October 28, 2010

Sampler disk

The apartment handyman here is named Alex. He's a nice guy, probably about my age. He gets an apartment in the complex rent-free as part of his compensation, in which he lives alone. Sometimes I see him and we talk.

Today I went out to pay my rent, and went for a walk in the rain to try to find that spectacular tree. (And I couldn't. So no more pictures of it.) When I came back, he was working on a light in front of one of the buildings, and we got to talking.

It came up that he was interested in anime but hadn't really had the chance to watch very much of it. He sometimes watched the Anime Network. So I came back here and put together a sampler disk. One of the comments he made was how he was bothered by anime anatomy, especially in how girls tended to be drawn, with ridiculous breasts.

Anyway I came back here and decided to make him a sampler. I thought y'all might be curious about what I gave him.

I included an HTML file which began this way: "This contains the first episode of several series I like. Anime is a lot more varied than this, but I didn't include things which are hyperviolent, or any horror series, or ones featuring big sweaty men. Not my style."

So, what was on it? In no particular order:

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou ep 1
Macademi Wasshoi ep 1
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS ep 1
Saki ep 1
Samurai Girl Real Bout High School ep 1
To Aru Kagaku no Railgun ep 1

...and to round it all out (ahem) I included the second episode of Divergence Eve, as an example of a show that took pandering to an extreme. I did warn him that several of these had panty shots, and I did warn him that there was nudity in two of them.

Why did I pick those? Well, I went through my whole download directory and picked shows I liked, shows which didn't feature sweaty men, shows that weren't too strange, shows that I thought were reasonably accessible, and (except for Divergence Eve, which was the deliberate counter-example) shows where the girls didn't have absurd chests. And shows which, for the most part, did a pretty good job of using the advantages of the medium. And shows where the first episode stood pretty well alone in terms of establishing the series concept.


no Abenobashi. The first episode is really atypical, since it's in Japan.
no Asobi ni Iku Yo. Eris is too busty, and anyway the first episode doesn't really stand alone very well.
no Banner of the Stars. The first episode is pretty much a recap of Crest. The real story doesn't begin until ep 2.
no Chu-Bra. I didn't want him calling the police on me.
no Juuden-chan. Same reason.
no DBK. No big sweaty men.
no Manabi straight. I haven't watched it myself.
no Ikki Tousen. Just not really a good gateway drug.
...and so on.

I seriously considered giving him Summer Wars, but the only copy I have is 1080p and I wasn't sure he'd be able to play it.

Also, I wanted to keep the total number under control. There probably were other things I could have included, but if I'd dumped 50 eps on him, I doubt he'd have watched any of them. (It's easier to talk someone into climbing a hill than to climb a mountain.)

So after I got done collecting everything and burning it onto a DVD, I went back out and tried to find him, and couldn't. So I left it in his shop. I have no idea when he'll find it, or whether he'll bother to do anything with it. But if, next time I see him, he does mention it, I'll let you know.

(Oh, I also included the install files for MPC and CCCP, just in case.)

UPDATE: OK, everyone is going to want to play. So here's your challenge: Six episodes, plus maybe one extra, for your sampler disk to a newbie with the intent of getting him interested in the form.

UPDATE: I think I must be getting into a rut. I just noticed that these are all "magical girl" shows. Ah well... I sure hope he doesn't decide I'm a perv, or a loon.

UPDATE: Don responds.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 01:45 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 737 words, total size 4 kb.

1 This is surprisingly hard...

Ghost in the Shell:SAC
Gundam 00
Pandora Hearts
Asobi ni Iku Yo (1 and 2)
Hyper Police

Would Wasshoi really be a good choice?  I say this as somebody who absolutely loves Wasshoi.  But doesn't it have a lot of jokes that would be lost on somebody who doesn't watch a lot of anime?

Posted by: tellu541 at October 28, 2010 03:49 PM (pJ1uW)


I picked Macademi Wasshoi because the first episode has a lot of visual spectacle, and because it's energetic and funny.

(Oh, damn. I forgot to mention to him that Tanarotte is naked when she first appears.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 28, 2010 04:18 PM (+rSRq)

3 DVD version or TV version?

Let's see, six first episodes.  What we're looking for is something that's preferably recent (better video quality), gets off to a quick start (only one episode), and isn't too niche.


Black Lagoon  (Torpedo.  Helicopter.  Boom!  Wonderful.)
Potemayo (First episode introduces both potato-cats)
Haibane Renmei ('Cause it's just that good)
Azumanga Daioh (Ditto)
Kamichu! (The offering!  The typhoon!)
Durarara!!  (Gets off to a great start, even if it falls down a hole later on)

Hmm.  And for an extra I'll throw in Brigadoon as a stylistic curveball.

Excluded - Haruhi (assuming broadcast order, the first episode isn't the best introduction for a newbie), Gurren Lagann (takes a while to get going), Princess Tutu (I didn't watch it for years assuming that it was a show for 5-year-old girls, so I'd have to establish my recommendation credentials first), Bleach (because it's all downhill from there).

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 28, 2010 05:41 PM (PiXy!)

4 I noticed you didn't include any first episodes from older series that were your gateway into anime. Any particular reason other than having to hassle with ripping old DVDs and converting before even getting to the burn stage?

I was talking to my fiancé about anime (of which she is not a fan having had a few bad experiences), and I was trying to explain to her why I've lost the urge to keep up with torrenting and watching the newest shows. (Warning: Gross generalizations ahead) I don't like watching something I don't feel I could share with a family member or total stranger, and most of the stuff being churned out by the studios is more insular otaku-pandering with every season.

Posted by: Will at October 28, 2010 05:51 PM (dl+F2)


It was because of the hassle. The stuff I included was already in discrete files.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 28, 2010 06:41 PM (+rSRq)

6 School Rumble
Dragon Ball
Magic Knights Rayearth
Ranma 1/2
Gundam Wing

Sailor Moon

Posted by: Jaked at October 28, 2010 06:51 PM (EjkUJ)

7 Hm... so we need shows that are either good stand-alone episodes, or have enough 'meat' in episode one to make you want to watch more. And have limited, shall we say, pornographic value. And enough variety to get the "anime is a medium, not a genre" thing across. So I want comedy, slice-o-life, supernatural, sci-fi/mecha, romance, mystery, and maybe something spooky since it's almost Halloween.

1. I'll lead off with Mushi-shi, since it's a good stand-alone story. Supernatural and spooky without being scary, and definitely Japanese in flavor, but a good ease-in since it's not very anime-trope-y.

2. Noir (not as over-the-top-awesome as Pixy's Black Lagoon choice, but puts up a respectable number of K's in the 1st ep.)

3. Haruhi (assuming "1st episode" is "The Melancholy of, part 1" and not "The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina".) If I have to count the 0th episode, send Haruhi to the minors and call up Pani Poni Dash! for the wacky comedy position.

4. Card Captor Sakura. (Because baseball anime is still a kid's game.)

5. Toradora! for the romance position; the world needs a little tsundere. (And Taiga's pretty little, bam!)

6. And I haven't hit the sci-fi/mecha yet, so Full Metal Panic! has some sweet visuals to close things out.

And we've traveled from something that's barely anime-ish at all, to a show that might contain every possible anime trope.

(If I'm allowed to cheat and include a whole show which is only 25min long, I'll bring in "Voices of a Distant Star" if it goes to seven games.)

I'd love to include Haibane Renmei, but I don't think 1 ep is enough of a taste test. Same for Lain. I might have included Ghost in the Shell: SAC for sci-fi, but I was consciously avoiding stuff that had been on Adult Swim. And if we're worried about out-of-print things, I'd have to sub for CCS, but I don't know what I'd choose for the mahou shoujo spot. I would love to include Nanoha A's, but that henshin deck is kinda...

And it seems my team's uniform is the sailor suit, with only Mushi-shi not sporting any.

Posted by: Mikeski at October 28, 2010 10:34 PM (GbSQF)

8 Haibane Renmei
Toaru Majutsu no Index
Cowboy Bebop
Angel Beats!
Clannad or Kimi ni Todoke, can't decide...
Dance in the Vampire Bund

Tried to list a variation of genres.

Posted by: Jordi Vermeulen at October 29, 2010 01:26 AM (AJZdn)


Episodes from:

ROD the tv series - imaginative super powers and the ending of the first episode is spectacular.

Last Exile - bizzare world, imaginative settings and outfits from late 1800s Central/Eastern Europe rather than the ususal British/French.

Bleach (which he's probably seen)

Gateway 21 - the protagonist is interesting

Azumanga Daioh - cute and lighthearted


Posted by: TBlakely at October 29, 2010 05:28 AM (S3uDg)

10 When I'm bored at work I like to think about what shows my non anime watching friends would like. For a guy I don't know though I'd probably stick to the basic comedy, action or cerebral. Azumanga Daioh Samurai Champloo Death Note Black Lagoon Jin-Roh ( I would lend him the DVD) And then depending on my impression of the person I might conclude with Serial Experiments Lain All have decent dubs if they want English. They also don't require any real knowledge of Jap culture. Yours are good though too. Just some definite personality differences here.

Posted by: Merril at October 29, 2010 06:00 AM (1eSaD)

11 Assuming a grown man that I don't know that well:

Cowboy Bebop
Gurren Lagan
Slayers OVA
2nd episode of Divergence Eve
Minami Ke
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

And for the extra.
Martian Successor Nadesico

Nadesico is supposedly full of inside mecha humor but a lot of the tropes that get (lovingly) funned with are not unique to Japanese mecha anime but are pretty common in American cartoons too. Besides the story and characters stand on their own.

Have lent out my DVDs of Gurren Lagan and Cowboy Bebop and burnt CDs of Minami Ke and SZS, Lent a military buff my Crest/Banner DVDs. Took a thumb drive with an OVA of Kino's Journey to work to watch during lunch the one where Kino is with the old lady who teaches her to shoot, windows media player wouldn't play the video only the sound. A coworker came in and was intrigued just on the basis of what he heard so I let him take the thumb drive home to watch. I probably shouldn't have told him to pay attention to the business with the coin and remember that there's always a wicked twist in that show, when he saw what the business with the coin was all about he decided that show was too messed up for his tastes.

Actually most of the people I've introduced to anime are young girls - nieces and "nieces" and friends of both, granddaughters (my daughters were all moved out before I discovered anime) and girls my roommate has babysat, Serious deficit of boys and only recently have any been added to the mix. Kiki's delivery Service and Spirited Away go over well. After I saw my roommates 18 month old granddaughter watching Dora and Diego in Spanish on her iPhone I figured she wouldn't mind if something wasn't in English so I tried Potemayo out on her, she loved it. Everyone loves Potemayo

So assuming the usual:
Where I've got two choices listed it's younger / older

Petite Princess Yucie
Azumanga Daioh
A Little Snow fairy Sugar / Haibane Renmei
Kamichu / Sakura Wars
Manabi Straight

And for the extra:
Princess Tutu
If Princess Tutu wont fly (see below) then:
Someday's Dreamers.

In Tutu there's some rather suggestive stuff between some of the characters so either too young to notice or old enough to already know or run it by their parents first. The violence is really nothing worse than say The Wizard of Oz or Spirited Away and I don't know anyone who's squeamish about that kind of thing so not a problem imo. There's some pandering to the intended audience of girls especially in episode one and the only way I can cope is laughing, it's earned me a dirty look every time. Like Someday's dreamers and it could have been in the main list but it doesn't seem to grab the little ones and gets crowded out by Haibane Renmei if we're talking older girls.

The first four items in each list have decent to excellent dubs or at least I haven't heard anything bad about them because not everyone will watch subs. The last two items in each list are subs because they're just that good and for some variety. Likely a list for any of the grandsons would be different but I really don't know little boys that well yet. There's a lot I haven't watched yet so these lists might look different in a couple years time.

Posted by: SporkLift Driver at October 31, 2010 03:27 PM (O8Vdd)

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