10 Best Anime Films According To Rotten Tomatoes – CBR – Comic Book Resources

There are some anime movies that truly resonate with the critical community and are worthy of consideration.
There are endless options available to anime fans. There are hundreds of new and challenging anime series that air each year, but there is also so much innovation at play when it comes to the anime projects that grace movie theaters.
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Some of the most iconic and influential anime are feature film offerings, but these ambitious projects can face mixed reception or not truly be understood until decades later. Naturally, the alternative is also true and there are some anime movies that truly resonate with the critical community and are worthy of consideration. Rotten Tomatoes is a valued resource when it comes to rating various media.
Mamoru Hosoda has a moving filmography filled with stories where disaffected youth are transported to new worlds that leave them reinvigorated over life's many possibilities. None of Hosoda's films are necessarily bad, but there can be diminishing returns on the virtual world and alter ego premise.
2021's Belle is Hosoda's most recent movie and while it's a very familiar story for the director, it's also easily his most beautiful piece of animation. Belle doesn't try to go much further than its updated take on Beauty and the Beast, and it's easy to get lost in the stunning animation that fills the virtual world of "U."
Studio TRIGGER is one of the top animation studios in the anime industry and audiences routinely flock to their series because they know that they're going to witness a higher level of quality when it comes to the animation and action sequences. 2019's Promare is TRIGGER's first feature film and the explosive piece of animation doesn't squander the opportunity.
Promare centers around superhero-like firefighters who must extinguish the fiery foes who threaten humanity. Promare has stereotypical characters and a thin plot, but the animation is on a whole other level. Promare is guilty of being style over substance, but its high standing with critics is proof that Promare isn't empty beneath its vibrant visuals.
Mamoru Oshii is a vital name to the anime industry who’s responsible for totemic works like Patlabor and Urusei Yatsura, but 1995’s Ghost in the Shell represents a pivotal turning point for the industry. Oshii is consistently fascinated by questions of faith, religion, and identity, but they’re most effectively articulated through the technology in Ghost in the Shell.
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Ghost in the Shell is nearly three decades old, but it is routinely viewed as the pinnacle of cyberpunk anime. The legacy of Ghost in the Shell continues to live on through multiple spin-off series that further explore the politics and commentary behind this rich cyberpunk futuristic society.
Hayao Miyazaki is one of the biggest names in the animation industry, a co-founder of Studio Ghibli, and most of his cinematic contributions are at the high end of Rotten Tomatoes. All of Miyazaki’s movies are beautiful in their own ways, but Spirited Away is the most mainstream and accessible.
It’s easy to see why Spirited Away has the highest rating out of Miyazaki’s movies. Spirited Away may not have the stark bursts of reality that are present in Porco Rosso or The Wind Rises, but its beautiful use of fantasy and folklore tells a universal coming-of-age story.
Recency bias is a very real thing when it comes to media ratings and it’s difficult to ascertain how something that’s successful at the moment will hold up a decade or two later. Accordingly, Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie is a prequel movie for the latest shonen sensation, Jujutsu Kaisen.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0
is accessible to Jujutsu Kaisen newcomers due to its prequel status, but it’s still deeply indebted to its source material. This tender story about friendship and responsibility looks absolutely gorgeous and is full of inventive fight sequences.
Demon Slayer: The Movie: Mugen Train is a critically heralded anime movie that feels like it owes a lot of its success to the runaway popularity of the film’s corresponding shonen series. Mugen Train distills the series’ kinetic action to a haunted locomotive and a demonic battle to the death.
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The exceptional animation in Mugen Train is a testament to Ufotable’s work as an animation studio and the fact that the movie has broken box office records in Japan speaks to the film’s success. Mugen Train is pulpy action fun that is sure to resonate with Demon Slayer fans.
Makoto Shinkai has made a name for himself in the anime industry through his emotional feature films that combine realistic emotions with supernatural fantasy. A lot of Shinkai's works explore similar themes and can sometimes feel like revised versions of the same idea.
Your Name is the most polished of Shinkai's stories and it's a truly inspiring coming-of-age story. The relationship that forms between Taki and Mitsuha is authentic and effortless. It's no surprise that the movie's moving romance has touched so many critics' hearts.
Satoshi Kon was a challenging visionary who passed away far too young, but in a short amount of time, he was able to direct four celebrated motion pictures and a powerful season of television. Kon doesn’t have a weak link in his career, but Perfect Blue is considered to be the surreal storyteller’s true masterpiece.
Perfect Blue is a story of fractured identity, obsession, and the public versus the private that’s full of powerful and provoking imagery. Perfect Blue is only more powerful today and it’s gone on to influence many American filmmakers.
The first Rebuild of Evangelion movie came out in 2007, but Hideaki Anno wouldn't be able to bring his signature series to an end until more than a decade later when Evangelion 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time was finally released in 2021. Few experiences are worth such a prolonged wait, but Thrice Upon A Time is an awe-inspiring encapsulation of Hideaki Anno's career and very existence.
Evangelion 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time confidently concludes the Evangelion narrative and engages in a wild meta meditation that’s the perfect piece of closure. Evangelion 3.0+1.0 is the opposite of mainstream and safe, yet it’s a rare achievement in experimental filmmaking that critics have openly embraced.
Directed by Studio Ghibli's Isao Takahata, Grave of the Fireflies has a sterling reputation as a staggering accomplishment in animation. The movie brutally taps into the cost of war as two young siblings struggle to stick together and survive during the height of World War II.
Grave of the Fireflies is such a devastating story that audiences might only watch it once, but its message will stick with them for a lifetime. Referring to Grave of the Fireflies as the anime equivalent to Schindler's List may seem drastic or reductive, but it carries the same contemplative, austere reputation.
Daniel Kurland is a freelance writer, comedian, and critic, who lives in the cultural mosaic that is Brooklyn, New York. Daniel’s work can be read on ScreenRant, Splitsider, Bloody Disgusting, Den of Geek, and across the Internet. Daniel recently completed work on a noir anthology graphic novel titled, "Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Noir: A Rag of Bizarre Noir and Hard Boiled Tales" and he’s currently toiling away on his first novel. Daniel's extra musings can be found @DanielKurlansky on Twitter.
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