10 Best anime movies that will make you love Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
10 Best anime movies that will make you love Japan

10 Best anime movies that will make you love Japan

By Guidable Writers Jun 24, 2017


10 Japanese animated movies you will surely love

10 Japanese animated movies you will surely love

There are many factors why everybody loves Japan. It’s the culture, delectable food, transportation, gorgeous places, cherry blossoms, remarkable history, amiable people, stunning taste of fashion, and of course manga and anime.

If we talk about anime, the first thing that comes to our mind is Japan. Why? Because Japan dominates the world of animation. Japanese anime partakes a big impact in Japanese pop culture, as it shows how Japanese people are creative, innovative, unique, and how they influence the young and adult people around the globe.

Japanese animated movie plays a big role in Japan’s animation industry, as it gives popularity and good reputation not just to the people behind it but the country itself. It garnered countless of awards and accumulated millions of audiences around the world. Without further adieu, may I present to you the list of the best animated movies that you shouldn’t miss and you will love a lifetime.


10. Ponyo

A 2008 animated film released by Studio Ghibli that has been popularized in other countries such as US, Canada and UK. The english version was dubbed with a well-known actors in hollywood like Liam Neeson, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett. It is one of the greatest animated movie written and directed by the Legendary Hayao Miyazaki. Ponyo or also known as Ponyo on the cliff by the sea, is a story about a goldfish that was curious about the outside world and turned to a human girl as she fell in love with a human boy named Sosuke. Ponyo encounters different kinds of adventure along the way and pleaded her father a sea sorcerer and her mother the enchantress, to turn her to a human girl permanently just to be with Sosuke.


9. The Girl Who Leapt through Time

The movie is about Makoto, the girl who discovered that she can leap through time. It all started when she was in the laboratory in their school and accidentally found a bean-shape-like object that has the ability to travel through time. Makoto uses the power in a senseless way and neglected the possibilities of what would be the negative effect if she keeps  using it. This film is based on a novel with the same title written by Satoko Okudera and released on 2006. It was directed by Mamoru Hosoda and garnered numerous award as well as Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.


8. 5 Centimeters per Second

A Japanese animated movie that is written, produced and directed by Makoto Shinkai. The movie was released on 2007 and was awarded as the Best Animated Feature Film at the 2007 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. The movie was arranged in  three different segments; Cherry Blossom, Cosmonaut, and 5 centimeter per second. The story evolved on the main character named Takaki Tōno and his undying love for a girl named Akari Shinohara. Due to unforeseen circumstances both of them have been separated through time and drifted apart.


7. Laputa Castle in the Sky

A first film produced and released by Studio Ghibli dated 1986. The animated movie was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki who is also the co-founder of Studio Ghibli that started in 1985. The movie was about adventure, pirates, airships and a floating city. One of the main characters named Sheeta an orphan girl who was abducted by the government agent, Musuka, but has escaped when the government airship was attacked by pirates. Throughout her journey she met Pazu a boy who is fascinated about air aviation and the floating city in the sky called Laputa. Sheeta and Pazu discovered that the amulet Sheeta’s wearing is magical and the key to find the floating city in the sky.


6. My Neighbor Totoro

Is a story about two young girls Satsuke and Mei together with their father. They moved to a rural area in Japan so they can be near  their Mother who is suffering from an illness and recuperates in the nearby hospital. The magical adventure started when Mei came across two animal spirits upon exploring the backyard and make friends with a larger version of the same kind named Totoro. Satsuke and Mei experienced the fun and adventure together with the animal spirits as they awaited for their Mother to return vigorously. This is another epic Japanese animated movie is written and directed by anime legend Hayao Miyazaki. The film was released by Studio Ghibli in 1988 and won several awards. The film was once dubbed into an english version and re-released on 2006 by Walt Disney Entertainment.


5. Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke is another work-of-art animated movie written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The setup of this movie is in the late Muromachi period of Japan approximately from 1336 to 1573. The film was released on July 1997 by Studio Ghibli. It was the highest grossing film of that year until the Titanic movie was released. The plot of the story is about a battle between forest spirits and humankind who destroys the forest, hauling its resources, and causes havoc to the forest spirit’s habitat. A young warrior named Emishi Ashitaka from a small tribe was cursed by a boar god when he defended his village from it. He travels to the west where the boar god came from to find a cure, only to find out a big chaos between spirits and humans. Then, he met San (Princess Mononoke) a young girl who was raised by wolves, she defended the forest, and fought for what is right.


4. Howl’s Moving Castle

This film is a story about love, war, and magic, based on the Novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones. The story began when Sophie a young hatter encounters a handsome witch named Howl on her way when she visited her sister Lettie. Howl protected Sophie from the Henchmen which made the witch of waste jealous and turned her into a 90 year old woman. She ended up living in the moving castle where Howl lives, volunteering as a cleaning lady in exchange of her stay in the castle. She befriended Markl a young apprentice and Calcifer the fire-demon. Sophie experienced adventures along the way until she found love and break the spell. This animated movie was also directed by Hayao Miyazaki, released on 2004 by Studio Ghibli.


3. Your Name

This animated movie is about switching bodies of Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu while sleeping. Taki Tachibana, a boy who lives in Tokyo, meanwhile Mitsuha Miyamizu, a girl who is bored in her life living in the countryside and wished to live in Tokyo. Moving forward, they both realized their switching bodies is real. They tried to communicate by leaving notes and creating journal for each other. They have decided to see each other but a tragedy happened and found out that their timeline was separated over three years.


2. The Wind Rises

This animated movie is about pursuing your passion and dreams despite of hardships in life. Based on a true to life story of Jiro Hirokoshi, a Japanese aviation engineer during WWII. Jiro Hirokoshi has interest with airplanes since a young boy. He was inspired by Giovanni Battista Caproni an Italian aircraft designer and even dreamt of  flying his own creation together with him. This masterpiece is created and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.


1.Spirited Away

This movie took the first spot not just because the movie won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards on 2001, but because of the marvelous story of a little girl named Chihiro and the creative approach of Hayao Miyazaki in directing and animating the movie. Spirited Away is a movie about perseverance, respect and the amazing thing in world – love. Chihiro a 10 year old girl moved to a new home with her parents, on their way, her dad took a wrong shortcut and ended up entering the spirit world. Her adventure started when her parents ate the food in the stalls and turned into pigs. She met Haku, a powerful young boy who will helped him escape from the spirit world and rescue her parents.


In every movie there is always a value that we will learn from it; like never giving up on your dreams, pursuing one’s passion and fight for what is right and love does really conquer all. Isn’t it amazing? These animated films inspired us and make us wonder what it would be like if we will have the same story as those, a story that you will cherish in a lifetime.