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Category: Anime

5 Most Sublime Animated Movies

When Walt Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, critics were skeptical about the idea of a full-length animated film. They thought audiences wouldn’t buy tickets or sit through a long cartoon. Boy, were they wrong. In the 90+ years since this film hit theaters, animation has become a cultural mainstay. 

Animated films hit all kinds of notes from whimsical to thought-provoking, but they all have art and beauty at their centers. Looking for a film to watch? Then, check out these five absolutely sublime animated films. 

1. Paprika

Based on the 1993 novel Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui, this 2006 animated thriller was directed by Satoshi Kon and features the work of celebrated animator Masashi Ando. The film tells the story of D. Atsuko Chiba a psychiatrist who develops a dream machine to help her patients. 

When the machine is stolen, Dr. Chiba and her dream version Paprika spring into action. The ensuing drama blends dreams and reality, science and fiction, and fear and love against a backdrop of startlingly beautiful animation. 

2. Waltz With Bashir

Waltz With Bashir embraces an animation style based on Adobe Flash cutouts. The result — surrealistic imagery that feels like a memory. Written, directed, and starring Ari Folman, the film looks at the aftermath of Folman’s experiences as a 19-year-old infantry soldier in Lebanon. 

Although Folman witnessed massacres, he has no memory of them, and he uses this film to explore that idea. Using animation as a documentary device, Folman interviews soldiers and journalists who witnessed the same massacres, and he also talks with a psychologist about the intersection of memory and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

3. Wall-E

While the first two films on the list may not be ideal for children, Wall-E delights viewers of all ages. Produced by Pixar, the film follows the story of a garbage-collecting robot named Wall-E. When an unmanned probe arrives to look for signs of life on Earth, Wall-E falls in love with the robot inside and ultimately follows her across the galaxy. At the culmination of their journey humans return to earth, and happiness ensues. 

The apocalyptic love story is beautiful, and the robotic characters are enchanting, but this animated film makes the list because of its camera work. To establish a sense of visual realism, the filmmakers mimicked the effect of a camera, a feat not seen on many if any other animated films. 

4. Sleeping Beauty

Made long before a lot of the animation technology that fuels Pixar films, Sleeping Beauty features animation that looks like it should be on display at a museum. The film tells the classic story of a maiden who succumbs to a curse on her 16th birthday and falls into a 100-years sleep that can only be reversed by a prince’s kiss. However, the true beauty of this film isn’t the plot or the characters. Instead, it’s the intricate and sublime backdrops created by Eyvind Earle. 

5. Spirited Away

Hayao Miyazaki is known for making many anime classics including Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, and Ponyo, but Spirited Away is arguably the most visually sublime of his films. This film tells the story of a young girl who stumbles into an abandoned amusement park and ultimately loses her parents and becomes stuck in the spirit world. The plot immerses viewers, while the animation enchants them. The film is tender and contemplative, but also compelling and active. 

Most Beloved Anime Characters of All Time

There are a lot of things that go into making a good anime, and nothing is more important than having some great characters that fans can relate to or simply think are fun to watch. There are certain characters that are legendary and can be identified even by those that have never seen a full episode of an anime in their life or read a manga. Some are funny, some are cool, but all of them are fan favorites.

Out of the thousands of animes over the years, though, which characters are the most beloved by fans around the world? Here are our picks for the five most beloved anime characters of all time, though we excluded all of the characters from Pokemon as that seems like it might be cheating.

Goku

Goku is a timeless classic when it comes to the world of beloved anime characters. Generations of anime fangirls and fanboys have a soft spot for the Super Saiyan God who made his debut back in the 1980s. Dragon Ball Z, of course featuring Goku, has been up and running for years and the franchise continues to release series, movies, and video games showcasing the anime sensation and endless enemies who wish to eliminate the hero. Even those who don’t watch anime will more than likely know who Goku is, which says a lot about his massive popularity worldwide. 

Naruto Uzumaki

Naruto Uzumaki first made his debut in 1999 as the main character in the Naruto manga written by Masashi Kishimoto. It’s a widely popular series still to this day. Also known for being pretty popular amongst the meme community, due to the interesting style of running the beloved anime character possesses. In 2019 there was even an instance where a group of people half-jokingly decided it would be a good idea to Naruto run into Area 51 for answers at the height of the “are aliens real?” debate within the nation. Though Naruto has much more to offer anime fanatics with films, long-running series, and video games for Naruto lovers to enjoy

Saitama

Saitama is the beloved superhero main character of the astounding One Punch Man series. The manga made its debut as a webcomic in 2009 and from there has turned into an insanely popular fan-favorite anime series, with Saitama being the center of adoration. Saitama trained for years to perfect his fighting style, using only one punch to defeat enemies. The ease of destroying his enemies leads Saitama to boredom and performs heroic duties to pass time. 

Eren Yeager

The main character featured in the Attack on Titans series, Eren Yeager seeks revenge on the man-eating humanoid beasts called Titans that ravaged his home and killed his family. Earning the ability throughout his formative years to obtain the power of several Titans, Yeager is a perfect counterpart to the frightening Titans that attack the city. The series is widely successful and loved by fans. Its massive popularity is likely why the series is still ongoing and among the most expensive series to make per episode. 

Monkey D. Luffy

Monkey D. Luffy is a loveable boy who is featured in the One Piece anime series. After consuming a Gum-Gum fruit, Luffy’s body changes and takes on the properties of rubber. The newfound elasticity of his body gives him an advantage as he travels around, getting into scuffles as captain of the Straw Hat Pirates. His happy demeanor, big heart, and passion for his role among his pirate crew make him a fan favorite for sure. Monkey made his debut in 1997 with the first chapter of One Piece and the character was seven-years-old, growing up with the readers.

5 Best Anime Video Games of All Time

Video game adaptations happen for just about every form of media, from motion pictures to comic books and everything in between. Anime is no exception to getting the video game treatment, and just like with all other forms of video games, there’s a mixed bag in terms of quality. There’s a long list of anime video games, with many of them being forgettable, but plenty that is good to great.

In terms of the ones that are great, there are a few that really stand out due to replayability, storytelling, and overall quality of gameplay. These are the five best video games of all time that are based on anime. If you haven’t tried any of these out, it might be time to get a console or PC to try them.

5. Dragon Ball FighterZ

Based on the popular Dragon Ball series, Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of many Dragon Ball video games as well as one most loved by fans. The game was developed by Arc System Works and initially released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It sold over 8 million copies as of 2021.

The action-packed fighting game allows you to form a team of three Dragon Ball characters, with one assist for each character, then placing you against an AI or online player. You fight it out, using combo moves and special attacks until all members of one team are depleted.  

4. Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is the sixth and final game to come from the Naruto Ultimate Storm series. It was developed by CyberConnect2 and released for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2016. Later being released for the Nintendo Switch in 2020. 

The game follows the journey of Naruto and Sasuke during the Fourth Shinobi World War. The game gives you three teams of fighters that can assist each other through boss fights, quick events, and hidden scenes. 

3. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R was developed by CyberConnect2 and released for multiple PlayStation and Xbox consoles in 2014 and PC in 2022. The popular anime fighting game can be played as single-player, or multiplayer. 

Players can pick from characters from the fan-favorite anime and fight against other players, or AI in different locations taken from the series. Use your fighting skills to deplete the other player’s stamina, or possess more stamina than your opponent(s) when the time runs out.

2. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4

One Piece- Pirate Warriors 4 was developed by Omega Force and released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2020. The game follows a similar storyline to the previous One Piece games, with new variations and modifications that take the game down an exciting path. 

It features characters Cavendish and Bartolomeo who are out to free the Straw Hat crew. New enemies like Blackbeard and crew are introduced, who you must defeat along with Big Mom, and Kaido’s minions. Afterward, you’ll be challenged with the biggest fight of all, the boss fight against a morphed version of Kaido himself. 

1. Persona 5 Royal

Persona 5 Royal is the most popular Persona 5 video game among fans of the anime series, rated 10/10 on multiple platforms. It was released in 2020 for the PlayStation 4, then released in 2022 for the PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and PC. 

It’s the fifth addition to the Persona 5 series, with Persona 5 Royal being a more enhanced version with more content, gameplay, and an added Phantom Thief character, Kasumi Yoshizawa. The game follows a crew of vigilante students from a Tokyo High School with supernatural powers, who steal ill intentions from the hearts of nefarious people. 

5 Anime Series That Received a Live Action Adaptation

When it comes to anything, you can almost bank on a live-action movie adaptation if that particular thing happens to be famous enough. From video games and books to toy characters and more, live-action films are almost always the end result of something gaining fame worldwide. Anime is no exception, and while it deviates away from the medium, there have been some live-action anime films that ended up being good.

Let’s take a look at some of the anime series that got the live-action treatment over the years. Some have had massive budgets or received rave reviews while others have had shoestring budgets and didn’t hit with critics. Here are five anime series that received a live-action adaptation.

Cowboy Bepop

Cowboy Bepop is a largely popular anime series that originally aired for a short period of time in the late 1990s. Years later in 2021, the live-action adaptation aired on Netflix. The series is set over 100 years into the future and follows the space bounty hunter crew on the spacecraft, the Bepop, as they go around capturing criminals throughout the endless realm of space. Viewers had mixed reviews and felt the series didn’t live up to and provide the depth of the original anime series. 

Death Note

Death Note started out as a Manga created by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. It was first released in 2003, later getting its own anime television series in 2006, and a live-action film in 2017. The film follows a student, Light Turner, who discovers a notebook that brings death to whoever’s name ends up in its pages. The owner of the book, the death god Ryuk, is the stunning creature most associated with the series and film. The film got mixed reviews, with critics complaining the film felt rushed. 

Bleach

Bleach got its start in the 2001 manga written and illustrated by Tite Kubo, later getting its own live-action adaptation with the release of the 2018 film. It follows the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, a high schooler in the town of Karakura who can see ghostly entities that others can’t. SoulReaper Rukia Kuchiki is led to Kurosaki while hunting an evil spirit, referred to as Hollows, that attacks the family. Kuchiki transfers her powers to Kurosaki after being wounded by the demonic entity, giving them all the responsibility of a SoulReaper overnight. The film had a positive rating overall and was well-received by viewers. 

Fullmetal Alchemist 

Starting in 2001, Fullmetal Alchemist was a manga that was published by the Enix company that’s more known in North America for its video games and merger with Square. The original manga had a decade-long run and had multiple animated series during its run, with the most recent being Brotherhood in 2009-10. A trio of live-action films has been made, with the first release in 2017 in Japanese theaters and on Netflix on a global level. Reviews were far from positive, though, and the budget was incredibly low considering the size of the fanbase.

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell started as a manga in 1989 and received several animated series and films throughout the 1990s and 2000s. A live-action version was announced for 2017 with Scarlett Johansson landing the lead role of Major Motoko Kusanagi. The casting was met with some controversy due to ethnicity mismatches, though it still performed well in theaters with $170 million worldwide. The film was produced by Avi Arad, who was known for producing each of the Spider-Man films to hit the big screen since the original in 2001. While Ghost in the Shell received lukewarm ratings, it still became a must-see for fans of the anime.

5 Most Expensive Anime Series

While North America and Europe have plenty of animated television shows, many of them are done digitally to save money, which can end up losing the sort of character and quality that many of us were accustomed to in the 1990s and years prior. In Japan, however, animation is still very much a big deal with detailed drawings and a lot of legwork put into each episode of anime.

As a result, there have been some very expensive anime series over the years in Japan, with some costing six figures per episode to create. Out of the many popular and expensive anime series, these are the five most expensive on a per-episode basis. We’ll show you just how much they cost while you judge whether or not the investment has paid off in the long run.

Black Clover

Black Clover began as a manga created and illustrated by Yūki Tabata. The animated series quickly grew in popularity, with a movie coming to Netflix in 2023. The series was released in early 2015 and is still going strong to this day. It takes a whopping $140,000 to create each episode of the beloved anime. The plot is an intriguing one, probably why the company is putting so much money toward the production. Black Clover follows the lives of orphans Asta and Yuno, one born with magic abilities and one born without. Asta stumbles upon a treasure that gives him an advantage. He and his friend Yuno make it their goal to become the next Wizard King, battling enemies and going through trials along the way. 

Attack On Titan

Attack on Titan is not only one of the most popular anime series in recent years, it’s also one of the more costly series. The incredible series was written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama, who has won multiple awards for his mind-blowing manga, having sold over 110 million copies as of 2022. In the series, people are forced to live surrounded by gigantic walls that keep out the ravenous and murderous titans. The making of the animated series cost around $150,000 per episode, making it one of the most expensive anime series to date. 

Dragon Ball Super 

Dragon Ball is an anime series that has stood the test of time. Extremely popular among young and old, it’s no wonder why the company behind the production spent about $160,000 an episode. One of the many Dragon Ball series, this variant has run since 2017 and continues to produce new and exciting high-quality episodes that fans love. The series follows Goku as he battles yet another foe, the God of Destruction, Beerus. Beerus seeks a battle with Goku, threatening earth’s annihilation if he loses to Goku. 

My Hero Academia 

My Hero Academia is an incredibly popular anime series among today’s youth and cosplay goers. It started off as a manga series created and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. The still-running animated series aired in 2016 uses around $110,000 to make each episode. It follows Izuku Midoriya, a young schoolboy who, unlike most of the population, lacks a superpower, or “Quirk”. After meeting his hero, All Might, he’s gifted powers passed down from his idol and then goes on to attend an academy for those bearing powers. The children within the school are often joined together with law enforcement to aid in the capture of villains who use their powers to commit horrible crimes. 

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an intriguing anime series, originally a popular manga created and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. There have been many animated series to come from the manga throughout the years. One of the more recent adaptations cost around $120,000 per episode and truly shows how much the fanbase has grown and continues to do so. They keep coming back for the twist and turns of the series that showcases paranormal, comedic, and sometimes outrageous storylines.