Next weekend will see the release of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, the first film in the long-running Dragon Ball franchise since 2018. Our review of that film is on the way, but with that and the recently released historical musical film Inu-Oh, it’s as good a time as any to talk about this particular brand of animated movie.
Anime films have been around since we were all born, and even if you weren’t an anime fan, you possibly ended up seeing one as a child regardless. (As long as it looked like a cartoon and didn’t have blood in the trailer, it must’ve been good for kids, yeah?) If it wasn’t Pokémon: The First Movie in 1998, then it may have been one of the earlier Studio Ghibli films like Kiki’s Delivery Service or My Neighbor Totoro. It could’ve been Akira or Ghost in the Shell, depending on one’s age. Or maybe it was the first Digimon movie with that still incredibly strange prelude with Angela Anaconda.
There are a lot of anime films that get theatrical releases in the west each year, though that pace seems to have slowed down considerably since the pandemic hit in 2020. (Across 2020, 2021, and 2022, there’ve been between five and nine anime films that released in western theaters.) Not all of them are based on already popular shonen anime, but that’s typically the ones that draw the most attention, thanks to their already built-in fanbases. And the ones that have come out in recent years have been really good, like Jujutsu Kaisen and the second My Hero Academia film.
For this week’s Open Channel, tell us some of the best anime films you’ve seen.
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