Top 20 Anime Movies

Last week, I gave you my top 20 anime series. This time, I’m continuing my celebration with my top 20 anime movies.


20. Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro— Before Hayao Miyazaki founded Studio Ghibli, he made this movie featuring one of his heroes, Lupin III. We get to see early examples of his style of animation that he would later use in his own studio.


19. Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade–A great alternate history story from the creator of Ghost in the Shell that even uses “Red Riding Hood” motifs in a subtle way, without beating you over the head with its symbolism.


18. Secret World of Arriety While it’s not made by Miyazaki, it shows that Studio Ghibli can still make beautiful movies. I love the way it shows the perspective of its heroine and how big everything looks.


17. Read Or Die (OVA) Meet Yomiko Readman, a secret agent who can bring paper objects to life. Think actual working giant paper airplanes! It’s a truly imaginative work.


16. Memories Three separate stories from the creator of Akira. In my opinion, this is a better showcase of Otomo’s talent than Akira, because you actually get a full story.


15. Steamboy–Katsuhiro Otomo ditches his post-apocalyptic motifs for a steampunk story about a boy inventor. And did I mention Patrick Stewart’s in the dub?


14. Perfect Blue: Satoshi Kon’s first movie shows all the brilliance of this animator who was gone far too soon. It’s a story of paranoia worthy of Hitchcock.


13. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (aka Knocking on Heaven’s Door)– The bounty hunters of the Bebop are back with all the fun of the series, just on a bigger budget.


12. Project A-ko: I admit this is a guilty pleasure, but it’s fun to watch A-ko kick robot butt.


11. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind–This was Studio Ghibli’s first major movie and a grand epic. It was also the first anime that the creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion worked on.


10. The Animatix–Technically, this is actually an anthology that ties in to the Matrix trilogy, without the mess that the trilogy eventually became. Each story is brilliantly told and gives you more aspects of the world of the trilogy than you got in the actual movies.


9. Ponyo –Hayao Miyazaki’s swan song is his take on “The Little Mermaid”.


8. Paprika–Do you like the movie Inception? Then watch Paprika, the anime that inspired it!


7. Whisper of the Heart–My favorite slice-of-life anime, with the typically gorgeous animation Ghibli is known for.


6. Howl’s Moving Castle–While it’s not quite like the book, I still enjoy it for the story it tells.


5. Grave of the Fireflies–Just have some Kleenex ready. You’ll need it.


4. My Neighbor Totoro–No childhood should be without this masterpiece!


3. Ghost in the Shell–My favorite Production IG movie and one that defines cyberpunk!


2. Princess Mononoke–A great story that shows it is possible to have an environmental message and NOT beat it into your audience’s heads.


  1. Spirited Away–the only anime to ever win an Oscar, and it’s still as beautiful as ever!


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