List the best anime in your opinion. (OVA, feature, series, what have you).
Must have great graphics, decent dialogue (we can’t shoot for the stars here) and an edgy plot.
1. Ghost In the Shell tied with Ninja Scroll
2. Vampire Hunter D.
3. Aeon Flux
4. Shiguri: Death Frenzy
5. Neo Tokyo
6. Afro Samurai I & 2
7. Spirited Away tied with Princess Mononoke
9. Fist of the North Star
10. Twilight of the Dark Master
i love millenium actress!
ghost in the shell, perfect blue, my neighbor totoro
i’ve never watched a whole series so i guess my obsession level isn’t that high. i just wanted to plug millenium actress lol
I hate to say it, but those series are all pretty much… well… “mediocre.”
I’m not crazy about the anime style in general. Mostly the way the faces are rendered in cutesy expressions really grates on my nerves. I enjoyed Millenium Actress, though. Princess Mononoke was beautiful but preachy.
There’s an enormous volume of “anime,” Kate and not all is drawn like that. Try non-Japanese animation.
Anime refers to Japanese animation, but yeah — I love animation in general. Just not crazy about the common anime visual style. I’ve seen most of the highly regarded anime films. Even in Miyazaki’s the faces are like that. I really enjoyed the anime in Kill Bill, because it was grittier and the faces were more expressive. I’m also a fan of “Belladonna of Sadness.”
I scream at the computer and pull out large chunks of my hair and soul every time someone says ‘anime style’. I hope you’re happy that you have contributed to my stress Kate.
Heh. Why? There is a recognizable visual style that many of the well-known anime films share, at least the ones I’ve seen.
what about akira? i haven’t seen it yet but heard it basically set the standard 4 all anime films
Double posts are lame.
umm i found akira kind of …boring. i know a lot of people love it. maybe it’s just dated. to be fair i had already seen ghost in the shell at that point. cowboy bebop is fun tho. and i have the soundtrack :)
My anime obsession level, on a scale of 1-10, is probably a 1. I’d never watch an anime film simply because it was anime. It would have to come with some type of reputation or peer recommendation. This isn’t to say that anime isn’t good. It’s just that I’m not terribly interested.
Having said that, Grave of the Fireflies is effectively DEPRESSING.
I’m not saying the style doesn’t vary a lot, but the way in which it’s the same across those stills (except in the first and third) is what bothers me. It’s mostly the faces. In general, I’m very focused on faces and when the faces bug me I have trouble getting into the characters. There are also ways that characters move in a lot of anime films, certain exaggerated poses they make, but stills don’t capture that.
Calling Akira the standard for anime is a bit odd because it had an unprecedented budget for an anime which is in part the reason that it still has far more fluid animation than anime even even today. It wasn’t until 2009 with the film Redline that another film, non Katsuhiro Otomo at least, was given anywhere near the care. It also took Redline damn near a decade to be made though. I wouldn’t hold Otomo as the standard barrier for art style either because he was far more influenced by European comic books than his fellow countrymen.
I’ll say it as well. Akira was dry. There. I feel better now.
I loved how detailed the faces were in Kill Bill’s anime sequence:
Just beautiful drawing.
Kate if you want well animated anime, I would advise you stick to Production IG (who made the Kill Bill short actually) and Studio4°C (most notable work in America may be Linkin Park’s ‘Breaking the Habit’ music video). Not that there aren’t a handful of other great studios, but they produce the best combination of quality animation and interesting work.
@Malik — Cool. I’ve actually been trying to find more anime like that short. Which films would you recommend?
Hyper-violent or proportional characters with smooth animation?
I like anime when it’s the sort that’s oriented more at adults. For instance, I’ve been waiting forever for the Monster anime series to finish being released over here. (Maybe I should give up and find fansubs.)
Here are some things I can’t tolerate in anime:
1) Screaming hyper girls
2) Characters who rush into the enemy stronghold headlong with no plan except to yell at the enemy leader how awful it is what he is doing, and only win because they’re so much stronger than the enemy
3) Facile indictments of the human race from the perspective of whiny teenage angst
5) Women hitting guys with large hammers at the slightest hint of romantic interest
This unfortunately rules out like 99% of anime for me. I will bend on some of these rules if the animation is as good as it is in a Miyazaki film. Some of my favorites:
Berserk (Though it is guilty of #2)
FLCL (This is guilty of a lot of them, but in this case it’s meta-ironic)
Rorouni Kenshin: (Prequel OVA only)
I didn’t mind that Princess Mononoke was preachy, so much as that it’s the worst offender of #2 I’ve ever seen. But, it’s sort of in the ‘forgive’ category because it’s so damn beautiful.
@Malik — either, though I’d probably prefer the latter
@Jirin — I’m with you on #1 and #3
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
Tokyo Godfathers (I’d recommend all Satoshi Kon film, but this is my favorite)
Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
Blood: The Last Vampire
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
These 4 are compilation shorts with 3-9 films each. Worth a watch, well the Batman one only if you’re a fan of the character.
Batman: Gotham Knight
Thanks! I’ve seen Tokyo Godfathers and Ghost in the Shell and liked both. I’ll check out the others.
TV series are usually mediocre, but there’s lots of very entertaining ones. Mostly things airing on the Noitamina programming block.
It literally was my entire life ten years ago. A few titles have stuck with me and appreciated, most everything else has depreciated. I was very much into the serials, not so much films, so I’ll mostly talk about them…
Doesn’t get any better than Evangelion. Most thoughtful, emotional and epic anime – and serial – ever constructed, perhaps. My all-time and immovable fav.
I love, still love, Shoujo Kakumei Utena, 2nd above all.
FLCL and other Gainax creations are highly special, including Kare Kano.
Serial Experiments Lain is tripped out, lovely stuff. I would LOVE to adapt this.
Escaflowne had LOTS of potential and some VERY lovely moments, but in all was quite aimless. I’ve wanted it to be so much better and given it chances, but it’s a bit of a mess. Lots of good stuff though.
Cowboy Bebop is clearly some fun, witty jazzy shit. Former obsession. The most accessible anime to Americans, for obvious reasons.
Macross Plus is enjoyable but a relatively simple affair. Watanabe’s career has been fun to follow.
Animatrix was really quite satisfying and is what the two sequel films should’ve been.
Akira is obviously hot shit, excellent.
Used to be highly obsessed with Rurouni Kenshin. Taken in aggregate it’s quite something, but HELL is there a lot of melodrama and filler.
Card Captor Sakura and other CLAMP animations are quite charming and pretty. X is gorgeous and oh so emo.
Martian Successor Nadesico is pretty forgettable.
Vandead was relatively enjoyable but not all that important.
Outlaw Star had its moments.
Trigun is a rather fascinating story if you look at it from afar. Not a bad show (though the new film doesn’t look interesting at all).
I’ve actually watched all 200 episodes of Sailor Moon (my gateway anime) and it has a few beautiful moments – but is for little girls and geeky masturbatory fantasies.
i am no expert on anime but this akira opening sequence is really good and skilfully made and inventive… maybe the story is boring i don’t know i just know that the film akira is highly regarded as one of the best ever films
(probably the reason i am saving 4 a rainy day :O)
I used to watch quite a bit of anime when I lived near a videostore that carried it. I lost touch with a lot of it since 2007 or so, but there were a number of series I enjoyed either in total or in part.
These five were the ones I would think of as being the best I’ve seen.
Serial Experiment: Lain
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex & 2nd GIG
Followed somewhat closely by this next group.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Neon Genesis Evangelion
And slightly behind those,
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
Law of Ueki
Martian Successor Nadesico
And finally this group of series that either had some more serious drawbacks or that I haven’t had a chance to see all the way through, but which had some aspects worth attending to nonetheless.
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
Revolutionary Girl Utena
S Cry ed
Witch Hunter Robin
Best Student Council
Key the Metal Idol
Full Metal Panic
Æon Flux has nothing to do with anime.
As for titles, well, Berserk, Grave of the Fireflies, Angel’s Egg, End of Evangelion (the series sort of strike me as too silly nowadays), Tsuiokuhen, Twelve Kingdoms go without saying.
Retrospectively, I am now more interested in the “different” kind of anime. Maybe that’s the reason why I see Ghibli or the beloved Akira as trash.
These are not the “best” but the ones that are interesting:
ABe’s work – ! Serial Experiments Lain, (I haven’t seen NieA for some reason), !! Haibane Renmei, and !!! Texhnolyze (one of my favourites).
Kino no Tabi: the Beautiful World
Cossette no Shouzou
Granted, most of those are TV series and contain their share of filler, but still, I respect them for what they are. And yes, anime is mostly silly and a waste of time because of the reasons Jirin pointed out, that’s why my obsession is dead and has been for at least half a decade (Kaiba sort of slipped in but no harm was done).