I am not a big anime fan.
It is not that I have anything against anime, it is just a matter of my lack of exposure. I find a lot of stuff that makes it on to American network, syndicated and cable television is either not very good (either it starts off crap or becomes so after the heavy editing and dubbing; what happened to Card Captor Sakura is a crime) and I do not have financial resources to purchase any directly. I tried getting into the stuff shown on Cartoon Network but I always found Ghost In The Shell to be...inscrutable. When I watch that show I always feel as if something has been lost in the dubbing, and honestly I really do not like half the characters. Bleach got very boring for me and Big O ended with what I felt was a "fuck you" ending (by which I mean the writers had no idea how to end the show and decided to try and pull a Prisoner on us, and frankly only Patrick McGoohan can pull a decent Prisoner on us). Outlaw Star was okay and I liked Cowboy Bebop, but the track record for me in regards to easily accessible anime is not very good. I do have friends who are huge anime fans but after my buddy Dave introduced me to Welcome to Greenwood years ago I have been leery to ask him to loan me anything.
Welcome to Greenwood. Some messed up shit, yo.
Okay, seriously, Dave is a great guy and he has introduced me to some stellar stuff; Macross Plus, Vision of Escaflone, the live action Gamera movies, all are tremendous entertainment. He also loaned me Ong Bak II and The Good, The Bad and The Weird, two outstanding live action movies from the East. I guess I could ask him to loan me more but I am always leery about borrowing things from people; I have enough trouble not breaking my own stuff.
Anyway, imagine my pleasant surprise when I discovered Hulu has anime. Not just dubbed anime, either: much of it is subtitled! Is it a large collection? Not really. But it feels like whomever is picking the stuff is attempting to appeal to a broad audience and I respect that.
I finished watching Darker Than Black and am enjoying Last Exile, but by far my favorite show is Bamboo Blade. I just finished watching it today and I enjoyed it a great deal. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a lesbian scene between Kirino and Saya.
Come on, Japan. We in the states have certain expectations.
Seriously, the show is a lot of fun. It is about a girl's kendo team and it is funny without getting too ridiculous, and I found myself liking the characters a great deal. I especially enjoyed the self referential humor, with inside jokes regarding Japanese television (I do not want to go into any detail 'cause I do not want to spoil anything).
So if you can, give Bamboo Blade a try. And if you cannot watch it, you can always read the manga...