Top 10 Highest-Grossing Anime Movies of All Time
THAT ARE A MUST-WATCH!
Anime is a form of art which is loved by people all over the world. There are many brilliant anime series out there which are an absolute must-watch. But as an avid anime watcher, I know how hard it can be for a newbie to jump into the world of anime.
But I’ve got good news for you!
Instead of a whole series, you can get a taste of what the anime world is like through just a movie. There are many popular anime movies out there which have the most breathtaking stories. Today, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 highest-grossing anime movies of all time that are a must-watch. These highest-grossing anime movies have the most amazing narrative directions and art styles, and they are treasured by fans across the globe.
Now, without any further ado, let’s get started!
10. The Wind Rises
The Wind Rises is a historical masterwork by Studio Ghibli which tells us the story of a real-life hero named Jiro Horikoshi. Jiro was the Japanese aeronautical engineer in charge of the design of the Mitsubishi Zero, a very powerful fighter plane. The most beautiful aspect of this film is the fact that it does not solely focus on Jiro’s love for planes, but it also shows us his normal life and all the struggles that he faced in it. The animation of this film is very fluid, and the narrative direction is also breathtaking.
Jirou Horikoshi’s dream of becoming a pilot is crushed because of his nearsightedness, but the man doesn’t give up his love for planes, and he leaves his hometown to study aeronautical engineering at Tokyo Imperial University. Jirou’s ultimate dream is to design and build planes just like his hero, Italian aircraft pioneer Giovanni Battista Caproni. In this anime, we see how Jirou struggles throughout his entire life but never gives up!
9. The Secret World of Arrietty
Another movie on this list by the highly acclaimed Studio Ghibli is The Secret World of Arrietty. This beautifully animated movie takes a small backyard and converts it into a huge world full of things to explore. This movie shows us the life of tiny human-like creatures who borrow stuff from the humans to stay alive. I especially love the attention to detail in this movie as it shows us how these tiny humans spend their life, and how even the smallest of human actions can affect them. The movie has very good soundtracks and an amazing narrative direction which make it a must-watch!
The world can be a very scary place if you’re the size of a small eraser. Arrietty is a small human being, but she is not scared of anything! This adventurous girl lives alongside her parents in the garden of a human household. Arrietty and her family borrow small items from the humans to survive, and they stay hidden. Their existence goes unnoticed by the humans until the arrival of a young boy named Shou.
8. Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke is another masterwork on this list which was animated by Studio Ghibli. Some consider Princess Mononoke to be the all-time best Studio Ghibli movie. This anime movie shows us the fight between technology and nature. We all know that technology is very important for the advancement of our world, but some technological advancements can also be great evils. My favorite aspect of this anime is its amazingly built cast of characters! All the characters have very realistic personalities which make them seem quite relatable. The amazing narrative direction and the beautiful animation make this anime movie worth your time.
One day, an Emishi village gets attacked by a powerful demon boar. The young prince Ashitaka puts his life on the line to save his people. The prince ends up winning, but with his dying breath, the demon ends up cursing the prince’s arm. Instructed by his elders, the prince starts to travel in order to find a cure and eventually, arrives at Tatara. In this Iron Town, the prince gets caught up in a conflict between Lady Eboshi and Princess San. As the two opposing forces start to fight for their survival, the prince attempts to create harmony between them.
7. Pokemon: The First Movie
Finally, a movie on this list which isn’t related to studio Ghibli! This movie actually relates to a very famous anime series which goes by the name of Pokémon. This anime takes place in a world where small animal-like creatures called pokémon exist. The Pokémon series is a very good anime series for kids as it shows us the power of friendship and kindness. The first movie of this series shows us that the pokémon have feelings too, and they should never be treated as objects.
A team of scientists discovers the DNA of an ancient and powerful pokémon called Mew and tries to use this DNA to create an ultimate living weapon. The team of scientists is given resources by the leader of a group called Team Rocket. With the help of these resources and advanced cloning techniques, the scientists succeed in creating a very powerful psychic pokémon.
This psychic pokémon called MewTwo is too powerful, and it escapes the clutches of its own creators. MewTwo creates his own island fortress and reconstructs the cloning technology that gave life to him.
6. Stand by Me Doraemon
Stand by Me Doraemon is actually another anime movie on this list which is based on an anime series. The Doraemon series shows us how a useless kid gets help from a future robot cat called Doraemon. This movie is a very beautiful masterwork which sums up the entire story of the anime, and it will surely leave you in tears. The best part about this movie is the fact that it is a CGI movie! The use of CGI in anime is hated by the whole anime community, but this movie does it so well that you just can’t help but appreciate it.
Nobita is a young boy who is a complete failure! This guy always fails at everything in life, and this bad trait even affects his future generation. This prompts his great-great-grandchild named Sawashi to take control of the situation. Sawashi decides to travel back in time and provide Nobita with a robot cat named Doraemon.
Doraemon’s ultimate goal is to provide Nobita with as much happiness as possible. Using his 4-dimensional pocket, Doraemon tries to assist Nobita in every way possible.
5. Weathering with You
Weathering with You is a perfect movie which got released quite recently in 2019. This movie is a beautiful masterwork as it has the perfect pacing, animation, narrative direction and sound. This anime movie focuses more on the characters as compared to the plot itself. We see throughout the movie how the main character is struggling in his life, and we really relate to him. The show is an absolute thrill-ride which will keep your eyes peeled to the screen.
Tokyo experiences very frequent rains that seem to disrupt everyone’s daily life. Amidst this whole situation, a high school student named Hodaka Morishima arrives in Tokyo. Hodaka struggles financially and eventually, ends up getting a job at a small-time publisher. At the same time, a young girl named Hina Amano also struggles financially and is trying her best to find work in order to support herself and her younger brother.
Hina also has a very strange ability which can be used to call out the sun and stop the rain. The fates of the two intertwine and Hodaka suggests to Hina that she should become a “Sunshine girl”, someone who will clear the sky for people.
Studio Ghibli is back on our list once again with an amazing movie called Ponyo! Ponyo is a very wholesome film which revolves around the story of a very cute little fish called Ponyo. This movie is geared more towards little kids, but it is just as fun for adults as well. The movie shows us how Ponyo’s character develops over time as she interacts with a human being. The movie has very beautifully animated visuals which will show you an amazing time.
One day, a goldfish sneaks away from her home and floats off on the back of a jellyfish. The poor thing gets accidentally stuck in a glass jar but she is freed a by a little 5-year-old boy named Sousuke. The goldfish sees a cut on Sousuke’s finger and she heals it by licking the cut. Sousuke gets very happy and names his new friend Ponyo.
Sadly, Ponyo is not free to live her life the way she wants to. Ponyo’s father is in search for her and wants to bring her back home.
3. Howl’s Moving Castle
Howl’s Moving Castle is another marvel by the highly renowned Studio Ghibli. The anime has very realistic backgrounds and a very beautiful cast of characters. Howl’s Moving Castle shows us how the world is perceived by an old lady who has the soul of a beautiful young maiden. The world of this movie is very diverse as it focuses on a lot of different aspects, including magic and war. This whole movie is based around a very unique idea which, along with the breathtaking animation, keeps our eyes peeled to the screen.
Howl is a very powerful wizard who lives in a magical castle which moves on its own. This wizard is famous for both his magical prowess and womanizing skills. The rumors about the existence of this amazing wizard have been going around in Sophie Hatter’s small town.
Sophie is a very plain girl who does not really expect much excitement from her future. However, Sophie’s life becomes very exciting when she is put in an odd situation, and the magical wizard Howl saves her. Because of Sophie’s brief encounter with the beautiful wizard, in a fit of jealousy, Witch of the Waste puts a curse on Sophie. This curse turns poor Sophie into an old woman, and now she must find a way to turn back into her beautiful young self.
2. Spirited Away
Spirited Away is the last Studio Ghibli movie on our list, and it is an astounding piece of art. This movie shows us a very beautiful tale of a spoiled little girl who finds herself in a very strange situation. The naïve girl who has never really cared about anything, now, has to work hard to save her parents and get back to the real world. This anime movie has a very amazing cast of characters, all of whom have beautifully crafted personalities. The best thing about this anime is the development of the main character as the story progresses.
A spoiled and naïve little girl named Chihiro Ogino is not really pleased when she discovers an abandoned amusement park on the way to her new house. Later on, she cautiously ventures inside and realizes that there is more to this amusement park than meets the eye. Some very strange phenomena start to take place once dusk falls; these phenomena include ghostly apparitions and Chihiro’s parents being turned into pigs. Chihiro has unknowingly crossed over into the spirit world, and now, she must find a way out.
1. Your Name
Your Name is a brilliant masterwork by the highly renowned Makoto Shinkai! This amazing anime movie has the most beautiful animation, which is extremely realistic. The premise of this anime is not really that unique, but the execution of this premise is carried out in such an extravagant manner that the whole anime becomes magnificent. Your name is a must-watch, and this movie is my personal favorite out of every entry on this list!
Mitsuha Miyamizu is a girl who lives in the countryside, but she yearns to live the life of a high school boy in the busy city of Tokyo. Meanwhile, Taki Tachibana is a boy who lives a very busy life in the city and hopes for a future in architecture.
Due to some strange phenomenon, the two start to switch bodies in their sleep. This gives both of them a chance to live each other’s life whilst not knowing what’s really going on.
Also check out our list of the Top 10 Must-Watch Anime Series.