10 Underrated Anime Movies People Need To Watch 

Anime is a powerful medium for storytelling. It’s capable of pleasing messages to the audience in a unique way that simple live-action movies could not.

There are many hidden gems and movies that the fans would love to see but unfortunately went unnoticed. 

This article contains a list of underrated anime that deserved much more appreciation than it got. This article contains movies for anyone and everyone who is a newcomer or an Otaku in the anime world. 

It contains a movie that deserves a classic consideration and should be highly recommended, but it fails to connect with the fandom successfully.

If you have watched all the popular big-name anime and are looking for something different, this list is your guide for your next anime journey.

The Cat Return (2002)

Image Source: IMDB

Director Name: Hiroyuki Morita

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

Where to Watch: Netflix

The cat return is a Japanese Fantasy film in 2002 directed by Hiroyuki Morita. It is based on a manga of the same title by Aoi Hiragi and animated by Studio Ghibli.

This movie revolves around a high school girl named Haru, who rescues a cat on her way back home that was about to get hit by a truck, and later discovers that night that the cat she saved is a prince named Lune. 

Out of respect, Luna’s father, the actual king, asked Haru to marry his son. The king brought her to the cat kingdom, and as time passed, she started developing feline features and was prevented from leaving the kingdom. 

It was then that Baron, a magical cat statue, came back to life, and Toto, a cat, assisted her and helped her leave the kingdom, get her freedom and return to the everyday world.

This movie serves as a fantastic balance between being wholesome and silly. To know more, you must watch this splendid movie.

Metropolis (2001)

Image Source: Letterboxd

Director Name: Rinatro

Genre: Sci-fi/Action

Where to Watch: Google Play Movies, YouTube

Metropolis is a Japanese animated futuristic drama film from 2001, based upon a manga by Osamu Tezuka of the same title. This movie was directed by Rinatro and written by Katsuhiro Otomo.

This movie is a visually stunning anime interpretation with outstanding illustrations. In this movie, a Japanese detective and his nephew named Kenichi Shikishima, go on a dangerous trial to capture the evil scientist named Dr Laughton in the Metropolis city, where later they discover a beautiful robot beautiful Tima, who Dr Laughton has created and is destined to lead the human race their future unofficially. 

And It’s now up to Kenichi to save and protect Tima before the anti-robot group catches her. Metropolis is an ironic movie that beholds magic and artistic charms while showcasing the best animation technique.

It serves as a reminder of the fandom of the past and shows us how far anime has come. To know more, you must watch this amazing movie.

Whisper of the Heart (1995)

Image Source: Blogspot

Director Name: Yoshifumi Kondo 

Genre: Romance/Adventure

Where to Watch: Netflix

Whisper of the heart is a Japanese fantasy Romance anime film from 1995. Directed by Yoshifumi Kondo and animated by Studio Ghibli, This movie defines Whimsical. 

This film centers around a 14- year old girl named Shizuku Tsukishima, who loves fairy tales as much as writing parody versions of American songs. 

One day she discovers an antique shop and befriends the shopkeeper’s grandson Seiji Amasawa.

She is impressed by his love for the violin and his aim to become a violin master. Shizuku gets inspired and starts writing a novel hoping to find a purpose in her life. 

This movie covers everything from finding your first love to discovering your purpose in life. This movie is a real gem every anime lover should watch and admire for its beautiful story. To know more you must watch this Fantastic movie.

Ride Your Wave (2019)

Image Source: alternateending

Director Name: Masaaki Yuasa

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Where to Watch: Netflix, HBO Max

Ride your wave is a romantic drama directed by Masaaki Yuasa. The story’s main protagonist is 19- year old Hinaki Mukaimizu, a surfer whose apartment goes up in the fire. 

When Minato Hinageshi, a firefighter, enters and saves her life, thankfully, and as everyone imagines, they form quite a pair and a loving bond between them.

Still, the story takes a turn with a horrific scenario that changes everything, putting Minato and Hinako’s love story to the ultimate test, which seems fantastic at first but has a lot going on under its cinematic layers. 

It is a delightful movie that every anime viewer should watch, as it gives a very humble message to anyone who has lost someone they love or hold dear. To know more you must watch this splendid movie.

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017)

Image Source: Letterboxd

Director Name: Masaaki Yuasa

Genre: Romance/Adventure

Where to Watch: HBO Max

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl is a Japanese animated romantic comedy film from 2017, directed by Masaaki Yuasa.

This film is filled with brilliance and presents the life story with an innovative spin. This movie is based on a novel with the same title as Tomihiko Morris. 

The story revolves around two unnamed University students- one is represented as Otome, and the other is called Senpai.

Together they go on a crazy night of adventure, and the story goes forward; their love and serendipitous circumstances place a beautiful theme in the film that is quite hard to forget. 

This movie is the definition of Imagination. It’s a movie that represents a simple story in a groundbreaking way. To know more you must watch this amazing movie.

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)

Image Source: Tomatazoes

Director Name: Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Genre: Horror/Fantasy

Where to Watch: Manga TV

This movie is a dark fantasy horror anime film from 2000. Yoshiaki Kawajiri has written and directed this film. This movie concept is inspired by a novel from Hideyuki Kikuchi’s Vampire Hunter D series, Demon Death Chase. 

This movie takes place in a distant and dark future, where the undead have risen from the apocalyptic ashes, and the original story unfolds. Many thousand years in the future, the vampires rule the night. 

They once ruled wholly and completely, but their numbers tend to decrease, and now the vampires are in threat of extinction.

This movie had a devoted fan base for years but deserved much more admiration. To know more you must watch this splendid movie.

Millennium Actress (2001)

Image Source: Highonfilms

Director Name: Satoshi Kon

Genre: Fantasy/Animation

Where to Watch: Netflix

Millennium Actress is a Japanese animated drama film from 2001, directed by Satoshi Kon. This movie primarily revolves around Chiyoko Fujiwara, a dying actress who is now a documentary subject. 

As the story progresses, a huge admirer of Chiyoko’s work begins to visualize the significant moment of Chiyoko’s life to the extent that they start feeling a part of the film.

But as they learn more about it, they get to unravel the emotional past of Chiyoko’s life, resulting in a life-alerting project for all the people involved. 

This movie is a gem and one of the best Kons filmography that deserves much more appreciation for its inherent beauty and simplicity. To know more you must watch this mind-blowing movie.

Redline (2009)

Image Source: Letterboxd

Director Name: Takeshi Koike

Genre: Sci-fi/Action

Where to Watch: Disney+Hotstar, Netflix, Voot, Jio Cinema

Redline is a Japanese drama science fiction film from 2009, directed by Takeshi Koike. This movie takes car racing to an intense level.

It sets around a world full of aliens and other quirky individuals, focusing on a galactic racing competition named The Redline, which allows the racers to go on any level to use any weapon to win the race. 

It is an adrenaline-fueled movie that seeks perfection. This movie fascinates anime fans as it’s an outstanding achievement with heart-pounding animation and sound design. To know more you must watch this splendid movie.

Only Yesterday (1991)

Image Source: Simbasible

Director Name: Isao Takahata

Genre: Animation/Romance

Where to Watch: Netflix

Only Yesterday is a Japanese animated drama film, directed by Isao Takahata. This film is the most underappreciated work of Studio Ghibli but is a slice of a masterpiece. This movie is based on a manga by Yuko Tone and Hotaru Okamoto. 

This movie’s main protagonist is a 27-year-old lady named Taeko Okajima, who takes a trip to the countryside to escape from her typical unmarried life.

As she travels through the city, she remembers her childhood-related memories with the place, from revealing her first crush to all the travel-related plans she made for herself. 

As the story progresses, she comes to terms with her past and her uncertain future. This movie is anything but epic on all earth levels, respecting the character’s emotions and setting a fantastic example of old storytelling. To know more you must watch this Outstanding movie.

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1999)

Image Source: The Movie Database

Director Name: Hiroyuki Okiura

Genre: Action/Animation

Where to Watch: Manga TV

Jin-Roh is a Japanese animated political thriller 90’s movie directed by Hiroyuki Okiura and written by Mamoru Oshii.

This movie centers on an alternative 1950s Japan where a counter-terrorism unit named Kerberos Panzer kills all the threats that cross their path. 

The story is about a member of this group named Kazuki Fuse, who tends to question every element in his life, everything he does after failing to Kill a girl, who later in the movie tools her own life. 

Things get even more complicated for Fuse after he develops a relationship with the girl’s younger sister.

This movie is for those anime fans who search for movies that their audience messages seriously. To know more you must watch this Fantastic movie.

Featured Image Source: Culturecove

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment