Best Anime Movies You Should Watch in 2023

Best Anime Movies You Should Watch

Whether you’re feeling like watching a touching story with characters you’ll love or an exciting adventure with lots of action and excitement, there’s an anime movie out there for you!

Anime movies are more than just regular cartoons. They’re famous for their smooth animation, detailed characters, and cool stories. That’s why they’ve become super popular in recent years.


Here’s a list of the top anime movies that will keep you entertained for a long time.

Best Anime Movies To Watch

1. Akira (1988)

Akira (1988)


Genre: Action, Military, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Horror, Supernatural, Seinen
Released: July 16, 1988
Director: Otomo Katsuhiro

Back in 1988, a nuclear bomb hit Tokyo, making it unsafe to live there in the story’s time. Fast forward to 2019, which is 31 years later. Kaneda is trying to rescue his friend Tetsuo from a government project. This project aims to make people stronger using special powers known as ESP.


Kaneda fights against different groups, like the military and scientists, to save his friend. But Tetsuo has gained his supernatural abilities, so he fights back. Everything builds up to a big showdown during the Tokyo Olympics. This is when Tetsuo reveals the secrets behind the experiment.

2. Your Name (2016)

Your Name (2016)


Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Drama, School
Release Date: August 26, 2016
Director: Makoto Shinkai

Your Name follows Mitsuha and Taki, who have a lot in common. They both want to succeed and are young and curious about what life holds for them. Mitsuha is from a rural area and wants to explore a big city for a better life. On the other hand, Taki is studying architecture and dreaming about his future.

But something strange happens. They find themselves in each other’s bodies. Mitsuha wakes up in Tokyo as a guy named Taki, and Taki wakes up as Mitsuha. They’re living each other’s lives without knowing how or why.

They face a significant challenge: they can’t mess with each other’s lives too much or tell anyone what’s happening. And to fix everything, they must figure out how to find each other.


3. Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away (2001)

Genre: Drama, Adventure, Supernatural
Premiere: July 20, 2001
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Spirited Away is a story about a girl who doesn’t like her new home. She’s stubborn and doesn’t want to visit the amusement park her parents found when they moved. But it’s too late to leave when she sees that the place changes at night.

Something strange happens: her parents turn into pigs because of a feast they weren’t supposed to attend. The girl and her family end up in a world of spirits. She needs to make friends there to save her family and everyone else.

4. Perfect Blue (1997)

Perfect Blue (1997)

Genre: Drama, Psychological Horror, Dementia
Premiere: February 28, 1998
Director: Satoshi Kon

CHAM! has been getting increasingly popular with their fans over the last few years. But, you know, what goes up must come down. One of the group’s members, Mima Kirigoe, decided to leave and become an actress.


This decision turns Mima’s life around, but not in a good way. After getting a role in a crime drama, her job gets tough for her and her manager.

But the real trouble starts when an obsessed stalker can’t accept that Mima isn’t an idol anymore. This stalker starts doing really strange things. And it’s not just the stalker – some other people who knew Mima from her idol days also start mixing up what’s real and what’s not. This starts to mess with their minds and their bodies.


5. A Silent Voice (2016)

A Silent Voice (2016)

Genre: Drama, School, Shounen
Premiere: September 17, 2016
Director: Naoko Yamada

Shouya used to be mean and tease others because he was lonely as a kid. But things change when a girl named Shouko Nishimiya, who can’t hear, joins his class and becomes a target for teasing.


Nishimiya’s classmates bully her so much that she loses her expensive hearing aid. Because of this, she has to change schools. The same classmates who bullied her now start bullying Shouya. He ends up alone without any friends.

In his last year of high school, Shouya still feels terrible about what he did in the past. He decides it’s time to face the person he hurt the most and say sorry: Shouko Nishimiya.

6. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)


Genre: Romance, Drama, Supernatural
Premiere: November 20, 2004
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

The Wizard Howl’s castle is quite unusual. It’s scary-looking and walks on its four legs all the time. Howl, the wizard, is known for his powers and for having many female fans. In Sophie’s town, people gossip a lot about him, but Sophie herself doesn’t expect anything exciting since she’s just the daughter of a hatmaker. She spends her days working in her dad’s shop.

But Sophie’s simple life changes when she’s saved by a wizard named Howl. There’s also a witch who’s jealous and puts a curse on Sophie. To break the curse, Sophie must go on an adventure with quirky friends in Howl’s moving castle. All this is happening while the threat of war hangs over her home.


7. Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke (1997

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Premiere: July 12, 1994
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Ashitaka defeats a demon boar but gets cursed with its powers. These powers can hurt him, even though they’re strong. He looks for a way to cure himself.


While searching, he gets involved in a fight with Lady Eboshi. She wants to make the city bigger by cutting down the forest and hurting nature. This isn’t good for many animals and plants.

San lives in the forest and is mad at the humans for damaging their homes. Ashitaka is stuck between the two sides. He’s dealing with his demon powers while trying to make peace between them and keep things in balance.

8. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Ghost in the Shell (1995)


Genre: Action, Mecha, Police, Psychological, Science Fiction, Seinen
Premiere: November 18, 1995
Director: Mamoru Oshii

In 2029, Niihama is a modern city with super-advanced technology in cybernetics. Many people have robot parts that work even better than human parts.

Section 9 is a team that keeps people safe by stopping corruption and terrorism. Their leader, Motoko Kusanagi, gets a case about a hacker using cybernetics to become skilled.


9. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Romance, Science Fiction
Premiere: July 15, 2006
Director: Mamoru Hosoda


Makoto Konno is a high school student who’s almost done with school but is unsure what she wants to do next.

The story is about Makoto, a young girl. She finds out she can travel through time, and because of that, she starts making different decisions in her life.

10. The Boy and the Beast (2015)

The Boy and the Beast (2015)


Genre: Adventure, Supernatural, Drama
Premiere: July 11, 2015
Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Kyuta, a kid without parents who lives on the streets of Tokyo, discovers a world of creatures. He gets taken in by Kumatetsu, who’s searching for the right student. Even though they argue a lot, they train and become like a family in the end.

11. Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)


Genre: Comedy, Drama
Premiere: November 8, 2003
Director: Satoshi Kon

On the day right before Christmas, three homeless pals have a surprise. While looking for a gift in a trash bin, they come across a newborn baby.

Even though they don’t have much, they care for the baby and name her Kiyoko, which means “pure.” The trio then sets out to find Kiyoko’s mother using the clues they find in her belongings.

12. Paprika (2006)

Paprika (2006)


Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Science Fiction, Thriller
Premiere: November 25, 2005
Director: Satoshi Kon

When a device called the DC Mini, which lets folks record and watch their dreams, goes missing, three scientists team up with a police inspector and a “fairy” called Paprika to track down the thief.

As they dig deeper into the mystery, they find themselves caught in a mind-bending struggle where the boundary between reality and dreams blurs.

13. The Wolf Children (2012)

The Wolf Children (2012)

Genre: Fantasy, Slice of Life
Premiere: July 21, 2012
Director: Mamoru Hosoda

The story follows Hana, a young woman who falls in love with a mysterious boy. It turns out he’s the last of his kind, a werewolf. Despite the challenges, they stay together, and when Hana becomes pregnant, they decide to raise their children together.

But tragedy strikes and Hana loses her love. She’s left alone to care for Ame and Yuki, their two little boys who can transform between humans and wolves.

Hana faces the journey of raising them on her own, and the story is both heartwarming and realistic as they move to the countryside. The tale explores the kids’ struggle with their unique identities and animal instincts in a changing world.

14. The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)

Genre: History, Fantasy
Premiere: November 23, 2013
Director: Isao Takahata

A simple farmer discovers a nymph hidden in a bamboo tree while cutting it. He brings her home to show his wife, and they’re amazed as the nymph turns into a baby. The couple decides to raise her as their daughter.

They name her Kaguya, believing she will become a princess one day. Later, they find a treasure in another bamboo branch. The father moves to the capital city to provide Kaguya with the life of a princess she deserves.

15. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Genre: Historical Drama
Released: April 16, 1988
Director: Isao Takahata

Setsuko and Seita are a brother and sister facing the challenges of war in Japan. When they lose their mother in a bombing, they move in with relatives who can’t properly care for them. So, they embark on a journey together, relying solely on each other to survive.

16. Metropolis (2001)

Metropolis (2001)

Genre: Adventure, Supernatural, Drama
Premiere: May 26, 2001
Director: Rintaro

“Metropolis” is a tale that shows how emotions make humans unique compared to everything else. The main characters are a young man and his uncle, who works as a private investigator.

The story unfolds in a far-off future where humans and robots coexist, but not always peacefully. Many robots are treated poorly, forced to live underground, and even destroyed if they enter unauthorized areas. They are used as servants for humans. The main character encounters a robot named Tima, and the story traces how their friendship and connection evolve.

17. Ninja Scroll (1997)

Ninja Scroll (1997)

Genre: Adventure, Historical, Horror, Supernatural, Romance, Samurai, Fantasy, Shounen
Premiere: June 5, 1993
Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri

In Shimoda town, people are dying from a terrible sickness. The local government of the Tokugawa clan sends a team of ninjas to find out what’s happening, but they are all killed by an unknown power. The only survivor is a woman named Kagerou, who gets captured.

A mercenary named Jubei saves her, but his involvement in her mission is only temporary and driven by his own interests.

18. Millennium Actress (2002)

Millennium Actress

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Premiere: September 14, 2002
Director: Satoshi Kon

The Ginei film studio is about to be torn down after many years. A former worker and filmmaker named Genya Tachibana wants to make a special documentary about the studio’s famous actress, Chiyoko Fujiwara. She was a beloved star of the Shouwa era.

The documentary follows Chiyoko’s life, which turns into an extraordinary adventure through Japan’s movie history, blurring the lines between reality and imagination.

19. Summer Wars (2009)

Summer Wars (2009)

Genre: Science Fiction, Comedy
Premiere: August 1, 2009
Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Kenji Koiso is really good at math, and he takes a summer job in the town where his crush, Nagano, lives. But when he arrives, he finds out that it’s his crush’s family reunion for their grandma’s 90th birthday.

Natsuki, the girl he likes, asks him to act like her fiancé, and things get a bit complicated. In the middle of all this, Kenji tries to solve a tricky math problem. Strangely, this math problem has the power to connect a different world with ours.

20. 5 centimeters per second (2007)

5 centimeters per second

Genre: Slice of Life, Drama, Romance
Premiere: March 3, 2007
Director: Makoto Shinkai

The story is told in interconnected segments. We follow a young man named Takaki through life, where cruel winters, technology, and adult obligations converge to test the delicacy of love.

21. Hiroshima (1983)

Hiroshima (1983)

Genre: Drama, Historical
Premiere: July 21, 1983
Director: Mori Masaki

Gen and his family live in the city of Hiroshima as Japan draws closer to World War II’s end. Gen’s father has begun to believe that the war cannot be won, earning the anger and indifference of the town, and alienating him from his neighbors. Cut off by local merchants, food becomes scarce for Gen and his family. However, these concerns begin to fade as the American military launches its final assault on Japan with its most terrifying weapon.

22. Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (1997)

Neon Genesis Evangelion The End of Evangelion (1997)

Genre: Science Fiction, Psychological, Drama, Mecha
Premiere: July 19, 1997
Director: Hideaki Anno

After defeating the last Angel, Shinji Ikari enters a deep depression that influences his decision to accept the existence of humans or give up his individuality. Meanwhile, Nerv is engaged, with Gendou Ikari and Rei Ayanami at the center. They look to Lilith for the answer to their ideals and the future they have planned for the world.

The End of Evangelion is the true ending that replaces the controversial attempt that Neon Genesis Evangelion bestowed on its viewers. This is how an alternative version of the events is born, complementing or completely supplanting episodes 25 and 26 of the series.

23. Castle in the Sky (1986)

Castle in the Sky (1986)

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Premiere: August 2, 1986
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

A boy bumps into a mysterious young woman who has just floated down from the sky. The young woman, Sheeta was persecuted by pirates, the army, and secret government agents. To help her escape from her, they begin an adventure involving different airships, searching for Sheeta’s identity in a floating castle of a lost civilization.

24. Memory of Marnie (2014)

Memory of Marnie (2014)

Genre: Drama, Mystery
Premiere: August 2, 1986
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Anna is a 12-year-old girl who suffers from severe asthma. The doctors treating her decide to send her to the country to get fresh air. There, she dedicates herself entirely to her hobby of illustrating, but one day, walking through the countryside, she discovers a mysterious mansion that seems uninhabited. When Marnie, a young blonde, appears to leave that place, she gives him more questions than answers about the mansion and its origins.

25. In the Forest of Firefly Light (2011)

In the Forest of Firefly Light (2011)

Genre: Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
Premiere: September 17, 2011
Director: Takahiro Oomori

Also known as Hotarubi no Mori e. Hotaru Takegawa has spent her entire life listening to the story of a Mountain God. She decides to explore the story’s ancient forest at six years old when she visits her uncle. Hotaru is lost and desperate for help from her; she finds a masked forest spirit named Gin. The girl cannot touch him because she will disappear, but she helps her out of the forest despite this.

Gin makes Hotaru promise not to come back, but she ignores him and promises her a gift when she returns. The years go by, and Gin and Hotaru grow closer despite being separated by distance and the spirit world. The problem arises when they develop romantic feelings for each other, which makes the strict no-touch rule a real test.

26. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Premiere: March 11, 1984
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Humanity destroyed the Earth with “the seven days of fire” in the distant future. Now, few human settlements remain in it. One of them is the Valley of the Wind, where a princess named Nausicaä tries to understand, rather than destroy, the toxic jungle that surrounds her.

27. The anthem of the heart (2015)

The anthem of the heart (2015)

Genre: Drama, Romance, School
Premiere: September 19, 2015
Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai

Jun Naruse was a talkative girl who didn’t think much before saying what she saw or believed. Because of this, she destroys her parents’ relationship when she finds out her dad is having an affair and innocently mentions it to her mother. Unable to bear the blame for this event, she has an apparition of hers: a magical egg that seals her lips and promises that only then will she be able to allow everyone to have a happy ending.

Already in high school, Naruse is still unable to speak without feeling a searing pain in her stomach. But her predicament is about to be tested when she is selected to lead a musical for the school, where she discovers that perhaps the curse of the egg doesn’t apply if she is singing. After meeting the kind and talented Takumi Sakagami and hearing him sing, her desire to express herself becomes overwhelming.

28. The Garden of Words (2013)

The Garden of Words (2013)

Genre: Romance, Drama, Slice of Life
Premiere: May 31, 2013
Director: Makoto Shinkai

Takao Akizuki has a dream: he wants to go into the shoe business. One rainy morning he decides to skip class to design shoes in a beautiful garden. In that place, he meets Yukari Yukino, a beautiful woman. Takao offers to make his new shoes, and they begin to meet repeatedly during the rainy season.

They become supportive of each other without realizing it, and their company eases their worries. But when the rain begins to disperse, the relationship they have established will have to be tested.

29. Vampire Hunter D (2000)

Vampire Hunter D (2000)

Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Horror, Drama, Romance, Fantasy
Premiere: August 25, 2000
Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri

In the distant future, vampires rule the night, but their numbers are being decimated by bounty hunters. One of them is D, the half-human and vampire. When a young member of a wealthy family is kidnapped by the vampire Meier Link, they hire D and the Marcus brothers to rescue her. In a race against time, D and the brothers battle demons and monsters to save the girl and begin to suspect that she wasn’t taken against her will.

30. Maquia: An Immortal Love Story (2018)

Maquia An Immortal Love Story (2018)

Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Premiere: February 24, 2018
Director: Mari Okada

Maquia is a woman who lived in the land of Iolph, but due to a special condition that her people have, she cannot age. After the war ends her prospects and future, Maquia is left alone and aimless. In a forest, she meets Wasteland, a young human and mortal. Maquia watches him grow up and develops a relationship with her former protégé, but eventually, they will have to deal with the idea that Maquia doesn’t age while Erial does.

31. Whispers of the Heart (1995)

Whispers of the Heart (1995)

Genre: Slice of Life, Drama, Romance, Shoujo
Premiere: July 15, 1995
Director: Hayao Miyazaki, Yoshifumi Kondou

Shizuku is a girl who is on vacation and dreams of finding a talent that she is passionate about. One day, she notices a curious cat on a train and chases after him. This fateful encounter leads her to Seiji, a young boy determined to fulfill her dreams, and to the Baron, a magical cat figure who teaches her to listen to the whispers of her heart. Now, Shizuku’s adventures will surpass even her most fantastical stories.

32. Weathering with You

Weathering with You

Genre: Slice of Life, Drama, Romance, Fantasy
Premiere: July 19, 2019
Director: Makoto Shinkai

Hodaka is a high school student who decides to move from the island he lives on to Tokyo. However, his life is not a fantasy, and he soon runs out of money. After getting a job at a dodgy magazine, he meets a young girl named Hina, a fateful encounter in such a big city. As he gets to know the girl better, he discovers that he has the power to change the weather and clear the rain.

33. The Wind Rises (2013)

The Wind Rises (2013)

Genre: Drama, Historical, Romance
Premiere: July 20, 2013
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Jirou Horikoshi has always dreamed of being a pilot, but his eyes have never cooperated. Despite being nearsighted, he doesn’t give up his dream of aircraft and enrolls at Tokyo Imperial University to study aeronautical engineering. After his arrival coincides with the Kanto earthquake in 1923, he meets Naoko Satomi, a woman who will change his life for the better.

34. In this corner of the world (2016)

In this corner of the world (2016)

Genre: Historical, Seinen, Drama
Release: February 24, 2018
Director: Sunao Katabuchi

This story follows a young woman named Suzu Urano, who in the year 1944, moves to Kure, Hiroshima, to live with her husband’s family. When World War II begins, Suzu’s life is thrown into chaos. Her perspective will live and bravery takes us by the hand in a moving story during one of the saddest and most violent times in Japanese history.

35. Kiki: Home deliveries (1989)

Kiki Home deliveries (1989)

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Magic, Fantasy
Premiere: July 29, 1989
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Kiki dreams of becoming a real witch. Together with her chatty kitty Jiji, she will do her best during the adventure of her life. When she lands in a small town, she decides to set up a delivery service with her broom, and this process teaches her about the independence and responsibility of being an adult and growing up.

36. I want to eat your pancreas (2018)

I want to eat your pancreas (2018)

Genre: Slice of Life, Drama, Romance
Premiere: September 1, 2018
Director: Shinichiro Ushijima

One afternoon in April, recluse Haruki Shiga visits a hospital and comes across a curious manuscript. In it, the life of a terminal patient with a pancreas disease that will soon take her life is narrated. Inquiring about the manuscript, he discovers that it belongs to her classmate, the popular Sakura Yamauchi. Now, Haruki is the only one who knows his secret.

37. Josee, the tiger and the fishes (2020)

Josee, the tiger and the fish (2020)

Genre: Slice of Life, Drama, Romance
Premiere: December 25, 2020
Director: Koutaro Tamura

Tsuneo and Josee meet by chance on a morning walk. Tsuneo is a young university student who wants, with all his might, to fulfill his dreams, and Josee is a young woman who has given in to them because of her condition. She is confined to a wheelchair, doesn’t like to go out, lives shut up in her house with her books and paintings, and doesn’t have a social life. When Tsuneo helps her during a mishap, Josee’s grandmother hires him as her caretaker.

38. Doukyusei (ClassMates)


Genre: Slice of Life, Romance, School, Shounen-ai
Premiere: February 20, 2016
Director: Shouko Nakamura

When Hikaru Kusakabe, a high school student with a passion for music, sees that Rihito Sajo, the most diligent boy in the class, refuses to sing for the choir, he is shocked. He finally found the weakness in him. When he finds out that Rihito is not refusing but feels insecure in his ability, he offers to tutor him for the project. Thanks to this interaction, they establish a relationship that, in Hikaru’s case, develops into an almost irresistible physical attraction.

39. Promare (2019)

Promare (2019)

Genre: Action, Mecha, Science Fiction
Premiere: March 24, 2019
Director: Hiroyuki Imaishi

Thirty years have passed since the appearance of the Burnish, mutant beings that have destroyed humanity with their fire. Now, a new group of mutants will try to threaten the fragile stability that remains, and it will be Galo Thymos’s job to confront them. This story narrates the epic enmity between two groups that fight for their ideals.

40. Redline (2009)

Redline (2009)

Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Sports
Premiere: August 14, 2009
Director: Takeshi Koike

Redline is the most dangerous car racing tournament in the universe. It takes place once every five years, and JP has always dreamed of participating. He needs to test the limits of his highly modified car. But he will face government groups and criminal mafias who want prestige for themselves. Among these contestants, JP will meet Sonoshee, a captivating host who could spell doom for him.

I’m Jay, and. I’m an Engineer and Web Developer. I write about everything, from anime to Tech. Completed Watching 500+ Animes