10. Millennium Actress
A film that honours the beauty that cinema holds to its fans, Millennium Actress blurs the line of reality and fantasy and allows us to play with the idea of what we choose to believe. As far as animation goes, it delicately touches on ideas where few films had gone before.
9. Tokyo Godfathers
This unusual holiday tale is warm, funny and as action-packed as they come. Tokyo Godfathers is a caricatured comedy that is exquisitely painted and fantastically written, with character at its heart.
Satoshi Kon’s final feature before his death in 2010 was one of his most memorable and one that followed its own brand of logic.Paprika is a puzzling fantasy tale but is hard to argue that its not eye-catching. By being both disturbing and perplexing, Satoshi Kon made sure his last outing would sit with you long after it finishes.
7. 5 Centimeters per Second
To watch 5 Centimeters per Second in high definition is to watch poetry in motion. Though the story line is limited and sometimes bitter-sweet, the visuals make up for it and then some. There’s a reason it earned the handle ‘5 wallpapers a second’.
6. Perfect Blue
Where most anime are judged on their visual merit, Satoshi Kon is there to remind us that the medium allows for creative storytelling as well. Perfect Blue achieves in how it is a mystery film where the mystery remains exactly that, always compelling throughout its run time. Despite its criticisms, having fans such as Darren Aronofsky and Terry Gilliam shows those in the know recognise its merit.
“Metropolis is the new milestone in anime. It has beauty, power, mystery, and above all… heart. Images from this film will stay with you forever.” Those were the comments of James Cameron after he watched the 2001 Metropolis, and it’s hard to argue with him. It remains a yardstick for which all anime is measured against, not for its overly ambitious story line, but in the way that it aimed to create something that had not been done before.
4. Ghost in the Shell
A film known to those who haven’t even seen it, Ghost in the Shell is as influential as they come with its themes of identity in a technologically dominated world. The detail of every backdrop creates a thousand paintings that represent the visual masterpieces, with unique designs that the likes of the Wachowski’s and Spielberg have used in their films. 20 years on, and Ghost in the Shell is still hard to equal in the ways it pushed the boundaries of what could be done in films.
Built on pure adrenaline, Redline is a hectic visual masterpiece that chooses to shout its story rather than simply tell it. There’s plenty of problems you could pick out if you so chose to, but this is one where you should switch off your mind and enjoy the ride. If you’re a thrill seeker, then this is the perfect film for you.
2. The Girl who Leapt Through Time
Another perfect blend of science fiction and slice of life drama that creates a fun ride through an interesting concept. The Girl who Leapt Through Time is exactly that, and despite the usual problems with any grasp of time travel it’s an entertaining watch as the teenage Makoto bumbles through the film and explores her new power, only to discover the the need to embrace things the way they are.
One of the most influential anime ever created. Katsuhiro Otomo’s dystopian nightmare is a visual feast that creates a hyper real Tokyo playground where gangs of teens rule the streets. With an added flair of science-fiction and some interestingly dense characters, Akira is a perfect blend of emotion and intelligence that is as chaotic as it is beautiful. A great encapsulation of Generation X.