10 great animated films of the 21st century (not from Studio Ghibli)


Say the word anime and most people’s minds will jump to Studio Ghibli immediately. It’s a connection made for good reasons after all – since arriving on the scene, Hayao Miyazaki and his company have overseen some of the best animation in the business. Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Tomb of the Fireflies, Porco Rosso, My Neighbor Totoro … the list goes on and on.

But they’re not the only studio producing brilliant animation halfway around the world. Indeed, over the past decade, with Ghibli’s production slowing down as they envisioned their future, several other masters of the art, old and new, have had the chance to shine in the spotlight.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a collection of some of the best in the business that don’t bear the Ghibli seal – from high school fantasias to mecha-action deconstructions and everything in between.

This is by no means a definitive ranking, of course, with many fantastic features missing from this list. In the interest of trying to create a balanced selection, we’ve limited the directors to just one choice, although one or two could have completed such a lineup on their own – and even then, there are still plenty of brilliant choices. who missed the cut.

There’s no shortage of particularly distinctive styles to the anime, but this effort by veteran director Masaaki Yuasa stands out from the crowd with its rather unique undertones and naturalistic flavor, delivering a rom-com that, true to its college setting and life. , is in no hurry to get to where it’s going. He may have met more mixed reviews outside of his native Japan, but his adaptation of Tomihiko Morimi’s book has been warmly received at home for good reason.

Something of a spiritual follow-up to its director’s previous TV series The Tatami Galaxy – also adapted from a light novel by Morimi – it follows the stories of two anonymous students over the course of a night out, before a date, as ‘They are beset by various misadventures involving parties, guerrilla theater, perverts and spirits, to name a few.

Yuasa is a particularly respected figure in the industry – he was one of the few outsiders who got to direct episodes of the famous Adventure Time TV series – and while that film sometimes stumbles along the way, it is always an intriguing subject. creative work worth checking out.

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