So, you're young at heart and would like to try some anime but don't want to watch either kid's fare that isn't appealing to all ages, sex comedies designed primarily for young men or sleazy R-rated/X-rated fare? I'm in the same boat as you, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on what to start with.
Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind is a beautiful futuristic fable about a young princess trying to save her people from environmental disaster (it's alot more exciting than that sounds). Last Exile: The Complete Series Box Set is a series which also features orphans, this time two lifelong best friends - young aircraft couriers who find themselves in the middle of an interplanetary war as they try to solve the mystery behind their father's deaths and witness the triumphs and tragedies surrounding those who befriend them. Samurai X - Trust & Betrayal (Director's Cut) is a direct to video miniseries that tells the dark and bloody tale of a young assassin (not a Samurai!) during the Meiji Revolution in Japan. The unfortunate title is quite misleading because it's actually the crown jewel of the Rurouni Kenshin franchise, which includes a three season series which is generally much lighter in tone and leans towards a younger demographic. If you do research and decide to watch the series, this miniseries is best watched after Season 2 - but at any rate it should not be missed unless you really have an aversion to violence. Le Chevalier d'Eon: The Complete Series (Viridian Collection) is a mix of history, mystery and horror set in 18th century France that's a great action choice for anyone willing to go with the occasional factual tweaking. Finally, there's Fullmetal Alchemist: Season 1 Box SetFullmetal Alchemist: Season 2 , which belongs to the "fighting" subgenre which has done it's share to give anime a bad name, as it often though not always consists of rather mindless fare for preteen and early teen boys. This title, however, completely transcends the genre and can equally be considered a modern fantasy about an epic three-way conflict between good and evil scientist-magicians and their creations; a cautionary sci-fi/horror hybrid about the cost when mankind overreaches itself, and under the drama category a moving paean to fraternal love. It deals with some intentionally disturbing moral questions that aren't for the squeamish, and extremely devout viewers might be offended that the primary hero happens to be an atheist, but it's so good that I'd hate to see too many viewers turned off just because of that. A movie follows which isn't quite as highly regarded as the series; it's up to you whether to watch it after doing research.
Fruits Basket Box Set (Viridian Collection) is a wonderful story about a high school girl who befriends a family cursed by the spirits of the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The plot is secondary to watching the different relationships that develop between the girl and each member she meets, and seeing how each of them deals with the curse in a different way. In spite of the running joke that the cursed Sohmas are of course stark naked when they change back from their animal forms, we never actually see anything and this is a very clean show. Three characters are crossdressers and it's implied that at least one and probably two characters are bisexual, but they're such good people and it's all so innocent that I can't imagine anyone being offended. Do be warned, however, that an ending of sorts was put together because it only covered roughly the first third of the manga (graphic novel) that it's based on, so if you fall in love with the series you'll be hard put not to start buying the manga to see how everything turns out. The fans and distribution company want more, but so far the director unfortunately doesn't seem interested and some elements, particularly in the last episode, would make it hard to bring the series back in line with what has since happened in the manga; so this is it for the forseeable future. Honey and Clover, Box Set 1Honey & Clover, Box Set 2Honey and Clover, Box Set 3 follows a group of five college friends as they deal with their love lives, friendships and budding careers.
.hack//Sign - Anime Legends Complete Collection is a series about a child trapped in a Dungeons&Dragons style online game and the stories of several players of varying ages and backgrounds who try to help as some of them also deal with the personal problems which in some cases keep them spending excessive time in virtual reality. Princess Mononoke is a movie based on Japanese folklore with the delicate balance between man and nature as it's main theme. Finally, there's Twelve Kingdoms - Premium Box IThe Twelve Kingdoms - Premium Box 2 a gorgeous epic that I cannot recommend highly enough in spite of a few too many recap episodes and the fact that it ends abruptly due to the fact that a planned third season never materialized due to health issues among the staff. There's some implied nudity, but nothing graphic and tastefully done.
Perhaps surprisingly, there are not alot of excellent horror anime. Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust is a western-style vampire movie with wonderful animation and a deeper story than most similar fare. Ghost Hunt: The Complete Series Box Set is a good mix of teen dramedy and paranormal investigation, although most of the scares don't come until the second part.