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Author Topic: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)  (Read 61969 times)

Offline Kurier

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My brother sent me this link: Netflix's Top 10 Essential Anime Movies

Here is how the list is broken down:

10 - Howl's Moving Castle
09 - Blood: The Last Vampire
08 - The Castle of Cagliostro
07 - Grave of the Fireflies
06 - Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
05 - Ghost in the Shell
04 - My Neighbor Totoro
03 - Princess Mononoke
02 - Spirited Away
01 - Akira



I don't like 50% of this list, and I want to see what everyone else thinks should be changed. Staying to the author's aim for the list (essential titles for anime fans to see), here is my fixed list.


10 - Howl's Moving Castle Mind Game (1)
09 - Blood: The Last Vampire
08 - The Castle of Cagliostro
07 - Grave of the Fireflies
06 - Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Millennium Actress (2)
05 - Ghost in the Shell
04 - My Neighbor Totoro Sword of the Stranger (3)
03 - Princess Mononoke
02 - Spirited Away Wings of Honneamise (5)
01 - Akira

(1) and (4): Miyazaki-Ghibli films that are not as good as Princess Mononoke. This list has way too many Miyazaki films and not enough variety.

Mind Game is the total opposite of Howl's Moving Castle to me. It isn't a conventional movie, the art isn't standard Miyazaki fair. Essential viewing show cover a broad spectrum in my opinion, which Mind Game helps with.

Wings of Honneamise is the anime movie in my mind. This is part my GAINAX-fanboy showing and part my extreme reverence for the work put into the movie that resulted in such an amazing final product. This is hard sci-fi to the stripped version of Akira portrayed in its film version.

(2) Nausicaa is a really good movie (and it scores points for having Hideaki Anno among its animators) but this list has way too much Miyazaki. For environmental messages by Miyazaki, see Princess Mononoke.

Millennium Actress is a great display of the story telling ability of an anime movie and a good fit for this list.

(3) My Neighbor Totoro is a great movie but I don't think it is super essential viewing. It is arguably Miyazaki best work on Japanese culture, but that doesn't make is essential viewing for anime fans (anime fans studying Japanese culture yes)

Sword of the Stranger is a very new movie, but it is such a prime example of fluid samurai action that it has became an essential example of the genre.



How would you fix NetFlix's list (if you feel it needs it)?

(Do forgive me for such a generic thread, but stuff like this really makes me think when it gets posted on major websites)

EDIT//

A question to break the generic-nature of the topic:


Is all the Ghibli necessary? Are there more than two or three Ghibli movies that are "essential" viewing for anime fans?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 11:47:44 PM by Kurier »
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Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2009, 11:07:56 PM »
The original list isn't that horrible, aside from Blood the Last Vampire.  Replace it with Wings of Honeamise and you're good.  If you're really bugged about not having Millennium Actress, Sword of the Stranger, or Mind Game on there (and no Perfect Blue?) then just put them as footnotes that "just missed the cut".  It's pretty damned hard to pick just 10 anime, movie or otherwise, that should be listed as "essential" viewings.
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Offline zzeroparticle

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 11:40:57 PM »
Aside from the excellent animation, I'm curious why Blood: the Last Vampire gets any acclamation at all.  None of the characters are that particularly engaging and the story is practically nonexistent.

Beyond that, I can't really say I can contribute to this, though I do wonder where TokiKake would fall in the rankings (I'd imagine top 20 at the very least).

Offline Kurier

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2009, 11:47:08 PM »
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time completely escaped my mind. TIF hits it on the head that its is really hard to list just 10.

I think Blood: The Last Vampire is on the list because its an example of extremely good animation, same as Akira and GiTS.

Allow me to pose this question to break away from the generic nature of such a list:

Is all the Ghibli necessary? Are there more than two or three Ghibli movies that are "essential" viewing for anime fans?
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Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2009, 01:11:16 AM »
Is all the Ghibli necessary? Are there more than two or three Ghibli movies that are "essential" viewing for anime fans?

When you're talking about anime, often it can be said that there's what Ghibli does, then there's what everybody else does.  Every once in a while you'll find a pearl amongst the swine with the other companies, but really Ghibli has been the epitome of superior Japanese animation quality in style, art, direction, and story.  I honestly believe all of them should be viewed at least once.  Special considerations should be given to things like Nausica, Only Yesterday, My Neighbor Totoro, Laputa, and one of the modern ones like Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away.  In reality, you don't HAVE to watch any of them.  For the longest time in my fandom, I'd not seen one Ghibli movie.  In fact, Mononoke was my first.  I realized that there was something incredibly different about the way these movies were done, and I went to watch others afterward.  I still don't like Howl's Moving Castle, but that's about it.

But it's not as if Ghibli has to be the only thing you watch, but one of them should probably be #1 on that list.  With all apologies to Otomo, Akira is beautiful to look at, but a ****ing mess otherwise.  I'd also probably knock GITS off that list, as I don't think it's one of Oshii's best works, but I'm digressing now.

There are plenty of other anime films that fans should indulge in that are non Ghibli, but Ghibli is really where you should start.  Ask yourself a question:  if you could show one anime to someone and only one anime and they would never watch another one again, what would you want them to watch that would not only best represent Japan's animation industry but something they'd also enjoy thoroughly.  If your answer isn't a Ghibli movie, then you're probably on crack.
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Offline AC

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2009, 01:17:02 AM »
I'm curious: Why would you include Sword of the Stranger in a place that lists all the anime that make the industry. Yes, I think it's a great movie too, but I don't know if I would call it an "essential anime". Plus, I haven't watched Blood: The Last Vampire yet so I won't comment about it for now. Same goes for my general opinion on the list, because there are many of it that I haven't even watched. I would only comment that based just from a nutshell, I don't think it's a horrible list; it's pretty decent if you ask me.

Offline C0MPL3X

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2009, 03:44:50 AM »
Is all the Ghibli necessary? Are there more than two or three Ghibli movies that are "essential" viewing for anime fans?
Yea I wouldn't say all those Ghibli are essential (especially if we're talking about 10 out of every anime we've seen so far) but I can see why they did it. If you were to pick only 1~3 Ghibli, which one would you choose? Although I don't like how they went with Howling's Castle, that certainly isn't one of the best Ghibli has to offer.

Hmm if I had the option to fiddle around with the list with what little I've watched, it would look something like this (not in any order):

10 - Howl's Moving Castle Angel's Egg - I think we need one experimental film to show the kind of things that can be done with the medium. And it is relatively well-known even in cult film circles, and probably the most recognised experimental anime film.
09 - Blood: The Last Vampire Ninja Scroll - I don't know about Blood (haven't watched) but Ninja Scroll was a pretty slick action anime movie. And if I'm not mistaken it was influential as well.
08 - The Castle of Cagliostro
07 - Grave of the Fireflies
06 - Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind 5cm per second - I think putting one Shinkai Makoto is obligatory, and because we have enough Ghibli.
05 - Ghost in the Shell
04 - My Neighbor Totoro Millenium Actress - because it's one of the best anime movies out there, because it's Satoshi Kon, and to show how you can flip flop between reality and dream better in anime than films.
03 - Princess Mononoke I think only one out of Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away should suffice. I'm tempted to place either Mind Game or Tekkon Kinkreet here but I suppose it can prove too bizarre for mainstream audience. I guess either Tokikake for modern classic or the good old Wings of Honneamise should be fine.
02 - Spirited Away
01 - Akira (haven't watched but I guess it's influential...)

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2009, 05:55:36 AM »
There's something about the idea of "essential" anime that doesn't quite sit right with me.  I know that it's not deliberate, but there's almost an implication that "essential anime" are like prerequisites that must be watched before seriously delving into the medium.  Which is total nonsense, obviously.

Anyway, if I was messing with that list, I'd definitely put on Castle in the Sky (which I still consider Miyazaki's best), and probably throw in Millennium Actress and maybe Ninja Scroll (not that I necessarily think it's amazing), and I'd probably remove Howl's Moving Castle, Blood: The Last Vampire and Princess Mononoke.  Maybe there's an argument for either one of Ocean Waves or Whisper of the Heart (ie, the non-Miyazaki Ghibli) to be on the list too.  If I was going to call anything by Shinkai an essential anime, it'd definitely be Voices of a Distant Star, except for the fact that that's not actually a movie.  His other stuff, while amazing, isn't essential.

Offline Kurier

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2009, 07:45:05 PM »
@AC:

Sword of the Stranger to me is a good example of modern animation techniques (CGI, drawn on computers, etc) being capable of producing fluid, well choreographed action like that you'd see in the Samurai X OVA series. I think another good fit would be Brave Story, but it doesn't have nearly as strong action scenes.

@COMPLEX:

Akira's going to hurt me if he realizes that I neglected to put a Shinkai on this list (and I'm willing to hurt myself for the oversight). 5cm per Seconds would be a good replacement for my own addition of Sword of the Stranger (little else to cut out).

Regarding Blood: The Last Vampire:

Blood offers more, in my opinion, than Ninja Scroll. While Ninja Scroll is a pretty straight-forward action film, Blood displays that anime films can be scary (in addition to having nice action scenes).

Nevertheless, I have thought about this more and think that Jin-Roh would make better use of Blood's spot. For what Sword of the Stranger would show about modern animation techniques, Jin-Roh is probably one of the best examples of traditional hand drawn anime (the same can be said for Honneamise, the best example of hand drawn animation in my book).

There are plenty of other anime films that fans should indulge in that are non Ghibli, but Ghibli is really where you should start.  Ask yourself a question:  if you could show one anime to someone and only one anime and they would never watch another one again, what would you want them to watch that would not only best represent Japan's animation industry but something they'd also enjoy thoroughly.  If your answer isn't a Ghibli movie, then you're probably on crack.

If you didn't put that caveat of "also enjoy thoroughly," I would have said that I'd pick Wings of Honneamise because it represents the best of Japan's animation industry in my mind. It also excludes Grave of the Fireflies. (However, for a mature audience, both these latter films are applicable but can be hit-or-miss). Princess Mononoke or Laputa would be my answer.
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Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2009, 10:19:15 PM »
I had to add that caveat.  I find that too many people are willing to watch foreign films just because they've heard it's artsy or visually amazing or whatever.  I find that people who do this often don't enjoy the sumbitch because for as much flash as it has, it has little to no or confusing substance.  Wings of Honeamise might be one of those.  It's gorgeous, it's provocative, it's... kind of ****ing boring.  I fell asleep watching it on two separate occasions.  It's spectacular... but dull.

Same thing really with GITS.  Oshii went for pretentiousness, compelling arguments, and visual appeal and threw the ****ing plot out the window.  When you look at how GITS Stand Alone Complex was done vs. the movie, it becomes that much more obvious that the GITS film was just trash.  Same problem in Perfect Blue.  It's awesome, it's a stab in the eye on the Japanese idol industry, and it's a mess of a story.  Did I enjoy these three films?  Yeah.  Would the common non acquainted viewer?  **** no.

The Ninja Scroll phenomenon was what I'm talking about.  I know hundreds of faggots who've seen it and think it's the best anime ever.  No, they haven't seen any others, but they still think that.  Akira had that same phenomenon, though that's mostly because the incredible visuals and just flat out weirdness of it consumes you.  Neither movie I find to be particularly pretentious or overly philosophical.  Ninja Scroll is just made for Spike TV, and Akira has it, but nobody notices it.

I find that Ghibli movies generally meet all requirements.  You're going to get the story, the visuals, and the unique perspective of the Japanese.  You can watch them for art film school and not feel bored.
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Offline C0MPL3X

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2009, 04:02:14 AM »
Ghibli is what you would show if you were to choose ONE essential movie, but I think the issue Kurier brought up was that whether you needed to watch all those Ghibli out of 10 to get a better grasp of the kind of movies you would expect in anime.

Anyway, I don't like comparing GITS movies and series because they are very different with very different aesthetics and very different way of story-telling, aiming for very different reactions, both very good on their very own right. Although I have to accept the fact that GITS movies are pretentious.

Offline Akira

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2009, 05:07:23 AM »
Regarding SK's comment:

I think there should be at least one Shinkai film on there. I'd say 5 cm/sec, but like Sorrow said, I don't know if it's "essential." Shinkai's such an integral part of the anime canon though that I feel you would have to watch at least one of his films. Definitely throw out Howl. There's no reason why it should be on the list. It wasn't even a good movie to begin with. Hell, replace Howl with 5 cm/sec.
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Offline Kavik Ryx

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2009, 07:27:20 AM »
I'd say the problem with the list is that there are two Miyazaki films that involve the word "Castle," and neither of them are Castle in the Sky.

Offline kirarakim

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2009, 05:26:35 PM »
The term essential is also used by TCM to talk about Classic Movies. It usually highlights films by famous directors, actors, academy award winners, etc.

So taking that into account I guess essential anime films would highlight a great director's works/works that define a studio or just one that had a large impact on the industry (like what Akira did to the US anime fandom in the 80's). They don't even necessarily have to be the best, because how do you define best anyways?

So I guess I do agree with the inclusion of things like Wings of Honneamise (Gainax) & Millennium Actress (Satoshi Kon) and something by Makoto Shinkai. Obviously they should keep GOTF by Takahata and at least one or two films by Miyazaki (although there doesn't need to be 5).


That being said I am not sure about the inclusion of things like Mind Game, Tokikake, and Sword of the Stranger. I enjoy all 3 of these films (especially Tokikake) but perhaps they are a bit too new to be called essentials. Maybe I am being too strict with how I am looking at the term though.






Offline imlazee247

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Re: NetFlix's The Top 10 Essential Anime Movies (and I want you to fix it!)
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2010, 10:40:25 PM »
I would probably agree with replacing blood the last vampire, but i would prefer to go with  Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal Director's Cut. It is a beautiful tragedy that really cuts deep, and has some interesting motif's revolving around redemption and how one should approach being happy in a world that is in perpetual chaos.
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