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But just as Kon leads the viewer down one apparent path he, of course, pulls his usual reality-shifting, mind-bending, plot-twisting trick with the show’s surprising climax.is an unusual, brave and at times challenging example of what anime can achieve, and perhaps what no other art form can.Its challenging plot and message is backed by strong production values and its gentle European ambiance, making it one of the most controversial anime productions of the last decades.It splits anime fans even now, with many refusing to see it as anything more than fan-pandering—interestingly (in my experience) a reaction seldom seen from viewers from outside anime fandom. The story of giant mecha battling strange, powerful creatures, it is yet another show that takes standard anime clichés—angst-ridden teenage pilots, over-the-top battle sequences, end-of-the-world scenarios—and uses them to try and tell a different, deeper story.While its philosophical explorations have helped it to stick in Japan’s collective consciousness, its visual style also played a massive role in revitalising the medium, on mecha and character design in particular, spawning not only many imitators but also a current movie series retelling.It is still the original TV run that remains compelling and essential viewing.
Just like last time, the aim of the list is not only to present ten examples of the anime medium that showcase the art form at its greatest, but also ten examples that are accessible to those mature viewers for whom the scene is new or even completely alien.
Focusing largely on the lives of the children that are forced—at times against their will—to defend earth from this unknown, mysterious enemy, it moves from being a simple coming of age story to dealing with psychoanalysis, mental illness, and the essence of human nature.
Similarly, in amongst the teen drama and city-leveling action sequences, Hideaki Anno’s script plays with Christian and biblical symbolism to explore philosophical and spiritual concepts, as well as questioning the nature of reality itself.
First off I’d just like to say a huge thank you to everyone that read my list of ten anime films you should see before you die—the response has been phenomenal—not just the number of people who read it, but also those who took the time out to get involved in the following discussion.
Some people loved my selections, some people thought I was well off the mark, but it was clear that there was no way I was going to be able to avoid putting together another list, this time of TV series. Not only because of the vast selection to choose from, but also because I knew from the start that I would be leaving out some shows that a lot of people hold very dear.
As such, I have had to leave out popular fan favourites, slice-of-life comedies and high school dramas that are aimed too directly at the otaku demographic and which rely on an understanding of the genre and Japanese pop culture to fully appreciate.