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

The GiggleBone Gang is alive and well at Seattle-based Headbone Interactive. Judith Shane explains it all.

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 Kazan2. L'Estate violent by Varelio Zurlini3. Nogiku no gotoki, kimi nariki by Keisuke Kinoshita4. Empire of Passion by Nagisa Oshima 5. Harry Weinberg's Notebook by Yariv Kohn6. La Strada by Fredrico Fellini7. Plein Soleil (Purple Noon) by René Clement8. Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray (Sundays and Cybelle) by Serge Bourguigon9. The Kid by Charles Chaplin10. 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 Tezuka2. Nausicaa (The uncut, Japanese version) by Hayao Miyazaki3. Wings of Desire by Wim Wender 4. Alice in Wonderland by Walt Disney 5. Little Big Man by Arthur Penn6. Ghost in the Shell by Mamoru Oshii & Masamune Shirow7. Yojimbo by Akira Kurosawa 8. Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa9. Throne of Blood by Akira Kurosawa10. 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 Kubrick3. The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton4. Star Wars by George Lucas5. The Empire Strikes Back by George Lucas6. Return of the Jedi by George LucasOr is that just one as the Trilogy?7. Fantasia by Walt Disney8. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki9. Angel's Egg by Mamoru Oshii10. Bedazzled by Stanley Donen