Dear Anime Fans,
As you know, Japanimation is pretty much a world unto itself.
We got so much great feedback on our Best Animationvideo that we were drawn into doing anotherGreatest Movies A-Z entry with WatchMojo - this time, just for Anime films. It’s safe for work, but not as kid friendly as our first - enjoy!
Again, we gave ourselves some guidelines:
- One film per letter
- Articles don’t count (the, an, a, etc.)
- Final list should encapsulate the genre
The last rule dictated a lot of our hardest decisions. It also made for some heated debates, which we aren’t ashamed to say made us at times consult even bigger geeks than we are.
So here’s some take-aways from our decision-making process. Some of this is included in the video itself, but here’s some more detail:
LESSONS FROM ANIME A-Z
TOP DECADE: 1980s
This is when the idea of “anime” really took off, and even reached the shores of North America. Up until then, animated films here were either made for kids, or considered “dirty” (think Heavy Metal or Fritz the Cat). Anime proved how animation could be made for grown-ups. Hell, 1988 alone gave us three bona fide classics: Akira, Grave of the Fireflies, and My Neighbor Totoro.
HARDEST LETTER: P
Anytime you don’t choose a Hayao Miyazaki film it feels like it needs some explanation. In P, however, we had a lot to choose from other than Princess Mononoke. There’s also Paprika, Porco Rosso, and the beloved Ponyo. But in the end, we went for the emotionally scarring but influential_Perfect Blue_, which has been co-opted by the likes of Madonna and Darren Aronofsky.
CHEATED IN: Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai
We always use the American release title when making our selection - we’re almost religious about it. But we were assured by experts that even though there is an English title (I’ve Always Liked You), this film is still more known by its original Japanese title. Good news for us!
BEST BATTLE: Perfect Blue vs Princess Mononoke
It’s the Battle of 1997! We could have gone either way here and probably been right, but in the interest of keeping variety on the list, we had to honour the “blue” tradition of anime films.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATION: Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro
Most people know this film for just being called The Castle of Cagliostro, but this is the full title. It’s also Miyazaki’s first feature film, and a rare non-Studio Ghibli film, which is often considered the runt of the litter from the giant filmmaker. But it certainly shows the promise of a genius, who would come to define the idea of “anime” as we know it
Think your list would be better? More balanced? Less heart-breaking? Let us know.
Dear Cast & Crew