Tropers / I Code In Dreams

Mindcrack

Media I love just because of the intricacies of the plot or the excellence of the world design.

  • Bladerunner - I love the feel of this movie - the philosophical ideas, the indistinguishable robots, their short lifespan...
  • Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou - Again, I love this manga for the way it feels, and the way it makes me feel. Reading it is like staring at the sky on a cloudy day. Might be the same feeling as Bladerunner, but much, much happier.
  • Spec Ops: The Line - The best plot and moral conflict I've ever seen in a video game. It's had more of an effect on me than any war movie I've seen.

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Likes

Here's some neat stuff (some of which I found due to TVTropes) which has changed my perception of media in some way. All external links are legal methods of streaming the content referenced for free or cheaply. I attempt to sort these so my favorite rise to the top, but that can be difficult to maintain.

    Animation 
  • FLCL (through WJT) - stunning visuals, filled with metaphors and meaning, good music, probably going to be my favorite TV show for the rest of my life
  • Cowboy Bebop (through Firefly) - the first anime I ever watched, and still among the best I've watched; the best original music from any media, ever; solid characters, interesting world, good mix of comedy and drama, very realistic
  • Haruhi Suzumiya - uncommon idea, intricate time-travel plots, genre undefined, Slice Of Life-y, awesome Phoenix Wright reference YouTube
  • Bunny Drop - I didn't bother with the manga due to some warnings people posted about it, but the anime was very cute, and Rin was very easy to become attached to
  • Nichijou - A quietly insane anime filled with adorability and over-dramatization.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (through The World Is Just Awesome) - switches between extreme parody and over-the-top earnestness every other scene, extremely fun
  • Kill la Kill - About as over-the-top as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, but a bit more consistent in quality (although not as blood-pumpingly intense) - pretty fanservicey, but fair in its fanservice
  • Steins;Gate - fascinating time travel plot, very involving, excellent character design, highly interconnected plot YouTube
  • Fullmetal Alchemist - great world, well developed alchemy mechanics, solid plot and relatable characters, awesome moments Hulu YouTube
  • The Venture Bros. - funny in a highly cynical way, animation isn't great but it gets the job done
  • PingPong - a surprisingly gripping story for a sports-centric piece, with an... interesting art style.
  • Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun - A worthwhile take on the romantic comedy genre, where the two main characters' love plot almost vanishes in the sea of side characters and comedic happenstance. Learning about manga creation was pretty neat too.
  • Suisei no Gargantia - a nice little fish out of water story, though I can already feel myself forgetting it
  • The Legend of Korra - amazing animation for a non-anime series, strong and interesting characters in a well-designed world
  • Madoka Magica - I never expected to like it, but the mechanics of the world and the crazy plot twists kept me watching and made it something far more than what I expected for what looked at first like a cutesy generic Magical Girl anime. Crunchyroll
  • K-On! - I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, but I'll likely never watch it again - too reliant on moe to generate interest
  • Planetes - hard SF, very serious look at relationships, life in outer space, highly relatable characters
  • Kyousogiga - a beautifully abstract anime, but I wish it was a bit more interested in doing things and less interested in repeatedly exploring its own weirdness
  • Re: Cutie Honey - A beautifully animated and insane look at the first magical girl (referred to as a superheroine until the advent of Sailor Moon popularized the newer term). Some strange moments of fanservice kind of sour the taste.
  • Freakazoid! (through Candlejack, take a sip) - catchy theme song, spastic, kid/adult-oriented humor
  • Trigun (through unknown) - interesting character idea in a great world, although the first half of the show was too drawn out and the humor is kind of annoying at times. Hulu Netflix
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion (through Studio GAINAX) - interesting, but kind of annoying
  • Engaged to the Unidentified - A fairly trite plot for a romance anime, but with quite beautiful animation - one of those shows that I'm already forgetting
  • Strange+ - A good bite-sized anime for some quick laughs, but nothing more - often misses the mark on humor, but when it hits it's pretty great

    Animated Movies 
  • Paprika - Quite a mind-bender, but amazing to watch. The english dub was a bit off in places.
  • Perfect Blue - A horrifying suspense film. Executed beautifully, but I'm not sure if I could bear watching it again.
  • Ghost in the Shell ('95 movie) - An excellent, brooding sort of movie.
  • Redline - Plot is less impressive than the others here, but the animation is beyond superb - a pumped up insane version of the Speed Racer live-action movie. Also contains some of the weirdest fanservice (female lead criticizes Male Gaze camera work by a news station while inexplicably naked, cars that are robots that are naked women). YouTube
  • Akira - I avoided it for a while because of Hype Aversion, but when I finally checked it out on bluray it really impressed me.
  • it's such a beautiful day - Don Hertzfeldt's greatest work, and an impressive feat for a single animator - filled with meaning and emotion, this one will change you
  • My Neighbor Totoro - A classic for a good reason, with that classic Ghibli slow-paced worldbuilding.
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time - A touching movie with an interesting and original approach to time travel and a bit of a twisty ending, although a bit of a downer.
  • Princess Mononoke - A Ghibli movie, and an exceptionally highly praised one at that. Not a movie to watch if you're seeking catharsis, but a good film overall. Though the english dub was written by Neil Gaiman, it suffers from less-than-stellar voice acting.
  • Millennium Actress - An extremely normal movie compared to the others here, but definitely worth it due to the solidity of the female lead - likely a good "first anime" to show people that anime isn't too different from what they're used to. Then you blow their minds with Paprika or the likes.
  • The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya - intricate time travel plots up to eleven. YouTube
  • Porco Rosso - A good Ghibli movie, but not terribly meaningful to me.
  • Cencoroll - An intriguing story, and an astonishing accomplishment for a single man. YouTube
  • Tokyo Godfathers - Three Men and a Baby, replacing one of the men with a girl, one of them with a transvestite, and making them all homeless. Not all laughs, though - it takes a pretty serious look at relationships and the reality of life for homeless people. Good film for people who don't like the more mind-bendy animes. Crackle Netflix
  • Memories - Three short films rolled into one:
    • Magnetic Rose - A beautifully imaginative Sci-Fi horror story with hard-hitting emotional scenarios
    • Stink Bomb - Some sort of political allegory filled with extremely stupid people. Not worth watching, and has a very unsatisfactory ending. The next one starts at 1:24, skip to that.
    • Loose Cannon - Actually just stop watching entirely. While Magnetic Rose was interesting and amazing on a personal level, both Stink Bomb and Loose Cannon attempt to be political/social commentary, and come off as very heavy-handed. Loose Cannon has the benefit of interesting art direction and a unique approach to camerawork, but is not worth watching.
  • Little Witch Academia - A very cute and well-animated movie by Studio Trigger with a trite plot - it gives me hope that not all of their content will be as fanservicey as Kill la Kill
  • Summer Wars - A nice little film steeped in Japanese culture, but a bit too impressed with its own advanced internet concept - I found myself thinking "this is kinda dumb" multiple times
  • Mind Game - The most insane media I've ever consumed, let alone anime. Bits of it are despicable (one character is constantly used as fanservice, even after someone attempts to rape her), so I'm hesitant to recommend watching it. It contains a lot of sexual content, and is probably a good simulacrum for an LSD trip - the creators could tell you. It's really hard to describe - parts of it are like Fantasia, and parts of it are like the worst thing you've ever seen.
  • The Castle of Cagliostro - A good intro to Lupin III (not that I've seen any of the other stuff) and a good movie in general, despite the age. Hulu
  • Sword of the Stranger - A pretty okay movie, but not one I'd want to watch again - it likely would have helped if I had watched the subbed version, the dubbed Kotaro's voice grated on my nerves. Not very interesting to me until the climax, which had some pretty great fighting
  • [[Trigun Badlands Rumble]] - A decent movie for Trigun, but again I had issues with how it used the (admittedly very interesting) characters - wasn't smart enough for me
  • Interstella 5555 (through Daft Punk) - excellent music, otherwise pretty poor. YouTube

    Movies 
  • The Shawshank Redemption - I finally got over the Hype Aversion to watch this, and I do not regret it. So good.
  • Apocalypse Now - Watching this after playing Spec Ops: The Line, I can really see where Spec Ops was drawing from. Although long and occasionally not entirely lucid, this is the most beautiful and memorable war movie I've seen.
  • Pulp Fiction - A highly detailed and quite hilarious crime movie. Netflix
  • Kill Bill - A great action movie, though it's quite the time sink and the first scene in the hospital makes me want to curl into a ball and die
  • Requiem for a Dream - The most horrifying movie I've ever experienced, and quite possibly the most effective anti-drug piece of all time. I had the misfortune of watching the unrated version, and the content almost caused me physical illness. Recommended for the soundtrack and for the excellence of its construction.
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (through Firefly/Joss Whedon) - great music, comedy, and story. Netflix
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? - a highly enjoyable movie about running from the law and the Great Depression, and also somehow The Odyssey.
  • Dallas Buyers Club - funny and tragic movie about AI Ds and prejudice against homosexuals.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off - A movie I managed to avoid seeing for a long time, well worth the watch for anyone at highschool and college ages, or otherwise at a transitional state in their lives.
  • Edge of Tomorrow - A darkly hilarious movie with an intelligent time travel mechanic, looking forward to reading the light novel some day.
  • Pacific Rim - The true sign that nerdy is becoming mainstream - borrows almost exclusively from Neon Genesis Evangelion, not Godzilla or other monster movies like the filmmakers tell people in public. Worth seeing for the NGE-style pilot dynamics, well-distributed cast, and stunning visuals.
  • Donnie Darko - A cult classic for a good reason - a couple solid characters and an interesting premise guarantees a great movie. Kind of like a much darker It's a Wonderful Life.
  • The Cabin in the Woods - a hilarious, if disturbing, take on the horror movie genre by Joss Whedon.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - I read the synopsis for this movie on Netflix and was worried that I had spoiled it for myself, but quickly realised I hadn't - the main thing to be spoiled in this movie is revealed relatively early on, and the rest of the movie is devoted to playing with the concept. I wouldn't call it a mind-bender, but I've watched enough truly nonsensical media to be desensitized to off-the-wall concepts and nonstandard plot construction. Netflix
  • Reservoir Dogs - Similar to Pulp Fiction in a lot of ways, but significantly more morbid and less humorous. Worth watching for the twistedness of the plot, but I'm not yet sure if I want to watch it again. Netflix
  • Die Hard - the quintessential action movie, also happens to be one of the best Christmas movies ever
  • Army of Darkness - The last of the franchise and arguably the best, with a nutty time travel plotline and more humor than ever, and more impressive effects to boot
  • Evil Dead - The first of the franchise, a horrifying movie with some slight humor elements overpowered by disgusting gore effects, disturbing but enjoyable nonetheless
  • Primer - amazing as a film and even more amazing that it was an independent movie done on a budget of $7000. Convoluted and wonderful. Intricate time travel plots up to twelve. Netflix
  • Castaway on the Moon (through unknown) - a film about people whom society has failed, the production quality and acting are quite excellent and the irony woven throughout is delicious. Netflix
  • The Wolf of Wall Street - funny at times, but has very similar comedy to The Hangover, which I didn't really care for
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - a highly unusual movie with some amazing scenes, and others not so stellar. Worth watching once if you want to see something crazy and almost frightening. Quite possibly the antithesis of Requiem for a Dream.
  • Battle Royale (through unknown) - extremely violent, but quite comedic at times and pretty sad at other times - a good representation of different responses to violence, and has very few unrelatable characters, although the acting is occasionally subpar. Netflix

    TV 
  • True Detective - currently a great single-season story, a pretty rare sight for American TV. Looking forward to more.
  • Firefly - revolutionized western sci-fi and pushed me into anime through Cowboy Bebop, stonestepped Nathan Fillion into bigger roles, and happens to be an excellent, thoroughly enjoyable show. Hulu Netflix
  • Red Dwarf - I grew up watching this show, and it still forms the basis of a lot of my humor - kind of stupid at times, but creative and persistent. Netflix Prime
  • Scrubs - I watched this show religiously while it was on, and continued watching it on DVD after it was over, like Red Dwarf it's creative and persistent but it seems to be a bit smarter to boot, one of the last TV shows I watched live. Netflix
  • Doctor Who - I'm not as fanatical about Doctor Who as some of my friends are, but it's pretty entertaining and sometimes has some good ideas. Netflix Prime
  • Breaking Bad - I feel like I really would have liked this TV show, but I didn't have the time to dedicate to it when I started watching and felt manipulated by the constant cliffhangers, maybe I'll try it again in the future
  • Twin Peaks - Another show I feel like I would have liked, didn't pursue due to lack of times and negative reviews for the second season

    Videogames 
  • Cave Story - great story, well-done visuals and audio, awesome gameplay Fansite
  • Ghost Trick - Very similar to Phoenix Wright in a lot of ways due to its shared designer, but with a superior plot and game mechanics. Lovable characters, incredible twists, wonderful graphics, and fascinating gameplay.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - good story, good humor, the Gurren Lagann of courtroom drama
  • Save the Date - A hilarious and well-crafted critique of dating games.
  • the white chamber (through page quotes?) - disturbing visuals, definitely creepy moments Author's Site
  • Outlast - a fun little horror game, great for playing in a group and passing the controller around
  • Psychonauts - great mechanics, highly creative design, memorable characters
  • Iji (through page quotes?) - gameplay could be better, story sort of so-so, well-executed for what it is. Author's Site
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown - very fun to play, passable in regards to story and other aspects

    Manga/Comics 
  • Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (through Ridiculously Human Robots) - strong female character in a serene, contemplative way, very calming to read
  • Battle Angel Alita (through unknown) - strong female character in a violent sense, interesting world, beautiful character design
  • Koe no Katachi - honestly one of the most moving pieces of sequential art I've consumed
  • From the New World - An interesting and thought-provoking SF/Fantasy world, though I could have done with less lesbian porn... it has the same issue as the Ghost In The Shell manga, in that respect.
  • Sandman - fascinating in almost every aspect, fantastic writing
  • King of Thorn - very imaginative, strong characters and a few pretty massive twists; haven't watched the anime due to negative reviews
  • Tonari no Seki-kun - a cute and fun little manga, with hilarious situations
  • Ranma - One of the greatest Rom Com manga, although it kind of outlived its welcome...
  • Hellstar Remina - I still can't believe Junji Ito made a manga with a good ending, but here you go
  • Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches - An interesting magic system, and good character development but it kinda goes on for too long
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X - Pretty strange, but kinda cute. Overly long.
  • Claymore (through unknown) - much like Battle Angel Alita in a lot of respects, but with a lot more strong/violent women, almost to the point that there are no men in the story, which is pretty refreshing. That's counteracted by some fanservice unfortunately, but the fanservice is tame when it does occur, and not much of a distraction. I kinda lost interest after the first ~20 chapters.
  • Rocket Princess - A manga that I really liked in my youth, I doubt I'd like it as much now. I'm kind of a sucker for romantic comedy manga, and I believe this might be the reason...
  • Saitama Chainsaw Shoujo (through unknown) - plot is pretty stupid and the female character isn't so great (defined by her infatuation for a boy), but if you want to see a girl wrecking things with a chainsaw...
  • Arpeggio of Blue Steel (through unknown) - hugely wasted concept (maybe it's still too early for major character development?), but still interesting enough of an idea for me to have looked into it

    Web Original 

    Webcomics 
  • Gunnerkrigg Court (through page images) - excellent and highly engaging storyline, fascinating world design, amazing art
  • Paranatural - a beautiful and hilarious comic about schoolchildren playing with the supernatural
  • Romantically Apocalyptic - One of the most beautiful and funny webcomics I've read, and definitely the most trippy. Doesn't seem to even try to make sense sometimes, but that just adds to the effect.
  • minus - A cute and often very dark comic about a very young girl who has the powers of a god. Thematically a cross of Haruhi Suzumiya and the Sunday Strips of Calvin and Hobbes.
  • Supernormal Step - a high-quality comic about a headstrong girl that becomes stuck in a supernatural plane of existence and only wants to leave
  • Magical Game Time - my favorite Webcomic That Never Updates; a quiet, touching tribute to videogames
  • DOUBLE K (through Gurren Lagann) - Gurren Lagann up to eleven, if that's even possible
  • Nimona - simply-styled and cute, a webcomic about a magical girl who wants to be evil (sort of)
  • Cucumber Quest - squeaky-clean and super enticing simultaneously, with mold-breaking character types
  • Zot! - an amazingly short and self-contained webcomic, squeaky-clean and fun
  • Kiwi Blitz - similar to Cucumber Quest in some respects, but less afraid of violence and a fair bit more anime
  • Skullkickers - violent and crude - a look into the lives of some over-the-top adventurers
  • Critical Miss - comic about video games, rare in that it has a female lead; occasionally touching
  • Mary Death - a gag/introspection comic about a girl and her friend, Death Incarnate - very similar to Calvin and Hobbes in look and feel
  • Boxer Hockey (through unknown) - over-the-top sports comic with some weird characters
  • Marry Me - a cute, fun little webcomic about life and stardom
  • Two Guys and Guy (through page images) - great art with high amounts of snark/deadpan humor
  • Bug Martini - simple and clean design with a lot of "what if"/observational comedy
  • Brawl in the Family (through page images) - squeaky clean good fun
  • Fragile - interesting in a sort of highschool girl drama kind of way, but still good
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (through page images) - distinctive style, smart comedy
  • MS Paint Adventures (through page images) - really imaginative design and plot structure, often far too drawn out to be able to survive an archive binge
  • The Last Days of FOXHOUND - best (and probably only) humorous take on Metal Gear I've ever seen
  • DM of the Rings (through page quotes/images) - imaginative concept, often hilarious plot/metaplot mechanic, hilarious reinterpretation of a classic
  • Darths and Droids - haven't finished (still ongoing), very similar to DM for obvious reasons
  • 8-Bit Theater (through page images) - the original sprite comic, or at least the best one
  • Looking for Group (through page images) - did not finish, but generally good despite a slowly overtaking plot
  • The Order of the Stick (through page quotes) - did not finish, same story as LFG

Dislikes

Here's some stuff which I heard was good but I couldn't get into, or at least not as much as I expected - none of these are necessarily bad. In fact, I may have just been in a bad mood when watching some of these. This is more for my purpose than anyone else's. Please do not interpret as flamebait, or ask for clarifications.

    Animation 
  • Ghost In The Shell: SAC - annoying voice acting on the tanks, not too interesting to start off, sexualization of the Major is off-putting
  • Mezzo DSA - started watching because I heard it had a kickass female lead (it does), stopped watching because the animators are always trying to get away with less work, the characters constantly go off model, and either the translation quality is bad or the writing was clunky to begin with
  • Samurai Champloo - occasionally awesome and hilarious, but the characters are a bit trite, the setting is overused, and I'm generally not a fan of the music; I would've liked a stronger female lead as well
  • Black Lagoon - I tried several times to get into it, but I just couldn't find a reason to care about the characters - neat animation though
  • Blood+ - slow-moving, underdeveloped characters and obvious plot points
  • Excel Saga - voice acting often annoying, somewhat dated, often too ridiculous
  • InuYasha - too formulaic, not enough character development
  • Attack on Titan - character death doesn't equal interest for me, especially when all the characters are so one-dimensional
  • Terra Formars - one of the masses of character death driven anime that seemed to coincide with Attack on Titan, but dumber and more boring than its progenitor
  • Code Geass - characters too unrelatable/trite, motivations bad or missing entirely
  • Axis Powers Hetalia - too kawaii, intro far too long for such short episodes
  • Welcome to the N.H.K. - main character disturbing and depressing to watch, unenjoyable
  • Elfen Lied - too much gore, fanservice, and weird fetishes

    Animated Movies 
  • Dead Leaves - generally interesting and at times hilarious, but far too immature

    Movies 
  • The Machinist - an extremely slow movie, I ended up getting bored and bailing on it

    TV 
  • The IT Crowd - I wanted to like this show, but it was just a bit too wacky for my tastes

    Videogames 
  • Uncharted - visuals amazing for PS3, tries too hard to be a movie, trite plot, no character development

    Manga/Comics 
  • Star Light Woman - A kind of old idea with mediocre characters
  • Kono Kanojo Wa Fiction Desu - Why did I even start to read this?

    Web Original 

    Webcomics 
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Tropers/ICodeInDreams