But before we get to the meat of this article, there are the also-rans worth enumerating. Of course, the second half of Evanglion in early '96, with its psychological complexity, artistic abstraction, and culturally relevant topics, so precisely struck a nerve with an entire generation of viewers that clones and variations would be seen for years to come. Slayers Next, the second of a series of seemingly arbitrarily titled seasons, continued the distinctly 90's-flavored high-fantasy gag-comedy action-adventure franchise. Kosuke Fujishima's You're Under Arrest found a home on TV after its '95 OVA, but instead of fluid car-chase animation, it found pleasant success in low-budget traffic police sitcom fare, spawning three seasons in total through the 90's and 2000's.
Gundam continued to roll out sequels and spinoffs, with After War Gundam X, an alternate universe TV series in a post-apocalyptic scenario with maximum colony dropping absurdity, and the 08th MS Team, an OVA returning to the "One Year War" from the perspective of grunts embroiled in the jungles of Southeast Asia, which earned points with fans for its gritty Vietnam-like take in the favored continuity. And the big traditional shoujo series from the year, Kodomo no Omocha (a.k.a. Kodocha), was the most off-the-wall, dizzyingly hyperactive melodramatic romantic comedy about child actors you'll probably ever see. (And this is just the opening theme! - Ed.)
While numerous titles deserve their due, a few series are so distinguished for finding trend-setting, audience-broadening combinations of diverse genre elements and their enduring popularity that they justify greater elaboration of critical merit.