15 Best Anime Movies For Non Anime Fans

Imagine you move out and end up involving yourself in a non-anime circle. Of course, you want your friend to appreciate the things you love. However, you can’t just ask them to see tens or even thousands of episodes of the anime series you like. So, what can you do in that situation? Simple, just pick out one best anime movies for non anime fans can enjoy.

The prerequisite is simple. Don’t pick a movie that has a relation with a franchise; otherwise, they will feel left out because they don’t know the background of it. Below, I have already gathered standalone anime movies for non-anime fans. Just for the record, the score ranking is based on my opinion.

Enough chitchat and let’s move on to the list. Then, after reading it, you can invite your friend into the beautiful world of anime!

Best 15 Anime Movies To Watch For Non-Anime Fans


  • Two Ghibli studio movies won an Oscar award; Spirited Away and The Boy and The Heron.
  • Your Name by Makoto Shinkai became the highest-grossing anime film of all time worldwide, overtaking Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.
  • Grave of the Fireflies is dubbed as one of the greatest war films of all time.

15. Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue - best anime movies for non anime fans
Perfect Blue

The first one on the list is Perfect Blue. The movie tells about the state of the Japanese Entertainment industry. It is about an idol, Mima Kirigoe, who decides to leave her idol group. However, her retirement doesn’t go as planned because she has a stalker that can’t accept that. The situation goes downhill when her personal life is posted on the internet.

This movie brings the psychological thriller genre to the next level. Actually, this movie almost has the same premise as Oshi no Ko. However, the vibe is very different because it leans toward real tragedy. That’s why this anime has become one of the best anime movies for non anime fans.

14. I Want To Eat Your Pancreas

I Want To Eat Your Pancreas
I Want To Eat Your Pancreas

Sometimes, some directors aren’t shy about creating heartbreaking movies that can make the audience bawl their eyes out. Shinichiro Ushijima did exactly that in his work “I Want To Eat Your Pancreas”. The movie tells about how hard it is to love someone who has a terminal illness and limited time left.

The dynamic relationship between Haruki as someone detached from the world and Sakura as someone attached to the world is simply novel. At the end of the day, they both can change the way they see life in general, unfortunately, at the cost of someone’s life.

13. Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke - best anime for people who don't like anime
Princess Mononoke

Ah, the first Studio Ghibli on this list! Beware that you will find more below. When we’re talking about non-anime fans’ anime movie recommendations, this studio almost comes out on top. The lowest Ghibli film in this list is Princess Mononoke. It is no secret that Studio Ghibli produces the best anime for people who don’t like anime.

The movie tells about the possible harmony created by technology and nature. However, before that harmony is achieved, both sides have to go through hell to come out on top. Fortunately, the young prince Ahitaka sees the good on both sides and attempts to seek harmony between the two of them. Though the movie was released in 1997, the environmental problem is still relevant with the cases happening around the world today.

12. Akira


Akira is a timeless movie that you should at least watch once in your life. Sure, the animation is left to be desired because the movie was made in 1988. The movie was so popular back then that everyone said that this movie became the turning point in Japanese animation quality. That’s why this anime has become one of the best anime movies for non anime fans.

In a nutshell, the movie is about Spiderman without Uncle Ben. Tetsuo, a low-ranking gang member, gets psychic power after encountering an accident. Spending his life as a loser, he becomes greedy with his new founding power. He uses his power willy-nilly and causes many disasters. In the end, control is necessary to use the power. However, being too conceited, the power swallows Tetsuo whole.

11. My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro - best anime movies for non anime fans
My Neighbor Totoro

Like the previous movie, this Studio Ghibli movie also brings the theme of nature preservation. It is about Tatsuo Kusakabe and his two daughters, Satsuki and Mei, moving into the countryside to be closer to their mother who suffered from a long-term illness. There, they meet a bunch of forest spirits and befriend them. These mystical creatures open the door to fantastical adventure for both sisters.

This movie is so wholesome that you may find it comforting. Rest assured, no scene in this movie will leave you with heartbreaking moments. On the contrary, when the credit rolls, you will feel a surge of heartwarming feelings in your heart. Thus, making this anime movie perfect for non-anime fans.

10. Wolf Children

Wolf Children
Wolf Children

Wolf Children feels a lot like Twilight Saga with Bella taking the wolf route. However, in this story, Bella/ Hana becomes a single mom after giving birth to two wolf children. Rather than romance, this movie brings the message about parenting.

The movie is about Hana who moves to the countryside with her two children after the death of his werewolf husband. There, we can see the struggle of a single mom working to have a self-sustaining life while hiding the true identity of her children. From this movie, we can learn that being parents isn’t just about taking care of their children. They also have responsibilities to support their children’s choices whatever they are.

9. Weathering With You

Weathering With You - best anime movies for non anime fans
Weathering With You

Makoto Shinkai really did a 180-degree turn writing this movie. He deliberately sinks the concept of self-sacrifice in exchange for winning romance. Yeah, you heard it right, he goes as far as sinking half of Tokyo so that the two protagonists can be together at the end of the movie.

It tells about Hodaka, a runaway high school student who comes to Tokyo for a self-sustaining life. There, he meets Hina who has the same struggle as him. It turns out that the girl he just met is no ordinary person. She can change the weather at will.

Together, they make a small business to change the weather for anyone who wishes for it. Unknown to him, her ability comes with a hefty price.

8. Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell is set in the cyberpunk era where cyborgs run rampant on the street. Setting-wise, it almost is the same as Akira. However, instead of drowning in power, this movie emphasizes resolving the identity crisis within oneself.

Our protagonist, Motoko, is a fully synthetic robot apart from his data from her previous human life. At times, she often contemplates what exactly she is. Sure, everyone around her still views her as a human but she can’t just accept the term. Eventually, whether she likes it or not, she has to find her true identity. This anime movie is great for non-anime fans who still struggle to find their calling.

7. Suzume

Suzume - best anime for people who don't like anime

Have you ever heard a story about a princess giving a kiss to a frog? So that the curse from the evil witch can be revoked and the frog comes back into a prince charming. Well, it has the same storyline but Suzume has to kiss a chair to transform Souta into a human again.

Just like other Makoto Shinkai’s movie trilogy, Suzume brings back the disaster happening in Japan. Only this time, he doesn’t ignore self-sacrifice like before. In summary, the story is about Suzume, an ordinary girl, who helps Souta close the door that vomits disaster to the world. For the complete story about how Souta becomes the chair, you can watch the anime movie with your non-anime fans.

6. In This Corner of the World

in this corner of the world
In This Corner of the World

This movie gives a sense of what’s happening around life before, during, and after the war. It also depicts how war can change a person for better or worse. Though this movie isn’t as gruesome as the next-in-the-list anti-war film, the movie still beautifully reflects the emotional spur between families during the war.

Suzu Urano is a pure and kindhearted girl who loves to draw. When she came of age, her parents arranged a marriage for her. Fortunately, his husband is also a kind and dependable man. As she integrates into her husband’s household, the feeling of homesickness crawls inside her heart as the war already extends within her reach. How will she support her family through this predicament?

5. Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies - best anime movies for non anime fans
Grave of the Fireflies

Only one word can describe this movie, heartbreaking. Dubbed the greatest anti-war animation, Grave of the Fireflies successfully makes the stomach churn by showing the effect of the war on civilians. Even more so, the protagonists are war orphans having nothing but each other.

The story is about Seita and Setsuko who have no choice but to drift across the countryside. Seeking salvation from poverty, they hope that some adults can spare them support, yet none comes. Instead, they are ravaged by disease and starvation.

In the end, both of them have to bear the consequences of the war with their life. This is one of the most heartbreaking anime movies that you can recommend to non-anime fans.

4. Your Name

Your Name
Your Name

The most beautiful movie anime of all time. Remember that feeling when you first saw the meteor splitting on the wide screen of a cinema? Well, nothing can beat that atmosphere. Moreover, the music embedded in the film is outstanding. No wonder many non-anime fans flocked together to watch this anime movie.

The plot itself is a bit simple. Two souls, Mitsuha and Taki, swap bodies repeatedly until they both harbor a feeling for each other. The catch is, that they aren’t only from different places, but also from different timelines.

The Mitsuha he knows is actually a victim of a meteor strike from three years ago. Now, it is time for Taki to find a way to change her fate!

3. The Boy and The Heron

 The Boy and The Heron - best anime for people who don't like anime
The Boy and The Heron

The Boy and The Heron cemented the second Hayao Miyazaki’s legacy that earned an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. Surprisingly, this anime movie triumphs over other popular candidates such as Elemental and Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse. This proves that hand-drawn animation can win over the hype of 3D animation.

Let’s be real, the movie didn’t win only because of the beautiful animation but for various other reasons. It also has an intrinsic story that is rarely found in the animation industry nowadays.

It tells about the adventure of Mahito and a talking heron searching for his long-lost mother in the mysterious tower. It turns out entering the tower isn’t the best idea. Inside of it, the concept of life and death intertwined making it hard to differentiate what’s happening.

2. A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice

In a nutshell, this movie tells a story about repentance. How to face someone you bullied in the past? What do you feel after being exiled for bullying? How to overcome your dark past? Well, the movie will answer this depressing thought. Spiced with romance, this movie anime is great for non-anime fans.

As a naughty kid, Shouta sought fun in the worst way possible. When the deaf Shouko transfers into his class, he and his friends relentlessly bully her. However, when the cruelty reaches its peak, the school starts taking action and everyone in the class blames Shouta for bullying. Now, his life will never be the same. There is only one thing for him to do. Set a journey of redemption; meet Shuouko once again, and make amends.

1. Spirited Away

Spirited Away
Spirited Away

Well, after a long list, we already come from the creme de la creme of anime movies. There is no doubt Spirited Away from Ghibli Studio could come out at the top. This classic movie is the first movie that gave Japanese animation the world’s attention after it won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2003.

The story follows a young girl, Chihiro, who stumbles into the world of spirits. She ends up coerced into working in the bathhouse in an attempt to rescue her parents from being turned into pigs. Moreover, her name is sealed by Yubaba, the witch and owner of the bathhouse. Without her full name, her chance of quitting the spirit world is close to zero. 

So, what can she do? Well, let’s embark together on Chihiro’s journey of escaping the mystical world of spirit!

Final Notes

Finally, those are the best anime movies for non-anime fans. So, how was it? Which one do you think is the best movie to introduce the world of anime to them? Unfortunately, you can’t watch them in the cinema anymore unless there are events or something. But, hey, most of them are available on several streaming platforms.

Do you want more of an anime list like this? Just stay tuned to Anime Fleek for more future anime updates!

What movies should a non-anime fan watch?

The recommendation is preferably a standalone movie. The non-anime fans won’t find it hard to catch the background behind the story.

Where a non-anime fan can watch an anime movie?

Most of the movies are already available on several streaming platforms such as Crunchyroll and Netflix.

How many Ghibli Studio movies get the Oscar?

Two movies from Ghibli Studio have already won Oscars; Spirited Away and The Boy and The Heron.

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