Well, I asked and those of you who answered wanted this so it is here 10 Anime You Should See…Twice! This is just a list of anime I think are very good and should be seen by all who say they like anime and definitely by people who aren’t really into anime. I am done blabbing so here you are.
I am going to go with Grave of the Fireflies first off, this is a very, very iconic work of Isao Takahata, well known for his work with Studio Ghibli. Though most would say he is out shined most often by the more well known Hayao Miyazaki, his talent and skill in film making should not be thought any less of than Miyazaki. This work is a very dark, and sad film showing the struggles of a boy and his younger sister trying to survive in WW2 era japan. The animation is what you might think seeing as Isao Takahata is with the illustrious Studio Ghibli…Amazing the character designs are very unique and the art shows great emotion on the faces of the characters and builds a wonderful world to behold. This film should be seen twice just now back to back it is very very heavy man….
Up next is a movie I picked up on a whim and it turned out to be a fabulous film, the OAV Summer Wars by Mamoru Hosoda. Hosoda also directed “The Girl Who Lept Through Time” a very very good film should check it out, Some one of you not so into anime fan probably have seen his work in the Digimon TV series(yeah 90’s TV baby) and for all you manly men out there he did work on episode 6 of the anime based on Kazuo Koike manga series Crying Freemen. That is one hell of a resume huh? So how does this translate into Summer Wars, it makes for a fantastic SciFi romp through a world were the internet and social media run the real world in ever since of the word I mean in this film the government offices are based out of the online MMO style community. Now that I have said that you probably know whats coming don’t you rampant computer virus fucking shit up and you are right but the thing that makes this movie stand out his not the plot itself but how the plot is carried out and how the animation of the film bolsters said plot. Also the family aspect and character development are phenomenal additions to something so tried and true in the science fiction genre.
To follow the scifi trend I am going to talk about an anthology from the early 90’s Robot Carnival this anthology got play on several main TV Channels in the us Thanks to Ted Turner but I remember catching it on the SyFy channel before they became the science less being of reality suck that they are now. This is a compilation of shorts(thus anthology) but it is all about the Robot and the theme is a robot carnival and the intro and outro to this anthology show a town destroying unstoppable force that is a massive robot carnival traveling the world bring pain, destruction and death were ever it travels, who would have thought cute ballerinas would fall form the sky and explode huh? I am not going to go into any of the anthology pieces(saving that for a full review) but they are varied and very fun, awesome products of 80’s/90’s anime boom or the Era of the OAV.
Keeping with SciFi but from a time after the Era of the OAV I will talk about Cowboy Bebop, and now a days if you haven’t heard of this or scene this beast of a “space opera” bounty hunter epic then were the hell were you when Cartoon Network was worth watching? This show is by far one of the best dubbed anime in the history of anime. The Iconic Wendee Lee(whom holds my Anime Con virginity in a jar over her bed as a trophy) plays the voice of the Fem Fatale Faye Valentine, I could go on and on about the cats of this show but none of them in my opinion played such an impressive role in the westernizing of Anime than Wendee Lee her 300+ roles as an Anime voice actor put her in a class all her own since she start back in the days of Stream Line dubbing co. Cowboy Bebop is just how I said a Space Opera about bounty hunters, whom all have a past but come together to form a little family trying to scratch out a living in a world of war veteran hermaphrodites and dogs used for data storage. This show should be seen like a billion times I can’t get enough of this show and it boast one of the best anime sounds tracks of all time director Shinichirō Watanabe also did Samurai Champloo boy embraced by western audiences yet didn’t do so hot in japan. both of those series should be checked out there why I love Science Fiction.
Now Perfect blue is a throw back to the days of the OAV directed the late Satoshi Kon this psychological thriller about a pop star idol being driven insane by her obsessed fan who dresses like her and does horrible things is a great film and shows just why Satoshi Kon was not a force to be trifled with. His vision and style were not flawless but were so unique, and jaw droppingly beautiful his short comings were pushed to the side. This being one of his earlier works those are a little more prevalent in this film but the man gets better oh god does he get better and his presence in anime will truly be missed. You should also see Paranoia Agent(will be on this list), Paprika, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and the short film Magnetic Rose in the Memories Anthology(also on this list) every last one of these is a classic and you will now why I say he will be missed once you watch them.
I am now going to talk about Hayao Miyazaki’s amazing film Princess Mononoke. This was the second Studio Ghibli film I had ever seen and is still one of my favorites. The story is a tale about a prince of an almost extinct tribe known as the Amishi. The prince for one reason or another has to leave his home and travel never to return. This movie is distinctly Miyazaki with expansive back grounds full of delicious detail and very airy almost flying like scenes of the princess travels draw you into the world he is portraying in this film. The voice cast on this film is top not and you scifi nerd will get a kick out of Gillian Anderson of the Smash hit X-Files where she played Doctor Dana Scully does the voice of Moro the wolf Goddess, Also in this film are Jada Pinkett-Smith, Billy Bob Thorton, Billy Crudup, Minnie Driver, Claire Danes and more. This is a wonderful, action packed film that tells you a story and provides and narrative on protecting the environment with out beating you over the head with it. This is one of Miyazaki’s greatest works and deserves all the accolades it has received over the years.
Satoshi Kon’s Paranoia Agent, and surreal psychological thriller about a inline skate wearing metal baseball bat wielding adolescent named Lil’Slugger(Shonen Bat in japanese). What can I say about this short little anime Anime series other than hold on to your hates folk this is a wild ride and will have you gripping your seats trying to figure out what you just saw. The animation, pacing, story, and over feel of this show is perfect I will not go on much about this or I will be raving about how much I love this series its rather expensive now to try and own but if you can catch a deal definitely grab this series.
Memories another anime anthology piece I am only going to talk about Magnetic Rose one of the three shorts. This one was done by yet again Satochi Kon, and this is yet again another psychological thriller but this one is based in space and one hell of a trip, telling the story of space trash,and salvage collectors who get drawn into a mysterious part of space known as the magnetic rose due to a distress beacon they pic up while out on a job. The whole anthology is worth seeing but Magnetic Rose is worth the price of admission this film isn’t to expensive online so go and grab it folks you won’t regret it.
This film is another studio Ghibli trade mark Porco Rosso, a film about a man cursed to look like a pig until he is kissed in true love. Did I mention he is an ace fighter plane Pilot? This is a beautiful film and since it is based on flying Miyazaki’s skills are on full display. The characters you meet are fun, funny, and loveable I don’t really know what else to say about it with out going into it and spoiling it so go get it folks it is readily available since Disney is putting out everything Ghibli has to offer.
last but not least is an Anime I saw that I didn’t really like when I was younger called Galaxy Express 999 but now that I have gone back and watched it now that I am older and can pick up on the things conveyed in the movie I love it and see it for the classic it is. This movie was directed by Rintaro and tells the story of a boy trying to get a robot body so he can get revenge on the man that killed his mother and how he grows up, matures and learns the ways of the galaxy. What makes this an even more exquisite film is how it ties together the universe created by Leiji Matsumoto by featuring the well known Space Pirate Harlock and the well known ship Arcadia. This is a very heavy film with a pretty serious message behind it and I feel its a worth the watch and price of admission just to see Harlock pilot his ship in space from the outside lol. There is sequel called Adieu Galaxy Express 999 which I still need to see.
There you have it my friends 10 Anime You Should See…Twice! Though I am not held responsible if you watch Grave of the Fireflies twice back to back and decide living is to hard and you wanna off yourself I warn you now that and a few other titles on this list are fucking heavy. Well its 4 in the morning and this Big Bear needs some sleep before he does more work for you all hope you enjoyed this trip in Big Bear’ Den, now get out *Rearing back on his hind legs and roaring with sleepy annoyed rage*