One of the best things about the website Hulu has been how they seem to keep adding more and more anime, both new and old alike. And while we’ve talked about how they’re putting up the re-released classic Sailor Moon (and will have the new Sailor Moon Crystal remake as it airs), we thought we’d dive into a few other classic shows you could be spending your time with.
And by “we,” I mean “me.” Because I didn’t ask Nick and Pher for their opinions before choosing these.
Because I’m a jerk like that.
Anyway, the following series should get you started on wasting many hours watching anime instead of doing anything productive. And that’s what’s important.
In no particular order:
1. Ranma 1/2
Based on the Manga by legendary Manga artist Rumiko Takahashi, Ranma 1/2 tells the story of Ranma Saotome – a guy who (due to an idiotic move by his father) is cursed to transform into a girl whenever he’s hit by cold water (he returns to his masculine form by getting hit with hot water). If being stuck swapping genders willy nilly because your father dragged you to a training ground full of cursed springs wasn’t bad enough, he’s also been forcibly engaged to Akane Tendo — daughter of one of his father’s friends — in the hopes of carrying on their family’s martial arts traditions.
Needless to say, Akane isn’t too happy with this either.
Sound completely insane? It is! But in a good way. In a very, very good way. There is occasional nudity, but not enough to be pornographic in the least. Really, just enough where that will be the exact moment your mother chooses to walk into the family room to ask you what you want to do for dinner and thirteen year old you will frantically search for the VCR remote…
…umm… yeah. Had a bit of a flashback there.
Do you like giant robots? Of course you do. Do you like giant robots fighting other giant robots? Even better. Do you like giant robots piloted by crazy people fighting other giant robots with GIANT SIX SHOOTER REVOLVERS all while worried about the budgetary constraints of the Tokyo police department!?
DID I EVEN HAVE TO ASK?
Set in the far off future year of 1998, Patlabor tells the story of a world where most industrial work is done by human piloted “Labors.” For those of you confused, Labors are just giant robots, and are so common that (of course) criminals have figured out how to use them.
So Patrol Labor divisions of the Tokyo Police force were created.
And the show follows one of them.
Hence the name “Patlabor.”
Not really that hard if you think about it.
3. Revolutionary Girl Utena
Utena is a series that’s hard to put into words. It follows Utena Tenjou in her quest to… become a prince? Maybe? It’s so hard to describe… She’s the new student at the exclusive Ohtori Academy, located… somewhere… which is controlled largely by the all powerful student council. Now, you see those words I wrote, and you’re thinking “oh, it’s a school anime set in…” and this is where I tell you to shut up. It’s not about school.
It’s about sword fighting on a giant platform in the sky underneath an upside down rotating castle for the heart of the rose bride, Anthy.
This is the part where most people’s noses start bleeding uncontrollably and their eyes roll back into their heads.
Exceptionally surreal and drenched in symbolism, it’s actually really, really good. And very pastel. But still good. It’s one of the few both pastel and good things I can think of.
Anyway, you should watch it.
The entire series is online dubbed at Hulu.com, but sadly not on Hulu Plus. You’ll be stuck behind a computer screen to watch this one. There’s also a movie… which is unrelated in continuity and in many ways makes no sense. So it’s worth watching, but only after you’ve seen the TV show.
I’ll link to it when I think you’re ready.
Which you aren’t yet.