There’s something incredible and irrefutably beautiful about the anime movies that no anime lover can deny. It is fantasy but at the same time, it draws from reality. The interpretation of the various elements of fantasy present in the anime provide a deeper understanding of our inner self, the world around us, and the mysteries of life. Here’s a short list of the best anime movies that every person must watch at least once in his/her lifetime.
- 5 Centimetres Per Second
The story takes place in Japan in the 1990s to 2008. It is fragmented into three interwoven parts and revolves around a boy named Takaki Tono. It is a beautiful journey of the protagonist from his childhood to adulthood made even better by the incredible narration (almost poetic) about the love life of the central character beginning at a time when nobody had cell phones and ending in an era of advanced technological development when communication is no longer an issue. In the words of the protagonist, Takaki Tono “But I’m sure that even if we had written 1,000 text messages back and forth…our hearts probably wouldn’t have moved even one centimetre closer.”
- The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
It is the story about a high school girl, Makoto Konno who has the ability of leaping through time. She uses her power to time travel to prevent unwanted events from happening. She prevents her best friend Chikai Mamiya from confessing his love for her only to find out that he is from future. The story unfolds beautifully and their love transcending time and space.
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
The sci-fi film is set in the post-war Japan and revolves around the lives of three friends Hiroki Fujisawa, Takuya Shirakawa and Sayuri Sawatari who have always fantasized about going to the Hokkaido Tower. The twist comes when Sayuri disappears during the summer and the elements of dream and separation as well as the concept of parallel universes comes in.
- Spirited Away
This anime movie is about a ten-year-old girl, Chihiro Ogino. Along with her family, she mistakenly enters the world of spirits where her parents are transformed into pigs. She finds herself trapped but a spirit named Haku helps her survive the non-human world and warns her not to forget her identity lest she might never get out of the spirit land just like him. In addition, Chihiro’s love for Haku reminds him of his forgotten identity and they help each other in escaping the dreadful world of spirits. The film subtly draws on the concept of greed and masked identity.
- Princess Mononoke
The movie takes you to a historical journey adorned with many elements of fantasy. Ashitaka, the last prince of Emishi ventures into an adventurous journey to find a cure for the curse of Tatarigami only to get himself involved in a battle between the guardian spirits of forest and Tatara, an iron mining society. In his expedition, he meets the wolf girl, Princess Mononoke. The film explores various themes such as environment degradation, sexuality, disability, as well as social systems based on industrialization, institutionalization and militarization.
- My Neighbour Totoro
The story is set in post-war rural Japan. The two sisters, Satsuki and Mei move with their father to the countryside to be closer to their mother in the sanatorium. In the old house and the forest, they have astounding adventures with the spirits of nature.