I'm surprised Akira is an anime non anime fans tend to like. The atmosphere, animation and soundtrack are all incredible but it's badly paced, has way too many characters and doesn't really make any sense, which is always what I resent in anime. I mean, it gets a pass because it's still really cool...
Akira for the time it came out (1988) was considered groundbreaking for what it could do animation wise. You also have to consider this was pre-disney golden era of the late 80's / early 90's. In terms of story, yeah it made little sense though the original manga I thought cleared up a lot more details since the manga was not finished when the film came out.
I'm not a fan of anime in general, but I really like Studio Ghibli and both Akira and Ghost in the Shell. Is the second Ghost in the Shell movie any good? People seemed to be divided on that one. Or is it just better to start watching Stand Alone Complex?
Kind of depends on what you liked about the first one. The second delves much deeper into the philosophical things about the first one, abandoning a specific plot in the progress and being a lot more abstract (yet completely understandable). It barely has any action in it.
When it initially came out it differed slightly from the first and was totally different from the stand alone complex series which at that time was airing for the first time in the US on adult swim. From what I remember 10 years ago the film received a lot of undeserved hate because of how different it was from Stand Alone Complex and going far too deep into director Mamoru Oshii philosophical views. The first movie was such an innovative thing nobody really had seen before and people were probably expecting something more groundbreaking.
On a side note Stand Alone Complex series is one of my favorite animes and there are some new original video animations of Ghost in the Shell called GITS: Arise that began releasing last year. You should give those a shot since they're fairly current and different from the rest of the GITS series, so far there's 3 episodes.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, ANIMATRIX. It's mostly a legitimately good slice of Japanese animation (with some obvious exceptions) and too many people write it off as a terrible matrix spin off when it's actually the only matrix product which still stands the test of time. Some may disagree of course.
I agree, Animatrix kinda set the trend for the anime anthology shorts you see some large franchises partake in. Before Animatrix you never saw any big budget franchises ever try and associate with anime studios on anything, I think the only film franchise in the US to take that leap before animatrix was the Kill Bill movies with their animated section. The Wachowskis understood how much influence anime had on the Matrix franchise and kind of payed it forward giving the spotlight to various popular well known anime directors to make the Animatrix vignettes. Since then a few film franchises have followed suit such as the Christopher Nolan Batman franchise taking the leap with Batman: Gotham Knight and the Halo franchise with Halo Legends.
I think the animatrix is kind of lost in the discussion due to how poorly the film franchise was received after the first.
I find it funny Alex chose the most intense option of the three when dealing with the Crooked Man but was also maybe the only real way to handle the situation while appeasing everyone. With him outright attacking you I'm sure whatever decision I made wouldn't have that much effect.
@lun49gameon: Cheapest and most legitimate way is to probably invest in two accounts a hulu plus & crunchyroll account. At most it will cost you 8 dollars a month for each of the two.
From my perspective a crunchyroll will get you all the newer series and episodes right as they release in Japan. While Hulu Plus will encompass a lot of older series and some of the newer stuff that's currently airing today. Another plus with Hulu Plus is that they host other companies such as funimation, aniplex, & viz anime so instead of having subscription accounts with each of them you can get just one with Hulu Plus and get most of what each of those distributors are offering. The only big downside with Hulu Plus is obviously the advertisements but it is a really good investment for the diverse amount of content it offers.
Netflix does have anime but I found a lot of the studios have been backing away from them in order to service their own streaming service. Also most of the stuff found on netflix is found on Hulu Plus or Crunchyroll.
Sword of the Stranger is an excellent film with none of the failings of typical shonen. It feels a lot like Disney's more dramatic movies, except with really violent (and beautifully animated) action scenes.
Sword of the Stranger is not just a fantastic anime but also a fantastic Samurai film in general.