8 Best Anime Movies to Watch on Netflix for 2024

Anime Movies on Netflix 2024

Anime has been increasingly dominating the global scene on Netflix year by year. In particular, anime movies that are standalone and last 1-2 hours, rather than being part of a multi-episode series, are popular even among anime beginners. Of course, many anime movies are also highly rated by experts and are an indispensable genre for anime enthusiasts.

Netflix has a rich lineup including the latest anime titles, but when it comes to anime movies specifically, the choices are quite limited. In this context, I will introduce a carefully selected list of the best anime movies worth watching on Netflix for 2024. Some of these include productions by Netflix or are Netflix exclusive releases.

On Netflix, the availability period for anime is limited, and the lineup changes frequently. However, here I have selected titles that are actually being distributed in many English-speaking countries in 2024. Therefore, you should be able to enjoy them as well. From epic fantasy movies to touching slice-of-life anime, let’s fully enjoy Netflix without missing out on anything.

▶︎Check out the list of Best Anime Series to Watch on Netflix for 2024!

8. Violet Evergarden: The Movie

Violet Evergarden: The Movie

The first anime movie selected as one of the best anime movies to watch on Netflix now is Violet Evergarden: The Movie (劇場版 ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン). This film offers the beautiful scenery unique to Kyoto Animation, along with an emotional human drama. It is one of the most recommended anime movies, but it continues the story from the 13-episode anime series aired in 2018, so it’s difficult to fully enjoy just this movie independently. Hence, it is ranked 8th on this list. However, the overall quality of the series has been acclaimed as one of the best anime of the past decade. Chronologically, Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン 外伝 -永遠と自動手記人形-) was released as a spin-off movie in 2019, followed by Violet Evergarden: The Movie in 2020 as the final chapter.

Violet Evergarden, a girl with tremendous combat abilities, was sent to the battlefield as a weapon during the war. There, she loses her beloved major Gilbert and both arms. Not fully understanding even the emotion of love, she begins a new life amidst despair. She becomes an Auto Memory Doll, a ghostwriter, and through writing letters for various people, she learns about humans and emotions. Every story arc in this anime is so touching that it’s impossible to watch without tears.

7. A Whisker Away

A Whisker Away

A Whisker Away (泣きたい私は猫をかぶる) could be considered a Netflix anime movie, as it greatly increased its recognition on Netflix. Although it was released in theaters, it originally premiered worldwide exclusively on Netflix in 2020. It is an anime film produced by Studio Colorido, blending fantasy and drama, and it’s worth noting that the screenplay is supported by the renowned Mari Okada.

Miyo Sasaki, a junior high school student from Tokoname City in Aichi Prefecture, known as Muge, was infatuated with her classmate, Kento Hinode, despite his indifferent attitude towards her. Miyo had a secret. On the night of the summer festival, she received a mask that turns her into a cat from a mystical creature, transforming into a white cat to observe his private life. Due to her family circumstances, Miyo longed to leave home with Kento.

6. NiNoKuni


NiNoKuni (二ノ国), originally a game released in 2010 by Level-5, was adapted into an anime film in 2019. The film was directed by Yoshiyuki Momose, who had been involved in the production of Studio Ghibli films such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. The music was composed by Joe Hisaishi, known for his works on Studio Ghibli films, too. While some may consider it a derivative of Ghibli, it presents a more modern take on the adventure fantasy genre.

The story revolves around three high school students who travel between the real world and the magical, yet distinctly different world of NiNoKuni. The two worlds are partially linked, forcing them to make crucial life decisions. The main characters are Yu, a brilliant student bound to a wheelchair, his friend Haru, an active sportsman, and their childhood friend and heroine, Kotona. The anime movie intertwines their romantic entanglements and everyday life with an epic fantasy world.

5. Drifting Home

Drifting Home

Drifting Home (雨を告げる漂流団地) is a 2022 anime movie produced by Studio Colorido, which is gaining prominence on Netflix these days. Following Penguin Highway and A Whisker Away, Drifting Home is Studio Colorido’s third feature-length anime film, exclusively distributed worldwide on Netflix in 2022. The film is directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, known for his work on Penguin Highway in 2018.

The film embodies a world that blends the typical fantasy of globally enjoyed Japanese anime movies with the unique culture of Japanese apartment complexes. It focuses on a group of sixth-grade children (around 12 years old) who enter an old apartment complex slated for demolition, only to find themselves drifting on the sea like a lone island. What they discover is growth through survival and cherished old memories. While the story focuses on children and is enjoyable for them, it is not solely a children’s tale, making it an anime film that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

4. Bubble


Bubble (バブル) is one of the most notable anime films of 2022, and while calling it the best anime film might be an exaggeration, it is certainly a must-watch on Netflix. Since 2022, it has been distributed worldwide through Netflix. The film is a collaboration between director Tetsuro Araki and Wit Studio, a pairing known for creating the masterpiece anime series Attack on Titan. The production team is complemented by an impressive array of talent, including Gen Urobuchi, known for writing the scripts for Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Psycho-Pass, character design concepts by Takeshi Obata, the manga artist behind Death Note, and music by Hiroyuki Sawano, famed for his work on Attack on Titan.

Set in a Tokyo submerged by water after bubbles start falling across the world, this sci-fi fantasy anime movie focuses on the youths engaged in parkour battles amidst the ruined city. The story centers on Hibiki, a young boy who one day encounters Uta, a girl of his age who cannot speak. In a Tokyo filled with bubbles, Uta casts a mysterious song that resonates throughout. Viewers can expect to enjoy a fusion of a seldom depicted sport and the classic anime genre of fantasy romance.

3. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop

Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop

Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop(サイダーのように言葉が湧き上がる) can be categorized as a slice-of-life drama and is one of the most outstanding anime movies distributed on Netflix in recent years. It premiered at the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2020 and was distributed worldwide by Netflix the following year, in 2021. This original anime movie was produced to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the anime music label Flying Dog. The film was directed by Kyohei Ishiguro, who also directed Your Lie in April in 2014. The music was composed by Kensuke Ushio, who worked on the music for A Silent Voice in 2018 and Kimi no Iro in 2024.

The story centers around a 17-year-old boy named Cherry who lives in a provincial city. He is so shy that he always wears headphones to avoid being spoken to by others, and he enjoys composing haiku (traditional Japanese short poem), which he regularly posts on social media in haiku style. The heroine is a 16-year-old girl named Smile, who has gained popularity on a streaming platform. One summer day, the two meet at a local large shopping mall.

Author’s Comment:
I, strongly recommends Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop personally as one of the great anime movies to watch on Netflix now. It belongs to the essential genre of slice-of-life, contrasting the minor (yet significant to them) complexes and concerns of youth with beautifully depicted daily life. While it was not a blockbuster hit, it is undoubtedly a quality work.

2. Maboroshi


For anime enthusiasts eager to follow the latest trends, a highly recommended title is Maboroshi (アリスとテレスのまぼろし工場), which was released in 2023 and, by 2024, has already been globally distributed on Netflix. This anime film is the second work directed by Mari Okada, following her 2018 debut, Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms.

Mari Okada is renowned for her screenwriting in the 2011 anime series Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day and the 2015 movie The Anthem of the Heart, among others. In 2024, she is also credited with the screenplay for the new work Fureru. Maboroshi is a drama film so poignant that it encapsulates everything about her. Fans are delighted that it was distributed worldwide on Netflix less than half a year after its release in Japan.

The story is set in a small provincial town, depicting teenagers on the verge of adulthood and adults who remain unable to grow up. Since an explosion occurred at the town’s symbolic steel mill, time has stopped within the town, and its residents are trapped. Correspondingly, people are compelled to avoid growing up or aging. Masamune, a 14-year-old third-year junior high school student, steps into the said steel mill, led by Mutsumi, a blunt girl of the same age. There, he encounters a mysterious girl who struggles even to speak. The film’s message is highlighted by introducing fantasy into an otherwise ubiquitous situation of stagnation.

1. Flavors of Youth

Flavors of Youth

Flavors of Youth (詩季織々) is an anime movie I would recommend to all Netflix users, a high-quality anime that has been viewed worldwide since its release in 2018. It falls within the slice-of-life drama genre, appealing to a wide audience beyond just anime fans. What makes this trilogy unique is that it fully showcases the beauty of anime while being set in China, the creators’ homeland. It’s fascinating because people from any country can enjoy it and feel a similar sense of poignancy and nostalgia. The film is comprised of three short stories, totaling 74 minutes.

The three segments, The Rice Noodles, A Little Fashion Show, and Love in Shanghai, are independently enjoyable. While the stories are not directly connected, watching them in sequence reveals a coherent larger message. The overall director, Li Haoling, who also directed the third part, Love in Shanghai, is often noted for his work resemblance to those of Makoto Shinkai, influenced by him. Despite this, Flavors of Youth is highly polished in its own right.

The anime film themes revolve around the foundation of life in China, with The Rice Noodles reflecting on the flavors of a hometown dish and a childhood crush that linger in one’s memories from student days. A Little Fashion Show focuses on women navigating their paths in the fast-paced world of fashion modeling and the garment industry. The final story, Love in Shanghai, portrays the emptiness felt by childhood friends of opposite genders who grow apart and continue to miss each other after being separated by distance. The human drama, filled with unspoken sadness, is skillfully expressed through daily life scenery and quiet narration.

Other Anime Movies on Netflix

Past anime movies on Netflix
Top Left: Akira
Top Right: Paprika
Bottom Left: A Silent Voice
Bottom Right: In This Corner of the World

In the past, there were masterpieces available for streaming, including Studio Ghibli movies, A Silent Voice, Akira, In This Corner of the World and Paprika, but they are not listed here as they are currently only viewable in a limited number of countries. We can only hope that such renowned anime movies will be distributed in many countries again.

You can enjoy some greatest anime series in English on Netflix, too. Check the best titles right now!


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