Japanese anime captured the hearts of millions of people with its variety and uniqueness. Japanese anime movies are some of the best movies to exist in the cinematic genre. These movies have stunning visuals, captivating plotlines, and memorable characters. Japan has been home to some of the most iconic anime movies ever and continues to produce mesmerizing works. Anime movies are famous because they invoke emotions and transport the audience to another world. Many artists and filmmakers have taken inspiration from anime movies. There exist a few anime movies labeled as classics in the industry because of their phenomenal stories and animation. From romance and first love to action and horror, anime movies carved a niche within every genre. Here are some of the most iconic anime movies, often called classics.
1. Spirited Away
Spirited Away is probably the most famous anime movie we will ever know. Anyone who watches anime or knows about anime movies knows and has probably watched Spirited Away. This movie is from the popular company Studio Ghibli. Spirited Away revolves around Chihiro, a ten-year-old who works at a bathhouse after entering the world of spirits. The movie is full of Japanese lore and is a captivating piece of art with how well the animation is and how engaging the movie is. This movie will bring you to a trance.
Akira is a fast-paced action film adapted from a manga by Katsuhiro Otomo. Akira is called one of the best anime movies, and it deserves praise because of how good it is. This cyberpunk film shows the story of a man with powers leading misfits against the government. Akira was revolutionary because it highlighted the diversity in genres in anime. With spectacular visuals, action sequences, and a soundtrack, Akira is a classic in anime movies.
3. Howl’s Moving Castle
It is easy to say that Studio Ghibli has some anime movie classics that are very iconic, and one of them is Howl's Moving Castle. After Sophie, a young woman, is helped by a wizard, a witch puts a curse that turns Sophie into an old woman, and young Howl is the only hope for Sophie, to break the curse. The two, along with the eccentric beings of his moving house, go on an adventure. The movie has stunning visuals and spectacular background music.
4. Ghost In The Shell
Ghost In The Shell is known as one of the most iconic anime movies of all time. It is a cyberpunk thriller set in a futuristic world where police agent Motoko Kusanagi, with her team, tries to capture a ghost-hacker named the Puppet Master. The story includes a lot of philosophy about humans and technology. This movie elevated the anime genre globally. Ghost In The Shell is a classic with spectacular animation that inspired even Western filmmakers and artists and the famous sci-fi movie The Matrix.
5. Perfect Blue
Perfect Blue is a one-of-a-kind psychological thriller. Mima is a girl group member known for their cute image. She leaves her group to become an actor and does not anticipate the way people may react to her change in image. She struggles with what is her reality and what is not, while an obsessive fan stalks her. Perfect Blue is a classic that became iconic because it showed the versatility of anime. The movie is creepy, unsettling, and disturbing, but an excellent watch.
6. A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice is a gem of an anime movie. It garnered a lot of praise for its incredible storytelling. A Silent Voice tells about Shoko Nishimiya, who gets bullied at her new school due to her impaired hearing. It forces her to transfer and leave her bully, Shoyo, with her notebook. Years later, Shoyo, filled with guilt, tries to amend his mistakes with Shoko. A Silent Voice is iconic for exploring mental health struggles, disability, bullying, and forgiveness through complex characters. This movie will capture your heart and play with your emotions.
7. Summer Wars
Summer Wars is an iconic sci-fi adventure set in the virtual world of OZ. 17-year-old genius Kenji Koiso is invited on a summer trip by his crush, Natsuki. After they reach her place, he receives a coded equation from an unknown sender. Kenji solves the equation, not knowing that he jeopardized Earth. The movie mixes action, wit, adventure, and wholesome teen romance.
Paprika is a sci-fi thriller masterpiece by Satoshi Kon. The mind-blowing story revolves around a machine that allows psychologists into their patients' dreams. When a thief steals it, Dr. Chiba tries to track it down. Paprika is innovative, terrifying, and fun with its unique plot and some of the most captivating visuals in anime ever. It is a classic in anime and an icon because of its creativity. The director influenced many and left a legacy with Paprika. If you are a fan of Inception, know that Paprika is a must-watch.
9. Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke by Hayao Miyazaki is a dark, fantasy fiction, considered a classic anime with some of the best visuals from a Studio Ghibli movie. The movie is about a prince who gets cursed. While searching for a cure, he ends up in a war zone. Princess Mononoke is a visual treat, showing the relationship between nature and humanity. The movie is revolutionary with its concept and is considered a classic because of its exceptional visuals and storyline.
10. Your Name
Your Name was a worldwide hit in 2016 as one of the highest-grossing anime movies. It is a rom-com where Taki and Mitsuha, two high schoolers and strangers, start swapping bodies with each other. As they experience the swap and the other's lives, they discover more about the swapping phenomenon that could threaten the lives of many. Your Name is an overwhelming romance that will flutter your hearts, while its plot is just more than a simple romance. It is visually breathtaking, romantic, and swoon-worthy. This movie is a classic rom-com that will remain an icon in the future.