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Incredibly Long, Plotty, Non-Romantic, Philosophically Deep Shounen

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Post #405743
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7:30 am, Sep 11 2010
Posts: 1354

...Like Fullmetal Alchemist. (I'm mentioning it a lot recently, aren't I? That's because I've just re-watched it and OH MY GOD it's so brilliant, it just gets more and more brilliant every time I watch it.)

Please recommend something that matches all of the following requirements! Can be a manga or an anime - please specify which one it is, or if both are available, which is better.

MUST be:

Shounen. (NOT seinen or anything else.)
Non-romantic. (NO romance or hardly any romance.)
Very long. (15+ volumes if a manga; 25+ episodes if an anime.)
Plotty. (Complex plot with many interweaving elements.)
Philosophically deep. (Must be serious and inspire thoughtfulness in the reader.)
Great characterization. (Characters that are layered, interesting and emotionally realistic.)
NON-ECCHI. (No gratuitous fanservice or ecchi moments. Can't stand those.)

Go head, make my day! biggrin

Post #405748
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Lone Wanderer

8:08 am, Sep 11 2010
Posts: 1833

You've been making a lot of topics extremely dear to my heart lately, tartufo. Thank you! biggrin

But this, again, is an extremely tricky request; the most difficult of which is the plot-heavy part, since shounen manga are not known for their philosophical nature.

Anyways, here goes;

Gunslinger Girl is a good choice. There's something sort of resembling romance, but not really.

Vampire Juujikai - One that fits really well, as far as I can see. But, at 9 volumes, the length might not be to your liking. Still, I really do think you should try it if you haven't already.

Spiral: Suiri no Kizuna - By the same author as the aforementioned title...but only 14 volumes.

Tobaku Haouden Zero - The 8 volumes so far scanlated belong to part 1 of the series. The mangaka will be continuing after finishing some of his other manga. Judging by the pacing of the first season, I'm certain this will exceed 15 volumes on completion.

C.M.B. , Q.E.D. - The romance here is entirely sub-textual (so far), and while I would never label them as 'philosophical', the mysteries seem considerably well-thought-out.

Pandora Hearts - Has a rather childish take on its themes, but it isn't bad - though not quite as deep as you seem to like. Ongoing, but I'm pretty sure it'll jump the 15 volume mark.

Yumekui Kenbun - Once more, the length is the issue...

Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro - Fits all requirements except the philosophical part. I guess you could perceive it as being slightly thought-provoking, but I'm not sure...

As for anime...I suppose the best bet would be the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series and its associated sequels / prequels.
Also, Code Geass - but who doesn't know about that?
Shinreigari is another good one, but it has only 22 episodes.

Edit -
Oh - and I forgot to add that for anime, anything by Miyazaki Hayao should fit pretty well.

Last edited by calstine at 9:43 am, Sep 11

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Post #405753
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8:56 am, Sep 11 2010
Posts: 377

It's not really Shounen but aimed at younger children - Kemono no Souja (Edit: It takes at least 2 episodes to get used to the unusal artstyle and grow attached to the characters though) it got everything you're looking for.

Also, Seirei no Moribito (I think it is classified as shounen - not sure though) by the same novelist (I'm talking about the anime here)

Shikabane Hime (again, an anime >.<) 2 seasons à 26 episodes (afair) and it got what you're looking for in my opinion.

I can't believe I'm only recommending anime but it's hard to find a decent shounen...

For Manga, you could try Bio-Meat: Nectar it's long and plotty and - somehow - philosophically deep. smile

Edit: I forgot to add The Twelve Kingdoms...

Last edited by 0sirt at 10:29 am, Sep 11

Post #405758

10:16 am, Sep 11 2010
Posts: 14

Definitely going to have to say Code Geass. Great example of what you're looking for. Evangelion is also another great choice. Then again, these two are common, so you've probably seen them both. So, some of the less watched ones:

Bokurano has a good thought-provoking storyline with some deep characters as well.

Although it's considered Shoujo, Natsume Yujinchou should definitely not be restricted to it. This would be another great choice for you to watch considering what you're looking for.

All of these are Anime btw (suprised that most of them were mech...).

Post #405762
user avatar

10:28 am, Sep 11 2010
Posts: 985

The three posts above make me feel inferior...
For now I can only think of Mirai Nikki(I bet you have read it, but oh well, for public benefit...)

-Length: 10 Vols, ongoing; monthly manga and already have 55 chapters, which means a lot of pages to read(not mention two complete side-stories, Mirai Nikki paradox and mosaic, both great if you enjoy the main thing) biggrin
-Plot: unpredictable(partly because of some psychos among characters...)
-Philosophically deep: uh...uhm...I think this is a matter of perspective...Personally I don't see anything that "inspire thoughtfulness", hopefully you can...And there's the psychological factor...
-Romance: a stalker's one-sided love is romantic? if so, yes, this series does have romance...
-Characterization: Characters die too early before they can actually develop...except for the protag. He is emotionally realistic alright(a bit too realistic). But his change is really slow (it begins somewhere in vol 7~9, and I said that there are currently 10 vols, right?)
-Non-Ecchi: check.

Edit: I forgot to thank Calstine. I have been looking for Yumekui Kenbun for a while, and suddenly... what a coincidence biggrin
Btw, you can try Deadman Wonderland; it's kinda like Mirai Nikki (but I don't really like it and dropped it long ago, thus I can't give you any piece of information about the series) or maybe Ares?

Last edited by MewMan at 12:54 pm, Sep 11

it's cold down here fam ~
Post #405767
user avatar

11:41 am, Sep 11 2010
Posts: 547

Let's see:
Eat man
Bloody Monday - with the sequel it makes 15 volumes
+Anima - sorry under 15 volumes

Post #405769
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Idiotic Genius

12:14 pm, Sep 11 2010
Posts: 17

How about Houshin Engi its long 200+chaps, has a very good plot, and good characters. It definitely has a more philosophical side to, but thats more subtle. Has a few comedy elements to it as well and quite a few fight scenes so i dont know i this is what you're looking for but give it a try. The manga is better than the anime for this one i think - the anime sort of cuts the story short and changes the ending.

Also i second Eat-man, again its long 19 vols, and the characters are awesome, but its more episodic, with only short stories, though there is the leon arc which spans 2 vols, but generally the stories are resolved in one or two chapters. There are reacurring characters though and the main char is frickin awesome. It's kinda like King of Bandits Jing and just as, if not more awesome. This has an anime too, but i haven't watched it

Ooh and i second Spiral: Suiri no Kizuna too, this is more of a detective/mystery style manga but sort of isnt too, storys great and so are the chars. I'd say this fits best with what your looking for, with quite a lot of philosophical elements to it and decent length to it. As for anime, same as the last one, but i'm gonna watch it soon.

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-"This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel"

-The only things i want from life are Everything, Nothing, and Someone to share it with
Post #405775
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1:28 pm, Sep 11 2010
Posts: 1354

CALSTINE! *worships* Lol, you've been giving lots of replies dear to my heart. <3

Thank you to everyone for their detailed and loving descriptions! You guys really know how to pimp your manga! biggrin Well, consider it pimped. I've added a whole heap of shounen to my read/buy list now, and it's all thanks to you!

Post #406155
user avatar

9:39 am, Sep 12 2010
Posts: 117

Death note

Post #406363

1:12 am, Sep 13 2010
Posts: 116

try buddha its philosophical its touching, its plotty with interwining storylines as we follow the life path of siddharta from his birth to death. 8 volumes long but its between 350-410 pages, so lots of reading. there is love interest between characters (naturally as such is life) but is generally put on the backseat and is not the main driving force of the narrative (just as in life).

Last edited by ngebe at 1:22 am, Sep 13

Post #406482

2:20 pm, Sep 13 2010
Posts: 87

Hmm... You will want something closer to seinen instead of shounen as most shounen plots are no very deep and rarely have much depth in philosophical thoughts. Even when they do, they are mostly "I'll never give up!" type (e.g. One Piece). The only shounen in that line, that I know of, would be something like Naruto during its middle part and the 2nd part when Naruto grew up.

Meitantei Conan should also fit, deep plot and fairly complex but it has romance and it's not too deep about philosophical stuff as many of the cases are concluded with "I did wrong because I misunderstood something something..."

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