Hollywood has a way of ruining classic Japanese Anime with its live-action adaptations. Starting from Netflix's live-action "Death Note" and Paramount's "Ghost in the Shell", Hollywood's fascination with white-washing Asian characters certainly did not sit well with the fans.
For an "otaku" like me, Japanese Anime is more than just "cartoons". It's something that changed my life for the good. With out of the box concept and breathtaking visuals, animes have been a popular source of entertainment for many.
So, for people who have never watched anime before, here's a starter pack.
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Genre: Science fiction
"Ghost in the Shell" was adapted from the manga of the same name, written by Masamune Shirow. The dystopian crime thriller with its state of the world art penetrates the human mind and beautifully depicts the desire for human emotions in a world of technology. Kenji Kawai's soundtrack "Making of Cyborg" will surely stay with you throughout the series.
Plot: It is the year 2029, the world has changed and with the change in cybernetic technology, the human body has been replaced with cybernetic parts. These cybernetic shells are inhibited by a consciousness called the "ghost".
Major Motoko Kusanagi - a cyborg policewoman, uncovers a political assassination plot and gets involved in a deadly chase to find the mysterious hacker known as "The Puppet Master".
Genre: Dystopian fantasy
"Akira", which is considered as the greatest anime of all time, will be revamped as a new anime series consisting of events from the entire manga and popular actor Keanu Reeves will be playing the role of Akira in the live-action movie.
The 1988 anime was exceptional for including less CGI and 24 complete drawings per second for all the iconic scenes of the anime which were animated and photographed by hand. The anime was also an allegory to the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which enticed the fear of a cold war.
Plot: In July 1988, a young boy named Akira destroys old Tokyo with his psychic powers which causes the Japan government to freeze him for an indefinite period. Years later, a hot-headed Kaneda and his best friend Tetsuo get involved in a bike accident which leads to Tetsuo becoming a psychopath with murderous tendencies. He harnesses his psychic abilities from the accident and ends up destroying everything. A secret government project takes hold of Tetsuo as they mistook him for Akira. Now Kaneda has to protect Tokyo against his best friend Tetsuo.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Genre: War drama
Studio Ghibli's one of the finest productions "Grave of the Fireflies" will leave you teary-eyed. It is based on a semi-autobiographical short story of the same name. The movie is based on the effects of second world-war in Japan and how the constant fear of bomb attack and starvation leads to both emotional and mental suffering on the people.
Plot: Grave of the fireflies revolves around two siblings - Seita and his younger sister Setsuko. They lose their mother in a firebombing and their house is destroyed. Together, they try hard to survive the war and find a place of shelter amid the catastrophe and the massacres of war.
Perfect Blue (1997)
Genre: Psychological thriller
Based on the novel named "Perfect Blue: Complete Metamorphosis", the anime showcases how paranoia can make a person muddle reality with delusion.
Plot: Mima Kirigoe, a former idol star who retires from the music industry to start her own acting career, falls victim to stalking and utter humiliation. Soon, after a series of murders takes place, Mima starts to question her own reality.
Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
"Tokyo Godfathers", a light but heartwarming anime, will surely put a smile on your face as you see three misfits try to embark into a night of adventures.
Plot: Three homeless people - a former drag queen, a runaway teenager and a middle aged alcoholic man - finds a baby in the trash on Christmas Eve. Together, they set forth on a journey to look for the parents of the newborn.