In present-day Japan, Toshihiko Momota is member of a secret warrior faction called the Kifuuken. The Kifuuken is dedicated to destroying Shokujinji - humans that turn into man-eating monsters when hunger takes them. However, to fate's chagrin, Momota meets and quickly falls for Yuka, a Shokujinji herself! Will their love be able to overcome Yuka's insatiable appetite for human flesh, or will the couple be destroyed by the bestial tendencies of humanity?
Albert de Morcerf had it all: wealth, loving parents, great friends. The only thing lacking in his life was excitement... until that fateful day on Luna. After a chance encounter with bandits and a daring rescue, Albert invites his newfound friend and savior, the Count of Monte Cristo, to his home in Paris. Little does he know what fate has in store for him and his loved ones. Just who is the mysterious Count, and what does he want? As tragedy touches the lives of those around him, can Albert’s only recourse be to wait and hope?
These were two of the hardest recommendations to make... Kemonozume is a highly unique and rich anime. Gankutsuou is one of my favourite stories, and absolutely breathtaking. So I thought, why not make the recommendation.
Both series feature a highly unique anime style. Gankutsuou is probably easier to palate, than the sketchy realism of Kemonozume, but I think this adds to the charm of both series.
Neither show is particularly big on action, but what little there is, is beautifully styised. Instead, the main focus is on the character development, relationships and human weaknesses.
Both relationships of the main characters is what made the connection for me. I love a story about forbidden love/friendship. If you like one of these, I'm sure you'd like the other.
In feudal Japan, evil spirits known as mononoke plague both households and the countryside, leaving a trail of fear in their wake. One mysterious person has the power to slay the mononoke where they stand; he is known only as the Medicine Seller, and he vanquishes the mononoke using the power of his Exorcism Sword. However, in order to draw his sword he must first understand the Form, Truth and Reason of the mononoke. Armed with a sharp wit and keen intellect, the Medicine Seller wanders from place to place, striking down the mononoke in his wake.
Kemonozume and Mononoke are works of style first and foremost, with a dash of freneticism and plenty of disturbing wit to boot. Mononoke is an episodic journey through horror stories whilst Kemonozume has more of a linear plot that's quite action-oriented, however, you'll love one for its conceptual creativity as much as you enjoyed the other.
On a tragic night in Neo Verona, the Capulet family is murdered by Montague and the country is seized. The only Capulet survivor is the child Juliet, who is rescued by loyal knights. Fourteen years later, people in Neo Verona live in poverty and fear. Juliet has spent her life in hiding, and in disguise as the male Red Whirlwind, secretly fighting Neo Verona’s oppression. On one of her secret adventures, she is helped by Romeo and falls in love. Finally, on one fateful day, Juliet’s family reveals her heritage and their desire for her to reclaim her title and rescue Neo Verona from tyranny. Meanwhile, Juliet also discovers that Romeo is the son of her worst enemy. Can Juliet rescue Neo Verona and kill the father of the man she loves?
This recommendation is mainly because Kemonozume's romantic premise is based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. While Kemonozume is modern, Japanese, and disturbingly graphic, Romeo x Juliet is traditional and closer to Shakespeare's original.
Life is simply not worth living for down and out school teacher Itoshiki Nozomu. He has no hope of progress, no prospect of promotion, no chance at happiness… he is in despair! Even his name spells 'zetsubou' – 'despair', when compressed. But when the time comes to end it all, Itoshiki's attempted suicide on the first day of the new school year is foiled by relentlessly positive Fuura Kafuka. This saves Itoshiki long enough to meet his new class, and the quirky range of students under his care. Will Itoshiki Nozomu depress his students with his anguish? Or will Fuura show Zetsubou-sensei the joys of life and hope?
In terms of plot Kemonozume and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei have nothing in common - but their chief concern is hardly their narratives. Both are brimming with dark humour (with sometimes morbid punchlines) and stylish, ingenious animation. Zetsubou Sensei is a straight comedy while Kemonozume has elements of drama, and Kemonozume is by far the darker and weirder of the two, but generally they go together fairly well.
In the rusty and run-down Treasure Town, young orphans in their respective gangs rule the roost and use the landscape as their playground. The violent Black and naïve White are two such orphans who are unafraid of fellow children and Yakuza alike; never have they found a foe who could best them in a battle – until now. A strange man and his even stranger (and seemingly indestructible) henchmen have plans to tear down Treasure Town and erect an amusement park in its place, and they’ll cut down anyone who stands in their way. Can Black and White save their home, and each other?
Tekkon Kinkreet and Kemonozume feature two mismatched protagonists and their seemingly impossible plight against a huge crime syndicate/secret organization. The plot is sort-of grounded in reality, with some fantastic elements thrown in, but the climax comes straight out of nowhere, and is completely, over-the-top bizarre. I'm still not sure how I feel about that. Also! The characters designs are in the same style, and there's quite a bit of gore.