Awesome anime movies that aren’t on any streaming service
In the age of streaming platforms as the main access point to media, moviegoers are less likely than ever to buy individual movie titles. Even animated films, which represent far less mainstream media than live-action films produced in the United States, have found themselves at home on one streaming service or another.
Most notably, HBO Max has amassed almost every Studio Ghibli movie, from the internationally acclaimed film Taken away as if by magic hidden gems like Only yesterday. Yet, despite the large acquisitions of HBO Max and other streaming platforms, there are still quite a few amazing and even very remarkable animated movies that viewers won’t be able to enjoy with a subscription. Here are 10 amazing anime movies currently unavailable on North American streaming services.
ten Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
This notorious tearjerker is the only Studio Ghibli film missing from the HBO Max lineup, due to its distribution rights belonging to the Shinchosha Publishing Co. Whether viewers would rather rent, buy, or wait for the film to find its way onto a platform streaming, The Grave of the Fireflies is a must-have for anyone who considers themselves a cinema connoisseur.
Adapted from a short story based on Japanese author Akiyuki Nosaka’s own experiences during World War I, the film has been hailed by critics as both one of the best war films ever made and an iconic piece. Japanese animation.
9 Your Name (2016)
Despite being one of the highest-grossing anime films of all time, both globally and in Japan, this critically acclaimed fantasy romance is nowhere to be found in the realm of streaming. A mesmerizing blend of gorgeous animation, melodious songs, a spellbinding narrative, and a myriad of hidden details that take a few rewatches to understand, your name well worth the price of buying a permanent copy for your entertainment collection.
A live-action remake is currently in the works, with JJ Abrams serving as co-producer. Hopefully, the reimagined film will, unlike its predecessor, be available for streaming.
8 Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017)
Many Studio Ghibli enthusiasts forget that this coming-of-age fantasy isn’t actually produced by the animation studio, though it’s incredibly reminiscent of its magical yet grounded coming of age titles. This is probably no coincidence as Studio Ghibli is where the film’s director, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, began his film career.
Unfortunately, this means that the Studio Ponoc film is not alongside the film previously directed by Yonebayashi, When Marnie was there, on HBO Max. However, if viewers have already browsed the streaming platform’s Studio Ghibli collection and are craving something similar but new, Mary and the Witch’s Flower would make a satisfying splurge.
seven Perfect Blue (1997)
To anyone who thinks animated movies can’t be dark, disturbing, and stylistically experimental, perfect blue proves them otherwise. The psychological thriller follows an idol-turned-actress as she tries to create a new image for herself as she catches a stalker, a trail of the dead that seem to be circulating around her, and her own crumbling mental states as she and viewers struggle to figure out what is true and what is false.
A dizzying dive into the divides and intersections of reality and self-image, this film doesn’t need to be streamed to be worth watching.
6 Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence (2004)
While not nearly as acclaimed as its predecessor, this standalone sequel to the sci-fi classic, ghost in the shell, is still an enjoyable film in its own right. Although Major Motoko Kusanagi, the main protagonist of the ghost in the shell franchise, is still a major player in cinema, Innocence centers on his former subordinate Batou as he investigates a series of murders involving glitching gynoids, female humanoid robots.
Critics and fans are still debating whether the film is too dense and philosophical or complex and intellectually challenging, but all unanimously agree that the animation is absolutely stunning.
5 My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (2019)
Rising Heroes is the second feature film in the popular manga series. The plot takes place after the events of the Meta Liberation Army manga arc. My hero academia’s creator and supervisor of his films, Kōhei Horikoshi, confirmed that all MHA’The movies are canon for the manga. Therefore, fans and non-fans of the manga will want to make sure they’re up to date on the plot to avoid potential spoilers and have the story context needed to fully enjoy the film.
MHA’s third film, World Heroes Mission, will begin streaming on Crunchyroll in August 2020 so subscribers can quickly rent or buy Rising Heroes to watch its sequel as soon as it comes out.
4 Belle: The Dragon and the Freckled Princess (2021)
Despite its fourteen-minute standing ovation at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and its five Annie Award nominations, this Beauty and the Beast-inspired science fantasy has yet to be picked up by any streaming platform.
Although not technically a musical, BeautifulCentral to the film is the soundtrack, following the protagonist who adopts the French word as a pseudonym for her idol character in the beautifully rendered “U” metaverse. Since Beautiful is still new, we hope this wonderful film will join a streaming library soon.
3 Code Geass: Resurrection Lelouch (2019)
Lelouch of the re;surrection serves as a sequel to the three parts Code Geass compilation film, which set up an alternate universe of the critically acclaimed film Code Geass mecha anime series. Although the films have already established themselves as having their own canon storyline, Resurrection is particularly controversial among fans of the original series for drastically altering the show’s iconic ending.
However, with the announcement of an anime sequel in Resurrection’In the alternate universe, viewers should consider putting aside the canon divergence pet peeves to see where this new story goes.
2 The girl who crossed time (2006)
As its title suggests, The girl who crossed time is about a girl who suddenly gains the power to time travel through “time jumps”. Even non-sci-fi fans will enjoy this film, which is much less about the mechanics of time travel and more about growing up and learning not to take the things (and especially the people) you have in the present for acquired.
The film’s beautiful themes are paired with equally captivating art. For those who are interested in the story but don’t want to pay for an individual movie, there is a manga of the same title with some slight plot discrepancies.
1 Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (2009)
Rather than being adapted from an anime or manga series, this film is based on the Professor Layton puzzle video game franchise. The film features an original plot that is loosely tied to the games and retains its trademark puzzles. Although viewers will have to either click pause or think quickly in order to solve the puzzles before the characters do.
The art style, like the games, is simple but charming and the usual enjoyable soundtrack, which includes a real orchestra, has some particularly enchanting tracks given its operatic setting.
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