As such, I have had to leave out popular fan favourites, slice-of-life comedies and high school dramas that are aimed too directly at the otaku demographic and which rely on an understanding of the genre and Japanese pop culture to fully appreciate.
Similarly, for us older fans, I’ve left out some longer series that I personally hold very dear—groundbreaking shows like —just because the commitment involved in watching such epically long series is probably too daunting for new anime viewers. An overly stylistic take on the established space opera genre, it’s the story of a disparate bunch of planet-hopping bounty hunters struggling to make a living.
The celebration and stylisation of that violence is challenged in the most brutal, disturbing, and heart-wrenching of manners.
It wasn’t until 2002 that it finally happened, and along with allowing the powerhouse studio another chance to mine the property, they also took it as an opportunity to appease disgruntled fans that felt Oshii had strayed too far from the source material.A story about over-cute, teenage girls turned cybernetic killers is nothing new, but writer Yu Aida (who also penned the original manga) turns it into a chilling, scathing deconstruction of anime’s moral values.Everything is questioned—the over sexualisation of young girls and their idolizing relationships with older men, the continued, accepted association of children with violence.Its challenging plot and message is backed by strong production values and its gentle European ambiance, making it one of the most controversial anime productions of the last decades.It splits anime fans even now, with many refusing to see it as anything more than fan-pandering—interestingly (in my experience) a reaction seldom seen from viewers from outside anime fandom. The story of giant mecha battling strange, powerful creatures, it is yet another show that takes standard anime clichés—angst-ridden teenage pilots, over-the-top battle sequences, end-of-the-world scenarios—and uses them to try and tell a different, deeper story.