Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

My Favourite Things: Anime

By Russell Forden Mar 13, 2024 #anime

Like a lot of westerners, I didn’t know I had been watching anime until much later. That is, those weird cartoon shows we watched as kids in the sixties and seventies, like Astroboy, Prince Planet, Gigantor and Kimba weren’t from America but from Japan, subbed and with references to Japan edited out of them. They somehow had slipped in amongst the Bugs Bunny and Disney cartoons. I remember I loved cartoons as a kid. I especially loved one called Space Ace, about a boy who could draw large rings and fly on them. I wanted to be part of that world. But as an adult the only ones I got into were The Simpsons and South Park, which were aimed as much at adults as kids. Come to think of it, they probably paved the way for my interest in anime. Later, when I became a teacher, I would sometimes have an extra that was a Japanese class, and the teacher would leave me these amazing Japanese anime films to show the kids. This is how I was introduced to the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The films were My Neighbour Totoro, or When Marnie Was There and others. Somehow I had missed all the fun with Sailor Moon and Cowboy Bebop – it all passed me by at the time. But once I discovered it I couldn’t get enough of it. It was still cartoons, but it was something more exotic. It was fun de-cyphering these new codes, new conventions born of Japanese culture, new sub genres – isekai, seinen, shonen, etc. I’m definitely a sub guy rather than a dub guy (unless it’s a Ghibli – or something set in an English speaking country). The examples that follow are just the tip of the iceberg of what I like. My all-time fave is probably one called Shiro Bako (pictured), which actually is an anime about people working in the anime industry. Very meta, and it has one of the best character arcs in all anime. There are lots of good sites about anime, and I recommend Myanimelist,  a good database where you can log, rate and review your viewings. Ranker‘s also a good source for interesting lists.

Macross: Do You Remember Love

Cowboy Bebop

Samurai Champloo

Shiro Bako

Sailor Moon

Urusei Yatsura


Macross Super Dimension Fortress

Mobile Gundam Suite

Macross 7

Maison Ikoku




The Boy and the Heron

My Neighbour Totoro

Graveyard of the Flies

Princess Mononoke


Excel Saga




Samurai X


By the Grace of the Gods

Appare Ranman

Ranma ½

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Bubblegum Crisis 2040

Ghost In the Shell

GITS: Stand Alone Complex

GITS: Arise


Perfect Blue

Ninja Scroll

Millennium Actress

Vampire Hunter D

Black Lagoon

Macross Plus


Girls Und Panzer

The World of Arrietty

Anthem of the Heart

Letter To Momo


Miss Hokusai

Summer Wars

The Promised Neverland

K On!

Love Live


The Wind Rises

When Marnie Was There

Your Name

A Silent Voice

Princess Principal

The Wolf Children

From Up On Poppy Hill

Mary and the Witches Flower

Princess Kaguya

Hozuki’s Coolheadedness

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