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Anime Is an Art Piece

Art, as we all know, plays a huge part in making a good anime. And to be very frank, I’ve avoided some shows because the art wasn’t to my fancy. But for some shows, the visuals are absolutely breathtaking and make up a huge part of why they rank so high on my anime list. Here’s some of them: 

  1. Howl’s Moving Castle

Roses, cosy cottages, the smell of berry pies ─ these are things that remind me of this anime, Howl's Moving Castle. This 2004 Japanese fantasy film has captivated the hearts of many, including mine and I hope, yours too. 

This anime follows the story of Sophie, a diligent and warm-hearted girl, who is taken on a little peculiar trip in a moving castle. How did that happen? Well, it starts off with her encounter with a mysterious figure, Howl - who’s rumoured to be a wicked magician who’s incredibly powerful. After their brief encounter, she got turned into an old woman through unforeseen circumstances (don’t ask), and goes on a bizarre journey with the most unique creatures. 

So anime plots don’t make a lot of sense. If you’re an avid watcher of anime, you should already know that. But that’s what makes anime unique, right? To add on, what makes this show pop is its absolutely gorgeous animation. For example, just take a look at Howl’s room: 

The decorations framing this room is nothing short of stunning. Just a glimpse of it showcases the dangling bronze crystals, blooming fauna and intricate masks. 

This anime also paints sceneries that radiate a calm and soothing atmosphere as Sophie embarks on her journey. Paired with none other than Joe Hisaishi’s Merry-Go-Round of Life whimsical tune, this is one of Studio Ghibli’s most iconic anime ever created.  

  1. Your Name

If you haven’t watched Your Name, you’re seriously missing out. Released in 2016, this anime is the highest-grossing Japanese film of the year and the third highest-grossing anime of all time. It has also won various awards for best-animated feature film, with an ongoing live-action remake by Paramount Pictures. 

In a nutshell, Your Name is about two students who wake up one day to realise that they have swapped bodies. Intriguing premise? Check. Captivating animation? Check. Music with incredible depth and fits right into the equation? Check. 

This show brings forth quite a tunnel of emotions. In a span of thirty minutes, you can go from a ball of giggles to a sniffling, swivelling mess. Every element of this anime plays a part in the emotions and thoughts the audience has. 

The story itself, while containing supernatural elements, is not difficult to understand. But that doesn’t make it boring. In fact, as you continue watching, you’ll get to see its depth and meaning slowly unravel. Every word and action by the characters (even the sides) contain a certain purpose. Themes like compassion and empathy are reflected by the characters and their motivations for what they do. 

Being your typical high school students, they are quite simple-minded and relatable. The way they interact with each other does get bonus points, though. There’s no over-the-top, dramatic and unbelievable expressions - simply the natural, normal reactions you can see yourself making in their situation. 

The animation and sound are what makes this show for me. Every scene, from the traditional village to the city life, is unique and speaks volumes of the way the characters each view the world. What’s the norm to one is something completely different to another. This fascinating contrast, paired with mesmerising visuals, really make this film stand out. The clever use of light flares really makes each scene radiate with emotions and creates an immersive experience, along with its splendid sound design. The voice actors are good at their jobs, and the music flows into the scenarios oh-so-smoothly. 

So if you haven’t given Your Name a try, I would highly recommend you to. It’s an absolute delight to watch. 

  1. The Garden of Words 

Alas, we have come to the last masterpiece in this article. The Garden of Words is a drama film consisting of a student who’s an aspiring shoemaker, a mysterious older woman with her own baggage, and of course, a beautiful garden. 

There are many layers to peel off this anime. The way the story is executed is mainly through the dialogue between the two characters, under a roof in the garden, as raindrops drizzle around them. One of them is a 15-year-old boy who feels lost in life and wishes to pursue his passion of creating the most beautiful shoes. The other is a 27-year-old woman who struggles with her acceptance into society. When the two meet, they find a safe space to confide in each other and form a deep connection they have never felt with others. 

The words exchanged between them are simple, yet refreshing. There are no character traits or story plot points stuffed into your face, only genuine conversations. The characters feel like real people with real troubles, not just an element to drive the plot along. Every word and every expression exposes something about the character subtly but never shoves it down your throat. 

I don’t think I have to spend much time talking about the animation - the pictures speak for themselves. Give it a watch and you’ll find yourself unable to tear your eyes away from the scenic shots. 

And that’s it for now! If art is an important part of the anime to you, then I hope you’ll love these pieces as much as I do : ) 

Written by Potato.

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