Post Reply Recommendations for historical anime
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The Cat Kingdom
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Posted 3/31/18 , edited 3/31/18
Hello!

Back again with my oddly specific requests.

So, this time I'm curious if anyone knows of any good historical anime that are grounded in reality. Preferably ones where the historical setting isn't just a backdrop to some other genre like harem or romance. And preferably with as little "magic" and "alternate reality" as possible (but I am willing to accept some of it. More on that later)

What prompted this was my recent watch-through of the Rose of Versailles, which is a show I have now absolutely fallen in love with. (Marie Antoinette is best girl BTW), It reminded me of how much I enjoyed other historical anime, but haven't seen too many.

Examples of what I'm talking about:

The Rose of Versailles
Le Chevalier d'Eon
Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth
House of Five Leaves


Further clarifications on my preferences:

As perhaps you can tell from my list, I'm more interested in western historical settings (especially France), but I'm willing to delve into any setting ~ I just want it to feel somewhat "authentic".

I'm also willing to tolerate fantasy if it's done well, so something like Spice and Wolf kind of edges by on the boundary of what I'd like, but Maoyuu goes too far. Gosick and Romeo x Juliet might also be on the border.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be very appreciative!
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Posted 4/1/18 , edited 4/1/18
https://myanimelist.net/anime/345/Eikoku_Koi_Monogatari_Emma
While the story itself is fictional, it's a pretty accurate depiction of London in the late 1800s, and feels like it was inspired by the works of Jane Austen. It's definitely a romance story, but the setting plays a significant role - to the point that the author released a companion reference book to help explain a lot of the more obscure historical references.

I'm afraid you've already listed most of the series I can think of.
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51 / M / Side 6
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Posted 4/1/18 , edited 4/1/18
I wish there were more like Rose of Versailles. Here are some fantasies and alternate world series that have strong female characters and a degree of authenticity. They don't really fit your criteria but you may like them...
Seirei no Moribito
Kemono no Souja Erin (simply 'Erin' here on CR)
The Twelve Kingdoms

manga: Puella Magi Tart Magica: The Legend of Jeanne D'Arc
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54 / M / Bay Area
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Posted 4/1/18 , edited 4/1/18
Romeo X Juliet-not totally accurate but female lead is strong

The Count Of Monte Cristo

Arslan Senki

Maoyuu Mao Yuusha-this anime taught me couple things on commerce

In This Corner of The World-movie about WW11-Mappa production very well done

Grave of Fireflies-similar to this above^^^^^^^^^^^^^ will make you cry-
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The Cat Kingdom
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Posted 4/1/18 , edited 4/1/18
Thanks for such early responses everyone!


iriomote wrote:

https://myanimelist.net/anime/345/Eikoku_Koi_Monogatari_Emma
While the story itself is fictional, it's a pretty accurate depiction of London in the late 1800s, and feels like it was inspired by the works of Jane Austen. It's definitely a romance story, but the setting plays a significant role - to the point that the author released a companion reference book to help explain a lot of the more obscure historical references.

I'm afraid you've already listed most of the series I can think of.


Oh, you know, I have seen this around in the company of other Right Stuff titles like Aria and Marimite, but I always ignored it because I'm not into romance.

You know, I think I will give this a try though. You've convinced me that it might be up my alley despite that.


sena3927 wrote:

I wish there were more like Rose of Versailles. Here are some fantasies and alternate world series that have strong female characters and a degree of authenticity. They don't really fit your criteria but you may like them...
Seirei no Moribito
Kemono no Souja Erin (simply 'Erin' here on CR)
The Twelve Kingdoms

manga: Puella Magi Tart Magica: The Legend of Jeanne D'Arc


Interesting. Seirei no Moribito and Kemono no Souja Erin I have both seen and loved (with the latter as one of my top 5 favorite anime). I have not heard of The Twelve Kingdoms, but for you to place it in the same list as those other two is reason enough for me to try it out at least, so I look forward to that!


scoobydew wrote:

Romeo X Juliet-not totally accurate but female lead is strong

The Count Of Monte Cristo

Arslan Senki

Maoyuu Mao Yuusha-this anime taught me couple things on commerce

In This Corner of The World-movie about WW11-Mappa production very well done

Grave of Fireflies-similar to this above^^^^^^^^^^^^^ will make you cry-


Duh, how I could I forget about Arslan Senki! That show is also quite close to what I'm looking for. Romeo x Juliet is a show I adored as well. Phenomenal soundtrack in that one. Maoyuu was... alright, but not really my thing. And Grave of the Fireflies was good, but massively depressing.

The Count of Monte Cristo and This Corner of the World are both titles I've never heard of though, so I think I will try these ones out s well. Thanks for the recommendations!
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Posted 4/1/18 , edited 4/1/18

Cait_Sidhe wrote:

Oh, you know, I have seen this around in the company of other Right Stuff titles like Aria and Marimite, but I always ignored it because I'm not into romance.

You know, I think I will give this a try though. You've convinced me that it might be up my alley despite that.

If the genre's a non-starter then it may still be a skip. The romance is the central focus, but there is a very fine attention to detail with the setting and the society of that time.

If you've ever watched a BBC adaptation of one of Jane Austen's novels you're basically getting an anime version of that.

Nozomi Entertainment apparently has the English sub of both seasons posted on their official YouTube account, so at least you won't have to gamble with your money to determine whether it's palatable.

Edit: After rewatching an episode myself I think you'll probably want to give it a pass. The version I saw 10+ years ago must have incorporated the author's history guide into the translation. The official version doesn't seem to include any notes to explain/give historical context which is the part I thought would appeal most to you.
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Posted 4/1/18 , edited 4/1/18

Cait_Sidhe wrote:
Duh, how I could I forget about Arslan Senki! That show is also quite close to what I'm looking for.


If you liked Arslan, Have you seen Altair? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073R6BVD9

mnmike 
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Posted 4/1/18 , edited 4/1/18
Some other ideas that may, or may not, fit the bill:

Valkyria Chronicles -- It is to WWII what Spice and Wolf was to the Middle Ages, told from the perspective of the militia in a small neutral country that tries (and fails) to stay out of the war.

Snow White with the Red Hair -- set in a fictional European middle ages, without magic. Pokes subtle fun at a lot of traditional fairy tales, although it may be too romance-heavy for your taste.

Monster -- a murder mystery/thriller at heart, though the post-reunification (1990s) German setting is both important and fascinating.

A couple that are more borderline:

Maria the Virgin Witch -- set during the 100 years war... sort of like if Joan of Arc was actually a witch.

The Familiar of Zero -- It's a harem/romance/comedy set in a Harry Potter-style magic academy... but as the show goes on, it becomes clear that the politics and geography are very clearly about early-modern Europe. (The academy is in Belgium; the second half of the first season is clearly about the Cromwell interregnum; later on there is an alliance with the Pope against an expansionist France...)

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The Cat Kingdom
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Posted 4/1/18 , edited 4/1/18

iriomote wrote:

If the genre's a non-starter then it may still be a skip. The romance is the central focus, but there is a very fine attention to detail with the setting and the society of that time.

If you've ever watched a BBC adaptation of one of Jane Austen's novels you're basically getting an anime version of that.

Nozomi Entertainment apparently has the English sub of both seasons posted on their official YouTube account, so at least you won't have to gamble with your money to determine whether it's palatable.

Edit: After rewatching an episode myself I think you'll probably want to give it a pass. The version I saw 10+ years ago must have incorporated the author's history guide into the translation. The official version doesn't seem to include any notes to explain/give historical context which is the part I thought would appeal most to you.


Hmm, I'll probably still give it a try just to see if it might be worth it. I'm not totally sure if the historical context is what's appealing to me or if it's the setting itself. I've never really been a huge history buff. In truth, I've probably learned more about French history from The Rose of Versailles than all my schooling put together (whether you take that as praise for the show or criticism of the educational system I'll leave up to you)

And Croisée didn't have much context either really. Just a slice of life story taking place in France.

I do think the romantic focus will be off-putting, but that being said, it never hurts to try.


asharka wrote:

If you liked Arslan, Have you seen Altair? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073R6BVD9



That's the show about the Turkish strategist, isn't it? I think I saw the first episode of this and put it on hold. I recall thinking that I really liked the setting, but just had too much to watch at the time..

I even recall thinking that I enjoyed that episode more than Arslan.

Thank you for reminding me of this, as I think it will fit the bill and was just a show I totally forgot even existed despite putting on hold.


mnmike wrote:

Some other ideas that may, or may not, fit the bill:

Valkyria Chronicles -- It is to WWII what Spice and Wolf was to the Middle Ages, told from the perspective of the militia in a small neutral country that tries (and fails) to stay out of the war.

Snow White with the Red Hair -- set in a fictional European middle ages, without magic. Pokes subtle fun at a lot of traditional fairy tales, although it may be too romance-heavy for your taste.

Monster -- a murder mystery/thriller at heart, though the post-reunification (1990s) German setting is both important and fascinating.

A couple that are more borderline:

Maria the Virgin Witch -- set during the 100 years war... sort of like if Joan of Arc was actually a witch.

The Familiar of Zero -- It's a harem/romance/comedy set in a Harry Potter-style magic academy... but as the show goes on, it becomes clear that the politics and geography are very clearly about early-modern Europe. (The academy is in Belgium; the second half of the first season is clearly about the Cromwell interregnum; later on there is an alliance with the Pope against an expansionist France...)



Interesting. I think I'll take a look a Valkyria Chronicles, as it sounds intriguing and could be a good fit.

Y'know, on paper Snow White with the Red Hair would seem like a perfect fit. In actuality, I've seen the first season of this, and did enjoy it, but it kind fits into a different mold than what I'm looking for. It really does feel more like a fairy tale. Then again, so did Romeo x Juliet... but I guess that's why I put it on the border. I suppose Snow White with the Red Hair could be considered another border show.

Monster is a show I've heard of, but never seen. I hear that it is depressing and disturbing, so I may watch it someday, but I would need to be in a particular mindset to do so.



Thanks so much for the recommendations, everyone!

I must say, I'm a little surprised though. I know I said that I'm more interested in western settings, but I kind of expected to be flooded with results from the Sengoku period. I would think there would be a lot of period dramas like House of Five Leaves taking place in a realistic historical Japan revolving around samurai or something.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you! I do prefer the western recommendations, after all. Just surprised.
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Posted 4/1/18 , edited 4/2/18
Ha! I was going to mention Nobunaga no Shinobi for the historical aspect but decided it wasn't really a good fit. It's really cute and fun though. The fictional ninja girl is skillful and totally nonchalant about it.
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Posted 4/8/18 , edited 4/8/18
this helped me alot
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