ElfDude wrote:Do Miyazaki movies count? There are a number of those that I really like...
I generally regard Kiki's Delivery Service as my most favorite movie. Not just Japanese animation. Of any section of the film/movie industry.
If you are interested in more Japanese animation movies which sidestep some of the awful traits which show up in many Anime: check out the movies directed (and sometimes written by) the late Satoshi Kon. He died very young, but left some absolutely great movies in his wake. Movies which inspired scenes, themes, and aesthetics for popular American movies such as Inception, The Matrix, Reqiuem for a dream, etc. Some of those movies even completely borrowed scenes either as an omage or to directly insert an aesthetic.
Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika, are the core of his works as a director and writer, or just director.
Tokyo Godfathers is a somewhat unique work, for him. As it isn't a sci-fi, is pretty grounded in reality and humanity. Has a healthy dose of humor. albeit expertly juxtaposed with other moods, as well. A fantastic movie.
spudmunkey wrote:I own Akira and Ghost in the Shell on DVD, but I can't say that I've even made it all the way through either.
Do you have the first Ghost in The Shell movie? It is really excellent. It doesn't waste time with fluff and setup. Drops you right into a scenario. Sometimes stops to linger in aesthetic exposition-----and drives a very solid line, all the way through.
The Anime series "Stand Alone Complex" smoothes over some of the aesthetic grit in order to appeal to Anime audiences. It's not an alienating difference. but it's noticeable. Once you get used to that, the quality varies wildly from episode to episode. However, with the series, Yoko Kanno makes her debut on soundtrack duty and she is fantastic. Overall, Ghost In The Shell is worth a try.
I would also recommend Patlabor. It varies in quality. But overall is solid. Often hits home runs. It's like the buddy cop show of giant robot animes. It is strange at first, however. Because the initial mini-series sets everything up-----and then they re-do it in the larger TV series. With some small, but noteable character changes.
Armored Trooper Votoms can be pretty great, too. It's not as big and fantastical as some of the other stuff. But it is very hard hitting and visceral. Imagine if every single battle scene was trying to be/is mostly successful at being as impactful as the normandy beach scene in Saving Private Ryan. I haven't watched a ton of it. But always enjoyed what I did watch.
Fooly Cooly (FLCL) is a must try. It takes a bunch of Anime tropes, wields and bends them, to give a really unique flavor and take on being an Anime Japanese teenager. It's super cool and charming.
I have heard great things about Cowboy Bebop and even bought the series for my Anime fiend sister. Yet, I have never watched any of it.
While I am certainly open to trying other stuff: this is pretty much the end of the line, for Anime and I.