Dark Anime Movies

Updated
Dark Anime Movies

Dozens of films have reported on Dark Anime Movies. Here are 25 of our favorites.

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Grave of the Fireflies
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Isao Takahata, starring Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara
Rated Not Rated

Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 animated Japanese war drama film written and directed by Isao Takahata, and animated by Studio Ghibli. Set during the firebombing of Kobe in World War II, the film follows the story of two siblings, fourteen-year-old Seita and four-year-old Setsuko, as they struggle to survive in the aftermath of their mother's death and their father's disappearance. Seita and Setsuko are forced to fend for themselves and eventually take shelter in an abandoned bomb shelter, where they survive by begging and scavenging. As their situation worsens and their hope of survival fades, the siblings must confront the reality of their own mortality. Grave of the Fireflies is a powerful and heartbreaking story of the devastating effects of war and the strength of the human spirit.

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Hayao Miyazaki, starring Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yûko Tanaka, Billy Crudup
Rated PG-13

Princess Mononoke is an award-winning Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Set in the late Muromachi period of Japan, the film follows the story of Ashitaka, a young Emishi prince, who is cursed by a demon while trying to save his village. He sets out in search of a cure, and his journey leads him to the wild forests of western Japan, where he meets and befriends the Wolf Princess Mononoke and her allies, and discovers the conflict between the animal gods and the humans over the forest and its resources. Ashitaka eventually learns that there is a greater evil at stake, and embarks on a quest to restore balance to nature and peace between the two warring sides. With gorgeous animation and a powerful story, Princess Mononoke has been hailed as one of the greatest animated films of all time.

It's Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

It's Such a Beautiful Day
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Don Hertzfeldt, starring
Rated Not Rated

It's Such a Beautiful Day is an animated film created by Don Hertzfeldt. The film follows the story of Bill, an average but extraordinary man living an average life. Through the use of surrealistic animation, Bill's story is told in three parts, each highlighting different stages in his life. Part one focuses on the present, with Bill trying to make sense of his life and the world around him. The second part zooms out to show his life story from a distance and how it intersects with the lives of those around him. The third part moves forward to explore Bill's ultimate fate. Throughout the film, Bill confronts the loneliness and despair of his life, while coming to terms with the beauty of the day.

Perfect Blue (1997)

Perfect Blue
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Satoshi Kon, starring Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ôkura
Rated R

Perfect Blue is a psychological horror film directed by Satoshi Kon and released in 1997. It follows the story of Mima Kirigoe, a former pop idol who decides to leave the group to pursue an acting career. However, her career ambitions are threatened by a stalker, and as her life begins to unravel, Mima’s identity and reality become blurred. The film is a complex exploration of identity and the power of the media in modern society. It has been praised for its unique visual style and intense psychological themes.

Akira (1988)

Akira
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Katsuhiro Ôtomo, starring Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda
Rated R

Akira is set in a post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk version of Neo-Tokyo in 2019. The story follows the teenage biker gang leader, Shotaro Kaneda, and his best friend, Tetsuo Shima, as they get caught up in a government experiment involving the mysterious child Akira. As Tetsuo's power grows, he becomes a threat to Neo-Tokyo, forcing Kaneda and the government to take action to stop him while a group of revolutionaries plot to free Akira and use his power to save humanity. Along the way, Kaneda and Tetsuo must confront their own personal demons and the dangers posed by the powerful psychic forces at work in their city.

Persepolis (2007)

Persepolis
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi, starring Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Gena Rowlands, Danielle Darrieux
Rated PG-13

Persepolis (2007) is a French-Iranian biographical animated drama film based on Marjane Satrapi's memoir of the same title. Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, the film follows the story of a precocious and outspoken young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It follows Marjane's life from childhood to adulthood as she struggles to find her place in a rapidly changing world. Through the use of black and white imagery and a variety of animation styles, the film follows Marjane's life as she rebels against the oppressive regime of the Islamic government and comes to terms with her identity as a modern woman. Marjane's journey is ultimately a story of courage and resilience in the face of adversity.

Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Ghost in the Shell
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Mamoru Oshii, starring Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka, Kôichi Yamadera
Rated TV-MA

Ghost in the Shell is a 1995 cyberpunk anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii and based on the manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow. The film follows the members of a covert operations unit led by Major Motoko Kusanagi as they investigate the mysterious hacker, known only as "The Puppet Master". As they delve deeper into the case, the team discovers a vast conspiracy involving a powerful artificial intelligence that is threatening humanity. With the help of her team and her own cybernetic enhancements, Major Kusanagi must confront the Puppet Master and save humanity from the threat of a new kind of enemy. Along the way, she discovers the truth about her own identity and the potential for a greater understanding of the human soul.

Isle of Dogs (2018)

Isle of Dogs
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Wes Anderson, starring Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban
Rated PG-13

Isle of Dogs is a 2018 stop-motion animated film directed and written by Wes Anderson. Set in a dystopian near-future Japan, the film follows an 12-year-old boy named Atari Kobayashi who sets out to find his lost dog, Spots, after an authoritarian mayor banishes all dogs to Trash Island. Along the way, he is helped by a pack of rogue canines, who help him battle the mayor's evil plans and reunite him with his beloved pet. The film features an all-star voice cast, including Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, and Scarlett Johansson. This Wes Anderson film is a hilarious and heart-warming journey filled with adventure, friendship, and loyalty.

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Shin'ichirô Watanabe, Tensai Okamura, Hiroyuki Okiura, Yoshiyuki Takei, starring Beau Billingslea, Melissa Fahn, Nicholas Guest, Kôichi Yamadera
Rated TV-14

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is a 2001 Japanese anime science fiction action film directed by Shin'ichirô Watanabe, Tensai Okamura, Hiroyuki Okiura and Yoshiyuki Takei. The movie is based on the anime series Cowboy Bebop, produced by Sunrise. The story follows Spike Spiegel, an ex-cop-turned-bounty-hunter, and his partner Jet Black as they search for a terrorist who plans to release a deadly biological weapon on the city of Mars. Along the way, they encounter their old enemies, the Red Dragon Syndicate, as well as a mysterious woman named Elektra. With the help of their friends Faye Valentine, Ed, and Radical Edward, Spike and Jet must stop the terrorist in time to save the day. The movie features a unique blend of science fiction, action, and comedy, along with gorgeous animation and music. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is a must-see for any fan of the series or for anyone who enjoys well-crafted and action-packed anime.

Loving Vincent (2017)

Loving Vincent
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, starring Douglas Booth, Jerome Flynn, Robert Gulaczyk, Helen McCrory
Rated PG-13

Loving Vincent is a 2017 animated biographical drama film about the life and controversial death of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. The film is the first fully painted animated feature film, with every frame of the film being a painting done in the style of Van Gogh. The story follows Armand Roulin, the son of Van Gogh's postman Joseph Roulin, as he is commissioned by his father to deliver a letter from Van Gogh to his brother, Theo. During his journey, Armand comes to understand more about the artist and his life, as well as the circumstances around his mysterious death. Along the way, Armand meets a variety of people who knew Van Gogh, and through conversations with them, he begins to piece together the life of the enigmatic painter.

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

Tokyo Godfathers
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Satoshi Kon, starring Tôru Emori, Yoshiaki Umegaki, Aya Okamoto, Shôzô Îzuka
Rated PG-13

Tokyo Godfathers is a 2003 Japanese animated comedy-drama film directed by Satoshi Kon. The story follows three homeless people: a middle-aged alcoholic Gin, a drag queen Hana, and a dependent runaway teenager Miyuki, who find an abandoned newborn while searching for recyclables in the garbage on Christmas Eve. The trio set off on a journey to locate the baby’s parents, coming across numerous obstacles and helping other people in need along the way. As they search, they discover family secrets, unexpected connections, and even a clue to the baby's identity. Tokyo Godfathers is a heartwarming and uplifting film that celebrates the spirit of family and the power of friendship, even in the darkest of times.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Trey Parker, starring Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman, Isaac Hayes
Rated R

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is a 1999 American adult animated musical comedy film directed by Trey Parker and written by Parker and Matt Stone, who both also created the animated TV show South Park. The film follows the misadventures of four foul-mouthed fourth graders: Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick. After seeing a Canadian movie featuring the Canadian comedy duo Terrance and Phillip, the boys are inspired to create their own R-rated movie. The movie unleashes an army of demonic creatures, which leads the US and Canadian governments to declare war against each other. The boys must team up with Terrance and Phillip to save the world. The film features a soundtrack of original songs as well as classic songs from the TV series.

Fantastic Planet (1973)

Fantastic Planet
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From René Laloux, starring Barry Bostwick, Jennifer Drake, Eric Baugin, Jean Topart
Rated PG

Fantastic Planet is a 1973 French animated science fiction film directed by René Laloux and written by Laloux and Roland Topor. Set on a distant planet called Ygam, the film tells the story of the human-like Oms and their subjugation by the blue native Draags. The Oms live in fear of the Draags, who use a mysterious technology to keep them as pets. The story follows the journey of an Om named Terr, who escapes from his captors and begins to unravel the secrets of the Draags' technology. Along the way, he meets and befriends a female Om named Tiha, and together they embark on a quest to find a secret underground city populated by the Oms. As they uncover more secrets, they realize that the Draags are planning to use their technology to conquer the universe. In the end, the Oms face a choice: either accept their subjugation or confront the Draags and fight for the freedom of their kind.

The Breadwinner (2017)

The Breadwinner
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Nora Twomey, starring Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Noorin Gulamgaus, Laara Sadiq
Rated PG-13

The Breadwinner is a 2017 animated film directed by Nora Twomey and produced by Cartoon Saloon. It is based on Deborah Ellis' 2000 novel of the same name. The film tells the story of 11-year-old Parvana, a young Afghan girl, who disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family after her father is wrongfully arrested. With her new found identity, Parvana is able to explore worlds once forbidden, as she embarks on a dangerous quest to find her father and reunite her family. Along the way, Parvana discovers the power of stories and the strength of her own courage. A powerful and inspiring story of resilience and determination, The Breadwinner is a must-watch for all ages.

Waking Life (2001)

Waking Life
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Richard Linklater, starring Ethan Hawke, Trevor Jack Brooks, Lorelei Linklater, Wiley Wiggins
Rated R

Waking Life is an animated rotoscope film by Richard Linklater, released in 2001. The film follows a nameless protagonist as he navigates a dreamlike state, encountering a series of philosophical conversations and surreal situations. Along the way, he struggles to discover the true meaning of his existence while questioning the nature of reality, identity, free will, and existentialism. He also meets a mysterious girl who may be more than just a dream. Waking Life is a thought-provoking exploration of the human experience that invites viewers to consider the intricate connection between dreams, reality, and life itself.

Paprika (2006)

Paprika
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Satoshi Kon, starring Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori, Tôru Furuya
Rated R

Paprika is a 2006 Japanese animated science-fiction mystery film directed by Satoshi Kon. The plot centers on a research psychologist and her colleagues, who are using a device called the "DC Mini" that allows them to enter people's dreams and help them overcome their psychological issues. However, when the DC Mini is stolen, the dream world and the real world begin to merge and the researchers must find a way to put an end to the chaos. Along the way, they uncover a mysterious figure from the dream world, Paprika, whose identity and purpose remain shrouded in mystery. Paprika and her allies must work together to restore order and save the day.

My Life as a Zucchini (2016)

My Life as a Zucchini
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Claude Barras, starring Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccoud, Michel Vuillermoz
Rated PG-13

My Life as a Zucchini (2016) is a French stop-motion animated film directed by Claude Barras. The film follows the life of an orphaned nine-year-old boy named Zucchini, who has to adjust to living in a children’s home after his mother dies. Despite the difficult circumstances, Zucchini gradually learns to trust and open up to the other children in the home, as well as the adults who are trying to take care of them. Throughout the film, Zucchini learns to cope with his circumstances and ultimately make a home for himself in the children’s home. The film is ultimately a touching and uplifting story about the power of friendship and the importance of giving and receiving love.

Watership Down (1978)

Watership Down
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Martin Rosen, John Hubley, starring John Hurt, Richard Briers, Ralph Richardson, Michael Graham Cox
Rated PG

Watership Down is a 1978 British animated adventure-drama film directed by Martin Rosen and John Hubley. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Richard Adams. The story follows a small group of rabbits led by the brave Hazel, Fiver and Bigwig as they embark on a perilous journey to find a new home. Along the way, they face many obstacles and come to terms with their own mortality. The film features the voices of John Hurt, Richard Briers, Michael Hordern and Ralph Richardson. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score and won the British Academy Award for Best Animated Film. Watership Down is a timeless classic that is often praised for its imaginative storytelling, beautiful animation and powerful themes.

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Jack Fletcher, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, starring Andrew Philpot, John Rafter Lee, Pamela Adlon, Wendee Lee
Rated R

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is a 2000 Japanese animated horror film directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri and Jack Fletcher. Set in a distant future, the film follows the titular Vampire Hunter, D, as he is hired by the family of a kidnapped girl to bring her back. Along his journey, he meets several allies and enemies, including a rival vampire hunter, and must face off against Meier Link, a powerful vampire lord. D eventually succeeds in his mission, but not without serious cost and loss of life. The film is noted for its unique blend of horror, science fiction, and fantasy elements, and its striking animation.

Wrinkles (2011)

Wrinkles
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Ignacio Ferreras, starring Tacho González, Álvaro Guevara, Mabel Rivera, Raúl Dans
Rated Not Rated

Wrinkles is a 2011 animated drama film written and directed by Ignacio Ferreras. The story follows Emilio, an elderly man who has been placed in a nursing home against his will by his family. He finds solace in the friendship of other rebellious residents, who teach him how to make the most of each day in spite of their limited circumstances. With their help, Emilio discovers the beauty of friendship, loyalty, and the importance of making every moment count. Through his growing relationships with his fellow seniors, Emilio finds the courage to fight for his independence and reclaim the life he once had.

The Wolf House (2018)

The Wolf House
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Joaquín Cociña, Cristóbal León, starring Amalia Kassai, Rainer Krause, Karina Hyland, Carlos Cociña
Rated Not Rated

The Wolf House is a 2018 Chilean animated film written and directed by Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León. The film tells the story of Maria, a young woman who flees from a cult into a strange house inhabited by a group of pigs. As Maria learns more about the house and its mysterious inhabitants, she slowly delves into a surreal world of dreams and nightmares. With stunning visuals and a dream-like atmosphere, The Wolf House is an exploration of themes such as self-discovery, freedom, and the power of imagination.

I Lost My Body (2019)

I Lost My Body
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Jérémy Clapin, starring Hakim Faris, Victoire Du Bois, Patrick d'Assumçao, Alfonso Arfi
Rated TV-MA

"I Lost My Body" is a 2019 French animated drama film directed by Jérémy Clapin. The movie follows the story of a severed hand that escapes from a Parisian laboratory in search of its body, while its owner, Naoufel, recalls the events that led to this strange predicament. Naoufel is a young man living in France who dreams of becoming a wood carver. He meets Gabrielle, a librarian, and for the first time in his life, discovers real love. However, a tragedy suddenly changes the course of Naoufel's life, and he finds himself struggling to make sense of it all. In the meantime, his severed hand continues its desperate search for its body, leading Naoufel and Gabrielle to a fateful reunion.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Mamoru Oshii, starring Akio Ôtsuka, Atsuko Tanaka, Tamio Ôki, Kôichi Yamadera
Rated PG-13

Ruben Brandt, Collector (2018)

Ruben Brandt, Collector
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Milorad Krstic, starring Iván Kamarás, Csaba Márton, Gabriella Hámori, Matt Devere
Rated R

Belladonna of Sadness (1973)

Belladonna of Sadness
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Eiichi Yamamoto, starring Aiko Nagayama, Chinatsu Nakayama, Masaya Takahashi, Masakane Yonekura
Rated Unrated

 



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