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mi boi neon genesis evangelion baby
Cowboy Bebop, FMA Brotherhood, or Code Geass
Avatar: the last airbender (even though its not technically an anime, its one of the best written animated series)
I'm not going to speak for level of writing since that's subjective (personally I never thought Breaking Bad was anything special) but I can try to address the maturity issue since it's a struggle I know well.
Mushishi - anthology series following a traveling spirit master as he helps guide people in their various interactions with nature spirits. Each episode is basically a little folktale. The quiet tone make it great for falling asleep to.
Boogiepop Phantom - another one that's great for sleep. Kind of a spooky, horror vibe, with separate stories that cross into each other.
Evangelion - there are some silly moments, but they only serve to accentuate the more fucked up shit the characters are being put through. The movies are good and definitely offer a visual upgrade, but gloss over a lot of the religious lore which I always found interesting.
Samurai Champloo - if you liked Cowboy Bebop, you'll probably like this - made by same peeps.
Serial Experiments Lain - I'm not entirely sure... The internet is a separate realm bleeding into ours? Or maybe it's all in this little girl's head? I remember the end getting pretty out there and trippy, but to be fair there's a decent chance I was on acid back when I watched it.
Texhnolyze - super dark cyberpunk full of philosophical quandary and great, gritty visuals
You posted this in r/television so I assume you're looking for series? serieses? seriesi? Anyway, you might have more luck with movies: Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Princess Mononoke, Appleseed, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust,
evangelion is easily on the same level as breaking bad in most regards, namely in skill of production, excellence in writing, compelling and realistic characters, nuanced themes, engaging plot, breadth of knowledge and acknowledgment to its genre/lineage, with the added bonus of surrealistic elements and a heavier focus on symbolism/iconography to further illustrate its concepts. i hold both shows in equally high regard.
it’s a common misconception, but anime isn’t a genre, it’s a medium. it’s like saying “television is more juvenile in comparison to film” because you’ve seen a lot of reality tv and soap operas. it’s a diverse medium, there’s compelling adult oriented dramas, and there’s dumb hyper-sexualized romcoms, don’t let the animation make you think the medium is any lesser than live action television!
I want to say Death Note but the later half starts to dwindle down. Code Geass remains to be my absolute fav though. Haven't seen that many anime but to me, that's the best written anime I've seen.
I feel like "juvenile" is the opinion people have of anime before ever getting a true taste of it by watching the ones that aren't about high school crushes and junk. I should know. That's what I thought.
I actually prefer the best anime I've ever seen to Breaking Bad. Can't pass judgment on the others because I haven't gotten to them yet, unfortunately.
Attack on Titan is pretty great.
That's kinda hard because Anime for the most part usually have a way different structure than tv shows. Except for the ones you mentioned. Monster feels like a cable show (just in animated form) and takes on a lot of genre tropes from american cinema. That show is a masterpiece and it's unfortunate that Del Toro never got his cable version of the show off the ground (it just kind of disappeared). Cowboy Bebop is pretty similar to tv shows too. It's very episodic, I hear that The Killjoy's is basically a live action Cowboy Bebop.
They get better with every season.
So Ra No Wo To.
Hunter X Hunter. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
Hunter X Hunter in particular is a show I hold in the highest regards. While Chimaera Ant arc in particular was phenomenal, rest of the arcs too were great. It was epic, chaotic amd satisfying. Every small arcs had a conclusion. That mute antheaded girl at the background, well she doesn't necessarily have a big part, but still has a satisfying conclusion. That Wolf guy who was at the sidelines, he might be pivotal in ending a disastrous event. Stuff like that impressed me a lot, and that's something I have never experience since in any other anime or TV shows. Its the best experience I ever got watching a serialised show. It wasn't nuanced, but raw. The show was bonkers when it came to tones, and setting, but still had lots of realism in characters.
I haven't seen Breaking Bad, Wire or other American shows. But those shows are popular for reasons that is not at all common to Hunter X Hunter at all. Both might be in seperate level of quality. But in terms of satisfaction, Hunter X Hunter and one Punch Man are the only shows that satisfied be emotionally. Most western shows are praised for being realistic, while most of the anime is praised for telling a great story
Edit: Not to say that HxH is the only show. Recently, Stein's Gate, Re:Zero, Land of the Lustrous, Violet Evergarden, Made in Abyss Devilman Crybaby are such shows, which are far more interesting than majority of western shows. They don't necessarily need to be better, but just good enough.
Even the super hero genre is thriving with shows like One Punch Man and My hero Academia have much better realised characters and plot, which shows that you do not stick to being childish or dark/gritty. You just need to to whatever the plot requires you to do.
Most of the popular stuff is targeted at younger audience you gonna dig for the more mature stuff.
Honestly try some of the Gundam Series. They have some serious themes dealing we war.
shoujo kakumei utena
Depending on the metric you use, I think there's a structural problem: any real anime that you're watching has been translated from Japanese into English. You'll always lose some things in translation, but Japanese is especially tricky to accurately translate into English, and the translator just isn't going to be as good of a writer as, say, David Simon. So while in theory you could have an anime that is just as well-written from a plot perspective as a great prestige TV show, you're almost surely never going to see an anime with dialogue on par with a great prestige TV show...unless you speak Japanese.
anime that compete with some of the best of tv? sure... anime that competes with the absolute best TV of all time? No, not really, nor is there a single animated movie by Disney or otherwise that can compete with the absolute best movies.
Naruto at it's core (without all the filler watching the Kai version) is great, emotional story, well written characters, interesting world and an iconic soundtrack.
Avatar: The Last Airbender. While not technically anime, as far as animated programming goes it is absurdly engaging, entertaining, and emotional.
Zuko has some of the best character development I've ever seen.
For serious anime I'd say Monster at the top.
I'd say Shinsekai Yori, Rainbow, FMA: B, Death Note too.
And it's manga but I would say Oyasumi Punpun and Vagabond
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