Founded in 1981, Kyoto Animation has established itself as one of the largest and most respected studios in the anime industry. Primarily known for his TV series, KyoAni is responsible for various genre-defying releases, including The melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Good star, and the clandestine series.
Despite producing nearly 20 films, KyoAni’s feature film productions tend to be eclipsed by their television production, mainly due to the fact that the majority of the studio’s films are continuations of pre-existing series. Just to be clear, that’s not a bad thing, because there is something magical about living a beloved story on the big screen and with a movie budget to boot. Here are the best Kyoto Animation animated movies of all time.
ten Violet Evergarden: Eternity and Auto Memories Doll
Although it has yet to debut in the US and UK, Violet Evergarden: Eternity and Auto Memories Doll was created in Germany and Japan. Released in the aftermath of the tragic Kyoto arson animation, Violet Evergarden: Eternity and Auto Memories Doll is mixed with a melancholy sadness befitting the Netflix animated series.
Presented as a side story to the original series, with an expected sequel to let down Later this year, Eternity and Auto Memories doll follows two separate stories, both centered around characters who struggle to leave their past and their social status. While the quality is excellent throughout the film, the film feels like two chained episodes rather than a cohesive narrative.
9 Great speed! To free! Start days
To free! has spawned quite a few films, the best being that of 2015 Start days. While it’s unlikely to offer much for those who aren’t already in love with the sports franchise, Start days provides an insightful and endearing look at the cast’s time in college, essentially serving as something akin to an origin story.
As well as showcasing the anime’s four main characters in all their teenage glory, Start days wisely introduces two new personalities – Asahi and Ikuya – whose fates are not predetermined by the main series.
8 Tamako love story
Worthy of a plaster cast at the dawn of adulthood, Tamako love story serves as a more mature and grounded point of view Tamako market. The latter’s bright images and laid-back tone represent the relative innocence of Tamako and Mochizo in a seemingly endless era of their teenage years.
Conversely, Tamako love storyThe commitment to realism is reflected in the animation and interactions between the characters, as Mochizo seeks to confess his interest in Tamako before leaving for college. While the more serious tone of the film may disappoint fans of Tamako market, Love story still works as a great conclusion to Tamako and Mochizo’s relationship.
7 Love, Chunibyo and other delusions! Take on me
After the second disposable season, Love, Chunibyo and other delusions! couldn’t afford another misstep. Fortunately, Take on me is a step in the right direction, even as the film recycles themes and plot points previously explored by the anime.
When Rikka’s sister announces her intention to move to Italy, Rikka – who is still as chunibyo as ever – and Yūta decide to run away and take a trip through Japan. Although they’ve been together for some time at this point, the two have yet to kiss, which reflects Love, Chunibyo and other delusions!tendency to resist change as much as possible. Even though the story is only moderately satisfying, the adventure itself is quite entertaining.
6 InuYasha the film: ailments touching through time
An argument can be made for one of the Inuyasha movie theater; if he’s forced to pick just one, the first film in the franchise only burns the third. Conditions affecting over time is a side story rather than a continuation of the anime, but requires familiarity with the main series to be appreciated.
As the son of a powerful demon who sought to gain power by helping the Mongols invade Japan, Morenmaru sets out to manipulate Inuyasha to locate a powerful weapon that can siphon energy from his father. With excellent animation and well-paced narration, Conditions affecting over time condenses Inuyashathe ultimate glow in 100 easy-to-digest minutes.
5 Liz and the blue bird
Naturally eclipsed by the earlier work of Naoko Yamada, Liz and the blue bird is a subtle and atmospheric tale of fleeting teenage friendships. Both rivals and friends, Nozomi and Mizore are part of the orchestra at the same school and prepare to drop out of high school and go their separate ways.
The main narrative is interwoven with a fairy tale inspired by a musical piece called “Liz and the Blue Bird” which is being repeated by the characters, which also deals with similar themes. Liz and the blue bird is surprisingly devoid of much drama or stakes, but the central relationship between Nozomi and Mizore is quite poignant.
4 K-On! Movie
KyoAni’s moe anime about cute girls doing cute things – specifically, playing music – is recognized as some of the biggest exponents of the subgenre. Mixing hilarious comedy, relatable characters and a relaxed tone that prevails in Best Slices of Life series, K-On! is a (relatively) modern classic that spawned two great seasons and a film of similar quality.
K-On! MovieThe selling point of s is the Light Music Club trip to London, which includes two spontaneous performances and a few airy sightseeing tours. Overall, the road trip is only a fraction of the whole movie, with the rest of the runtime revisiting familiar sites and tropes from the main series. Either way, KyoAni produces gold.
3 Beyond the border: I’ll be there – Avenir
After a recap movie that does a useful job of streamlining the TV series into under 90 minutes, Beyond the border: I’ll be there – Avenir is similar to the fantasy anime about a girl with cursed blood who fights the youmu, beings born of negative emotions.
Despite centering around a plot point of amnesia, Future delivers a completely satisfying final chapter to a tale that has always offered more than just gorgeous animation and splendid action. Like its prequel, Future skillfully explores themes of loyalty, intimacy and family.
2 The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
The melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is an influential anime that tends to be divisive, especially when it comes to its main character and its second season. However, The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is widely hailed as a masterpiece and more than makes up for the shortcomings of the TV show.
By dismissing Haruhi in a secondary role, The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya arguably allows the franchise’s most interesting character – the relatively normal Kyon – to shine in a way that only happens sporadically in the TV series. The tale offers a compelling mystery that presents the protagonist with a truly empowering decision to make, as well as various great character moments for most of the SOS Squad members.
1 A silent voice
An adaptation of Yoshitoki Ōima A silent voice manga, Naoko Yamada’s emotionally grueling and visually stunning 2016 film portrays Kyoto Animation at the height of the studio’s capabilities. The story centers on bullying, regret, and redemption, producing moments that can be heartbreaking or heartwarming.
A silent voice is unsurprisingly wonderful from a technical standpoint, but it’s the underlying heart and narrative depth that sets it apart from most other films.
NEXT: Ani-Movies: 10 Anime That Never Had Their Own Movie (But Need One)
10 things Dragon Ball did that no other series has done