115 CommentsFavourite and Forgotten / By Scamp /

Looking for recommendations for 2002 anime

I’m slowly making my way through each year of the 00′s. Next up is 2002, which looks like a pretty good year based off a few big hitters. I’ll do with this year what I did for 2001 and ask you lot to give me some recommendations on what to watch. Here’s the list from Wikipedia. A few quick guidances: It has to be an anime that started airing in 2002. Don’t recommend anything over 50 episodes long (so no Naruto, although I’ve never actually watched the Naruto anime so now might be the best time to finally give it a shot). Don’t recommend anything stupidly obvious (so no Stand Alone Complex). Where possibly, try not to recommend things that I’ve already seen or you know I won’t like, but don’t worry about that too much. When in doubt, just go ahead and recommend anything you think is good. It will be interesting to see what anime people still consider worth watching from that year.

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114 Comments

  1. Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I know you’re the backwards crazy guy who doesn’t like Tutu so:

    -Haibane Renmei
    -Abenobashi
    -Overman King Gainer
    -Trava
    -The latter YKK OVA

    And you can use it as an excuse to rewatch the first FMP and Azumanga, I guess.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Eurgh, Abenobashi is forever ruined in my mind because of that ending. Fucking Gainax man

      Seen all the rest apart from Gainer, which I’ve only ever heard about from mecha nuts. I do like mecha, but someone needs to sell me on Gainer

      • Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        If the OP doesn’t sell King Gainer to you, you’re banned from anime for life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97j86qH91Nk

      • Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        Seconding Gainer. Just go watch the OP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXdTE1YiSs8

        That is the single best part of the show right there, if that doesn’t sell you I don’t know what will.

        Also kind of liked Pita-Ten, although it isn’t the best show ever or anything. I’ll assume Rahxephon is stupidly obvious.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Robots doing the monkey

        sold

        getting gainer right now

  2. Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Not sure how you’ll react to 2010: A Punk Cat in Space. It’s probably not your thing, but I don’t think you’ll be bored.

    That pseudo-prequel to Redline, Trava: Fist Planet, is worth watching. It’s even fluffier than Redline, but still amusing.

    • Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      And I may as well take this opportunity to whore out my 2002 post: http://mecha-guignol.com/2009/12/20/best-of-the-decade-2002/

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Oh you and your weird ass experimental stuff. I suppose I loved Kogepan, so Punk Cat is worth a shot.

      I’m not that big on Trava. It’s interesting visually but the characters are kinda unlikable and the whole thing doesn’t really go anywhere. But it eventually spawned Redline, so all is forgiven

  3. Kiseki
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I’d say try out Tokyo Mew Mew just for the transformations or whatever.

    …IIRC Pita-Ten manga got kind of dark and stuff but the anime never. Huh. Can’t remember whether I enjoyed that or not.

    lol princess tutu

    Ah, a Gainax shoujo: Petit Princess Yucie. I watched it not too long after watching this well edited AMV by Piano. It sort of dragged around the middle, but the ending was great and this is probably the most memorable anime I watched from 2002 so far.

    Kiddy Grade was sort of a mixed bag, but I say go for it.

    Watch Full Moon because you’ll hate it.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Kiddy Grade still hols the record for the anime I officially dropped the quickest. I wanted some deep action anime. 10 seconds in there were panty shots of a little girl. I instantly shut the video. I’d probably sit through at least the whole episode nowadays, but that was then and I was sick of panties.

      • SQA
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        Hilariously, about ep 8 it takes a massive dark turn and really doesn’t let up for most of the rest of the series. It was early 2000s Gonzo, so if you can get past the Gonzo aspects, there’s quite an interesting world and story.

        But there’s a lot of Gonzo to get past.

      • Kiseki
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        It was 2007 and I was yet a ~pure~ 12-year-old who was disgusted by all the T&A, and I still managed to sit through it lol.

        Never bothered with the spinoff after Ascule/Asceour’s design was changed though. I wonder how that went.

        Also Petite Princess Yucieeeee.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        8 episodes is a lot of bad to get through, and even then I’m relying on IT GETS BETTER I SWEAR. You’ll have to forgive me, but there’s enough better recs here

      • shytende
        Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        @kiseki : Short answer :Well, if you want mindless fun, yes.
        If you want to continue to explore Kiddy Grade’s themes…. No.
        Long answer : first, (SPOILERS, but who cares…) it completely retcon the previous heroines’ power for no reasons… Then It’s far worse on the “fanservice” side. Ascoeur has no pants for a great part of the first episode…
        Oh, and there is a transvestite who’s name id Pink Pussy in French… It tried to be Galaxy Angel at time, but never do as far as they do… Then it remembers it have a plot… and try to be mor serious…
        Oh, and it had that half-episode with Norio Wakamoto as the “Ultimate Seme!”. A lot of self-referencing, also…

        …Woah… I didn’t think i’ll write that much… Scamp, watch Kiddy Grade if you want (It’s a pretty decent show, but I completely forgot I watched it until now…), but never watch its “sequel”. It will destroy your sanity…
        I’m really ashamed to have seen it…

  4. CaptainHairy
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    So, the top 3 shows that there is a possibility you’ve not already seen are:
    Witch Hunter Robin (starts fairly X-Files, but actually gets a plot about 8 episodes in),
    Kiddy Grade (starts fairly PANTSU, but then forgets about that and just gets good about 6-7 episodes in)

    aaaand…

    Rah’Xephon – I reckon this does a better job than Evangelion at being Evangelion.

    Other stuff I would recommend is either painfully obvious (Azumanga, GitS:SAC, FMP) or was fantastic until it ran out of funding because K-ON and therefore stopped 45 episodes into a planned longer run (The Twelve Kingdoms / Juuni Kokuki).

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      I tried to watch RahXephon a few years ago. I was enjoying it up until about episode 10 or 12, where it completely lost me. I kept with it for a bit longer, but I was never able to pick the thread back up again.

      I do plan to give Robin a go though

  5. Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Fpr the sake of coming up with a reccomendation that doesn’t have Princess Tutu or Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. I’ll say Petite Princess Yucie, Jing: King of Bandits, and Heatguy J.

    • Posted December 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Gonna go ahead and second Jing: King of Bandits. It can be a little childish at times, but it’s crazy in a cool kind of way. The OVA is better than the TV series, but I think the essence is there. Also I thought the 12 Kingdoms was pretty great, but apparently that’s been outlawed.

  6. lmm
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    More later when I have more time, but definitely watch Secret of Cerulean Sand. It’s the oldest show I’ve seen that holds up even today (I’m watching it with some friends right now); a beautiful fantasy world that’s steampunk before there was steampunk (though without the punk part; it’s rather like Allison and Lillia if you ever saw that), an almost Miyazaki-esque childish joy in everything. The Japanese and English sides of it go beautifully together, and it achieves the shockingly rare (in anime) thing of actually having a satisfying ending that resolves most of the open questions.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Never heard of it, but looking up some pictures and gosh is that ever early Miyazaki stuff. Wonder why I’ve never heard of it?

    • SQA
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_of_Cerulean_Sand

      The Japanese name has “PataPata” in it, so that’s what it was actually called in the fandom. We tried to subtitle it when it was airing, but no one really was too interested. The first full fansub of it didn’t complete until 2 years after it finished airing.

      That’s mostly why. It’s supposed to be quite good for a children’s story and the music was pretty decent too.

  7. Moomba
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I seem to remember Macross Zero being decent in some capacity. Witch Hunter Robin too.

    Of course there’s also the incredibly obvious like .hack//SIGN and Liminality and so on.

    It was a long time ago though so I may only look back on them through nostalgia goggles.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Cue hundreds of people saying DON’T WATCH DOT HACK SLASH SLASH SIGN

      • Cirith
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        Huh are there so many people anti .hack//sign? I liked it. I even own it in physical form, though it was one of my first 20 or so animes and at the beginning I was much more positiv about every anime I watched.
        Edit: Though based on my memories, many people might just find it boring because nothing much happens.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        That ‘nothing happens’ is basically the reason people seem to hate it. I’ve only seen 2 episodes but liked what I saw of it

      • Posted December 8, 2012 at 5:16 am | Permalink

        If you liked what you saw of .hack//SIGN, then I’d suggest watching the whole thing.

        While I’m nowhere near as enthusiastic about it as I was when I was a kid, it’s still an interesting show that I think was worth watching.

    • lmm
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      I hear the main thing about Macross Zero was that the animation was utterly amazing for the time. It looks like a high-budget production from about 2008.

      Not sure how impressive that will be today.

      • Embok
        Posted December 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        I watched it after Frontier and it was still impressive. Definitely worth checking out.

  8. Strabo
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    If you don’t mind tragedy for the sake of tragedy, watch Saikano. It’s pretty bleak though.

    The Twelve Kingdoms is also good, if you’re looking for a slightly less silly take on the teenager-gets-sucked-into-a-fantasy-world anime.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      I’m worried about Saikano being too much badly written melodrama ala Ano Hana and stuff like that. I’m interested in it, but I’m really unsure whether I’d like it

      • Banarok
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Saikano is too melodramatic for your taste i’m sure, while some of that bog of melodrama is quite good some is just there to make it more sad without any plot relevant point and that is kinda bad, possibly setting relevant due to the fact a world war is going on…. I still want you to watch it thou only to hear your opinion about it.

      • Fadeway
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        I hated Saikano myself, poor plot set in the backdrop of poorly animated and choreographed fight scenes (actually, were there any at all?), and unlovable main duo the show appears to expect us to care about since about episode two. Still, you could watch it for contrast.

        My recommendation is YKK: Quiet Country Cafe. I tried to look you up on MAL to see if you’ve seen it, but didn’t find you. It’s not the best show ever, but from 2002, it’s among my favorites. Also, Twelve Kingdoms.

    • Strabo
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      I won’t describe Saikano as melodramatic. There aren’t any scenes where people bawl their eyes for no good reason, there’s just people doing their best in an increasingly terrible setting.

    • SQA
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      SanKano isn’t melodramatic. It’s just intended to make you depressed.

      They actually aired a warning after one of the later episodes saying it wasn’t going to get any better. No joke.

      And, not that it spoils anything, but don’t expect most anyone to live. Especially when the title points out its the end of the world.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Sounds like I need to watch Saikano just so I can have an opinion on melodrama vs just depressing

  9. Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Recently saw Lupin First Contact, which is a Lupin origin story that more suits your taste than the Fujitits one. I recommend that. Also, I see a lot of people want you to go back to Rahxephon. I’d say ignore them all. As for Spiral, I like it, but it ends pretty inconclusively. If you’re not bothered by that, it’s a decent mystery anime

    • Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Oh, I didn’t realize First Contact was in 2002 as well. Definitely one of the best Lupin TV specials, give it a try.

  10. Dan
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on “The Twelve Kingdoms,” particularly after your stint with “Scrapped Princess” and “Moribito”

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      I watched it very early on in my fandom, when I had seen about 20 anime. I saw it with my sister, and…well, put it this way. We had exams, and it became a running joke that the best way to motivate ourselves to study was to say the alternative was to watch more 12 Kingdoms. I think it was only the second anime I ever dropped, after Green Green.

      That was a long time ago though, so if you wanted specifics, I couldn’t really tell you

      • Mr. Anon
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        The whole world thinks Twelve Kingdoms is excellent, how can you hate it?

      • Scamp
        Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

        Same reason I hate Princess Tutu?

  11. Xyopq
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I’ve heard good things about Witch Hunter Robin, but never seen it. Beyblade was part of my childhood and I don’t recommend you watch it unless it’s with alcohol.

    If I compared Megaman NT Warrior to another anime, I’d say it was Summer Wars spread out over 50 episodes.

    Utimate Muscle is a more Shonen Jo Jos Bizarre adventure with less plot if I remember rightly.

    I’ve seen the first episode of Overman King Gainer, and it’s the generic guy-never-piloted-a-mech-suddenly-gets-a-mech-and-kicks-ass anime.

    Kanon is based on an adult visual novel – nuff said.

    The first episode of Heat Guy J was promising.

    • Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      I can tell you plenty of reasons that make Kanon awful, and none are related to it being based on an adult visual novel.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      lol beyblade

  12. decadyn
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Witch Hunter Robin was dead boring to me. I’m curious to hear your opinion on it though. Gundam Seed has exactly 50 episodes and in my opinion is slightly better than 00. It still has some ridiculously rage worthy episodes that may be fun. And least 4 filler recap episodes. I’m sure you’ve already watched Full Metal Panic.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Big Fat No on Seed. My sister loves it and has it on dvd, so I sat through about half of it before eventually giving up. Bad writing and boring characters bleh. Also Gundam 00 is way better YEAH COME AT ME!!

      • decadyn
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        I will never forgive 00 for turning Graham Aker into a japanese fanboy. Season 1 was great, season 2 was like bad fanfiction of season 1.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        I thought Mr. Boosheedoo was so friggen silly that I couldn’t hate him. tbh, I though 00 season 2 was still pretty good up until the last 6-7 episodes where it got stupid in a bad way

  13. Anonymous
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Must: Haibane Renmei, Princess Tutu, The Twelve Kingdoms, The Cat Returns, Voices of a Distant Star.

    Other stuff (can’t vouch for all myself): Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Witch Hunter Robin, Aquatic Language, Macross Zero.

    Obvious stuff: Azumanga Daioh, GitS.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Recommending Princess Tutu? You’re new to this blog, aren’t you? =P

      Surprised you’re only the second person to mention Haibane Remnei. I like the show a lot, which is surprising considering how far away it is from the kind of thing I usually like

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        I’ve been here for a long time, you should recognize my email by now. And I know your opinion on the show. It’s disgraceful. You call yourself an anime blog writer for crying out loud. Anyways, I just listed all the things people should watch (and like preferably).

        As for Haibane Renmei, it’s (related to) one of the reasons you put Despera up on the fake chart for crying out loud.

  14. Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah, I forgot about The Cat Returns. It’s a decent film with none of Ghibli’s environmental or anti-war themes. Can’t remember who directed it other than it not being Miyazaki. Also, this isn’t 2002, but I recommend the prequel, Whisper of the Heart. I’m a sucker for the song, Country Roads, plus it’s a great young love story.

  15. sandberm
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Its been a while since I’ve seen it, but I remember really enjoying Samurai Deeper Kyo.

  16. Redcrimson
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Princess Tutu. You’re welcome.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear. I feel some people here might need edumacation on the origin of my old favourite IT GETS BETTER I SWEAR!!!

      • Redcrimson
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink

        It doesn’t get better. It gets amazing.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Princess Tutu doesn’t get better. It stays great. The thing that’s great just changes. Now get your ass in line and watch it Scampu.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t feel anywhere near as strong about Princess Tutu if I had just left it dropped after 2/3 episodes, but people kept telling me IT GETS BETTER I SWEAR. It never did. It stayed the same. I knew it would stay the same. But I kept at it anyway. Princess Tutu brought me the closest to burnout than any other anime. For the first time in what was my 4 years as an anime fan, I didn’t want to watch cartoons.

  17. Posted December 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Gosh, Scamp, I just started reading your blog and just think you have the most swell ideas about cartoons. Certainly you’d be open-minded enough to appreciate the creative vision, fairy tale charm, and aesthetic beauty of Princess Tutu! :)

  18. Posted December 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Also, I just started watching anime like 3 weeks ago and only seen 30 animes, but my favorites are Happy Lesson, Tokyo Underground, Sister Princess RePure(and of course it’s prequel, Baby Princess 3D), and Weiß Kreuz. I hope you check those out too! *smiley face*

  19. Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    My Beautiful Girl Mari. It’s Korean and it’s animated without solid lines so that it’s like flattened CGI, but it feels like an Isao Takahata film, and it has a naked hairy flying girl who rides a giant cat that looks like a dog and lives in a marble.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      That is such a weird description…

  20. Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh, that 2002 list of anime reminded me I never did finish Cheeky Angel / Tenshi na Konamaiki. I remember it being rather funny though, in a camp/goofy way. Wonder if I’d still like it now.

    Ah, and Witch Hunter Robin was that year too. I remember watching a few episodes of it and liking it. But I never watched more of it. =/ Wonder if I’d still like it now.

  21. Anne Onymous
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    I would be disappointed if you haven’t seen this yet:
    Aquatic Language

    obvious:
    Witch Hunter Robin
    The Twelve Kingdoms
    .hack//Sign
    Haibane Renmei
    Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō

    depends on your tastes:
    Saikano
    Armitage III
    Princess Tutu

    things I have on my own to-watch list myself:
    Comedy
    Yukikaze
    Voices of a Distant Star

    • Scamp
      Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      Aquatic Language is good and all, but it’s basically just a pilot for Time of Eve.

  22. lesterf1020
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I got some weird ones for you,

    Heat guy J. I only know about it because of how many jokes ANN makes about how much money Geneon spent for the license and how badly it flopped. It isn’t bad as long as you remember that the star of the show is the city. The mains are just your tour guides. By the end of the show you will know the city better than where you live.

    Gatekeepers 21. A sequel to the very goofy Gatekeepers that went dark and depressing and drama filled. It couldn’t completely sustain the darkness because it couldn’t lose the goofy premise of the prequel and the plot doesn’t really make a lot of sense and that ending needs a rewrite but it was a fun short ride. Plus it has a main female character who wears glasses and doesn’t give a shit about what anyone thinks about her.

    Yukikaze. My favorite for a live action remake. It has some of the coolest jet fights ever but the plot makes no sense if you don’t do research and is a confusing mess even if you do. Also the characters are pretty much a waste of time.

    And now for something completely different. Galerians:Rion. A terribad anime about a pissed off teenager wreaking havoc with psychic powers on EVERYTHING in bad CGI. He kills everyone and destroys everything by being more pissed off than everyone else combined while wearing the same constipated face. It’s a great view on days that you feel like going postal because everyone should die for ruining your life.

    • lmm
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I read the novel Yukikaze recently and it was fantastic. But a lot of it was philosophical, taking place mainly in the protagonist’s head. I even thought to myself “I bet there’s a terrible ’90s OVA of this”, and on raising this at my old anime society, was quickly assured this was correct.

      So yeah, read the novel.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been surprised to see all this love for Heat Guy J. I thought one of the reasons why it flopped in America was because it wasn’t that good, rather than the bubble bursting. Interesting, guess I’ll have to check it out

  23. Ian K
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    I’d say Haibane Renmei, but you’re already aware of it. So can you check some obscure stuff like Cerulean Sands and Wild 7 and Hikarian? And maybe give me an idea whether or not King Gainer is worth watching after the OP ends.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Well I’ve been watching that OP on repeat since I was introduced to it, so even if the show turns out to be crap, there will always be that opening

  24. Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Watch Rizelmine. Then Terribad the shit out of it.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Noooooo get it away from meeeeeeee

    • Required fields are
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      +1 :D

  25. Alix
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Recommendations:
    Hanada Shōnen Shi
    Mahoromatic
    Chobits
    RahXephon
    Haibane Renmei
    Blue Gender
    The Cat Returns

  26. Posted December 7, 2012 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    I’d recommend you Haibane in a heartbeat, but I know you’ve seen it already. So I’ll give you some things I’m pretty sure you haven’t seen already:

    Heat Guy J. It’s a solidly-done buddy-cop series of sorts, set in a gritty, futuristic city where a cop and his pseudo-steampunk android partner fight crime, battling opponents like werewolves and gangsters and the fluctuating market of tomato futures. The setting is really good, the OP is good, the music is bagpipes, and the characters bounce off each other relatively well. It’s helmed by Kazuki Akane, the guy who did Escaflowne, Noein, Birdy Decode, and that new Geass thing, so it’s at that level of solid directing.

    Captain Herlock: The Endless Odyssey. This one’s an OVA that barely makes the cut because its first volume came out in late December ’02. You don’t need any prior Harlock experience to watch it (I sure didn’t), and it’s about Harlock doing manly Harlock things and confronting an alien enemy which is essentially fear itself. This one’s by Rintaro, so it may be a bit slow for your tastes given your disappointment with Metropolis, but it’s only 13 episodes so it’s worth at least a shot.

    The Cat Returns. It’s a Ghibli movie by not-Miyazaki, and therefore has all the beautiful animation and whimsy but none of the overpowering environmentalist stuff that he always felt the need to throw in. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this so I don’t remember much other than it was very lighthearted and fun to watch.

    Atama Yama. It’s a strange 10-minute experimental short by the guy who did the creepy A Country Doctor movie, and it was nominated for an Oscar (but didn’t win).

    lol all these people telling you to watch Princess Tutu.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      ” the music is bagpipes”

      Sold

      I didn’t really like the original Captain Harlock, or anything belonging to the Leijiverse for that matter, so I can’t say I’m particularly interested in trying out anything more

  27. Kioku
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Have heard they’re good, but not seen:
    Full Metal Panic
    Heat Guy J
    Witch Hunter Robin

    Enjoyed when I bought(or DL’d) them:
    Azumanga Daioh
    Haibane Renmei
    Rahxephon
    Saikano(depressing as hell)
    Chobits(read this one. ep 2-13 or so is nothing but filler)
    Abenobashi

    Titles from Chartfag’s website. If they’re the wrong year, oh well.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Chobits was actually the anime that convinced me I just prefer anime to manga. I read the manga and sorta liked it. Tried out the anime a few months later and it became one of my all time favourites. This was despite everyone saying the manga was way better. I just don’t get into stuff on page as I do when it’s in motion

  28. Erif
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Definitely give .hack//sign a go if you haven’t already. Other than that, you could watch to shitty 2002 version of Kanon!

  29. luffyluffy
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Turn A launched in 2002?

    Watch Turn A dude, I think out of all the Gundam out there you would probably enjoy Turn A the most, besides like… maybe After War X which isn’t here.

    This is really juvenile of me but the Inuyasha movie I really loved (despite not being a big Inuyasha fan) and the Pokemon movie was the only one I ever saw in theaters.

    other than that I’d recommend Macross Zero and Kanon(just because you haven’t tried it yet). That’s not to say this isn’t the only good stuff, rather everything else has already been said. You can watch Lupin III First Contact id you like, that was pretty solid.

    • Wafles
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 4:44 am | Permalink

      No Turn A Gundam was in 1999, it’s the horrible unbearably Turn A movies. Don’t watch them.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Oh that’s right, Turn A had movies too.

        Scamp watch Turn A anyway, or if you watch any Gundam thing within the next month be a champ and make it 0080.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Turn A is about the only Gundam TV series I have much interest in. That said, 0800 is my Secret Santa pick, so I’ve got to watch it before Christmas anyway

      • luffyluffy
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        One of the only issues I can see you maybe not getting about Turn A is that a lot of it is sort of a sweet love letter to Gundam serieses in the past, what when people digging up old mobile suits and renaming them (Zaku to Borjarnon and such). But it’s an AU and it’s designed to stand so as long as you aren’t repulsed by Loran you should be fine.

        As for 0080, I really hope you enjoy it! I personally didn’t really ‘enjoy’ Gundam until after I finish 0080, so it’s entirely possible you might be the same way. It’s also basically the best Gundam story you can possibly hope to get with a less than 50 episode count, so give it an earnest shot!

  30. Wafles
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Ichi The Killer: Episode 0
    Gun Frontier – A lesser known work of Leji Matsumoto

    Ultimate Muscle, ;_; Darnit 51-episodes.

  31. Posted December 7, 2012 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I recommend you not watch King of Bandit Jing.

  32. Conankudo4
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    …Strangely enough, the only thing on my list from ’02 is Spiral: bonds of Reasoning. It’s not that bad, but I imagine that there’s plenty that take priority though.

    http://myanimelist.net/anime/341/Spiral:_Suiri_no_Kizuna

  33. SQA
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Starting with a Movie:

    - The Cat Returns
    : It’s a lesser Ghibli film, but it’s not intended to be serious. It’s just a fun romp. It’s supremely “watchable” and I generally give it to people as a point of entry into anime that isn’t Shounen heavy.

    Series:

    - Heat Guy J (wasn’t subbed when released, so not well known, but great series, if a little weak ending arc)
    - Spiral (awesome show, no ending though)
    - Witch Hunter Robin (supremely impressive first cour; disappointing second cour)

    OVAs:

    - Voices from a Distant Star (Hoshi no Koe): Makoto Shinkai starts a new world of anime with his home computer.
    - Yukikaze (Does this count? It only took forever to finish): great action and a very interesting world.

    I’m assuming you’ve seen the major titles in the year, so those are the more “under the radar” but quite good shows.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Heat Guy J, Cat Returns and Robin are all on my list to watch now, but I can’t get myself interested in Spiral. My sister owns some of the manga and I didn’t think much of that either, so unless the anime is a big step up or something, I’m not that interested

      • ScrewySqrl
        Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t seen it there much, but Tokyo Mew Mew is basically Sailor Moon updated for the early 21st Century, with a catgirl main character.

        Its cheap fun.

  34. Billish
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    On account of I haven’t seen many of these, and because I can’t recommend Ghost in the Shell, I’ll recommend just one.

    Haibane Renmei

    I understand you’ve seen it, and that others have recommended it as well, but of what I’ve seen from this list (again besides Ghost) it is by and large the best, and deserves some form of come-back.

    Also, don’t watch .hack//sign. It’s… bad.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Both Haibane Renmei and Stand Alone Complex should still be watched by everybody anyway

  35. XXL
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Everybody’s recommended the obvious ones already, so I’ll go ahead and throw out Getbackers (since apparently you like anime targeted towards fujoshi). Also, this is 52 episodes, so sliiightly over your limit, but consider checking out Monkey Typhoon as well. It’s based on Journey to the West, which means that it’s automatically going to be awesome.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Getbackers has just never sounded that appealing to me, but hearing it’s fujoshi bait sounds more interesting

  36. Shikamaru
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I decided finally introduce myself to you Scamp. I don’t remember exactly when I found your blog, but I was trying to find a GOOD blogger who enjoyed Arakawa Under Bridge. And since then I just have read your blog without commenting. The reason I love your blog is really simple. Our tastes about anime differ a lot.
    Death Note, Madoka, Steins;Gate, Haruhi, Black Lagoon, FMA, FMP: Second raid, K-on, Clannad, Toradora, Oreimo, Anohana, Hidamari Sketch, Kimi ni Todoke, Anonatsu, Chihayafuru.

    As you can see I LOVE most anime series that you just can’t stand at all. Whenever I read your comments about HIdamari Sketch or Oreimo I get pissed off. In a really good way.:D

    I just would like that everyone could have as wide taste in anime as me. Why can’t you love everything? It would be fantastic.

    I still use Shikamaru or something Naruto related because it’s the first anime series that I wathced because it was anime. Pokemon, Digimon and Dragonball doesn’t count. So I own a lot to Naruto and i’m not going hide it.

    3 quick things.
    1. I’m not going to recommend Onegai Teacher, I love it, you hate it.
    2. I think Naruto is one of those things that you need to watch at somepoint, or at least try.
    3. I feel bad for Chobits already. I think it will drop from your top list. Cute girl, pointless fanservice, “robots” with feelings. I was really suprised that you liked this series. Oviosly I love it but I watch stuff like K-On!.

    Also my only 3 horrible anime moments.
    1. Dragonball evolution (YES IT COUNTS).
    2. Endless Eight.
    3. HIghschool Of The Dead. Worst anime series that I have finished. Action was dumb, fanservice was ugly and the big one for me: Zombies are blind….

    Sorry for long message, but I finally decided to open my mouth here. One reason I don’t usually comment is the fact that my english sucks. I can understand it really well, but writing is totally different thing.

    Keep up the good work Scamp.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Shikamaru Appears! The Most Moe Commenter!

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Dawww, why thank you~! Especially great that you found my blog through Arakawa, since those posts I did took a hell of a long time but got comparatively few views compared to Durarara which was airing at the same time.

      I have actually read some of the Naruto manga and thought it was all right. What mainly turned me off is how much Bleach ended up dragging its feet through the supposedly ‘awesome’ Soul Society arc, and Naruto was forever being compared to Bleach.

      Robots with Feelings is one of my personal favourite things, mainly for Dorothy from Big O, although Time of Eve and indeed Chobits deserve mentions here. Oh, and mai waifu Drossel, although not sure if she counts.

      Also you say you wish people liked all anime like you, but hey I think HoTD is pretty fun and you hate it so bleh to you!

  37. Gunslinger
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    SOmething not many have pinted out :-
    1) Jing King of bandits,
    2) Cheeky Angel :- Pretty funny, slightly strange animation though
    3) Spiral :- Bonds of reasoning :- They never explain the whole thing but the mysteries are very interesting.
    4) Get Backers :- Bunch of bishounen trying to look cool while fighting with awesome powers. Plus in Jackal it has a pretty scary villain.

  38. Posted December 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I suggest Tokyo Underground because I’d like to see your opinion concerning its ending. That’ll be my only suggestion ’cause the only 2002 series I’ve seen besides that are Ghost in the Shell: SAC and Chobits— the former I finished and the latter I dropped just after the first episode. Plus, you’ve probably watched those.

  39. Posted December 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Heat Guy J for sure. The screwing the stock market with tomatoes episode is my favorite. (Yes, actually a thing. Promise it sounds more serious than it actually is.) I’d also love to see your thoughts on .hack//sign since people seem to love it or hate it. I have fond memories of the series, but that may be because it was one of the first anime I watched when I seriously got into anime.

    I’d also love to see your review of Haibane Renmei, even though I know you’ve already seen it.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately I don’t have much interest in rewatching Haibane any time soon. Up on my rewatch list for this season are FMP, Chobits and Azumanga, so they’ll keep me busy.

      The more I hear about Heat Guy J, the more awesome it sounds.

  40. Mech
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Anime Tenchou – In the beginning there was a man, with a dream, and the passion.
    Candidate for Goddess – A retelling of the 2000 masterpiece, Pilot Candidate, now with 11 less episodes.
    Mini Pato – An explanation of why no one cares about Patlabor in the modern community.
    Love Hina Again – An oft overlook continuation of the gargantuan of the earlier decade. This took incest to the next level before it became the flavor of the month
    Shootfighter Tekken – Adopted from Tough by Tetsuya Saruwatri, of Riki-Oh fame. Watch this and grow hair on your chest as preparation for Saruwatri’s return to artwork in sequential form.
    Genma Wars – From the same manga that gave us the 1983 Rintaro classic, Harmageddon, comes a 13 episode tour de force of epic struggles.
    Tenchi Muyo! GXP – The franchise considered to be the forefather of the modern “harem” genre, spawns this series helmed by Shinichi Watanabe of Excel Saga fame. So good, it is being rerun on the new Toonami block on Cartoon Network.
    Bible Black Origins – A prequel to the genre defining classic.
    Gravion – After a long break from doing super robots, to do projects like Angel Blade, Masami Obari teams up with Gonzo to create the first half of a super robot show for a new generation of viewers.
    I”s – This two part OAV is a great exploration of Masakazu Katsura’s career, in that it can be summed up in two episodes.
    Inuyasha, Beyond the Looking Glass – Another great entry to the Inuyasha saga, well worth a look, because they’ll never animate the terrible ending to the story.
    Viper GTS – Masami Obari was so caught up in drawing the essential parts of Gravion, that he had enough leftover material to create a three part OVA. Watch for the Gravion cast cameos!

  41. Shadow
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    I recommend Heat Guy J, for some reason it makes me think that Durarara!! got inspired in this series, specially the part where there’s different stories going on in the city but they end up bringing other characters together. It was probably the best series i watched at that time, although i watched it in spanish with mexican dubs. But they did an amazing job at dubbing it, so good that i totally dropped the original japanese version cuz i kept comparing the voices with the dub XD.

  42. Otenchi
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Do watch Hanada Shounen-shi. It’s like Natsume Yuujinchou but with toilet humor (yes, it actually works).

    • Scamp
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      And has Backstreet Boys singing the OP

      EVERYBOOOOOOOOOOOODYYYY
      yeaaaah
      ROCK YOUR BOOOOOOOOOOOOODYYY
      yeaaaah

  43. Dinadan
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised only one person recommended Mahoromatic. One’s view of Mahoromatic changes significantly when one realizes that it maps perfectly into Evangelion (except for the 2nd season annoying proto-moe-blob-robot girl). This mapping even makes the ending make sense.

    How many other anime are there where the protagonist is the son of a man who leads a secret organization fighting a powerful alien force attempting to destroy the world? Mahoromatic as Evangelion-Lite needs to be blogged….

    • shytende
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Mahoromatic as Evangelion-like ? Blasphemy !
      Well, the comedic aspect uses too much ecchi and the dramatic aspect is forced (remembering that your main character will die at the end of each episode is the opposite of subtlety…).
      I highly doubt he would like it, especially, since you have to use the IT Get BETTER, I SWEAR excuse…

    • Scamp
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      I have actually seen Mahoromatic. I feel like people who recommend that forget that 95% of the show is really shitty ecchi comedy

  44. SQA
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    A bit further on Heat Guy J.

    When it was airing, it was actually only subbed by 1 group that were terrible speed subbers. (Back when that really meant a horrible job) And they didn’t come close to finishing it. I wasn’t actually able to watch the ending until I had bought all of the DVDs. It had almost no profile in the Anime community when it was airing, which really makes it odd when you realize it was one of the first imports to actually air late night on MTV2. I don’t think it had a full run, but it did air there.

    This resulted in everyone generally having “heard” of it, but few actually ever saw the series. It was always “Oh, that series” when talking with other anime fans. Which is result of simply the time it aired and everything that was happening in the community. This is the year of Anime Expo 2002, where 1/2 of all series that were aired that year had licensing announcements over a 8 hour period, thus starting the “Age of Licensing Everything” in the American Anime world.

    The series itself is set in a future City-State called Judo (or Judoh, or pick another spelling). And, while this reference is older than I am, this is pretty close to Miami Vice with a semi-sentient robot partner. They explore the city and its underworld. Deal with all sorts of nasty characters and, roughly, the real world as it would likely be. There’s turf wars, mafia, assassinations, human trafficking, market manipulation and cops that are at their wits end. Though with a little bit of Japanese Anti-Gun paranoia tossed in for good measure. (This is the reason for the bullet limit)

    The most notable characters are Daisuke (MC and one of the coolest customers in anime), J (the Robot), Claire (the psychopathic Mafia leader of the city), Ken (the run down cop), Antonia (the bombshell scientist that manages J but probably doesn’t realize real men exist), Monica and her mother (cute kid with a pathetic mother), the 3 whores (really, they’re great fun), and Boma (the wolf-headed MOST BADASS BROTHER IN HISTORY). Plus some interesting side characters all over the place.

    Its a series with a good bit of style, from the creator of Escaflowne & Noein. Yes, there is style, but it series the series and what its trying to do. Oh, and the soundtrack fits the series perfectly and just works so very well. But it all comes together for a fairly smooth outing. They won’t expect too much (the setup with Futures is well explained, but still really cool) yet won’t also talk down to you. There’s a lot done with visuals that aren’t blasted into your head with deadpan explanations.

    Most people that end up watching it like the series, it’s just that no one really knew enough of it, nor had a way to see it, for a rather long time. It’s a prized part of my anime collection, mostly as the box set looks wicked.

    • Maximillian
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      The problem with Heat Guy J is that it was marketed as something of a new Cowboy Bebop. Which it couldn’t possibly be.

      I also thought the ending had something of a cop-out, but I guess that’s a minor complaint when the rest was pretty good.

  45. Required fields are
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Just a quick list.

    Full Metal Panic!
    Haibane Renmei
    Rizelmine :P
    Saikano
    Naruto first 40 episodes

  46. Josh
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Hi there, long time reader, first time poster.

    I was reading through the list and realized I must have had a lot of free time in 2002. There were a lot of shows that I enjoyed, but I’d have a hard time recommending them. I think this was also near the end of my “watch all the anime I can get my hands on” phase, but nowadays I highly doubt I’d watch the entire run of shows like Full Moon or Tokyo Underground.

    That said, and from what I’ve picked up on from the handful of months I’ve been reading the blog, I’m going to echo the sentiments above about Haibane Renmei and Jing. Yes, the story in the latter isn’t the best, but I feel the style and art direction makes up for it. Also, I’m kinda surprised no one’s mentioned Komugi yet. It uses a lot of overplayed tropes and digs at otaku culture, and being able to get all the callbacks to other anime makes it a fun OVA.

  47. Nazaren
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Late to the party, but I’ll toss out a rec…

    Yukikaze.

    The combat is phenomenal, as is the attention to detail (non-terrible CG!)… the same cannot be said for the plot, however. Total runtime is fairly short. Overall, I enjoyed it.

    … looks like I’m watching Heat Guy J.

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