Without a doubt, Mamoru Oshii is one of the most acclaimed and important anime directors around. His entire career has pretty much been a nonstop train of landmark works. After directing a few episodes here and there of various late 70s anime, he got his big break as director of Urusei Yatsura, the legendary series that put Rumiko Takahashi as well as himself on the map. Oshii directed just over 100 episodes of the show and then did 2 movies, the second of which, Beautiful Dreamer, is largely seen as the ‘birth’ of his career, as it was the first work to feature his signature mind-bending style.
Oh man, where do I even start with The Sky Crawlers? I’ve watched this incredible movie thrice, and it is long and by far one of my favorite anime films ever made. Every time I rewatch it, my perception of every event is entirely different. No, the movie hasn’t changed, and what I know of it hasn’t changed, but it’s simply grown. Just as I only ‘liked’ the movie the first time, ‘loved’ it the second, and ‘adored’ it the third, I similarly was only coming to terms with it the first time, understanding it the second time, and analyzing it the third. I think that having seen this movie three times, I can’t even remember what it was like to have only seen it once… and maybe that’s quite representative of the nature of my relationship to the actual plot of the film.