5 perfect anime movies


State Alchemist
AUKon does not disappoint. Men (and possibly women) of taste, all of you.

Also pleasantly surprised to see Only Yesterday on so many lists, it's been nice to see that film gradually gain the recognition it deserves.


Dragon Knight
I think K-ON Has been upsurped by All of Yamada's subsequent films. Tamako Love Story, ASV and Liz I think are all better.
All of her work wise only Tamako Market is below K-ON for me atm, as ive never fancied rewatching it like I have all other KyoAni stuff.
Haven't seen the Tamako stuff. ASV and Liz are more accomplished films but I will always have a lot of love for K-on. I was in a band at 6th form and uni and K-on just marries so many things I like (anime, CGDTC, music, comedy, SOL), has great characters and nowadays feels kind if nostalgic for me.

Another instant classic I forgot about!

  • Redline
  • Gurren Lagann
Havent actually seen these. With Gurren I actually have them but haven't seen them as I've never really liked compilation films as much as series. But I should watch them at some point.


With Gurren I actually have them but haven't seen them as I've never really liked compilation films as much as series.
I noticed the films in the still-to-watch pile of your recent pics, actually. 😉

As @Hunter_Killer rightly points out, both Gurren movies have significant alterations over what you've seen before. For example — and this is more of a teaser than a spoiler, I like to think — the whole "four generals" arc of the series' first half is replaced with a crazy, all-out battle royale.

The second film makes some delightful tweaks to the flow of events and, for me, makes everything thematically even stronger. Expect even more of an emotional punch during the climax, I would say.

It's a bloody marvel.


School Idol
Yeah, it's recompilation, which I liked. I mean, main story is the same, but there is a lot of differences, so I really like to back to this movie.
Some recompilation it's only a quick replay of the whole series. This is different - it is something more.


Dragon Knight
On the subject of compilations vs movie versions I think it definitely works better when movie try to tell the same story while making these big changes like Gurren Lagann and Macross have accomplished. Compilation movies I feel only work if they do 6-7 episodes per movie as with the Madoka recaps as it doesn't feel as rushed compared to Attack on Titan which adapts 12-13 episodes per movie and rushing through so much content.

Professor Irony

Been thinking about this a lot today, but I've been finding it very tough to pick, especially as I don't like to put multiple films from the same director into lists like these. So many of the films I like the most also have something in them that bothers me, or otherwise need some kind of qualification to appreciate - I would struggle to write Golgo 13: The Professional in good faith here, for example. Added to this, there are more than a few embarrassing gaps in my viewing that might have helped me out, but we'll not dwell.

On the whole though, I'd go with

Aim for the Ace!

Maybe a bit left field, but I think this is a really solid sports drama which shows the Dezaki/Sugino tag team coming into their own as a force for visual storytelling. Just because you're a film about a teenage girl playing tennis, doesn't mean you can't also rock the neo-noir look.

The Castle of Cagliostro

Honestly, I was torn between this and Porco Rosso, as I wanted to limit my Miyazaki quota. Of the two, I think this is more accessible though. It's a beautifully told adventure with something for everyone; you don't need to know anything about Lupin, Japan or anime in general to get it - it just works. There are those who maintain it's somehow disingenuous for not staying true to the Lupin of the manga, but frankly, they can fight me. Lupin anime has been borrowing from this film for more than thirty years; it's canon, deal with it.

Millennium Actress

You can't not have Satoshi Kon, but what if you could only have one? Perfect Blue probably is his best film, but it's not something I could put on anytime. I'm very nearly in agreement with Neil about Paprika, but I have a couple of small reservations. Tokyo Godfathers is delightful, but I think it's Millennium Actress that has the most potential to reward you and reveal new facets of itself to you every time you watch it.

Ghost in the Shell

Do I even really need to write something here? I'm in the small and unpopular minority who like Oshii's first Patlabor film more than the second and I'm not sure I can really justify that. GitS though, while it frustrated me as a kid, I think has increasingly won me over as time has gone on. I can bathe in this film; its sense of mood and place and atmosphere are so tangible. I suppose it's Oshii at his most him, stripping out humour and outer personality to leave us with an intensely inward looking film, but isn't that the point?

Macross: Do You Remember Love?

While it compresses and removes a lot of characterisation from the series, I think this breezily old-fashioned tale of space-borne derring-do does a truly remarkable job of elevating a tv serial beyond the typical level of the obligatory compilation movie, and forming it into a real big screen spectacle. In an era that brought us many great looking films, this still stands up there with the best of them, a gorgeous swashbuckling yarn, flinging missiles and singing kitsch idol songs to save the universe, and somehow making us believe that could work.


Brigade Leader
Since we're limited to five, I won't pick any movies that don't need signal-boosting.

Liz and the Blue Bird. I've become something of a Naoko Yamada fan this year, and this is the pinacle of her work to date, IMO. A Silent Voice was excellent, but this is on a different level. There's an air of zen to the whole affair, like everyone involved in the production had reached a transcendent meditative state that allowed them to channel their artistry from idea to screen without distraction or deviation from the absolutely most effective way to tell this story. The word masterpiece tends to be overused, and I prefer to avoid it where possible. Liz and the Blue Bird is a masterpiece.

Urusei Yatsura 4: Lum the Forever. I could have easily picked either of the first two UY movies, since they're both excellent, but this one has something extra. There's a pervading eerie atmosphere throughout, a surreal sense of wrongness like something from a dream.

Patlabor 2. This is Oshii at his most aggressively political, and it's mesmerising, both visually and thematically.

They Were Eleven. This one is just a really satisfying SF mystery. There's not a lot to pick apart here; it just works.

Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl. This one is borderline, since I would have liked a longer denouement to show events that were just explained, but it's so good in every other respect that it would feel like nit-picking to hold it back for that. If you enjoyed the TV series, this is the best chapter of that story, and a satisfying capstone to the series that elevates it as a whole.
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Geriatric hedgehog

Brigade Leader
Great topic and choices. All my top 5 are shared with what a lot people have listed already. It's so difficult limiting to top 5 only but here goes:

1. End of Evangelion (no form of media/art has had such a lasting physical+mental impact on me - I was literally a miserable zombie for at least 2 weeks after first watching this, and then I couldn't resist going straight back and subjecting myself to it again)

2. Grave of the Fireflies (haven't been able to bring myself to watch it a second time yet; probably controversial but personally I've always preferred Takahata over Miyazaki when it comes to Ghibli)

3. Ghost in the Shell (great existential concepts, action and musical score)

4. Millennium Actress (a perfect study of the human spirit & drive with lovely homage to film-making with history as a backdrop, fully living up to it's title with arguably the best line to ever finish a movie)

5. A Silent Voice (understated, honest, non-judgemental, & great score that beautifully matched the mood, what a sublime movie - has made anything made by Yamada a must watch for me)

I haven't watched Liz & the bluebird yet but looking forward to it very much when I'm able to! If I could be very cheeky and drop honourable mentions to In this corner of the world, sky crawlers, the heaven's feel movies (pending the third one!) & garden of sinners. My favourite this year was Weathering with you which after the January UK release got my year off to a great start until everything went to pot...


Thousand Master
My favourites anime movies:

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Laputa: Castle in the Sky
Sword of Stranger
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie