I had recently acquired three new anime titles, and, now having found the time (i.e. dropped every thing else) to watch them; I shall give my uneducated and unwanted opinion on each. :)
Patience is a virtue so bear with me.
The Cat Returns:
One of the newer releases from Studio Ghibli and typically cute and whimsical. I liked it better than Nausicaa and Kiki, but not nearly as much as Whisper of the Heart or Spirited Away. For anyone who has seen Whisper of the Heart, it should be noted that The Cat Returns marks the, ahem, return of the Baron, though he is not the cat in question. :) Over all, I’d say it was worth the money spent and has some moments that are flat-out hilarious.
But wonderful nonetheless. The various story lines were those that have been done a hundred times over, be it urban legend or X-Files or both, but, and this is a big but, they were done with some of the cutest, funniest lines I’ve seen in anime. So it’s very easy to forgive them. That, and the characters themselves are…
Sorry, drooled off there for a moment. We’ll just say cute. Because cute is a cultural idiom that has come to express a kind of pleasurable disinterest. :) I won’t say I am not hoping against hope that Nagi lives.
Serial Experiments Lain
First a bit of honestly, I’m going to have to watch this one again because I was half-asleep through most of it and it is not a series you can do that with and hope to follow what is going on. But Lain was different, and more so than anything else in any genre (i.e. anime or otherwise) that I’ve seen, period. Parts of it hinted of other series, the most similar probably being .hack//SIGN, but even that was very slight; mostly residing in the artistic rendering of “God.”
The ending plays at being concrete but leaves a couple thousand questions unanswered (my favorite type of ending) so that most of the conclusions you end up drawing from the series are not those of the author, but rather your own. It’s a series I’d really like to discuss with someone from a totally different background than my own, just to see what differences in interpretation popped up.
Would I recommend you watch Lain? I don’t know. I’m not really even sure I liked it. I’m just intrigued.