9. Redline (2009)
Redline is mad. A lot of anime is mad, but Redline is truly bonkers!
JP is a racer who competes in tournaments on backwater planets, hoping one day to qualify for the Redline; the wildest car race in the galaxy. The races are filled with competitors driving cars that look like something from ‘Wacky Races’ on acid, and on top of which the race tracks are usually run through territories controlled by intergalactic crime or military syndicates. So as well as driving at break-neck speed, JP has to dodge attacks and attempts at sabotage coming from every angle.
The story is so wild that only the equally bonkers animation style can match it – in fact, the animation is so ambitious that it nearly drove the studio, Mad House (the same studio that produced the best of Satoshi Kon’s work) to bankruptcy. Watching Redline is an experience; an 80-minute, pulsing adrenaline rush straight to the veins.
10. Your Name (2016)
Since its release, Your Name has gone from strength to strength; breaking box office records around the world and becoming a smash hit.
The 2016 film follows two teenagers in Japan, Taki and Mitsuha, who, despite never having met, keep swapping bodies. However, the film is so much more than the usual body swap fare, but to understand just why it’s as beloved as it is you really have to watch it for yourself. To say any more would ruin it.
The film is simply gorgeous, as it moves from rural Japan into central Tokyo. Every frame bursts with light and colour. Director Makato Shinkai seems to find endless beauty in minor details; watching train doors slide shut or sunbeams pass over film posters has never been so captivating. Along with its pop-tastic soundtrack, Your Name is a feel-good blockbuster like no other.
Watch it quickly, before the live-action American remake comes out.
Recommended for you: Where to Start with Studio Ghibli
Written by Jack Cameron
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