Anime movies

Best Non-Ghibli Anime Movies

When it comes to anime movies, everyone thinks of Studio Ghibli (deservedly so), but there is so much more in the greater anime sphere! As you dive deeper, here are my picks for the very best non-ghibli anime movies. The only criterion I have is that it should not be a movie which is a sequel or stand-alone for a series (like Demon Slayer).

As usual, this is my list based on the films I enjoyed the most.

5. Maquia

Maquia made me cry because its main storyline is just that powerful. Within the grandiose tale of kingdoms at war exists this conversely humble story of a mother just trying her best, given her special circumstances. It is a story that is bittersweet, poignant and ends off by kicking you in the gut.

4. In this Corner of the World

I initially only watched this movie because I got a free promotional poster of it from the manga museum I had visited, but boy was I blown away. It shows you how life continues to go on even as the world crumbles around you. For the bystanders of history, no matter how frustrating, painful or even relieving, time continues to march forward.

3. Your Name

Possibly an unpopular opinion, but I do think that Shinkai’s most popular film, Kimi No Na Wa or Your Name is also his best. Say what you will, but this rom-com turned time travel flick is so undeniably entertaining and beautiful to look at. I’ve watched it several times and Your Name is consistently extremely enjoyable, and that, in my book at least, constitutes a truly great film.

2. Akira

This movie is an essential watch for any anime fan; it is iconic for good reason. Akira is a stylistically enthralling experience that stays with you long after you finish it. Its cyberpunk storyline also feels unique; like a moment in time, extremely enjoyable even if a little convoluted.

1. Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue is a masterpiece of a film that grips you from start to finish. Skillfully crafted, Ami’s descent into madness as she loses sense of reality is incredible to watch as you, too, feel Ami’s confusion and horror. This movie feels like a genuine manifestation of one’s worst nightmares.

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