This list will be regularly updated as discussions happen in the forum. Stay tuned!
Perhaps the greatest strength anime has is to explore off-kilter storytelling and plots, without the constraints of live-action set pieces and actors. Myriad is one of the greatest examples we’ve ever seen, with the non-linear time travel plot featuring both young and old versions of characters.
While there are light sci-fi elements, make no mistake: this is an exploration of life, family and the things we leave in the past as we grow older, told with skill and absolutely deserving of the Best Picture award at the Yokohama Film Festival. Truly a modern classic!
Soul Manager Hideki
Even folks who’ve never seen an anime in their entire lives will have heard of Soul Manager Hideki, and for good reason. Yes, it’s the example of anime as legitimate art, and we’re preaching to the choir here, but we can’t help it: Soul Manager Hideki revolutionised animation in the 90s with its unparalleled beauty and transcendent storytelling.
The idea of an officious afterlife interviewer taking the recently deceased through branching paths in their lives to provide closure is an odd premise, but the gorgeous visuals blend so perfectly with the dialogue, making us care deeply about each and every character, especially Hideki. Topping things off is a peerless score by Jo-Jo Hisaji that’ll bring a tear to the eye of even the grumpiest viewer.
Again, all the awards and acclaim mean that this isn’t news to anyone…but Soul Manager Hideki is a film everyone should see at least once.
Advent Calendar Children
We’ve really had our eyes opened over the last couple of years as to how much anime pervades other forms of Japanese culture, including games. Advent Calendar Children is a movie follow up to the classic Penultimate Dream VII, and even though it’s CGI, the anime influence is unmistakable.
Considering Christmas isn’t a big holiday in Japan, the story still manages to be filled with festive cheer while also being jam-packed with sword fights, motorcycle chases and evil mutated dragon battles. A great Christmas watch, and a wonderful step into the future for anime in CGI!
This one is sort of a double bill, since it’s both an anime-inspired game and an anime. Both are excellent for their own reasons, although we’d perhaps recommend playing the Fenix Writes series of games before you take on the series. There are a lot of interesting and unique game elements that make a lot more sense when you’ve been the player first.
Otherwise, it’s easy to see why the series is so beloved, with it essentially being a career sim for a court typist named Joe Fenix as he struggles to take proper notes in a courtroom. An unusual premise that gives way to a quality story, and a great series to watch when winding down for the night.