10 Great Anime Movies

Monday, December 6 by Sheldon Reid

The next time you're craving a movie night, hunt down some great anime movies. One common misconception is that anime is only for children. However, these films feature stylized animation, in-depth story lines and colorful characters that will appeal to viewers of all ages. Careful, the ten following titles may make an anime fan out of you.

  1. "Cowboy Bebop: The Movie" Here is an action-filled science fiction flick based on the anime series “Cowboy Bebop.” In the film, space-age bounty hunters chase a bio-terrorist across the planet Mars-a setting which, at times, resembles the Arabic world. Unfortunately, for the crew of bounty hunters, before they can capture their target, they must first solve the many mysteries surrounding his identity. The movie is directed by Shinichiro Watanabe and features music by the internationally known Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts.
  2. AkiraThis is a great anime film that combines the genres of science fiction, horror and psychological thriller. The action takes place in Neo-Tokyo, a city erected after the fall of Tokyo during World War III. In this gritty city, a bike gang leader strives to save his friend, who has fallen into a government project that wishes to harness latent psychic powers. Katsuhiro Otomo directs the movie, and the film is based on his series of graphic novels.
  3. “Grave of the Fireflies” Solemn and somber, this is an anti-war film directed by Isao Takahata. The story follows two orphan siblings who are trying to survive the aftermath of World World II. A novel written by Akiyuki Nosaka, a writer who lived through the true horrors of World War II, inspired this anime movie.
  4. “Fist of the North Star” Here is an anime movie that is set in a post-apocalyptic world. Kenshiro, a protagonist reminiscent of classic action heroes, takes on the usual duties of defending the weak and challenging evil. A popular action manga series inspired the movie.
  5. “Princess Mononoke This is one of the most successful Japanese films of all time. In this film, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, a man sets out to quell the fighting between humans and animals gods, two forces battling for forest territory and resources. The hero, distrusted by both sides and suffering from a life-consuming curse, must overcome great odds.  
  6. “Spirited Away” Here's another fantastical plot concocted by Miyazaki. In this fantasy film, a girl faces monsters, spirits and witches while working at a Japanese bathhouse. The film has won numerous awards, including an Oscar for Best Animated Feature of 2003.
  7. “Ghost in the Shell” Jumping back into the genre of science fiction, this is a film adapted from a manga series of the same name. The plot follows a cyborg cop as she searches for a dangerous criminal hacker named The Pupper Master. The film, originally released in 1995, won various awards and nominations.
  8. Ninja Scroll” This action film is set in feudal Japan. Throughout the story, a ninja faces a group of powerful demons that threatens to overtake the government. Yoshiaki Kawajiri directs this bloody feature.
  9. “Perfect Blue” If you're looking for horror, try this psychological thriller. The story is about a former singer’s troublers with an obsessed fan, who turns to stalking the celebrity. Critics and fans often compare this film, directed by Satoshi Kon, to the works of Alfred Hitchcock.
  10. "Paparikoa" Satoshi Kon also directed “Paparika,” another psychological thriller. In this futuristic movie, a thief swipes a device that allows therapists to enter the unconscious minds of their patients. Dr. Atsuko Chiba attempts to solve the crime.
  11. "Blood: The Last Vampire" Here's a bonus title. Even though “Blood: The Last Vampire” is less than an hour in length, the feature is a great anime movie. The story is about Saya, a vampire slayer who aids in the government in battling a group of creatures called Teropterids. If you are looking for a quick horror film and can tolerate animated gory, watch “Blood: The Last Vampire.”
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