Anime Vice News

Anime You Should Be Watching

AV community member sickVisionz stops in to tell us about anime you should be watching, but probably don't know about.

In the past few years of my life as an anime fan, I find myself watching more and more shows online. Sometimes it's a simulcast and other times it's something from an archive on sites like Hulu or Crunchyroll. One problem, albeit an awesome one, is that these shows have huge archives of content to shift through. In my search for content to watch, I always thought that it'd cool if some kindhearted otaku was out there gathering links for cool shows that I could watch right now.  Well, today I've decided to be the generous otaku that I've been searching for.  

This ain't Naruto, but you should be watching it. 
This ain't Naruto, but you should be watching it. 

Every week I plan (keyword being plan) on highlighting one or two shows that I'm watching or have seen that are also available legally online.  Ideally they'll be free to everyone, but if they aren't i'll be sure to make a note of it.  I'll try to avoid shows that I think are super popular because, in all honesty, these shows have more than enough eyes on them and don't really need yet another person pointing them out.  So that means, no Naruto, no One Piece, no Bleach, etc.  It's cool if it does, but I don't really intend for this to introduce a new person to anime and make them a fan.  I'm trying to introduce anime fans to shows that they might not have seen or heard of. 
 
Last week was a shounen action fiesta so this week I decided to go for two shows that are the polar opposite.  With no further ado...     

Erin the Beast Player

The Basics  
 Erin as a child.
 Erin as a child.
Erin the Beast Player combines slice-of-life and drama to tell the story of a young girl named Erin who has a natural talent for animal taming.  The story begins with her as a ten year old and follows her life until she is eighteen. 
 

Described in Anime 

The tone, time and setting of the show reminds me of Spice and Wolf or a fairy tale minus magic elves and witches. 
 

Why I Like It 

Erin has a great story filled with many interesting characters but it's the pacing of the series that really allows everything to shine.  Erin is a fifty episode show broken into three time periods of Erin's life: her as a young child, a tween and teen.  Erin is definitely a slow burn type of anime.  The plot moves very slow and the main story line of the series isn't introduced until about halfway through.  Some may be turned off by that, but I loved it.  The pacing combined with the time segmentation really allows you to get to know all of the characters intimately and you can see how they mature and change as they grow older.  It also allows you to see how the situations in the land that Erin lives in are changing and you can get a good sense of how certain political maneuvering is going to impact things later down the road.
 
Everything isn't rainbows, lollipops and sunshine...
Everything isn't rainbows, lollipops and sunshine...
Yes, I said political maneuvering.  Another great thing about the show is that despite the happy-go-lucky visual style, the show can be very dark when it wants to be and it covers some very adult topics with a maturity that's a welcomed change from many of the shows that I watch.  In a lot of ways, Erin reminds me of a fairy tale with more realism.  When you see these stories in children's books, they're always brightly colored and things look happy and very kid friendly.  However, when you read them you find characters who do things such as mistreating orphans and step children out of spite or allowing their vanity and desire for power to corrupt them.  Like the best fairy tales, Erin's journey through life is filled with many triumphs and great moments but it also has its fair share of tragedy and disappointment.  
 
Interested? Check it out on Crunchyroll by going here.
 

Time of Eve

The Basics 

Time of Eve is the story of advanced androids trying to find their place in a time where the line between man and machine is blurring beyond recognition, yet society is reluctant to view androids as people or objects to be respected rather than tools to be used and disposed of. 
  
Described in Anime 
Imagine if every human-form android in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex had it's own unique personality like theTachikoma units.  Remove all action, spying and crime fighting from the series and make it a drama or romance about human/android relationships set in a world where society treats machines in a manner similar to the The Second Renaissance episodes from the Animatrix
 

Why I Like It 

 Anti-android propaganda
 Anti-android propaganda
I'm a sucker for anything that's sci-fi and deals with human rights issues.  That's one super niche that always appeals to me, whether it be over the top action like Avatar or more dramatic fare like Artificial Intelligence: AI.  The concept of the show is that androids and humans look identical with the exception of a halo like device that androids are required to use so that they can be distinguished from humans.  The Time of Eve Cafe is a place where androids can turn off their halos and everyone interacts with each other, not knowing if they are humans or androids.  Each episode deals with a small group of characters and how they connect with each other, whether it be romantic, paternal or platonic.   
 
One of the many interesting relationships in this series 
One of the many interesting relationships in this series 
That concept alone intrigues me and luckily the show delivers.  I would go as far as to say that the characters and writing is good enough for these short stories (each episode is about 15 minutes long) to stand on their own without any sci-fi elements.  If the series was just people hanging out at a cafe and telling stories about their lives, or the ups and downs of a couple or a tale about a grandfather and his daughter, this show would still stand up as a well done and interesting anime that I could suggest to anyone.  Adding in the sci-fi elements sends it over the top for me.  Time of Eve is one of the few shows that I simply couldn't put down once I started watching it and I'd recommend it to anyone, regardless of what your tastes in anime are.     
 
Interested? Check it out on Crunchyroll by going here.
Saskatoonon June 9, 2010 at 10:40 a.m.
Nice. Is Erin anything like Moribito because I know that the author of the books it is based off of also wrote the Moribito novels. I myself have been watching Rainbow since Funimation started to put them legally online.
FoxxFireArt moderator on June 9, 2010 at 3:20 p.m.
I'm certainly not against some good story. I'm just not too interested in watching something animated unless something other worldly is happening, 
 
Time of Eve sounds interesting enough. I an a fan of Ghost in the Shell SAC. I'm just not interested enough to join a site like Crunchrolland pay them when there is only a small handful of shows I want to watch.
YotaruVegetaon June 9, 2010 at 3:39 p.m.
You forgot Natsume Yujincho. I neglected it for a while, but now I'm able to catch up with it, and it's GREAT! Nyanko Sensei is hilarious!
sickVisionz moderator on June 9, 2010 at 4:12 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: Both of these are available for free on CR.  I logged out of my account and tested the streams or checked the viewing policy before posting them. 
 
@saskatoon:
 I've never seen Moribito so I can't say for sure.  Just reading the AV page it seems like there might be some basic elements that are similar.
nate1222on June 9, 2010 at 7:17 p.m.

Time of Eve has me open. Erin the Beast Player sounds good, too. But I've got a soft spot for kids and after Gunslinger Girl, my ability to watch them suffer is spent. You're reading this from an uncle who spoils his nieces rotten.
gla55jAwon June 9, 2010 at 8:05 p.m.
Time of Eve seems awesome. Thanks for sharing!
Mabuion June 9, 2010 at 8:47 p.m.
I was following Erin for a while, but I lost interest as she started growing up.  It sorta wore on me after a while - I don't know that I've heard of the other show.
jlanzeron June 9, 2010 at 10:21 p.m.
Time of Eve is def a good watch.  short series, but covers a lot of stuff.
kkndv001on June 10, 2010 at 2:52 a.m.

嗯嗯,都是些什麽動漫的說。。。
YotaruVegetaon June 10, 2010 at 6:53 a.m.
@sickVisionz: Moribito is absolutely one of the best looking and "choreographed" anime I've seen in a long time. Besides looks, it's a good story, too. I haven't finished it though. Shame on me!
 
Like Erin, I want to recommend something like MushiShi, but these are slow-burn anime. They aren't slam bang action shows, but they are great stories.
transgojoboton June 10, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.
I absolutely cannot recommend Time of Eve enough. I wasn't sure what to expect from it, but it delivered; it tugged on the heartstrings a little, made me laugh out loud and was beautiful to watch too. Any show that makes me care about its cast and mourn in agony at the time between episode releases is a winner in my book.
 
Now, don't let the 3D-rendered set design turn you away from the show. I know how burned many fans are about the co-mingling of 3D objects and 2D hand-drawings in anime (thx Gonzo). Well, the studio for Time of Eve, Directions (irc), did a wonderful job of mixing the two.
 
I really, REALLY want to own this on Blu-ray. 
 
Heck, I want to see a studio license it for North America. But maybe whoever is interested in it is waiting for the compilation movie to be finished and released. Yes. You read that correctly. AFAIK, there's a movie being done to compile all the short episodes into a feature-length with new footage being thrown in. On one hand, I'm excited to see what comes of this. On the other hand, Time of Eve was probably the first series that did MORE in fifteen minutes per episode than most anime accomplish in twenty-two.
AURON570 is online on June 11, 2010 at 12:18 p.m.
thankyou so much for recommending Time of Eve, just watched the first episode, it is amazing, i love you.
BrandonElliotton June 12, 2010 at 3:57 a.m.
If your willing take suggestions for anime that that are good but not that well known here is one Fate Stay Night. It is a pretty good action, supernatural. You can find it for free here:  http://www.animefreak.tv/watch/fatestay-night-english-dubbed-online-free
sickVisionz moderator on June 12, 2010 at 5:18 a.m.
@BrandonElliott: The emphasis is on legally watch online.
Ardekon June 13, 2010 at 2:55 p.m.
Dear Guest_Author,
 
Thank you so much for recommending Time of Eve.  It would have passed me by completely had I not stumbled across this page (via a link at the bottom of GiantBomb), which should have been a shame since it was so far up my street that it had to stop for petrol half way.
 
I shall give Erin the Beast Player a decent look at some point in the near future, with any luck I shall find another favourite in it.
 
Best regards,
 
Rupert

Dig Deeper into Time of Eve

Time of Eve is a 2008 OVA series created by Yasuhiro Yoshiura with animation by Studio Rikka.

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