AniDB Mathematically Recommends, Round One

November 14, 2006 at 3:51 pm (Anime)

AniDB, as you may already know, has an interesting feature available to registered (it’s free) users. Through some algorithm that I didn’t bother looking up, it will take your ratings of anime, compare them to all the other users’ ratings of anime, and try to suggest things that you would like. One problem with this is that you have to rate something like 50+ anime for it to work. Also, because this is basically just a linear approximation of some sort, I end up getting a lot of random things like sequel OAVs to TV series that aren’t higher on the list. Now, sometimes the sequels are really okay without their predecessors, but I usually like to view things in order. No big deal though. Also, it actually turns out to work pretty well.

You can look at my current permanent votes (permanent means I’ve watched the entire thing; you can also temp vote for series you didn’t/haven/t watched all of) if you’re curious. I’ve tried to stay sorta vaguely to the anidb voting criteria, so that affects some placements.

Anyway, the first four anime this SCIENCE! recommended to me were, in order: Twelve Kingdoms, PlanetES, Crest of the Stars, and Mind Game. My average rating for these was a 8.25/10, so I’d say that’s pretty good.

Twelve Kingdoms

I almost stopped watching this early, but I really wanted to give this recommending-algorithm a chance, so I stuck with it. Twelve Kingdoms annoyed me at first, because Nakajima kept fucking crying, but she got over it eventually, and the show slowly got better. I really liked the Thousand Miles of Wind arc; it did a particularly neat plot construction where four characters stories slowly converged. It’s interesting to watch anime that is adapted from long-form novels; that seems to be fairly uncommon. It had notably good (if you could sit through the parts where they’re not developed yet) character development and a very extensive world. Unfortunately it has the same problem with novel release-cycles that many anime have with manga release cycles, except worse because it takes forever for new novels to be released. Apparently it’s on, like, indefinite hiatus, with at least one major sub-arc left unresolved. So that kinds sucks. I still gave it an 8/10 for being entertaining and having some interesting characters and an interesting world.


I just finished PlanetES yesterday. It is one of those anime that is not just Anime Good, but is Actually Good. I mean that its quality doesn’t rely on being hilariously camp or having a 360 degree badness angle. Though it does take a fairly common theme of Idealism Challenged as one of its major thrusts, and it does have Tanabe shout about how Hachimaki’s philosophy LACKS LOVE. But basically the first half of the show is a mild romance, and then Hachimaki’s father hands him a copy of Atlas Shrugged and, as is the custom, he becomes an asshole for a few months afterward. Then he discovers marijuana (everything is…CONNECTED…MAN) and cools off. Also, this anime has the BEST marriage proposal scene ever, though if I ever force my friends to watch it I may have to explain how shiritori works first. I gave the show a 9/10 for being Actually Good and for having a good ending.

Crest of the Stars

Like Utena this is one those anime that feels so retro-styled I was convinced it was like two decades old but, in reality, it is just that I am old. If I ignore, like, all mecha shows (there are reasons I might), there’s almost no space opera to speak of in the anime realm, and I definitely like Space Opera, so this was fun for me. Crest is not what I’d call complex, but it does its job of being entertaining very very well. I was all like zomg-tsundere-space-elf-moé for a little while after I finished watching. I hear the sequels are not as good, but I’m going to check them out anyway. Btw, why aren’t any of my friends known as “The Lady of Chaos”? I gave the show a 9/10 for being fun as hell.

Mind Game

I think Mind Game might have been too pretentious for me. I was getting really bored, but then everybody got swallowed by a whale (lol spoilers) and that actually amused me enough to carry me through the rest of the film. The animation style lends itself to the kind of surrealism that Mind Game is shooting for, but it also creates a disconnect between people and voices; the characters lack some solidity and it just makes it hard to care about them. I gave it a 7/10, which presumably means I might recommend it to people. Basically, though, it’s for whale-hijinx and a pretty cool sex scene (which was made possible by the art style). Oh it had a cool car chase too (see above image).

Nextup!: I think the next, like, ten of my recommendations are various Ghibli productions I haven’t seen.



  1. tj han said,

    Planetes owns. Top 3 anime ever made, the other two being GitS: SAC and Last Exile.

  2. Matte said,

    Twelve Kingdoms, Planetes and the Crest of the Stars series are among the top animes I’ve ever watched so I’d say it’s pretty accurate so far. ^^ I hadn’t even heard about Mind Game though, but then I haven’t watched that many anime movies.

  3. kacpy said,

    I totally agree, Planetes is an absolute GEM.

  4. Sasa said,

    Oho oho, too bad I can only agree with what has already been said. Planetes is one of the best, maybe even THE best anime I have ever watched. Despite its cheesy side stories here and there (that were all not in the manga!).

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