Greetings! It has been a while hasn’t it? I apologize for the last of content lately- I have been pretty absorbed with Breath of the Wild of late. Now that I have conquered Calamity Ganon, I am back with another Top 5 list. I had the pleasure of viewing Crunchyroll’s Movie Night presentation of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress last week and that inspired me to write a post about anime movies. While Kabaneri wasn’t the best film adaptation (It was pretty darn entertaining though.) there have been some great films based off of anime series. Today I would like to highlight what I think are the best to date in my Top 5 list of Movies Based off of Anime Series. For this list I will be featuring movies which were based off a pre existing anime series. So the Studio Ghibli films and films like the Ghost in the Shell (whose anime came after) will be exempt from this list. The series had to aired first to qualify. So here we go!
#5: Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale
If you have read my reviews for Sword Art Online (Chibi Reviews: Sword Art Online II, Sword Art Online Review- Is this Virtual Reality a Mind Blowing Experience? ) you will remember that I while I enjoyed the series, the series is far from perfect. So why is a movie from this series on the list. Well, the story of Ordinal Scale is one of the best stories that SAO has to offer. While pretty much the whole gang is included on this story, the main focus is on Kiriro and Asuna’s relationship and the impact of being trapped in Aincrad. This works surprisingly well. There are plenty of great action sequences which are nicely balanced with a good amount of exposition. Add in the great visual and audio that SAO is known for notched up another level and you will have a fun time experiencing this film if you haven’t done so already.
#4: Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
Cowboy Bebop is an all time classic so it would stand to reason that the movie would be great as well. Fortunately, this is indeed the case. This extended adventure following the crew of the Bebop has all of the elements which made the series amazing. The crew gets caught up in a very compelling adventure that certainly feels like it belongs with the series. It is in essence an extended episode but it strikes the perfect balance of maintaining the great pacing while not overdoing it with an extra large story. Another nice touch is that the movie takes place in the middle of the series so as to not step on the series spectacular ending. From the amazing soundtrack, to the spectacular characters and atmosphere, Cowboy Bebop the movie doesn’t disappoint one bit. This movie isn’t talked about as much as the series is and it is a real shame.
#3 Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion
Madoka ended it’s series on a pretty conclusive note. When this movie was released, the obvious questions were: “Where could they possibly go with this?” and “Is this movie even necessary?”. Rebellion certainly silenced any doubters. This film is a masterful follow up to the series. Stories that continue after the main conflict is resolved by exploring the consequences of such events are great for two reasons. The first is that these stories really help to provide closure and tend to answer many burning questions. The second is that we are allowed to generally delve into the psyche of the characters who experienced these events. Rebellion does both of these things and along the way provides us with a gorgeous and bizarre piece of art which show cases the best that anime provide us.
#2 The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
Longtime readers are probably aware that I did a review some time ago (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya- A Sequel Which is Just Awesome as the Original) and the movie recieved a lot of praise. This film is a rare case where the tone drastically shifts from the previous works and this change is executed to perfection. The story falls in to the classic “what if” category and while many such stories fall flat, Disappearance is incredibly strong due to the focus of Kyon and his struggles. Kyon is a brilliantly written point of view character who certainly grows by the time the film ends. Other characters also get their time in the sun in this film and we also graced with opportunity to see how the events of the series effect them. The characters are placed in a brilliantly paced story that highlights the best aspects of the Haruhi franchise plus adds an additional dimension to it. All of this is brought to life by amazing acting from both Japanese and English sides. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is an all time classic and is a great example of what makes anime amazing.
#1: Steins; Gate The Load Region of Deja VU
I haven’t yet discussed Steins;Gate yet on this blog and I have done a great disservice by neglecting to do so. Steins;Gate is another must watch series for any fan and is certainly among the best series out there. Focusing mainly on the impact of the events of the series, Load Region of Deja Vu is the perfect follow up to the series. Not a moment is wasted in telling this dramatic and emotional story. The film is fast paced but not so fast where you lose track of what is happening. The film also looks and sounds amazing, perfectly capturing the tone of the story. The movie also shifts perspectives allowing the viewer to follow Kurisu instead of Okabe which not only keeps the story fresh but it allows you to gain more insight into her character. It is great to see her as the feature character. While the movie is serious in tone, there are still plenty of moments for the great comedic banter and interactions between the characters- this was one of the things that made the series so noteworthy. The quality of the movie is also heightened by amazing performances by the voice cast (The English dub is definitely the way to go on this one.). Steins;Gate: the Load Region of Deja Vu is a brilliant conclusion to a classic story and is another example of the quality of storytelling that the medium has to offer.
This concludes my list of Top 5 Movies Based off Anime Series. What did you think of the list? What are your favorites in this category? Please comment below. Also if you enjoy what I do and would like to be notified of new content and receive other news please follow me on twitter (@Railgunfan75). So until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off! See ya soon!