10 Best Anime Movies Of All Time

Wednesday, January 19 by Tara Lightfoot

Despite an ever-growing market for Japanese animation, there are still a few things that set apart the 10 best anime movies of all time from the rest of the bunch.  From mythical landscapes to futuristic dilemmas, these films have proven that cartoons aren't just for kids (these particular movies are not for kids… unless you want your kids to be perverted ninjas).

  1. "Akira" The '80s brought about this intriguing (and terribly bleak) cult classic anime. This feature brings viewers into a futuristic world full of anarchy, supernatural government experiments and sweet motorbikes. The violent storyline is juxtaposed with stunning hand drawn scenes that have resonated in the minds of audiences for over two decades. To be blunt, this film is a must-see for any anime lover or poser. Just be prepared for a three-day long depression spree afterwards.
  2. "Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion" Watching an anime that is tied into a series can have a long and tedious learning curve. Fortunately, this film is an exception to that rule. Even though it is supposed to be a finale of sorts for the popular "Evangelion" series, it still stands on its own as a separately enjoyable entity. From the highly inappropriate (but oh-so-amusing) sexual content in the beginning to the surreal robot battles, "The End of Evangelion" is a staple in hand drawn anime goodness. Plus, the English overdubs are actually extremely impressive.
  3. "Ghost in the Shell" This is for any viewer who loves a brain-bender.  This futuristic anime features sexy Cyborg cops, technological jargon, science vs. philosophy debates and lots of people getting shot with big guns. Its face-melting action and mind-opening monologues have helped spawn an entire franchise of sequels and television shows. The downside: It might take a few views to really figure out what the heck the characters are talking about. 
  4. "Spirited Away" Arguably one of the most visually stunning animated features of the 21st century, "Spirited Away" was the result of a union between Hayao Miyazaki and Disney. This imaginative fantasy is filled with spirits, witches, dragons and more. A girl's struggle to free her parents and find her way home is filled with excitement and dazzling imagery that is suitable for the whole family.  But don't let its lack of adult situations detract from its luster, because this film is truly a masterpiece. 
  5. "Vampire Hunter D" Ah, a vampire movie that pre-dates the Hollywood fad. This plot line is perfect for any audience member thirsty for dark action (like sword fights between monsters and humans). It is a gloomy, yet mystical, feature about a mysterious vampire hunter known only by the name "D."  Its mature tone and gothic-like subject matter catapulted this anime into cult classic stardom. 
  6. "Princess Mononoke" Bloody wild boars. Surely that's enough to spawn some interest.
  7. "Ninja Scroll" Samari action is a beloved staple in many anime movies. Take that and add some monsters, vulgar language, some sexual content and you've got "Ninja Scroll"!  Not only do audiences get to enjoy the many entertaining fight scenes, but the adult themes are rather creative. For example: The main lovely heroine is actually poisonous! So it is literally deadly to have sex with her. Come on—that's crazy. Crazy awesome, that is.
  8. "Tenchi The Movie: Tenchi Muyo In Love" Yes, there are exhilarating features, like time-travel, in this movie, but the most enjoyable aspects are the relationships between characters. There is actually a heartwarming love story, plus a dramatic internal struggle with the main character Tenchi when he remembers his relationship with his mother. While some movies try to shock and awe audiences, this anime provides entertainment and a lot of heart. Now, that's sweet.
  9. "Howl's Moving Castle" This is an interesting twist on the classic story of wizards and witches. This surreal world causes audiences to question the standard roles of good and evil, but in a lighthearted tone. 
  10. "Cowboy Bebop" Here's an anime for the later generations of audiences. This futuristic, action-packed anime is based on a popular television series. Some of the characters showcase laid-back (almost bored) attitudes throughout the adventures, which likely contributes to its youthful relatability. 
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