My Top 10 from Studio Ghibli
2108 8.2 8.41. Princess Mononoke (1997)
One of those movies you don't see every day, month or year. The story is simple, modest and at the same time, groundbreaking and epic for its mix of reality and fantasy (actually the premise is very similiar to Nausicaa's). The characters are also very simple. However you can't help but sympathize with them, even with the antagonists, everyone of them is unique, well developed with its own fundamented and reasonable goal.
The visuals are simply stunning, I will go and say: the best the 90's have seen. This movie will entertain you and make you think, there's a lot more to it than gods, demons, ecological messages, smooth and violent action sequences or beautiful emotional scenes. Watch how every character's action in this movie can affect everyone and everything around them.
544 7.9 7.92. Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Wow, this movie was so good, I can't believe how good it was, I guess I wasn't expecting it. The story is just amazing and the characters are real... yup they must be, it's the only plausible reason I can find to explain the fact that I was so touched and moved just by watching the kids playing the violin and singing upstairs with the old man and his music buddies joining them when they arrive home.
The movie really has very touching moments and profound quotes, especially by the old man. It was fascinating listening to him telling his stories and watching his amazing wonder shop.
1302 8.2 8.43. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Speecheless...words cannot describe this movie, it's just too powerful. No doubt, an amazing story, one to be remembered.
230 7.4 7.64. Only Yesterday (1991)
This was seriously my first attempt at a really "Slice of Life" anime piece of work, and was I completely stunned by the amazing story this turned out to be... It was enjoyable, interesting and rather thoughtful since the very beginning, simply because the characters were so simple, realistic, well-developed and most important of all, likeable. The ending was outstanding, it showed the romantic side of this story and it was so good and emotional it made me shed some tears, something I almost never do out of Drama.
Miyazaki may be the most popular, with the more thrilling and adventurous anime films out there, making absolutely gorgeous and entertaining movies IMO, but with this movie, in my eyes, Takahata proved to be on par with (if not superior to) Miyazaki when it comes to directing a movie with a memorable story and realistc characters.
146 7 7.25. My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
The story is a very simple one, I would even say this movie has an "episodic" nature because it tells the daily-life chronicles of the Yamadas, some shorter, some longer. However its never dull or boring, all these episodes in the Yamadas' lives felt interesting, funny and refreshing one after another, switching the spotlight of the family members in each one.
The art style is very unusual, sketchy and fits the story incredibly well. It's undoubtfully different than your standard anime visuals, but beautifully hand-drawn nonetheless. I really liked it.
The characters are all superb! To the serious, old fashioned and wise grandma who still thinks she has a lot to give, to the hard-working, day-dreamer and misanderstood father who dreams about breaking the routine and to be acknowledged by his family (that in fact he really cares about). They all have a lot to give through the movie and are constantly being put into ordinary daily-life tasks and obstacles while dealing with them in their very unique and hilarious way.
Overall this movie is nothing more and nothing less than a very funny slice of life, with different and refreshing visuals, superb characters and filled with very interesting and thoughtful scenes (Being the scenes with the Father the best and most enjoyable ones for me ^^). The worst thing about entertainment is getting into it expecting a lot and being disappointed. On the other hand, the best thing about it, is getting into it expecting nothing... and ending utterly amused! For me "My Neighbors the Yamadas" was the best example of that, it was just that great.
If you like light-hearted comedies or a good slice of life and are opened to unusual art, then by all means, watch this lesser-known Ghibli by the genious director Takahata!
1871 8.3 8.26. My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
What an amazing movie, it's a nice break from complicated, action oriented or fast-paced plots, this movie is so light hearted and charming that it's pure joy watching it. Oh and the quality of the art and animation is just amazing, seriously some of the best I've seen, no less from Miyazaki.
815 7.6 7.77. Porco Rosso (1992)
Great story, superb characters and amazing visuals as expected from Miyazaki. The movie has a lot of funny moments and interesting scenes, especially the quotes from Porco. It's a simple, funny and intelligent movie that I would recommend to anyone.
564 7.4 7.28. The Cat Returns (2002)
What an amusing movie. A rather simple, funny and entertaining story with very cool characters! Having watched Whisper of the Heart is not essential (in fact the movies are completely different), but it helps to know the background behind Baron, even if he is the only link between the two movies.
And it was amazing the quantity of cats that kept falling in this movie, especially the ones being thrown out of the window xD.
3423 8.4 8.69. Spirited Away (2001)
I don't think it was the masterpiece a lot of people say it is, but it was definitely one the most original movies I've ever seen.
1026 7.8 810. Castle in the Sky (1986)
Really liked this movie, the feeling of mystery and adventure is definetely there and the art, as always, is fantastic. But being my second Miyazaki movie, second to Nausicaa, I can't help but feel that Nausicaa was the superior movie. The plot is different, but the characters and overall feeling didn't change that much, and reminded me of Nausicaa. Great movie nevertheless.
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