Needs More Love (Sugar Wiki)

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Sometimes, a show has it all: great characters, fascinating plot, cool action scenes, compelling mysteries, etc etc. But. It just fails to achieve any considerably high profile. Whatever the reason - it may have been overshadowed by another show aired at the same time, or its authors decided to cut on promotion and invest into production, or it was Too Good to Last, - its fandom is nearly nonexistent. It can't even be considered a Cult Classic because, well, there aren't enough fans to even call them a "cult".

If you can think of an awesome work that just didn't get the love it deserved, here's the place to put it!

Examples of Needs More Love (Sugar Wiki) include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Desert Punk is very, very, funny, being one of the very few anime by GONZO to not have superfluous amounts of CG mixed with the dazzling scenery of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Each character's personalities, although suffering from the occasional flanderization, are unique, quirky, a little bizarre (at first), and extremely over-the top, all fitting in the anti-hero categories. That's right. All of them. There is no total overarching plot in the series, yet that does not prevent each episode from having a well-thought-out script, containing off-the-wall and EXTREMELY raunchy humor to well-paced action that will completely take you by surprise once it reaches the halfway point and having a very good dub. Desert Punk is a Seinen that has a surprisingly small fanbase.
  • Kanamemo is a very funny show, with great, colorful animation, fun and likeable characters, an actual romantic relationship between two girls, probably one of the best scripts ever written with many quotable moments, is somehow able to do a good job handling the the drama involving the main character, and is no doubt closest to rival (in my opinion) My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Yet, its still very underrated and never really got much popularity in Japan (airing on TV Tokyo, nonetheless) to even warrant a second season. Even with Crunchyroll, it still hasn't garnered much attention that it at least deserves after two years. Watching the aniem lately has become nostalgic and even made me sad for bit. If you ask me, the series at least deserves 26 episodes, not half.
  • W Juliet is a romantic, very funny, well drawn, artistic, and dramatic manga with a High School Gender Bender plot but I have never met anyone who has read this series, and few who have een heard of it. Due to it being made 1997-2002, book stores don't usually carry it and it's nearly impossible to find outside of conventions or the internet so it's very unlikely to develop a following from people new to manga.
  • Anatolia Story is a 28 volume manga filled with beautiful art, Bishonen and romance, while still keeping the reader interested with historical information, action, war, gory deaths and the reader notices the character development the main character goes through. And yet this manga has not yet seen any sign of being made into an anime series or an OVA.
  • Kaiba is a short Twelve-Episode Anime with a quirky cartoonish style. And if you go into it thinking that it's childish you're in for a very sharp surprise. Despite its cartoony style it dives deep into the question of memories and connections between the soul and body. Whether love is something that resides in the memory, body, or both and if there is anything in the world that truly lasts forever. It's also one of those anime where everyone walks away with a different interpretation, due to some slight Mind Screw and Gainax Ending. Despite this, it is still an amazingly thought provoking series if you let yourself be immersed. That and it has an absolutely, hauntingly amazing soundtrack.
  • Is - A very special 15-volume manga/6-part anime about a young man's struggle to capture the heart of his high school crush during the tumultuous and frustrating rite of adolescence. The story is a romantic comedy full of engaging characters. It is easily one of the most beautifully drawn mangas ever. If that isn't enough to hook you, then the unceasing parade of Zettai Ryouiki, Panty Shots, and gratuitous Fan Service probably will.
    • The incredible character development is an even bigger reason to read than the Fan Service. I'm being perfectly serious. Not to mention the fact that the romance between the two leads is well-developed without ever becoming too cliche'd.
  • Kekkaishi is one of the greatest anime I've ever watched and yet I've never seen anyone besides me talk about it. This could change now that Adult Swim is airing it. Maybe.
    • Same goes for the manga. I personally find it a really well drawn and interesting manga, though no one I know has read or even heard of it. I really hope that it can gain more popularity in the West!
    • I second this - both the recommendation, and the "none of my friends know or care about it" bit. But - as I write in my review - I suspect this is because it's not very flashy. Or maybe everyone's tired of shounen action series by now.
      • This seems to be the case. With the over-saturation of "Naruto-clone" series it seems that people are refusing to give any shonen series a chance, even one that has great character development, interesting relationships, and a nice storyline.
  • Laon is a Manhwa about a Gumiho (Korean version of Fantastic Foxes) who is sent to earth as punishment and has to seek out its missing tails. In the process lots of people die, demons attempt to invade our world, and a poor young man who lost his true love long ago and yet can't remember how or why gets mixed up in the meddling. The page only has tropes and description up to about the third volume at best, and since all six have been localized in a number of countries by now it definitely deserves more attention than it's been getting, if only because it's pretty informative about certain korean myths.
  • Star Driver is an excellent new anime from Soul Eater director Takuya Igarashi and Revolutionary Girl Utena writer Yoji Enokido (who also created Ouran High School Host Club together), animated by Studio BONES. The show shares a bevy similarities to the formula of Revolutionary Girl Utena, so much so that it's been called that show's spiritual successor, and contains several Shout Outs to a lot of other well-known anime. The story so far takes an approach that's sadly become rare these days: the overall plot remains a mystery, while the show delicately teases the viewers with new information on what's really going on. It does this by focusing on specific characters each episode and digging deeper into their backstory, revealing their perspective on this series of bizarre events and people on this peculiar island. This is all topped off with beautiful animation, interesting and likeable characters, incredible music, and an overall sense of fun. That's the beauty of the series; it doesn't take itself too seriously at all. Sure, it is a bit formulaic, but it's to be expected from a show that takes so many cues from Utena. Sadly, and partly due to the fact that it's a completely original work not adapted from anything, the show hasn't gotten nearly the TV ratings it deserves in Japan nor the attention it deserves in North America. Maybe its popularity will come once it's finished, but only time will tell.
  • There Beyond the Beyond (just Beyond the Beyond in North America) is a six-volume shonen manga with beautiful art and a fun, engaging adventure story, but has had terrible luck reaching English audiences in any official capacity. Tokyopop invested almost nothing into translating it and cancelled the translation due to lack of sales, and Chuang-Yi in Singapore only made it to the fifth book before encountering legal problems that prevented them from finishing translating the series.
  • Muhyo and Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation is actually a great manga, even though the art style is a bit weird. Good character development, good spacing, amazing story-telling and awesome Tear Jerker moments, this absolutely Needs More Love. And it has very awesome Tear Jerker moments.
  • Me and the Devil Blues and 2001 Nights are quite possibly the two best manga this troper's ever read (barring Nausicaä) but no one has heard of them before on either side of the Pacific. One is an absolutely beautiful Southern American gothic-horror story featuring a legendary blues musician and a legendary criminal getting into violent misadventures while the other is a collection of short stories written in the classic hard-scifi style of Arthur C. Clarke, full of tear jerkers and all that good stuff.
  • My Lovely Ghost Kana is a three volume manga that is one of the most beautifully written and illustrated and moving love stories I've ever read in any medium. It takes some of the most potentially darkest character backgrounds ever and turns them into a glorious celebration of life and love that will move you to happy tears many times over. The two main characters have sex often, invariably getting the title classified as Hentai, which would undoubtedly turn many people off from reading it. But creator Tanaka Yutaka does a masterful job of storytelling that the sex is only a natural, playful and loving part of a relationship. The sexual content is much softer than most hentai, and it stops appearing in later chapters entirely. By the end, you'll have completely forgotten, and you'll feel like running outside and hugging someone.
    • It seems criminal to have Tanaka Yutaka's other magnum opus Ai-Ren not included here. Read this, too.
    • Also his short story collection Virgin Night. It's got much more of the sex but just as much story and is just as heartwarming as everything else he writes. Heck, if it has Tanaka-san's name on it, you probably should read it.
  • Real Drive is an anime created by Shirow Masamune and IG Productions (the same people who produced Ghost in the Shell). It is highly enjoyable, having a heartwarming story and some of the best music I've heard in a while. It's beautifully animated—IG Productions did a superb job and paid even the smallest details attention. The end result is an anime that is filled to the brim with Scenery Porn: one can almost feel the warm tropical sun on them as they watch. There's no defined storyline: in a sense, it's like a slice of life show that proceeds at a casual, relaxed pace that shows how technology has come to affect humanity in ways we cannot imagine. Despite having all the elements of a good slice-of-life/speculative fiction type anime, it remains virtually unrecognized by the anime community.
  • Children of the Sea is an awesome Slice of Life manga that includes the juicy goodness of mythology and Scenery Porn that Daisuke Igarashi seems to always use in his works. It explores the origins of sea myths, as well as its own protagonists in what is shaping up to be a massive global quest. Unfortunately, it's got a teeny-tiny fanbase, despite being a fairly popular Ikki title and from an acclaimed mangaka. This is probably because of the fairly slow pace that Igarashi takes to get cozy with the story. It has phenomenal art and takes a close look at several cultures and mythologies that seem to span the gap between them. Wrap it up in a coming of age story and it turns out to be an interesting read, especially with Viz's fairly decent translation.
  • Flower Of The Deep Sleep is an incredible two-volume manga that everyone should have in their collection. The story is simple but beautiful, with elements of fantasy and love, and it keeps you holding on until the very end.
  • It's honestly quite easy to see why many people decry OEL manga for "not really being manga", whether for the sub-par writing or art most of them feature. However, I nominate Svetlana Chmakova's two works, Drama Con and Nightschool, for their solid stories, characterizations, and art.
  • Rainbow Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin sure as hell needs some more love! It tells the story of six inmates locked in a Japanese prison ten years following World War II, and about the struggle they take in order to survive. The writing is very effective, the characters are well developed (at least enough to gather a strong and realistic sense of camaraderie amongst them) and contains some excellent voice acting. If you're squeamish (and believe me, it can get pretty Squick inducing) it's understandable, but if you can power through the harshness, you'll be justly rewarded.
  • Oh! Edo Rocket is a comedy/drama/sci-fi anime, and one of the only animes based on a live play instead of a manga, set in Edo during the 1800's. But it is by no means a period piece- while the story is heavy most of the time, the comedy really sets the tone for the show in the forefront. The characters are quirky and simple to understand, there're more Anachronism Stews than Disney's Hercules, the art style is a bit separate from the usual anime fare, and both the Japanese recording and the English dub break the fourth wall regularly. It's fun, upbeat, and jazzy. However, no one seems to remember it after its initial airing in 2007, and the DVDs for the dub don't seem to be selling well.
  • 5 Centimeters Per Second. Dead gorgeous Scenery Porn, realistic plot, and really heartwarming movie. Oh, heck Makoto Shinkai himself in general.
  • With the Light. It's probably the most accurate portrayal of Autism I've ever seen, yet the only ones who seem to know about it are people in the autism community. The characters are very well written and the misconceptions about autism are pointed out and tackled head-on. The only problem it has is that the statistics are often out-of-date, but that's because it took a long time for the manga to be translated.
  • Worst, a manga by Takahashi Hiroshi that doesn't even have its own TV Tropes page. It's about high school Delinquents (pretty much all are the major character type) at Suzuran, a high school known for being filled with strong delinquents. They form factions, get into street fights, and generally try to prove that they're the best around. Although that's a rather lackluster summary, it's way Better Than It Sounds.
    • Additionally, Crows by the same author, which actually came before Worst (Worst is the sequel series to Crows).
  • Similar to the above is Holyland, a more realistic, Darker and Edgier take on delinquents and street fights. The author knows a lot about street fights, and often uses narration and occasionally diagrams to explain fighting tactics, etc. (such as how to avoid injury when punching someone in the head, or how to take on a knife-wielder unarmed) as the characters demonstrate them. Interestingly, at the start of the series, the main character fits the timid, scared, bully-bait archetype perfectly -- except for his ability to knock a man out with one punch.
  • Rokudenashi Blues is one of the best high school delinquent stories this troper has ever read. Not only are the action scenes intense, but most of the characters, including the non-delinquents, are really well developed. And main character Maeda is one of the most Crazy Awesome, Hot-Blooded, and idiotic heroes ever to grace a shonen manga. However, even the scanlations have pretty much stopped...
  • The Twelve Kingdoms. It's well-written, with realistic characters who struggle through their sudden shift into another world. The main trio deal with their problems differently - one is The Chosen One who is trying to adapt, the other is a geek who wants to stay, and the third simply wants to get home. Watch it.
  • While a big part of both Japanese and Italian pop culture, Lupin III never really caught on anywhere else, despite the efforts of Geneon, FUNimation, and Tokyo Pop putting out tons of stuff in North America. Which is a shame, considering the timeless characters, humor and action throughout the franchise.
  • Ray, by Yoshitomi Akihito. You'd believe that an action-packed manga with a likable heroine who is Cursed with Awesome (X-ray eyes), quite a bit of medical-related fanservice, a lot of shout-outs to Black Jack, Akira and other classics, and a rich argument delving with the life of the terminally ill, clonation ethics, sacrificing for the greater good and other strong topics would have gained some following. However, it has become largely forgotten. Pity!
  • Marchen Awakens Romance is a series created by Nobuki Anzai, the creator of Flame of Recca. There is hardly any fandom in the English due to one of the reviewers sites claiming that "It's just another one of those pointless action series". Has fully developed characters, intense action scenes, and for the anime extreme fan service for the boys and girls.
  • IO -- A supernatural mystery romance harem drama psychological manga featuring SCUBA Diving, fan service, mystery, and a lot else. Quiet obscure but readily available on scanlation sites.
    • Fair warning-the story starts out kind of slow, but it picks up quickly, so stick around for a bit and you just might enjoy yourself.
  • ARAGO - well written supernatural shonen manga with the London Police Department and a main character with the powers of a Nightmare Fuel ex-Serial Killer. Contains Shout-Outs to folklore, mythology, and William Blake. Not helped by the fact that it has yet to reach United States bookstores.
  • Mouryou no Hako, a one-of-a-kind, utterly mind-consuming mystery series, based on the excellent novel by Kyougoku Natsuhiko and animated by Madhouse's best (with character designs by CLAMP!). The script, atmosphere, acting, and plot are captivating and realistic but keep the eerie supernatural vibe present in Kyougoku's novel. And if you weren't already afraid of boxes, well... consider yourself warned.
  • The American Gag Dub of Duel Masters. The whole concept was far-fetched and silly... yet, it didn't get that far. At least, not before the Abridged Series appears.
  • As it says on the page Scrapped Princess is an absolutely fantastic show... and yet no one ever talks about it. Perhaps the title has something to do with it. It's pretty much Studio BONES' forgotten masterpiece, airing between Wolf's Rain and Fullmetal Alchemist in 2003. With an absolutely epic storyline combining fantasy and science fiction, interesting characters, strong production values, and an excellent dub including the likes of Kari Walghren, Michelle Ruff, Yuri Lowenthal, and Crispin F***ing Freeman, this truly is one of the better shows you're probably not watching.
  • Come on, Beyblade Metal Fusion needs some love! Just look at its page!
  • Spring And Chaos: an autobiographical OVA base on the life of Kenji Miyazawa, one of Japan's most famous poets. It's directed by Shoji Kawamori (the Macross guy), no less. It's one of the most moving films you'll ever see.
  • Simoun. At first glance, it's a fetishistic yuri series where you get to see girls kiss each other. In reality, it's a moving war-drama, with political intrigue, well-handled religious elements, and a great soundtrack to boot.
  • Ghost Hound needs lots more love. Sure, it's strange and a bit confusing, but oh boy is is ever interesting.
  • From the creator of Sora no Otoshimono comes Watashi no Messiah-sama, a compelling and well-woven tale of despair, betrayal, strife, and ultimately, hope. Sure, the art starts off bad and the story gets confusing at times, but the sheer human aspect of being a messiah is visited in this manga. Not to mention its heartwarming and awesome moments...
  • Maybe it's visuals so daring a lot of viewers can't get through an episode let alone 24, so mind-boggling even a lot of enthralled fans have to take it in small doses, the surprisingly faithful futuristic Count of Monte Cristo adaptation Gankutsuou was never a big hit, but fans who make it through won't be disappointed. Or maybe they will, but they probably won't regret this truly bizarre gem.
  • Rave Master. The art in the first few volumes isn't too impressive and the anime was terrible, so it didn't have the best take off ever, but the story and characters are just fantastic.
    • I think a lot of this is because a lot of it could be (mistakenly) thought of as exactly the same as Fairy Tail. So yes, some of the character designs are very similar, and he reuses names for various magic things (and forms of the Ten Commandments wholesale as Erza's swords), but it is a wonderful, engaging, coherent, beautiful story that deserves all the praise it gets. Also by Hiro Mashima, and also worth paying attention to, is Monster Soul.
  • Ookiku Furikabutte/Big Windup. Yes, its a baseball manga/anime. And yes, it's great. The author obviously knows her stuff, and presents it in a manner that is accessible to anyone, from those who don't know a lick of baseball to those of us who enjoy the sport. And what's not to love with the great characters, great relationships, and lovable humor.
  • Brigadoon Marin and Melan. A 26 episode original anime production from studio Sunrise definitely needs more love as I never actually heard it mentioned by anyone else. It has a very interesting and well written storyline with many endearing characters, High quality production values and a lot of tearjerker moments.
  • Butsu Zone. A short-run manga first by Hiroyuki Takei, featuring power-armored Bodhisattvas, an interesting plotline, as well as detailed and insightful looks into Buddhism.
  • Kagerou Nostalgia is an obscure manga, which thanks to Executive Meddling, and sheer stupidity on the part of the publishing company (only licensing the second half, what's up with that?) has never been fully released here. This is too bad, as it's a genuinely interesting story, dealing with a group of reincarnated heroes trying to save an AU medieval Japan from their predecessors' mistakes. The series' is quite dark—the basic premise seems to have been "take a your classic shonen Five-Man Band and drop them in a Crapsack World"—and is unflinching in its portrayal of war and demonic attacks, with characters that are flawed and far from cliché. For anyone interested in reading it, here's a link to the first few volumes: http://www.mangareader.net/1477/kagerou-nostalgia.html
  • Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu. A funny, weird (and I mean weird) and cute little comedy anime that sadly is a bit obscure.
  • Mushishi. I love this anime, and it's pretty much a fresh breath from all the other animes out there... for when you just need a rest from crazy action and moe fanservice and what have you.
  • Kieli is terribly obscure. It started as a light novel and was adapted into a wonderful manga. Definitely worth reading.
  • Umi no Misaki. Can anyone say Ai Yori Aoshi-quality harem romance done on a tropic island with a touch of supernatural thrown in? If you liked Ai Yori Aoshi, you seriously need to look at Umi no Misaki.
  • The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer is a little-known work with involving characters, great action, and an interesting story. Along with talking animals, psychic powers, golems, and a gigantic hammer bigger than the planet Earth.
    • "Interesting" being a severe understatement. It breaks a lot of the rules of most Shonen manga and has truly emotional moments.
  • Considering that Kurohime has marvelous character design, an interesting concept of magic AND epic fights, you'd think shonen fans would be all over it. Alas...
  • Mahoraba. I have never actually met anyone else who has read the manga. And if you type it into Google, there are very few results. It's like it doesn't exist—which is a shame, because it's such a great read.
    • Found and read only because of this entry, I second the vote. At first glance looks like a cliche Unwanted Harem style comedy. It avoids that almost immediately and heads towards a surprisingly heartwarming Slice of Life with some snarky, sarcastic wit and some of the most ... ermm ... interesting (and yet adorable) characters around. It's not afraid to pull your heartstrings, without being hokey, and the finale wraps everything up with a feeling like a great big hug in a warm sweater. Go read when you're feeling down and it's guaranteed to make you feel better.
  • The Tatami Galaxy (by the aforementioned Masaaki Yuasa) is a strange slice-of-life story about a freshman in college and his two year quest for a "rose-colored campus life". After a while, it gets pretty weird, like having to turn back time several episodes to see what else he could have done in his two years. It seems a bit repetitive, but all the rewinds answer questions you would have about the series over time. It's one of those series that you have to watch to the end to get a feeling of satisfaction. The characters are great, the animation is a lovely mix between two mediums, and the story is overall pretty engaging. More people should check it out, though.
  • Kemono no Souja Erin - despite the fact it at first seems like a kid's show and the official subs for it aren't the best quality it has a rather impressive story and seeing the main character grow and handle to the problems she faces in the face of adversity can be moving. it's a series that manages to make the viewer cry sometimes, laugh others, bite their nails in anticipation, and has the occasional moment of "D'AWWWW HOW SWEET" and some nice Crowning Moment of Awesome scenes.
  • Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars. It's like Azumanga Daioh before Azumanga Daioh ever existed. It also has aliens and a Humongous Mecha. But everyone was expecting loads of Humongous Mecha/alien fights instead of Slice of Life which is why you've never heard of the show. Though the DVDs are fairly cheap now and it has an English dub.
  • Honey and Clover: A ten volume Manga series dealing with the trials and tribulations of young adulthood and love among a group of 20 something Art School students it has, simply put, one of the most touching endings anyone have read. All ten volumes were released in English (and the first few were serialized in Viz's Shojo Beat magazine, the now-defunct Distaff Counterpart to the U.S. Shonen Jump) but this series never seemed to get much of an audience, which is a shame considering the funny and nuanced writing and character development which goes from broad comedy to heart achingly beautiful thoughts on love lost, love won, and love unrequited.
  • The Five Star Stories is an epic, and I mean epic, manga. It's weird and wonderful, with artificial humans and giant robots and traps. So far, only the first 10 volumes have been released in English, and scanlation efforts are sparse for the last two volumes. But for those who don't want their Real Robot stories to be angsting about war while killing people left and right, it's a welcome breath of fresh air.
  • Catnapped: While it has a Tropes page here (which thoroughly surprised me), even my most hardcore anime fan friends have not heard of this movie. I've seen it over 20 times, and I show it to every new friend I have just to share the love.
  • Eve no Jikan has one of the most fascinating stories this troper has seen recently. The characters are charming, sympathetic and believable, and the conclusion leaves you clamoring for more. Its plot is rather simple, but very well executed and enjoyable. Also, the animation is quite beautiful. Its relative obscurity is understandable, given that it's only six short episodes, but every minute of it is worthwhile.
  • Glass no Megami looks at first glance like pretty standard Hentai love triangle fare with lots of sex. However, you'll find that it has exceptionally good artwork with a striking, clean style, the story holds a lot more emotion than you might expect and the characters are engaging and fleshed-out (no pun intended) enough that the ending can be a real Tear Jerker. If you like your hentai to be more than just explicit, this is definitely worth reading.
  • Night Head Genensis is a 24-episode anime series about two brothers with psychic powers who escape the research center they've been locked up in since they were kids. All they want is a normal life, but plenty of people want to take advantage of their powers. Not to mention the fact that they're supposed to lead some sort of "revolution". Although the plot seems kind of cliche at first, the way it's handled is rather original. And the music is beautiful. Just listen to the opening theme. There's also a manga adaption with absolutely gorgeous artwork, but only two volumes are released in English so far with no news on the third volume and the story is compressed to the point where it can sometimes be difficult to follow. Everyone who knows about this series adores it, but very few people actually know about it. Give it some love people!
  • If you liked Cromartie High School, you might like Double J, too!
  • Yellow Dragon ga Arawareta!: A Mad Scientist tries to summon the dreaded Yellow Dragon. He was expecting a huge, fearsome beast, but gets a Little Miss Snarker instead. She's still the real thing, though! Hilarity Ensues.
  • From the author of The Legend of Koizumi and Gundam Sousei, Kidou Senshi Gundam-san is an absolutely hilarious take on the Universal Century. It features, for example, Char as a Cloudcuckoolander, Lalah as a Tsukkomi to Char's Boke, Amuro as a Hormone-Addled Teenager, Sayla as a sadistic Doctor Jerk and Haro as actually being operated by some guy from the inside. It also features the inspiring tale of Hero's Journey of a lowly Zaku II (in which the original Gundam plays the role of the Big Bad) and the surprisingly emotional story (which should totally be canon!) of the humble origins of the Zabi family, in which we can see young Garma as a Cheerful Child and young Gihren as a NEET. And all this is just the tip of the iceberg!
  • Happy, a tennis/poverty manga by Naoki Urasawa with amazingly well-rounded characters.
  • Ciel: The Last Autumn Story is a Korean manhwa that takes place in a fantasy version of 18th/19th century Europe. The main character is a 15-year old girl named Yvienne Magnolia who is accepted into a government run school for witches and sorcerers. Though I say 'main character', she shares her screen time pretty equally with three others she befriends- Lariatte Kingdiamond, January Lightsphere, and Daughter. It's a clever, engaging series that enjoys poking fun at and deconstructing the various cliches involved with the romance genre, and the growing relationships between the four main characters are entertaining and heartwarming. And if it sounds a little too light-hearted for you, it's quickly made clear that there are a lot of much darker elements brimming just under the surface, and eventually our heroes will have to deal with them.
  • From Eroica with Love is a hilarious manga with a very niche fanbase. This lack of popularity probably stems from the fact that one of the two main characters is rather flamboyantly gay—which is a pity, because there is no homosexual content whatsoever in the story (save for a few... okay, a lot of verbal jokes/gags). But the series really is comedy gold (and the majority of the humour does not stem from the gay jokes - those are just a side-dish), with a sprinkling of espionage action/adventure thrown in for good measure. The mangaka's adamant refusal to allow an anime adaptation probably doesn't help the situation.
  • Mononoke is an absolutely excellent little 12-episode series if you're the kind of person who enjoys Surreal Horror + Psychological Horror + Mind Screw + awesome and surreal artwork.
  • Kowarekake no Orgel (or "Half-Broken Music Box") has only one half hour OVA, but still manages to run the emotional gauntlet. Similar to Chobits, it deals with a discarded little robot girl, the emotionally crippled teen who takes her in, and their summer together. Orgel is wonderfully drawn, poignent where it counts, and very worth your time.
  • Angel's Egg is Mamoru Oshii's first movie and perhaps also his best. It's a mostly silent film, that with its limited dialogue still manages to be as thought provoking as it gets. Accompanied by a beautiful surrealist art style, and a soundtrack that cannot be explained in words, calling it a work of art would be an understatement. Yet neither the public nor the critics picked up on it when it was released in 1985, leaving it as it is today, a forgotten gem. Since appreciating it requires some level of acquired taste, introducing new people to it isn't exactly easy either.
  • Helen ESP. It's a two-volume manga about a blind, deaf and mute girl who finds out she has Psychic Powers, by the author of Franken Fran--wait, come back here! No one gets dismembered in this series, I promise! All joking aside, Helen ESP has interesting characters and can be quite heartwarming at times.
  • The Monster Rancher anime had pretty much everything you could ask for in an anime—a deep storyline, plenty of Moments Of Awesome, knowing the stakes were serious, compelling characters, and a pretty good English dub. But it got sidelined by Pokemon and Digimon.
  • Pumpkin Scissors is an anime and manga that features a story about the aftermath of a major conflict on the size and technological level similar to that of the First World War. The core group of characters are part of an army group dedicated to the recovery effort, and have to deal with the damage caused by the war ranging from food shortages to riots to rogue army units and super soldiers. The characters also have to deal with corruption, the ire of the masses for being part of the army, and lack of respect from other army units for being 'soft'. It also has an aesthetic similar to that of 'Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • Dennou Coil is a science fiction anime from 2007 which gained quite some recognition during its airing, but has since failed to retain its popularity. The show is about a group of children in a small town, who all use a type of computer in the form of glasses as means to play around on the digital interface overlapping the city, often bumping into trouble of some kind. The animation and soundtrack are beautiful, although the character designs and colouring could be seen as somewhat subdued - it gives the series a sense of realism that brings out the childish fantasy and emotions bubbling underneath.
  • Variante is a sad 19-issue manga involving a dead girl coming back to life, a secret government agency that wishes to use her, and monsters that they are tasked with both fighting and hiding from the public.
  • While Kindaichi Case Files has a huge following in Japan, it didn't fare too well in America due to poor marketing on Tokyopop's part. Nevertheless, this series is a very well written mystery series that actively challenges the readers using nothing but pure logic. Magic? Hi-Tech Gadgets? A Wizard Did It? Not in this series.
  • Big Windup is an excellently written series with great characters that didn't get nearly the love it deserves. The English dub was very well done, too, but it did not get enough of a following to warrant the translation of season two. The dub voice actors credit the low sales to the fact that baseball is simply the "boring" among the organized sports, not to mention how the first season builds up to only one drawn out game with another school, and most fans of anime are people who are not particularly athletic.
  • The Ghost Stories English dub. The voice actors were basically told to do whatever they want with the script, and they make it hilarious. The entire series is basically one big Crowning Moment of Funny.
  • Kyo Kara Maoh! is extremely well written and detail, with huge amounts of thought going in to every tiny aspect of the plot and the world it is set in, Additionally, all of the characters are amazing, and it's got a perfect balance of humour and seriousness. This is another series that had a great English dub that will never get finished, and that just generally doesn't have nearly as large a fanbase as a show of this caliber deserves.
    • An explanation for this is the difficulty in bringing in American audiences with fantasy action and heavy Yaoi influences. While there are fans of this, it's a smaller audience.
  • Cat Soup is a short anime film that is a wonderful Mind Screw. It relies heavily on symbolism and unusual images, but is also quite touching in some scenes. Not for everyone, but it really shows the diversity of styles available for anime.
  • Despise being award-winning Basara is a quite obscure manga that differently Needs More Love. The plot is interesting and above all, the characters are well written and most of them have their own back story that gets explored throughout the chapters. The story has both romance, action, Tear Jerkers and it tries to deal with big issues, such as if anyone really disserves to be hated and if anyone is truly evil. The drawing style may have been what puts people of, but looking beyond that, the story is one that deserves far more fans than it has.
  • Fractale is an eleven-episode sci-fi anime series that, despite having excellent characters, a well-written story, beautiful animation, and being loved by basically all who have seen it, it's so under the radar that I can't even find the full version to its opening theme.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Grimjack by John Ostrander and Tim Truman, Flint Henry, Tom Mandrake, etc. If it's good enough for Roger Zelazny (a big fan, wrote the forword to the Graphic Novel) it's good enough for anybody.
  • The Sabrina the Teenage Witch manga-style comic by Tania del Rio. This could have been just a cheap gimmick by Archie Comics. Instead, Tania took the manga idea beyond the look: it had good characters, a detailed mythos, and an actual arc.
  • Argentinian Comic Books don't receive any love from the world in general; not even in their country. Just to give a few titles, El Eternauta, Mafalda, and La Revista Fierro.
    • Cybersix should be included here. The cartoon adaptation needs more love too (it's already in the Western Animation folder), but the graphic novels in their undiluted form are beautiful and rivetting.
  • Chase, a DC comic book from late '90s. The premise—a (mostly) normal woman solving metahuman-related crimes in the DC Universe—was ahead of its time. It had a complex main character, a solid cast, and great art, but it was ingloriously cancelled after only 10 issues—and the last issue was a crossover with DC One Million that was completely unrelated to the main story. Thankfully, DC had the decency to wrap up the unresolved plot threads in their 2000 annuals, and Chase herself later became a supporting character in Manhunter... which was also Too Good to Last.
  • The first Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle run was really well written other than the first few issues. The main complaint was the undignified death of former Blue Beetle Ted Kord in a completely different title (Jaime's own series gave Ted big props). It was cancelled due to low sales but hopefully enough people buying the back issues will bring it back.
    • And in 2011, Jaime returned as part of DC's big relaunch, keeping his costume and supporting cast.
  • The Batman Adventures, the comic book spin-off of Batman: The Animated Series. That's right, it's a comic book based on a cartoon based on a comic book, and a damn fine one. Rather than cashing in on the popularity of the show by turning out cheap stories or adapting episodes, this was a tie-in that really did justice to the source material. At its best, one could even argue that it was better than B:TAS.
  • The Courageous Princess: A princess from an obscure kingdom who isn't particularly rich or beautiful has to rely on her wits and kindness to escape from a dragon and get home, and all because no prince would bother to rescue her. Toss in some Talking Animals and Wacky Wayside Tribes and you've got the makings of a great adventure.
  • The Red Circle books DC put out in 2009-2010: Great takes on interesting characters and awesome stories!
  • Anything, anything involving Taskmaster.
  • Tiny Sepuku. A newspaper comic that gives hilarious romantic advice to readers through very funny characters. Better Than It Sounds.
  • The Boondocks comic strip, which has now been almost completely eclipsed by the television series.
  • Trinity Angels, which is quirky and fun, but is often ignored by even VH 2-era Valiant fans, and is the only VH 2-originated Valiant property to not even rate an entry in The Other Wiki.

Fan Works[edit | hide]

Film - Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Road to El Dorado is a fun, truly unique film with no proper hero character (the writers themselves admitted to focusing the entire story on Those Two Guys on purpose), gut-busting humor and a creative premise that goes sorely glossed over for absolutely no reason.
  • Likewise, The Prince of Egypt, while chastised for being an animated musical take on a story in the Book of Exodus, and often compared to The Ten Commandments in that regard, is a truly epic movie. The songs are gorgeous to listen to, the truly spectacular animation is to die for, and it even gives little explanations for things never really touched upon originally, such as the vitriol between Moses and Ramses, and the way the Priests mimic Moses's miracles. Really, the only reason for anyone to not see this movie is because it's so dang tough to find.
  • Arthur Christmas: OK, the title isn't promising, but it's actually smart, funny, heartwarming-without-being-treacly, beautifully animated, and thoroughly entertaining, featuring wonderful voice work by James McAvoy, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, and Hugh Laurie. Perhaps it'll catch on in Christmases of the future.
  • Hercules gets a lot of flak for being extremely Sadly Mythtaken and perpetuating Everybody Hates Hades. That said, it's got a great soundtrack, the most unique character designs in any Disney movie (courtesy of Gerald Scarfe), a well-written and funny script, and the ever-hilarious Hades. It's proof that even an In Name Only adaptation can be genuinely well-done and able to stand on its own merits - I mean, they managed to make Danny DeVito a good singer for the film. Without Autotune.
  • The Great Mouse Detective is truly one of Disney's underrated classics. While Disney in the '80s was known for being outdone by Bluth(bar The Little Mermaid), it didn't mean the Disney movies were bad either. And The Great Mouse Detective combines a great hero and villain(voiced by Vincent Price!) with an exciting story. The characters are all endearing such as Olivia and Dawson. While the songs aren't as numerous as a full-fledged Disney musical, they are still quite memorable such as "The World's Greatest Criminal Mind".
  • Jungledyret Hugo is a great, wonderful and beautiful piece of Danish animation. For the first two movies, the animation is of Don Bluth quality, the music is kick ass, the songs are both awesome and beautiful, the actors are great and they really puts their all into it, the plot is simple but good and it can be dark, gritty and intense but still keeps its optimism, the heroes are lovable and the villains can be scary, and the romantic relationship between the two main characters actually feels real and sincere for once. A must for any animation fan. And for the TV-series and the third movie; while the animation is cheaper and the plot is not as that mature, they too have their own charms that make them good to watch in their own rights.
  • Likewise, The Nutcracker Prince also deserves to be this as it was one of the most well done adaptions of the ETA Hoffman story that was ever seen. It's also one of the most underrated films ever from the 1990s.

Film - Live Action[edit | hide]

  • Barry Lyndon: An underrated Stanley Kubrick masterpiece telling the tale of a wandering rogue finding many adventures in war and gambling into nobility. Much lush visuals like a picaresque painting and a charming story too.
  • Black Dynamite: When describing it to other people who haven't seen it, this troper calls it "the funniest movie you've never seen." It only played in theaters for two weeks and grossed just short of $300,000 on a $2.6 million budget.
  • The Element of Crime: Lars von Trier's debut movie, a dark, Deliberately Monochrome, psychological crime thriller which simultaneously Homages and deconstructs Film Noir, set in the post-apocalyptic Crapsack World of post-World War II, destroyed beyond recognition Germany, with elements of Dieselpunk and Mind Screw, shot in a style that is essentially German Expressionism turned up to eleven. The result is darker than Blade Runner. One of the most neglected films of The Eighties.
  • The dark satire Man Bites Dog definitely Needs More Love, but it's easy to see why it didn't catch on. A mockumentary about a Serial Killer and the violent crimes he commits? And it's funny? It simply must be seen to be believed.
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service is possibly the best Bond film that no one knows about. It's also the closest adaptation of the bunch, sticking to Ian Fleming's novel from the explosive beginning, to the absolutely heartwrenching ending. It's just as much a Shakespearean tragedy as it is an action film. Just watch it; Lazenby is actually pretty good as Bond.
  • The Fall. I can't even fathom how the director pulled this movie off with no CGI whatsoever. Just about any scene in the film could be framed and put in an art museum. It's that beautiful. Then you take into account that shooting took four years, over 20 countries, and the film becomes a miracle.
  • My Favorite Year is a brilliant comedy that Needs More Love. Peter O'Toole plays a drunken former Swashbuckler movie star who absolutely destroys a young admirer's heroic illusions (and yet - somehow - also manages to justify them) and it's funny every single viewing.
  • Not so much for a show as for a character, the DVD commentary for the S1 finale of Robin Hood has most of the cast talking about how sorry they feel for Guy of Gisborne. After a few minutes of this, Jonas Armstrong speaks up in defence of Robin: "Why does everyone feel sorry for Gisborne? He's a murderer! What about poor Robin?!"
  • A Nicholas Cage thriller, Next is a story with a unique idea: what if there was a man who could see two minutes into the future? And what if the only way he can see further is if it involves his destined love? Toss in a nuclear bomb, FBI agents convinced Cage can save America, and a pretty cool ending, and you have an entertaining story about the power of choice.
  • The Way of the Gun, it has a great cast and a in a lots of ways is a modern Western, but many people often think that is a Tarantino Rip-off.
  • North by Northwest. Plenty of people know Psycho and The Birds, but since NbN wasn't so much a horror/suspense/thriller as an action/adventure/spy parody/comedy/suspense amalgam (put together seamlessly, I might add), and since most people aren't willing to hunt it down, it ends up quite neglected, except by film aficionados, and film students.
  • Fluke is probably the most underrated dog movie of all time. It follows the story of a dog named Fluke who is actually a reincarnation of a human who died in a car accident. When he starts to remember, he decides to go look for his family. It might sound silly, but it's filled with so much Tear Jerker it's not even funny.
  • M. Night Shyamalan's Wide Awake is even more overshadowed than Unbreakable by The Sixth Sense. It had the same kind of heart The Sixth Sense has, Robert Loggia's performance was outstanding, and at the same time it had its little moments like the protagonist's friend faking a huge sneeze to skip class. It had all the depth and heart that The Sixth Sense had, yet it was a Box Office Bomb
  • Demon Hunter is a halfway decent supernatural action flick, but no one knows it exists.
  • The Princess and the Goblin, which had a pretty good story and got terrible reviews and flopped at the box office. The characters were very well designed and the main protagonists were adorable.
  • Dracula: Dead and Loving It, which I've recently heard is impossible to find anywhere. It's a hilarious spoof that shouldn't be forgotten!
  • The films of James Gunn. Though often a critically well-received writer and director, his films always seem to end up falling through the cracks or get screwed by the studio with no advertising or because his films aren't very mainstream.
Examples include:
Of course, now that he's gone on to direct the Guardians of the Galaxy films he's getting more appreciation.
  • The Return of Hanuman is quite different from other Indian films. The movie is also one of the few movies which doesn't revolve around a Hindu god (in this case, Hanuman) in the past, but also in the (Bollywood-esque?) present (and even makes the gods depicted as hilarious). It's also a fine quality 2 dimensional Indian animated movie (though with a bit of Conspicuous CG), which is pretty hard to find nowadays since most present Indian animated films are either 3D or a half-and-half mix of 2D and 3D . The movie overall is hilarious if you actually get it, with some heartwarming and awesome moments.
  • Milos Forman's adaption of Dangerous Liaisons, Valmont, came out one year after Stephen Frears' and fell through with the audience. Both are excellent films, but the latter's darker approach, like the portrayal of the main characters as complete monsters, had shaped the perception of the story so far that the former seemed tame and naive in comparison. Despite of being a completely legitimate interpretation of de Laclos' novel.
  • Reign of Fire. Come on, Christian Bale fights dragon alongside his best buddy, Leonidas of Sparta. The movie's only fault was that it was half an hour too short.
  • David Mamet's The Spanish Prisoner. It's a little slow for the first twenty minutes or so, but once things start to happen it pulls you right in and will keep you guessing at what's really happening up until the end!
  • Resurrecting The Champ, a boxing drama based on a true story about the relationship between a sportswriter trying to get promoted and his story, a homeless man who may have been a championship boxer many years earlier. Actually has a good performance from Josh Hartnett.
  • The Rocketeer. Everybody thinks all superhero movies are either The Dark Knight or Batman and Robin in terms of quality. Well, The Rocketeer has the right balance between seriousness and good-natured fun, and was mostly alone in that until the Marvel Cinematic Universe rediscovered the mix.
  • Subject Two is a small, sci-horror movie about a Mad Scientist's new assistant being repeatedly killed and brought back to life in a remote cabin in the mountains.
  • Timothy Dalton's portrayal of James Bond in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill. He gets ragged on too often, but he was just what the Bond franchise needed after 12 years of Roger Moore: tough, hard-edged, not too comical, all the things Daniel Craig is getting praised for.
  • The Salton Sea is a Tarantino-esque crime film that really showed off Val Kilmer as an actor. It's not talked about very much and is a bit divisive in it's reception, but it's a dark and very well made film.
  • Another Val Kilmer flick, called Spartan. Labeled by many as the 'thinking man's thriller', it's both a moody and incredibly atmospheric film. Lot's of Spy Speak and Mamet Dialogue, and some really memorable moments.
  • Narc is a gritty crime film that was done on a modest budget. Some have said it's like a darker version of Training Day. The film has some amazing acting and a powerful ending.
  • Fish Story is a Japanese film composed of vignettes beginning with the world waiting for an apocalyptic comet to strike, and then going back in time to some college guys out on a group date, a doomsday cult that's 13 years too early, a ship hijacking, and finally back to the recording of a song we've heard several times thus far, and how it saves the world. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, and enjoyable to watch the pieces come together, it's available for instant viewing on Netflix.
  • C.R.A.Z.Y. is a 2005 French-Canadian film that takes place from the 1960's-1980's. It's about Zac, a gay man who denies his sexuality his entire life because of his strict father and devout Catholic mother who believes him to be a miracle child due to being born on Christmas day. A whole lot Better Than It Sounds, it has strong characterizations, great dialogue, incredible music, and amazing cinematography. Plus the actor who plays Zac is pure Mr. Fanservice and always seems to be in his underwear.
  • De Laatste Zomer (The Last Summer) is a very under the radar low-budget film about four teenagers spending their last summer together. The acting and writing is of a really high quality, and even parts or aspects that should feel predictable somehow don't.
  • Gummo is a very divisive film due to it's weirdness and disturbing nature, but it's managed to build up a cult following. It could be seen as a case of style over substance, but it's a highly original film and has some very memorable scenes.
  • The Assassination of Richard Nixon is a clever and fair look at how a person can be broken down and driven to violence. The main character (who is based off a real person) is one of the greatest losers ever in a film, and even at the end of the film it's hard not to empathize with him. Great acting from Sean Penn as well.
  • Ben X is a very believable and emotional look into autism and what a struggle it would be to live with on a daily basis. It also covers themes such as bullying and escapism, and makes an interesting statement towards the end.
  • The 2007 Australian film Noise has been seen by few, but it's a fantastic crime film with a great atmosphere and interesting characters.
  • Suicide Club might seem like little more than Gorn, but it also has some great black humor and a unique atmosphere. It's plot is rather confusing (and it's sort of successor didn't help much), but if you can handle the violence then there's an interesting experience to be had.
  • The Messenger is a war drama that shows the lives of two soldiers as the do Casualty Notification service. Because of this there's not really any combat, nor does it contain a strong political message. Instead it's more of a character study, and it has some brilliantly acted and heartbreaking moments.
  • The 1995 Safe is about a housewife who developers multiple chemical sensitivity disorder and must seek treatment. It's an interesting look at mental illness, how it's treated in society and functioning in different sorts of social settings.
  • Whilst it is a film that will be too raw for some people, Nil By Mouth deserves to be seen by a few more people. It's one of the most believable/realistic in it's portrayal of domestic abuse and London street life.
  • Strange Days is a fantastic cyberpunk film that failed to find an audience when it was released. It successfully blends elements of drama, romance, action and science-fiction. The POV-cam SQUID scenes are all very well made and immersive, and despite the occasional corniness it provides a darker look into humanity. Ralph Fiennes does a great job acting as the sleazy Lenny Nero, and it also has a great soundtrack that fits perfectly with most of the scenes.
  • Clean, Shaven provides a realistic and objective look into schizophrenia by showing us the abstract images and sounds the protagonist is experiencing. This makes it quite a Mind Screw, and it's not a particularly uplifting experience either. But for the right tastes it's a perfect film.
  • Castaway on the Moon is a very under the radar Korean film about a suicidal man turned castaway and his communication with a Hikikomori. It's an unusual premise, but it's much better than it sounds and despite appearances has little in common with Cast Away. Even though the story can seem a bit absurd it's a very touching and enjoyable film.
  • Breakdown is a thriller with Kurt Russell playing the lead, and it manages to be both intense and believable throughout.
  • The Seventh Continent is one of Michael Haneke's lesser known films, but it's also one of his best. There are lots of shots of the main family doing mundane activities to emphasize the emptiness and loneliness that they are going through. It's never melodramatic nor does it milk the audience for emotions, and their suicides at the end is incredibly tragic and powerful.
  • The Class (2007) is an Estonian film about extreme bullying and the very real effects it can have.
  • Gasper Noe's Enter The Void is a uniquely visceral and ground breaking film. It's quite disturbing to watch (as expected from Gasper) due to all its strange and sexual imagery. But from its POV scenes to the protagonists out-of-body experiences it's a film like no other. Enter The Void was Gasper Noe's dream film, but unfortunately it did very poorly financially.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • How to Train Your Dragon is a quite under-rated series. It manages to keep the story light-hearted and serious at the same time, and has a unique plot, at least in the later books.
    • Of course, since that entry was written, the film adaptations have come out, raising the books' profile considerably.
  • The book Truancy displays a war between a totalitarian city where the educational system acts as a bully to students (from deliberately making students late to locking bathrooms) and a resistance that tries to overthrow the schools. Sadly, nary a copy can be found in bookstores.
  • Anything Jasper Fforde has written, in particular the Thursday Next series. Anyone with a love of stories and books should read them, but few people have ever heard of them.
  • Douglas Coupland doesn't get enough love. His books are incredible and full of little insights about life that we all feel. He's just really good at explaining them succinctly.
  • Katharine Kerr's Polar City books - there's two of them, Polar City Blues and Polar City Nightmare. Difficult to find in bookstores, and Kerr apparently doesn't even have her own page here—just the Deverry page. Humanity is a tiny republic trapped between two alien powers who hate each other, and the possible appearance of a new species in human territory has the potential to start a war. Interesting setting and genuinely likeable characters, particularly the first book.
  • The Dragaera books. An excellent, inventive, long-running fantasy series, and almost the only people I know who've read them are the ones I introduced it to.
  • The Lighthouse Trilogy, by Adrian Mc Kinty. It's three books that are more teen-oriented, but it's really just a well-written book. It's a shame it doesn't have it's own page here.
  • The book Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth Miller. It goes into the debate between evolution and creationism and talks about how one can find a happy medium in between them. For some reason, it's not getting the love that it should for some reason. I guess there are still people who refuse to think science and religion can coincide with one another.
  • Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist: The book more so than the movie. After the movie came out it faded into obscurity, and the book gets very little recognition. The book focuses more on characterizing the eponymous characters; both of which are funny, eccentric, and emotional, and connects them through their love of music. They're surrounded by an equally strong cast of supporting characters: Tal—Norah's Jerkass ex, Tris—Nick's Alpha Bitch-but-still-rather likable ex, Caroline—Norah's inebriated best friend, and Dev and Thom—Nick's gay and wildly funny band mates. It's like an indie movie in book form, and a nice break from a lot of the Girl-Meets-Vampire Boy books that crop up nowadays.
  • Eddie and The Gang With No Name: This is the most addicting book trilogy I've ever read! Colin Bateman made it funny, suspenseful, clever, and original to boot.
  • Really anything by Robin McKinley, but Sunshine is one of her best works.
  • At least in the U.S., Sara Douglass is underappreciated. Her six-book series The Wayfarer Redemption is one of the most human fantasies I've read in years. The main characters are trapped in a prophecy they want to escape, the villain is hell-bent on using said prophecy to forestall his own doom, and the hero has to be warrior, politician, and father in only the first two books. Faraday and Azhure are polar opposites in their role and their disposition, but somehow they both work their way into the heart of the man they love - if only he could choose between them. There really isn't any doubt about how the story will end, but the fact that Douglass has created her own world instead of modeling on someone else, and then taken her characters and made them human and worthwhile, has forever made me a fan.
  • Zilpha Keatley Snyder: Beautifully poetic writing (or plain Nightmare Fuel if you're talking Witches of Worm), prolific, but most folks only talk about The Egypt Game. She also made a big contribution to gaming. The game of Below the Root is better known than the books it's based on, but it was Genius Programming (a choice of the age, race, and gender of avatar with game stats and NPCs reacting accordingly... in 1984!) and possibly the first game ever to be considered a Canon sequel to something started in another media.
    • Seconded one thousand times over. Of the books that I will never loan or sell, The Unseen was the first on the list. And The Egypt Game is fifth or so.
  • In a similar vein to The Wayfarer Redemption—an Australian work that is underappreciated—I have to recommend The Castings Trilogy by Pamela Freeman. It is set in the world of the Eleven Domains - lands which were conquered by the people of the warlord Acton 1000 years ago, forcing the original inhabitants of the lands to wander as 'Travellers' (similar to gypsies), mistrusted and hated by the blond-haired Actons (similar to European conquerors) who now rule the lands. While the series is a fantasy, it doesn't rely on cliché conventions - no monsters, spellcasting battles or elaborate sword duels. Fantasy elements are incredibly subtle, making them feel much more real-world. The real draw in the story is the Grey and Gray Morality which prevents either the Actons or the Travellers from being straight-out heroes or villains - there are very few true villains in the story, with only a couple of Complete Monsters for contrast. The three protagonists -- Bramble, Ash, and Saker - are all sympathetic, compelling and likeable. In addition, the series has a powerful collection of 'stories' -- First-Person-POV tales which, in addition to deeply developing the supporting or minor character they focus on, also add a greater layer of depth to the world as a whole. It all comes together in the most subversive, unexpected sort of climax in the last book, which does not fail to deliver. Definitely a series which deserves greater attention, the critics who have reviewed it has given high praise for its originality, unconventional storytelling, world-building and deep characterisation - all while telling an old story in a new formula. READ IT!
  • The Clouded World, a series of books by Jay Amaro about a race of Badass angel-like evolved humans living on a series of massive cities built on pillars to keep them above the turbulent cloud cover that hides them from the Crapsack World below.
  • The Schwa Was Here is a delightfully offbeat young adult novel by Neal Shusterman. It's about a kid who's "functionally invisible" and his friends. The book gets relationships in teen social groups wonderfully right, and is often quite bittersweet, poignant, and mature, especially for something that's narrated in pure Buffy-Speak.
  • Keys to the Kingdom is largely unknown to adults, though it sells OK and is very well-written. I mean, it's very fresh and original, not like those Harry Potter rehashes that usually pass as kids' fantasy now.
  • Malice, Broken Sky, Storm Thief, and The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray, all by Chris Wooding. The man has a genius for crafting fascinating, wondrous, unique (hellish, nightmare-driven) worlds. His books are also damn near impossible to find (at least on my local shelves), despite usually winning fairly good critical acclaim. The plots vary, but usually follow the pattern of a boy and a girl getting mixed up in fantastic and highly life-threatening circumstances, and he seems fond of the ambiguous ending. Apart from that, the plots are very different, and are extremely well-written.
  • The Hamish X trilogy is a very deep and detailed story with very well-written characters, settings, and footnotes, and still manages to be hilarious the entire time. Come on, people, you're lying if you say you didn't like it.
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen tends to get overlooked thanks to her more famous work, but is arguably better than those novels.
  • Any book by L. M. Montgomery that isn't part of the Anne of Green Gables or Emily of New Moon series. She wrote over three hundred short stories, some of which she cribbed for her novels, but not all. As for the novels, mention Pat of Silver Bush, The Blue Castle, or A Tangled Web and see if anybody recognizes them. Jane of Lantern Hill might get recognized because of the execrable TV movie, but possibly not.
  • In the same vein, L. Frank Baum really did write books that weren't about Oz, even if most of them ended up being connected years later by having a character or two show up in Oz. How many people know that Trot and Cap'n Bill were in two of their own books before appearing in The Scarecrow of Oz?[1]
  • Peeps by Scott Westerfeld is a really cool novel that puts a different spin on vampirism—instead of being a fantastical condition, it's a parasite and people with the parasite, parasite-positives, are called "Peeps". It didn't make the bestseller list, but it's extremely inventive and informative, including factual data on parasites and an interesting main character.
  • The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill currently does not have a page on this wiki, but it is a very good work of realistic fiction that was well written enough that this troper thought that it was nonfiction for nearly nine years.
  • The Elemental Logic series by Laurie J. Marks. Well-written, character-driven fantasy with prominent LGBT themes and an egalitarian society that still has more than its share of troubles. Unfortunately kind of hard to find the first two books at this point.
  • The Hero.com and Villain.net series by Andy Briggs are an interesting Deconstruction of the superhero genre. The eponymous websites offer powers for download, but ultimately come at a high cost. While it's relatively easy to find them online, the Barnes and Noble website only has the first two of each series available and they don't seem to be favorites for libraries.
  • All of Nnedi Okorafor's books. She tends to avoid the Humans Are White trope and most of her books aren't even set in America.
  • The Fire Within series by Chris D'Lacey. Its an engaging and well written series,yet it seems relatively obscure for the most part.
  • The Gandalara Cycle is sci-fi/fantasy series from the 80's that's not only very well written and set in an intricate world but has an edge-of-your-seat plot right from the get-go which beautifully mixes action and adventure with drama and romance. Some of the more engaging elements include: a species of huge telepathic sentient warcats used as riding mounts for an elite warrior caste in a desert wasteland, well-justified Laser-Guided Amnesia regarding a stolen powerful gemstone, a search for a lost city, a racial collective-subconscious god-figure, epic swordplay, witty dialogue, and the most amazing Earth All Along twist ending ever. It spans over seven novels (or the alternate printing of two compilations and an 'epilogue') and was completed and published despite initial Author Existence Failure. But, in spite of all its impressiveness, it is very difficult to obtain the whole series without going through multiple book-sellers (and don't expect to find new copies at all).
  • The Three Worlds Cycle by Ian Irvine is fantasy at its greatest. It spans 11 books (2 quadrilogies and a trilogy) so far with another book or two still to come, and around 200 years of history, with a vast mythology and history backing everything up. It treats magic (or 'the Secret Art') with intelligence, giving it a pseudo-scientific background and drawbacks that stop it being the game-breaker it is in most high fantasy settings. The main characters are relatively believable, being generally normally skilled people out of their element (with a few legendary people playing more background roles), and the stories are gripping: the protagonists end up in seemingly hopeless situations that they only manage to escape by the skin of their teeth, and the cliffhangers, dear god the cliffhangers. The guy ends the last book of the second quadrilogy on a massive cliffhanger and basically says, 'whelp, better wait a couple of years for the next book to come out to find out what happens!' Go read them. They're long and imposing, but well worth the time.
  • Anything by Tamora Pierce. She's a brilliant writer and her works are epic, but virtually no one I know outside my immediate family knows about her.
  • The Dark Touch series by Amy Meredith. Teenage girl fighting demons and no sparkly vampires in sight.
  • Villains by Necessity is a great book that should have never been taken out of print. It deconstructs the fantasy genre, but not in a "here's why this sucks" way. If you can find a reasonably priced used copy of the novel, or if you can download it from a site that won't put your computer at risk, then it's well worth your time to read.
  • The Nancy Drew Files and The Hardy Boys Casefiles Spin-Off series are considered some of the better books in either franchise by fans of the characters. A Darker and Edgier teen series designed to try and keep hold of fans of the series as they grow up, they removed the previous rules on the main series, such as Never Say "Die", No Hugging, No Kissing and such, which had the side effect of giving the writers a little more freedom to write better stories. They had a very respectable run of about 12 years and around 120 books each (from roughly 1985 to 1997.) Sadly, nowadays they're mostly forgotten by people who only remember the blue and yellow hardback versions of the books.
  • Gene Wolfe. Full stop. Universally acknowledged as one of the great, if not greatest science-fiction and fantasy writers by members of the speculative fiction community, such as Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin,George R. R. Martin, Orson Scott Card, and Michael Swanwick... yet not many people read him. The Book of the New Sun, Book of the Long Sun, and Book of the Short Sun cycle is vastly underappreciated.
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Bronte, whose sister Charlotte deliberately sabotaged the novel's success. It was also awkwardly controvertial at the time, what with all the feminism and stuff.
  • Anything by Storm Constantine besides Wraeththu, which is often the only work of hers that both fans and non-fans are familiar with. This is not helped by the fact that her other books tend to be difficult to find.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Playmakers was a fantastic show surrounding the troubled lives of professional American Football athletes, and ESPN's first try at a scripted TV series. Think Mad Men but darker and about American Football. The show demonstrated great promise, with empathetic characters, great writing, and solid acting, and garnered positive reviews and ratings. The show rivals many HBO originals with it's production value and shameless graphic content. Sadly got Screwed by the Network after the NFL pressured ESPN to cancel it, and only 12 episodes were aired.
  • Wild World of Spike was a show from Spike, which featured three hosts giving their thoughts on web and TV clips. The hosts were a kickboxer, a skateboarder, and a comedian who was the Butt Monkey of the show. Sometimes, they would challenge each other to recreate the clips that they saw and that would range anywhere from lifting weights with your testicles, breaking through a brick wall, and getting tased. Cancelled after one season with 14 episodes and it seems the only way to find it is through either Zune or the Spike official site.
  • The Wire was only nominated for two Emmys, never won any big awards, was nearly cancelled a few times and never had a big audience. The critics and people who did watch it however are nearly unanimous in agreement that it's one of (if not the) greatest shows of all time.
    • YMMV. At one time, it definitely needed recognition, now it is far more likely to encourage Hype Backlash.
  • The Path to 9/11. Maybe it's a bit presumptive to put down a politically-charged work (for what it's worth, it's not particularly kind to either Clinton or Bush), but this five-hour miniseries is the definitive work on the subject; not even United 93 can compare. Give it a Youtube search, particularly if you've never heard of Ahmed Shah Massoud.
  • Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. It had very good stories, a near-excellent cast, and a nice take on the "never reveal your identity" trope set by Zordon—the Rangers reveal their identities because they're public servants. So why does it belong here? Bad ratings and, especially back then, how the fandom thought that it was cool to just bash the show for (mostly) the acting.
    • This season also has arguably the most Badass Ranger this side of Tommy Oliver himself: Carter Grayson. Linkara rightfully gushes over the sheer badassery that Carter demonstrates on more than one occasion, though detractors like to claim that the character is "bland". However, this troper can't disagree more with that fact.
  • Power Rangers RPM now qualifies as needing more love after a recent statement from Saban that the series had been "too dark and lacking in humor." Apparently, they missed out on all of the funny moments RPM provided the fans—and that's not counting either Ziggy Grover's antics or the healthy doses of Lampshade Hanging on things taken for granted on the series.
  • Transylvania Television needs a lot more attention. It's a great comedy series, it has its hits and misses, but if they expect to make it they need more viewers.
  • The Tenth Kingdom miniseries. Insanely excellent fairy-tale deconstruction, including the tale to end all tales: Real Life! Funny, touching, and awesome, with a slew of tropes all played straight, subverted, inverted, invoked, and justified.
  • Solstrom, a Cirque Du Soleil-mounted show that, in its thirteen episodes in 2003, managed to blend together a Variety Show (circus/novelty acts from within and without the company), an anthology series (acts are used to tell whimsical fantasy stories), a Sitcom (comic characters tying the stories together), a silent film (no dialogue—just narration to set up the premise and ease us into each story) and a Massive Multiplayer Crossover (characters and acts from all of the company's then-running shows incorporated into it). Not surprisingly, it didn't get much attention. In Canada, CBC didn't air the final four episodes; U.S. outlet Bravo ran the whole show but gave it a weak time slot and little promotion, possibly because it arrived just in time for the Network Decay of that channel. It didn't even find love from Cirque's fanbase! But its creativity, charm, humor, and warmth make it a curiously lovely Widget Series that's just crying for a cult following, and by far the cleverest take on the Variety Show since Kermit the Frog and company's heyday.
  • Los Simuladores, the original version. It was conceived as one of the greatest series of all time in it's country of origin (Argentina), not only for it's brilliant plot, but also because of the great screenplay it had. It was not exported to other countries (with Redubbing as they'd normally do); instead re-makes were made for Russia and other Spanish-speaking countries like Chile, Spain and Mexico; with the first case being the only one understandable, and the last one being exported to all Latin America.
    • And let's better not start about the Chilean one...
  • The Doctor Who audio plays by Big Finish. Monthly stories starring Doctors 5-8, with nearly every actor and actress from that time reprising their old roles. They bring every hated Doctor and companion out of the Scrappy heap, the acting and writing is consistently better than the original series, the scope is much larger due to the format and it has one of the greatest stories in Doctor Who's history. The Bernice Summerfield spinoff series is great in its own right. However, not many people, not even Doctor Who fans, listen to these.
  • Boom Town is your average crime drama taken Up to Eleven by focusing on a core cast of characters who each tell the story from their point of view. There are cops, a reporter, a paramedic, a senator, and the guest stars who all have the camera to themselves. It's remarkable because each episode has one or two events that are shown from multiple vantage points, and the writers shone developing each character individually so that their moment in the spotlight is different simply because they are different.
  • Carnivale was cancelled after two seasons. Now, one shouldn't get to obstinate towards HBO. After all, they kept The Wire on long enough for the series to end. That said, the fact that this show was cancelled was after two of the six planned seasons is a goddamn travesty. Packed with the beautifully grotesque, macabre imagery, unique characters and stories, and one of the best depictions of the 1930s you'll ever see, you owe it to yourself to watch this unfinished masterpiece.
    • Damn straight, us Rousties have got to get the word out
    • Don't forget the great acting, respectful portrayal of a dwarfism sufferer, and the fetus-in-a-glass-jar.
  • Miami Medical, a realistic, medically accurate drama with good characters played by good actors. It managed to avoid most inter-doctor romances, the need for happy endings and only left the hospital setting for brief hops, yet still developed the characters without hitting you in the face with tragic backstory. Yet it got crammed into a crappy timeslot, had little to no advertising and was cancelled before its original 13 episodes had finished airing. And no one watched it.
  • Blake's 7. Honestly, even people old enough to have seen it the first time around have never heard of it.
    • Let's elaborate a bit. It's a complex and detailed crapsack world with a realistic plot, where the good guys aren't nice and the nice guys often aren't good, and it's frequently hard to tell what's good anyway. Character interaction is everything, and the dialogue is a joy. It's dark and depressing and cynical, but its characters often come across as more sincere than the protagonists of the many "perfect future" shows around at the time. Despite a budget that would shame a student film, with poor SFX and lots of quarries, it earned itself a small, solid fanbase which is still going today, thirty years after it ended. At the time it was innovative, but while many people have heard of the shows it influenced—like Firefly, Farscape and Babylon 5 -- Blake's 7 remains obscure.
  • To see it discussed by fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Enterprise redefines So Bad It's Horrible and did nothing right, ever. But actually, it had a lot of interesting stories, inventive solutions to the problem of the week, and later on, hard, decisions having to be made in the moment. And the ratings were quite high throughout the first season, not just when it was shiny and new—it didn't fall off until it started having TNG-like stories in the early second season. (If you watched it in the first season and jumped ship around "A Night In Sickbay," skip to "Canamar" or thereabouts. It gets back on track.) It's a good show, just... not for the people whose idea of adventure is Picard discussing Shakespeare or the intricacies of Klingon politics.
  • Space Precinct was a cop show IN SPACE, you can tell from the name. You probably know no more about it than that. It was Screwed by the Network because it had the kind of alien makeup one expects of a kids' show but the material of a serious effort. Not knowing what to do with it, networks buried it. But if you can find it, and can handle a few People in Rubber Suits, give it a try.
  • NBC's The Sing-Off is a fun show about the best a cappella groups in the US gathering to compete. It doesn't really get mentioned a lot in terms of reality shows.
  • My Own Worst Enemy. A spy series involving split personalities running amok. Cancelled after 9 episodes, probably due to the fact that it was on extremely late.
  • Lost Girl is a great urban fantasy noir series that simply not enough people know about.
  • Babylon 5 is a show that seriously needs more love. Its incredible characters, writing and overarching plots are fairly well known in the sci-fi nerd community, but most people these days simply haven't heard of it, even with the rise of science fiction TV. While Star Trek and Stargate are household names, and even Firefly gained huge popularity as cult TV, Babylon 5 seems to have been left in the dust. It really needs more exposure, because it's the sort of sci-fi even those who don't like the genre can enjoy - character development and epic stories over fanservice and explosions.
  • Justice doesn't even have a page on TV Tropes and it was canceled after one season, but it is one of the most involving court dramas in a long time. The defense firm the series had as protagonists was filled to the brim with Magnificent Bastards that would make Billy Flynn proud, everyone always had an agenda (except, perhaps, the accused), and it was never sure until the very last scene whether the accused had actually commited the crime in question.
  • Smith should have had a longer run...it was cancelled after a very brief run. It followed the exploits of some high-tech thieves.
  • My So-Called Life is a fascinating Slice of Life high school show. All the characters are complex yet distinctive and sympathetic yet not always in the right.
  • In 2006, The Class began its one season run. It was hilarious and had a great cast including Andrea Anders, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sam Harris (playing the perfect Camp Straight), and a witty and underappreciated actress named Lizzy Caplan. It was criticized for having no minorities in the main cast, which may have contributed to its death. But it was simply the second best one season show ever.
  • Veronica Mars really should have got the ratings it deserved. And the DVDs really should be easier to find in the UK.
  • Bored to Death is the most down-to-earth wacky show ever made. Its characters have great chemistry, its plots are brilliant in their simplicity, the characters develop without straying too far from their base personalities, and it has its fair share of Genius Bonuses. Anyone who loves high literature and a bit of lowbrow humor is sure to enjoy.
  • Key West. The best example of Magic Realism to ever hit a television screen. Incredibly well-written scripts acted out by actors who really seemed to believe in what they were doing (especially Jennifer Tilly and Brian Thompson), a cheerful outlook, beautiful settings all made for a show that almost no one disliked. Unfortunately, FOX played fast and loose with its scheduling, constantly pre-empted it for sporting events, put almost nothing into its advertising budget, and as a result the show was never able to build an audience.
  • Call the Midwife is a very popular BBC series about a group of 1950s midwives.
  • The 1991 remake of Land of the Lost. While many fans of the original Land of the Lost complain that the remake is inferior, other fans believe that the show was good in its own right. As of this writing, it has yet to see a release on DVD.
  • So NoTORIous was a Life Embellished sitcom created by Tori Spelling that aired on VH-1 in 2006. Critics, who typically use Tori as their favorite punching bag, frequently praised the series, saying that the show was quite a bit Better Than It Sounds, both due to it being very well put together in terms of production, and because Spelling was more than willing to make fun of herself. Adding in some supporting performances from the likes of Loni Anderson and Zachary Quinto, and its short 10-episode run is definitely worth a few hours of your time.

Music[edit | hide]

  • This entire section; dozens of bands who are popular and obscure don't even have a page.
  • The Acro-Brats are an excellent punk band that most know from their song "Day Late Dollar Short," which is in Rock Band. They're quite talented and deserve a listen. Just look them up on Youtube.
  • Antoine Gratton is a Canadian singer who is purely exceptional. Check out the album Le Problème Avec Antoine for proof.
  • Scholars! Catchy, power pop-rock, and somehow not signed.
  • The Street & Babe Shadow
  • Dragon Land.
  • The Canadian electro-pop singer Lights. Between seeing other electropop females (like Lady Gaga and Ke$ha) and other Canadian pop acts (Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé) becoming hugely popular, it's puzzling as to why Lights isn't a huge pop star by now...
  • Mika, at least in the US. He's quite popular in England, but not so much in America. Ironically, "Love Today" has been used in many American ads and TV shows, so you'd think he'd be more popular.
  • LittleHorse, self-proclaimed as "America's Only Double Piano Rock Band". Their songs are about adventure, detectives, explaining to your frozen buddy exactly why you sold him out to the dude with the breathing problem, and getting home to your wife. All while sending an Ear Worm into your head.
  • Tally Hall. Dear LORD, their new album is looking to be (yet again) a pop masterpiece. They independently released a phenomenal debut and recorded the follow-up with major producer Tony Hoffer, only to suffer from Development Hell in accordance with Atlantic Records, who held onto the record for a while and then decided to junk it. These guys should be huge, but they're back to being signed to an obscure indie label and playing small venues across the US.
  • Peter Schilling: He's best known for "Major Tom (Coming Home)," but he released ten albums and the rest of his work is just as haunting and awesome.
  • The Scissor Sisters version of 'Comfortably Numb'. A lot of people will simply hate the song because it is a cover of a Pink Floyd song.
  • Spirit, who were one of the most talented, unique and and versatile bands of The Sixties. Now usually the only context they're brought up in is that Led Zeppelin ripped off their song "Taurus", and that their guitarist's name was Randy California.
  • This Mega Man X song, and its remix. Crowning Music of Awesome that few ever remember.
  • Critics praised Rachel Stevens' second album "Come and Get It", yet its sales were lackluster. Even a couple of years later, a BBC review begged for people to please not let it become a forgotten classic.
  • King's-X
  • Dead Prez
  • Suzuka. No, not the european emo band, this Suzuka is an obscure Japanese IDM musician who reverse-engineered tech-house, much like the early '90s-era Warp releases did to techno and club music. The result is a blend of sometimes melancholy, sometimes sweet, but always beautiful music.
  • Connor Long, better known as Khonnor. A former Child Prodigy with released works dating back to when he was 15, his style features roots from IDM, glitch, and shoegaze, among others, done under a multitude of nicknames. His stuff as Grandma especially falls under this, if only for the songs "Mexico" and "Religion." He has the unique ability to dispel all negative emotions. Just don't go near his work as Jimmy Buffer.
  • As said on her page, Lisa Germano spent so much time label-hopping that it's no wonder she never found a mass audience.
  • Arguably almost every R&B/Soul singer that's not hip-pop oriented. Especially the ones that are high caliber singers. Just to name a few (and there is a lot).
    • Conya Doss
    • Amel Larrieux
    • Leela James
    • Les Nubians
    • Raheem DeVaughn
    • Jaguar Wright
  • Not many people know about わたしのココ. Even fewer know that they were once known as Kesson Shoujo. It's a shame, too; while markedly different from their present work (barring perhaps "Lala Sings" and what would later be reworked intoわたしのココ's self-titled debut), their earlier work was more ambient- and soundtrack-influenced. It's also infinitely less depressing.
  • Google "Top X Guitarists of all time"—make X as large as you want. And then note how few (if any) of them include Ernie Isley.
  • Utah Saints deserves way more recognition... in America. These guys chart in the UK every single time they put out a single, and I have no clue why this isn't also true on the other side of the Atlantic.
  • The Russian band Otto Dix. [dead link] Creepy, but amazing.
  • Enter the Haggis. Amazing talent, amazing energy. Funny name. Catch them live if you get a chance.
  • Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal are two of the most maligned genres in music history. Thankfully, metal has earned belated respect, as critics finally realized it's not just sludgy dumbass noise. Progressive rock, however, is still Deader Than Disco, generally considered the province of pompous Brits with too much money and too many egos. But for every example of Spinal Tap excess, you have great bands like King Crimson and Van der Graaf Generator. John Lydon, by the way, is a VDGG fan. Still think prog is unhip?
  • Jeremy Messersmith.
  • Rissi Palmer.
  • The english Vocaloids. They have some nice voices, if you care to listen to them.
  • Kitchens of Distinction are one of the lesser known Dream Pop/Shoegazing bands. They were highly active and wrote 4 critically acclaimed albums, including one of them that may be a Rock Opera. They weren't just Overshadowed by Awesome by My Bloody Valentine, but every other Shoegazing band at the time they were around. They are pretty awesome.
  • My Vitriol gained some minor popularity back in the early 2000s but quickly disappeared after they refused to release a second album. The second wave of Shoegazing bands owe a lot to these guys, as they are used as the focal point of where the second wave officially started. People tend to forget they exist due to their sudden decision to hide from the spotlight. They gave the genre a new modern flair. Whoever said My Bloody Valentine were the only Shoegazing band to spark an entire movement?
  • Red House Painters are one of the most consistently acclaimed artists of The Nineties. With slow, drawn out songs with lovely instrumentation, it's a wonder why they didn't get a wide audience.
  • JFA (Jodie Foster's Army). Extremely talented and fun pioneers of the Skate Punk subgenre of Hardcore Punk. Started in the '80s, still performing, still awesome, still horrifically underrated.
  • Brooke Fraser, she has a beautiful voice and her songs are wonderful. Take for example Shadowfeet, the lyrics are so optimist that it may give sweet dreams.
  • Blind Melon. Especially their second album, Soup. It was given some harsh reviews because of the darker and unique sound that changed a lot from their first album. The death of Shannon Hoon soon after kept the band from being able to tour and support it keeping the album from being a hit like it deserved or at least a Cult Classic.
  • Machinae Supremacy has a loyal underground following and positive critical reception to their studio albums.... but that's about it. They can't seem to gain any real significant fanbase and their record company, while supportive of their music, doesn't want to take a lot of risks with them. Because of this, they've never toured outside of Europe and only recently[when?] started touring outside northern Europe.
  • That Handsome Devil has a unique blend of different genres that has garnered a small supportive fanbase, but still, probably not big enough to call a cult following which is sad considering they should have their name more well known since they've had music featured in Guitar Hero and Rock Band.
  • Faylan, a relatively new name in the J Pop business. She has a very lovely voice and great range to accompany her mostly electro-rock-ish songs.
  • Tom Russell may very well be one of the most underrated folk musicians in recent history. His album The Man From God Knows Where may very well be a staple in American folk of the 1990s, but you'd never know it because he's been incredibly unlucky with popularity. The Man From God Knows Where is an epic, 74-minute-long collection of songs, telling the tale of Russell's family tree. Almost every track is in some way a Tear Jerker. Here's a sample.
  • Pale Saints were horrifically mismanaged by 4AD in the early to mid-90s, resulting in their awesome Shoegazing to go almost completely ignored by even fans of the subgenre. Their music is ungodly catchy.
  • Bruce Hornsby might've gotten a Grammy or two, and a few really big hits, but he doesn't seem to be known for more than those songs. Looking through his discography stretching out over 20 years with too many different artists to count, with clever, indulgive lyrics, amazing piano-playing, and over nine albums with interesting mixes of genres and instrumentalizations, he Needs More Love for sure.
  • By the standards of Idol Singers with connections to the Disney Channel (although she doesn't record on a Disney-owned label), Emily Osment may count. Since 2009, when she first started seriously pursuing a singing career, she's released a mini-LP, a full length CD and a number of songs for soundtracks, all of which have had relatively modest success compared to, say, the Hollywood Records-signed Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez or the Jonas Brothers. Her songs are insanely catchy and well-written, in many different styles, and she has a unique way of presenting her songs in music videos. Her full-length CD, the techno-dance-flavored Fight Or Flight, was produced by Nellee Hooper and features songs co-written by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains Of Wayne. Osment is a very talented live performer with a low-key, but exciting live show. She also plays guitar, co-writes most of her music and has a very good singing voice. Many music fans and journalists not normally interested in Teen Pop have enjoyed her music, she does have a following, but has yet to really catch on in the mainstream. Unfortunately, perhaps because she's signed to an Alternative Rock music label (Wind-Up Records, which signed Evanescence) not known for promoting pop acts, and she has no Disney shows to cross-promote as of 2012, she winds up under the radar.
  • Pet Shop Boys, a 'European Disco' duo, are huge in Europe, specifically England, but have almost zero following in America, outside of gay dance clubs. They are the highest-selling duo in history. "Opportunities" was the opening song for Beauty and the Geek. Their range of music is almost staggering and they've been around since 1981.
  • Blake Lewis, of American Idol fame, is an excellent techno artist. Lyrically catchy and rhythmically talented, his music is instantly enjoyable. Yet, no one knows of either of his CDs. No real explanation for this.
  • This Castlevania song, "Praying Hands", from Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge despite being Awesome Music in its own right, receives little or no attention from fans and Konami. In fact, most of the soundtrack for the game may qualify as songs that need more love.
  • Arthur Brown. While simply known for his 1968 hit "Fire", he was much more than that, delivering delightfully trippy psychedelic music throughout the early 1970s, not to mention being an early pioneer in Shock Rock.
  • Sparklehorse really deserve more popularity than they get.
  • He Is Legend, a southern/stoner metal ensemble.
  • While she's an iconic figure in her native UK, Kate Bush is relatively obscure in the U.S. Which is a shame, as she's one of the most unique and innovative singer-songwriters of all time.
  • There is more good obscure classical music than anyone could hope to listen to in a lifetime. Here are recs of obscure pieces by famous composers, recs of obscure pieces organized by classical genre, recs of obscure chamber music, and recs of truly obscure composers to get you started.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Gamma World was a fantastic RPG that focused more on fun rather than Byzantine rules, and was often used to test things that would later go into Dungeons & Dragons. Yet it was poorly presented and got little advertising, looking a lot worse than other games at the time. And Wizards of the Coast brought it back in December 2010.
  • Tribe 8 is often-overlooked next to its publisher's mecha games Jovian Chronicles and Heavy Gear.
  • A third forgotten post-apocalyptic RPG would be The Morrow Project. More realistic (mostly) than Gamma World and Tribe 8, it was set around the concept of a well-equipped force put into coldsleep before World War III, to be awakened after the war to re-establish order. Unfortunately the timers on their hibernation equipment went off several centuries late. The Morrow Project seemed doomed to be a forgotten relic of the 1980s (during which it got three editions), but a fourth edition was Kickstarted and released in 2014.
  • Deep7 games: They created "beer and pretzel" systems designed so you could roll up a game and complete it in an hour. They have a High Fantasy setting (Arrowflight) that reminds me of a less Grimdark version of Dragon Age, and they even did a Red Dwarf role-playing game with a riotously funny sourcebook! It's too bad they folded when one of the designers passed away from cancer.
    • It would seem that they are back in business, because their website (worth a look) is still willing to sell product.
    • Traveller: Has an extraordinarily crafted Backstory in which you can just bathe. Tons and tons of separate cultures, a history that goes for thousands of years. A sophisticated political, economic and social system, and the potential for stories from fabulous epics to minor one-offs. And D&D is the only RPG most people have heard of.
  • Alternity. Has some bottlenecks in mechanics, but has its advantages too. As well as elements that were innovative (in a good way) at the time and still look good now. A remake (Alternity 2017) was announced.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Bungie's Marathon. What did this game bring into video games, specifically first-person shooters? Let's start with vertical aiming, Multiplayer objectives other than just kill everybody, single player objectives other than just kill everything, computer-controlled allies, idle animations for enemies, the ability to swim, dual wield, "Jump," use an in-game Radar and map, and use an alternate fire for some weapons; enemy chatter, humerous in-game dialogue, asymettrical character models, different models for players with different guns (In DOOM, all players appeared to have a gun that wasn't in the game regardless of what weapon they were actually using), vacuum areas, an Oxygen Bar, and not to mention it has an incredibly in-depth plot and was the inspiration for Halo. Despite all of this, people still acclaim Halo for setting the guidelines for First-person shooters, mainly for its regenerating health.
  • Act of War : Direct Action and its expansion pack High Treason were particularly great RTS games, not just in an extensive campaign, faction diversity, audio and visuals (they still look and sound good by today's standards, and well scaled), but in the fact it was very realistic in terms of gameplay, with units being incapacitated and requiring of repairs or healing before coming back into the fight, also aircraft units come from off the map, terrain and vegetation affects units sight and urban combat interaction feels like you are looking a real S.W.A.T. operation. Unfortunately Ao W was released by the same time as Command & Conquer Generals and didn't have too much appretiation from reviews, which said there was no particular innovation for the genre (a rather dull argument considering RTS gamers usually don't appretiate changes to classic gameplay) or simply diminished it, these videos show a bit of the game.
  • Battlezone 1998, a RTS-FPS mix featuring a compelling storyline, great graphics and overall high production values was largely overlooked by consumers when it game out in the late 90's even though it was awarded high scores by critics.
  • Okami, probably one of the best games ever. I mean, you play as a Big Badass Wolf god vanquishing demons, with many bosses and an incredibly long storyline, all in a lush, unique art style. It has even won several awards and is critically acclaimed. Really, anyone with a wii or PlayStation 2 should have one. It just didn't sell, and God knows why.
    • Such a thing is also true for its sequel, Okamiden. While it may not be as good as its predecessor, it's still bloody amazing but sold even LESS than Okami.
      • However, with the introduction of Amaterasu in Marvel vs Capcom 3, and several Let's Plays, more people are getting exposed to both games.
  • Metro 2033 is a Ukrainian Survival Horror First-Person Shooter set in Moscow After the End. It's bleak, fun, frighteneing, intense, challenging, and always goes at a good pace. Unfortunately, it was doomed by a double case of Fan Dumb and being Overshadowed by Awesome, being released in March 2010, while Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas were still on everyone's minds. And its own fandom didn't help either; they were expecting a open-world roaming type game more in line with the STALKER series. The result was that it got mixed critical reception, with big-name reviewers such as IGN giving it a thorough bashing and calling it a Fallout wannabe, while Gameinformer loved it. Unfortunately, most pro critics leaned more to IGN's side.
    • The core gameplay, story, setting, and characters are all very well done. Unfortunately, it wasn't what anybody was prepared to deal with. It's not a Russian transplant of Resident Evil Survival Horror, but it's not a Modern Warfare style run and gun FPS either.
    • Don't forget the book it was based on either.
  • Singularity is an oft-forgotten FPS dealign with time travel and alternative histories. Vastly underrated and never promoted much. A really fun way to blow at least 6 hours.
  • God Hand. Silly, Nintendo Hard, and full of fourth wall breaking fun and shout outs to other games. Also insanely awesome with a very well thought out combo system that allows for fluid movement, allowing Gene to essentially be the

Fist of the North Star. The music is beyond awesome, aswell, even the fight with the Mad Midget Five has incredible music.

  • First Encounter Assault Recon, also called FEAR. The original is a very scary, tactically-challenging FPS which features an alluring mystery plot and intense combat against the supernatural melded with Next Sunday A.D. technology. With a surprisingly good plot and rave reviews, the games just never took off.
  • The PSP game Kingdom of Paradise (alternate names: Key of Heaven (EU) and Tenchi no Mon (JAP)) is a fantastic, thorough, highly-rated RPG heavily influenced by the Ssu Ling (Four Symbols, or gods of Chinese mythology). It features gorgeous graphics, well-developed characters, good music, and a wholly gripping storyline complete with dynamic twists and turns. It most certainly qualifies for this trope, not even being popular enough to have a trope page (This Troper hopes to remedy that soon) or any semblance of fandom whatsoever.
  • Beyond Good and Evil, a Sci Fi war epic that plays a bit like Zelda, mixed with a lot of tactical stealth, journalism and action-packed racing. Is known for its extremely lovable and round characters, as well as an interesting storyline, simply yet challenging gameplay and amazing soundtrack. Oh, and being so overlooked it's absolutely painful.
  • Psychonauts—Just like the above, this innovative platformer is being horribly overlooked. (The two games are often seen associated with each other due to this.) It has a humouristic style, Tim Burton-esque art and involves a ten-year-old circus performer learning to be a psychic secret agent while battling a Depraved Dentist and a guy who a Napoleon complex by going inside the minds of crazy people (one of whom has Napoleon Delusion, not to be confused with the other guy).
  • Sonic Pinball Party is a must-have if you have a Game Boy Advance/Nintendo DS and any nostalgia for Sonic Team's Saturn and Dreamcast games, with tables based on NiGHTS Into Dreams and Samba De Amigo featuring tracks from Burning Rangers, Phantasy Star Online and Chu Chu Rocket.
    • And speaking of underrated Sonic Team games... NiGHTS Into Dreams and its sequel (moreso the original, though Your Mileage May Vary) are games often looked over because of their colourful graphics and "weird" protagonist. Give them a go—the original is an incredible time attack, point scoring racing game with an open-ended story, and the sequel has gorgeous music (including remixes of the original's already amazing tunes) and even got me teary at points. Just because it looks "kiddy" doesn't mean it is!
  • Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends. Let me see you have a four way battle involving death spheres, giant tanks, huge dragons, and one very massive cannon, on your games.
  • The Last Blade. Goddamn, The Last Blade. One Two of the best nineties 2D fighters ever released, both brushed aside because 3D was the hot new thing at the time. While I'm at it, Real Bout Fatal Fury 2.
    • While Garou: Mark of the Wolves does have quite a cult following among fighting game buffs,[2] it still gets nowhere as much recognition as the likes of Street Fighter III: Third Strike.
      • No, it should be admitted that even besides Garou needs more love indeed, it has its' own cult following, which goes against the definition of this trope (see the regulations above). After all, look how many years passed after its release and it wasn't forgotten by its fans (in a lesser quantity than SFIII has, but still strong enough to be a modern Cult Classic)!
      • Considering that Garou is considered to be SNK's Magnum Opus by the entire fighting game community, perhaps it has move love than we've been crediting it with.
    • And that's really just denting the surface; SNK has unfairly overlooked gems by the dozen, to the extent of having games overlooked among amateurs of overlooked gems. How many of you have ever heard of Savage Reign or catched a glimpse of Fatal Fury 3?[3]
    • In a similar vein, we've all heard about Last Resort the stage, but almost nobody played Last Resort the game. King of the Monsters goes there also.
  • I personally just love the Russian gaming press's statement that "no, Russians can't make good first-person shooters" (Ukrainians don't count). But they never ever say they actually were doing good FPSses that time. Take Maddox Games's early 90s shooters, and you'll get the catch. Specifically Z.A.R., made in 1997. In a nutshell, it's an open-air mission-based first-person shooter, with, however, pretty wild dynamics. Wilder than it's supposed to be for a Nostalgic Science Fiction One-Man Army Crapsack Other Planet FPS. Two more features I haven't spotted in any other game of this genre so far: no-border levels, in fashion of Wraparound Background and even Color Coded for Your Convenience weapons, depending on the location you're currently in!
  • Evil Islands: Curse Of The Lost Soul: It would really benefit from a New Game+, but it's still an entertaining RPG.
  • Jeanne D'Arc. Joan of Arc as a Magical Girl fighting demons, with a good plot.
    • Seconded, although in its defense it got great reviews. Still, virtually nobody played it or even heard about it because it looks like your standard FF-fill-in-the-blank turn-based handheld RPG—until you actually play it.
  • We all know Hideo Kojima and Metal Gear Solid, which may go down in history as one of the best series of all time. But, what about his other games that are not about bipedal nuclear tanks and cardboard boxes? Policenauts, Snatcher, Zone of the Enders, Boktai... every last one of the aforementioned games are—despite their inherent flaws—incredibly worthy games in their own right. It really makes one wonder just what Kojima could come up with if only he were given some time off from Metal Gear...
  • The Battalion Wars games deserve more love than they get. It has TPS qualities,yet there are some great RTS elements to them to. What could go wrong with games with great level designs, excellent online multiplayer,and The Theme Park Version of both World-Wars with some Cold War elements? Yet the first was a sleeper hit,and the second was passed over.
  • Sky Gunner, a game akin to something like a Steampunk-styled Ace Combat. It has a charming presentation, and an incredibly deep control system to boot. Unfortunately, it's particularly unknown, even for an Atlus game.
  • Cryostasis. Seriously, it's one of the few pieces of fiction that made a huge philosophical impact on me, and I hardly ever meet anyone who knows about it. The gameplay and storytelling are slow, the game runs slowly even on high-end computers, the voiceacting is everything from horrible to amazing. And the story is, well, confusing to say at least. But the game is layered with symbolism, the plot is deep, thoughtful, and heavily ambigious, the athmosphere heavy and the gameplay innovative. And if you wait out the ending credits, you get one of the best quotations ever seen in a video game.
  • Klonoa is in serious need of love. While a nice fanbase exists, many other games would overlook this game due to its "kiddy" aura. Doesn't help that the way the Wii remake was marketed enforces that fallacy. The storyline is in fact quite mature with much Tear Jerking within while being absolutely splendid, and the gameplay is simple yet can be quite challenging to make some very awesome boss battles. You'll also find that the soundtracks for the games contain many of the best songs that you'll ever find.
  • Evil Twin: Cyprien's Chronicles: A challenging Platformer with a dark, surrealistic art style and a great musical score. It wasn't even released in America.
  • Plok was an SNES platformer from 1993 that's... er, really good. The soundtrack has this sunny, jazzy atmosphere that sounds too good to be coming out of an SNES, the graphics are cartoonishly psychedelic and very unique, and the gameplay is varied and challenging. Oh, and it did Rayman's shtick two years before Rayman came out. Just play it on an emulator that has save states.
  • Baten Kaitos Origins. Pretty much the epitome of Doing It for the Art, with an utterly insane amount of attention paid to detail. To give an example, every one of the cards used in-game has a description about 4-5 full lines long—all 655 of them. It certainly helps add to the Scenery Porn and Crowning Music of Awesome too. Just about the only thing this game didn't have was good marketing.
    • Hey, don't forget Eternal Wings! It may not be quite as polished as its prequel, but it's still just as much fun to play.
  • Elebits, a game where you shoot Pikmin-like creatures to generate electricity. Somehow, it's incredibly awesome.
  • The Time Splitters games are funny, fast paced first-shooters with tons of characters that range from monkeys, robots, zombies,robot monkeys, and zombie monkeys, tons of guns, awesome music, and level editors. The fact that so many people are unfamiliar with such a Crazy Awesome series baffles this troper.
  • Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. As the title implies, it's a musical RPG. It also happens to take place in the Disgaea-universe, although it doesn't deal with it at all. There's also a refreshing bit of optimism and sweetness that is sadly all-too uncommon in RPGs these days.
  • Phantasy Star: It had a fully fleshed-out plot years before Final Fantasy II for the Famicom came out, it was one of the first RPGs to feature a female protagonist, it took place in a science-fiction setting (which is rare for RPGs, even today) and it came to the United States a full year before Dragon Warrior. The rest of the series also deserves mention, as they are all great RPGs, comparable to the Final Fantasies of the era.
  • The Unholy War can only be described as a great fighting game, and in This Troper 's opinion one of the best. You've plenty characters to choose from, an strategy mode to make the game more interesting, and it's awesome to play against a friend. Not only that, but it was a full 3D game, with free movement, in 1998! (something weird back then). Even with all that, the game was poorly received , and very few people know about it.
  • F-Zero. One of the best racing series ever, and yet there has been no game since 2004, and even then that game was only released in Japan. Captain Falcon is not happy.
  • A Witch's Tale is about a young witch-in-training who wants to become the greatest witch in time and space. She releases a Sealed Evil in a Can and must go on a quest to defeat it along with her vampire sidekick, rescuing six princesses along the way. A very excellent game, full of comedic moments and Tear Jerkers alike.
  • Gearheads: A very obscure Lighter and Softer version of Archon. Two players with a collection of wind-up toys must send as many of those toys to the other side of the screen as possible. Each toy works differently: one serves as a tank to block other toys, a toy chicken hatches windup chicks, and yet another "scares" toys, flipping them around and basically converting them over to your side. There's 12 toys, but players can only use 3 types per game. Making things more challenging is that toys that are too slow eventually slow down and stop moving. This game is so obscure that the only the Mac version can be found online. You can download it here.
  • The PlayStation 2 game Homura is this in spades. And that despite having some unique gameplay features and an awesome soundtrack and it does'nt even have a Wiki or TV-tropes page.
  • The Gargoyle's Quest franchise, particularly Demon's Crest. They were sleeper hits, but nowadays they're almost always overshadowed by the Ghosts N Goblins games, with Red Arremers back to being noncontrollable Demonic Spiders. Ol' Red popped up in SVC Chaos, but SNK missed a chance to give these games a Shout-Out by naming him "Firebrand".
    • He's appearing in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (and he's named Firebrand), and also the first game of the series is now a downloadable title for the Nintendo 3DS, so maybe that will spark some interest in the series.
  • You think it was Heroes Of Annihilated Empires (from the creators of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., by the way) who started the RTS+RPG trend? Yes?! Then you fail. Hanjuku Hero a.k.a. Hanjuku Eiyuu for the NES is an extremly rare Ur Example of a top-down real time strategy game which also successfully combines Role-Playing Game elements (if early Final Fantasy graphics may count as an RPG element as well, heeh), castle capturing elements and Rule of Funny in one blender. Sadly, nobody outside Japan even knows it.
  • Rosenkreuzstilette. It's a Doujin Game inspired by several classic games (most notably Mega Man), where you play as a church maiden who has to stop a misguided rebellion led by her own friends and their supervisor. It's got excellent music provided by several Japanese bands, and the visuals simply look stunning. Sadly, it never gets the attention it deserves, and for a couple reasons. Its wiki seems to be in a state of turmoil, the fanbase is Broken Base since the Eastern fans think there are no true Western fans, and that those who are are merely "pretending" (case in point, one of the most prominent fans in the Western base is accused even by the developers themselves as being a complete asshole to the game, even despite his reform), and even worse, its TV Tropes page rarely updates anymore, especially with the delays that the sequel is getting. If there's any series that Needs More Love, it's this one.
  • The Clock Tower series, is a survival horror series where you must solve various puzzles while avoiding a stalker who is searching for you. The games are well liked by the few who have played them (aside from the third game, Ghost Head, which is disliked by most).
  • Senko no Ronde, a Fighting Game-meets-Shoot'Em Up by G.rev that unfortunately received harsh criticism by critics often citing It's Short, So It Sucks and the lack of "worthwhile" content during it's initial release in North America and Europe, yet this is a game manages to blend two genres that many wouldn't think would be even possible and pulls it off in spades. The game has a lot of things going for it that many people in the West never saw: A unique fighting game unlike any other before it, character art-style and a storyline influenced by Keiko Takemiya's Toward the Terra, a diverse cast of eight characters with two different Cartridge types that technically brings a total of sixteen playable characters, a soundtrack composed by a former ZUNATA member, and a solid online play that was nothing like fighting against the computer... or at least it used to until players stopped playing any online matches in general, making it more depressing and harder to find anyone willing to play online matches.
  • Perfect Dark is the spiritual successor to Goldeneye. Anything Goldeneye did, Perfect Dark did just as well, and occasionally did it better. The game also introduced new multiplayer modes, new weapons, and a few new mechanics. Despite the improvements and good reviews, however, the game didn't sell well. It's slowly starting to gain recognition after it's remake on the Xbox 360 and it's sequel, but it seems that Perfect Dark is forever trapped in the shadow of it's predecessor.
  • The Haunted Mansion video game, based on the famous Disney Theme Parks ride. Released the same year as the ill-fated film (though it had nothing to do with it outside its source material), the game was a gem lost under the wave of games. With some solid gameplay, great puzzles, Mythology Gag filled areas, and some Nightmare Fuel added in, it's worth picking up if you have a system it works on.
  • The Tetris the Grand Master series. If you've mastered playing the Game Boy or NES iterations at level 19, or think newer Tetris games are too easy while older ones are too clunky, give this a shot. Most people only know it as "those crazy Japanese Tetris games with the invisible Tetris part", but if you have the curiosity to think of TGM as more than that, and the dedication to explore the seemingly-simple series' depths, the TGM series has some of the best Falling Blocks games you will play, period.
  • Robotopia for the PC. Shareware game, but, among many sharewares, this one is obscure. Extremely obscure. Basically, you control a battle bot who can do a lot of various stuff, starting with switching between walk and infinite jetpack modes (that automatically means you can fly everywhere) to causing a complete mayhem with Z-Sabre. The location is somewhat O-Ban-ish or even Firebugs-ish (you decide) with same ancient looking exotic paysages with several bits of techno and loads of weird vegetation, but, ironically enough, that's one of the coolest features in the game. Among other ones: four minigames, somewhat deep customization of your robot, crowdy multiplayer and ironically good and catchy DnB soundtrack.
    • It has its' own problems, though... With first having only 8 missions to play (you'll need to find a version qith Free Roam mode available after that, if you're a big muchkin) and with the remaining being Good Bad Bugs and related.
  • Grabbed By the Ghoulies comes from the same team that made Banjo-Kazooie. The team put just as much effort into it as the Banjo titles, and did a brilliant job of creating a game accessible to all ages with its incredibly simple (yet very fun/effective) control scheme, and tucked in excellent parodies of nearly every aspect of the horror genre known to humankind. It also features a boatload of Easter Eggs relating to the Banjo games. Yet, it has been thorougly passed by because it's exclusively on the Xbox, rather than a Nintendo console.
    • Actually that's only part of the Hate Dumb. A lot of the Hate Dumb comes from professional reviewers who mistook it for an attempt at being scary when it was actually a parody.
  • Aquaria is an indie game made by BitBlot about a Fish Girl with amnesia who simply wants to discover who she is, where she is, and what happened to everyone in all of these ruined civilizations you run across. Along the way, you gain Shapeshifting Powers, get to ride giant turtles and seahorses, enjoy a massive amount of Scenery Porn and Awesome Music, and kill gods.
  • Rocket Jockey is a 1996 PC game about rocket bikes. With grappling cables. That can join anything together, if needed. Using these vehicles, you can compete in one of three events: the self-explanatory Rocket Race, slinging balls/pucks into any goal in sight in Rocket Ball, and This Troper's favorite-Rocket War, which involves inflicting as much Video Game Cruelty Potential as possible on every other person in sight using the grappling cables and even the occasional bomb! All this to the tune of a surf guitar soundtrack courtesy of Dick Dale. So Cool Its Awesome, and yet practically no one has heard of it... but the ones who do will never forget it.
  • The Precursors is an obscure Space Sim which actually allows you to land on planets and run around them doing missions on foot. You have a lot of freedom, both the "Space Sim" and "Ground" gameplay are excellent, the annoying bugs and inconvenient mechanics of the developers' previous games have been fixed and this is really the only game of it's kind.
  • Sakura Taisen finally gets an American release more than a decade after the first game was released, and if anyone outside of the internet cares, they're doing a good job hiding themselves. On the bright side, I did see one copy at a used game store, so at least someone's buying it.
  • Herzog. No, not this Herzog. Just count how many people know Zwei and how many know its' prequel. Considering the original is AS awesome as the sequel, despite different gameplay and storyline. And, what makes it even more undeservedly overlooked... it has the 2-player mode too!
  • ZanZarah is an old (2002) PC fantasy adventure game of German origin that plays like it's Pokémon if it were a first-person shooter—which isn't a bad thing. While not much can be said for the plot, the gameplay is a different twist on a familiar model, the music is beyond beautiful, and the (numerous) non-human character designs are all interesting and original. And did I mention that ZanZarah's Mons are laser-shooting fairies?
  • Daytona USA 2 is a victim of First Installment Wins. It doesn't have music as awesome as the original's, but the tracks (particularly in the non-Power Edition version) are really nice, and (in my opinion) it's easier and more balanced than the original.
  • Little King's Story seems really underrated. It has fun Pikmin-style gameplay, bright and colorful graphics and a very catchy Public Domain Soundtrack.
  • Everyday Shooter is probably one of the best top down shooters ever. Unlike other games, it doesn't complicate things with a plot or advanced physics engine. Instead, it just has some solid gameplay, an excellent soundtrack, and a heaping glob of catharsis.
  • The entire The Tale of Alltynex trilogy is very fit for this list especially since of those few who have played them consider them (espesially Kamui) to be the best games of the genre the PC has to offer.
  • Donkey Kong Land 2 and III. These are two games that sadly, didn't get as much attention their Super NES counterparts got. Donkey Kong Land 2 is a Game Boy port of Donkey Kong Country 2, with changes to the game from DKC2. A lot of the game has changed to fit to accommodate the Game Boy's limitations. (though Misblamed on Rare) Even for an 8-bit system, the second game's underrated, yet awesome music by Grant Kirkhope is still as awesome as its Super NES counterpart, even if the sound system was limited. Donkey Kong Land III is a different game that's based on DKC3. The entire game is different (with a couple bosses missing; it still somehow keeps the trend of awesome music for an 8-bit system. This time it's Eveline Fischer composing). It also includes a time attack mode as a reward for completely beating the game. The only complaint (to some) is that the game may be too short for some people. It also received a Video Game Remake for the Game Boy Colour in 2000 that never left Japan.
  • Hell, how many cool ZX Spectrum games, including homebrews get little attention?! You'd never thought that Sturgeon's Law now would apply not only for crud but for overlooked things! ...on one ocassion, I even think it would grow into a separate category. One day.
  • The entire MOTHER series. If it weren't for the Super Smash series, very, very few people outside Japan would know who the hell is Ness, let alone Lucas on Brawl (of course, those who loved the SNES would remember Ness, but for Lucas... well, sadly, No Export for You). The entire series (of, sadly, just three games) have tender moments, and it could funny and serious, and excellent stories, coupled with really good RPG elementes, beautiful music (Pollyanna, anyone?) and just overall superb games. Its hilarious, its heartbreaking, its amazing. Slowly, its gaining a fandom, in part for the Super Smash series, in part for the fan translation of MOTHER 3.
    • The Cezar is, naturally, a misspelling of The Caesar, also the title of a PC game which was released long ago in 1992... and then got loosely ported by Vyacheslav Slobodchikov of the Action group in 1999. Despite it may only get harder and harder on later levels because of the insufficient funds that keeps stalking you, it's still fun to mess with, especially if you have, again, such awesome music. Observe.
    • Another Action's creation, Super Bomberman 2. It has very little to do with its' SNES counterpart, but kill me if it's not actually so playable... Oh, and it also has co-op mode available. See for yourself.
  • Rival Schools is a fighting game series that manages to have a plot that isn't paper thin yet not overly complex, has arguably Capcom's most varied character designs since Darkstalkers and an accessible fighting engine that still contains a deep metagame for skilled players. Despite this, Capcom has hardly given it a chance to succeed (the original was released during the initial wave of 3D fighters and ended up being overlooked; and the second was released only on the Dreamcast after the console was announced it would be discontinued) and series toils in obscurity along with the company's other fighter franchises, even during the current fighting game renaissance.
  • Folklore. It's not the most polished game, and it does have its issues, but it's a lovely little action-RPG with a unique art style, a cool game mechanic (one of the few games to use the Sixaxis controller right) and engaging story. It was just one of those games that slipped under the cracks and wasn't good enough to be a cult classic like Psychonauts.
  • Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins Of The Moon is a wondrous game. The atmosphere does a wonderful job of making you feel isolated, the music is gorgeous (especially the two themes by Aoi Teshima), and the story is a great well of Crowning Moments of Heartwarming and Tear Jerkers. The Memory Items only add to the depressing yet touching nature of the game, with a few sets even seeming worthy of being short stories in and of themselves. Mix all that in with The Power of Friendship done right, an apocalypse that doesn't rely on being so brown and gray all the time, and you have a prime example of how video games can be art.
  • Steambot Chronicles for the PlayStation 2 may not be on the same level as Mass Effect or Fable, but it makes up for it's lack of diverse story branches with a great music, a simple sandbox set up, and a cast of quirky characters that seemed to have stepped right out of a Miyazaki-Ghibli feature film.
  • Wild 9 was a great game for the PS 1, that played rather similar to Earthworm Jim. Had great graphics, and a funny gameplay. Almost nobody knows about it.
  • Gex. The first game is often cited to be one of the best games on the 3DO, enough to warrant a Playstation port and two sequels. The first game, a side-scrolling 2D platformer with pre-rendered sprites, was about a gecko named Gex who was Trapped in TV Land by an evil (alien?) overlord named Rez who wanted to make Gex the new mascot. It was an excellent, addictive game that was Nintendo Hard but not unfair, with hilarious one-liners from Gex, voiced by Dana Gould. The sequel, Gex: Enter The Gecko for the Playstation and Nintendo64, featured Gex being bribed by a Government Agency of Fiction to go back into the Media Dimension to make Rez 'dissappear'. The game had a Super Mario 64 style 'pointless item collecting' vibe. While it wasn't exactly as good as it's predecessor, it was still an enjoyable experience (despite occasional bouts of Camera Screw). Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko featured Agent Xtra, a fellow secret agent, being kidnapped by Rez to get to Gex. Gex rescues Xtra with the help of his butler, Alfred the Turtle, his cousin, Meaningful Name Cuz the Platipus, and Rex the Dinosaur. The gameplay is simalar to the last game, except with the other characters, bonus stages, and a Debug Room. Unfortunately, Eidos apparently was too busy milking Lara Croft to continue with the series, despite many believing that it would make the leap to the Sixth Generation of Consoles.
  • Humongous Entertainment is now an obscure company that made many charming games for children back in The Nineties. They had point-and-click Adventure Games like Freddi Fish, Putt-Putt, Pajama Sam, and Spy Fox. They also had the Cash Cow Franchise which has sadly overshadowed the aforementioned games, Backyard Sports. Even so, all of them have faded into obscurity, but they seem to be slowly gaining popularity back.
    • There's also MoonBase Commander, which was obscure to the point that it was responsible for killing Humongous. It was a unique strategy game that was easy to pick up and play, and was very addictive. It actually won IGN's "Best Game No-One Played of 2002" award, and is considered a great game that deserves a lot more attention.
  • Ape Escape 2 assesses many flaws of the first game; and places you in nonlinear levels similar to the first game.
  • Wild ARMs already gets some love, but these games are dripping with too much awesome to not be at the same level as Final Fantasy. Chocobos? We don't need no stinkin' Chocobos! Park yourself on the shoulder of a giant robot and go slogging around the world and through the oceans! Airship? More like TRANSFORMING DRAGON-PLANE!! Seriously, the game combines many of the best elements of Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda with a dash of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for good measure. And the scores of Michiko Naruke in the older games and the music in the newer ones are to die for! It's still being imported, but it could be doing so much more, especially in America.
  • Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure, one of EA's unappreciated masterpieces. A critical darling but commercial flop, it combines hack and slash combat, Tetris Attack and the closest a professionally-made game will ever come to Platform Hell. It's got a charming, original presentation, memorable characters, incredibly smooth gameplay, you transform into a Steampunk Mecha by DRINKING TEA, and it's one of the hardest games for the DS not made by Atlus. Oh, and it was developed by the same guys who make Madden.
  • Legend of Dragoon is a Final Fantasy VII-esque game that came out two years after the aforementioned game and was published by Sony itself. The game featured the usual JRPG turn based combat, but occasionally you could turn into a Dragoon, a Dragon Knight, for a few turns and unlease your true power. Possibly the reason it's been underrated and somewhat unknown (YMMV) is because of its similarities to FFVII and the subsequent sequels.
  • The Whispered World could use more love. It's a cute 2D quest/adventure game with memorable characters (sorrowful clown, nigh invincible caterpillar and a cowardly secret agent, just to name a few), surprisingly noob-friendly but challenging puzzles and artwork so beautiful you could hang each frame on the wall.
  • Bug!. A fun and comical platformer featuring a bug who has to travel six different worlds to save his family from an evil spider, it was also one of the first 3D platformers. Gameplay was fun- your character had a regular Goomba Stomp, but gained powerups too, while each set of levels had unique and different types of insectoid enemies. The bosses were quite entertaining- whether it be fending off a swamp worm, defeating a yeti, or playing fish tennis with an octopus. Level designs were great- there were many paths for the player to take in each level, including multiple secret paths. Despite all these lovely aspects, it's unfortunately become more of a Love It or Hate It these days.
  • Gubble is an extremely obscure yet fun puzzle maze game in the style of Pac-Man, except that more strategy is involved as the player needs to use different tools to extract the different objects throughout the level. With pseudo-3D graphics, good and entertaining gameplay, quirky characters and enemies as well as some of the best music never heard, it's a pity that hardly anybody knows about this gem of a game.
    • The sequel was so obscure that GameSpot thought the series was cancelled. Yes, really.
  • Krypton Egg is an excellent breakout clone with a cool powerup mechanic.
  • Tornado Outbreak, a surprisingly well-done clone of Katamari Damacy made by former Sucker Punch and Naughty Dog members that focuses on flinging things away instead of attaching them, with a nice co-op mode, an actual plot and unique powerups. See here.
  • While Touhou has a huge fandom, attention towards the predecessor PC-98 games seems to be small. While the graphics may not be as advanced, and an emulator is required to run them on a modern computer, they are extremely good. The music is just as good as the music from the newer games, the characters just as frilly and interesting, and the gameplay is actually a bit easier than the Windows games—perfect if you're looking to get into Touhou but suck at Bullet Hell.
  • Star Soldier is a odd case. You've probably heard of it, but have you ever played it? Shame, because it's an excellent shooter.
  • The Kirby series is well known and already popular, but one game in the series that was vastly ignored (mostly due to F-Zero and Mario Kart: Double Dash) was Kirby Air Ride. With unique controls, interesting gameplay, and the adventurous City Trial mode, this game could have been more innovative had people not been so harsh on it.
  • Abuse, a PC side scrolling platformer from the early '90s. Had a great atmosphere, mutants that closely resembled Alien, and was incredibly fun!
  • The Guardian Legend. A hybrid shooter for the NES which pretty much embodied Nintendo Hard. Desperately in need of a next generation reboot!
  • PoPoLoCrois is a Japanese RPG series for the Playstation which was almost released over here, but wasn't. No fan translations exist, but if you understand Japanese, check it out. Even if you don't, an English version was released on the PSP which combined the plots of the first and third game. Apparently it's vastly inferior to the originals, but still fun. Two anime series were also created, both of which have been subbed by some awesome guy named Wyrdwad.
  • Shantae. It's a Metroidvania-style game for the Game Boy Color, unfortunately released roughly at the end of the portable's life. It's got enough love that it's seen a sequel, but still...
  • Toy Soldiers by Signal Studios. Despite being a wonderful take on the Tower Defense genre and the best selling Xbox Live Arcade game of 2010, I haven't seen it on any best games list, and it didn't even have a page on This Very Wiki until yesterday, when I made it.
  • Noitu Love, especially the sequel. It is a brilliantly fun game, a 2d side-scrolling beat-'em-up with great boss battles, a sense of humour, and a whole pile of fun. The definitely needs as much love as it can get, as the creator, Joakim 'Konjak' Sandberg is in dire monetary straits, and had a kind of crisis of confidence. Check out his website: he's also released a game called Chalk which is fun on a bun, and there's a whole bunch of unfinished and/or abandoned projects that show he has real game-making chops.
  • The Escape Velocity series by Mac-based shareware developers Ambrosia are great. They're basically Elite from a 2D, top-down perspective. Become a trader, a pirate, hero of United Earth, fly off into the unknown to meet new alien races, whatever. The first two, Escape Velocity and Override were originally only released on pre-X version of Mac OS, but the newest, Escape Velocity Nova, was released for Mac OS X and Windows, and total conversions of Nova to the previous two are available.
  • Joking aside, Viewtiful Joe was a gorgeous side-scrolling beat-em-up videogame that was designed by the creators of the Devil May Cry series. Most of the action focused on 'VFX Powers': Slow, Mach Speed, and Zoom. The game might be Nintendo Hard, but damn if it isn't worth it. Also, it's possible to play as Dante, and when you encounter your sword, Alastor, he chews you out for leaving him behind in the first DMC.
  • Opoona, dubbed a "Lifestyle RPG", was largely ignored by the gaming community (despite favorable reviews) due to it looking like an rpg for kids, being hard to classify into a simple genre, and for being able to be played with just the nunchuck for some reason (it's way better to use the classic controller). The game, worldwide, sold about 75000 units. But the game had a fun new battle system based on trying to arc your attacks to hit the most enemies, large assortment of mini-games in the form of regular jobs, a story with some interesting plot twists, a monumental amount of people who change what they say often, and a world so fully realized that towns had waste treatment facilities and each region had a selection of television shows, as well as entire museums full of art with different artistic periods. Add onto that an amazing soundtrack produced by Hitoshi Sakimoto. The sheer amount of work gone into making this title makes it a case study in world exploration. Deserves as much love as EarthBound.
  • Space Siege, a Sci-fi version of Dungeon Siege.
  • The Reconstruction has incredibly detailed wordbuilding, interesting characters and plot, and an inspired take on the Eastern RPG formula that makes it an incredibly fun and interesting game. Unfortunately, despite being nominated as a featured game on RMN, it has low publicity even by RPG Maker game standards, barely seeming to have caused a blip on the radar. Craze says it best:

"I have a question, citizens of [this site]: Where are the comments for this fantastic game?"

    • Surprisingly, its prequel, I Miss the Sunrise, is actually getting significantly more publicity, though it's still pretty obscure. With any luck, by the time it's finished, it will have at least risen to Cult Classic levels.
  • Noctis is a galaxy generator exploration game yet look at how little is on its page.
  • Robopon wasn't the most fast game ever, but it and its sequel did a good job of distinguishing itself from Pokemon as well as having an interesting, quirky story.
  • Metal Walker, an Action RPG for the Game Boy Color that deconstructs an empty overworld and actually has citizens helping you out!
  • The Ys series. With a decent sized fanbase in Japan, but a minuscule one in the rest of the world, it's a great series with great characters, and pretty fun gameplay. The PSP remakes and Ys Seven from the same system are definitely worth your time if you're an RPG fan.
  • Little Samson and Joy Mech Fight, games for the NES/Famicom. Little Samson is an hardware-pushing Mega Man clone with four distinct playable characters you switch between on the fly; and Joy Mech Fight is a Fighting Game for an 8-bit system, and a well-designed one at that (as opposed to, say Kart Fighter), where all the characters have Raymanian Limbs. It also allows you to Mega Man entire playable characters. They were largely ignored due to both releasing after the SNES had already hit the market, and in Joy Mech Fight's case, being Famicom-exclusive.
  • The Meteos series. It got a quick burst of popularity for being an early-release DS game and sunk quickly into obscurity afterwards, despite being the game that allowed Q? Entertainment to be taken seriously as a game company. It takes the Falling Blocks and Match Three Game concepts for puzzle games and turns it on its head: Instead of them disappearing, they launch upwards, sending every block above them upwards too, which is how you actually clear the field. Also unique to puzzle games is a large set of playable characters (actually civilizations, but they function as characters) who have their own traits, such as field size, color composition and frequency, how quickly the blocks move, and so forth, requiring different strategies. It doesn't look bright for the Meteos series, however, as Q? Entertainment seems to prefer its little brother Lumines and has struck it big with Child of Eden.
  • Monkey Hero AND HOW! It was an action RPG released in 1999 for the playastation.Although the game was pretty much a Zelda clone it was actually pretty good. It had a strong sense of atmosphere , good graphics and a kick ass soundtrack to boot! In the game you play as a monkey named monkey and travel a wide spacious world exploring dungeons and defeating bosses to collect all of the magic storybook pages to defeat the nightmare king. You even get to use a wide inventory of unique items and weaponry. The game is sadly virtually unknown .
  • Solatorobo. A little game released at the end of the DS life cycle. Ten years in development, seven spent on World Building, and it shows. The story is well-written and engaging (and, at points, surprisingly deep), the characters are likeable and funny, and it's got absolutely epic music and gorgeous graphics, even for such a tiny screen. It does seem moderately popular in Japan (the 100 commercials to break a Guinness record may have something to do with it), but Americans have hardly heard of it and those that have can't seem to get past the fact that the main character is a dog-guy. Tail Concerto, which it is a Spiritual Sequel to, could also use more love.
  • Rayman Origins is one of the greatest platformers ever made, but tragically did poorly sales wise.
  • Star Fox 2, never released and only available as patch for Star Fox 1, features 3D high-speed dogfighting...in 16-bit. And it is glorious.
  • Black for the Playstation 2 might be a bit of tech demo game and quite short, but it's also a load of fun to play. Lot's of explosions, gun porn and destructible environments makes for some memorable moments.
  • Nie R is a flawed game that seemed to created a strong divide between critics, and at first glance could be mistaken as just a Zelda clone. But it has an interesting mix of varied gameplay mechanics and an equally beautiful and heartbreaking story. And it has one of the most memorable New Game plus modes due to the different perspective it provides on some of the events in the game.
  • Darkwatch is an arcadey fps set in a Wild West/Horror/Steam Punk universe, and at times feels a bit similar to Painkiller. Even though it's repetitive at times it's still a lot of fun throughout.
  • Might and Magic:Dark Messiah is a very immersive action-RPG that eventually gained itself a bit of a cult following. It has some cool spells and environmental kills, and the few cutscenes that there are very interesting. Despite numerous glitches and some dodgy level design it's really a great experience overall.
  • The Deep Cave is a challenging side-scrolling platformer on Xbox Live Indie. It has an incredible 8-bit soundtrack and for is unmissable at the price of one dollar.
  • Sam & Max Season 1 and 2 is a fantastic entry into the adventure genre. The puzzles generally tend to work on absurd logic, but the hints in the dialogue and small level sizes never makes them frustrating. The writing is incredible witty and has all sorts of pop culture references and dark humor.
  • Alpha Protocol doesn't have quite as polished gameplay as one might hope, but it's still a great sucessor to Deus Ex and Vampires: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. There's an unbelievable level of freedom when it comes to making choices that effect the character and plot development, and the writing is top notch also.
  • Granstream Saga, a game that seamlessly blends fighting and JRPG style. Yes, that's right, the combat mechanics are a fighting game, but with leveling up, equipping armor and three different types of weapons, magic spells, and a truly unique story, complete with gorgeous anime cutscenes and excellent voice acting. Flaws: blocky graphics, especially on faces, and having to compete with FFVII.
  • The Bouncer was a beat-em-up with solid RPG elements, an all-star voice cast, including nearly the entire main cast of Cowboy Bebop and graphics that, especially at the time, made you weep. Storyline was fun and the characters instantly likable and memorable. Flaws: frustrating at times and short, but with increasingly difficult replay value and multiple endings.
  • Asura's Wrath' definitely needs more Love then it gets. Only selling barely over 200,000 copies, and getting mixed, yet mostly positive reviews from critics, it might be short, and the DLC ending fiasco surrounding it, plus having Capcom's name on it. It is, in spite of this, probably one of the most Original and unique games of this current console gen, and is a testament that japanese developers really can still be creative and think outside the box. Developed by Cyber Connect 2 (.hack, Solatorobo, and the Naruto Ultimate Storm games, amongst others), it probably is the Crown jewel of the Company, with one of the best story lines this troper has ever seen, has rather basic, if well done gameplay, and is basically the closest thing to an Interactive Anime. Any fans of really japanese games and Anime/Manga in general should get this game if they can, and despite being DLC, Part IV Nirvana is probably one of the best endings to a game ever. It's really worth getting the game if you like the above.
  • Last Scenario, a game that was made in RPG Maker, yet rivals or exceeds any iteration of Final Fantasy in the quality of its writing and gameplay. The plot is deliberately initially set up as a Cliché Storm, but everything is eventually subverted Tales (series)-style. It has well-written Character Development, interesting plot twists and awesome pacing and reveals. Sadly, many people are put off by the simple, mediocre art, lame beginning and stock tiles and music.
  • Fancy Pants Adventures is an underrated Platformer with simplistically slick graphics and tight game-play combining Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog while still being original and never monotonous. Platformer fans have to give this game a try.
  • The Chaos Rings series, especially Chaos Rings II. A gem of an Eastern RPG with great characters, fun gameplay, and an engrossing plot by the same studio that made the cult classic Wild ARMs series. Sadly, they are for IOS devices, which has not yet gotten a reputation as a "serious" gaming platform. As a result, hardly anyone has played them.
  • Neotokyo. You'll be surprised in how detailed this Half-Life 2 mod is. It is based on multiplayer with focus on teamwork as there is no damage direction indicator. Every engagement is always fast and fatal. Couple this with commercial-quality maps and in-game models and you get one of the most hailed upcoming mod in it's time. Too bad to developers seems to abandon it and not much of it's player base are left. This troper suggest those who's looking for serious tactical FPS to give it a try.

Visual Novel[edit | hide]

  • G Senjou no Maou is somewhat obscure, but it's an excellent visual novel filled with political intrigue and racked with rather realistic issues such as Yakuza, bankruptcy, blackmail and manipulation. It's also a rather easy visual novel to get into, making it a good Gateway Series.
  • Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is probably one of the most down to earth, thought provoking mystery-adventure games ever seen, and it's DS only gem that should be discovered and cherished by anyone with a shred of love for noir films, a good mystery, or simply need a break from Mario and Pokémon.
  • Katawa Shoujo is a game that give the hero imperfect, humanly-flawed love interests. The storylines are deceptively simple at first, but later the personalities and character quirks come in and throw in massive twists. It's an Eroge, but the sex is relatively unimportant and always feel sweet and steamy versus pornographic. And it's free.
  • Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors is a fantastic visual novel/point and click puzzle game on the DS by Chunsoft and Aksys games that virtually no one has heard of. Rich, deep, intense, trope-heavy plot with multiple twists and six endings, distinctive characters ALL with Hidden Depths and colorful personalities, clever and fair puzzles, a stunning soundtrack, and the greatest writing I have ever seen in a video game, ever. The writing is the best part—the dialogue is loaded with Fridge Brilliance, Foreshadowing and quirky humor, and much of it takes on a whole new meaning after you get a different ending, several different times. To say nothing of the interesting Titanic history, scientific elements and mathematical puzzles. Unfortunately it never sold outside the US or Japan, and despite being well-loved, has poor representation in stores.
  • If you like Eroge you certainly know the infamous Bible Black, the famous Fate/stay night, and siblings from TYPE-MOON, you probably know the acclaimed ones like Yume Miru Kusuri and Kana: Little Sister, but you probably never played Private Nurse. Despite sharing a lot of the same dramatic flair and somewhat dark undertones of some of the best-known titles, this one never got much attention. It comes across as somewhat generic from the descriptions, but the story pulls you in with plain old excellent writing and drags you into the world of Hiroki, Ayano, and Maria, and their attempts to cure Hiroki of his mysterious ailment.
  • Yo-Jin-Bo, because the English-speaking world needs more romance games that aren't porn games.
  • Sekien no Inganock is, at first glance, artsy. Characters and backgrounds are drawn in an odd, sketchy manner with fairly bizarre color schemes. Once you adjust, though, you'll realize it suits the setting perfectly; both the city and the people in it are dark, twisted versions of a fairy tale world, where everyone is a little crazy. The music is spot on, and the perspective frequently shifts between characters, each narrating in their own way. With an interesting steampunk setting, flawed characters, and novel premise, it's a huge deviation from the usual dating/crying games, and as long as you're okay with some... wierd twists, you won't be disappointed.
  • Forest is a many-layered construction of English literature, dueling narrators and really weird sex. It's also arguably Liarsoft's best game, and one of the most unique visual novels ever made. Too bad nobody's played it!
  • Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai! is a fantastic visual novel that combines over-the-top hilarity, entertaining action scenes, and really nice themes of friendship. The protagonist is The Chessmaster similar to Lelouch and Light except much friendlier and his plans don't reach the scale as either of them but are still entertaining. The majority of the females in this series can kick all sorts of ass, a bunch of the guys are pretty strong themselves, there is a great amount of character interaction in a series with Loads and Loads of Characters, and the romance isn't too bad either.
  • The Second Reproduction is a Romance Game with a rather well developed story, likable characters, and a protaganist with an actual personality.
  • Symphonic Rain can seem like a simple slice of life story at first. However it's a fairly heavy game with a surprising amount of plot twists and tearjerkers. It also has its own rhythm minigame with some really nice songs.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Weapon Brown: Charlie Brown out-maxes Mad Max.
  • Worst of the Time Lords. Doctor Who fan or not, this comic is hilarious.
  • Minus. Great homage to old newspaper comics with a thought-provoking premise. Unfortunately, it's practically unheard of.
  • Between the Lines. It's a comic about 2 transexual teenagers who come from messed up families, and find acceptance in each other. It's based off the experiences by the author, and it will make you feel the hardships Shay and Dani go through.
  • Carpe Chaos: Space Opera with gorgeous art, intelligent mature writing and is building a complex universe with thousands years of history.
  • Sarab, an interactive sci-fi webcomic where the readers vote on the protagonist's solution to a problem at the end of each page. The artwork is beautiful and you can tell the creators put real effort into the characters and setting. Funny, heartwarming at times, and the action's very... uh... action-y.
  • Archipelago. It... it kind of defies description, actually. It may not look very impressive at first, but undergoes massive Art Evolution and the story itself is very compelling. Perhaps best described in the words of the comic creator: Here you will meet demons, Ravens, crazed pirates, and were-sharks. Enjoy the ride!
  • Law of Purple is an excellent sci-fi webcomic that makes a statement about social issues such as racism and homophobia while still managing to be absolutely hilarious.
  • Prequel is practically a must-read for any fan of Elder Scrolls, and still a pretty good idea for everyone else. The story centers on Katia, who might be the most pitiable Kadjhit in all of Cyrodiil, as she attempts to make a new life for herself, and fails. The art is surprisingly good, and the audience can submit commands for Katia to consider, which she will, in comic. Be warned, it can swing pretty heavily from lighthearted humor to bitter depression and back in an instant, but don't let that dissuade you.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Archer is a hilarious and brilliant satirical take on all spy-fiction. Definitely needs more love.
  • Dave the Barbarian had endearing characters and some truly wonderful writing. It even had the critics on it's side! There were actual reviews about a Disney cartoon that really raved about the show! Sadly, it was Too Good to Last. *Sigh*
  • The Mighty Ducks, one of cartoons of Disney's from the 90's. Was an action/comedy that had endearing characters and some truly impressive action scenes. And it only lasted one season, most likely do to it's unusual premise.
  • KaBlam! got little popularity due to Hey Arnold! premiering around the time. Matters were worse a few years later when SpongeBob SquarePants premiered in 1999. Season four never finished and seasons five and six never saw the light of day.
  • Ruby Gloom was fantastically animated with gorgeous Gothic scenery, likeable characters, and excellent writing. Unfortunately, there were only two seasons and it has never been aired in the United States.
  • Cybersix had fantastic music, characters, plot development, and animation... and lasted one season.
  • Fly Tales is a collection of animated shorts about an anthropomorphic fly that was only ever aired properly in Canada, France, and Eastern Europe. YouTube just may be your only shot at watching it.
  • Wakfu is a well-plotted character-driven Animesque series with beautiful artwork and a ridiculously catchy theme song. Unfortunately, its only available in continental Europe.
    • Fortunately, a small group of people are subbing the episodes into multiple languages, and the English and Russian subs have gotten through every episode of Season 1 and are starting on Season 2. Googling them is fruitful.
  • Xyber 9: New Dawn got repeatedly Screwed by the Network, both Fox and Jetix, despite having awesome characters, an interesting backstory, five-star voice talent (Tony Jay and Tim Curry were both present) and even some decent for its time Conspicuous CG. It's oddly similar to a Eastern RPG, so if you like those, you'll probably like this too.
  • King Arthur's Disasters. It has colorful animation, good voice acting, and it's antics have that nostalgic feel as they resemble that of Scooby Doo or any other old cartoon (ironically, one country airs it on Boomerang). It doesn't air in the U.S. and not that many fans contribute enough to its "fanbase."
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers. A great Direct-to-DVD feature lost amongst the wave of "cheapquels" and compilation movies Disney releases. A solidly written film starring the stars of the Classic Disney Shorts. Very awesome.
  • Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legend. A fantastic show saddled with a clumsy title. The show posits that all the monsters of old myth and legend are actually different communities of aliens living secretly on Earth for various reasons. Some like the Yeti are benign, while others like the Vampires and Lycanthropes are hostile to humanity. The show is arc-based and follows a The Men in Black-type organization as it deals with these creatures, though the male main character doesn't entirely trust the organization's motives. The best thing in the show is the Action Girl female lead, Shlain Blaze, a white-haired goth banshee with sound-based powers and a cool Irish accent. The theme song was awesome, too. When it was rebroadcast for a short time on Saturday mornings in the U.S., the episodes were shown out of order, and they led off with the goofy giant ant episode that had nothing to do with the major plot arcs.
  • The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat is a surreal, hilarious show starring one of the world's most famous cartoon characters... and hardly anyone has heard of it.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack was a surprisingly funny and awesome show that deserves more. Cartoon Network got rid of all the online episodes and stopped showing reruns the day after the finale aired. It has a pretty small fanbase, too. It's also worth pointing out that without this show, the likes of Adventure Time and Regular Show would have never got picked up.
  • ChalkZone has an extremely small cult following for its quirks, hilarity, music, and being the first of two shows about a kid being in a world of other kids' imaginary creations (the other came quite a bit later). It was eclipsed by pretty much every other Nickelodeon show airing since its arrival. It was shown more during its first three seasons from 2000 to 2003. It was apparently so unpopular, that its next season would air new episodes too inconsistently (without advertising) taking 2 years until Nicktoons took the next two seasons and Nickelodeon showed its Series Finale in 2008. Now Nicktoons has it again and slammed it in a 1:00-3:00 AM slot on Tuesday mornings and a 2:00 AM slot on Sunday Mornings. And unlike the other Nick shows in the blue entries above, no DVD has been created or even stated to be in production. And to drive the point home, other than having entries in the Crowning Music of Awesome for the theme song, ending songs, and Scrawl's songs, it isn't listed (or even mentioned) in Funny Moments or the like. Even its own page states that it needs more tropes and love.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes is a recent Canadian animated series that's audience was severely limited by its distribution by Disney in the US and UK, rarely promoting it and airing it at rather off hours, likely due to even its mere existence and premise is Getting Crap Past the Radar (though Values Dissonance between America and Canada is really to blame for that). Which is a shame, because it's an excellent, hilarious show with great characters, extremely catchy music and some actually very nice Flash animation.
  • Spliced. You can't even see it in the US unless you use YouTube or are one of the lucky few to get Qubo. And the network that airs it in its native Canada doesn't seem too fond of it either. It's funny, takes inspiration from The Island of Dr. Moreau for its interesting character designs (read: Mix-and-Match Critters you never would've thought of mixing in a million years) and it feels like something that would've aired on Nickelodeon in the mid-90s. Oh, and Peri is cute.
  • The Brothers Flub. Interesting premise, had that certain Nickelodeon feel that all of their 1990s work had, yet for some reason it vanished almost instantly and no one remembers it. Its IMDb listing has only two credits, both dead wrong. Out of 26 episodes, the only known episode names are the ones that appear on its two long out-of-print VHS collections. The only clip on YouTube is a super low quality one of the intro, which doesn't really do it justice since the theme song was annoying.
  • The Pirates of Dark Water still resonates strongly with this troper... so much so he has the insane dream of bringing the series back one day!
    • At the time of this entry, the show is aired at 10:30 P.M. EST weekdays on Boomerang.
  • Blazing Dragons, a wonderfully funny and clever show that was cursed by a late-night time slot in the US. I stayed up to watch it every night, though.
  • Sabrina the Animated Series: While it differs a lot from its live-action and comic counterparts (which is why people hate it), it's a very cute show with great storylines and characters. The spin-off, Sabrina's Secret Life? Uh, yeah...
  • Glenn Martin, DDS, which hasn't got half of the tropes appearing there written in its article.
  • The Problem Solverz is a funny and creative show that is widely reviled because of its crude animation style. It is also unpopular because it debuted around the time of Sym-Bionic Titan's cancellation, which led to the false rumor that that PS was Titan's replacement. Not even Adult Swim wanted it because it was too "mind-blowingly cute." It's also never rerun outside of its Monday night time slot.
  • Pepper Ann was a hilarious and clever show, however, unlike the other "big three" One Saturday Morning shows, it wasn't merchandise driven or a cult hit with adults. It's also the least remembered, and the only one of the "big three" without a video or DVD release, as well as not being rerun as often as the other two, and when it was, it was usually during school or when people are asleep. And it had a great theme song as well.
  • The Little Flying Bears. It's nearly impossible to find a full episode of the cartoon in English and is only well-known by a few Canadian and European furries (as well as Nostalgia geeks).
  • Bounty Hamster was a very sadly short-lived British animated series (only twenty-five 11 minute episodes were made) that was never aired in North America, only the UK and Australia (though you can download the whole series if you know where to look). With a ludicrous amount of hilarious Shout Outs, great animation and characters, and Phineas and Ferb co-creator Jeff "Swampy" Marsh in charge of storyboarding, it was a seriously awesome and funny show that shamefully never even broadcasted in the United States.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man is possibly the greatest Spider-Man cartoon yet, with both tight plotting and incredibly fluid animation, yet it was ignored by many simply because it wasn't like the 90s Spider-Man cartoon.
  • Loonatics Unleashed. This show does not deserve half the crap it gets. It needed some work, but it was by no means So Bad It's Horrible.
    • Most of the haters of this series were simply sticklers for nostalgia and the old Looney Tunes, completely ignoring the main characters are descendants of the legendary LT characters.
  • Godzilla: The Series. Say what you will of the American 'Zilla, but the series itself was pretty much the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon, but better. And minus Godzooki, unless you count Nigel, who wasn't really annoying as just prone to always getting smashed. Still crossing my fingers for a full DVD release someday.
  • Birdz. Completely impossible to find outside YouTube. But it was a good show from the twilight of CBS' Saturday Morning Cartoon era and it got screwed over massively. Enjoy the characters and the writing that manages to offer morals without beating them over your head or shoehorning them in.
  • Tutenstein is a hilarious, witty show about 3,000 years dead Pharaoh who returns as a mummy. Did I mention he was a bratty ten year old when he died? Resurrection didn't fix that. Absolutely wonderful, but somehow ridiculously obscure.
  • X-Men: Evolution was a very unique take on the X-Men mythos.
  • Adventures from the Book of Virtues is a creative PBS animated series dedicated to teaching virtues to kids, with great animation and cool characters. Apparently, it's been so obscure in the past few years that people seem to forget it, even after being taken off the air...and yet, it's quite popular with the animation industry and the production company behind it still promotes it today.[4]
  • American Dad is often a victim of Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch, simply because 1.) The family structure is similar to Family Guy, therefore it MUST be a clone and 2.) It's a Seth MacFarlane show, so it automatically deserves to be hated in the eyes of some. However, American Dad has proven to have developed a unique brand of humor and is often praised for its writing and handling of hot-button issues. Too bad FOX refuses to promote the show as much as it does the other animated programs.
  • "Ninjago" is actually pretty interesting and fun to watch for something that's Merchandise-Driven.It has characters with actual personality, and its not that cheesy as one might expect.However, there's been no reviews and the only people commenting on it are usually either 11 years old or only care about the toy sets.
  • Bobby's World was a show on FOX Kids that has very little recognition anywhere despite its hilarity.


Web Original[edit | hide]

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Space programs in general. People living in space 24/7! Robots on the surface of other worlds! Yes, there are more exciting things in SF, but these things are cooler because they happen to be real.
  • Cryonics.
  • The word "iff". A very useful term meaning "if and only if", doomed to unuse because it would be pronounced the same as if. (merriam-webster.com even has the pronunciation as "if and only if"!)
  • Weapons other than the AR-15 in tactical shooting events.
  • These people tend to be called virgins.
  1. Then again, how many people know who Trot and Cap'n Bill are?
  2. as opposed to just a handful of SNK buffs, as in the case of the former three
  3. Both of which are from 1995 for those of you who can't see what the big deal is.
  4. Well, I think the show being quietly forgotten by some kids was due to PBS's Invisible Advertising that only put it on their primetime and Sunday morning schedules.