Many people in the world have the wrong idea about anime. They assume it is always big robots fighting big mechs, and they would not be that mistaken, actually. But focusing on that is to focus on but one, small aspect of anime. The truth is, it is a vast a medium as any other, covering many aspects of life. But what about the pervert stuff? That is more hentai and can be easily avoided. Just a sub genre, and not one to focus on if that is not your thing. But how about we talk about 6 anime movies that will change the way you look at anime? These six movies will not only change the way you look at anime, but change the way you look at cinema as a whole (as well as reflect how many American directors steal ideas and shots from these films under the assumption no one will notice).
Do you understand nature versus nurture? The idea that a child left alone to fend for itself will become like an animal, and a child who is loved and cared for will become gentle? Asura shows us that story in anime form, and the power of the movie and message will leave you floored. This movie could also be called “Life Is Super Cruel” because watching what this young boy endures (and what it turns him into) is heart breaking and unforgettable.
Honestly, one of my favorite films of all time, anime or not. Powerful stuff.
How does one describe Perfect Blue without ruining it? A thriller movie with slick animation and a tense plot about a young pop star who quits music to act and finds herself being stalked and slowly driven insane. Stunning, sick twist ending, and an overall amazing film.
Side note: It is said the movie Black Swan is an Americanized version of this anime movie, as the director of Swan did own the rights to Perfect Blue. I say stick with Perfect Blue (though they are both fantastic).
How is it that this is STILL one of the best action movies ever made, and it is an animated movie from 1993?
Ninja Scroll features the adventures a long wanderer named Jubai who ends up getting mixed up with some bad folks and has to save some…eh, who am I kidding? The movie is all about the action. Non-stop, balls-to-the-wall action. From the violence to the character design, everything is just action perfection.
Hell, even a live-action movie of this would be unreal!
Grave of the Fireflies
Okay, first off, I will warn you. No matter who you are or where you are when you see it, Grave of the Fireflies will make you weep like a baby. This is AS sad as movies get. A brother and his little sister trying to make ends meet after the N-bomb is dropped. Orphans of war, with the older brother doing all he can to help save the little girl who’s condition gets worse and worse.
I will tell you, you walk away from movies like Grave of the Fireflies and Asura thinking: I had no idea animation could hit me that hard. Mark my words. I think Grave of the Fireflies is as sad as movies get (but should be seen by all). Masterful storytelling here.
How does one even describe this movie? I honestly think the best way to approach Paprika is by not knowing anything. Just go at the movie blind and watch slowly as it liquefies your brains with its insanity. Not only will Paprika change the way you feel about anime movies, it will change the way you look at all movies.
Original, brave, and trippy as hell, I will not ruin this ride for you by describing it. I will just tell you to take it. Trust me. Oh, and Inception ripped it off. You will even be able to tell from the trailers.
5 Centimeters Per Second
I know the thought of sitting through an animated love story seems a little blah, but this is what makes this medium so remarkable. Were this movie live action, I doubt I would have had any interest. But something about the lush animation made it feel like you are looking at some renaissance painting come to life.
There is two parts to this film, and it is a movie worth seeing (just to prove to yourself you CAN watch and enjoy a romantic movie). Bittersweet at times, but very honest, 5 Centimeters Per Second is the last thing people expect when someone brings up anime movies, which is why it is so perfect to end this list with.
Speaking of anime….