I want more Kiki, more Princess Sara.
July 8, 2010 10:35 PM   Subscribe

What are other Japan-made cartoons that you recommend to me that are similar to Kiki's Delivery Service or Princess Sarah?

So lately, I've been watching a lot of Japanese cartoons and I am getting more and more addicted to them. Princess Sarah is on the top of my list since I was young, and Kiki's Delivery Service is a new favorite. The other ones in my list include Spirited Away, The Dog of Flaunders, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

I am not interested with Dragon Ball Z or Voltez V, or even Astroboy.

It actually does not matter if the anime is made in Japan or not and it should be available on DVD.
posted by LittleMissItneg to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (36 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:39 PM on July 8, 2010

My Neighbor Totoro
posted by amyms at 10:45 PM on July 8, 2010

If you haven't seen them already, you will probably greatly enjoy all of Miyazaki's ouvre. (Kiki's, Spirited Away, and Totoro are all Miyazaki.)
posted by hattifattener at 11:04 PM on July 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

There are some other films in the Studio Ghibli repertoire aside from Miyazaki's, including 'Whisper of the Heart' and 'The Cat Returns', those might appeal to you if you liked Kiki. BTW, Kiki's Delivery Service is probably one of my favorite films ever.
posted by holterbarbour at 11:13 PM on July 8, 2010

Laputa (also a Myazaki)
posted by jamaro at 11:15 PM on July 8, 2010

posted by inconsequentialist at 11:39 PM on July 8, 2010

<>The Girl Who Lept Through Time, Nausicaa (make sure it's the full release and not the abominable hacked up version). Tokyo Godfathers and Grave Of The Fireflies if you like a good cry.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:54 PM on July 8, 2010

FWIW, it would probably help if you mentioned what it is that you like about Kiki's and Princess Sarah.
posted by hattifattener at 11:57 PM on July 8, 2010

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time...
posted by zengargoyle at 11:57 PM on July 8, 2010

Best answer: Mai Mai Miracle (trailer) will be released this month on DVD in Japan. The director was an assistant director in Kiki, and it looks a lot like a Ghibli production. Hopefully it will be translated.

I second all of zengargoyle suggestions. Also look for Heidi, Girl of the Alps and Anne of Green Gables. Both are old series, so I'm not sure if they are available in DVD.

Of course, all of Studio Ghibli movies. Don't forget Omohide Poro Poro.
posted by clearlydemon at 12:21 AM on July 9, 2010

If you're okay with the ending of The Dog of Flanders, try Heisei Tanuki Pompoko, also by Ghibli, but a different director. Shape changing tanuki trying to stop the development of their breeding grounds, very, very loosely based on the actual building of Tama New Town. It's a beautiful movie, even funny in places, but I can't even rationally talk about it without fighting back tears.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:55 AM on July 9, 2010

Response by poster: I have seen The Dog of Flanders and I also love that one. I guess I have seen most of Miyazaki's films already as I have them in one DVD.

I mainly love these animes because of the stories, especially Princess Sarah. And I love how most of them are in a country side setting. One more thing, I like stories with good grandparents in them. Like in Kiki, I love the old woman (and her maid) who asked her to deliver the fish pie to her granddaughter. Same goes in My Neighbor Totoro.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 1:17 AM on July 9, 2010

Best answer: Dog of Flanders, Tom Sawyer, and Princess Sarah (based on A Little Princess) were all part of the World Masterpiece Theater series in the 1970s-80s. Most of the productions in that series at that time shared a similar aesthetic (and tend to be based on classic stories, like the ones you list), so you might want to check them out too (it seems like everyone in Japan loves the original Moomin series, for example, except the rare few who have read and prefer the original books). I'm not sure how many have official English releases, but, you know...

One more specific (and recent) recommendation: Summer Wars was released on DVD a few months ago in Japan. It features a kick-ass extended family (including grandmother!) and has a lovingly rendered big-old-house-in-the-countryside aesthetic.
posted by No-sword at 1:30 AM on July 9, 2010

Best answer: Candy Candy, Emily of New Moon, or possibly Rose of Versailles, and Emma: a Victorian Romance. Anne of Green Gables, is probably the closest to Princess Sarah, and the anime version of Emily of New Moon really tries for that kind of atmosphere.
posted by betweenthebars at 1:45 AM on July 9, 2010

I also really enjoyed Millennium Actress, which is about an elderly actress and her memories of the past, including both her filmmaking experiences, the Second World War, and looking for her lost love over a lifetime. It's beautifully done and a great piece of meta-filmmaking, since during the film it's sometimes hard to distinguish between the main character's memories and scenes from her films.
posted by so much modern time at 3:01 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

All Ghibli, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Michiko to Hatchin, the Last Exile, Ninja Scroll, the Big O, Basilisk, The Last Airbender (not the movie), Read or Die, Metropolis, Ghost in the Shell.
posted by rainy at 5:01 AM on July 9, 2010

Not knowing exactly what it is about these that you like makes it a little harder, but I'll guess that Mushishi and Kino's Travels (sometimes listed as Kino's Journey) might interest you. Mushishi is available on Hulu.
posted by somanyamys at 6:28 AM on July 9, 2010

How about Petite Princess Yucie?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:01 AM on July 9, 2010

Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Michiko to Hatchin, the Last Exile, Ninja Scroll, the Big O, Basilisk, The Last Airbender (not the movie), Read or Die, Metropolis, Ghost in the Shell.

Most of those are utterly unlike the shows that the OP seems to like.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:51 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Someone else mentioned Grave of the Fireflies, and I'll second that; it's a beautiful movie, but it is also very sad. Be prepared to cry. A lot.

The Cat Returns was also very cute. I'd also add Princess Mononoke and Howl's Moving Castle.
posted by xedrik at 9:04 AM on July 9, 2010

Most of those are utterly unlike the shows that the OP seems to like.

I have only seen Kiki's delivery service but I have to disagree that the ones I quoted are not like it. Sure, the setting and protagonists are very different but the spirit, whimsy, humour, quality of "natural-ness" animation, pacing are very close to Kiki.
posted by rainy at 9:53 AM on July 9, 2010

Gah, that's quality and "natural-ness" of animation.
posted by rainy at 9:54 AM on July 9, 2010

Ranma 1/2
Tenchi Muyo (there are three or four series. Stick with the Tenchi Universe and the "TV Show" )
posted by Hanuman1960 at 9:57 AM on July 9, 2010

Everyone else has already told you to watch EVERYTHING by Studio Ghibli, which I was coming here to do (you might even enjoy some of his more pedestrian works like Ocean Waves and Only Yesterday, and his super-heartbreaking Grave of the Fireflies).

Um, let's see... surely there's something I can recommend that nobody's mentioned yet... if you want something super-old-school you could track down Princess Knight, the 1960s Osamu Tezuka anime about a princess born with both the heart of a girl and the heart of a boy, who has to masquerade as a boy to keep an evil duke from usurping the throne, and also spends her nights as a masked crime-fighter.

(Oh, I think I just realized why a lesbian friend of mine told me that this was her favorite cartoon growing up...)
posted by luvcraft at 9:59 AM on July 9, 2010

Sorry, rainy, but I agree with Chocolate Pickle; the OP will be extremely surprised by Ninja Scroll if she's expecting something along the lines of Princess Sarah and Kiki.

Your recommendations of "all Ghibli films" and Avatar: the Last Airbender are definitely spot-on, though, and I also agree with Metropolis, although that might be right at the fringe of what she's looking for.
posted by luvcraft at 10:06 AM on July 9, 2010

luvcraft: ok, maybe Ninja Scroll and Basilisk in that they're pretty violent, but "most"!?
posted by rainy at 10:15 AM on July 9, 2010

Best answer: two more suggestions that just came to me!

Castle of Cagliostro, which is a Hayao Miyazaki movie that most people forget because he made it before Studio Ghibli.

also, I've just started watching The Mysterious Cities of Gold on Hulu, and I think it might also be along the lines of what you're looking for.

@rainy: those are all good anime, and you have great taste, but I think most of them are way too shounen, hyper-sexualized, and violent to fit with what the OP is looking for. She's asking for The Princess Bride and you're recommending Sin City; Sin City is a great movie, but it's not the right movie for someone settling down for an evening of light-hearted, whimsical, romantic adventure. :)
posted by luvcraft at 10:56 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

luvcraft: I hear you but I think OP wasn't specific enough we should assume that; she quoted Spirited Away as an example of what she likes, and between parents turning into pigs, fairly scary monsters and a sinister old hag, it's not really that light-hearted and whimsical of an adventure! Although I have to admit a lot of my picks are more action-oriented than either Kiki or Spirited. But then a lot of Ghibli features are also very action-oriented, and everyone recommends them anyway. Which I totally agree with, of course. The ones I'm a touch ambivalent about are Basilisk and Ninja scroll but they're so great I doubt they'd disappoint even if they're not exact matches.. ymmv and all that!
posted by rainy at 11:11 AM on July 9, 2010

Oh, and Castle of Cagliostro is really great.. I didn't realize it wasn't Ghibli. In that case, I'd also recommend the series about Sherlock Holmes, also by Miyazaki before Ghibli, although it can be a bit boring and tame at times.
posted by rainy at 11:16 AM on July 9, 2010

rainy: not wanting to derail too much, but based on your tastes I would recommend Trigun, Hunter x Hunter, GaoGaiGar, and Visions of Escaflowne (the series, not the movie) to you.

Also, based on your recommendation and the opening video I've added Last Exile to my list of anime to watch. :)
posted by luvcraft at 11:28 AM on July 9, 2010

luvcraft: I really didn't like Trigun, I saw something about Escaflowne, might have been the movie, I'll look for the series.. will check out the other ones! Last Exile is absolutely one of the best, but a bit slow in the beginning. Stick with it at least until the middle, you won't regret it.
posted by rainy at 11:39 AM on July 9, 2010

Where I come from, we worship Miyazaki.
posted by ovvl at 1:51 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nadia, Secret of Blue Water is one of my favorites. (You can also see some characters who would be the predecessors to Pokemon's Team Rocket, except less 1 dimensional).
posted by yeloson at 9:19 PM on July 9, 2010

I'll second No-sword's Summer Wars recommendation, if only because it made me wish someone I knew could play hanafuda.
posted by armage at 8:09 AM on July 10, 2010

Sorry, play *with* hanafuda.
posted by armage at 8:11 AM on July 10, 2010

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