25 of the Highest-Rated Anime Shows and Movies on Rotten Tomatoes – The Script Lab

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By David Young · October 19, 2022
People are drawn to animated stories. (Pun intended.) This is especially true for anime.
The world of anime is full of stories that have captivated audiences (and critics) for decades. This includes historical fiction as well as fantasy and sci-fi — all of which can be found in the highest-rated series and movies on RottenTomatoes.
If you want to learn more about 25 of the best and most-loved anime productions to date, look below!
Gokû (Masako Nozawa) and Vegeta (Ryo Horikawa) must protect Earth from the resurrected Frieza and his army of soldiers.
In this sweeping Hayao Miyazaki film, Sophie has an uneventful life at her late father’s hat shop, but all that changes when she befriends wizard Howl, who lives in a magical flying castle. However, the evil Witch of Waste takes issue with their budding relationship and casts a spell on young Sophie, which ages her prematurely. Now Howl must use all his magical talents to battle the jealous hag and return Sophie to her former youth and beauty.
Mugen is a fierce animal-like warrior with a unique fighting style. Jin has a more traditional style and the two samurai warriors are far from friends, yet their separate paths seem to cross anyway. Mugen is wandering aimlessly through the city when he stumbles upon a teahouse where he meets Jin and Fuu. Fuu convinces them both to come with her in search of a mysterious samurai that smells like sunflowers.
In 1988 the Japanese government drops an atomic bomb on Tokyo after ESP experiments on children go awry. In 2019, 31 years after nuking the city, Kaneda, a bike gang leader, tries to save his friend Tetsuo from a secret government project. He battles against anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists, and a powerful military leader until Tetsuo’s supernatural power suddenly manifests. A final battle is fought in Tokyo Olympiad exposing the experiment’s secrets.
‘Akira’
Middle-aged alcoholic Gin, teenage runaway Miyuki and former drag queen Hana are a trio of homeless people surviving as a makeshift family on the streets of Tokyo. While rummaging in the trash for food on Christmas Eve, they stumble upon an abandoned newborn baby in a trash bin. With only a handful of clues to the baby’s identity, the three misfits search the streets of Tokyo for help in returning the baby to its parents.
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.
In this entrancing tale by renowned Japanese animator Hiyao Miyazaki, World War I flying ace Marco Pagott mysteriously turns from a man into a pig after all his comrades die in battle. Now known as Porco Rosso, the pilot continues fighting air pirates while, on the ground, flirting with a gorgeous club singer. After an attack by a brash American pilot, Porco meets confident Fio, who repairs his plane and sees him for who he really is.
In Hayao Miyazaki’s own Best Of list on Rotten Tomatoes, My Neighbor Totoro is listed in the top 5. This acclaimed animated tale follows schoolgirl Satsuki and her younger sister, Mei, as they settle into an old country house with their father and wait for their mother to recover from an illness in an area hospital. As the sisters explore their new home, they encounter and befriend playful spirits in their house and the nearby forest, most notably the massive cuddly creature known as Totoro.
‘My Neighbor Totoro’
When man-eating Titans first appeared 100 years ago, humans found safety behind massive walls that stopped the giants in their tracks. But the safety they have had for so long is threatened when a colossal Titan smashes through the barriers, causing a flood of the giants into what had been the humans’ safe zone. During the carnage that follows, soldier Eren Jaeger sees one of the creatures devour his mother, which leads him to vow that he will kill every Titan. He enlists some friends who survived to help him, and that group is humanity’s last hope for avoiding extinction at the hands of the monsters.
In this Japanese animation, cyborg federal agent Maj. Motoko Kusanagi trails “The Puppet Master,” who illegally hacks into the computerized minds of cyborg-human hybrids. Her pursuit of a man who can modify the identity of strangers leaves Motoko pondering her own makeup and what life might be like if she had more human traits. With her partner, she corners the hacker, but her curiosity about her identity sends the case in an unforeseen direction.
In this anime feature, 13-year-old Kiki moves to a seaside town with her talking cat, Jiji, to spend a year alone per her village’s tradition of witches in training. After learning to control her broomstick, Kiki sets up a flying courier service and soon becomes a fixture in the community. But when the insecure young witch begins questioning herself and loses her magic abilities, she must overcome her self-doubt to get her powers back.
Yuta Okkotsu, a high schooler who gains control of an extremely powerful Cursed Spirit and gets enrolled in the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School by Jujutsu Sorcerers to help him control his power and keep an eye on him.
‘Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie’
After his family was brutally murdered and his sister turned into a demon, Tanjiro Kamado’s journey as a demon slayer began. Tanjiro and his comrades embark on a new mission aboard the Mugen Train, on track to despair.
Bullied teen Maddie begins receiving messages from a mysterious stranger that claims to be her recently deceased father, David; his consciousness has been uploaded to the cloud after an experimental brain scan, and it turns out he’s not the only one.
This Japanese anime is set in a make-believe future in which humans have been forced to live in isolated underground villages, where they constantly must burrow deeper into the Earth to escape the frequent earthquakes that wreak havoc on their way of life. In this world, two orphans named Simon and Kamina resolve to find a way to dig their way back to the surface, where they hope to make peace with the Beastmen and their robots who terrorize their human prey.
Student council president Satsuki Kiryuin and her underlings, dubbed the Elite Four, rule Honnouji Academy. They have the school under complete control thanks to their special outfits — Goku Uniforms — that give them superhuman abilities. When transfer student Ryuko Matoi, who is searching for her father’s killer, comes to Hannouji, she challenges the Elite Four to a battle that quickly consumes the school. When Satsuki recognizes Ryuko’s scissor-shaped sword, she wonders if their encounter is just a coincidence or if it’s fate.
‘KILL la KILL’
When violent monsters descend upon Earth to destroy humanity, a reluctant young man joins a small squad of pilots under the command of his cold and dictatorial father to drive back the menace using giant machines that seem to have minds of their own.
The fourth and final installment of the Rebuild of Evangelion. Misato and her anti-Nerv group Wille arrive in Paris, a city now red from core-ization. The crew from the flagship Wunder land on a containment tower. They only have 720 seconds to restore the city. When a horde of Nerv Evas appears, Mari’s improved Eva Unit 8 must intercept. Meanwhile, Shinji, Asuka, and Rei (provisional name) wander around Japan.
In a world where those with powers are known as “Quirks,” Izuku Midoriya has aspirations to one day become a hero but there’s a catch — he isn’t a Quirk. After a tragic accident involving his friend Katuski Bakugo; Midoriya is the only one to have stepped forward to help protect Bakugo from a villain, because of his acts, he is given a gift by the world’s greatest hero, All Might. Now, Midoriya attends U.A. School–a school that cultivates the next generation of superheroes.
Brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric search for the Philosopher’s Stone, hoping to restore their bodies, which were lost when they attempted to use their alchemy skills to resurrect their deceased mother. Edward, who lost only limbs, joins the State Military, which gives him the freedom to continue the search as he tries to restore his brother, whose soul is tethered to earth by a suit of armor. However, Edward and Alphonse are not the only ones seeking the powerful stone. And as they search, they learn of a plot to transmute the entire country for reasons they cannot comprehend.
‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’
29-year-old Satoru Fujinuma is sent back in time 18 years to prevent the events leading to his mother’s death, which began with a series of kidnappings.
A pop singer gives up her career to become an actress, but she slowly goes insane when she starts being stalked by an obsessed fan and what seems to be a ghost of her past.
A teenager is charged with the care of his younger sister after an Allied firebombing during World War II destroys their home and kills their mother.
An intelligent high school student goes on a secret crusade to eliminate criminals from the world after discovering a notebook capable of killing anyone whose name is written into it.
The futuristic misadventures and tragedies of an easygoing bounty hunter and his partners.
‘Cowboy Bebop’

Whether they’re revisiting an age-old series with a new movie or bringing a world to life for the first time, tons of anime stories here and elsewhere have a hold on audiences worldwide. Watch some of these to learn a little more about the unique way each series and movie tells its top-scoring tale!
David Young · October 17, 2022
David Young · October 31, 2022
Britton Perelman · October 26, 2022
David Young · October 24, 2022
Deadline: December 2nd, 2022
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Britton Perelman · October 26, 2022
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