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Member Lists

The Doc's Top Domestic Anime Series
List creator: drseid
Created on: May 23, 2004 - 5:06 AM PDT
Description: **Last update: 08/24/07** A listing of my favorite anime TV and OVA shows available for purchase in the US in order of preference. *Note: Show ratings are based on the original Japanese language track (subtitled).

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average rating MPAA rating watch rent buy
Gundam Wing: Operation 1 (1995)
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  Gundam at its best. Tied with Escaflowne and Please Save My Earth as my favorite series. My only gripe is with the horrible translation job by Bandai. Still my favorite despite this (but there would be no tie if the translation was done properly).
Vision of Escaflowne Vol. 1: Dragons & Destiny (2000)
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Not Rated
  Maybe not the most original, but everything else is perfect. Love triangle, fantasy and mecha all in one package! Also of note is Escaflowne has the best anime soundtrack ever recorded (IMO), by Yoko Kanno.
Please Save My Earth (2000)
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Not Rated
  SciFi winner of a story based on the long manga series of the same name (also highly recommended, BTW). Great art, character design, animation, and music by Yoko Kanno. The ending is open-ended (see the manga for the answers), but the journey is superb!
Record of Lodoss War - Collector's Set (Disc 1 of 2) (1990)
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  Fantasy role playing as it SHOULD be. MUCH better than the not so hot TV series created later.
Koi Kaze vol. 1: The Reunion (2005)
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Not Rated
  Somewhat taboo storyline (older brother/younger sister potential romance), but I absolutely love it (very clean too). The only minor flaw is the awful ED song... everything else is superb (including the sublime OP)! This is easily my favorite new show.
Sakura Diaries: Collector's Edition (Disc 1 of 2) (2000)
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  One of the best romantic comedy/dramas out there. The series features an addictive "adult" storyline (based on the superb manga that lets you know how all the relationships get resolved), coupled with fabulous character design, background art and music.
Boys Over Flowers Vol. 1: Declaration of War (2003)
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Not Rated
  Every bit as good as Marmalade Boy (if not better), with a similar style. Romance, drama and comedy with a bit slower pacing... Fabulous, and VERY addictive!
Marmalade Boy: Ultimate Scrapbook Vol. 1 (Disc 1 of 3) (1994)
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Not Rated
  Soap opera fans rejoice... Finally, we can see what a soap SHOULD be like! Fast pacing works great here, and leaves you going crazy with wonder as to what is going to happen next!
Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket Vol. 1 (2001)
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  Focuses on drama, not battle scenes (a good thing in my book). Nice plot driven storyline with likeable characters.
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team Vol. 1 (1995)
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Not Rated
  Storyline is kind of average, but it has great animation and likable characters.
Berserk Vol. 1: War Cry (2002)
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  Wow! This one ends poorly, but the journey getting there is not to be missed. Fantasy storyline on par with the best out there.
Kodocha vol. 1: School Girl Super Star (2005)
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Not Rated
  This series has been called "Marmalade Boy on steroids," and that sums it up nicely. This long and "oh so good" shoujo series is *super* wacky and hyper, but it is SO very funny with great characters! I can't tell you how happy I am that it is now available on DVD in the US! *Make sure to manually choose the correct subtitle track (one is a dubtitle)
Air TV, Vol. 1 (2004)
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Not Rated
  The best US release of 2007 has finally arrived! Air features fantastic fantasy romance and drama like few others, coupled with stunning character design and animation. The music score is from the game, and is quite addictive. One of my all-time favorite series, and obviously extremely highly recommended!
Fantastic Children vol. 1 (2004)
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Not Rated
  YES!!! This one is absolutely incredible. Fantastic Children combines sci-fi, action, romance and mystery into one powerhouse series with a tremendous cast of interesting characters. Animation is super-fluid, dialog and storyline extremely strong (and then there is that brilliant score...). This one is destined to be a classic. Must watch!
Video Girl Ai (2001)
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  Great teen coming-of-age romantic comedy by the creator of DNA^2!
X Vol. 1: One (2002)
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  This CLAMP based shoujo series is a pleasant surprise. I usually don't like CLAMP stuff, and the X movie was not good... this X series *is*. Nice fantasy with subtle love elements using a different shoujo spin on things than is usually found elsewhere. Excellent from the beginning, it only gets better with each new episode and finishes off quite well.
Elfen Lied: Vector 1 (2004)
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Not Rated
  After disc 1, I thought Elfen Lied was a tad overrated and *very* gory... but each disc just gets better and better through the end. It's still quite gory and nudity abounds, but the series *really* delivers the goods, combining sci-fi, fantasy and action elements with coming-of-age romantic tension perfectly. Great character design and music too. A+
DNA2 Vol. 1: Metamorphosis (2002)
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Not Rated
  Features great sci-fi comedy and a fabulous love triangle. I really like the OP song too.
Serial Experiments Lain Vol. 1: Navi (1998)
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Not Rated
  Puzzling to many, thought provoking to others. I fall in the latter camp. Great storyline that keeps you guessing.
Kimagure Orange Road TV Series vol.1 (1987)
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  Another fabulous coming-of-age romantic comedy. Try the OVAs too, they are even more funny. Watch the movie last.
Ranma 1/2: Digital Dojo - TV Season 1 (Disc 1 of 4) (2001)
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Not Rated
  The Ranma 1/2 TV series was one of the first I watched many years ago... It is *still* one of the best. *Very* funny stuff!
Kaleido Star Vol. 1: Welcome to the Kaleido Stage (2004)
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Not Rated
  Excellent shoujo series about a girl who wants to make it in acrobatics. It reminds me of some of the great idol shows of the 80s, but much fresher. Character design, music and animation are all exceptional... as is the character development. Superb!
Vampire Princess Miyu TV Series Vol. 1: Initiation (1998)
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Not Rated
  Excellent shoujo horror series. Very episodic until the final 5 episodes on disc 6, but nicely written, with a dark tone that makes it more mature than your usual anime. The series also finishes extremely well. Great music and character design too...
Figure 17 Vol. 1: Soul Mirror
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Not Rated
  Weak animation and background art except for the last episode. OK, so why is it on my favorites list? The answer is exceptional dramatic story elements, very likable characters, and a great ending. Even though it is low budget, this one has heart.
.hack//SIGN Ver. 01: Login (2003)
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Not Rated
  One of the best new shows to come out in a LONG time. Great sci-fi fantasy storyline. The ending is a bit confusing, but its the journey that makes it worth it.
Someday's Dreamers Vol. 1: Magical Dreamer
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Not Rated
  Excellent shoujo series that's story is a cross between Kiki's Delivery Service and Harry Potter (both are favorites of mine). Add to this great character design, art and music (especially the brilliant ED from the Indigo), and you have a real winner.
Bastard!!: Complete Collection (1992)
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Not Rated
  Great fantasy OVA series that does not take itself too seriously. Great soundtrack and very likable characters.
Full Metal Panic! Mission 01 (2003)
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Not Rated
  Mecha, comedy, action and a bit of coming-of-age sexual tension with a love triangle... What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, it has great music and a simple, but interesting storyline too!
Planetes vol. 1 (2003)
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Not Rated
  Planetes turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Great animation combines with a great storyline that could reflect our not-so-distant future, and a very likable group of misfit characters that seem real. This is definitely one of the best shows released in recent memory. Recommended to all but those with super-short attention spans.
Key The Metal Idol DVD Vol. 1 (1997)
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Not Rated
  Very nice shoujo sci-fi series that often is overlooked. This one is kind of in the same genre as Lain, but it is a bit less taxing on the mind.
Cowboy Bebop: Session 1 (1998)
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  Superb animation mixes with a sublime music score by Yoko Kanno (Escaflowne), and a great group of characters.
Last Exile Vol. 1: First Move (2003)
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Not Rated
  New sci-fi show featuring brilliant animation, and a good story too.
Gunsmith Cats: Bulletproof (2001)
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  OK, so it may not be original or deep... But this is a great 'girls with guns' genre show that is a guilty pleasure of mine...
Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 1: The Curse (2005)
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Not Rated
  After seeing the first DVD of this multi-genre series, I thought "Why all the hype?"... It wasn't bad, but not great at all... Now I understand, because beginning with disc 2, this show *really* takes off and I love it. Highly recommended to all!
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Vol. 1: Grim Reality (2004)
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Not Rated
  This one really does not get very good until Disc 3. That said, the storyline starts to get to you from there on out, and by Disc 4, plan on getting absolutely hooked! Just be patient on this one...
Fighting Spirit (Hajime no Ippo) Vol. 1: The First Step (2004)
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Not Rated
  Excellent boxing series that has a dated look, but packed with action and likable characters with plenty of development. Kind of reminds me of the best sports anime classics from the 80s and 90s like Touch and H2 (two of my all-time favorites). Maybe not as good as those Adachi classics, but not too far behind. That is high praise indeed!
Wedding Peach Vol. 1: Love Wave (2004)
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Not Rated
  Move over Sailor Moon. Wedding Peach is no clone (and it is a lot better too). That said, the subtitle translation leaves a LOT to be desired...
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Chapter 1 (Disc 1 of 2) (1985)
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Not Rated
  Finally!!! This Gundam classic series is now available in the US in box set format. It may be 20 years old, but don't hesitate to watch it anyway, as it has a great storyline that is rarely seen in today's anime. Highly recommended!
Ai Yori Aoshi Vol. 1: Faithfully Yours (2003)
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Not Rated
  Starts off very strong as a romantic drama, then takes a "Tenchi" comedic style shonen turn (not a good thing). Despite this, it recovers and it is really a great show, featuring very high quality animation, art and music.
The World of Narue Collection (Disc 1 of 4) (2003)
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Not Rated
  Strange premise (that works) about a girl who everyone thinks is pretending to be an alien (but actually is), and her boyfriend who believes her. Quite a touching coming-of-age romance with comedic elements, featuring great character design and a fabulous ED song. This show should have broad apeal. Highly recommended!
Stellvia Vol. 1: Foundation (2004)
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Not Rated
  This show loosely reminds me of a classic space series I saw when first starting to watch anime... Gunbuster. Stellvia is a great show in its own right (not that being compared to a classic like Gunbuster is anything to be ashamed of), and it is highly recommended for sci-fi and school based coming-of-age anime fans. Stellvia has a great OP too, btw.
Ushio & Tora Complete Collection (Disc 1 of 2) (2003)
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Not Rated
  Very funny series that is great from start to finish. I just wish it went longer...
Samurai Champloo vol. 1 (2004)
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Not Rated
  Action series that does not take itself too seriously from most of the Cowboy Bebop team (and it has a similar feel to it). Excellent fluid animation and superb DTS sound, with a passable storyline. Fun stuff.
Ceres, Celestial Legend Vol. 1: Destiny
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  The first episode almost turned me away with its poor comedic elements, but I endured, and I am very glad I did! Great character design and an interesting storyline.
Armitage III (1995)
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  This landmark cyberpunk sci-fi OVA series laid the groundwork for many to follow over the years. Armitage III has an excellent techno music score, nice character design, and a good story too. Definitely recommended, and all on one disc too!
s-CRY-ed Vol. 1: The Lost Ground (2003)
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Not Rated
  While not the most original, s-CRY-ed is quite a good shonen sci-fi action series. It features fabulous animation and interesting characters.
Here is Green Wood (Disc 1 of 2) (1991)
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Not Rated
  Wacky shoujo that has superb character design a la Please Save My Earth. Excellent production values for its time.
Kurogane Communications Vol. 1: Wasteland Paradise (1998)
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Not Rated
  Low budget series that shines regardless. Great likable characters, nice simplistic storyline, and satisfying conclusion.
Boys Be...vol. 1: Spring (2006)
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Not Rated
  I saw this one years ago, and still view it as one of the best... It tells related short stories from a boy's point of view, mixing subtle comedy with drama and romantic elements superbly; yielding a show that is more than just a cut above most of the rest in the genre. Recommended to all, especially fans of more realistic comedies like Azumanga Daioh.
Fushigi Yugi: The Mysterious Play - Suzaku Box (Season 1) (Disc 1 of 4) (1995)
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Not Rated
  The lead character is a bit of a ditz, but this shoujo series has very detailed character design, good music, and a nice storyline.
Gankutsuou Chapter 1: The Count of Monte Cristo (2004)
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Not Rated
  Excellent adaptation of the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas in an alternate world setting. The only negative is the phoney looking and moving computer generated detailed clothing patterns are *very* distracting and look like cheap shortcuts that I don't expect from a design house like Gonzo. Still recommended for the storyline and characters though.
Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden Vol. 1 - Combat Maiden (2003)
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Not Rated
  A bit over the top with respect to the fanservice, but otherwise a genuinely fine show with excellent character design and animation.
3x3 Eyes: Immortals (1991)
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Not Rated
  The storyline and art are inconsistant at times, but this is a great OVA series regardless. My main gripe is the disappointing ending, but like PSME and Berserk, the journey makes watching Sazan Eyes worthwhile.
Princess Tutu vol. 1: Marchen (2005)
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Not Rated
  Weird (in a good way) shoujo magical girl show about a duck who turns into Princess Tutu (and a girl named "Duck") in order to restore a prince's heart. Yes, that is no typo, I did mean duck. Like I said, weird, but good and different. Recommeded to all magical girl series fans.
Wolf's Rain vol.1: Leader of the Pack (2003)
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Not Rated
  Starts off a bit confusing and slow with episode 1, but picks up steam and gains clarity beginning in episode 2 leading to a whirlwind finale by series end. Good story about wolves living in human form to survive, with excellent animation, plus music by Yoko Kanno.
Fate / Stay Night. Vol. 1: Adventure of the Holy Grail (2006)
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  Nice fantasy show with excellent animation and music. The storyline is quite interesting, but does fall apart towards the end of the series. Still, the ride is worth it, and the series *does* come to a solid conclusion (like it or not).
El Hazard OVA (Disc 1 of 2) (1995)
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Not Rated
  I saw this series years ago, and it still holds up relatively well. Tenchi style character design, but better-than-tenchi humor, character personalities and fantasy world setting. Recommended to comedy fans that like fantasy settings, but are not looking for more Slayers.
Suzuka, vol. 1 (2005)
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Not Rated
  Very nice romantic comedy that has a sports emphasis. The character designs could be better, but this shonen show is really fun to watch.
Full Metal Panic!: vol. 1- The Second Raid (2005)
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Not Rated
  Not as good storywise as the first series, but the animation is slick and the characters are still their likable selves. Definately still a worthy series, but I really was hoping for a more detailed continuation of the series storyline. Maybe if the "Second Raid" had 26 episodes like the first one, it would have had more time to develop the storyline.
Maburaho vol. 1: Bewitched and Bewildered (2005)
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Not Rated
  Good comedy about an average looking high school boy who is a magician, but can only use magic 8 times before he dies. We soon find out that there is more to him than meets the eye, and he attracts a lot of girls in the process including one from his childhood memories. Cute show that has good character design, and a not too over the top harem theme.
Azumanga Daioh Vol. 1: Entrance!
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Not Rated
  Way over the top shoujo, but very funny and nostalgic. The series really brings you back to your high school days.
Scrapped Princess vol. 1: Family Ties (2005)
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  Very nice fantasy show that mixes an interesting premise with some likeable characters. The show does have a rushed and confusing ending, but it does give a proper finish to the series all in all. The journey is really the allure here IMO.
Comic Party Vol. 1: A New World (2001)
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Not Rated
  Fun parody series that does not tax the mind, instead allowing you to relax and enjoy. Likable characters and very nice artwork and character design. Also notable is the excellent translation job by TRSI (with extensive liner notes in the bonus section).
Kino's Journey Vol. 1: Idle Adventurer (2004)
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  Very introspective series that's focus is more the journey, than any real underlying story. The scenery is beautiful, as are the score and the OP/ED songs. This one wont appeal to everyone, but if Lain was a favorite of yours, then Kino most likely will be too.
.hack//Legend of the Twilight Vol. 1: A New World (2003)
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Not Rated
  Not nearly as good as the .hack/sign series, but still a good show worthy of attention. This one is much more light-hearted, cute and less deep story-wise than .hack/sign.

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