Japanese Anime Movies: Favorite Animes Ever

When you think of Japanese anime movies, which movies come to mind first? We have prepared a list of the most popular Japanese anime movies for you. We wish you a good time already.

1) Spirited Away – Spirited Away (2001) | IMDb: 8.6

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes

The Spirited Away anime, written and directed by a Japanese legend Hayao Miyazaki and released in 2001, deserves to be at the top of our list. The anime, originally titled Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, was the first anime movie to win the ‘Best Animated Feature Film’ Oscar in 2003. The animated film, produced by Studio Ghibli, also won many awards.

The subject of this animated film, which paved the way for those who came after it with an Oscar in this field and created a major turning point for Japanese anime culture, is quite unique to Japan. A little 10-year-old girl named Chihiro and her family come across an interesting building in their new town. This abandoned building, in which Chihiro reluctantly follows the family, is actually the gateway to a magical world.

This anime, which tells the adventures of Chihiro, who wants to save his family with the help of young Haku after his family turns into pigs by eating magic food in this world, is the product of a very colorful imagination. Dragons, never-before-seen characters from Japan, witches and dragons… All of these and more are told in an intimate and gripping way, and this production also carries parts of Miyazaki’s unique guiding character.

With the unique story of each character and the plot that will attract viewers of all ages, Spirited Away is a good movie for those who are just starting out with anime movies, with a score of 8.6 from IMDb.

It is also worth mentioning a footnote. Spirited Away is #4 on the BBC’s “Best Movies of the 21st Century” list on 23 August 2016. He had found his place in the queue.

2) Grave of the Fireflies (1988) | IMDb: 8.5

Director: Isao Takahata

Duration: 1 hour 29 minutes

There is another classic at number two on our list. Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 animated film. The film, directed and scripted by another legendary name, Isao Takahata, has a very striking reality as its subject. It tells the pain, anger and struggle for survival during the Second World War through our main characters, Seita and Setsuko brothers.

Paragraph That May Contain Spoilers: The origin of the story is actually based on a true wartime story. The original story takes place in 1945 in Japan. That is, in Japan, which was exhausted and weary towards the end of the war. Our writer, Nosuka, who lost his sister due to malnutrition during this period, writes an autobiography novel and tells the ugliness of war in all its reality here. Here in our story it becomes something that coincides with reality.

Masterfully crafted by Isao Takahata, this story is among Takahata’s best-known works. The film, which received laudatory comments by many critics both in its own time and today, achieved a score of 97% on the criticism community site Rotten Tomatoes, where 34 reviews were evaluated, and received a score of 9.1 out of 10.

The common point of the criticisms can be summarized with the following sentence: “The Grave of the Fireflies, an anti-war film that hurts with pain, has been one of Studio Ghibli’s most deeply affecting and unforgettable works”. On IMDb, over 135,000 users achieved an average score of 8.5 in the game and ranked 60 in the Top 250 movies. is ranked.

My personal opinion is that this movie is a purely real animated movie that should definitely be watched. Grave of the Fireflies is a movie that proves how touching anime can be and how terrible war can be told in every language. By the way, I guess I should remind you that this movie is not a family movie.

3) Princess Mononoke (1997) | IMDb: 8.4

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

Princess Mononoke, one of the many Miyazaki movies on our list, has a very mystical and striking subject. Just like in ‘Spirited Away’, Miyazaki based the plot of this story on Japanese folklore and mythology.

To talk briefly about Princess Mononoke. Our story is basically about a hero named Ashitaka’s adventure of self-realization and redemption. Our main character, who has a good and peaceful life, takes the risk of being cursed by the Forest God to save a child, and then goes on a journey to get rid of this curse. He knows that the only being that will save him on this journey is the ‘Spirit of the Forest’.

Although the story told basically proceeds through this plot, Miyazaki’s dilemma about the pure realities that Ashitaka encounters throughout the story, and what faith and war can actually sacrifice, is handled very well by Miyazaki. Throughout the film, with every step of Ashitaka, we actually enter into a decision-making and bargaining process with ourselves, and we observe that everyone can be harmed in this struggle called war.

4) Kimi no Na Wa – Your Name (2006) | IMDb: 8.4

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Duration: 1 hour 46 minutes

Your Name, one of the anime movies that marked 2006, is among the best anime movies with a score of 8.4 on IMDb. The animated film, which has a wide audience in terms of both its drawings and the subject it deals with, was directed and scripted by Makoto Shinkai. Let’s look at the subject of the film, which received full marks from many national and international critics.

The story of the movie is quite unusual. In fact, when we say extraordinary, it has a plot that is different from the scenarios we encounter. Our main characters are Mitsuha and Taki. Mitsuha is a rural girl who is not very happy with her life. Taki is a man who lives in a big city like Tokyo. When they wake up one day, these two characters realize that they are in each other’s bodies. These two people have discovered that although they are in each other’s bodies, they can communicate with each other in some way and that there is a connection between them.

This is where the story begins. Why are Taki and Mitsuha in each other’s bodies? Do they both live at the same time? Will they ever see each other? Here are the answers to all these questions and get your napkins ready for that classic yet stunning Japanese sauce finish.

5) Demon Slayer: Infinity Train – Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (2020) | IMDb 8.3

Director: Haruo Sotozaki

Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes

Now, we are here with the newest movie with the release date among the animated movies on our list: Demon Slayer: Infinity Train. A sequel to an anime series of the same name, Mugen Train is a movie directed by Haruo Sotozaki. The plot of the movie is the same as the anime. It is about the battle of our character named Kamado Tanjiro, who turns into a demon hunter to take revenge on the demons who murdered his family and turned his sister into a demon, with his enemy, one of the big demon bosses.

This animated movie, which you will have to watch the animated series before watching the movie, has a very interesting feature, especially compared to other anime on our list. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train was normally a movie that started shooting without considering the pandemic conditions. With the pandemic that broke out all over the world, the theaters were closed in Japan and the movie could not be shown.

However, things did not turn out as expected. The film, which received special permission from the relevant institution in Japan, made a special launch and became one of the highest-grossing films in Japan in this period, breaking records. In other words, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is an animated movie with a huge fan base.

6) Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) | IMDb 8.2

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Duration: 1 hour 59 minutes

One of the first movies that comes to mind when talking about Japanese anime movies is The Walking Castle. From the very beginning, I loved Miyazaki’s ability to make us believe in his imagination and the worlds he created with that imagination. The Walking Castle is the product of such a dream and belief. We can call ‘The Walking Castle’ a film by Studio Ghibli, inspired by the novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones.

The story mainly follows the journey of a young adventurer, Sophie, to try to undo the evil spell cast on her. During this journey she meets the handsome and talented wizard Howl. She helps him with the housework and shares his troubles. In this adventure that these two characters continue together, Miyazaki creates such a romantic, ordinary and natural balance that you forget that what you are watching is an animation.

It should also be noted that the character of Howl in the English dub of The Walking Castle is voiced by Christian Bale.

7) My Neighbor Totoro – My Neighbor Totoro (1988) | IMDb: 8.2

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Duration: 1 hour 26 minutes

What if My Neighbor Totoro is not on the list of Japanese anime movies? Every single character in this animated movie, which is also a Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki movie, reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.

My Neighbor Totoro, one of the first names that come to mind when it comes to animated movies, is a family movie. The plot of the story is as follows: a family who moves to a new region meet the friendly mystical beings of the region they moved to. Our main characters, who delve into the depths of the human spirit and the world where living things live, try to solve the problems they experience with their support.

Although I call it a complete family movie, this anime movie, which has a very deep philosophy due to both its story and the spirit of unity and friendship it wants to emphasize, is definitely one of the movies that should be watched by those who are new to animated films.

8) Tenkuu no Shiro Rapyuta – Castle in the Sky (1986) | IMDb: 8

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes

‘Doesn’t anyone make other films besides Miyazaki?’ Another Miyazaki movie on our list is ‘Castle in the Sky’. The production of the animated movie, which was made in 1986, belongs to Studio Ghibli. The main characters of the film, which is a heroic story, consists of Sheeta, Muska and Pazu. Due to the universe created by Miyazaki, this world where people, cities and pirates live completely in the sky opens the doors of a different level of imagination to us.

The main plot of our story is based on a young couple trying to save a magical crystal stone from a cruel man. Our couple embarks on different adventures with the wind blowing and they end their story with an unexpected ending and process.

9) Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa – Windy Valley (1984) | IMDb 8.1

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes

Windy Valley is the 6th Miyazaki movie on our list. This movie, which is also a Studio Ghibli production, is actually one of the films that the studio released and made it progress in this field. Published in 1084, Windy Valley is an adaptation of Miyazaki’s own manga series. The animated film, which deals with subjects such as flight, nuclear war and the environment in general, is the winner of 4 awards in different fields, including the 1984 Animage anime grand prize.

When we look at the atmosphere in which the film takes place in general, we come across a world that has been polluted by human beings and thus rendered unlivable. Our characters are trying to survive in this world where nature has evolved with the instinct of self-preservation.

I should add a little note here. Although the film was made before the founding of Studio Ghibli, it is considered one of the studio’s films, as Miyazaki himself was one of the founders of the studio.

10) Pâfekuto Burû – Perfect Blue (1997) | IMDb: 8

Director: Satoshi Kon

Duration: 1 hour 21 minutes

One of the most different productions on our list, ‘Perfect Blue’ is one of the movies that proves both its audience and anime critics wrong. Perfect Blue is a Satoshi Kon movie that breaks down the basic judgment that it only adheres to certain patterns in terms of its subjects. The atmosphere in Perfect Blue generally takes place in a world where species have become astonishingly hybrid. The human race here has become quite elite.

Satoshi Kon, who has at least as good a drawing ability as Miyazaki, and his drawings consisting of 25 frames (25 frames per second) offer a great flow of the film. Mima Kirigoe, a retired pop star, has to make some decisions to get out of this situation and gain her freedom before her daily life falls into the hands of people. He has to make these decisions in a world where stalkers are constantly chasing him, confronting his past, being humiliated and harassed.

There are a couple of interesting facts I can add about this movie. First of all, after a little research I did about the movie, it was actually planned as a live action movie, but it was turned into 2D animation before making an agreement with the investors. The second is about being inspired by the award-winning movie ‘Black Swan’ starring Natalie Portman, Perfect Blue.

11) Ghost in the Shield – Ghost in the Shell (1995) | IMDb: 8

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Duration: 1 hour 23 minutes

Ghost in the Shield is one of the productions discovered by Hollywood and transferred to the big screen as an adaptation this time. The movie, in which the main character is played by the famous actress Scarlett Johansson, may seem familiar to you, but the original of this movie is an animated movie. Basically, the animated movie was a manga series that started in 1989 and the movie was tried to be drawn based on this manga series.

Let’s talk about the movie in general. At a time when cybernetics are living intensely, the difference between human and robot has begun to disappear. In this world, a cop has to hunt down a hacker called The Puppet Master. The film, which draws the future by interpreting today’s world very well, is among the films that inspired other Hollywood productions such as Avatar and Matrix with its futuristic and dystopian elements.

12) Akira (1998) | IMDb: 8

Director: Katsuhiro Otomo

Duration: 2 hours 4 minutes

If you are looking at the dates of the movies while following our list of Japanese anime movies, you may have noticed. Some movies on our list date back to the 2000s. One of these movies is ‘Akira’. An animated film directed by Akira Katsuhiro Otomo, where the release dates differ not only on the drawings, but also has a plot to ignore it.

Set in a future called Neo-Tokyo, the movie has an iconic place among animated movies. The theme of this masterpiece, which wonderfully combines cyberpunk drawings, the past (motorcycle gangs) and the future (psychic abilities), is to try to save Neo-Tokyo in peril. One of our characters we meet in the movie is someone with deadly tendencies and psychic abilities as a result of a secret military project.

It would be useful to add a few information about the content of the movie. Akira is a production that carries the shadow of the atmosphere of war and the massacre experienced as a result of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a different way. However, it has such an iconic drawing map that you can tell which one is close to Akira’s drawings when compared to other anime movies.

13) Papurica – Paprika (1998) | IMDb: 7.7

Director: Satoshi Kon

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Another Satoshi Kon movie on the list, Paprika has a very complex plot. Briefly, the story of the movie is as follows. Dr. Atsuko Chiba is a good psychotherapist in her field. One of his colleagues, Dr. Tokita invents the DC-MINI, a very powerful psychotherapy device. The device allows its user to enter other people’s dreams and resolve psychological disorders. This is where our story begins. This device, which is understood to be able to actually change it as it enters people’s minds, has the capacity to become a weapon when it falls into dangerous hands.

14) Ôkami kodomo no Ame to Yuki – Wolf Children (2012) | IMDb: 8.1

Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes

Wolf Boys is a Japanese anime film directed by Mamoru Hosada and written by Satoko Okudera and Momoru Hosoda. The film grossed $55 million in its first year of release and earned the studio an Academy Award for Animation of the Year in Japan.

If we talk briefly about the plot of the movie, the movie focuses on our character Hana, who met a werewolf during her university years and had half-human half-wolf children, but was left alone with her husband’s death. We are the guest of the story of a mother who was left alone during the movie, where we have been partners for 13 years of Hana, who is trying to raise her two children, Ame and Yuki, under different difficulties.

15) Koe no Katachi (2016) | IMDb: 8.2

Director: Naoko Yamada

Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes

Featuring one of the newest and most striking subjects on our list, ‘Koe no Katachi’ is pure reality combined with romance for me. To briefly talk about the plot of the movie directed by Naoko Yamada. A teenager named Ishida Shouya bullies a deaf girl named Shouko Nishimiya, causing her to transfer to another school. That’s where the whole story begins. In the next process, Ishida Shouya will discover how disastrous this act can have and will witness the loss of her own hearing ability over time, being ostracized and ignored by people.

This movie has some pretty good plots, telling you that when the bully is being bullied and has a chance to apologize, just moving forward is the right option. ‘Koe no Katachi’, where we see the inner world of the character through his eyes with the passage of the drawings, is a film of a real person’s self-discovery and discovery.

16) Kaguya-hime No Monogatari – The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) | IMDb: 8

Director: Isao Takahata

Duration: 2 hours 17 minutes

The Tale of Princess Kaguya is the 10th edition of Kaguya hime no Monogatari. It is among the fantasy-themed Japanese anime films adapted from a Japanese folk tale set in the 20th century. The film was produced by Studio Ghibli and directed by Isao Takahata, whom we know with Grave of the Fireflies, which is at the top of our list. The animated film, which was nominated for the Academy Awards in 2015, is narrated with watercolor technique and color transitions, emphasizing the 10th century Japanese culture, which makes it a very iconic film.

Our movie takes its subject from a Japanese legend. The movie, which was released in 2013, begins with an old man who has no children, while cutting bamboo in the forest, finds a girl the size of a finger among the bamboos and takes her home and adopts him. This girl is so beautiful that everyone wants to see her, to be with her, but this is also a dangerous situation because this girl that everyone really wants to have is the beginning of a legend.

The original of the story is based on a Japanese folk tale called The Bamboo Cutter.

17) Toki o Kakeru Shôjo – The Girl Who Leaps in Time (2006) | IMDb: 7.7

Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Duration: 1 hour 38 minutes

Forget standard time machines. You are neither in Doctor Who’s Tardis nor in the DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future. You only have a beat that allows you to go back to the past, and you can’t tell if this ability is your blessing or your curse. That’s exactly what ‘Girl Leaping Through Time’ is about. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, the film tells a dystopian story of self-discovery.

The plot of our story is briefly as follows: Makoto Konno, Chiaki Mamiya and Kousuke Tsuda are three very close friends studying in the same class at Kuranose High School in Tokyo. One of these three friends, Makoto, who is the leading character in the image above, has an accident at school and as a result of this accident, Makoto has the ability to jump in time. Discovering the potential of this power over time, Makotu’s story begins here. Does changing the past fix the future? Is the future, made up of interconnected events like interconnected people, really simply a toy to be played with?

18) Kiki Delivery Service – Little Witch Kiki (1989) | IMDb: 7.9

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Duration: 1 hour 43 minutes

And now that we have come to the end, let’s finish our list of Japanese anime movies with three works from Hayao Miyazaki. Our current work is ‘Kiki the Little Witch’. Released by Miyazaki in 1989, the film is about the adventures of Kiki, a 13-year-old witch. Kiki’s adventure begins with her fun and entrepreneurial spirit. This little witch is a guest of different lives with her unique style throughout the movie, and grows up with every person she meets. He performs the delivery job he set up for himself by flying on his broomstick. He tries to draw the limit of his own freedom in every way.

If you have come here to watch every movie on the list, or if you have watched these movies before, you can understand that ‘Little Witch Kiki’ is a Studio Ghibli movie without looking at the tag. Pairing the witch theme, which is more prevalent in the West, with the unique landscapes and storytelling of Japan, this work is a true family movie.

19) Wind Rises – The Wind Rises (2013) | IMDb 7.8


Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Duration: 2 hours 6 minutes

The Wind Is Rising is a must-have on our list of Japanese anime movies. Our film follows Jiro, who has been interested in flying and airplanes since childhood, and dreams of becoming an aircraft designer. Following in the footsteps of his idol Caproni and working hard for it, Jiro makes different discoveries throughout the story. Fascinated by the Caproni’s aesthetic beauty and immense technical prowess, and wanting to use it for himself, Jiro manages to enter an important aircraft department before the war period.

It really starts here in our story. I need to open a parenthesis here. The story of our main character, Jiro, is based on the fictional biography of Jiro Horikoshi, a real WWII fighter jet designer. He is the designer of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter jet. In our story, we are the guests of Jiro, who caught the attention of his bosses with his achievements and was freed to design. But this story is interrupted by the Second World War. Because the Second World War is not just a war on land or sea; It is a war in which the battles in the air are quite harsh.

20) Porco Rosso – Red Wings (1992) | IMDb: 7.7

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Duration: 1 hour 34 minutes

And we have come to the end of our list of Japanese anime movies. ‘Red Wings’ is the last film of our list, which we continue with another work by Hayao Miyazaki. The movie, which is dominated by comedy, adventure and action, proceeds through our main character named Porco Rosso. In our movie, which takes place in the 1920s, there is only one pilot who rules the Adriatic Sea: Porco Rosso. Our character, who has been turned into a pig as a result of a lack of analysis, is a very talented pilot.

Unfortunately, being talented means making enemies, and that’s what will happen to Rosso. Leading his own quiet life by flying solo, visiting his friend Gina, Rosso gains an enemy. His enemy wants to shoot down his plane to get his reputation. Our main story begins here. Will Rosso be battle-ready with the help of his friends and remain the best pilot in the Adriatic?


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Kategoriler: Movies & Series

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