Japanese Animation and Film

Animation and Films I've seen. Lots of Studio Ghibli--and director Hayao Miyazaki isn't the only star.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
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.)
“ Undoubtedly the best work of animation I've ever seen, with a whimsical but unusually realistic story and characters. Directed by Yoshifumi Kondou, written by Hayao Miyazaki. ” - fuzzysquee
 
2.
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
“ Miyazaki's first work as director. It's like a mix of Castle in the Sky, the Princess Bride, and James Bond. Lupin is the star of a 60s anime. ” - fuzzysquee
 
3.
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
 
4.
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
“ Classic, soaring adventure with colorful characters and an unforgettable setting. ” - fuzzysquee
 
5.
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
 
6.
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 wondrous forest spirits who live nearby. (86 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
7.
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
 
8.
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
 
9.
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
“ Set in Italy between the world wars, Porco Rosso follows the adventures of a middle-aged ace pilot who has a pig's head. There's plenty of humor, pathos, planes, and gorgeous scenery, but to be honest, I didn't see a compelling reason for the guy's...pigheadedness. ” - fuzzysquee
 
10.
Ocean Waves (1993 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
As a young man returns home after his first year away at college he recalls his senior year of high school and the iron-willed, big city girl that turned his world upside down. (72 mins.)
“ This is my least favorite Ghibli film. I didn't find the plot or the characters very appealing. ” - fuzzysquee
 
11.
Pom Poko (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A community of magical shape-shifting raccoon dogs struggle to prevent their forest home from being destroyed by urban development. (119 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
 
12.
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
 
13.
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The life and misadventures of a family in contemporary Japan. (104 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
“ Takahata experimented with a totally different animation style, which I didn't like as much as Ghibli's usual fare. Instead of an elaborate plot, there's a series of everyday vignettes with a lesson for each. It's charming, but not especially thrilling. ” - fuzzysquee
 
14.
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
“ Truly bizarre and dreamlike plot. Has a good dose of creepy, but some beautiful moments as well. The score is fabulous as always, courtesy of Joe Hisaishi. ” - fuzzysquee
 
15.
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
“ A "sequel" to Whisper of the Heart. It isn't really, as there's a new heroine (Haru) and the story is outright fantastical, a la Alice in Wonderland. Only the Tokyo setting and Baron and Muta provide connection to WotH. Nonetheless, it's an entertaining film. ” - fuzzysquee
 
16.
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
 
17.
Tales from Earthsea (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
In a mythical land, a man and a young boy investigate a series of unusual occurrences. (115 mins.)
Director: Gorô Miyazaki
“ Gorou Miyazaki's first work as director. (Miyazaki's son.) Glorious animation, less glorious plot construction. ” - fuzzysquee
 
18.
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
 
19.
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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.)
“ Lots of lush and green animation, with endearing characters. ” - fuzzysquee
 
20.
From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school's clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. (91 mins.)
Director: Gorô Miyazaki
“ Gorou Miyazaki's second work as director. Better constructed than Earthsea. ” - fuzzysquee
 
21.
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
 
22.
The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In an alternate postwar timeline, Japan is divided into the Union-controlled North and the US-controlled South. (91 mins.)
“ Animation is shiny and dreamlike, plot is fuzzy and unsatisfying. ” - fuzzysquee
 
23.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
 
24.
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
“ Psychedelic beyond belief---Inception, which was inspired by this film, seems almost quotidian in comparison. It can be very disturbing, so it deserves the R, but there's something touching about it too. It's a case of birds flying from the underground: if you could see it you'd understand. ” - fuzzysquee
 
25.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An ex-mercenary is forced out of isolation when three mysterious men kidnap and brainwash the city's children afflicted with the Geostigma disease. (101 mins.)
 
26.
Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A warrior seeking revenge unleashes a deadly virus in Harvardville. Responding to the threat are former special forces members Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, who look to bring down a mutated monster before history repeats itself. (97 mins.)
Director: Makoto Kamiya
 
27.
Death Note: L Change the World (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A spin-out sequel to the popular Japanese thriller. This time it focuses on the character "L." (129 mins.)
Director: Hideo Nakata
“ A bundle of fun if you're familiar with the anime or the manga. If not...you'd be scratching your head at oddly-behaved characters. ” - fuzzysquee
 
28.
Fruits Basket (2001 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After her mother's death, Tohru Honda finds herself living with the Sohma family consisting of three cousins: Yuki...
 
29.
Fullmetal Alchemist (2003 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
The Elric brothers' deciding to perform a forbidden human transmutation to bring their dead mother back, they end up losing their bodies. Now Edward must find the chemical privileges to restore their body back. (24 mins.)
“ Compelling story, beautiful animation, quality voice acting, fantastic music. Even though the manga (aka source material) wasn't complete at the time, the creators did an excellent job of sticking to the story while filling in the holes. This is an incredibly rare feat, and manga fans pray it will happen again. FMA frequently appears on "best anime" lists. ” - fuzzysquee
 
30.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  
Two brothers search for a Philosopher's Stone after an attempt to revive their deceased mother goes awry and leaves them in damaged physical forms. (24 mins.)
“ Brotherhood has all the good qualities of the first FMA anime and more. The original manga finally completed, and brotherhood traces the author's story with incredible fidelity. I would still recommend the other anime, but Brotherhood is even better.
(Now, if only they would do a full remake of Rurouni Kenshin...) ” - fuzzysquee
 
31.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
The futuristic adventures of a female cyborg counter intelligence agent and her support team. (24 mins.)
 
32.
Full Metal Panic! (2002 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Sousuke Sagara, a member of a covert anti-terrorist private military organization known as Mithril, tasked with protecting Kaname Chidori, a spirited Japanese high school girl.
Director: Kôichi Chigira
 
33.
Lucky Star (2007 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Having fun in school, doing homework together, cooking and eating, playing video games, watching anime... (25 mins.)
 
34.
Haibane renmei (2002 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A young girl is reborn as an angel-like creature called a haibane, with no memory of who she once was. (25 mins.)
 
35.
Samurai 7 (2004 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Set in an alternate feudal Japan where mechas and giant airships are a common thing for humans to see... (25 mins.)
 
36.
Samurai chanpurû (2004 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Fuu, a waitress who works in a teahouse, rescues two master swordsmen, Mugen and Jin, from their execution to help her find the "samurai who smells of sunflowers." (24 mins.)
 
37.
Last Exile (2003 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
It's the dawn of the Golden Age of Aviation on planet Prester, and retro-futuristic sky vehicles known as vanships dominate the horizon...
 
38.
Heat Guy J (2002 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Heat Guy J chronicles the adventures of a Special Services officer named Daisuke Aurora (nicknamed "Dice") and his android partner known as "J"... (25 mins.)
 
39.
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