20 Best Anime Movies Of All Time, What Is The Number 1 Anime Movie Of All Time?

In Japan, the word “anime” merely refers to the art form of animation; but, in the West, the phrase is used to refer to a specific style of Japanese animation known for its vivid colors, lively characters, and fast-paced plots. Television shows like Pokémon and movies like Akira, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke have been worldwide smashing for decades, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars.

We were curious as to which anime features had the widest appeal to moviegoers everywhere. Box Office Mojo uses an advanced algorithm to keep track of box office receipts, so Newsweek consulted their data to find out.

Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (2020) 

After seeing his family wiped out by demons, young Tanjiro Kamado becomes a demon slayer out of a desire for vengeance. We go along with him and the others want to be demon hunters on the Mugen train as they search for the monster responsible for the recent deaths and cannibalism of passengers.

Demon Slayer Mugen Train (2020) 
Demon Slayer Mugen Train (2020)

With its source material in the Japanese teen manga and television series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the 2020 film Demon Slayer: Mugen Train became the year’s most successful film worldwide.

The Wind Rises (2013)

Jiro Horikoshi has a passion for aviation but will never be able to pursue it due to his nearsightedness. So he does the next best thing and becomes an engineer, where he designs various planes that the Japanese military eventually uses.

After its western release, The Wind Rises was met with criticism from many who saw it as hawkish and representative of Japan’s failure to admit its sins during World War II. While its mature themes may trouble some viewers, there’s no denying that The Wind Rises is one of Studio Ghibli’s most visually breathtaking films.

Dragonball Super: Broly (2018)

When new non-canon Dragon Ball movies appear every few months, it might be difficult to keep track of them all. The quality varies widely, but this one is definitely above average. The return of Lord Freiza, arguably the greatest of all Dragon Ball villains, means that Goku, Vegeta, Krillin, and company must beat him before he can destroy Earth and conquer the cosmos. Another film in the Dragon Ball franchise is scheduled for 2022, so it’s possible the series has yet to show its true potential.

Spirited Away (2001)

Is it really shocking that Chihiro’s journey ranks so highly? Inspiring as it was when it was first released in 2001, Hayao Miyazaki’s tale of a little girl’s quest to free her parents from the clutches of the evil witch Yubaba still holds up well today.

Spirited Away (2001)
Spirited Away (2001)

This film, which also features the unforgettable Haku, Sen, and Karaj, was ranked #4 in a BBC poll of the top films of the 21st century in 2016. Studio Ghibli is still widely recognized as the pinnacle of animation among lovers of the genre. As you might imagine, this makes perfect sense.

Detective Conan: The Fist Of Blue Sapphire(2019)

What more could a cartoon fan want than a story about buried gold, murder, and intrigue? Based on the manga of the same name, this is the 23rd installment in a total of 24 films titled Case Closed.

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Sophie is a typical teenage girl, yet she has a severe lack of confidence. After an evil witch transforms her into a hag, she embarks on a quest to the castle of Howl, a mysterious magical person who may hold the secret to regaining her youth and fixing her self-esteem issues.

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

After seeing Spirited Away, Christian Bale tried out for Hayao Miyazaki’s two-hour epic, offering to play any role he was given. Bale finally took on the role of Howl.

Case Closed: Zero The Enforcer (2018)

There’s more action and adventure with Detective Conan as he looks into the cause of a convention center explosion that killed a lot of people. Case Closed appearance number 22 out of a total of 24.

Ponyo (2008)

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson clearly influenced this Studio Ghibli production. A young boy brings home a goldfish he found in a bottle on the beach and names Ponyo. When the fish falls in love with the boy.

Ponyo (2008)
Ponyo (2008)

we learn that she is the daughter of a magician and wishes she could be human. The two then set off on a fantastic journey to fulfill Ponyo’s wish and turn him into a human.

Weathering With You (2019)

A literal and symbolic storm is brewing when young Hodaka Morishima abandons his home and family to start over in the big metropolis. After rescuing Hina Amano, a young woman with the power to manipulate the weather, from a gang of thugs.

Weathering With You (2019)
Weathering With You (2019)

he becomes fast friends with her along his adventure. She is rumored to have the ability to shine brightly wherever she goes, earning her the nickname “Sunshine Girl.” Weathering with You, which deals with similar themes to Your Name, was nominated for an Academy Award for best international film.

Stand by Me Doraemon (2004)

A time-traveling robot cat is a rarity in the cinema, but this film features just that. Troubled Nobita Nobi, age 10, is visited by Doraemon, a robot cat from the future, after his great-great-grandson in the 22nd century sends the animal to his timeline.

Stand by Me Doraemon (2004)
Stand by Me Doraemon (2004)

There will be no way for Doraemon to return until Nobita’s situation has been rectified. Does he have any intention of paying attention and cleaning up his act?

Princess Mononoke (1997)

A young warrior prince, Princess Mononoke, is accompanied on his journey across 14th-century Japan following the invasion of his town by a fantastic beast. Ashitaka is trying to figure out why Mother Nature is in such bad shape, but he ends up in the thick of a conflict.

Princess Mononoke (1997)
Princess Mononoke (1997)

The film’s themes are reminiscent of Final Fantasy VII, in that it examines the horrific effects of humanity’s exploitation of the world for natural resources.

Evangelion: Thrice Upon A Time(2021)

Construction of an Evangelion, which, for those who are unaware, is a huge mechanical humanoid capable of unleashing unimaginable carnage and mayhem, undoubtedly takes a great deal of time. It also takes a long time to make a movie about them; Evangelion: 3.0+1.0.

Thrice Upon a Time was supposed to come out in 2013, but it didn’t until this year, becoming the highest-grossing film in the franchise’s history. While the WILLE organization works feverishly to prevent another ‘impact,’ a cataclysmic event, Shinji Ikari is feeling down and disillusioned with life.

Pokemon: The First Movie(1998)

In 1998, the height of Pokémania occurred. As kids all around the world chased their dreams of becoming Pokémon masters with Pokémon Red and Blue, many of them chased after the elusive Mewtwo, who appeared at the game’s conclusion only after players had defeated a select number of trainers.

Pokemon The First Movie(1998)
Pokemon The First Movie(1998)

In Pokémon: The First Movie, we learn that Giovanni, leader of Team Rocket, cloned Mewtwo in an attempt to create a superweapon, which is likely why Mewtwo has such a strong distaste for humans. Keep an eye out for the touching sequence in which Ash freezes to death, which still brings tears to the eyes of even the most jaded Pokémon fan.

The Secret World Of Arrietty (2010)

The film is essentially an anime adaptation of the classic children’s book The Borrowers, which tells the narrative of a little family who lives invisibly inside a typical family home. Arrietty avoids interacting with the humans that inhabit the house. she lives until she befriends Shawn, a kid of twelve. However, interactions with full-sized humans are exceedingly risky and could put Arrietty’s loved ones in harm’s way.

Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet (2021)

Even though it didn’t come out until after the CoVD19 pandemic, this movie nevertheless made the top 17. To coincide with the opening ceremony of the World Sports Games, Japan is constructing a state-of-the-art tube. Until a string of prominent people is abducted from a party, everything is going smoothly, so Detective Conan does what he does best: find the perpetrator.

Your Name (2016)

The plot of Your Name is nothing new; it follows two young people who are disillusioned with life. Mitusha, a country girl, wonders what it’s like to live in a big city, while Taki, a city girl, has quite unusual dreams about life in the country

Your Name (2016)

Your Name (2016)

Then, however, odd things begin to occur. Every once in a while, the couple will switch bodies and spend a day in the other’s shoes. The first film not produced by Studio Ghibli to gross over 10 billion (roughly $100 million) in Japan, the critically acclaimed and nearly unanimously adored Your Name.

Pokemon: The Movie 2000

After completing the first generation of Pokémon Gameboy games based in Kanto, Ash Ketchum moves on to the Orange Islands. Along the trip, he encounters some legendary bird Pokémon and, of course, his sworn enemies, Team Rocket. Pokemon: The Movie 2000 was not quite as successful as the first Pokémon film, but it still showed that the craze for Pokémon was not dying down.

One Piece: Stampede(2019)

Look no further if you want to know what a huge pirate festival is like. The events of One Piece: Stampede occur at a gigantic meeting of swashbuckling buccaneers from all over the world, including the likes of Blackbeard and Davy Jones.

One Piece Stampede(2019) (1)
One Piece Stampede(2019) (1)

The Straw Hat crew is, of course, in search of buried gold.

Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Treasure

As you look through this list, you could start to notice a pattern. Nobita’s Treasure Island, a Doraemon film, is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of the same name, which was first published in 1883.

Doraemon The Movie Nobita's Treasure (1)
Doraemon The Movie Nobita’s Treasure (1)

Doraemon and his pals are setting off for an island they hear rumors of treasure on. Yet there are hidden complications.

One Piece Film: Z(2012)

The 20th slot on the list now belongs to another adventure featuring the pirates of One Piece. This time, the wicked ex-admiral “Black Arm” Zephyr has stolen certain mystical stones, and the Straw Hats are on the hunt for them.

One Piece Film Z(2012)
One Piece Film Z(2012)