ANIME FOR SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T REALLY 'LIKE' ANIME.

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Avatar: The Last Airbender. It's styled heavily after Anime and you can troll anime fans with it.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
22567
Similarly to Pizza, I only like certain examples of anime. Those examples are:

Beast King GoLion...alright, I confess...I grew up with the American translation, Voltron. It's cheesy, heavily inspired by Super Sentai, which would be later Americanized as the Power Rangers, and has a strong Transformers vibe to it. Actually, you know what: it's so formulaic, you'll end up bored as fuck halfway into the first season. Forget I even mentioned it.

Appleseed - Both versions. The original version as anime as Gundam, but I still love it, but the recent version is fucking art. You must see the recent version, even if you hate anime.

Ghost in the Shell - I'm not so fond of Stand Alone Complex, but the original movie was phenomenal. An excellent example of sci-fi. This isn't just a movie about cyborgs like your typical action fare. THESE cyborgs spend a good portion of the movie having identity crises over whether or not they're still human or even still alive. Where does the machine end and the person begin?

Akira - I have nothing more to add beyond what LockeZ and Pizza have said. This is one of the movies you have to see before you die.

Spirited Away/Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind/Princess Mononoke/My Neighbor Totoro - One of the first thing you'll notice about any of these three Studio Ghibli films is the animation style. Nausicaa and Totoro look and feel like Rankin/Bass productions, while Spirited Away has a distinct Disney quality to it, and Princess Mononoke feels like a combination of all three. Then when you learn more about Studio Ghibli, you realize that a large number of their animators worked many years for Disney and other western animation studios. Each one is gorgeous with amazing, thought provoking stories.

Cowboy Beebop - Or maybe you're more interested in space criminals who are always one step ahead. This show is just fun no matter what genres you prefer.

Akami Ga Kill - I'm not sure what I was expecting when I turned this on, but I wasn't expecting to be absolutely hooked from the first episode I saw. A rebellion against an evil empire, mad scientists, knights, and wizards...and no, it doesn't take place in space, but we got awfully close, didn't we? Instantly likeable characters, heavy on drama with plenty of humor.

Tenchi Muyo - Okay, I'm a geek for even bringing this up. Space Pirate Ryoko makes the whole thing worth it.

Paprika/Perfect Blue - I only second Pizza's mention of Paprika so I can bring up Perfect Blue, a movie I had no intention of watching through since I was simply watching it for reference for a project with Archeia_Nessiah, but then couldn't stop watching. I had the same reaction to Paprika.

I also second Death Parade.

I have a few more that I like but those are definitely at the top, and ones that someone who isn't really into anime stands a good chance of enjoying.
Here are my suggestions:

- Erased: A currently airing seinen anime (going to end this month) that's the biggest hit of this anime season. Very good anime with deepness within.

- Ashita no Joe: A very old boxing sports 1970s anime classic similar to Hajime no Ippo, but of course, Hajime no Ippo is the one inspired by Ashita no Joe. If you don't mind old anime and since you like sports, this anime could work out for you.

- Samurai Champloo: Likeable characters, cool main character samurais, one of whom adopts a unique freestyle breakdance hip-hop fighting style (I'm not kidding). And on an added note, Samurai Champloo is by the same directors who brought you Cowboy Bebop.

And +1 to One Punch Man, Death Parade and Mushishi.

I'll edit this post and add more when I have the time.
Great Teacher Onizuka is mandatory. I've never met anybody who said it was overrated, let alone didn't like it.

Try the first two episodes of Kaiji. It's about gambling and psychology. If you like what you see, it only gets better (except for a brief crappy 2nd gamble). But again, it's not for everybody.
Yeah, I can feel you on this one. I can barely get past the first episode of most anime when playing Russian Roulette with them on Hulu (though I still love flashy shonen stuff like Gurren Lagaan or New Getter Robo). Definitely seconding Mushi-shi and Cowboy Bebop, also Monster, Ghost in the Shell, and Akira. Anyways, recommendations not mentioned already:

Patlabor: A "slice-of-life" series about a police squad who pilot large-ish mecha called Labors. The Labors, which originated as construction vehicles, are used to deal with things like fire rescue, or subdue Labors being piloted by drunk, out-of-control construction workers and such. But mostly it's silly sitcom stuff like trying to secretly keep a kitten on base or use the fishing boat to get some grub because their base is too far away from grocery stores and such.
The original OVA series, the TV Series (+ "New Files"), and the first anime movie are all on Hulu.

Little Witch Academia: A couple of cutesy, kinda Disney-esque films about little witch girls in a witch school. They're both on Netflix.

Karate Master: An old 70s anime about a WWII Japanese kamikaze pilot who's plane malfunctions before his mission, and then the war ends right after that. Basically, he has to figure out what to do with his life that he had already prepared to give up, and after a few episodes he decides on becoming the greaterestest karate dude ever. I've only watched a few episodes and it does have some 70s cheese, but the post-war setting is unique, and his exceedingly simple goal in life turns out to not be so easy to achieve. The series is on Hulu.

Blassreiter: The first couple of arcs are surprisingly mature for an anime who's action scenes resemble a PS2 game of a Super Sentai show. Unfortunately, the show starts spiraling out of control after that. On Hulu.

Windaria: An 80s movie about a war that breaks out between two countries in a semi-fantasy world. Don't watch the butchered "Once Upon A Time" western version. I watched an English-subtitled version on YouTube, but I'm not sure if it's there anymore.

Mononoke: Weird kind of acid-trip ghost-story mystery show thing about a traveling "medicine vendor" who seeks out an kills the magical monsters that the show is named after. However, fighting is only about 1% of the show. The rest of it is trying to get the information needed to actually confront the monster in the first place. The pacing is glacial, but nonetheless still an interesting show. On Hulu.
Aremen
Then the LORD Aremen said unto Zack, "Behold, I will rain gams from Heaven for you; and the people shall go out and play a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My maps, or no." - 3TileRule 4:16, Holy Help File
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author=LockeZ
Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood - This is good if you can get over the fact that it has a fourteen year old and his eleven year old brother as the main protagonists. It's unusually serious for a show that starts out making you wonder if it's designed for kids, though, and it's extremely well made. It has a few poorly thought out weird religious allegories that don't add much besides confusion. There's a different series just called "Full Metal Alchemist" that has the same characters and is like a far-worse-quality telling of the same story that has a different ending; make sure you don't watch that one by accident.
Your Lord seconds this, HOWEVER! I am going to command thee to watch the first series up until about episode 10 as it does a MUCH better job of actually exploring the relationships between the characters and fleshing them out.

Brotherhood had a lot it needed to do in a short amount of time, thus it cut through a lot of the interactions and building that FMA did, meaning that certain parts don't have as much meaning. If thou wishest for the full experience that it can give you, watch FMA up til at least episode 10. That should give you a decent grounding in the characters, their interactions and what-not. Then switch over and watch Brotherhood from the start.



Your Lord commands it!
As someone who doesn't really 'like' anime myself, I also recommend Anohana (when don't I?). But I would suggest watching it one episode at the time because even though it's short (11 eps.) it can come across as dragging things along or as too melodramatic, if you don't let the events "sink in" so to speak. Like I said, it's short, so you lose nothing just by checking it out.

Also check The vision of Escawflone. It's an anime about mechas and political intrigue but with a medieval/steampunk? flair to it. It has some romance too, but nothing overpowers the rest. It strikes a good balance. The characters and the story are quite interesting, and it's short anime too (26 eps.) It's a much better alternative to watching Evangelion, that much is certain.

And I guess by now everyone has seen the Dragon Quest animes, but if you haven't, go do that. It's Dragon Quest. Nuff' said.
Yellow Magic
I'll never regain the bones I lost from my loneliness and sorrow
2993
It's been mentioned a couple of times already, but Monster is the TEXTBOOK example of anime for someone who doesn't really 'like' anime.
Sooz
If you are truly the virtuous man you say you are, then you have nothing to fear of the ditto.
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author=alterego
Also check The vision of Escawflone. It's an anime about mechas and political intrigue but with a medieval/steampunk? flair to it. It has some romance too, but nothing overpowers the rest. It strikes a good balance. The characters and the story are quite interesting, and it's short anime too (26 eps.) It's a much better alternative to watching Evangelion, that much is certain.


You can't spell "Escaflowne" without "own," because it is The Best.

I may be slightly biased; it's one of my favorites.
unity
You're magical to me.
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author=Aremen
author=LockeZ
Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood - This is good if you can get over the fact that it has a fourteen year old and his eleven year old brother as the main protagonists. It's unusually serious for a show that starts out making you wonder if it's designed for kids, though, and it's extremely well made. It has a few poorly thought out weird religious allegories that don't add much besides confusion. There's a different series just called "Full Metal Alchemist" that has the same characters and is like a far-worse-quality telling of the same story that has a different ending; make sure you don't watch that one by accident.
Your Lord seconds this, HOWEVER! I am going to command thee to watch the first series up until about episode 10 as it does a MUCH better job of actually exploring the relationships between the characters and fleshing them out.

Brotherhood had a lot it needed to do in a short amount of time, thus it cut through a lot of the interactions and building that FMA did, meaning that certain parts don't have as much meaning. If thou wishest for the full experience that it can give you, watch FMA up til at least episode 10. That should give you a decent grounding in the characters, their interactions and what-not. Then switch over and watch Brotherhood from the start.



Your Lord commands it!


Who knew Our Lord was an anime fan? XD
Did you accidentally post with the wrong account, Libs? :P
...maybe

Our Lord has great taste, after all~ He's bound to be a bit of a ...fan of all things, uh, ...so I looked up synonyms for nerd and shockingly most of them are insults like dweed, fool and, I kid you not, jerk, weirdo and oaf. I am not going to call Our Lord such names. Instead I shall say that He is an Intellectual. Mainly because I don't want to be smote. >.<;

:shakes fist at thesaurus:
Thou hast failed me!
Jeroen_Sol
This time... I will revive mafia for sure... GIVE MY CREATURE LIFE!
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Geek works. Geek isn't really an insult.
"This word comes from English dialect geek or geck (meaning a "fool" or "freak"; from Middle Low German Geck"
"a. A person regarded as foolish, inept, or clumsy."

Wikipedia and the Mirriam-Webster disagrees with you.
But language constantly evolves, so a common colloquialism is likely to (and as with most words, almost certainly, eventually) have a different understanding and meaning in everyday parlance than the hardcoded dictionary definition.

As far as the topic; I'm really digging these suggestions, guys. Hey, what do you guys think about the Gundam series? I enjoyed it a lot as a kid, but I rewatched Wing a while ago and wasn't really into it as I was as a kid (I can go into why if anyone is interested). But I always thought the older Gundam series with Amaru (sp?) Ray were pretty cool. Are those worth revisiting?
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
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The Gundam Wing dub is famously awful but Endless Waltz is much better and still holds up in my opinion.
Instead of recommending something mature and for a non-anime fan or whatever, I'm going to do the opposite and recommend something that'll bring you back to your inner 14-year-old self that loved shows like Dragon Ball Z. That show is Hunter x Hunter. I didn't expect to like because on the surface I really shouldn't, but it exceeded my expectations through and through. It's by the guy who made Yu Yu Hakusho, except way better and awesome. It's got mystical kung fu, lengthy story arcs, cool villains, dope music, and great animation. In brief, it's about a kid and his best friend on their journey to become licensed hunters (adventurous contractors/mercenaries), learn kung fu, and find the deadbeat dad that abandoned him. The action has this wonderful sense of timing and drama to it. The final arc, which covers the last two seasons, is probably the best anime I've ever consumed. All but the final season is on Netflix, and the entire show is on Crunchyroll and is the reason I ended up subscribing to it. Hunter x Hunter is also one of the few anime that has the same opening credits theme the entire time, kind of like how Dragon Ball Z used Head Cha La for a decade (and still do in the new movies) because people associate it so strongly with the show.




As for Gundam, it's very hit and miss for me. If you can track down Turn A Gundam then watch that one. Came out in the late 90's and is quite different from the rest. Yoko Kanno did the soundtrack, who you'll remember from Cowboy Bebop. Below this paragraph is the credits theme, which is probably my favorite credits theme in all of anime. If you didn't like Wing then you probably won't like 00, which is the most recent one that I actually enjoyed. 8th MS Team is another one that's pretty good, which is less about super heroic gundam pilots that can slay a hundred mechs with one laser sword, and more about a ground-level military unit that pilots mechs.




I will echo the Ippo suggestion too. The newer seasons of it aren't great, but its original run in the mid-2000s was a lot of fun. You'll find it localized as Fighting Spirit. It's still a tropey shonen, which you said you dislike, but it's a cool show with likable characters all the same. It also conveys a power hit better than any other cartoon--the way people get bodied is pretty nuts. The finale (of the original run) has one of the most satisfying conclusion. Over the course of the show Ippo picks up new techniques to enhance his strengths and target specific opponents's weaknesses, and in the finale he uses all of them in combination to win instead of going Super Saiyan like most shows would... the cartoon has a real focus on the growth of its protagonist. Below is one of the show's opening credits sequences, which has pretty sweet music:


Yellow Magic
I'll never regain the bones I lost from my loneliness and sorrow
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author=Feldschlacht IV
Hey, what do you guys think about the Gundam series?
I'd suggest Legend of the Galactic Heroes instead

Sooz
If you are truly the virtuous man you say you are, then you have nothing to fear of the ditto.
4225
Honestly if you are a huge animu fan you are probably a big ol' geek and you just have to accept that about yourself.
Hajime no Ippo, as was already mentioned.

Samurai Afro: This one is more like an action movie, it's even english only (with Samuel L. Jackson voicing the titular Samurai Afro). Though it's pretty dark and depressing by pitting dark shades of gray vs darker shades of gray.

Rurouni Kenshin: Granted it has a very japanese humor and has some over the top comedy, but that's mostly at the beginning. Once the story kicks in it's downright amazing and the main character is one of the most well written in manga and anime (IMHO of course.)

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: You need the right mindset with this one. Keep in mind it's an adaptation of an 80s manga and the first part is rather weak. It's over the top, it's campy... but man you'll be hard pressed to find something more enjoyable and fun out there. As the name indicates it has all sort of crazy over the top stuff going on: vampire Jack the Ripper, sun powered martial arts, Cyborg Nazis, crazy protagonists, battles that rely on clever moves and tricks rather than just overpowering opponents, etc.

Makoto Shinkai's movies. They are pretty emotional and well written. Not so much fun as genuinely good, though be prepared for many sad moments and bittersweet endings.

Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans. I know very little of Gundam, but I heard this series is back in shape on a serious intense war story Gundam series. Especially after the more kid oriented Builders Series.
author=Yellow Magic
It's been mentioned a couple of times already, but Monster is the TEXTBOOK example of anime for someone who doesn't really 'like' anime.


I was about to say this too.