Class Tamama) as an advance team to invade the Earth, but they broke up on the Earth. Keroro was captured by the Hinata Family (junior high girl Natsumi Hinata, her younger brother Fuyuki and her mother Aki), and then strangely they came to live with Earthians. A daily life-based Sci-Fi comedy, like Fujio F. Fujiko's 'Doraemon' and Rumiko Takahashi's 'Urusei Yatsura', with lots of parodies and quotes from Fujiko works, Sunrise's 'Gundam' series, 'Neon Genesis Evangelion', and Tokusatsu Hero works such as 'Ultra' series. The first season (51 episodes) is generally faithful to the original manga's story, though it is arranged for children. Directed by Yusuke Yamamoto. The supervising director is Jun'ichi Sato. The animation produced by Sunrise.
 Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (1st season)2004A TV anime series (13 episodes) rooted in a spin-off project of NC-17 dating-sim game "Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever" (2000) produced by Ivory. A kind of "magic battle action" anime based on the framework of traditional "magical girl" or "Henshin (transformation) heroine" anime. The story is about two girls who become aware of their friendship after their experiences of opposing and fighting. A girl at third grade in elementary school, Nanoha Takamachi rescues an injured ferret, who reveals himself as a boy named Yuno Scrya from another world. Yuno comes to this world to collect dangerous "Jewel Seeds" (crystals from magical power). Knowing that she has a magical power, Nanoha starts to cooperate with Yuno in collecting and sealing Jewel Seeds. Then, they find that another girl named Fate Testarossa also collects Jewel Seeds. The original story by Masaki Tsuzuki (planning, original drawing and screenplay of "Triangle Heart" series) and Ivory. The screenplay by Masaki Tsuzuki. Directed by Akiyuki Shinbo. The animation produced by Seven Arcs. There are also the sequel TV series, "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's" (2005) and "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS" (2007), and animated feature films.
 Air2005A TV anime series based on VisualArt's/Key's love romance (dating-sim) video game for Windows PC/Dreamcast/PlayStation2, "Air". The original game is known for its touching story about family's love. The story of a young man Yukito Kunisaki, who has traveled around, performing a puppet play on the streets. He met a girl named Misuzu Kamio in a seaside town. She is a lonely girl who cannot make friends because of her weird disease (related to a traditional folk tale about a 'Winged Princess'). Yukito makes friends with her, and stays at her home, where she lives with her mother Haruko Kamio (her aunt in reality). There are the 12 episodes, one recap episode and two special episodes "Air in Summer". Aired on TBS's digital satellite TV BS-i. This TV series has been highly appreciated by many anime/original game fans for its extremely superior quality of animation/direction and its story faithful to the original game. Directed by Tatsuya Ishihara. The animation produced by Kyoto Animation. There is also the movie version produced by Toei Animation.
 Aria The Animation2005A healing fantasy based on Kozue Amano's manga 'ARIA' (serialized in 'Monthly Comic Blade' since 2002). Set in a watery city of Neo Venezia, like Venice, Italy, on a terraformed planet 'Aqua'. In Neo Venezia, female gondoliers called 'Undines' act as guides for tourists. The leading character, Akari Mizunashi is an Undine in training who belongs to Aria Company. To be a full-fledged Undine, she practices rowing a gondola and guiding tourists with her friends, Aika and Alice, and senior worker Alicia. A heartwarming story with natural beauties of all four seasons. The first season of the TV series 'Aria The Animation' consists of 13 episodes. The direction and series composition by Jun'ichi Sato. The character designer and chief animation director is Makoto Koga. The animation produced by Hal Film Maker. There is also the second season of the TV series 'Aria The Natural' (26 episodes, aired in 2006).
 Kamichu!2005-
2006
An original TV anime series produced by the staff of the OAV/TV anime 'R.O.D' (2001-2004); the director Koji Masunari and scriptwriter Hideyuki Kurata. A nostalgic and heartwarming situation comedy/fantasy set in a Japanese country town of the mid-1980s (modeled after Onomichi City, Hiroshima Pref.). The story describes daily lives of an eighth grade junior high girl Yurie Hitotsubashi, who woke up one morning and found she became a goddess, and her friends and family, with the ancient Japanese world-view of 'multitudinous gods' (gods reside in all the things in the universe). There is no dramatic development, but its drawings and presentation are exquisite, and its closely-depicted daily lives have a subtle charm, full of affectionateness and cuteness. 16 episodes (the four episodes are not aired on TV and only released on DVD). The original story by Besame Mucho (producer Tomonori Ochikoshi, Koji Masunari and Hideyuki Kurata). This film won the excellence prize of Cultural Affairs Agency's Media Art Festival in Japan. The animation produced by Brains-Base. There is also the manga version drawn by Hanaharu Naruko.
 Eureka Seven2005-
2006
A straight-ahead Sci-Fi/robot anime which follows the settings and touches of the classics such as 'Mobile Suit Gundam' and 'Neon Genesis Evangelion', and also incorporates new elements like extreme sport and street culture. Basically a classical boy-meets-girl or boy's growing-up story set in wartime. Set in the 'Promised Land', a place mankind immigrated after they were driven from the Earth. A 14-year-old boy Renton Thurston joins an antiestablishment group 'Gekkostate' led by charismatic leader Holland. The military (United Federation Force) tries to destroy the heterologous intelligent life called 'Coralian' for revival of human civilization, but the Gekkostate tries to coexist with Coralian. Renton and a humanoid Coralian girl Eureka operate a LFO (Light Finding Operation. A giant humanoid mobile machine) called 'Nirvash typeZERO' and fight against the military. 50 episodes. The original works by Bones. Directed by Tomoki Kyoda. The series composition by Dai Sato. The character design by Ken'ichi Yoshida. The animation produced by Bones. There are also the manga/novel/video game (PlayStation Portable/PlayStation2) versions.
Good!Mushishi2005-
2006
The TV anime series based on the manga by female manga artist Yuki Urushibara (serialized in the magazine monthly 'Afternoon' since 1999). A nostalgic, magical and Japanese-style fantasy set in Japan in fictional times, like between the Edo and Meiji Periods (around the 19th century). 'Mushi' are the things in the primal form of life, which are not plants nor animals, and different from microorganisms and fungi. The leading character is a man named Ginko, who unlocks the mysteries of strange phenomena result from Mushi, as a Mushi-shi (a specialist in Mushi phenomenon), wandering around in the farming/fishing villages, woods and mountains. 26 episodes. The anime version is quite faithful to the original manga. The animation, background art and sound, everything is good in quality. Many impressive episodes, which are full of the spiritous ambience of Japanese original landscape surrounded by nature, are depicted in the style of folk tales or ghost stories (each episode ends in itself). Very much worth seeing. Directed by Hiroshi Nagahama. The character design and animation direction by Yoshihiko Umakoshi. The animation produced by Art Land. There is the live-action film version (2007) directed by Katsuhiro Otomo.
 My-Otome2005-
2006
A TV anime series (26 episodes) created as one of the media mix project "My-Otome" by Sunrise. A sequel to "My-HiME" series (2004), but there is no relationship between them on story and settings, though several "My-HiME" characters appear in "My-Otome" again by a kind of 'star system'. A Sci-Fi fantasy/school drama/heroine transformation/battle action anime featuring "Otome" (Otsu-type Highly-advanced Materialising Equipment), females with superhuman combat powers from nanomachines. Set in future immigrant planet named Earl. A 14-year-old girl Arika Yumemiya looks for her mother and comes to Windbloom Kingdom. She enters Garderobe, the academy for training otome, and aspires to becoming an Otome, deepening exchanges with her rival girl Nina Wang and the princess of the Kingdom, Mashiro Blan de Windbloom. The first half is a school drama/comedy, and the latter half is a serious drama on a war. Directed by Masakazu Ohara (director of "My-HiME"). The animation produced by Sunrise (studio No.8). There are also the manga version, the fighting game for PlayStation2, and OAV series.
 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006 version)2006A sci-fi/school comedy anime based on the light novel (Japanese novel with anime or manga style illustrations, targeting teens and young adults) 'Haruhi Suzumiya' series (published by Kadokawa Shoten since 2003) written by Nagaru Tanigawa and illustrated by Noizi Ito. The leading character, Haruhi Suzumiya is a good-looking high school girl who is excellent in schoolwork and sports, but she is also an eccentric girl with self-centered character and overbearing attitude. One day she tries to create a club named 'SOS Brigade', involving a boy nicknamed Kyon in her class, and the purpose of the club is to find and play with aliens, time travelers and espers. 14 episodes. A romantic comedy set in school and a sci-fi about inner space (parallel world) theme. Can be interpreted as a self-parody of Sekai-kei (a vague genre of manga/anime/novel that appeared after the boom of the anime 'Neon Genesis Evangelion'. Characterized by its psychology-oriented "first-and-second-person-view" without social relationships), but it is not so clear in theme and self-criticism as 'Evangelion'. The key/in-between animation and direction are excellent in quality. Directed by Tatsuya Ishihara. The character designer and chief animation director is Shoko Ikeda. The animation produced by Kyoto Animation.
 Black Lagoon (The TV series 1st and 2nd seasons)2006A TV anime series based on the manga "Black Lagoon" (serialized in the magazine Monthly Sunday Gene-X since 2002) by Rei Hiroe. An action film like film noir, set in a fictional crime city "Roanapur" in Thailand. A female Chinese American named Revy is a skilled firearm user, who works as a member of "Lagoon Company", a team of illegal movers on the sea, using a torpedo boat "Black Lagoon". A man named Rokuro Okajima (Rock) had worked in a Japanese trading company, but in the wake of an incident, he joins the Lagoon Company. There are the first season "Black Lagoon" (1st to 12th episodes) and the second season titled "Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage" (13th to 24th episodes). The direction, series composition and screenplay by Sunao Katabuchi. The animation produced by Madhouse. The third season (25th to 29th episodes) "Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail" (2010-2011) was released as OAVs. There is also the novel version by Gen Urobuchi.
Good!Kemonozume2006The first original TV anime series directed by Masaaki Yuasa (setup design of 'Crayon Shin-chan' movies, screenplay and animation direction of the OAV 'Cat Soup/Nekojiru-so', screenplay and direction of the movie 'Mind Game'). A love story for adults including the elements of horror and comedy, and erotic/violent descriptions. Aired on the satellite channel WOWOW. The rating is R-15 (inappropriate for people under 15). The leading characters are: a young swordsman of Kifuken (Ogre-Sealing Sword) martial arts style school (an organization for hunting Shokujinki (Man-Eating Ogres)), Toshihiko Momota and a woman who is Toshihiko's lover and a Shokujinki. The highlights are a thick drama about a forbidden love, and artistic images using roughish drawings like illustrations and live-action materials. 13 episodes. The original story by Masaaki Yuasa and Madhouse. The series composition and direction by Masaaki Yuasa. The animation produced by Madhouse.
 Simoun2006An original TV anime series (26 episodes) created by Studio Deen. Set in another planet, where people are all born female, and they go to "The Spring" at age 17 to choose their genders and to become adults. A serious fantasy drama depicting adolescent girls living with a cruel fate under the wartime. To meet military invasions by neighboring nations, the Theocratic Nation of Simulacrum remodels ceremonial two-seater planes called "Simoun" for military use. Unsexualized girls of "priestesses" are forced to join war as pilots of interceptor fighters "Simoun". This work features so-called "Yuri" (love between women) elements, but the highlights are its group drama depicting girls' characters and feelings carefully, and symbolic theme like "Revolutionary Girl Utena". All the character voices, including sexualized male characters, are played by voice actress. The original story by Fukyoshi Oyamada (screenwriter), Sho Shinokichi (Studio Deen) and Go Mihara (Sotsu Eizo). Directed by Junji Nishimura (director of "Ranma 1/2 Nettohen", "You're Under Arrest", "Samurai Deeper Kyo" and "Kyo Kara Maoh!"). The character designer and animation director is Asako Nishida (character designer and animation director of "Yami to Boshi to Hon no Tabibito"). There are also the manga version by Hashiba Hayase, novel version by Junko Okazaki, and videogame for PlayStation2.
Good!Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion2006-
2007
A sci-fi robot anime produced by Sunrise. Set in a fictitious, near-future Japan which is occupied by the Holy Empire of Britannia, an absolute monarchy with great military power. A mystery girl C.C. (C-Two) gives an ability to manipulate people, called 'Geass', to Lelouch Lamperouge, a Britannian high-school boy living in Japan. To revenge the Britannian imperial family who killed his mother and hurt his younger sister, Lelouch organizes an anti-Britannia armed group called the 'Black Knights' with Japanese resistances and leads the rebellion to destroy Britannia, under the name of 'Zero'. Lelouch is a cold strategist, who doesn't hesitate to do anything to attain his purpose, and he moves people like chess pieces. Through the war against Britannia, using humanoid weapons called 'Knightmare Frames', Lelouch becomes to fight against his childhood friend Suzaku Kururugi (he is a Japanese but joins the Britannia Army as a 'Honorary Britannian'), and he proceeds to the path of bloodshed, in which family members and friends kill each other. A serious political drama featuring a picaresque protagonist as an anti-hero. 25 episodes. The series composition by Ichiro Okouchi. The original character design by CLAMP. Directed by Goro Taniguchi. The story is not completed and the sequel series will be produced.
 Death Note2006-
2007
A TV anime series (37 episodes) based on the best-selling manga 'Death Note' (serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump in 2003-2006) by Tsugumi Ohba (story) and Takeshi Obata (art). A psycho-suspense film depicting the battle between a mass murderer and a master detective. One day, a high school boy Light Yagami picks up a strange black notebook. It is a 'Death Note' dropped by a shinigami named Ryuk, and it kills anyone whose name is written in it. Light kills criminals around the world one after another by using the Death Note to create an ideal new world without criminals. Meanwhile, a mysterious detective 'L' begins investigating the case with the help of ICPO (Interpol), and then, a fatal and psychological/intellectual cat-and-mouse battle begins between the two extremely intelligent young men, Light and L. In this TV series, the original manga's storyline was made into anime generally faithfully, but in the second part (after the death of L, Light battles against L's two successors, Near and Mello), lots of scenes and dialogs are cut and the whole is shortened. Directed by Tetsuro Araki. The animation produced by Madhouse. There are also the live-action films, a novel version by Ishin Nishio and game versions (for Nintendo DS).
Good!Gurren Lagann2007GAINAX's first TV anime with the animation produced by themselves. An entertaining, hot-blooded giant robot anime going back to the basics of amusing anime, and succeeding the souls of Ken Ishikawa's manga "Getter Robo", the 1970-1980s robot anime, Osamu Dezaki/Akio Sugino's works such as "Ashia no Joe". Set in the far distant future world where the Beastmen rule the ground, and people live in caves under the ground. A boy named Simon, who is an expert digger, and his senior fellow Kamina jump out of the earth riding a giant combining robot "Gurren Lagann", and they embark on an adventurous journey, with Yoko, a girl with a rifle, fighting against the Beastmen. A straightforward story which describes the growth of a boy and mankind's struggle for life, in the motif of "helix power" symbolized by drills. The highlights are tremendous, dynamic animation and large-scaled world-view beyond galaxies. 27 episodes. Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi (ex-animator influenced by Yoshinori Kanada. The director of "Dead Leaves"). The series composition by Kazuki Nakashima. There are also the manga/novel/videogame(Nintendo DS) versions, and two movies ("Gurren Chapter" and "Lagann Chapter").
Good!Dennō Coil2007A Sci-Fi anime aired on NHK Educational TV. The directorial debut by Mitsuo Iso, a key animator known for his works such as "Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket", "Gosenzosama Ban Banzai!", "Ghost in the Shell" and "Neon Genesis Evangelion". Set in the near future Japan. A wearable computer called 'Dennō eyeglass', which is connected to the network at all times and it visualizes cyberspace, became an extremely popular item among children. Two sixth-grade girls transferred to the school in Daikoku-city, Yuko Okonogi (nicknamed Yasako) and Yuko Amasawa (nicknamed Isako) approach the secrets about cyberspace, such as mysterious virtual organism called 'illegals', an urban legend (like a ghost story) about a girl named Michiko, a relationship between Dennō eyeglass and cyber-medical treatment, and a phenomenon called 'Dennō Coil'. An impressive film which is a hard cyber Sci-Fi, and a decent juvenile drama, and also a psychological thriller dealing with the theme of cyberspace as spiritual world, like 'serial experiments lain'. The nostalgic world-view with a mix of oldness and newness is unique. 26 episodes. The original story, screenplay and direction by Mitsuo Iso. The character design by Takeshi Honda. The animation produced by Madhouse. There is also the novel version by Yuko Miyamura (screenwriter).
 Clannad2007-
2008
A TV anime series based on VisualArt's/Key's third dating-sim game, "Clannad". Along with the two previous works, "Kanon" and "Air", produced by Kyoto Animation. The original is a game for all ages and known for its touching stories about the bonds of people, especially family. The TV anime is based on the first part set in a high school, and the story develops around the leading character, a third-year high school boy Tomoya Okazaki and the main heroine Nagisa Furukawa (a shy girl who aims to rebuild the drama club), with other heroines' episodes. Like other Kyoto Animation films, it has high-quality animation, art and rendition. 22 episodes and two extra episodes. Directed by Tatsuya Ishihara. There are also the movie version produced by Toei Animation and the sequel TV series "Clannad -After Story-".
 True Tears2008The first TV anime series (13 episodes) produced by P.A. Works as the main contractor. A youth love story depicting high school students' pure love set in a local city in Hokuriku (the northwestern region of Japan's main island. It alongs the Sea of Japan). It inherits the title and the concept of "true tears" from the romance adventure game of the same name (developed by La'cryma in 2006. For all ages), but it is an original work with different story and different characters. Shin'ichiro Nakagami, who is the only son of a sake brewery and a would-be author of children's books, lives with his parents and his childhood girlfriend Hiromi Yuasa, who had taken along to the Nakagami Family after her parents died. Shin'ichiro had been secretly in love with Hiromi, but in the meantime, he becomes attracted to Noe Isurugi, a girl who is regarded as an eccentric for her bizarre behaviors. The highlights are beautiful images with careful drawings and serious drama of pure love which is built on the form of romance adventure game. The setting of the local city is modeled after real places in Toyama Prefecture, such as Johana area, Nanto-city (the head office of P.A. Works is located here) and others. Directed by Junji Nishimura (director of "You're Under Arrest", "Samurai Deeper Kyo", "Kyo Kara Maoh!" and "Simoun"). The series design by Mari Okada. The character design and animation director is Kanami Sekiguchi.
 Strike Witches (The TV series 1st season)2008The TV anime version (first season) of "Strike Witches", a mixed-media project based on illustration columns (serialized in the manga magazine "Comp-Ace") by Fumikane Shimada (illustrator) and Projekt Kagonish. A mecha-musume/military Sci-Fi anime featuring flying, armed magical girls. Set in another world, just like the Earth in the first half of the 20th century, but in which magical power exists. Mysterious enemies called "Neuroi" attacked the human race, and they conquered most of the European continent. Strike Witches, the magical girls of allied forces' 501st Joint Fighter Wing, fight against Neuroi's aggression, wearing mechanical propeller devices named "Striker Unit" on their legs and flying in the sky. 12 episodes. Directed and character designed by Kazuhiro Takamura (character designer/animation director of "Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden"). The animation produced by Gonzo. There are also light novel versions, manga versions, OAV and the TV anime second season (2010).
 Kaiba2008The second original TV anime series (12 episodes) directed by Masaaki Yuasa (the director of the movie 'Mind Game'), following 'Kemonozume' (2006). A serious Sci-Fi story set in another world, dealing with "memory" as the theme. Aired on the satellite channel WOWOW. In a world where it is possible to store memories in databanks, so that people switch to new bodies or trade their memories. A boy who has no memories about himself, Kaiba gradually gets back his memories, traveling through planets in space and meeting various people. The highlights are the images like a picture-book, featuring simple lines and character designs like Osamu Tezuka's early manga works, and unique worldview of another civilization. The original story by Masaaki Yuasa and Madhouse. The series composition and direction by Masaaki Yuasa. The animation produced by Madhouse.
 Casshern Sins2008-
2009
A dark-fantasy/action anime (24 episodes) based on Tatsunoko Productions' TV anime "Casshern". Although this series inherits its tragic drama and the setting of "a lonely hero fighting in a ruined world" from the original, it has unique world-view and story different from the original. Set in the world in a state called "the Ruin", where robots, who had once ruled the world, cannot revive their bodies by part replacement and result in death. A man who loses his memory, Casshern meets various robots and people, wandering in the wilderness, and struggles with his "sins". The highlights are the serious drama on "meaning of life caused by the existence of death", dark atmosphere and beautiful images that pervade the series, and dynamic, speedy action drawings. The original story by Tatsunoko Productions. The series design by Yasuko Kobayashi. The character design by Yoshihiko Umakoshi. Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi. The animation produced by Madhouse. There is also the manga version (illustration by Masaki Takei).
 K-On! (The TV series 1st season)2009A TV anime series (12 episodes plus two extra episodes) based on the four-panel comic-strip manga "K-On!" by Kakifly (serialized in the magazine Monthly "Manga Time Kirara" since 2007). "K-On (Kei-On)" is a shortened form of the Japanese word for "Light Music Club". A comical and heartwarming film featuring girls who belong to a light music club in a girls' high school. A girl in the first year of Sakuragaoka Girl's High School, Yui Hirasawa is a beginner in playing an instrument, but she joins the light music club, and begins to play the guitar in the band with other three club members, Mio Akiyama (bass), Ritsu Tainaka (drums), and Tsumugi Kotobuki (keyboards). This film eliminates dramatic or serious elements, and emphasis on depicting closely the daily events of high school girl group rather than storytelling. The Kyoto Animation staff's ability made this film a high-quality finished work as a film of so-called "Kuuki-kei" genre (characterized by elimination of narrativity and dramaturgy, and focusing on the description of beautiful girl characters). Directed by Naoko Yamada. The series composition by Reiko Yoshida. The character design and animation direction by Yukiko Horiguchi. There are also the TV series second season "K-On!!" (2010) and a movie edition (2011).
 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2009 version)2009See the paragraph about 'The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006 version)'. A semi-new, 28-episode TV series composed of 14 episodes of 2006 version in chronological order, supplemented with new 14 episodes. The new episodes are: No.8 "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody" (Kyon travels back in time and meets Haruhi in her first year of junior high school), No.12-19 "Endless Eight" (endless loop repeating the last two weeks of summer vacation), and No.20-24 "The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya" part 1-5 (the SOS Brigade makes an indie film for the high school festival). The eight episodes of "Endless Eight" has almost the same story with different storyboards/renderings/drawings/dubbings, and it brought on active debates over its pros and cons. "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody" is a foreshadowing of the film, "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya" (2010). The general director is Tatsuya Ishihara. Directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto. The animation produced by Kyoto Animation.
 Eden of the East2009An original TV anime series (11 episodes) produced by Kenji Kamiyama (the director of "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex") and Production I.G, and aired on Fuji TV's late-night "noitaminA" block. A youth drama in the mystery style, set in near-future Japan (the year 2011). An amnesiac boy, Akira Takizawa discovers that he is one of the twelve individuals called "Seleção" (Portuguese: "Selection"), who are the players of a game created by a mystery man, "Mr. Outside". In the game, each Seleção is obliged to "lead this country (Japan) in the right direction", by using digital money of 10 billion yen and carrying out various wishes via cell-phone, and if he doesn't fulfill the obligation, the individual will be "eliminated". The original story, series composition and direction by Kenji Kamiyama. The original character designs by Chika Umino. The animation produced by Production I.G. The opening theme "Falling Down" is a song by the English rock band Oasis. The film "Eden of The East Compilation: Air Communication" (2009. 125 minutes) is a digest version summarizing the TV series. The story after the TV series was described in the two films: "Eden of the East the Movie I: The King of Eden" (2009. 82 minutes) and "Eden of the East the Movie II: Paradise Lost" (2010. 92 minutes).
 Bakemonogatari2009-
2010
A gothic fantasy/romantic school comedy anime based on the light novel "Bakemonogatari" series (published by Kodansha in 2006) written by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Taiwanese illustrator Vofan. The first of "Nishio Ishin Anime Project" (making Nishio's works into anime). The story centers on Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high school boy, who meets five girls possessed by diverse "apparitions" one after another, and struggles to help them with the help of a mystery man Meme Oshino. The film consists of the conversation play faithful to the original novel, like radio drama, and the stylish, artistic images featuring typography. The eccentric style of interpretation is similar to "Revolutionary Girl Utena" directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. 15 episodes in total (the first 12 episodes were aired on TV, and the 13-15th were distributed on the official website). Directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (the director of "Le Portrait de Petit Cossette", "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha", "Pani Poni Dash!" and "Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei", the general director of "Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase" and "Hidamari Sketch"). The animation produced by Shaft.
 Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan2009See the paragraphs about "Lupin III" first TV series and "Detective Conan" first movie. A crossover work of two nationwide-popular anime series, "Lupin III" (NTV) and "Detective Conan/Case Closed" (YTV), aired as one-shot TV special (103 minutes) in 2009. This is an unusual case that two works with different authors and publishers of original manga was aired as one anime. Set in a fictional kingdom, like "Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro". The storyline centers on Conan's detective work, and Lupin and his gang get involved in it as collaborators. In the Kingdom of Vespania, Queen Sakura and her son, Prince Gill were killed with a shotgun. When the pretender to the throne, Princess Mira visits Japan, Ran Mouri is taken away to the kingdom as a scapegoat for Mira, because she looks just like Mira. Following Ran, Kogoro Mouri and Conan Edogawa go to the kingdom, and Conan starts to solve the case. There he meets up with Lupin III and his gang, who sneak into the kingdom after a hidden treasure "Queen's Crown". The original works by Monkey Punch and Gosho Aoyama. Directed by Hajime Kamegaki. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Because this work received a favorable reception, a new theatrical version "Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan: The Movie" was released in 2013.
Good!The Tatami Galaxy2010A TV anime series (11 episodes) based on the novel "Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei ("4½ Tatami Mythological Chronicles)" (2005) written by Tomihiko Morimi. A comedy-drama of youth, about a male student who wasted his two years after entering a university in Kyoto. He tries to restart the period again and again, joining different clubs, and wanders off into parallel universes. A comedy featuring strange settings and art-oriented, avant-garde images, but also an inspiring drama dealing with complexity/subtleness of romantic feeling and friendship. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa (the director of "Mind Game"). The series composed by Makoto Ueda (the leader of theater company "Europe Kikaku"). The original character design by Yusuke Nakamura (illustrator). The character designer and chief animation director is Nobutake Ito. The animation produced by Madhouse.
 Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt2010An original TV anime series created by the staff of "Gurren Lagann" (2007-2009). A slapstick action/comedy anime with introducing designs and productions of American cartoons. The story is about two angel sisters, a manizing bitch girl Panty and an abusive, goth-fashioned girl Stocking, who get rid of evil ghosts in Daten City, under the baton of their boss Father Garterbelt. The series has 13 episodes, and each episode consists of two short stories (about 15 minutes). There are lots of violences and blue jokes about sexual or excretory acts, but they are not explicit because of its cartoonish expressions. The scenes in which ghosts die in explosion are made by live-action images each time. The drawings and motions are elaborate, and excellent in quality as an animation work. The original story and animation production by GAINAX. Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi (director of "Dead Leaves" and "Gurren Lagann"). The soundtrack produced by Taku Takahashi (m-flo). The new 8 short images titled "Panty & Stocking in Sanitarybox" released on the fifth Blu-ray/DVD volume in 2011. There are two manga versions, by TAGRO and by Hiroyuki Imaishi.
 Angel Beats!2010A TV anime series (13 episodes and one extra episode) based on the original story and script by Jun Maeda, known for his tear-jerker game works, such as "Air" and "Clannad", which he created as a scenario writer of Key, the game (visual novel) brand affiliated with VisualArt's. A youthful drama/fantasy set in a school in the afterworld based on Japanese view of life and death derived from Buddhism, such as "Jyobutsu" (acceptance of death at peace with no regrets) and "Samsara" (transmigration), dealing with a theme about unreasonableness and preciousness of life, and also including elements of battle action and comedy. A boy who died for some reason and lost his memories, Otonashi meets a girl named Yuri at a school in the afterworld, where is a place the poeple, who have died after living irrational lives, lose their regrets and vanish (be reincarnated) after spending their youth in the school. Yuri leads a group called "The Afterlife Battlefront". The group rebel against the god who forced them to live irrational lives, refuse to be reincarnated, and wage a fierce battle against an "angel". Due to the problem of its script, this work lacks consistency and persuasiveness, and is hard to understand and empathize with, but its theme is serious, and it ends with a wistful love story. Directed by Seiji Kishi (director of "My Bride is a Mermaid"). The animation produced by P.A. Works. The Blu-ray/DVD vol.7 includes a special episode and "Another Epilogue" (two and a half minutes), another version of C part of the 13th episode, which were both not aired on TV.
 Highschool of the Dead2010A TV anime series (12 episodes and one extra episode) based on the manga "Gakuen Mokushiroku: Highschool of the Dead" (the story of the book volumes 1-4) written by Daisuke Sato and illustrated by Shoji Sato (serialized in the magazine "Monthly Dragon Age" since 2006). A survival horror/violence action film featuring a group of high-school students fighting and surviving under the circumstances like George A. Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) and other zombie films. Set in present day Japan when a pandemic that turns humans into man-eating living deads starts to spread worldwide. Fujimi Academy, a private high school in the local city Tokonosu, becomes a nexus for living deads. A boy at the second grade of Fujimi, Takashi Komuro and his childhood girlfriend Rei Miyamoto (a member of Sojutsu (Japanese spear) club) hook up with other survivors, Saeko Busujima (the captain of Kendo (Japanese fencing) club), Saya Takagi, Kohta Hirano (a military geek), and Shizuka Marikawa (school doctor), and they get out of the school, killing living deads. There is no explicit sexual content, but there are numerous sexy scenes and bloody or grotesque descriptions. This work emphasizes action and the attractiveness of characters more than drama and reality. Can be enjoyed as an action anime also including sexy female characters and so-called "harem" element. Directed by Tetsuro Araki (the director of "Death Note"). The series structured by Yosuke Kuroda. The animation produced by Madhouse. The extra episode "Drifters of the Dead" was released in 2011 as a bonus blu-ray disc for the first limited edition of the book volume 7.
 Puella Magi Madoka Magica2011An original TV anime series (12 episodes) produced by Shaft. A serious drama/dark fantasy depicting the cruel fate of magical girls, who are forced to sacrifice themselves in order to perform miracles, and a Sci-Fi story dealing with time loop. An eighth grade junior high girl, Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki meet a strange creature named Kyubey. Kyubey asks Madoka and Sayaka to become magical girls, saying "If you become a magical girl and keep on fighting against witches, I can realize your only one wish", but a mysterious girl who transferred to Madoka's school, Homura Akemi gives Madoka a caution for being a magical girl. Directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (the director of "Le Portrait de Petit Cossette", "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha", "Pani Poni Dash!", "Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei" and "Bakemonogatari", the general director of "Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase" and "Hidamari Sketch"). The series composition and screenplay by Gen Urobuchi (a scenario writer who belongs to Nitroplus, a visual novel computer software company). The original character designs by Ume Aoki (manga artist/illustrator). The witch/another-space designs (using collage) by Gekidan Inucurry are artistic and beautiful. The animation produced by Shaft. There are also the manga/novelized/videogame versions.
 Tiger & Bunny2011An original TV anime series (25 episodes) produced by Sunrise. A hero action set in a near-future world where superpowered individuals called as "Next" defend peace for the city as "heroes", and a buddy story depicting the friendship between two heroes. In Sternbild City, eight heroes make efforts to capture the criminals and to save human lives. They wear suits with sponsor company logos, and their activity is broadcast on the TV show "Hero TV". A veteran hero Wild Tiger (Kotetsu T. Kaburagi) make up a duo with a rookie Barnaby Brooks Jr. They fight with each other and promote friendship through conflicting. The highlights are its taste like American comics, live-action dramas and old hero animes by Tatsunoko Production, and its beautiful and floating images including handdrawn-like 3-D CGs (by Sanzigen). In this film, the hero characters wear the logos of real-life companies and brands. Simulcast on streaming video service Ustream, and also simulcast with English subtitles on the North American streaming sites, such as Hulu, Viz Media and Anime News Network. The planning and original work by Sunrise. Directed by Keiichi Sato (character design/mechanic design/concept work/supervision of "The Big O". The director of the OAV "Karas"). The series structured by Masafumi Nishida. The original characer design by manga artist Masakazu Katsura (author of " Wing-man", "Video Girl Ai" and "I"s"). There are also "Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Beginning" (2012) and "Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Rising" (2014).
 Mawaru-Penguindrum2011An original TV anime series (24 episodes) Kunihiko Ikuhara directed for the first time in 12 years since "Revolutionary Girl Utena" (1997/1999). A touching fantasy drama/psycho-horror dealing with a theme of "family" as mutual aid community. 16-year-old twin brothers, Kanba Takakura and Shouma Takakura, and their younger sister Himari Takakura were living at home without parents. Himari died from a fatal illness, but wearing a penguin-shaped hat, she changes to another personality (the Princess of the Crystal) and comes back to life. The Princess says to Takakura brothers, "If you want to save Himari's life, find the Penguindrum". This work deals with social motifs, such as the family problems (child abuse, etc.) and terrorism (symbolized by the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway), but story itself is allegorical. It also features distintive style with lots of metaphors, symbolic expressions, and ideological imagined sceneries, like "Revolutionary Girl Utena". The original character design by Lily Hoshino. The series composition and screenplay by Kunihiko Ikuhara and Takayo Ikami. The character design by Terumi Nishii. The animation produced by Brain's Base. There is also the novel version written by Kunihiko Ikuhara and Kei Takahashi.
Good!Girls und Panzer2012-
2013
A TV anime series (12 episodes and 2 recap episodes) with both tastes for military (weapons) and girl characters (so-called "Moe"), featuring female high-school students playing tank battles as games, set in the world where martial-arts using tanks, "Senshado" (The Way of Tank) is regarded as one of arts for idealized Japanese women, along with Kado (flower arrangement) and Sado (tea ceremony). A girl who dislikes Senshado, Miho Nishizumi transfers from Kuromorimine Girls High School, a strong school in Senshado, to Oarai Prefectural Girls High School (an Academy Ship), a shool without Senshado, but Oarai Girls High School reactivates Senshado for some reason. Miho comes to lead the Oarai Senshado team as a captain, and the team aims for victory at the national tournament. The highlights are its realistic and powerful tank battle scenes with 3D CGs, featuring actual tanks mainly in WWII (Germany, Japan, England, the US, the USSR and others), and its compelling story with a classical type of the sports genre in which a weak team defeats strong ones by their astute game plan and cohesion. The homeport of Oarai Girls High School is modeled on the Oarai Town, Ibaraki Prefecture. This work is criticized by some people in the antiwar stance for treating live-fire tank battles as harmless sports, and for ignoring terrible reality of war. Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima (director of "Haré+Guu" and "Big Windup!"). The script supervisor is Reiko Yoshida (script supervisor of "K-On!"). The original character design by Fumikane Shimada (original character designer of "Strike Witches"). The animation produced by Actas. There are also the OAV (2014) and manga/novel/game versions.
 Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine2012See the paragraph about "Lupin III" first TV series. A TV anime series (13 episodes) created as a spin-off of Monkey Punch's manga "Lupin III" (the first series was serialized in "Weekly Manga Action" in 1967-1969) and its anime series, featuring Fujiko Mine as the leading character, and depicting episodes about Fujiko, Lupin, Jigen, Goemon and Inspector Zenigata in their younger days. Set in around the late 1960s and early 1970s, before the days of first TV series. In this series, a medical mafia's plot related to Fujiko's childhood memories is gradually revealed through several events. Based on the respect for the original manga, this series includes hard-boiled elements and sexual contents, and a style with a rough touch like pencil drawing. The highlights are its distinctive, sensual and aesthetic worldview and images, different from the past Lupin anime works. Directed by Sayo Yamamoto (director of "Michiko to Hatchin"). The script supervisor is Mari Okada (script supervisor of "True Tears" and "Toradora!"). The character designer and animation director is Takeshi Koike (director of "The Animatrix: World Record" and "Redline"). The animation produced by TMS/Po10tial.
 Mushishi Special Chapter: Sun-eating Shadow2014See the paragraph about "Mushishi" TV series 1st season. A new work of "Mushishi" anime version, created after 8 years since the 1st seson, and aired as a one-shot TV special (44 minutes) in January of 2014 ahead of the TV series 2nd season. Based on the original manga's new episode "Hihamu Kage (Sun-eating Shadow)" (two-part episode), and created almost at the same time as the manga version. A Mushi-shi (a specialist in Mushi phenomenon) Ginko visits a village, where a Mushi called "Hihami" (Sun-eater) appears during a solar eclipse, and it keeps on blocking the sunlight after the eclipse. Ginko and village people deal with the affair. Ginko finds twin sisters Hinata and Hiyori. Hiyori is a girl with white hair, who cannot be exposed to sunlight, and the sisters are like the relationship between light and shadow. This film has the same style and quality as the TV series 1st season. Directed by Hiroshi Nagahama. The character design and animation direction by Yoshihiko Umakoshi. The animation produced by Animation Studio Art Land.
Good!Ping Pong the Animation2014A TV anime series (11 episodes) based on the manga "Ping Pong" by Taiyo Matsumoto (serialized in the magazine "Weekly Big Comic Spirits" in 1996-1997). The original is a masterpiece of youthful sports manga set in high-school table tennis world, and it has a touching story depicting fight and friendship between boys, on the theme of "the wall of talents cannot be broken by efforts", and "adoration for the hero". The anime version is an adaptation faithful to the original manga, including its drawing style (like Egon Schiele, or minute ink drawing style), but it has also original characters and back stories which didn't appear in the original. The two leading characters, a confident and freewheeling boy Yutaka Hoshino (Peko) and a cool boy who never smiles, Makoto Tsukimoto (Smile) have been friends since childhood, and they are members of Katase High School table tennis club. In the preliminaries of inter-highschool championships, they have games with strong opponents, such as Tsujidou Gakuin High School's transfer student from China, Kong Wenge (China) and Kaiou Gakuen High School led by Ryuichi Kazama (Dragon). Directed by Masaaki Yuasa (the director of "Mind Game" and "The Tatami Galaxy"). The assistant director is EunYoung Choi. The character design and animation direction by Nobutake Ito. The animation produced by Tatsunoko Production. There is also the live-action film version "Ping Pong" (2002) directed by Fumihiko Sori.




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