Non-franchise, non-Ghibli Japanese anime moviesby megamixx | created - 09 Mar 2013 | updated - 4 months ago | Public
A list of theatrical anime movies, arranged generally by year. So, no OAV (direct-to-video) releases, and only movies that do not have an additional series. Also, no sequels. I'm sure you all know Ghibli, so there's no need to list those. I haven't watched all of these, but I left a note with the ones that I have.
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1. Sakasama no Patema (2013)
Not Rated | 98 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama
A young girl, from a civilization that resides in deep underground tunnels, finds herself trapped in an inverted world and teams up with a resident to escape and return home.
2. Short Peace (2013)
68 min | Animation, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
A traveler is confronted by spirits in an abandoned shrine; a story of honor and firefighting in ancient Japan; a white bear defends the royal family from a monstrous red demon; ragtag soldiers battle a robotic force in futuristic Japan.
A collection of short films. As with any short film collection, some are hits, some are misses. Like Otomo's other short film collection 'Memories', this one was 50/50 for me.
3. Majokko shimai no Yoyo to Nene (2013)
100 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
This is a thrilling, magical and colorful movie about the adventures of two witches who embark on an adventure to save our world from dark magic, also known as curses.
A fine movie. Nothing groundbreaking.
4. Haru (2013)
TV-14 | 60 min | Animation, Drama, Romance
A humanoid robot is asked to replace Hal, who was killed in a terrible accident, in order help Hal's girlfriend move on in life, but struggles to understand the real Hal's past and the meaning of being alive.
A bit short, and has a 'twist' that you could see coming miles away (although I didn't!! So embarrassing...), but it is well animated and nicely paced. So, I would recommend it to the average anime fan.
6. Ookami kodomo no Ame to Yuki (2012)
PG | 117 min | Animation, Drama, Family
After her werewolf lover unexpectedly dies in an accident while hunting for food for their children, a young woman must find ways to raise the werewolf son and daughter that she had with him while keeping their traits hidden from society.
Very lovely and thoughtful movie. I'll say it - Hosoda is filling in for Hayao Miyazaki and Satoshi Kon quite nicely.
7. Fuse: teppô musume no torimonochô (2012)
Animation, Action, Drama
Fuse are hybrids between humans and dogs, who live in Japan in the Edo period. It was said that they kill people to feed themselves with their souls. Due to this rumors, the Shogun put a ... See full summary »
Love this one. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.
8. Gusukô Budori no denki (2012)
108 min | Animation
Gusuko Budori lives happily with his little sister, father and mother. When the cold hits the Ihatobu Forest they are invaded and, with his family killed, he is left alone. He begins ... See full summary »
10. Psychic School Wars (2012)
TV-PG | 107 min | Animation, Romance, Sci-Fi
A mysterious new transfer student who claims to be psychic, arrives and changes the lives of a group of students.
A little dull and slow paced, with characters that I didn't care about. Not great.
11. Shinpi no hô (2012)
Not Rated | 119 min | Animation
When the earth and humankind are in danger, you will learn about the mystical laws that rule the world you live in
This is a movie that was legitimately released into theatres, however it is funded by the 'Happy Science' cult, so beware. (I haven't watched this, nor will I ever, thanks).
12. Onigamiden (2011)
PG-13 | 100 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
A 15-year-old boy goes 1200 years back in time to find his unlikely destiny as the savior to end the war between humans and demons.
13. To aru hikuushi e no tsuioku (2011)
Not Rated | 99 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
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.
16. Hoshi o ou kodomo (2011)
TV-14 | 116 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama
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.
18. Hotarubi no mori e (2011)
45 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy
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.
19. Friends: Mononokeshima no Naki (2011)
87 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
On an island, the residents have named the island "Monster Island." The monsters living on the island are friendly, but live in fear of humans. A child named Kotake wanders onto the island and meet a red ogre named Naki.
20. Momo e no tegami (2011)
Not Rated | 120 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Clinging to an unfinished letter written by her recently deceased father, young Momo moves with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio. Upon their arrival, she... See full summary »
Like a low-rent 'Sprited Away' (I say that in the best way possible)
21. Uchû shô e yôkoso (2010)
Not Rated | 136 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
A tiny mountain village in a remote woodland region. Five primary school kids have come together in this idyllic spot in order to spend their summer holidays at a camp. At first the ... See full summary »
23. Eve no jikan (2010)
106 min | Animation, Romance, Sci-Fi
In a not too distant future, a young man's outlook on his home android begins to change after tracking the android's behavioral log to a mysterious cafe.
There is an OVA series, but (apparently) that series is all included in the movie. I've only watched the OAV, but I loved it.
27. Summer Wars (2009)
PG | 114 min | Animation, Action, Comedy
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.
Votes: 20,391 | Gross: $0.08M
TV-G | 93 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
Having lost her mother, Haruka is now a 16 year old girl and feels neglected by her father. She escapes to her grandmother's house and discovers a fox-like creature who steals her keys. She... See full summary »
Aimed at kids, but it has enough heart that I was able to enjoy it too.
29. Maimai Shinko to sennen no mahô (2009)
93 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama
Inspired by her grandfather's stories, young Shinko embarks on wild flights of fancy about the history of the little town she lives in. But dreams can't fend off the realities of growing up.
I watched this when it came out, but I can barely remember any details. It's about a girl who moves to the countryside?? I remember enjoying it, but it wasn't the most memorable story.
30. Sukai kurora (2008)
PG-13 | 122 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama
A group of eternally young fighter pilots known as Kildren experience the sudden loss of innocence as they battle the enemy in astonishing dogfights above the clouds.
31. Kappa no ku to natsu yasumi (2007)
138 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Kochi Uehara is a fourth grade student living in the suburb of Tokyo. One day he picks up a large stone which turns out to be a fossil of a baby "Kappa" (a mythical Japanese water creature)... See full summary »
32. 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)
TV-PG | 63 min | Animation, Drama, Romance
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.
33. Sword of the Stranger (2007)
Not Rated | 103 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
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.
34. Piano no mori (2007)
101 min | Animation, Drama, Family
Two different people - the son of a prostitute, and the son of a professional musician - develop a bond of friendship through their love of playing the piano.
35. Bekushiru: 2077 Nihon sakoku (2007)
PG-13 | 109 min | Animation, Action, Sci-Fi
Japan, 2077: A female agent named Vexille is dispatched to Tokyo to investigate whether Japanese are developing robotic technology, which has been banned by the U.N. due to its potential threat to humankind.
36. Shin SOS dai Tôkyô tankentai (2007)
Ryuhei Ozaki is a 5th grader who discovers a journal written by his father Shohei when he was himself a kid: "Tokyo Exploring Records,". Ryuhei informs his online friends and create his own... See full summary »
37. Toki o kakeru shôjo (2006)
Not Rated | 98 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
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.
Very imaginative and creative work from Hosoda.
38. Brave Story (2006)
112 min | Animation, Adventure, Mystery
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.
39. Gin-iro no kami no Agito (2006)
Not Rated | 95 min | Animation, Drama, Romance
It is 300 years into the future. Earth's environment had been devastated by mankind's own foolish plans and humankind is beleaguered by the sentient forests which they have awoken. The ... See full summary »
40. Tekkonkinkreet (2006)
R | 111 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
In Treasure Town, life can be both peaceful and violent. This is never truer than for our heroes, Black and White - two street kids who claim to traverse the urban city as if it were their ... See full summary »
41. Paprika (2006)
R | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Crime
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.
Votes: 55,083 | Gross: $0.88M
My least favorite of Satoshi Kon's work. I want to re-visit it, but the novel reads like the author's masturbatory fantasy, so I'm hesitant...
42. Kumo no mukô, yakusoku no basho (2004)
TV-PG | 91 min | Animation, Drama, Romance
In an alternate postwar timeline, Japan is divided into the Union-controlled North and the US-controlled South.
43. Suchîmubôi (2004)
PG-13 | 126 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
In 1860s Britain, a boy inventor finds himself caught in the middle of a deadly conflict over a revolutionary advance in steam power.
Votes: 14,950 | Gross: $0.41M
44. Mind Game (I) (2004)
103 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
After a deadly encounter with two yakuza, a loser with a crush on his childhood girlfriend goes to heaven and back, embarking on a psychedelic self-discovery experience with her and his friends.
Votes: 6,710 | Gross: $0.04M
45. Nitaboh: Tsugaru shamisen shiso gaibun (2004)
100 min | Animation, Drama, Music
Nitaboh inherits a shamisen after going blind at a young age. As he improves his skills, he tries to perfect his own unique style.
46. Dead Leaves (2004)
Not Rated | 55 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
Two awaken on Earth with no recollection of their past and embark on a devastating crime spree but are sent to an infamous lunar penitentiary named Dead Leaves.
47. Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
PG-13 | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
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.
Votes: 23,702 | Gross: $0.13M
My personal favorite of Satoshi Kon's work. My boyfriend said 'This movie was a miracle'. This is one you can show to your non-anime fan friends and they will love it (unless they have no soul).
49. Parumu no ki (2002)
130 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama
Palme is a puppet created by a man for his sickly wife. After her death, Palme becomes paralyzed with sorrow until he happens to cross paths with a woman being pursued who asks him to ... See full summary »
People either love or hate this one - I loved it. If you don't like it within the first half-hour, your won't like it. I found the world engrossing, some find it slow.
50. Arîte hime (2001)
105 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
Confined in the castle tower by her father, Princess Arete spends her days watching the world outside her window. Sometimes she sneaks out. Prospective suitors are sent on quests to collect magic treasures to win her hand in marriage.
51. Metropolis (2001)
PG-13 | 108 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama