This is our list of the 13 Best Anime Films of All Time! Since the 1960s, the anime industry is flourishing with new releases every year. With growing viewers, the industry is also leveling up its game in terms of content as well as revenues. Over the years, there have been many films that took the audiences by surprise. Even now, the relevance and love for these films have not faded in any way.
Today, we have culminated a list that celebrates some of the most loved and appreciated anime films. Some of these are recent releases, while some are old wines. So, without any further ado, here are the Best Anime Films of All Time, in no particular order.
13. Whisper of the Heart
The next name that we are adding to this list is the classic from 1995, Whisper of the Heart. This one can be called one of the greatest anime films of all time. Well, this is because of the fact that it has withstood the test of time. Even after three decades of its release, the film still remains relevant. The story revolves around Shizuku Tsukishima, who loves reading books. One day, she realizes that all her books were once read by a person named Seiji Amasawa. Everyone can expect what happens next. The two meet and bond over common interests. Even if classics are not your go-to watch, do check out this film at least once.
12. 5 Centimeters Per Second
The first name on this list of the Best Anime Films of All Time is 5 Centimeters Per Second. The film is an original creation of CoMix Wave Inc from the year 2007. Now, if you’re into love stories with heartbreak, then this one is nothing short of a treat for you. The story of 5 Centimeters Per Second explores a long-distance relationship going through the hardships of keeping the bond. Takaki and Akari decided to stay in touch after separating post-high school. But as years go by, it becomes ever more difficult to make new memories.
11. Grave of the Fireflies
Another classic that gets a spot on this list is the 1988 film Grave of the Fireflies. The story is based in a war-ridden country where even privileged families are struggling to make ends meet in times of catastrophe, let alone the poor. The children of a navy officer, Seita and Setsuko, are traveling from place to place in search of shelter. After being banished by their aunt, Seita resorts to stealing and crimes in order to feed his little sister. But as it happens, no one but the rich can survive a war like this. If tear-jerkers are your choice for this weekend, then go for Grave of the Fireflies.
10. A Whisker Away
The next name on this list of Best Anime Films of All Time is the 2020 film A Whisker Away. In a single year of release, this film has managed to gain a loyal fanbase. The credit for the beautiful animation and heart-rending story goes to Studio Colorado and Toho Animation. Follow the eccentric love story of classmates Miyo Sakasi and Kento Hinode. The reason why their love is unconventional is that Miyo literally turns into a cat in order to get her crush’s attention. But what follows is a realization that Miyo cannot turn back to her human form anymore.
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9. The Garden of Words
Another CoMix Wave Inc production that becomes a part of the list is the 2013 film, The Garden of Word. Like the other contenders of this list, this one also happens to be a romance drama. The story focuses on the most mismatched couple that you will ever come across, Takao and Yukari. As happy as their present looks, their past has been ever more difficult. Takao used to work as a shoemaker in the market while Yukari was an older woman. As they constantly visit the park in their leisure time, they bond and eventually fall in love. Will there be a happy ending for them? Watch The Garden of Words to find out!
8. The Wind Rises
One more film that comes from the archives of 2013 is the romance drama, The Wind Rises. If not for the story, do watch this one for its brilliant animation. Studio Ghibli must be given credit for the spectacular work through this one. So, The Wind Rises follows the story of a young boy who is extremely passionate about flying. The man who created the A6M fighter plane also has an inspiring love story. So, if you want to know a little history about World War II, then this tale is for you.
7. Your Name
It looks like our list is going to be full of CoMix Wave Inc productions this time. This popular romance fantasy came out in the year 2016. The story revolves around two contrasting characters Mitsuha and Taki, who are extremely unhappy with their lives. While Taki wants to live a lavish life, Mitsuha wants to break free from her luxuries and enjoy the rawness of things. Thus, God finds this as a perfect opportunity to gives these two what they want. We all can guess what happens next. Well, Taki and Mitsuha wake up in each other’s boy one day. Hence, chaos and fun follow as they get to enjoy their wishes to the fullest!
6. Demon Slayer Mugen Train
There is no telling as to why Demon Slayer Mugen Train happens to be on this list of Best Anime Films of All Time. The numbers say it all. In just a few months, this film has become the highest-grossing anime film of all time. Moreover, it has also become the highest-grossing film of the year 2021. The movie directly continues the plot of the inaugural season of Demon Slayer. Follow Tanjiro Kamado and his friends on the Mugen train as one of the Twelve Demon Moons happens to invade the journey. As the demon slayers save the travelers, there is a grave tragedy that they cannot prevent. With a heart-breaking conclusion, Mugen Train will leave you in tears.
5. Spirited Away
Spirited Away had been holding the title of the highest-grossing anime film for about twenty years before Mugen Train. The credit for its beautiful scripting and animation goes to Studio Ghibli. The story follows ten-year-old Chihiro, who is being blackmailed by a witch for a ransom to free her parents. The witch has kidnapped her parents and turned them into pigs. In return, all she asks for is mining labor from the little child. The film was also seen as a commentary on the systematic exploitation of the poor by the capitalistic organizations in hindsight. Spirited Away has aged beautifully in terms of the present times.
4. My Hero Academia Two Heroes
If you are looking for an action-packed weekend, then there is no better choice than My Hero Academia Two Heroes. The movie is the first feature film of the MHA franchise. Studio Bones gets the credit for bringing forth this beautiful product. So, Two Heroes follows Deku and his friends at a secluded island where the world’s largest annual tech fest is taking place. But the trouble is not far away as a team of goons is planning to steal a quirk-enhancing gadget. With All Might devoid of his powers, how will a team of first-years say an entire island from destruction? The answer lies in watching My Her Academia Two Heroes.
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3. A Silent Voice
Another tear-jerker that will stay with you for a long time is the 2016 film, A Silent Voice. Meet classmates Shoko and Shoya, who are polar opposites in every way. For a start, Shoko is a physically abled child with a hearing problem. But Shoya is ignorant of this fact and bullies her relentlessly. Years later, when Shoya is on the verge of taking his own life, he recalls that he still owes Shoko an apology for his wrongdoings. Thus, the two reunite and build a beautiful bond from scratch. If you enjoy unconventional love stories, then A Silent Voice is a brilliant choice.
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All the Pixar fans can gather around because the next name will become their favorite film of all time. Imagine if The Little Mermaid was recreated as an anime film. Well, you don’t have to because there is already an anime adaption of it. Meet the titular character of Ponyo, who is willing to break free from the world of the ocean. But little does she know that leaving the ocean will destroy a sacred spell that maintains the order in the seas. As one can expect, Ponyo becomes a pet fish in the human world, unaware of the dangers that have fallen upon the ocean. Will the little fish return back to his home? Watch Ponyo to find out!
1. In this Corner of the World
The last name on this list is In this Corner of the World. This 2016 film traces the lives of a hopeful family that relocates to Hiroshima in search of work and peaceful life. But this is a time of war, and they don’t know what will fall upon them. Besides, the second World War is on the rise. Follow the heart-breaking aftermath of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki as Shusaku and Tetsu struggle to find a life after everything is gone.
With this, we have we can conclude our list of the Best Anime Films of All Time. Which one of these films do you plan on watching this weekend? Is there any other film that we did not include in this list? Please let us know in the comment box below. For more such exciting listicles, keep coming back to The Anime Daily.