by Chris MaGee
It was at the beginning of this month that we posted a story on a list of the 150 best animated films of all time as voted by a group of animators and industry insiders at the 2003 Laputa Animation Festival. Out of the 150 56 of those titles were Japanese, a testament to creativity and ingenuity of Japanese animators; but now Japan's most respected film journal is weighing in on this same subject.
Kinema Junpo, Japan's oldest and most prestigious film journal, has compiled their list of the best Japanese Anime Films. There are some ties, but in total thirteen films are named. Many are obvious contenders - Hayao Miyazaki's "The Castle of Cagliostro" (which tops the list) and "My Neighbor Totoro", Taiji Yabushita & Kazuhiko Okabe "The Tale of the White Serpent", and Isao Takahata's "Grave of the Fireflies", but if this is a list of anime films and not simply animated films then where is Mamoru Oshii's cyberpunk classic "Ghost in the Shell"? Hiroyuki Kitakubo's action-packed "Blood: The Last Vampire"? The mind-bending animation of Masaaki Yuasa's "Mind Game"?
Have a look at the list (courtesy of Wildgrounds) and have your say in the comments about what you're happy to see included and what you think are glaring omissions.
1. The Castle of Cagliostro (1979, Hayao Miyazaki)
2. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984, Hayao Miyazaki)
3. My Neighbor Totoro (1988, Hayao Miyazaki)
4. Shin Chan – Attack of the Adult Empire (2001, Keiichi Hara)
5. Akira (1988, Katsuhiro Otomo)
6. Puss in Boots (1969, Kimio Yabuki)
7. Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer
8. The Little Norse Prince (1968, Isao Takahata)
9. The Tale of the White Serpent (1958, Taiji Yabushita & Kazuhiko Okabe)
10. Summer Days with Coo (2007, Keiichi Hara)
(*next three positions tied for #10)
11. Summer Wars (2009, Mamoru Hosoda)
12. Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986, Hayao Miyazaki)
13. Grave of the Fireflies (1988, Isao Takahata)