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Five classic, critically acclaimed animated films hit theaters across the United States.

Five classic, critically acclaimed animated films hit theaters across the United States.

Five classic anime films, including the highly anticipated Cowboy Bebop, are returning to theaters across the United States, some for the first time in many years. The films include three beloved classics from genius Satoshi Kon, as well as two other anime fan staples from the ’90s and 2000s.

Iconic Events Releasing has partnered with Anime Expo to bring “AX Cinema Nights,” a year-round celebration of anime films, to theaters across the country, showcasing a lineup of well-respected anime films. Among them are three films from acclaimed director Satoshi Kon: Perfect Blue, Paprika, and Tokyo Godfathers, as well as Cowboy Bebop: The Movie and the original Ghost in the Shell. The films will be shown at events starting in September 2023 and running through February 2024, allowing audiences to see these films as they were meant to be seen for the first time in decades, for some.

The classic anime is finally returning to the big screen

Perfect Blue’s first 25th anniversary event is scheduled for September 6 and 7, in both dubbed and dubbed versions, with both versions debuting on September 10. Then comes Ghost in the Shell on November 8th and 9th, with an appearance again on November 12th. It follows Tokyo Godfathers on its 20th anniversary on December 11 and 12, with an appearance on December 13. In 2024, shows will resume with Cowboy Bebop on January 21-22, with an appearance on January 23, and Paprika on February 7-8, with an appearance on February 11. For all shows, subtitles will be visible on the first day and dubbed audio on the second day.

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The news of these films returning to theaters is sure to thrill fans. Right now, Cowboy Bebop isn’t available on any streaming services and hasn’t been released on Blu-ray in over 10 years, which makes finding copies a little tricky. Ghost in the Shell is clearly a landmark piece of cyberpunk, as well as a great movie in its own right. Both Perfect Blue and Paprika are shock psychological thrillers believed to have influenced major Hollywood blockbusters like Black Swan and Inception, respectively, while Tokyo Godfathers is the legendary director’s foray into comedy.

Screenings are scheduled in more than 300 cinemas across the country, which means it won’t be too difficult for fans to find a cinema showing movies near them. The option to choose between spin-offs and dubbed shows is always a welcome one for fans who often debate about which one is better. Cowboy Bebop fans should definitely take this opportunity to see the rare movie in theaters, and those who love anime but aren’t familiar with these movies are sure to find some new favorites.