From the breakthrough of Akira in 1988 through the exquisite films of Miyazaki Hayao to the recent blockbuster Your Name, Japanese animation has captivated audiences around the world. But anime’s history runs deeper still. Here we select 50 titles that celebrate its full, fascinating riches. Introduced by Nick Bradshaw.
+ Back to square one: the seeds of anime
The international anime phenomenon was fired in a Japanese crucible of changing technology, financing and demographics in the years after World War II. By Jonathan Clements.
+ Parallel lines: independent animation
Far from the commercial mainstream, Japanese animators have been experimenting with the form since the early years of cinema – an eclectic tradition that’s still thriving. By Jasper Sharp.
+ A show of hands: women and anime
The scarcity of women at the highest levels in Japanese animation has traditionally left female characters at the mercy of male preconceptions and fantasies – a state of affairs a new generation is eager to draw to a close, writes Serena Scateni.
+ Tick tick… boom: anime goes global
With Japan’s anime market close to saturation and its global fanbase continuing to expand, canny producers are creating works with an increasingly international flavour, writes Alex Dudok de Wit.
+ TV trailblazers: strength in numbers
The small screen is where anime began and where it made its greatest impact, building the franchises that support the art and the industry. By Helen McCarthy.
+ Public anime: where to learn more
Your heart’s content of anime books, podcasts, websites and blogs.