I am a fan of movies. Any kind of movie. I like having something to put my feet up to at midnight every weekend. Just crack some drinks open and fall asleep at 6 am after having watched two or three stories pass by my eyes in the space of one night. I prefer this to marathoning serial shows where you have to watch from start to finish to get any closure.
Movies give a sense of character, enjoyment and completion all in one. If you didn't like it, it doesn't matter. It was only an hour or two anyway. If I can bash them for anything it is that the quality relies almost entirely on the director, which isn't always a good thing.
In anime, movies are especially good. The animation is almost always better than shows, and the characters more often than not will be unique and not taken from the story writers guide to genericism, note unique character Vincent Volaju- Cowboy Bebop movie. Plots usually click more starkly or quickly than shows and this will sometimes be very satisfying and much welcomed, note Ninja Scroll. Other times it will hinder the story development and take away any feeling of excitement or interest, note The Sky Crawlers.
Personally, I prefer movies. They are a quick fix for boredom, and don't procure a deterring "in-group" fanbase, as many series do. The lack of volume can be quite frustrating, but that's what shows are there for.
The movie scene has largely been dominated by Hayao Miyazaki since the beginning of time, so finding original titles can often be a bit of an Easter egg hunt. Mamoru Hosoda is known for great movies too, as is Makoto Shinkai, but Ghibli is probably the current title holder.
So! Here are my three anime movies you need to see before you die.
-These aren't all obvious ones, as you will have seen Akira and all the Ghibli's anyway.
-Nothing from a series can be on this list. Yes the Bebop movie was great, but the way I see it, that was just a really well animated filler arc in movie format. Same with FMA Conqueror of Shambala and stuff.
Barefoot Gen (1983)
Want a fun, educational, realistic look into Japanese history? Well this is the place to be! Here we will discover the wonders of wartime Japan, following the story of our adventurous young protagonist, Gen, as the little rascal gets into all kinds of scuffles and pinches! Enjoy his school life, his loving family, and best of all, his enthralling struggle through... Nuclear warfare.
I'll stop now, this isn't something to be sarcastic about. This is something to be tagged with a "SERIOUS" note. If you watch this, watch it alone. You will probably need some time to consolidate yourself after you finish this one.
Barefoot Gen tells the horrific story of a young boy living through the nuclear attack on Hiroshima during 1945, and goes to great lengths to describe just how indescribably difficult it was for the Japanese society during that time.
It is sad, graphic and will shock anyone. Even those people who watch horror movies for casual pleasure, it will shock you. The conditions seen after the Hiroshima bomb drop are given horrific realism in this story, and oh my word does it do a good job of slapping you in the face and waking you the fuck up.
If I can say one thing about this movie, it's that it isn't entertaining. But that is how it has to be, the gruesomeness of the whole scenario can't be comprehended by thinking about it. This movie scratches at the true horror of the scenario and delivers just a taste of the terror of nuclear warfare. No it's not entertainment, if it was I would probably hate it.
Graphic GIF of death by nuclear radiation
Another graphic GIF of death by nuclear radiation
What makes this story truly scary is that it was based off of writer Keiji Nakazawa's first hand experience as a Hiroshima survivor. Some of the scenes in the movie make you think about how difficult it must've been for him to write these things into his manga series.
For the impact it carries and the emotional weight, Barefoot Gen is an absolute must watch for anyone. But I do have to spoil, amongst all the tragedy, there is a much appreciated happy ending waiting for you after you undergo this ordeal. Savour it.
5 Centimetres Per Second (2007)
Well that started out on a lovely bright note didn't it? This one is something a little nicer, a romance. A short 1 hour movie told in three parts, following the life of main Takaki Tono from elementary school through to adulthood. It is quite touching and very nice to fall asleep to. A relaxing soundtrack and dumbfounding visuals will leave you with no questions about the quality. Voicing is brilliant too, and each character introduced gets more development in 5 minutes as just about the entire cast of One Piece gets in 6 billion episodes.
The story itself is beautiful, and will make you both sad and happy at the same time. Throw in the name Makoto Shinnkai and all of a sudden you will be grovelling at this movies feet for another.
Luckily, there is another Shinkai film about feet for you if you want. Garden of Words, check it out.
*WARNING* most of the frames in this movie belong in /r/earthporn.
Gorgeous GIFs from 5CM/S
This seems really inappropriate considering the other two on this list were about nuclear warfare and passionate romance, but Redline deserves to be here. It may not carry any message, or be that interesting, or have a good story, but to be honest, it doesn't matter with Redline. Why? You might ask. Well, Redline isn't a story. It's porn.
This is probably the best thing your eyes will ever see.
I mean it. I would love to give you a list of a billion adjectives describing how good the visuals are, but the only way you could even come close to understanding is from watching the whole movie. If you think that Ufotable can make a gorgeous show, or that Shinkai movies are the supermodels of anime, then Redline is a supermodel that can shoot lasers, drive cars really fast, make things explode and she probably created the universe too.
The way this show entertains you is with 100% pure visual immersion, 100% of the time.
Not one single frame of this whole movie would make a bad poster. The entire thing is hand drawn, and took something like 7 years to make. It has more than 100,000 frames condensed into 1 hour and 20, making it the most work intensive animated feature ever created.
On top of the aforementioned visuals, it has an incredible soundtrack, easily cracking my top 5 anime soundtracks ever. Headphones are a requirement. Put em on, turn up to full blast and FEEL THE BASS.
Redline is available on DVD and Blu-Ray (you should probably get the Blu-Ray) everywhere in the universe pretty much and it isn't that pricey so buy it. Dub is sweet too, it has Liam O'Brian (voice of LoL Yasuo) and it is pretty easy to watch.
This one deserves watching, so for christs sake, WATCH IT.
These three are movies that you need to see, for very different reasons, but they will not leave you disappointed.
Thanks for reading.
Also, if you're looking to legally watch/stream two of those excellent suggestions by Jimjam405 right now, you can:
- 5 Centimetres Per Second (2007) | http://www.crunchyroll.com/5-centimeters-per-second (on Crunchyroll)
- Redline (2009) | http://www.hulu.com/watch/508194 (Free to watch on Hulu, Ad supported)
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