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This thread was inspired by a conversation between @"addiesin", @"mnkykungfu" and myself in which Addiesin expressed some frustration at being unable to pin down what exactly they liked in an anime. With this thread I hope to provide some signposts towards some readily available anime and invite you to watch it with an open mind and honestly review it. Think of it as an anime book club.
Trying to pin down what anime actually is is akin to trying to sum up sport or music by pointing to a few well known examples. Curling does not represent all sports any more than Kid Rock represents all music. With that in mind it's probably best to consider anime as a merely an umbrella term that encompasses a myriad of genres and sub genres and just like sport or music it is divisive. There is no one size fits all anime. Of course there are classics which have wide reaching appeal but even these are not universally loved. Engaging with anime is not dissimilar to wine tasting. As a fan of the medium I loathe large swathes of anime but the things that I enjoy I enjoy wholeheartedly. My tastes are varied with no hard delineation between things I should like and things I would avoid. The only common factor is simple enjoyment.
I was drawn to anime during my school years after watching a late night screening of Akira on channel 4. It was worlds apart from anything I had seen before and instantly I was a fan. Inevitably I went looking for similar films and had mixed success. The next film I watched was called Ghost in the Shell and was mesmerising but then I started working through the Manga entertainment back catalogue. To say the least I found the vast majority to be lacking. The reason for this was simple, Manga entertainment would buy literally anything with nary a thought to quality. But I digress, the moral of my story is that just because you like an anime doesn't mean you'll like all anime or to flip it just because you dislike anime X doesn't mean you'll not enjoy anime Y.
There are many ways to approach anime:
Format (TV, OVA, Movie, Short etc)
So let's start with a director. This week I would like to invite you to watch one of Hasoda Mamoru's films. His first three movies The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Sumner Wars and Wolf Children are available on Prime and can be viewed for free if you start a 7 day FunimationNow trial. Afterwards I'd love to hear your thoughts about the film.
But wait there's more!
To whet your appetite here is a wealth of anime shorts (~7min) which encompass a huge range of anime styles and genres. There are 20+ shorts to watch but here is an example. Hopefully these will introduce you to a variety of new studios, styles and directors. Enjoy.