Best of Japanese Animation

by Bukag | created - 04 Sep 2016 | updated - 04 Sep 2016 | Public
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1. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
96 Metascore

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Directors: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

Votes: 490,518 | Gross: $10.06M

2. Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

PG | 119 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
80 Metascore

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûin, Akihiro Miwa

Votes: 249,521 | Gross: $4.71M

3. Princess Mononoke (1997)

PG-13 | 134 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
76 Metascore

On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yûko Tanaka, Billy Crudup

Votes: 259,675 | Gross: $2.38M

4. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, Shigesato Itoi

Votes: 206,450

5. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 166,293

6. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

G | 103 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma, Kappei Yamaguchi

Votes: 88,101

7. Castle in the Sky (1986)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill

Votes: 112,669

8. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

PG | 117 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Sumi Shimamoto, Mahito Tsujimura, Hisako Kyôda, Gorô Naya

Votes: 112,179

9. Ponyo (2008)

G | 101 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
86 Metascore

A five year-old boy develops a relationship with Ponyo, a goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Tomoko Yamaguchi

Votes: 96,751 | Gross: $15.09M

10. The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)

G | 94 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
80 Metascore

The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi | Stars: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Moises Arias

Votes: 61,229 | Gross: $19.20M

11. Mimi wo sumaseba (1995)

G | 111 min | Animation, Drama, Family

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A love story between a girl who loves reading books, and the boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses.

Director: Yoshifumi Kondô | Stars: Yoko Honna, Issei Takahashi, Takashi Tachibana, Shigeru Muroi

Votes: 35,439

12. Neko no ongaeshi (2002)

G | 75 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette come to life.

Director: Hiroyuki Morita | Stars: Chizuru Ikewaki, Yoshihiko Hakamada, Aki Maeda, Takayuki Yamada

Votes: 35,303

13. Porco Rosso (1992)

PG | 94 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1930s Italy, a veteran World War I pilot is cursed to look like an anthropomorphic pig.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Shûichirô Moriyama, Tokiko Katô, Bunshi Katsura Vi, Tsunehiko Kamijô

Votes: 54,790

14. Kaze tachinu (2013)

PG-13 | 126 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
83 Metascore

A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Hideaki Anno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Miori Takimoto, Masahiko Nishimura

Votes: 53,486 | Gross: $5.21M

15. Omoide no Mânî (2014)

PG | 103 min | Animation, Drama, Family

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
72 Metascore

Upon being sent to live with relatives in the countryside, an emotionally distant adolescent girl becomes obsessed with an abandoned mansion and infatuated with a girl who lives there - a girl who may or may not be real.

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi | Stars: Sara Takatsuki, Kasumi Arimura, Nanako Matsushima, Susumu Terajima

Votes: 20,108 | Gross: $0.77M

16. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

PG | 137 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
89 Metascore

Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her, but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, James Marsden

Votes: 24,562 | Gross: $1.51M

17. Only Yesterday (1991)

PG | 118 min | Animation, Drama, Romance

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
90 Metascore

A twenty-seven-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tokyo.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Miki Imai, Toshirô Yanagiba, Yoko Honna, Mayumi Izuka

Votes: 16,758 | Gross: $0.45M

18. Ocean Waves (2003 Video)

15 min | Drama, Short

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: Cristina Aurora Kotz Cornejo | Stars: Abigail Ramsay, Jeff Riebe

Votes: 10

19. Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

PG-13 | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
73 Metascore

On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents.

Directors: Satoshi Kon, Shôgo Furuya | Stars: Tôru Emori, Yoshiaki Umegaki, Aya Okamoto, Shôzô Îzuka

Votes: 23,135 | Gross: $0.13M

20. Momo e no tegami (2011)

Not Rated | 120 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
65 Metascore

Clinging to an unfinished letter written by her recently deceased father, young Momo moves with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio. Upon their arrival, she... See full summary »

Director: Hiroyuki Okiura | Stars: Karen Miyama, Yuka, Daizaburo Arakawa, Toshiyuki Nishida

Votes: 4,630

21. Ookami kodomo no Ame to Yuki (2012)

PG | 117 min | Animation, Drama, Family

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
71 Metascore

After her werewolf lover unexpectedly dies in an accident, a woman must find a way to raise the werewolf son and daughter that she had with him. But their inheritance of their father's traits proved to be a challenge for her.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda | Stars: Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Ohsawa, Haru Kuroki, Yukito Nishii

Votes: 25,518

22. Hotarubi no mori e (2011)

45 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Hotaru is rescued by a spirit when she gets lost in a forest as a child. The two become friends, despite the spirit revealing that he will disappear if he is ever touched by a human.

Director: Takahiro Ômori | Stars: Hiroki Gotô, Asami Imai, Taya Jun, Ayane Sakura

Votes: 7,105

23. Toki o kakeru shôjo (2006)

Not Rated | 98 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda | Stars: Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura, Ayami Kakiuchi

Votes: 45,139

24. Sword of the Stranger (2007)

Not Rated | 103 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A swordsman from a strange land is caught in a struggle between morality, righteousness, and devotion as he reluctantly agrees to take a raggedy boy and his dog to a remote, Buddhist temple.

Director: Masahiro Andô | Stars: Tomoya Nagase, Yuri Chinen, Kôichi Yamadera, Akio Ôtsuka

Votes: 11,727

25. Millennium Actress (2001)

PG | 87 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
70 Metascore

A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.

Director: Satoshi Kon | Stars: Miyoko Shôji, Shôzô Îzuka, Mami Koyama, Fumiko Orikasa

Votes: 17,420 | Gross: $0.04M

26. Koto no ha no niwa (2013)

46 min | Animation, Drama, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A 15-year-old boy and 27-year-old woman find an unlikely friendship one rainy day in the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

Director: Makoto Shinkai | Stars: Miyu Irino, Kana Hanazawa, Fumi Hirano, Gou Maeda

Votes: 18,126

27. Summer Wars (2009)

PG | 114 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
63 Metascore

A student tries to fix a problem he accidentally caused in OZ, a digital world, while pretending to be the fiancé of his friend at her grandmother's 90th birthday.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda | Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Nanami Sakuraba, Mitsuki Tanimura, Takahiro Yokokawa

Votes: 19,941 | Gross: $0.08M

28. Eve no jikan (2010)

106 min | Animation, Romance, Sci-Fi

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In a not too distant future, a young man's outlook on his home android begins to change after tracking the android's behavioral log to a mysterious cafe.

Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura | Stars: Jun Fukuyama, Kenji Nojima, Rie Tanaka, Rina Satô

Votes: 2,661

29. Sakasama no Patema (2013)

Not Rated | 98 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
66 Metascore

A young girl, from a civilization that resides in deep underground tunnels, finds herself trapped in an inverted world and teams up with a resident to escape and return home.

Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura | Stars: Yukiyo Fujii, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Shintarô Oohata, Shinya Fukumatsu

Votes: 5,080

30. Perfect Blue (1997)

R | 81 min | Animation, Horror, Mystery

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A retired pop singer turned actress' sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past.

Director: Satoshi Kon | Stars: Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ôkura

Votes: 35,526 | Gross: $0.11M

31. Paprika (2006)

R | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Crime

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
81 Metascore

When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it.

Director: Satoshi Kon | Stars: Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori, Tôru Furuya

Votes: 53,591 | Gross: $0.88M

32. Akira (1988)

R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo | Stars: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda

Votes: 121,921 | Gross: $0.55M

33. 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)

TV-PG | 63 min | Animation, Drama, Romance

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Told in three interconnected segments, we follow a young man named Takaki through his life as cruel winters, cold technology, and finally, adult obligations and responsibility converge to test the delicate petals of love.

Director: Makoto Shinkai | Stars: Kenji Mizuhashi, Yoshimi Kondou, Satomi Hanamura, Ayaka Onoue

Votes: 36,605

34. Tekkonkinkreet (2006)

R | 111 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
65 Metascore

In Treasure Town, life can be both peaceful and violent. This is never truer than for our heroes, Black and White - two street kids who claim to traverse the urban city as if it were their ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Arias | Stars: Kazunari Ninomiya, Yû Aoi, Yûsuke Iseya, Kankurô Kudô

Votes: 10,519

35. Karafuru (2010)

TV-14 | 126 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A sinful spirit is granted the opportunity to prove worthy for rebirth, inhabiting the body of a student who killed himself.

Director: Keiichi Hara | Stars: Kumiko Asô, Greg Ayres, Luci Christian, Keiji Fujiwara

Votes: 3,448

36. Little Witch Academia (2013)

TV-Y7 | 26 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Inspired by a magician named Shiny Chariot, the lively Akko Kagari enters the Little Witch Academy with the dream of one day becoming as cool and great as her idol.

Director: Yô Yoshinari | Stars: Megumi Han, Fumiko Orikasa, Michiyo Murase, Yôko Hikasa

Votes: 1,315

37. Seinto oniisan (2013)

90 min | Animation, Comedy

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha vacation on Earth as roommates in a Tokyo apartment.

Director: Noriko Takao | Stars: Gen Hoshino, Mirai Moriyama

Votes: 386

38. Haru (2013)

TV-14 | 60 min | Animation, Drama, Romance

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A humanoid robot is asked to replace Hal, who was killed in a terrible accident, in order help Hal's girlfriend move on in life, but struggles to understand the real Hal's past and the meaning of being alive.

Director: Ryôtarô Makihara | Stars: Yoshimasa Hosoya, Yôko Hikasa, Mamoru Miyano, Tamio Ohki

Votes: 1,066