63 CommentsSite News / By Scamp /

Updating the franchises page


Just over a year ago I made the anime franchises page, which was an attempt to inform people what order to best watch various anime franchises in. Which is the best gateway drug and whether you should follow chronological order or release order and so on. It still gets plenty of hits, but there’s a lot of anime franchises that don’t have write ups yet. I’m particularly looking for people to write something for Dragonball, Hunter X Hunter, Urusei Yatsura, Dirty Pair, Bubblegum Crisis, Leijiverse and/or Space Battleship Yamato. Mostly 80s and 90s series and OVAs since I believe I’ve got the 00s all wrapped up fairly well. I’ve updated a few myself, like Jojo’s, Eureka Seven, Un-Go and the Monogatari series, but I’d also like input on any franchise whose existing write up is confusing or just plain wrong.

This is a year-later call out for people to post comments to help update the page and help other anime fans. Also a reminder that the page exists and is pretty darn useful if I do say so myself.

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  1. momo
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    On the Evangelion section, I suggest amending it to:

    Neon Genesis Evangelion 1-20, Directors Cut 21 – 24, End of Evangelion, Rebuild.

    The Directors Cut episodes include extra scenes that were included in the Death portion of Death and Rebirth. Death was just a recap with extra scenes, and Rebirth was the first half of End of Evangelion.

    • Seppuku33
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you on the order.

      Episodes 25 and 26 should be watched as well. They are apart of the series as the events happen during Instrumentality. They give you deeper insight in to the character’s motivations. The End of Evangelion shows more of the physical events while 25 and 26 show the mental struggle.

      Death & ReBirth doesn’t need to be watched as it’s a clipshow.

      The anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion, originally aired in from 1995-1996. The movie, The End of Evangelion, ties up the events of the series and was shown in theaters in 1997. You should only watch the End of Evangelion after you finish the series. They currently are making the 4-part movie series called the “Rebuild of Evangelion” as an alternate retelling of the whole thing.

      The anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion, has been remastered with updated audio, visuals, added features, and director’s cut episodes. The End of Evangelion has been updated as well. Basically, if you want to see Neon Genesis Evangelion and The End of Evangelion in their definitive versions, you should watch these.

      Neon Genesis Evangelion – Platinum Perfect Collection (Tin) (DVD 1-7 of 7)

      Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (DVD)

      To watch the Rebuild movies in their definitive versions you should watch:
      Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone
      Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance
      Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo
      Evangelion 4.44 (When it is released)

      Even Evangelion 1.0 had multiple releases as Evangelion: 1.01 then as 1.11 which makes matters even more confusing.

      Sorry for the long message but understanding how to watch this series can be daunting since it was released so many times.

      • Seppuku33
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        I should have asked before splurging about Eva so my bad.

    • Josh
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      I actually watched it in this order: Neon Genesis Evangelion 1-20, Directors Cut 21 – 24, End of Evangelion (Stop about 20 minuets before the end, when instrumentality starts) – Neon Genesis Evangelion 25&26 – Then watch the rest of End of Evangelion.

      Its definitely a more complex way to watch the show, but I thought it gave a better idea of how the characters felt within instrumentality and made 25&26 seem far more worth while.

      • Seppuku33
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        That works too. When I rewatched Eva I did it that way. You get to see the series in chronological order while watching the mental conflict unfold all in one go. If you can watch it this way then go for it. This is the way that most fans recommend. I take back what I said about the order. This is the way that I recommend watching it.

        For a viewing that’s a less demanding, watching the series, then waiting until the next day to watch the End of Eva is wise. You get a chance to reflect some more and it may be a bit much to watch 2 episodes and a movie in one sitting. To newer fans, and maybe les parient people, this may be the desired way.

        In both cases, you get to experience the series in it’s full form anyway so it’s all good. Just don’t skip 25 and 26, thinking that End of Evangelion is an alternate ending. You need both to understand the show in it’s entirety.

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        “Understand” is a big word, when talking about EVA…

      • acostoss
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, though that may be a bit more troublesome for certain people. Not everyone can wrap their minds around it well enough to say “Yeah, THIS is when Instrumentality is beginning, I should watch those other episodes right now”.

        For a rewatch, once you grasp the series a bit better, I can agree with this watching format. Otherwise it might be more trouble than it is worth, and distract you a bit too much from the show, constantly asking “so uh do I stop now?”

    • acostoss
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Whoops, my bad. Somehow forgot to add that in there.

      • Seppuku33
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        First time:
        – Neon Genesis Evangelion 1-20
        – Directors Cut 21 – 24
        – The End of Evangelion
        – Rebuild

        – Neon Genesis Evangelion 1-20
        – Directors Cut 21 – 24
        – End of Evangelion (Stop about 20 minutes before the end, when instrumentality starts) – Neon Genesis Evangelion 25&26 – Then watch the rest of End of Evangelion.
        – Rebuild

        Does that sound simple enough for people to understand?

        I really recommend watching the series + EoE before the Rebuild for “certain” reasons. Some new fans may be put off by the animation and slow pace of the original series during the beginning. The series wan’t winning over my friend but once we progressed he was keeping me up late and begging me to show him more. That was pretty funny.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Think you guys are maybe making Evangelion more complicated than it actually is. Will include the bit about the director’s cut definitely

  2. Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I gotta say, I wish I’d seen Un-Go in the order you suggest. I mean, I really liked the show, but watching Inga-ron first would have made it better.

  3. Gan_HOPE326
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Would you mind me covering the Dragonball one? I consider myself quite the Dragonball nerd – I’ve seen the original one, Z, GT, the Kai remastered series, read the manga (included most of the “Perfect Edition”), watched the movies and OVAs, the recent new TV specials, TFS’s Abridged series, the *shudder* “Dragonball: Evolution” live action movie, and played lots of games for SNES and GBA (though not the PlayStation and further ones). I also haven’t seen the “Battle of the Gods” movie yet, but I plan to as soon as the Blu Rays will be available. Is my resume competent enough?

    • Seppuku33
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      My resume is similar to yours. Hahahahaha! It’s nice to see someone else who’s experienced as much DBZ as my brother and I. That’s a lot to cover so best of luck!

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        We have a deal then ;). Should I post it here in the comment section or can I send it via e-mail? It will be rather long, as you aptly point out.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        Just leave a comment here. I’m flattered by you posting a CV though

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        Here we go. Cut some parts if you think it excessive:

        Both cherished for having first introduced some of the most loved shounen anime tropes and infamous for having all of its most dreaded flaws, the Dragonball franchise is nothing short of immense and a true classic of anime, on par with series like Fist of the North Star and Evangelion. Most anime lovers have actually been introduced to the medium by it, in fact, myself included; for those who, however, still do not know about the lengthy adventures of Goku and his friends and family, this is a quick guide to try to make clarity in their chronology.
        Though for most people Dragonball means Dragonball Z, aka “that anime where people powers up for ten episodes in a row and blows up planets”, the original “Dragonball” series was actually just a modern and rather comedic retelling of the traditional chines novel “Journey to the west”. Though lacking in the extreme action typical of its sequels, this series has a nice mood to itself that I eventually came to love as I started to appreciate more its witty writing. The main character, Goku, is here in his childhood, and is definitely more sympathetic, cute and funny than he’ll ever be. The series lasts 153 episodes, though, many of which are fillers, and has not aged well, with a rather slow pacing and a definitely old-looking art. I still advice to watch it; as an alternative, for anyone who wants to just jump quickly into the planet-blowing action, you could always read the first 16 volumes of the manga – it is a fun and quick read, with some genuine heartfelt moments, and at a difference from the animation, Toriyama sensei’s art still looks neat and pleasantly clear after all these years.
        “Dragonball Z” starts with volume 17 of the manga and is its own anime series. It is the true core of the Dragonball franchise. With a jaw-dropping total amount of 291 episodes, it might look a bit disheartening to the new watcher – especially considering how many of them are spent with filler arcs or scenes, and how the pacing is generally infamously slow. Luckily, a remastered version has been released recently with the name of “Dragonball Kai”. Though the remastering is little more than a bit of resaturation of the colors and new OPs and EDs with modern-style drawings, it has the immense merit of having cut out all the filler material from the old series, reducing the first two sagas from 194 to just 98 episodes – which says a lot about how much crap had been stuffed in there. On the downside, Kai used an original soundtrack, which despite having its excellent moments, in the opinion of many badly holds up to the original Japanese OST, or the American dub counterpart by Bruce Falcouner. The last arc – the Majin Saga – will probably be “Kai-fied” in the near future, but for now has not been, so for now you’re stuck with the old version. By that point, anyway, the art had already considerably improved, though there still are some pacing issues.
        After milking all the milkable out of the Dragonball manga, Akira Toriyama called it quits – but Toei Animation wasn’t satisfied and shat out yet another animated Dragonball series, “Dragonball GT”. As an anime only series, this has only marginally better art but also bad writing, lots of plot holes and is generally awful – as well as having been basically declared non-canon by the author himself in recent times. I advice to avoid it if you’re not the most hardcore of fans (and even then, expect a disappointment).
        As of 2013, Dragonball has spawned a list of 18 movies, 4 TV specials and a handful of OVAs. Most of them are basically mindless action flicks where people exchanges fisticuffs for 80 minutes, and I’d advise you watch them after finishing the main series to avoid spoilers (they all basically are non-canon anyway). Notable exceptions are two TV specials. “Bardock: Father of Goku” is probably the highest point of the franchise – quite a feat for TV original material! – and needs to be watched during the Freeza saga to maximize its emotive impact. Ideally you should watch it after episode 85 of the original Z series, or after episode 42 of the Kai one. “The History of Trunks” can be watched right after the first few episodes of the Android Saga. Among the other movies, the most notable ones are probably “Broly: the legendary super-saiyan”, “Fusion reborn”, and “Wrath of the dragon” – aka “the one that has an actual plot”. Avoid the infamous “Bio-Broly” movie, possibly the worst of the bunch. The “Battle of the Gods” movie has been just released in Japan and I know little about it except that it has amazing art and basically negates the GT series as a whole. Among the OVAs, “Yo! Son Goku and his friends return” is a fun, short flick that can entertain you after you’re over with the more serious stuff. “Episode of Bardock”, on the other hand, is better left alone and forgotten. A little curiosity for One Piece fans: a manga and anime crossover between Dragonball and One Piece exists, called “Cross Epoch”. It provides some fun interactions between the two casts. Another special crosses Dragonball, One Piece and Toriko, but I haven’t seen that.
        With this much fame, it is no surprise that Dragonball has spawned also some live-action adaptations. Unfortunately, this format scarcely fits the franchise, and the results have been poor at best. “Dragonball: the magic begins” is a ludicrous korean flick with abysmal production values that has only its relative fidelity to the original plot of the first Dragonball anime as a strong point – for the rest, it could be easily classified among the crowd of the ‘so bad it’s good’ curiosities. The western live-action adaptation “Dragonball: Evolution”, on the other hand, is bad, full stop. “Evolution” is not only a terrible Dragonball movie, but a terrible movie in general, confused, poorly acted and with a joke of a script. Just stay away from it.
        Finally, some attention is deserved by some of the best Dragonball works to come out of the fandom. Team Four Star has dedicated itself to the titanic enterprise of abridging Dragonball Z – turning it into a series of short 10 minutes or so episodes, redubbing it and editing in order to add comedy into the mix without losing its original plot and feeling. The results are nothing less than stellar: TFS’s Dragonball Z Abridged is acknowledged by some as being even BETTER than the actual series, though you still need to watch that to get some of the jokes. With the most epic moments of the series packed into such a compact format together with a string of memorable jokes that will crack you up multiple times, DBZ Abridged has incredible rewatching value and will probably become your favourite way of reliving the series’ highlights after you complete it once. Speaking of fan works, amongst the many existing or speculated prosecutions for the story of Dragonball Z, a webcomic by french artists Salagir and Gogeta Jr., Dragonball Multiverse, shines for both its high quality art – very closely resembling Toriyama sensei’s own style – and its self-aware plot, that mixes genuine suspense and humour. Its setting, a tournament fought between the heroes at the end of the series and their counterparts and enemies from many alternative versions of their own universe, allows for endless possibilities and answers to the eternal shonen anime fan question: if X and Y had fought, who would have won?

      • Scamp
        Posted May 26, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Noooo, you’re not selling it to someone! You’re just trying to make it less complicated by telling them where to start and where to go from there. Take a look at the franchises page and see the way the others are formatted

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Hey, sorry if you didn’t like it, but I had done that – I’m not that dense, y’know. It’s just that I tend to write a lot. I can synthesize the whole thing, but I guess it just boils down to:

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


  4. fathomlessblue
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    The Hunter x Hunter franchise isn’t that complicated. It’s currently as follows:

    1)1998 Tv series (62 episodes): Covers the beginning of the manga until the first half of the Yorkshin arc. It’s more slowly paced than the second adaptation, & contains some filler.

    2)2002 Ova (30 episodes): Covers the second half of the Yorkshin & the entirety of the Greed Island arc

    3)2011 Tv series (ongoing): Second adaptation of the manga, covering the beginning of the manga, & carries on after the stopping point of the original tv/ova series. Currently in the Chimera Ant arc.

    4)2013 Phantom Rouge movie. Takes place after the Yorkshin arc but is new material & is currently unknown whether it is considered canon or an alternative timeline.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      More important question though: Which should you watch first?

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 12:23 am | Permalink

        I honestly don’t think it matters. The first season is slower and looks more drab with a more atmospheric tone, similar to how the first FMA was, but far more faithful to the source material.

        I honestly prefer the first adaptation for its style, but if you want a more complete package & don’t want to watch the same story twice, just go with the remake.

      • Ana
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 2:27 am | Permalink

        I would argue that the newest reboot is more faithful. The first adaptation had a ton of filler and excess fat.

        (Honestly, I’d say read the manga to completion and then watch the remake if you want to see the manga in motion and colour. Both adaptations pretty much cover the same ground so it’s kind of a waste to watch both at this point in time unless you’re a real hardcore fan.)

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 4:31 am | Permalink

        Yeah, to clarify I meant the original HxH adaptation was far more faithful, compared to how the original FMA turned out. The second adaptation is technically more faithful to the manga, but both should be close enough for non-purists. The original series’ tone & pacing are altered, plus there’s some (hardly a ton!) filler of varying quality.

        For the sake of it you may as well go with the new series, as it’s closer to the manga & runs for longer. I have my own preferences, but nobody is required to watch both.

      • Shinmaru
        Posted May 27, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Yes, at this point I would say go with the 2011 series first, because it’s covering the same ground and more as the original + OVAs, and it’s flat-out better at this point. If you really like the story, though, the original is worth checking out just because the visual and aural approach is so different. The “filler” episodes are actually pretty good for the most part, as well.

  5. Blragh
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    here is a sheet I made up for chronological order for hidamari a while back if you’d like to use it.

    if the number has a .1 or .2 or something that means skit 1 or 2 or 3 if there is a third one in the episode.


    • Scamp
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      I don’t….what? I had always assumed time didn’t move in the Hidimari universe

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 4:43 am | Permalink

        Most Hidamari episodes aren’t in chronological order, similar to the original Haruhi tv run. Still, that’s hardly the point of the show. You’re not going miss anything by realising the current episode of the girls eating food & doing sod else, takes place two months before the previous episode, where the girls ate food & did sod else. It’s a quirk that has no real relevance either way. Just watch the show in episode order.

  6. Seppuku33
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m your man on all things Universal Century for the Gundam franchise. I’ve seen:

    Universal Century Timeline:
    Mobile Suit Gundam (Series / 3 Compilation Movies)
    Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (OVA)
    Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (OVA)
    Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (OVA)
    Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (Series / 3 Compilation Movies)
    Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (Movie)
    Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (OVA)
    Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (Movie)

    Really, the best of the franchise are the OVAs. However, you get a significantly greater impact, the more you undertand the history and past conflicts. I watched them in chronological order (besides F91) and each series is more enjoyable for that. There is a lot of technobabble in Gundam Unicorn that may put people off without watching the original series first.

    The original Gundam series and Zeta Gundam have each been released as 3 actually good compilation movies that many say surpass the originals. For the original, they throw out all the BS and keep what’s important. For Zeta, they change the ending, so whatever floats your boat. The Zeta movies have updated animation so that’s a big plus. Both series are 50 episodes so watching them may be a lengthily for some. I recommend watching the 3 compilation movies for the original gundam but to watch the series for Zeta Gundam.

    • Seppuku33
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      My brother and I were right at home with Gundam Unicorn. The terms used and characters seen were familiar. There are TONS of references to past series. Gundam Unicorn really is a culmination of the Gundam franchise.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 12:43 am | Permalink

        You should edit the Gundam one so that it says Production order. The 0079 movies are great but you should really watch the main series first, just so you can get the story in an easily digestible format that doesn’t leave you brain dead after the two hour block that is the first two compilation movies.

        The 0079 movies are fantastic but they’re more like supplements for the series, not something that can completely replace the series.

    • Posted May 27, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      And of course, G-Saviour at the end of it all!

  7. gedata
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    For Huner x Hunter, you can either start from the new series right from the beginning, or watch the old 62 episode series and the first OVA set of eight episodes. The older series is recommended if you prefer a darker atmosphere, but has a few differences in characterization which aren’t consistent with the manga’s story as a whole. The Greed Island OVAs were really shoddy adaptations though, and if you opt for the old series, just skip them and start at episode 59

    1. just watch the new series
    2. watch the new one+the first OVA set afterwards, then move onto episode 59 of the new series.

    • gedata
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Underneathe “tl;dr” are two seperate options. I’n not saying do 1, then 2

  8. Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t realise this existed! Now it’ll be a breeze for me to go back into all these past anime. And look at that, a comment on NGE, just as I was pondering what sequence I should watch it (a blasphemy that I haven’t watched it, I know).

  9. Seppuku33
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    The Leijiverse is still intimidating even with that chart. I’m going to watch the original, 1978 anime series: Space Pirate Captain Harlock. For Yamato I’m going to watch the series that is currently being released: Space Battleship Yamato 2199. Old time fans have told me that these are the best places to dive in. For Galaxy Express 999, yeesh, I have no clue.

    There are so many adaptations of his work that it’s difficult to know where to begin. If someone could pick up the Leijiverse then it would be greatly appreciated, I’m sure.

    • Magus
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 3:25 am | Permalink

      I’ve watched all of 70’s/80’s Yamato, which, not counting the recent remake stuff (which I haven’t seen), is almost everything in that franchise.

      Start with the original 1974-1975 Space Battleship Yamato series. There’s a compressed movie version of it but it’s very rushed and not good in comparison; shame on Japan for letting it beat Star Wars at the Japanese box office.

      Next comes either the Farewell Space Battleship Yamato movie or the Space Battleship Yamato 2 series. Both cover roughly the same events but the latter is an expansion of the former with major changes. Later Yamato anime follow the Space Battleship Yamato 2 timeline, so if you have to pick one, have it be that.

      Release order is for the most part chronological order from there on out. Space Battleship Yamato: The New Voyage -> Be Forever Yamato -> Space Battleship Yamato 3 -> Final Yamato -> Space Battleship Yamato: Resurrection (haven’t seen this last one, it’s from 2009)

      There’s also a Space Battleship Yamato live action movie from 2010 in its own continuity; again, haven’t seen it.

      There’s an OVA from the 90’s I haven’t seen called Yamato 2520. It was cancelled partway-through because of a legal battle over who owned the Yamato franchise. It doesn’t seem to be either well-regarded or relevant to the rest of the franchise, though.

      I…can try to do a Leijiverse writeup but I haven’t seen major portions of it.

      • Magus
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

        …But before THAT:

        The Legend of the Galactic Heroes section needs work as it contains both factual errors and lacks an IMO important disclaimer.

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

      • Magus
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 4:51 am | Permalink

        Other things:

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

        The second Lupin III TV series probably deserves a nod. I think it’s held up a lot better than the first series, and barring Castle of Cagliostro, it’s generally the most popular and well-regarded part of the franchise.

      • Seppuku33
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the much needed info Magus. Legend of the Galactic Heroes is just what I’m going to watch after some Leijiverse works. I’ve heard same thing that My Con­quest is the Sea of Stars is where I should start. I’ve heard that the other material is really good except for Golden Wings.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 26, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Problem with Space Battleship Yamato is how old it is and how off-putting that older animation style is. That’s why, given how well regarded the most recent adaptation is, I’d be inclined to tell people to start there as their gateway drug

  10. Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Air: Watch the first 8 episodes, then jump into the 2 OVA specials that go into more detail regarding the lives of the fantasy world arc characters, then continue from Episode 9 to the end. Alternatively, if you want a more streamlined, less pandering version of Air, check out the Toei movie. Like the Clannad one, it’s been forgotten due to its shoddy animation and divergence from the actual source material, but depending on whether or not you like the KyoAni series, that divergence can be considered either a good or a bad thing.

    Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera: Both the series from the 70s and the recent remake can be watched on their own without any prior knowledge of the franchise. However, do not watch the 2006 OVA series unless you like Enma-kun played dead serious without any attempts at humor whatsoever.

    Kimagure Orange Road: The OVA series takes place during different points in the actual series and the two movies take place after the series’ end with “I Want to Return to that Day” being the official conclusion and “Summer’s Beginnings” being an epilogue movie, so by estimation, it would be this:

    Episodes 1-20 > Hawaii Suspence > I Was A Cat, I Was A Fish > Hurricane Akane > Unexpected Situation > Episodes 21-25 > Spring Is For Idols > Birth of a Star > Episodes 26-35 > White Lovers > Episodes 36-48 > Message in Rouge > I Want to Return to That Day > Summer’s Beginnings.

    Ranma: Pretty much simple order of release. I don’t think any of the movies or OVAs stand out enough that you can watch them without watching the series. Same thing with Maison Ikkoku.

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

    The second movie, A Beautiful Dreamer, is considered one of Mamoru Oishi’s finest works and can be watched on its own without having seen either the TV series or the other movies. So if you don’t want to sit through all 195 episodes but still want to see a fine piece of animation, you can watch it without having seen any of the franchise as long as you understand the basic premise. Also, Movie 6 is considered awful and should be avoided at all costs, especially since Movie 5 is the official ending. The 2008 OVA is something of a celebratory special with much better animation, so despite taking place somewhere within the series, it’s better to finish the entire thing before jumping into that.

    That’s all I can think of at the moment.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      I generally don’t want to tell people /not/ to watch certain things, because you never know what people might or might not like

      • Posted May 25, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink

        Well then Movie 6 of Urusei Yatsura should be watched just before Movie 5 then because it takes place sometime before it.

        I guess you can just say people who want a more serious version of Enma-kun can watch the 2006 OVA.

  11. Posted May 25, 2013 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    As promised, here’s the Tamayura one.

    Tamayura ~hitotose~ Episode 1 > The Original Tamayura OVA > Tamayura ~hitotose~ Episodes 2-5 > Tamayura ~hitotose~ OVA > Tamayura ~hitotose~ Episodes 6-12 > Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ (?)

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

  12. Embok
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    HxH is easy – watch the new series. This isn’t an FMA/FMA:B situation where they’re completely different series despite the same base. It’s the same thing, just better and more complete.

  13. Daaaaan
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    While the Gintama section of that franchise page got Jump Festa OVA listed as the gateway drug, i tend to disagree. Not that i hate it, the direction is just bad compared to the rest of the show. Because this is a comedy series and time didn’t move in-universe (heck, it’s even made into some kind of a running gag. “just like in Sazae-san”. And then there’s the ‘timeskip’ arc…) it is really safe to watch it in no chronological order. I usually recommend episode 25 (the hotpot episode) or 98-99 (Bentendo OwEe miniarc) to new viewers.

    Especially episode 25, because it kinda doubles as a parody of Death Note (with a genuine Ryuk cameo!).

  14. Cirith
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    So I should watch the movie before starting the Legend of the Galactic Heroes series? Is it a prequel or why in that order?

    Btw since you dropped it a Oreimo spoiler: He actually gets together with Kuroneko before the end of the show, I didn’t expect them to do anything beside teasing with his relationship. (Though I only know that since a friend mentioned it and I decided to watch that episode.)

    • Cirith
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Scratch that spoiler, bah…

    • Antic
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      The My Conquest is the Sea of Stars movie comes earlier in the continuity, yes, though it’s not like you’d be screwing yourself over if you just stick with the main 110 episode series. My Conquest… is a decent place to start and should give you a feel for the series, the only slight downside is that you get a bit of redundant exposition in the first few episodes.

      (Now personally, I’d start with the Overture to a a New War movie, and then skip the first two OVA episodes, cause it covers the same material, but the execution is way better. (There’s absolutely nothing in those two episodes that isn’t covered either in that movie or repeated in a subsequent episode.) But that’s probably a bit convoluted for these purposes.)

      The rest of this is more as an addition to one of the earlier posters, but the Hundred Billion Stars, Hundred Billion Lights and Spiral Labyrinth are each the name of both a series of OVAs and an arc within that series. (This REALLY confused me when I was first trying to watch these.) The arcs in these two series are all standalone short (side) stories, though there’s clearly an internal chronology. I believe the main plot of Golden Wings actually takes place somewhere in between these (though it’s pretty lousy, so it’s not worth bothering with unless you’re a completionist.)

  15. passerby
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Blood-C has a movie now (it’s a sequal to the anime) that you could add to the Blood section.

  16. Doom
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    There are two Nanoha manga after strikers. The first is vivid, and it takes place 4 years after Strikers. It mostly centers on Vivio and fighting tournaments ( and fanservice ) The second is Force which takes place six Years after Strikers and Nanoha isn’t even directly the main characters. It deals with the eclipse system. And there’s a third original movie also coming up. It’s called reflection from what i know.

  17. Alex Voda
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    If you are interested, I would like to write a section for the Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra.
    It seams pretty straight forward but there is actually more to it than just that.

    Also the Genshiken section will need updating soon, with the new season this year.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Sure, something for Avatar would work.

  18. Alex Voda
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    A section about Ranma 1/2 would also be nice but I haven’t seen nearly enough to write one.

  19. Alex Voda
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Maybe a section for series with wacky episode orders would also be useful for those who want to watch in chronological order, though that spoils them a bit.
    Haruhi Suzumiya and Humanity has declined I am looking at you.

    I would write these if you want, though I kinda forgot about Haruhi so I’ll need some research.

  20. Alex Voda
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Another one: Time of Eve can be watched as either a movie or as 6 episodes.

    • Alex Voda
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Did this one just get added or did I miss it before?

  21. Alex Voda
    Posted May 26, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I would also update Spice and Wolf with details about where to continue after the anime.

    Also a section about it’s spiritual relative, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. Not related in anyway, but similar in approach.

  22. conankudo4
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Hi, I figured I’d mention something small for the Major franchise. It’ll be small since there isn’t much to go over, but it’s of note.

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

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

    • Scamp
      Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Cheers for that. I’d always thought Major was really simple, but didn’t consider the movies and stuff

  23. Posted May 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    From what I understand, the You’re Under Arrest production and chronological order are the same. So watch
    1) 1995 OVA
    2) 1996 TV series
    3) 2001 series
    4) 2007 series

  24. Kiseki
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Would you like something on Kagerou Project after the anime is released? Nothing yet since we don’t have a clue on what direction the anime will take (whether it will just adapt the novel or become something else entirely). Reading the novel/manga and following the songs might turn out necessary, but I’m not sure if it belongs there due to the media it’s in.

    There are plenty of guides explaining the whole mess but I don’t believe there are any on what order to watch/listen to the songs and read the novel/manga.

    (Then again I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it given how convoluted KagePro is.)

    • Scamp
      Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Did a bit of reading and…emm, no. Leave it out for now, unless a proper anime comes out of it.

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