Do you like anime? Do you like movies? Do you enjoy a quiet night in? If you answered with yes for any of these questions then keep on reading!
We all love anime for their great artwork, fun characters and interesting storylines, but sometimes 20 minutes are simply not enough. What do you do in that case? You pick a movie, of course! If you haven’t spent much time in the world of anime movies yet, then it’s about time to do that. Japan excels at the art of animated movies and has produced more than just a few hits.
Today we have compiled a list of 5 top anime movies that we would recommend you to watch. So make yourself a bag of popcorn, grab a friend and enjoy today’s recommendations!
First up on our list is nothing less than the most successful film in Japanese history, Spirited Away.
That’s right, Spirited Away is not only one of the most popular Ghibli movies abroad, it also overtook Titanic in Japanese box offices to gross a total of ¥30.4 billion. Impressive, isn’t it? Spirited Away tells the heart-warming story of Chihiro Ogino who gets lots in a magical world that is unlike anything she has ever experienced. To save her parents from a curse she has to find her way around the spirit realm and escape from evil powers.
Spirited Away is a beautiful story that captures the feeling of being lost in life and trying to find your way back home. Even though it incorporates a lot of Japanese culture and mythology, its core ideas are international and can be understood by Japanese and foreigners, men and women, young and old. It is a must-watch movie unlike any other.
After a must-watch movie like Spirited Away we wanted to present to you a lesser known gem for all fans of unique stories.
Tekkon Kinkreet is set in an alternative universe similar to what you can find on the streets of modern Japan. Black and White are two orphan boys who grow up together, finding their way around on the streets of a dark and dangerous city. Their hard life takes another turn for the worse when they get caught up in the works of the Yakuza and have to fight for their right to be free.
Tekkon Kinkreet has unique artwork that is unlike anything you can find in the anime industry. It doesn’t look pretty, you might say, but that is exactly the point. Tekkon Kinkreet shows the dark and ugly side of modern urban life as well as the human soul. All fans of lesser known movies should check this one out!
5 Centimeters per Second
Do you want to watch a movie so beautiful that you could pause it at any moment and be presented with a beautiful scenery? Then watch 5 Centimeters per Second, another highly popular anime movie.
5 Centimeters per Second doesn’t tell you one story, but introduces you to the lives of several different people at once. Their stories are all unique while still having one thing in common: these characters are victims of the twists and turns of everyday life. While looking for love they get caught up in fate and have to find their own path in life.
The strength of this movie is not its storyline, but the atmosphere it creates. The producers have succeeded at creating emotions without much action or exposition and that alone is reason enough to watch 5 Centimeters per Second.
We are going back in time to a movie released in 2003 that deserves much more recognition abroad: Tokyo Godfathers.
On Christmas Eve, three people who couldn’t be more different from each other find an abandoned baby in the midst of thrown-out garbage. They set out to find the baby’s parents, but soon enough they are caught up in their own adventure. How will a runaway girl, a drag queen and a middle-aged alcoholic solve their problems?
Tokyo Godfathers is as entertaining as it is heart-warming. The storyline itself would already be entertaining enough to make this movie a success, however, you will get way more than that as a viewer. If you like to think about the unpredictability of life or want to enjoy a Japanese take on Christmas stories, then relax with Tokyo Godfathers.
Ghost in the Shell
Our list has already come to an end, but there is one more movie we just had to include as one of the most famous Japanese movies out there. We are talking about Ghost in the Shell.
This movie might have aired in 1995, but it’s still as relevant today as it was on the day of its release. This science fiction adventure is set in a not-so-distant future where the whole world is connected by electronic networks. Each human possesses a shell or robotic body that allows them to access the network and live a life free of the burdens of humanity. Be ready for a deep storyline that will make you think about the importance of life and free will.
The themes that Ghost in the Shell discusses are still trending today. How much of our humanity and identity get lost in an interconnected world? Ghost in the Shell is a must-watch even if you are not a fan of science fiction, so go watch it tonight if you haven’t already.
Narrowing down all anime movies that Japan has ever produced to just five choices is nearly impossible. The number of different stories that are all unique in their own way is simply too big. However, we hope that you could see how diverse anime movies can be and how there is a perfect movie for everyone. We can honestly say that the five movies we have presented above are all outstanding, so look them up if you need something to watch on a night in.
What is your favorite anime movie and what do you think of our choices? Let us know in the comment section below.