Anime Round-up, February 2010

People have been asking my recently about anime I’ve been watching that I really liked. Here are some, in no particular order, that are mostly available on Netflix:

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Blood+ An anime with international intrigue, corporate dealings, genetic research, references to Vietnam, opera, and vampiric creatures? Yes, please. As the name implies, it’s pretty bloody and violent, but still a little Magic-Girl-feeling. This was picked up a few years ago by Cartoon Network, but I believe the whole series is currently available on Netflix.


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Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture Ha, it’s an anime about Otaku (Japanese ultra-nerds). Very school/college-type anime, but it’s an interesting and compelling window into a very identifiable subculture in Japan. The characters are well-written, and the story moves steadily forward while continuing to go nowhere. Wikipedia describes it as “Slice-of-life,” and that feels pretty much spot-on to me. It’s faintly reminiscent of Azumanga Daioh.
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BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad One of my favorite anime that I’ve watched recently. It’s a music anime, about some youngsters starting a band and growing up at the same time.

Nothing impossible or unimaginable happens, and the music is really, really good. There’s a lot of that “coming of age” feeling to it, since the main character is in high school.

Oh, and Beck is the name of the dog. The entire series is on Netflix.


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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood A retelling of the original Fullmetal Alchemist, this time closer to the original manga. This version of the series is also much darker than the first one. I’ve only watched the first 10 episodes but so far it seems to be a bit accelerated compared to the original series. Be prepared: All of the painful, tragic moments in this story are actually a little harder to bear the second time around. I believe Cartoon Network will start airing dubbed versions of this series soon, but otherwise some episodes are available online for download or streaming.