This is sort-of a compilation-post of all the movies I’ve watched up till now. They’re basically my opinions on the best movies that I’ve checked out. The format is the same as my end-of-the-year summary. I’ve tried to include screenshots, but for a few entries this didn’t work out (tip: never go with an image-host you don’t know). Also, feel free to share your own top-10 of movies and OVAs. ;)
Aachi wa Ssipak
One failed comedy, in my opinion. I went in, expecting to see some brilliant jokes, but it went way too far in being absurd, and in the end the most worthwhile aspect of this movie were a couple of very impressive action-scenes.
Most Pleasant Surprise
Blue Submarine No.6
Metropolis too was a gem that I didn’t see coming, but what surprised me even more was that Gonzo’s first real production actually turned out pretty decent. Sure, it may have had its flaws, but I saw no traces at all of the questionable reputation that the studio would build up in the years afterwards.
One thing that surprised me was that there were very few good comedy-movies. Okay, I may not have looked carefully enough, but still. In any case, the biggest sources of laughs for me were Satoshi Kon and Studio 4C, and one particular part of Robot Carnival. Still, I don’t think anything can beat a sadistic baby with a pair of scissors, so Eternal Family wins for this award.
Ghost in the Shell II: Innocence
Well, I don’t think there’s hardly any contest here. Everything about this movie looks absolutely stunning. An honourable mention goes to Metropolis, though. Yet another visual feast.
Adolescence of Utena
Of course, it’s a given that you need to have seen the original series to fully enjoy the movie, but if it’s action you want, then you should give this one a shot. Good action in my eyes isn’t flashy, but creative, and that perfectly describes the scenes you’ll see here.
Unfortunately, there aren’t that many mystery-movies and OVAs, though the three movies/OVAs with the best mystery in my eyes are Twillight Q, the xxxHolic-movie and They Were 11. All movies have a great mystery-oriented plot and a definite recommendation for any mystery-fan.
Jin Roh – The Wolf Brigade
Science Fiction doesn’t need to take place in the future, it can also play in an alternate universe. In addition to Jin Roh, Metropolis, Alien Nine and Hyper Future Vision Gunm also feature some very interesting ideas and settings.
Best Short Movie
For those who want to waste ten minutes, Comedy by Studio 4C is my top-recommendation. She and Her Cat was great too.
Millennium Actress took romance to a whole new level, with terrific results. Other gems include Jin Roh, Porco Rosso and Mahou Tsukai Tai.
Most Thought-provoking Movie
Unsurprisingly, a production by Mamoru Oshii. The plot is so complex and the storytelling is so captivating that it’ll definitely keep your mind busy as it goes on. Other and OVAs with interesting themes are Hitsuji no Uta, the second Kino no Tabi-movie, Eternal Family and Tokyo Godfathers.
Arete Hime was very slow, but it also had a memorable story. This was quite hard award to decide, as the stories of Tokyo Godfathers, Millennium Actress and They Were 11 all sparkle with creativity as well.
The Dog of Flanders
The characters for the Dog of Flanders were just amazing, and it’s an award well-deserved. I do want to hand out a honorable mention for Oseam and Hitsuji no Uta, though. I’m still impressed at the huge depth of its characters.
Top 10 Movies and OVAs
#10: Hitsuji no Uta
I know that I’ve given it a relatively low rating, when compared to the others on this list. But looking back, I can see what an amazing character-study it has been.
#9: Jin Roh
Mamoru Oshii’s best work. Everything seems to fit in this movie, nothing feels rushed at all.
#8: Arete Hime
It’s a bit strange for a movie about boredom to appear on a top-10 list, but I really enjoyed this little Studio 4C-production. This is everything a fantasy-movie should be.
#7: Rurouni Kenshin – Tsuiokuhen
Of course, this one can’t be omitted in a list like this one. The original series may be to large of a commitment with its 90 episodes, but its four-episode OVA is a must-watch.
#6: Millennium Actress
The movie about movies. Satoshi Kon shows the viewer here an imaginative story with an absolutely lovable cast.
#5: Eternal Family
Eternal Family has a bunch of terrific themes, it’s hilarious and it also has a great cast. With thirty minutes, it also has the perfect length so that its jokes won’t be milked out, and it’s among the best movies that Studio 4C has created.
Osamu Tezuka’s own productions may have been flawed, but when it’s another director who was tasked to bring his old creations back to live, then the results become amazing. Metropolis has really been a terrific movie, despite its standard storyline and concept.
#3: Tokyo Godfathers
In my opinion, Satoshi Kon’s best work. It has managed to mix a great sense of humour with a terrific storyline and quite an original setting.
#2: Tales of Phantasia
What can I say? Tales of Phantasia was one of the reasons why I started blogging in the first place, and although I feel I’m a bit biased, it’s been my most favourite OVA ever since.
#1: The Dog of Flanders
I’m so glad that I gave the Dog of Flanders a chance, as it’s without a doubt the best movie I’ve seen. The story is just so gut-wrenchingly sad, and another example of why Nippon Animation is one of my favourite animation-studios, along with Studio 4C and Production IG.