121 CommentsFavourite and Forgotten / By Scamp /

Looking for recommendations for 2004 anime


As I did with 20012002, and 2003, I’m looking for recommendations for what anime to watch from 2004. Wikipedia’s list is probably the easiest to browse. Same rules copy-pasting from last time. Don’t recommend anything too long (so no Sgt. Frog). Don’t recommend any sequels (so no Bible Black New Testament Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig). Don’t go for the stupidly obvious (so no Bible Black New Testament Samurai Champloo). Try to recommend stuff that you think I will actually like and haven’t already seen, but don’t worry about those points too much. When in doubt, just recommend anyway because it’s always interesting seeing what people still hold up as being good from that year.

Year in Review of 2003 is coming shortly. I’ve put this out first because I’ve been bashing my head against this Last Exile review, which I want to publish first before rounding off the year, but it’s just not coming together. Not sure how long I’ll keep doing these 00’s retrospectives. At my current rate of covering 1 year every 6 months, I won’t be done until the end of 2016. By that stage it will be time to start the 10’s retrospectives in preparation for the end of the decade. Still, I enjoy having this project on the backburner and it’s a nice excuse to return to old favourites of mine like Bible Black New Testament.

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  1. zero
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Aishiteruze Baby is awesome and I figure its relatively unknown so…
    School Rumble is one of my all-time favourites but I’m pretty sure you’ve already seen that.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      I love School Rumble. I collected the manga very slowly and everytime I bought a new volume I would go back and read all the previous ones. Seen the TV series twice too. I don’t think I could ever do a proper review of that one because it’s caked in too much nostalgia

      • ANON
        Posted November 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        I watched it just this year around april-may. I died a little inside when they only did the last 2 episodes for the 3rd series.

        On another very unrelated note, I just finished watching Tenjou Tenge yesterday.

        finally, out of everything on that wiki list except samurai champloo, yakitate japan and samurai 7 are the only ones that I had good memories of. konomini and rozen maiden, not so much.

  2. Jamie
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    The Place Promised in our Early Days was Shinkai’s first full length feature film, and while flawed, I also think its his most thought provoking and emotionally mature. He builds an awesome world and fills it with very relatable characters.

    Paranoia Agent was Kon’s best work, imo, funky and surreal and creepy. The soundtrack is awesome, too. Sadly, it looks like you’ve seen it already so my recommendations suck. T_T

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Man I just do not get along with Shinkai works at all. The one I did like was Children, which was a massive departure from his previous works. Which then no Shinkai fan liked =|

      I might try rewatching Paranoia Agent. I saw it before I knew anything of Satoshi Kon and liked it a lot, but I imagine a rewatch after seeing his other stuff would be interesting

  3. Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink


    Appleseed is probably considered an obvious film choice, right? I actually didn’t like Steamboy much. Wow, Howl’s Moving Castle is 2004? Nice film, but personally I thought the book was much superior :3 And I need to watch Dead Leaves.

    Ok, series:

    Wolf’s Rain is probably an obvious one, but I’ll list it anyway, just in case. You know what, if I remember it from 2004, it’s probably something I consider “obvious”, so I’ll just list them, fuck that.

    Genshiken, wow.
    Elfen Lied was alright, but most people seem to love it a lot more than I do.
    Paranoia Agent.
    My-HiME – actually one of my favourite shows of all times. I just imagine the last episode didn’t happen, and the rest, IMO, is pretty great – not one of the best shows of all times, but good, and I love it.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think I can go back to Mai Hime. I thought it was all right when I saw it originally, but looking back at it, it seems awfully cheap in retrospect. Cheap twists and cheap emotionally

      • Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Well, I’ve actually re-watched it more than once – proper emotional manipulation or “cheap” is a decision we often make by how much we like it.

        I still like it a lot, even having rewatched it several times.

        Also, dunno why, but new comments on the blog never load for me unless I post another comment. Some wacky cookie-stuff is going on with your comments :<

    • Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Ignore that Wolf’s Rain, OVA only.

  4. MaxonTreik
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Initial D is one of my favourites from that year. It’s worth watching for the OST alone. The races are pretty fun too.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      I believe what you’re looking at is the fourth season of Initial D =P

      • lmm
        Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        Well that’s the one with a more interesting protagonist (at least half the time)

  5. Fellow
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Rozen Maiden and Nanoha are obligatory.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Not really anymore. Nanoha is still remembered generally favourably, but judging by the response the new Rozen series got, anime fans don’t give a shit about Rozen Maiden anymore

      • The Big Guy
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 3:38 am | Permalink

        I don’t know where you were looking, but the new Rozen Maiden show was better than the first two combined. The problem was the first episode was a mess, but the rest of it was excellent. I think the first season of Rozen Maiden is great though, restored my faith in anime.

  6. Shinmaru
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    The end is pretty shit, but I enjoyed Le Portrait de Petit Cossette. It’s not scary at all, but there’s tons of neat, weird imagery, and it’s a perfect story for a short OVA.

    I also love the Tetsujin 28 anime. It’s directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa, so of course it is excellent. There’s silly stuff in it (that is nevertheless enjoyable), but the serious part of the story is also quite good.

    • Chevalier
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Another vote for Tetsujin 28.

    • Raiphin
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      I watched Cossette laaaate one night at a con on the big screen while exhausted and by myself. Scarier then, I liked it.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Been meaning to watch Petite Cossette for a while now. I’ve heard its style is the closest Shinbo did to Madoka.

      Will try out Tetsujin 28 as well. At the very least it will be an education.

  7. Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Mind Game, Mind Game, Mind Game, Mind Game.

    Anyways, you’ve seen almost every 2004 anime I have so I’ll just do some I’ve been meaning to get to: Desert Punk, Fantastic Children, and Tweeny Witches.

    Not sure if you’d like Koi Kaze and I hated Dead Leaves, though you might like it.

    Should get to my own 2004 thing sometime.

    • Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Also, you didn’t go back to Gunslinger Girl for 2003? I am disappoint.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Mind Game is a must. It’s a bit shameful as big a fan of Yuasa that I am that I haven’t seen Mind Game.

      As for Gunslinger Girl, I had to stop the 2003 viewing eventually. Also never got to Chrono Crusade and Kaleido Star, or rewatching FMA, but oh well~!

      • raiphin
        Posted November 21, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        damnit, didn’t know Yuasa did Mind Game. Now I have to watch it too.

  8. Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what you like Scamp, so I’ll just list “shows I hold up as worth the time, thinking back” from 2004, via Wiki’s list of TV shows. Skipping the long ones. Some of them are more for the educational experience than pure entertainment…

    Tweeny Witches (episodes are short)
    Hit o Neare (because it’s short)
    Elfen Lied
    Initial D
    Kita e (Jeff Lawson’s big softie special)
    Koi Kaze
    Maria-sama ga Miteru
    Melody of Oblivion
    Mezzo DSA (I hope you like Galilei Donna)
    Midori Days
    Ninja Nonsense
    Paranoia Agent
    Rozen Maiden
    To Heart
    Tsukuyomi Moon Phase
    Windy Tales

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Since I’m not terribly fond of Galilei “falling off buildings gives you colds” Donna, think I might skip Mezzo

  9. Raiphin
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    TWEENY WITCHES IS AMAZING. I know the name is terrible. But the animation is unique and great, the world-building is really nice, and it’s got a witch who rides her broom like a skateboard.

    Sgt. Frog got old but the first OP and ED are pretty awesome if I recall
    Gokusen’s like Cromartie got a storyline, kind of?

    Oh lordy, Grenadier…I remember the first time I saw her reload her gun and my brain as a young student of anime creaked ominously.

    • gedata
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Gokusen is more GTO then Cromartie High School

    • Jhiday
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      That’s the second season of Jubei-chan. (I’m currently watching the first one, and boy is it rough. Not bad, though, once you get into it.)

      • Raiphin
        Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Oh, second season Jubei? I never made it thru that one. Hmm.

        GTO/Gokusen– yeah, you’re right. It’s a great Josei manga, which seems less obvious in the anime?

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Tweeny Witches is something I’ve been meaning to watch for a while, so it’s a definite.

      Wait…isn’t Jubei that one about the girl who pisses herself every episode? Or was that Judei?

      • Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        You’re thinking of Charger Girl Juden-Chan, from 2009. Jubei-chan is fortunately both completely different and far better. Its first season is 1999, second season 2004, and sadly you need to see the first season to understand the second one.

      • raiphin
        Posted November 21, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        Nono, Jubei-chan the Ninja Girl is about a girl named Jubei and her LA-BU-LEE EYEPATCH de gozaru.
        Animation ain’t great but the comedic timing is prety okay and made fun of shoujo tropes.

  10. Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Planetes is a bit long at 26 episodes, but it’s the best hard scifi or workplace focused anime ever. Elfen Lied was a visual spectacle, one of the earlier great uses of CG and 16:9 aspect ratio, to deliver a fun and exciting horror/action/thriller/harem. Gunslinger Girl was an excellent action show made by Madhouse, with an incredibly compelling setting and set of characters.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      I believe you may be looking at a list for 2003. I’ve already got Planetes on my 2003 top 10 list

      • Posted November 21, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        I wasn’t aware of what year standard you were using. Both Planetes & Gunslinger Girl started airing in 2003 and finished in 2004. So now you’ve got a second chance at Gunslinger Girl!

  11. Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Koi Kaze and Fantastic Children both seem to be highly regarded, though I haven’t seen either. And that’s about it for my non-obvious picks.

  12. pallas
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I love ROD the TV (unless that counts as 2003? it ran both years) If my hime was 2004 I like that a lot also.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Nah ROD counts as 2003

  13. Jrnemanich
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Looking at what you’ve seen and what other people have mentioned to not repeat, I recommend Yugo the Negotiator.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t even heard of that one. Care to elaborate?

  14. Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Jubei-chan: The Ninja Girl, if i remember it correctly, was surprisingly pretty good, though it has been like 6 years since I’ve seen it.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      I think Jubei is disqualified for being a sequel. However that’s a few mentions for Jubei, which is surprising in of itself

  15. Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    The Place Promised in Our Early Days, perhaps? Not sure what you think about Shinkai outside of Lost Voices, but personally I feel this is his strongest work.

    Otherwise I THINK the stupid humor in 2×2=Shinobuden might amuse you to some degree.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      2×2 is Ninja Nonsense, right? I’ve heard that one is generally pretty good, albeit I keep mixing it up with 3×3 Eyes because of the names and because I’ve never seen either. It can be hard to keep up with all these silly names

      • Posted November 21, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        Yep, that’s it~

  16. Gunslinger
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    a) Midori Days: Love story about a guy who’s girlfriend is his right hand :)

    b) Yakitate Japan: Because breadmaking is awesome and immensely fun. Also Kuroyanagi rocks.

    c) Fantastic Children: Though i’m not sure it’s your type

    d) Aishiteruze Baby: It’s usagi drop without all the horrible ending stuff

    e) Area 88: One of the first anime i watched and was crazy about because of planes, but was pretty meh on re-watch. Still the dogfights were pretty good.

    • gedata
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      for Area 88 you’d best check the OVAs out

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      I think I might have the Area 88 ova sitting on a hard drive somewhere. Should get to that sometime.

      I saw Midori Days very early on in my fandom and even at the time I thought it was kinda average. Once you get over the central joke, I don’t think it really has much beyond that.

    • Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      I really liked Area 88, didn’t notice it in the list.

  17. shytende
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Madlax is a 2004 Anime, right ?
    Or is it too obvious ?

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Far from too obvious. If anything I know a bunch of people got REALLY MAD ’bout Bee Train TV series because of shows like Madlax. I quite liked Noir myself so maybe I should watch Madlax

      • Chevalier
        Posted November 21, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        All these girls with guns shows have been a bit of mixed bag for me. I didn’t finish Noir and sort of liked Phantom, but never saw Madlax or El Cazador de la Bruja.

  18. Thanos
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    I dont know what you’ve watched, but I will recommend those that I consider noteworthy.

    Monster, Samurai Champloo, Hi No Tori (adaptation of the best Tezuka manga, incomplete though), Kurau Phantom Memory, Fantastic Children, Paranoia Agent, and the others have been recommended above.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      There’s a few adaptations of Phoenix so I’ve never been sure which to watch. I considered just reading the manga but if people say this version is good then sure why not.

      • Chevalier
        Posted November 21, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix manga had a 13-episode TV adaptation in 2004 directed by Ryousuke Takahashi.

        I felt it was nice and worth checking out, even without additional knowledge of the material, though admittedly the content is also a bit heavy-handed in the morality area (but that’s Tezuka for you).

  19. lesterf1020
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    I would recommend….

    Area 88 TV

    Hit o Nerae!
    It is not a good show. It is a show about how an all girl pre-teen sentai show turned into a disaster but you would be amazed at how this show probably explains why bad animé happens.

    Daphne in the brilliant blue.

    One of the EVA inspired mecha shows. I hated it because there was way too much drama and it took way too long for the characters to become tolerable but the show had a few interesting ideas and it was pretty. Worth a shot.

    Fantastic Children.
    Sci-fi Tragedy porn. I hated it because
    1. I hated the female lead. She was a tragedy magnet who destroyed every guy who fell for her.
    2. The shows plot only works because people make incredibly idiotic decisions at key moments, apparently for no other reason than enhancing the misery and tragedy.
    3. The show takes too long to reveal what is going on and why you should care.

    Aside from that it was a fascinating story with more than one cool plot twist.

    Melody of Oblivion.
    I really don’t know what to say about this. Experimental animé at its best/worst. I don’t think it is possible to like it but you might not hate it or it could end up in your terribad series. I think this is what happens when people have too much freedom to create.

    Rozen Maiden.
    I recommend that you NOT see this show as a moe doll harem show. I think you will see something more interesting if you look at it as religious commentary with Rosen as some kind of deity, the alice game as religious trials to get into heaven/afterlife/paradise and the dolls themselves as various types of believers and clergy.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Not exactly glowing recommendations you’re giving there!

      Is Melody of Oblivion that one with embarrassingly oversized boobs that fly about like watermelons? Or was that Geneshaft? Something around this era anyway.

      • Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        I think that must have been Geneshaft. Melody of Oblivion has fanservice too but it is fairly weird fanservice (sometimes in an unsettling way) and I don’t remember it as annoying as giant flying boobs or the like.

      • Scamp
        Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        So I just googled Melody of Oblivion and google autocomplete suggested “cow” at the end of it so I was like “huh” and clicked on google images.

        What the fuck

      • lesterf1020
        Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:49 am | Permalink

        Yeah. That happens at the end of the show and it is as bizarre and surreal as you can get. Like I said the show is a mess a case of too much creative freedom.

      • Posted November 22, 2013 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        Yep. That’s probably at the extreme end of Melody’s unsettling weirdness, but it’s far from the only bit.

        When I started watching Melody, I didn’t know that Gainax was involved. Finding that out made a lot of bits of it not so much make more sense (as if) but made me understand more about how they could be there.

        I think it’s safe to watch the first episode or two of Melody and see if it resonates with you. If it does it only gets wilder from the first few episodes, but if the concepts and so on in the early episodes are not palatable you can stop immediately.

        (I like Melody but I don’t think it’s an influence on later anime or is much remembered by now.)

  20. Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    My number one recommendation from 2004 as a series to check out would be Windy Tales. This is an under-appreciated and surprisingly affecting gem, if you can get past the quirky art style and the odd premise.

    Things that stand out to me and are probably within your criteria:
    Tweeny Witches
    Fantastic Children
    Melody of Oblivion is a generally underrated slice of mythological craziness, partly from Gainax (the old crazy Gainax).
    Uta Kata is great in some senses but kind of nightmare fuel.

    Second rank shows:
    Animation Runner Kuromi is apparently a fairly true to life picture of actual animation production, and funny
    Gakuen Alice
    Gokusen is surprisingly fun and affecting
    Kurau Phantom Memory
    Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
    Ninja Nonsense
    Re: Cutie Honey

    I don’t think Fafner in the Azure stands up and I assume you already have opinions on Nanoha, Kannazuki no Miko, and Rozen Maiden. Lots of people praise Gankutsuou but I don’t like it that much and dropped it during its run; in my opinion, stylishness overcomes the story.

    Both the 2004 Jubei-chan and Initial D are sequels, otherwise they would make the list.

    You could also watch some of Cosmopolitan Prayers to see what Evirus means by his ‘worse than Cosprayers’ tagline.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      I’m not terribly fond of that Windy Tales style of animation. I remember that in Kemezonume and not really liking it there either. But hey, I’m willing to give it a shot.

      Haven’t actually seen Nanoha or Kannazuki no Miko. The fans of Nanoha always put me off because they’re so creepy about the show, and I know next to nothing about Miko beyond maybe lesbians.

      Don’t worry, I’ve seen Cosprayers. I’ve even seen Love Love, the one connected to it, but not Smash Hit. I couldn’t finish the holy Masters Of Entertainment trio. They were just too bad.

      • Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        To be fair, Nanoha is kind of creepy if you think about some aspects of it very much (ie it is not actually aimed at tween/teen girls). The easy and fast Nanoha experience is to watch the first movie instead of going through the series; the series is deeper but the movie does a good job on the important bits and I think its fights may actually be more impressive (if you care about action and beam-spam).

      • Scamp
        Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:17 am | Permalink

        I’ve heard that from more than a few people, both Nanoha and non-Nanoha fans. Might just do that instead

  21. Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I would recommend Yakitate!! Japan if it weren’t for the fact that it takes forever and a half to get to the best parts.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      The guys on Bakacast have been trying to get me to watch Yakitate Japan for a while now. It’s a bit long maybe, but I suppose it’s worth a shot.

  22. lmm
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I want to see what you make of Koi Kaze, a relic of an age when love between brother and sister was a subject for dramatic tragedy rather than cheap laughs.

    Grenadier was surprisingly fun

    Kurau Phantom Memory is flawed but interesting. Very anime-scifi, the ideas are just about good enough to survive the horrible pacing.

    I could say similar things about Madlax, actually.

    Haven’t finished Beck yet but it looks interesting.

    Howl’s Moving Castle and Gankutsuou are probably too obvious.

    • lmm
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      If you just wanted something to watch I’d say Initial D, but it sticks pretty closely to the sports animé formula so there wouldn’t be much to write about

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Anyone who’s seen my top 30 knows what I think of Gankutsuou, but for those not in the know: It is one of 9 series I have given a 10/10 to.

      I’ve been interested in Koi Kaze but I also feel weird about it. Still not sure if I’ll check it out

  23. Ken
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    My short list of recommendations are:

    Koi Kaze

    Midori Days


    Paranoia Agent

  24. gedata
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Gonna take this oppurtunity to reccomend Gantz, it’s a horrible anime that I’d like to see what you think of,probably Gonzo’s worst adaptation I’ve seen. It’s got no sense of pacing, hideous CGI (seriously, how do you go from THAT to pulling Gankutsuou out of your ass in the same year?) and the dub is coma inducing.It’s an easy show to review.

    For a non-ironic reccomendation, there’d be the manga version for the Manga Driver.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been genuinely interested in Gantz for years now. I’d always intended to check out the anime despite the bad reviews, but now I’m actually into the manga I should probably go that direction instead. On the other hand, it is rather long…

      • Nagisa33
        Posted November 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Gantz was solid throughout until it got to the last arc. It was stretched out, forgot about some characters, and had this whole “God” aspect going on. The creator didn’t know how to end it which made my brother and I go from loving it to disliking it.

      • gedata
        Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:29 am | Permalink

        the length of Gantz shouldn’t be a problem since there’s a lot of chapters with little to no dialogue (and I mean it when I say literally no dialogue.
        It’s the sort of thing where you look at the cool pictures and just let the fun wash over you.

        I’d say watch the anime, it makes the manga look better by comparison. Plus this opening is fucking awesome http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omkvD2kq1uc

      • Scamp
        Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink

        I’ve seen that OP before and yup it’s pretty great

  25. Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    So, I can’t recommend the second Kuromi-chan? It’s a shame, both Kuromi-chans are awesome.
    From 2004 I particularly liked Sensei no Ojikan – it’s like Azumanga, but far, far worse and low-budget. It’s an episodic comedy about a class of people where everyone has one or two characteristics, the teacher looks like loli and it was the first time I saw using written onomatopoeias instead of the real sounds. But I still liked it.
    I also watched a bit of The Great Detectives Poirot and Marple aaand… I really don’t know if I’d recommend it. I love the fact that there is anime about them, but the duck is really annoying and unnecessary.
    Oh, and Sweet Valerian was released then, too! It’s like magical girls and much more tame Panty and Stocking, and famous Clamp group worked on it!

    • Scamp
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      You ever considered a career in sales or marketing?

  26. Chris Bachmann
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Jubei Chan was a good sequel to the original. Where season 1 fell short, season 2 picked up the slack and answered the lingering questions. Plus the fight scenes were fairly good.

    Mezzo DSA was a decent series and good at the time, but I’m not sure how well it’s holding up for me.

    Doki Doki was blatantly trying to run with the Azumanga Diaoh wave. skippable, but kinda fun.

    Samurai 7 was good, but I still tend to pop in the original. Not an essential remake, but worth watching once.

    Paranoia Agent still holds up for me and I got coworkers hooked on that series. It does have the crossover appear to some horror fans.

    My-Hime has plenty of fan service and some decent action. Compelling but doesn’t hold up as well as some of the others for me.

    Melody of Oblivion was forgettable. I watched it a bunch of times and can’t recall the plot off the top of my head, which is rare for me. I had to look it up to remind myself as to how forgettable it was.

    Madlax was Noir 2.0, but nowhere as good. Yuri fodder though, so that’s a potential point for snark.

    Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo was very pretty and managed to caputure some of the books ambience in many ways. I mean, what other book could describe an object for 3 pages. Other than that, it suffers from the typical translation issues to a newer audience and goes off track. Worth a watch, but maybe I would feel differently nowadays.

    Ninja Nonsense was just good fun. That’s what it was promised to be and it fulfills that.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:33 am | Permalink

      Call me an uncultured pleb, but I wasn’t crazy about the original Seven Samurai movie. It’s too dated for me.

  27. Cirith
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Kurau Phantom Memory.

    Hmm the wiki list consists of stuff I don’t like, stuff I don’t know and stuff you already know (like Gankutsuou, gits, school rumble, samurai champloo…)

    Oh girls bravo is from that year, when I started watching anime I watched just about anything. I think that was the first series where I thought “okay this is harem bullshit, I don’t want to waste my time watching it”.

    Edit: Also that hige-archer picture is great.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      Even at a young age in the height of my watch everything called harem or ecchi phase, I thought Girls Bravo looked a little too crap.

  28. Nagisa33
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Form what you haven’t already seen I recommend Diebuster. I see you weren’t fond of Gunbuster but it was directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki, the guy who directed FLCL so it has a different feel. It’s solid stuff, full of wackiness and high spirits. Give it a try and Aim for the Top!

    Like others, I recommend watching The Place Promised in Our Early Days.

    Besides these, and a few other recommendations I feel like you’ve mined most of the great series from this year. Too much more and you would be picking up scraps.

    • Posted November 21, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      OMG I forgot Diebuster. Yes, greatest thing ever. Aim for the top! Don’t worry if you didn’t like Gunbuster, for the first half you will have no idea why they are even sequels.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:36 am | Permalink

      I’ve been holding off Diebuster for years because of my feelings on Gunbuster, but I guess after all of this I should give it a shot

      • Posted November 22, 2013 at 4:21 am | Permalink

        The problem with Diebuster is that the main female is annoying. Like really annoying. She gets better in the last two or three episodes, but otherwise she drags the thing down with her brainless personality and high-pitched voice. Still love the anime, but don’t be surprised if she wrecks the fun for you.

      • The Big Guy
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 3:42 am | Permalink

        Diebuster has only one great scene, but it’s one worth watching an entire show for.

      • shytende
        Posted November 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Diebuster would be better compared to Gurenn Lagann condensed into 6 episodes. Over the top and full of fanservice.
        IT can totally be watched without watching Gunbuster. You’ll miss one or two references, but that’s not really important.

  29. Posted November 21, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I second everyone suggesting Tweeny Witches. It’s great.

    Fantastic Children is also a nice sci-fi story, although I’ve forgotten the details. Samurai 7 has this great steampunk thing going on. Gankutsuo, Genshiken and School Rumble probably count as obvious. Hi no Tori is a must watch, although it’s a bit slow and a collection of short stories that doesn’t quite come together until the end. But when it does your mind will be blown.

    I also loved the ending to Kannazuki no Miko, but the first half of the show is unbelievably dumb. Like at making Guilty Crown look intelligent levels.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      I dunno mate, Guilty Crown is the dumbest non-terribad anime writing I have ever seen.

  30. DarkEnergy
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Last time you did something like a review for Gankutsuou was early 2010, so: Gankutsuou.

    Also, Elfen Lied because that show got me interested in the horror genre (I hated anything horror-related before that).

    Also, Mind Game because of psychedelic bare-breasted jazz parties and running up whales.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:39 am | Permalink

      Surprised you remembered that.

      I am definitely doing a Gankutusou rewatch. Really excited to go back to that

  31. Vincent
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    koi kaze

  32. Posted November 21, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Most of my suggestions are repeats, but:

    Paranoia Agent – Kon goodness, enough said.

    Fantastic Children – I’ve watched this twice now and I still can’t decide what I think of it. It’s definitely different and kind of fascinating in how it reveals itself, but also has a few challenges. I quite liked some of the music as well. Worth a watch for sure.

    Le Portrait de Petit Cossette – It’s short, it’s got crazy Shinbo style and some pretty awesome music. I can’t even remember the story very well, but the other points make it worth checking out.

    Another one I can’t say I recommend but might be worth a look is Otogi Zoshi. It’s split into two parts and while I found the first arc pretty interesting, I have to admit the second arc lost me and I never finished it. Maybe have a read and see if it catches your interest. I make no promises.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:41 am | Permalink

      Interesting to hear a few people be a bit negative about Fantastic Children here. I’d only ever heard good things about it before, but that may be because of its reputation as underrated gem. Nobody had a need to say bad things about it

  33. luffyluffy
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Why not try Fafner in the Azure, New Getter Robo, and Re: Cutie Honey?

    • Scamp
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      Why not? That’s a good question

  34. raiphin
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    FYI fellow Tweeny Witches fans, if you don’t already own it it’s $13 for the base model and $25 for series+OAV on Amazon.com at the moment.
    If it weren’t so close to xmas I’d already be rewatching it RIGHT NOW.

  35. kiriko
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Check out Tsukuyomi Moon Phase past the first episode.

  36. Redcrimson
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    Looking at the list, the stand outs to me are:

    Gankutsuou – Arguably the best show Gonzo ever produced, and arguably the best adaptation of the Count of Monte Cristo.

    Fantastic Children – An odd little show that sadly flies way under a lot of people’s radar.

    Koi Kaze – So… incest. Wait, come back! Koi Kaze is a pretty stark depiction of the ever-romanticized otaku fantasy. Bordering on psychological drama, Koi Kaze has some of the most brain-breakingly uncomfortable moments in anime.

    Paranoia Agent – This one should go without saying, I think. Satoshi Kon was a mad genius and his only television work is as much a window into his mind as it is a scathing social commentary.

    BECK – One of the best music anime ever, and an exceptional slice of life drama.

    • Gunslinger
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 3:50 am | Permalink

      My problem with beck was they build the main character to have such a beautiful voice, but he’s a crappy singer singing Engrish songs. It would have worked in the manga, but it totally fails in the anime.

      • Redcrimson
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 5:29 am | Permalink

        That problem is basically non-existent in the dub, since the songs are sung by native English speakers that can actually sing reasonably well.

      • Scamp
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:40 am | Permalink

        Seconding that. I’ve seen Beck and there’s absolutely no problem with the singing in the english dub.

  37. PhilippeO
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    my recommendation is

    Daphne in the Brilliant Blue

    Kurau Phantom Memory

    both already mentioned above. Daphne last half is where the story start serious.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:44 am | Permalink

      I’ve heard mostly bad things about Daphne, even leaving aside the outfits. Care to elaborate on it?

      • lesterf1020
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        There is nothing particularly bad about Daphne aside from the outfits. It isn’t an amazing show, it is about a bunch of girls who do mercenary and jack of all trades work. Some jobs are good, some are funny and some are bad. There is an interesting plot but the show only really takes it seriously in the last couple of episodes. Overall the tone is light and silly. You wont find a lot of depth here.

  38. Hogart
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    Just for the TV series, the three obvious ones I’d recommend are Paranoia Agent, Samurai Champloo, GITS: SAC, Monte Cristo, and probably Phantom Memory. The other popular ones aren’t as easy to recommend “love it or leave it” types (School Rumble, Aistheruze Baby, Marimite, Elfen Lied, Gantz, Initial D, Genshiken, etc).

    Of the lesser-known ones, I’d say Tweeny Witches, Windy Tales, Tetsujin 28-go, Zipang, and Fafner are the ones that hold up the best, maybe also Fantastic Children. Zipang might be better as a manga read if you’re into that, though.

    Watch DearS if you have a lot of surplus bile.

  39. Shikamaru
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    BECK is really good but it looks horrible. The animation is BAD. REALLY BAD. If that doesn’t bug you then try to watch it. It’s a good story.

    Burst Angel is actually good if you ask me. It has fanservice sure but it has good comedy and the action scenes are also really good. Just try to watch 1 or 2 episodes. After that you know if you will end up liking it or not. Also watch the opening. It’s fucking awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PAbRpzoEX8

    DearS is really poor version of Chobits. But I have to admit that I still enjoy it. It’s funny. I can’t help it.

    Elfen Lied is seriously really underrated. Just because it has gore and nudity doesn’t mean that it’s bad. This is actually really good romance story. No I’m serious. Nobody talks about Elfen Lied anymore. I like the villains, main characters, side characters, the plot, romance, light hearted moments. I like everything in this series. I would like to hear your honest opinion about this series.

    Genshiken is really good story about otaku. There isn’t really anything else like this series. Watch it. It’s really good.

    Girls Bravo sucks. I just wanted to mention it because I LOVED it as a teenager. It is your general perverted comedy harem.

    Kannazuki no Miko sucks. It had yuri in it so of course I enjoyed it as a teengager.

    My-Hime is actually good. I rewatched it about 2 years ago and I was sure that I would hate it. I was wrong. It was a nice surprise.

    Rozen Maiden. I never got why this was popular. Teenage boy playing with dolls wasn’t that fun to watch. I watched 3 episodes and dropped it.

    School rumble is one of those series that I should enjoy but I don’t. It was boring. I have tried to watch it over 3 times and everytime I’m watching it I end up yawning a lot. The comedy in this series just isn’t funny IMO.

    So I would really recommend BECK, Elfen Lied, Genshiken and especially Burst Angel since it’s not that famous. At least I don’t think that it’s famous.

    • Posted November 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Burst Angel is an awful series with awful characters.

      • Shikamaru
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        I actually enjoy the characters too. I admit that they’re nothing special but I wouldn’t call them awful. I also know that this series is generally considered bad or decent at best at and that’s exactly why I wanted to mention it bacause I like it a lot. I even rewatched 4 episodes just to check that I remembered correctly. I honestly think that it doesn’t deserve all the criticism that it gets. I’m not saying it’s a must see series but I think people should watch first 2 episodes and give it a fair shot.

        I think we all have couple series that we really enjoy despite everyone else hating them. Maybe it is a awful series but I just don’t see it.

  40. Lenaen
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I always seem to be late to the party when these posts come out, but I figured I’d add my two cents.

    Looking over the list, I see a trend of liking stuff (Beck, Tenjou Tenge, Yakitate Japan, Jing OVA), but then having to pick up the manga because they wrapped up with an anime-specific ending. That said, I really enjoyed Beck, and would watch it again if I had the time. Tenjou Tenge really comes into its own in the arcs after the anime ends and (fanservice aside) I’m a huge fan of Oh! Great’s art style.

    I’m surprised to only find one recommendation so far for Maria-sama and Gakuen Alice. I enjoyed the handful of episodes of each of them that I can remember. The characters in Maria-sama were fun, but the best part of the show were the “outtakes” they did on the DVD releases. Sensei no Ojikan was fun fluff too.

    I never really got into Paranoia Agent, Samurai 7, or Samurai Champloo, which seemed to have the most buzz at the time. I remember people being really stoked for Burst Angel but it petered out pretty quickly. Same with KonoMini, but I guess it still has a pretty vocal fanbase.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:45 am | Permalink

      I don’t get why so many people are mentioning Tenjou Tenge. Asides from the OP, that show is baaaaaad. I have seen Gakuen Alice though and think that’s all right.

  41. Posted November 22, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m not gonna name stuff you’ve seen before, so I’ll just say try Mind Game, Koi Kaze, and Tweeny Witches if you’re feeling adventurous.

    I’ve written about Fantastic Children before, but since no one reads anything over a month old I’ll summarize: unique story and throwback sensibilities with a mixed conclusion. I don’t think it’s Your Kind Of Thing but again, worth a shot if you’re looking for something a little different.

  42. sqa
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I think everyone hit the important ones, but I’ll toss out some ideas:

    Madlax – it’s got a light fantasy/religious super power aspect to the series, which they show in the first scenes of the series, but some people don’t grasp it. It’s the spiritual sequel to Noir but rather different. Still, it’s Girls with Guns and lots of strange language usage. (Probably the best OST + Insert music of 2004 though)

    Midori Days – if you can get past the description, it’s actually a pretty “decent” series. But there’s still some Tits when they can throw it in.

    Samurai 7 – it wasn’t terrible, but it’s worth it to see what “BUDGET, BITCHES!” looks like from 2004. It still looks pretty good.

    Windy Tales – still attempting to finish this series myself. The art style is unique, but it’s very much a “healing” genre, more than just SoL. Don’t expect a lot to happen.

  43. Coobies
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Alright, let’s do this. I’m cross-referencing against your MAL to try to avoid duplicates, but if I miss something, apologies in advance.

    Gantz – A must for this project. Enduringly popular (even people who started watching anime in the last few years have still seen it), and yet opinions on it are overwhelmingly negative. Don’t you want to get to the bottom of that?

    Major – The first season of this incredibly long franchise did in fact start in 2004. I don’t know exactly how you feel about sports anime, but, if anything, Major is a fair example of the genre in the time period you’re looking at.

    Tsukuyomi Moon Phase – A very conspicuous absence from your list. See where it all began for SHAFT x Shinbo, including the genesis of that weird “loli vampire” obsession. Not as bad as it sounds, in my opinion, especially when you keep your eyes open for elements Shinbo’s characteristic style.

    New Getter Robo – Doesn’t count as a sequel (It’s like a reboot). Part of the insanely complicated Mazinger multiverse. Just check this graph out: http://anidb.net/pics/graph/a-1838.png

    This Ugly Yet Beautiful World – A weird little Gainax production from back when SHAFT still did their animation. Goes to show that it wasn’t only in recent years that Gainax could be off their game.

    Desert Punk – I think a few people have already recommended this to you above. I don’t have much to add, but it’s a rather unique piece of work.

  44. romulus
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    I cannot help but think that you actually have seen Bible Black, Scamp. :P
    Let’s see what that year offers. I am with the lot who recommend Elfen Lied and Genshiken for a (re)watch, though I understand that EL is not a general favourite.

    The not-so-obvious choices.
    I think you must watch Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, it is a wonderful little OVA, imagery and the way it presents the storyline are both awesome. Might be a bit upsetting to watch in the middle of the night for some, but it requires attention to take effect so I would actually recommend to watch it at night.

    Also there is Dead Leaves, more weird imagery, this time in Panty and Stockings with Garterbelt style. Simply awesome! Really memorable, really fun to watch. As you enjoyed PSG this is a certain hit.

    Now a series for a change. If you like WWII history, then Zipang is a must-watch (or read, they say the manga is better). If you’re not into the history stuff, then you still get properly handled moral issues (IMHO) and the most down-to-earth portrayal of what a modern carrier would do if they somehow found themselves somewhere, possibly 50 years in the past.

    Finally a totally forgotten little movie/ova, Kakurenbo. In fact even I can’t really remember how or why it was good, but I enjoyed it so I thought I would put it here.

    I hope you find more good stuff in revisiting the 00s. Have fun!

  45. Posted November 23, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Tetsujin 28 is one of my favorite robot shows; it’s got a much more heartfelt emotional side than others. The action is very different from the norm – the robots are remote controlled rather than piloted and they clunk around and move a lot more robotically than your typical humanoid. The action is also not the primary focus. Tetsujin is more about the storytelling and the ideas (is a robot a weapon or merely a tool?), and it’s at its best with the smaller, self-contained story arcs focusing on a(n often tragic) robot/cyborg/other character trying to find its place in the world.

    Also, Mind Game (because Yuasa) and Kakurenbo (because it’s short, solid, and easy to overlook).

  46. Posted November 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    My top picks of 2004 would be (leaving out the obvious Samurai Champloo, Monster, Genshiken, Gankutsuou, Beck & Paranoia Agent):

    Rozen Maiden – Don’t think you’d like this one
    Le Portait de Petite Cossette – drama, blood, love & obsession – it’s interesting
    2×2 = Shinobuden – Norio Wakamoto as a talking golden ball
    Yakitate!! Japan – A touch long but one of the best comedies I’ve seen
    Fafner – for all it’s flaws I still enjoyed Fafner in the end
    Mind Game – trippy but well worth watching
    Fantastic Children – well paced & multi-layered, I personally loved this
    Diebuster – Gainax
    The Place Promised In Our Early Days – Shinkai

  47. Anonymous
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Tweeny Witches
    Kurau Phantom Memory

  48. Erif
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    The obvious ones are Beck and Elfen Lied. The less obvious one is Galaxy Express 999

  49. Klonoa79H
    Posted December 16, 2013 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Its long, but Monster of course, fantastic series, and Howl’s Moving Castle.

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