Nothing is better than best anime movies when it comes to entertainment. They offer much more than expected in a short time. Most otaku look for the best anime movies to make their leisure time worthwhile.
Not only do they have an exceptional plot but perfect pacing and twists. These Japanese movies have a different fandom! Sit back and relax as your friend has brought some worth-watching recommendations. Without wasting a second, let’s get to the list!
35. Only Yesterday
This movie is the best if you want to see something pleasant, simple, and light-hearted. The movie is full of lessons for the ones who seek. It has beautifully portrayed the importance of loved ones and the happiness it brings to be with them.
Only Yesterday introduces a 27-year-old Taeko living independently in Tokyo. After spending a big part of her life in Tokyo, she decides to spend quality time with her loved ones. On her way, she remembers her childhood and cherishes her sweetest memories.
After reaching her destination, she realizes the importance of family and friends. Only Yesterday highlights the differences between simple rural life and complex city life. In the end, all that matters is the purest form of love!
There is nothing complex in the story, and it’s for those who love to see a slice of life, drama, and romance anime movies!
This is the heartbreaking love story of a girl named Kurumi. After losing her boyfriend Hal, she loses the colors in her life. Bearing the loss wasn’t easy for her; she became dull and lonely with time. To help her come out of this loss, her dearest grandfather sends a humanoid robot to her.
The humanoid was named Hal and was similar to her boyfriend in appearance. After spending time with the robot, Kurumi starts returning to normal. She starts sharing everything with him slowly, which helps her overcome her despair.
The story seems simple, but there’s a lot more to it, which you will learn after watching it. It promises a ride full of emotions, and I bet you will shed many tears feeling the pain of Kurumi.
33. The Place Promised In Our Early Days
Hiroki and Takuya are the main characters who want to reach a tower with their favorite classmate Sayuri. They build a plane to fulfill their dream, and finally, the time comes when Sayuri joins them in their dream.
However, the situation worsened due to the Japanese conflict near the tower. To top it off, Sayuri goes into a coma out of the blue. Unfortunately, Hiroki and Takuya don’t know the reason behind her disappearance.
Three years go by, and the time comes when they learn the truth. Things become mysterious when Sayuri’s sickness is found linked to the tower. The story is full of mystery and a lot more, so don’t miss the chance to watch this one!
You never know what follows you around until you pay attention. The world is full of miracles, and one needs to observe. Arrietty is the beautiful story of a miniature girl with the same name. She lives with her family surviving by stealing utilities from humans.
They are so small that one can’t see them easily, which benefits them the most in hiding their identity. Everything was going safely until a boy named Shou saw her in their garden. Luckily, he keeps the sight to himself and gets intrigued about the mini girl.
The plot progresses, and we see Shou befriending Arriety. He gets to learn about their struggles and fears. Watching the bond between different kinds is simply amusing. This one is the best light-hearted and refreshing anime movie. Missing it won’t be a good idea.
31. From Up To Poppy Hill
The best demonstration of the saying “Old is Gold”! From Up To Poppy Hill is a beautiful story full of emotions and lessons. Umi Matsuzaki is a student who is a struggler. She is a responsible girl with multiple duties to perform.
Most of her time passes by looking for her others and working for the betterment of her school. Umi was looking for a different way to save her beloved clubhouse when she encountered Shun Kazama. He is an orphan who doesn’t have any clue regarding his origin.
Like a cliché, the duo grows closer to each other in the blink of an eye. The spark of love begins in Umi, and we see her losing her heart to Shun. They work together to learn about Shun’s whereabouts.
Their journey is full of surprises adding twists to the story. It may be a simple anime movie, but it is utterly entertaining and entangling.
30. Tales from The Earthsea
The combo of adventure and fantasy is outstanding, right? If you think alike, then you’re going to love this one. The movie is full of suspense right from the beginning, which will make you glued throughout. In this story, we follow Arren, the MC and heir to the kingdom of Enland.
His life isn’t smooth, and he is currently moving through ups and downs. The reason remains hidden initially, but eventually, it is unveiled. He escapes finding peace outside, where he encounters an archmage named Sparrowhawk.
The duo travels from one place to another, fighting through many hurdles and dangers. Things become troublesome when an evil wizard Lord Cob stands in their way. However, it is pleasing to see sparrowhawks friends ready to help him.
Later, we are introduced to the female lead Therru. The plot is full of twists and is not a simple story. There are huge plot twists revealed at the end, so watch keenly throughout! It’s safe to say that this is one of the best fantasy anime movies. Have a good watch!
29. Princess Mononoke
Unlike its name, this one is a through-and-through action anime movie with lots of thrilling action sequences. The story revolves around Prince Ashitaka, who vows to protect his tribe no matter what. He fights against a beast who is causing harm to his people.
The fight results in the beast cursing the prince, granting him demonic powers. Things get problematic for Ashitaka, and he sets out to find a solution and cure. When he arrives at the Iron town, he finds a conflict between the princess and the lady of Tatara.
The lady wants deforestation, while the others are against it. Ashitaka decides to sort out the conflict by finding different ways. Meanwhile, his curse was creating troubles for him to survive normally. There is fantasy, action, and adventure, which will always entertain you!
28. Whisper Of The Heart
There is drama, romance, and a slice of life. The story is refreshing and full of lessons. Shizuku Tsukishima is a young girl with an exceptional love for poetry and reading. Most of her time goes on reading books.
One day, she finds that her books are checked by a boy named Seiji. The pleasant feeling intrigues her about the boy, and she confronts him. The mystery leads the story when Shizuku enters a shop where she is led by a cat.
Luckily, there she meets Seji, and they become friends soon after. Knowing each other brings them closer. Shizuku realizes that the boy is filled with passion as he has a certain goal in life that he wants to accomplish. The thoughts pinch her to the point of self-realization.
Her friendship with Seiji proved to be fruitful for her as she started searching for her inner talents. Watching the girl find her skills are enticing and motivating. The movie makes sure to entertain the viewers with its captivating plot!
27. A Whisker Away
Miyo Sasaki’s life was full of frustration and troublesome family relationships. But for her, there was a way out, and it was her crush Kento. Unfortunately, the boy didn’t pay much attention to her. However, a river always finds a way to flow in the right direction. Miyo successfully gains his attention by interacting with him in the form of a cat.
Kento gets attached to the cat effortlessly and starts sharing his problem with her. Knowing his problems puts her in a tough spot. Neither could she help him nor could she reveal her identity. There is a lot of comedy, and drama with a touch of the supernatural, so there is no chance you’ll get bored.
26. My Neighbour Totoro
It’s one of the sweetest stories on the list, full of cute characters. The plot unfolds in the late 1950s and unveils the story of two sisters named Mei and Satsuki. The sisters move to the town along with their father.
One day, Mei finds a giant supernatural creature named Totoro. Soon the sisters befriend Totoro and welcome magic into their life. The girl’s chemistry with Totoro is worth loving, and it will constantly make you wish for a similar friend in life.
Deep down, we all want our imagination to come true, and this story simply demonstrates one’s imagination. This anime movie effortlessly makes the viewers nostalgic as it connects with them.
25. Kiki’s Delivery Service
Kiki is a young girl who is practicing witchcraft. It’s a tradition that the witch in training must live alone for a year to become a full-fledged witch. The time for Kiki came when she had to leave her loved ones to become a witch.
Her adventurous journey begins, and fate makes way for her to start her delivery service. Kiki’s journey of becoming an independent girl is exceptionally appealing. The road to success is never easy; we see it in the movie.
Kiki’s Delivery Service is animated by Studio Ghibli, so you can expect mesmerizing work. It beautifully portrays the emotions that one faces entering a new place. The way Kiki copes with them and grows positively is fantastic!
24. Castle In The Sky
This is another great fantasy and adventurous movie full of spellbinding events. In this movie, we follow a girl named Sheeta with a mysterious crystal amulet. The crystal amulet welcomes troubles to her door, and the government agents kidnap her for the said reason.
She constantly struggles to escape, but it isn’t easy as she is trapped in the airship. Luckily, she finds an opening when some pirates invade the ship. Sheeta finally frees herself and encounters a boy named Pazu on her way.
Pazu was finding ways to enter the flying castle, Laputa. The duo begin their journeys together and face multiple hurdles on their way. They learn that not just them but many others are finding ways to reach Laputa.
What lies in the castle, and why is everyone after the girl? I bet you won’t like me spilling the beans here, right? So, why not play it on your screens right now?
23. Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind
The plot unfolds in a war-ragged world where humans are still facing the consequences. Humanity struggles to survive the toxins and poisons in the jungle. With every setting sun, life gets harder and harder. Luckily, there exists a farming kingdom near the sea.
The kingdom is free from the toxins of the jungle, all thanks to the sea. However, the troubles start disturbing their peace when an airship from the Tolmekian kingdom crashes into theirs. Nausicaa is the kingdom’s princess who vows to maintain peace in her beloved kingdom.
Later, it is revealed that the Tolmekian military is planning something dangerous. Princess Nausicaa is burdened with the responsibility to stop the world’s destruction.
It’s an amazing story with decent pacing and plot. You can count this one in the list of best adventure fantasy movies!
22. Wolf Children
Hana is an ordinary college student whose life remains no more normal after meeting a mysterious man. As the story progresses, it is revealed that the ordinary human is not so ordinary but a werewolf. However, Hana never bothered this fact between their relationship, and she happily started a family with him.
Little did she know that life planned to make her life tougher. After some time, we see Ame and Yuki, the two kids of Hana who are just werewolves similar to their father. The plot becomes intriguing after the death of Hana’s partner. Sadly, she is left alone with the reasonability of her wolf children.
Raising children for a single parent is never easy, and it’s even tougher when the kids are not normal humans. Hana struggles to keep the identity of her kids hidden and fears the treatment of society towards them. It is a must-watch if you are looking for a slice-of-life anime movie!
21. In This Corner Of The World
The movie highlights the life of an average girl and the difficulties she faces with time. Suzu Urano is the main female lead who grows up spending time with her family and enjoying nature. After growing up, she gets married to a person she never knew before.
Adjusting to the new environment without her beloved family was the hardest part for her. The war began soon after and the peace was fading away within no time. Poor Suzu became more worried, thinking about her family and how she could help them survive!
The movie is simply a slice of life with drama that depicts the harsh realities of society. This is the best anime movie for all seinen lovers.
20. Weathering With You
It’s a beautiful romance fantasy story. The plot revolves around Hadoka Morishima, a part-timer who struggles to make ends meet. It’s becoming hard for people to carry out their daily routines because of continuous rain.
On the other hand, the female lead, Hina, also works hard to support her loved ones financially. One day, an incident allows Hina to meet Hadoka. After knowing her, the boy learns that the girl isn’t ordinary. She has the power to call sunshine whenever she prays.
Hadoka suggested her to help the people in need and solve the problems caused by the harsh weather. Because of the animation, setting, and enticing plot, this anime movie will refresh you!
19. The Wind Rises
Jirou Horikoshi is the protagonist who dreams of being a pilot. Unfortunately, his weak eyesight refrains him from fulfilling his dream. His love and passion force him to pursue aeronautical engineering. He idolizes the Italian aircraft pioneer Giovanni, motivating him to be the best.
Things don’t remain smooth because of natural and man-made disasters. On top of it, World War II disturbed people’s lives and took the peace away.
Jirou builds a fighter plane and spends his time testing it. The movie focuses on the harsh realities of life and how Jirou’s creations impact others.
With time, Jirou’s head gets crowded with questions regarding his dreams! Those who admire historical dramas should not wait to watch the movie.
18. The Garden Of Words
The anime movies highlight slices of life, drama, and romance pleasantly. Takao is a shoemaker who spends time sketching in a garden. There he meets a girl named Yukari, who appears mysterious at first glance.
The boy offers to make shoes for her. Due to this very reason, the duo starts meeting each other very often. With time, they become close to each other and start sharing their inner struggles. Their relationship becomes stronger, but fate tests their relationship with each passing weather.
It’s a simple yet entertaining story full of emotions! The animation quality is good but not up to the mark; however, you’ll enjoy the pacing and the plot.
17. In The Forest Of Fireflies Light
Hotaru Takegawa is a cute six-year-old girl who goes to spend her summers with her grandparents. There she finds herself lost in a jungle rumored to be inhabited by spirits. Luckily, the helpless girl finds a masked man named Gin, who comes to her help.
Gin has been cursed, and he shouldn’t let any human touch him. Otherwise, he’ll fade away. Despite knowing the reasons, Hotaru couldn’t stop herself from getting close to Gin. Time passed, and their bond developed stronger than ever.
The duo started liking each other’s company. Their love for each other gave them the strength to fight all the odds. I hope you’ll like the sweetest bonds between Gin and Hotaru.
The movie’s genres include action and sci-fi. A sudden rain of gigantic gravity-defying bubbles created disturbances in Japan. An explosion doubled the problems, and the capital was later declared a prohibited area.
Many lost their loved ones because of the bubble phenomenon. The story progresses following the life of Hibiki, a talented ace. He skillfully jumps across the bubbles and has forever been attracted to the Tokyo tower. He claims to hear some mysterious voices from the said tower.
His curiosity forces him to unveil the tower’s mysteries, where he meets a mysterious girl named Uta. The movie is full of suspense and spellbinding events. I’m sure you will find yourself glued to the movie throughout.
15. The Girl Who Leapt through Time
What would you do if you got the power to go back in time? Simply change it to your liking, right? Makoro Konno is nothing different. She was an ordinary high school student until she found a thing that changed her life. The object was like a time machine.
The first thing she did was change her result by scoring well. She started exploring the machine and took it lightly. She used to jump back in time for the smallest things without realizing that everything has a consequence.
It’s an overall good anime movie to watch that has several lessons. Watching Makoto deal with different problems and realize harsh realities is soothing. This is a must-watch movie for all who want to see something unique.
14. The Children Who Chase The Lost Voices
The story is full of thrill and suspense throughout. It centers on Asuna Watase, a student and the lead of the movie. She is a responsible girl who looks after her house without her mother. She had a hobby of tuning in the radio while sitting in the mountains.
One day on her way, a monster stood against her. Before he could attack her, a mysterious boy named Shun saved the girl using his crystal. The incident resulted in their friendship. Both promised to meet each other, but Shun didn’t come back.
Later it was revealed that Shun died. However, Asuna met a boy similar to Shun. Unfortunately, revealing more would spoil your suspense, so let’s end it here. If curiosity is not your thing, then get to your screens and play this one to see how things end for Asuna.
13. The Ocean Waves
This story revolves around three friends, Taku, Matsuno, and Rikako. The story begins when one day, Matsuno introduces Taku to her new friend Rikako. Taku found himself interested in Rikako soon after their introduction.
This, in turn, created problems in his and Matsuno’s friendship. On the other hand, it was also hard for Rikako to deal with the problems as she had no other friends except Matsuno. The Ocean Waves is a beautiful story of friends that highlights how they cope with different issues.
The animation quality may not be up to your taste, as it was released in 1993. However, the plot and characters are likable!
12. Violet Evergarden
This is one of the saddest movies I have seen so far. So hold your hearts firmly before watching this one! The movie is set in the post-war era when humanity started flourishing again. Violet Evergarden was a girl who was simple enough not to know the meaning of words.
She was always treated as a tool for people’s benefit. However, she met a man that changed her life for good. He made her life entangled between the three words he said to her “I LOVE YOU.”
Watching her working as an Auto Memory Doll and getting exposure to people’s emotions is amusing. The otaku community loved the anime for its fantastic plot and lovable characters.
11. Spirited Away
I bet many of you would feel nostalgic watching this one. This is the best anime movie that will give you goosebumps right from the start. Chihiro is a 10-year-old girl who goes to an amusement park with her parents.
The place turned out to be haunted. Above all, her parents were transformed into pigs. Left alone in the dark, a boy named Haku helps her. He tells her that only those who work for twitch Yubaba can live safely in this place.
Chihiro starts working there and learns the harsh realities of life. Meanwhile, she was finding ways to bring her parents back to normal, but it wasn’t that easy. The movie was released in 2001, but still, it manages to spark the same emotions.
10. Howl’s Moving Castle
It’s an enticing romance anime movie full of adventure, fantasy, and action. Sophie was an ordinary girl who was happily working in her hat shop. Her life flips upside down when the handsome wizard Howl saves her from trouble.
Things turned interesting when a witch turned Sophie into an older woman by giving her a curse. To hide from her peers and family, the old Sophie escapes. In the hopes of returning to normal, she stays at the Howl’s Castle by keeping her identity hidden.
Sophie begins her adventures with Howl facing different dangers. During her stay, both become close to each other, which helps Sophie regain her appearance. It’s a perfect fairytale and the best option for those fond of love stories with magical fantasies!
9. Her Blue Sky
Time travel, drama, romance, and suspense are the best combination, right? Her Blue Sky revolves around two sisters, Aoi and Akane. Their life has never been easy after the death of their parents. Aoi decides to relieve her Akane by moving to Tokyo.
Since Akane was the older one, she had to look after Aoi. Akane had a boyfriend named Shinno, who became a professional guitarist and left for Tokyo. Like him, Aoi wants to make her name in the music industry.
The twist begins when she gets stunned to find the 18-year-old Shinno in her guest house. To top it all off, the present Shinno, who is nearly 31 years old, is also back from Tokyo. The plot becomes intriguing following the two different versions of the same boy!
8. I Want To Eat Your Pancreas
Don’t judge by its name, and don’t plan to watch it but just do it to experience a new world of emotions. The plot revolves around a bubbly and cheerful girl Sakura, and a bookworm Shiga. One day, Shiga finds a secret diary of a person who is fated to die soon because of an illness.
He soon finds that the diary owner is none other than her classmate Sakura. Previously it was only known by her family, but now Shiga knows her secret too. They both eventually start spending time with each other. Spending time with Sakura changes Shiga thoroughly; he learns the true meaning of life.
They get closer, but unfortunately, fate doesn’t want them to stay close. However, whether Sakura dies or not will be found by you. I won’t dare to spoil your suspense. I hope I have instilled enough curiosity in you, so just sit back and begin watching!
7. A Silent Voice
The story revolves around a Shouya Ishida who loves fun in different forms, even if it requires bullying others. Nishimiya is a deaf girl whose life gets troublesome after joining his class. The boy and his mates start bullying her, making fun of her.
The horrible events force Shouko to transfer to another school. Her moving out of school affected the boy deeply. He stopped getting the same treatment from teachers and friends he used to get. Soon regret hit him hard, and he realized his mistake.
In the third year of high school, he decides to amend his mistakes. Therefore, Shouya goes to follow Shouko. A Silent Voice takes the crown of one of the best anime movies you will ever get to see.
6. Your Lie In April
Kousei Arima is the protagonist whose life changes after his mother’s death. Before the tragic incident, he was quite successful in his music career. However, after his mother’s death, he suffered a trauma resulting in losing the ability to play the piano again.
He lived as an ordinary high school student until he met a lively pianist Kaori. The girl changes his life again by bringing him back to normal with her presence. The duo gets closer as it is natural.
Life is never easy, it is undecided and cruel, and Your Lie In April brings that to light in a new way. When Kousei began his music journey again, he found that Kaori suffered from a fatal illness. However, it is a perfect story full of drama and emotions!
5. Grave Of The Fireflies
This anime movie highlights the brutal realities of life. It was unveiled in the post-war era of 1945. World War II has left many shelterless and hopeless. Among them are two siblings, Seita and Setsuko. They have lost their family and are now wandering shelterless.
Their life started becoming tougher and tougher; they had to face starvation and much more. Having no food by their side and neither medicine makes them miserable. This is a brilliant story that highlights the perspective of children toward life.
It is a deep and meaningful one with a lot to leave on your mind and heart. However, it’s not for the faint-hearted people, because this will surely make your eyes wet!
4. 5 Centimeters Per Second
Staying away from your loved ones is the toughest part of life. 5 Centimeters Apart highlights the pain of distancing oneself from their lover. Takaki and Akari are the protagonists and childhood buddies. They were very good friends and loved spending time with each other.
Unfortunately, fate had different plans for them. They were forced to distance themselves due to the given circumstances. However, the duo promised to stay in contact. Seeing the two close buddies missing each other and still unable to do something is heart-wrenching.
This one is a decent romantic drama for all the shoujo lovers! A perfect-paced movie with a pleasant plot and soothing flow is hard to come by, yet we have this one.
The movie showcases the time of World War III and the destruction caused in Tokyo. After decades, we see Tokyo moved on from the damages and now rebuilt as Neo Tokyo. In this era, peace is being compromised by the existence of gang violence and terrorism.
The plot follows Shotaro Kaneda, who leads his gang of misfits called “Capsules”. The story progresses when his friend Tetsuo gets injured, followed by mysterious events. A series of twists and turns begin, and we see Tetsuo beholding the powerful psychic ability.
Many consider this power a threat, and therefore it creates problems in the ways of heroes. Akira is considered an iconic anime movie and a must-watch for everyone!
2. Your Name
How many of you wished to be the opposite gender? I bet some girls must have dreamt of living the life of a boy! Mitsuha is one such girl who has always dreamt of being a boy. Miraculously, her dream comes true when she opens her eyes to the body of a boy named Taki Tachibana.
It turns out that the protagonists switched bodies with each other. Expectedly, Taki finds himself in the body of Mitsuha. Taki used to live in Tokyo and was a busy high schooler, and Mitsuha couldn’t have dreamt of a better life.
The duo becomes curious about each other and finds ways to connect. It’s a sweet, simple yet miraculous story that will entertain you through and through! So, are you still contemplating?
Suggested: Your Name Is Getting A Hollywood Remake
1. Marry And The Witch’s Flower
There is magic, fantasy, adventure, and a lot more. Marry Smith is a clumsy girl who hardly does anything right. Despite her best efforts, she is a magnet for problems and hates them. She goes to spend her summer in her aunt’s house, where she finds mysterious cats.
The curiosity leads her to the jungle, and she touches the magic flowers. The flowers give her magical powers. She finds a broomstick and lands in the magical academy that trains the witches. At first, she amazes the tutors by showcasing her magical abilities hiding the fact that it’s the dog of the magical flower.
When the truth unfolds, the evil witch plans to steal the flowers from Marry by hook or by crook. This leads her into troubles that she has to overcome by herself. It’s a wonderful story full of fantastical elements and adventure.
I Want To Eat Your Pancreas, Your Lie In April, and 5 Centimeters Per Second are one of the best romance anime movies to binge-watch.
Howl’s Moving Castle, Marry, The Witch’s Flowers, and Kiki’s Delivery Service are one of the most entertaining magic anime movies.
So dearest readers, let’s end our discussion regarding the best anime movies to watch. I hope you enjoyed reading the recommendations as much as I would love to share them with you. The list is full of movies based on different genres.
Therefore, you’ll have a lot of variety in choosing your favorite ones to binge-watch. Please update me about your watching experiences in the comments below. I’ll be back with another pack of popular recommendations soon!