The best anime are able to create thrilling stories that would be impossible to tell in any other medium. There is a wide range of genres and tropes that anime explores, but animated feature films often make a bigger impression than TV series. There is a level of prestige that comes with animated films as well as an inherent advantage when telling moving, self-contained stories.
Many animated films are suitable for all ages, but a number of films have a greater impact when viewed as adults. There are some emotional lines and heavier storytelling that fall flat on kids but can be overwhelming for adults.
ten Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna closes the childhood book
Digimon Adventure: Latest Kizuna Evolution functions as the final story with the original characters from the first Digimon Adventure anime, now all grown up. Latest Kizuna Evolution works as a standard Digimon movie anyone can enjoy, but its target audience is clearly the older generation who grew up with these characters. These are the people who are likely to be most moved by the saga’s conclusion and the film’s more introspective nature.
9 Akira’s nihilistic vision of the future is a depressing sight
by Katsuhiro Otomo Akira is over 30 years old, but it’s still considered one of the best animated films ever made. The attention to detail in AkiraThe hand-drawn animation of elevates its content to a level of visual excellence. The aspects that the public tends to focus on are AkiraTetsuo’s cyberpunk elements, intense action sequences, and signature body-horror transformation. This is all worth celebrating, but older audiences are likely to be depressed by the film’s nihilism and oppressive government portrayal.
8 The Garden of Words challenges audiences to examine their own regrets
Makoto Shinkai has a powerful reputation as the anime writer responsible for some of the most emotionally draining films of the 2010s. Shinkai’s works are likely to evoke tears and The garden of words is a particularly sensitive and concise character study. The film examines an awkward teenager and a lonely older woman who slowly form an honest connection together.
The garden of words is not flashy. Instead, it features shocking photo-realistic depictions of nature. The garden of words is likely to make more of an impression on older audiences who can connect with the internal malaise and loneliness the film presents.
7 Mirai deconstructs what it really means to be a family
Mamoru Hosoda is one of the biggest names in anime and the majority of his films are grand adventures featuring young protagonists who feel neglected in the ordinary world. Mirai is ideal for younger audiences, but becomes a very different film when viewed by an adult. Mirai looks at time travel as an illuminating way for young Kun to come to terms with his new baby sister, both looking at his future and his mother’s past. Mirai is great for any kid with a sibling on the way, but it leaves a bigger toll on those with kids of their own.
6 The Millennium actress opens up about the collective buildup of someone’s life
Satoshi Kon is renowned for his unwavering psychological horrors like perfect bluebut he is also responsible for some delicate films about the joys of life. Millennial Actress is structured around a filmmaker’s documentary about a legendary actress living her final days as a recluse. The actress reminisces about her life and what brought her to isolation travels through different eras of Japanese history while paying homage to cinema. Those who have lived their lives to the full will get the most out of Millennial Actress and what it has to say about a person’s legacy.
5 The night is short, Walk On Girl takes advantage of the public’s messy parties
Masaaki Yuasa is an absolutely brilliant visionary in the anime industry and each of his movies and series are stunning visual spectacles and achievements. Many of Yuasa’s feature films are younger, but The night is short, step on the girl plays with the random and chaotic nature of drunken nights out on the town that poetically spiral out of control. The night is short, step on the girl features innocent characters, musical numbers, and typical hero tropes that will entertain younger audiences, but there’s also an attitude of remorse and reflection that adults will pick up on.
4 The Wind Rises presents a human story that reflects a lifetime
Studio Ghibli films and the works of Hayao Miyazaki are often acceptable for the whole family, though many struggle with adult themes. The wind picks up is one of Miyazaki’s most mature and grounded films that doesn’t embrace fantastical creatures and concepts like a lot of Ghibli fare.
The film explores Miyazaki’s fascination with aviation and delves into the complex idea of someone’s happy creations being turned into weapons of destruction. The wind picks up is hardly inaccessible to children, but adults will better understand the pain of thoughtful hindsight and a life of compromise.
3 Colorful’s positive message is rooted in depression
Colored it’s like Pixar Soul was designed for an adult audience and based on the darkest ideas. Colored centers on a lost soul waking up in the body of a suicide victim. They are left to understand why this fragile individual was pushed into this decision while examining his own guilty past and why he went through this reincarnation. Colored is utterly beautiful and ultimately an upbeat, life-affirming story, but its look at depression, adultery, and other dark matters is rooted in issues that plague adults.
2 I want to eat your pancreas is a harder watch for those who have suffered a loss
I want to eat your pancreas wears its heart on its sleeve and it’s no surprise the film is a tearjerker. The way Sakura’s terminal condition softens Haruki and helps him improve as a person is something everyone should experience, but an adult with life experience will be able to fully understand this type of loss.
1 Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door looks at PTSD and biowarfare
Cowboy Bebop: Knocking on Heaven’s Door takes place before the conclusion of the anime and is a great throwback to bebopbeloved characters. The film’s visuals and music are amazing, but the film’s villain is a tragic figure who loses his grip on reality due to war trauma and unleashes a biological virus on society. These weighty issues resonate more with adults, especially those with their own trauma.
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