In the war against neighboring countries, the Grand Duke’s warriors use dragon-like beasts called Touda as weapons. Touda are admired across the nation and villages take great pride in breeding them. Erin lives in one such village with her mother, Soyon, who is the best beastinarian in the country. However, life in the village is not so straightforward: Soyon is also an Ariyo, a woman of the Mist People - a race that is feared by humans for its mystical abilities. So that she and Erin can stay in the village, Soyon must flawlessly fulfill her duty capturing and disciplining the Touda; but while Erin wants nothing more than to become a beastinarian, she also feels sorry for the Touda and recognizes that there’s far more to them than meets the eye. Can Erin ever become an ordinary beastinarian when her deepest instincts tell her there is a better way to interact with the Touda?
One thousand years after the Giant Warriors caused an apocalyptic event known as the seven days of fire, humans are living in constant fear of the Toxic Jungle. This ever-spreading forest is filled with poisonous plants and gigantic monstrous insects; even the very air is deadly. Nausicaa is the kind and wise princess of a small, peaceful country known as the Valley of the Wind, which has so far avoided the spread of the forest. One night a large airship containing one of the Giant Warriors crashes into the valley. The following day soldiers from the powerful nation of Tolmekia invade the Valley of the Wind to reclaim and revive the warrior. As the only one who truly believes that there is a way for humans to live alongside the insects, Nausicaa must find a way to stop the war that now threatens her people and protect the Toxic Jungle before the Tolmekians burn it to the ground.
Both anime have heroic female characters who wish for a peaceful coexistence between humans and nature. With strong environmentalist themes in both and also detailed fantasy setting, and a similar wholesome feel, Nausicaa and Kemono no Souja Erin are like twins.
In an ancient and mythological land called Saiunkoku, the people have begun to recover from a period of war and famine; thus, when an official from the imperial court offers the impoverished and beautiful Shuurei more money than she could ever dream of in return for a favor, she jumps at the chance. What she doesn’t count on, however, is being asked to become a concubine to the recluse Emperor and help him transform into a better leader. What’s more, the Emperor shows little intelligence, seems to have no interest in ruling, and is rumored to prefer men. One thing’s for certain: Shuurei has her work cut out for her!
The novelty of political dramas aimed at young girls should not be underestimated. If you adored Saiunkoku Monogatari for its ability to charm like a shoujo while not patronising its audience and providing some fascinating lore, definitely try Kemono no Souja next. While not strictly shoujo, it still has a very feminine presentation and offers a genuinely remarkable female protagonist.
Since long ago, the wolf goddess Holo has honored a contract to bless the rural village of Pasloe with fertile harvests; and in return she has been celebrated and worshipped by the villagers. But as mankind advances, the people have begun to take command of nature for themselves and have made their own god to worship. Holo finds that she is paid little more than lip service, if not outright mocked; and considering the contract annulled, she takes human form and enlists the aid of a passing merchant, Kraft Lawrence, to return to her home in the snowy forests to the north. As they journey together, Kraft finds that he has plenty to learn from this capricious god, and she from him as well.
Both of these anime have a similar setting, they both have a strong and smart female protagonist they are both rather slow paced and they both tell a more character driven story. All in all if you liked one you will definitely like the other...
Simon lives a boring life in the underground village of Jeeha, where his main job day in and day out is to dig tunnels. His close friend Kamina, however, longs to bust out of their oppressive existence and reach the surface world where open skies and adventure await! One day, during his usual digs, Simon discovers a robot with a big face buried amongst the rocks. No sooner has he shown Kamina his mysterious find when two beings from the surface crash land into Jeeha Village - one is a gun-toting woman calling herself Yoko and the other is a terrifying mecha piloted by a Beastman! Seeing their chance to escape village drudgery, Kamina rallies Simon and Yoko to defeat the invader using their new robot, Lagann. However, upon breaking out onto the surface world, Simon, Kamina, and Yoko encounter enemies more powerful than they could have envisioned. Their fight for adventure just turned into a war for the survival of the human race - will their lust for freedom hold out against such terrible odds?
This may seem like a very odd rec, but they both follow a single character, driven largely by the death of someone dear to them, through their entire life cycle. While the main character fights to change unwritten rules for the betterment of society, s/he has to sacrifice a large amount. So if you liked the epic journey and changes in the main character in one series, you'll likely enjoy the same aspect in the other.