Do you mind if I ask what's this anime you're talking about? Because so far from you you've blogged about I'm digging the lack of fanservice and moe face!
Hmm…. it depends on what you perceive as “the moe face” because that term is so nebulous and up to personal interpretation, unfortunately. I tend to define it as “characters looking much younger than their actual age, with typical anime style of drawing” not characters that are just as young as they’re drawn thus the designs are simply “cute” not “moe”. :v
In this case, I’m pretty sure you could enjoy:
LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA
It’s a very lighthearted show about a school for witches, that’s sure to give u a Harry Potter childhood nostalgia ;D. It actually feels exactly like a cross between this and Ghibli movies = cute, super cool action and absolutely no fanservice. Also female protagonists because that’s …. an all-girls school. The animation is so beautiful u want to eat it and the show is very funny but can be pretty emotional at times as well!
Addition: If you love Mabel Pines - you’ll love Akko - the main character, as well!!
MOB PSYCHO 100
There’s also Mob Psycho 100 which… hmm I personally wouldn’t say qualifies as “cute” at all, unless some specific scene calls for it (mostly as a joke lmao).
Extremely good animation - seconded! It’s not only insanely fluid but also uses SUCH UNIQUE TECHNIQUES, Yes you’re gonna see full sequences made via paint on glass or charcoal, pencil etc. This is… kinda an action show but it’s ABOUT action, it’s central theme is kindness. However unlike in other shows with the same theme it doesn’t feel forced. It’s so natural and all characters are so real and you’ll end up loving them all! This show’s not only super hilarious but it brought me to tears more than once… I’ve never seen anything so accurately showcasing character’s emotions through just the visuals.
So yea it basically has it all: almost no romance, amazing plot, animation and characters, humor!
Additional bonus if you’re a Gravity Falls fan: it has a conman character with a hidden heart of gold that actually cares about the main character that’s a middle school kid = so if u love Stan, you will love him! :D
Well, I’ve already talked about why this show is great [HERE]!
Then there’s a show that’s pretty heavy and entirely psychological, meant for the mature audience. - and yes there’s no fanservice here either. If u dig diving into twisted mysteries that make you question what’s real and what’s a figment of the character’s tortured psyche’s - Paranoia Agent is the show for you.
^^^ extremely creepy in context/paired up with the soundtrack = the intro is characters laughing in dangerous/deadly situations… the song is sickeningly joyous… you see nuclear bomb exploding, flood, war… and they laugh
It deals with so many kinds of mental illness or very serious horrible situations life puts us in, that make us feel trapped, absolutely lost. It can get VERY visually abstract and this gets more prominent as the show goes on so I won’t post any screencaps of this to not to spoil too much.
The best thing is that despite dealing with very dark matters… the show does allow the viewer to draw some positive lessons from it. So you won’t just feel crushed after all that heavy stuff going on, more like… enlightened, emotional and utterly fascinated. I think it’s most helpful for someone with suicidal thoughts.
I’m yet to see enough anime to make a comprehensive list of those “safe to watch”. I realize there are way more out there but I’ve decided to only talk about those I’ve seen personally.
But in general other movies made by Satoshi Kon (who made Paranoia Agent) are just like that show so go watch them too! Just as all of the Studio Ghibli movies are very fun, beautifully made, devoid of “moe face” and esp fanservice since this company is kinda like the Japanese Disney = keeps stuff kid friendly (but still some of the movies really do deal with heavy real-life matters like war or destruction of the environment! so it still stays very intellectually satisfying).
Other shows to consider:
Terror in Resonance: The designs are one foot in the moe and one in a more grounded style so it’s for you to decide if this sits right with you. There’s not really any fanservice except one scene where a female characters simply takes a bath, it’s not sexualized… but u can see the boobs so… yeaa be vary of that. But overall it’s a fast-paced mystery-driven show about serious matters such as terrorism, childhood trauma, how WWII affected the Japanese society and so on… Plus it has really really unique and great soundtrack! It ranges from fast-paced jazz to stuff resembling Sigur Ros… (and I love this character on the right so much > . <)
This is, a very chill show about a group of friends hanging out and solving small mysteries in their school and outside of it. The mysteries aren’t that important but still they got this kind-of Sherlockian vibe? (later on those books are referenced just as Christie’s). The mysteries are fun but most of all it’s about watching these high schoolers grow as people. I mean that’s not the most ambitious premise but trust me, this is incredibly pleasant to watch, it always made me feel so relaxed, at ease. It’d say it’s quite beautiful! And yeah the design is meant to be cute and typical “anime style” but, uh, characters look their age (I suppose) so in my opinion that’s not moe.
One could argue they got just one “fanservice episode” but I personally disagree - I mean if just simply showing characters going to a swimming pool and one wearing bikini… and the guy who has a crush on her getting subtly flustered at her getting close is fanservice??? then probably all of the healthy romance is. Idk to me it wasn’t over the top but very natual and tasteful. Plus this show isn’t romance focused - rather is centred strongly around friendship and opening to others.
I’ve started this show recently, I’m 6 episodes in and so far there’s been no fanservice and I wouldn’t say the style is the typical “moe”(… but it kinda is… it’s complicated: character design is moe but how they are handled isn’t), esp if u take a look at how original the environment where the battles take place looks!
Beware though - it can get pretty bloody and the show spirals into darkness further and further as it proceeds… straying continuously from the usual cutesy “magical girl anime” tone (=it’s not afraid to brutally kill off its characters)