Anime has the power to bind everyone and although our choices might vary on what we want and what we don’t, there are some classic anime movies that everyone loves. Below are some of my favourites that anime lovers must check out.
Akira is perhaps the most famous and well-known anime around the world even thirty years after its release. It has been referenced multiple times in famous movies, TV series and songs, the latest being Kanye West’s “Stronger.” The music video has numerous references based on this anime. Almost every anime lover has seen and loved this movie because the story and animation here is much ahead of its time.
2. Princess Mononoke
An adventure/fantasy anime with a hidden message, Princess Mononoke is produced by a prolific anime studio that is one of the biggest names in the industry and is known for delivering well-crafted anime over the years. This work was no exception and has an amazing storyline that is even more relevant in the present political scenario.
3. Ghost in the Shell
The impact of this anime on western movies is huge because it not only inspired the matrix trilogy but also influenced James Cameron’s Avatar. The imaginative story and groundbreaking imagery does mirror Akira but Ghost in the Shell is still in a league of its own. No matter what genre you like, this anime is bound to leave you spellbound and it would be difficult for you to believe that this masterful work was released more than twenty years ago—in 1995!
4. Perfect Blue
This anime released in 1997 is a psychological thriller unlike the two sci-fi movies listed before this one but the absence of action scenes does not make Perfect Blue any less entertaining. The anime will leave you both enchanted and confused as it progresses. But you will love every second because figuring out what is going to happen next is not easy with this one. The story hinges on the thin line separating reality and fantasy and stays with the audience long after it ends.
Metropolis is made in a style similar to a silent German movie of the same name that was made in 1927. But that is where all the similarities end and therefore make this an original movie with a completely different story and characters. However, this fact does make it stand out from the rest of anime which were produced in a similar animation style.
6. Grave of the Fireflies
This anime is a fitting reply to people who think good anime can only be sci-fi or fantasy. This is a story of a little boy and his sister who try to survive in the middle of World War II. A moving plot that is both beautiful and emotional till the end. This movie proved how diverse anime can be.
7. Ninja Scroll
With an animation much ahead of its time, Ninja Scroll might have released in 1993 but its creativity transcends time. This much-loved anime is focused on an adult audience as some scenes are not suitable for kids. Ninja Scroll has remained a cultural phenomenon for many years now and its popularity, just like the 90s music, doesn’t seem to be reducing anytime soon.
8. Your Name
This is one of the more recently released movies as compared to the rest of the entries here but given its impact on anime of recent times, it deserves a clapback. The story of two school students from two different parts of Japan, swap their bodies and get to experience a world completely different from their expectations.
9. Barefoot Gen
The tragic atomic bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is seen through the perspective of a small boy in this anime gem from 1983. The subject might be heavy but the animation and storyline attempt to give some playfulness to avoid everything from getting too depressing.
10. Spirited Away
Spirited Away was one of the first movies to be introduced in the US and it is still remembered as a relatable anime that had something for everyone. There are many recurring tropes here that keep this anime both educational and family friendly.