From that list I see you like to see two complete opposites at work against each other, so you might like Gungrave. This anime offers a pretty good plot. A little tough to get into though.
Also, have you checked out Claymore? It's pretty much in a class of its own.
Same goes for Casshern Sins, also uncomparable to other anime, beautiful anime, no childish crap in it, lots of heavy subjects. But not for everyone and has a bit of a slow pace (which imo makes it that much better, but you might disagree.).
Gantz might be right up your alley if they didn't completely fuck up the anime after episode 15 or 16 or so. But because the anime ending sucks I don't really recommend it.
@Qlip suggested juuni kokuki (12 kingdoms) but I don't think that's much for you. It's very hard to get through the first 5 or so episodes as the protagonist is downright unlikable for the first part of the anime, has some weird shit in it that wasn't neccesary at times and there's this arc in the middle of the anime of like 10 episodes long that's pretty bad, has an open ending and just serves as some background story. Still, the main story I quite liked myself nonetheless, but I'm not as picky as you are probably. :P
I usually give a warning to give it a few episodes before it gets going.. slipped my mind. It's worth it when it gets going.
A while ago I spent 4 months learning about what this anime stuff what all about. This is what I found.
For TV anime, I'd probably recommend Cowboy bebop with FCLC as a close second. Those are the only two anime's ever that I haven't found a flaw in and that I think show what the medium is capable of.
Evangelion gets a third if I think the person can put up with all the crazy and shitty animation.
There are many more options for film anime.
I'd also like recommendations too. The following personal rules apply to anime(TV) series.
1. Doesn't feel like a cash cow. Usually this means less than 26 episodes but I'm open to longer as well have seen this rule fail.
2. Good characters. This is ultimately what I watch anime for. Any character introduced needs to have a relatively strong plot arc and sufficiently deep development. Characters should not be added all of a sudden to increase the longevity of the show.
3. A plot that doesn't become ridiculous. No introducing a sudden arc or Mac Guffin at the end of a season. Slice of life also fails by default.
Also generally I avoid the Samurai/warrior genre but I'm willing to try.
I have watched the following imperfect animes in no particular order (I'm probably missing a couple). I've included ratings based on my rules above. +1 for example means it didn't feel like a cash cow. -3 would mean the plot started getting dumb.=2 would mean there was really great character development despite a late introduction.
+1+2-3 Guren Lagann
-1-2-3 Clannad After Story
-1-2=3 Code Geass I & II
+1+2+3 Cowboy Bebop
+1+2-3 Honey and Clover I & II
-1-2-3 Gundam Seed
+1+2=3 ef: A tale of memories
-1-2-3 Ouran High School Host Club
+1+2-3 Ergo Proxy
+1=2+3 Elfen Lied
+1+2-3 Haruhi Suzumiya
+1+2-3 Rumbling Hearts/Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien
+1-2-3 Kino's Journey
+1=2-3 Fruits Basket
Oh and I watched my fair share or Pokemon, Gundam Wing and dragonball crap as a child. I can't believe I wasted my adult life on gundam seed.
Anyway I'd love to get some recommendations. Someone has mentioned Blood+ but at 50+ episodes I'm a bit weary.
Last edited by mavericknm; 08-07-2011 at 11:37 AM.
Reason: more animes
Basara!!!!! --> All time number one! It is teh awesome. Though you will have to switch to manga after the 27 or so episodes that were made.
GLASS MASK!! --> The newer one, not the old school 80s one though that could be good too
Boys over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango) --> Massive hit in Asia has been turned into 'live action' dramas in at least 3 different countries
XXXholic (watch on Hulu I think)
Please Save My Earth - but the OVAs are super short, you'll have to switch to the manga
First two titles might not be licensed or available in stores in the US. I used to be a big anime nerd and was a frequenter of fan subs and even got into a sekret fansubbing club for hard to get shoujo copies.
BTW - I realize you are a guy (?) looking more for shonen titles. In which case
That series is SO violent and adult but I think it fits the bill for what you want. I was surprised I was so hooked and I typically do not like graphic gratuitous violence. However, the *character development* which you state an the drama/storyline and also the animation were topnotch.
You'll also have to switch to manga on this one.
“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde