Anime has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many fans around the world embracing the unique storytelling, stunning animation, and diverse themes that anime movies have to offer.
Fortunately, Netflix has a wide selection of some of the best anime movies available for streaming. From heart-warming romances to thrilling adventures, these anime movies offer something for everyone.
In this blog article, we will be discussing the best anime movies on Netflix.
Best Anime Movies on Netflix 2023
A Whisker Away (2020)
A Whisker Away (2020) is a heartwarming anime movie that tells the story of a young girl named Miyo Sasaki who is secretly in love with her classmate, Kento Hinode.
However, Kento is oblivious to her feelings, and Miyo feels invisible and unimportant. One day, Miyo comes across a mysterious mask seller who offers her a magical mask that can turn her into a cat for a limited time.
In cat form, she begins to spend more time with Kento, but as she spends more and more time in her feline form, Miyo risks losing her humanity and becoming a cat forever.
The movie is directed by Junichi Sato and Tomotaka Shibayama, and features beautiful animation by Studio Colorido.
A Whisker Away explores themes of identity, self-acceptance, and the importance of being true to oneself. It is a heart-warming and charming film that is sure to delight viewers of all ages.
Your Name (2016)
Your Name (2016) is a critically acclaimed anime movie directed by Makoto Shinkai, which tells the story of two teenagers, Taki and Mitsuha, who live in different parts of Japan and have never met.
One day, they inexplicably start to swap bodies when they fall asleep, leading to a series of hilarious and awkward situations as they try to navigate each other’s lives.
As they continue to switch places, Taki and Mitsuha begin to develop a deep connection and an understanding of each other’s hopes, dreams, and struggles.
However, just as they start to unravel the mystery behind their strange connection, a disaster threatens to tear them apart.
Your Name is a stunningly beautiful film that combines breathtaking visuals with a moving and heartfelt story about love, fate, and the power of connection.
It explores themes of identity, memory, and the meaning of home, and has resonated with audiences around the world, becoming one of the highest-grossing anime movies of all time.
Whether you’re an anime fan or a newcomer to the genre, Your Name is a must-watch film that will leave you with a lasting impression.
Spirited Away (2001)
Spirited Away (2001) is a landmark anime movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli.
The film follows the adventures of a young girl named Chihiro, who accidentally wanders into a magical realm inhabited by spirits and other supernatural creatures. She is trapped there and must work in a bathhouse for the spirits in order to free herself and her parents.
As Chihiro navigates this strange and perilous world, she meets a cast of memorable characters and confronts various challenges and obstacles, including a witch and a powerful spirit named No-Face.
Along the way, she learns important lessons about courage, determination, and the importance of kindness and empathy.
Spirited Away is widely regarded as one of the greatest anime movies of all time and is a masterpiece of animation and storytelling.
It won numerous awards, including an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and has captivated audiences of all ages around the world.
The film’s imaginative and vibrant world, richly drawn characters, and themes of resilience and self-discovery make it a must-watch for any anime fan or lover of animation. Indeed, this movie is the “Top anime movies to stream on Netflix.”
A Silent Voice (2016)
A Silent Voice is a stunningly beautiful film that explores themes of identity, belonging, and the power of communication. The film’s nuanced and compassionate portrayal of characters with disabilities has been praised by critics and audiences alike.
It is a deeply emotional and thought-provoking film that is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects with sensitivity and grace. If you’re looking for a poignant and unforgettable anime movie, A Silent Voice is definitely worth watching.
The film tells the story of a young boy named Shoya Ishida, who is haunted by guilt and regret over his mistreatment of a deaf girl named Shoko Nishimiya when they were both in elementary school. Years later, Shoya sets out to make amends and seek redemption for his past actions.
As Shoya and Shoko reconnect, they face challenges and obstacles, including bullying, social isolation, and the lingering effects of trauma. Through their journey, they learn important lessons about empathy, forgiveness, and the importance of genuine human connection.
A Silent Voice also features a richly textured and emotionally resonant musical score by composer Kensuke Ushio. The score blends traditional orchestral elements with more experimental sounds and techniques to create a unique and unforgettable sound that perfectly complements the film’s themes and visuals.
Weathering With You (2019)
Weathering With You (2019) is a breathtakingly beautiful anime movie directed by Makoto Shinkai, the acclaimed director of the hit film Your Name.
The film tells the story of a high school student named Hodaka Morishima, who runs away from his home on a remote island and moves to Tokyo. There, he meets a young girl named Hina Amano, who has the ability to control the weather.
As Hodaka and Hina grow closer, they find themselves caught up in a series of events that challenge their beliefs and test their relationship.
Along the way, they encounter a cast of memorable characters and confront issues of climate change, environmental degradation, and the power of human connection.
What makes Weathering With You so good is its stunning animation, gorgeous cinematography, and heartfelt storytelling. The film’s visuals are a feast for the eyes. It explores important themes and issues that are relevant to our world today.
The film’s exploration of climate change and environmental degradation is thought-provoking, while its emphasis on the power of human connection and empathy is uplifting.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Grave of the Fireflies is often considered one of the best anime movies ever made because of its exceptional storytelling, emotional depth, and technical excellence.
The film is a poignant and powerful meditation on the devastating impact of war on innocent civilians, told through the eyes of two young siblings.
The film’s director, Isao Takahata, is known for his ability to capture the beauty and tragedy of everyday life with a rare sensitivity and nuance.
He brings this same level of artistry to Grave of the Fireflies, which tells a deeply personal and moving story that speaks to universal themes of love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit.
The film is set in Japan during World War II and tells the story of two siblings, Seita and Setsuko, who struggle to survive after their home is destroyed in an air raid.
The film’s animation is also a standout feature, with stunningly detailed backgrounds and character designs that capture the beauty and tragedy of the world the siblings inhabit.
This anime movie is a powerful and deeply moving film that stays with you long after the credits roll.
Perfect Blue (1997)
“Perfect Blue” is a critically acclaimed psychological thriller anime movie directed by Satoshi Kon and released in 1997.
The film is based on a novel of the same name by Yoshikazu Takeuchi and tells the story of Mima Kirigoe, a former pop idol who leaves her successful music career to pursue acting. However, as Mima starts to take on more challenging roles, she begins to experience a series of disturbing hallucinations and question her own sanity.
The movie is known for its complex narrative structure, which blurs the line between reality and fantasy, as well as its examination of themes such as identity, fame, and mental illness.
The movie also raises important questions about the price of fame and the toll it can take on a person’s mental health.
“Perfect Blue” is notable for its strong female protagonist and its exploration of issues such as sexual exploitation and objectification in the entertainment industry.
The film’s themes are just as relevant today as they were when the movie was first released, and its examination of these topics makes it a thought-provoking and socially relevant work of art.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
“My Neighbor Totoro” is a heartwarming and family-friendly anime movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki and released in 1988. The film follows two young sisters, Satsuki and Mei, who move to the countryside with their father to be closer to their mother, who is recovering from an illness in a nearby hospital.
While exploring their new home, the girls encounter a magical creature named Totoro, who becomes their friend and helps them navigate the ups and downs of life.
The movie is beloved for its whimsical and imaginative storytelling, as well as its stunning animation and memorable characters. Totoro has become an iconic figure in anime and pop culture. The film is a celebration of childhood innocence and wonder, and its positive message and uplifting tone make it a perfect family movie for all ages.
The movie also has a strong environmental theme, with Miyazaki’s love of nature and the outdoors shining through in the film’s lush landscapes and vibrant colors.
It is a timeless classic that is sure to delight audiences of all ages. Its imaginative storytelling, stunning animation, and positive message make it a must-watch for anyone who loves family-friendly movies or is a fan of Miyazaki’s work.
“Paprika” is a mind-bending and visually stunning anime movie directed by Satoshi Kon and released in 2006.
The film tells the story of Dr. Atsuko Chiba, a brilliant scientist who has developed a device called the DC Mini, which allows her to enter and explore people’s dreams.
Using her alter-ego, Paprika, Dr. Chiba helps her patients confront their innermost fears and desires, but her invention soon falls into the wrong hands, leading to chaos and danger.
The dream sequences are a feast for the eyes, with the film’s vivid colors and surreal imagery creating a truly immersive experience.
“Paprika” is a thought-provoking exploration of the human mind and the power of imagination.
The movie raises important questions about the nature of reality, the role of technology in our lives, and the limits of the human psyche.
It is a movie that will stay with viewers long after the credits have rolled, sparking discussions and debates about its themes and ideas.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
“Princess Mononoke” is a landmark anime movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki and released in 1997. The film tells the story of Ashitaka, a young prince who becomes embroiled in a conflict between humans and the spirits of the forest. When he is cursed by a demon, Ashitaka sets out on a journey to find a cure and to discover the truth behind the conflict, encountering a fierce warrior named San, also known as Princess Mononoke, along the way.
The movie is known for its stunning animation, memorable characters, and powerful storytelling.
The film’s themes of environmentalism, industrialization, and the clash between tradition and progress are explored through the struggles of its characters, who are all complex and multi-dimensional.
“Princess Mononoke” is widely regarded as one of the greatest anime movies of all time and has had a profound impact on the genre and popular culture.
Its stunning visuals and imaginative world-building have inspired countless artists and filmmakers, and its themes and messages continue to resonate with audiences today.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
The film follows the story of a high school girl named Makoto Konno, who discovers that she can time-travel. Using her newfound power, Makoto embarks on a series of adventures and tries to change the course of her life for the better, but soon realizes that altering the past has consequences that she never anticipated.
The movie is known for its engaging characters, heartfelt storytelling, and stunning animation. The film’s themes of friendship, love, and the passage of time are explored with nuance and depth, making for a moving and memorable viewing experience.
The animation in “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” is noteworthy, with its lush and detailed visuals bringing the film’s characters and world to life.
The film’s engaging characters and relatable themes make it a movie that is easy to connect with and that resonates with audiences of all ages. It is a must-watch for anyone who loves anime movies, or for anyone who appreciates great storytelling and stunning visuals.
Children of the Sea (2019)
“Children of the Sea” is a visually stunning anime movie directed by Ayumu Watanabe and released in 2019.
The film tells the story of Ruka, a young girl who befriends two boys, Umi and Sora, who were raised by dugongs and have a deep connection to the ocean.
As Ruka spends time with Umi and Sora, she discovers they share a mysterious and powerful connection to the sea, which leads them on a journey of discovery and adventure.
The movie is known for its breath-taking animation, which captures the beauty and majesty of the ocean in stunning detail.
The film’s use of colour and light is also noteworthy, with the changing hues of the sky and the shifting colours of the sea creating a sense of wonder and magic that is central to the film’s themes.
The film’s characters are all deeply nuanced and well-developed, with each one grappling with their own personal struggles and journeys of self-discovery.
The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017)
“The Night is Short, Walk on Girl” is a quirky and stylish anime movie directed by Masaaki Yuasa and released in 2017. The film follows the story of a young college student known only as “The Girl with Black Hair,” who spends a wild night on the town in search of adventure and love.
The movie is known for its energetic animation, which captures the frenetic pace of the protagonist’s night-time escapades. The film’s use of color and light is also notable, with vibrant hues and psychedelic patterns creating a sense of whimsy and surrealism that is central to the film’s themes.
“The Night is Short, Walk on Girl” is also notable for its exploration of themes of youth, romance, and the search for meaning and purpose in life.
The film’s characters are all well-developed, with each one offering a unique perspective on the joys and challenges of navigating adulthood.
“Blame!” is a dark and intense anime movie based on a manga series of the same name by Tsutomu Nihei. The film was directed by Hiroyuki Seshita and was released in 2017.
The movie is set in a distant future where an automated city known as the “Megastructure” has spiralled out of control and threatens to consume all life.
The film follows the story of a lone wanderer named Killy, who is on a quest to find a way to restore the Megastructure to its original function and save the remaining human survivors.
Killy is aided in his quest by a group of resistance fighters, who are fighting to overthrow the oppressive ruling class and restore balance to their world.
The movie is known for its dark and dystopian atmosphere, which is brought to life through its moody animation and haunting soundtrack.
The Garden of Words (2013)
“The Garden of Words” is a 2013 anime movie directed by Makoto Shinkai, who is known for his visually stunning works. The movie is produced by CoMix Wave Films and was released in Japan in May 2013. It has since gained international popularity and critical acclaim, and is available for streaming on Netflix.
The movie is a romantic drama that tells the story of two people, Takao Akizuki and Yukari Yukino, who meet each other on a rainy morning in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
Takao is a 15-year-old student who dreams of becoming a shoemaker, while Yukari is a mysterious 27-year-old woman who seems to be skipping work. Over the courses of several rainy mornings, Takao and Yukari form a bond and helped each other to deal with their respective problems.
The movie has been praised for its stunning animation and visuals, which vividly capture the beauty of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and Tokyo during the rainy season.
It deals with themes of loneliness, connection, and finding one’s purpose in life.
Flavors of Youth (2018)
Flavors of Youth” is a 2018 anime movie directed by Li Haoling, Jiaoshou Yi Xiaoxing, and Yoshitaka Takeuchi. The movie is produced by CoMix Wave Films, the same studio behind other popular anime movies like “Your Name” and “The Garden of Words”. It is available for streaming on Netflix.
The movie is an anthology of three interconnected stories that explore the themes of nostalgia, memory, and the fleeting nature of youth.
Each story takes place in a different city in China and center around a distinct character, but they are all connected by the overarching themes.
The first story, “The Rice Noodles,” follows a young man named Xiao Ming, who reminisces about his childhood and the special bond he had with his grandmother, who used to make him his favorite dish of rice noodles.
The second story, “A Little Fashion Show,” center around a fashion model named Yi Lin, who reflects on her past and the sacrifices she had to make in order to pursue her dream career.
The third story, “Love in Shanghai,” tells the story of a young man named Limo who tries to reconnect with his childhood friend, Xiao Yu, in the bustling city of Shanghai.
“Flavors of Youth” has been praised for its stunning animation and visuals, which capture the vibrant energy of each city and the subtle emotions of each character.
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (2018)
The movie follows the story of two high school students, a reserved boy named Haruki and a popular girl named Sakura, who are brought together by a chance encounter.
After discovering that Sakura has a terminal illness, Haruki agrees to keep her condition a secret and spends time with her, fulfilling her bucket list and building a deep and meaningful relationship with her.
“I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” has been praised for its emotional and heart-wrenching story, as well as its beautifully crafted animation and visuals.
The movie explores themes of life, death, love, and friendship, and is known for its poignant and bittersweet ending.
K-On! The Movie (2011)
The Movie” is an entertaining movie that is sure to please fans of the “K-On!” series. The movie follows the story of the four members of the Sakuragaoka High School Light Music Club—Yui, Mio, Ritsu, and Tsumugi—as they embark on a trip to London. The girls are tasked with performing in a concert for their school’s alumni association, and they explore the sights and sounds of the city.
The movie has been praised for its vibrant animation and visuals, which perfectly capture the fun and energetic spirit of the “K-On!” series.
Lu Over the Wall (2017)
One of the standout features of “Lu Over the Wall” is its use of music. Lu is a talented singer and her songs are a central part of the story.
The film features a mix of musical genres, including rock, pop, and traditional Japanese music. The music adds depth to the film’s emotional moments and creates a unique atmosphere that is both fun and touching.
It tells the story of a young boy named Kai who lives in a small fishing village and forms a friendship with a mermaid named Lu.
Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017)
The film is based on the children’s book “The Little Broomstick” by Mary Stewart and tells the story of a young girl named Mary who discovers a magical flower that gives her extraordinary powers.
The film’s animation is beautifully crafted, with stunningly detailed backgrounds and rich colours that bring the world of magic to life. The story is full of adventure, magic, and wonder, and the characters are charming and relatable, making it easy for the audience to become emotionally invested in their journey.
The film is filled with fantastic creatures and enchanted objects. The film also explores deeper themes, such as the ethics of science and technology, and the power of individualism.
Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (2019)
The film is a spin-off of the TV anime series “Violet Evergarden” and tells the story of Violet, a former soldier who becomes an “Auto Memory Doll” – a professional letter writer – after the war.
The story takes place in the same world as the anime series, but with a different plot and characters. The movie explores themes of love, loss, trauma, and healing as Violet and Isabella develop a deep and meaningful relationship through their work together. The film’s animation is stunningly beautiful, with lush backgrounds and intricate character designs.
In This Corner of the World
The film is set in Japan during World War II and tells the story of a young woman named Suzu, who moves to the town of Kure to marry a man she has never met.
The story is a poignant portrayal of daily life during the war, as Suzu and her family struggle to make ends meet, cope with food shortages and rationing, and deal with the emotional toll of war.
The film explores themes of family, community, sacrifice, and resilience, as Suzu navigates the challenges of her new life and learns to find joy and meaning in the midst of hardship.
The animation is beautifully detailed and captures the minutiae of everyday life in wartime Japan, from the design of household objects to the movement of people in the streets.
The film’s attention to historical accuracy also creates a sense of immersion for viewers, as they are transported back in time to wartime Japan.
The film tells the story of a fourth-grade boy named Aoyama who becomes fascinated with penguins that start appearing in his town, despite the fact that there is no natural habitat for them in the area.
The film has a unique visual style that is both colourful and whimsical, and it creates a sense of wonder and magic that is perfect for a story about penguins appearing out of nowhere.
The film explores themes of curiosity, imagination, and coming-of-age, as Aoyama becomes increasingly obsessed with figuring out the mystery of the penguins and develops a crush on a young dental assistant.
It is a mix of adventure, mystery, and coming-of-age themes make it a brilliant choice for viewers of all ages.
Big Fish & Begonia
“Big Fish & Begonia” is an incredibly beautiful film that features breathtaking visuals and a poignant story that explores themes such as love, sacrifice, and the interconnectedness of all things.
It tells the story of a young girl named Chun who lives in a mystical world beyond the human realm. In this world, she belongs to a race of magical beings who control the tides and seasons of the human world.
When Chun turns 16, she undergoes a rite of passage that involves traveling to the human world in the form of a red dolphin to experience life as a mortal.
During her journey, she meets a human boy named Kun, who helps her return home but suffers a fatal injury. Filled with guilt and regret, Chun embarks on a dangerous quest to save Kun’s life, which puts her own life and the delicate balance of nature at risk.
The anime movie is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys fantasy and animation films that are rich with detail, depth, and heart.
The Red Turtle (2016)
The film tells the story of a man who becomes stranded on a deserted island and meets a giant red turtle, which changes his life forever.
The movie is unique; it features no dialogue, relying solely on its visual storytelling to convey its narrative. The film’s animation is also noteworthy for its beautiful hand-drawn style, which gives the visuals a distinctive and immersive quality.
It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 89th Academy Awards and won the Un Certain Regard Special Prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
It also won the Best Animated Film Award at the 2016 Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the 2016 Cesar Awards, and the 2017 Annie Awards.
“Ponyo” is a 2008 Japanese animated movie on Netflix directed by the renowned animator Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film is loosely based on the classic story “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen, but with a unique twist.
The movie tells the story of a young goldfish named Ponyo who becomes fascinated with the human world and decides to leave her undersea home to explore it.
Along the way, she befriends a young boy named Sosuke, and together they embark on a magical adventure filled with wonder and danger.
“Ponyo” is known for its stunning visuals, which feature a mixture of traditional hand-drawn animation and computer-generated effects. The film’s animation style captures the beauty and wonder of the ocean and its inhabitants.
It won several awards, including the Animation of the Year award at the 32nd Japan Academy Prize ceremony, and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2009.
From up on poppy hill
“From Up on Poppy Hill” is a 2011 Japanese animated movie directed by Goro Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli.
The film is set in the early 1960s and follows the story of a high school girl named Umi who lives in a boarding house in Yokohama. Umi’s life is turned upside down when she meets a boy named Shun and together, they embark on a journey to save their school’s clubhouse from being demolished.
The relationship between Umi and Shun is also an important aspect of the movie. The two characters are initially drawn together by their shared goal of saving the school clubhouse, but as they spend more time together, they develop a deeper connection.
Their relationship is portrayed with a gentle and understated romance that reflects the movie’s overall tone of nostalgia and sentimentality.
The movie is notable for its focus on Japanese history and culture, particularly the period of rapid economic growth in Japan during the 1960s.
The film explores themes of nostalgia, family, and the importance of preserving cultural heritage. Umi, the film’s protagonist, is a strong and determined young woman who takes on many responsibilities at home and at school. She is also deeply committed to her family and their legacy, which is a recurring theme throughout the film.
Netflix’s anime movie collection is a treasure trove of cinematic gems, with something to offer for fans of all genres and styles.