AgentJ (Level 13)

Batman is Anime, and Zelda's an RPG. These are a few of the most dumbest (sic) things.
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Well, it seems my unhealthy obsession with lists has gotten the better of me. Armed with a natural ability to rank entities in a subjective numerical order and a desire to bring more content to the wonderful members of the Animevice community, I have decided to waste my time one night a week to develop the "List of the Week". 

Far from being as grandiose as it sounds, this is just a way for me to blow off my ranking steam, and for all of you to tell me how wrong I am. 

So each week, I'm going to pick a topic, either out of the blue, or suggested by one of you poor saps that gives two shits about what I spend my time getting anal over. I'll make a list of varying length, almost always ranked in order, and give a little blurb about each entry. 

But you know what? I haven't seen every anime, read every manga, appreciated every character, or experienced every plot twist. I AM ENCOURAGING readers TO GIVE ME THE WHAT FOR! Tell me which ones I missed, which ones don't belong, and DEFINITELY tell me about the hidden gems. Just give me a little blurb in the same vein as mine to justify your pick or change. If enough people rip the list apart, I'll demonstrate a revised list the following week. 

I thought I'd start out with a really simple one; the best Miyazaki movies. 
I was inspired to start with this list by Dream's blog ranking each of Studio Ghibli's movies, so you should all read it and comment on it. 

By the way, if any moderators or Whiskey Technicians are reading this, please please PLEASE give us the abliity to rank our Whiskey lists from LAST to FIRST! Starting with the first is so anticlimactic. 

LOTW: Top 5 Miyazaki Films

Hayao Miyazaki is well known as the best animation director of his age. His works have become classics around the globe, and earned him countless filmmaking honors, including an Academy Award. Miyazaki has become synonymous with Anime, the same way Disney did for western animation. He continues to release instant classics despite continually threatening retirement. 

These are the best Miyazaki films. 
1. Kiki's Delivery Service

A classic coming of age tale, focusing on the titular young witch and her sarcastic scaredy cat Jiji. In the film, "Kiki" runs an emotional gauntlet, portraying perhaps the most "real" character of any of Miyazaki's creations over the years. Kiki's Delivery Service is far and away my personal favorite Ghibli movie and in my top five list of movies all-time.

2. Castle in the Sky

Could one call "Castle in the Sky" the quintessential Japanese fantasy movie? As the first of Studio Ghibli's projects, this film instantly created a new standard by which all others would be judged. A girl that needs rescuing, an evil organization to best, and ancient ruins to explore; all the trappings of a true classic. To tell the truth, it has been years since I've seen "Castle", but the iconic sky island, and its android, stand out so strongly, so vividly, even through the better part of a decade.

3. Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke was the first anime to get a wide-spread theatrical release in America, and is credited with being a big part of the subsequent anime boom in the west. The audience follows honest-to-a-fault Ashitaka after he is cursed and banished from his village. Eager to find the source, Ashitaka sets out on what can only be called an epic journey to find the curse's source. While it isn't the first Miyazaki movie to use environmental themes (nor was it the last) his feelings on pollution and the movings of men come through strongest in "Mononoke". It was also in many ways a departure from Miyazaki's norms, with more gritty realism and grand battles than any of his previous flicks.

4. Spirited Away

Is it possible that the first and only Anime to win an Academy Award could be left off of such a list? No, it isn't. Spirited Away hit the states in what was arguably the strongest time for anime in the states. The story about a young girl forced to work in a fantastic bathhouse after being separated from her parents is strong in japanese lore, and is perhaps overshadowed only by the superb visuals. Miyazaki returns to his character-developing days of "Kiki", as the lead Chihiro is the most fleshed-out girl since the "Delivery Service" days.

5. NausicaƤ of the Valley of Wind

Direceted before Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli, Nausicaa is based on Miyazaki's own self-created manga series, which began in 1982, two years before the movie, and ended in 1994. Nausicaa laid the groundwork for many ideas that would later become Miyazaki staples, including the strong female lead, environmental messages, and the evils of war.

Don't forget to tell me how wrong I am! What am I missing? Which of these isn't as good as I remember? 
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