Anime DVD New Fan Advice
Anime DVDs are a great hobby to get into. Buckle up. Looking inward, it looks like a big, scary and maybe fatal undertaking. Let’s face it, it might be…
Anime is a form of media that contains all the ] peaks and deep, deep troughs of human imagination. When it’s good, it’s mind-bending sci-fi plots, mirthful belly laughs, involuntary squees and tears upon tears. And when it’s bad, you’ll find yourself head-in-hands, bemoaning the terrible race that is humanity.
Anime DVD Fan Mindset
Anime DVDs provide one thing in abundance. EVERYTHING. There is so much anime available. And if you know anything about anime DVD culture, it’s that its fans are, often, mega-crazy-massivefans. Anime DVD fandom can be intimidating for newcomers. “Oh, you’ve seen this weird anime? Well, have you watched this odd one?”, “Have you seen every single episode?”, etc., are questions that snobby Anime DVD people ask. Not everyone is like this so just ignore those people.
Watch what you personally like. Stop watching what you don’t enjoy, even if otaku news tell you it’s “foundational” or “classic.” You have limited free time for anime. Don’t spend it all cramming on Evangelion Complete DVD Collection if, by episode 10, you’re screaming, “Shinji: Get in the robot.”
Also: anime is a visual platform, not a genre so unlike fantasy movies or dramatic romance through to comedies, you simply can’t watch or enjoy it all. Sure, there are “anime” staples like adorable magical pets, high-school transfer love stories and fifteen-episode boss battles, but these are not guiding principles. Consider anime the same way you think of “cartoons.” You might dig Adventure Time, but not Invader Zim; Steven Universe but not Tiny Toons. A cartoon can cover any topic in any way, so there are massive differences between shows. The same goes for anime. The big difference is that anime is specifically produced in Japan and bound by some artistic similarities, like large eyes and pointy chins.
Anime DVD To Start Your Collection
First up, let’s chat about what not to start with. The highly popular boxsets anime series, like Dragon Ball Z Complete DVD Collection and Naruto Anime DVDs and Sailor Moon Complete DVD Collection, are, a little counter-intuitively, not the best places to begin your anime journey. They’re long and they, mythology-heavy and they kids’ shows for a reason. I won’t throw shade on everyone’s favourite nostalgic programming, but I will say that right now that interesting anime for adults is super easy to find.
When it comes to where to dip your toes in the water, it really depends on what you prefer. Studio Ghibli DVDs are good teasers. Most approach the heights of style and beauty that anime can achieve: wind-swept panoramics, a bath house for the spirits, a cat bus, dual warrior princesses who fight climate change. Personally, I recommend Nausicaa and My Neighbor Totoro. I have found, however, that first-time anime viewers will often just watch more Studio Ghibli DVD movies without venturing into the larger world of anime.
I will try to recommend shorter series without gratuitous in-jokes, alienating fan service or an intended audience below the age of 15. I will gladly break one of those rules for awesome shows and there are many. Below are my top anime DVD starter recommendations for each major anime genre along with a small descriptions and reasons why I think they’re brilliant.
Action Anime DVDs
Cowboy Bebop DVD Collection: A team of bounty hunters track down criminals and grapple with their naughty pasts in jazz-backed adventures across the cosmos. It’s an action-packed classic full of James Bond one-liners and wildly creative world-building.
Samurai Champloo DVD Collection: Two samurai, one a breakdancing hellraiser and the other, a buttoned-up goody-twos shoes—accompany a scrappy girl on her journey to find a “samurai who smells of flowers.” It’s a brilliant combination of cool aesthetics and modern hip-hop culture with quirky and emotional sequences in equal measure.
Fooly Cooly DVD: An alien investigator in the form of an odd, boundary-breaking woman shakes up a depressed 13-year-old’s life in this punk-backed LSD trip of a show. Fooly Cooly is a super addictive and original combination of style and quirkyness.
Ruroni Kenshin Complete DVD Collection: Set in 19th century Japan, a wandering swordsman helps those in need across the country after vowing to never kill another human. This anime and its prequel Samurai X, will immerse you in a beautiful, cherry blossom-filled world where values are stricter and fights are very meaningful.
Comedy Anime DVDs
Ouran High School Host Club DVD Collection: A female scholarship student at a premier school encounters a club of six men whose jobs are to flatter women but after she breaks their expensive vase, she’s forced to pay it back by being a host also. This show is over-the-top and always a feel good watch
Hetalia: Axis Powers: A bizzare series of five-minute episodes in which World War II’s Axis and Allied powers are personified as anime teenage boys. It’s strange and excellent in equal portions.
Drama & Romance Anime DVDs
Nana: Two girls, both named Nana, meet each other on a train to Tokyo. One wants to pursue her ambitions as a punk rock star, and the other wants to be close to her useless boyfriend. Nana is in my top three anime ever. Its colourful cast of characters, ranging from a tight-knit punk band to a very empathetic hamburger maker, are more real than any I’ve experienced in any other anime or TV series for that matt.
Clannad Anime DVD Collection: One sarcastic high schooler gets to know six fantastic girls, all of whom betray their vulnerabilities and talents throughout his journey from delinquency to altruism. Clannad is full of infectious characters and, in the span of an episode, you’ll be taken on a ride through a whole host of emotions.
My Love Story Anime DVD Collection: A total mench with no luck at love and a highly attractive best friend falls in love with a shy girl who eventually confesses that she also loves him in return. This is a very sweet and heartbreaking show that’s staple viewing if feel good is what you like.
Anime Fantasy DVDs
Berserk Complete Anime DVD Collection: A mercenary chops down demons and delves into the darkest parts of humanity in this medieval-themed fantasy. Berserk is intense, deep and very powerful.
Fullmetal Alchemist Complete DVD Collection: A savant fledgling alchemist and his brother attempt to bring their deceased mother back to life and breaking a major taboo by joining the State Alchemists and finding the famed Philosopher’s Stone. This show has it all, political intrigue, magic, religion, demons and even love. Its story has lots of momentum and contains morally ambiguous complex characters.
Scifi Anime DVDs
Kaiba: A psychedelic trip sci-fi romance set in a world where people’s memories are stored on chips which the rich buy in bulk for entertainment. Although these ideas separately have been touched on (Strange Days) it is like nothing you have ever seen and very relevant in this age of digital living.
From The New World Anime DVD Collection: Millennia after humans destroy each other with psychic powers they developed genetically, a tranquil school in a countryside teaches its students how to harness their power but not about the human race’s dark history. This is a clever, well-paced show with mind-bogglingly smart and real world building.
Watching Anime DVDs
Anime DVDs are best enjoyed alone or with a close friend or significant other who also enjoys watching Anime DVDs.A lot of anime breaks western boundaries in ways that are challenging and rewarding when you can invest yourself in it completely. Sneering and judgmental reactions are common responses to anime so choose carefully!