I am usually not one for Top 10 listings to be honest. It’s all subjective and a matter of opinion. Why limit the variety of beautiful things in the world to a select number? Still making a list can be a good exercise and I decided to do this in regards to the animated films Japan created during the 1980s. To be fair, I am going to make two listings here. Why? Many of my favorite choices are a bit on the rare, or esoteric side of the fence and many of the better known, or easier to obtain films deserve a voice as well.
For my favorite listing I will use the following criteria… first, it has to be a film that I genuinely love and am proud to stand up for, anytime and anywhere… second, the movie has to be one that I replay and, or think about often. That’s IT! Keep it simple. For the second listing I will include as many of the films from the 80s that left an impact on me. Now on with the show…
I hope some of these resonate with you and by all means… list your favorites.
My 12 Favorites
(in alphabetical order)
Angel’s Egg (1985)
A visual poem that is dark, gothic, symbolic, mysterious and directed Mamoru Oshii. A true piece of fine art that belongs in a museum. To learn more click here.
Arcadia of My Youth (1982)
Captain Harlock on the big screen well before the CG movie. A tale of stoic heroism, honor and following one’s definition of being free. To learn more click here.
Chie the Brat (1981)
An endearing tale about a working class girl, her dysfunctional yet lovable family and the town she lives in. Directed by Isao Takahata.
The Door into Summer (1981)
There is usually one year, or one summer, that defines us in our journey out of childhood and into adulthood. Once beyond that threshold, there is no return. To learn more click here.
Grey Digital Target (1986)
A story in a dystopian wasteland where in order to survive and thrive, one must earn their way through fighting and war. To learn more click here.
The Ideon: Be Invoked (1982)
The epic conclusion to the Ideon saga. One of the darkest mecha space opera of all time and a powerfully sublime ending as well. To learn more click here.
Night on the Galactic Railroad (1985)
Friendship, sacrifice and the beauty of all that is life all wrapped up though a voyage to the stars on a train. To learn more click here.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
The movie that made Hayao Miyazaki a household name about a righteous heroine in a post nuclear world in search of ecological balance. To learn more click here.
Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (1984)
Space opera, mecha, romance, aliens and remembering love through a lost culture. Take the original Macross series and multiply it by 100! To learn more click here.
They Were 11 (1986)
A defining tale about trust, growing up and identity for a group of students wanting to pass their final exam onboard a spaceship. To learn more click here.
Toward the Terra (1980)
In the future children are born and raised to become perfect citizens. A new race of evolved humanity contradicts this and declare their individuality. To learn more click here.
A tale of love and war through the eyes of two young couple showing the price of following what one is expected to due over listening to one’s heart. To learn more click here.
The Honorable Listing
(in alphabetical order)
Barefoot Gen (1983)
Castle in the Sky (1986)
Crusher Joe (1983)
Dirty Pair: Project Eden (1987)
Fist of the North Star (1986)
Gauche the Cellist (1982)
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Mobile Suit Gundam: Movie Trilogy (1980/1981)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Patlabor: The Movie (1989)
The Professional: Golgo 13 (1983)
Project A-Ko (1986)
Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987)
Space Adventure Cobra (1982)
Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer (1984)
Vampire Hunter D (1985)