Japan is known to be a very creative nation. They are responsible for many forms of art that are still appreciated until this day. An example of this is Shodo, which is a Japanese calligraphy art form. Another would be Ukiyo-e, which is a unique genre of Japanese art founded in 1600 that is highly valued in the market. Of course, there is the Manga, which is an art of drawing and storytelling. This list goes on and on but the focus of this article would be one of the most famous forms of art made by the Japanese in the past decades and that is none other than the art of Anime.
The Top Japanese Anime Movies
Japan has been making anime for at least three decades already and in this amount of time, they have created so much variety for these anime. Every story is different and it shows how various anime tell a story uniquely. This uniqueness is also what makes it hard to label a single anime movie as the best or the top anime movie because everyone has their own taste and preferences with these types of things. This may be the case, but if based on the shear fame and amount of views of an anime movie is to be looked at, there might be at least three anime movies that would be worth recommended to a viewer.
The first film to look into would be “Spirited Away”. This film was produced by Studio Ghibli and has the fingerprints of the famous writer, director, and animator: Hayao Miyazaki. It was released in 2001 but to this day, it is still talked about and shared from one person to another as one of the best anime you will ever set your eyes upon. The story starts with a young girl named Chihiro Ogino taking a wrong turn with her parents and then suddenly finds themselves in a magical world. From then on, things get weird and great challenges come about. Details of the movie will be left out of the discussion to avoid spoilers for those interested in watching it. All you really need to know is that this fantasy anime movie has all the things that make a heart-warming fantasy story. After watching this, you won’t wonder at all why it has gotten so much attention and appreciation from all over the world.
The second film worth looking into is one that is called “Princess Mononoke”. This movie was also produced by Studio Ghibli and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The thing that makes this movie so special is how it was able to mix powers of fantasy and problems of reality to send a message that goes beyond the time it was made and released. Princess Mononoke was released in the year 1997 and the problems encountered in the movie are still very evident in the world today. More modern but it is definitely still a major problem today. The movie focused on showing the effects of human meddling with nature and the ecosystems in it. This is probably the top reason why it is still a hit in present times. The fact that it is still very applicable 20 years down the line proves that this movie was way ahead of its time. Again, details of the movie will be left out of the discussion to avoid spoilers for those interested in watching it. It may not have dragons or fairies but if you are into mythical creatures and demonic powers at work, this will definitely sit with you well.
The third film to be recommended is “Grave of the Fireflies”. This was produced by Studio Ghibli once again but was directed by Isao Takahata. Unlike the first two films, this one is not of fantasy but of harsh reality. It is based on the times of the Second World War so you can expect all sorts of depressing experiences and events that will really make you feel just how hard it was in those times. This anime has to be one of the most hauntingly beautiful films to be made in animated movie history. If you want to kick back and watch something that will make you cry and at the same time, appreciate all the things you have in your life right now, get this film now and start watching.
It should be noted that older anime that get this type of recognition of the people are really the special ones because nowadays, the technological advancements in animation have made the video or graphics of the present anime more appealing. This makes the younger generations look at some older anime and just assume that it isn’t worth watching because of the older graphics. The mere fact that these anime movies are kept on a pedestal despite the more primitive graphics means that the art has able to relay its message throughout the generations and that has made it timeless.
The Top Japanese Anime Series
A Japanese anime series is usually shown on TV. These series are sometimes based on an existing manga, which again are like Japanese comics. There have been a lot of series created throughout the many years of anime making so naming which the best of the best are is almost impossible. However, looking at the fairly recent anime that has made quite a splash in the world today cuts down that very long list of options into a possible and reliable top three.
The first being an anime series called “Death Note”. This series is based on the manga written by Tsugui Ohba. A fair amount of imagination is needed to create such story lines but the storyline of this anime has a lot of people thinking that Tsugumi Ohba is a genius. Basically, a boy named Light Yagami suddenly gets a hold of a magical notebook that gives him the power to kill anyone whose name he writes in the notebook. This power almost makes him a god in his world and he uses it to “cleanse the evil” as it is put so often in the series. This series gives off a crime suspense feel to it so if you’re into stories with those elements, this anime will surely be one of your likings. There is only one season for this anime but it consists of 37 episodes so it isn’t a quick watch which is a good thing because you will surely long for more once you finish it.
The second anime to be discussed is “Attack on Titan”. This particular anime was written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. It is also based on an existing manga which is great news because the series is still on-going so if you watch all available episodes, you can start reading the manga to advance up in the storyline before the new season, said to come out in Feb 2017, comes out this coming April 2017. This anime is a fast paced one so you cannot afford to miss a single episode. Unlike the other anime that are based on the past, this anime is based on the future, in a world where humans are struggling to survive the constant attack of the man-eating titans. This anime definitely falls under action and drama because of all the battles and dying that happen in a matter of one season. The first episode alone will surely get you hooked onto this wonderful anime series.
The last but not the least on this list is the anime called “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”. Again, this anime is based on an existing manga and also a remake of a prior Fullmetal Alchemist series. It was produced by Bones, written by Hiroshi Onogi, and directed by Yasuhiro Irie. This anime successful integrated 37 volumes of manga into one series and that alone should be something to make it worth the watch. It is both very entertaining and time efficient if you plan to watch the whole story instead of reading 37 volumes of a manga. The story, on the other hand, is a whole other reason to watch it. The father abandons family for work then the mother brings up the two kids that show a talent in alchemy, just like their father. Bad and sad things happen that make the brothers do desperate things, then you will find yourself at the start of the story of this magnificent anime. If you like a mix of adventure and science fiction, this would be a golden find for you.
There are much other great anime series that others might consider better than those mentioned above like Gundam, Pokemon, Naruto, One Piece, and many others but again, these three discussed are the most recently made great works of art in the anime world. If you favor the older anime, that is fine. Just know that watching the newer anime may also open your eyes to seeing and appreciating just how much anime has evolved throughout the years.
The Most Famous Anime Song
With this being said, in the past decade, there has been no other song that has embedded itself into the childhood of the children like the theme song of the anime “Pokemon” did. This song is more popularly known as “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” and it was made by John Loeffler and John Siegler. It was able to find a way to get stuck in every young mind in the early 2000 and with the emergence of the app, Pokemon Go, this song has once again been given life and is once again being listened to and sang all over the world.
Pokemon was first released in 1995 and this theme song has been the theme song ever since that time. This makes “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” about 22 years old already and that also makes this song the longest running popular theme song in the anime world. Kudos to the John Siegler and John Loeffler for creating this catchy tune that has symbolized and has been a part of so many childhood memories for people all around the globe.
Best Anime Series of All Time
When thinking about this topic, titles like Gundam, Samurai X, Hunter X Hunter, Flame of Recca, and many others may pop into mind. This is no surprise because of liking something, after all, is completely a matter of taste. People who like robots would probably refer to Gundam as the best of all time while lovers of swordplay and samurai fighting might lean towards calling Samurai X the best of all time. Nonetheless, all answers are acceptable when it comes to this matter. Looking into what aspects one can look at when trying to address this question, one might look at the longevity of its popularity. If this is the case, there is anime that has been through it and is still being rerun on televisions up to this very day and this anime is the Dragonball series.
Dragonball first aired in 1986 and the production of this series continued until the year 1996. There have also been movies created that is based on the timeline in the anime but more often than not, it is the series that is more known by viewers. Considering that this anime is still being rerun over and over again of television in the present despite the fact that it is almost 41 years old contributes a lot to the point being driven that this might very well be the best anime series of all time. It isn’t just a recognized anime in Japan or the US. It is known all around the world. A lot of kids would rush home from school to catch this anime on TV. Every kid born in the 90’s would know of the badass fighter named Goku. Every kid would know that if all Dragonballs are collected, any wish may be granted.
It is truly rare to see an anime last in fame the way that Dragonball did and that it why it could easily be considered the best of all time. Maybe in time, this anime would be replaced by something being created in this day and age but until that time comes, this crown would be held atop Goku’s blonde spiky hair.
Overall, Anime could very well be the hottest form of art in the eyes of the young generation nowadays and there is no shame in that. The quality of art and the things that kids and adults learn from watching these anime can be mind-opening and perspective-altering. If there is a way to effectively get the attention of the youth and send a message of goodness, it should be used. Anime definitely falls under this category and it will be a big chunk of art for the many generations to come.