Desert Island Series...Mango, I mean, Manga Mania!

compiled by Frankie Kowalski

Orguss O2
© Manga Entertainment

OK, so anime is a cultural phenomenon in Japan and fast becoming the same around the world. Got a chance to speak with Akira Murayama (Executive Producer, Manga & Movie Original Story Competition), Frederik L. Schodt (author of Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga), Toren Smith (whose company, Proteus, is an anime comic book distributor) and Greg Barr (anime writer and long-time fan).

Akira Murayama's desert island picks:
1. East of Eden by Elia Kazan
2. L'Estate violent by Varelio Zurlini
3. Nogiku no gotoki, kimi nariki by Keisuke Kinoshita
4. Empire of Passion by Nagisa Oshima
5. Harry Weinberg's Notebook by Yariv Kohn
6. La Strada by Fredrico Fellini
7. Plein Soleil (Purple Noon) by René Clement
8. Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray (Sundays and Cybelle) by Serge Bourguigon
9. The Kid by Charles Chaplin
10. La leçon particulière by Michele Bowaron
Frederik L. Schodt's picks ...
"I never thought that Japanese animation would become as popular in the United States as it has. Today, with fan clubs on nearly all major university campuses, hundreds of fan-built Web sites, and regular conventions annually, anime is on the verge of going mainstream. I don't pretend to know all the reasons for this phenomenon, but I suspect it's more than just the intrinsic quality of the anime itself. Certainly, American and European commercial animation had become too formulaic and limited in expression. But also, I like to think that we are finally seeing the appearance of a global mind-meld, where young people in both Asia and the West increasingly share similar outlooks and values, allowing otherwise quite "different" Japanese animation to take root here."

1. Jumping by Osamu Tezuka
2. Nausicaa (The uncut, Japanese version) by Hayao Miyazaki
3. Wings of Desire by Wim Wender
4. Alice in Wonderland by Walt Disney
5. Little Big Man by Arthur Penn
6. Ghost in the Shell by Mamoru Oshii & Masamune Shirow
7. Yojimbo by Akira Kurosawa
8. Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa
9. Throne of Blood by Akira Kurosawa
10. Solaris by Andrei Tarkovsky
Toren Smith's picks ...
"It's been great watching anime enter the mainstream over the last 15 years. When I first saw Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend video on MTV, using clips from the great anime movie Space Adventure Cobra, I knew things had forever changed for Japanese animation. Now we have huge anime sections in video stores, anime showing on the Sci-Fi Channel, and packed theaters nationwide for Ghost in the Shell (not to mention two thumbs up from Siskel and Ebert). What's next? Personally, I wouldn't be surprised to see an all-anime channel within a year or two. Note my flagrant Ren & Stimpy cheat."

1. The Angel's Egg, by Mamoru Oshii
2. Crusher Joe, by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
3. For All Mankind, by Al Reinert and NASA
4. Ghost in the Shell, by Mamoru Oshii
5. Lupin III: Cagliostro Castle, by Hayao Myazaki
6. Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, by Hayao Miyazaki
7. All Ren & Stimpy episodes by John K.
8. Terminator 2, by James Cameron
9. Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer, by Mamoru Oshii
10. The Wings of Honneamise, by Hiroyuki Yamaga
Greg Barr's picks ...
1. Wings of Honneamise (aka Royal Space Force) by Hiroyuki Yamaga
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton
4. Star Wars by George Lucas
5. The Empire Strikes Back by George Lucas
6. Return of the Jedi by George Lucas
Or is that just one as the Trilogy?
7. Fantasia by Walt Disney
8. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki
9. Angel's Egg by Mamoru Oshii
10. Bedazzled by Stanley Donen

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