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Top 10 Anime Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Craig Butler. The characters in these flicks have got big eyes, fast moves and when they want they can really kick ass! Anime movies are animated movies originating in Japan, but they’re much more than that: they’re fantastical, lively, bright and exciting. Whether it’s hand-drawn or computer-animated, anime has become a world-renowned style of art that has become so well known, it’s even started to influence Hollywood movies like “The Matrix.” In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 anime movies. Special thanks to our users ninjammer726, jkellis, Mugiwara Ricky, Daniel McDonald, Crimsonknight111, DonovanTPS and Jesse Allen for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page!

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Top 10 Anime Movies

The characters in these flicks have got big eyes, fast moves and when they want they can really kick ass. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 anime movies of all time.

#10 – “Porco Rosso” (1992)
“Kurenai no Buta”

This exciting adventure is the creation of Hayao Miyazaki, considered by many to be the King of Anime, and it tells the tale of an ex-WWI fighter pilot-slash-bounty hunter. In many ways, the hero is your typical dashing, brave, slightly cynical hero. It just so happens that he looks like… a pig. In true Miyazaki style, moments of great beauty and tenderness are juxtaposed with electrifying excitement, making for a fantastical good time.

#9 – “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” (1984)
“Kaze no Tani no Naushika”

Also brought to you by Miyazaki, this post-apocalyptic story is substantially different from traditional anime. War has devastated the Earth, creating a jungle full of mutated creatures and leaving few areas habitable for humans. Our wise title heroine leads a tribe of people that wants nothing more than to live in peace. But that desire is endangered when other groups threaten war on the mutants and she must use all her skills and resources to restore harmony.

#8 – “Perfect Blue” (1997)
“Pāfekuto Burū”

If Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch collaborated on an animated film, the result might be something like this. Directed by Satoshi Kon, this bizarre thriller follows a former pop singer who has changed her career path and image by starring in a TV series, and finds herself threatened by a stalker. Addressing issues of identity in the Internet age, the film absorbs you from the first frame and never lets go.

#7 – “Princess Mononoke” (1997)

When it was released, this Miyazaki movie grossed an astounding $150 million in seven months in Japan, making it the most successful Japanese film to that point. And it’s easy to see why: Princess Mononoke’s story of mystical animal gods battling medieval humans is an ecological epic that never skimps on the action. And as usual, there’s the stunning animation that is the hallmark of a Miyazaki film.

#6 – “Cowboy Bebop: The Movie” (2001)
“Gekijōban Kaubōi Bibappu: Tengoku no Tobira”

There’s plenty of shoot-em-ups, but few Stetson hats in this 2001 big-screen adaptation of the beloved anime series. These cowboys are futuristic interplanetary travelers, and they’re tracking down a mass murderer before he can carry out his next evil plan. The plot is pretty standard, but the characters, dialogue and detailed yet fluid animation are anything but.

#5 – “Spirited Away” (2001)
“Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi”

Released in 2001, Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” became the first anime to win the Oscar for Best Animated Film, beating Hollywood blockbusters like “Ice Age” and “Lilo and Stitch.” And it’s no wonder: it’s a lost-little-girl story replete with fascinating and grotesque creatures, lessons in learning self-assurance, and gorgeous, CGI-enhanced animation that add up to a spirited package you can’t turn away from.

#4 – “Ghost in the Shell” (1995)
“Gōsuto In Za Sheru/Kōkaku Kidōtai”

What is human? What is real? And which applies to a cyborg cop? Deep themes lie underneath the sci-fi adventure surface of this movie, in which nothing is exactly what it seems and the Puppet Master runs the show. Director Mamoru Oshii’s distinctive personal touch is evident, even amid the mind-boggling technological designs and action sequences that inspired the makers of “The Matrix.”

#3 – “Grave of the Fireflies” (1988)
“Hotaru no haka”

This Isao Takahata masterpiece is one of the most heart-rending and moving depictions of the effects of war on ordinary people ever put to film. Released in 1988, it follows 14-year-old Seita and his little sister during the final days of WWII. Orphaned and alone, they attempt to survive in a world that has no use for them. Few films of any kind are so powerful.

#2 – “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988)
“Tonari no Totoro”

Miyazaki’s 1988 masterwork is that rare movie that truly deserves to be called both joyous and whimsical. And it accomplishes this while still containing scenes that pack a punch. Superbly animated, and delicate without being fragile, “My Neighbor Totoro” creates a fantasy world of innocence and charm that will captivate even the most cynical with its mystical forest world and adorable spirits.

#1 – “Akira” (1988)

Generally considered the film that brought anime to the attention of a worldwide audience, 1988’s “Akira” is filled with the vibrant color, visual stylization and kinetic energy that define the genre for so many. Director Katsuhiro Otomo captures raw energy and places it front and center, creating a cyberpunk-fueled film that is brash and at times harsh, but never less than enthralling. Post-apocalyptic dystopias were never so much fun.

Do you agree with our list? Which anime movie is your favorite? For more top 10s about your favorite flicks, be sure to subscribe to

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