I am an odd white guy in Japan, that rare one that has no interest in manga or anime.
Ok, not 100% true, but I guess you could say that I dislike cutesy anime. I do not
like the convention and style. There are
exceptions, and I will get to that. Here is the list of
the general skill level of the animator; A+: Anything architectural is beautifully rendered, top marks there for straight CAD like lines. B: Nature is just gorgeous and always vibrant. B: The human form: well represented, The human face/head: Wtf! F.. super F… F minus. I mean I understand it is a style, but I really doubt these people can actually draw a human face anymore. I mean seriously, when you see the size of their heads, doesn’t it seem… slightly… encephalitic!?!
There are exceptions to every rule though, and I enjoy many Ghibli movies, but there is a good reason for that. Regular anime is a very glossed over view of the world. Everything is clear and crisp… Even when drawing something really old, it is idealized. A great example would be from this website where actual locations are compared with the animated versions. I think what really bugs me is the amazing blue sky. Those are rare gems in Japan, and usually only ever occur after a typhoon comes through and blows all the muck away. It is usually grey, just look at those skies in the photos. Those shades of blue though, are rare treats. Look also at how run down the real life version is compared to the idealized anime version. Now let’s look at Ghibli… Gorgeously drawn, and shows run down in all its glory. An argument could be made that Ghibli has a bigger budget and only produces feature length films… to which I respond to as “bullshit!” Even though your average anime is idealized, it is still beautifully done. They voluntarily, fully embrace the fantasy.
When it comes to story though, I enjoy something more cerebral a la Ghost in the shell or Akira. I wish Hollywood would make a live action movie of these, but Ghost in the shell especially would have to be dumbed down so much to appeal to the mass market, it wouldn’t even be fun.