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The 17 Greatest Shonen Anime Movies Ever Made, Ranked

In 2021, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train blew anime fans out of the water. It didn't just match the quality of the Demon Slayer anime, it exceeded it. While gems like this are rare, shonen anime has plenty of other great movies that are worth checking out too. 

Many of the best shonen anime movies are offshoots of other shonen series like My Hero Academia, One Piece and Naruto. When done poorly, these movies can feel like filler, but when they're done well they feel like an integral part of the overall experience. Rarely, these films are manga adaptations with no tie-in TV anime: did you know that the smash hit movie A Silent Voice is actually a shonen?

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  • Demon Slayer Movie: Infinity Train
    Photo: ufotable

    Despite airing during a pandemic, Demon Slayer Movie: Infinity Train is the highest-grossing film in Japanese history, beating out Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away and pulling in the equivalent of $369,272,876 USD. In the USA, it earned $21.1 million, making it the highest-grossing international release since Pokemon: The First Movie. 

    What's great is that the film absolutely deserves its success. Much like the anime series, the movie has mind-blowing animation and art. If you're a fan of the anime, then you have to watch this film in order to understand the story. The film is an adaptation of the manga's Mugen Train arc, making it canon to the series.

    1,568 votes
  • 2
    854 VOTES
    A Silent Voice
    Photo: Kyoto Animation

    When most people think of shonen, they think of action-packed anime filled with exhilarating fight scenes. But shonen is less about specific content and more about marketing and intended demographics. A Silent Voice is a certified shonen, and it's also a spectacular film. 

    As a child, Shouya Ishida participated in bullying his deaf classmate Shoko Nishimiya. After getting a taste of being bullied himself, he realizes how horrible his behavior was and is wracked with guilt. He gets a chance to reconnect with Shoko, but the ghosts of the past don't just disappear - they have to be confronted properly. 

    854 votes

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  • All the My Hero Academia movies are top-notch, so there's no real fandom consensus about which one is the absolute best - it's all down to personal opinion. For now, we're spotlighting the second movie, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising. 

    Izuku and the rest of Class 1-A are assigned to do mundane hero duty on the isolated Nabu Island. But when it turns out that an island resident has a quirk that a villain wants to steal, they suddenly find themselves faced with a much more serious task than odd jobs. The fights are incredible even if the logic of them is occasionally a little loose, and the villain, Nine, is a truly fascinating one whose motivation makes sense. 

    894 votes
  • 4
    490 VOTES

    One Piece Film: Z

    As of 2021, One Piece has 14 films to its name. There are a lot of heavy-hitters, but we're going to go with the 12th movie, One Piece Film: Z. The former Marine Admiral Z has been accused of stealing incredibly destructive weapons called "Dyna Stones." Both the Marines and the Straw Hat Crew want to keep him in check, but what's really going on?

    If you're not sold on the plot, here's another detail that might be interesting. The movie's theme songs are by Canadian pop-punk artist Avril Lavigne - and one of them is a cover of Nickelback's How You Remind Me. That's a cultural mashup you don't see every day!

    490 votes
  • Jujutsu Kaisen 0
    Photo: MAPPA

    While some anime movies are essentially filler, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a prequel that serves as an integral part of the whole series. That alone is enough to make it worth watching, but it's also an excellent movie.

    After his childhood friend Rika Orimoto passes away in a car accident, Yuta Okkotsu finds himself haunted by her Cursed Spirit form. At first, this is a nightmare - she attacks anyone who is even remotely threatening to him. But once he goes to Jujutsu Tech and starts learning to work with her to use her powers more effectively, things change for the better. These changes come just in time to deal with Geto, a figure from Gojo's past who is about to enact some nefarious plans. 

    174 votes
  • Naruto movies can be a little hit-or-miss, but when they're good, they're fantasticThe Last: Naruto the Movie is fantastic. As the name implies, it takes place towards the end of the manga, and does the job of establishing key details about the Otsutsuki Clan, and bringing Naruto and Hinata together as a couple. Essentially, it's required viewing if you plan to follow the franchise into its next iteration, Boruto. 

    Not only does it actually fit into the story's plot instead of wasting time with random filler, but it also has a solid story with a creepy villain and some seriously cute - and badass - moments involving the main couple.

    815 votes