MeFi Cartoon List May 18, 2015 2:23 AM   Subscribe

There's been a lot of great cartoons on TV and the web lately. In the recent the Simpsons couch gag post (the one about Rick and Morty), signal made a list of favorite current cartoons that MeFites regard as great, and we've been kind of adding to it.

In the interest of pointing out to people cartoon shows they might be interested in, so far, it is:
Adventure Time
The Amazing World of Gumball
Archer
Bee and Puppycat
Bob's Burgers
Bojack Horseman
Bravest Warriors
Gravity Falls
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Over The Garden Wall (1)
Regular Show
Rick and Morty
Steven Universe
Teen Titans Go!
The Venture Bros

Note the order is alphabetical; ordering in no way implies relative quality. If the show has a FanFare thread, it is linked. If it doesn't and it should, why not add one? Is this good? What should be added? Should anything be removed?
posted by JHarris to MetaFilter-Related at 2:23 AM (78 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

What qualifies as "current"? Does it need to be still airing new episodes? For example, I'd say plenty of MeFites would say Legend of Korra is the bee's knees, and swathes more would shout about the excellence of Avatar the Last Airbender. But both of those are done airing - Korra's definitely more current, though I still think of Avatar as contemporary.

Also, what about anime and shows made in other languages? I can't help noticing all of the ones in your list are English shows. I'm not saying that needs to be rectified because if the purpose of this list is for reccing cartoons to other MeFi people then probably they'll not be wanting subtitles too often and probably they'll be speaking English. But is that the purpose of the list? If not, what is?

I'm nitpicking because I care, of course.
posted by Mizu at 2:49 AM on May 18, 2015


Well, before "Gravity Falls" (which I have already praised profusely), the only current Disney TV toon worth watching was "Phineas & Ferb", which will be airing its Series Finale in June after 140-some episodes over 8 years. More recently, they have a new show from Powerpuff Girls creator Craig McCracken (with MLP's Lauren Faust and Homestar Runner's Chapman Bros. among others) "Wander Over Yonder", which is a total hoot (and dealing with an even longer frustrating hiatus than GF).

Adult Swim still has some good stuff besides R&M and the Ventures, but 'Your Smileage May Vary' (Are they STILL doing new eps of Aqua Teen Whatever? WHY?); "Mike Tyson Mysteries" does a great "old HB cartoon" homage/send-up and "Superjail!" is still "doin' the ol' ultraviolence" for laughs. In addition, its Saturday night Anime lineup has recently given America it's first good looks at "Space Dandy", "Attack on Titan" (about to start a new season I hear) and "Kill La Kill".

And it hasn't been that long since "Futurama" ended - again - and it's certainly worthy of some Rewatch action.

I keep promising myself to revive my 'cartoon & comics blog' just because "Tooned.In" is such a primo domain. But then I realize I'm still not nearly caught up on the relevant toonage.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:00 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


First: contrary maybe to appearance, I am not trying to be the arbiter of cartoon worth. Everything signal suggested is current, and it's what suggestions have been made. It's what we seem to be going by. If it weren't for being concluded I think there's plenty of Aang and Korra love 'round here for inclusion.

All the mentioned shows are airing new episodes, although in Steven Universe's, Gravity Falls', and Venture Bros.' case (in ascending order of length) hiatuses are currently in progress. Wait, I'm wrong -- Over The Garden Wall is done. I suggested that one though.

Phineas and Ferb a lot of people like. I've never seen it, oddly. I thought Wonder Over Yonder and Superjail were concluded? If we decide on anime it feels like it's opening floodgates, and it also seems like it is its own genre, but again, I don't want to be the gatekeeper.

Maybe a list is the wrong way to go about this. Maybe we should just suggest cartoons at each other?
posted by JHarris at 4:05 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait, Wander Over Yonder has the Brothers Chaps on board? Oh wow. I was sad when I heard Aquabats (which had one of them writing for it) wasn't being renewed. Aquabats, man. That was awesome.
posted by JHarris at 4:06 AM on May 18, 2015


Also, what about anime and shows made in other languages?

There's not a lot of super accessible anime right now in my opinion as a fan, but JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is pretty great. If you like giant shouty men.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:31 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is relevant to my (daughter's) interests.
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:30 AM on May 18, 2015


Star Wars: Rebels
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:34 AM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


I liked Space Brothers. It's a near-future story of a brother who is an astronaut and a brother with a lot of insecurities who strives to be an astronaut. Most of the characters are very well-developed.

It was the first anime series I've liked. I believe in the potential of the medium but everything I've tried before repulsed me with either sexualization of young girls or large amounts of not-compelling combat. This one only has one mildly Lolita-ish story arc in it. So, it's a good entry point if you've had the same problems with anime that I've had!
posted by ignignokt at 6:30 AM on May 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Nice, I'm trying to get sucked into Adventure Time after running out of episodes of Squidbillies and Boondocks (again), both of which aren't exactly *current* I think, but are both far greater than they may appear at first.

Oh and I want this but for emotional folk songs and cool offgrid housing designs. Will probably do an askme soon. My memail is always open. /selfish
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:30 AM on May 18, 2015


I'm enjoying Star vs. the Forces of Evil.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:40 AM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Justin Time has been in constant rotation in our house, and it's one of the better cartoons I've seen.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:11 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Does the Boondocks count as current? I'm not sure that the post McGruder episodes make it worth a recommendation?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:25 AM on May 18, 2015


I liked Fish Hooks.
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:52 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Brad Neely's China IL is airing a new season right now.
posted by edeezy at 9:13 AM on May 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


God, the Venture Brothers.

I choose to believe, by the way, that it's basically stopped airing at this point. This is not because I dislike the show, or because I disagree with the direction it's taken, but because it helps me manage my ugly, ugly, ugly disappointment that I don't have a new episode every week to savor.
posted by joyceanmachine at 9:17 AM on May 18, 2015


This is great, please put it on the Wiki when you are done with it.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:29 AM on May 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's been off the air for a while, but for me the vanguard in the Cartoon Renaissance was Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:41 AM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


For those who would not on principle object to stepping into the MacFarlaneverse, The Cleveland Show was really good. Like American Dad!, it was chained to some pretty bad conceptual decisions (e.g. talking bears), but unlike American Dad!, it seemed to have let them fall by the wayside instead of knuckling under the constraints and forcing the show to conform to its original elevator pitch (and have you noticed that the best episodes of American Dad! are the ones where it basically pretends it isn't American Dad! for 22 minutes?).
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:56 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I believe in the potential of the medium but everything I've tried before repulsed me with either sexualization of young girls or large amounts of not-compelling combat.

People say this always, and the problem is usually in confusing a medium with a genre. Crawl on out of that shonen hole and discover the radiant glory of what the oddball grownups watch!

(Part of the problem, too, is that anime as an industry has been retracting into the safety of appealing only to the hardcore pervert-otaku demographic for years, leaving the rest of us out in the cold. A lot of the stuff I'd recommend is increasingly older, because the really interesting, adult work is released in a slow drip now. I say this always, but if you want to get into the medium you should talk to people who are into film and animation broadly, not "anime" specifically, because "anime" = "pervy awful shonen action" almost always. Pay attention to directors, writers and artists you like and follow what appeals to you, bearing in mind the medium has all the same problems as Western comics and video games.)
posted by byanyothername at 10:10 AM on May 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


the vanguard in the Cartoon Renaissance was Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
Also a Craig McCracken joint, but I only mentioned Powerpuff Girls to avoid being totally over-wordy.

China, IL and Star vs. the Forces of Evil are topping my "why aren't I watching this?" list right now.

For those who would not on principle object to stepping into the MacFarlaneverse
There's a new show scheduled for a January 2016 premiere that actually interests me, "Bordertown", primarily because cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz is one of the creatives involved and if he doesn't end up running away screaming from it by the time it airs, it'll have to be good.

And there was a previous discussion about covering Anime on FanFare, but it never resulted in anything I could find. Of course, if you want to look at the less tacky origins of Anime, the Original 1960s black-and-white version of AstroBoy (complete with its silly character name English translations) has authorized episodes uploaded to YouTube. As an old dude who was a kid when it started filling a time slot on one of L.A.'s cartoon-obsessed independent stations, I loved it and still dig it.

And while I'm mining the nostalgia mines, most of the cartoon shows of that era were either collections of old theatricals (but I wonder how much discussion we could generate with "Duck Amuck") or other assemblages of interchangeable segments, but I would be tempted to start the 163 episode run of Rocky & Bullwinkle that's on Free Hulu (in the U.S.) [if I didn't remember obsessing on trying to list everything in the Bullwinkle show, and looking decades later at online episode lists, realizing I failed miserably - it's still painful for me]. To put it simply, don't get me STARTED on cartoons; I may overwhelm FanFare.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:32 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bob's Burgers now is what the Simpsons used to be.
posted by Splunge at 1:02 PM on May 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


I believe American Dad! is still a going concern, but it's on TBS now (which is not a thing here in Canada due to some bureaucratic quirk). What little I have seen of it since the move to TBS has been ... less good. Can anyone tell me if it picked up quality-wise later in the season, or has it zombified?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:20 PM on May 18, 2015


I love almost everything about Bob's Burgers but the men-voicing-female-characters thing really grates.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:21 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


The thing that made me feel a lot better about Tina Belcher being voiced by a 34-year-old man was noticing how the show doesn't treat her as a drag-caricature of a teenage girl, but as the genuine article. And I've noticed that a number of women on my social media accounts have really embraced Tina as an empowered avatar of their own awkward teen years.
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:03 PM on May 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


I love almost everything about Bob's Burgers but the men-voicing-female-characters thing really grates.

Not that these factoids are an adequate remedy, but:
- Sarah and Laura Silverman play Andy'n'Ollie Pesto
- Linda(-ish) predates the show
- Tina was "Daniel" in the original pilot
posted by Sys Rq at 2:09 PM on May 18, 2015


Meet the cast of Bob's Burgers.
posted by Splunge at 3:05 PM on May 18, 2015


Sys Rq: "I believe American Dad! is still a going concern, but it's on TBS now (which is not a thing here in Canada due to some bureaucratic quirk). What little I have seen of it since the move to TBS has been ... less good. Can anyone tell me if it picked up quality-wise later in the season, or has it zombified?"

I find American Dad to be hit or miss. Too many Roger centric episodes. Sometimes they try too hard to be KOOKY! I still watch it though, for the episodes that do it right.
posted by Splunge at 3:08 PM on May 18, 2015


For those looking for recent anime to watch, I highly recommend Death Parade (who can resist that opening?). It explores what happens when arbiters judge people after death, and part of the judgment process involves having the dead compete against each other in games like air hockey or bowling. It's definitely the anime I would recommend to people who don't regularly watch anime. It's not for children, though, probably for older teens and above, because of the themes and the intensity.

Currently airing anime I would recommend are:
  • Arslan Senki (The Heroic Legend of Arslan), which is the anime adaptation of Hiromu Arakawa's (creator of Full Metal Alchemist) manga adaptation of Yoshiki Tanaka's novel series, which is in turn based on the Persian epic of Amir Arsalan. Battle scenes can be brutal, and neither side have behaved entirely honorably in battle, so not recommended for elementary school age or younger children.
  • Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront), anime adaptation of Trigun creator Yasuhiro Nightow's latest manga series. On the surface it appears to be shounen anime with supernatural elements, but there's a lot more going on. Visually stylish with a great jazzy soundtrack, it's just plain fun to watch. It's also one of the few anime helmed by a female director, Rie Matsumoto, who also directed the visually exuberant Kyousou Giga.
In addition to the anime post linked to by onefellswoop above, there have been anime discussion posts on FanFare at the beginning of each anime season (e.g. Winter 2015 Anime, Spring 2015 Anime).
posted by needled at 3:33 PM on May 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Both actors do a great job with the voices! It still bugs me, though.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:34 PM on May 18, 2015


Can anyone tell me if it picked up quality-wise later in the season, or has it zombified?

I would call it hot garbage, if only slightly less so than Family Guy, which I've come to loathe. But that's just my opinion, man.

Star Wars: Rebels

I usually don't go for stuff that's squarely aimed at kids, which I think this is, and I've avoided anything Star Wars since Phantom Menace, but I binged through the first season recently for shits and giggles, and I found it surprisingly fun and, well, old-school Star Wars-y in a very comforting way. So, yeah, thumbs up there from me, too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:01 PM on May 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I started watching Spongebob Squarepants when the kids were little. Now here I am, still watching it by myself in my mid-40s. I love Spongebob Squarepants.

I wish it had existed back in the days when I smoked weed.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:32 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


What about the fact that they have freaking Kevin Kline as a regular cast member.
posted by Splunge at 5:48 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aside:
The (1) link by Over The Garden Wall in the post text is from an earlier version where I was tracking down MeFi posts on the things in the list. Eventually I figured I was obsessing, and that it would be waaay too much work, and abandoned it and deleted what I had found, but I neglected to remove that one. (Fun fact: Adventure Time has like 15 MeFi posts concerning various aspects of it, and Archer also around that many.)
posted by JHarris at 6:10 PM on May 18, 2015


Does Robot Chicken count as animation for our purposes? If so, I nominate it. Even when it's skewering something I don't know it cracks me up.
posted by phearlez at 6:18 PM on May 18, 2015


It's done airing, but everyone who likes Bob's Burgers should go back and watch Home Movies. It was genius! Genius, Brendon! [/McGuirk voice]
posted by dialetheia at 6:20 PM on May 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't think you can like Home Movies and not enjoy Dr Katz
posted by phearlez at 6:21 PM on May 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh yes I love Dr. Katz! I actually still watch it a lot when I'm trying to get to sleep at night. It's a very soothing show.
posted by dialetheia at 6:29 PM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


I wish there would be more Bee and Puppycat.

Apparently Hulu just(? did this happen awhile ago and I didn't notice?) got a bunch of older CN shows, so I am luxuriating in a Samurai Jack rewatch.
posted by curious nu at 7:26 PM on May 18, 2015


RWBY RWBY RWBY RWBY

RWBY

(Yes, all of those are different links...)
posted by Deoridhe at 7:58 PM on May 18, 2015


On the anime end of things, there's always Ghost in the Shell, Princess Tutu, Gundam Wing, Witch Hunter Robin, LaGrange, Modoka Magica, Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal, Samurai Champloo, Hell Girl, Full Metal Panic, etc... but I have no idea how current any of these are. I know Sailor Moon Crystal is on Hulu Plus, I'm watching LaGrange on Netflix and Modoka Magica is on there too (you WILL cry), and I think season three sub-only of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is on there too... but the rest are catch as catch can.
posted by Deoridhe at 8:22 PM on May 18, 2015


On the anime end of things, there's always Ghost in the Shell, Princess Tutu, Gundam Wing, Witch Hunter Robin, LaGrange, Modoka Magica, Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal, Samurai Champloo, Hell Girl, Full Metal Panic, etc... but I have no idea how current any of these are.

None of those are current, except for Crystal and Crystal is (~_~;) But, now is a good time for a Gundam Wing rewatch - 20th anniversary!
posted by betweenthebars at 8:41 PM on May 18, 2015


Local trivia, Metafilter's own frenetic (AKA Brad Sucks, who must hold some sort of record for attenuated but consistent participation over the years) has been making some music for Bee and Puppycat (he posted about it on his latest update on his website)!
posted by nanojath at 9:01 PM on May 18, 2015


I heard that somewhere! We are all waiting patiently to hear his no-doubt Steamshovel Harry-inspired work.
posted by JHarris at 9:06 PM on May 18, 2015


What? No Frisky Dingo?
posted by Nevin at 9:21 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Clarence is really good, too. It's very grounded in reality and the real experiences of suburban American childhood, so it extracts quite a bit of depth just from showing how things are. There is a good deal of cartoony exaggeration and embellishment too, including an entire episode in the style of Fleischer Studios. The creator did get fired for some inappropriate behavior, but that didn't get into the show's ethos.

Uncle Grandpa is very hit or miss, but it's imaginative and absurd and doesn't deserve to be dismissed out of hand. This week has a short by Pen Ward as guest animator!
posted by Small Dollar at 9:41 PM on May 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nevin: current, which is why Archer is on the list but Frisky Dingo (and Sealab 2021) are not.
posted by O9scar at 11:55 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think there might also should be an age limit, or else we'll be going back to Bugs Bunny and Rocky & Bullwinkle. Or are there sufficiently few of those series that they wouldn't matter?
posted by JHarris at 1:02 AM on May 19, 2015


Clarence is good, but the episode where Clarence is sick, with green snot hanging off of his face the whole episode, sort of put me off the series.
posted by signal at 4:31 AM on May 19, 2015


Is RWBY going to continue after the passing of Monty Oum?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:30 AM on May 19, 2015


Sarah and Duck is for three year olds but it's absolutely wonderful anyway.
posted by dng at 8:35 AM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Instead of all these serials, I'd recommend watching World of Tomorrow as many times as you can during the rental period.
posted by effbot at 9:03 AM on May 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I believe American Dad! is still a going concern, but it's on TBS now (which is not a thing here in Canada due to some bureaucratic quirk). What little I have seen of it since the move to TBS has been ... less good. Can anyone tell me if it picked up quality-wise later in the season, or has it zombified?

They only showed a couple episodes and then went on some long ass break for no reason. It's too early to tell. American Dad! is my favorite adult targeted cartoon right now. I will never get sick of anything Roger does. Can't believe someone compared it unfavorably to The Cleveland Show.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:14 AM on May 19, 2015


Season three of RWBY is in production. Monty talked about plans through 7-10 seasons of RWBY out with his team (apparently the trick was to take him out for coffee) and while the fight scenes might suffer some because they were Monty's babies, the writing team was actually two other guys not Monty. Having watched entirely too many episodes of the after show, I am confident in the team left behind that they can continue to make an awesome show in his memory.

Why yes, I am a little obsessed. OMG CUTE GIRLS WITH WEAPONS WHO HAVE AGENCY AND POWER. It's like my catnip. I've already made my character. 8D
posted by Deoridhe at 11:01 AM on May 19, 2015


Also, to give a sense of scale (and because I'm overly enthusiastic) the plans for Season 2 got halved to make room for more character development, so 7-10 seasons might be a LOT longer. Srsly, if you're a RWBY addict, the after shows are delightful and fit in well between rewatches of Seasons 1 and 2. Everyone involved is just amazing and enthusiastic and clearly loves the characters and world.

it only takes four hours shut up >.>

*goes to watch again*

posted by Deoridhe at 11:05 AM on May 19, 2015


I really really liked Kill la Kill except for the creepy bits with Mama Kiryuin molesting her daughter. What. The. Fuck. Like, OK, the nudity gets so over the top that it is full on parody. But that weird ass pool scene? NO. C'mon, Trigger. Where did that come from? This is why I can't get people to watch anime.
posted by maryr at 3:25 PM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, Kyousou Giga was amaaaaaaazing and still don't entirely understand what happened in it, but SO CUTE.
posted by maryr at 3:25 PM on May 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Masha and the Bear could so easily have turned out saccharine and horrid, but somehow it consistently manages to pull off being genuinely heartwarming instead.
posted by flabdablet at 6:55 AM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is this on the wiki yet?
posted by Atreides at 7:23 AM on May 20, 2015


The first season of Clarence was fantastic: I was regularly wowed by how well the writers captured a kid's voice. The second season (possibly related to the creator's issues) has been much more average. A couple of high spots, but not close the first season.
posted by yerfatma at 12:19 PM on May 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've not put it on the wiki yet, been waiting for the conversation to die down, plus internet will be sporadic for me until Friday. I've been building three lists: current Western shows, concluded Western shows, and anime. Don't know where Masha and the Bear would fit in though, being Russian.
posted by JHarris at 2:23 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I really want to see MetaFilter's Russian animation canon.
posted by byanyothername at 6:33 PM on May 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


They only showed a couple episodes and then went on some long ass break for no reason.

American Dad! came back from that break with little fanfare way back in February, apparently; the season finale's on June 1.

I did manage to watch the latest episode. (I drove -- no, flew -- to the United States specifically for it. Yeah, that's the ticket. Perfectly above-board.) It was actually pretty great (well above the level of -- I agree -- the "hot garbage" of the season's first couple episodes), but this was one of those rare Jeff episodes, and those are always great, so it's hard to judge the whole season on that.

Also, The Cleveland Show was great, but in a completely different way. You'd think a Seth MacFarlane show with heart would be an impossible contradiction, but once it shed most of the Family Guy-isms and became its own thing, it balanced out pretty well.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:40 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I really want to see MetaFilter's Russian animation canon.

Masha and the Bear, Vinni Pooh, Gena and Cheburashka, Hedgehog in the Fog.
posted by JHarris at 5:27 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yup. Nu Pogodi is pretty great too; it's basically an off-brand Roadrunner or Tom & Jerry.

Also that one about the bureaucratic nightmare that is Soviet filmmaking.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:31 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Kekkai Sensen is indeed delightful and I wouldn't have known about it without this thread. Thanks, needled!
posted by tautological at 11:34 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

ignignokt: “I believe in the potential of the medium but everything I've tried before repulsed me with either sexualization of young girls or large amounts of not-compelling combat.”
I recently signed up for Hulu, which has a great deal of anime. The problem is most it appears to be exactly what you describe.

I made the mistake of searching for "mature anime" and got suggestions like some kind of BDSM high school thing and one that appeared to be a Sailor Moon rip-off where their powers are all sex related. I was more looking for something that was for adults, showed something of real life in Japan, wasn't set in high school, and didn't really have or need "fan service."

I did find a couple, although neither of them are recent. I just finished watching Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and it really hit me where it hurts. Make sure you have a handkerchief handy. I also really enjoyed Bunny Drop, although I understand the source manga gets weird later on in the story.

The one I'm watching right now, even though it violates my "no high school" rule, is My Love Story!! It's only a few episodes in, but so far I'm enjoying it. It apparently comes up on Hulu within hours of it airing in Japan. I saw something about it on Imagine-Nation on the NHK and it piqued my interest.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:16 PM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm awful for recent Anime offerings, but I'll scour HuluPlus for some good stuff from about a decade or so ago and send you some suggestions.
posted by Atreides at 6:00 AM on May 27, 2015


> I was more looking for something that was for adults, showed something of real life in Japan, wasn't set in high school, and didn't really have or need "fan service."

Some suggestions:
Kids on the Slope (it is set in high school, but in 1960's Japan, with jazz music playing a huge role in the characters' lives)
Ping Pong
Eden of the East

I feel your pain, it seems when I check out the lineup for each new anime season I only see 1 or 2 titles for adults, not set in junior high / high school, and not focused on fan service. There's what, 45 TV anime series proposed for Summer 2015, and the only one that looks interesting to me at the moment is Gatchman Crowds Insight. So that's what, upwards of 180 anime series per year, with maybe 10 or so fitting the specified criteria. So just even looking at anime from the past 5 years, it does start feeling like it's looking for a needle in a haystack trying to find something that isn't some kind of high school harem show consisting mostly of fan service.
posted by needled at 9:29 AM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Kids On The Slope is GREAT! And if you like that, you might also enjoy Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day.

As to this summer, Working!!! is a third season of a workplace comedy about the staff of a family restaurant (think Friendly's). That should be good (the first two seasons were good and the most recent anime from the same creater, Servant x Service, about working in a government office, was also a lot of fun). And I know nothing about Wakako-Zake, but it's about a 26 year old woman who drinks a lot of sake, so that should be fun. And a second season of Non Non Biyori is aimed a bit younger, but is super cute.
posted by maryr at 10:55 AM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Most of the shows people are recommending are Noitamina shows, which are supposed to appeal to an older audience. Kids on the Slope, Eden of the East, Tokyo 8.0, Bunny Drop, Ping Pong, etc.

Some people had trouble with the character designs, but I really liked Shiki, a vampire story inspired by Salem's Lot. There's also Samurai Flamenco... it starts out as a slice-of-life about a male model who wants to be a superhero, and then it changes...
posted by betweenthebars at 7:52 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Noitamina also gives us things like ... Guilty Crown. Or this season's rather confusing Punch Line. Guilty Crown had great production values, great music, some beautiful action sequences - but it just wasn't good. The main female characters, especially Inori, seemed to be there just for fan service. I liked the fight scenes with βίος as the background music, though.

So, Noitamina can be a useful starting point, but one still has to sift through the offerings.
posted by needled at 7:45 AM on May 28, 2015


I feel so horribly old reading this because the only titles I recognized were My Little Pony (but not the Friendship version) and Family Guy (which I saw once, and disliked). For those of us who were older when we enjoyed Daria, Futurama, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, South Park, Beavis & Butthead or King of the Hill before totally losing touch with animated media, what would be the appealing aspects / plots / style / selling points of the cartoons suggested in this thread?

Maybe posters can suggest what makes the titles they recommend stand out from the crowd? I am asking this because I have an interest in getting back into pop culture but don't know where to start. Like many in my position I probably won't end up googling all the titles and looking up clips due to limited time. I trust the opinions of members here more than random comments and possibly sponsored sites on the internet so if posters mentioned what made the show special I would be more inclined to check it out.
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose at 5:01 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Adventure Time has a blend of adventure and weirdness that someone that liked both Futurama and Space Ghost would love.

I should add, though: It took like eight episodes for it to click. Then it really clicked. But it's not like the initial watching was painful.
posted by ignignokt at 5:17 PM on May 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


partly squamous and partly rugose: "Maybe posters can suggest what makes the titles they recommend stand out from the crowd? "

Adventure Time: A good take on the weirdness and wonder in childrens' imaginations. Plus, it's weird. really weird. and heartwarming. and weird.

The Amazing World of Gumball: Smart, funny, a better version of the simpsons, only weirder.

Bravest Warriors: Second best sci-fi show currently airing. Smart, cute, funny, weird.

Gravity Falls: : Hardy boys meets X-files only cuter, funnier and smarter.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Heartwarming, smart, lots of fun, especially Pinky Pie. Nothing like the previous pony series.

Regular Show: Two immature friends work at a park. sort of slackers with talking animals and talking bubble-gum machines, and most episodes end with cosmic-magical fights. much '80s.

Rick and Morty: Back to the future mixed with Futurama with the balls to see where things take it. Smartest of the bunch. Not really for kids. Best sci-fi show currently airing.

Steven Universe: Complex, touching, fun. Best same-sex couple on current children's television, by far. Speaks to little kids and big kids like me. Songs. Trippy.
posted by signal at 5:12 AM on June 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Adventure Time: What if Mad Max: Fury Road was for kids, but replace Furiosa with a shapeshifting dog who is married to a Korean-speaking rainbow unicorn, and Immortan Joe with an ice wizard who is slowly losing his mind.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:47 AM on June 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've tried another couple of currently airing anime that come up on Hulu shortly after they air in Japan.

First, Plastic Memories. I almost two-starred-and-removed this one after the first episode. There were one too many shots of the robot's ass. I'm glad I gave it a chance. I'm caught up now and I've enjoyed it, but it's complicated. It's both a really deep and emotional exploration of love, memory, and death and a regular, trope-filled teen romance anime, right down to the excitable redhead with inexplicable cat ears. ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Second, and much more disappointingly, Food Wars. If you're looking for the most over-the-top, shonen junk, fan service-y, battle show focused on cooking that's ever been made, stop looking, because you've found it. I mean in the first five minutes there's a goddamned tentacle scene after the kid feeds "Peanut Butter Squid" to one of his classmates. I'm not even kidding. It's a shame too because the cooking parts were really good, but I'm not going to watch heaving breast tasting scenes for the all-too-short cooking segments. ☆
posted by ob1quixote at 4:27 PM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Since we're suggesting anime, I particularly like Shinryaku! Ika Musume, aka "Invasion! Squid Girl," for being sweet-natured without being saccharine.

I finally made a page on the wiki for this.
posted by JHarris at 12:12 PM on June 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Golan The Insatiable with Rob Riggle, Maria Bamford, and Aubrey Plaza just premiered on Fox and it has potential.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:28 PM on June 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


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