Anime is the Japanese word for Animation. In Japan, the animation industry is more in the forefront than in the US, and animated shows covering virtually every genre can be found in the form of television shows, Original Animation Videos and feature films. Much like any other entertainment medium, anime can range from the very silly to the very serious, and is not necessarily intended for children or any specific age group. Below is a hand-picked selection of titles that Alice's mavens consider the best of the genre on offer. Right: 'Ghost In The Shell'

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Director: Isao Takahata

In the aftermath of a World War II bombing, two orphaned children struggle to survive in the Japanese countryside. To Seita and his four-year-old sist... Read more

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Rarely does a film touch so many hearts or reach such artistic heights as the highly accliamed 'Kiki's Delivery Service', the magical adventure of an... Read more

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Voices Of, Christian Bale, Emily Mortimer, Jean Simmons, Blythe Danner, Billy Cr...

With its otherworldly beauty and charm Miyazaki's magical tale of adventure and self-discovery is testament to his limiltiless imagination. 18-year-ol... Read more

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Gillian Anderson, Minnie Driver

This stunning masterpiece by animation wizard Hayao Miyazaki is set during Japan's Muromachi era, when a maddened Boar God infects a prince with a dea... Read more

Whisper of the Heart (1995)

Director: Yoshifumi Kondo

Written and produced by Manga maestro Hayao Miyazaki this classic anime sees young bookworm Shizuku spending her summer reading and translating popula... Read more

Arrietty (2010)

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Aka "The Secret World of Arrietty". Mary Norton's novel "The Borrowers" gets an anime updating in this fun family tale co-written by Hayao Miyazaki. A... Read more

Tales from Earthsea (2006)

Director: Goro Miyazaki

The son of legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki makes his directing debut with this adapatation of the third and fourth books in Ursula K. LeGuin's belov... Read more

My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

From legendary Manga director Hayao Miyazaki comes that rare delight - a family film that really appeals to all ages. While their mother is in hospit... Read more

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

This classic Miyazaki film in many ways foreshadows his later, more widely recognised hit, 'Princess Mononoke'. In the far future, man has destroyed t... Read more

Ponyo (2008)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Aka "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea". When five-year-old Sosuke finds a fish named Ponyo near his seaside home, they quickly become the best of friends... Read more