Best Anime Movies of All Time For Anime Lovers in Canada!

Best-Anime-Movies-CA

Table of Contents

Anime movies are animated films typically produced in Japan. The term “anime” is used in Japan to describe all forms of animation, regardless of origin. Outside of Japan, anime refers specifically to Japanese animation, which has a unique look and feel due to traditional cel animation and modern computer graphics.

The best anime movies in Canada of all time are varied, with something to offer everyone. Whether you’re a fan of action, romance, or comedy, there’s an anime movie out there that’s perfect for you. This article will discuss the seventy best anime movies of all time in 2022, detailing their year of release, directors, writers, cast, genre, runtime, and IMDb rating to make your selection and viewing easier. Even Netflix has one of the best collections of anime movies to binge on. However, without further ado, let’s get started.

Akira (1988)

Akira-(1988)

Director: Katsuhiro Otomo

Writer: Katsuhiro Otomo, Izo Hashimoto

Cast: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama

Genre: Action, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  124 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

Set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, the film follows Shōtarō Kaneda, a leader of his bōsōzoku gang. After he fails to save his friend Tetsuo from a secret government project, Kaneda begins to realize the subject’s biological weapon might have awakened something paranormal. Similarly, for action anime fans Naruto Movies in order is a great watch and Naruto Shippuden can be accessed on Netflix also.

Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited-Away-(2001)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Mari Natsuki

Genre: Adventure, Family, Animation

Runtime:  124 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.6/10

A young girl, Chihiro, becomes trapped in a strange world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call on the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world. Spirited Away is among the best anime movies of all time you need to watch.

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Grave-of-the-Fireflies-(1988)

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: Akiyuki Nosaka, Isao Takahata

Cast: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi

Genre: War, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  89 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

By 1945, the Second World War is reaching its conclusion in the Japanese town of Kobe. Two orphaned children, Seita and Setsuko, are struggling to survive amid the ongoing devastation, and their sense of hope is dwindling. As winter approaches and food supplies become increasingly scarce, they endure a great struggle in their daily lives. One day, Seita finds an abandoned box filled with fireflies and decides to use them to remember his father.

Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Ghost-in-the-Shell-1995

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Writer: Masamune Shirow, Kazunori Ito

Cast: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ōtsuka

Genre: Action, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  83 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

In the near future, Major Motoko Kusanagi is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and steal their knowledge, Kusanagi is uniquely qualified to stop it.

Paprika (2006)

Paprika-2006

Director: Satoshi Kon

Writer: Yatsutaka Tsutsui, Satoshi Kon, Seishi Minakami

Cast: Megumi Hayashibara, Toru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori

Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  90 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Dreams and reality collide in this tale of a scientist who invents a device able to enter peoples’ dreams, with the potential to solve people’s psychological problems. But when the lead researcher’s mentor steals it to take advantage of its mind-expanding powers for his own greed and gain, he accidentally gives the device to his loathsome son while testing it on himself.

The Wind Rises (2013)

The-Wind-Rises-2013

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Hideaki Anno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Miori Takimoto

Genre: Biography, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  126 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Set in Japan during the 1920s and 1930s, the film tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, a designer of fighter planes during World War II, and his dream of creating a plane that will make history. This is one of the best anime movies you need to include in your watch list.

Perfect Blue (1997)

Perfect-Blue-1997

Director: Satoshi Kon

Writer: Sadayuki Murai, Satoshi Kon, Yoshikazu Takeuchi

Cast: Junko Iwao, Shinpachi Tsuji, Rica Matsumoto

Genre: Crime, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  81 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

A pop singer is retiring from her group and trying to make a successful solo career. However, her fans are not ready to let her go, and she soon finds herself haunted by them. As the line between reality and fantasy starts to blur, she becomes more and more desperate to keep the fans happy, even if it means sacrificing her own sanity in the process.

Patlabor 2 (1993)

Patlabor-2-1993

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Writer: Kazunori Ito

Cast: Mina Tominaga, Briony Glassco, Julie Anne Taylor

Genre: Action, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  113 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

A sequel to the Patlabor movie, the story follows the activities of Special Vehicle Division 2, Section 2, composed of Detective Shigeo Shiba and officer Asuma Shinohara. They are assigned to investigate when a Japanese oil tanker is sunk in Tokyo Bay. It is among the best anime movies you need to watch as soon as possible.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

My-Neighbor-Totoro-1988

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto

Genre: Comedy, Family, Animation

Runtime:  86 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

This is among the best anime movies you need to have on your watch list. In this movie, two girls decide to move to the country to nurse their ailing mother. However, they encounter deadly spirits near their home. What do they do next? You need to find and watch this movie.

Neo-Tokyo (1987)

Neo-Tokyo-1987

Director: Rintaro, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Katsuhiro Otomo

Writer: Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Taku Mayumura, Rintaro

Cast: Hideko Yoshida, Masane Tsukayama, Yu Mizushima

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Animation

Runtime:  50 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

This movie represents a series of stories. In “Labyrinth Labyrinthos,” A girl with her cat finds themselves in a strange world, while in “Running Man,” a famous racer battles with his opponent. The last series, “Construction Cancellation Order,” involves a worker shutting down construction robots. You need to find time and watch these series. Similarly, you can binge-watch a list of Japanese anime as well.

Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987)

Royal-Space-Force-The-Wings-of-Honneamise-1987

Director: Hiroyuki Yamaga

Writer: Hiroyuki Yamaga, Kevin Seymour, Mary Claypool

Cast: Leo Marimoto, David Thomas, Mitsuki Yayoi

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  124 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Shirotsugh Lhadatt dreams of crewed flight to the stars in a future world where space travel is common. His dream is realized when he is selected as a member of the Royal Space Force, but he soon learns that the path to glory is fraught with danger and intrigue. It is among the best anime movies of all time in 2021 you need to watch.

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess-Mononoke-1997

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki, Neil Gaiman

Cast: Yuko Tanaka, Yuriko Ishida, Yoji Matsuda

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Animation

Runtime:  134 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Ashitaka is a young warrior living in a village that proudly defends its independence. When a demonic boar-god rampages through the forest, Ashitaka fights to protect his home and the people he loves. In the process, he is wounded and cursed. To save his life, he must journey west into a land of monsters and magic.

Pom Poko (1994)

Pom-Poko-1994

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: Isao Takahata, Hayao Mizayaki

Cast: Yuruko Ishida, Shincho Kokotei, Makoto Nonomura

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  119 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

When an urban development company destroys their home, a group of magical raccoons learns that their time is running out. Led by the wise and elderly Tama, the raccoons use their powers of transformation to try and save their home before it’s too late.

Barefoot Gen (1983)

Barefoot-Gen-1983

Director: Mori Masaki

Writer: Keiji Nakazawa

Cast: Issei Miyazaki, Catherine Battistone, Yoshie Shinamura

Genre: Biography, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  83 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

In a nuclear war-devastated Japan of the future, young Gen Nakaoka and his family struggle to survive. At first, the entire family larks together in an abandoned bomb shelter, but then famine hits, and Gen is thrust into a desperate mission – to find food for his beloved sister, Kyoko.

Metropolis (2001)

Metropolis-2001

Director: Rintaro

Writer: Osamu Tezuka, Katsuhiro Otomo, Marc Handler

Cast: Yuka Imoto, Toshio Furukawa, Scott Weinger

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  108 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Set in a futuristic cityscape, this anime adventure follows the quest of a young man named Kenichi, who is trying to rescue his friend Yumiko from the evil clutches of Doctor Laughton. He must first find and activate the mysterious ‘Metropolis’ robot to do so.

Macross: Do You Remember Love? (1984)

Macross-do-you-remember-love

Director: Noboru Ishiguro, Shoji Kawamori

Writer: Shoji Kawamori, Sukehiro Tomita

Cast: Mari Iijima, Arihiro Hase, Mika Doi

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation

Runtime:  114 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

A love story set against the backdrop of a destructive alien war. The story involves a pop singer rescued from her crashing spaceship by a young pilot. But when he died tragically in battle, the singer changed the military song they used to sing together into her own heartfelt ballad.

Millennium Actress (2001)

Millennium-Actress-2001

Director: Satoshi Kon

Writer: Satoshi Kon, Sadayuki Murai

Cast: Miyoko Shoji, Shozo Izuka, Mami Koyama

Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  124 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Sometime in the future, a legendary actress named Chiyoko Fujiwara mysteriously disappeared. A documentary filmmaker named Genya Tachibana sets out to uncover the truth about her disappearance and ends up discovering far more than he bargained for. This trippy and thought-provoking anime is a must-see for fans of mind-bending cinema.

Belladonna of Sadness (1973)

Belladonna-of-Sadness-1973

Director: Eiichi Yamamoto

Writer: Yoshiyuki Fukuda, Jules Michelet, Eiichi Yamamoto

Cast: Aiko Nagayama, Tatsuya Nakadai, Katsuyuki Ito

Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  86 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

This psychedelic anime tells the story of Jeanne, a peasant woman who is taken in by a local lord and made his mistress. She soon becomes determined to gain power and status for herself, but her thirst for revenge leads her down a dark path. This visually stunning film is an excellent choice for fans of adult-themed animation. It is one of the best anime movies you need to watch.

Redline (2009)

Redline-(2009)

Director: Takeshi Koike

Writer: Katsuhito Ishii, Yuji Enokido, Yoshiki Sakurai

Cast: Takuya Kimura, Tadanobu Asano, Yu Aoi

Genre: Action, Sci-fi, Animation

Runtime:  102 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

This high-octane anime takes place in the future when races called “Redline” are held to determine the best drivers in the galaxy. The film follows one racer, JP, competing for the ultimate prize. With its stunning visuals and pulse-pounding action, Redline is sure to please fans of anime racing movies.

Mind Game (2004)

Mind-Game-2004

Director: Masaaki Yuasa, Koji Marimoto

Writer: Masaaki Yuasa, Robin Nishi

Cast: Koji Imada, Takashi Fujii, Sayaka Maeda

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Animation

Runtime:  103 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

This mind-bending anime tells the story of Nishi, a young man who is trying to make his way in the world. When he is killed in a car accident, he is granted one wish by a mysterious being, and he uses it to travel back in time so that he can make things right. With its unique visuals and engaging story, Mind Game is among the best anime movies of all time that shouldn’t be missed.

Panda and the Magic Serpent (1958)

Panda-and-the-Magic-Serpent-1958

Director: Taiji Yabushita

Writer: Shin Uehara, Taiji Yabushita, Seiichi Yashiro

Cast: Hisaya Morishige, Mariko Miyagi, Virginia Blackman

Genre: Family, Fantasy, Animation

Runtime:  79 mins

IMDb Rating: 6.5/10

This film is often credited with launching the Japanese anime industry, and it’s easy to see why. The story follows a young panda named Noriko as she sets out to find the magic serpent that her father has been searching for. With beautiful visuals and an engaging story, Panda and the Magic Serpent is a must-watch for fans of classic anime movies.

Ninja Scroll (1993)

Ninja-Scroll-1993

Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Writer: Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Cast: Koichi Yamadera, Emi Shinohara, Takeshi Aono

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation

Runtime:  94 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

This action-packed anime follows Jubei, a lone ninja who journeys to rescue a kidnapped woman and winds up embroiled in an ancient struggle. Ninja Scroll is often credited with popularizing anime among the adult crowd, and its expert use of violence and sexuality makes it an excellent choice for mature viewers.

Memories (1995)

Memories-1995

Director: Amber Lee Connors, Koji Morimoto, Tensai Okamura

Writer: Satoshi Kon, Katsuhiro Otomo

Cast: Mark Swint, Robbie Daymond, Frank Todaro

Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller, Animation

Runtime:  113 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

This anime classic follows three different stories that all take place in the future. Although the stories are unrelated, they all explore the theme of memories and how they can affect our lives. With its thought-provoking story and beautiful visuals, Memories is a must-watch for fans of anime movies. They are the best anime movies you should watch.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

Nausicaa-of-the-Valley-of-the-Wind-1984

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki, Cindy Davis, Donald H. Hewitt

Cast: Sumi Shimamoto, Mahito Tsujimura, Hisako Kyoda

Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Animation

Runtime:  117 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

This anime classic follows the title character as she sets out to stop a war between humans and the kingdom of insects. With its incredible visuals and engaging story, this is an excellent choice for adult anime fans. It is regarded as one of the best anime movies ever released.

Only Yesterday (1991)

Only-Yesterday-1991

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: Hotaru Okamoto, David Freedman, Yuuko Tone

Cast: Miki Imai, Toshiro Yanagiba, Yoko Honna

Genre: Romance, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  119 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

After traveling to the countryside to recuperate from an illness, Taeko recalls events from her past. This anime classic is an excellent choice for adult anime fans thanks to its realistic characters and insightful exploration of growing up in Japan.

Tekkonkinkreet (2006)

Tekkonkinkreet-2006

Director: Michael Arias

Writer: Anthony Weintraub, Taiyo Matsumoto

Cast: Kazunari Ninomiya, Yusuke Iseya, Yû Aoi

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation

Runtime:  111 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Black and White are two orphans who run away from the orphanage to look for their real parents. They live on the streets of Treasure Town, making a meager living by scavenging and stealing. When they’re not fighting for survival, they enjoy playing games and exploring the city until their life is threatened.

Roujin-Z (1991)

Roujin-Z-1991

Director: Hiroyuki Kitakubo

Writer: Katsuhiro Otomo

Cast: Toni Barry, Shinji Ogawa, Chisa Yokoyama

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  80 mins

IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

A scientist has created the ultimate weapon in the form of a bed that takes care of its elderly patient’s every need. But when the government takes an interest in the bed, they find out that it’s not all that it seems. It is among the best anime movies ever made.

Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer (1984)

Urusei-Yatsura-2-Beautiful-Dreamer-1984

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Writer: Rumiko Takahashi, Mamoru Oshii

Cast: Fumi Hirano, Toshio Furukawa, Akira Kamiya

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Animation

Runtime:  90 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Ataru Moroboshi’s perennial scuffles with the alien princess Lum continue. This time Ataru’s romantic rival, Shinobu, has promised to marry Lum if Ataru can win a game of tag against her. Unfortunately for him, the game involves hanging onto an octopus-like creature at the bottom of a lake while being chased by all manner of supernatural creatures.

Your Name (2016)

Your-Name-2016

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Writer: Makoto Shinkai, Clark Cheng

Cast: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryô Narita

Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  106 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Mitsuha is the daughter of the mayor of a small mountain town. She’s tired of living in the country, and when she’s told that her family is moving to Tokyo, she decides to run away and live in the city. But her plans go awry when she wakes up one day in a boy’s body.

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

Tokyo-Godfathers-2003

Director: Satoshi Kon

Writer: Satoshi Kon, Keiko Nobumoto

Cast: Toru Emori, Yoshiaki Umegaki, Aya Okamoto

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Animation

Runtime:  92 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Three homeless people in Tokyo—a middle-aged alcoholic woman, a transgender sex worker, and a runaway teen boy—save a baby abandoned in a trash can and try to find its mother. This movie is among the best anime movies of all time; in 2021, you need to find and watch.

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Kikis-Delivery-Service-1989

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki, Eiko Kadono

Cast: Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma, Kirsten Dunst

Genre: Adventure, Family, Animation

Runtime:  103 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

A young witch must spend a year on her own in a large city before she is allowed to return home. She finds work flying around on her broomstick delivering packages and soon makes friends with a young baker and his daughter. It is one of the best anime movies you need to watch.

Mirai (2018)

Mirai-2018

Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Writer: Mamoru Hosoda

Cast: John Cho, Rebecca Hall, Daniel Dae Kim

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  98 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

A young boy encounters a small, talking robot designed to help children with their everyday problems. The robot soon becomes a close friend and helps the boy through a series of personal hardships.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (1988)

Mobile-Suit-Gundam-Chars-Counterattack-1988

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Writer: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Cast: Tory Furuya, Shuichi Ikeda, Hirotaka Suzuoki

Genre: Action, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  124 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

After Char Aznable’s Neo-Zeon army is caught in a trap, forcing their retreat from space, he encounters a mysterious youth named Amuro Ray. At the same time, a civilian ship sends a distress signal to the Argama, prompting both groups to assist it. The crew of the Argama wants to learn what happened to their missing comrades and why this civilian ship is being attacked.

Robot Carnival (1987)

Robot-Carnival-1987

Director: Atsuko Fukushima, Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Hiroyuki Kitazume

Writer: Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Koji Morimoto

Cast: Koji Moritsugu, Yayoi Maki, Keiko Hanagata

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  90 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

Robot Carnival is a collection of nine different science fiction stories centered on robots, co-edited by Masami Yuuki and animation director Kihachiro Kawamoto. The individual segments vary in length from approximately 7 to 40 minutes, for a total runtime of roughly 87 minutes. They are some of the best anime movies you need to watch.

Panda! Go, Panda! (1972)

Panda-Go-Panda-1972

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: Isao Takahata

Cast: Kazuko Sugiyama, Kazuo Kumakura, Yoshiko Ota

Genre: Short, Comedy, Animation

Runtime:  34 mins

IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

Panda! Go, Panda! Follows the misadventures of a young girl named Mimiko who gets lost in the woods and befriends a family of pandas. The ever-hungry pandas teach Mimiko how to live in the forest and fend for herself.

Appleseed (2004)

Appleseed-2004

Director: Shinji Aramaki

Writer: Shirow Masamune, Haruka Handa, Tsutomu Kamishiro

Cast: Ai Kobayashi, Jurota Kosugi, Yuki Matsuoka

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation

Runtime:  101 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

In the future, humans and artificial beings known as Bioroids will coexist peacefully. One of the artificial beings, Deunan Knute, is a military consultant helping to maintain peace. She’s forced back into combat when an attempt to neutralize the rebel leader ends in failure.

Castle in the Sky (1986)

Castle-in-the-Sky-1986

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki, Jonathan Swift

Cast: Mayumi Tanaka, Keiko Yokozawa, Kotoe Hatsui

Genre: Adventure, Family, Animation

Runtime:  125 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

A young girl named Sheeta falls out of the sky and into the arms of Pazu, a young boy who lives in a mining town. They quickly become friends and set out to discover the secrets of the floating castle in the sky that Sheeta was seeking.

Vampire Hunter D (1985)

Vampire-Hunter-D-1985

Director: Toyoo Ashida

Writer: Hideyuki Kikuchi, Yasushi Hirano

Cast: Kaneto Shiozawa, Michie Tomizawa, Seizo Kato

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Animation

Runtime:  80 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

In the future, a young vampire hunter named D is hired to track down and destroy a powerful vampire lord. Along the way, he falls in love with a beautiful woman who has secrets of her own. This is among the best anime movies you need to watch.

Interstella 5555 (2003)

Interstella-5555-2003

Director: Daisuke Nishio, Hirotoshi Rissen, Leiji Matsumoto

Writer: Thomas Bangalter, Cedric Harvet, Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo

Cast: Romanthony, Thomas Bangalter

Genre: Adventure, Music, Animation

Runtime:  68 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Interstella 5555 is a French-Japanese animated film based on the music of Daft Punk’s Discovery album. The story follows a group of alien musicians kidnapped and forced to perform their songs by an evil record company president.

A Silent Voice (2016)

A-Silent-Voice-2016

Director: Naoko Yamada

Writer: Reiko Yoshida, Yoshitoki Oima, Kiyoshi Shigematsu

Cast: Miyu Irino, Saori Hayami, Aoi Yuki

Genre: Drama, Animation

Runtime:  130 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Shoya Ishida starts off as an indifferent 6th-grade student who goes out of his way to bully the deaf Shoko Nishimiya. However, when he leads his class in bullying Shoko, the class representative (Shoya’s childhood friend), Nagatsuka, stops them and says that Shoya is a “weakling.” This leaves an impression on Shoya and changes him for good. The movie is regarded as the best anime movies of all time.

The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)

The-Place-Promised-in-Our-Early-Days-2004

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Writer: Makoto Shinkai, Steven Foster

Cast: Hidetaka Yoshioka, Masato Hagiwara, Yuka Nanri

Genre: Romance, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  90 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

In an alternate timeline, Japan was divided after losing World War II. The two countries are now known as the Union and the Alliance. The young boys Takuya and Hiroki, residents of the Union, promise each other that they will someday fly to the Alliance to see a mysterious place called “The Tower.” But the tension between the two countries builds, and their friendship is tested.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

The-Girl-Who-Leapt-Through-Time-2006

Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Writer: Satoko Okudera, Yasutaka Tsutsui

Cast: Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Animation

Runtime:  98 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Makoto Konno is a high school girl who, time and again, uses her ability to travel through time to help her friends and family. But then she stumbles upon a secret that makes her question the very foundation of her life. This is one of the best anime movies ever made.

Porco Rosso (1992)

Porco-Rosso-1992

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Shūichirō Moriyama, Tokiko Kato, Bunshi Katsura Vi

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Animation

Runtime:  94 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Set in the 1930s, an ace pilot is transformed into a pig-man after his plane is shot down by the Italian air force. He must hide on a remote island and dodge the authorities and the mob, who are both looking for him.

Steamboy (2004)

Steamboy-2004

Director: Katsuhiro Otomo

Writer: Katsuhiro Otomo, Sadayuki Murai

Cast: Anna Paquin, Patrick Stewart, Alfred Molina

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation

Runtime:  126 mins

IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

In an alternate 19th century England, a young inventor uses steampunk technology to create a device that can harness energy from static electricity. When he travels to America to exhibit his invention, he becomes embroiled in a power struggle between two corrupt factions.

Galaxy Express 999 (1979)

Galaxy-Express-999-1979

Director: Rintaro

Writer: Leiji Matsumoto, Kon Ichikawa, Fumio Ishimori

Cast: Masako Nozawa, Yoko Asagami, Masako Ikeda

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation

Runtime:  129 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

After his mother is murdered by a thug named Zathura, young Tetsuro is adopted by the kindly Captain Harlock. Years later, Tetsuro has become a wandering adventurer and is searching for the mysterious Galaxy Express 999 to travel to the planet of his dreams, Eternal Earth. This is one of the best anime movies you’ll ever watch.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (1997)

Neon-Genesis-Evangelion-The-End-of-Evangelion-1997

Director: Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki

Writer: Hideaki Anno

Cast: Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara, Yūko Miyamura

Genre: Action, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  87 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

In the final episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Earth is being invaded by angels. Shinji Ikari is asked by his father to pilot a giant mecha known as an Evangelion in defense of Tokyo-3.

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1999)

Jin-Roh-The-Wolf-Brigade-1999

Director: Hiroyuki Okiura

Writer: Mamoru Oshii, Robert Chomiak

Cast: Michael Dobson, Yoshikazu Fujiki, Sumi Mutoh

Genre: Action, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  102 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

The setting is an alternate history of World War II in which the Germans have won the war. A fascist government rules with an iron fist, and a secret police organization known as the Capitol Police hunts down dissidents. The story follows Fuse, a member of the Capitol Police who is torn between his duty to the state and his love for a young woman named Kei.

Voices of a Distant Star (2002)

Voices-of-a-Distant-Star-2002

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Writer: Makoto Shinkai

Cast: Mika Shinohara, Makoto Shinkai, Sumi Mutoh

Genre: Short, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  25 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

A young girl named Mikako is sent into space to fight the aliens attacking Earth. Leaving behind her love interest, Noboru, and sending messages to him as she battles the aliens that threaten Earth. This is among the best anime movies that will blow your mind.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

Ghost-in-the-Shell-2-Innocence-2004

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Writer: Shirow Masamune, Mamoru Oshii, Richard Epcar

Cast: Akio Otsuka, Atsuka Tanaka, Tamio Oki

Genre: Mystery, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  100 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Batou is a new Section 9 crew, working directly under Major Motoko Kusanagi. He is a cyborg with extensive cybernetic modifications to his body. His most noticeable feature is a large metal plate bolted over his left eye. While investigating the murder of a top scientist, Section 9 discovers that it may have been an inside job and that a powerful artificial intelligence may be behind it all.

Dead Leaves (2004)

Dead-Leaves-2004

Director: Hiroyuki Imaishi

Writer: Takeichi Honda, Toonz Imai

Cast: Kappei Yamaguchi, Takako Honda, Yuko Mizutani

Genre: Action, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  55 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

This is one of the movies you need to watch if you are a true fan of anime movies. IN this movie, Retro and Pandy are criminals who wake up not remembering their past. They get off on a journey, stealing anything they come close by. However, their plans become complicated when Pandy is caught cheating. It would be best to watch this movie to get the whole story.

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Howls-Moving-Castle-2004

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki, Diane Wynne Jones

Cast: Chieko Baisho, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashuin

Genre: Adventure, Family, Animation

Runtime:  119 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

The movie tells the story of a young hatter named Sophie who meets a wizard called Howl on her way to visit her sister. Sophie is cursed by the Witch of the Waste, who turns her into an old woman. Howl helps Sophie break the curse, and they set off on a journey to restore her to her usual self. This is among the best anime movies of all time in 2021 you need to watch as soon as possible.

Cat Soup (2001)

Cat-Soup-2001

Director: Tatsuo Sato

Writer: Nekojiru, Tatsuo Sato, Masaaki Yuasa

Cast: N/A

Genre: Short, Comedy, Animation

Runtime:  34 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Cat Soup is about two orphans, Arashiyama and Morihito Kawomie, who try to return the dead grandmother back to life. The film is a surreal and darkly humorous journey, mixing elements of Alice in Wonderland with Japanese mythology.

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

My-Neighbors-the-Yamadas-1999

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: Hisaichi Ishii, Isao Takahata, Leo Chu

Cast: Yukiji Asaoka, Toru Masuoka, Masako Araki

Genre: Comedy, Family, Animation

Runtime:  104 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

My Neighbors the Yamadas is based on a manga by Hisaichi Ishii. This family-focused comedy follows the lives of Mr. And Mrs. Yamada and their children in unpredictable episodic adventures, including an in-depth look into each family member’s personality.

5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)

5-Centimeters-Per-Second-2007

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Writer: Makoto Shinkai

Cast: Kenji Mizuhashi, Yoshimi Kondou, Satomi Hanamura

Genre: Family, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  63 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

5 Centimeters Per Second is a Makoto Shinkai film about young love and heartbreak. The story follows the romance between two classmates, Takaki Tono and Akari Shinohara, for several years. This is one of the best anime movies you need to watch.

Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (2000)

Gundam-Wing-Endless-Waltz-2000

Director: Yasunao Aoki

Writer: Rika Takahashi, Yoshiyuki Tomino

Cast: Mark Hildreth, Scott McNeill, Kirby Morrow

Genre: Action, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  180 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

In the year After Colony 195, a new organization called OZ rose to take the place of the defunct United Earth Sphere Alliance. OZ has a new weapon, the powerful mobile suit called Gundams. When peace activist Heero Yuy is captured by OZ while investigating their new Gundam project, three young pilots—Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, and Quatre Raberba Winner—steal three Gundams and travel to Earth to stop OZ.

The Animatrix (2003)

The-Animatrix-2003

Director: Peter Chung, Andrew R. Jones, Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Writer: Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski,Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Cast: Kevin Michael Richardson, Pamela Adlon, John DiMaggio

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Animation

Runtime:  100 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

The Animatrix is a collection of nine animated short films with stories based on the Matrix universe. The shorts were written and directed by some of the foremost anime directors from Japan, including Mamoru Oshii and Kenji Kamiyama.

A Thousand and One Nights (1969)

A-Thousand-and-One-Nights-1969

Director: Eiichi Yamamoto, Osamu

Writer: Kazuo Fukuzawa, Hiroyuki Kumai, Osamu Tezuka

Cast: Sachito Ito, Noboru Mitani, Haruko kato

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation

Runtime:  128 mins

IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

A Thousand and One Nights (Senya Ichiya Monogatari) is a 1969 Japanese-Italian adult anime film based loosely on the ancient Arabic folk tales of Aladdin and Ali Baba, which were in turn based upon the historic Persian collection 1001 Nights. This is among the best anime movies you shouldn’t miss in your collection.

Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

Lupin-III-The-Castle-of-Cagliostro-1979

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Monkey Punch, Hayao Mizayaki, Haruya Yamazaki

Cast: Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Yasuo Yamada, Eiko Masuyama

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation

Runtime:  102 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Lupin III and his fellow thief-turned-ally Daisuke Jigen find themselves in the middle of an elaborate 20-stage treasure hunt put on by a wealthy count. Clues to finding the treasures are contained within drafts of a will hidden within the castle walls. Still, influential individuals within the Italian government want them, too, to cover up their shady dealings with the count.

Battle Angel (1993)

Battle-Angel-1993

Director: Hiroshi Fukutomi

Writer: Yukito Kishiro, Akinori Endo

Cast: Miki Ito, Shunsuke Kariya, Kappei Yamaguchi

Genre: Action, Short, Animation

Runtime:  54 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

In a future world where cyborgs and humans live side by side, Gally is a female cyborg who has forgotten her past. When she is found by the gentle cybernetic doctor Ido, he takes her in and repairs her. Soon, Gally begins to recall fragments of her past and falls in love with Ido, but she also uncovers the dark secrets of her former masters.

Night on The Galactic Railroad (1985)

Night-on-The-Galactic-Railroad-1985

Director: Gisaburō Sugii, Arlen Tarlofsky

Writer: Kenji Miyazawa, Hiroshi Masamura, Minoru Betsuyaku

Cast: Matsumi Tanaka, Chika Sakamoto, Junko Hori

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  113 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Based on the novel by Kenji Miyazawa, Night on the Galactic Railroad ( Ginga Tetsudō no Yoru ) is a 1985 Japanese animated film produced by Group TAC. The story is about two young boys, Giovanni and Campanella, who meet while riding on the Milky Way railway and travel together to the world of spirits.

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010)

The-Disappearance-of-Haruhi-Suzumiya-2010

Director: Tatsuya Ishihara, Yatsuhiro Takemoto

Writer: Tanigawa Nagaru, Fumihiko Shimo

Cast: Aya Hirano, Tomokazu Sugita, Minori Chihara

Genre: Family, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  162 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Kyon is a high school student who has a lot of problems, of which the biggest is his disbelief in the supernatural. One day, he meets Haruhi Suzumiya, who is anything but typical. She’s an outrageous and eccentric girl who says she’s searching for aliens, espers, and time travelers.

Whisper of the Heart (1995)

Whisper-of-the-Heart-1995

Director: Yoshifumi Kondō

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki, Aoi Hiragi, Cindy Davis,

Cast: Yōko Honna, Takashi Tachibana, Issey Takahashi

Genre: Family, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  111 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Shizuku Tsukishima’s life is a boring one. With her head in the clouds and daydreams filling her thoughts, she passes the time with lettered butterflies that need to be caught and recorded in her collection. All that changes when she meets Seiji Amasawa, whose passion for writing inspires Shizuku’s dreams of becoming a writer.

Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan (1993)

Dragon-Ball-Z-Broly-The-Legendary-Super-Saiyan-1993

Director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi

Writer: Takao Koyama, Akira Toriyama

Cast: Masako Nozawa, Bin Shimada, Ryo Horikawa

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Animation

Runtime:  72 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

After being defeated in a World Martial Arts Tournament by his rival, Goku’s brother learns from an evil space warrior that he is actually a Saiyan and sends him on a rampage throughout the universe. This is among the best anime movies you need to watch before the end of time.

Blood: The Last Vampire (2000)

Blood-The-Last-Vampire-2000

Director: Hiroyuki Kitakubo

Writer: Kenji Kuroda, Katsuya Terada

Cast: Yuki Kudo, Saemi Yakamura, Joe Romesa

Genre: Action, Horror, Animation

Runtime:  48 mins

IMDb Rating: 6.7/10

Half-human vampire Saya, trapped in the body of a teenage girl, goes to high school with her preternatural adoptive family and fights evil forces along with some classmates. It is one of the best anime movies ever released.

Phoenix: 2772 (Hi no tori 2772: Ai no kosumozôn) (1980)

Phoenix-2772

Director: Taku Sugiyama, Osaku Tezuma

Writer: Taku Sugiyama, Osaku Tezuma

Cast: Kaneto Shiozawa, Keiko Takeshita, Hiroshi Otake

Genre: Action, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  122 mins

IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

Based on a novel by the great science fiction writer Kenji Miyazawa, this film follows a mysterious girl’s quest to find a mythical flower, the last hope of her dying world. She meets and falls in love with a human boy along the way. But can their devotion save his world?

Macross Plus (1995)

Macross-Plus-1995

Director: Shoji Kawamori, Shinichiro Watanabe

Writer: Shoji Kawamori, Keiko Nobumoto

Cast: Steven Blum, Rica Fukami, Banjo Ginga

Genre: Action, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  115 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

A series of 4 short films linked together by the story of a pop star who hires the team to film her. The tale unfolds as each team member has their own tragedies and triumphs, making it hard to stay focused on the task at hand. It is among the best anime movies of all time you need to watch.

Spriggan (1998)

Spriggan-1998

Director: Hirotsugu Kawasaki, Katsuhiro Otomo

Writer: Yatsutaka Ito, Hirotsugu Kawaski, Ryoji Minigawa

Cast: Shotaro Morikubo, Ryuji Aigase, Takehito Koyasu

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation

Runtime:  90 mins

IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

The US and USSR released genetically engineered soldiers into the modern-day battlefield. One such soldier, Joshua, is sent to investigate an organization of mercenaries who plan to use col. It is one movie you need to watch.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)

The-Tale-of-Princess-Kaguya-2013

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: Isao Takahata, Riko Sakaguchi

Cast: Cloe Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen

Genre: Family, Drama, Animation

Runtime:  137 mins

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

A bamboo cutter named Sanuki no Miyatsuko discovers a miniature girl inside a glowing bamboo shoot. Believing her to be a divine presence, he and his wife decide to raise her as their own, calling her “Princess.” It is among the best anime movies you shouldn’t miss on your watch list.

Patlabor: The Movie (1989)

Patlabor-The-Movie-1989

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Writer: Kazunori Itō, Masami Yuki

Cast: Toshio Furukawa, David Jarvis, Doug Erholtz

Genre: Action, Crime, Animation

Runtime:  100 mins

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

In the future, Japan has developed giant robots called “Labors” to handle construction and other dangerous jobs. When a group of terrorists uses Labors to commit crimes, the police department’s special “Patlabor” division is created to deal with them.

Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack (2012)

Gyo-Tokyo-Fish-Attack-2012

Director: Takayuki Hirao

Writer: Junji Ito, Takayuki Hirao, Akihiro Yoshida

Cast: Mirai Kataoka, Ami Taniguchi, Takuma Nagishi

Genre: Horror, Animation

Runtime:  70 mins

IMDb Rating: 5.5/10

When a monstrous sea-dwelling beast emerges from the deep and begins attacking the land-dwellers, only Gyo – a meek young fish delivery boy with an obsession for sea life – can stop it. The problem is he’s never even used his own Ugat before.

These movies are not necessarily the best anime movies in Canada of all time, but they are most definitely some of the greatest. Why? They have exciting plots with great messages, beautiful animation and art style, lovable characters, and just overall a good story-telling: what more could you ask for in an anime movie? So, grab your snacks and junk food, sit back, relax, and enjoy the anime movie marathon this weekend. You will definitely not regret it.

Joshua Garner

Joshua calls himself nerd+geek who is also passionate about football. He enjoys comics, animes, and science fiction. He finds his comfort in writing about suspense, thrillers and science fiction shows and movies.

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