MANGA.TOKYO is more about anime news and reviews and less about recommendations, but that doesn’t mean that the team doesn’t have their favorite titles. When we talk about our personal favorites, there are always one or two anime movies mentioned.
While anime series consist of 12-episode cours that take time to watch, you can usually enjoy an anime movie in less than two hours. They are the perfect entry point for people who are taking their first steps in the world of anime. If you are an amateur otaku yourself or you are trying to initiate someone to anime, we have a list of five movies that will make them rethink the popular notion that cartoons are only for children.
Five Anime Movies Anyone can Enjoy
Majo no Takkyuubin (Kiki’s Delivery Service)
Kiki’s Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便) is one of the most famous works of Studio Ghibli. It’s a sweet story about a young witch, Kiki, who moves to a new town and uses her ability to fly to earn a living. It was produced in 1989, and it’s an adaptation of the 1985 titular novel by Eiko Kadono. According to Miyazaki, the movie is about independence and about relying to yourself.
The theme and the incredible visuals make this a fantastic movie to watch, both for children and adults. As a child, you can be awed by the magical powers of Kiki and be inspired by her independence. As an adult, you can wonder on Kiki’s resolve and make sure that your child takes a lesson or two from the movie.
It’s a lovely coming-of-age story.
Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (Wolf Children)
(おおかみこどもの雨と雪) is a 2012 animated film directed and co-written by Mamoru Hosoda. It has won numerous awards: the 2013 Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year, the 2012 Mainichi Film Award for Best Animation Film, and the 2-13 Animation of the Year TAF award.
The story follows Hana, a college student who falls in love with a werewolf and gives birth to two half-breeds. After their father dies, Hana is left to raise the two human cubs alone. The movie is divided into two story lines: the first is about Hana and her falling in love, giving birth, and raising children. The second is about the struggle children born between words have to face every day.
The biggest theme of this movie is that no matter the hardships, no matter what life decides to throw at you, you have to stand on your own feet and choose life!
The Sky Crawlers
The Sky Crawlers
(スカイ・クロラ) is a 2008 anime film, directed by Mamoru Oshii. You probably know the director from his trademark philosophy-oriented title Ghost in the Shell. It’s an adaptation of the titular novel written by Hiroshi Mori.
Sky Crawlers’ plot follows Oshii-sensei’s troubled thoughts: the world can’t escape war. People are so accustomed to it that even in when peace is set, the populace needs its tensions eased by simulated fights. These fights are fought by private corporations who sent fighter pilots against each other.
Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda. (The Anthem of the Heart)
The Anthem of the Heart is a relatively new movie. It was released in 2015 by A-1 Pictures, directed by Tatsuyaki Nagai and written by Mari Okada, one of the most prolific writers currently working in the anime industry.
The film is praised for its well-written characters, grounded storytelling, and serene soundtrack. It follows the story of Jun Naruse, a girl known to be a chatterbox that always says whatever she likes. This is a great film about adolescence.
Summer Wars tells the story of Kenji Koiso, a math genius who is taken to Ueda by his friend Natsuki to celebrate her great-grandmother’s 90th birthday. He finds himself trying to stop a sadistic artificial intelligence from taking over the virtual world.
The story reminisces of classic Japanese summer vacations on the countryside. I’m sure that you have your own precious memories from your own vacations as a child, and this movie will make sure to evoke them.
Anime Movies for Future Anime Fans
Do you have any movies you want to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!
Don’t forget to check our review on Makoto Shinkai’s movie sensation that is taking the world by storm!