What are the best anime movies? It might be a question often asked on the internet. Anime, while often associated with multiple-episode shows, has a great collection of movies throughout the years which explore a variety of genres and raise the bar every time with their beautiful animation style.
In this top 10 anime movies list, we shall be taking a look at some of the best anime movies of all time that they have existed, and which do not act as a sequel to a pre-existing series so everyone can just dive into it.
10. The Garden of Words
The Garden of Words is a relatively short, yet beautiful and transformative movie that tells us the story of a young aspiring shoemaker, Takao, and a mysterious pretty woman he meets in a garden by coincidence.
While sitting next to each other, they strike up a conversation while expressing their likes, dislikes, and a variety of other topics. The mysterious woman, Yukari, is an adult who is not able to find her place in society while struggling to get through each day. Our young protagonist on the other hand is filled with energy towards pursuing his goals but has his worries regarding his future.
As a mature story with a romantic subtext, The Garden of Words is a calm and refreshing change from the usual action-based stories while having several bittersweet moments.
9. Tokyo Godfathers
Tokyo Godfathers is a heart-warming Christmas story that follows the chaotic events of a cold winter night. When a trio consisting of a drag queen, a drunkard, and a runaway find a baby, their mundane lives are brought with a welcome change as they try to reunite it with its parents.
In their search, they encounter several people with their own unique stories and face several disasters. With time they also start to discover the baby’s unfortunate past.
As a messy yet completely engrossing story, Tokyo Godfathers is extremely humorous while also making us shed a few tears.
8. Princess Mononoke
As yet another great addition to the various tales of fantasy in anime, Princess Mononoke is a thought-provoking serious anime movie that will keep you invested for its entire duration.
It is a story of a prince who leaves home in search of a cure after getting cursed and getting wrapped in a struggle between humans who want to cut down forests and a princess who stands against them. Despite the seemingly old setting, Princess Mononoke deals with very real-world topics that even have present implications.
Princess Mononoke is a wonderful piece of fiction with complex characters and writing which teaches us about the importance of mutual acceptance and sustenance.
7. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
With a very unique name, it is no surprise that I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is a source of curiosity to many. Fortunately, the movie lives up to its expectations as an amazing story filled with drama, development, and tragedy.
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas follows an uncaring and aloof protagonist Haruki Shiga who does not show much consideration for others and keeps to himself. This is until he has a meeting by chance with an energetic classmate who reveals that she suffers from pancreatic disease. She asks him to accompany her for the remainder of her days and while he doesn’t show much sympathy, he agrees to it.
From this point on, we see Haruki grow into a respectable person with the help of his classmate, and a young love blossoms. The anime is beautifully made while making us both laugh and cry.
6. Spirited Away
One of the best anime movies to ever come out, Spirited Away is considered a masterpiece of the fantasy genre with its supernatural elements and the fun adventure we follow our protagonist on.
The main character is initially an annoying and stubborn girl Chihiro Ogino who is less than likable. While visiting a suspicious amusement park, she unwittingly crosses over to the spirit world where she has several misadventures as she tries to get back to the world of humans.
With a unique cast of supporting characters and creativity beyond its years, Spirited Away is undoubtedly one of the best anime movies ever made.
The movie has many interpretations too which you might want to check out after the movie.
5. Ghost in the Shell
As one of the most influential anime movies in the Science Fiction genre, Ghost in the Shell is an extremely well-crafted movie that combines philosophical elements through its story filled with action and mystery.
The story takes place in a futuristic world filled with technology where people are capable of replacing limbs with robotic parts. However, it has some risks involved.
When a person known as the Puppet Master leaves a trail of victims whose memories have been wiped by hacking into the cyborg human hybrids, it enforces our protagonist Motoko Kusanagi into action. As she tries to solve the case, several mysteries are revealed which leads to her re-evaluating her ideals and ideas and justice.
Ghost in the Shell is a very thrilling and suspenseful anime that is also very psychological.
4. A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice can be described as a life-changing anime movie in many ways, with its takeaways on a person’s growth and maturity as well as forming long-lost connections.
As a coming-of-age film, it tells the story of our male protagonist, Shouya, a bully who constantly harasses a new, deaf classmate, Shouko. After crossing the line with her, he gets pushed to the other side of the fence while becoming the outcast of the class.
Years pass by and we see him experience things from the other person’s perspective for once while feeling extreme regret about his actions even to the point where he considers committing suicide. However, after a coincidental meeting with Shouko, he tries his best to redeem himself and make things up to her.
A Silent Voice is an emotional rollercoaster that takes us through a very realistic journey of forgiveness and moving past one’s past. It is also considered to be one of the best anime movies that talk about mental health issues.
3. Perfect Blue
Satoshi Kon is a master of psychological anime that toy with our mind and it’s not a stretch to call Perfect Blue his finest piece of work.
The anime movie revolves around a former pop idol who takes the plunge into acting but aims for more adult roles which her fans take in a very bad way. With pressure from all sides, as she gets adjusted to her new environment, we see our protagonist dive into madness. With an obsessed stalker and constant stress, she struggles to cope with reality and often confuses it with fantasy.
Perfect Blue is a trippy ride that keeps us on the edge of our seats for the entire time while being a masterpiece in the psychological thriller genre.
2. Your Name
As the 3rd highest-grossing anime movie ever, there is no doubt that Your Name is an extremely loved movie, and with good reason.
It tells us the story of a young boy and girl who switch bodies due to a supernatural occurrence. While getting adjusted to their new surroundings and living each other’s lives, they form a bond that eventually grows from friendship to love.
With the threat of a disaster in the background and struggling to meet each other in real life, Your Name is an excellent blend of a complex narrative with a simple yet wholesome love story. It is filled with humorous and bittersweet moments complemented by its excellent animation.
1. Grave of the Fireflies
Coming in at 1st place and one of the best anime movies that everyone needs to watch at least once is Grave of the Fireflies.
It is a tragic story that revolves around two siblings who are separated from their family and struggle during World War 2. As they move from place to place while trying to adjust and adapt to their surroundings, we see small moments of happiness while trying to survive in a chaotic world on their own.
With its explicit image of the effects of the War and the heart-touching story of the siblings, Grave of the Fireflies will be on your mind even after you finish watching it while constantly making you think about how precious life is.
So these were our top 10 anime movies of all time. Now the best anime movies can be very different for everyone depending on their taste. Some might not like sad endings while some are more inclined towards realism over anything else.
In conclusion, the world of anime movies has undoubtedly given us some timeless masterpieces that continue to captivate audiences across generations. From the mesmerizing storytelling and stunning visuals to the profound emotional impact, they leave on us.
Which anime movie do you believe genuinely deserves the title of the “best anime movie” and why? Share your thoughts, ignite discussions, and join the ever-growing community of anime enthusiasts.
Until next time, see you!