Favorite Anime Films

2020-02-19 1747

    Escaflowne - the film version of Escaflowne explains the myth of the white dragon armor better. But I still prefer the television series. The relationship between the characters is a bit mixed up from the series. His name is not said but the voice of the villian from the series (Dornkirk) is the voice of the father of the main hero (Van) in the film. I do think Millerna looks better as a red-head than blond.

    Princess Mononoke - I actually really liked this one, but I also like Wolves. And this film has three rather large ones. There are several familiar voices, Gillian Anderson is Moro (the Wolf God), Also Claire Danes, Mimi Driver and Billy Bob Thorton (Jigo looks the way I always pictured some one named Billy Bob). A town built from mining iron conflicts with the emporer and the forest spirits. A prince cursed by a demon (a god that has been corrupted) fights to save them and himself. A sort of Man vs. Beast and Old vs. New type of movie.

    . Hack//Liminality - the OVA shipped with each of the four dot Hack games. It is the real-life problems mentioned in the E-Mail and Message Boards of the game 'the World'. The video game, OVA and manga overlap their storylines. The game and OVA happen at the same time and the manga four years later with some of the same characters.

    Spirited Away - it's a kids movie but I liked it. Good art and music. A young girl and her parents is moving to a new city. On the way they get lost and end up in what looks like an abandoned theme park. The parents pig out on food left out for the parks 'evening' quests. It's actually a resort for spirits, so the parents are turned into pigs and the girl works in the resort to change them back. Made by the same guy as Princess Mononoke.

    Akira - Classic film of a young man that develops psychic abilities. He is a member of a motrocycle gang and starts to have a nervous break down as his mental powers develops. Later he finds the the group that has been experimenting on kids and he goes a little ballistic in repsonse. Part of the backstory is another boy (Akira, the film is named after) is worshipped by the city as a form of god and the main character in the film is sometimes treated like a reincarnation. There is a riot in the city during the finale as the character makes his way to an abandoned stadium for a showdown with Akira.

    Ghost in the Shell - Another classic film of a cyborg officer investigating the hacking of a government official and an assassination attempt. Later discovers that the mastermind of the plot is an Artificial Intelligence program developed for anti-terrorism activities. As mankind becomes more integrated with technology, it questions the meaning of humanity and eventually the main character uploads the AI program into herself before either of them dies and creates a new being that lives in the network.

    This film also has a sequel (Innocence) and sparked a great TV series (Stand Alone Complex).

    Appleseed - A film based on the works as the manga author who wrote Ghost in the Shell, takes place in much the same universe. A soldier is fighting some enemy (unidentified) in the ruins of the city before being caught and taken to what appears to be a utopian society. The city has built living machines called bioroids to act as facilitators and go-betweens to reduce aggression between humans and end wars. Later terrorists attack the facility that makes the bioroids and threatens their existence. Meanwhile the two sentry cannons that guard the city are reprogrammed and turned to attack the computer mainframe that controls the city and the bioroids. It's a bit of a coup, the terrorists want to end the bioroids but the council who made them are using the sentries to destroy the humans. Eventually the sentries are stopped and the biorids are given the biological functions to breed for themselves, creating a new sentient race.

    Blood - A vampire (chiopterian) is left to sleep during the vietnam war and awakens in modern day Japan. There has been a few different films, including live action ones, for the vampire's time during the war and after. These vampires are more scientific than the standard horror breed and are creatures that can take human form and require our blood due to chemicals we possess that their blood cannot produce. Saya is a vampire that has been assisting US forces in the war and defends Japan against other "chiopterians" who what to use humans as cattle.

Favorite Anime Series - in no order.

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    Escaflowne - Girl from Earth, who reads others fortunes as a hobby, is taken to another world. Getting caught up in a global war, an ancient mystery, and stopping a madman (also from earth). Escaflowne has it's fair share of rather insane villians (particularly Dilandau). Also the disappearance of Atlantis is important to the story.

    Gasaraki - Somewhat modern, takes place about 10 years in the future. 2014 or so, according to the photo in the opening sequence. Follows the exploits of a group of military test pilots. A powerful family builds Mecha combat machines (Tactical Armors) to regain their former glory. They once ruled from the shadows several hundred years ago. The youngest son is used as a pawn in order to control the government. Some good Mecha combat and the Kugai's (ancient mecha) would be frightening on the battle field. The Mecha are well-built and could probably be made, not exotic and futuristic like other series' *cough* Gundam *cough* .

    Gundam Wing - best Gundam of the bunch in my opinion. Five mecha were built in secret to stop Earth from taking over the space colonies. At first none of the pilots trust each other but eventually they work together to first stop earth and then OZ (a spec ops group). Some of the mecha are a bit exotic, a dragon, a water dragon, two that transform (the dragon and one thats a cross of a plane and bird).

    Spice and Wolf - Anime version of the manga, had only two seasons and they don't reach the end of the story.

    A merchant finds the goddess of the harvest, the Wise Wolf Holo, in his wagon after a harvest festival and he agrees to help her get to her ancestral home in the far north. Loaded with a bit of financial info and merchant trades it isn't too heavy on the politics of money and makes for intriguing plots of kingdoms trying to destroy one another without raising a sword.

    Gunslinger Girl - Anime version of the manga, had only two seasons and they don't reach the end of the story. Lot of differences between the anime and the manga (which is common). Girls that have died or were seriously injured, have been turned into cyborgs and placed in the Social Welfare Agency. It is a front by the Italian government for an Anti-terrorist task force. The girls aren't expected to have a long life die to the conversion process and must take regular doses of a drug to stop rejection of the cybernetic organs. Their bones are steel and their skin made to be resistant to most hand weapons. The only to kill them is to take them out through an eye. This is a plot point in an episode, when one girl shoots her handler and then herself; because he didn't love her. Each girl because of the psychological conditioning loves her handler in a different way (sister, partner, daughter, lover, etc ...). Slowly the agency falls apart as information leaks out and they engage in more public actions (because the terrorists act more publically). Several handlers are killed and one is "disappeared" for revealing the agency to a reporter friend. His girl is kept at the Agency for long-term study.

    The whole shebang comes to a close when they raid a terrorist cell and several agents die and in one case she takes out her handler and herself. The remaining girls are kept on a floating ship till their bodies run out. There is an OVA film but I missed it, it was never released by itself and I already had the series otherwise. I think it takes place between the two seasons.

    Ghost in the Shell : Stand Alone Complex - Great tv adaption of the films. Includes two seasons and an OVA. The first season has them investigate a number of hackings, by someone called the Laughing Man (he uses a logo similar to a smiley face), and the eventual discovery of a plot at a hospital to use patients minds for their own ends. They are hiding deaths caused by a medication for a disease.

    The second season involves the past of the main character (Motoko Kusanagi, i.e. "the Major") and investigate a group called the "Individual Eleven". The group takes its name from a book of philosophy making its way across the internet where it can only be found. Turns out the leader of the group is a boy that was in the same hospital as the Major when she first got her cybernetic body. The group believes that the integrated society is sacrificing the individual over the group and the want to crash a telecommunications satellite into the network hub of the city. The team loses their "Tachikoma" AI robots in the attempt to divert the satellite to a safer descent.

    The OVA film Solid State Society, (the name of the third Manga), has the team investigate the disappearance of children. Only to discover a secret society has been kidnapping them and letting old couples adopt them. When the old couples die, the kids inherited their wealth and estate. The kids are educated and raised to believe in the society and get jobs in positions of the governemtn and major corporations to further the society's cause. One of the kids they try to kidnap is the daughter of one of the cops on the team.

    Magic Knight Rayearth - Three teenage girls are trapped in another world where life seems a bit like an RPG. It is an ongoing joke in the series as they describe their weapons and armor changing as a "level up" in their power (they make of a few other tropes like using blood types to ascertain compatibility like we use zodiac signs). The three are told that they have to rescue a woman called "the Pillar" who supports the world through her force of will and prayer. Without her it will all fall apart. In a massive plot twist we find out that the villain who kidnapped her is her lover and wnted to save her from being "the Pillar" and the whole plot was a gigantic suicide by hero move to die together. In the most depressing ending I have since Neon Genesis Evangelion, the heroines end up killing both the villain and the Pillar.

    In the second season, they end up back in this other world as several nations fight for the right to be the next Pillar and reshape the world for themselves. The girls fight to save the original world and the main character keeps running into some dark clone of herself. Eventually she reunites with her clone and is willing to become the next Pillar to keep the world from collapsing. Her friends don't want her to and have a repeat of the first battle (as she fell in love with the brother of the first villain). Instead they manage to save everyone by sharing "the Pillar"'s duties and power with the whole world instead of one person.

    Neon Genesis Evangelion - Now this was a depressing series. You have to watch the film End of Evanglion to understand what is happening (well maybe not it is still confusing). The world is suffering from a disastor after an experiment with what is called the First Angel. Later we find out the angels have the same DNA as humans. In the past, Angels ate from the Fruit of Power and Humans ate from the Fruit of Knowledge. Now the two fight for dominance and inheritance of the Earth. A secret group wants to use the Angels for a project in which all humanity would join as one collective being (and supposedly ascend in some way). Each main character pilots an EVA which is built from the same DNA as angels and is a mechanical equivalent. Each pilot has lost their mother in some fashion and personally suffer some kind of pain. Everything comes to a head in the film that rewrote the series ending (the ending of the TV series was awful and it just came to a stop). They find out the new pilot was the Last Angel and one of the other pilots was an artificial recreation of an angel. She ends up killing everyone and merging them into herself for the groups secret project. While the other angel tries to kill everyone and take the Earth for the Angels.

    In the end everyone in the world but the two main pilots die and even then they rather kill each other.

    The creator of the series wrote it while he was being treated for clinical depression and it shows. The whole series questions the purpose of life and the fear of dying or being alone. It has since become a classic and popular series.

Old Classics from childhood - always my favorites.

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    By childhood I mean up to but not necassarily includes high school. In a rural area most anime won't be on TV and until high school, or the internet, it is hard to find any to watch. Most of these are from younger years.

    Transformers - who will forget transforming cars and planes into robots fighting on earth, in space and alien worlds. Not to mention the planet sized Unicron (and that's only his head).

    Voltron - Five (popular number I noticed) pilots and robot lions protect various planets from planet Doom. A CG version was made one time but it sucked *ROYALY* . I still laugh at how when ever they *run* it's like they're on ice, they're moving but not getting anywhere. And ducking consisted of hunching your shoulders. The original was much better.

    Ronin Warriors - Five warriors with mystic armor fight to defeat an evil warlord from the netherworld. An old classic from the 70's, I was a little upset with DVD release. Someone had changed the voicetrack, a character made a reference to the X-files, when this series (and the english dub) was made long before that.

    Dragon Ball Z - many adventures of a group of warriors protecting the Earth from several groups of aliens, androids, a geneticly created creature, an ancient monster, etc... Has lots of action and funny characters (Mr. Satan). A long series, about 300 episodes.

    Robotech - an old classic, personally my favorite over other sci-fi mecha. The entire series is about 30 years long or so. Starts with the invasion of Earth from aliens (Zentradi) to the defeat of a second group aliens who conquered us (Invid). Has plenty of mecha you would recognize, particularly the VF-1A Valkyrie.