B: The Beginning was released on Netflix last week. It’s a fun watch, with some great action backed up by the ever reliable Production I.G. Sword fights should be visceral, fleshy affairs, decided in a split second after a flash of aggressive, fluid movement. B: The Beginning’s main character has wings, so it perhaps isn’t that realistic, but you get the idea. There’s a lot of strong, definitive action.
In that vein, the little known Spriggan (1998) is as pure an action film as anime has to offer. At first I was thinking of another in Sword of the Stranger, but while that is set in Japan’s historic Sengoku period, Spriggan is a story set in the modern day, is full of awesome, hand-to-hand combat and is driven by a weird supernatural mythology concerning Noah’s Ark.
2. Darker than Black
Darker than Black (2007 series) isn’t as visceral as Spriggan, but has stronger elements of conspiracy, especially brainwashing, as it pits a bewildered police force against a number of different, mysterious groups of super-powered mutants. Like Koku in B: The Beginning, Darker than Black’s main character is a moody lone-wolf type with a hazy memory and violent past.
1. Terror in Resonance
Terror in Resonance (2014 series) follows a couple of teenage terrorists sworn to revenge after escaping years of inhumane experimentation. They don’t have names, only numbers, and are hunted by the police as well as by an old friend turned enemy. It’s less action-driven or superhero-esque than my other recommendations, but is all about broken adults searching for closure after encountering a traumatic event. Also, if the characters look somewhat familiar to you, it’s because the director of B: The Beginning, Kazuto Nakazawa, also worked on Terror in Resonance.