20 Amazing Anime Movies To Watch

anime movies to watch

So now you’re looking for some of the best anime movies to watch right now and don’t know where to start. Don’t worry, in this article, there are plenty of movies that you can put on your anime movies list.

Whether you’re an anime fan or completely new to it, you have to know what anime actually is. Anime is hand-drawn and computer-generated animation that originates from Japan.

The popularity of anime continues to increase, as it is now one of the top genres people like you and others are looking to watch.

You can watch famous anime series and anime movies on streaming platforms like Crunchyroll, Animelab, Funimation, and even Netflix. For example, here is an article about anime movies on Netflix you can watch.

Meanwhile, everyone has a different opinion about anime and of course, everyone likes certain types of genres better or worse. Some anime fans prefer new animation, some prefer an emotional storyline, while others like to get invested in the main character.

Be open-minded when choosing the right anime movie for you to watch. For example, the animation style and quality can vary a lot because there are movies from 1986 on here and also from 2022!

Here is the list of 20 amazing anime movies you need to watch

1. A Silent Voice (2016)


A Silent Voice is an anime movie adaption of the manga series that ran from 2013 to 2014. The production is done by Kyoto Animation and this particular movie takes you on an emotional rollercoaster.

This Japanese anime movie shows touching matters like mental health, bullying, disabilities, love, and much more!

Storyline: A Silent Voice has two main characters: Shoko Nishimiya and Shoya Ishida. So, Shoko is a deaf girl and Shoya is a boy who bullied her in elementary school because of her disability.

The story proceeds to follow the bully Shoya, who reconsiders his actions of the past and wants to redeem himself by befriending Shoko.

The truth is that Shoya himself also struggles with some issues, and this sad but amazing storyline shows you these very common emotional themes.

Genre: Drama

Director: Naoko Yamada

Age Rating: 14+

2. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)


My Neighbor Totoro is one of the classics, as it ranks as one of the best anime movies of all time even being it from 1986! This is one of the most famous works of Studio Ghibli, a popular global animation studio. Secondly, My Neighbor Totoro is suitable for children and adults to watch.

Storyline: My Neighbor Totoro takes place in 1950 in the village of Tokorozawa and the story is about two sisters Satsuki and Mei. Their father is a professor and their mother stays in a hospital close to the village.

There is a forest where Satsuki and Mei just play around and they find this mystic creature there.

The sisters stumble upon a forest spirit named “Totoro” and they go on adventures together.

My Neighbor Totoro is one of the best films by Studio Ghibli, so make sure to check this one out!

Genre: Fantasy

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Age Rating: 8+

3. Spirited Away (2001)


Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki is known for being the best anime movie of all time! This cinematic masterpiece is also the highest-grossing anime movie ever worldwide, since 2001.

Storyline: Spirited Away follows the story of the 10-year-old Chihiro who lives in the spirit world of Kami with her parents. However, the parents of Chihiro got turned into pigs due to a curse of a witch.

So now Chihiro has to work in the bathhouse of the witch Yubaba to receive her help to turn her parents back to normal and to free herself from this spirit world.

The overall storyline is beautiful and it is filled with many funny moments too.

You meet numerous exciting characters such as the old twin sister witches Yubaba and Zeniba. There are also these unique-looking mystic creatures as well as other cool side characters.

Keep in mind that this movie to this day ranks #1 as the best anime movie of all time and also won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, even winning an Oscar!

Genre: Fantasy and Drama

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Age Rating: 13+

4. Princess Mononoke (1997)


Princess Mononoke is another masterpiece of director Hayao Miyazaki. The infamous director stated that it took him almost two decades to fully complete the overall story and create it into an anime movie. This is another amazing piece of work by Hayao Miyazaki that includes a fantastic female main character.

Storyline: Princess Mononoke is a historic fantasy anime film that takes place in the Muromachi Period in Japan. There are two main characters, Ashitaka and San.

Ashitaka is a young prince of a tribe and San is a warrior princess who got raised by wolves in the forest where she lives.

Humans, nature, and gods always coexisted but humans now want to destroy the forest and its resources. So this matter is when Ashitaka meets San on his quest.

They together will do everything they can to protect the forest and the gods while seeking a way for both sides to coexist as it once was.

Genre: Fantasy

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Age Rating: 13+

5. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train (2020)

Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train broke records in 2020, as it became the highest-grossing anime film ever in Japan! This anime film is a direct sequel to the first season of the series, so all the events are canon and also take place in the series.

Demon Slayer is an example of an anime movie to watch with friends, try it and find out yourself.

Storyline: The storyline of Demon Slayer starts with Tanjiro Kamado, the main character. His family got brutally murdered by a demon and even his sister Nezuko (chan) got turned into one as well.

So now Tanjiro decides to become a demon slayer and punish those beings that made his childhood a living hell.

The next adventure of Tanjiro takes place on a mission while aboard the Mugen Train. His mission is to defeat the powerful demons that are on the Mugen Train and save the onboard passengers.

However, Tanjiro cannot do this by himself as he alone isn’t strong enough to defeat all these powerful demons and the Twelve Kizuki ( an organization of the 12 strongest beings amongst demon-kind).

So therefore he is joined by his sister Nezuko, and his friends Inosuke, Zenitsu, and Kyojuro Rengoku, the Flame Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps.

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Action, Adventure, and Drama

Director: Haruo Sotozaki

Age Rating: 13+

6. Akira (1988)


Akira is an anime movie from the 1980s that is based on the 3 volumes published of the manga back in 1988, as the Akira manga series was not completed by the time of the movie’s release.

What makes Akira one of the top anime movies is that it set the tone differently for the cyberpunk genre. The cyberpunk genre always was a genre that was said to be only for kids but Akira changed that.

For example, Akira focused mainly on the adult audience without any censoring during the scenes in the film and it became a major success.

Storyline: Akira takes place in the dystopian city of Neo Tokyo in 2019, the city is destroyed because of the outburst of WW2.

The story is about Shotaro Kaneda, the leader of a teenage biker gang called Bosozoku, and his dear friend Tetsuo Shima.

This story becomes more interesting after the motorcycle accident of Tetsuo Shinma, who gains who both gain psychic powers after this moment.

But what happens now? Well, Tetsuo now turns against his friend Shotaro and he becomes the villain of Akira.

Genre: Science Fiction and Cyberpunk

Director: Katsuhiro Otomo

Age Rating: 17+

7. Your Name (2016)


Your Name is one of the romantic anime movies to watch, this popular film consists of romance, amazing animation, and incredibly touching soundtracks. This is one of the anime movies to watch with your girlfriend, you can enjoy this award-winning film together!

Storyline: Your Name has two main characters: Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu.

Taki Tachibana is a boy who lives in the metropolitan of Tokyo and Mitsuha Miyamizu is a girl who lives in a countryside town. Your Name takes place in real-life places like Tokyo and Takayama

Mitsuha wishes to be a boy who lives in Tokyo in her next life. All of a sudden her wish comes true as the bodies of Taki and Mitsuha switch with each other, and this happens intermittently during the story.

So now they both learn more about each other in a way you can never imagine…

Genre: Fantasy and Romance

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Age Rating: 14+

8. Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie (2021)


 Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie is one of the new anime movies and it is the first ever movie of the Jujutsu Kaisen series. Above all, the Jujutsu Kaisen: 0 movie broke records as one of the highest-grossing films of all time in Japan. So you can say without a doubt that the franchise did an amazing job!

On the contrary, the plot of this movie does not revolve around the main character of the Jujutsu Kaisesn series Yuji Itadori, but around Yuta Okkotsu.

Storyline: The storyline of Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie revolves around Yuta Okkutsu, a young kid who possesses the strongest Cursed Spirit. He goes to Jujutsu Kaisen in to become a sorcerer and have better control of his unique powers.

His cursed spirit is his childhood friend/crush Rika, but Yuta is unable still to fully control her powers. There are also amazing fight scenes and backstories of popular Jujutsu Kaisen characters like Gojo and Geto.

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Director: Sunghoo Park

Age Rating: 8+

9. Weathering with You (2019)

Weathering with You is one of the new anime movies that received a lot of views during its release in 2019. This is one of the best anime movies to watch in 2022 because it consists of many themes, has beautiful animation and soundtracks, and has an overall enjoyable story.

Storyline: The story is about the high school boy Hodaka Morishima who runs away from home to his rural home in Tokyo. He then meets a young orphan girl named Amano Hina who lives by herself in Tokyo and becomes friends with her.

Hina has the ability to control the weather. So for example, the weather can change from rain to sunshine because of her supernatural power.

Both Hodaka and Hina now try to use this ability for the better and to impact people’s lives for the better.

Genre: Fantasy and Romance

Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Age Rating: 13+

10. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)


The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a fantastic romance anime movie from 2006 that you must add to your anime movies list.

What’s more to like about this fantasy romance film is that it is about time travel, a trending anime plotline. So even is it so that the movie is from 2006, they took a trending theme and developed it into a great anime movie.

Storyline: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time has three main characters: Kousuke Tsuda, Makoto Konno, and Chiaki Mamiya. All three of the characters are high schoolers and they just live a normal life, until something special happens.

Makoto Konno suddenly gains the ability to travel through time and can transport herself back in time.

So now Makoto can experience her day over and over again, but she doesn’t know the aftereffects it has on others because of her time-traveling…

Genre: Fantasy and Romance

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Age Rating: 13+

11. Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2018)

Dragon Ball remains one of the most popular anime franchises worldwide to ever exist. So when the franchise announces something new with Goku involved, then everyone gets excited.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly gained a lot of hype by the time of its release because of the return of Broly in the Dragon Ball series after 25 years! This Dragon Ball character finally becomes canon and the movie is written by Dragon Ball series creator Akira Toriyama.

Storyline: The earth is at peace after the events of the Tournament of Power but Goku and Vegeta continue to train with Beerus and Whis. The powerful Saiyans want to become stronger because they now know that there are so many strong fighters in the universe.

When Frieza shows up with the mighty Saiyan warrior Broly is when things take a different turn and Goku and Vegeta face their strongest opponent yet.

You get to see amazing fight scenes between these three Saiyans, with Goku and Vegeta in the Super Saiyan Blue forms. And also something amazing but unexpected near the end of their fight…

Genre: Action and Adventure

Director: Tadayoshi Yamamuro

Age Rating: 10+

12. Ghost in the Shell (1995)


Ghost in the Shell is an award-winning cyber-tech anime film from 1995 that’s based on the manga written by Masamune Shiro. This is one of the anime movies that is an absolute must to watch, especially if you love science fiction. There is a lot of action and (gun) violence involved so be prepared for that.

Storyline: It is the year 2029 and Japan has developed its highest level of science and technology.

The story follows Motoko Kusanagi, a female cybernetic government agent who works for the Internal Bureau of Investigation. She works for Public Security Section 9 to prevent crimes and protect Japan.

Motoko and her fellow agents work together to hunt down ” The Puppet Master”. This is a mysterious and threatening hacker that is capable of infiltrating human hosts and creating cyborgs. So now Motoko Kusanagi and her team have to prevent the “Puppet Master” from using his terrifying skills as a hacker.

Genre: Cyberpunk and Science Fiction

Director: Mamoru Oshii 

Age Rating: 16+

13. Wolf Children (2012)

Wolf Children has a very beautiful story to it because the director Mamoru Hosoda was responsible for founding the animation studio Chizu that produced Wolf Children!

Storyline: Wolf Children is about a young woman Hana who goes to a university in Tokyo and then meets a man who can transform into a wolf. They then fall in love with each other and later have two kids who are now half-human and half-wolf. Their kids also can turn from humans into wolfs.

All of a sudden the man of Hana passes away and she must now raise their half-wolf, half-human kids on her own. The kids grow up but they struggle to find their real identity of either living as a human or as a wolf.

Genre: Fantasy and Drama

Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Age Rating: 12+

14. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)


Howl’s Moving Castle is another masterpiece of Hayao Miyazaki produced by the famous Studio Ghibli. This is an anime movie available on Netflix, check the complete list here!

Storyline: Howl’s Moving Castle is about the young woman Sophie and the wizard Howl. Sophie one day gets transformed into a ninety-year-old woman by the curse of an evil witch.

The adventure begins when she meets Howl, a young wizard who lives in a moving castle. They together try to find a way to break the spell and turn Sophie back to normal.

Genre: Fantasy

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Age Rating: 12+

15. Paprika (1997)


Perfect Blue is one of the amazing Japanese films directed by Satoshi Kon, the director of popular anime movies like Paprika and Tokyo Godfathers. Please be aware when watching Perfect Blue that it contains a wide variety of violence and brutal death scenes. Nonetheless, a very popular thriller anime film that deserves your attention.

Storyline: Perfect Blue tells the story of Mima Kirigoe, a retired pop singer who wants to pursue a career as an actress. Her path to becoming an actress doesn’t go so smoothly, as she gets stalked by an obsessed fan.

As a result, Mima is haunted by her past and she now becomes a victim of this absurd stalking. Not only does she start to lose her grip on reality but there are also cruel murders occurring and she is in the middle of it.

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Director: Satoshi Kon

Age Rating: 16+

16. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)


Cowboy Bebop is still one the most popular anime series worldwide it is a classic series that embraces a lot of the cyberpunk theme. Maybe some remember that Cowboy Bebop: The Movie was one of the anime movies you could watch on the Playstation Portable (PSP).

Storyline: Spike Spiegel and the Bebob crew follow a mysterious terrorist that plans to kill the human population. The story takes place on Mars in 2071 and the terrorist wants to use a deathly pathogen to kill everyone.

So now Spike Spiegel and his bounty hunter crew go on a quest with their spaceship Bebop to track down the terrorist and prevent the attack from happening.

Genre: Action and Science Fiction

Director: Shinichiro Watanabe

Age Rating: 15+

17. Paprika (2006)


Paprika is another psychological thriller anime movie from 2006 by director Satoshi Kon. Many older anime fans seem to enjoy this story because it suits the older audience better. To clarify, the movie shows assaults, nudity, and more things that can be interpreted as “disturbing”. Nonetheless, this is one of the anime movies that have a very interesting storyline and is unique to watch.

Storyline: The Paprika anime movie is about a battle between a dream terrorist and a young female therapist Paprika. The dream terrorist uses the stolen machine DC mini that allows therapists to enter the dreams of their patients.

So now this way these therapists can make their patient’s dreams a living nightmare. The machine acts as a “key” that people can use to enter the dreams of others and it’s the job of Paprika to stop all of this.

Genre: Thriller and Science Fiction

Director: Satoshi Kon

Age Rating: 17+

18. In This Corner of the World (2016)


In This Corner of the World by Sunao Katabuchi is one of the most popular anime movies of 2016. Secondly, it ranks as one of the highest-grossing anime movies of 2016 too.

Storyline: The story takes place in Hiroshima in Japan during World War II. The main character is Suzu Urano, an 18-year-old girl who is a survivor of the atomic bomb. Her life changes after she gets married and starts a family.

Even though Suzu decides to start a family, she doesn’t have all the supplies and necessities. Suzu one day meets Rin Shiraki, and her life begins to change.

Genre: Drama

Director: Sunao Katabuchi

Age Rating: 12+

19. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Grave of the Fireflies is one of the older Japanese anime movies that you can watch with friends.

Storyline: Grave of the Fireflies takes place in Kobe, Japan and it follows the journey of Seita and Setsuko. Seita is the teenage brother of Setsuko, and Setsuko is his young little sister. The siblings got separated from their parents after an American firebombing during WWII.

The struggles Seita and Setsuko face to survive are so realistic but at the same time heartbreaking and difficult to watch. They only have each other and they fight against everything on their path to stay alive during the last phase of World War II.

Genre: Drama

Director: Sunao Katabuchi

Age Rating: 13+

20. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (2018)


I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is one of the romantic anime movies to watch with your girlfriend. The movie is based on the award-winning light novel I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, having sold over 2.6 million copies. This is also one of the new anime movies that you should put on your anime movies list.

Storyline: The story begins when two young high schoolers Haruki Shiga and Sakura Yamauchi meet each other. Their relationship doesn’t have a name yet but it is guaranteed a visually amazing masterpiece filled with heartfelt emotions.

Haruki is a boy who has no interest in others and mostly spends his time reading books. On the other hand, there is Sakura, a joyful girl who is very popular in her class and has an honest personality.

Sakura is diagnosed with a pancreatic illness, which means that she doesn’t have much time left… She keeps this a secret from everyone except Haruki.

Genre: Romance and Drama

Director: Shin’ichirō Ushijima

Age Rating: 12+

Comment down below which one of these anime movies you’re going to watch first, we are curious!

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