Anime is more international than ever, and the movies have made strides on the world stage in recent years. The huge successes of the likes of Demon Slayer: Mugen Train and Jujutsu Kaisen 0 are proof of this, and streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video have collected titles to attract potential anime fans.
That being said, the selection of Prime Video movies included with subscriptions is admittedly limited. However, things look a lot more diverse when looking at Prime Video’s vault of eligible anime movies to rent or buy, with several of them ranking in the higher tiers of the movie. ‘MyAnimeList rating aggregator.
ten The Boy and the Beast (8.28)
Studio Chizu and Mamoru Hosoda The boy and the beast is an anime original story, telling a fantastic coming-of-age story of a 9-year-old boy named Ren. Ren’s mother recently passed away, she being the last member of his family to love and have compassion for him.
Refusing to live with his cruel legal guardians, Ren flees to Shibuya and encounters the fearsome Kumatetsu. He leads Ren to the beast realm of Shibuten to take him on as a disciple. The boy and the beast were well received for balancing its fantasy nature with the themes of finding one’s sense of belonging and feeling loved.
9 Comrades (8.31)
Classmates is a special animated film for the themes it chooses to tackle and the way it tackles them. It is an adaptation of the manga of the same name by writer Asumiko Nakamura, centering on the lives of high school students Rihito Sajo and Hikaru Kusakabe as they meet and bond at an all-boys school.
The former is a model student who passes his entrance exams, while the latter is a popular kid who plays in a band. Together, they discover their shared passion for music and begin dating, with the film earning accolades for being a touching love story and one of the best romantic LGBTQ+ anime.
8 Grow old with you (8.32)
Director Makoto Shinkai and animation studio CoMix Wave Films’ grow old with you is one of the best slice-of-life animated films to come out in recent years. It’s also one of the highest-rated animated films on HBO Max, incorporating the down-to-earth premise of young romance mixed with light-hearted fantasy elements.
grow old with you follows a young man named Hodaka Morishima who ran away from his home in Tokyo and is unlucky. There, he befriends a girl named Hina Amano who is shown to have the ability to control the weather – but it comes at a high cost. The film is a touching and heartfelt romance with themes of environmentalism.
7 Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (8.41)
Maquia: When the promised flower blooms is another anime original story, animated by PA Works and directed by Mari Okada. The film received strong critical acclaim for its creative take on the fantasy genre with its world, as well as for telling a deeply emotional and intimate story at its core.
The protagonist of the film, the orphan Maquia, belongs to a species of mystical beings who have lived for centuries and remain separated from the quarrels of humanity. However, a human kingdom decides to invade their homeland to achieve immortality, with Maquia eventually finding herself stranded due to the invasion with an orphaned human child.
6 Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (8.41)
the Violet Evergarden The television anime, which is an adaptation of Kana Akatsuki’s light novels, has been widely acclaimed for being a coming-of-age story with tasteful social commentary on the aftermath of war. Its success paved the way for two films with Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll being the first. The titular Violet is an artificial young girl trained from birth to fight in war, now struggling to find purpose in a post-war world.
Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll sees Violet get hired to help a young noblewoman named Isabella fulfill the duty that her family has imposed on her, even though she has decided to throw away this stuffy lifestyle. Despite its short length, the film was praised for sharing the franchise’s strengths in writing immersive and rewarding character growth.
5 Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Three times upon a time (8.65)
the original Neon Genesis Evangelion The TV series is generally considered a ’90s mecha anime classic, and it’s expanded into a full-fledged franchise in the decades since. Part of this expansion has occurred in the Rebuilding Evangelion series, which is a collection of four films that tell the original story.
It’s a little messy for the uninitiated anime fan watching from the outside, but Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Once Upon a Time was acclaimed for the way it wrapped the story under the weight of all these expectations. The series follows the dramatic battle of child soldiers piloting Evangelion’s titular mechs against a hostile alien species, but it gradually turns into a psychological thriller.
4 Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (8.67)
The anime adaptation of Ufotable by writer Koyoharu Gotouge demon slayer manga quickly proved to be one of the most popular shonen action anime available. This intense momentum has been continued with the resounding success of 2020/2021 Demon Slayer: Mugen Train film that adapted the arc of the same name, with a new focus on flame pillar Kyojuro Rengoku.
Directly after the events of demon slayer season 1, Train Mugen follows Rengoku, Tanjiro, Nezuko and more as they investigate a demon responsible for the disappearance of 40 people. As fans would expect, Ufotable’s masterful animation work is on full display here and completes an emotional story.
3 Your name (8.87)
as well received as grow old with you was, Shinkai your name arguably still reigns as the director’s finest work for many fans. The latter film received critical acclaim upon its release in 2016, serving as a resonant romantic fantasy worthy of standing alongside Studio Ghibli’s revered animated films. your name centers around the stories of two teenagers named Mitsuha and Taki.
The first is a country girl who would like to be a boy in Tokyo, while the second is a talented high school girl who aspires to become an architect. The two suddenly begin to switch bodies, leading them to experience each other’s lives. Yes grow old with you has one flaw, which is that it looks a bit too much like your name.
2 A Silent Voice (8.96)
Kyoto Animation and director Naoka Yamada A silent voice is a deep, heavy story, and it’s an immersive watch because of it. The anime film is an adaptation of the manga of the same name by writer Yoshitoki Oima, telling the coming-of-age story of high school student Shoya Ishida. It starts with Shoya ready to kill himself, however, he stops at the last minute to try to resolve issues from his past.
In 6th grade, a deaf girl named Shoko joined Shoya’s class and tried to mingle with the other students, only to be bullied by him and his friends. A silent voice follows Shoya’s attempt to make amends, with the film being acclaimed for its tactful approach to themes of bullying, mental health, forgiveness and redemption.
1 Gintama: the final (9.05)
Gintama is one of the oldest and most acclaimed shonen anime franchises for several reasons. The sprawling story mixes elements of action, sci-fi and comedy all rolled into one to culminate in a gag series that frequently breaks the fourth wall and pokes fun at its contemporaries by parodying the shonen genre – and it even has spawned some successful live-action films.
Hideaki Sorachi’s original manga and anime are both concluded, with the aptly named Gintama: the final summarizing his story. The film picks up two years after the alien Tendoushu invaded the central Edo terminal. Gintoki’s independent group Yorozuya has since split up, but they eventually reunited for the upcoming conflict.
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