Here’s an earlier, very different version of the Mononoke Hime story. You can see some additional Miyazaki art here.
Against my better judgment, I sampled some current and recent shows.
Avatar invoked Milton Friedman in his discussion of Maoyu Maou Yuusha, so I took a look at it. The story is set in world styled on Renaissance Europe, except for the maid uniforms. (It’s a pity that I’m too old and ugly for cosplay, because I could probably find a suitable costume in my SCA wardrobe.) Crunchyroll arbitrarily decided halfway through the second episode that I had watched enough. (I hate having to depend on flaky servers; please, let’s have download-to-own without crippling DRM.) What I was permitted to see seemed like an improved version of Spice and Wolf. I might watch more.
In Mondaiji tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru soudesuyo?, a.k.a. Problem children are coming from another world, aren’t they?, ((The writers must be students of Prof. Horatio Grimace.)) disaffected adolescents with superhuman abilities are summoned by a Black Bunny with blue hair and ears to a world where you should never say “You bet your life.” Refreshingly, the kids are not hyper or angsty, and they leave the hysterics to the bunny. They do have nontrivial jerk potential, though. I probably will continue watching.
The first two episodes of AKB0048 reminded me of Yellow Submarine and hippie delusions: musicians are heroes who fight against a repressive regime. The difference is that the AKB songs are immediately forgettable. I might watch more, or I might not.
Cuticle Detective Inaba (which should be “Keratin Detective”) is a very silly show. If you don’t like “gag” series, stay far, far away.
The less said about Straight Title Robot Anime, the better.
Katanagatari was one of the best shows of 2010 — better than Kuragahime, if not quite rising to the level of The Tatami Galaxy — but it’s not “the second coming of Haibane Renmei.” Very few series stand comparison with ABe’s story: Madoka Magica, perhaps, and maybe Shin Sekai Yori if it ends well. Otherwise, you need to go back to 2007 and Dennou Coil to find a show of that caliber.