Special A

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Hana Yori Dango

Hana Yori Dango

The average Tsukushi Makino attends the snobby, elite Eitoku Academy, which is dominated by the Flower Four (F4) – the sons of the most powerful families. Like the rest of her classmates, Tsukushi keeps a low profile until one day she can stand it no more! For her obstinance, the F4 declare war and it's Tsukushi against all. In the middle of it all, she finds herself drawn strangely close to two of the F4; they might not be as bad as they seem. With her heart torn between two boys, will Tsukushi be able to find the love she desires?

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Reasons you might like Hana Yori Dango...

ashblackrose ashblackrose says...

Both Hana Yori Dango and Special A are high school romance animes aimed at girls & women. Both have heroines who are not quite aware or appriciative of the love they are being offered.

k1r1h1t0k1r1 k1r1h1t0k1r1 says...

Special A is an abridged, more comedic representation of many overlapping themes present in Hana Yori Dango (reciprocating emotion, the rearing of Japan's super-elite, the social groups of private schools, etc).  If you're a fan of one series, you'd probably enjoy checking out the other.  Each does, however, have a little something different from the other that makes watching both worthwhile.

One key difference between these anime is the dynamic between the leads (the source of much of the humor in Special A is derived from this--this pretext also changes some of the other elements ; for example, in SA the lead female is a high-achieving student while in HYD she is average in her school, which is reflected in the character's reactions to their school environments as they change).

Hana Yori Dango goes much further with characterization (a luxury of it's greater length).  HYD also fills out the backstories of orbiting characters a little more than SA--viewers are assumed to be able to fill in the blanks when presented with standard frameworks, such as the relationships between Ryuu, Jun and the girl who uses cards in SA while the underpinnings of the relationship between one of the F4 and an alumnus of the school are explored in detail in HYD.

Stylistically, Hana Yori Dango is much more realistic ; both reflect the current styles of their times very well.  SA has theme elements, cutsie repeating themes, and sparkles ; the characters are long-legged and pointy-chinned.  HYD's characters have more human-like bodies and their environments are overall more solid.

HYD deals with class issues much more directly (we see the effect of the corporate group wars on the lead female's family in HYD, while these are only implied through walk-on characters that matter to side-characters in SA), while SA almost completely avoids them (still managing to throw in a line here and there about "Miss #2's" being "poor").

Gender issues are also portrayed in both series, reflecting current attitudes at the times of their making, though to a lesser degree in SA (again, length and also the show's comedic character prevent much depth here, but it's still present).

HYD has a greater sense of consequence, while SA will leave you with the feeling that life after the series continues in much the same way that we saw it during the show.  While there are many common themes and devices in each series, they are still quite different--the personalities of the lead characters are strikingly different in important ways and the nature of their relationships and interactions are also very different (partly as a result of the characters' personality differences and partly as a result of the show itself being either more dramatic or more comedic).  They're similar enough to cross-recommend, but different enough to justify viewing both rather than just chosing one.

Enjoy!

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket

Tohru Honda is a compassionate girl who is down on her luck. Her mother having recently died, she has been forced to camp out in the woods for shelter. However, things start to turn around once she is invited to live with class hunk Yuki Sohma and his family... but all is not as it seems! Yuki's family is burdened with a dark curse which causes them to turn into the animals of the Chinese zodiac once hugged by a member of the opposite sex... and Honda may be the only one who can help them.

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Reasons you might like Fruits Basket...

Zlant Zlant says...

Both, Special A and Fruits Basket, share a main character,Tohru in Fruits Basket and Hikari in Special A, who would do anything to make their friends or complete stranger feel better no matter the situation. Also both girls share the same innocent personality. The similarity between them makes it that watching both gives the same feeling to the viewer.

AnimeLove25 AnimeLove25 says...

After I finished watching Special A, I went straight to watching Fruits Basket! Special A is really good! Really romantic! The guys are hot and the story line is awesome! I highly recommend you watch Special A!

Toradora!

Toradora!

Ryuuji Takasu has an eventful life: his classmates think he's a delinquent due to his 'killer' eyes; his crush Minori seems ever out of reach; and he’s just had an unfortunate encounter with 'palm-sized Taiga' – a feisty and dainty wench in his class. With different cleaning habits and tempers, the two clash like night and day; that is, except for the fact that Taiga and Ryuuji have crushes on the other's good friend! With school rumors abounding, the duo must now work together to play matchmaker for each other. Who will end up with their true love?

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Reasons you might like Toradora!...

DuskFey DuskFey says...

Taiga from Toradora! and Hikari from Special A are both teenagers who don't let anything stand in the way of their dreams. In both of these shows, the girls run headlong in the pursuit fo their goals, but discover a new side to themselves along the way. Hikari is naive and Taiga is proud, but both girls have sweet, soft hearts underneath, just waiting to be discovered.

prominence prominence says...

Toradora and Special A both share the same romantic comedy feeling in realistic school settings without being overly dramatic or rediculous.  Both have very funny characters without trying to hard and you get a good sence of who the characters really are.

Ranma 1/2

Ranma 1/2

Ranma, raised to be a man among men, has a bit of a problem: he is half woman! While training in China he fell into a strange magic spring at Jusenkyo. Now, he is eternally cursed to change into a beautiful woman whenever he is hit by cold water, but that may be the least of his problems; his father has betrothed him to marry! There's never a dull day for Ranma as he attempts to find a cure for his curse, train to become stronger, and grapple with the fact that half of himself may be more feminine than his fiancée!

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Reasons you might like Ranma 1/2...

KaedeNagase KaedeNagase says...

These series have many same things. Martial arts and hided romance... In Special A things are not so difficult like in Ranma ½ but there is many but tiny commons. (Megumi writes the text to paper like Genma and Hikari is bad at cooking like Akane is.

Shakugan no Shana

Shakugan no Shana

Sakai Yuuji thought he was a normal high school student, until one fateful day when time stopped. Watching in horror, he witnesses a monster devouring the "frozen" people around him; but luckily for Yuuji, he is saved by a sword-wielding red-headed girl that calls herself a "Flame Haze". The girl informs him that he has been dead for some time now and that his current self is merely a replacement for the human that he used be while alive. He is, she says, merely a torch whose life will come to an end when the blue flame in his chest ceases to burn. After this rude awakening, Yuuji realizes that he is able to see the flames of life in other "torches"; and after discovering that a friend of his is also a torch -- and her life is burning out faster than his – he gains the courage to live out the rest of his life with meaning. Will Yuuji be able to find his place in the world before he ceases to exist?

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Reasons you might like Shakugan no Shana...

adriantoto adriantoto says...

The settings are both in school. In SA, Kei and Hikari are rivals. In Shakugan no Shana, Shana and Yuji have a Tutor-Tutee relatinship. Later on, they fall in love.