When you've seen all the classics, it's hard to find anything else that really feels worthwhile. I find myself watching mediocre anime more often than not, and I'm sure many of you are in the same boat. That's why I've made this thread. We can share anime that we consider obscure enough to be overlooked easily, yet good enough that you'd be glad not to miss it. Note that these don't have to be totally out of the way, nor do they have to be complete masterpieces; just anything you think more people could stand to watch. I'll do a few write-ups to start us off:
>Aria the Animation
Fairly popular in some circles, but it doesn't seem to get talked about much. It's a very genuine portrayal of a beautiful, perfect world that makes me happy whenever I watch it. It's at least as good as K-On, so check it out if you liked that series.
Action with light science fiction and elements of mafia drama. The pacing is surprisingly subdued considering how absurd the fight scenes can get. The story takes place over many years and uses this to develop the characters impressively well towards a compelling conclusion. Not for people who want to take the whole thing seriously, but good if you think Shadow the Hedgehog was pretty cool.
Directed by Tomino in between Gundam and Zeta Gundam, among other things (making it not all that obscure, really). It's a mecha series, as one might expect, but it's more comedic than most of what Tomino is known for. His knack for character design shines here.
I might do more of these later, but that should do for the moment. Let me know if these aren't obscure enough, and of course, leave your own recommendations if you please.
Thank you for the recommendations! I will look into these shows. I appreciate finding hidden gems of any media because hidden gems feel like it is yours. A show that is lesser known is like a precious diamond that you own. When a show becomes too popular, it is like, a diamond in a display that is obscured by a crowd of people.
Another write-up, in hopes of getting the thread going:>Eat-man
Seems to be more well-known with Mexicans for some reason. Maybe it was on TV there? Anyway, it's full of weird, inconclusive episodes that seem to focus more on atmosphere than anything else. I can't recommend the '98 follow-up series, though, in spite of it being said to follow the manga more closely.
>Brigadoon: Marin to Melan
A relatively early effort to use digital animation techniques, notably with more success than most. The visual style is carefully designed to work well with the medium, making it stand out in an era where most anime looked terrible. The flashy fight choreography and episodic structure make it fun to watch.
>Key the Metal Idol
Studio Pierrot used to be good. This OVA series is often considered a precursor to Serial Experiments Lain. It's quite melodramatic, but this can work to its advantage. The animation is at times superb and never dips below a remarkable standard of quality.
Help me out here, or I'll run out of good ones. I want to hear everyone's obscure favorites.
Anyway, I'd sooner recommend relatively mainstream stuff then point you to a bad anime, so here are two more:
>The Big O
Aired on Adult Swim, with the second season funded by Cartoon Network. Episodic mecha action with increasingly prominent mystery undertones. The style is fantastic, and so is the soundtrack.
>Dirty Pair: Project Eden
OVA based on the well known TV anime, itself borne from a light novel series. Not deep or intellectual, but it's an extraordinary showing of what could be done with the combination of budget and talent available in the 80s. Lots of fun if you're in the right mindset.
Okay, these are pretty much the last two I've got unless I want to start recommending stuff everyone already knows. Neither of these are very obscure as it is, but check them out if you haven't:
Directorial debut of Hiroyuki Imaishi, known for Gurren Lagann. It's a movie-length OVA with an emphasis on its unique visual style. Amusingly crass and vaguely counterculture.
In its original run in 2010, the gimmick of this series was that it released one episode per month, giving it a seasonal theme. The art and character design are both fresh, although the action can be somewhat generic. Follows a nice, self-contained arc.
Anyway, I'm nearly out of options here, so please leave some of your own picks. If I see any that are new to me, I'll post them here, but this thread will probably slow down otherwise.