The 7 best anime movies of all time you should watch

The 7 best anime movies of all time you should watch

In a world where anime captivates audiences around the world on platforms like Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Netflix, the appeal of Japanese anime spans a wide range of genres, visual styles, and narrative themes. Deeply rooted in rich folklore, feudal ancestry, and a keen interest in the future, anime has left an indelible mark on cinema.

Here are his seven best animated films that showcase the diversity and brilliance of this fascinating medium.

1. Spirited Away (2001): A Ghibli Masterpiece

A Studio Ghibli classic, Spirited Away pushes the boundaries of animation. The film, about 10-year-old Chihiro’s misadventures at a paranormal bathhouse, tells a surreal and mythical story with thematic depth and creative brilliance. Director Hayao Miyazaki created a masterpiece by combining elements of a coming-of-age story and Shinto folklore to create a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience.

2. Akira (1988): A gateway to anime influence

Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo is considered a seminal work in anime history. Set in post-nuclear war Tokyo, this film not only mesmerizes with mind-blowing imagery, but also serves as a gateway to the greatness of Japanese anime for Western viewers. With its epic story and stunning art style, Akira cements its place in the anime pantheon alongside other milestones like Ninja Scroll and Ghost In The Shell.

3. My Neighbor Totoro (1988): Miyazaki’s Quiet Masterpiece

Miyazaki’s captivating film My Neighbor Totoro introduces audiences to a world where mystery meets silence. This animated feature subtly captures the essence of childhood wonder, as two girls discover fascinating creatures in the countryside. Totoro departs from the realm of fantasy and entertains audiences by depicting childish fear and joy in an atmospheric manner.

4. Ghost in the Shell (1995): Philosophical Cyberpunk Brilliance

Ghost in the Shell’s philosophical cyberpunk story and iconic visuals are etched in anime history . The film follows Major Motoko Kusanagi as she tracks down high-tech-hacking terrorist and explores the intersection of humans and machines in a neon-lit dystopia. The incredibly dense plot and mind-expanding sci-fi elements make this a genre-defining masterpiece.

5. Grave of the Fireflies (1988): Ghibli’s Heartbreaking Story

Director Isao Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies deals with the devastating aftermath of the 1945 US incendiary bombing. The film follows brothers Seita and Satsuko as they travel the world. Full of intense struggle and despair. A far cry from Ghibli’s whimsical tales, this moving work explores the collective grief and guilt of a nation stricken by tragedy.

6. Ninja Scroll (1993): A classic of ultra-violent action

Ninja Scroll is a pioneer in adult animation, taking viewers on an ultra-violent journey through feudal Edo-era Japan. The film, in which mercenary swordsman Jubei Kibagami battles supernatural ninjas, has left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans. Although some elements have aged poorly, its iconic status that introduced a generation to anime is still undeniable.

7. Princess Mononoke (1997): Miyazaki’s dark epic

Another Miyazaki masterpiece, Princess Mononoke delves into the dark realms of fantasy. The film explores themes of environmentalism and mortality, and tells the story of Ashitaka, who becomes embroiled in a conflict between the gods and a human mining colony. With stunning visuals and subtle storytelling, Princess Mononoke is a fun and imaginative piece of epic fantasy fiction.

These films embark on an anime adventure, showcasing the breadth and depth of Japanese animation. These invite audiences to explore the rich range of storytelling, artistry and cultural expression that defines this vibrant film medium.

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