The Ultimate Top List of Best Animation and Anime Movies of All Time!

Since I had my bag fruitless searches for good animated feature films (yeah, Shrek #1, sure), here’s my list. For me animation generally = hand drawn animation, so if you’re looking for soulless CGI bollocks look somewhere else.

Updated 10/2016.

♥ = nice!
→ = search Youtube for trailer (embedding makes no sense since they tend to get deleted).

~ A–Z ~
Yes, anime and other animation in one list! Studio Ghibli, Studio 4°C and Satoshi Kon have their own sections further down (I have no idea why). Contrary to the stupid SEO-style title there are also movies in there that suck badly (and as you can see they aren’t ranked, either).

009 Re:Cyborg (2012) – This is bullshit. And it gets first price for the most ridiculous „Actually, they the didn’t die because of reasons lol“-ending.

9 (2009) – I think this is another case of „Only because it was a nice shortfilm doesn’t mean it works as a feature film.“ Also the Smurfette is strong in this one again, iirc.

Aachi and Ssipak (2006) – Really violent and depressing (and misogynist? It’s been a long time …).

A Cat in Paris (2010)
This is a children’s movie, it’s nice with a beautiful painterly look.

A Certain Magical Index: Endyumion’s Miracle (2013) – I mostly enjoyed the spin-offs of the series this is based on, Railgun and Railgun S, and compared to that this is a really mediocre movie (and the sexism has been turned up quite a notch). Also awful Jpop. Go for Railgun S.

A Letter to Momo (2012) anime-animation-best-toplist-lettermomo
A strange little gem, watch it. ♥

A Tree of Palme (2002)anime-animation-best-toplist-treepalme
This is how sci-fi should be, trippy, personal, strange. Don’t let the partly disgusting cartoony character design fool you. ♥

Akira (1988) – Need to rewatch this for an opinion. But it’s, like, THE anime (in the west …). Well, who would have thought: female characters need saving from male heroez.

Arrugas aka Wrinkles (2011) –  While I do think we need more media staring older people, I really didn’t care about the shenanigans of a retired bank clerk and some other dude in a retirement home. I guess if you liked The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (which I equally despised) this might be for you.

Asura (2012) – Well that sure was depressing. And terrible CGI again.

Aura: Maryūinkōga Saigo no Tatakai (2013) – A movie about cosplay, bullying and normativity. It’s okay, I guess (if you can stand the style and the rather stale theme).

Batman – Gotham Knight (2008)anime-animation-best-toplist-gothamknight
This is – obviously – bullshit, except for the first episode by Studio 4°C.

Blood Tea and Red String (2006)
Seen this on a festival, weird.

Blood: The Last Vampire (2000) – Long time since I watched this, liked it back then but it’s probably shit. School uniform fetish, anyone? (and stay away from Blood C The Last Dark, it’s even worse than the stupid title suggests).

Blue Exorcist The Movie (2012) – While this is beautifully done and I enjoy the world and the monsters, there are loooooong stretches where absolutely nothing is happening (if you don’t know the series, I guess, otherwise watching these people playing baseball is rather fascinating, I imagine). Also fucking fanservice lady outfits.

Brave (2012)
Well, what do you know, a Pixar movie with a heroine. It’s okay, even though there are no PoC whatsoever. My Review is here.

Bodacious Space Pirates – Abyss of Hyperspace 2014 – After the events of the TV series Marika and her friends help a boy to lift the mystery behind his father’s disappearance. While I do like all the female characters (hacker girl!) and the evil NSA/corporate conglomerate villain, the actual story wasn’t very interesting and full of tired old tropes (I’m a young boy in bed with a hot older girl! I hate my father because he was so cool and never around!).

Brave Story (2006) – The setting is almost unbearable fantasy boredom (with a JRPG touch and furries) but the story isn’t actually that bad for a children’s movie.

Brendan and the Secret of Kells (2009)anime-animation-best-toplist-brendan-kells
This just might be my favorite movie ever. Beautifully stylized drawings, dreamlike OST by Bruno Coulais, medieval setting (if you don’t blink, you can see some PoC monks!), typography. Wow. ♥

Cat Soup (2001)
This is only 30 min. and pretty violent but still the weird surrealist thing I remembered it to be.

Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below aka Journey to Agartha (2011)anime-animation-best-toplist-childrenlostvoices
Yes, that title sucks badly and the gender-stereotypes are strong in this one. If you want badass female characters that don’t need rescuing all the time you need to look elsewhere. Still entertaining if awkwardly pathed. My German review is here.

Colorful (2010) – I was indifferent to this. Pubescent teenager gets his shit together because of bromance.

Coraline (2009) – Didn’t like this one anymore when I watched it again a few month back, the character design and story are awful. But look at the awesome concept art!

Corpse Bride (2005) – If you are – unlike me – not bored to death by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp by now, … watch the short Vincent instead which is much better and feels like real claymation and not like „claymation made so perfect/sterile it’s like 3D“. Hate the ending, too, can we please for ONCE have a movie that doesn’t do the fucking Hero’s Journey?

De Profundis (2001)anime-animation-best-toplist-deprofundis
By comic artist Miguelanxo Prado whom I actually quite like but I could not sit through this. And the animation is really cheap.

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) – I can’t help it but I like this (probably because foxes are awesome …).

Eden of East (2009) – These movies take a long time to start making sense if you don’t know the series and by then I was so uninvolved I didn’t even watch the final 20 minutes.

Ernest & Celestine (2012) – While I like the watercolor-look and the story is okayish the character design is too cartoonish for my liking and this is clearly aimed at kids with all its bad jokes.

Escaflowne: A Girl in Gaea (2004) – Ouch. m(

Fears of the Dark (2007)
A collection of short films with one or two are good contributions (the ones by Lorenzo Mattotti, Richard McGuire/Pierre di Sciullo? Charles Burn’s part is pretty standard, unfortunately).

Felidae (1994) – Can’t remember this being any good and the guy who wrote the book this is based on is apparently a homohostile racist …

Fullmetal Alchemist The Sacred Star of Milos (2012) – FMA was on this anime list from The Mary Sue and while I didn’t hook up on the series this movie is quite entertaining (can’t ever have enough revolution stories) and it has prominent female characters. You did good for a shitty movie adaption, FMA-movie. 

Fuse: Memoirs of a Hunter Girl (2012)anime-animation-best-toplist-fuse
Another adaption of the Hakkenden story. I liked it (yay for female protagonist!). My German review is here.

Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Philosophical humans/androids identity etc. Sci-fi classic.

Ghost in the Shell II: Innocence (2004)
Classic. But does it pass the Bechdel test? Not really.

Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie (2015) – Lol, sureley that can’t be the official title, right? Unfortunately it is and you can conclude how good this movie is from that innovative title (not at all). This is a mix of political intrigue I don’t care about and over the top action I’m bored by. Gone are the mesmerizing quiet parts from the previous movies that I enjoyed. It’s also really jarring that Kusanagi is the Smurfette of the team.

Giovanni’s Island (2014) – Visually impressive this movie tells the story of Japanese children on the island Shikota that gets occupied by the russians after WWII … Someone likes Night on the Galactic Railroad

Hanasaku Iroha The Movie (2013)anime-animation-best-toplist-hanasaku
I liked this one despite it’s flaws, a daughter getting to understand her hard-working mother.

Hotarubi no Mori e / Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light (2011)anime-animation-best-toplist-fireflies
Nice, simple short film, watch it. German Review here.

Hal a.k.a. Haru (2013)
While this is really beautiful (cept for the main dude) the story is really boring up until the ending which is kinda nice. The old women are rad.

Jin Roh (1999)
I loved this when I firsted watched it but I was okay with stories about boys boys boys back then.

Kayoko’s Diary aka Who’s Left Behind (2001) – A girl retells her childhood before and during WWII in Japan. It’s an okay movie.

Kérity, la maison des contes aka Eleanor’s Secret (2009) – The style is fresh not too bad but the story didn’t interest me at all, a boy has trouble learning to read, literary characters are coming to life, he’s The Chosen One m (

Loups=Garous (2010) – Pretty violent dystopian serial killer drama hiding behind a bunch of annoying characters and a childish look.

Le Jour des Corneilles aka The Day of the Crows (2012) – I was looking forward to this but it’s quite a mess. A (kind of) feral child story with a traumatized father but that’s not important because in the end they just decided not even trying to tell a coherent story. 

Le Tableau / The Painting (2011)anime-animation-best-toplist-letableau
Intelligent and original film with a unique, painterly look. WoC heroine. Go watch it! German review here.

L’Île de Black Mór (2004) – Standard pirates treasure-hunt teen-movie. Nothing special.

Library War – Wings of Revolution (2012) – A movie where some kind of military group booklovers fights against some government cencorship police? That sounds so way out, it should be awesome but it’s actually really bad, boring as hell and full of sexist tropes. Avoid.

Magic Tree House (2011)  – A somewhat educational children’s movie in which two siblings travel to (obviously only western) historical & literal places by means of a magic tree house. It’s very generic and has awful, awful character design.

Mai Mai Miracle (2009)
anime-animation-best-toplist-maimaiThis is a children’s movie and I really liked it though I felt I was too removed from childhood to really get into it sometimes (which is depressing).

Majokko Shimai no Yoyo to Nene aka Witch Sisters Yoyo and Nene (2013) anime-animation-best-toplist-yoyotonene
Hey, another anime that I liked better than most things Ghibli has done in the last ten years! Magic, ass kicking ladies, stunning backgrounds, cool creatures what more do you want (better character design …)? ♥

Metropolis (2001) – Haven’t seen this yet, the character design really puts me off.

My Beautiful Girl Mari (2002) – Haven’t seen it yet.

Neon Genesis Evangelion Movies (2007–?)  – These fuckers are actually proud of their fanservicesexism? EDIT: Or maybe not? If you can cope with that you get suberb animation and an, um, „interesting“? story.

Neo Tokyo (1987) aka Manie Manie
I seemingly rather liked this collection surreal shorter pieces back then.

Night on the Galactic Railroad (1985)anime-animation-best-toplist-galactictailroad
Really slow, meditative movie based on a novel of Kenji Miyazawa. The characters are cats!

Nocturna (2007)
While being a feast for the eyes the story is mediocre and there a no female characters to speak of. My review is here.

Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror (2009) – I remember kinda looking forward to seeing this (why?) and then being pretty disappointed.

On A Stormy Night (2005) – Haven’t seen it yet.

One Piece Z (2012)  – Wow, this is even worse then I imagined. 

Onigamiden – Legend of the Millennium Dragon (2011) – Horrible, horrible character design, bad animation, terrible editing, totally counterproductive soundtrack and a story that doesn’t make any sense. Avoid.

Origin: Spirits of the Past (2006) – The setting is nice but the story is bullshit. Don’t bother. Review here.

Patema Inverted (2013)
While the main characters are a huge disappointment (well, hello Generic Anime Guy and Damsel in Distress, haven’t seen you in the last two seconds, is it time again?) the pretty interesting setting of inverted gravities makes up for that (also yay for massive plot-twist). If you want to, there’s also a really cute (but obviously very tragic) gay lovestory in there. What? Oh, they’re only „sharing a vision“? Yeah. Sure.

Patlabor – The Movie (1989) – This reminded me a lot of Mamoru Oshii’s first GitS movie (1995) but it’s more lo-fi, pretty boring and with comedy elemets that aren’t funny. There’s also the shitty way bland asshole protag treats Noa Izumi (who kicked so much ass in the grand finale!). Akin to the quiet parts in Ghost in the Shell this has some nice scenes with two dudes walking around in ruined city scapes and Shinobu Nagumo is pretty cool (but has only a minor role in this). So a very mixed bag overall, can’t really reccomend.

WXIII: Patlabor the Movie 3 (2002) – More or less the same story as The Host (2006) but not as good. Excellent old-school animation and beautiful background art, though.

Patlabor 2: The Movie (1993) – How to hack a goverment into (almost) starting a civil war. Pretty scary theoretically but watching all three movie back to back I don’t really care for them much: just like with GitS I’m really not interested in all the political intrigue that large parts of these movies are about. And while the final mecha battles of all three Patlabor installments feature women prominently, they’re mostly abscent from the rest of the movies.

Persepolis (2007)

Piano no Mori: The Perfect World of Kai aka Piano Forest (2007) – It’s the old „Unlikely friendship between orderly rich kid and poor wild child“-story, this time they’re connected by their love for playing piano. While the character design is pretty bad and the story could have been told in half that time (= it’s super boring), Kai’s mother is pretty cool and there’s also this (yes, that’s a toilet).

Princes et Princesses (2000) – Haven’t really gotten into the works of Michel Ocelot yet.

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (2009) – The only good thing about this is Layton’s ass-kicking assistant Emma who is by far the coolest female character I’ve seen in a long while in mediocre movies like this. Which doesn’t mean that there isn’t still lots of damseling and awful character design, obviously.

Psycho Pass – The Movie (2015) – If you’re into dystopian Sci-Fi that makes GitS seem like a stroll in the park this one is for you. Be warned of another instance shitty heterosexism, though. Gays are gross? Seriously? In 2015?.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movies (2012 / 2013)
Don’t be fooled by the sweet childish looks of these movies, they’re actually pretty hefty. They also do a cool mixture of normal anime style with more experimental stuff. Obviously there’s a lot to critique if a guy makes a grimdark version of Magical Girls. Review for the first two films by RequiresHate and one this one tries to make sense of third one.

Redline (2009) – Cars and racing are amongst the top things I’m not interested in, so I’ll pass this one. 

Saint Young Men (2013) – I really like the idea of Buddha and Jesus living in today’s Japan but for me this doesn’t live up to it. I think my main problem is that our saints lack any distinctive character, so for most of its runttime this movie is just two dudes doing boring stuff.

Short Peace (2013) – Again a very mixed back of short films (there’s one pretty gory one) with almost no female characters. The first about a man sleeping at an old shrine and making friends with demons by tailoring stuff for them is by far the best one.

Sita Sings the Blues (2008) – I don’t dig the style too much but it’s all free and CC/Public Domain  so go for it. The shadow puppets discussing the Ramayana are awesome.

Song of the Sea (2014)
It’s almost as good as Secret of the Kells despite the story being mostly a mix of Absent Mom and Damsel in Distress tropes. Still if you like mythological creatures like selkies, this one is for you! ♥

Spring & Chaos (1996)anime-animation-best-toplist-springandchaosAnother anime inspired by Kenji Miyazawa, this time his life. And everybody is a cat again!

Steins Gate Movie (2013) – O noez, male main character is disappearing into an alternative reality! Let’s spend a movie saving his stupid ass because obviously the world is just pointless without him! Also: Fuck you and your fat-shaming.

Strike Witches: The Movie (2012) – Lol no.

Summer Days With Coo (2007) – In this movie about a Kappa watch the first scene, then skip one hour and watch the rest. Nothing important happens inbetween. Be prepared though, the character design is pretty bad, the main character is a brat and there’s gender-stereotypes galore. But watch it anyway for the dog, because the dog is aweome!

Summer Wars (2009)anime-animation-best-toplist-summerwars
I like this despite Kazuma not being a girl (I thought he was at first). That would have made this movie truly awesome! The story is a geek’s wet dream, nerds saving the world via social network battles. ♥

Sword of the Stranger (2007) – The story is insultingly awful which is a shame since the animation/look is really good.

Taifun Noruda aka Taifuu no Noruda (2015) – While the setting of this 30min shortfilm is awesome (pupils trapped in their school during a Taifun) the story about two bratty teenager boys that bromance over saving The Mysterious Girl™ is super shite. Another waste of beautiful animation talent, go watch A Letter to Momo, instead.

Tales of the Night (2011) – This is a mixed bag, I like that the fairy tales are from all around the world but I can’t remember a single episode with a female hero and I guess cultural appropriation much?

Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space (2002) – This wasn’t my thing back then.

Tatsumi (2011) – The animation is nice (manga brought too life) but I’m not a fan of the short stories.

Tenshi No Tamago (1985) aka Angel’s Egganime-animation-best-toplist-tenshinotamago
This was my favorite movie for a long time, though that might change if I rewatch it. Dark and brooding symbolist thing of a film. ♥

The Boy Who Saw The Wind (2000) – Blonde kid going native to fight fascist-standard-evil. Awful character-design and full of clichés, don’t bother.

The Case of Hana & Alice (2015) anime-animation-best-toplist-caseofhanaandalice
There’s no reason this is an animated movie (because since when is it a problem that teenagers are played by 30-year-olds?), Shunji Iwai could have just made a live action movie and cut all the rotoscoping and wonky CGI crap. The backgrounds sure are beautiful (though the red blob filter makes it look samey really fast).

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010) – Wow, another „O noez, I woke up in a slightly different reality“-movie. How fresh! (while it has its problems, this one quite entertaining, actually. I like time-travel stories).

The Empire of Corpses (2015) – That was quite a ride and it looks amazing. I’m not sure about a lot of the politics involved (hello, casual Colonialism) but there are far worse things to watch.

The Garden of Words (2013)
This is probably the most beautiful animation I have ever seen, it is breathtakingly good. Not commenting the story, though …

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)anime-animation-best-toplist-thegirlwholeapt
The title says it all, nice one. ♥

The Illusionist (2010)anime-animation-best-toplist-illusionistThe follow-up to Belleville. Unfortunately, this was so boring I didn’t even finish it.

The Life of Guskou Budori (2012)
anime-animation-best-toplist-guskouAnother adaption of a Miyazawa novel. It’s very pretty (and the characters are cats again) but wow is the story BORING (and not as fantastical as Night on the Galactic Railroad). Also: terrible CGI.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – Don’t know if I ever fully watched this because the singing is abhorrent (musicals in general are). But at least the animation isn’t as plastic perfect as Burton’s later work.

The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004) – Well, at least it isn’t boring but it’s another sausage fest, women are damseled or can’t have an agency, o no (also awful character-design, obviously). I felt that there could have been done more with the rather interesting themes of parallel universes and dreams.

The Princess and the Pilot (2011) – This is every bit as boring, gender-stereotyped and predictable as the title suggests.

The Prodigies (2011) – This is basically random Hollywood bullshit made in France as a CGI movie with a slightly more diverse cast. Rape trigger warning.

The Rabbi’s Cat (2011)
While it’s a pleasure to see Joann Sfar’s drawings coming alive the story is a total bore (I’m also afraid there’s a tinsy bit of orientalism going on here…). And WTF is this shit with the girl staying at home while the boys go on an adventure?

The Sky Crawlers (2008) – I can dimly remember this being crap. And this is from the guy who did GitS, Angel’s Egg, Jin Roh etc. Ach, well.

The Triplets of Belleville (2003)anime-animation-best-toplist-tripletsbellevilleI loved this back then, no dialogue, stylized characters but they seem to check the „retro racism is still racism, assholes“ box in the first few minutes.

Time of Eve (2010) – Using androids (or dwarves or elves) to deal with what is essentially racism always seems cowardly to me.

Vampire Hunter D – Bloodlust (2000) – Can’t remember much of this but it’s most certainly total crap.

Voices of a Distant Star (2002) – This is classic sci-fi, much more than Shinkai’s later works and while it’s nice to see how he evolved from here, the story is nothing speacial.

Waltz With Bashir (2008)
Wasn’t Israel one of the few armies that almost always had females soldiers? Why doesn’t it pass the Bechdel test then? Update: Because back then there waren’t any female soldiers, says Knut. Pity!

Welcome to the Space Show (2010)
Nice one! While this is a drag at times after the action-packed start (it clocks in at over 2hrs) the end is pretty nice and this movie doesn’t care too much about gender-stereotypes (girls can do the action and boys are allowed to cry). 

We Are The Strange (2007) – Another really strange one. There’s more.

Wolf Children Ame and Yuki (2012)anime-animation-best-toplist-wolfchildrenWasn’t blown away by this but it was actually good despite of the furries.

Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox (2007)
Pretty unusual movie, based on a Korean folk-tale. Nice!

Zarafa (2012) – I guess this is a prime example of Orientalism (but that means many PoC characters!), some seem like quite racist stereopyes to me, like the female pirate captain (yay!) who unfortunately of a walking g*psy cliche.

Studio Ghibli
Generally you want to watch the early movies since for me Ghibli has not been much good after Howl’s Moving Castle.

Nausicaa (1984)anime-animation-best-toplist-nausicaaI know, it’s not a Ghibli movie but so what.

Laputa – The Castle in the Sky (1986)anime-animation-best-toplist-laputa
Robots? Floating islands? Air pirates? Watch it!

Grave of the Fireflies (1988) – …

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)anime-animation-best-toplist-kikis
Coming of age story of a young witch, befriends an artist girl that lives in the woods. So nice (if you can stand the stupid buddy character)! ♥

Totoro (1988)
anime-animation-best-toplist-totoroWatch it ♥

Only Yesterday (1991)
One of these „nothing much is happening“ feel-good movies in which a woman recalls her youth while checking out country life (which is awesome and only a bit hard like fake movie country life always is).

Porco Rosso (1992)anime-animation-best-toplist-porcorosso
Two good female characters in one film? The main character is a pig in a red airplane? Count me in.

Ocean Waves aka I Can Hear the Sea (1993) – Cool Tokyo city girl (who’s kind of a dick because puperty) comes to small provincial town and the best friend of the main character (who’s also kind of a dick because puperty) has a crush on her but … I don’t really care and couldn’t even remember that I’ve already seen about 75% of this when I gave it another try a few month later. Maybe it’s just me being a manly man not being interested in romance, though?

Pom Poko (1994)
This rams an environmental protection message in your face, which is cool.

Whisper of the Heart (1995)anime-animation-best-toplist-whisperoftheheartThe end is a bit too much on the kitschy side for my liking but other then that this is actually pretty okay. Especially the cat.

Mononoke Hime (1997) aka Princess Mononokeanime-animation-best-toplist-mononoke
This might be the best Studio Ghibli movie ever made, good female characters, intersting story, fantastic setting and creatures, it’s just perfect. ♥

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) – One of the few really forgettable Ghibli movies.

Chihiro (2001) aka Spirited Awayanime-animation-best-toplist-chihiro
Perfect. ♥

The Cat Returns (2002)
I love cats but I hate this (no wonder though, this is kinda a sequel to Whisper of the Heart and sequels suck by definition. This is not an exception).

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)anime-animation-best-toplist-howls
I feel like this was really the beginning of the end for Ghibli but I still like it, having an old person as main character, Howl being all androgynous, the magic, Calcifer … ♥

Tales From Earthsea (2006)
Goro Miyazaki should have kept on designing theme parks. Instead he made a complete mess of this movie, taking pieces of the different books and producing a movie that makes no sense whatsoever. Plus thanks for whitewashing another Earthsea adaption. It’s still fucking beautiful though.

Ponyo On The Cliff (2008)
anime-animation-best-toplist-ponyoI really enjoyed this at a recent rewatch. I like the simpler, 80s-TV-series-like artstyle with beautiful crayon backgrounds and I especially enjoyed Sosuke’s mom, Lisa, who is pretty rad (as are the old women in the retirement home, obviously). The end is still a bit weird, but there is a (very subtle) envirenmental message in there and the villain isn’t really evil™, Ghibli-stlye.

The Borrower Arrietty (2010)anime-animation-best-toplist-arriettyCan we please just not have generic anime dude ever again? I liked these books a child but for some reason this was really a drag.

From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)anime-animation-best-toplist-poppyhill
This wasn’t as bad as I expected but still not even close to what Ghibli used to be.

The Wind Rises (2013) – Even if you can ignore all the problematic bullshit that comes with the main protagonist being a designer of WWII warplanes this is still one of the more boring Ghibli movies.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013) – The best Ghibli film for a long time! This has a very unique caligraphic style and a pretty standard „free-spirited girl doesn’t cope well with city life“ story that takes a really weird turn at the end.

When Marnie Was There (2014)
I haven’t been so emotionally invested in a Ghibli film for years! It starts of as another teenage angst movie in which a girl goes to the countryside to cure her asthma then turns into a weird invisible girlfriend lovestory (maybe because lost in subtitlelation?) with a lot of twisty twists (that undermine these „lesbian undertones“ but whateva). It’s full of cool characters and all around an awesome movie. 

Studio 4°C
Studio 4°C is a really mixed bag with some really good movies and some unbelievable awful ones (Halo, Thundercats, First Squad …) going down to abhorrent disgusting shite (Berserk). You might want to check out their shorter works, too.

Robot Carnival (1987) – Strange collection of short pieces featuring Katsuhiro Otomo and others.

Memories (1996) – Featuring three shorter works of Katsuhiro Otomo Satoshi Kon, and Koji Morimoto.

Princess Arete (2001)anime-animation-best-toplist-arete
Just love this, fantasy at it’s best, the emancipation of a princess (though critics argue that the original book is more feminist). This feels like a good olde Ghibli movie. ♥

Mind Game (2004)
Love the style but need to rewatch this.

Steamboy (2005) – Wasn’t hyped by this. And it’s Steampunk, it should be awesome.

Tekkon Kinkreet (2006)
anime-animation-best-toplist-tekkonkinkreetThis might be one of my favorites even though I think it has zero female characters.

First Squad (2009) – What is this, I don’t even. Studio 4°C, is that you?

Harmony (2015) – I didn’t even know this was a Studio 4°C movie while watching it. It’s a pretty boring dystopian movie I can hardly remember anything about but here’s a review by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Satoshi Kon

Perfect Blue (1998)anime-animation-best-toplist-perfectblue
Haven’t watched this for a long time but it’s a classic, so go for it (but: rape trigger warning and probably fat shaming?).

Millennium Actress (2001) – Can’t really remember but I think it was pretty good.

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)anime-animation-best-toplist-tokyogodfathersI remember quite liking this, featuring homeless and queer characters and all.

Paprika (2006)
I like it though it has it’s problematic parts (trigger warning). If this is your thing, you’d better check out his series Paranoia Agent which is his best work.


That was kind of a letdown, right? Not only have I not watched/can’t remember anything about 80% of the movies but I also can’t really recommend many of them. I guess it’s still a good starting point just to know what’s out there (though this is naturally far from a complete list – for more go to Wikipedia but be warned, you’ll have to wade through all the CGI vomit. Same goes for Letterboxd’s Animation category).

I also recently found the aptly named Anime Movie Guide, so give that a go too.

I’d be happy about recommendations! Send me a mail or leave a comment here.

8 replies on “The Ultimate Top List of Best Animation and Anime Movies of All Time!”

  1. Very nice recommendations!
    And yeah, though you have not watched or couldn’t remember anything about most of the movies, this list is still a very decent one and is indeed as the title describes.

  2. Thanks! I just did an update. It’s also nice for me to see which movies I haven’t watched (not that there isn’t a giant backlog of things I want to watch).

  3. I see that you ask why Waltz With Bashir doesn’t pass the Bechdel test. This is probably because women were not allowed in combat roles in the IDF until the 1990s, and it is a memoir, so it has to stick to the real, female-lacking events.

  4. If calling out the fact that animation (and media in general) is mostly produced by men with (young) men as the audience in mind which means that most of the protags are (boring, cut-out) men makes me a radical feminist, that’s fine by me.

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