I just started watching Hunter x Hunter and I was pretty surprised at how much more violent it was than what I expected. Which made me think of the topic question, so what anime surprised you?
Vandread part 2 has a bit about a little girl with cancer that has kept me fucked up for almost 10 years.
Wandering Son, I was constantly waiting for it to fuck up but it didn’t and honestly that thing is gonna spoil me for any anime that even tries to deal with LGBT anything, lol, tbh deals with it better than most if not all mainstream media.
Monster Musume. I had no idea what I was getting into. I mean, ordinary life with monster girls, that sounds super innocent, right? Instantly wrong. Also, the OP made it look like it was going to do some Magical Girl stuff. Nope, just a harem anime. My fault for not doing my research before diving in.
Lmao at least it doesn’t take that long to get into the harem, I watched like 13 episodes of strike the blood before I figured out it was a harem show.
For me it’d probably be Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. I’m used to Lupin being pretty upbeat and light, but this show goes to some really dark places. Almost Eyes Wide Shut territory. It’s good, cringy at times, but worth watching.
@JamesTarr I read the manga for it waiting for it to drop the ball at some point and it never does. It’s so masterful and it’s such a great example of a piece of media incorporating queer narratives.
I watched Shirobako on a whim expecting it to be a silly and light hearted comedy and instead I was pretty surprised that it was actually a drama about how the animation industry sucks and how hard it is to figure out what you want to do with your life in your 20s
The latter hit particularly close to home
I really enjoyed it but not for the reasons I initially expected
Edit: The first episode was a really great swerve too. I totally thought it was going to be about the high school club.
Let me get Steins;Gate out of the way and call it out.
The anime starts as a light comedy, with the protagonist being a miserable, arrogant, childish, overall unsufferable character, and having a klutz girl and a perverted dude as friends.
By the middle episode, it starts turning back completely, becoming a morbid story about loneliness and hopelessness.
Even if you don’t watch magical girls shows to get the reconstruction, it still hits you in surprising ways with what it means to put yourself in danger.
Well I was totally gonna mention HxH. By the York New City Arc it really surprised me also with how willing it was to subvert shonen tropes.
Several for different reasons.
- Perfect Blue hit a lot closer to home than I was expecting (going in knowing basically nothing about it).
- FLCL was something that was new enough I didn’t know much about it (and this was quite some time ago so my media literacy was more limited than it is today) but I had been told it was “a bit of fun” and ended up really loving it.
- Kill la Kill because I really didn’t like the later twist so that surprise really ruined what would otherwise probably be a recent favourite.
Erased. That first episode doesn’t have the hook of the show until the last, like minute, at which point the hook of the show is revealed and you immediately watch episode 2 because holy shit, that reveal. Super glad I watched it without learning what the plot was. That was an incredibly good surprise.
Your mention of KLK reminded me of Gurren Lagann.
Gurren Lagann is the essence of exaggeration, it hits you in the face HARD with it until you truly learn what it could be.
And it starts so humble and small, cute even.
My friend and I are on a mission to watch all anime based on fighting games and uh, yeah, most of them are pretty bad. The Fatal Fury movies and the Darkstalkers OVA are about as bad as expected. The Street Fighter II animated movie is actually decent for what it is, however. It faithfully follows SF2’s (incredibly silly) storyline, it’s reasonably well animated with some good fight scenes, and best of all it ends with M. Bison hijacking an 18-wheeler to run Ryu down and Ryu’s response to this is to try and jump kick the fucking truck.
I think it not being bad must of messed with my expectations for the two Street Fighter Alpha movies, because we watched those recently and wowee those were almost unwatchable. Both are equally terrible for different reasons, and are easily the worst of these we’ve seen yet.
I also went into Hunter x Hunter thinking it was going to be a pretty fun and cute little bit shonen nonsense, what with the upturned noses and cheery OST. I was so very wrong. Good Lord. I absolutely love it though.
I also was surprised by how much I love Osomatsu-san. I stopped watching anime in my teens and only recently started again, so I thought the very off the wall humor wouldn’t land with me, but it absolutely does. It’s still my #1 show to watch when I’m having a bad day.
The show I was most surprised by was probably Concrete Revolutio. I came in expecting very exaggerated, pulpy superhero/sentai show, and while I did get that I also got a show that was really blatantly political in a way that I really hadn’t seen before. Definitely one of my favorite shows of 2016.
Kemono Friends… when I started it and saw the weird clunky animation for the first time I thought “oh I get it, this is one of those So Bad It’s Good shows that people watch for a joke”. But then, it outdid my expectations. Not just with the surprising direction the story takes, but also just how… actually good it is? It’s a kind and warm show about friendship, and most episode are genuinely sweet? But there’s this weird tinge of melancholy surrounding it that reflects it’s origins as a failed video game franchise? There’s something very unique about it beyond it’s apparently nonexistent budget, and I sincerely like it a lot.
Yeah, Kemono Friends is a good choice. I was really surprised at how solid it felt I guess? I was expecting something that was endearing but deeply flawed, but it’s just an all around well founded and well plotted show that’s also really endearing. It’s ending episodes in particular I feel are absolutely great.
I’m not surprised that often, as I usually only really get to a series after loads of recommendations.
Surprise is reserved for stuff I just watch out of the blue, like Erased.