15 Best Anime Movies on Netflix

You will never be too old to watch anime movies. Even better is that some of the best anime movies on Netflix are beautiful gems. They somehow manage to tug at the heartstrings of people of all ages. They delight, cheer, and can sometimes be heart-wrenching. Their popularity never wanes with time, as like wine, they only get better with time.

The only problem with watching these anime movies on Netflix is that the streaming platform doesn’t make them universally available. Licensing issues and broadcast rights mean some locations only get access to a handful of titles.

You need to VPN to access the best anime movies on Netflix. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for a VPN service (I recommend NordVPN). Alternatively, you can also check out our list of Best VPNs for Netflix.
  2. Download and install the app
  3. Launch the app and sign in with your credentials
  4. Connect to a remote server. Typically the best movie titles are on Netflix US, so I suggest connecting to a server in the US.
  5. Open your browser and fire up Netflix to watch your favorite movies.

Now that’s out of the way you can check out these best anime movies on Netflix:

Note: If you can't access any of the movies below using the links provided then it's not available in your Netflix region. You will need a VPN to access that title.

1. A Silent Voice (2016)

Best Anime Movies on Netflix - A Silent Voice
  • IMDB Score: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
  • Genre: Animation, Drama
  • Voices: Miyu Irino, Saori Hayami, Aoi Yûki
  • Director: Naoko Yamada

Based on the manga, ‘A Silent Voice' is an accurate adaptation of real-life and relevant elements in growing up – bullying, mental health, forgiveness, compassion, and understanding. Shoya Ishida bullies Shoko Nishimiya, a deaf transfer student, in elementary school and mercilessly inflicts pain on her, to the amusement of his classmates. Shoko left the school to escape Shoya, only to meet him again years later. 

A Silent Voice pushes the boundaries to explore the growth of each character offering endless emotional spins and turns at every corner.

Watch A Silent Voice on Netflix

2. Spirited Away (2001)

Best Anime Movies on Netflix - Spirited Away
  • IMDB Score: 8.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family
  • Voices: Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki

The favorite of Studio Ghibli, Spirited Away, is a fantasy movie looked through the eyes of Chihiro, a 10-year-old headstrong yet naive girl. She accidentally shifts into the spirit realm while doing her best to save her parents. She struggles to find ways to return to the real world. 

It is easy to get carried away when you watch ‘Spirited Away' as the movie transports you from scene to scene like in a dream. Also, Spirited Away’s animation is magical in its classical way.

Watch Spirited Away on Netflix

3. A Whisker Away (2020)

Best Anime Movies on Netflix - A Whisker Away
  • IMDB Score: 6.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%
  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama
  • Voices: Mirai Shidai, Natsuki Hanae
  • Directors: Jun'ichi Satô, Tomotaka Shibayama

There is a touch of irony in this ‘A Whisker Away’ film, where Miyo Sasaki, a girl in her teens, carries out her crush on her classmate Kento Hinode by turning into a cat. A Whisker Away purrs a perfect poetic encapsulation of the feline world.

Working her way through the challenges in life, Miyo transforms into a cat too many times that the fine line between cat and human becomes dangerously thin.

Watch A Whisker Away on Netflix

4. Violet Evergarden: the Movie (2020)

Best Anime Movies on Netflix - Violet Evergarden
  • IMDB Score: 8.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy
  • Voices: Yui Ishikawa, Daisuke Namikawa
  • Director: Taichi Ishidate

Based on the Violet Evergarden light novel series by Kana Akatsuki and a sequel to the 2018 Violet Evergarden, the Violet Evergarden: The Movie is a true masterpiece. It showcases a journey of emotional roller coaster ride with three stories in place – the past, present, and the future.

Violet Evergarden: The Movie focuses on the ‘growth’ of Violet, a robot doll that cannot function properly on its own. You may need a tissue box for this tearjerker of a movie.

Watch Violet Evergarden: the Movie on Netflix

5. Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (1997)

Best Anime Movies on Netflix -The End of Evangelion
  • IMDB Score: 8.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
  • Genre: Animation, Action, Drama
  • Voices: Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara, Kotono Mitsuishi
  • Directors: Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki

Marking the end of the anime TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion is an apocalyptic and psychological film revolving around Shinji Ikari and Asuka Langley Soryu, two young and promising pilots of mecha named Evangelion. Battling against their enemies, Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion focuses on humanity and its value of existence. 

The creativity of Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion is top-notch, as the twist you get here is the choice you have in deciding what makes sense and what does not.

Watch Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion on Netflix

6. Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke
  • IMDB Score: 8.4
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%
  • Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
  • Voices: Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yûko Tanaka
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Another masterpiece from Miyazaki is Princess Mononoke, a powerful anime film set in the late Muromachi period of Japan. Princess Mononoke has many elements that make us question how we treat nature and how self-destructive humans can be. Something to highlight – Mononoke refers to supernatural beings that possess people while causing suffering.

Ashitaka needs to cure himself of a curse and seeks a woodland ghost who can give or take life. Soon after, he gets entangled in the heavy battle between humans and nature. The humans are draining the forest of its resources, and in the crossfire, he gets to know Princess Mononoke, who sides with the animals.

Watch Princess Mononoke on Netflix

7. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Howl's Moving Castle
  • IMDB Score: 8.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%
  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family
  • Voices: Chieko Baishô,Takuya Kimura, Akihiro Miwa
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki

You cannot go wrong with Miyazaki’s beautiful direction in this anime film Howl’s Moving Castle. This anime film encourages you to face your fears and worries and overcome them. Set in a fictional kingdom, Sophie Hatter, a young woman, has always been insecure. She was cursed to stay inside a 90-year-old body by a witch. 

However, in her journey to find the cure, she crosses paths with an enigmatic wizard named Howl and his shifting castle.

Watch Howl's Moving Castle on Netflix

8. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

  • IMDB Score: 8.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Sci-Fi
  • Voices: Sumi Shimamoto, Mahito Tsujimura, Hisako Kyôda
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki

It is not a surprise that Miyazaki takes another spot here with his Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. You will be enraptured by Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’s beautiful settings in a future post-apocalyptic world. 

Humans are on the brink of extinction, and Nausicaä, the brave and kind princess of the Valley of the Wind, sets out to ensure her people’s well-being. Soon, she finds herself fighting off a kingdom called Tolmekia.

Watch Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind on Netflix

9. Mirai (2018)

  • IMDB Score: 7.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama
  • Voices: Moka Kamishiraishi, Haru Kuroki, Gen Hoshino
  • Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Mirai is Hosoda’s most accomplished film. Mirai is a family-friendly anime film that follows Kun, a four-year-old boy who certainly does not welcome the arrival of his newborn sister Mirai. He becomes upset with his parents for not paying him enough attention. 

So, he starts on his magical journey via an indoor garden that brings him traveling through time.

Watch Mirai on Netflix

10. My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

  • IMDB Score: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
  • Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
  • Voices: Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, Shigesato Itoi
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki

My Neighbour Totoro is another classic on its own. Featuring beautiful animation, My Neighbour Totoro features various unique forest monsters and beautiful landscapes that are captivating. Two precocious sisters, Satsuki and Mei struggle with managing their mother’s chronic illness and new home. 

Set in postwar rural Japan, the two girls start to interact with friendly wood spirits. My Neighbour Totoro is a joy to watch with the family.

Watch My Neighbour Totoro on Netflix

11. Porco Rosso (1992)

Porco Rosso
  • IMDB Score: 7.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
  • Voices: Shûichirô Moriyama, Tokiko Katô
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki

If you’re in the mood for laughter, this animated adventure comedy movie, Porco Rosso is just the right pick. Porco Rosso is set in the post-World War 1 Europe era. An ex-fighter ace, Marco Pagot works as a freelance bounty hunter. Unfortunately, he was changed into an anthropomorphic pig by a curse. 

Hence, this explains the name Porco Rosso which means ‘Red Pig’ in Italian. The story dwells on the hope that good and love will always triumph over evil.

Watch Porco Rosso on Netflix

12. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (2021)

Words Bubble Up Like Pop Soda
  • IMDB Score: 6.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
  • Genre: Animation, Music, Drama
  • Voices: Somegorô Ichikawa, Hana Sugisaki, Megumi Han
  • Director: Kyohei Ishiguro

One of the latest Japanese animated romantic comedy movies set in a rural part of Japan, Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop, is charming as it comes. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop follows the story of two people – Kouichi ‘Cherry' Sakura is shy but expresses himself well via his haikus (Japanese poems of seventeen syllables). 

During an unlikely accident, he becomes acquainted with Yuki ‘Smile’, an online influencer who hides behind her face mask. Their relationship blossoms with time.

Watch Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop on Netflix

13. Akira (1988)

  • IMDB Score: 8.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
  • Genre: Animation, Action, Drama
  • Voices: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
  • Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo

Set in the dystopian times, this cyberpunk action movie Akira paved the way in the cyberpunk and adult animation genre. Shōtarō Kaneda (the leader of a gang of bikers) has a childhood friend, Tetsuo Shima, who gained telekinetic abilities after a motorcycle accident.

Amidst the chaos in the futuristic metropolis of Neo-Tokyo, Shima’s powers come to light which can threaten it all.

Watch Akira on Netflix

14. Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017)

Mary and the Witch's Flower
  • IMDB Score: 6.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family
  • Voices: Hana Sugisaki, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Yûki Amami
  • Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

A fantasy anime film Mary and the Witch’s Flower is based on the 1971 book ‘The Little Broomstick’ by Mary Stewart. A little girl, Mary Smith, moves in with her great Aunt Charlotte. She wants to prove herself useful to her Aunt but always seems to get things messed up instead. 

She stumbles on some glowing blue flowers called ‘fly-by-night’. Soon, she realizes that the flowers are magical, giving her the powers of a witch whenever she touches them.

Watch Mary and the Witch's Flower on Netflix

15. Flavours of Youth (2018)

Flavors of Youth
  • IMDB Score: 6.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Romance
  • Voices: Taito Ban, Mariya Ise, Minako Kotobuki
  • Directors: Haoling Li, Yoshitaka Takeuch, Xiaoxing Yi

The drama film Flavours of Youth follows three stories in three different cities in China. The stories capture a bittersweet mix of triumph and tragedy. It is easy to get latched on to each story, especially with fantastic storylines and fabulous animation.

Here’s are some examples;

  • The Rice Noodles – Xiao Ming reminisces the specially made noodles from his childhood days.
  • A Little Fashion Show – Yi Lin and Lulu are two sisters growing apart due to their respective careers. 
  • Love in Shanghai – all about young love blossoming between Li Mo and Xiao Yu. 

Follow them as they go through heartbreak, regret, and unbreakable ties.

Watch Flavours of Youth on Netflix


Anime has always been in the blood of everyone of all ages. Feel free to check out the above list of the best anime movies on Netflix that we believe will blow you away once you start bingeing on anime this weekend. 

If you like this series of Netflix anime titles, check out our other Best of Netflix lists;

Helen Chan

Helen Chan is a dedicated mother and fan of movie streaming. Her love of Netflix led to a life in pursuit of digital freedom, boldly attempting to explore everything blocked online for no good reason.

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