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Olga Weis

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Top 10 Must-Watch Anime Movies That Will Take Your Breath Away

Spirited Away Movie

1. Spirited Away


Chihiro and her family stumble upon an abandoned amusement park where after dining in and becoming trapped, she is forced to work in order to free herself and her parents.

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  • Animation and artwork are visually stunning and imaginative, with attention to detail in every scene.
  • Story is both magical and poignant, leaving a lasting impression on audiences of all ages.


  • Some elements may be difficult for younger viewers to understand or be frightened by, such as the concept of loss and the various spirits Chihiro encounters.
  • Plot may be slow-paced for some viewers, with a focus on ambient sounds and visuals rather than action.

Conclusion: Spirited Away is a timeless classic in the world of animation, showcasing Studio Ghibli’s trademark creativity and heart. With stunning visuals and a deeply moving story, it is a must-watch for both fans of the genre and those new to it.

Grave of the Fireflies Movie

2. Grave of the Fireflies


Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 Japanese animated film directed by Isao Takahata. The film is set in Japan during World War II and tells the story of two siblings, Seita and Setsuko, struggling to survive during wartime. The film is known for its realistic depiction of the effects of war on civilians, and has been praised for its emotional depth and powerful storytelling.

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  • Realistic and emotional portrayal of wartime Japan
  • Beautifully animated with attention to detail


  • Can be emotionally difficult to watch due to its realistic depictions of suffering and death
  • May be too slow-paced for some viewers

Conclusion: Grave of the Fireflies is a powerful and emotionally impactful film that portrays the harsh realities of war and its impact on civilian populations. While it may be difficult to watch at times, it is a must-see for anyone interested in the history or human impact of World War II. Its beautiful animation and attention to detail only add to its already powerful storytelling.

Your Name Movie

3. Your Name


Your Name is a 2016 Japanese animated romantic fantasy film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. It tells the story of two high school students, a boy and a girl, who swap bodies and lives after a magical meteor shower. The movie explores their journey to discover each other’s worlds and understand the connection between them, with some unexpected twists and turns.

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  • The animation is stunning and visually breathtaking, with beautiful scenery and detailed character designs.
  • The story is touching and emotionally engaging, with a perfect mix of humor, romance, and drama that keeps the audience hooked until the very end.


  • The plot can be confusing at times, especially for those unfamiliar with Japanese culture and traditions, which might require some additional research to fully understand.
  • The English dubbing is not as good as the original Japanese version, with some inaccuracies in translation and less emotional depth in the voice acting.

Conclusion: Your Name is a must-see movie for anyone who loves anime and romantic stories that transcend time and space. Despite some minor flaws, it’s a masterpiece of animation and storytelling that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

A Silent Voice Movie

5. A Silent Voice


A Silent Voice is a Japanese animated teen drama movie directed by Naoko Yamada. It tells the story of a former school bully named Shoya Ishida who seeks redemption by trying to reconnect with a deaf girl named Shoko Nishimiya he had harassed while they were in elementary school.

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  • Heart-wrenching story that deals with themes of bullying, isolation, depression, and redemption.
  • The animation is absolutely stunning and complements the movie’s themes and emotional moments perfectly.


  • The movie deals with some heavy themes that may be triggering for some viewers.
  • The pacing of the movie can be slow at times, especially during its introspective moments.

Conclusion: A Silent Voice is a stunningly animated and emotionally powerful movie that tells a heart-wrenching story of redemption and connection. While its heavy themes and slow pacing may not be for everyone, it’s a must-watch for anyone looking for a deeply moving cinematic experience.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Movie

6. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a 1984 Japanese animated epic science fantasy film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, based on the 1982 manga of the same name. The film is set in a post-apocalyptic world in the far future and focuses on Nausicaä, the young princess of the Valley of the Wind, who attempts to stop a war between two neighboring countries.

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  • The film features stunningly beautiful animation with a visual style that is both unique and immersive, characterized by its breathtaking vistas and vivid color palette.
  • Nausicaä is a complex and well-developed protagonist, whose compassion and bravery in the face of adversity make her one of the most memorable and inspiring female characters in animated film.


  • The plot can be somewhat convoluted at times, with a large number of characters and factions to keep track of, which can make the film feel overwhelming and confusing.
  • The English dub of the film is somewhat uneven, with some voice acting choices that don’t quite fit the characters, and dialogue that can be overly cheesy at times.

Conclusion: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a masterpiece of animated filmmaking, featuring stunning visuals, a memorable protagonist, and a thought-provoking story that explores themes of environmentalism, war, and redemption. While the film can be overwhelming at times due to its complex plot and large cast of characters, it remains a must-see for any fan of animated cinema.

Ghost in the Shell Movie

7. Ghost in the Shell


Ghost in the Shell is a 2017 sci-fi action movie directed by Rupert Sanders. The protagonist, Major Mira Killian, is a cyborg supersoldier working for the Section 9 intelligence agency. Major is on a mission to stop a dangerous terrorist named Kuze, but soon discovers that she may be living a lie as her memories are not real. The movie is a live-action adaptation of the original Japanese manga, and explores themes of existence, identity, and consciousness.

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  • The movie has stunning visual effects and immersive set designs that are reminiscent of the original anime. The attention to detail in the world-building is impressive, and the futuristic and dystopian cityscapes are a visual treat.
  • The action scenes are well choreographed and thrilling. Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of Major is intense and convincing, and the supporting cast is equally competent. The movie does justice to the original characters and provides enough backstories to develop empathy with the audience.


  • The movie has been criticized for ‘white-washing’ the main character, as Scarlett Johansson is a Caucasian actor playing a character that is supposed to be Japanese. This controversy overshadowed the movie’s release, and many fans were disappointed with the casting choices.
  • The movie has a convoluted plot that is hard to follow without prior knowledge of the manga or anime. The philosophical themes of the movie are not explored in-depth, and the movie relies heavily on action sequences to carry the plot forward. This may detract from the movie’s appeal to fans of the source material.

Conclusion: Ghost in the Shell is a visually pleasing action movie that has its moments. However, it falls short in its exploration of the philosophical themes that are central to the original manga and anime. The casting choices and the convoluted plot may also detract from the movie’s appeal to some fans. Nevertheless, the movie is worth checking out for fans of the genre and those interested in the visual spectacle of sci-fi action movies.

Akira Movie

8. Akira


Akira is a 1988 Japanese animated post-apocalyptic cyberpunk film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, based on Otomo’s 1982 manga of the same name. It is regarded by many as a milestone in Japanese animation and a classic in the medium. The story takes place in Neo-Tokyo, a city rebuilt after being destroyed in a war. The film follows Tetsuo Shima, a member of a biker gang who gains telekinetic powers after a motorcycle accident, and his friend Shotaro Kaneda as they try to stop a secret government project and prevent Tetsuo from causing another catastrophic explosion.

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  • Visually stunning animation with detailed designs and vibrant colors
  • A groundbreaking and influential work in the cyberpunk genre, setting new standards for animation and science fiction storytelling


  • The story can be confusing and difficult to follow for some viewers, especially those unfamiliar with the manga
  • The soundtrack, while iconic, may not be to everyone’s taste, featuring a mix of traditional Japanese instruments and electronic music

Conclusion: Akira is a landmark achievement in animation and science fiction storytelling, setting new standards for visual design and narrative complexity. Its influence on Japanese animation and the cyberpunk genre as a whole cannot be overstated, and it remains a must-see for fans of anime, science fiction, and innovative filmmaking.

Perfect Blue Movie

9. Perfect Blue


Perfect Blue is a 1997 Japanese adult animated psychological thriller film directed by Satoshi Kon. The plot centers on Mima Kirigoe, a retired pop singer who decides to pursue an acting career. As she becomes more involved in her new occupation, strange things begin to happen around her as she starts to lose touch with reality. As the line between reality and fiction becomes blurred, Mima’s world slowly begins to crumble around her, leading to a shocking climax.

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  • The film’s visual style and animation are stunning, with numerous scenes that are beautifully crafted and perfectly capture the mood and atmosphere of the story.
  • The film’s exploration of themes such as identity, reality, and the nature of performance is both thought-provoking and engaging, making it a must-watch for fans of psychological thrillers.


  • Some viewers may find the film’s subject matter and imagery disturbing, particularly during the more violent or sexual scenes.
  • The film’s complex and often convoluted plot can be difficult to follow at times, making it a less than ideal choice for those looking for a straightforward narrative.

Conclusion: Overall, Perfect Blue is a visually stunning and well-crafted psychological thriller that explores complex themes and features strong performances from its cast. While it may not be for everyone, fans of the genre should definitely give this one a watch.

Redline Movie

10. Redline


Redline is a 2009 anime movie that follows the story of JP, a feared and respected racer who enters a deadly race called Redline. Set in a futuristic world that combines sci-fi elements with classic racing themes, the movie provides an exhilarating experience for viewers.

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  • The animation is stunning, with vibrant colors and detailed character designs that create a visual feast for the eyes.
  • The action scenes are intense and fast-paced, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.


  • The plot can be a bit confusing at times, with some story elements feeling underdeveloped or rushed.
  • The characters, while interesting, could use more fleshing out to make them feel more relatable and grounded.

Conclusion: Overall, Redline is a thrilling ride that combines adrenaline-pumping racing action with captivating sci-fi elements. While the plot and characters could benefit from more development, the movie’s stunning animation and intense action scenes make it a must-watch for fans of the genre.