20 Underrated Anime Movies Not Enough People Have Seen

List Rules

Vote up the anime films that deserve more recognition.

There's more to the world of anime movies than shonen tie-ins and Studio Ghibli. While those films often deserve their popularity, sometimes it's nice to expand your horizons and watch underrated anime films.

Looking for underrated films by well-known directors? Try Tokyo Godfathers by Satoshi Kon or Summer Wars by Mamoru Hosoda. Want something old school and weird? Try Angel's Egg. The Stranger by the Shore might scratch your itch for romance, while Miss Hokusai is great if you're a history buff. No matter what kind of movies you like, there's something great for you to explore.


  • 1
    15 VOTES

    Sing a Bit of Harmony

    Sing a Bit of Harmony
    Photo: Sing a Bit of Harmony / J.C.Staff

    Satomi Amano wants to fit in at school, but the fact that she's the daughter of the leading project manager of a renowned A.I. company called Hoshima makes it hard for her to connect with her classmates. One day, her mother tells her about a new project - an A.I. that can blend in seamlessly with humankind. 

    To Satomi's surprise, the A.I. ends up being a student named Shion Ashimori. Shion's job is to pretend she's a normal teenage girl and keep her identity a secret, but she finds herself much more interested in helping Satomi. Shion hopes to use her musical skills to not just connect with her classmates, but to make Satomi happy. 

  • 2
    125 VOTES
    Summer Wars
    Photo: Summer Wars / Madhouse

    Mamoru Hosoda's work is fairly well-regarded, but Summer Wars doesn't get nearly as much attention as movies like Wolf Children or Belle. Featuring some of the same themes as another one of Hosoda's films, Digimon: Bokura no War Game, Summer Wars is a slightly more grown-up version of that film. 

    OZ is a virtual world that most people can enter freely through the Internet. Convenient, secure, and useful for just about everything, society has become reliant on OZ. Seriously, they even use it to help guide an astronaut home.

    While distracted by pretending to be his crush Natsuki's fiance on a summer trip, 17-year-old Kenji Koiso is sent a coded message. As a math genius and OZ moderator, he's more than able to crack the code. Breaking the code has unforeseen consequences - ones that could spell humanity's doom.

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  • In This Corner of the World
    Photo: In This Corner of the World / MAPPA

    In This Corner of the World is a heartbreaking movie about how ordinary Japanese citizens were affected by World War II. It focuses heavily on slice of life scenes, which only intensify the more painful moments of war. 

    Suzu Urano is a gentle young woman who loves to draw. She moves from her hometown of Hiroshima to the town of Kure in order to get married to a man she hardly knows. She struggles to get used to married life and her new home. Just as she's beginning to adjust, the impact of World War II on Japanese life begins to intensify - especially in her hometown of Hiroshima.

  • 4
    60 VOTES

    Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms

    Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms
    Photo: Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms / P.A. Works

    Maquia is part of a long-lived race called the Iorph. Her people try to keep away from humanity, since they believe that humanity only brings trouble. Lonely due to being an orphan, Maquia has always wanted to see the outside world. One day, she's forced into it in the most violent way possible. Her home is invaded by the kingdom of Mezarte and the powerful dragons under their control. Nearly everyone in Maquia's clan is annihilated, and she's carried off by a dragon and dumped in the woods. 

    There, Maquia finds an abandoned human baby. Maquia decides to make sure that this child won't be as alone as she is - but she has no idea how to raise any child, let alone a human child who ages much faster than she does.