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Mighty Moto
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Now, this has probably been said before some where but I havnt read it, sorry if it has, I just though it would make an interesting topic.

If you could shown someone ONE piece of anime, be it a series (particular ephisode?) or movie, to impress them, what would it be? Remember, one.

I ask this question beacause im trying to get somone I know into anime but they ar'nt that keen, so what would really make someone who isnt familiar with anime go "Whoa! WTF!" (in a good way)?
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Hm...

Escaflowne; A Girl on Gaia-- Yes, this is the movie. It's an elegant combination of fantasy and high technology, with a cast of lovable characters and an excellent story.

Also, you're not going to see anything like this one for a while. I saw the series when I was a kid, and I was astounded. Beautiful animation, music that fits the mood perfectly, and an ending that makes a person feel strangely satisfied.

The movie is the same.

Then again, only you know your friend. It's ultimately your call what to show them.
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[font=Verdana][size=1][color=darkred]Like some poeple have said before, I too would opt for one of Miyazaki's works, Princess Mononoke, or Spirited Away. The animation for all of them is beautiful, and thier characters quite charming. There is also Castle in the Sky, which I also enjoyed alot but I find Princess Mononoke and Spirited away more captivating.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=1][color=darkred][/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=1][color=darkred]If I were to recommend a series episode, I think I might have to roll with Last Exile. The first episode gets you quite entralled in the intreging world they live in. [/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=1][color=darkred][/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=1][color=darkred][/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=1][color=darkred]The ones listed above are somewhat on the lighter side of anime. For a darker choice I don't know what I would choose, it is a toss up between lots of different anime's. Though I think Miyazaki is the best way to go.[/color][/size][/font]
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[B]One episode to represent a series
[/B]
Fruits Basket episode 8: You don't really need to have seen the previous episodes to understand what's going on in this one. A brief explanation of the show's premise will suffice. The story told here is simple, mostly self-contained, and startlingly powerful.

Fullmetal Alchemist episode 3: I would also recommend episode 7, but appreciating that one really requires having seen at least episode 6 as well. Episode 3 is more independent. It may be more impressive for those who are used to the cliches of shounen action anime and weren't expecting FMA to veer off on its own path, but I think the backstory in episode 3 is strong regardless.

Kino's Journey episode 2,4, 12 or 13: These are the best installments of the series (in my opinion) and all require a minimum of pre-knowledge, since Kino's Journey is completely episodic.

Assorted episodes from both seasons of Ghost in the Shell would also be a good choice. Kodocha and Yu Yu Hakusho have unusually great first episodes, and obviously there's a certain advantage to starting from the beginning. But as others have said, nothing is really a sure-fire choice, and this applies more to series than to movies--especially when you're just picking an episode from the middle.

It's funny for me to say that, since I generally like series/long OVAs better than movies & short OVAs anyway. Oh well.

[B]Movies and short OVAs[/B]

Voices of a Distant Star is a really excellent choice--and it comes with the She and Her Cat short, which is also a wonderful watch. Others have touched on Ghibli... I'll add in that Satoshi Kon's movies (such as Millenium Actress) might also be worth considering. Anything based on or related to a series is probably not such a good idea, unless you just want to show off pure eye candy.

And for more Makoto Shinkai stuff, there's also The Place Promised in Our Early Days.

~Dagger~
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Well, if individual episodes are being talked about instead of entire shows, I'd say episode 1 of Champloo is probably the episode of any anime series. So many memorable moments in that one. I was actually quite let down by the following 11 episodes(though I hear the last 14 are significant improvements as they actually have real plot and character development). Also the ones Dagger mentioned are very good as well.
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[quote name='EVA Unit 100']I was actually quite let down by the following 11 episodes(though I hear the last 14 are significant improvements as they actually have real plot and character development).[/quote]
Plot development? Not so much, unless you count backstory stuff. It's about on par with what I remember of Cowboy Bebop's ratio of plot to everything else. But as far as I'm concerned the show really picks up with the two-parter of episodes 13 & 14 (I like episode 11 a lot too, but the general consensus seems to be that 13 & 14 get the show where it was sort of supposed to be going from the start--in terms of style and being interesting and such, not the over-arching plot). Past that point, all of the multi-part stories (usually more dramatic) are excellent, and almost all of the stand-alone stories (usually more comedic) are similarly good.

Um... oh, yeah. R.O.D (the OVA) might be a risky choice in some regards, but it's stylish and short, so it might work out well, depending on what you're looking for. Same goes for Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal--while the level of violence will make it inappropriate for a lot of people, it's definitely a quality production.

I also seem to recall the first episode(s) of Escaflowne as being really great (probably ideal for fantasy fans), but your mileage might vary.

~Dagger~
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[FONT=Garamond][COLOR=DarkSlateGray]Like everyone has been saying, it really depends on who you're going to be showing it to. If it was someone who didn't think anime was a serious medium or who thought it was all pokemon drivel, I'd show them "Grave of the Fireflies" (I did that for two members of my family, and they were won over) or "Princess Mononoke". For the more intellectually-minded, I'd go with "Lain" or "Haibane Renmai". If I was looking for something with more action, I'd show "Ninja Scroll" or "X/1999". If I just wanted to blow them away with technical brillience, I'd show a classic like "Metropolis", "Akira", or, again, "Princess Mononoke". It's hard to say unless you know who're going to be viewing it.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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I say Trigun, even though I am not a huge fan. It has something for everyone, comedy, romance, and action. It is a little simple, and the ending sucks, but theirs nothing you can do. The characters are very likable (though whiney) and it is very easy to get into. Oh and thiers that dumb, preachy moral " no one has the right to take another's life", ugh how I hate that line. Anyway, it would be best to show them the whole series, but if you can only show them one episode, show them the last. It has a summary of the whole story, along with the lame ending (they really could've put more thought into it).
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[COLOR=#656448][SIZE=1]I'd choose something that will keep the anime-neophyte alert and interested. Something that's very anime but has elements that are from pop-culture. Something like... [b][i]Cowboy Bebop[/i][/b]. (Surprise! - _ -)

Because of the variety of themes taken in by different sessions, action movie freaks and chick flick fanatics alike will find at least an episode that'll tickle their fancy. Yep, the opening sequence alone is sure to get 'em watching.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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