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The Best Anime Movies of All Time [2021]

Anime movies are the most popular movies of the 21st century. It is no longer just for children anymore, and there are stories for everyone. A lot of new and best anime movies are being released worldwide every year.

Anime is a Japanese film genre that started in the early 20th century. Studios Ghibli released the world-famous first anime film, Castle in the Sky, in 1986. Initially, you could watch animated movies only on big screens at theaters. But, today, you can watch them on TV at home.

This post is meant for you if you want to know about the best anime movies of all time to watch. You can pick one from the mix of drama, action, fantasy, romance, and other genres according to your personal preference.

11 Best Anime Movies You Must Watch

There are numerous animated movies in the industry, so finding the best one is not easy. We’ve compiled a list of the 11 top anime movies, so you can enjoy them with your family. Let’s start without any further ado.

Howl’s Moving Castle

This 2004 Japanese anime film directed by Hayao Miyazaki loosely takes its inspiration from a 1986 novel by Diana Wynne Jones with the same title. Although in the anime version, there are fewer details than in the novel, it is well-acted.

Sophie and Howl are the main characters of the anime who make its basis. Sophie is a young woman who works at a hat shop, and Howl is an apocalyptic magician with many aliases. A witch turned Sophie into an older woman due to jealousy in this fantasy anime.

With the curse upon her, Sophie sets out seeking her fate at Howl’s mysterious moving castle. She could become young over a deal with a demon there. Howl’s Moving Castle remains in the heart of its audience for decades.

Tamako Market

Directed by Naoko Yamada, Tamako Market was released in 2014, a love story animated series. This film begins in the distinctively Japanese Usagiyama Shopping District, a quirky community yet covetous businessmen.

The main characters are Tamako Kitashirakawa and her childhood friend Mochizou Ooji. She is an adorable but gawky teen. In a distant land, Tamako meets an unusual talking bird, Dera Mochimazzi.

Throughout the film, Tamako and Mochizou have been close since childhood, which is reinforced. The most interesting was the motive of the bird. This anime is delightful, and you should watch it at least once.

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

Cowboy Bebop was an innovative anime TV show released in 2001 and is directed by Shinichiro Watanabe. It is an action and science fiction movie much more popular all around the globe. If you are an action film lover, you must watch this animated movie.

Cowboy Bebop is an old spaceship run by a solid bounty-hunter team headed by Spike Spiegel. Team members were responding to a terrorist incident that caused many deaths. The goal of this feature-length adventure is to save Mars.

By watching this anime, your time will be worth spending, and you will enjoy it a lot. The final fight between the Spike team and the villain is quite impressive. This will compel you to want to watch more.

The Anthem of the Heart

The film Anthem of the Heart, directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai, was released in Japanese theaters on September 19, 2015. This movie is about a young girl, Jun Narase. It is a fascinating anime movie for adults.

Jun Narase once looked forward to attending the ball hosted at the castle located on the hill. When she saw her father leaving that castle, she excitedly told her mother, unaware that she’d just spoken of her father’s cheating.

Her family separated, and she went into desperation. But before entirely heartbreaking, she found her prince. This anime offers a wonderfully satisfying and satisfying experience, and you should check it out.

Penguin Highway

Another science fiction anime on our list is Penguin Highway, which is based on a novel written by Tomihiko Morimi. Hiroyasu Ishida directs this anime. The movie was released in 2018 and focused on the remarkable life of a fourth-grader and mysterious woman.

This young boy, Aoyama-kun, discovered the mysterious cause behind the sudden occurrence of penguins in his village. It was connected somehow with a young woman running a dental clinic; he called her lady.

Basically, it’s an animated film with a clear design, and it’s excellent to watch. There is a lot of fun to be had in it with quite a nice animation. You would enjoy this Ghibli-style family movie and want to watch it again.

Princess Monoke

Princess Monoke is an animated film directed and written by Hayao Miyazaki and created by Studio Ghibli. This film took 16 years in design and produced in 3 years by Miyazaki, is widely acknowledged among his most excellent works.

In this fantasy film, the two main characters, Ashitaka, a prince, and San, a young woman raised among wolves in the forest, live in Japan during the Muromachi Period (1336-1573). It explores the conflict between humans and nature, and Ashitaka attempts for the existence of both.

This anime movie holds an interesting story to get motivated about nature and its value. The writer tried to show how nature cares for humans and, in return, what humans do to them. If you really fancy nature, you should give it some time.

Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale

Based on the Sword Art Online novel by Reki Kawahara, this original anime adventure movie tells a story of science fiction and adventure. The film was released in Japan, Germany, Southeast Asia, and about 1,000 cinemas around the World on February 18, 2017.

Film events take place between episodes 2 and 3 of the animated series Sword Art Online. The movie revolves around an Augmented Reality (RA) device named the Augma employed in an online role-playing game called Ordinal Scale.

In this anime, overwhelming power is awarded to higher-ranked players. It often decides the outcome of player versus player skirmishes. You must watch this movie to learn the skills these characters have.

Digimon Adventure Children’s War Game!

This Japanese animated short movie was released in Japan on March 4, 2000, directed by Mamoru Hosoda. The second Digimon short film of Digimon Adventure is a sequel to the 1999 animated television series.

The main characters of this film are Taichi and Yamato. Both are transported into the Digital World, where the novel Digimon appears as evil. Later, Taichi and Yamato magically penetrated their machines and Digimon to evolve into Omegamon and kill the corrupted Digimon.

The English version sums up more humor and carves some exotic pieces to improve the pacing with little difference. So, overall, you will feel the same taste of the film. You are going to enjoy suspense throughout the entire movie.

Stand by Me Doraemon

It is a Japanese 3D animated anthology film which is directed by Ryūichi Yagi and Takashi Yamazaki. For the first time, it was released in Japan on August 8, 2014. Its story is revolving around the magical world of Nobita and Doraemon.

An English version of this film was screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival on October 24, 2014, by Bang Zoom Entertainment. Now Stand by Me Doraemon is released in 59 countries worldwide with English and other subtitles.

Moreover, the story illustrates a sense of realism about the daily life of Nobita and Doraemon. This film also tells us that nothing remains forever and proffers us a rejuvenated sense of everyday life’s preciousness.

In This Corner of the World

The most soul-effecting, dramatic anime movie, In This Corner of the World, is released in 2016. This movie is based on a series called manga, which was an award-winning series. Sunao Katabuchi directed this film with the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, Japan.

The main character of this movie is Suzu, who survived World War II. This is actually a reminder of what war has done to mankind. Everything related to humans, such as dreams, cultures, arts, love, etc. were badly affected.

The animations of this movie are enough to touch you and your emotions. This movie is so amazing and beautiful yet sad, and tears will roll down your cheeks at some nuts. To go back into history and learn something from it, here is the best form.

Grave of the Fireflies

Like In This Corner of the World, Grave of the Fireflies is also based on a story that happened in the days of World War II. This movie was released in 1988 in the direction of Isao Takahata; it’s a novel written by Akiyuki Nosaka.

In this movie, two kids, a young boy and his little sister, whose family has been lost in the war, were striving to survive. These two little ones suffer from Japan’s military conflict with the world, and their feelings and emotions are not taken into account.

This is not a regular animated movie but something that tells us the truth. It is entirely an emotional epic film; we recommend everyone to watch it. Don’t forget to have a tissue because this movie is going to burst you into tears.

The Best Anime Movies Final Words:

Well, this was our collection of the best anime movies so far. All these movies are from the Japanese anime industry, which is created with reality. Their animations look attractive, and you feel better while watching any movie.

Animated movies are gaining popularity among movie lovers around the globe. Japanese anime makers release anime movies from time to time with advancements in technology and with amazing stories.

Our list will be updated in the future accordingly when new movies are released. Let’s know in the comments which of the above-mentioned movies you have watched or going to watch right now.