The world of anime has been more influential than you thought.
Not only did iconic characters in anime like Goku have a name-after day, anime has also had a more subtle effect on Hollywood, as current film makers have begun to show their love of anime in their work.
Here’s a list of top 10 anime that have had an influence on Western cinema.
10. KIMBA THE WHITE LION
Similarities between Kimba and Disney’s The Lion King are far from subtle, to the point where Matthew Broderick (who voiced Simba) thought that Disney were remaking the show he watched as a child.
Kimba animators Tezuka Productions opted against a lawsuit, believing they’d never win against the House of Mouse’s top lawyers.
9. BRAVE RAIDEEN
As the first fully transforming robot in anime, Brave Raideen was just as much an influence on future anime as it was Hollywood.
Though many transforming robots would follow, without Raideen we may not have ever seen Transformers come to life.
8. MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO
From tiny soot spirits to an enormous cat-bus, My Neighbour Totoro is a heart-warming story of friendship and fantasy.
Disney/Pixar’s chief creative officer John Lasseter cites this one as his favourite.
Totoro’s cameo appearance in Toy Story 3 was done to let “Studio Ghibli know how much they mean to us,” says Lasseter.
Elsewhere, George Lucas revealed he turned to anime and manga when coming up with ideas for Star Wars: The Clone Wars . Ahsoka Tano’s face markings are partially inspired by San from Princess Mononoke .
7. PERFECT BLUE
Though he denies any direct influence, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan the very similar theme of a star blurring the lines between fact and fiction.
Aronofsky is also rumoured to have bought the live-action rights to the film in order to stage a similar scene in Requiem For A Dream .
Both the film and its original manga were an influence for director Alex Proyas’ 1998 neo-noir film Dark City .
In fact, the final sequences of the film, in which buildings begin to restore themselves, are a direct homage to Akira .
Josh Trank was also inspired when making Chronicle, admitting in an interview to be a “fan of all things Akira ” – telekinetic teen Andrew’s attack on police forces mirrors Tetsuo’s rampage through Neo Tokyo.
Another entry from the late great Satoshi Kon, Paprika is set in a world where a child-like genius has invented a machine named the DC-Mini, which allows the user to view people’s dreams.
Doctor Atsuko Chiba illegally uses the machine to aid psychiatric patients under the guise of a dream avatar known as Paprika.
Though a more sombre approach than Paprika’s psychedelic dream world, her dive into the human subconscious was one of the primary influences for Christopher Nolan’s Inception .
4. NINJA SCROLL
Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films played with the Western perception of Japanese over the top action sequences.
So it’s not hard to see a little bit of Ninja Scroll in the finished product… without counting the anime-style segment in the first film!
3. NAUSICAÄ AND THE VALLEY OF THE WIND
James Cameron has made no secret of being a huge anime fan, and plenty of similarities can be seen in his record-breaking Avatar.
The Pandora landscape looks like the Valley of the Wind brought to life, and the Na’vi’s Ikran riding seems to take a few visual cues from Nausicaä’s windriding.
The floating landforms of Pandora also take influence from later Ghibli release Laputa: Castle of the Sky .
2. GHOST IN THE SHELL
The Wachowski brothers have both said that the cyberpunk aesthetic of Ghost In The Shell is exactly what they wanted when making The Matrix.
Even the opening credits for The Matrix mirror the opening credits for Ghost In The Shell.
James Cameron has also called the film “a stunning piece of speculative fiction”.
1. DRAGON BALL Z
A key player in reviving the interest in anime in the West during the ’90s, Dragonball ’s popularity led to a live-action Hollywood adaptation called Dragonball: Evolution in 2009.
But that was terrible and best forgotten, unlike some of the anime’s less obvious influences on Hollywood.
When Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World ’s Todd Ingram activates his vegan powers, his spiky blond hair and energy based attacks are very similar to the Super Saiyans seen in later episodes of Dragonball Z .
The show’s distinct blend of high speed fight fights and slow-motion reaction shots can be seen all over action sequences since – from Heroes to The Matrix Revolutions .
The way the fights are “shot” and edited in Dragonball has admittedly been more of an influence on games than films, but that visual aesthetic has increasingly been seeping from games to films, to Dragonball is indirectly influencing directors who haven’t even watched anime.
Even superhero films with characters who “power-up” – like Havoc in X-Men: First Class – feel like they have a genealogy that stretches back to Dragonball .
Sure Havoc had the same powers in the X-Men comics, but the way he wields them in the film… that feels it has strands of Dragonball fights DNA in it.