Seraphicgate was lamenting the lack of good anime lately, and I was going to do a long list of shows that I've liked... but it would have taken a long time to properly describe them. So, instead, I've decided to find the openings, and then do a little description, and let the shows sell themselves.
See review below. I love this opening... it so simple, the the contrast of the upbeat song and the creepy image of characters laughing at you while floating, dreamlike, through various backgrounds, fucks my shit up.
Also, the opening form the AWESOME looking PS2 game... SWORD OF THE BERSERK was probably my favorite Dreamcast game of all time, and Zodd was proabably the most frustrating Boss of any game EVER.
BERSERK is one of the best anime and manga I've ever seen. It's an odd cross between shonen ultraviolence and poetic romance, about a man who continually defies fate, even as another man is swallowed up by it. I also like the fantasy world it inhabits where magic and monsters seem to be on the cusp of disappearing from the world and becoming epherial legend. Gattsu (Guts, Gatts, whatever pronounciation) is one of the most bad ass, and most complicated, characters I've ever encountered
This is actually one of the few anime that I recomend the dub specifically, as the dub signifigantly deviates from the sub script to create something unique, contemporary, and way more accessible and original than the original script. It's a great take on the Japanese idea of what a superhero is. I... LOVE the Transforming Hero genre, and the idea of transformation itself fansinates me... particularly as portrayed in GAWL. The idea that becoming is hero is painful and that there is a lose of control and humanity. The portrayal of a hero that is as monsterous and frightening as the creatures he fights... is awesome to me.
Also, this theme song has been on my MP3 player for 4 YEARS.
NOIEN TO YOUR OTHER SELF
One of the more innovative, original, and contemporary shows that's come out... uuuuuuuh... EVER. You could almost swear it was written by Warren Ellis, as a huge part of the shows premise deals with Quantum Theory and it's practical application. NOIEN also has one of the better female protagonists I've seen in any show, as Haruka, while having no outwardly physical power of her own with which to fight, is never, at any point in the series, helpless. In fact, she's probably the strongest character in the show, as she's the only one that proactively deals with her problems, and solves her own disfunctions, while all her friends are crippled by them.
This show was basically LORD OF THE FLIES in space. It was this really clever and serious hard sci-fi show about a large group of kids that get abandoned in space after a terrorist attack kills all their adult supervisors and leaves them on the run from an unknown enemy. Soon society starts to break down as the kids are forced to grow up too fast. Hard choices are made, and not a single character is unleft emotionally unscarred, as everyone slowly loses their minds giving into peer pressure, emotional pressure, and external pressure. One of my favorite parts of the show is how they stress how ridiculous the concept of a giant humanoid robot would be, and how space battles would be nothing like in anime, but would actually be really show, tedious, and involve a lot of math.
REIGN THE CONQUEROR
A really odd take on real life historical figure Alexander the Great (ALEXANDER SENKI in Japan), this paticular version combines historical fact with outlandish fantasy, creating a hybrid the likes of which has never been seen before. If nothing else, I just LOVE Peter Chung's (AEON FLUX) art direction and character designs... the guy has a style that no one else in the world has. I liked the portrayal of Aristole as a manipulative villian, and Plato as a genius that figured out Quantum Theory and transcended humanity after creating a Quantum Computer called the Platohedron, and how it's Alexanders ability to subconciously control the Platohedron that allowed him to conquer half the world by manipulating fate in his favor. It's all very weird and abstract and very AEON FLUX-y.
WITCH HUNTER ROBIN
The thing I liked about this show was that it was sort of a combination of ANGEL and BUFFY, but only the good elements of both... a weird hybrid of supernatural thriller and 80's detective drama. The art direction was also pretty excellent, and I like the character designs a lot. Also, I like the shows one homosexual character (or, at least, the english dub directors decision to cast it that way), which was very true to what it's like to be a closeted homosexual in Japan (it's alright as long as you're married and have a kid that grows up to resent you). The show is full of twists and turns, betrayal, double crosses, and everyone in the show is pretty intelligent and on the balls. It's a smart and mature show that doesn't need to resort of excessive sex or violence to be smart and mature.
I find this opening very much gives you a good idea of the emotional spectrum that the show covers, showing Robin's pain and longing, but also her lighter side in the final seconds, with a quick montage of her being a cute, but eccentric, teenage girl.
I actually went with the trailer instead of the opening, as the show is way to complicated for me to express in a short period without spoilers, and the opening doesn't give much of a hint as to what the shows about, or how FUCKING GOOD it is. ERGO PROXY is one of the overall BEST anime I've ever seen... it's this weird, dark, gothic, Euro-sci-fi story by the same director as WITCH HUNTER ROBIN (which explains why it features another strong, goth-girl, protagonist). As mature and dark as the show is, though, it also has a really odd, black, sense of humor about it, which plays heavily into two episodes... a clip show which is structured like a cheezy game show, but the stakes are nuclear armaggedon if the main characters can't remember or figure out what it is that been going on for the past 13 episodes; and another episode where they encounter a Disney like figure that has Godlike power over the world he's created for himself. The series also has one of the more truly adorable characters I've ever seen in Pina, a cute psuedo-sentient robot girl who is SO ADORABLE that it actually becomes creepy.
This show has one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard, period...
I don't usually go for dialouge heavy anime like .HACK//Sign, but the shows so complicated and character driven, I found it really engrossing, and the direction, along with the way they used the aforementioned excellent soundtrack, manages to have every episode build and build, until it's nearly a dirvish of action and emotion, and then ends on a huge cliffhanger. I also like the idea behind the show of people interacting solely through the RPG setting of THE WORLD, and the background elements of the world using humans as part of a larger program to create a perfect AI through the observation of human interation on a massive scale, and the idea of the program in charge of nurturing that AI trying to emotionally cripple it by trapping an emo-kid in the program (Tsukasa is sooooooooo fucking emo... but with good reason, as you slowly find out through the creepy flashbacks to his/her life outside the game). The only weakness that the show has is that it's part of a franchise, and thus you don't get the full effect until you play the games... which I just don't have the patience for. The show itself is mostly self contained, as long as you don't give a fuck about what happens to Aura or Morganna... which I really didn't.
That's all for now... I'll do more some other day.