Posted by psgels on 25 February 2008 with categories: Random Posts

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. ;)

Biggest Disappointment:

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.

Funniest Movie

Eternal Family

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.

Best Graphics

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.

Best Action

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.

Best Mystery

Twillight Q

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.

Best Science-Fiction

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

Comedy

For those who want to waste ten minutes, Comedy by Studio 4C is my top-recommendation. She and Her Cat was great too.

Best Romance

Millennium Actress

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

Patlabor II

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.

Best Story

Arete Hime

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.

Best Character-Development

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.

#4: Metropolis

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.

18 Responses

  1. Venneh says:

    Question — have you been able to find Grave of the Fireflies yet? Because if you haven’t, I think you owe it to yourself to go find it. It’s an excellent Ghibli film by Isao Takahata, but you might want to remove anything you can hurt yoruself with from the room when you’re watching it, as it’s a bit depressing. ‘s still good, though.

  2. issa-sa says:

    Wasn’t the Utena movie quite DIFFERENT from the series? And when you recommend the creative action in it, do you mean the swordfights, or the ‘car-racing’ bit in the end? :P Twiliht Q was… interesting, though admittedly I prefer my mysteries solved in the end than given the twilight zone treatment

  3. psgels psgels says:

    Venneh: Unfortunately, I have watched it, about three years, but I think I watched it at the wrong time. I just didn’t like what I saw, and I found it mostly boring.

    Issa-san: okay, point taken. Also with the action-scenes, I meant especially the car-racing bits, but the swordfights weren’t bad either. ;)

  4. Ouroboros says:

    Good writeup, you’ve given me a few new ideas on what to watch. Also, as I haven’t seen it in your list, but think it would easily fit in there, give Imagawa’s 7-part OAV Giant Robo a try. It’s a wonderful rolercoaster of action, pathos, memorable characters with fluid and dynamic animation and topped with one of the best soundtracks I’ve had the pleasure to hear in anime.

  5. Protodude says:

    I’ll second Giant Robo, and you should also see the movies Bobby’s in Deep, TO-Y, Urban Square, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, and Egao (which is only like, two minutes long) when you get the chance.

  6. Windspirit says:

    http://sky.crawlers.jp/index.html
    This is what Mamoru Oshii movies are.
    Jin Roh isn’t a Mamoru Oshii. He did the script for it, but the directing is from an entirely different person.

  7. Chris says:

    I’m glad to see Ruruouni Kenshin, Dog of Flanders, and Jin-Roh on the list. Jin-Roh’s ending was just incredibly tragic and depressing and Kenshin had great action but also showed a nice romance and Dog of Flanders, well you saw it, it’s a beautiful movie. As for the Utena movie, I enjoyed it but I watched it before I saw the entire series, plus I was little and everything went over my head (I’m surprised I watched all these anime as a kid haha)

    Try out the next Rurouni Kenshin OAV, the 1st episode recaps all the events of the series so it isn’t like too much info is needed on the characters, if any at all, and it is also a very heartbreaking story and is more of a character study and it ties well with the 1st OAV in terms of what Kenshin is doing in the new one. Please do check out the other Nippon movies, especially Marco (I know I’ve said that over and over but I loved it)

  8. phoenix says:

    If i’m not mistaken,you have seen Toki wo kakeru shoujo,isn’t it? Don’t you think it gets a spot on this list? I liked that movie very much. (but then again,of all those movies and ovas,i only watched utena and tales of phantasia so i wouldn’t really know…)

  9. Ganv says:

    I’m trying to find “The Dog of Flanders”, but I can’t find it. Can u help me?

  10. psgels psgels says:

    Phoenix: Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo indeed was good, but not good enough to beat the ten I listed. It’s probably somewhere in my top-20.

    Ganv: ILA has a version in their IRC-channel. It’s dubbed, though.

  11. Archer says:

    very nice list there were times when i wanted to watch a movie or ova (since this is one of the sources i go to when i look for a good movie,ova or series that are a bit different from the majority of what other like or i just might have missed that one) and it took me some time until i found which one are the movies and which one are tv series so now it is a lot easier :D
    btw i could never see how Tales of Phantasia got such a high rating,i did only watch one ep but still i doubt i can see how in 4 ep it can impress you like few have done

  12. aboutblue says:

    Interesting list. I really haven’t seen that many OVAs so I will definitely be watching some of these in the future.

    By the way, have you seen Tokyo Marble Chocolate? It’s a two part OVA about a couple’s first Christmas together told from both of their perspectives (the girl’s in one OVA and the boy’s in the other). I thought it was really charming with just the right mix of zany humor, romance and a dash of drama. The art also has a sort of washed out watercolor look that I really liked and there’s some beautiful scenes of a snowy Tokyo.

  13. toki-c says:

    keep your best thingy for yourself…
    nothing to add.

  14. Chris says:

    Ganv: its on Tokyotosho just search, please do watch it, it’s a very wonderful movie, I can not help but cry no matter how often I watch and it’s difficult for any movie to do that to me.

  15. Shippoyasha says:

    I have to agree with Dog of Flanders. Just a classic story and if you aren’t touched by the story, you’d have no human heart beating in you.

    And I got teary eyed so many times and yet it was so fulfilling to see the purity in Nello and Petrasche.

  16. compn says:

    mind game
    trava: fist planet
    Dead Leaves

    go watch them now! :)

  17. Joe Sargent says:

    Nothing of Miyazaki Hayao sensei? Are you talking seriously!?

  18. psgels psgels says:

    Archer: like I said, I’m probably biased about that one. I’m not sure what it did, but it made a huge impression on me when I first watched it.

    Joe Sargent: yes, I’m serious. The best Ghibli-movies (Kiki’s delivery-service, Porco Rosso, Spirited Away) probably make it somewhere in my top-20. I agree that they make good movies, but in my eyes they’re not the best.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 11:10 AM)
    On Wes Anderson I loved how whimsical Moonrise kingdom was and Darjeeling limited had a genuine heart to it.
    Fantastic Mr fox I can take or leave, its pretty much a childrens film. Budapest and life aquatic didn’t jive with med comedically.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 11:05 AM)
    @Bam: For me it really depended on which story they were focusing on when I was watching magnolia. There will be blood I got into after half an hour.
    His best works for me are the master, boogie nights, hard eight.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 10:52 AM)
    Browsing Pyncho’s novels, I noticed that he’s trying to go for a Gonzoesque approach. Seeing as I am a big Hunter S Thomson fan, I can’t help but to see Pyncon as not just inspired, but unsuccessfully straight imitating the Good Doctor’s style.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 10:41 AM)
    The film is Chuck-full of loosely related venues with laughs an light satire, and meandering rants try their best to conceal the thin yet superficially convoluted plot.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 10:31 AM)
    There were elements which I enjoyed- the acting, the music, cinematography, beach noir set in the seventies and narrated by a women were nice and endearing.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 10:28 AM)
    I finally mustered up the intrigue and patience to rewatch ,and this time actually finish, Inherent Vice. When it comes to Andersons I tend to prefer Wes over Paul Thomas, but Magnolia and There Will Blood were both amazing films; much better executed than Inherent Vice . This film didn’t need to be who hours and twenty minutes long.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 05:21 AM)
    @Wicked Exactly, the main characters got thorough characterization and each of them got their own character arcs.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 05:20 AM)
    Kokoro Connect’s Heartseed was just a half-assed character, he’s just in the story to contrive one angsty drama after another, with no interesting motivation or personality beyond “I feel like it.” The main characters were so much more colorful by contrast
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 04:50 AM)
    @Kaiser: sorry I was literally in the mountains. I saved that list and will get to the shorts soon.
  • wicked
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 12:04 AM)
    @kaiser Kokoro connect has the benefits of characters having relatable problems. Kids not really understanding their teenage feelings is a relatable thing. Kiznaiver characters have anime problems, like I feel no pain, or I’m cartoonishly obnoxious, which is not a problem as plot devices, but tenuous as a trait to connect the audience

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