Monday, 25 March 2013

Five Films To Change Your Mind About Anime

The other day, me and a friend were trying, with not much luck, to select a film to watch. When I asked her if she wanted to watch an anime she replied "no, I don't like anime films." So of course, I asked her which ones she had seen. "I haven't" was her reply. Now, how in the bloody hell can you say you don't like something unless you try it first? That's like saying you don't like films that are in black and white because they're not in colour, something someone else I know has said... fool! Well these people are simply missing out on some of the best movies ever made. So I challenged my friend to watch at least one anime film, to help change her opinion on this incredible genre, and if you haven't seen any anime then I challenge you to do the same. Here is a list of my five favourite anime that you need to see.

Akira (1988)

Set in the year 2019, 33 years after World War III, Akira tells the story of a young biker gang in Neo-Tokyo, a giant city at war with its self. Based on an original manga series by the films director Katsuhiro Otomo, this film has everything; radical resistance groups, corrupt government, out of control youths and even a mad scientist willing to put everyone else in danger for the sake of progress. It's a classic  of the genre that influences not only other anime film makers but even the likes of James Cameron.
Ghost in the Shell (1995)

In the year 2029, the world has become a network of information that humans are even more closely connected to than we are today. Ghost in the Shell tells the age old tale of a female cyborg cop and her partner on the hunt for a mysterious and dangerous computer hacker known as the Puppet Master. This is a stunning piece of animation, brilliantly and beautifully made, and has even inspired Larry and Andy Wachowski to create The Matrix. Oh, and of course James Cameron loved this one as well. 

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Ok, so I know what you're thinking. Is anime all sci-fi, and the answer is yeah, I mean no. Grave of the Fireflies tells the profoundly beautiful and haunting story of a brother and sister struggling to survive on their own in Japan during World War II.  The film is regarded as not only one of the best anime films of all time but also one of the best war films ever made. It has inspired two live action remakes but neither compares to the original for its raw emotional depth. Roger Ebert has even said it was "an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation."

Spirited Away(2001)

After picking up the Oscar for best animated film at the Oscars back in 2003, Spirited Away introduced a whole new generation of people to the wonderful fairy-tale world of Hayao Miyazaki. After taking a wrong turn to their new home, a little girl and her parents find themselves in a dazzling and mysterious world, so creatively enchanting that it set a new bench mark for animation. This film is a perfect introduction to the brilliant work of Studio Ghibli and this, in my own opinion, isn't even their best work.

Summer Wars (2009)

Set over the summer break from school, a young boy who just happens to be a mathematical wizard is looking for a summer of love but finds himself caught up in a viral war on a computer network called OZ (it's pretty much just a fancier internet). This film is visually stunning, cutting edge and all the while family friendly. It picked up numerous awards, critical acclaim and brought its director to the forefront of Japanese animation, with some people going so far as to even name him the new Hayao Miyazaki. Pretty impressive stuff!

These are just five brilliant films to whet your appetite for anime and it was hard choosing only five, especially from Studio Ghibli's extensive filmography. There are many other films that you should check out if you're interested in seeing more anime, like Ninja Scroll, Howls Moving Castle and Castle in the Sky to name a few. As of yet, my friend has yet to watch one, narrow minded bitch. 

1 comment:

  1. These are all fantastic films and anyone who doesn't give them a chance just because they're 'cartoons' is a fool! A fool I say! Especially love Summer Wars, not an obvious pick but its brilliant.