Belle and Mirai Director Mamoru Hosoda Shares His 5 Must-See Anime

Critically acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda has shared the five anime he considers essential viewing.

During a talk about his latest film Belle on "The Most Useful School in the World" TV program, director Mamoru Hosoda listed five anime that have had an influence on him as a director and explained why he thinks they are must-see stories for any anime fan. The five anime in question are Anne of Green Gables, Aim for the Ace! (also known as Aim for the Best!), Mobile Suit Gundam, Galaxy Express 999 and Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. Coincidentally, all of these anime debuted in 1979, when Hosoda was in the sixth grade, and each made an impression on him for different reasons.

Anne of Green Gables was produced by Nippon Animation as part of its World Masterpiece Theater program which adaptated various classic novels, including Les Miserables, Little Women and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The series features scene-setting and layouts created by a then up-and-coming Hayao Miyazaki and was directed by Isao Takahata, who would go on to direct the Studio Ghibli films Grave of the Fireflies and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. Hosoda praised the anime's depiction of protagonist Anne Shirley and cited the series' use of objective camera shots as an inspiration for his own film Wolf Children.

Hosoda also praised the shōjo sports anime film Aim for the Ace! for its unique approach to visual storytelling as well as its tightly written and condensed story. Hosoda believes it is the quintessential embodiment of late director Osamu Dezaki's style. Dezaki also directed classic anime like Black Jack and Ashita no Joe (Tomorrow's Joe).

Next, Hosoda cited Yoshiyuki Tomino's original Mobile Suit Gundam series, which began one of anime's longest running and most successful franchises, as an influence on his directing style. Hosoda applauded the anime for distinguishing itself within the mecha robot genre with its realistic tone, which made a deep impression upon Hosoda as a child. Hosoda also acknowledged that the series' animation style would ultimately influence the character movements in his first original film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

The sci-fi anime film Galaxy Express 999, directed by Rintaro (Ganbare Genki, Metropolis), was also quite significant for Hosoda in his early years. The film's dramatic story of the young Tetsuro's intergalactic quest to achieve a mechanical body and avenge his mother's murder has long been considered a cult classic among anime fans, and Hosoda was particularly inspired by the film's beautifully animated fight scenes.

Lastly, Hosoda recommended the action-comedy film Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. The film was the directorial debut of renowned director Hayao Miyazaki years before he co-founded Studio Ghibli and directed classics like Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Various directors have cited the film as a formative influence, from Pixar's John Lasseter to Weathering With You and Your Name director Makoto Shinkai. Hosoda is no exception, and he cited the fluid animation style by Atsuko Tanaka (whom Hosoda would later work with on The Boy and the Beast and Summer Wars) throughout the film as a personal highlight. In particular, Hosoda praised the animation within the film's car chase sequence.

Mamoru Hosoda has directed anime films such as Summer Wars, Wolf Children and Mirai. His latest film Belle has been licensed by GKIDS and is expected to premiere in North America this winter.

Source: Animate Times, via Anime News Network

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