Five great animated films that aren’t from Studio Ghibli

For fans of Japanese animation cinema, better known as anime, Netflix’s recent acquisition of 21 Studio Ghibli films is incredible news. Currently seven films, My Neighbor Totoro, Ocean Waves, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, Castle in the Sky, Porco Rosso and Tales from Earthsea, are available to watch now, with the rest to come over the next few months. Now anyone can watch these majestic worlds, including flying creatures and buildings, courageous female protagonists, and shapeshifter animals, created by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. To get you started, we’ve even compiled a list of seven essential Studio Ghibli movies that you can check it out here.

Despite the massive influence Studio Ghibli has had on animation not only in Japan but around the world, they aren’t the only anime studio to see. Anime in Japan is huge, boasting over 430 production studios and worth billions of dollars worldwide. This means that knowing what to watch can be a difficult process. So whether you’re new to the genre or have already exhausted Ghibli’s relatively slim production, here are five great non-Studio Ghibli animated films you should watch. Read on to see what we chose. Do you think we missed something? Comments below.


A real milestone in the cyberpunk genre – characterized by metamorphosis, sexual deviance, grainy technology and abstract visual footage – Akira is quite different from anything that came before it. Based on the manga of the same name by director Katsuhiro Otomo, the 1989 film is set in a future dystopia 2019 and tells the story of a biker gang leader who gains telekinetic powers after an accident. Â

If Studio Ghibli is characterized by its bucolic settings or its picturesque, almost European towns, Akira takes place in a true East Asian megalopolis, with vast overwhelming cityscapes teeming with neon lights. In fact, the final film used over 327 different colors, 50 of which were created specifically for the film. Influencing Everyone from Kanye West – whose video “Stronger” recreated the graphics from the video – to Christopher Nolan (Creation) to Michael Jackson (he appears in the music video for “Scream”), his live-action remake has been in hellish development since 2002. Now, Taika Waititi is expected to direct, but the release date is unknown.

Ghost in the shell

Based on the manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow, Ghost in the shell was a breakthrough in the combination of traditional animation and CGI, creating a semi-photo-realistic look and exciting futuristic.A Telling the story of a public safety officer chasing down a mysterious hacker, his philosophical themes of personal identity as well as his concepts of transformation through technology would prove to be a massive influence on the Wachowski Sisters’ Matrix trilogy. Cold where Studio Ghibli is warm, it is a deeply melancholy and provocative take on a world where robots take over.

For those who associate the sound of anime with the exhilarating strings and major chords of Studio Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi, Ghost in the shell The soundtrack is much more abrasive: filled with unsettling backing vocals and arrhythmic drum patterns, it fully immerses you in this strange cyberpunk world. It was remade in 2017 by Rupert Sanders with Scarlett Johansson in mind. This movie was a complete flop.

Perfect blue

It makes sense that Satashi Kon’s psychological horror thriller, telling the story of an actress seemingly pursued by her own lookalike, has the perfect word in the title. This impressionistic portrayal of a woman in the film industry unable to tell the difference between fantasy and reality is what comes closest to the anime genre of perfection.

Here one cannot trust the very fabric of reality, Kon quickly playing with metafictional tropes to both confuse the audience and increase the protagonist’s inner mental state. Commenting on the double standard of women in society, the role of super fans in popular culture and the need for man control, Perfect blue foreshadowed the Twitter era and Stan’s concept with a stranger clairvoyance, making it deeply relevant work today. It was also a massive influence on Darren Aronofsky’s work, notably Black Swan.


The concept of dreams within dreams, signified by swirling buildings and magical elevators, is excitingly explored in Satashi Kon’s masterpiece Paprika – vast, messy and deeply ambitious where Perfect blue was stripped down and psychologically rigorous.A For fans of As if by magic, who also revel in unlimited creativity and magical shape shifting, Paprika makes the perfect companion movie.

Based on the novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui, it was Satashi Kon’s last film before his death in 2010. Telling the story of a doctor who uses a dream device to help his patients, paprika central vanity allows Kon to play with genres such as fantasy, noir, and thriller. The most exciting is the sense of carnival created by Kon, giving free rein to his vast creativity while taking us for the ride. Influence on Creation is pretty obvious here, with many critics even accusing Nolan of raising big scenes from Kon.

your name

For over 15 years, Abducted as if by magic topped the global anime box office, with over $ 347 million worldwide. In 2016, this record was broken by the great success Your name, which also made its debut with an overwhelmingly positive critical reception. The concept is simple – a genre variation on American films like Horrible friday and She is the man – yet the workmanship is exquisite, director Makoto Shinkai rendering this coming of age tale with acres of sensibility.

Tackle everything from the Fukushima disaster to the weirdness of occupying a new body to falling for someone you haven’t really met, your name interweaves these themes with an irresistible poppy burst. The result is one of the best animated films and proof that Shinkai is the best anime director alive after Miyazaki himself. Characters from the previous film reappeared in Shinkai’s Alter with you, that came out last year. during this time your name was planned for an American remake, with (500) summer days Marc Webb is about to direct.

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