10 great animated films for newcomers
This article was written exclusively for The cinema magazine by Jack Cameron.
Where to start with the anime? It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one time or another. Despite being one of Japan’s main cultural exports, the sheer scale of its animation production can be intimidating for anyone. How the hell are you supposed to distinguish your friends from your family from your hyper-violent exploitation films?
Studio Ghibli has, of course, been the first port of call for many people when it comes to media. Hailed as Japan’s response to Disney, the studio’s stunning back catalog has been rightly celebrated and lauded for nearly forty years. However, one studio isn’t enough to do an entire art form justice, and even the comparison to Disney is a bit reductive. Granted, they make fables and fairy tales for all ages, but Ghibli’s style remains quite unique nonetheless.
With such a variety of styles and genres, each equally unique, anime is and has long been a hub of creative expression and awe-inspiring cinema, which is why in this List of films we at The cinema magazine watch 10 great animated films for newcomers. It’s not a top ten – there’s no ranking involved – rather it’s a list of ten separate starting points from which you can jump into the larger world of anime with your own. tastes and interests; there really is something for everyone out there.
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1. Akira (1988)
Akira may seem like an obvious first choice for a list like this, but for good reason. Originally chosen to illustrate Japan’s animated filmmaking capabilities to the world, Akira has one of the biggest budgets and biggest animation teams ever produced, and the result is a mind-boggling spectacle of form.
Following a group of bikers in a dystopian neo-Tokyo who find themselves caught up in events far bigger than themselves, the film is a perfect example of the genre-splicing power of anime. It’s a world where cyberpunk shootouts are set against high school rebellion, and teenage angst manifests itself in telekinetic superpowers.
2. The Girl Who Leaped In Time (2006)
In The girl who jumped through time Makoto has the power to turn back time a few minutes, but since it’s not far enough to make any drastic changes to the world, she uses it instead (as we all probably would) to correct any embarrassing mistakes she does in her social life.
The film is undeniably charming, a slice of the life of a high school student who manages to put so much energy into the most ordinary scenes.
A first offering from acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda, an expert at blending intimately realistic settings with otherworldly storylines, the film seems to constantly try to surprise you; Just as high school drama and romance starts to age, a time-warping mystery begins to unravel that turns the film into something entirely different.