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Anime to Watch in Honor of 4/20

Anime that makes you go "were they high?" And remember, kids: winners don't do drugs.

Look, I don't partake in pot and I certainly don't endorse doing so. But that doesn't mean I can't wonder what anime productions might have been the product of such...enhanced consciousnesses, so to speak. So without further ado, a few anime to watch on 4/20-- whether you're "celebrating" or not! 

Dead Leaves

Often compared to FLCL-- perhaps due to the directorial style of Gainax's Hiroyuki Imaishi, who worked in FLCL but helmed Dead Leaves for Production I.G...or maybe because one of the characters has a TV head like Canti's --Dead Leaves is a short anime film (about an hour long) in which a be-mulleted woman named Pandy and her lover/partner-in-crime Retro wake up as amnesiacs on Earth in the future. They have remarkable physical prowess but are almost immediately sent to the prison Dead Leaves, which exists on a horribly disfigured moon.


Director Satoshi Kon's story (based on a novel of the same name) is completely coherent-- a no-nonsense female psychologist moonlights as an impish dream therapist named Paprika thanks to the invention of a device that allows doctors to participate in their patients' dreams, but when one device is stolen it threatens all of reality. But the visuals are so bright, colorful, and whimsical that Kon feels almost more like a painter than a director per se. In terms of tone and storytelling this piece is practically flawless, especially with Megumi Hayashibara herself voicing the title role.


I know, I know-- "but Durarara!! takes place more or less in the real world and makes total sense!" Yeah, but come on, one of the main characters is a headless motorcyle-rider who lives with an obsessive surgeon who took part in an experimental surgery on her and who's in love with her. Not to mention the whole love triangle between an obsessive stalker, her target, and the disembodied and lifeless head he falls in love with. Admit it: it's awesomely fucked up. 



From the master of the mindfuck himself, Masaaki Yuasa, Kaiba's visual style could be aptly described as Osamu Tezuka goes to a seedy, neon-lit alleyway. The story is set in a future where people can upload their memories onto chips to be placed in new bodies or even to make copies of themselves. The first episodes are primarily shorts set in this universe, and feature such things as a young girl whose body gets sold to a wealthy man who wants to possess it (literally), and a woman who clones her memories into a male body so she can have sex with herself. I would die for this anime to become licensed, and apologize for teasing you with an unavailable show. 

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

I couldn't tell you if Haruhi author Nagaru Tanigawa smoked any pot, but I can totally picture him taking a puff and saying "hey man, what if, like, you were god? Like...and you didn't know it? Wouldn't that be weeeeird?" And the friend goes, "man, that'd be cool, I'd surround myself with hot chicks all the time...without even knowing it!" And Tanigawa responds that maybe he'll write it as a book...but put the chapters all out of order. Yeah. Definitely some drugs there.

This is merely five entries, and anime has been around for many decades-- I'm sure there are plenty more series out there that make you go "man, were they high when they made this?" So go ahead and share 'em in the comments.    
sotyfan16on April 20, 2010 at 2:04 p.m.

I say get high and then watch Ergo Proxy, Golden Boy, Akira, or Death Note. Either one of them might make a person shit their pants from laughter or terror. Glorious! 
P.S. I hear watching Planet Earth while high blows your mind.

reinon April 20, 2010 at 2:06 p.m.

what's going on in this thread?
omoon April 20, 2010 at 2:11 p.m.
The real reason for 4/20 is Nene. Go watch Reign the Conqueror for both fixes.
TimMaughanon April 20, 2010 at 2:28 p.m.
Anything by Shinichiro Watanabe, basically, I mean, lets see. There's that episode of Samurai Champloo where they have that battle in the field of burning ganja trees. Or that Cowboy Bebop where those guys are all floating around on that space station smoking weed. Or that Bebop where they all neck those 'shrooms. Or Macross Plus, with *that* concert scene. 
So yeah, Watanabe-sensei likes to get high. As for me - I think this is the first 4/20 I've been straight in about maybe 20 years. No fun. 
metalsnakezeroon April 20, 2010 at 2:29 p.m.
Watch anything from SHAFT

Oneeyedjackson April 20, 2010 at 2:46 p.m.
@metalsnakezero said:
" Watch anything from SHAFT
The guys at SHAFT are obviously smoking something good while making their anime
HeeroYuyon April 20, 2010 at 2:59 p.m.
ANYTHING by Gainax and Shaft would probably be perfect.
Daveyo520on April 20, 2010 at 4:14 p.m.

What about Cat Soup?
agila61on April 20, 2010 at 4:22 p.m.
Kuma_From_Argentinaon April 20, 2010 at 5 p.m.
Paranoia Agent (I didnt watched it, but i've got the DVD's and palnning to watch it)
Whiskeyjackon April 20, 2010 at 5:19 p.m.
Excel Saga. Such a variety of illogical madness.
Sonata moderator on April 20, 2010 at 7:14 p.m.
Abenobashi would be awesome to watch baked lol
crusader8463on April 20, 2010 at 8:24 p.m.
I have been trying to remember the fucking name of that anime for over two years now. Thank you fucking Christ thank you! It was my own personal hell trying to remember that god dam anime's name. I can't count the number of times I wanted to recommend that to people, but for the life of me I couldn't remember the name of it!
MeWantCandyon April 20, 2010 at 8:33 p.m.
How come I  don't see Chocolate Panic Picture Show or  Inaka Isha anywhere?
Konandaon April 20, 2010 at 8:49 p.m.
@Daveyo520 said:
"What about Cat Soup? "

HSaabedraon April 20, 2010 at 9:30 p.m.
@TimMaughan: It'll be two months this week of being pot/drug free for me after spending a year living with roommates watching anime and partying just about everyday.  I miss it sometimes, since it made Eva coherent and Paprika is awesome if you're on shrooms. :D
constanzadellarosaon April 20, 2010 at 9:38 p.m.
I watched Paprika last weekend. Satoshi Kon was on a huge acid trip for sure, though anyway, is a brilliant film. After almost 20 years watching anime, I still can't figure out what kind of stuff they do to get 'creative'.
lolwuton April 21, 2010 at 2:55 p.m.
Who the fuck cares about Stonerday? April 20th is Hitler's birthday! 
 Even Mio dressed for the occasion.
 Even Mio dressed for the occasion.
newaveon April 22, 2010 at 2:54 a.m.
you would have to be on something way stronger than pot to like dead leaves....but paprika is always amazing
Arjunaon April 22, 2010 at 4:01 a.m.
Like, what if, like, you could travel through time, man?  ...and, like, what if you went back in time to see yourself, ya know, man?  ...and, like, what if you made out with a past version of yourself?  Like, would that be, like...  gay?

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