Futurism logo

Love in anime: the best movies according to critics

by Emby Lat 2 months ago in anime
Report Story

These anime have not only been acclaimed by film critics, they have also stood out for being the most unforgettable love stories of the genre.

The overwhelming force of love has not been absent in the seventh art, in fact, many of the films have put this feeling as the main theme of memorable plots in the history of cinema: from the classics Casablanca and Gone with the Wind through Love Without Barriers to Frozen and Brave, the latter, films that largely vindicated the notion of love placing filial love as one of the purest and most powerful that a human being can experience in his life.

In short, there is no film or character that has not been crossed by love and so it has been projected on the big screen, with all its variety of forms.

In Japanese cinema this feeling has been portrayed in countless genres through which we can witness the way in which love is understood and lived in the Orient, where all actions and existence itself have a much deeper meaning than in other regions of the world. Perhaps where the power of love can be appreciated in more detail is in anime, and the following anime have not only been acclaimed by film critics, but also stand out for being the most unforgettable love stories of the genre.

Your Name

On the day of the shooting stars, two lives changed forever. High school students Mitsuha and Taki are two complete strangers who each live their own lives. But one night, they suddenly swap bodies: Mitsuha wakes up in Taki's body and he wakes up in hers. This bizarre incident keeps happening randomly and both must adjust their lives to each other. Somehow, though, it works. They connect and communicate through notes, messages and, most importantly, a footprint. Something changes when a dazzling comet lights up the night and they both search for each other longing for something more: the chance to actually find each other. But no matter how hard they try, something stronger than distance keeps them from each other.

It was the highest-grossing film of 2016 in Japan and an American remake is already being planned, Your Name garnered a legion of fans who were taken with its ingenious premise that, although it makes use of some genre clichés, managed to build a mature tale while dazzling with equally beautiful animation. The film starts out as a hilarious but conventional teen comedy and gradually transforms into something much more unpredictable and intelligent.

Your Name - Emby screenshot - 0016

The Red Turtle

The Red Turtle is a silent story about a castaway on a deserted tropical island populated by turtles, crabs and birds. The film tells the great stages of a human being's life.

With an economy of resources and a simple story, The Red Turtle is a beautiful reflection on life and its stages, but also a story of redemption where a sullen man discovers the power of love.

The Red Turtle

My Neighbor Totoro

The film is a portrait of rural Japanese life in the 1950s. A university professor moves with his two daughters to a house near a forest while his wife is recovering from tuberculosis in a rural sanatorium. His daughters discover the existence of "dust goblins", thus learning that there are beings that not everyone can see, such as the spirits of the forest, which can only be seen by those with a pure heart. Five-year-old Mei is fascinated to find two little spirits and is determined to find the king of the forest, Totoro.

As I said at the beginning, filial love is one of the most celebrated in cinema and My Neighbor Totoro is one of the most touching stories in this regard because, as well as capturing the essence of childhood, it also represents one of the most tender images of love between parents and children and sisters.

My Neighbor Totoro

When Marnie Was There

Anna is a lonely, friendless girl who lives with her adoptive parents. One day she is sent to Mr. and Mrs. Pegg. There, where the sand dunes stretch out, she meets a girl named Marnie, who will soon become her best friend. Having learned many things about friendship, Anna will realize that Marnie is not who she seems....

Blessed with that magic that makes animated films appealing to children and adult audiences alike, Marnie's Memory takes the characters and their story to speak to deep issues like depression and loneliness while being an ode to true and honest friendship.

When Marnie Was There

Whisper of the Heart

Shizuku Tsukishima is a teenage reading enthusiast whose vacation plan is to spend the entire summer reading at the library and translating foreign songs. To her surprise, her plans take a turn when she discovers that there is the same name, Seiji Amasawa, on the index cards of the books she picks up at the library. One day on the train, he meets a mysterious cat who takes him to the store where Seiji works as an apprentice luthier. Seiji tells Shizuku that his dream is to go to Cremona, Italy, where he will learn the technique of violin making better. He also encourages him to realize his dream, to write books. From then on, Shizuku and Seiji promise each other that they will always be together.

A film about the birth of friendship, shared longings and illusions, Whispers of the Heart is perhaps the Studio Ghibli film that speaks most to an adult audience by crafting a journey of self-discovery and unconditional romance.

Like its characters, the film's horizons broaden even further as it progresses, creating a portrait that embraces childhood dreams and the sacrifices we make to commit to them.

Whisper of the Heart

A Silent Voice

The story revolves around Shoya, a boy with a shameful past because as a child he bullied and teased the new girl in the classroom named Shouko for being deaf. His constant teasing caused Shouko to transfer to another school. Several years later, a tormented Shoya seeks to reunite with his former classmate and redeem himself. Can she forgive him or will it be too late?

With a simple drama but powerful emotions, A Silent Voice ends up being one of the most moving films about friendship and empathy.

A Silent Voice


Based on the 1993 series of the same name, Fireworks follows two young lovers who are unaware that they are about to live one of the greatest romantic adventures of all time. Determined that she doesn't want to be affected by her parents' divorce with the fear that they will move out of town, Nazuna devises a plan to elope just on the day that Norimichi is witnessing the fireworks show. Her whole plan will be frustrated when she is discovered by her mother and Norimichi does not arrive in time, it is here when a strange luminous sphere will make them relive the moment and take advantage of this opportunity to be together once again.

As in Your Name, Fireworks follows a sci-fi structure only this time through time travel that signifies Nazuna's possibility of having a different future. In parallel, the romance that is woven between Nozuna and Norimichi is one of the most candid and tender that can be witnessed in cinema.



About the author

Emby Lat

I like movies, technology, games, art and anything that I find interesting.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

Add your insights

Comments (3)

Sign in to comment
  • animetipz9 days ago

    Wonderful list!

  • Britt Blomster about a month ago

    Great list!

  • muttluverabout a month ago

    I've been meaning to watch Your Name for a while. Neat list!

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.