Here at Fuzzable, we really enjoy anime! Whether it be a movie or a 200 episode series, we’re happy to sit down and watch it. So today, we thought we’d compile a list of five movies to help get you started if you’re new to the genre!
1) My Neighbor Totoro
Let’s start with an absolute classic by the anime giants; Studio Ghibli! Studio Ghibli are definitely a household name if you are an anime fan with good reason! They’ve been providing wonderful anime movies for decades now and it’s not hard to see why they’re so well loved especially when thinking about our first pick of the list; My Neighbor Totoro.
My Neighbor Totoro is set in 1950s Japan when a university professor moves with his two daughters, Mei and Satsuki into an old house in the countryside to be nearer to the hospital that his wife and their mother is recovering in, from a long term illness. When they move into the house, Mei and Satsuki find that there seem to be some ‘dust spirits’ living in the house which are called susuwatari, who are spirits that occupy empty houses until the residents get comfortable in the establishment.
Along with the susuwatari, one day when Satsuki is at school, Mei discovers two small animal like spirits that she follows into the hollow of a camphor tree where she meets the king of the forest spirits and whilst he introduces himself by a series of roars, Mei interprets these to mean that his name is Totoro. Unfortunately, after her meeting with Totoro, Mei is unable to actually show him to her family as he only appears when he wants to.
Luckily, whilst the two girls are waiting at the bus stop for their father, Totoro reveals himself to them (our favourite scene!) and from there, he reveals himself to them when they need him the most.
My Neighbor Totoro is truly such a beautiful, heart warming movie that can be seen and loved by all ages. It has such a heavy theme of family and how not only family but just those around us are important to us. The animation is absolutely stunning, the characters are very likable and the story line will have you laughing and crying throughout the runtime. We love it so much and we hope that you enjoy it just as much as us.
2) Your Name
Next, we’d like to introduce you to the box office smash hit, “Your ” which was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai and actually became the highest grossing anime film of all time upon its release in 2016. Your Name is definitely a film we feel like you should go into not knowing too much about the plot as it is incredibly intricate and at some points, stressful and shocking.
But, “Your Name” follows two main characters. A girl named Mitsuha Miyamizu who is a high school girl that is getting bored of her life in the Japanese mountains and wishes to be a boy in her next life living in the city. She then begins to switch bodies with a high school boy living in Tokyo named Taki Tachibana when they wake up. At first, the two of them are confused as to what is going on but begin to embrace it and leave notes for one another on paper, their phones and even sometimes their skin. When Mitsuha uses this opportunity to help Taki get a date with his coworker whom he has a crush on, Taki helps Mitsuha become popular in school.
“Your Name” is a truly harrowing yet beautiful movie that is grounded in the realities of our lives as well as these wonderful fantasy elements. The animation is just absolutely breathtaking along with the soundtrack and it’ll take you away to Japan and make you want to not only be best friends with these characters but also want to protect them.
3) Howl’s Moving Castle
“Howl’s Moving Castle” is another movie from Studio Ghibli that is based on the book of the same name by Dianne Wynn Jones. It’s one of our absolute favourite movies from Studio Ghibli and just fills us with so much love and hope.
The movie follows our main character Sophie who after the tragic death of her father is working in his hat shop along with her step mother who sent her other two sisters away. Upon visiting one of her sisters, Lettie, Sophie encounters a wizard named Howl who stops her from being bothered by some men in the town. When she returns home, Sophie meets the Witch of the Waste who curses Sophie and turns her into a ninety year old woman and seeking to break the curse, Sophie leaves home where she meets a scarecrow that she names Turnip Head who in turn leads her to Howl’s Moving Castle. When Sophie enters the castle uninvited, she meets Howl’s apprentice Markl and a fire demon named Calcifer, who is the reason for the castle’s magic and movement. And, when Howl returns, Sophie tells him that she has hired herself as the cleaning lady for the castle.
However, whilst this is going on, Sophie’s nation is at war with another kingdom that is searching for their missing Prince and when the King summons Howl to fight for him, he sends Sophie there to tell him how Howl is too much of a coward to fight this war for him. Before sending her away, Howl gives Sophie a magic ring that guarantees her safety because it will always lead her back to Calcifer therefore she will always be safe.
Howl’s Moving Castle is honestly such a feel good movie, it’s a movie that we could watch over and over again (and we do) and it just makes us feel warm inside and could cheer us up on our worst days. The animation again is just absolute stunning and it will take you away to this fantasy world that you will just fall in love with along with the characters in it. Howl and Sophie will always be two of our favourite fictional characters for sure and we just love their beautiful story.
4) A Silent Voice
“A Silent Voice” is an anime teen drama movie based off of the manga of the same name by the studio Kyoto Animation.
We follow our main character Shoya who intends to commit suicide when he is a teenager until he changes his mind at the last minute. As he changes his mind, he begins to recall his days in elementary school and the events that have lead him to this point in his life. When a new student named Shoko informs the class that she is deaf, she tries to integrate with them all which just results in her annoying Shoya and his friends and they start to bully her. When this spreads around the school, the principle singles out Shoya as the main culprit which results in him then being the victim of the bullying by his classmates. When Shoya starts to blame Shoko for what is happening to him, the two end up in a physical fight which results in Shoko moving schools and Shoya finding and keeping the diary that she keeps and subsequently left behind.
A Silent Voice is a movie that does deal with some heavy topics so do be aware of that when going into it but it is also such an important movie that focuses on friendship and the fact that your actions, no matter how little you think they are, can have consequences on people. It is such a moving and important watch with characters that you will grow with and will make you feel like a completely different person when it ends.
5) The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a science fiction romance anime film produced by the studio Madhouse and is loosely based off of the novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui.
At her high school in Tokyo, our main character Makoto Konno discovers a message written on the blackboard of her classroom which leads to her falling upon a nut shaped object that she keeps with her. And then, on her way home, Makoto’s bicycle breaks fail her which result in her falling onto a train track and being hit by an oncoming train. Instead of being killed instantly, Makoto is actually transported back to the point in time just before her accident happened meaning that she could save her own life. Upon hearing the story, one of her friends tells her that she now obviously has the power to leap through time which Makoto proceeds to use her powers to make sure she’s not late for her classes and to get good grades in school until she begins to learn that her actions have consequences on those around her.
Again, “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” is a movie about how your actions have consequences on the people around you and even though what you think you’re doing is a minor thing, it can have a big impact on someone else without you meaning to. It’s such a wonderful film that will make you think and absolutely fall head over heels in love with it. We recommend watching it at least twice to make sure that you capture everything happening in this film but it’s so worth a watch and will 100% leave you wanting to watch as many anime movies as you possibly can!
So, there you have it, a list of anime that we suggest are a good starting point if you want to get into the genre! Obviously, there are so so many out there that it would be impossible to list all of them in just one list so make sure you’re constantly looking out for anime movies on the horizon!
Have you seen any of these movies or are planning to watch them? Let us know by tweeting us @Fuzzable.