5 Anime Recommendations by Katsuhiro Otomo
Comic and Manga

5 Anime Recommendations by Katsuhiro Otomo

Following the development of trends and technology, of course, all entertainment media also evolve with the times, anime is no exception. With the latest technology and the internet, today’s anime has much better visuals and is able to reach more audiences than old school anime.

However, this does not necessarily prove that the quality of old school anime is not good. In fact, there are not a few old school anime whose quality is so good that they have succeeded in becoming timeless masterpieces, one of which is Akira.

Labeled as one of the best and most influential anime of all time, Akira was born from the cold hands of Katsuhiro Otomo. To get to know Otomo more, let’s take a peek at some of his works. Including Akira, here are the five best anime by Katsuhiro Otomo that you shouldn’t miss. Check it out!

Akira (1988)

Referred to as one of the best and most influential anime of all time, of course Akira takes first place. Released in July 1988, Otomo adapted the film from his own 1982 manga of the same name.

Set in the dystopia of Neo-Tokyo, Akira’s story revolves around two best friends, Shoutarou Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima who are also members of a motorcycle gang. But one night, Tetsuo gets into a motorcycle accident that gives him telekinetic powers. Out of control, Tetsuo then becomes a threat to the military and Neo-Tokyo society.

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Having brilliant visuals, majestic music, and an interesting story, Akira has received praise from critics and audiences alike. Considered to have had a significant impact in paving the way for anime to flourish in the Western world, Akira has also been a source of inspiration for many other notable works, such as the video game Final Fantasy VII and the film The Matrix.

Metropolis (2001)

Just like Akira, Metropolis is also an adaptation of a famous manga. Animation studio Madhouse is adapting the film from the 1949 manga of the same name by legendary mangaka Osamu Tezuka. Although not a director, Otomo still contributed greatly by becoming a writer.

As the title suggests, the film is set in a futuristic city called Metropolis. Although inhabited by humans and robots, they cannot live in harmony because there is still discrimination. Detective Shunsaku Ban and his nephew Kenichi Shikishima happen to be investigating a case that seems to be connected to the collapse of the Metropolis system.

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Although not as famous and as good as Akira, Metropolis is still called one of Katsuhiro Otomo’s best works. How come? Turning a 1949 manga into an animated film is certainly no easy feat, but Otomo has managed to do just that.

Steamboy (2004)

Released in 2004, Steamboy is Otomo’s second film as an anime director after Akira. Budgeting over 26 million dollars, Steamboy was one of the most expensive anime films of its time.

Steamboy’s story begins with scientist Lloyd Steam and his son Eddy Steam discovering pure mineral water in Iceland which they believe can be used as an unlimited source of power for a steam engine. However, an incident occurs which kills Eddy and creates a spherical device.

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Just like Metropolis, Steamboy failed to reap the popularity and reviews as good as Akira. However, Steamboy still received a warm response from critics and audiences by winning the Best Animated Feature Film at the Sitges Film Festival 2004.

Memories (1995)

Otomo experimented with an anthology concept film in Memories. Adapted from his three short manga with similar titles, Memories has three parts, namely Magnetic Rose, Stink Bomb, and Cannon Fodder. Apart from being an executive producer, Otomo is also the writer of Stink Bomb and the director and writer of Cannon Fodder.

Magnetic Rose tells the story of two astronauts named Heintz and Miguel who find an abandoned spaceship. Apparently, the plane belonged to a famous diva named Eva Friedel who disappeared after her fiancé, Carlo Rambaldi was murdered. Heintz and Miguel then experience supernatural events in their exploration.

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Genre comedy thriller, the story of Stink Bomb begins with scientist Nobuo Tanaka who mistakenly consumes a number of biological weapons pills as flu pills. Therefore, Tanaka becomes a walking weapon of mass destruction with a deadly body odor. The governments of the United States and Japan then tried to stop Tanaka.

Cannon Fodder is set in a walled city that is always at war. Almost all the buildings in the city were equipped with cannons capable of shooting down neighboring towns. The two main characters of Cannon Fodder are a father and son who work as cannonball loaders.

Neo Tokyo (1987)

The last one is Neo Tokyo. Neo Tokyo is not actually Otomo’s work, but Otomo still contributes by playing an important role. With the concept of an anthology and having three parts, Madhouse chose Otomo to be the director and writer of the third part, namely Construction Cancellation Order.

Construction Cancellation Order tells the story of the revolution of the fictional Republic of Aloana which results in a new government. They made Facility 444 which made the company in charge lose money. The employee Tsutomu Sugioka was then dispatched to stop the construction.

Being a well-known figure in the Japanese entertainment industry for almost 50 years certainly carves the name of Katsuhiro Otomo as one of the best anime directors of all time. Otomo himself is working on his next film titled Orbital Era which was announced in 2019. How? Of the five anime above, which one is your favourite?

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