1.The Tale Of Princess Kaguya
Isao Takahata, a former member of Studio Ghibli and the mind behind films like Grave of the Fireflies and Kiki’s Delivery Service, wrote and directed both. Based on the literature The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, The Tale of Princess Kaguya tells the story of a little girl who is discovered by a local bamboo cutter and treated as a princess sent down from heaven.
The story, widely considered one of Takahata’s finest, stands out as an in-depth look at adulthood, motherhood, and women’s rights in Japan and beyond. The story of Princess Kaguya is conveyed with great skill, full of vivid images and a wistful, almost oil painting quality.
Written by numerous successful Japanese authors, including Chiaki Konaka of Air Gear and Hellsing fame, Mononoke features one of the most distinctive graphic styles on our list. Kusuriuri, also known as the medicine merchant, is the protagonist of Mononoke. His actual occupation is that of a hunter of hazardous bad spirits known as “Mononoke,” although his name belies this fact.
Kusuriuri, a wanderer in feudal Japan, comes discovers a pregnant woman possessed by a group of demonic spirits. If Kusuriuri wants to save the woman’s life, he must immediately find the source of the spirits. Mononoke is an eye-popping masterpiece of colour and design that will blow you away.
3. Angels Egg
It’s not just the animation that sets Angels Egg apart; the plot is engaging, too. Mamoru Oshii, whose other works include Patalabor and Beautiful Dreamer, is renowned for his philosophical approach to narrative and is the author of Angels Egg. Even if the film’s release wasn’t great, the story of Angels Egg has been hailed as one of the writer’s greatest.
In Angels Egg, a little girl struggles to make it through a post-apocalyptic wasteland while surrounded by the ruins of a once-great metropolis. She is carrying a weird egg with her. The audience will be left with more questions than answers after watching the journey this little girl takes after meeting a mysterious boy.
When it first came out in the early 2000s, xxxHolic quickly became a fan favorite. The show’s gothic overtones were prominent and consistent, and that helped it gain a devoted fan base. Clamp, well known for its work on Tokyo Babylon and X, is a manga writing and illustration collective responsible for creating xxxHolic.
Production I.G, the animation house responsible for the series, gained instant fame for the show’s groundbreaking visual style and groundbreaking concepts. With its Victorian aesthetic, bleak imagery, and pronounced sentiments, xxxHolic captivated its audience.
5. Afro Samurai
Takashi Okazaki is the mind behind the animated series Afro Samurai, which was produced by Studio Gonzo. The show was a brutal action saga in which the winners of battles were given numbered headbands as symbols of their status as the best of the best in society.
Afro, the samurai with the harshest reputation, wore the number one headband throughout the story. The urban cultural themes and outstanding voice acting, action, and story in Afro Samurai helped it receive a decent amount of attention. The violence and grime of Afro Samurai are heightened by the show’s signature deep, flat tone.
6. Gankutsuou: The Count Of Monte Cristo
While many shows adapt classic works, few go to the lengths that Gankotsuou, based on Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, does to create something truly original. Gonzo produced the show, which was created by Shoichi Kouyama and Mahiro Maeda and directed by Gonzo.
Despite being inspired by Alfred Bester’s The Stars of My Destination, the show ultimately went in a different direction due to legal issues. The production of the series was top-notch, with a wide range of visual effects used (including 3D rendering) even before it became a phenomenon.
Nisio Isin, the mind behind the wildly popular Monogatari, is also responsible for the groundbreaking manga and anime Katanagatari. Yasui, a young swordsman, is the protagonist of this series. He is an outcast who has developed his style of swordplay.
Togame, a charming strategist, hires him to assist in retrieving a famous weapon set. Yasui will have to face the people who are armed with these tools and who are also seeking the same thing as them. Katanagatari is a thrilling series with a striking visual style that makes use of contrasting colors and exaggerated character designs.
8. Devilman: Crybaby
Long-time mecha master and creator of the classics Mazinger Z and Violence Jack, Go, Nagai, also created the Devilman brand in the late 1970s. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa (Ping Pong the Animation) and written by Ichiro Takeuchi, Devilman: Crybaby is an original series (Code Geass).
In many ways, Devilman: Crybaby was a fresh start for the critically acclaimed and critically lauded original anime that launched on Netflix and received rave reviews for its gripping plot and stunning visuals. In addition to his flamboyant artistic vision, Masaaki is well-known for his vision as a filmmaker. This is apparent in every episode of Devilman: Crybaby and works wonderfully with the show’s new aesthetic.
9. Panty And Stocking
Ten years ago, Panty and Stocking debuted with a slick, humorous animation style. Many Gurren Lagan animators from the Gainax studio contributed to the creation of this series, with Hiroyuki Imaishi serving as the show’s primary creative force. Adult innuendo and fast-paced action were both staples of the show. The idea for the show came to its creators after a night of excessive drinking at a party celebrating the studio’s success.
The western animation classic Drawn Together has served as an inspiration for several members of the visual crew. The bright colors and elaborate designs of the show’s characters helped propel Panty and Stocking to success. Crunchyroll hosts episodes of Panty and Stocking for your viewing pleasure.
10. Kill La Kill
Kill La Kill was a wild show that exploded onto the scene with hyperactive protagonists and nonstop action. This was complemented by an equally distinctive animation style that worked wonders for the show. Kill La Kill’s visual style combines realistic depictions of violence with more fantastic and even absurd moments.
The Kill La Kill anime was produced by Trigger Animation Studio, which is led by Hiroyuki Imaishi, who is also responsible for Gurren Lagann and his highly regarded Star Wars ideas. Those with a membership to either Funimation or Crunchyroll or Hulu can watch Kill La Kill.
11. Mob Psycho
Mob Psycho stands on its own as a groundbreaking comic book series with a singular visual style. The groundbreaking animation sequences in this show are among the very best ever made. One, a manga artist, conceived Mob Psycho, and Bones, a studio, brought the story to life with animation. The second season of the show has just launched on Crunchyroll.
The characters and action sequences in Mob Psycho are given further weight by the film’s rough and exaggerated visual aesthetic. Anime like Demon Slayer and Blood Blockade Battlefront include similar fight scenes. As of late, the creators of Mob Psycho have released a sequel to the series.
12. One Piece
Since its inception, One Piece has exploded into a massive anime franchise with more than a thousand episodes. Anime historians consider Eiichiro Oda’s creation to be among the best shows of all time. One Piece stands out from the crowd not only because of its fantastic characters and action but also because of its unique visual style, which is very different from that of standard anime.
Many recent series portray incredibly grounded imagery based on truth. However, One Piece is a colorful and bizarre program, with characters that are all uniquely designed and bursting with vivid colors. Both Crunchyroll and Netflix host episodes of One Piece.
Ai Yazawa and Madhouse’s NANA is a romantic anime series you can stream on Hulu. In this coming-of-age tale, two young women go through the ups and downs of coming to terms with who they are, the challenges of navigating life, and the difficulties of falling in love. The artwork is nicely done, telling the story in a loosely detailed way with vivid colors and masking for incredible-looking textures.
NANA can appear very subdued and flat, or incredibly vibrant to complement the two sides of the story, depending on the personalities involved. The anime is a faithful adaptation of the manga, which uses the same kawaii-influenced graphic style as the original manga.
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