Best Anime Movies on Netflix: The definition of anime has always been a topic of discussion in the community. Regardless of where it comes from, animation is simply referred to as "anime" in Japan. Outside of Japan, however, "anime" has come to be closely linked with animation made in Japan or by Japanese artists. The fact that Western cartoonists have been greatly impacted by anime, and that Japanese studios have produced Western cartoons, complicates this distinction. Netflix has further blurred these lines by marketing shows made by Western creators as anime. For this list, we're focusing on Netflix's own anime category, which encompasses a diverse range of anime movies regardless of their origin. Whether you're a long-time fan or new to the world of anime, you'll find a variety of captivating films in the Netflix anime collection.
A Whisker Away is a heartwarming fantasy romance that follows the story of a young girl named Miyo Sasaki, who can magically transform into a cat. She uses this ability to get closer to a classmate, but her journey becomes a profound exploration of personal growth and identity. The film is a poetic and whimsical encapsulation of youthful adventures and the challenges of growing up.
One Piece Film: Strong World is the tenth feature film in the beloved One Piece series, and it stands out as one of the best. Unlike previous films, this one had personal oversight from manga creator Eiichiro Oda. It features the Straw Hat crew's thrilling adventure as they face the legendary pirate Shiki the Golden Lion, who threatens to take over the East Blue using genetically modified animals.
Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King is a canon-adjacent movie based on the popular Black Clover series. It tells a standalone story set before the Black Bulls' journey to the Heart Kingdom. The movie follows the magicless yet ambitious young boy Asta as he confronts a traitor to the Clover Kingdom who aims to create a magic utopia.
Sol Levante is a visually stunning anime short that demonstrates the possibilities of digital animation. Directed by Akira Saitou in collaboration with Netflix, the film offers a four-minute visual spectacle filled with fast-paced action and no dialogue, allowing viewers to appreciate the kaleidoscope of colors and kinetic artwork.
Dragon Quest: Your Story is a charming fantasy film that adapts the storyline from the popular Dragon Quest video games. It features a unique animation style that combines computer-generated elements with a touch of How to Train Your Dragon and The Incredibles. With a blend of original Japanese and English voice acting, it offers a captivating adventure that transports viewers to a faraway land.
Altered Carbon: Resleeved is an animated spin-off film set in the same universe as the live-action series. It boasts fantastic animation and action sequences, expanding the Altered Carbon world with a thrilling investigation involving yakuza and a tattoo artist.
Drifting Home is a heartwarming fantasy adventure directed by Hiroyasu Ishida. The film tells the story of a group of neighborhood children who find themselves and their entire apartment complex drifting across a mysterious sea. Along their journey, they discover unexpected secrets and explore themes of grief, family, and new beginnings. The film features a charming cast and deliberate storytelling, making it a heartwarming adventure for audiences of all ages.
Bubble, directed by Tetsurô Araki (Attack on Titan), offers an action-packed adventure set in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo attacked by bubbles. The film presents a unique and captivating world where gravity is broken, turning Tokyo into a parkour battlefield. It follows a couple of young people who unexpectedly meet during a reckless jump, leading to a series of fortuitous events and revelations.
Seven Deadly Sins: Cursed By Light is an action-packed fantasy movie that serves as a sequel to The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky. It continues the adventures of Meliodas and his friends, who are forced to reunite to face a powerful new magical alliance that threatens to disrupt their newfound peace. The film is filled with adventure and flair, making it a thrilling addition to the series.
Violet Evergarden: The Movie is a stunning drama that explores themes of overcoming trauma. The film follows Violet, a former child soldier who becomes a "Doll" and ghostwrites letters to help people express their emotions. Her encounter with a terminally ill boy forces her to confront her painful past and her love for her lost mentor. The film features breathtaking animation and a beautifully crafted narrative.
Child of Kamiari Month effortlessly combines fun and lighthearted moments with serious themes such as grief. The story revolves around Kanna, an elementary school girl with a passion for running. After her mother's passing, she loses her love for the sport, but an unexpected journey with a rabbit and a demon might just help her rediscover her enjoyment for running. The film is touching and visually captivating.
NiNoKuni is a fantasy adventure film based on the video game series of the same name. The movie takes viewers on a journey to a magical kingdom called Evermore, where a trio of teenagers discovers the interconnectedness of their actions in two different worlds. It's a captivating adventure that blends elements of classic tales, offering a solid and transportive experience.
New Gods: Nezha Reborn takes a classic character from a Ming dynasty-era novel and gives it a steampunk twist. The film tells the story of Li Yunxiang, a motorcyclist who learns he is the great deity Nezha reborn. As old enemies resurface, the film blends realism and surrealism to provide a fresh approach to traditional mythology.
Blame! is a sci-fi anime that presents a dystopian future where humans are hunted by robots. It's a gripping, atmospheric drama that challenges viewers with its depiction of technology's power. If you're intrigued by the implications of advancing technology, this film is a must-watch.
A prelude to the main story of The Witcher franchise, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a visually stunning and action-packed exploration of a young Vesemir's life and the world before Geralt's adventures. It follows Vesemir as he investigates the mystery of a missing elf turned evil mage and uncovers a more sinister plot. The film features thrilling monster designs, dark humor, and a captivating narrative.
A Silent Voice: The Movie is a beautiful and poignant exploration of the challenges of growing up and redemption.
The film centers around the story of a young boy who bullied a deaf girl to the point where she had to leave school. A Silent Voice doesn't shy away from the difficulties of making amends for past harm and challenges its characters to grapple with the consequences of their actions. The animation is both vibrant and evocative, encapsulating a deeper sadness that intensifies as the narrative unfolds. Spanning several years as the characters transition into early adulthood, it presents a bittersweet yet graceful portrayal of human growth and the complexities of personal relationships.
Flavors of Youth is a unique anthology film composed of three distinct and captivating vignettes. These stories are set in different Chinese cities and revolve around themes of love, loss, and the connection between food and memory. Each narrative offers a snapshot of individual lives and their shared experiences, allowing viewers to engage with a range of emotions and perspectives. The film's compelling storytelling, combined with intricate animation, creates a memorable and emotionally resonant viewing experience.
Mirai is a family-friendly film directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Mamoru Hosoda. It follows the journey of a four-year-old boy named Kun as he grapples with the arrival of his baby sister, Mirai. As Kun struggles to adapt to the changes within his family, he discovers a magical indoor garden that enables him to travel through time and interact with intriguing characters. The film beautifully portrays the challenges of sibling dynamics and the process of growing up, earning it an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film.
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters marks a significant departure within the Godzilla franchise, as it is the first animated film in the series and the beginning of a trilogy. Set 20,000 years in the future, it presents a world where humanity seeks to reclaim Earth from the clutches of Godzilla. The film combines CGI animation with stunning action sequences, offering a fresh take on the iconic monster's narrative. It delves into thought-provoking questions related to philosophy and religion through the interactions of two alien species, adding depth to the sci-fi epic.
The End of Evangelion is a complex and challenging anime movie that serves as a conclusion to the acclaimed Neon Genesis Evangelion series. It is essential to watch the series before diving into this cinematic masterpiece. The film directly responds to the unsatisfying ending of the series and incorporates real-life death threats received by creator Hideaki Anno. It takes place during the last two episodes of the show and offers an alternate perspective on the characters' breakdowns and the conflict involving NERV, SEELE, and the Japanese government. The End of Evangelion is a deep, thought-provoking, and life-changing experience that defies expectations and leaves a lasting impact.