Anime (Japanese animated films)
Anime is a Japanese term derived from the English word animation. In Japan, it refers to anything animated, included imported products such as Disney films. However in the English speaking world anime generally refers to works that are primarily created and produced in Japan. Anime covers a wide range of subjects, and encompasses a variety of different artistic styles. It is set apart from its western counterparts by its willingness to explore adult themes and topics, its sophistication in dialogue and artwork (even in shows meant only for children), and its depiction of all genres of entertainment, from horror and sci-fi to romantic comedies and melodramas. At times, almost half of Japan's movie product has been animated, as is a substantial amount of Japanese television.
I've been a big fan of anime for many years now, spending unjustifiable amounts of money on obscure, imported videos and DVDs. Luckily it has become much more mainstream in the past few years and most films and TV series are now (fairly) easy to obtain.
I've hosted the Findhorn Anime Festival for the past two years. In 2006 the programme consisted of Kiki's Delivery Service, Cowboy Bebop (one episode), Tokyo Godfathers, Voices of a Distant Star, Only Yesterday and Akira. In 2007 it was My Neighbour Totoro, Metropolis, The Place Promised in our Early Days, Grave of the Firefiles and Perfect Blue.
I've written some (very personal) reviews of the anime I've seen, sorted by how much I enjoyed them. I'm always open to comments, suggestions and insights!