One of the hardest tasks anime fans come across is figuring out what they should recommend to someone new to anime, especially if the person they’re trying to make recommendations for thinks they wouldn’t like the medium as a whole.
That’s why we created this simple infographic to whip out the next time you need to put on any would-be anime fan who hasn’t yet come over to the dark side.
This infographic isn’t representative of the best anime has to offer (although many of these films and series are), but rather, it’s a compilation of some of the easiest introductory anime for someone new to the medium to get into.
As filmmakers, not watching anime is like not watching foreign films. You’re doing yourself such a disservice by eliminating such a massive and influential portion of the great films and series that are out there.
Anime also serves as a major source of inspiration for many of your favorite films and filmmakers. So much so that it might surprise you.
ANIME IS NOT A GENRE
In the same way that music is not a genre, anime is not a genre. It would seem crazy for someone to make a statement like, “I don’t like music.” And yet, many people feel as if they don’t like anime.
There are lots of reasons for this.
One of the reasons is that they have a misconception that all anime is goofy, outrageous nonsense filled with unbridled silliness from another culture they don’t understand.
While that does exist, it certainly doesn’t account for the majority of anime, in the same way that country music doesn’t account for the majority of music.
Anime films can be subtle, and emotional, and powerful in ways you never thought possible. This beautiful video essay by Every Frame a Painting illustrates the brilliance in a single shot from the critically acclaimed, Wolf Children.
They can employ some of the most brilliant and beautiful filmmaking techniques and are more inventive and creative than some of the most original live action films.
REASONS TO GIVE ANIME A TRY
If you don’t believe it, check them out for yourself and prepare to have your mind blown by just how much those films were influenced by these anime.
If you watch Pixar films, but you don’t watch anime, you’re just being ridiculous. Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo) is considered a God among animators.
John Lasseter, and many other Pixar animators and directors, enthusiastically rank him as their favorite filmmaker by far.
Roger Ebert gave Spirited Away a perfect score (4 stars) and it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. It’s also the first film ever to gross more than $200 million dollars before opening in America.
It then went on to pass Titanic to become the highest grossing film ever in Japan. Your Name went on to pass Spirited Away as the highest grossing film of all-time in Japan, and received a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Some of the best series to come out in the last few years have been animated series from outside of Japan influenced heavily by anime.
If you haven’t watched Castlevania on Netflix, or Last Man on VRV, you’re missing out on two of the greatest shows ever created (animated or not). These are also good starting points you can use as baby steps before you jump headlong into anime.
MIRAI, an anime film from the creator of Summer Wars, is nominated for the 2019 Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.
CRUCIAL MOMENTS IN ANIME HISTORY
Click the image to move through the timeline.