All I could think of was The Girl Who Lept Through Time. I enjoyed that, but most Anime is as fire pointed out episodic. If you only want movies that pretty much taps me out. Otherwise I could think of quite a few great series, but that would probably take a lot longer than you have to watch.
My problem would be that even having fallen out of watching anime in recent years I could still name a dozen or more must see series, but in terms of movies it’s pretty much Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon, and like one or two other things. Because that’s just not where most of the interest value lies. But do check out Satoshi Kon’s stuff. Paprika, sure, but also Millennium Actress and especially Tokyo Godfathers (and Perfect Blue maybe although the subject matter is kind of unpleasant). I would still argue that his one series, Paranoia Agent, is his best work, but he did mostly make movies.
The animation major says:
hit them with some Satoshi Kon. Paprika or Perfect Blue, or maybe Tokyo Godfathers for something a lil bit more lighthearted.
Mamoru Hosoda is good too. He’s about as close as you can get to Ghibli without BEING Ghibli.
And these days, Mokoto Shinkai’s “Your Name” is SUPER highly regarded
Excellent. Thank you, Misguided. And pass on my thanks to the Animation Major, which name sounds like an anime character.
No problem. Honestly, I should check all of them out myself. I know very few anime films, aside from Ghibli. Sci-if channel used to show anime films on Saturday years ago, but the films as a whole haven’t made the same kind of inroads as series.
I guess looking at the state of modern Japanese cinema gives you a clue about the state of anime movies (proto TV-series divided over multiple movies devoid of any artistical vision is a big thing, it seems) because I’d be hard pressed to name any that I enjoyed.
I can only vote “against”, so I will not do that and be the thread jerk.
My recommandation is the 1978 movie Saraba Uchusenkan Yamato. But you have to be familiar with the Yamato (“Starsomething” in English, I forgot!) first series as a prelude or it will make zero sense. Great looking movie though! It is supposed to be directed by Leiji Matsumoto, which makes no sense when you look at what he did on the eponymous series and the first movie, both of which show a total lack of… well, direction.
First off, movies are indeed the worst way to experience anime. The style is primarily focused on series. I would consider picking a short series (6 eps or 8) and binge it.
The recommendations you’ve gotten so far seem to cater to you. They are movie lovers’ anime movies. Satoshi Kon is genuinely good cinema. I’m not sure it will “teach” you much about anime tropes and conventions though. You couldn’t watch those and claim to be an anime veteran/lover. I’m not really sure what your goals are so I’m not sure what exactly to recommend. If you’re looking to see what it’s like to be an otaku and hang out with anime fans, then that’s one thing. If you’re looking for good cinema, that’s another. If you want to know what life’s like in present-day Japan (or the closest approximation anime can provide), that’s another.
But, just to list some movies, let’s see what the internet says:
MAL tends to prefer newer things, so of course Your Name and Koe no Katachi are near the top of the list. MAL also prefers movies based on series somewhat due to series fans, so there are a lot of series-based movies there.
#1 is Your Name which is supposedly actually really good. Not just “new” good. So it’s on the list, except it hasn’t been officially released.
#2 and #3 are there because MAL probably. But if anyone has seen Koe no Katachi, please let us know how it is.
#4 is Spirited Away, which is fantastic and I’m sure you’ve seen it.
#5 is Wolf Children. That’s a great choice.
Skipping Ghibli and series-based movies, we end up at…
#15 Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light), which I haven’t seen. It’s only 45 minutes though.
#18 is Bakemono no Ko or The Boy and the Beast. I’ve heard really great things about this one.
#19 is Grave of the Fireflies, which is very good.
Pushing all the way to 30, there aren’t any more that aren’t Ghibli or series-based.
But #33 is The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which is fantastic.
Here’s my real recommendation though. If you want to “get into” anime, I’d recommend biting the bullet and watching a short series. My choice for that would be One Punch Man. It’s 12 episodes, so if you cut out intro and outro, it’s only about 4 hours total of stuff to watch. It’s very easy to watch, not terribly full of tropes, and avoids the common problem for 80% of anime, which is that it has to take place around high school kids. But it’s still a great introduction and is very easy to watch. It’s uproariously funny and not complex.
The only thing you’ll miss is that it plays with tropes and conventions a lot. It’s a takedown of shonen anime to some extent, and you’ll probably never pick up that thread.
If you want to be confused the whole time, then watch FLCL (6 eps)
If you have a Plex client, then I have most of this stuff on my Plex server. You should be able to stream it fine from my server, I rarely test it out remotely though and you sometimes need to tweak the client settings to get certain things to play correctly (i.e. 10-bit HEVC anime, of which I have some).
Qt3 Movie Podcast Pledge Drive/Listener's Choice Lottery
I haven’t seen it, but it was a highly anticipated (by anime standards) movie based on well-regarded source material and was put together by Kyoto Animation, who consistently turn out some of the most technically impressive animation around.
It also hasn’t had a wide-ranging release so it’s decidedly less relevant to this discussion than even Your Name. The quality is ultimately a moot point if it can’t be readily experienced in the next week.
I’m a pretty big fan of Memories. Of the three shorts, Magnetic Rose is I think the best by far, but the other two are enjoyable as well. Memories tends to be pretty expensive though, sadly.
[quote=“ChristienMurawski, post:4259, topic:15138, full:true”]
Yeah, Misguided, I realize I’m doing that. And I suppose that’s being tone-deaf, if not rude. My intent is to be more prepared, and if I can get a little closer, that would help.[/quote]
Dude, it’s animation, not dating.
- Think of a genre you enjoy.
- Find a highly-rated anime in that genre.
- Watch it.
Robots, aliens, ghosts, gangsters, cowboys, period pieces, contemporary, future, alternate history, cyberspace, ninjas, ghosts, superheroes, antiheroes, comedy, drama, surreal, grounded, yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda, there will be something in practically any genre you can imagine.
Also I’m rewatching Log Horizon for like the third time, so that’s good too.
I’ve got a soft place in my heart for Sword of the Stranger. It might be just because the dog was so great, or the choreography of the sword fights enjoyable to watch.
I’ll second One Punch Man as an amazing series. There’s a ton of hidden gems in the animation - single frames that crazy viewers have pulled out that are incredibly cool looking, that I think you notice unconsciously but can’t quite put your finger on.
Crossposting my recommendations from Slack. I haven’t seen all that wide a variety of anime, but I’d agree that the ones that made the biggest impact have been series rather than movies. 12 episodes is only slightly more time commitment than a movie, so with that in mind, I recommend:
- Kids on the Slope (grounded drama about teenagers playing music) - on Hulu
- Madoka Magica (girls using magical powers to battle supernatural threats, with a darker undercurrent) - on Netflix
- Paranoia Agent (Psychological weirdness and investigation into a strange series of attacks)
- The Eccentric Family (Secret life of shape-changing raccoons)
Since everyone is talking about movies, how good are the new Evangelion movies? Are they worth watching? I saw the old anime and the End of Evangelion movie.
Atrocious. Well, not as bad as the End of Evangelion horror shows: I found the new ones so self-parodic and silly they close in the “so bad it might be fun” zone so far, but if you were fond of the TV series… what a massacre.
I am so sad that none of your recommandations are available on my Netflix! Writing them down, in the hopes of…
I noticed this is on U.S. Netflix, as well as 3 movies by this name as well. Do the movies follow the series or are they an alternative to the series?
The movies follow a somewhat different continuity (different events, new characters, but the same overall plotline and world) but have a completely different ending. What I personally did was watch the series first and then watched the third movie (Rebellion, which is basically 100% new). I missed out on a few things but saved a couple hours of time.
I’m being intentionally vague because getting any more elaborate involves spoilers.
Yeah, this really was the downside of Season 2. Speaking of which, is Season 3 on the horizon yet? I’m still curious as to where they’re going with all this. Clearly they have a big picture story in mind, and there’s still stuff that’s mysterious to the viewer when you see people talking to each other.
Princess Mononoke is part of my soul.
Howl’s Moving Castle is pretty good to get a little anime silliness in the mix.
As is Spirited Away.
Really just pick some Ghibli stuff and you’d probably be okay.