Too much anime don’t get proper sequels or endings, with most shows essentially ending on a “read the manga” note. However, sometimes the stars align and the anime gods deem the world worthy of receiving something more, and sometimes those gifts make their way to theaters. It’s a good day anytime a movie is announced as a successor to an animated series, although those movies tend to be harder to find outside of Japan than their shows.
Since only the top series get movie sequels, these releases tend to be fairly good quality. When it comes to choosing the best animated movie sequels series, the bar is set so high that stellar films like Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Natsume Yujin-cho the movie: Ephemeral link, and Mushishi: The Next Chapter – Drops of Bells all are missing the cup. So what movies did it?
To note: Kizumonogatari will not be included since it is a prequel. That said, go take a look at all three parts.
Fate / stay night: Heaven’s Feel was also left out as this is an alternate route and not a direct sequel to the series. Again, go watch all three movies.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: The Rebellion
- Japanese title: Mahou Shoujo Madoka ★ Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari
Although technically a sequel to the first two Madoka Magica movies, Rebellion qualifies since its predecessors mainly cover the content of the animated series. A dark, twisted version of the magical girl kind, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Poignantly depicts the destructive lives of young children drawn into tortuous battles that lead to despair.
Rebellion completes the series’ journey and the film is essential to the Homura arc. Brilliantly animated, complex narrative and tragically haunting, Rebellion maintains the high standards of the show and, arguably, even exceeds them.
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu No Yaiba- The movie: Mugen Train
- Japanese title: Film Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen
The most profitable animated film, Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The movie: Mugen Train was not short of a cultural phenomenon when it was released in 2020. Predominant on a train, the Demon Slayer Corps comes face to face with a senior member of the Twelve Kizuki.
Mugen train is beautifully animated, especially its fight scenes. Similar to the animated series, the film has a good dose of humor thanks to Zenitsu and Kyōjurō Rengoku, of which the latter steals the show.
K-On! The film
- Japanese title: K-On! Movie
K-On! is one of the pillars of the slice of life genre. The anime may seem basic these days, but that’s mainly because so many later series took a page or two of K-On!the book of.
The film sees the founding members of the Light Music Club about to graduate; therefore, they make a trip to London. Packed with awesome music and won emotional beats, K-On! The film gives fans of the show the chance to say goodbye to Yui and company.
Steins; Gate: The Movie – Load Deja Vu region
- Japanese Title: Steins; Gate Movie: Fuka Ryouiki no Deja vu
2011 Steins; Gate is an adaptation of a visual novel, but the anime was so successful that an original sequel was created for it. Steins; Gate: The Movie – Load Deja Vu region pushes Kurisu to the fore because the scientist is now the one who must save Rintaro Okabe.
This role reversal works wonders, giving Kurisu the opportunity to exist as a standalone character rather than a character primarily seen through Okabe’s eyes. Suspenseful and beautifully written, Steins; Gate: The Movie – Load Deja Vu region phenomenally wraps up one of the anime’s masterpieces.
Gintama: The Final Chapter – Be Yorozuya Forever
- Japanese title: Film Gintama 2: Kanketsu-hen – Yorozuya yo Eien Nare
As Gintama: the final has not yet been released outside of Japan, Gintama: The Final Chapter – Be Yorozuya Forever will just have to do. While it ultimately became one of the franchise’s various false conclusions, Be Yorozuya forever it still retains an element of finality. Much of this is due to his extreme premise which sees Gintoki being sent to a dystopian future where he is no longer alive.
The adults Shinpachi and Kagura are the highlights of Be Yorozuya forever, and the film uses character transformations for both hilarious and dramatic effects. The final punchline is also maximum Gintama.
Rascal does not dream of a girl who dreams
- Japanese Title: Seishun Buta Yarou wa Yumemiru Shoujo no Yume wo Minai
After being mentioned in Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, Shouko occupies a central place in Rascal does not dream of a girl who dreams. The sequel delves into Sakuta’s past with his ex-girlfriend, all told through a supernatural mystery similar to those found in the series.
One criticism of the series is that Mai, the titular bunny girl, is sidelined after the first arc, causing her romance with Sakuta to move quickly. Rascal does not dream of a girl who dreams rectifies this and, despite Shouko’s presence, Sakuta and Mai’s relationship still has plenty of time to breathe and develop.
KONOSUBA – God’s blessing on this wonderful world! – Legend Of Crimson
- Japanese title: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! Movie: Kurenai Densetsu
Kazuma and the most unpredictable RPG group of all time make their way to the village of the Crimson Demons and the hometown of Megumin, at the request of a letter. What starts off as a rather relaxing (and somewhat embarrassing) look through Megumin’s education quickly turns into a struggle for survival that blows up anything in the animated series in terms of scale.
KonoSubahumor is present throughout Legend of the Crimson, but the film also highlights the growth of the main characters. For all his stupidity, KonoSuba uses his misadventures to bring Kazuma, Aqua, Megumin, and Darkness together.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion
After Neon Genesis Evangelion Cash-strapped and concluded on two of the most experimental (and confusing) episodes in anime history, a movie has come to present an alternate option. The end of Evangelion is strange, grotesque, terrifying and psychologically healing. There are several scenes that are some of the most disturbing in anime history – there’s no forgetting Shinji in the hospital or Asuka’s final position.
The end of Evangelion is not easy to sit down, and that’s good. This is the type of movie that challenges people to watch it again so that they can try to remove the layers and symbolism of it.
Made In Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul
- Japanese title: Made in Abyss Film 3: Fukaki Tamashii no Reimei
The Crafted in the Abyss the series prepares viewers well for the devastation that awaits them in its sequel, Dawn of the Deep Soul. About to reach the sixth layer of the Abyss, Reg, Riko, and Nanachi encounter a white whistle named Bondrewd and his adopted daughter, Prushka. Chipper and talkative, the latter is a bundle of joy; conversely, the former rooms the role of the worshiping father well enough.
Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul strikes all the same chords as the series: a captivating sense of mystery, a constant sense of danger, lovable characters, and the ability to stab into the heart of anyone who watches.
The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Japanese title: Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu
The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is the standard bearer when it comes to sequels from animated films to series. A controversial second season caused The melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya lose some momentum, but the Endless Eight arc is worth sitting down to get to this movie.
Kyon discovers that the reality has been changed so that Haruhi no longer attends North High and the SOS Squad has been wiped out. As this strong central mystery moves the film forward, The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya preserves the slice-of-life feel of the animated series, especially during its first half. Kyon is a fantastic protagonist and carries the story effortlessly as he has to decide whether to live in a world with or without Haruhi. This streak just happens to be one of the greatest in anime history.
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