To me the Japanese are unsurpassed in terms of animated films. Sure, Pixar may boast an impressive repertoire, but their Japanese counterparts are able to capture an elusive poetic quality that’s remniscent of real life. Perhaps it’s that aesthetic and philosophical concept of wabi-sabi, or poignance of the passing of things. Ironically, much less happens in terms of action, but every word carries so much weight.
The Girl who Leapt through Time and 5 Centimeters per Second are two of my new favourites. The ending song of 5 Centimeters per Second is hauntingly lovely:
いつでも探しているよ どっかに君の姿を 向かいのホーム ろじうらの窓 こんな所にいるはずもないのに
I’m always searching for you Everywhere for your shadow On the opposite platform In the window of the back alley Though I know you can’t be there