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It is our hope that in creating this list we have created an entry point for both the expert and the layperson to trace the rich history of anime’s legacy on both film and popular culture, and to offer newcomers a comprehensive guide through to learn, rediscover, and explore the fullness that the genre of Japanese animation has to offer now and into the future. The Boy and the Beast (2015) Director: Mamoru Hosoda Mamoru Hosoda is championed as one of the greatest anime directors working today.That reputation is owed in no small part to him being touted as the heir apparent to the cinematic legacy of Hayao Miyazaki, who formally retired from directing following the release of his then-final film The Wind Rises in 2013.Despite this glowing association, few of Hosoda’s handful of films have managed to graze the same strata of cinematic accomplishment and canonical enshrinement that typifies the storied career of the Studio Ghibli luminary. The story follows that of Ren, an orphaned boy who, after stumbling through an Alice in Wonderland-style passageway into a world of mythical creatures, is adopted as a pupil by the brash and indolent swordmaster Kumatetsu, who vies to become the lord of all beasts.All of the surface components of a great film are there, with stunningly crisp animation, charged fight scenes, and a tasteful use of computer graphic imagery to accentuate these sequences.The arrival of home video catapulted anime to its commercial and aesthetic apex, fanning outward from island nation of Nippon to the far shores of North America and back, before again being revolutionized by the unprecedented accessibility of the world wide web throughout the ’90s and early aughts.Anime film owes much to the evolving means of production and distribution throughout the late 20th century, the breadth and audacity of the medium’s content widening and contracting along with its running time to cater to the emerging palettes of audiences both new and old, at home and abroad.The film is ultimately a simple class tragedy, but remains a compelling story that has stood the test of time.In adapting the feature from his TV series of the same name, Kuroda mostly restrains himself from going too “big” with animation flourishes, working carefully to recreate the feel of Industrial Age Antwerp, and servicing the story with quiet, beautiful artwork and scenes that take their time to unfold. Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: The Conqueror of Shamballa (2005) Director: Seiji Mizushima Hiromu Arakawa’s Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the most critically successful manga and anime series of the early 2000s.
Not wanting to abandon the project (approximately 13 episode scripts had been written), Tomino decided to condense the story he had been developing into a movie.It’s typical Studio Ghibli fare, with impeccably rendered matte backgrounds, empathetic characters, a great score, and all of the requisite high-profile voice performances that befit a Disney-licensed production. My Goddess: The Movie (2000) Director: Hiroaki Goda A sequel to a five-part OVA from 1993, based on a popular manga, Ah!All in all it’s a satisfactory debut, an average entry in Studio Ghibli’s otherwise stellar filmography with no especially high moments but a serviceable portrayal of a well-loved story that’s sure to play well with children. My Goddess: The Movie is the very rare example of a film based on an existing anime/manga franchise that’s superior to the original source material.The result, Mobile Suit Gundam F-91, is a messy but very worthy entry in the Gundam canon.The story revolves around an attack by a separatist group, the Crossbone Vanguard, against the unsuspecting earth colonies after years of peace.
Amateur efforts, nationalist propaganda fodder, niche cultural export turned eventual global phenomenon: Each iteration conforms to the shape of the times in which it was produced.