Anime is an interesting form of entertainment. They venture the places that are too difficult to reach, tell the stories that are otherwise too difficult to comprehend. The reason that more and more people are developing a tendency to watch anime is that they paint a completely different world with stories that aren’t repeated. From sci-fi to supernatural, from action to romance, anime explore every genre of storytelling, always with a new twist in store. Their path-breaking, revolutionary works shattered the cultural boundaries of the medium in a way the world had never seen before.
So, if you are planning to watch an anime with a bunch of your friends, you don’t need to go to a theater. You can just invite them to your house and enjoy anime on TV or a laptop. Anyway, this list consists of all kinds of anime: from love stories to coming-of-age stories to action thrillers. Again, here’s the list of some really good anime movies and TV series on Amazon Prime.
17. Land of the Lustrous (2017)
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In a future set far, far away from the present time, immortality has been found. People called the Lustrous roam the lands. They are immortal and are the representation of the twenty-eight forms of gemstones. Their world is under constant attack from the Lunarians who capture the Lustrous because they are like gems. The Lunarians want to decorate their houses with them! The Lustrous learn to fight them but not all kinds of gems are useful. Phos is the youngest form of the Lustrous and is unable to fight because it is too brittle. But some job has to be found for this one, so they are sent on a literary errand, collecting history. On their quest, they come across another form of gems who live in isolation because they are poisonous to others. Suddenly, being a Phos doesn’t appear so bad.
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16. Girl’s Last Tour (2017)
After an apocalypse of unknown nature obliterated the world as we know it, two girls were left behind. Now, they roam around looking for food and supplies to keep themselves alive while the ruin of the civilization haunts them. After spending a lot of time on their own, they soon meet other people who survived the apocalypse, along with a mysterious creature who has the ability to shapeshift, among other things. The girls project the image of two polar opposites working together to survive. While one of them has knowledge of machines and likes to read, the other knows her weapons and likes to eat.
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15. Inuyashiki: Last Hero (2017)
A public park is hit with an explosion that causes the people in its vicinity to gain superhuman powers. A middle-aged man named Inuyashiki is one of those people. Bored with his life and not finding love in his family, he discovers a new purpose for himself after the powers emerge in him. He decides to make a difference in the world by helping and saving those in need of it. However, the complete reverse happens for the other guy who went through the same transformation as Inuyashiki. This person was a teenager who was overwhelmed by his newfound abilities and decided to help people by ridding them of their lives. He became a psychopath, murdering people just because he liked it and became one of the most wanted criminals in the world. Unaware of each other’s presence, the two follow their own paths, but soon realize that they were destined to meet each other.
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14. Special A (2008)
When two fathers who love pro-wrestling introduce their kids to each other, a strong rivalry develops between their children. Hikari thought that she was best at what she does and so she challenged Kei. But, he turned out to be better than her, beating her at her own game. At that moment, Hikari decided to make herself better than Kei. While Kei was rich, Hikari’s father was a carpenter. Even then, Hikari got to be in the same elite school as Kei where both of them became the brightest student. But Kei was still number one, and Hikari, still on her quest to dethrone him. Their rivalry soon began to show some side-effects.
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13. Bakemonogatari (2010)
When Koyomi Araragi was attacked and turned into a vampire, the high school student thought that his life was over. But he was taken in by a strange man who lived in an abandoned building, away from the eyes of the world. This man treated Koyomi and turned him back into a human. Well, almost. A few traits of vampirism remain in Koyomi, but it is nothing he can’t handle. However, he, soon, realizes that he is not the only one with odd problems. When Hitagi, his shy classmate, falls down the stairs and into his arms, he discovers that she is weightless. This doesn’t make sense to him and he befriends Hitagi and helps her in solving her problem by taking her to the same man who cured his problem. After Hitagi, he notices other girls who suffer from odd problems. He becomes friends with them, trying to understand what it is that they are going through while handling his own problems with the guidance of the strange man.
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12. Robotech (1985)
This American animated series was inspired by three different Japanese anime, combining their ideas to make a complex storyline that spanned over three seasons. One of its inspiration was ‘Super Dimension Fortress Macross’, another anime series to feature on the list. The other two series are ‘Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross’ and ‘Genesis Climber MOSPEADA’. If interested, you could start by watching these three series before you get your hands on ‘Robotech’. However, it is not absolutely necessary. The story of ‘Robotech’ starts when an alien spaceship crashes in the Pacific Ocean and humans become aware of alien technology. Unbeknownst to them, an alien species is approaching the Earth to get hold of this tech. This results in a war between humans and aliens. This culminated over the seasons where one revelation after another makes the humans aware of what actually is going on in the Alien-verse.
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11. Elfen Lied (2005)
The mutation is a constant process in evolution and humans are not oblivious of it in the world of ‘Elfen Lied’. It is set in a place called Kamakura where a newly mutated species has emerged. This species has horns protruding from its head and has the ability to move objects by its invisible arms. This species shows violent tendencies towards humans and can easily kill them too. However, the reason for their violence is unattributed for, whether it’s because of something that the mutation imparted in their DNA, or was it because the humans had been experimenting on them for so long. The interaction of this species can result in humans giving birth to children with this kind of mutation. One such child was Lucy. She was held in a secret facility and experimented on, but she found her way out and was injured in the process while considerably injuring others as well. As the military teams are sent out to recapture her, she finds refuge in the home of two brothers.
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10. Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1983)
The story of this anime starts in 1999 when an alien spacecraft crashes on Earth. For 10 years the military studies the alien technology trying to reverse engineer it, so that they can build their own spacecraft and weapons of this advanced technology. After they succeed at it, a launch ceremony is conducted in which a young civilian pilot comes to examine the Macross, the name given to the newly engineered spacecraft. However, at that time, some aliens enter the solar system and recognize the spaceship from 1999. Turns out, it was the ship of their enemies and because it is on Earth now, the aliens believe that humans are their enemies. As they approach the Earth, the spaceship, too, recognizes them and fires on them, surpassing the commands of the humans operating it. This leads to a war between humans and aliens.
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9. Ghost In The Shell (1995)
This 1995 anime film is set during a time when humans have been able to manufacture cyborgs who look and act just like them and even have some sort of consciousness. The central character of the story is a female cyborg called Major Motoko Kusanagi. She has been given the job of hunting down an illegal hacker who has been logging in and changing information in the minds of hackers. When she hears about him for the first time, Motoko wonders how she would have felt or reacted to situations if the human traits in her were tuned up. She does manage to locate this dangerous hacker, but her personal curiosity sends Motoko in a strange direction where problems wait for her in every corner. The film is highly entertaining, and despite being a science fiction anime for kids, it has some serious philosophical questions within its core that are bound to remind us of films like ‘Blade Runner‘.
8. Millennium Actress (2001)
One of the most visually stunning anime films you will ever come across, ‘Millenium Actress’ is a film by director Satoshi Kon. The story of the film begins with a documentary filmmaker who wishes to make a documentary on one of the finest actresses Japan has ever seen, Chiyoko Fujiwara. Once a popular figure all across the country, the actress now lives as a complete recluse. Despite her initial hesitation, she soon begins to develop a great relationship with the filmmaker in question. The story of the film begins the story of her life, as we see her becoming a well-known figure, and then a highly acclaimed actress playing various roles set during different eras of Japanese history. The film becomes a meditative view on the nature of cinema and its history more than anything else.
7. Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1999)
The fact that animes are a rather serious art form and deal with some heavy topics can easily be understood if one looks at this film. ‘Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade’ is a dystopic film set during an alternate Japanese history when the country has seen an unprecedented jump in industries which has led to the creation of a gaping economic divide between the poor and the rich people of the country. This has naturally led to a lot of civil unrest and protest, and to curb these insurgencies, the government has created a special task force called the Capitol Police Organization. When this task force manages to brutally gun down a violent revolutionary organization, one officer of the force suffers some injuries after a terrorist ends up bombing herself near him. This injured policeman later recuperates and gets involved in a romantic relationship with a girl. It is during this time that the corruption and confusion in the government offices become clear to him. This film brilliantly captures the political situation that the world is going through at the moment, with the concentration of wealth within a certain section of the population is becoming a major concern.
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6. Night On The Galactic Railroad (1985)
A surreal anime film based on a book by Kenji Miyazawa, ‘Night On The Galactic Railroad’ is the story of two kittens who go on a magical journey on a strange spacecraft. Along the way, they come across several interesting characters and go through a number of experiences that make them wiser about life in general. There is not much of a plot in this film, but its surreal landscape and the messages that each encounter of the two leading characters have becomes its main focus. The animation work here is startlingly beautiful.
5. Air (2005)
A drama anime film directed by Osamu Dezaki, ‘Air’ centers around the story of Yukito Kunisaki, a puppeteer who is on a journey to meet a magical girl with wings. While he is looking for this girl, he arrives at a town called Kami where he plans to earn some money during a festival before venturing forward in his journey. This is where he comes across a girl called Misuzu whom he quickly befriends. In the meanwhile, a parallel story of the girl Yukito is searching for begins to unravel. We slowly realize that there is a deep connection between the two stories which becomes more and more clear as the narrative progresses. The film is a family-oriented drama with emotional content and interesting characters that you will have a great time watching.
4. New Initial D The Movie Legend 2: Racer (2015)
If you enjoy car racing movies and movies related to cars in general, this is a film you will love watching. ‘New Initial D The Movie Legend 2: Racer’ is the second part of a series of films which tell the story of car races being held by several gangs which constantly compete against each other in the middle of the night. The story of this film follows the journey of a character called Takeshi Nakazato, who is the leader of the gang Myogi NightKids. The first film in the series sees him defeating Keisuke, a member of the gang Redsun. Now, he has a reputation to live up to and the film follows the several challenges he comes across while trying to maintain his dominance. The films in the series ‘Initial D’ are based on the manga series of the same name written by Shuichi Shigeno. Here, the characters are well fleshed-out, and you will find yourself getting invested in their lives in no time at all.
3. Like The Clouds Like The Wind (1990)
A beautifully crafted Japanese anime film, ‘Like The Clouds, Like The Wind’, is a story set in medieval China and follows the adventures of a girl called Ginga who has grown up in a small Chinese village. Despite her humble upbringings, Ginga ventures out into the world in order to fulfill her dream of being the Emperor’s concubine. The beautiful animation of the film is bound to remind you of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli Productions.
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2. Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie (1999)
This 1999 anime film is based on the TV series which is an adaptation of the similarly-titled manga series Cardcaptor Sakura created by the all-female artist group Clamp. The film centers around a girl called Sakura and her friends whom we meet when they are enjoying a session break at school. When Sakura one day goes to a shop to buy some stuff, she gets a gift voucher with which she can travel to Japan for free. Sakura takes up this opportunity and lands in Japan, where she meets her friend-cum-rival Syaoran Li. Sakura finds out that Syaoran Li has become successful in her life because of her association with a sorceress possessing magical powers. Stylistic visuals, rich detailing, and a great soundtrack are the hallmarks of this film.
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1. Blade Of The Immortal (2008)
Based on a rather famous manga series, ‘Blade Of The Immortal’ is the story of a legendary swordsman who has been cursed by a witch with immortality. However, living on for a long time naturally starts boring the swordsman, who then asks the witch to grant him mortality once again. And in order to do that, he says he is ready to kill 1000 evil men. It is his journey to mortality which becomes the central theme of this series. ‘Blade Of The Immortal’ boasts of a rich animation that captures the mood of the series perfectly.
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