Anime is attracting an ever-growing audience in the UK, with streaming services radically changing the television landscape and opening up the anime to new viewers.
Here are some of the best movies and TV series available in the UK right now.
The attack of the Titans
Young hero Eren Yeager is determined to fight against the giant Titans who murdered his mother and now threaten to destroy the human race. Attack on Titan began life as a manga series in 2009, and takes place in a world where humanity lives in cities surrounded by huge walls to defend themselves against the giants that suddenly appeared 100 years ago. years and wiped out most of the human race. Now they are back for more.
The anime adaptation has been a huge hit in Japan and internationally since its debut in 2013, with a third season expected in April 2018.
Look at this if: You like dystopian dramas and post-apocalyptic worlds. You don’t mind a little violence and want a plot that will keep you going.
Abducted as if by magic
Spirited Away is one of Studio Ghibli’s most successful films. Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, it tells the story of Chihiro, a ten-year-old girl who moves to a new neighborhood and accidentally enters the Spirit World. His parents turn into pigs to eat a feast that was not intended for them. The young girl works to free herself and her parents and return to the human world, and along the way she has many adventures.
Look at this if: You want a fantasy adventure movie with something deeper: thoughts on life, death, maturity, loneliness, and the importance of being kind. Suitable for adults and children.
How to watch: Unfortunately for UK viewers, Studio Ghibli hasn’t exactly embraced the movie streaming culture, with Spirited Away not even available on iTunes. The film is currently only available on DVD, as are other Ghibli films including My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Castle in the Sky.
Japanese anime is finally spreading to the UK. What is happening – and why now?
Yuri on ice
Yuri on Ice (or “Yuri !!! on Ice” for fans of exclamation marks) is an animated sports series about figure skating. The series revolves around Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki and his idol (and later trainer) Victor, as well as Russian figure skater Yuri Plisetsky. Some have praised Yuri on Ice for breaking new ground with his portrayal of a same-sex relationship and mental health issues, especially in the world of sports.
The series launched last year with 12 episodes, and a feature film is currently in production. Yuri on Ice is critically acclaimed and has garnered a huge fan base in Japan as well.
Look at this if: Do you like good romance, you want to see an LGBT story, you like coming of age stories or you just want to watch awesome animated figure skating choreography.
How to watch: Create a free account on a specialized Japanese anime service Crisp.
The year is 2071. Mankind has colonized the solar system, leaving planet Earth behind, but it is a dangerous universe. We follow a motley team of bounty hunters (or “Cowboys”) hunting down outlaws in exchange for money. There’s the gentle Spike, the pragmatic (and rugged) Jet Black, the selfish femme fatale Faye Valentine, a genetically engineered Welsh Corgi, and computer child Edward Wong. While on the surface it’s just a series of adventures, as the series progresses we explore deeper philosophical themes of existentialism, boredom, and loneliness.
Look at this if: Essentially a space western, it would suit Star Wars fans. It’s also a good catwalk series for people who haven’t watched much anime yet.
How to watch: 90s classic Cowboy Bebop is available on Netflix.
Your Name caused a box office sensation in Japan and also attracted fans from all over the world. It starts off as a Freaky Friday-style body swap comedy – except the two kids don’t even know each other, with a high school student enjoying life in Tokyo and a high school student living in a temple in the Japanese countryside. But just when you think you’ve got the measure of this movie, it hits you with something much deeper. It is a moving and beautiful film that will leave you bowled over.
Look at this if: You want to see animated cinema at its best, and you don’t mind being reduced to a bunch of sobs.
How to watch: Your name is available on DVD for £ 10.
Mob Psycho 100
Poor Shigeo Kageyama just wants a quiet life. This teenager is nicknamed “the mob” which comes from Japanese for “background character”, and he seems quite low-key, but underneath it all he has strong psychic powers – and when his emotions reach 100 percent , he is in danger of unleashing the full extent of his powers. Mob decides to suppress his powers by keeping his emotions under tight control, but trouble continues to befall him.
Mob Psycho 100 began life as a Japanese webcomic in 2012 by the creator of the famous One Punch Man, and was released as an anime TV adaptation in 2016.
Look at this if: You appreciate a great down-to-earth protagonist, and you want an anime with great visuals and a touch of comedy.
How to watch: Crisp has access to 12 episodes.
Gurren Lagann takes place in the future, where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King who forces humanity to live in isolated underground villages. We meet two teenagers, Simon and Kamina, who wish to rise to the surface. There, they find other humans fighting against the forces of the Spiral King, and giant robots or “mechas”.
Look at this if: You like straightforward science fiction and post-apocalyptic drama. You like to watch the underdogs take over.
How to watch: Gurren Lagann is available on Netflix.
In this corner of the world
Set in Hiroshima and neighboring towns during WWII, this anime follows the story of young Suzu (a talented amateur artist) who is married to a boy she barely knows and must find her place in the life of his family. The war interferes more and more in his world in 1945 and the atomic bomb looms more and more. It’s a sweet, moving and beautifully drawn film.
Look at this if: You want to know more about Japan, its history and its culture.
How to watch: Since July 2017, In This Corner of the World has been shown on UK cinema channels, including Odeon and The Everyman. It will be then available on DVD from October.