First off, I know there's this thread: http://gbatemp.net/threads/anime-3.292163/ And I'm tired of seeing the same anime/cartoons circlejerking it to the top of so many lists simply because they were dubbed for American television. Pokémon, in my experience, is the only anime that has ever been "better" with a dub. I'd consider Game of Thrones (though not an anime) to be "realistic" in a sense, as the plot doesn't rely on miracles or incredible coincidences to advance -- many things are inherently related. I also use the term "realistic" loosely for lack of a better word -- I just meant that in a character way, as in the anime doesn't just stick to cliches and tweak them a little bit (i.e. Kanon -- male protagonist, wants to help everyone, has amnesia and his memories are the "key to everything", all the girls are helpless and have tragic stories, bla bla bla). My favorite anime is, without a doubt, Clannad + After Story. It's the only one that got me (call me a little girl, I guess) emotionally involved enough to actually cry at multiple plot apexes. ef - A Tale of (Memories/Melodies) was also pretty damn good. I was told "Toradora!" was considered similar in tone, but I found that everything it dealt with was... relatively trivial. There was (idk if spoiler? just incase) Warning: Spoilers inside! no dealing with death -- one of the most prevalent, important themes in much of... everything, and it was the reason I liked SAO at first -- and pointlessly dramatic scenes, much reminiscent of Angel Beats. I'm not necessarily looking for an anime with a happy ending (Grave of the Fireflies was excellent, as was Elfen Lied), but rather one that at least develops its characters significantly and branches out over multiple themes as opposed to just linear "comedy" (FLCL, not bashing it, it's great, just not what I'm looking for right now) or "romance" (Zero no Tsukaima was awful, I don't know why people recommend it so frequently, #flatIsJustice I guess).