7 Anime’s that Inspired Hollywood Films

Since the release of Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) and Teen Titans (2006), anime has shown obvious influence on animation in America. Below is a list of 7 films which have been great inspirations:

1) PERFECT BLUE (1997) – Director: Satoshi Kon 

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© Madhouse Productions

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© Fox Searchlight Productions

About: 

Mimi Kirigoe, J-Pop singer, quits music to become an actor. However, fans don’t take it too lightly and as an act of revenge publish her diary online by crazy stalker “Me-Mania”. After becoming a victim of rape she can no longer differentiate between fact and fiction. She then ends up wrapped up in a series of murders she has no recollection of committing.

Influences: 

Although denied by director, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan depicts some similiar themes of a stars blurred lines between reality and fantasy. Also it has been said that Aronofsky bought the rights to the film to stage a similar scene in Requiem for a Dream.

2) KIMBA THE WHITE LION (1965) Director: Osamu Tezuka

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© Mushi Production                                              © Walt Disney Picture

About:

Kimba is a white lion in captivation whose father was killed after attempting to create a safe space for wildlife in Africa away from villagers who steal their cattlfor food. After Kimba escapes from the zoo he promises to go back to his land and try stand for peace and justice like his father. Throughout this journey he learns how humans works and how animals and humans must work together and understand each others habitats to exist together in harmony.

Influences: 

Obviously The Lion King comes straight into mind. The similarities between Kimba and Simba are uncanny (names for starters). However, the creators of Kimba opted out of a lawsuit knowing they could never defeat the huge phenomena of Disney

3) GHOST IN THE SHELL (1995) – Director: Mamoru Oshii 

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© Dark Horse Comics

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© Warner Bros.

About: 

Set in a futuristic dystopia man starts to become replaced by machine. An investigation starts into the “Puppet Master” by cyborg detectives Major Motoko Kusanagi and partner Batou.

Inspiration: 

When making The Matrix the Wachowski Brothers said they wanted the style and theme of Ghost In The Shell with even the opening titles of The Matrix mimicking the anime.

4) PAPRIKA (2006) – Director: Satoshi Kon 

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© Madhouse Prodctuon

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© Warner Bros. Pictures

About:

A child-like genius has invented a machine called the DC-Mini whereby users are able to view people’s dreams. It starts to be illegally used on psychiatric patients by Doctor Abuko Chiba. Detectives make it their mission to catch the culprit before there becomes a confusion and problem between reality and dreams.

Influences: 

Christopher Nolan’s inceptions used the idea of the human subconscious.

5) BRAVE RAIDEEN (1975) – Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino, Tadao Nagahama

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© Dreamworks Pictures

About: 

The Demon Empire awakens after a million years with plans to take over the world. Akira discovers he is the ancestors of those from a lost continent Mu. United and takes control of the robotic guardian Raideen to defeat the Demon Empire and his monsters.

Influences: 

Being both an influence of anime and Hollywood, it is thought we would have never seen Transformers come to life if it weren’t for Brave Raideen. 

6) MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO (1988) – Director: Hayao Miyazaki 

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© Studio Ghibli

 

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© Pixar Animations

 

 

About: 

After sisters Satsuki and Mei move to the countryside with their father to be nearer their sick mother, the forest near their home takes them through a journey of fantasy with cuddly enormous creatures that no grown up can see.

Influences: 

So many Studio Ghibli films influence Pixar and Disney with creative officer John Lasseter admitting My Neighbour Totoro is one of his favourites. Totoro was also featured in Toy Story 3 as a cameo so that “Studio Ghibli know how much they mean to us”, Lasseter says.

7) NINJA SCROLL (1993) – Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri 

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© Madhouse Productions

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© Miramax Films

About: 

After saving female ninja Kagero from being raped, Jubei Kibagami (a ninja-for-hire) becomes tangled up in a fight against demons.

Influences: 

Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill portrays the anime style in the first film and especially in the Japanese style female fighting scenes.

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5 anime films for the non-anime lover

1) SPIRITED AWAY (2001) 

 

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©Studio Ghibli

The first time I saw Spirited Away was at the Secret Cinema where I was able to eat all the different foods they were eating on screen. This included yummy rice balls, sweets and all sort of sushi, this is what makes Spirited Away one for the foodies.

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, this Stuido Ghibli film offers an equal balance between horror and humour. The beautiful composition of art and Miyazaki’s unique way of making the audience feel compassion and appreciation towards the characters makes him one my top storytellers.

This film follows a shy, grumpy young girl named Chihiro whose parents decide to move far out of the country. Whilst on their way to their new home they explore an abandoned theme park where she is approached by a boy who warns her to leave before nightfall. However, before she is able to escape night has fallen and she ends up stuck in a spirit world.

I’m not going to give away the rest as it’s a great start for those who have never seen any anime before. Miyazaki draws on pain, death and blood whilst still keeping a childlike atmosphere around. It can be said this film features many life lessons implying that with love, humour and stunning animation these life lessons are all worth while.

2) URUSEI YATSURA: BEAUTIFUL DREAMER (1984) 

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©AnimEigo ©MVM Films

Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer is a long-running manga silly comedy series about a flirty schoolboy, his alien girlfriend, and their crazy classmates. This is the second Urusei Yatsura film for director Mamoru Oshii, and you can distinctively tell he made this film however and whatever he wanted. Although not being completely embraced by some Japanese, Western culture took a huge liking towards it as no previous manga knowledge is needed. Due to its cheeky innuendos and quirky humour this film makes it universal and fun despite your background.

3) PAPRIKA (2006)

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©Madhouse ©Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan

 This was he last of masterful director Satoshi Kon’s work before he sadly died. However, he still managed to convey (like all this other films) tales of dreamy exploration and manipulation.

It is basically a film about dreams, jumping from one to the other eventually loosely tying up at the end, and revolves around the manipulation of dreams and how they can be accessed even in real life. Kon perfectly depicts the shift between reality and the dreamworld. It should be enjoyed as an exciting ride with giant dolls and clowns entertaining you throughout.

Paprika draws you in and never lets you go. You may feel a little confused throughout but that is the whole point, it opens up your conscious to some out of this world imaginations. Its visual beauty and vibrant characters makes it a must see.

4) PRINCESS MONONOKE (1997) 

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©Studio Ghibli

Another Miyazaki film, Princess Mononoke is set in a medieval Japan where some men lived in coherence with nature and others were out to destroy it. It tells the story of how all humans, animals, and nature Gods will fight for their power and land they want.

It’s attention to such close details makes this film, for me, one of the most visually inventive films. Miyazaki also creates a deep sense of humanism which differs from many other Hollywood love stories. In one scene, Ashitaka and San confess their lvoe for each other but because of the different paths their lives take they have to let each other go. Overall, it’s a must see and sways from conventional animations.

5) GHOST IN THE SHELL (1995) 

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©Production I.G

Ghost In The Shell, directed by Mamoru Oshii, was adapted from Masamune’s manga series. Set in its near-future world, humans co-exist with robots and cyborgs. This film is predominately aimed at a more mature audience because of its scenes filled with sex, violence and nudity, and displays women as being protagonists but completely in the nude.

It’s not a film which can be grasped immediately, but it you can get past it’s mind-altering storylines it’s an anime which Sci-Fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.