20 Anime Movies To Watch Before You Die

October 31, 2010 Neil

I posted a top 10 list of my favorite anime movies a couple of months back. This time, I’m going to list the top 20 Anime movies you should watch before you die.

The list is my personal recommendation but I’m confident that some, if not most, of them can be considered the best anime movies of all time.

1. Akira (1988)

Groundbreaking, literal and figuratively speaking. This ultimate scifi anime classic by Katsuhiro Otomo tops the list for one reason – it’s awesome.  I saw it when I was really young and all I remember now is the continuous destruction of some Japanese city, cool bikes and an indestructible super boy.

2. Spirited Away (2001)

Lost and trap in a fantasy world, Chihiro must find a way to turn her parents back to human from pigs.  With the direction of Hayao Miyazaki, it bagged the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2001.

3. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

A digital action film by director Mamoru Oshii based on a manga of the same title by Masamune Shirow. This sci-fi digital-age classic is packed with realistic action sequences and stunning character, equipment and tools designs.

4. Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1999)

Jin RohAnother film by director Mamoru Oshii. Jin-Roh takes a love story and put in the middle of a violent terrorist activity. Bloody and realistic, this political movie delivers the story in stark details.

5. Steamboy (2004)

The most expensive anime ever produced, Steamboy is set in an alternate Victorian world where steam is the main source of power. The mechanical details alone will boggle your mind.

This ultimate steampunk anime was produced by Sunrise and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo.

6. Princess Mononoke (1997)

Another Hayao Miyazaki. A historical fantasy masterpiece by Hayao Miyazaki with some of the most amazing and detailed fight scenes!

7. Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

A heartwarming, Christmas tale of three homeless buds (a drunkard, a runaway and a former drag queen) and a baby that will change their lives. Smooth character animation of relatable people. This must-watch movie during the holiday season was directed by Keiko Nobumoto.

8. Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

Directed by Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki, this is one of the few older anime movies with fluid and consistent animation.

9. Grave of The Fireflies (1988)

1988 was a good year for ground-breaking anime. We have the sci-fi action-packed Akira, then we are offered with a chilling wartime movie by Ghibli through director Isao Takahata.

10. Nausicaa of the Valley of The Wind (1984)

A post-post-post-apocalyptic story on humanity and the need for survival. This pre-Ghibli production by Director Hayao Miyazaki is considered to be the blueprint for his succeeding works.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time11. Blood: The Last Vampire (2000)

12. Ninja Scroll (1993)

13. Apple Seed: Ex Machina (2007)

14. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

15. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

16. Patlabor 2 (1993)

17. Vampire Hunter D – Bloodlust (2000)

18. Sword of a Stranger (2007)

19. Paprika (2006)

20. Origin: Spirit of the Past (2006)

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