Commenter SecretMoblin has yet to experience the joy of sitting in a darkened room at 3AM sobbing hysterically over a Japanese cartoon. He needs anime suggestions, so its time to Speak Up on Kotaku.
I've never seriously watched any anime, and I'm looking to start. I've seen a couple episodes of Ranma and a couple episodes of Cowboy Bebop (though I don't remember a thing about either one), but other than that my only experience is watching Dragonball Z over my brothers' shoulders or the occasional Pokémon episode. So I'm going to list some preferences, and any and all help you can give would be very much appreciated.
Stuff I like:
+a lonely atmosphere, alienation, etc.; either a single character or a small group by themselves
+it must have subtitles as an option. Years of foreign films have spoiled me, and I don't know if I can handle a dubbed program even if it's done competently.
+I would prefer a show aimed at adults
+a setting that isn't contemporary; I enjoy sci-fi, historical fiction, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction, etc.
Stuff I don't like:
-excessive cuteness. I'm not a fan of little girls with long pigtails or cheery happy animals that sing J-Pop.
-poorly localized stuff. I know it's especially difficult with some anime as there isn't a budget for really high quality translators, but I know some anime can be heady and I don't want to suffer any more than the normal cross-cultural losses of meaning.
-simplistic, good vs. evil story
-anything too expensive or difficult to obtain
I'm willing to subscribe to an online service (like Hulu or Netflix) or purchase a box set, assuming those are available. I have basic cable, and I know Cartoon Network has some shows. I don't pirate, so I'm really not looking for sites trafficking in that kind of stuff.
Again, any and all help is appreciated!