They’re the best Anime that 1997 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Jungle Taitei Movie (1997), Crayon Shin-chan Movie 05: Ankoku Tamatama Daitsuiseki, Slayers Great, and more!
5: Jungle Taitei Movie (1997)
English: Jungle Emperor Leo
Japanese: ジャングル大帝 劇場版
MAL Score: 7.05
This movie focuses on the last half of Osamu Tezuka’s revered saga of a white lion’s quest to become king of the jungle. Leo’s newborn cub, Lune, takes an interest to humans after discovering a music box in the wreckage of an airplane. At the same time, a greedy treasure hunter known as Ham Egg is leading an expedition team of rough-looking men on a trek for the fabled Moonlight Stones, which can supposedly save the world from an energy crisis. Two other humans, (who go by the rather wacky names of Dr. Moustache and Lemonade) try to stop Ham Egg’s mad destruction of the jungle. Later, a terrible virus sweeps through the jungle, poisoning many of the animals. Dr. Moustache comes to save them with a cure. The film culminates with a treacherous journey up the legendary Mt. Moon in search of the stones….
Jungle Emperor Leo is a children’s movie, so if you are looking for action, you can just close this tab. The characters and plot are simple, so if you are rather mature, you probably won’t be particularly carried away by this movie. If you on the other hand are a little hung-over or tired, and don’t feel like watching the next episode of some heavy, disturbing series – this might just fit your needs.
The story was o.k. in my opinion. It started off interesting, with fine character introductions and so on. Then, when it started to really go somewhere, it went into all these different and unrelated directions, and some of which didn’t really finish in the end. Putting that aside, at least it wasn’t as predictable as I had feared. Also I liked the setting and the main storyline.
At the terms of art, this isn’t really one of those movies that i can tell you to watch, just because it’s a beautiful viewing experience. The character designs on some of the animals didn’t really fit, and there were sceneries that could’ve been made a little more detailed. On the other hand, the character designs at least were pretty original. I especially liked the art in the last couple of scenes. It should be mentioned that this was made the previous century. That taken in consideration, it wasn’t all that bad.
I haven’t really got that much to say about the use of sound in this movie. The music was nice, and used at the right times. No flaws in particular comes to mind. The voice actors in the japanese audio were also good and convincing.
For a children’s movie, I found the depth of the characters to be rather fitting. There were some apparent stereotypes, which is to be expected, but not those annoying ones at that. I must say that I liked some of the humans that were presented, although some of the characters weren’t really properly fleshed out.
To sum things up, this was a fairly entertaining movie. It was rather apparent that it is meant for children, and I would say that I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if I were a little younger. It wasn’t a total waste of time, but I won’t recommend you to watch it either. It is too lacking storywise for me to do so. The art and sound was fair, but nothing more, and the overall impression is nothing much to speak of.
4: Crayon Shin-chan Movie 05: Ankoku Tamatama Daitsuiseki
Japanese: 映画 クレヨンしんちゃん 暗黒タマタマ大追跡
MAL Score: 7.26
An action comedy film depicting the Nohara family who get caught in a fight between two clans, Tamayura and Tamayomi. Set in Tokyo and Aomori (northern end of Japan’s main island). The Tamayomi clan had plotted to revive the evil genie Jarke and to conquer the world. To stop Tamayomi’s plot, the three gay brothers (Rose, Lavender and Lemon) from Tamayura clan wrested Jarke’s ball, which was a key to revive Jarke, from the bar girl gang of Tamayomi clan, but Shinnosuke’s younger sister Himawari swallowed down the ball. The Nohara family, with the three gay brothers and a female detective Yone Higashimatsuyama, fights a fierce battle against the Tamayomi gang chasing them.
(Source: Manabu Tsuribe)
3: Slayers Great
English: Slayers Movie 3
MAL Score: 7.33
Laia Einburg wants for her father Galia, who is a talented golom maker, and her equally ambitious brother Huey to end a long running feud. But her luck changes for the worse when Lina Inverse and Naga the Serpent save Laia from a rampaging golem.
We open with our heroine, Lina Inverse arriving at a town where they build golems with her frenemy, Naga the Serpent. They save a young girl from a rampaging mechanical bull and she insists on repaying them after their aggressive insistences that she doesn’t need to do anything for them in return. The pair quickly find themselves caught up in a squabble between two lords who both want to rule the city.
The biggest issue in the film is probably that a lot of the “twists” are pretty obvious. But this is also one of those works where the plot isn’t all that important. The japes and sense of humour are the main draws.
Therein lies the strength of the film. The humour is pretty spot on. You can generally predict where the plot is going to go but the gags that are going to go with it aren’t so readily pinpointed. Which does result in a viewing experience that’s generally compelling, entertaining and pretty damn funny.
One of the strongest element of these early instalments in the Slayers franchise is pretty definitively Lina & Naga’s dynamic. The whole idea of them being not so friendly rivals who still journey and work together until it suits them not to leads to some really good comedic moments. They also do a good job of making the characters who exist solely for this film quirky enough to add to the entertainment without spending too much time with them and bogging the whole thing down.
The film looks quite nice. The characters are well drawn. It has strong visual gags. The action sequences flow really well. There are some nice details in the backgrounds. The only thing I’m a bit on the fence about is that the more fan-servicey gags might be a bit much in this one to the point where they arguably cross over from jokes into just being fan-service.
This is one of those works where you’d have to have atrocious directing to go wrong with the cast. Hayashibara Megumi & Kawamura Maria reprise their roles as Lina and Naga. They continue to be fantastic. Our major supporting characters are voiced by Koyasu Takehito, Inoue Kikuko & Katou Seizou. All of whom do a great job. The soundtrack is also quite good. Particularly the ending theme tune, Reflection. Which, like most tunes n this franchise, is sung by Hayashibara Megumi. And, like those other songs, it’s going on my MP3 player.
There really isn’t any. I’d make a joke about how Lina and Naga should just stop being tsundere towards each other and have lewd relations, but their relationship legitimately doesn’t come across as being like that. Not that I’d mind if their relationship was like that since the eventual “romance” we do get is kind of bad and that might be more palatable.
Slayers Great is, ultimately, a very entertaining film with a strong sense of humour, great acting, great artwork & animation and strong comedic characters. In the end, I’ll give it a solid 8/10. If you’ve tried and enjoyed any of this franchise, this is for you. If you haven’t, I’d start with the first film and work my way up to this one.
Slayers Great is the third Slayers movie (and the fourth Slayers installment to feature the voluptuous Naga overall), and I must say that while I feel the movies and OVAs didn’t capture the magic in the same way the series did, this movie scratched an itch…at least for me.
The story has the same hilarity and spectacle as a typical higher-tier Slayers story. Two golems, one modeled after Lina and one modeled after Naga, duking it out? You better believe it’s a classic.
As for the art, I feel the art was pretty good on this OVA. The fluidity has stepped up since last time, so that’s a step up. I would give a decent score to the art.
When it comes to the sound, I loved it. I especially loved the hollow, jazzy music that played at the start of the aforementioned golem fight. The rest of the soundtrack is very whimsical as well. The non-musical sounds, such as the ambient bird sounds, were worthy of praise too. All around, this anime was an aural pleasure.
What do we have for characters? Well, we have Lina and Naga, who are funny as always. When it comes to the unique characters, we have the timid Laia, who takes delight in the madness all around her. We also have Laia’s father, a golem sculptor, and her brother, also a golem sculptor. Watching the two clash might hit home for some viewers, but the two are idiots and not that different from each other. There’s also these two kings, and I won’t say much about them, except that they looked like they walked straight out of a circus.
All in all, this is a fun romp that is a microcosm of Slayers at its best. The golem fight, which I know I keep bringing up but it’s the focal point of the entire movie, captures all the high-flying action and gut-busting hilarity we know and love.
If you have the time (it’s only an hour), I would recommend checking this one out. It really lives up to its name, because it’s pretty great.
2: Detective Conan Movie 01: The Timed Skyscraper
English: Case Closed The Movie: The Time Bombed Skyscraper
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 時計じかけの摩天楼
MAL Score: 7.86
Conan Edogawa is facing a dilemma: Ran Mouri has asked Shinichi Kudou out to the movies and he is unable to provide a convincing excuse not to go. However, when the day of the date arrives, he has more pressing problems to worry about—a great amount of plastic explosives has recently been stolen and the culprit has challenged Shinichi to find and dispose of the bombs he has scattered across the city. Now forced in a race against time, Conan must not only protect the city, but also figure out who the mastermind is and his reason for confronting Shinichi.
Let me fill you in on the story, Conan (Shinichi) has to find a mad bomber, who’s been setting fire to buildings and blowing up other things. Bomb after bomb, Conan finds his way to the criminal, but there’s always a parting gift from the villian’s.
The story is pretty basic, but it’s enjoyable, it’s well organized and done pretty simple, yet impressive, the "final touch" was brilliant. Expect some anti-climax…es here. It suprised me at least.
The art is very good, it’s the same ol’ Conan style, yet it’s been animated pretty good, hope this will be getting better with each movie.
We still have the same ol’ cast, introduced with 2 new characters, the villian and a police officer, the characters that are always in Conan are still the same, so good. Mouri’s desperate love for Ran was done pretty well to if I have to say it. The villian is this bad-ass rich ugly person, which is almost standard, the meaning behind his terroristic attacks are unbelievable stupid, but maybe it’s just the way "they" (the job he performs) think. The police officer is cool too, pretty plain guy, but he’s not the guy he seems to be.
Overall a good sound, though I give it a lower point since I still don’t agree on Det.Mouri’s voice-actor.
Highly enjoyable movie, if you like or if you don’t like Conan. Beautifully animated, good simple story, well organized and good dialogue’s.
well the story is nothing unusual for a detective genre. the culprit called the detective and challenged him to found the bomb that he planted and give him some clue to solve it. not the most original thing but enjoyable
the animation are pretty well done. not jaw gaping but fluid enough for eyes and the rest is the usual detective conan art style if you like it then you will like the one here too.
it reuse the same soundtrack from the tv series and there is only 1 new standout soundtrack in through the end, i don’t know if there is any new soundtrack outside of that. nothing too bad but not great either
the usual detective conan cast with only 4 noteable new character: moriya, shiratori, the mayor and his son. moriya is a symmetrical freak, shiratori….um…. likes architecture? and the mayor and his son doesn’t have time to show personality. that’s a shame since when i see a movie i pay attention more to the new character since i already knows the other character from the tv series
the usual detective conan. you will like it if you like detective conan
if you are in mood for some brain teasers/ more detective conan then go ahead and watch it
Anyway, lets begin:
I really liked the plot. I mean, don’t expect something outstanding, but it was honestly good. Shinichi, who is trapped in the body of young Conan, has to deal with someone who planted bombs all over the city. As I said earlier, the plot isn’t the most original thing you’ll ever see, but it’s good.
Let’s talk about the art. It’s amazing, I mean, I like the character design and the animation in the anime series, but the movie was something else. Seriously, it felt like they tried so hatd to make the animation perfect- and let me tell you a little something- they succeded.
Well, there’s honestly not much to talk about here. I mean, there was a quite nice soundtrack, but not something honestly amazing.
I really enhoyed this movie. It’s a good movie that has the Detective Conan spirit in it, and I had an amazing time watching it.
This movie is good. If you consider yourself a Detective Conan fan and you haven’t watched it, then well, joke’s on you, because this move is very fun and enjoyble, as I mentioned before. Go watch it!
1: Mononoke Hime
English: Princess Mononoke
MAL Score: 8.69
When an Emishi village is attacked by a fierce demon boar, the young prince Ashitaka puts his life at stake to defend his tribe. With its dying breath, the beast curses the prince’s arm, granting him demonic powers while gradually siphoning his life away. Instructed by the village elders to travel westward for a cure, Ashitaka arrives at Tatara, the Iron Town, where he finds himself embroiled in a fierce conflict: Lady Eboshi of Tatara, promoting constant deforestation, stands against Princess San and the sacred spirits of the forest, who are furious at the destruction brought by the humans. As the opposing forces of nature and mankind begin to clash in a desperate struggle for survival, Ashitaka attempts to seek harmony between the two, all the while battling the latent demon inside of him. Princess Mononoke is a tale depicting the connection of technology and nature, while showing the path to harmony that could be achieved by mutual acceptance.
When I say that Princess Mononoke is his masterpiece, I mean it. It was the first film where he finally got everything together and made a perfect anime film. Some will say that Spirited Away is better, but Mononoke is so much more powerful than that.
Story: Miyazaki does not like civilization. He stated once that he would prefer it if we went back to living in the fields, he wants to get rid of all technology. In Mononoke we see the evils of industralization and how humans are killing the earth. Humans can coexist. But many purposefully try to make themselves better and stronger. Miyazaki does an absolutely amazing job of showing that industralization, if handled the wrong way, is an incredible evil, but that it is in the hands of humans..of real people. I didn’t really care all too much for the story, but I found his use of spirits to be incredible. I wasn’t a huge fan of the story itself, it was a country boy goes to the city vibe…but I was a huge fan of all the political jabbings that Miyazaki was throwing. I will admit that I didn’t notice it the first time around, I was told this as I watched it the second or third time, by my friend who is a Miyazaki acolyte. The beauty of the story really comes after you watch it the second or third time, as the whole movie experience is very overwhelming.
Art: I give it a 7. I am not a fan at all of Ghibli. I absolutely cannot stand their use of recycling their characters. I hate how all the women look exactly the same, and the men have the same annoying mustaches and beard combos that obscure almost their entire face. I find it lazy and incredibly detracting. I found that Ashitaka was…..boring, his design was so lacklustre that I have now just googled him to figure out exactly what he looked like. Where the art shines in this is in the spirits (gods), the creatures, and San. The designs of those characters alone redeemed the art for me. Also worth noting that in the beginning all those "snakes" were done digitally, which was, for me, impressive.
Sound: Eh….what can I say. Miyazaki films ALWAYS have great music and soundtracks. I have never found an instance in watching any of his films where I’ve gone "hey, the music doesn’t really feel right." The music in his films are absolutely superb.
Character: I felt that the characters weren’t really people so much as symbols. I felt that Ashitaka, in a certain way, was innocence. When his arm is cursed he is given a power that he cannot wield and he struggles to find a way to cure it, to get rid of the curse that now stains his arm and will kill him. Eboshi was industralization, but she was also compassion. I felt that she was the most human of all the characters, even though many people view her as an antagonist or slap her with the label of "oh..she’s the evil lady." The thing I appreciate about this film is that there are only a handful of truly bad people. Everyone else is human. San is humans living with nature, but at the same time she is a beast herself. She lives in harmony with nature and has absolutely no qualms about killing to defend her land. Every character is multifaced, however if you only view the movie once you might not see the different characteristics of each character.
Enjoyment: The perfect Miyazaki film. It is deep for people who are looking at it closely, but it is also just a fun film for people who are only looking for something fun to watch. The first time I watched this (the first Miyazaki film I’d ever seen) I wasn’t impressed at all. Mind you, I was probably 10 at the time, this was the first exposure to REAL anime I’d ever had. But as I watched it again recently I realized just how great of a film it really is.
However it really is accessible. You talk to almost anyone about anime and they’ll probably (99% likely) know about Princess Mononoke. I know that this turns a lot of people off. Personally when someone comes up to me and says "hey, I saw Samurai Champloo and it was great, can you recommend me anything else kind of like it?" It makes my skin crawl a little bit. However, Mononoke is a staple, and is really something that you should watch, if you haven’t watched it, I would definitely put it at the top of your to-watch list.
The story is basically can be summed up as Man’s conflict against the natural world. While this may be a good summarization it also could be misleading because with Mononoke we don’t get a classic good vs evil plot. The fascination I have with this film stems from the many groups that are at conflict with one another and how no one is truly the evildoer. We have nature battling with human civilization while within itself there are humans trying to topple each other. The story revolves around how self-destructive we are as human beings and how we haven’t realized we are innate in nature. The movie gives us parallels of the battles that the humans face with each other while still all congregating together for that one perceived enemy in the film, nature. All in all the film tries to communicate a deep message through the story and it leaves the viewer with a lasting impression.
The characters in this film are fascinating. Particularly Ashitaka and Princess Mononoke. We follow the story through Ashitaka’s experiences with the different warring groups in the story. He always is the rational character in the movie and he openly tries to correct the irrationalities the other characters have. he serves as the medium which communicates the overall story and how meaningless the conflict can be found to be. He is extremely brave and he usually gets himself in dangerous situations in order to show the others their incorrect ways. Princess Mononoke is another intricately created character which is full of mystery. She seems to detest fellow humans for their selfish egotism and hostility towards earth and its inhabitants. Lady Eboshi is the a character some may mistakenly confuse for the villain of the movie. I think this would be more prevalent with western viewers like myself. The reason for this is they might seem to mistake her as another modern day oil baron except she is much more than that. Her main goal is to protect her people, particularly the other women who live in the city. She feels in order to do this She has to pursue the industrialization of her city in order to protect her people from the samurais and beasts of nature.
In the animation department this is a Studio Ghibli film so you obviously will get an amazing experience visually at least. With this film though I feel the animation captures the essence of nature. It does this with the various beasts and mystical characters Miyazaki created. There are even gods in this movie which helps bring about the feeling that nature is alive. You will enjoy the action sequences in this movie. Especially the battles between Lady Eboshi and Princess Mononoke. I also think the use of CGI in this film was done well and this is coming from someone who despises CGI.
The music in this movie is beautiful. Its the kind that can put you in a trance that you wouldn’t want to ever wake up from. Especially the main theme song. A lot of the music puts you in the right mood for the film. Especially the more darker music which is used during scenes with the beasts of nature. The battle scenes also have plesant sounds and the sword fights don’t contain the same sword clashing sound *cough Nausicaa cough*.
Anyways, I recommend this film because its Miyazaki’s Masterpiece.
Ashitaka, the last prince of a people called the Enishi, gets cursed while fighting a demon, and sets out on a journey to get rid of the curse, which can be lethal. He soon hears rumors of a forest spirit that can give and take away life, and sets out to find it. However, he soon finds himself in the middle of a fight between humans and animals, and he soon gets to know of a girl called Princess Mononoke, who has sided with the animals.
The way the story is presented makes it really enjoyable, as we get to see how various humans and animals view the ongoing fight. Different humans have different viewpoints, different animals have different viewpoints, and it makes it so that part of what they think is right, but they’re also wrong about things. In the middle we have Ashitaka, who is the only one looking for a peaceful resolution to this struggle. It’s mainly the theme of destroying nature that’s mainly being touched upon, a theme I feel is something everyone should think about.
The small love story you that’s presented is what some would call forced. At least I do. I didn’t quite like the way in which it was presented, but different persons have different opinions. It was okay enough though, but nothing that really placed itself in my heart. Maybe they just didn’t do enough with it. But it’s okay, since the focus of this movie is other things than love.
As expected of Studio Ghibli, the visuals are stunning, especially when you think about the movie’s age (8 years). With its massive budget of 2,4 billion yen, what else is there to expect anyway? The environments are drawn extremely beautifully, be it mountains, lakes, villages, trees or underbrush. Sometimes I just forgot the movie because of the stunning environments. Thank heavens for rewinding! The character motions are extremely fluid and lifelike, and with a total of 144 000 cels during the movie, you couldn’t expect anything less (I even heard that Miyazaki re-drew quite a lot of them himself). I got quite surprised when I learned that they used CGI in the movie; I couldn’t spot it at all. That again serves to prove the quality of it. The character designs are typical Studio Ghibli-ish, so you’ll know what to expect in that department if you’ve watched a Studio Ghibli film.
The music is perfectly in tune with the movie, giving that calm, mysterious kind of feeling that you’ll expect when in a forest where magical creatures are as normal as insects. But ti doesn’t do anything more than that, really.
Overall, Princess Mononoke is a film that you might enjoy the most for its stunning natural environments; they almost overshadow the plot. But all the different factions, the different viewpoints in the fight, and last but definitely not least, the theme of destroying nature are all something that everyone should give a thought. Especially the latter.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Mononoke Hime
2. Detective Conan Movie 01: The Timed Skyscraper
3. Slayers Great
4. Crayon Shin-chan Movie 05: Ankoku Tamatama Daitsuiseki
5. Jungle Taitei Movie (1997)