10 Best Asian Fantasy Movies

Thursday, February 10 by Travis Petersen

The 10 best Asian fantasy movies range from Chinese swordplay epics to fantastical anime stories. Western fantasy is all about swords and sorcery, while the 10 best Asian fantasy movies take martial arts to a new level. In keeping with all of that, here are the 10 best Asian fantasy movies, taking kung fu to a whole new level, far beyond where western audiences view kicks and punches.

  1. "The Bride With White Hair" A majestic love story involving swordplay and plenty of bloodletting, "Bride" is easily one of the 10 best Asian fantasy movies. Brigitte Lin, a beautiful international superstar, carries this incredible film.
  2. "Princess Mononoke" This animated hero's journey transcends its origins. It is an obvious entry on any list of the 10 best Asian fantasy movies.
  3. "Ninja Scroll" This violent animated martial arts epic stuns audiences the world around. Its battles make it an easy choice for the list of the 10 best Asian fantasy movies.
  4. "Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain" A Spielberg style fantasy film, with heroes questing for a magical finish, "Zu" is a masterful film from director Tsui Hark. It is a fantastical martial arts epic.
  5. "A Chinese Ghost Story" This love story featuring flying swordsmen and a monster with a giant tongue keeps the whimsy in Asian fantasy movies. It was a huge hit in Hong Kong and a festival favorite in America.
  6. "Howl's Moving Castle" This Disney-like animated film epitomizes film for the whole family. It definitely belongs on the list of the best Asian fantasy movies.
  7. "Swordsman II" Swordplay, kung fu style, is made insane by this film, with Jet Li in an early career performanc fighting warriors coming in on flying spinning blades. It is a magical tale that is the epitome of Asian fantasy movies.
  8. "The East is Red" The sequel to "Swordsman II" focuses on the eunuch villain, Asia the Invincible, a newly created femme fatale for the ages. High-flying swordplay defines the climax of this excellent Asian fantasy movie.
  9. "Spirited Away" Another fantastical animated film for the whole family was a huge hit in Japan. Its success abroad makes it a seminal Asian fantasy movie.
  10. "Mr. Vampire" This silly, comedic horror film with fantastical elements closes out the list of the 10 best Asian fantasy movies. It is scary, silly and funny at the same time.
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