ANIME MOVIE REVIEW - 10 Great Anime Movies

May 9, 2003 (Updated May 30, 2003)

The Bottom Line Get away from "Americanized" anime and you'll find good stuff.

Most everyone has heard of Dragonball Z and other "Americanized" versions of Japanese (and sometimes Chinese) animation. It is surprising, to me, how many people like American cartoons but say they can't stand anime. Not only is the animation better in Japanese anime, but the storylines are almost always better. They are just animated feature length movies. Check out the Cowboy Bebop movie, it should be in a theater near you! You might have seen Vampire Hunter D a couple years ago, that was a great anime movie too. I'm glad that more quality anime movies are hitting mainstream theaters.

Enough of that, lets get to the goodness. Here's my list of 10 Great Anime Movies (in no particular order):

1) Initial D - Street racing with fast cars and hot women. Takumi Fujiwara and Itsuki Takeuchi are best friends, Itsuki is in love with racing and quickly draws the very somber Takumi into it. Itsuki is blown away by Takumi's skill. The series is all about cars and racing. Part of the animation is 3D and part of it is hand drawn. The anime club at my college showed the series in its was one of the most popular they've shown.

2) Vampire Hunter D - D is the main character, a part vampire. He's trying to make up for his own ancestry by wandering the country side killing vampires. He's the best in the business. The action is good and the storyline is engaging. If you like a darker themed movie this one is for you!

3) Ninja Scroll - A classic anime movie. One of my favorites. The main character is Jubei, a bad a$$ warrior of nearly unsurpassed skill. There's lots of blood and a little sex. The storyline is pretty complex and has some good twists. A great one for action fans.

4) Noir - Two highly skilled female assassins, what more needs to be said? Kirika's past is a mystery to her, the only thing she retains is an amazing ability to kill. The soundtrack for this movie series is very well done. For some people the series starts somewhat slow, but for me it was pure perfection.

5) Love Hina - Keitaro swore an oath of love to his childhood sweetie, they swore to go to college together. But things don't always work out the way you plan them. The sad thing is, she moved and he doesn't remember her name! But in the meantime he's in charge of an all girls dormitory! Love Hina is a very funny series.

6) Trigun - How cool would you feel knowing you're a $60,000,000,000 man?! Ok, so it's a bounty on your head but who cares?! His name is Vash...Vash the Stampede. I really like the character design in this series. They are fresh and crisp. If you want something with style and attitude that's fun to watch Trigun is a good pick.

7) El Hazard - Queen Diva and Jinnai controll bugrum, dull witted order following fighting bugs. Makoto and the others work to stop them. El Hazard is in a different dimension. The way the main characters get there is amusing. El Hazard is centered about Roshutalia, the world that Lune Venus was princess of, and the insect people that are led by Queen Diva - they are constantly battling. It's better than it sounds.

8) Burn Up - Maki, Reimi, and Yuka - not your typical trio of crime fighters. But they actually make a very good team. Their mission is to break up the White Slavery ring that is conducted in the cities disco's. Yuka ends up getting captured as she searches for clues. But it's ok, Maki and Reimi run to the rescue! The two woman raid on the slave ring compound is really exciting! Lots of guns and action!

9) Princess Mononoko - Perhaps the only really good "Americanized" anime I've seen. It has American voice actors of substantial repute. Ashi-taka (it's really one word, epinions won't let me submit it the right way) and San are the main good characters. Lady Eboshi, is the one they are fighting against. Shishi Gami is an animal god that conducts the business of giving and taking life. Some say his head grants eternal youth - humans are trying to get it. Giant wolves led by Moro no Ko help San fight against the humans. This movie has a complex storyline with deep meaning. Certainly one of the best anime movies ever.

10) Ghost In The Shell - The ultimate secret agent can travel the information highway without limit and has no phyisical presence. In the year 2029, augmented humans live in a virtual world. This movie is as similar to The Matrix as much as it isn't. It is a future dominated by super computers and cybernetic technology. Even if you don't like sci-fi (or anime) you should watch this movie. It is that good.

You should be able to find all of these on DVD, with the exception of Initial D. I have never seen this in any movie store. Suncoast has a great selection of anime, but their prices are a little high.

You can find so many hot titles out there that I couldn't possibly expose them all in one review. Therefore, keep an eye out for future reviews from me!

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