If you were to ask most casual cinema-goers to name an anime film, the likelihood is that they'll give you a Studio Ghibli movie. The animation studio - which was partly founded by the legendary director Hayao Miyazaki - is essentially the Disney of anime, in that the majority of viewers' childhoods were spent watching their classics.
The likes of Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke and more are constantly in the picture when it comes to deciding the best anime movies of all time. But that doesn't mean the studio has a monopoly on making the best anime flicks.
There are tonnes of animation studios out there that have created spell-binding classics outside of Ghibli. The anime boom of the 1970s-late 80s led to a plethora of excellent titles striking out on the market, and the quality of movies from companies like Toho, Madhouse, Toei and more have proven you don't need Ghibli's touch to make gold.
The next time you think about re-watching Spirited Away, maybe you'll change your mind and try one of these seminal movies instead.
10. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Time travel is a subject matter that movies can struggle to handle. The likes of Back to the Future are a rarity, as it's common for time-bending flicks to throw you through too many hoops, creating a confusing mess. But, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time approaches the concept from an entirely different perspective and does so masterfully.
The movie follows a 17-year-old High School Student named Makoto, who gains the ability to, well, leap through time. At first, she uses her newfound power for the kind of hijinks you would expect from a teenager, but soon, she discovers that she is creating adverse effects that damage not only herself but those around her.
There's something deliciously sentimental yet emotional about this film, as the simple premise ends up revolving more around the relationship Makoto has with those around her than the time-travelling itself. It's filled to the brim with well-rounded characters, such as her love interest Chiaki, with every moment between them feeling like gold.
It's also a wonderful coming-of-age story that explores the innocence of a young girl as she's forced to grow up in a short amount of time.