20 Best Japanese Anime Movies to Watch in 2022 (2023)

There is no doubt that anime is one of the most popular genres of movie amongst both Japanese and foreigners. Not only for its excellence animations, but anime carries an interesting plot that is not like your regular cartoons. It can be a long series that extend for several years, or just one movie.

Nevertheless, if you have not seen a single anime movie, we suggest you start now, you’ll be opened to a world of amazing plots and storylines that will touch your heart and connect you to the characters. We have compiled a list of the Best Japanese Anime movies for your cozy winter nights!

1. Your Name

Your Name is a light novel film about Mitsuha, a daughter of a mayor in a small town. She is a high school girl who lives in a peaceful rural town with her sister and grandmother. Mitsuha dreams of leaving the boring town and experience a life in the busy city of Tokyo. Her dream is to live in the beautiful town surrounded by the city lights. On the other hand, Taki a high school boy in Tokyo who aspires to become an architect, every night he has a strange dream where he becomes a high school girl living the life of Mitsuha. Their strange interaction was the start of their strange love story.

2. Summer Wars

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Summer Wars isinvolved around the life of Kenji Koiso, a second-year high school boy who is a genius is mathematics and a part-time OZ moderator who is invited by his crush Natsuki Shinohara on a summer trip. Unknowingly, this short summer trip leads to a stronger bond between Kenji and Natsuki, and he was required to act as her finance to fool her family. When he arrived at Natsuki’s family house, he finds that her family have reunited to celebrate the 90th birthday of Natsuki’s grandfather. Meanwhile, Kenji received a strange code to solve a math equation that would cause a parallel world’s collision with earth.

3. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

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This anime film follows the life of Makoto who acquires a strange power to travel back and forward in time. Using her power, Makoto attempts to make things right for everyone by travelling back in time to prevent undesirable events from happening including an awkward love confession of her best friend. But little does Makoto knows that her strange power will causea major chaos for those around her.

4. Spirited Away

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Photo: ghibli.jp

Spirited Away is one of the most well-known Japanese animations among foreigners, its excellence animations from the incredible work of the producer Toshio Suzuki, makes Spirited Away a favourite to many. The story is about Chihiro, a girl who got lost in a mysterious city that were visited by eight million gods. Chihiro’s parents turned into pigs after consuming food froma strange stall in the amusement park. It was then when Chihiro met Haku, who explains to her that this amusement park is a place for supernatural beings, and Chihiro must work there to free herself and her parents from this strange spell. In this supernatural realm, Chihiro encounters avariety of characters as she awaits a reunion with her parents.

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5. A Silent Voice

A beautifully crafted animation with an in-depth and meaningful storyline. A Silent Voice reveals a harsh truth of bullying in the schooling system. The story is about Shoko, a deaf girl who recently moved to a new high school, she endures bullying from Shoya due to her disability. But as the teasing continues, Shoya’s friends start to go against him due to his lack of compassion for the poor girl.

The story continues as both characters got older. Tormented by his past, Shoya lives with constant regret due to his past action towards Shoko. He attempts to meet up with Shoko one last time to make things right. This movie reveals one of the deepest communication issues in every society, bullying and disability. A truly beautiful plot that must be watched.

6. Lupin III The Castle of Cagliostro

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Photo:モンキー・パンチ (c)TMS

A film directed by Hayao Miyazaki with incredible storyline and unique animations.

Cagliostrofeatures a thief Lupin III, grandson to the master heist artist, Arsène Lupin. In this version, Lupin III is described as a thief with a heart of gold. A criminal who pretends to be motivated by money and glory, but in reality, he uses this as an opportunity to help a young woman in trouble. Miyazaki’s work is not the typical actionanimation you would see with Studio Ghibli, it is definitely a worthwhile film especially if you have been a fan of Lupin novel.

7. Wolf Children

Wolf Children follows the story of Hana, a college student who fell in love with a werewolf that was living in disguise as a human. With their romantic but strange love story, Hana birthed two kids named “Yuki” and “Ame”, and the four of them live quietly in a peaceful town. But Hana’s life soon turned sour after facing the sudden death of her husband. Hana’s life as a single mother is rather difficult, her kids must constantly switch between their human and wolf forms to hide from the rest of the world. Their life became more difficult as people starting to notice their strange behaviours.

8. Weathering with You

Weathering with You is a romantic love story following the adventure of Hodaka and Hina. Hodaka a boy who was tired of living in the ordinary town. He ran away from his hometown to peruse his own journey. At the same time, the orphaned Hina also struggles to find work to support herself and her younger brother. Both fates intertwine when Hodaka saved Hina from suspicious men,and they both decided to run away together. On the journey, Hina discovered her strange power to call for the sun to appeal at her wishes, with the miserable rainy weather in Tokyo, Hodaka suggests for Hina to become the “sunshine girl” who calls for the sun for those who needs it.

9. Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called: The Adult Empire Strikes Back

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This film is a part of Shin-chan many series, it is a quick film about Shinnosuke and his family. They attend a 20th century theme park expo which is popular amongst adults to reminisce on their childhood. While the adults are enjoying the expo, Shin and Himawari are disinterested and concerned for their parents’ nostalgia. The story follows Shin-chan mission to rescue the adults when they mysteriously abandon their responsibilities to relive their youth at the new 20th-century expo.

10. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

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Photo: movies.yahoo.co.jp

This anime is based in the valley of the wind, the only village that lives peacefully without being invaded by the rotten sea after the “Seven Days of Fire”, when God Warriors burned everything on the surface of Earth. The rest of the world is covered in rotten sea, and human beings were threatened by giant bugs that lived in the rotten sea. Nausicaa, a kind-hearted girl who can communicate with the giant bugs attempts to rescue the world.

11. Detective Conan: Zero Enforcer

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Detective Conan is a Japanese detective manga series that was later adapted into anime series and movies, it is about a high school detective, Shinichi Kudo. Shinichi witnesses two suspicious men and decides to follow them, he inadvertently becomes a witness to a disturbing illegal activity.

When the men catch Shinichi, they dose him with an experimental drug formulated by the Black Organisationand abandon him to die. To his surprise he was alive and transformed into a child, he investigates a mysterious organization and solves a multitude of cases while impersonating his childhood best friend's father and other characters. In Detective Conan: Zero Enforcer, Conan investigates an explosion that occurs and killed multiple officers.

12. My Neighbor Totoro

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My Neighbor Totoro has undeniably become an iconic symbol of Japan and the movieitself is seen as a national animation. It is a work of art from “Studio Ghibli” which has also produced many amazing films such as Spirited Away, The Red Turtle and many more. It might come as a surprise to many of you that it was actually back in 1988, when My Neighbor Totoro was released, which is why, the film has a nostalgic feeling when you watch it.

It is a story about Mei and Satsuki, whobefriended a strange but friendly creature Totoro. The film captures a heart-warming and simple grace of childhood combining with the nostalgic feels of the rural Japanese lifestyle.

13. 5 Centimeters per Second

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5 Centimeters per Second captures the sweet love story between Takaki and Akari, where they have made a promise to watch the cherry blossom together every year. As they grew old, Takaki found a job as a programmer in Tokyo, while Akari is preparing to get married to another man. Takaki still longs for Akari, while his current relationship with his girlfriend is fading into thin air.

One day, Akari goes through a box of her old possessions and finds the letter she had written to Takaki many years ago. Then, their memories of each other begin to resurface.


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AKIRA depicts a dystopian version of Tokyoin the year 2019, with cyberpunk tones. The story explores on the relationship between Tetsuo Shima and his long-term friend Shotaro Kaneda. The plot begins 31 years after World War III, when Tokyo was engulfed in a massive explosion that obliterates the city and starts the war.

The film features government corruption as well as gangs and multiple societal issues. The plot is interesting with incredible character development.

15. Kiki's Delivery Service

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Kiki’s Delivery Service is another incredible film by Studio Ghibli, it is about a life of a young witch, who wishes to practice her craft on the night of a full moon. Kiki follows her dream and embarks on the experience of a lifetime. With a black cat accompanying her, Jiji, she flies off to find the perfect location to practice her spells in a faraway city. At this location, she befriends a bakery owner and starts her business of flying delivery service.

16. The Garden of Words

The Garden of Words is about Takao Akizuki, an aspiring shoemaker. On a rainy morning in Tokyo, he decides to skip class to sketch designs in a beautiful garden. Where he meets Yukari Yukino, a beautiful mysterious woman, who he offers to make her a new pair of shoes. In the garden, Takao continues to have multiple interactions with Yukari throughout the rainy season, and without noticing it, the two are slowly falling in love with each other. However, as the end of the rainy season approaches, their relationship will be put to the test.

17. Demon Slayer:Mugen Train


Demon Slayer is inspired by the Japanese manga fo the same name by Koyoharu Gotouge, the anime is set in the Taisho period in Japan. In the anime, Taisho is the time where demons exist with human beings. Tanjiro Kamado, the main character finds that his family is killed by the attack of demons and his only survived sister has turned into a demon.

The demons are former humans who sold their humanity in exchange for power, they feed on humans and possess supernatural abilities such as super strength, magic and regeneration.

In theMugen Train movie, Tanjiro and the group have completed their rehabilitation training and they arrive to the next mission on the "Mugen Train", where over 40 people have disappeared in a very short period of time.

Joining one of the most powerful swordsmen within the Demon Slayer Corps, Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku, to face the demon abroad the Mugen Train.

18. Princess Mononoke

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Princess Mononoke is considered as one of Miyazaki’s finest work. The animation was released in 1997, produced by director Hayao Miyazaki after 16 years of crafting the plot and 3 years to produce.It is ajidaigeki(period drama) set in late Muromachi period of Japan, showing the relationship between supernatural guardians and humans and how the two creators attempt to live together in the peaceful world.

19. Castle in the Sky

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Another incredible film produced by Studio Ghibli; Miyazaki portrays a lot of his personal views through Castle in the Sky. Castle in the Sky opens with the story of a young girl, Sheeta, who is being captured by a group of stern-faced military men led by Colonel Muska. The struggle ensues when Colonel Muska found out that Sheeta’s necklace holds the keys to Laputa, the sky castle, and Colonel Muska wants access to Laputa entirely for his own sake.

20. A Whisker Away

A Whisker Away is an anime revolving around a middle school student, Miyo Sasaki. She struggles with a stepmother who she doesn’t get along with and a high-school crush that does not like her back. One day, Miyo comes across a stranger who gives her a cat-shaped Noh mask. When Miyo discovers that the Noh mask gives her an ability to transform into a cat. She uses this to her advantage and transforms into a cat to spend time with her crush without him knowing. It is a cute love story that does not have a heavy plot, light-hearted film that anyone can enjoy.


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20 Best Japanese Anime Movies to Watch in 2022? ›

'Dragon Ball Super' Wins Award For Best Anime Film Of 2022 — CultureSlate.

Who won the best anime movie 2022? ›

'Dragon Ball Super' Wins Award For Best Anime Film Of 2022 — CultureSlate.

Are any anime movies coming out in 2022? ›

Originally slated for release in September 2022, Sword Art Online the Movie – Progressive – Scherzo of Deep Night, the successor to Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night, has a new release date toward the end of October 2022.

What is the most seen anime movie? ›

20 Highest-Grossing Anime Movies of All Time
  • 8 Ponyo (2008)
  • 7 Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
  • 6 One Piece Film: Red (2022)
  • 5 The First Slam Dunk (2022)
  • 4 Suzume (2022)
  • 3 Your Name (2016)
  • 2 Spirited Away (2001)
  • 1 Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train (2020)
Jun 27, 2023

What is the #1 movie in Japan 2022? ›

With a revenue of more than 139 million U.S. dollars, "One Piece Film: Red" was the leading movie at the Japanese box office in 2022. It was followed by "Top Gun: Maverick" and Makoto Shinkai's "Suzume."

What is the biggest Japanese movie in 2022? ›

One Piece Film: Red

What anime is everyone watching 2022? ›

The Best Anime of 2022. With popular series such as My Hero Academia, Chainsaw Man, and Bleach premiering this year, new originals are exciting audiences with bold, fresh styles.

Which anime ended in 2022? ›

Television series
First run start and end datesTitleStudio
January 9 – March 27My Dress-Up DarlingCloverWorks
January 9 – June 26Requiem of the Rose KingJ.C.Staff
January 9 – March 27Rusted Armors: DaybreakKigumi
January 10 – April 4Attack on Titan: The Final Season (part 2)MAPPA
26 more rows

Which anime broke the Internet? ›

#1: Goku vs.

And that's precisely why the unforgettable awakening of Ultra Instinct had the fandom collectively losing their minds. The rocking track choice and slick animation add a hefty weight to a finale fight that quite literally caused the internet to short circuit.

Who watched most anime? ›

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Japan is the country in which anime is the most popular.

Which anime has no 1 animation? ›

There's nothing bigger than Attack on Titan for anime fans in recent years. The series is one of the most awarded anime shows of all time, which also includes several awards for best animation. The first three seasons of AOT were animated by Wit Studio, while Mappa took over the animation for the last season.

Which anime won Oscar? ›

The Oscar win for Spirited Away in the 'Best Animated Feature' category was a landmark moment for both cinema and Japanese culture. It was the first time an anime had been acknowledged with such a prestigious award, paving the way for greater recognition of the medium on the global stage.

Why Japanese anime is so popular? ›

The intricate complexity of its plot is one of the main factors in anime's success. Anime plots are intricate and multi-layered, frequently combining several themes, character arcs, and narrative turns. Because they are commonly startled and provoked, the intricate narratives keep viewers interested.

What anime won the awards in 2022? ›

  • Winner. Attack on Titan (as Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1) Shingeki no Kyojin (original title)
  • Jujutsu Kaisen.
  • Odd Taxi.
  • Ranking of Kings. Ôsama Ranking (original title)
  • Sonny Boy.

What anime won the Golden Issue award in 2022? ›

DBS: SUPER HERO wins 2022 ComicBook Golden Issue Award for Best Anime Movie!

Who is best boy in anime 2022? ›

Eren Yeager


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