MyAnimeList: Top 50 Standalone Films

Top 50 standalone films taken from MyAnimeList.net's rankings. No previous knowledge from any shows necessary to enjoy these.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Spirited Away (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts. (125 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
2.
To the Forest of Firefly Lights (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Hotaru is rescued by a spirit when she gets lost in a forest as a child. The two become friends, despite the spirit revealing that he will disappear if he is ever touched by a human. (45 mins.)
Director: Takahiro Ômori
 
3.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime. (134 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
4.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own. (98 mins.)
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
 
5.
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle. (119 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
6.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II. (89 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
 
7.
Time of Eve (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In the not too distant future androids have come into common usage. Taking the androids for granted... (106 mins.)
 
8.
Summer Wars (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A student tries to fix a problem he accidentally caused in OZ, a digital world, while pretending to be the fiancé of his friend at her grandmother's 90th birthday. (114 mins.)
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
 
9.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby. (86 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
10.
Sword of the Stranger (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A swordsman from a strange land is caught in a struggle between morality, righteousness, and devotion as he reluctantly agrees to take a raggedy boy and his dog to a remote, Buddhist temple. (103 mins.)
Director: Masahiro Andô
 
11.
Redline (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A story about the most popular racing event in the galaxy, the Redline, and the various racers who compete in it. (102 mins.)
Director: Takeshi Koike
 
12.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet. (117 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
13.
5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Told in three interconnected segments, we follow a young man named Takaki through his life as cruel winters, cold technology, and finally, adult obligations and responsibility converge to test the delicate petals of love. (63 mins.)
Director: Makoto Shinkai
 
14.
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered. (94 mins.)
 
15.
Millennium Actress (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career. (87 mins.)
Director: Satoshi Kon
 
16.
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A love story between a girl who loves reading books, and the boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses. (111 mins.)
 
17.
Castle in the Sky (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle. (125 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
18.
Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents. (93 mins.)
 
19.
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master. (83 mins.)
Director: Mamoru Oshii
 
20.
The Dog of Flanders (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A small poor boy lives with his caring grandfather in a small Flemish village in the 19th century Belgium, has a lovable pet dog, loves art and dreams of becoming a famous painter one day. Based on a famous Flemish novel. (93 mins.)
Director: Yoshio Kuroda
 
21.
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A flamboyant thief and his gang struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches and to learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to. (100 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
22.
Omae umasoudana (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
(89 mins.)
Director: Masaya Fujimori
 
23.
Paprika (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it. (90 mins.)
Director: Satoshi Kon
 
24.
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service. (103 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
25.
Colorful (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A sinful spirit is granted the opportunity to prove worthy for rebirth, inhabiting the body of a student who killed himself. (126 mins.)
Director: Keiichi Hara
 
26.
Tekkonkinkreet (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In Treasure Town, life can be both peaceful and violent. This is never truer than for our heroes, Black and White... (111 mins.)
Director: Maikeru Ariasu
 
27.
The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In an alternate postwar timeline, Japan is divided into the Union-controlled North and the US-controlled South. (91 mins.)
Director: Makoto Shinkai
 
28.
Ponyo (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A five year-old boy develops a relationship with Ponyo, a goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him. (101 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
29.
Akira (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two kids and a group of psychics can stop. (124 mins.)
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
 
30.
Mind Game (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The film follows Nishi, a loser who has a crush on his childhood girlfriend. After an encounter with the Japanese mafia... (103 mins.)
 
31.
Perfect Blue (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A retired pop-singer-turned-actress' sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past. (81 mins.)
Director: Satoshi Kon
 
32.
Barefoot Gen (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A powerful statement against war, Barefoot Gen is a disturbing story about the effect of the atomic bomb on a boy's life and the lives of the Japanese people. (83 mins.)
Director: Mori Masaki
 
33.
The Cat Returns (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette come to life. (75 mins.)
Director: Hiroyuki Morita
 
34.
Porco Rosso (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In 1930s Italy, a veteran World War I pilot is cursed to look like an anthropomorphic pig. (94 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
35.
The Perfect World of Kai (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Amamiya Shuuhei moves from Tokyo to the country side due to his grandmother's bad health. His father... (101 mins.)
 
36.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A coming of age story involving young love and a mysterious music, coming from a crystal radio left as a memento by an absent father, that leads a young heroine deep into a hidden world. (116 mins.)
Director: Makoto Shinkai
 
37.
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In the year 2032, Batô, a cyborg detective for the anti-terrorist unit Public Security Section 9, investigates the case of a female robot--one created solely for sexual pleasure--who slaughtered her owner. (100 mins.)
Director: Mamoru Oshii
 
38.
Memories (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
"Memories" is made up of three separate science-fiction stories. In the first, "Magnetic Rose," four... (113 mins.)
 
39.
Stormy Night (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Fleeing a violent thunderstorm, a young goat named Mei becomes separated from his tribe and takes shelter in a cabin... (110 mins.)
Director: Gisaburô Sugii
 
40.
Kayoko's Diary (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
(90 mins.)
Director: Seiji Arihara
 
41.
Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Layton and Luke are caught up in an adventure, when a masked figure steals an entire opera house and forces those in attendance to play a high-stakes game. The winner will receive eternal life, but it could mean death for the losers. (99 mins.)
 
42.
The Princess and the Pilot (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A pilot, despite being advised not to, bonds with a princess when he is tasked with escorting the royal subject overseas and across enemy territory to reunite her with her future husband. (99 mins.)
Director: Jun Shishido
 
43.
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A traumatized member of an elite para-military police force falls for the sister of a female terrorist courier who died in front of him on duty. (102 mins.)
Director: Hiroyuki Okiura
 
44.
Summer Days with Coo (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Kochi Uehara is a fourth grade student living in the suburb of Tokyo. One day he picks up a large stone... (138 mins.)
Director: Keiichi Hara
 
45.
Wings of Honneamise (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In an alternative Earth, a young astronaut participates in a controversial fledgling space program. (121 mins.)
Director: Hiroyuki Yamaga
 
46.
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young boy whose dreams transcend reality is sucked into his own fantasy, which is everything he has... (85 mins.)
 
47.
Welcome to the Space Show (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A tiny mountain village in a remote woodland region. Five primary school kids have come together in... (136 mins.)
 
48.
Only Yesterday (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A 27-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tôkyô. (118 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
 
49.
Brave Story (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
When eleven-year-old Wataru is told he can change his destiny by entering a magic gateway into another world, he jumps at the chance. But on his quest to find the Tower of Fortune and be granted any wish, he must conjure up all his bravery to battle a world of demons, his own friends and ultimately himself. (112 mins.)
Director: Kôichi Chigira
 
50.
Nitaboh, the Shamisen Master (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Nitaboh inherits a shamisen after going blind at a young age. As he improves his skills, he tries to perfect his own unique style. (100 mins.)
Director: Akio Nishizawa