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Thread: WK's Top Ten Favorite Anime films

  1. #16
    Resident Critic Ayen's Avatar
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    I never heard of any of them. Although I watched more Anime series than films, so that's probably why.


  2. #17
    Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    Ever since you posted about Perfect Blue, Iíve been trying to remember if I ever actually saw it. Iíve seen Paranoia Agent, Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers, and Millennium Actress for sure. I even read the manga Opus during my Satoshi Kon kick. I need to get a hold of Perfect Blue because I think I just didnít have access to that one at the time, but itís possible Iíd start watching it and realize that I had already seen it.

    Either way, I really like Satoshi Konís works.

  3. #18
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Think I need to find myself a copy of perfect blue now. Sounds great.

  4. #19
    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    Yeah Perfect Blue is an excellent movie. I should rewatch it sometime.

  5. #20
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    #6This is a film I know some of you have heard of despite being pretty obscure. Only because the question I get the most often nowadays is "what anime is you avatar/signature set from?" so I've talked about this one with a few of you. Robot Carnival is a bit of a cheat here for me. It's actually an OAV in Japan but got it's theatrical release in the U.S. by Streamline Pictures. The film is actually a collection of nine (technically eight since two of the shorts are continuations of each other) that center on the theme of robots and each features a different major director.The film is bookend by the main Robot Carnival short which takes place in the far future where civilization has fallen apart but relics of the glorious past still roam around in some shape or form. A village boy discovers the infamous Robot Carnival will be coming through his village and he tries to warn them so they can all escape. The Robot Carnival is pretty much what it says on the tin, a traveling carnival machine filled with derelict robots who have a bad pension of exploding and love audience participation. It's black comedy in its purest form. These sequences were directed by Katsuhiro Otomo of Akira fame.
    Franken's Gears is a comical parody of Frankenstein involving an old scientist trying to bring his robot creation to life via lightning. It's animated well and is childishly amusing as the robot apes his creator's movements to his detriment. It was directed by Koji Morimoto who worked with Otomo on a lot of his works and also has credits on Macross Plus, Fist of the North Star, and The Animatrix.Deprive is a sentai series style short that is very reminiscent of Casshern and Android Kikaider. An alien robot invasion strikes earth and kidnaps a young girl who is trying to be saved by a helper robot. Later, the aliens fortress is attacked by a powerful human warrior who is revealed towards the end to be the helper robot remade into a combat robot to save earth. This short was done by Hidetoshi Omori who is apparently a major animation director who has worked on more things than I can mention but highlights include Inu-Yasha, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, Cyborg OO9, Android Kikaider, Kill A Kill, and most interesting of all, he was the animation director for Final Fantasy VII. Nightmare (Chicken Man and Red Neck in Japanese) is a robot version of Night on Bald Mountain from Fantasia which involves a strange robot (Red Neck) using it's powers to reawaken all of the broken and derelict robots within a city and lead them on a strange march through it. The Chicken Man is a lone homeless man who witnesses the event and eventually gets chased through the city by this macabre scene. It is both amusing and frightening at the same time. The short was directed by Takashi Nakamura who worked on Yatterman, AKIRA, and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Cloud is one of two serious pieces directed by Manabu Ohashi who worked as an animator for Cyborg 009, Sailor Moon, and Doreamon. This is a simple story following a robot walking the earth while the clouds in the background tell of the rise and fall of human civilization. It is one of the quieter pieces in the whole film and helps to serve as a break from the more kinetic pieces.Star Light Angel is an amusing piece because it was apparently based off of the music video for A-Ha's Take on Me. The story is about two girls going to an amusement park only to discover that they are dating the same guy. One girl storms off and the short follows her as she tries her best to forget him while causing some surreal action throughout the park. The whole time she is being followed by a robot she's running from who turns out to be a concerned worker who is actually a human in a suit. The short was directed by Hiroyuki Kiyazume who worked on Zeta and ZZ Gundam which is incredibly obvious based on the character designs. He also worked on Moldiver and Super Dimensional Calvary Southern Cross. A Tale of Two Robots (Strange Tales of Meiji Machine Culture: Westerner's Invasion in Japanese) is a hilarious short about a western mad scientist bulding a steam powered robot to conquer Japan, but is thwarted by a Japanese steam powered robot that was oriignally built for a parade. The whole thing plays out as a strange combiantion of WWII era Japanese propaganda films, and Kaiju battle. It also one of only two stories actually voiced and the cast is pretty hilarious even if the original English dub feels a bit uncomfortable from the awful fake Japanese accents. In the film adaption, it's the final short before the ending. It was directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo who worked on Black Magic M-66, Akira, Golden Boy, Roujin Z, and Blood: The Last Vampire. Finally we have Presence, which is where my avatar and signature come from. This is the other voiced short and tells the sad story of a robot engineer who yearned for femininity in his life. He builds a robot girl who becomes self aware and falls in love with him, but his insecurity and her psychological evoltuion leads him to do something terrible that haunts him until his final days. This piece is easily one of the most haunting pieces of the film and the most recognizable part in promotional materials next to the actual Robot Carnival short. It also my favorite piece and was directed by Yasuomi Umetsu who worked on L.I.L.Y. Cat, Casshern: The Robot Hunter, and is probably best known as the creator of the infamous Kite films. Overall, this is an awesome collection of shorts done by some really prolific animators and directors of 80s and 90s anime films. I love the range of all the pieces and its one of those films where there is probably something for everyone here if you stick with it to the very end. The animation quailty is also pretty top notch and really showcases the strngth of hand drawn works. I'd highly recommend it and it was thankfully recently re-released by Discotek Media four years ago, so it's much easier to find. I actually own both the VHS release and the original DVD release before Streamline Pictures went under.


    Coming Up: It couldn't be, are you related to the Noble Ancestor?
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  6. #21
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    #5
    In the year 1999, a nuclear war ravaged the earth and nearly brought everything to extinction. From the shadows, the vampires led by the Noble Ancestor rebuilt the world and enslaved the surviving humanity. in the year 12,090 A.D. the Noble Ancestor has vanished, the mighty vampire empire has crumbled, and humanity is slowly retaking back the planet. Unfortunately, there are still tons of despotic vampires running around as well as all of the monsters they brought back into the world roaming the lands, so people have to rely on hunters to get rid of these problems. The most powerful hunters are vampire hunters, and even among them, the beat are dhampire, the offspring between a mortal human and vampire, who obtain the awesome powers of a vampire but none of the weaknesses. Unfortunately, dhampire's are hated by both sides of their lineage with humans distrusting them due to their monstrous natures, while vampire's see them as filthy bastards that sully the noble vampire houses.
    Doris Lang is the daughter of a former werewolf hunter who runs afoul of the vampire Count Magnus Lee who gives her the "kiss of nobility" in order to enthrall her and force her to be his bride. Not wishing for this awful fate, Doris attacks hunters on the road until she meets the titular vampire hunter D. Agreeing to help her, D has to deal both the village politics who are split on whether to help Doris or leave her to her fate since no one wants to incur Magnus Lee's wrath. On the opposite side of the conflict, Lamika, the count's daughter, is opposed to the marriage with this filthy commoner and the mutant hunter Rei Ginisei is only helping the count for the promise to become an immortal vampire. D faces enemies on all sides, and even finds a few unlikely allies. Yet who is the mysterious D, and what's up with the talking hand and the fact he seems so much stronger than a mere dhampire should be?
    Okay so let's just get the main thing out of the way here and explain why I went for the original film over Bloodlust. There are a couple of reasons. First, pure nostalgia as this film was my first real introduction to the franchise known as D and I honestly like the production values despite how dated they are. Secondly, I feel the first film has a better story structure and does more to really emphasize the strange world these characters live in, especially since it follows the lore and mentions the series framing device better. Third and finally, I appreciate the fact the first film is a very faithful adaption of the first book, whereas Bloodlust takes the premise of the novel its based on and changes around a lot of things for better and for worse.
    I'm not the world's biggest vampire fan, but I love the story angle the VHD series takes on with a former vampire empire and D searching for his father while hunting down the last of the corrupted nobility. The film does a fairly excellent job of adapting the first novel pretty faithfully with a only a few minor moments removed or changed and some of the character designs not quite matching up like the fact Doris' design in the books is closer to Amano's interpretation of Maria from FFII instead of the hokey blond pigtailed girl in the film. Likewise, Lamika is actually meant to be the blond and more regal looking figure instead of the sea green haired dominatrix she looks like. The one nice thing about the films is that they do remove the flavor text that often falls into Mary Sue territory concerning D such as the fact that he's so beautiful everyone is attracted to him regardless of gender or sexual orientation. On the other hand, the films tend to underscore how monstrously abnormal D really is and by extension how overpowered vampires really are in this narrative.
    I also just love some of the background creatures and looks to the world which fits more into what the novels are going for. D storming Magnus Lee's castle filled with strange monsters and weird technological feats is actually pretty well done. While the original dub is laughably bad, I can forgive it since it was the kind of dubbing I grew up with. None of this is to say I don't love and appreciate Bloodlust, but the first film feels like an actual story, whereas the second film is more of an excuse plot with some gorgeously animated action sequences.So the first film leaves you with a little more content to chew on after the credits roll whereas the sequel doesn't.
    Overall, check out either film, but honestly I would suggest reading the novels the most because the series is pretty fantastic despite D's Mary-Sueish characterization.

    Coming up: It's just that he was all alone. Always by himself. Never anyone to share the game. A man who lived in dreamsóthat's who he was.
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  7. #22
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    #4I still chuckle to myself about the fact that hen Cowboy Bebop was initially released in the West, I didn't have much interest in it. I blame it on the early trailers making it look like an action crime drama when Cowboy Bebop is actually more of a strange Tarantino style hodgepodge of U.S. culture with a comical bent and one of the greatest soundtracks to ever grace an anime. I had a hell of a time trying to watch this film, but this is actually one of only two films on this list I've actually seen in movie theaters since it had a limited run in the art house scene. Knockin' on Heaven's Door is a feature length film set between the events of episode 23 and 24 or basically before the whole crew disbands and we get the tear jerker finale. It's not necessarily relevant to know this information but it does help a bit with Jet's own personal issues with the rest of the crew as it shows how dysfunctional this whole crew has become. While Faye is working on a routine small fry bounty involving a hacker, she ends up being one of the surviving witnesses of a terrorist attack involving an ex-soldier turned madman named Vincent and a mysterious virus that infects several people at the attack. Course a massive bounty lands on his head and the crew all split up to try and catch the guy on their own. Instead what they find is a conspiracy involving illegal weapons testing, a pharmaceutical company's shady deals with the government, and the revelation that Vincent might actually be a much bigger threat to Mars than anyone originally imagined. The movie for the most part feels like an episode of the series with just a bigger budget and more fluid animation. Oddly enough, Vincent is actually a bigger deal than you would think but out quirky crew of misfits still treat this whole situation like a normal day on the job. There are some parallels here from the series as the film borrows concepts and character types from the main series. Obvious ones is how Vincent feels like a weird combination of Spike, Vicious, and Gren combining Spike's outlook with Vicious' personality, and a variation of Gren's backstory involving the War on Titan and illegal experimentation he has to live with. The conspiracy theory aspect also class forth the episode Bohemian Rhapsody where the "villain" is really a victim of the local government and their whole plot is partly to expose them for it. So the film has some nice recycling going on here, but has enough length to make it feel like it's own thing here. Thankfully, each crew member gets their own moments to shine and classic running gags like Spike complaining about food, the shaman wiseman, and the three old men make their appearances. Vincent himself is a haunting figure and the side effects of the nano-virus gives him a strange philosophical bent to his madness. The fact he's the fourth character in the series to really just outright kick the trout out of Spike is also something to behold. Elektra is also one of the major figures in the story and serves as an interesting foil to Spike's own investigations. I do wish we could have learned a bit more about her and her relationship with Vincent.As I mentioned before, the animation and production values for the film are better than the TV show which is saying something considering Bebop has aged pretty well. The locations have greater detail and the film crew's trip to Morocco certainly paid off with some of the set pieces. The lighting effects are probably the most stand out parts of the animation. The music... well I'm certainly going to be bias here. Yoko Kanno delivers us another powerful score with some absolutely great tracks ranging from Vincent's Theme "Is it Real?", the parade sequences "Pushing the Sky", the completely underrated "Dijurido", the haunting butterfly sequences accompanied by "Powder", and of course the film's two main themes: the toe tapping laid back "Ask DNA", and the powerful gospel inspired ending track "Gotta Knock a Little Louder". Kanno's compositions help to cement the Cowboy Bebop feel for the fans and she honestly produces some of her best work in the series with this film. Overall, most fans of the series have probably seen it and loved it. For people who have never watched the series, the film isn't a bad test bed for you since it doesn't dwell too much on the backstories of the crew and spends more time really exploring more of the world the crew live in.

    Coming up: Do you remember? The time when our eyes first met?
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  8. #23
    draper hates the caley Cell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty_ffgamer View Post
    Ever since you posted about Perfect Blue, Iíve been trying to remember if I ever actually saw it. Iíve seen Paranoia Agent, Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers, and Millennium Actress for sure. I even read the manga Opus during my Satoshi Kon kick. I need to get a hold of Perfect Blue because I think I just didnít have access to that one at the time, but itís possible Iíd start watching it and realize that I had already seen it.

    Either way, I really like Satoshi Konís works.
    Do you like Black Swan?

    It's that, but anime and better.
    YE RAGIN', AYE?

  9. #24
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    I really liked the Cowboy Bebop movie. I was actually putting it off because I am usually wary of anime movie spinoffs, thinking they're little more than flashy cash grabs, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised with this one.

  10. #25
    Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    I never saw Black Swan either. I was always holding off to watch Perfect Blue first.

    I still have yet to see the Cowboy Bebop movie despite watching the series multiple times. Iíll have to give it a watch at some point.

  11. #26
    draper hates the caley Cell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    I really liked the Cowboy Bebop movie. I was actually putting it off because I am usually wary of anime movie spinoffs, thinking they're little more than flashy cash grabs, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised with this one.
    It ties in with the series pretty well, if I recall.
    YE RAGIN', AYE?

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