When I was in Sydney in 2018 I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the 'Anime Architecture' exhibition at the Japan Foundation, which included various pencil drawings and hand-drawn cells from Ghost in the Shell. It's a traveling exhibition so if it ends up near you and you're a Ghost in the Shell fan I highly recommend checking it out.
A Wind Named Amnesia
The Girl who Leapt Through Time
The Place Promised in our Early Days
Macross Plus (Watch Super Dimensional Fortress Macross to get the background, even though it's not that good)
As for Ghibli, Miyazaki's most moving work is Grave of the Fireflies.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo_Tokyo_(film) is a good 80s compilation.
Otomo has another nice anthology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memories_(1995_film)
From Oshii related work - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin-Roh:_The_Wolf_Brigade is fantastic (but slow moving except for a few places)
It's a good example of extraordinary detail in design and animation around mechs/military vehicles, cityscapes, and retro UI designs, plus Oshii's proven directorial chops.
I also quite like the plot, which is an unexpectedly serious look at things like the JSDF's case for existence and the danger of military/intelligence bureaucracies to democratic governments.
The opening sequence, which these days looks super vaporwave: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsMTpSDAGxM
It does go well together with synthwave:
For me at least, that movie's like a bug bite i can't stop itching.
PS. For ESL readers curious about itching vs. scratching:
If you have an itching itch which itches, you might scratch it scratching a scratch.
More here: https://www.dictionary.com/e/itch-vs-scratch/
Ninja Scroll - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaXJI339uQs
Haha oh boy
The screenplay was written by Sadayuki Murai, who put a unique touch on whatever he worked in (he also worked with Satoshi Kon in Perfect Blue).
Also not a film, but I found "Mōryō no Hako" (a short series adapted from a 1995 book) worth watching: at the heart it's basically a crime story, but the execution, with some "hallucinated" scenes, and also the characters are interesting.
Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou's also got some neat, pretty Nihei-inspired megastructure architecture.
Finally, Texhnolyze does a lot of fun stuff with using architecture (in both Lux and the surface world) to contribute to atmosphere and tone as well as plot.
Highly enjoyable (if you like typography and sci-fi movies):
Interestingly the japanese kanji fonts have a very tiny slight difference than the fonts we use. It's not exactly the calligraphy. They definitely do visual style right and impressive.
Other Gainax animes also use typefaces creatively:
That's so sad, it was a really incredible good article.
Fortunately, it's available in Google's cache  (And I just made a backup with SingleFile because of the 502)
I enjoyed the analysis even though it feels incomplete without examination of the ambient music (you could write a thesis just on that alone).
Is it one of those movies that is noteworthy because it was the first to try certain things? Because it was very impressive for its time? Because people associate a sense of nostalgia with it? I would hardly recommend it today to someone looking for a good movie to watch. Some of my most favourite movies are old and some are anime, and I am a big fan of cyberpunk, so I don't think it's because of my aversion to the genre.
On the other hand, to understand the significance of the story, you have to notice the subtle “identity” of Tokyo. The city is described as “Neo-” Tokyo, and we hear the characters discuss that the transformation from Tokyo -> Neo-Tokyo occurred after a big explosion. And the film itself ends on a big explosion destroying the city.
In some ways, all these events are subtle references to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the firebombings of Tokyo. At the end, we see the city’s natural state restore itself (with floods of water and sunlight) in an oddly meditative moment. I think for the Japanese population in particular, Akira portrayed an underlying message of hope, trust and humanity, something very important for a recovering nation.
The message is probably much harder for us to relate to, given our time dilation from such historical events.
I felt similarly the first time I watched it, but I walked out feeling confused rather than feeling like the film lacks depth. IMO a large portion of the film is spent exploring the notion of power than one can't control. In fact, we can split the different characters of the film into those who are corrupted by this path (the scientist who clearly wants to see Akira's power blossom, the military lead who wants it controlled for public safety/the military, Tetsuo who is always trying to take on more responsibility and leadership then he can. Only character's like Kaneda, who don't submit themselves to their own desires for power, seem to faire well in the world around them .. but that's just my two cents.
> The graphics looked dated and not very inspiring.
I can't disagree with this more. This film came out in 1988, and nothing else even came close in terms of its visual effects for an animated film. I'm sure at the time people couldn't believe what they were watching, it must have seemed really alien.
I'm honestly surprised that you think it looks dated. Even today, animes I've seen (although granted that isn't many) don't achieve the same level of beauty in their animation of light. You can see examples throughout this link to jog your memory if it's been a while: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf0WjeE6eyM
Akira just didn't captivate me, and I watched it for the first time in a packed out cinema.
The art direction is still great. Gorgeous backgrounds and animated gems such as tetsuo transformations are still impressive today.
The story suffers from the fact that it is a much more condensed version of the comic book series.
For me the anime shines as a companion to the manga. It's the same age old problem: an ultra rich story dumbed down for the screen.
As to the graphics: 1988 Akira looks anything but dated. I used to watch a lot of anime and it ages amazingly well. They just dont make them like that anymore. Cell animation at it's best with very little CGI.
If you want to enjoy Akira as the creators intended, read the manga first. Then listen to the soundtrack a couple of times. Then sit down and watch it with on a good screen and a loud sound system. Anything less is a felony.
I am also a little puzzled by the GitS section: the Akira section makes a point about green=good that seems correct and I'd never realized before, but the GitS section does not actually seem to draw that much on the color analysis? There's just the one point about shifting into action. Is that really all that can be said about the colors for GitS?
I suppose you are also right about the GitS section. The main useful observations I made there were the abundance of skin tone and the gothic look of the museum towards the end, but those are not as significant as the green in Akira. I'd love to hear your (and anyone else's) thoughts on the colors in GitS.
( Also, on a separate note, thank you for all your advice related to ML things in the TPU Discord over the past couple days :) )
You can't do that! Church is holy! No x-raying of wonders allowed! That would show the extent of the cargo-cult :)
Anyways, I liked it, though it felt somehow incomplete?
What do you make of
 https://theabyssgazes.blogspot.com/2010/03/teal-and-orange-h... in this context?
While I agree the nudity in GITS isn't gratuitously sexual, I was quite surprised when I learned what a large portion of Shirow's oeuvre is erotic art books.