Paste's The 100 Best Anime Movies of All Time

Paste's The 100 Best Anime Movies of All Time's icon

An official iCheckMovies list (adopted from Daviddoes).

Favorited 74 times, disliked 2 times, added to 135 watchlists.

Establishing the best anime movies can be tricky. After all, despite now being one of the most ubiquitous cultural properties of the 21st century, anime, thanks to over a century’s worth of the medium’s evolution and reinvention, is especially difficult to define. From the five-minute shorts of Oten Shimokawa in 1917, to the feature-length animations produced during World War II, to the pioneering production cycles of Tezuka in the ’60s and the auteurist innovations of the likes of Miyazaki and many others towards the latter half of the last century, anime has morphed through countless phases. Amateur efforts, nationalist propaganda fodder, niche cultural export turned eventual global phenomenon: Each iteration conforms to the shape of the times in which it was produced. Television expanded the medium during the 1960s, birthing many of the essential genres and subgenres that we know today and forming the impetus for the anime industry’s inextricable relationship to advertising and merchandising from the 1970s onward. The arrival of home video catapulted anime to its commercial and aesthetic apex, fanning outward from island nation of Nippon to the far shores of North America and back, before again being revolutionized by the unprecedented accessibility of the world wide web throughout the ’90s and early aughts. Anime film owes much to the evolving means of production and distribution throughout the late 20th century, the breadth and audacity of the medium’s content widening and contracting along with its running time to cater to the emerging palettes of audiences both new and old, at home and abroad. But where does one begin to tackle the aesthetic and historical precedent that anime film has left on pop culture and global entertainment in the last century?

This list is an attempt to do just that: to create a primer of 100 of the most influential and essential films that Japanese animation has produced, and to offer a thorough aesthetic, technical and historical breakdown of why these film matter. With that aim in mind, Paste is proud to enlist the curatorial talents of Jason DeMarco, on-air creative director of Adult Swim and co-creator of Toonami, whose unique role in anime’s emerging popularity in the West has helped to hone this list. Given the shared evolution between anime film and television and the aforementioned significance of the home video revolution, this list includes not only traditional features but also original video animations made for home video (OVAs) and anthology films— with the stipulation of each entry having at some point premiered in theaters. It is our hope that in creating this list we have created an entry point for both the expert and the layperson to trace the rich history of anime’s legacy on both film and popular culture, and to offer newcomers a comprehensive guide through to learn, rediscover, and explore the fullness that the genre of Japanese animation has to offer now and into the future.


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  1. 1 new


    1988, in 20 top lists Check
  2. 2 new

    Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi

    2001 — a.k.a. Spirited Away, in 36 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    Hotaru no haka

    1988 — a.k.a. Grave of the Fireflies, in 18 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    Kôkaku Kidôtai

    1995 — a.k.a. Ghost in the Shell, in 13 top lists Check
  5. 5 new


    2006 — a.k.a. Paprika, in 5 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Kaze tachinu

    2013 — a.k.a. The Wind Rises, in 3 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    Pâfekuto burû

    1997 — a.k.a. Perfect Blue, in 8 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Kidô keisatsu patorebâ: The Movie 2

    1993 — a.k.a. Patlabor 2: The Movie, in 1 top list Check
  9. 9 new

    Tonari no Totoro

    1988 — a.k.a. My Neighbor Totoro, in 19 top lists Check
  10. 10 new

    Meikyû monogatari

    1987 — a.k.a. Neo Tokyo, in 1 top list Check
  11. 11 new

    Ôritsu uchûgun Oneamisu no tsubasa

    1987 — a.k.a. Wings of Honneamise, in 1 top list Check
  12. 12 new


    1997 — a.k.a. Princess Mononoke, in 17 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    Heisei tanuki gassen ponpoko

    1994 — a.k.a. Pom Poko, in 2 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Hadashi no Gen

    1983 — a.k.a. Barefoot Gen, in 2 top lists Check
  15. 15 new


    2001 — a.k.a. Metropolis, in 2 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    Chôjikû Yôsai Macross: Ai Oboeteimasuka

    1984 — a.k.a. Super Space Fortress Macross, in 1 top list Check
  17. 17 new

    Sennen joyû

    2001 — a.k.a. Millennium Actress, in 5 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Kanashimi no Beradonna

    1973 — a.k.a. Belladonna of Sadness, in 2 top lists Check
  19. 19 new


    2009, in 1 top list Check
  20. 20 new

    Mind Game

    2004, in 4 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    Hakuja den

    1958 — a.k.a. Panda and the Magic Serpent, in 1 top list Check
  22. 22 new

    Jûbê ninpûchô

    1993 — a.k.a. Ninja Scroll, in 4 top lists Check
  23. 23 new


    1995 — a.k.a. Memories, in 2 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Kaze no tani no Naushika

    1984 — a.k.a. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, in 8 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    Omohide poro poro

    1991 — a.k.a. Only Yesterday, in 3 top lists Check
  26. 26 new

    Tekkon kinkurîto

    2006 — a.k.a. Tekkonkinkreet, in 3 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Rôjin Z

    1991 — a.k.a. Oldman Z, in 1 top list Check
  28. 28 new

    Urusei Yatsura 2: Byûtifuru dorîmâ

    1984 — a.k.a. Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer, in 3 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    Tôkyô goddofâzâzu

    2003 — a.k.a. Tokyo Godfathers, in 5 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    Majo no takkyûbin

    1989 — a.k.a. Kiki's Delivery Service, in 5 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    Kidô senshi Gandamu: Gyakushû no Shâ

    1988 — a.k.a. Gundam: Char's Counter Attack, in 1 top list Check
  32. 32 new

    Robotto kânibaru

    1987 — a.k.a. Robot Carnival, in 1 top list Check
  33. 33 new

    Panda kopanda

    1972 — a.k.a. The Adventure of Panda and Friends: Panda Family!, in 1 top list Check
  34. 34 new


    2004 — a.k.a. Appleseed, in 1 top list Check
  35. 35 new

    Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta

    1986 — a.k.a. Castle in the Sky, in 11 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    Kyûketsuki hantâ D

    1985 — a.k.a. Vampire Hunter D, in 2 top lists Check
  37. 37 new

    Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar...

    2003, in 3 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    Kumo no mukô, yakusoku no basho

    2004 — a.k.a. The Place Promised in Our Early Days, in 1 top list Check
  39. 39 new

    Toki o kakeru shôjo

    2006 — a.k.a. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, in 2 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    Kurenai no buta

    1992 — a.k.a. Porco Rosso, in 4 top lists Check
  41. 41 new


    2004 — a.k.a. Steamboy, in 1 top list Check
  42. 42 new

    Ginga tetsudô Three-Nine

    1979 — a.k.a. Galaxy Express 999: The Signature Edition, in 1 top list Check
  43. 43 new


    1999 — a.k.a. Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, in 1 top list Check
  44. 44 new

    Hoshi no koe

    2002, in 1 top list Check
  45. 45 new


    2004 — a.k.a. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, in 4 top lists Check
  46. 46 new

    Deddo ribusu

    2004 — a.k.a. Dead Leaves, in 3 top lists Check
  47. 47 new

    Hauru no ugoku shiro

    2004 — a.k.a. Howl's Moving Castle, in 16 top lists Check
  48. 48 new


    2001 — a.k.a. Cat Soup, in 2 top lists Check
  49. 49 new

    Hôhokekyo tonari no Yamada-kun

    1999 — a.k.a. My Neighbors the Yamadas, in 1 top list Check
  50. 50 new

    Byôsoku 5 senchimêtoru

    2007 — a.k.a. 5 Centimetres per Second, in 2 top lists Check
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Last updated on Jan 5, 2017; source