Anime is a form of animation native to Japan that has been around since the early 1900s. It is enjoyed by people all over the world, and there are more than 200 anime series available for streaming on Netflix alone! Anime is often considered to be a form of art because it combines traditional drawing techniques with computer-generated graphics.
Anime films and TV shows make up 60% of the animation-based entertainment in the world. The schools in Japan have declared anime as an individual subject on its own. Anime voice acting is also huge, as Japan has around 130 voice-acting schools. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the popular anime shows and why you should consider watching them.
What is Anime?
Anime is a type of animation that is popular in Japanese films. Earlier the anime shows were only for kids; however, there are several series with adult themes and subject matter. Those who are new to watching anime may feel the characters have very peculiar eyes. This is because they are considered as the windows to the soul in Japan.
History of Anime
The first Japanese animation is assumed to be made in 1906. However, there is no proof to back this claim. The short film is about a boy named Katsudō Shashin with fifty frames drawn on strips of celluloid.
In 1920, Japanese filmmakers experimented with techniques that were already established in Europe and the United States. By the 1930s, animation as entertainment was well-established. In the beginning, anime was not as popular as other animation studios in the world.
So, in order to compete, Japanese artists got creative and spent time with limited resources. This made their work unique and different from other animation studios. Long shots or stills scenes became a trademark of anime and can still be seen today in many famous works.
In the 1960s, viewers from other countries started to see anime. However, the shows did not get good ratings as they did not have similar tastes. Moreover, the western viewers did not feel comfortable watching animated humans as they were used to watching animated animal characters.
The 1980s was the golden period for anime as viewers became more invested in it. Moreover, Studio Ghibli was created in 1985 along with the release of Dragonball, Captain Tsubasa, and Akira. Talking about modern times, there are several anime movies and TV shows made with passion and dedication.
Each show has its own fanbase. For instance, there is a specific genre for Otaku, translating to geeks or nerds in English. This era also made Dragonball-Z one of the most famous superhero anime worldwide, not just in Japan. Spirited Away from Ghibli studio was the first anime to win the Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards.
List of Popular Anime Films
You can watch the popular Japanese animation material on Netflix at any time. There are several genres of anime series and movies like comedy, high school love story, dragon adventure, live-action, dragon story, and more. These movies are more detailed in the stories; therefore, they are interesting even for adults.
Each movie has a set of loyal fans who usually wait a long time for the next release from the respective studio. You can find the best movies in our list or scroll through hundreds of movies on Netflix. The platform will recommend similar movies according to your interests.
Apart from this, you may find games with interactive character stories and live-action to play with your high school friends. In addition, video games offer a great bonding experience to people online as they cross each level.
When you start watching high school love and thriller shows such as Death Note, you will be tempted to watch one episode after another. Although it is not a film, it gets an honourary mention before the film list. The story and each character have depth along with an unpredictable plot. You may pick more series after this with more than one season.
Here is a list of popular anime movies that you should not miss out on. If you are relatively new to the Japanese anime world, these will introduce you well to the genre.
Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-Hime), Miyazaki Hayao, Studio Ghibli, 1997
Released more than twenty years ago, this movie is in seventh place of highest-grossing films in Japan. Besides, the theme song of the anime series was quite famous. The story revolves around the Muromachi Period of Japan, where giant animals are gradually disappearing from the Emishi village.
In an attempt to stop the beast, the last prince ends up getting cursed. Therefore, he will need to find the Great Forest Spirit to be saved. The anime depicts the perfect Japanese period-drama genre with great music and lyrics.
Ghost in The Shell, Oshii Mamoru, Production I.G, 1995
This is the best anime in the west as there is a movie adapted starring Scarlett Johanson. The original is one of the best anime films released in 1997 and was an instant hit at the box office.
This was a successful international co-production venture between Japan and Great Britain. The plot is about a public security officer looking for a terrorist called the Puppet Master set in 2029. There is plenty of live-action in the anime, which is one of the best of Japanese anime.
Akira, Toho Studio, 1988
This is a classic manga film adaptation from the same name, considered to be the best-animated movie ever. In the movie, Testsu is a teenager in the post-apocalyptic world of Neo-Tokyo in the year 2019. After an accident, the men acquire telekinetic powers and a chance to put them to use. The film has interesting characters and is intriguing.
Neighbor Totoro, Studio Ghibli, 1988
The film plot revolves around the life of a father and two girls moving to the countryside to take care of a sick mother in the hospital. Soon, they discover the house has fantastic creatures known as the totoros. They usually sleep between the full moons and are friendly. Years after its release in Japan, the film was released in Europe in 2013.
Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli, 2001
The movie garnered more than 30 billion yen as it was a commercial success. This movie revolves around a brave girl and does not fixate on a romantic angle like other anime. Besides, it is about a little girl who transitions into an adult to save her mother and father. The plot is captivating with a ghost town story. The animation of the movie is simple yet delightful. Moreover, the theme is spot on to keep it away from romantic love stories.
Chihiro and her family are stuck here under the spell of Yubaba. Her parents cannot refuse the delicious Japanese food that is served at the abandoned park. After her parents transform into pigs, she has no choice but to face Yubaba. In the end, she is able to rescue her parents and forget the whole ordeal like a distant memory.
Chihiro and her family are stuck here under the spell of Yubaba. After her parents transform into pigs, she has no choice but to face Yubaba. In the end, she is able to rescue her parents and forget the whole ordeal like a distant memory.
Wolf Children, Studio Chizu, 2012
After a few years of hard work with Hosoda Mamoru, the movie was released in 2012. The movie is about Hana and her two kids living in Tokyo. They have a secret identity as they come from a werewolf family. After the disappearance of her husband, Hana decides to take her half-werewolf children to the countryside. This movie was produced by Studio Madhouse and directed by Studio Chizu.
Graves of the Fireflies, Studio Ghibli, 1988
This was one of the first movies from Studio Ghibli. The movie has a peaceful message and impacts the audience in a triggering manner. It may not be a commercial success; however, it was praised by critics. Therefore, it is a masterpiece from Studio Ghibli.
The plot revolves around the time following the Kobe bombing. Its aftermath has made Seita and his sister orphans. The movie is about their life and survival in a bunker that is surrounded by thousands of fireflies.
In Japan, people have been reading Manga and using it to express their feelings for a long time. Besides, Japanese Manga is different from American comics. For example, Japanese comics have much more detail, and characters are slender instead of bulky. Therefore, they are more interesting to read and easier to adapt for anime shows and movies.
Furthermore, it may take years of work to make comics and movies before they are published. As a result, fans wait religiously for new series of Manga and adapted shows. The anime shows are of immense value to them as it depicts several decades of hard work.
Moreover, Manga and anime are very popular because they can be for all age groups. Anime has a story and a show for anyone from the innocent child to the adults who prefer to see something more mature. Another reason for Manga’s popularity is the distinct art style. As there are no rules for creating anime, the artist has creative freedom.
Avoid Saying Anime Cartoons
Do not make the mistake of calling anime cartoons. It is not the same as a cartoon and follows a more complicated story. Moreover, the characters in anime are more developed even for an adult to feel invested in the story. Therefore, it is almost disrespectful to label fantastic anime shows as cartoons.
Learn About Japanese Culture and Cinema
Now you have a long list of Japanese animation series and movies to watch. You may start watching some small episodes of anime like the Death Note. These episodes do not consume much time and entertain you with adventure, suspense, and high school comedy. Apart from watching the anime movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime, watch high school love story animes or new dragon and demon genre series.
Also, check out the Indian attempt on anime that is heavily inspired by the Japanese. Moreover, there are several anime games to keep you occupied with interactive characters and adventure in the episodes. You may find a game that caters to the interests of both girl and boy characters. It is recommended to create original accounts on the games to get the best experience.
As you know, the manga and anime series are in Japanese, so you may watch the English versions on Netflix and Amazon Prime. These on-demand movie platforms make it easy to watch new episodes of movies and series at any time. If you wish to work on your Japanese, you may watch these action and adventure-filled anime with English subtitles.
After developing a good understanding, you may watch these with native subtitles to learn more. To learn more about the culture, tradition, and cinema of Japan, we recommend registering on Superprof. The website has a community of teachers who can teach you Japanese language, history, reading, and writing Kanji. With this knowledge, you may be able to write your own comedy, love, high school, and dragon drama anime.