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Have you ever watched an anime that made you think deeply about life? Perhaps one that made you question your own existence as well as the meaning of it all? If so, then you’ve probably witnessed the kind of special anime known as ‘anime movies.’ These are standalone animated films similar to Pixar or Disney movies but created for a primarily Japanese audience. Anime movies cover a wide range of genres, from comedy to horror and everything in between. Many of them also tackle mature subject matter and heavy concepts like death, loneliness, war, and social ostracism. Some even explore philosophical ideas such as existentialism or nihilism. In this article, we will introduce you to some of the most poignant anime movies that will change your life.


Don’t Dwell on the Past

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a great example of how dwelling on the past can hold you back. The main character, Makoto, is a high school girl who discovers that she can ‘leap’ backward through time. While this ability seems like a dream come true for many people, it’s a curse for Makoto. She soon discovers that changing the past is a bad idea – not only does it cause strange and unpredictable side effects, but it can also lead to regret and a lack of purpose. This is seen in the third act when Makoto realizes that she has been slowly killing herself with her powers and needs to stop. Her power is also an example of the butterfly effect, a concept which states that even a small change in the past can have major long-term effects. Makoto’s leaping back in time was initially a small change, but it eventually led to the destruction of her hometown.


Sometimes, You Have to Let Go

Grave of the Fireflies is one of the most poignant movies ever made. It follows two young siblings named Seita and Setsuko after their home is destroyed by Allied Forces during World War II. The two children struggle to survive in a Japanese-controlled wartime country, but things get worse when Seita is drafted into the Imperial Army. The movie explores themes of social isolation, loss, and regret in a very poignant way. It also shows the importance of letting go – Seita and Setsuko cling to their hometown even after it’s been destroyed, and this only drags them down. There are very few happy moments in the movie, but there are some powerful moments of catharsis, such as when Seita’s aunt breaks down after he and Setsuko die. The movie also explores the futility of war, which was a very timely theme in 1988 when the film was released.


The Importance of Coexistence

Princess Mononoke is a great example of the importance of coexistence. The movie follows a young man named Ashitaka, who is cursed after defending himself against a wolf god named Nodogoshi. Ashitaka travels to find a cure for his curse, and along the way meets many characters. The most important of these is San, a girl who has been raised by wolves after being exiled from her village. The people of the village had been cutting down the trees to create space for their village, which greatly upset the forest gods. It was only through the combined efforts of San and Ashitaka that the village was saved. The movie is also a good example of how one can find a greater sense of self-worth by helping others. Ashitaka’s curse could have been a very lonely experience, but he found friendship in San and the other forest creatures.


Don’t Judge People by Their Looks

Howl’s Moving Castle is a great example of how you shouldn’t judge people by their looks. The movie follows a young woman named Sophie after she is cursed by an evil wizard named Howl. Sophie turns into an old woman, and she and her friends try to break the curse and find Howl to make him undo it. Throughout the movie, Sophie is judged by her appearance, but she proves that she’s a worthy person. She also finds love with a prince named Turnip after he falls for her old appearance. The movie really hammers home the point that everyone has a heart and that’s what really matters. Howl’s Moving Castle is also a good example of the importance of forgiveness. Howl’s past is filled with regret, but he still has a chance to redeem himself and move on by breaking Sophie’s curse.


You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Evangelion is a very powerful film that explores the idea that you can’t always get what you want. The movie follows Shinji Ikari after he is forced to pilot a giant robot called an Evangelion to protect humanity from mysterious monsters called Angels. Shinji is a very conflicted character who wants to be strong but is also afraid and unsure of himself. The other people controlling the Evangelions want Shinji to be strong, but they also want him to be a puppet. Shinji eventually rebels against his controllers and decides to do what he thinks is right. The movie is a great example of how people should make their own choices and not be forced to act a certain way. It also explores the idea that no one is perfect and that it’s okay to make mistakes and fail from time to time.


Be Who You Want to Be

Ghost in the Shell is a very powerful movie that shows that you should be who you want to be. The movie follows Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg who is part of a group of police who hunt criminals and hackers. Major Kusanagi is a very stoic and serious person who lives by a strict code. The movie shows the various methods people use to change themselves, and it explores the importance of being true to yourself. At the end of the movie, Major Kusanagi has to choose between being human or keeping all of her cybernetic enhancements. The choice she makes at the end of the movie is a very important one, and it shows that she has come to terms with her own identity.


Life is but a dream

Paprika is a very strange and trippy movie that explores the dangers of dreams and of controlling dreams. The movie follows a special device called the “DC Mini,” which allows people to enter and explore people’s dreams. The device is stolen, and this leads to all sorts of chaos. While it’s a very surreal movie, it does have the main message – don’t mess with people’s dreams. The movie also explores the perception of dreams and how they are like a second reality. While dreams can be beneficial, they can also be dangerous.


Anime movies are a great way to experience a variety of different genres and themes. They are also a great way to explore more mature concepts without getting caught up in any kind of moralizing. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to jump through time, explore the depths of your psyche, or even just experience a really weird and wild dream, then anime movies are the way to go. Comment your favorite anime film below and we may feature it in our next list of top anime films to watch!

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