The Japanese film industry has been producing anime for their audience for years—and now anime movies are one of the most popular movie genres all around the world, having millions of fans and being translated into many different languages! While the word anime refers to animation, there is a difference between anime and animation movies. While anime can be animation—an animation movie is not anime.
Anime movies are influenced by Japanese culture, art, and history and have distinct artwork, storytelling, themes, and concepts. If you think anime movies are cartoons just for children, then you are mistaken. Anime movies have something for everyone! There are a lot of themes for grown-ups, and anime movies generally fall under the category of action, drama, adventure, or comedy. And, of course, there are a lot of sci-fi elements in anime. The storylines are very engaging and can give you an escape from the real world. Even though you aren’t watching real people, anime movies can make you experience real emotions. Anime movies are also very popular among the audience for their action sequences. The animation technique makes the fight scenes spectacular and limitless, something one can’t achieve with live action.
While you might have heard about popular anime movie series like Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, Doraemon, and Detective Conan, here are some of the best anime movies that are worth watching!
Spirited Away (2001)
Spirited Away is the first and only hand-drawn non-English language animated movie to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. This fascinating story is about a 10-year-old girl and her parents who enter into a strange world filled with mysterious creatures and spirits. The most appealing thing about this wonderfully composed movie is that one can watch it from various perspectives, and it can keep the viewers captivated and utterly involved with its storyline.
Your Name (2016)
Your Name is an interesting story of two teenagers who are complete strangers living separate lives. Their bodies get swapped with each other repeatedly, and the two of them adjust their lives around each other. As they start getting to know each other, they both start longing to find and meet one another in person. The unique and gripping storyline, heartfelt music, beautiful lyrics, and amazing animation make this movie an absolute masterpiece!
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Based on a true story of wartime and survival, Grave of the Fireflies is a story of a teenage boy and his younger sister who try to survive on their own in Japan after being separated from their parents during World War 2. This movie can bring out a host of emotions as the story unfolds and shows us the true picture of the world and its gruesome reality that makes one sympathize and also feel grateful about our own lives. This movie is among the greatest war anime movies ever produced!
Intense action sequences, high-speed motorbike chases, stunning animation, a captivating storyline, and impressive character designs—this anime movie has it all! Akira is an anime movie adaptation of the manga series by the same name, but the story climax is completely different from that of the manga. It is a story of a teenage biker, and the story unfolds when one of the main characters gains a supernatural power after a motorcycle accident. This sci-fi adventure also talks about the socio-economic effects of war and the dangers of atomic power.
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
This heart-warming anime with detailed animation and sound weaves a storyline where each character has a distinct personality. It revolves around the story of a tiny teenager named Arrietty, who lives secretly with her parents beneath the floorboards of a suburban garden house. One day a young human boy who is suffering from an illness comes to live in that house. Arrietty befriends him, but their beautiful friendship may turn out to be the very reason that Arrietty and her family must move away. This movie gives viewers something to ponder and think about when it’s over.
The fascinating story of Ponyo is an adventure for the whole family to enjoy. It is about a young goldfish with a human-like face, who is curious about the world outside the sea and becomes eager to become human. Her strong love for a young boy who lives on the surface, and her willingness to break free from the ocean world, creates an environmental imbalance and brings a flood to the nearby island. Even though the movie plot primarily appeals to the kids, Ponyo leaves a message for the adult audience as well.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
If you want to experience an amazing story with breathtaking visuals, you need to watch this movie! Every character has its own story, which makes each one of them unique and interesting. Princess Mononoke is a story about Ashitaka, who is caught up in a war between the god of the forest and humans, and a young woman San, who is raised by wolves in the forest. The movie feels mystical and looks aesthetic, while it features the conflict between humans and nature and how Ashitaka seeks a way for both to coexist.
Well, this list can go on and on! But you can check out other anime movies that you might like from this list of highest-grossing anime movies of all time. Enjoy!