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They are works that I would show to those friends that turn their noses up at anime—we all have them—to prove to them how utterly wrong they are.To do this they must be not only masterpieces of animation, direction and storytelling, but immediately accessible to any viewer.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.Again: The below picks are in no particular order, the term “mature” is kind of loose—seeing as at least two are really “kids” shows—and this is purely personal opinion. It gave Watanabe a chance to shamelessly take influences from all of his favourite pop-culture sources—from Star Wars and cyberpunk literature to Hollywood westerns and Quentin Tarantino movies, all set to Yoko Kano‘s eclectic, vibrant jazz infused soundtrack.The result was an international hit; one of the few shows of the period that found itself transmitted not only on U. TV but also across most of Europe, spawning a theatrical movie, various different DVD releases, merchandise, and giving shameless inspiration to Buffy creator Joss Whedon to pen his cult favorite It’s easy to criticize Watanabe’s direction as style over substance at first glance, but in reality it’s Keiko Nobumoto’s skillfully crafted scripts that are the reason for the show’s success.The celebration and stylisation of that violence is challenged in the most brutal, disturbing, and heart-wrenching of manners.
It wasn’t until 2002 that it finally happened, and along with allowing the powerhouse studio another chance to mine the property, they also took it as an opportunity to appease disgruntled fans that felt Oshii had strayed too far from the source material.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.As such, it has become one of the most widely discussed and analyzed anime ever produced.As if the series wasn’t complex enough, an OVA——was released that gave an alternate telling of the series’ climax.