With Makoto Shinkai’s latest film being released this year, you might be wondering what other anime movie gems you might have missed out on. That’s where we come in: here’s a list of 4 anime films that you should watch, if you haven’t already!
Note that none of these films are from Studio Ghibli, because, well, most of Studio Ghibli’s films are already well-known as they are. Even if you aren’t an avid fan of anime, or animated films, chances are you would have heard of, or watched, a Studio Ghibli film before.
1. Your Name
Arguably, Makoto Shinkai’s most popular film. It was popular to the point of scoring a Michael Bay remake – you have to watch it if you haven’t.
Your Name (Kimi no Na Wa) follows the stories of Taki and Mitsuha, who switch bodies after they both witness a meteor one night. Their lifestyles are extremely different: Taki lives in Tokyo, juggling school and a part-time job, whereas Mitsuha lives in the countryside, following her family’s traditions of looking after a local temple.
The story follows their adventures as they try to find out more about the other, while keeping the body-swap a secret from the people around them. Of course, they encounter other problems along the way – especially when they try to meet up. No spoilers, though!
2. Summer Wars
A film that’s relatively old, but still good! Summer Wars tells the story of Kenji Koiso, a timid math genius who is a moderator in a widely-used virtual reality world, OZ.
He is brought to the countryside by schoolmate Natsuki Shinohara to meet her large extended family, and to celebrate her great-grandmother’s 90th birthday. In the process, Kenji is falsely accused of hacking OZ by a strange A.I, and struggles to find a way to stop the rogue A.I. from wreaking any more havoc in OZ.
3. The Garden of Words
Another film by Makoto Shinkai. The Garden of Words (Kotonoha no Niwa) follows the stories of Takao Akizuki and Yukari Yukino, who happen to keep meeting each other at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden on rainy mornings.
Takao is 15 years old and an aspiring shoemaker, and Yukari is a 27 year-old Literature teacher. Both come from different backgrounds and have separate reasons for being at the garden, but eventually bond with each other as a result of their constant meetings.
Though it gets a bit slow at times, The Garden of Words is ultimately a poignant romance film that’s also a visual treat.
4. A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice (Koe no Katachi) is a film by Kyoto Animation, the same studio behind the beautifully animated Netflix Original, Violet Evergarden.
Our protagonist, Shoya Ishida, was someone who used to be a bully when he was younger. Now in high school, Shoya is a social outcast with anxiety, unable to look anyone in the eye. Having grown since the past, Shoya wishes to make amends with the main target of his bullying: Shoko Nishimiya, a deaf girl.
The film is overall a heart-wrenching story about forgiveness and acceptance. In the process, it brings about commentary on bullying, double standards, and other similar darker themes.
If you’re looking for some unconventional films to watch, these are definitely some that you should consider!