The Place Promised in Our Early Days (Kumo no Mukō, Yakusoku no Basho)

[A couple of spoilers in this one]*. There are a few Makoto Shinkai works I haven’t seen so far but I’m still comfortable placing this film somewhere between ‘not my favourite of his’ and ‘still beautiful’ though I’m not sure how useful those descriptors are re: ranking. The Place Promised in Our Early Days (KumoContinue reading “The Place Promised in Our Early Days (Kumo no Mukō, Yakusoku no Basho)”

Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru)

Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru) 1993 Ocean Waves is a teen romance with a love triangle, which is where much of the drama comes from, though there are a few comedic moments too (like the bathtub-as-bed offer). Compared to other Ghibli films it’s perhaps a little slight, being a bit shorter (as most TV moviesContinue reading “Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru)”

The Girl who Leapt Through Time (Toki o Kakeru Shōjo)

The Girl who Leapt Through Time (Toki o Kakeru Shōjo) 2006 Before moving to Madhouse, Mamoru Hosoda worked a lot in franchises like Dragonball Z, One Piece and Digimon but for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time he created a loose sequel to the novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui (who is alsoContinue reading “The Girl who Leapt Through Time (Toki o Kakeru Shōjo)”

Aladdin (1992)

Aladdin (1992) Disney has seemingly always lumbered along plundering fairy and folk tales, sometimes egregiously and other times in a more transformative, artistic manner, and they’ve been a giant in the animation world for probably more than 70 years* now. Ups and downs coloured that dominance of course and Aladdin landed during one of thoseContinue reading “Aladdin (1992)”

Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo)

Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo) 2011 I think Children Who Case Lost Voices stands out in Makoto Shinkai’s filmography as the one with the biggest scope. To date, it’s also his last ‘adventure’ story perhaps, since the movies that followed put relationships in the foreground. Children Who Case Lost Voices isContinue reading “Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo)”

Like the Clouds, Like the Wind (Kumo no yō ni Kaze no yō ni)

Like the Clouds, Like the Wind (Kumo no yō ni Kaze no yō ni) 1990 Like the Clouds, Like the Wind has a bit of a history as a ‘mistaken Ghibli film’ and if you’ve done any reading about it you’ll be aware that Katsuya Kondō’s memorable character designs were a part of that misconception.Continue reading “Like the Clouds, Like the Wind (Kumo no yō ni Kaze no yō ni)”

Wolf Children (Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki)

Wolf Children (Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki) 2012 Another blockbuster from Mamoru Hosoda, though it’s far deeper into tear-jerker territory than his previous film, Summer Wars. But soon after that movie’s success Hosoda left Madhouse to create Studio Chizu, and Wolf Children was the first feature made by his new studio. My anticipation wasContinue reading “Wolf Children (Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki)”

Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta)

Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta) 1992 Ah, the Crimson Pig – another classic Ghibli film, and another chance for Miyazaki to explore romance and the thrill of flight, along with the planes themselves too. Having opened with that statement I’ll quickly add that Porco Rosso is still most definitely an action film but there’s aContinue reading “Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta)”

Stein’s Gate (Shutainzu Gēto)

Stein’s Gate (Shutainzu Gēto) 2011 Game adaptations that work exceptionally well as film or longer narratives feel rare to me – but maybe that’s a reflection of my limited knowledge of animation that falls into that range? Either way, I think this series is outstanding. It’s rightly considered a classic of speculative fiction and anime;Continue reading “Stein’s Gate (Shutainzu Gēto)”

Anastasia (1997)

Anastasia (1997) Anastasia could be called an animated musical or an alternate history, a fantasy perhaps, and any of those labels seem pretty fitting to me, but I’d argue it’s a drama before the others – though there is somewhat Disney-like magic here as well. And while I definitely don’t have much knowledge of GrandContinue reading “Anastasia (1997)”