Someone mentioned, I should create a top 9 non-Ghibli anime films, from the movies I didn’t use, in my last list post. So, I did. It was an awesome idea and I thank that person for sharing, just a great idea.
However, my number paranoia, made a list of 9, seem very weird, uneven and slightly stressful, so I throw one more movie into the mix, to make a nice round even 10. (A far better number. I really dislike the number 9.)
This turned out to be, a real mix bag of styles and genres, but I think I’ve done a pretty decent job of ordering them. So, without rambling on further, I give you: My Top 10 Favourite Non-Ghibli Anime Films:
10.Night on the Galactic Railroad- A little cat and his best friend, go on a journey through the stars, in a mysterious night train. This film seems really innocent at first, but keep watching and you realise it’s quite dark. I don’t want to spoil this film, so I can’t say much more.
If you ignore the sudden religious turn near the end, it’s a rather interesting watch. It’s very slow pace, but is incredibly relaxing and so easy to watch. However, the ending is really sad and may bring a tear to your eye.
9. Origin: Spirits of the Past- A girl (Toola) is awoken from her 300 year slumber and finds herself in a post-apocalyptic world. Having the key to restore the world, to how it was in her time, she must decide whether to accept the world, as it is now or destroy this world, to bring back hers. This movie has quite an interesting concept and will have you wondering, what you would do if you were Toola. It gives a fascinating view of how civilisation, would look and cope after an apocalyptic event. There’s also some really beautiful scenes of the forest, making it really nice to watch.
8. Angel’s Egg- Okay, I can see a bit of a trend forming here. Another post-apocalyptic film. I’ve never realised, but I must have some weird fascination, with what the world would be like, after it is gets destroyed. I’m not sure, how I should feel about that, but we’ll put it down to my curious nature.
Angel’s egg is about a little girl, left alone in a post-apocalyptic world, with no memory. She finds an egg and believes if she keeps it warm, a bird will hatch from it. She wanders around this empty dark world with her egg, in search of food and water. While wandering, she runs into a mysterious stranger, that shows an unusual interest in her egg. The stranger then begins to stalk the girl.
This film has a bit of a weird feel, but I really like it. There’s very little vocal dialogue and is more observational, but is very captivating. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and will leave a lot of people thinking “what the hell am I watching”, but if you like shows, that throw you into deep thought, then you’ll probably enjoy this film. The art style is very dark and unusual, but sets the film’s tone very well. It also gets weirdly religious at one point, but this just adds to the films mystery.
7. The House of Small Cubes- This is a short film, about a little old man who lives by himself, in a world engulfed, in ever rising water. I can’t say much more, without giving away the whole film, but it’s essentially about, the wee cute old man reminiscing, about his life. It’s not your stereotypical style of anime, but is still very cute and enjoyable. I love short films and this is a very sweet, but slightly sad, one. There’s no talking at all, but is very simple to follow. Great for those days, when you’re sick of hearing, the sound of people squawking and just want to relax and watch something quiet. It’s only around 12 minutes long and is available on Netflix, so is worth clicking out. I like it so much, I had to give the old man a name (not sure, if he already has a name). I named him, Frank the little old cute man.
6. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind- I was kind of reluctant, to include this in my list. This anime is usually gets grouped into studio Ghibli collections, but from my understanding, it’s not truly studio Ghibli. If I’m correct, it was made before studio Ghibli.
Another post-apocalyptic anime, about a jungle filled with plants, that produce toxic spores, capable of killing any nearby human, without some type of breathing mask. This leaves the remaining humans, living on pockets of land, where the spores don’t reach. But then, giant bugs come to kill everyone and Nausicaä must stop them.
There’s a lot going on in this movie and that was as simple as I could explain it, without spoiling the film. This definitely is not a movie for anyone with bug phobias. There’s a lot of giant creepy looking bugs, that will act as nightmare fuel, for anyone scared of bugs. This film is nice to watch. It has very nice art work and some bizarre methods of transport. Its storyline is hard to explain, but is interesting and very sweet at times.
5. Children who Chase Lost Voices- A young girl travels to a mysterious land, where it is said you can bring back the dead. This is a very sweet movie. It explores death and grief, in an interesting and magical way, without being too heavy or sad. For a movie based around death and loneliness, it should be a lot gloomier. Weirdly it’s not, its more magical and sweet. Its story is very interesting and based on mythology and creatures from the underworld. There’s also few wise words, throughout this film, that are very thought-provoking. My favourite being: “Everyone set out, on each of their journeys, as a cry for help. If only someone was able to stop them.”
4. The Garden of Words- A high school boy, meets a lady in the park and spends every rainy day, skipping school and talking to this interesting stranger, in the park. I know, that sound very dodgy, but it’s a really beautiful film. The storyline is a little bit sad, but very lovely to watch unfold. The animation and art work in this film is amazing. It’s so beautiful. It makes rain look like something truly wonderful, instead of wet, cold and miserable. It kind of rekindled my love, of going for walks in the rain. Really makes you view rain, in another light.
3. Perfect Blue- A pop idol becomes an actress, but the stresses of acting life, take their toll and she seemingly has a mental break. Meanwhile, a creepy guy, that’s obsessed with her, becomes her stalker. This film is a little crazy and sort of hard to keep up with, at times. I had to watch it a few times, to fully grasp its twistedness, but oh my glob, this is one hell of a movies. It’s a fantastic psychological anime, that will have you questioning everything you see. It will shock, amaze and confuse you, all at the same time. Being a lover of anything, involving wonder and confusion, this is right up my alley.
The animation is creepy as hell, which really suits the story and craziness of this anime. The stalker guy, looks terrifying and I surely hope, there is no one on this earth, that looks like him. Being of a nervous disposition, if there is and I was left alone in a room with him, I think one of two things would happen. I’d either freeze on the spot or cry on the inside (possible the outside too). He could be the nicest person, to grace this earth, but I still wouldn’t want to be left alone with him. However, I find most people scary looking, so you should probably check this guy out for yourself.
2. 5 Centimetres per Second- This follows the life of a boy, from sometime in middle school, until early adulthood. Its split into 3 parts and directly and indirectly, follows the boy’s story. This is one of the most realistic anime films, I’ve ever seen and I’m not talking about the animation. The storyline is really sad and kind of depressing, but fring do they capture the struggles and harsh realities of life, very accurately. Especially, the early adulthood stage and the depression many fall into. To be honest, the whole film is about depression and how its manifests in different forms. It captures these emotions and mindsets beautifully. Despite being based on just a sad and difficult subject, its story and art work is very beautiful. It is sort of depressing, but is still a very enjoyable emotive film.
1. Hal– To help cope with the death of her beloved Hal, Kurumi is given a robot, that looks identical to Hal, to take care of her. The two, start to fall in love with each other, but things are, not as they seem.
I usually don’t like love stories, but this is one of my few exceptions. It has a real mystery to it and the answer to this mystery, pretty much, hits you in the face, at the end of the film (unless you’re, super observant). Throughout the movie, you’re left in suspense, waiting to find out, what truly happened between Kurumi and Hal, in the run up to the plane crash (Also, about what’s on those Rubik’s cube). You’re left wondering, if Kurumi blames herself for Hal’s death and about Hal’s character and childhood. Your heart really feels, for both of them. I love this movie. It’s one of the very few films, that does death, love and mystery well. On paper, this film should have you crying like a baby, but strangely it manages to remain, somewhat positive and hopeful. It’s actually kind of heart-warming. However, the story is still very bitter-sweet, so I can’t guarantee you won’t cry.