165 CommentsLists / By Scamp /

Franchises

When a show is popular, more of it gets made. Sequels, prequels, spin-offs, retellings, reiterations, recaps, alternate worlds, alternate characters, alternate focus. Fan consensus begins to decide where is the best place to start, what to skip, where to move next, what the correct chronological order is. To a newcomer, this can all be intimidating. Where on earth do you start with Lupin III or Gundam or Macross? Which version of the Patlabor franchise is worth watching? What’s the correct order to watch the Fate/Whatever franchise?

This post is an attempt to collate this information into one place to help fans discover where the best place is and what best order to watch these franchises is. I’ve written up a list here on the franchises I’m familiar with, but for a full list I need your help. Leave comments and I’ll update the list with your additions, crediting the person who left the advice as well. You can also disagree and re-write what’s already on the list, because invariably people will have different takes on what’s the best order to watch these things in.

.Hack

The big problem with .hack is it’s a mul­ti­me­dia pro­ject so to under­stand the whole pic­ture you’d need to fol­low a bunch of dif­fer­ent anime, games, manga, and light nov­els in a cer­tain order. Yes, the games are import­ant, and the Legend of the Twi­light anime is noncanon. Cut­ting it down to the import­ant parts, it’s in this order: .hack//Sign (anime) -> .hack ori­ginal PS2 game quad­ri­logy (Infec­tion, Muta­tion, Out­break, Quar­ant­ine) -> .hack//Liminality (anime) -> .hack//Legend of the Twi­light (manga) -> .hack//Roots (anime) -> .hack//G.U. game tri­logy (Rebirth, Remin­isce, Redemp­tion) -> .hack//Quantum (anime).

Credit to SuzushinaYuriko

Angel Beats

Watch Angel Beats TV series as nor­mal up to epis­ode 4. Watch the OVA epis­ode Stair­way to Heaven, then resume. Watch the OVA Another Epi­logue after the last episode. Altern­at­ively, it can make sense for Another Epi­logue to occur between the end of the last epis­ode and the CREDITS of the last epis­ode. Accord­ing to Wiki, Another Epi­logue is just that: an altern­ate end­ing. It depends on your interpretation.

Credit to KBKarma

Aquarion

Gen­esis of Aquar­ion -> Movie or the OVAs -> EVOL. The first 20 minutes of the movie are a reg­u­lar epis­ode, tak­ing place in the second half of the first series. The rest of the movie is close to identical to the two OVAs, so you can pick which format you prefer. It’s not strictly neces­sary to watch Gen­esis of Aquar­ion for EVOL though, especially since EVOL is a much better series.

Credit to Anca

Aria

Anim­a­tion -> Nat­ural -> OVA -> Origination. Des­pite its name, Ori­gin­a­tion is not a pre­quel or any­thing like that. The ori­gin­a­tion special, or ‘epis­ode 5.5′ as it is known, comes after ep 5 (well, gee).

Credit to Adamar

Birdy

Tet­suwan Birdy and DECODE are two takes on the same story. The lat­ter was made several years later so has much better animation. DECODE -> The Cypher OVA -> DECODE 02 -> Tetsuwan’s OVAs if you’ve come to enjoy the fran­chise should be the optimal way.

Credit to Yuyucow

Black Rock Shooter

The TV series is based on a single episode OVA that was based on a music video that was based on a song that was based on a bit of character artwork. The OVA and the TV series have the same basic set up. The OVA doesn’t really go anywhere though, so if you want a story you might be better off with just watching the TV series.

Bleach

Here are the non-filler arcs of Bleach.

1–63 = Shinigami arc / save rukia

110 — 129 = Arran­car arc p1

137– 167 = Arran­car arc p2

190 — 203 = Arran­car arc p3

206 — 212 = Urahara back­story on how he kicked out of the Soul Soci­ety! Of course you can skip this if you don’t care for Urahara.

215 — 226 = Arran­car arc p4

266 — 297 = Arran­car arc p5

300 — 310 = End of Arrancars

343 — 366 = Fullbringers/bleach anime ends

Blood

The three different versions of the Blood franchise, Blood The Last Vampire, Blood+ and Blood-C, have no plot-related connections to each other, so it doesn’t matter what order you watch them in. Plus there’s absolutely no guarantee that if you like one, you’ll like the others, as all three are completely different in tone to each other. The only one you need to remember is Blood-C: The Last Dark is a sequel to Blood-C TV series

Boku no Pico

This is very import­ant and I wouldn’t want any­one to be fooled by the titles. Boku no Pico -> Pico to Chico -> Pico x CoCo x Chico. Now enjoy.

Credit to Yuyucow

Clamp

Clamps’ various stories have a lot of crossover characters and storylines. Often the anime are made to be open to newcomers, but if you want to try follow the crossover plots, here’s a stupidly long and complicated guide of the chronological order:

Card­captor Sak­ura (1−35 -> movie -> rest of the series -> The Sealed Card -> Spe­cials): this a good entry point, but besides that it is abso­lutely neces­sary for both Holic and Tsub­asa. Both assume you’ve read it and are famil­iar with the char­ac­ters, par­tic­u­larly Clow Reed. Then RG Veda manga -> OVA. This sets the mood for what many con­sider to be ‘typ­ical CLAMP’. Then CLAMP School Detect­ives; it occurs at the same time as the manga Man of Many Faces and Dunklyon: CLAMP School Defend­ers, although see­ing as they are not anim­ated I con­sider the two optional. Dunklyon ties into RG Veda and has char­ac­ters appear­ing in Tsub­asa.

Right, now Tokyo Babylon OVA -> X TV -> X movie -> Tokyo Babylon manga -> epis­ode 0 -> X manga: if you’d rather just read the manga and skip watch­ing the vari­ous adapt­a­tions, Tokyo Babylon > X as they are dir­ect sequels. It takes place in the same world as CLAMP School Detect­ives, and the char­ac­ters have a rather import­ant role here. Next is Magic Knight Rayearth (S1 -> S2 -> OVA) -> Angelic Layer -> Chob­its (-> Chib­its); MKR and AL aren’t sequels and take place in dif­fer­ent worlds. MKR is in the same world as CLAMP School Detect­ives. Clover and Wish only have music video adapt­a­tions. Wish needs ought to be read before Kobato, but isn’t strictly neces­sary. Miyuki-chan in Won­der­land is ref­er­enced often, but not in any import­ant way. The Legend of Chun-Hyang has never been anim­ated, and isn’t strictly neces­sary to under­stand the arc of Tsub­asa it plays a large role in.

Okay, now: xxxHOLiC TV and movie -> Tsub­asa Chron­icles (see entry); xxxHOLiC Kei should be last. Then Kobato., Blood-C and Gohou Drug. Kobato. should only be watched after TRC, as it spoils the end­ing. Blood-C ref­er­ences xxxHOLiC, but can be watched whenever, prefer­ably after RG Veda and X as their storytelling relies on you know­ing they are incred­ibly sad­istic. Gohou Drug can be star­ted dur­ing xxxHOLiC, but should be left until after as the recently released chapters take place dur­ing Kei. Gate 7 is still pub­lish­ing, so it would be prudent to leave it last.

Credit to Anca

Clannad

Start with the Clannad TV series. Then it might be best to jump into the two alternate world spin offs after that, the Kyou Chapter and the Tomoyo Chapter. After Story is the sequel to the original TV series. If you loved Clannad, just watch all of it. However, if you got sick of Clannad, or weren’t huge on it anyway, it is perfectly reasonable to skip the entire first 8 episodes. They’re just a bunch of filler. The good part of After Story only starts on episode 9. In fact, I’d also hazard to say that if you don’t like the Clannad TV series but still want to see what the fuss about After Story is, it’s easy to jump into After Story at episode 9. As for the alternate world Clannad movie, it’s some­what of a for­got­ten child compared to the rest of the fran­chise. It’s gen­er­ally cri­ti­cized for its shoddy char­ac­ter design, anim­a­tion, and diver­gence from cer­tain ele­ments of the ori­ginal story. How­ever, the diver­gence is con­sidered to be a good and a bad thing, so the movie comes out as a decent work as long as it’s not too closely com­pared to the TV series.

Credit to Appropriant

Code-E/Mission-E

Code-E and Mission-E, sea­sons one and two respect­ively. No OVAs, no movies, no fluff. Just sea­sons one and two in order chro­no­lo­gic­ally, and they just hap­pen to have dif­fer­ent names.

Credit to blazingdead

Cowboy Bebop

The Bebop movie occurs between episodes 22 and 23. Most people just wait until they’ve finished the TV series to watch it.

Crest/Banner of the Stars

Start with Crest of the Stars. Then there’s Crest of the Stars: Birth, which is a prequel to Crest of the Stars, which I’d recommend slotting it in here. Then watch in straight chronological order, Banner of the Stars I -> Banner II -> Banner III.

Darker than Black

Original TV series ->side story special episode -> Gaiden OVA -> second season. The second season originally aired before the Gaiden OVA, but the OVA comes first chronologically and clears up a lot of the confusion that arose from the second TV series, particularly the change in Hei’s character.

Detective Conan

If you don’t mind being spoiled for something very small, you can jump right into the movies, they make a good start­ing point. I recom­mend movie 12. Otherwise, or afterwards, watch the TV series. Lupin III. vs Detect­ive Conan is as friendly to new­comers as any other part of Lupin fran­chise, so that could also be a good starting point if you already like Lupin III.

Watch the movies at least after these epis­odes. Movie 1 — ep 10; Movie 2 — ep 32; Movie 3 — ep 129; Movie 4–12 — ep 147; Movie 13 — ep 345; Movie 14 and 15 — ep 365. About the OVAs, all except num­ber 1, 9 and 11 are sup­posed to be seen after ep 147. First OVA should be watched after epis­ode 50. It has some minor spoil­ers about epis­ode 129, but those only con­sist of one char­ac­ter appereance. Ninth OVA includes great spoil­ers for epis­odes up to 200. Elev­enth OVA takes place in Japan dur­ing the Lon­don arc (616−621), when most of the char­ac­ters are (sur­pris­ingly) in Lon­don. A cer­tain char­ac­ter from epis­ode 509 appears there, but almost noth­ing is revealed about him. Since movie 11, movie spe­cials called Magic Files were sold on DVDs as well. For movies 11, 12 and 13, they provide a sort of back­story that has very little to do with plots of the cor­res­pond­ing movies. How­ever, Magic Files for movies 14 and 15 have minor spoil­ers, so they should be watched after their movies. Magic Kaito is a series of DC spe­cials based on a dif­fer­ent manga by the same author. They have noth­ing to do with DC and only provide a back­story for pop­u­lar Kaitou Kid char­ac­ter. There are also sev­eral cameos by DC char­ac­ters.

If you really want a stupid level of detail, see here.

Credit to Meonlyme1845, Anca

Dominion Tank Police

Watch the original OVA. New Dominion Tank Police is a sort of sequel, but was under different studio that stripped out the weirder side that made Tank Police memorable, so isn’t that good. But at least it’s not as bad as the TANK S.W.A.T. CGI remake thing.

Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera

Both the series from the 70s and the recent remake can be watched on their own without any prior knowledge of the franchise. The 2006 OVA series is completely different though, played dead serious without any attempts at humor whatsoever.

Credit to Flawfinder

Dragonball

1) Watch Dragonball or read the manga if you think the series is too old looking and long
2) Watch Dragonball Z if you want to stick to the traditional experience, or Dragonball Kai until the Android Saga if you like pretty colors and hate fillers, and Dragonball Z for the Majin Saga
3) Watch Dragonball GT only if you’re really committed to this, otherwise skip it ‘cos it’s crap
4) Watch the movies, except the two TV specials mentioned in the previous piece which are meant to be watched during the series
5) The Korean live action adaptation is a curiosity, stay at large from the western one because that one sucks
6 – optional) DBZ Abridged is nice to watch and use for rewatch value after finishing DBZ/Kai.

Much longer version here

Credit to GAN_HOPE326

Durarara!!

Watch the first 12 episodes of the TV series, then jump into the first episode of the special. Then go onto the rest of the TV series, and finally back onto the second special episode. Also it would be wise to watch Baccano before watching Durarara, as some Baccano characters make cameo appearances in Durarara.

Eureka Seven

Start with the original TV seriesPocket Full of Rainbows is a movie that’s a alternate world re-imaging on the TV series. Eureka Seven Ao is a loosely connected sequel to the original. It’s tempting to say don’t bother with either, as popular opinion states neither is very good. But if you want to watch them, they can kinda be watched without knowledge of the TV series, but you really should watch the TV series first.

Evangelion

Evan­gelion TV series -> End of Eva. Make sure to watch the Director’s Cut for episodes 21-24. They include extra scenes that were included in the Death portion of the Death and Rebirth movie. Death was just a recap with extra scenes, and Rebirth was the first half of End of Evangelion. The rebuild movies are retell­ings and should be watched after the ori­ginal series and movie. Altern­at­ively if while watch­ing the TV series you get com­pletely sick of Shinji’s whin­ing, it might be best to cut your losses and jump straight to the altern­ate retell­ing movies as they make his character less of a hopeless whinger.

Fate/whatever franchise

This one’s awkward. The ideal starting point would be the Fate/Stay Night visual novel, but the level of wordiness in the VN would be incredibly intimidating to anyone who has never played visual novels before. There’s the anime adaptation Fate/Stay Night, which isn’t a particularly good adaptation. Then there’s the prequel Fate/Zero which, despite not being written by the original author, is widely considered to be the best part of the Fate/whatever franchise. Thing is, both Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night spoil stuff for each other, so it’s difficult to say which to start with. If you can handle visual novel word-vomits, start with that. If you can handle mediocre anime, try the Fate/Stay Night anime. If you just want a quick fix for a good anime, watch Fate/Zero.

There’s also Unlimited Blade Works, which is an alternate version of the TV series. There’s Fate/Prototype, which is just a short window into what nasu originally planned Fate/Stay Night to be. Finally, there’s Carnival Phantasm, a piece of goofy fanservice for fans of Type Moon’s work. It  has characters from places other than the Fate/whatever franchise, but if you’ve liked all that you’ve seen so far, by all means track down everything by Type Moon. They did make a Tsukihime anime, but it differs wildly from the game to the point that many Type Moon fans claim there is no Tsukihime anime.

Fireball

Original TV series -> Fireball Special -> Fireball Charming. Charming is technically a prequel, but it was made after the original and it makes more narrative sense to watch Charming last.

Fist of the North Star

Possibly the definitive example of “it gets better I swear!”. The first story arc of the TV series has some filler and time wast­ing. I’d recom­mend watch­ing epis­odes 1–5, then you can safely skip right to epis­odes 18–22, which fin­ishes the first arc. Everything between is largely unne­ces­sary and gets extremely repetitive.

Credit to Antz

Full Metal Panic

Chronological order would be the easiest way around this. Full Metal Panic -> Fumoffu -> The Second Raid -> The Second Raid OVA. The only weird case here is Fumoffu. It’s a comedy spin-off from the original series with a completely different tone. I’d argue that you will find Fumoffu funnier once you’ve seen the original TV series, but plenty of people watch Fumoffu before the rest of the franchise and love it. So if you’re not feeling the TV series, or just want a very solid comedy anime, you can start with Fumoffu.

Fullmetal Alchemist

The two TV series, the original and Brotherhood, start off the same way but then veer in completely different directions. The original anime was made before the manga had finished, so the creators took a completely different direction with their adaptation. Several years later they made Brotherhood, which followed the manga right the way through. The original has a stronger character focus and deeper messages and themes, but Brotherhood constructs a much more coherent story that actually ends properly. I believe popular opinion swings towards Brotherhood being the better of the two, but they are both fantastic series. I personally think that it’s better to start with the original TV series though. My reasoning is that Brotherhood assumes you have seen the original and barrages through its early content to get to the New Stuff, diminishing the effect of some considerably important plot events. If you watch the original TV series, make sure to follow it up straight away with the Conqueror of Shamballa movie. If you’re watching Brotherhood, you should watch the special spin off episodes whenever, either once you’re done with the TV series or about 40-50 episodes into the TV series. They tell neat little side stories. Finally there’s the Sacred Star of Milos movie, if you want Full Metal Alchemist to degenerate into generic shounen pap.

Futakoi

Ignore the first series and just watch Futakoi Alternative. They have barely any relation to each other and Futakoi is total rubbish.

Credit to Yuyucow

Genshiken

Easy chronological order. Original TV series -> OVA -> second season. There’s spin-off material, Kujibiki Unbalance or Ramen Tenshi Pretty Memna, which are animated versions of the anime the characters in Genshiken watch. However they add almost nothing to the TV series and are routinely regarded as being terrible.

Ghost in the Shell

The original Ghost in the Shell Movie and Stand Alone Complex do not have any connecting plot threads, so you can watch whichever first. It’s probably best to start with the movie, as it’s the least intimidating place to start. The second movie, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, is a direct sequel to the first movie, but isn’t generally considered to be that good, so you can skip that if you want and jump straight into the TV series Stand Alone Complex. Stand Alone Complex has a whole load of different spin offs, but they are mostly just re-tellings of the same story with re-used footage. Chronological order is Stand Alone Complex -> Stand Alone Complex Second Gig -> Solid State Society. Finally there’s the new OVA Arise, which is its own completely new universe as well, so you’re probably safe to watch that without seeing the previous GITS properties.

Gintama

The first few episodes of the Gintama TV series are fairly poor and do not give a good account of the rest of the show. The ideal starting place for Gintama is the Jump Festa OVA. It’s a microcosm of the sense of humour you will find in the TV series. If you liked that, then go wild because you’ll probably love the TV series too. If you didn’t, then don’t bother. As for the Benizakura movie, it’s a retelling of episodes 58-61, but does have some new scenes at the start and end.

Gundam

The first thing you must understand about Gundam is there’s a main timeline, the Universal Century (UC) timeline, and then there’s Alternate Universe (AU) series that don’t connect to the main timeline at all. If you aren’t averse to old school animation, you can start with the UC timeline as outlined below. However a better starting spot may be one of the more recent AU Gundam series. The most recent ones are Seed, 00 and Age. Gundam fans will never agree which ones are worth watching, so I’m just going to go out on a limb and say I think 00 is the best place to start.

UC Timeline

Start with the 0079 Gundam trilogy. These are recap movies of the original TV series and generally considered better than the actual TV series. From there it’s 0080 war in the pocket (also a favor­ite for christ­mas watch­ing) -> 08th MS team -> 0083 Star­dust Memory -> Zeta Gun­dam (the actual direct sequel to the original trilogy, as the others are more spin-off OVAs) -> ZZ gun­dam (can be a bit jarring as the tone shifts from the super dark Zeta to light and goofy ZZ) -> Char’s coun­ter­at­tack movie -> Gun­dam Uni­corn (at this point the stories become less direct sequels and more indirect, this is just the chronological order) -> Gun­dam F91 movie -> Vic­tory Gun­dam. Then there’s Turn A Gun­dam, which was sup­posed to be the last UC is thing but feels more like a spinoff and could even be called an AU Gundam.

Credit to R1CK_D0M, Fadeway

Gundam 00

Straight release order. Season 1 -> Season 2. The sequel movie Wakening of the Trailblazer is widely considered to be a total mess and probably not worth watching, lest it spoils your opinion of the TV series.

Gun­dam Wing

OVA/Movie sequel: You should be fine watch­ing either ver­sion since the movie only includes a few extra scenes which aren’t ter­ribly neces­sary to the plot. Don’t read the pre­quel manga until after watch­ing the TV series and movie sequel since the pre­quel does have a lot of tie-ins to events that hap­pen dur­ing the TV series/movie sequel. There are a couple manga that try to explain the year gap between the series and the sequel, and you can read either of those before/after watch­ing the movie sequel, but the gen­eral con­sensus (even though the char­ac­ter relationships/dynamics are por­trayed VERY dif­fer­ently in both stor­ies) is that Blind Tar­get occurred before Bat­tle­field of Paci­fists. The glor­i­fied doujin “Ground Zero” is said to occur right before the sequel.

Credit to gw_kimmy

Hellsing

I am probably the only person on the planet who thinks the TV series is far better than Hellsing Ultimate, so I’ll have to bow to popular opinion on this one. Go straight into Hellsing Ultimate and ignore the original botched TV series.

Hidamari Sketch

It’s straight order of when they were released, but since the naming conventions for the franchise are a bit all over the place: S1 -> S1 Spe­cials -> x365 -> x365 Spe­cials -> x Hoshim­itsu (☆☆☆) -> ☆☆☆ spe­cials -> SP (spe­cials) -> x Hon­ey­comb (upcoming).

Credit to Adamar

Higurashi

The chronological order is as follows: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (26 episodes) -> Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Spe­cial: Nekogoroshi-hen (1 episode) -> Higur­ashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (24 episodes) -> Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei (5 episodes) -> Higur­ashi no Naku Koro ni Kira no (4 episodes). Only Koro ni (1) & Kai (3) are the vital story arcs. Both the Neko­goroshi ova (2) & the 5-part Rei ova con­tain a mix­ture of fan-service & new story ele­ments, but are not vital to the main plot. Kira (5) is pretty much noth­ing but tacky fanser­vice, & should be avoided!

Credit to fathomlessblue

Hunter X Hunter

The original Hunter X Hunter and sequel OVA cover the exact same material as the newer TV adaptation. It’s nothing like the differences between the two Full Metal Alchemist adaptations. The original moves slower and has some filler material, but otherwise they are exactly the same. Popular opinion seems to be siding with watching the newer adaptation, as it will actually cover all the material and has better animation.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

The manga, which has been running since 1987, is split into different generational arcs. The first 2, Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency, are covered in the fabulous 2012 TV adaptation by David Production, and that is where you should start. The next arc, Stardust Crusaders, has two OVA adaptations. One from 1994 and another in 2000, neither of which cover the entire arc. The 1994 one was a bit of a cult classic back in its day, but doesn’t hold up next to the more recent 2012 TV adaptation. You can still watch it though, as it hasn’t been confirmed yet that David Production will adapt Stardust Crusaders yet.

Kimagure Orange Road

The OVA series takes place during different points in the actual series and the two movies take place after the series’ end with “I Want to Return to that Day” being the official conclusion and “Summer’s Beginnings” being an epilogue movie, so by estimation, it would be this: Episodes 1-20 > Hawaii Suspence > I Was A Cat, I Was A Fish > Hurricane Akane > Unexpected Situation > Episodes 21-25 > Spring Is For Idols > Birth of a Star > Episodes 26-35 > White Lovers > Episodes 36-48 > Message in Rouge > I Want to Return to That Day > Summer’s Beginnings.

Credit to Flawfinder

Kino’s Journey

The spin-off movies should be watched only after you’ve completed the TV series. While Life Goes On is technically a prequel, it would spoil important reveals for the TV series.

Kara no Kyokai

The movies aired out of chronological order. If you were to watch them chronologically, it’s 2–4-3–1-5–6-7-OVA. However it’s advisable to stick to the order the original creators intended them to be watched in.

Credit to Chipp

Kurenai

What happened with Kurenai is Brains Base took a rather different interpretation of the source material when they made the TV series. Later they came back and made a short spin-off OVA more in the spirit of the original material. Popular opinion sides with the TV series being better, but they’re both worth watching so long as you remember they have very different feels to them.

Last Exile

While you can watch Last Exile Fam without having seen the original (different characters, different setting, only loosely connected to the original), you’re better off watching the original first because the two do tie into each other.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes

The movie My Con­quest is the Sea of Stars is gen­er­ally con­sidered the best start­ing place, just before jump­ing into the 110-episode OVA that make up the main series. Over­ture to a New War is a retell­ing of the first two epis­odes of the series (including substantially expanded backstory) that you can watch whenever. Once you’ve fin­ished the series, you can watch the prequel material, although most of it is of lower quality and often comes off as unnecessary: the Golden Wings movie; the A Hundred Billion Stars, A Hundred Billion Lights OVA; and the Spiral Labyrinth OVA.

Credit to Yuyucow, Magus

Leiji Matsumoto

Good luck with that. Even the likes of Gundam and the Clampverse cowers in fear with the sheer baffling nature of the Leijiverse. Here’s the AniDB chart, have fun.

Lupin III

The great thing about Lupin III is that every new thing they produce is made to be open to newcomers. The only struggle is knowing which ones are actually good. Popular opinion sides with Castle of Cagliostro, the movie directed by Miyazaki himself. Its more whimsical depiction of Lupin isn’t a very good representation of the rest of the franchise, but it’s still a damn fine movie whether you care about Lupin or not. From there, you can really go anywhere. First Contact has a good reputation amongst Lupin fans. I think Alcatraz Connection is a good movie. The new TV series A Woman Called Fujiko Mine is interesting if you want a really artsy take on Lupin. Finally, if you aren’t put off by old ass animation, you can always jump right back in time to the original TV series.

Macross

Start with the original TV series, Macross SDF. From there you can sorta go anywhere. Macross Zero is a prequel but works better with knowledge of the original. Do You Remember Love is a retelling of the original TV series, but in a rather unique way. It works much better if you’ve already seen the TV series though. Macross Plus is the sequel to the original TV series. Then comes Macross 7, which is a deliberate mockery of the entire Macross franchise. Might work for you, might not, so no worries if you dump it. Finally, there’s Macross Frontier. So in short: Ori­ginal series -> Do you remem­ber love movie/Macross Zero/Macross Plus -> Macross 7 -> Macross Frontier.

However, if you are adverse to the old-school animation of the original SDF Macross (we’re talking very old school here), both Plus and Frontier are accessible as stand-alones, even if you don’t get the full appreciation.

Credit to Shinmaru, Adamar, R1CK_D0M

Macross Frontier

The movies, The False Song­stress and The Wings of Farewell, retell the Macross Fron­tier TV series but are dif­fer­ent enough to be worth­while and are awe­some visual spectacles

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

Mahou Shoujo Lyr­ical Nan­oha -> Nan­oha A’s -> Nan­oha StrikerS. A’s takes place six months after the first sea­son, and StrikerS takes place ten years after A’s. There are also the movies, Nan­oha the Movie 1st, and the upcom­ing Nan­oha the Movie A’s 2nd. The movies are retell­ings with some minor changes, primar­ily in the art, anim­a­tion, and char­ac­ter design. But they’re good if you want to see what the series is like and don’t want to watch a 13-episode show.

There are two Nanoha manga after strikers. The first is vivid, and it takes place 4 years after Strikers. It mostly centers on Vivio and fighting tournaments ( and fanservice ) The second is Force which takes place six Years after Strikers and Nanoha isn’t even directly the main characters.

Credit to Myna, Doom

Major

Major is broken up into 6 seasons, going of a different stage of the main character’s (Honda Goro) growth. Each season goes in chronological order, and should be watched as such. The awkward part is in the movie, Major: The Ball of Friendship (yes that’s actually its title). The movie itself is set between seasons 1 and 2, but actually aired (and is intended to be watched) between seasons 4 and 5, as it shows characters from season 4, and spoils a portion of the beginning of season 2. While nothing majorly (haha punny) important is spoiled if you watch it then, it does suck some of the plot value and mystique around the first couple of episodes of season 2, so just hold off on it a bit.

The other awkward part is at the tailend of the series with the two OVAs, Major: Message and Major: World Series. Both are set following the events of season 6. World Series is a two episode OVA covering the final arc of the show (though spoiled by the main series itself), and Message is an epilogue OVA set 10 years after season 6 and few years past World Series. While neither have any major relevance to each other in terms of plot, I;d recommend watching World Series first, as it’s technically more important and keeps to chronological order.

Credit to Conankudo4

Monogatari Series

Bakemonogatari was the first season released, and first novel from the franchise released, but the third chronologically. There are events in it that don’t make a whole lot of sense without knowing the previous two arcs: Nekomonogatari and Kizumonogatari. Unfortunately Shaft haven’t animated Kizumonogatari yet (they said they would about 3 years ago but still no sign of it) so it means there isn’t that easy starting point for the franchise. If you are willing to wait, I would recommend waiting until Shaft finally animates Kizumonogatari as your ideal starting place. However if you want to make the leap now, chronological order is:

Kizumonogatari (not animated yet) -> Nekomonogatari (movie, start here for now) -> Bakemonogatari (make sure you get the BR/DVD versions as the TV broadcast has a lot of unfinished animation because it was made before Shaft had money) -> Nisemonogatari -> Monogatari Series Second Season (yes, ‘second season’ is the 5th Monogatari entry, 4th one animated and third actual TV series. Don’t ask why they made it so complicated, just accept it)

Munto

Munto was first released as two movies (Munto and Munto 2) and then a TV series with the very long name of “Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai” was released later. How it pretty much works is, you can com­pletely ignore the two movies that were released first as the first 6 epis­odes of the TV series are as good as com­pletely identical. From 7–9 you have an in-series art style update and new story where it con­cludes (yes, at the odd num­ber of 9).

Credit to Sarukah

Negima

As it is, there’s no stan­dalone anime if you want to enjoy Negima. Xebec first adapt­a­tion loosely cov­ers the first volumes of the manga and then jumps off a cliff for a laugh­able ori­ginal end­ing. It’s a really cheap show and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s fond of the fran­chise recom­mend­ing it. SHAFT’s Negima?! (and its Haru/Natsu OVA) took the char­ac­ters and threw them into a dif­fer­ent set­ting where abso­lutely dif­fer­ent stuff happened. The res­ult is a Pani Poni Dash Lite — not that bad, but def­in­itely not Negima. Might be some­thing to look at if you’re already a fan and like the char­ac­ters, but noth­ing else. The Ala Alba OVAs (and its sequel, Mou hitotsu no sekai), on the other hand, are faith­ful depic­tions of the manga… start­ing from ch176. You can’t exactly skip 20 volumes and watch those, so it’s quite tricky. And to make it worse, the Anime Final movie that was sup­posed to give clos­ure to those was so bad even the mangaka said it was ter­rible and should be avoided.

tl;dr: Avoid Mahou Sen­sei Negima, read the first 20 volumes of the manga, watch Ala Alba and Mou hitotsu no Sekai, avoid Anime Final. Watch Negima?! if you like the girls and Shinbo.

Credit to Yuyucow

One Piece

Kind of a com­mit­ment to make with about 450 epis­odes and 650 chapters at this moment and still ongo­ing. Unfor­tu­nately, it starts of kind of slow and not very inter­est­ing. Gen­eral con­sensus is that it really starts pick­ing up dur­ing the Arlong arc, start­ing from epis­ode 31 and chapter 69, and only gets bet­ter from there. The only prob­lem is that the earlier epis­odes intro­duce a lot of the major char­ac­ters. So I can’t really recom­mend to skip them. You could read the manga, since that is usu­ally quicker.

Like most long run­ning anime, it has a bunch of fillers, but not nearly as much as say Bleach or Naruto. I could write them all down here or just give you this link. It includes the fillers, OVAs, movies and TV spe­cials and between which epis­odes they fit. Epis­ode 55, although part of a (not so good) filler includes some import­ant canon inform­a­tion. You might want to watch that epis­ode or read chapter 101. Also the G8 filler arc ( epis­ode 196 — 206) is actu­ally very good. Def­in­itely watch that one. You can skip all the other filler arcs. They aren’t that bad, but they don’t add much to the story.

Most of the movies are okay. They pre­sume you know the char­ac­ters, so you can’t really jump in without know­ing any­thing about the series. The only ones I def­in­itely recom­mend are the 6th and the 10th. The 6th one is directed by Hosada (Summer Wars) and has a dif­fer­ent anim­a­tion style and a much darker story that the rest of the series. The 10th was actu­ally writ­ten by the mangaka and fits into canon. Movies 8 and 9 are recaps of the Ara­basta arc and the Drum island arc, but they try to fit too much into too little time. The 8th one is also more of a ‘what if’ story and includes some heavy spoil­ers for the rest of the series. So don’t watch them as a sub­si­tute for the series.

All the TV spe­cials are for­get­table. Also, the first OVA was done by a dif­fer­ent anim­a­tion stu­dio and before the anime. It also has com­pletely dif­fer­ent voice act­ors. I don’t recom­mend to watch this an intro­duc­tion to the series. It’s not very good. Watch the other two OVAs though.

Onegai Teacher/Twins

Onegai Twins is a spin-off series from Onegai Teacher. Some characters from Teacher appear in twins, but it’s not necessary to watch them in order. There’s also Ano Natsu, which is a spiritual successor to the Onegai series, but again doesn’t require knowledge of the previous two.

Cheers to blazingdead

Patlabor

First timeline: Mobile Police Pat­labor OVA (7 episodes) -> Pat­labor 1: The Movie -> WXIII Pat­blabor 3: The Movie -> Pat­labor 2: The movie. The TV Series and New Files are an alternate story with the same characters. It’s -> Pat­labor TV series (47 episodes) -> Pat­labor ova 2/New Files (16 episodes). Best place to start is probably the first Patlabor OVAs.

Credit to fathomlessblue

Please Save My Earth

The last OVA epis­ode (6) tries to wrap up a story only half-done. There’s no need to skip it, but it won’t make much sense. Instead, start the manga at volume around volume 9.

Credit to Dan

Precure

Only two Pre­cure series are actual sequels (Futari wa -> Max Heart, YPC5 -> YPC GoGo) so you can jump in pretty much any­where. Dozens of magical girls meet every year in the All Stars movies, so you can use that simply to pick whichever cast you prefer. Heartcatch is widely considered to be The Best of the TV serues, so that’s probably the best starting point. However, if you know you’re going to watch a lot of the fran­chise you prob­ably want to go Splash Star -> Fresh -> Heart­catch -> Suite -> Smile, then return­ing to watch Futari Wa/Max Heart if you really want and Yes 5/GoGo if it’s fin­ished being subbed by the time you get there. Main point is that Splash Star is a fairly dir­ect remake of Futari Wa, so you don’t want to watch them one after the other, and Splash Star is prob­ably a bet­ter start­ing point.

Credit to Yuyucow, lmm

Raildex

A Certain Scientific Railgun relies on your knowledge of A Certain Magical Index, so it’s advisable to get that done first. From there it really doesn’t matter whether you jump to both seasons of Railgun before watching Index 2 or whether you watch Index 2 before jumping to Railgun.

Credit to Yuyucow

Redline

This is actu­ally pretty simple but a lot of Redline fans haven’t watched its spinoff by the name of Trava like they very well should.

Credit to Yuyucow

Revolutionary Girl Utena

The movie, Adolescence Apocalypse, is an alternative version of the TV series. You’re better off watching the TV series first. Not because it has any important plot details, but because it will at least prepare you somewhat for the sheer weirdness of that movie.

School Rumble

Original TV series -> OVA -> Ni Gakki. San Gakki is not another season. Rather its an adaptation of 2 completely random chapters several years down the line of the manga. You’re better off not touching it at all.

Slayers

Use the AniDB graph and watch chronological order. While there’s not a problem with watching all of Slayers in chronological order, it’s certainly not necessary to do so. Watch the different TV series in order and don’t watch the Slayers Premium movie before Slayers Next. It doesn’t really matter beyond that.

Credit to Magus

Space Battleship Yamato

Start with the original 1974-1975 Space Battleship Yamato series. There’s a compressed movie version of it but it’s very rushed. Next comes either the Farewell Space Battleship Yamato movie or the Space Battleship Yamato 2 series. Both cover roughly the same events but the latter is an expansion of the former with major changes. Later Yamato anime follow the Space Battleship Yamato 2 timeline, so if you have to pick one, have it be that. Release order is for the most part chronological order from there on out. Space Battleship Yamato: The New Voyage -> Be Forever Yamato -> Space Battleship Yamato 3 -> Final Yamato -> Space Battleship Yamato: Resurrection. There’s also a Space Battleship Yamato live action movie from 2010 in its own continuity. There’s an OVA from the 90′s called Yamato 2520. It was cancelled partway-through because of a legal battle over who owned the Yamato franchise. It doesn’t seem to be either well-regarded or relevant to the rest of the franchise, though.

There’s a new remake of the original TV series called Yamato 2199 that’s been getting rave reviews. That is probably the best place to start if you’re wary of older animation.

Credit to Magus

Spice and Wolf

Straight chronological order. First season -> Spice and Wolf OVA -> Second season.

Super Robot Wars OG

First off is that the SRW anime are all based off the OG line of video games and con­tain no licensed series (no Gun­dam or Macross etc..) — everything is original. As of writ­ing there are 3 shows to chose from: Super Robot Wars OG The Anim­a­tion — A 3 epis­ode OVA released in 2005. Super Robot Wars OG Divine Wars — A 26 epis­ode TV series released ’06-’07. Super Robot Wars OG The I.nspector — A 26 epis­ode TV series released ’10-’11 In terms of chro­no­logy the order goes — SRWOG:DW > SRWOG:TI > SRW TA OVA. A word of note is that the OVA has been sup­planted by the events of one of the video games (SRW OG Gaiden [2008]) which took story ele­ments from the OVA and made them no longer canon. So while you can watch the OVA, when you play the video game or if there is another sequel, the events of the OVA will most likely be ignored or supplanted.

Cheers to Kraker2k

Tamayura

Tamayura ~hitotose~ Episode 1 > The Original Tamayura OVA > Tamayura ~hitotose~ Episodes 2-5 > Tamayura ~hitotose~ OVA > Tamayura ~hitotose~ Episodes 6-12 > Tamayura ~More Aggressive~. Episode 1 of hitotose covers before Potte moved to Takehara, while the OVA introduces all other main characters. In hitotose episode 2, it is assumed you’re already with Kaoru et al. The hitotose OVA chronologically fits between episodes 5 and 7 (6 is a flashback episode) but can work as a bookend as well. ~More Aggressive~ should continue with Potte’s second year in high school.

Credit to Justin

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

The order of Haruhi is all over the place. They aired the first season out of chronological order. Later they aired it in in chronological order, but threw a second season in the middle, then finally the movie Disappearence of Haruhi Suzumiya. The Wikipedia page lists the broadcast order and the chronological order. The first season works better in the original broadcast order. Take it from someone who watched  it first in chronological order, it completely messes up the pacing and narrative the creators were going for. However if the out-of-order version annoys you, its perfectly fine to watch it chronologically too. So Haruhi S1 broadcast order -> Haruhi S2 -> Disappearance.

The second season gets confusing with the whole Endless Eight fiasco, where they made 8 episodes of basically the exact same content. While there may be a special pride for those who can sit through all of Endless Eight, I wouldn’t recommend it. For the same narrative structure they were attempting to achieve, watch the first, second and eighth episodes of Endless Eight (so technically episodes 2,3 and 9 of the season). Trust me, you’ll already start to get frustrated by the time you watch the third episode. There’s also the dumb flash animation spin-off stuff, which you can watch if you’re a super fan.

Tenchi Muyo

The Tenchiverse is way bigger than you probably realise. In sorta chronological order: Ten­chi Muyo: Ryo-Ohki OVA 1 -> The Night Before the Car­ni­val OVA -> Ten­chi Muyo: Ryo-Ohki OVA 2 -> Ten­chi Muyo: Ryo-Ohki OVA 3 -> Mihoshi Spe­cial -> Man­atsu no Eve (Ten­chi Muyo Movie 2) –> Tenchi Muyo Dual (really for those determ­ined to watch everything in the Tenchi­verse, as its rela­tion is slight and it just isn’t that great of a show) -> Ten­chi Muyo GXP –> Ten­chi Muyo TV/“Tenchi Uni­verse“ –> Ten­chi Muyo in Love (“Ten­chi Muyo the Movie”) –> Ten­chi Muyo in Love 2: Dis­tant Memor­ies (“Ten­chi Forever! The Movie”) –> Magical Girl Pretty Sammy OVA –> Magical Girl Pretty Sammy TV/“Magical Pro­ject S“ –> Sasami: Magical Girls’ Club –> Shin Ten­chi Muyo/“Tenchi in Tokyo”.

Isekai no Seikishi no Monogatari/St. Knight’s Tale falls somewhere within the timeline encom­passing the OVAs, The Night Before the Car­ni­val, Mihoshi Spe­cial, and GXP. Just pop it in there wherever.

Credit to A Day Without Me

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Start with the TV series. From there, you can jump into some of the side stuff. The Parrallel Works are cool little music videos with alternate takes on the TV Series. Then there’s the retelling movies. Now normally I’d say ignore retelling movies as they’re lame, cut down versions of the original. This is certainly the case with Gurren-hen. But Lagann-hen is fantastic, so much so that I’d call it better than the TV version. Skip Gurren-hen and watch Lagann-hen. It starts at the midway point of the TV series, so you will have to have watched the TV series originally to understand what’s going on.

Time of Eve

The movie is just the 6 OVA episodes together plus a few more scenes. They’re the exact same material. The movie is probably a better watch simply because it has Blu-Ray version quality while the OVA only has a web-quality version.

To Heart

Weirdly, To Heart and To Heart 2 have the same settings but different characters. To Heart and its sequel My Memor­ies are much more decent pieces of anim­a­tion, if any­thing because they set many galge tropes that would be ter­ribly executed by count­less shows and games after­ward. Both have some spe­cials that are meant to be watched after their cor­res­pond­ing seasons. For To Heart 2, chro­no­lo­gical release order, which would be To Heart 2 -> To Heart 2 OVA -> To Heart 2 AD -> To Heart 2 AD Plus -> To Heart 2 ADnext.

Credit to Yuyucow

Touka Get­tan

Aired in reverse chronological order, but as always with these cases, it’s better to watch it in the order the original creators intended it to be watched in.

Credit to A Day Without Me

Tsubasa Chronicle

It’s gen­er­ally agreed upon to watch the series in chro­no­lo­gical order (sea­son one, sea­son two, ovas), but upon get­ting into sea­son two, unless you like filler, skip epis­odes 18–26. Instead, go straight to the Tokyo Rev­el­a­tions OVA (which is way darker than the TV series, but faith­ful to the manga). Then read manga volumes 18 — 21 before watch­ing the Shun­raiki OVA. If you skip the manga, you will be com­pletely lost. Actu­ally, even with the manga, you might be com­pletely lost… Also, some­time before the Tokyo Rev­el­a­tions, you can squish in “The Prin­cess in the Bird­cage King­dom” movie, though skip­ping it won’t hinder the story at all. After watch­ing the Shun­raiki OVA, start read­ing the com­ics at volume 24. If you’re reading the manga for Tsubasa Chronicle, try read it alternatively with XXXHolic as they will spoil each other.

Credit to Dan

Un-Go

Episode 0 Inga-Ron -> Un-Go TV series. Inga-Ron was released in theatres at the same time as the TV series came out in Japan. It’s a prequel to the TV series and gets you emotionally invested in the characters in a way the first two episodes of the TV series fails to do.

Urusei Yatsura

Episodes 1-58 > Movie 1 > Episodes 59-99 > Movie 2 > Episodes 100-140 > Movie 3 > Episodes 141-191 > Movie 4 > Episodes 192-195 > The OVA series > Movie 5 > 2008 OVA

The second movie, A Beautiful Dreamer, is considered one of Mamoru Oishi’s finest works and can be watched on its own without having seen either the TV series or the other movies. So if you don’t want to sit through all 195 episodes but still want to see a fine piece of animation, you can watch it without having seen any of the franchise as long as you understand the basic premise. All you need for the basic premise it to watch the first episode of the TV series, or even just read a wikipedia entry. The 2008 OVA is something of a celebratory special with much better animation, so despite taking place somewhere within the series, it’s better to finish the entire thing before jumping into that.

Credit to Flawfinder

Votoms

The chronological order is as follows: Red shoulder doc­u­ment: Roots of Ambi­tion OVA > Pailsen Files OVA > (Mel­lowlink is a spinoff ova. It’s pretty good, but it’s per­fectly skip­pable. It’s just a guy being really angry at everything and killing people for revenge) > TV series ep’s 1–13 (First arc in Uoodo) > Last Red Shoulder OVA > TV series ep’s 14–52 (2nd, 3rd, and 4th arcs in Kum­men, Sunsa, and Quent respect­ively) > Big Battle OVA > (this is tech­nic­ally where the second half of 52, the last ep, goes, but I wouldn’t recom­mend stop­ping the ep halfway through just for big battle) > Shin­ing Heresy OVA > Alone Again OVA > Phantom Chapter OVA. Just watch it in that order.

Credit to R1CK_D0M

X

Start with the Tokyo Babylon OVA, then move onto the X TV series. The manga and TV series are faith­ful to each other until the last five or so epis­odes. From there, if you want more angst and lack of an end­ing, start read­ing the manga at volume 16 or so. The TV series has a con­clus­ive, and much more hope­ful end­ing. The movie is to be avoided at all costs, unless you like beau­ti­ful anim­a­tion with no plot (or are a fan of terribad anime). For hard­core fans, there’s also a set of music videos. Also, do not watch “Epis­ode 0″ first. Watch it at least 3/4 through the TV series. Oth­er­wise, you’ll be spoiled on pretty much everything. When you’ve done all that, you can go back to the Tokyo Babylon manga, which is a prequel to X. It starts really slow though, so you’re better off going to it after you’re done with X.

Credit to Dan, Anca

XXXHolic

Watch the “A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream” movie after the the first half (or so) of the first sea­son. While the movie was made before the TV series (and thus the art is a bit dif­fer­ent), it does require know­ledge of the main char­ac­ters and dynam­ics before being watched. Note that mix­ing the manga and the TV series+Movie is dif­fi­cult due to whole plot­lines that aren’t trans­ferred through adap­tions, but if you feel up to it, after sea­son 2 of the TV series, being read­ing about volume 14 on. After volume 15, you can watch the Ro OVA. Some­where between (or after) volume 19, watch the Ro: Aday­ume OVA. There’s also an OVA called “Shun­muki” that can be fit in any­where around sea­son 2 of the TV series. If you’re reading the manga for Tsubasa Chronicle, try reading it alternatively with Tsubasa Chronicle as they will spoil each other.

Credit to Dan

You’re Under Arrest

You’re Under Arrest production and chronological order are the same. So watch 1995 OVA -> 1996 TV series -> 2001 series -> 2007 series.

Credit to Kadian1364

Yu-Gi-Oh

Sea­son 0 -> Sea­son 0 movie (rather ter­rible, can be skipped) -> Duel Mon­sters (skip the arcs between the end of Battle Tower and epis­ode 199) -> (manga) Yu-Gi-Oh R (if you want, this one is gen­er­ally for­got­ten, and it takes place between Battle City and Ancient Egypt) -> Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. The dubbed version is a 4kids dub, so liberal changes everywhere. Pyr­amid of Light can be safely ignored, but if you do want to sub­ject your­self to it hunt down the Japan­ese dub, as they changed the plot and rearranged some scenes, because it was just that stupid. GX takes place after Duel Mon­sters, but barely ref­er­ences it. 5D and Zexal are entirely altern­ate uni­verses. Cap­sule Mon­sters does not exist. Bond Bey­ond Time belongs after GX and 5D.

Credit to Anca

Simple release order

These are the series that follow a straight, no-nonsense chronological format with no confusion. Just watch these in the order they were released. Leave comments if there’s any franchises that fit this list too.

Arakawa Under the Bridge, Baccano, Baka to Test, Big Windup, Black Lagoon, Break Blade, Candy Boy, Eden of the East, GaoGaiGar, Honey and Clover, Hare Guu, Ichigo Marshmallow, Initial D, Invasion Squid Girl, Jormungand, Kaiji, Maria-sama ga Miteru, Minami-ke, Natsu no Arashi, Natsume Yuujinchou, Rinne no Lagrange, Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, Shakugan no Shana, To-Love-Ru, Vandread

If it’s not listed here: There are other ways to go about searching. At the bottom of each anime on AniDB there’s a link to a graphic of the chronological order of each series. They can be misleading though, as they might list prequels that you should ideally watch after to the TV series. You can also go in order each series was released in, but this can lead to you watching stuff with old ass dreadful animation or confusing OVAs for manga fans and so on. As you should have realised by now if you’ve read this post, it’s not instantly clear what order to watch stuff in for an awful lot of these franchises. If you’re in doubt, just jump in and watch whatever the hell you want. Sometimes watching things in the ‘wrong’ order leads to a more rewarding viewing experience that others won’t get.

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162 Comments

  1. Kai
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Nice, some people really need this.
    Also, Tsukihime doesn’t have an anime? Either you’re being sarcastic or you refuse to believe it exists.

    • Fadeway
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      It’s a fandom joke.

      Also, scrolled down to see how you managed Gundam. You, uh, ran away from it.

  2. Kurotsuki
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Well, there’s the Shana Franchise I guess.
    Starts with “Shakugan no Shana” , gets alternate retelling in the form of “Shakugan no Shana Movie”. Has a sequel “Shakugan no Shana II” , which has a sorta sequel “Shakugan no Shana S” , and is concluded in “Shakugan no Shana III (Final)” . I think there were OVAs in between season I and II , but I can’t remember.
    Also Code Geass lol.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      So basically Shakugan no Shana is simple order of release?

      • Kurotsuki
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Pretty much yes.

  3. Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Hell yes to Gintama! I really loved that series, but you are right the first few episodes were very slow because they had to build up the core team of Gintoki, Kagura and Shinpachi. After that things start to get really funny with the use of some parody level comedy I remember around episode 50 they throw just about every Shounen reference they can at you! With Bleach, Naruto, DBZ and a bit of One Piece.

    Also when the second season started up again I forgot the episode but Gintoki basically saves the day and at the end of the episode rips off Ichigo’s bankai for a hilarious ending! Other than that Gintama has a few hit or miss comedy episodes, but most of them can crack me up.

    Action wise I love the fight scenes from the movie and actual episode arc’s when Gintoki is kicking ass along with Kagura and Shinpachi in some rare episodes…I wish they would announce a third season or the return of Gintama I miss their high flying comedy T___T

  4. Anonymous
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    No the Kurenai TV series was bullshit. Just go for the OVAs… actually the manga… no that turned into bullshit too just read the novels.

  5. Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Macross: SDF (the original series) and then Zero, which is a prequel but works better with the knowledge of the original. Plus is its own animal, so you can pretty much watch it whenever. Then 7 if you must; some people get it, and some don’t (I don’t like it). Then Macross Frontier because it’s basically a giant love letter to the whole franchise. I watched Frontier as my first Macross, but it’s a lot more enjoyable when you have all the context. Then the movies, The False Songstress and The Wings of Farewell, which retell the Macross Frontier TV series but are different enough to be worthwhile and are awesome visual spectacles.

    Patlabor: The original OVA has enough of the serious and the silly to give viewers an idea if they’d like to pursue the rest. The two Patlabor movies take place in the OVA timeline and are quite good, but are also much more serious than the series in general, so they might be offputting if one prefers the silly to the serious. The TV series and New Files OVA are their own timeline.

    • Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Oh, and I guess there’s also the WXIII Patlabor movie, but it has a mixed reputation and has an entirely different cast of characters (or so I hear; haven’t actually watched it, myself), so it’s probably all right to skip.

      • Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        lol I’m commenting way too much. Can’t believe I forgot about Do You Remember Love? It’s a retelling of the original Macross, but different enough in its own way and also one of the best-animated movies of the 1980s (if not THE best).

    • Fadeway
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      As I mentioned, or rather repeatedly said in a nonconstructive manner on SCCSAV, the Patlabor TV series is bad. It’s average quality, a few poor episodes and a few good ones, which wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t Gundam-length without being Gundam-awesome. The mediocrity also wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t in such stark contrast to the quality of the rest of Patlabor.

      WXIII is IIRC as good as any Patlabor movie, aka great.

    • Ryo
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Frontier being a love letter to the entire Macross franchise? Yeah, I guess you’d have to have watched it before anything else to have that kind of opinion… if anything, it takes a giant dump on everything Macross and shouldn’t even be called a Macross show.

      • Embok
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        …right except that makes zero sense because thematically Frontier is by far the closest entry in the franchise to SDF (other than DYRL which is just SDF: The Movie).

        Oh man I just noticed who I was responding to and burst out laughing.

        Anyway while I’m here I’ll suggest Gundam 00 season one as the entry point for Gundam due to its strong second half and modern production values. It seems to have a *very* high success rate among people I know.

        Some people like to suggest release order starting from the ’79 series, but more often than not its episodic nature just turns them off of the franchise (or in some cases the mecha genre as a whole). I know one dude who was like that for a year until he was forced to watch 00. He ended up finishing it in a single day and loving it.

        I suppose the original’s compilation movies followed by 00 might be a workable compromise, but I don’t like that idea because I have an irrational hatred for compilation movies. A better idea would probably be Gundam Unicorn, at least once it finishes.

      • Fadeway
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        You’re very correct about 79 – unless the watcher is a hardcore mecha fan already (who has paradoxically not touched Gundam), they’re going to have a hard time finishing it. I, having watched Wing, Seed, Destiny, and 00, thus being relatively experienced with Gundam, only started liking 79 around the halfway point, and it only became my favorite Gundam around the middle of Zeta, strange as that sounds. I can scarcely imagine someone who has never seen Gundam jumping into the original series and finishing it.

        Unicorn’ll be a great entry point when it’s finished.

  6. Mars
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    What about the Evangelion franchise? :3

    • Scamp
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Evangelion TV -> End of Eva. The movies are retellings and should be watched after the original series and movie. Alternatively if while watching the TV series you get completely sick of Shinji’s whining, it might be best to cut your losses and jump straight to the alternate retelling movies.

      I think that will do? I think there’s more Eva, but I wasn’t sure so I left it out

  7. Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    About the Clannad movie: It pretty much tries to do its own version of the first season and half of the second. It’s horrible. Poor directing, poor art, poor everything. Avoid like crap.

  8. appropriant
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    The Clannad movie is somewhat of a forgotten child compared to the rest of the franchise. It’s generally criticized for its shoddy character design, animation, and divergence from certain elements of the original story. However, the divergence is considered to be a good and a bad thing, so the movie comes out as a decent work as long as it’s not too closely compared to the TV series.

    Also, the spin-off chapter is “Tomoyo”, not “Tomoya”. Also “Kyo” is more popularly regarded as “Kyou”.

  9. Karry
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    “”The ori­ginal FMA has a stronger char­ac­ter focus and deeper mes­sages and themes”

    Nonsense, much like the entire second half of the first show. And dont call it “original”.

    “”The first few epis­odes of the Gintama TV series are fairly poor and do not give a good account of the rest of the show”

    Are you claiming that the, frankly, shitty Gintama series has anything other than pathetic attempts at toilet humour and pointless shonen parodies ?

  10. Adamar
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Aria

    Animation -> Natural -> OVA -> Origination

    Despite its name, Origination is not a prequel or anything like that. The origination special, or ‘episode 5.5′ as it is known, comes after ep 5 (well, gee.)

    Hidamari Sketch

    S1 -> S1 Specials -> x365 -> x365 Specials -> x Hoshimitsu (☆☆☆) -> ☆☆☆ specials -> SP (specials) -> x Honeycomb (upcoming)

    Macross

    Original series (SDF) -> Plus -> 7 -> Frontier

    Zero and II don’t exist. Dynamite 7 comes after 7 if you enjoyed that. DYRL can be watched any time after the original series, but should generally not be considered a replacement for it.

  11. R1CK_D0M
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Gundam: depends on whether you want to watch chronologically by release date, timelines, or you have a friend recommending them to you in a particular order. Just in case, timeline is as follows:

    0079 (original gundam) > 0080 war in the pocket (also a favorite for christmas watching) > 08th MS team > 0083 Stardust Memory > Zeta Gundam > ZZ gundam > Char’s counterattack movie > Gundam Unicorn > Gundam F91 movie > Victory Gundam > and then Turn A Gundam (was supposed to be the last “UC” is thing but feels more like a spinoff)

    Then you have the alternate Universes, which I recommend in order of: G-Gundam > Gundam X > Wing Gundam > the 00 series. You can also check out the 3DCG stuff: MS Igloo series if you want. I’d recommend it, it’s really good.

    Votoms: Much the same as gundam. Fans are pretty evenly split between chronological order by timeline or release date. I watched by timeline though. Just in case, timeline is as follows:

    Red shoulder document: Roots of Ambition OVA > Pailsen Files OVA > (Mellowlink is a spinoff ova. It’s pretty good, but it’s perfectly skippable. It’s just a guy being really angry at everything and killing people for revenge) > TV series ep’s 1-13 (First arc in Uoodo) > Last Red Shoulder OVA > TV series ep’s 14-52 (2nd, 3rd, and 4th arcs in Kummen, Sunsa, and Quent respectively) > Big Battle OVA > (this is technically where the second half of 52, the last ep, goes, but I wouldn’t recommend stopping the ep halfway through just for big battle) > Shining Heresy OVA > Alone Again OVA > Phantom Chapter OVA

    Macross: has a generally agreed upon order: Original series > Do you remember love movie > Macross Plus > Macross 7 > Macross Frontier.

    Macross zero is an alternate world spinoff. Suggestions for this range from before the original series to before or after macross plus. so watch it whenever (but do watch it, it’s good). Also note that macross 7 and macross frontier both imply all the ova’s and movies that came with them. Always recommended to watch the TV series first, but the ova’s (for 7) and movies can really come at any point after (but before the next item on above list)

    • Fadeway
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Despite classifying at running away in a previous comment, I’d say the “lol” under Gundam has some hidden genius to it. Since there’s such a split in the fanbase, it’s very hard to recommend anything with any consensus aside from a watch based strictly on release dates (which is what I myself did).

      For example, I myself would recommend, assuming the watcher can take old shows, which is already a very special case (most should start with seed/00, or Unicorn when it’s finished), 79>Zeta>ZZ>OVAs and movies in release order>Victory>AUs in release order, including Turn, taking care not to miss OVAs for the newer ones. Maybe with X in the end, since it’s a critic on the Newtype concept present in newer shows too. Maybe without G and/or Wing and/or Destiny and/or Turn, since they suck (I see you missed my gateway Seed in the same manner).

      I see no reason to watch any OVAs right after 79, except for maybe Stardust, which is painful to finish but at least is a good prelude to Zeta. And I also believe you have a hidden agenda of making everyone following your advice hate AU, I mean, if someone finishes UC, then you show them G Gundam, which is a Gundam in name only and should have been a Naruto co-project or something. If someone appreciated the themes of UC, getting them through G is guaranteed to get them to hate UC, dropping Wing on them is just a plan to get to 110% certainty. X is there to maybe give them back some hope after draining all of it, so there’s something to crush with the Operation Meteor bishounen :)

      • Scamp
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        Oh god Gundam.

        I think I’ll go with recommending R1CK’s chronological order, as at the very least it starts with the 0079 movies, which people generally consider is the ideal starting point. For AU, honestly I think you can jump into absolutely any of them with no problem whatsoever. Perhaps a note worth mentioning that you shouldn’t watch the 00 movie or Seed Destiny

      • Fadeway
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Bbbbut I start with 79 too! Just a disclaimer on people not used to very old animation and wacky openings!

        Anyhow, point was, you can either watch chronologically (as he suggested, the AU weird order aside; also, if doing so, IGLOO should be with all the OVAs right after 79, which is plain weird, or, as an exception, after CCA), or following release order (what I prefer). AUs are hit or miss – 3/4ths have just as many detractors as casual fans, and just as many haters as passionate supporters..

      • R1CK_D0M
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

        btw scamp seed should also probably be in there with seed destiny, as there are a fair few who hate seed as well as destiny. (me included)

      • R1CK_D0M
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        haha yeah I just recommended the Au’s in order of how I liked them. I basically started anime in general with wing, so it has a special place in my heart. (It’s kinda weird though, yeah I know)

      • luffyluffy
        Posted May 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Honestly, I started with the 0079 movies, and they left me fucking braindead by the end of them. Just start with 0079 TV and buck up, deal with the silly salt episodes and the huge drop in quality where Char disappears.

        My recommendation, after watching it in timeline order, would be fuck that, and watch in production order. Also, make sure you sit through ZZ, because it really pays off in the end. Sit through it, through the chickens and oranges and Moon Moon and Tigerbaum, because the whole Dublin stretch is so freaking good.

  12. Jolon
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Aria’s series is confusingly ordered thus:

    Aria the Animation – Aria the Natural – Aria the Ovietta- Aria the Origination.

    The origination being the last in the series is inexplicable.

  13. fathomlessblue
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Higurashi/When They Cry – Chronological order:

    1Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (26 episodes)

    2Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Special: Nekogoroshi-hen (1 episode)

    3 Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (24 episodes)

    4Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei (5 episodes)

    5 Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira no (4 episodes)

    Only Koro ni (1) & Kai (3) are the vital story arcs. Both the Nekogoroshi ova (2) & the 5-part Rei ova contain a mixture of fan-service & new story elements, but are not vital to the main plot. Kira (5) is pretty much nothing but tacky fanservice, & should be avoided!

    Patlabor Chronological order

    First timeline:

    1 Mobile Police Patlabor ova (7 episodes)

    2 Patlabor 1: The Movie

    3 WXIII Patblabor 3: The Movie

    4 Patlabor 2: The movie

    Alternative Timeline:

    1 Patlabor TV series (47 episodes)

    2 Patlabor ova 2/New Files (16 episodes)

    Honestly, the best of Patlabor are the first two movies (2 & 4); however, it’s recommended you watch the first ova (1) first, as although very different in tone, does introduce the setting & characters much better than the films do. The third movie (3) has very little to do with Patlabor, merely existing in the same universe & having some cameo appearances. The alternative timelines tv & second ova episodes are rather lighthearted & contain their own story arcs. There’s also mini-pat, a lighthearted 3 part net-documentary on the science behind the franchise.

    • Chipp
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Still Rei has one solid arc about Rika.

  14. KBKarma
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Angel Beats!:
    Watch the series as normal up to episode 4. Watch the OVA episode Stairway to Heaven, then resume. Watch the OVA Another Epilogue after the last episode.

    Alternatively, it can make sense for Another Epilogue to occur between the end of the last episode and the CREDITS of the last episode. According to Wiki, Another Epilogue is just that: an alternate ending. It depends on your interpretation.

  15. Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Someone should do a recut version of Hidamari Sketch. I mean, all the episodes are unchronological, so why not fix that? It would take forever though.

  16. Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Precure
    Only two Precure series are actual sequels (Futari wa -> Max Heart, YPC5 -> YPC GoGo) so you can jump in pretty much anywhere. Dozens of magical girls meet every year in the All Stars movies, so you can use that simply to pick whichever cast you prefer. I personally recommend HeartCatch since it’s easily the best Precure iteration. It also has Umakoshi designs and everyone loves Umakoshi.

    REDLINE
    This is actually pretty simple but a lot of REDLINE fans haven’t watched its spinoff by the name of Trava like they very well should.

    Raildex
    Railgun kinda relies on stuff from Index so get that done first. Either Index S1 -> Index S2 -> Railgun or Index S1 -> Railgun -> Index S2, the broadcasting order, work. Or better yet, don’t watch any of them because they suck.

    Birdy
    Tetsuwan Birdy and DECODE are two takes on the same story, the latter with a better execution. DECODE -> The Cypher OVA -> DECODE 02 -> Tetsuwan’s OVAs if you’ve come to enjoy the franchise should be the optimal way.

    LoGH
    Because there are terrible people who still have not watched it yet. The movie My Conquest is the Sea of Stars is generally considered the best starting place, just before jumping into the 110 OVA that make up the main series. Overture to a New War is a retelling of the first episodes you can either watch right after ~5 OVA or just leave until you feel like revisiting the franchise. Once you’ve finished the series, watch the two remaining movies (Golden Wings and A Hundred Billion Stars; A Hundred Billion Lights) and the prequel by the name of Spiral Labyrinth.

    To Heart 2
    Chronological release order, which would be To Heart 2 -> To Heart 2 OVA -> To Heart 2 AD -> To Heart 2 AD Plus -> To Heart 2 ADnext. They’ve been getting slightly less awful over the years but watching them is still a terrible idea.

    IM@S
    Everything but the recent show (and its upcoming OVA) is painfully bad. Ignore Xenoglossia unless you think taking a popular group of idols and making them fall in love with robots is a good idea.I doubt you’ll be fond of what they did to the character designs either way. Live for You is much closer to what an IM@S show should be but suffers from an absolute lack of budget. While The iDOLM@STER is no masterpiece, it’s a fairly decent show and has an unbelievable staff as far as visuals are concerned.

    Sailor Moon
    Nothing weird here, other than new seasons having weird, counterintuitive names. Sailor Moon -> Sailor Moon R -> Sailor Moon S -> Sailor Moon SuperS -> Sailor Moon Stars. Bunch of movies and specials, which you can either watch after the season they’re tied to or simply ignore.

    Rozen Maiden
    Season one followed by Träumend then the couple prequel OVA by the name of Ouvertüre. No season 3 ever.

    Boku no Pico
    This is very important and I wouldn’t want anyone to be fooled by the titles. Boku no Pico -> Pico to Chico -> Pico x CoCo x Chico. Now enjoy.

    Muvluv
    This one is a bit weird because Total Eclipse will be the first part to be animated despite not being anywhere near the beginning of the timeline – and far from being a good starting point too, honestly. Âge released the first Muvluv VN on 2003, containing two parts by the name of Extra and Unlimited. It took them 3 years to release Alternative, which gives closure to the main Muvluv story. Since there have been countless Alternative spinoffs, since it has an insanely vast setting. TE is one of these, and the first Muvluv story to be adapted to anime. It was picked because it’s rather straightforward, but as something that was born as fanservice for Muvluv fans I wouldn’t recommend it as the entree to the franchise. It might be possible to enjoy the show without the reading the VNs, especially if you’re a mecha/VA nerd, but it’s still a bad idea.
    And if you’re really hardcore, Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien/Rumbling Hearts and Akane Maniax share setting and some characters with Muvluv Extra.

    That’s all until I feel less lazy. The manga thing also could be interesting, of the top of my head I know about NEEDLESS (51) and TWGOK (50).

    Good luck to whoever feels like writing about Gundam or Macross!

    • R1CK_D0M
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      pffft I did hahaha. votoms too

    • Fadeway
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      I watched Railgun before Index, and it was great. I was a bit confused when Touma appeared, since everyone seemed to know him but I didn’t, but he has a very minor role, and except for that one weird moment, Railgun is standalone, and also one of the best anime comedies with great side elements. Index sucks.

      Hundred Billion is not a movie, it’s an OVA of the same type as Labyrinth. I’m not certain, as I followed advice and skipped it, but Golden Wings is generally rated as awful and avoided. Overture retells the first two episodes, and it is often recommend it to just skip them, watch Overture, and start from ep. 3.

      • Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the Hundred Billion thing, my memory is kinda bad.

        PS: Railgun sucks.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      For To Heart, how does the regular To Heart relate to To Heart 2?

      As for Idolm@ster, I’ve heard of plenty of people who prefer Xenoglossia, so I’ll ignore that for now.

      • Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Same setting, different characters. To Heart and its sequel My Memories are much more decent pieces of animation, if anything because they set many galge tropes that would be terribly executed by countless shows and games afterward. Both have some specials that are meant to be watched after their corresponding seasons.

        RE IM@S: The new anime is definitely a much stronger production in every possible regard, but if idols killed your parents or something along these lines I can understand preferring Xenoglossia. Just leave a note saying it should be avoided at any cost if you want to see idols being produced.

    • lmm
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      If you’re not sure if you want to watch precure then Heartcatch is the best gateway series, but if you know you’re going to watch a lot of the franchise you probably want to go Splash Star, Fresh, Heartcatch, Suite, Smile (and then returning to watch Futari Wa/Max Heart if you really want and Yes 5/GoGo if it’s finished being subbed by the time you get there). Main point is that Splash Star is a fairly direct remake of Futari Wa, so you don’t want to watch them one after the other, and Splash Star is probably a better starting point.

      • Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        I’d say release order (postponing Splash Star to avoid an OD on the first designs) would be better if you’re sure you want to watch them all, but HeartCatch still stands as the most newbie-friendly entry.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Adding here: I’m going to ignore Muv Luv until this new anime comes out and it could do with an update then

  17. Dan
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully this works!

    Please Save My Earth
    The last OVA episode (6) tries to wrap up a story only half-done. There’s not need to skip it, but it won’t make much sense. Instead, start the manga at volume around volume 9.

    Tsubasa Chronicle
    It’s generally agreed upon to watch the series in chronological order (season one, season two, ovas), but upon getting into season two, unless you like filler, skip episodes: 5, 11-13, 18-26. Instead, go straight to the Tokyo Revelations OVA (which is way darker than the TV series, but faithful to the manga). Then read manga volumes 18 – 21 before watching the Shunraiki OVA. If you skip the manga, you will be completely lost. Actually, even with the manga, you might be completely lost… Also, sometime before the Tokyo Revelations, you can squish in “The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom” movie, though skipping it won’t hinder the story at all. After watching the Shunraiki OVA, start reading the comics at volume 24.

    xxx-HOLiC
    Watch the “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” movie after the the first half (or so) of the first season. While the movie was made before the TV series (and thus the art is a bit different), it does require knowledge of the main characters and dynamics before being watched. Note that mixing the manga and the TV series+Movie is difficult due to whole plotlines that aren’t transferred through adaptions, but if you feel up to it, after season 2 of the TV series, being reading about volume 14 on. After volume 15, you can watch the Ro OVA. Somewhere between (or after) volume 19, watch the Ro: Adayume OVA. There’s also an OVA called “Shunmuki” that can be fit in anywhere around season 2 of the TV series.

    X (X/1999)
    The manga and TV series are faithful to each other until the last five or so episodes. From there, if you want more angst and lack of an ending, start reading the manga at volume 16 or so. The TV series has a conclusive, and much more hopeful ending. The movie is to be avoided at all costs, unless you like beautiful animation with no plot. For hardcore fans, there’s also a set of music videos. Also, do not watch “Episode 0″ first. Watch it at least 3/4 through the TV series. Otherwise, you’ll be spoiled on pretty much everything.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Oh jesus, Tsubasa Chronicle and XXXHolic. Good luck explaining how they roll. I’ve heard that you sorta need to follow both stories to understand them when it comes to the manga versions. Any thoughts on that?

      • gw_kimmy
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        well the series tend to crossover into each other during both series, so i would say try to…read both at the same time, if that’s possible. or at least be somewhat familiar with one series before getting into the other. beware since some crossover portions spoil what happens in the other series sometimes (i was spoiled for the ending to xxxholic this way.).

        also, since the tsubasa/xxxholic franchise is basically a massive CLAMP crossover anyways, i would say, if you have the time, get familiar with some of the major series involved if you want more insight into the character’s motivations and stuff (card captor sakura, X, tokyo babylon, possibly clover).

        also also, confirmed that the new gouhou drug sequel is crossing over with xxxholic \o/

      • Anca
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        The xxxHOLiC anime is stand alone – Production IG removed any references to Tsubasa from it, although Bee-Train understandably kept Yuuko.

        The correct order should be:

        optional: Rayearth (skip the OVA), RG Veda (read the manga, don’t bother with the anime); X (TV -> Tokyo Babylon manga -> movie, though it can be skipped -> the manga); you can watch these in any order, but they’ll be necessary to keep track of the side-characters, particularly X.

        Then: Cardcaptor Sakura (episodes 1-35, the movie, the rest of the series, The Sealed Card) -> xxxHOLiC (don’t watch the OVAs yet) -> and now you can start with Tsubasa Chronicles; watch it as DAN described. If you’re going the manga route, try to read them alternatively as they spoil each other.

        Finally, only watch Kobato after you finished with Tsubasa Chronicles, since it spoils the ending.

      • Anca
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

        Correction to the X entry: you forgot about Tokyo Babylon, which is the prequel to X. The order should be Tokyo Babylon OVA -> X TV -> Tokyo Babylon (manga) -> X movie and Episode 0 -> X manga.

        Certain parts about X TV will not be understood without Tokyo Babylon, but the manga starts out rather dull and it has much more impact if you’re already somewhat spoiled about the ending.

        SCAMP: those were the prerequisites for watching Tsubasa Chronicles, if you want a general CLAMP entry there’s much more to say:

        CLAMP has a huge convoluted universe of crossovers, but if you look at it closely their works converge in two points: the CLAMP Campus and Yuuko’s Shop.

        It’s hard to write a definite list, as CLAMP School Detectives is not a good entry point to CLAMP, but needs to be watched early. RG Veda has never been animated properly, and neither has Tokyo Babylon, but they need to be read because they are referenced heavily, even today. Only a handful of their manga stand on their own (Suki Dakara Suki, The One I Love, Shirahime-Syo)

        Okay, a good order:
        *Cardcaptor Sakura (1-35 -> movie -> rest of the series -> The Sealed Card -> Specials): this a good entry point, but besides that it is absolutely necessary for both Holic and Tsubasa. Both assume you’ve read it and are familiar with the characters, particularly Clow Reed.
        *RG Veda manga -> OVA. This sets the mood for what many consider to be ‘typical CLAMP’.
        *CLAMP School Detectives; it occurs at the same time as the manga Man of Many Faces and Dunklyon: CLAMP School Defenders, although seeing as they are not animated I consider the two optional. Dunklyon ties into RG Veda and has characters appearing in Tsubasa.
        *Tokyo Babylon OVA -> X TV -> X movie -> Tokyo Babylon manga -> episode 0 -> X manga: if you’d rather just read the manga and skip watching the various adaptations, Tokyo Babylon > X as they are direct sequels. It takes place in the same world as CLAMP School Detectives, and the characters have a rather important role here.
        *Magic Knight Rayearth (S1 -> S2 -> OVA) -> Angelic Layer -> Chobits (-> Chibits); MKR and AL aren’t sequels and take place in different worlds. MKR is in the same world as CLAMP School Detectives.
        *Clover and Wish only have music video adaptations. Wish needs ought to be read before Kobato, but isn’t strictly necessary.
        *Miyuki-chan in Wonderland is referenced often, but not in any important way.
        *The Legend of Chun-Hyang has never been animated, and isn’t strictly necessary to understand the arc of Tsubasa it plays a large role in.
        *CLAMP in Wonderland 1.

        Okay, now:
        *xxxHOLiC TV and movie -> Tsubasa Chronicles (see entry); xxxHOLiC Kei should be last.
        *Kobato., Blood-C and Gohou Drug. Kobato. should only be watched after TRC, as it spoils the ending. Blood-C references xxxHOLiC, but can be watched whenever, preferably after RG Veda and X as their storytelling relies on you knowing they are incredibly sadistic. Gohou Drug can be started during xxxHOLiC, but should be left until after as the recently released chapters take place during Kei.
        *CLAMP in Wonderland 2;
        *Gate 7 is still publishing, so it would be prudent to leave it last.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Good god…

        Are you sure about Tokyo Babylon before watching X? I never saw TB but I did watch X and I never noticed I was missing something. Although this being Clamp, I really don’t know…

      • Anca
        Posted May 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        lol, you expected the CLAMP entry to be SHORT?

        As for TB, the OVAs incomplete and don’t explain anything, but if they’re to be watched it’s before X or just ignored. That said, I don’t remember them being that bad and they should tease a bit of interest into ‘what the fuck happened between these and X’ and ‘why is Hokuto dead’.

        The TB manga is not strictly necessary for X TV, but it is for the X manga where Subaru and Seishiro are practically main characters alongside Kamui and Fuuma. You can understand the story without it, but if you’re interested enough in X to go read the manga then you should by all means stop by Tokyo Babylon (and CLAMP School Detectives, for that matter, to a far lesser extent) first, to get the whole story in proper order.

        And you honestly probably missed a lot about X without realizing. Hell, the anime staff missed a lot about the story and they tried a 1:1 adaptation at first. For instance, after Subaru killed Seishiro, by the rules of the Sakurazukamori (Seihiro’s family of which he was the only member) succession Subaru was the next one, and as he lost the one thing he wished to protect (making him unable to cast barriers) he changed sides to the Angels by default. This was changed in the anime, but created a plot-hole.

      • gw_kimmy
        Posted May 14, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        lol, not even suki dakara suki is independent as it makes a cameo appearance in gohou drug in one chapter. although it’s not terribly important to the plot, it does assume you recognize the characters.

        why, clamp, why. *head spins*

  18. Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Starting Fate/ with Fate/Zero is a bad idea. I agree about the part that it’s better to read the VN than to watch the Fate/Stay Night anime, but it should come first, before Zero.

    Zero spoils a lot more about FSN, than vice versa. Fate/Zero was written to be not the BEGINNING of a story, but the detailed retelling of a backstory. As such, it’s own climatic points are written with an audience in mind that already knows their outlines.

    On the other hand, FSN was written to be the first story, and as such, many of it’s twists are things that were self-evident in Zero.

    Secret character identities, magic mechanisms, motives, that were supposed to be surprises in FSN, are all revealed plainly in Zero.

    • Fadeway
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Nice catch. A Visual Novel is a high bar though, if someone’s only ever watched anime or read manga, which is the overwhelming majority. It’s probably best, if one is not experienced with VNs, to watch a bit of F/SN (2-12 episodes maybe, maybe even more), and if they’re still not motivated to play the VN, to move on to F/Z.

      It’s actually common to watch the entirety of FSN and like it, it’s mediocre as a part of the franchise, but as a VN adaptation it ranks up there with the best ones, a level lower than S;G or After Story, but far better than the majority of adaptations.

      • Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        I would suggest the other way around, read 30-60 minutes of the VN first, and if the medium is too slow for their tastes but they like the premise, watch the anime instead.

        With anime first, re-reading the same 12 episodes’ worth of content in hundreds of thousands of words, would be boring even if they do like it.

        For example I love VNs, and I love Clannad, but I could never force myself to read through so many words of a story that I ALREADY KNOW.

      • Fadeway
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Good point, I love rewatching so I’m quite resistant to re-reading boredom as long as there’s some time between the two or the common bits aren’t too long or the rewatches aren’t already more than 3-4 (actually reading Clannad atm, after having rewatched it once).

        Just gotta make sure it’s clear the 30-60 minutes thing is to see if the medium works for them. It’s hard for the prologue+kitchen to captivate someone even if they like the premise, which is what 60 minutes can cover I guess, and if someone expects that they’re on the way to a near-guaranteed uninstall.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Someone else said that to me on twitter, but they also recommended starting with Zero anyway because the visual novel is hella intimidating, especially with its super wordy style of storytelling.

      • Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Even if VNs are absolute no-go for someone, they should still at least start with the FSN anime, to avoid the spoilers to it from Zero.

      • Fadeway
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        The thing with Zero is, it’s casual. The VN is for fans of the franchise, which makes it niche, even though there are many of us. It’s 80 hours of reading, has, as you said, a wordy style that youngsters with barely the patience to finish Harry Potter will be intimidated by, and is in a medium most newbies would have never touched before. 80 hours equals at least a week of play even if you’re only doing that at 10 hours/day, so it’s quite a commitment, which is why I recommend the first episodes of FSN – if you start it by being interested in the first place, you’ll stand a higher chance of going through the hours-long prologue and the first kitchen/school bits.

        If you watch Zero, you’re getting a great entertainment without commitment to the franchise, but you’re also spoiling your enjoyment if you decide to delve deeper. If not, you’re faced with the daunting task of your first VN. Watching Zero will not make FSN unplayable or kill half the enjoyment, but will spoil most of the mystery, which is otherwise great.

    • Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      As an addendum, the inconsistencies between FSN and F/Z turn Saber into the most stupid character in fiction, making the rather boring first half of F/Z much more fun to watch.

    • Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      I also recommend Fate/Zero after Fate/Stay Night. The spoilers from Fate/Stay Night make Fate/Zero that much more exciting. For example, walking around in circles may be boring if you don’t know the guy in the middle will one day become the prince of darkness.

      • Posted May 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        For a casual fan, I say watch Fate/Zero first then that’s it. F/SN anime is fucking terrible anyway.

  19. Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    One Piece technically has an ongoing storyline, but the problem is that it’s the first time the author was serialized and thus the quality is improvable. The first time it has all the good things about it present is in the Alabasta arc, which starts at chapter 154. I haven’t seen the anime so I don’t know how it translate into that, but the same point in the story would be episode 91 or 92 in the original or episode 59 or 60 in the 4kids dub.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Yeah but you wouldn’t start from episode 91, right?

      • Fadeway
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        Watched until 85. Dropped for being very retarded. And that was 2 years ago, when time was more plentiful and I was just entering the world of seasonal anime and my rating criteria were far more lax. Would my life have taken a different turn had I lasted ten more episodes?

      • Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        The sillyness remains the same, but the in-world politics start to play a bigger role in the story, and not in simply good vs bad, there is usually one big bad with a few people around him, there are many morally ambiguous people, plus good and bad people are on both sides of the conflict. There is one arc later without politics, but in the manga that’s only one volume. The author also develops more of a talent for making useless powers awesome and awesome powers completely overpowered.

    • Posted May 11, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      I’d actually recommend that if you want to see how good it is, and then go from that arc to the beginning to get the backstories. They are nice to have, but not that important. The characters aren’t horribly complicated.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        Wouldn’t a better option to be pick one of the movies, and if it’s to your taste then start the TV series?

      • Posted May 12, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        I have no idea what the movies are about, I can only really speak for the manga.

  20. Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    To be exact, the Bebop movie takes place after episode 22 and before 23.

    You could add Kizu > Bake > Nise into the simple chronological order list.

    Stein;s OVA after the TV airing.

    The 4 Usagi Drop OVAs considered as episodes 2.5, 3.5, 6.5 and 8.5.

    And I think Gundam and Macross are what most people (me noob) are interested in knowing about.

    • Chipp
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Still Kizu was written after the Bakemono.

  21. gw_kimmy
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    oh god…

    gundam wing:

    dont read the prequel manga until after watching the tv series and movie sequel since the prequel does have a lot of tie-ins to events that happen during the tv series/movie sequel. instead you can cry during the two recap eps during the tv series since those two eps were where the prequel stuff was SUPPOSED to be animated. why ;_;

    ova/movie sequel: you should be fine watching either version since the movie only includes a few extra scenes which aren’t terribly necessary to the plot.

    there are a couple manga that try to explain the year gap between the series and the sequel, and you can read either of those before/after watching the movie sequel, but the general consensus (even though the character relationships/dynamics are portrayed VERY differently in both stories) is that Blind Target occurred before Battlefield of Pacifists. the glorified doujin “Ground Zero” is said to occur right before the sequel.

    there is a mini ova (odds and evens) that kinda recaps the series and has a few bonus clips to the original tv series, but it’s not really worth watching unless you’re a diehard fan *cough*

    under no circumstances are you to try reading/getting into the NEW sequel novel “Frozen Teardrop” unless you are an obsessed fan and want to cry tears of blood. it’s…there are no words. just don’t do it.

  22. KBKarma
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei:
    Right, this one’s linear, but the naming scheme is a doozy.

    Note that you only really need to watch the first season in order, as new characters are introduced pretty much every episode. After that, episode 3 of Zoku and episode 1 of Zan Bangaichi introduce new characters. Everything else can be watched in pretty much any order, though linear is easiest.
    Also note that the Jo episodes are summaries of each season. I’ve not watched them, but I don’t think they’re required: I’ve included them for completeness.

    Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei -> Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Jo: Zetsubou Shoujo Senshuu -> Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei -> Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Jo: Zoku Zetsubou Shoujo Senshuu -> Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei -> Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei -> Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Bangaichi -> Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Special.

  23. KBKarma
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Oops, forgot a bunch of linear progressions.

    Baccano! -> Baccano! Specials
    Arakawa Under The Bridge -> Arakawa Under The Bridge 2

    Eureka Seven is interesting. The series has a summary episode midway through called Navigation ray=out. If you’re blasting through the series in a really short time period, you can ignore this. There’s also another summary episode, New Order, which aired before the new series started. There’s an alternate story told in the film, Pocketful of Rainbows/Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers, depending on whether it’s Funimation or a fansub, but by all accounts it’s not very good. Then you have the new series, AO, which I’m convinced is going to be another alternate version, but I’m not sure. I need to watch New Order myself; anyone know any subbers that did it?

    • Scamp
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      I think I’ll wait to see what the story with this new Eureka Seven series is before I write up the bit about it

  24. Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    I am prob­ably the only per­son on the planet who thinks the TV series is far bet­ter than Hell­sing Ulti­mate

    Actually, you’re the only other person on the planet who thinks the TV series is far better than Ultimate. The former has style, class, and aplomb, while the latter is a bunch of discordant violence and excess.

    It’s like comparing a fencing duel or a classic kung-fu battle to an ugly, brutal wrestling match.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Personally, I think they’re both good in their own way. Ultimate is an entertaining ‘holy shit how are they going to one-up this?!’ kinda watch, where as Hellsing TV might be a good show to use to get someone interested in anime as a whole.

    • maleficarium
      Posted May 14, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Amen brothers, don’t listen to the naysayers claiming the old series sucked. The original series had an amazing soundtrack also

    • Walao
      Posted May 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      The transformation scene in episode 6 still gives me the shivers. Thank you Scamp, for recommending it.

    • gedata
      Posted April 10, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Hellsing TV is garbage, it has no class either (the vampire blow-job was added only to that series)
      . It has no ending
      . The characters have no background except for Integra
      . The animation turns to shit sometimes
      . Anderson only appears twice
      . Incognito had nothing to do with the shitty plot and wasted everyone’s time till the ending
      . The action scenes are horrible
      . Seras gets little meaningful development despite eating up the most screentime
      So what’s better about the TV version (other than the soundtrack)

      • Scamp
        Posted April 16, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Hellsing Ultimate wallows in excess and has a fetishistic love of graphic violence to the point of ridiculous overkill. Hellsing has the cool frightening sexiness of danger, but it’s mostly implicit, and the actual moment where Alucard goes berserk is presented as being frightening and shatters our view of him being a cool dude.

  25. Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    So… Kara no Kyoukai. Chronological order or order-by-release?

    Personally I think the whole thing made a lot more sense chronologically, especially when several of the episodes had little to do with the rest and just left wondering the same questions for longer than necessary. That, and Paradox Spiral was already maddening enough without trying to work out where it fit in the timeline on top of everything else going on.

    • Chipp
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      2-4-3-1-5-6-7-OVA

  26. Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Touka Gettan may be worth mentioning; it was aired in reverse chronological order, but I found that watching it in chronological order was an utterly disorienting experience. Folks should stick to the broadcast order, although it bears mentioning that they’ll still feel some level of confusion with this too – that’s just the way the show is.

    Then there’s the Tenchiverse. Talk about a doozy, in terms of franchise size. Bulleted because otherwise it’s just too confusing:

    - Tenchi Muyo: Ryo-Ohki OVA 1
    - The Night Before the Carnival OVA
    - Tenchi Muyo: Ryo-Ohki OVA 2
    - Tenchi Muyo: Ryo-Ohki OVA 3
    - Mihoshi Special
    - Manatsu no Eve (Tenchi Muyo Movie 2)
    - Tenchi Muyo GXP
    - Tenchi Muyo TV/”Tenchi Universe”
    - Tenchi Muyo in Love (“Tenchi Muyo the Movie”)
    - Tenchi Muyo in Love 2: Distant Memories (“Tenchi Forever! The Movie”)
    - Magical Girl Pretty Sammy OVA
    - Magical Girl Pretty Sammy TV/”Magical Project S”
    - Sasami: Magical Girls’ Club
    - Shin Tenchi Muyo/”Tenchi in Tokyo”

    Manatsu no Eve is a weird one to place, as it features Kiyone in the role she has in Tenchi TV (which is to say, she’s living in the household and clearly has been for a while), but the entire set-up with the Lighthawk Wings definitely makes it of the OVA continuum.

    Dual is best appreciated after Manatsu no Eve but before GXP, but its also only really for those determined to watch everything in the Tenchiverse, as its relation is slight and it just isn’t that great of a show. It is an alternate version of the Tenchi Muyo: Ryo-Ohki universe.

    Isekai no Seikishi no Monogatari/St. Knight’s Tale falls within the timeline encompassing the OVAs, The Night Before the Carnival, Mihoshi Special, and GXP, but it also isn’t something I consider worth checking out unless someone is a diehard completist. It takes place fifteen years after the third OVA and concerns Tenchi’s younger half-brother. I will grant it that it is extremely ambitious (thirteen episodes that are forty-five to fifty-one minutes each), but I would rank it with Shin Tenchi Muyo in terms of quality, and STM is generally considered the worst of the direct Tenchiverse (i.e. shows in which Tenchi himself figures prominently).

    Personally, though, if you just want to get the good bits, watch the first two OVAs, The Night Before the Carnival, the movies, Tenchi Muyo TV, the Mihoshi Special, and the Magical Girl Pretty Sammy OVA. The rest ranges from decent enough (GXP, Pretty Sammy TV) to just plain bad (STM, the third Ryo-Ohki OVA).

    Oh, yeah, and there’s also Photon: The Idiot Adventures, but that is related tenuously at best and is pretty crappy. Maybe worth checking out for fans of Yui Horie, as it was her first role. Also, there’s a character named Photon Earth, and we all know that Tomino was fucking jealous as fuck over that piece of brilliance.

    …I will also note that I haven’t even bothered to try to explain the Tenchi Muyo manga’s place in all of this. Oh well!

    • Scamp
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      So…is that bulletted list the order the series should be watched in?

  27. SuzushinaYuriko
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    I will attempt the .hack series. The problem is, .hack is a multimedia project so to understand the whole picture you’d need to follow a bunch of different anime, games, manga, and light novels in a certain order. Yes, the games are important, and the Legend of the Twilight anime is noncanon.

    Cutting it down to the important parts, it’s in this order:

    1. .hack//Sign (anime)
    2. .hack original PS2 game quadrilogy (Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, Quarantine)
    3. .hack//Liminality (anime)
    4. .hack//Legend of the Twilight (manga)
    5. .hack//Roots (anime)
    6. .hack//G.U. game trilogy (Rebirth, Reminisce, Redemption)
    7. .hack//Quantum (anime)

    • Scamp
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      What about the Legend of Twilight anime?

      Also since the games are probably impossible to get hold of, is there any problem in jumping straight from sign to liminality and then from roots to quantum?

      Also there’s a whole bunch of other spin-off .hack anime that I know nothing about. Helps?

    • Cet
      Posted May 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t sign take place after the games? Also, if you got a ps2 emulator you can find the games online to play. I would also suggest watching each episode of Liminality after beating each of the games.

    • Someone Else
      Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

      Sign IS the first, forget about the twilight anime crap. Then play the PS2 game AND watch Liminality together per parts (Since every parts like infection, mutation etc, comes the liminality disc and is supposed to be watched before/during/after the game)

      Also don’t watch the movie of GU since its a retelling/summary of the GU games, and you will miss so much. The movie’s purpose is to only put the scenes that cannot be placed in the game

  28. SuzushinaYuriko
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Also, Kara no Kyoukai’s chronological order is 2,4,3,1,5,6,7. I think it’s better to watch it that way.

    • Sarukah
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      Do people really need to watch Kara no Kyoukai in the chronological order? To me, that was one of the things that made the series great; watching it in broadcast order (or release order I suppose) and actually using your brain to figure things out and study the timeline as you watch it. I think the same of all other series that I’ve seen that aren’t originally in chronological order, its more fun to use your brain as you watch it then to have yet another series that you just sit through brain dead.

      Also this started out as a single reply, but ended up more as a general reply to anyone who’s mentioned KnK so far.

      • Thrashy
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink

        I enjoyed KnK in release order. The discontinuity added immensely to the general mystery and WTFery of the series. Which, if I’m honest with myself, is 1/3rd of why I enjoyed it (the other 2/3rds being the fantastic animation and Yuki Kajiura’s musical score, respectively).

      • Chipp
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Watched in chronological order and it was great.

      • Chipp
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Also I’ve enjoyed watching the first season of Haruhi in chronological order.

  29. Sarukah
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    The Munto series, while small, can use a little clearing up to new comers.
    It was first released as two movies (Munto and Munto 2) and then a TV series with the very long name of “Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai” was released later. How it pretty much works is, you can completely ignore the two movies that were released first as the first 6 episodes of the TV series are as good as completely identical. From 7-9 you have an in-series art style update and new story where it concludes (yes, at the odd number of 9).

    • Thrashy
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 2:23 am | Permalink

      Hah, Munto… I had college a roommate with a knack for walking in on my anime viewing parties at the worst possible moments. For Munto TV, he walked in when the male lead was shouting (for no readily-discernable reason) “Damn, the space-time continuum!” Henceforth, he deployed the phrase for any situation required an over-wrought exclamation. I stopped watching Munto thereafter.

  30. Thrashy
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Anyone care to propose a viewing order for El Hazard? I’ve only seen the two OVA series (and enjoyed the first one more than the second), but I’m aware of a couple other installments in the franchise, and some crossovers with Tenchi Muyo as well.

  31. diz1776
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Let us hereby be the chroniclers of history

  32. DarkEnergy
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Would Code Geass count as simple chronological order? Or should everyone just watch the last minute to see the brilliant performance of The Cart Driver?

    Also, what about Death Note and its movies? I haven’t seen the movies, so are they like spin-offs or something? I think the manga has some spin-offs too.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      I’m waiting for these new OVAs to come out before I write something up about Code Geass. Also I’ve never bothered with any of the Geass spin-off picture dramas or manga. I’m a terrible fan.

      Similarly with Death Note, I haven’t seen the live-action movies or that recap movie. Might write something up about the spin-off novel though

  33. luffyluffy
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    When it comes to Gundam, the only way to do it is by production order, end of story.

  34. mcm38
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    I do agree with you there on fma. Watching the first than the second would make the better choice. Nice list. I suppose I’ll add the ones I haven’t watched between these to my after-exams marathon of a lifetime.

    Btw, have I seen you on mc? Saw you nick with your pic as a profile there.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Never heard of mc before

      • mcm38
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Nvm, was a mistake.

  35. Meonlyme1845
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Well, since I already saw entire Detective Conan, may as well put it in some use.
    Start with the TV series (obviously) and watch the movies at least after these episodes. Movie 1 – ep 10; Movie 2 – ep 32; Movie 3 – ep 129; Movie 4-12 – ep 147; Movie 13 – ep 345; Movie 14 and 15 – ep 365.
    About the OVAs, all except number 1, 9 and 11 are supposed to be seen after ep 147. First OVA should be watched after episode 50. It has some minor spoilers about episode 129, but those only consist of one character appereance. Ninth OVA includes great spoilers for episodes up to 200. Eleventh OVA takes place in Japan during the London arc (616-621), when most of the characters are (surprisingly) in London. A certain character from episode 509 appears there, but almost nothing is revealed about him.
    Since movie 11, movie specials called Magic Files were sold on DVDs as well. For movies 11, 12 and 13, they provide a sort of backstory that has very little to do with plots of the corresponding movies. However, Magic Files for movies 14 and 15 have minor spoilers, so they should be watched after their movies.
    Magic Kaito is a series of DC specials based on a different manga by the same author. They have nothing to do with DC and only provide a backstory for popular Kaitou Kid character. There are also several cameos by DC characters.
    Lupin III. vs Detective Conan is as friendly to newcomers as any other part of Lupin franchise.
    And that’s all, I guess. Anyone can fing the list of fillers here: http://www.detectiveconanworld.com/wiki/Anime

    • Anca
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Hah, I wanted to write about Detective Conan too.

      Well, I’ll just add a couple of things: except for movie 13, The Raven Chaser, you only need to know the plot up to episode 130 (when Haibara Ai is introduced) to watch them. They’re “supposed” to take place later, but they don’t reference anything so it doesn’t matter.

      In fact, if you’re willing to be spoiled for Ai (which really isn’t a big spoiler considering how early she appears) you can jump right into the movies, they make a good starting point. I recommend movie 12.

      The Magic Kaito manga was written before Detective Conan, and it really isn’t a good impression of what DC is like as Gosho was still inexperienced at writing mysteries.

      As for the actual TV series: watch the first couple of episodes, and following it every arc that has 3 or more episodes, taking care to watch the episode before and after it if it’s plot related, and also all of the specials that are longer than a standard episode. Don’t be afraid to skip episodes, the status quo doesn’t really change.

      So, in other words, if you want to watch the series and not miss ANYTHING watch episodes: 1-13 for character introductions, the gadgets and a basic idea of the plot. Keep in mind that the target audience back when this aired was exclusively children. Continue with: 20-21, 27-28, 31-35, 43, 48-50, 52, 54, 57-58, 68-70, 76-78, 81-82, 96, 102-103, 112, 118, 128-130. This is the basic plot, and now you can watch close to anything that ever aired in DC-verse.

      Next, you can pick and choose, but watch everything that is plot related in order.

      132-134 (KID), 141-142, 144-147, 150-151, 153-154, 156-157, 162-164, 166-168, 170-171 (introduces an important character), 172-178 (the last three episodes are a plot arc).

      That last arc introduces Vermouth, so you can now watch The Raven Chaser if you want to.

      188-195 (plot arc, again, followed by aftermath), 199-200, 205-206, 212-213, 217-227.

      After 219 you can start on the Magic Kaito OVAs, and the movies involving Kaitou Kid (if you’ve decided for some reason to wait on them). 226 introduces another character crucial to the plot.

      230-231 (plot episodes and they introduce an important character again), 233-234, 238-241, 246-247, 253-254, 258-259 (another character introduced), 263-268, 271-271 (plot), 274-275, 277-280 (plot), 284-289 (plot), 291-293, 297-298, 301-302, 304-313 (plot in the later half).

      This includes a lot of not exactly necessary episodes as well, of course – the purpose of this list is a complete experience while skipping most of the series.

      316-317, 323-327, 329-330, 333-356, 338-347 (plot arcs and a non-plot special), 356 (KID), 358, 361-362, 371-372 (plot), 374-375, 379-383, 385-387, 390-391, 394-396, 398-402, 406-408, 411-412, 418, 421-422, 425 (plot), 427-478, 429-430 (introduces another important character, Hondou Eisuke), 431-432, 435-437, 446-447, 449-451, 450-451, 457-458, 460, 462-467 (plot), 469-470 (KID), 472, 474, 479, 484-485 (plot), 487-504 (specials followed by a giant 13 episode plot arc).

      Okay. If you’ve gotten this far you’re familiar enough with the series to proceed ahead on your own; it’s currently on episode 654. You can also go back and watch the episodes you’ve skipped, for kicks and completion.

      I wrote a list like this ages and 100 episodes ago, after I finished DC, for a friend, so the numbers are from there. I don’t remember the individual episodes well enough now to check them, or even the episodes past 504 to update it.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        I’m going to have to cut this all down you know. I’ll provide a link in the post to this comment

      • Meonlyme1845
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Actually, about movie 13, The Raven Chaser… At the start, there is the ending scene from episode 345 where Conan speaks with Vermouth. And that is a pretty big spoiler. In the movie, it even shows what Vermouth knows about Conan. So thats why I said 345.

  36. lmm
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I guess I should mention slayers (don’t watch the OVAs, just watch the series in order) and initial d (first stage, second stage, extra stage, third stage, extra stage 2, fourth stage; the battle stages are recaps. I found second stage in particular quite weak, but I think there’s enough character development that I can’t recommend skipping anything)

  37. blazingdead
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Here’s a short list. More to come if I remember when I wake up tomorrow.

    Code-E and Mission-E, seasons one and two respectively. No OVAs, no movies, no fluff. Just seasons one and two in order chronologically, and they just happen to have different names.

    Onegai Sensei! (Please Teacher!), Onegai Futari! (Please Twins!), and Ano Natsu de Matteru (Waiting in the Summer). Ano Natsu de Matteru is a spiritual successor to Onegai Sensei!, and as such should probably follow after it. Onegai Futari! is a spin-off sequel to Onegai Sensei!, and features some of the previous characters, and also should be watched afterwards. In each case, I believe the OVAs follow after each main storyline (I haven’t watched either of the Onegai series so I can’t say), making the watch order something like this: Sensei! => Sensei! OVA => Futari! => Futari OVA => Ano Natsu, or if you’re not a huge fan of the older animation style, just Ano Natsu works fine as well.

    Baka to Test to Shōkanjū and Baka to Test to Shōkanjū Ni! play out in order as follows. Shōkanjū => Shōkanjū OVAs => Shōkanjū Ni!

    Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari are in chronological order (not forgetting about the ONAs) making the watch order something like this: Bakemonogatari => Bakemonogatari ONAs (or season 1 episodes 13, 14, 15) => Nisemonogatari. However I’m not entirely sure as to the order of events with concerns to Kizumonogatari, but I believe that it takes place before Bakemonogatari. Could use some confirmation on this.

    Maria-sama ga Miteru has “3″ seasons (the third one is a set of 5 OVA, so I’m discounting it as a season). In each successive anime season, some (if not all, I believe) of the characters from the previous season reappear, older as the timeline dictates. Maria-sama ga Miteru (2004) => Maria-sama ga Miteru: Printemps (2004) => Maria-sama ga Miteru (2006-2007) (this is the set of 5 OVAs) => Maria-sama ga Miteru (2009).

    Minami-ke, Minami-ke: Okawari, and Minami-ke: Okaeri all follow chronological order and have no OVAs or movies. Minami-ke => Okawari => Okaeri.

    Natsu no Arashi! and Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu are seasons 1 and 2 respectively and with no OVAs, making the watch order as such: Arashi! => Arashi! Akinai-chuu.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Onegai Teacher: Can the Please Twins series be watched without seeing Onegai Teacher? Does it even matter?

      Kizumonogatari is going to be a prequel, but I don’t know how it will play out for newcomers. So for now it’s just straight chronological order.

      • blazingdead
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        I believe that Please Twins is different enough from Onegai Sensei that you can watch it separately if you so choose. From what I’ve managed to read about it, several characters from the Teacher series return in Twins, but are fairly different from their Teacher counterparts. I would say that you can watch either one in any order; the only thing that you would miss out on would be cameo appearances from other minor characters in Teachers, but nothing significantly relevant to the main storyline.

        Then again, I’ve not watched either, so this is just me retelling what I’ve managed to find.

      • 3242
        Posted May 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        No,
        It is not needed at all and you won’t know what your missing if you just watch Onegai Twins!
        Except you may not understand people freaking out about characters from Teacher showing up…

  38. Anca
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    For Aquarion:

    Genesis of Aquarion -> Movie or the OVAs -> EVOL. The first 20 minutes of the movie are a regular episode, taking place in the second half of the first series. The rest of the movie is close to identical to the two OVAs, so you can pick which format you prefer. It’s not strictly necessary to watch Genesis of Aquarion for EVOL, but it’s recommended.

    Yu-Gi-Oh:

    Season 0 -> Season 0 movie (rather terrible, can be skipped) -> Duel Monsters (skip the arcs between the end of Battle Tower and episode 199) -> (manga) Yu-Gi-Oh R (if you want, this one is generally forgotten, and it takes place between Battle City and Ancient Egypt) -> Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. Do NOT watch the dub, as 4kids changed the plot and characterization rather liberally. Pyramid of Light can be safely ignored, but if you do want to subject yourself to it hunt down the Japanese dub, as they changed the plot and rearranged some scenes, because it was just that stupid.

    GX takes place after Duel Monsters, but barely references it. 5D and Zexal are entirely alternate universes. Capsule Monsters does not exist. Bond Beyond Time belongs after GX and 5D.

  39. Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Responding to Twitter call for help!

    Macross Plus is probably the best place to start if you’re adverse to older character designs/relatively shoddy animation. DYRL? looks great, but I honestly think it doesn’t make sense without the context of the original series (and watching it with people who hadn’t seen the original seemed to confirm this). Plus is mostly a standalone work, you don’t need the context of the original to appreciate it, the character designs are mostly modern, and the animation is still incredible today. That said, Macross Frontier is more representative of what the whole of Macross is actually like, so while you won’t get a full appreciation of it if you haven’t seen the rest of the franchise, it’s also not a terrible place to start.

  40. Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I think I may as well share my 2 cents.

    Regarding the various Super Robot Wars OG anime shows.

    First off is that the SRW anime are all based off the OG line of video games and contain no licensed series(no Gundam or Macross etc..) – everything is original.

    As of writing there are 3 shows to chose from:

    Super Robot Wars OG The Animation – A 3 episode OVA released in 2005.
    Super Robot Wars OG Divine Wars – A 26 episode TV series released ’06-’07
    Super Robot Wars OG The Inspector – A 26 episode TV series released ’10-’11

    In terms of chronology the order goes – SRWOG:DW > SRWOG:TI > SRW TA OVA

    A word of note is that the OVA has been supplanted by the events of one of the video games(SRW OG Gaiden [2008]) which took story elements from the OVA and made them no longer canon. So while you can watch the OVA, when you play the video game or if there is another sequel, the events of the OVA will most likely be ignored or supplanted.

  41. Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    The Chobits anime/manga and the Wish manga and the Legal Drug manga should be watched or read before Tsubasa Chronicle and xxxHolic. For the CLAMP entry.

    • Anca
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      How did Wish tie into TRC?

      • Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

        Not into TRC, but into Kobato, characters were important and themes were touched on again, and you can only read Kobato after you’ve read TRC.

  42. Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Candy Boy
    Release order, which would be Candy Boy Episode 0 -> Candy Boy -> Candy Boy Ex01. The last one is a prequel, but it kinda works better at the end. Not that it makes much of a difference in a yuri slife devoid of plot.

    CCS
    Series first, then Movies 1 and 2. Kero’s movie at the end if you want a silly spinoff to give closure to the franchise.

    Eve no Jikan
    Movie and OVA contain pretty much the same footage, but the story works better as the complete package the former offers. Aside from the superior pacing, the movie has a Bluray release so you should definitely go for that.

    Futakoi
    Skip the first series and jump directly into Futakoi Alternative, its spinoff. No real relation other than a couple shared characters so you most likely want to ignore the average harem and watch one of ufotable’s finest shows, if not the best.

    GaoGaiGar
    Meant to be watched in release order, meaning GGG -> GGG Final -> GGG Final Grand Glorious Gathering. As trite a excuse “it gets better” is, the first ~20 episodes of GGG suffer from many issues, especially Monster of the Week. I wouldn’t say to skip them but don’t be discouraged by them.

    Ichigo Mashimaro
    Release order, IM -> OVA -> Encore.

    Negima
    As it is, there’s no standalone anime if you want to enjoy Negima. Xebec first adaptation loosely covers the first volumes of the manga and then jumps off a cliff for a laughable original ending. It’s a really cheap show and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s fond of the franchise recommending it. SHAFT’s Negima?! (and its Haru/Natsu OVA) took the characters and threw them into a different setting where absolutely different stuff happened. The result is a PPD Lite – not that bad, but definitely not Negima. Might be something to look at if you’re already a fan and like the characters, but nothing else.
    The Ala Alba OVAs (and its sequel, Mou hitotsu no sekai), on the other hand, are faithful depictions of the manga… starting from ch176. You can’t exactly skip 20 volumes and watch those, so it’s quite tricky. And to make it worse, the Anime Final movie that was supposed to give closure to those was so bad even the mangaka said it was terrible and should be avoided.

    tl;dr: Avoid Mahou Sensei Negima, read the first 20 volumes of the manga, watch Ala Alba and Mou hitotsu no Sekai, avoid Anime Final. Watch Negima?! if you like the girls and Shinbo.

    Jesus fuck, watching cartoons is hard.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      I disagree with the Time of Eve thing. The story is naturally divided into 6 seperate visits to the cafe, so works better episodically

      • Posted May 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Arguable, but the HD reason still stands. Terrible webrips+lacklustre DVDs vs a glorious BD release!

      • Someone Else
        Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        If I remember correctly, Time of Eve movie got some scenes added to glue the episodes together

  43. Posted May 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    For Fist of the North Star, the first story arc has some filler and time wasting. I’d recommend watching episodes 1-5, then you can safely skip right to episodes 18-22, which finishes the first arc. Everything between is largely unnecessary and gets extremely repetitive.

    I haven’t seen very far beyond that point yet, so I couldn’t tell you about the rest.

  44. Determinator
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    One Piece
    Kind of a commitment to make with about 450 episodes and 650 chapters at this moment and still ongoing. Unfortunately, it starts of kind of slow and not very interesting. General consensus is that it really starts picking up during the Arlong arc, starting from episode 31 and chapter 69, and only gets better from there. The only problem is that the earlier episodes introduce a lot of the major characters. So I can’t really recommend to skip them. You could read the manga, since that is usually quicker.
    Like most long running anime, it has a bunch of fillers, but not nearly as much as say Bleach or Naruto. I could write them all down here or just give you this link:
    http://onepiece.wikia.com/wiki/Episode_Guide
    It includes the fillers, OVAs, movies and TV specials and between which episodes they fit.
    I do have some things to add though:
    Episode 55, although part of a (not so good) filler includes some important canon information. You might want to watch that episode or read chapter 101. Also the G8 filler arc ( episode 196 – 206) is actually very good. Definitely watch that one. You can skip all the other filler arcs. They aren’t that bad, but they don’t add much to the story.
    Most of the movies are okay. They presume you know the characters, so you can’t really jump in without knowing anything about the series. The only ones I definitely recommend are the 6th and the 10th. The 6th one has a different animation style and a much darker story that the rest of the series, but is very good. The 10th was actually written by the mangaka and fits into canon. Movies 7 and 8 are recaps of the Arabasta arc and the Drum island arc, but they try to fit too much into too little time. The 8th one is also more of a ‘what if’ story and includes some heavy spoilers for the rest of the series. So don’t watch them as a subsitute for the series.
    All the TV specials are forgettable. Also, the first OVA was done by a different animation studio and before the anime. It also has completely different voice actors. I don’t recommend to watch this an introduction to the series. It’s not very good. Watch the other two OVAs though.

    • Determinator
      Posted May 13, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      It’s indeed 8 and 9, not 7. 8 is the Arabasta Arc. 9 is the drum island arc. Also it’s 550 episodes long… Guess I’m a just bad fan =)

  45. Posted May 13, 2012 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    To-Love-Ru

    Okay, here’s the proper order you watch To-Love-Ru.

    To-Love-Ru, then Motto To-Love-Ru.

    Ah, I forgot. Before you watch them, gouge your eyes out and puncture your eardrums.

    • dolan
      Posted May 14, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

      you forgot the OVA

  46. SENSEISHUN
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Great post, wish i had this when i started watching anime instead of looking at yahoo answers.

  47. Walao
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    If I’m scared of old animation, can I jump straight to Macross Frontier?

    • luffyluffy
      Posted May 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, pretty sure Frontier is a reboot anyway.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Yup. You can also jump straight into Plus, which still has great animation even by today’s standards

      • Walao
        Posted May 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for answering.

  48. Posted May 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Enjoy your Bleach watch!

    1-63 = Shinigami arc / save rukia

    110 – 129 = Arrancar arc p1

    137- 167 = Arrancar arc p2

    190 – 203 = Arrancar arc p3

    206 – 212 = Urahara backstory on how he kicked out of the Soul Society! Of course you can skip this if you don’t care for Urahara.

    215 – 226 = Arrancar arc p4

    266 – 297 = Arrancar arc p5

    300 – 310 = End of Arrancars

    343 – 366 = Fullbringers/bleach anime ends

  49. dolan
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    kinda useless post. you can allways go on anidb to check wich order to watch. my only real problem is to decide which one to watch. can you decide for me? patlabor or clamp stuff?

    • Scamp
      Posted May 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Not all of them are obvious though, such as whether to watch a prequel that was made after the original before or after. That’s why I made this post.

      Patlabor vs Clamp: Do you like robots or powah of lurve?

  50. Winston
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    Heh, Fullmetal Alchemist: Sacred Star of Milos was MUCH better than that piece of shit Conqueror of Shamballa. I can’t believe you’d recommend that ill-thought out closer for the series. At least Milos read very much like one of the light novels or video games, and had an interesting set of in-continuity characters.

    • Embok
      Posted May 15, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink

      I don’t get why Milos being generic shounen is an issue anyway. The whole reason most people seem to prefer Brotherhood over the original in the first place is that Brotherhood is more of a generic shounen with cool super power fight scenes.

  51. Posted May 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Time to CTRL + D -> Great guide if you want to introduce someone who’s completely new to

  52. Embok
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    The new trailer for the Blood-C movie makes me think it might be worth bringing up xxxHolic in the Blood section – it’s not doing people interested in the Blood works a lot of good mentioning their connection only in the Clamp area.

  53. Anonymous
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Leiji Matsumoto’s works have a chart on AniDB:

    http://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=rel&aid=485

    Pretty much vital if you want to watch any of his work.

  54. CactusDork
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Er, dude. Unlimited Blade Works is an alternative story that works in tangent with Fate Stay Night. Unlimited Blade Works or UBW as it’s known for short, is the story that explains as to how Archer or a future Emiya Shirou came about in to becoming Archer. The route after FSN, UBW is called Heavens Fall. And not Fate/ whatever. The rest are mostly games.

  55. Walao
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Question: Should I watch UN-GO first then the prequel movie or the opposite order?

    • Scamp
      Posted May 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Prequel first, especially since the first two episodes of Un-Go aren’t very good. Prequel will at least get you emotionally invested early

      • Walao
        Posted May 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Thanks.

  56. Mel
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Haha, I ditched Evangelion (the anime) after like 2 episodes. I hate Shinji so much. I might watch the movies now, though.

  57. Walao
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    I watch Golden Wings right after the main series and it pretty much killed my mood for the prequels. It was not terribad as a standalone but I couldn’t help but feel let down after the 110 episode epic journey.

    My question is, is it wise to skip Hundred Billion Lights and jump straight into Spiral Labyrinth just because I get to see Yang Wen Li’s face?

    I hope these questions are not bothering you too much. :p

    • Walao
      Posted June 7, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      Don’t reply please. I was asking something stoopid. <_<

  58. Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha

    Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha -> Nanoha A’s -> Nanoha StrikerS. A’s takes place six months after the first season, and StrikerS takes place ten years after A’s. There are also the movies, Nanoha the Movie 1st, and the upcoming Nanoha the Movie A’s 2nd. The movies are retellings with some minor changes, primarily in the art, animation, and character design. But they’re good if you want to see what the series is like and don’t want to watch a 13-episode show.
    (A’s is collectively regarded as the best season.)

  59. LALLA~bye
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Anyone familiar with the Space Battleship Yamato franchise? The first 2 episodes of the remake is impressive enough to make me interested.

  60. Posted March 13, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    So I’m trying to watch The Melancholy of… through again, this time with the movie and second season. I’m a little confused as to your directions. Do I watch Season 1 (aired order), the movie, and then the episodes from the second “season”? Or should I just watch them 1-28 with the movie thrown in?

    • Scamp
      Posted March 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      First season airing order -> second season -> movie

      There’s some disagreement over which order is best, but most people say this order is best. Keeps the narrative arc of the first season intact

      • Posted March 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Wonderful. Much appreciated.

  61. Dilys
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    hunter x hunter original???

    • Scamp
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      …shit, I believe what you asked will cause flame wars in every single Hunter X Hunter forum around. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest you just watch the newest one. It covers the same story except with faster pacing and goes beyond where the original did

  62. Posted May 26, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Magic User’s Club: 6 OVA, then 13 Episode TV

  63. Posted May 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Also Boogiepop Phantom, this was driving me crazy but it turns out that the TV is a sequel to the books. The books were never adapted to OVA or TV. Nor are they ever summarised in the Boogiepop Phantom anime. However the books are apparently very important to understand the Boogiepop Phantom anime. This is why I watched the series going “What the fuck what the fuck what” and why you will too.

  64. Neetchama
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible to skip the Eva TV and end of EVA and just go for the alternate retelling movies? Or is it a must to at least check out the first few episodes of the tv series?

    • Scamp
      Posted August 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes. I need to change that piece to make it more obvious, but it’s totally ok to watch the movies without the TV series

      • kat
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 5:55 am | Permalink

        As long as you like nonexistent character development and zero substance in place of ‘whining’, then yes, by all means watch the movies without the TV series. Totally worth it.

  65. BlackGoku
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Afro Samurai TV Series -> Film

  66. Acenchious
    Posted April 22, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Can you watch Star Blazers 2199 without haven’t any other Star Blazers?

    I really want to get into the franchise and appreciate any answers

    • Scamp
      Posted April 22, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Yes you absolutely can. It’s an updated remake of the original.

  67. Gebbi
    Posted July 5, 2014 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    For the next update of the Franchises page you may consider updating the Raildex part. While you can technically watch the Raildex series in the order described above, there might be a few problems with it (especially with watching Index II before Railgun):

    - Index II relies on knowledge of characters introduced in Railgun 1 (especially Uiharu) as they don’t get an introduction in the anime like in the LNs
    - Index II ep. 6+7 are very rushed and can be confusing without knowledge of the first Railgun S arc (although Railgun S was released after Index II)
    - The final two Index II episodes heavily rely on knowledge of the “Skill Out” group introduced in Railgun 1 ep. 15+16, so you won’t understand it without watching Railgun first

    Here is an “ideal” (imo), semi-chronological order, including the manga/LN volumes for the follow-up story (as ASCII Media Works implied a few months ago that there probably won’t be any further anime adaptations):

    Start with the first 9 Index episodes, then jump to the first Railgun season. After Railgun ep. 1-14 you should watch the Railgun OVA as it’s a follow-up story to the first Railgun arc. Continue with Railgun 15-24 and Railgun S 1-17 after that. Back to Index. Skip episodes 10-14 entirely (you’ve already watched the whole arc in its complete form in Railgun S with more budget) and continue with Index 15-18. Chronologically you should watch Index II ep. 1 next, followed by Index ep. 19+20. Now you can start reading the Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator manga which is a follow-up story to the events in those two episodes and Railgun S. Continue onward with Index ep. 21-24 and Index II ep. 2-7. Now watch the Index movie. Spoiled by the high budget animation in the movie your journey continues with the ultra-low-budget Index II episodes 8-13 which look like shit and are actually shit. Continue with episodes 14-24 which have a higher budget and are much more enjoyable than the first half of Index II, and read Index light novel Vol. 14 after that. Before continuing with the Index LN you should read the first Railgun LN (Railgun SS1) and chapters 43-71 of the Railgun manga, both of them cover some important information for the Aztec magician parts of Index LN Vol. 15. After that you can continue with Index LN Vol. 16. Before reading Vol. 17 you should read the second Railgun LN (Railgun SS2) which chronologically happens before everything else and revolves entirely around the magician organisation “New Light” which plays an important role in Index Vol. 17+. The rest is pretty much straightforward, continue with Index Vol. 18-22 and Index NT Vol. 1-10. Read the side story LNs whenever you’re in the mood for it. You may also watch Railgun S ep. 18-24 if you like cute girls doing cute things like eating a lot of oishii keeki.

    tl;dr: Index 1-9 -> Railgun 1-14 -> Railgun OVA -> Railgun 15-24 -> Railgun S 1-17 -> Index 15-18 -> Index II 1 -> Index 19-20 -> Accelerator manga -> Index 21-24 -> Index II 2-7 -> Index Movie -> Index II 8-24 -> Index LN Vol. 14 -> Railgun LN SS1 -> Railgun manga chapters 43-71 -> Index LN Vol. 15-16 -> Railgun LN SS2 -> Index LN Vol. 17-22 -> Index NT LN Vol. 1-10+

  68. Kyle Larsen
    Posted July 10, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    For Darker Than Black I would watch the first season, the 1 episode special, the second season, and then the 4 episode special. Even though the 4 episode special takes place between the first two seasons I would argue that it’s better to watch it in the order it aired since the information revealed in the specials is more or less the guiding plot of the second season. So if you watch it first then the twist in the second season isn’t a surprise at all and the entire plot is ruined. Thus the specials are best left until last.

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  • [...] must admit up front that this post originally started as a seriously long comment I just left at The Cart Driver, in which I gave an overview of the best viewing order of the [...]

  • By Anime franchises | 毎日アニメ夢 on May 30, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    [...] material. And even within the anime itself, if there are multiple seasons, OVAs, and movies – as Scamp recently detailed – you’ve watched them all. That’s what I think being into an anime franchise is [...]

  • By Anime Ordering « 十六夜の秋 on September 3, 2012 at 7:32 am

    [...] http://thecartdriver.com/franchises/ Share this:EmailPrintDiggFacebookLinkedInRedditStumbleUponTwitterTumblrPinterestLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Categories: Anime | Tags: anime, francise, movie, ova, series | Leave a comment [...]

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