BFI Screen Guides: 100 Anime

Authors: Philip Brophy

The book has a very interesting introductory section that seeks to explore the beginnings of Anime in a Post-War world and it’s effects and growth in pop culture.

The list itself ranges back to the 1960’s Astroboy to the very common and popular likes of Akira, Ghost in the Shell; Vampire Hunter D; Crying Freeman and the Studio Ghibli features. But there is also room for shorter features and serialised Anime such as Dominion: Tank Police; The Guyver and Bubblegum Crisis. As with any list there will be anomalies preferable to the author. I won’t get on my high horse about titles missing as my experience with Anime last for about 3 years of watching everything under the sun (including titles not listed here like 3×3 Eyes and Cyber City Oedo which I bought and loved) to suddenly not watching any as the amount out there seemed to grow overnight and it was almost impossible to keep up with the times and my interests diverted elsewhere like most college attending teens.

For all I know many of the titles I watched at the time ranged from great to poor. But if anything it was a decent exposure to another culture method in animation and also in storytelling, and the author here finds a good grasp of culture in this guide. There are many Manga and anime guides out there – but the definitive one has yet to be published. This is small, to the point and relevant. So it fills the gap nicely.

One of my own childhood memories is also listed here and seemingly hard to find now, Space Firebird. So this at least to me was a good indicator that the author wasn’t merely a Manga fan in the 90’s  and has actually seen beyond what the public eye is perhaps used to on shelves today.

Steven Hurst

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