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Favorite anime film that's NOT Ghibli.

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Joined: 29 May 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:02 pm Reply with quote
We all know that Studio Ghibli is a huge name in the movie industry for anime. Usually those are the movies that you hear about. But my question is what are your favorite movie(s) that are not produced by Studio Ghibli?

I really really enjoyed Paprika, in fact, I own it. For those of you who haven't seen it you should check it out. It's a more psychological and sophisticated anime, but it is incredibly good.

What about you guys?

EDIT: Remember to discuss the films and say why they are your favorite, etc. Hasn't been an issue so far, just thought I would throw this in here for clarity.

ALSO...the films directed by Miyazaki BEFORE Ghibli was created were going to consider Ghibli films for this thread. Simply because most usually people lump them in with the other Ghibli films anyway.

Last edited by ethanftw on Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:54 am Reply with quote
My personal favorite is Perfect Blue, another Satoshi Kon flick. It kept me on the edge of my seat practically the whole time and it was like you were in Mima's head. Really cool stuff Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:03 am Reply with quote
I Enjoyed Tokyo Godfathers a lot, it was very heartwarming and entertaining.

I also like both Paprika & Millenium Actress.
Paprika is a rather fun mind trip, and is full of fun characters.
Millennium Actress is very well done, and can get kind of sad at times.

We seriously lost somebody special when Satoshi Kon died.

I also enjoyed 5 CM Per Second. It was a very moving film, about love found & lost.

BTW do we consider Castle of Cagliostro & Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind as Ghibli films? I ask cause both were made before Ghibli existed, however both were directed by Miyazaki.

Also you might want to put some rules saying that you must discuss the films you put down (even though most people know not to just do lists).
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Thread KillerThread Killer

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:06 am Reply with quote
The only anime film that I rated as a "masterpiece" that's not directed by Hayao Miyazaki is Millenium Actress, which I feel is Satoshi Kon's best (though I think all his work is excellent).

However, I tend to think of "favorite" meaning the one(s) I rewatch most often and MA is not a film I would rewatch a lot. By this criteria my favorite non-Ghibli film would be a tie between Project A-Ko and Dirty Pair: Project Eden. The former is a true classic which always amuses me when I watch it; the latter has grown on me over the years (I like it more each time I watch it) and is one of the best-looking older anime around (kudos to ADV for an excellent wide-screen transfer on that one).

Other films I have watched multiple times are Akira (my "gateway" anime) and Ghost in the Shell, both of which are great films.

EDIT: Just looked at my anime list and realized I did rate other non-Ghibli films as "masterpiece", namely Akira and Project A-Ko. (Cue Crow T Robot: "Why don't they look?")[/b]

Last edited by OldCharlieStoletheHandle on Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:57 am Reply with quote

I actually was considering purchasing this movie but I never got around to it, but the fact that you said it was suspenseful makes me want to look into it.


I just ordered Tokyo Godfathers from Amazon yesterday! After I watched Paprika, I was like "wow, I want to see more movies from this guy!". So I remembered everyone ranting and raving about Tokyo Godfathers. I was a little disappointed that it never has been dubbed in English, but I willing to watch it subbed if it is as good as Paprika.

I also was about to order 5 CM Per Second, but I never did. I remembered that visually it looked STUNNING. However, I was wondering what the actual movie was like.


Now that two people have mentioned Millenium Actress, I feel I need to watch this. I also own Akira, and I really like that movie. The plot to it is very awesome.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:17 pm Reply with quote
I think my favourite non Ghibli anime films are Piano no Mori and Summer Wars. Piano no Mori is very sweet and moving and just made me feel really happy. I liked it far better than I expected to. Summer Wars is very enjoyable as well. The story is intriguing and the animation is great. I especially like the virtual world. I've yet to see the Girl Who Leapt Through Time, so I can't comment on that yet. I'd recommend both of those films to people who aren't anime fans, and I'd only do that for films I regard highly.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:12 pm Reply with quote
Nearly (if not more than) 20 years ago, there was a movie I had scene which featured a "doctor" (in a lab coat) helping out a young girl (I believe she had purplish-red hair, but don't hold me to it) regain her "lost powers".

Unfortunately, from this point on, I do believe nostalgia's playing tricks on me again to have me believe this movie exists and I want it because "it was one of the best I had ever seen". Thanks to old age, I can dismiss the false promises because I'm pretty confident I'm "bleeding" anime together. For all I know, this young girl probably gets tentacle raped, something I'm pretty sure I don't recall seeing, but keep getting "deja vu" feelings watching shows like Kanon.

At any rate, and for this discussion, I'm going to stick with movies I absolutely do remember (even if some had a recent re-watch, such as Akira).

With that, my award goes to... a three-way tie between Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, and Summer Wars, each a winner for their own special qualities.

Ghost in the Shell, back when I first saw it, remains with me to this day, which is a rare ability given all the OVAs of the 90s. It stood out so much, it's just been impossible not to forget it. The interesting thing about the movie is it's better than the series, I feel, because it's concise, yet packed with action. It reminded me, slightly, of Blade Runner having downed a few Mt. Dews. Now, here's the shock: I still don't own this classic, but I do the series. Why? Well, this is one I do believe would benefit from BD given it was a film. A remaster in both video and audio will make this worth it, just as BD made Blade Runner worth it.

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie - One thing I do remember about many OVAs from a series, much like today, most are just "re-tellings" of a series and, most of them suck. This shocked the crap out of me because it was neither a retelling, but was a hopeful glimmer we'd see more of the series through movies since we all knows what happens to Spike. Well, obviously the latter never panned out, but it was still a fantastic story to the universe known as "Cowboy Bebop". I had hoped the success of this movie would give us one from Outlaw Star, too, but this didn't happen either.

Summer Wars wins because it's just a fun movie anyone can enjoy. While some of the elements of the story are far-fetched (brining a boat into a yard for its generator, as an example), it's still entertaining to watch two worlds as told through the avatars and those who control them. When I discovered it was being released by Warner Bros., I wanted to cry as I despise any distributor out of Hollywood. Thankfully, ANN's own Zac Bertschy decided to start giving away DVDs on hand (and shipped them out at his cost) and I scored a victory through the offer (and this, readers, is why you subscribe, so quit whining). A thanks still goes out to Zac for the offer, otherwise this would have been another OVA I watched subtitled as every song throws out karaoke-styled kana.

So, did you really read all that above or did you skim and agree? Not like I'd be mad about it if you didn't, but I was just in the mood to type.

Here's hoping 2011/12 bring us more OVAs.

Note: 5cm per Second is on my "to do" list and I've heard great things about this. Put this on the list, just in case.
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Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:25 pm Reply with quote
A few of my favorites are:

The Garden of Sinners (Kara no Kyoukai)- A fantastic and beautifully animated series of films. It has a great cast of characters and cool action, with excellent overall and individual storylines. The movies also succeed very well in establishing the proper eerie atmosphere for a horror/thriller series with the awesome Yuki Kajiura and Kalafina doing the music.

Sword of the Stranger- An impressively animated badass samurai flick with a really good story and some great action.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time- A great sci-fi/slice of life movie. It has some good characters and an enjoyable story.

Summer Wars- This was a highly enjoyable film with lots of great characters. The story is a fairly unique blend of slice of life and sci-fi and was really entertaining.

Paprika- Very odd and trippy movie but in a good way. The animation was great and the story unique.

Nearly (if not more than) 20 years ago, there was a movie I had scene which featured a "doctor" (in a lab coat) helping out a young girl (I believe she had purplish-red hair, but don't hold me to it) regain her "lost powers".

Unfortunately, from this point on, I do believe nostalgia's playing tricks on me again to have me believe this movie exists and I want it because "it was one of the best I had ever seen". Thanks to old age, I can dismiss the false promises because I'm pretty confident I'm "bleeding" anime together. For all I know, this young girl probably gets tentacle raped, something I'm pretty sure I don't recall seeing, but keep getting "deja vu" feelings watching shows like Kanon.

Battle Angel Alita?
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Surrender Artist

Joined: 01 May 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:51 pm Reply with quote
I haven't seen very many anime films, which is something that I mean to correct, but am not in a hurry about. Nevertheless, I have some experience beyond Hayao Miyazaki, whose films I do regard as generally excellent, but am not utterly enamored of.

I have two notable favorites. The first is an obvious choice and perhaps my utter favorite animated film; the other is rather a dark horse.

Galaxy Express 999: This film just makes me so damned happy when I watch it. It has a delightful aura of nostalgia from my youth and my early years watching anime, but is also an excellent film in its own right. I gushed a lot over it when I finally got my copy of the recent DiscoTek release and I stand by every sopping wet word of it. I've already written most of what I have to write about it in the "What Are You Watching Now" thread, so I refer anyone for some reason curious for further opinion to that. I'll also refer anyone to the Buried Treasures column about it.

Now, for the dark horse...

The Time Stranger: It's full title is something like GoShogun: The Time Étranger, but Central Park Media saw understandably fit to simplify that. I happily refer everyone to a Buried Treasures Column about this one too, especially as that is what made me interested in it. It's superficially alluring for its novelty. A coda film for a giant robot show that's actually a surprisingly mature, emotional story and barely even alludes to the giant robot? A strange, dreamlike tale directed by someone whose most significant later works were directing Pokémon films and, as CPM's disc case pointlessly reminds us, designing characters for InuYasha: The Movie? That's something to see! Thankfully, it has more than the novelty of its odd provenance. The film is a surprisingly intimate portrait of a single woman through lenses of aging, loss and strife. Most oddly, it has a distorted, unearthly atmosphere and portrays three parallel narratives, thus one is never quite sure just what the true reality of the film is. Some of it is captivatingly strange and requires the viewer to rely substantially upon his own observation, while other parts are deeply, sincerely emotional. All of this benefits from a strong sense of character and camaraderie. The film easily makes one feel familiar with the characters and with the evident strong, well-worn bond among them even if they're in fact unfamiliar. It's an odd, wonderful and endearing film that I feel merits wider exposure than it has.

Oh, and probably Project A-Ko too, simply because it was my first anime, well first knowing one, is technically impressive and just so very fun to watch. There's a Buried Treasures column about it too.

It's just a coincidence! I swear!

Last edited by Surrender Artist on Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:45 pm Reply with quote
I wanna see KnK, we screened the first two at Sakura-Con and I want to see the other 6.

My favorite, though, is probably Brave Story (which I have no clue why hasn't been released in the US, I think it would do really well in theaters). What I especially appreciate, though, about Brave Story, is that I've read the original novel as well, and though there is some significant changes to the story, they're different enough that I can enjoy them independently, without feeling one has to be better than the other.
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yamata no orochi

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:38 pm Reply with quote
It's a little hard for me to consider the Kara no Kyoukai series as films--to me it comes off more like a ridiculously high-budget and ambitious anime series. But if you considered each film individually, then I'd posit that Mugen Rasen (the fifth film) is probably one of the best animated films of all time. The symbolism, the action sequences, the ideas running through the whole thing--it's frighteningly perfect, really!

Otherwise, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is pretty damn good. Another film by the same director that's surprisingly great is Baron Omatsuri's Island, a One Piece movie that starts happily and then slowly and insidiously becomes a horror film. It was the first animated movie that Hosada worked on after being let go from Howl's Moving Castle, and it remains a moving depiction of loneliness and the lengths that some are willing to go for their friends.

Still haven't decided on the Adolescence of Utena, but I liked it a lot more the second time I watched it than the first. Also it might be one of the most visually astonishing films that I've seen, so there is that!
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:56 pm Reply with quote
I went through my list of anime films and found nine feature films that I rate as good or better than my favourite Ghibli titles (Porco Rosso, Spirited Away and Whisper of the Heart). Most have already been mentioned (Galaxy Express 999, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Millenium Actress, Paprika, Perfect Blue and Summer Wars) but there are three more I’d like to mention.

Time of Eve – I’m surprised how well the six part ONA translated into a movie. I think Yasuhiro Yoshiura (I love his anagrammatical name) is the most interesting anime director to come along in recent years. His general theme – people gaining awareness of the fictions underpinning their beliefs – is an anime goldmine.

Jin Roh – The Wolf Brigade – My favourite anime involving Mamoru Oshii and he didn’t direct it! He was, however, responsible for the script, which is based on one of his own manga. It has all the best things about an Oshii film – great pacing, brooding cityscapes and a dark underlying theme – and mostly avoids his penchant for unnecessary philosophising while delivering a fascinating story. The alternative history is admittedly bizarre – Nazi Germany won WW2 and occupies post-war Japan – and the ending is a little contrived, but overall I prefer it to Ghost in the Shell.

Junkers Come Here – Largely overlooked film from Junichi Sato (Sailor Moon, Princess Tutu, Aria) that explores a modern social issue that you wouldn’t expect him to address. Hiromi is a young girl who is quietly, privately falling apart as her parents go through a divorce. Her chief consolation is her pet dog, Junkers, who has some remarkable qualities. Being a Junichi Sato production you know it’s going to end well and there’ll be some magic involved. You also know the journey will be emotive, yet restrained. As far as I can tell it is only licensed in Australia currently but you can order it from Madman if you have an all-region DVD player. Check out the ANN review.

Last edited by Errinundra on Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:27 pm Reply with quote
Seeing how I'm one of the only non-Ghibli fans around here (at least one of the only vocal ones), all of my favorite movies are not made by Ghibli or Miyazaki.

Satoshi Kon. All of it! will sum up my first 5 choice. Yes, I said 5, Magnetic Rose is the first, it's simply gorgeous, haunting, and beautiful. And in classic Kon narrative, can be quite confusing. Perfect Blue is like my ideal thriller, maybe because it starts off so normal and slowly gets weird until it's like BAM! Uber weird. Millennium Actress is a nice movie to cry at, much like the cameraman in the movie. It's just sweet and touching and uses the dreams and reality confusion in a very different way then his previous efforts did, making it touching instead of creepy. Tokyo Godfathers is easily his most down to earth movie, the perfect Christmas movie, and my personal favorite of it (and first). I mean, three homeless people and a baby are the main? Those aren't anime mains! But they're still such good characters and they give you such warm fuzzy X-mas feelings that I can't help but love it. Paprika is actually my least favorite of his works, but it's still imaginative and great to watch.

Next up in my favorite movies queue: They Were 11. Sci-fi shojo genre in movie format at its finest (sorry, Toward the Terra movie, but your TV series is way better anyway). You'd think that trying to have 11 characters in a movie would spell instant failure and it's true that they're not all given equal development, but the movie is mostly a "who's the 11th person?" mystery and I honestly could not figure it out on the first viewing so it made it fun to watch. Yeah, more people do need to watch this movie, still pretty cheap on eBay (cheaper if you still have a VHS player)

The Sea Prince and the Fire Child is another one that I quite enjoyed. Who would have thought that Sanrio, y'know, Hello Kitty would have made a couple of really freakin' dark movies? Sea Prince and the Fire Child, which was released on DVD last year by Eastern Star and is routinely in TRSI's weekly specials, is Romeo and Juliet but with fire, water, music by Koichi Sugiyama (Dragon Quest composer, man! One of his only anime works, though this came before DQ series started, it'll still make you go "Dragon Quest?!" when you first hear it, just listen in this Japanese preview), and the DVD has the original and far better sub with less annoying 80s "we don't care what it sounds like, kids will watch anything animated" that America was doing at the time too. For some reason, I tend to like Romeo and Juliet type stories except for the original Shakespeare one, lol.
Sea Prince's equally dark in a different way half-brother also made by Sanrio was Ringing Bell of Chirin, which is only 45 minutes, but is also crushingly depressing. I could only find it floating around youtube, it still is only available on VHS for a fairly high price.

Onto something more cheery! Catnapped! is like my big guilty pleasure movie. Yeah, it's a kid's movie, they turn into cats (I do like cats though) and the villain's name is "Princess Buburina", but it's exactly the type of fun adventure movie that I feel like they just don't make anymore. And Geneon printed it and no one ever rescued it, so yeah, good luck finding it.

I'm not 100% sure if I should count this as a movie or an extended music video, but Interstella 5555 really is something special. As I said before, it's pretty much like an extended music video, in this case for Daft Punk's Discovery album and it has a cohesive plot the whole way through. I'm quite impressed with how much it got me into the story and the world despite having no dialogue whatsoever, I really do love this piece of...whatever you wanna call it, movie or music video.

And my current favorite anime movie (and one of my first), Metropolis. I watched this before I became a huge Tezuka fan, so I didn't quite get some of the references like Hyotan-sugi (little poison mushroom guy that makes cameos everywhere in Tezukaverse, it's fun to find them all!) to more major things like Pero (named for a robot of the same name in a chapter of Astro Boy), Atlas (a direct opposite of Atlas from Astro Boy in that he's an anti-robot extremist instead of an anti-human one), the candle on the back of Lamp's head (it's an in joke that a candle is supposed to be able to sit in there flat and it appears for just a moment in Metropolis), and the inclusion of Rock, they perfect bad guy to put in there seeing as how he's Tezuka's most complex villain no matter where he appears. But even before I got to know all that fun stuff which makes rewatching it more fun, I still loved the movie. I know some consider it cheesy, but it feels so very Tezuka that I dunno, maybe I'm used to mild levels now or something. I've read the original manga since, it's pretty much unrecognizable by comparison, there's really not a damn thing similar (ok, Fifi is in the manga, looks much different, but is there. Kenichi is there too, but that's about it), but yeah, the movie really is quite special to me, I never seem to get tired of watching it.

errinundra wrote:
Junkers Come Here –As far as I can tell it currently only licensed in Australia but you can order it from Madman if you have an all-region DVD player.

Not so, Bandai had licensed and distributed Junkers, Come Here! in R1 for America. You should still be able to get copies at a reasonable price (~$10-$15) on eBay so everyone go get it right now! Especially Junichi Sato fans! Of course, the stupid looking R1 cover probably didn't help it sell many units. But it did deserve to.
Anyway, this was definitely a great overlooked movie, I really wish it had gotten more attention because, dammit! This is how you do a slice of life movie about a girl dealing with her changing home life! It's weird, I've only watched it once so far, I really do need to watch it again, but maybe it's one of those things that's just perfect to watch once, after all, I've never ever put Shadow of the Colossus back in my PS2 after all these years.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:45 pm Reply with quote
Perfect Blue and Tenchi Muyo: Tenchi in Love are movies I can watch over and over and still be entertained.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:08 am Reply with quote
I like to think of Junkers Come Here, with its very un-Miiyazakian fantasy escapism and its anti-egalitarian domestic servant character used for comic relief, as the anti-Ghibli children's movie.

Addendum: I would be fascinated if someone could explain to me how The Cat Returns is not a rip-off of Catnapped.
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