Top 5 Anime Movies That I’ve Watched

Top 5 Anime Movies

I was kind of surprised when I realised I hadn’t already completed a top 5 list of anime movies but I guess it makes sense given I don’t really seek out movies, even if they directly continue on from a series. I still haven’t watched the Eden of the East movies even though they came with the series when I bought it on DVD. I intend to. I will at some point. I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

It was also a harder list to write than I thought because while I enjoyed the Given Movie, I am well aware that as a movie, it isn’t that good. It really only works for fans of the anime and can’t really stand on its own. So putting something like that on a top 5 anime movie list, really wouldn’t work. That said, I do have a list of 5 anime movies that I do want to put out there and then I’d love to hear what would be on your list.

I did ask yesterday on Twitter and you can find the responses here.

What are your top 5 anime movies?

Honourable mention going to Stranger by the Shore, largely because having a BL movie that ended up being that good was kind of exciting. It doesn’t quite hold up to some of the other titles on the list, but I did want to give it a mention.

No. 5 – Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic

Black Butler Book of Atlantic - Top 5 anime movie

Now, I will happily conceded that Book of the Atlantic is not the most amazing movie ever. However, it is a lot of fun seeing this cast of characters cut loose in a movie that manages to parody Titanic while still feeling like it is it’s own creation.

For such a silly premise and with the characters all going all out, you wouldn’t think there’d be much to take away other than a few laughs and a lot of dead passengers, but Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic manages to throw in some crucial character development and reveals along the way even while it makes you fall in love with the cast all over again.

I’m not entirely sure if it would make sense as a stand-alone anime movie, but I know for fans of Black Butler this one is unmissable.

No. 4 – The Boy and The Beast

The Boy and the Beast - Top 5 anime movie

I’d be the first to concede that The Boy and the Beast doesn’t have a very original storyline, being a pretty straight forward voyage and return affair with a coming of age narrative almost rushed through in a movie that has its sights set clearly on the end-point. With all that said though, I loved this anime movie.

I found it beautiful to watch and I really enjoyed getting to know the two main characters and watching them grow together over the course of the story.

Originality is all well and good but sometimes telling a well known story and sticking with the clichés can work well if you do it well. And The Boy and the Beast certainly does that and is very entertaining to watch.

No. 3 – A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice - top anime movie

A Silent Voice isn’t the easiest anime movie to watch given its subject matter dealing with bullying and attempted suicide, and ultimately I feel it doesn’t quite commit to the plot it has set up as it resolves far more peacefully than it feels like it should. However, it is a beautifully constructed movie and one that takes on a major social issue and does it with a little bit of finesse.

Where this movie really works is that it slowly builds up its cast as we start with a fairly isolated protagonist whose world expands over the course of the story and we also learn how he came to his current position and what is motivating him.

As I said, not an easy watch but definitely an anime movie worth watching if you haven’t seen it yet.


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No. 2 – Spirited Away

It seems crazy to me that I haven’t reviewed Spirited Away as it is one of the few Studio Ghibli movies I’ve watched more than once and one of the few I genuinely love. Other than including it in a list of my top 5 anime train sequences, this anime movie hasn’t really appeared on my blog at all, and that’s just wrong (though it is a very pretty train).

spirited away train

This one is another coming of age story with a voyage and return plot which sees our main character forced to take employment at a bath-house for spirits in order to save her parents who have transformed into pigs after eating some food. Basically, she needs to stop whining about the fact that she’s moving away from everything she knows and needs to learn to stand on her own. Which she does spectacularly over the course of the movie.

And naturally, since it is a Ghibli movie it is beautiful to watch. I doubt there’s many anime fans who haven’t tried this one but I seriously recommend it if you haven’t.

No. 1 – The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

Disappearance of Haruhi

While I’ve certainly written about Haruhi Suzumiya before, I haven’t actually reviewed it and I haven’t reviewed the movie, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya was the anime movie that convinced me to watch anime movies. Prior to watching it, I’d only really seen like the Sailor Moon Movies and other tie in films with anime that were of pretty middling quality and worked as an add on to a beloved series but not much else.

Haruhi Suzumiya on the other hand managed to create a parallel world where the titular character from the series didn’t exist (or at least wasn’t where she was supposed to be), tell a beautifully crafted story developing supporting cast members, bring the main cast back together, provide a logical reason for why all of this happened and look really good doing it. Seriously, this movie was amazing and this is the bench mark for anime movies and so far I’ve yet to see another movie following a series that has come close (again, I don’t watch too many anime movies so I’m sure there are some out there).

Anyway, if you haven’t watched this movie, it might be worth giving it a go. I’ll admit, you’ll probably be a little confused if you haven’t watched the series, but its still an amazing experience so watch it anyway.

Top 5 Anime Movies

And that’s my list of Top 5 anime movies that I’ve watched. Now I’d love to hear what some of your favourites are.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

15 thoughts on “Top 5 Anime Movies That I’ve Watched

  1. Hmm… Probably going to steal this and make a full post, but a first cut in no particular order.

    – Liz and the Blue Bird
    – Millennium Actress
    – Your Name
    – Grave of the Fireflies
    – SAO: Ordinal Scale

  2. Some of mine (Ghibli, Akira. GITS notwithstanding):

    Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
    The Girl Who Leapt Through time
    Wolf Children
    Summer Wars
    Summer With Coo
    Tokyo Godfathers
    Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
    Giovanni’s Island
    Lu Over The Wall
    Weathering With You
    Garden Of Words
    The Case Of Hana & Alice
    I Want To Eat Your Pancreas

  3. A Silent Voice was heart-achingly beautiful, and Spirited Away was magnificently conceived and executed…two of my all-time favourite anime features!

  4. Man was Haruhi really that good? I watched it all a few years ago and I was kind of underwhelmed. Maybe I should give it another go.

    My top 5 anime movies would probably be something like:
    Mononoke-hime (The most cohesive Ghibli movie imo)
    Sword of the Stranger (Dumb but fight choreography was the best I’ve ever seen to this day)
    Perfect Blue (It made me extremely uncomfortable and was not fun to watch but it was rly good)
    Heaven’s Feel Movies (ufotable and fate, match made in heaven)
    Spirited Away (twas magical)

    1. Haruhi has always been pretty special to me and the plot of the movie is solid, visually it looks fantastic.
      I really do need to watch Perfect Blue. It keeps coming up and I have just never gotten around to it.

  5. Your top three are all fantastic, in fact I own all three.

    This is a really hard question because I actually watch a ton of anime films. Almost as many as I watch TV series probably. Just narrowing them to five is almost impossible. Still, these are the first ones that come to mind.

    A Silent Voice (for sure)
    Disappearance (for sure)
    Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal (technically an OVA series, yes, but it was also recut as a single film, so it counts in my book)
    Girls und Panzer der Film (a rollicking good time from start to finish)
    Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel trilogy (this was the first Fate anime that to me finally did its source material justice)
    Liz and the Blue Bird (not for everyone, but personally I love this kind of introspective movie)
    Redline (a very basic story but the quality and creativity of the animation is insanely good)
    A Letter to Momo (Hiroyuki Okiura has only ever made two films and they’re both excellent; I could’ve put Jin-Roh on this list too)

    I guess that’s eight (or ten if you want to get technical about counting Heaven’s Feel as three movies) but yeah, trying to separate those would be an impossible task.

    1. That is quite a list. I don’t know why but anime films never quite have as much appeal as a series to me. Probably because I always want the characters or the plot to have more time.

    1. I never read the manga so can’t help with that one. It is worth watching though. It has a few rough edges but ultimately it is a great movie.

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