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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AKIRA KUROSAWA (1910-1998) and his influence in film

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©Film4

Born in Japan 1910 Kurosawa always knew he wanted to be a filmmaker. At the age of 26 after his brother died he was recruited by Japanese film studio PCL. Film became his life, making more than 30 films, working as an Assistant Director, and writing many screenplays.

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Rashomon (1950) ©Daiei Film

Rashomon (1950) winning the Golden Lion award became one of the biggest moments in Japanese film history. With an enormous amount of press worldwide it was the first time Japan had been viewed internationally in a great light after WWII. Startled by their success, Daiei Film Co. produced many subtitled versions for American and European countries and rereleased it worldwide. This meant that Rashomon was the first Japanese film to be seen and loved worldwide.

Seven Samurai (1954) and Yojimbo (1961) being his most influential works in Hollywood sees films such as The Magnificent Seven and A Fistful of Dollars deriving most of it’s style from them. Kurosawa was the most successful director to first use telephoto lenses for photography and the first to use slow motion in action sequences.

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Seven Samurai (1954) ©Toho

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Yojimbo (1961) ©Toho Studio

 

Kurosawa’s film generally follow 4 characteristics which make his films so unique:

1.Repetition:

In order to emphasise the dynamic nature of some scenes, Kurosawa will repeat various narrative elements.

2. Narrative Pauses:

For the audience to take time and reflect on the previous scene to be able to follow what happens next, Kurosawa uses the simple technique of long narrative pauses.

3. Other Influences:

As a fan of European and American film Kurosawa has adapted literature such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth for his film Throne of Blood (1957). John Ford being his greatest inspiration, Kurosawa is rumoured to draw upon many of Ford’s great westerns.

4. Humanism

His work is based on the goodness and dignity of human beings. The human spirit is often the main notion around Kurosawa’s films.

“Kurosawa was one of film’s true greats. His ability to transform a vision into a powerful work of art is unparalleled” – George Lucas