Japanese anime movies are not usually known for their high production values, and the same goes for their limited appeal.
But that’s not to say the genre has been neglected.
Here’s a list of some of the best anime movies of the 21st century, and some of our favorite directors and actors who’ve made them.1.
The Prince of Tennis: A Love Story: In 1997, Japanese animation studio Toho produced a new version of a popular classic: the classic tennis game of the 1950s.
Toho also produced the live-action Prince of Tails sequel, but the studio decided to focus on the franchise’s original story.
A remake of this classic, A Love Song to Prince, aired on Japanese TV in 2010, and now is the longest-running Japanese TV series.
The new movie is still one of the most popular anime films of all time.
Watch it here.2.
Samurai Champloo: A Legend Reborn: This Japanese series follows the story of a young man who’s about to become the legendary warrior of the legendary kingdom of Kamigawa.
Samurai Champs: The first film in this series, released in 1995, earned two Golden Lion Awards, and in 2017 it was nominated for Best Japanese Film at the Venice Film Festival.
The second film, A Legend to Remember, has been nominated for four Golden Lion awards.
Samurai Flamenco: This animated series follows a young samurai who returns to Kamigabe to fight a new war.
Its story is inspired by the story told in The Prince and the Princess, the 1954 novel that inspired this movie.3.
Ghost in the Shell: The Beginning: In 2005, director Akihiro Otomo’s remake of the classic Ghost in a Shell movie was released in Japan.
Ghost In The Shell: First Film, which was directed by the same team that did the movie, was nominated in 2016 for Best Animated Feature at the Tokyo International Film Festival, as well as Best Japanese Animated Film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and for Best Anime Film at The Toronto International Film Film Festival in 2017.
GhostinTheShell: Second Film, directed by Kazuo Umezu and starring Keiko Agena, won the Best Animated Film award at this years Golden Globe Awards.4.
Monster Musume: In 2016, director Hiroyuki Yamashita adapted the manga series Monster Musumes into a movie.
Yamashida was nominated at this past year’s Golden Globe awards for Best Film and Best Japanese Documentary.5.
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya: A film based on the manga of the same name, this film follows a group of girls who go missing after a car accident in their small town.
The girls have no memory of their disappearance, and it takes a mysterious force to help them figure out why.6.
Shinkai no Kishi: The second installment in the Shinkajou Sentai Tokusatsu-era Shouta Senshi-styled Shonen Jump franchise, this movie follows a boy who must use his skills to defeat a mysterious power-hungry giant, known as “The King”.
Shinku no Kishin: A short film about a young girl who’s been transformed into a giant to battle the King, based on Yoshinobu Miyazaki’s manga series.7.
Kill la Kill: In 2017, director Hirokazu Koreeda’s adaptation of Kill la Luchador, based off of the manga, received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.8.
Death Note: In 2018, director Hideaki Anno adapted the Kill la Kiseki manga series into a live-Action TV series, starring Ryoichi Furukawa, Aya Uchida, Ryohei Uchiyama, and Masayuki Morita.9.
The World Ends with You: A live-Fantasy novel series based on Hirohiko Araki’s short story The World Begins with You, based upon a short story by the author of the popular manga series, The World.10.
Baki to Yume no Iru Ketsui ni Koi no Kisei: A comedy about a high school boy and his high school girlfriend who meet after the girl has been kidnapped by a mysterious group.
In 2018 and 2019, this series won the Golden Globe, Emmy, and Bafta Awards.11.
Ajin: In 2019, director Yoko Shimomura’s adaptation, adapted from the manga by Keiko Takemura, was one of 2017’s Best Animated Features.12.
Nana to Miroku: In this 2018 film, based in the manga and anime, director Shinichiro Watanabe and actress Aya Shameimaru star in a comedic comedy about the lives of two college students who fall in love while in college.13.
Katsu no Tsukaima: The most recent live-