16 Recommended Anime Movies from 2019 to 2020

Miso Dog
Misoko-sensei, do you have any anime movie recommendations?
Hmm... Have you tried looking up lists of recommendations on the internet?
Miso Dog
I have, but they're always movies that I've already seen, or continuations of series that I haven't watched yet.
I see! If that's the case, I have a list of 16 of the newest anime movies for you! These are standalone movies, so you can watch them without having to start a new series. They were all released in 2019 and 2020, and I've put in some lesser-known titles too.

バースデー·ワンダーランド/Birthday Wonderland

Studio: Signal.MD (Net-juu no Susume, Hirune Hime)

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Directed by Hara Keiichi, director of the 2010 anime movie Colorful, Birthday Wonderland is about a girl named Akane who is taken to a strange world called "Wonderland" by an alchemist and his apprentice. There, she is told that she must save their world, which is losing its color. The character design is done by Ilya Kuvshinov, a Russian illustrator based in Tokyo.



Studio: Trigger (Kill la Kill, Darling in the Franxx, BNA)

Genre: Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi

Promare is a work by Trigger, the studio famous for works like Kill la Kill and Darling in the Franxx. The film is a collaboration between director Imaishi Hiroyuki and Nakashima Kazuki, who both worked on Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann. Promare is a story about a race of humans with pyrokinetic abilities called the Burnish and their conflict with an anti-Burnish group. Although Promare was not heavily promoted in Japan at the time of its release, high ratings among overseas fans makes this movie a must-watch for action lovers.



Studio: Twilight Studio

Genre: Drama, Romance

Hakubo is a short one hour film created to aid the restoration efforts of the Tohoku earthquake of 2011. Sachi, a high school student and violinist living in Fukushima meets a boy named Yuusuke, a refugee that came to her town after the 2011 disaster. The film was created, directed, scripted, and sound directed by Yamamoto Yutaka, who worked with Kyoto animation on series like Lucky Star and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Many reviews cite that the film has little to do with the actual disaster, but it is a relaxed and realistic love story, good for viewers who are just looking for a sweet and simple romance.


海獣の子供/Kaijuu no Kodomo/Children of the Sea

Studio: Studio 4°C

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Supernatural

Based on the manga by Igarashi Daisuke, Kaijuu no Kodomo follows Ruka, a girl who meets two boys, Umi and Sora at an aquarium where her father works. The two boys have spent the majority of their lives in the ocean, giving them abilities different from most humans. The story follows the three children as they go on a journey to uncover secrets about the boys' pasts.

If you like to search up plot analyses on the internet after you're done watching a movie, you might enjoy Kaijuu no Kodomo. Even if you're not a fan of complicated storylines and metaphors, the movie may be worth a watch just for the unique animation and piano music by Hisaishi Joe, who works with Miyazaki on almost all of the Ghibli films.


きみと、波にのれたら/Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara/Ride Your Wave

Studio: Science SARU (Japan Sinks: 2020, Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!)

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Ride Your Wave is considerably different from director Yuasa Masaaki's previous works, which include Ping Pong the Animation and Devilman Crybaby. It is about a girl named Hinako who learns to cope with the death of her boyfriend. Ride Your Wave is a romance tragedy with a touch of fantasy, which is a new and fresh feel compared to Yuasa's other series.


天気の子/Tenki no Ko/Weathering With You

Studio: CoMix Wave (Your Name, 5 Centimeters per Second)

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Slice of Life, Supernatural

Shinkai Makoto and his movies are infamous, so anime fans should already know about Tenki no Ko. If you don't, Tenki no Ko is about Hodaka, a high school boy who runs away from his rural hometown to Tokyo in search of a new life. There he meets Hina, a girl who has a mysterious power to control the weather. If you are a fan of Your Name and 5 Centimeters per Second, you should consider watching Tenki no Ko (if you haven't already).


二ノ国/Ni no Kuni

Studio: OLM (Pokemon 2019)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

An adaptation of the popular video game, Ni no Kuni follows three friends as they travel back and forth between reality and Ni no Kuni. Although the ratings for this movie are admittedly considerably low, you might consider watching this if you are a fan of the original game.



Studio: Graphinica

Genre: Drama, Psychological, Romance, Sci-Fi

HELLO WORLD is an anime movie almost completely done in CG, directed by Itou Tomohiko who is known for directing Sword Art Online. The character design was done by Horiguchi Yukiko, a character designer and animator whose most well-known works include the character design for Lucky Star and K-ON. Set in the future, the protagonist Naomi is approached by a man who claims to be himself from 10 years in the future. Together, they try to change the future in order to stop a classmate from dying in an accident.



Studio: Studio 3Hz (Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online)

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

BLACKFOX is a superhero origin story in which protagonist Rikka learns to fight in order to take revenge on a group of assailants who attacked her home and family. According to reviews, BLACKFOX follows a lot of cliches, but might be a good watch for those who enjoy action and cute girls.


空の青さを知る人よ/Sora no Aosa wo Shiru Hito Yo/Her Blue Sky

Studio: CloverWorks (Bunny Girl Senpai, The Promised Neverland)

Genre: Drama, Music, Romance, Slice of Life, Supernatural

From Nagai Tatsuyuki, who directed Anohana and Toradora, comes Her Blue Sky. Aoi, a high school musician is approached by Shinnosuke, her older sister's ex-boyfriend, who has somehow time traveled 13 years into the future. At the same time, the present-day version of Shinnosuke comes back into town after 13 years and drama ensues between the four main characters. The art and animation style may seem familiar to avid anime viewers, coming from the character designer Tanaka Masayoshi, responsible for the character design in works such as Anohana, Toradora, Darling in the Franxx, and Your Name. Her Blue Sky is a love story and a family drama with a touch of music.


HUMAN LOST 人間失格/Ningen Shikkaku/Human Lost

Studio: POLYGON PICTURES (Knights of Sidonia, Ajin)

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Based loosely off of Dazai Osamu's classic novel, Human Lost is set in 2036, where advancements in medicine have given humans the ability to live forever. POLYGON PICTURES, which brought you other 3DCG series such as Knights of Sidonia and Ajin, animates a dystopian, cyberpunk world in which protagonist Yuzo enters an elite society. Human Lost has generally low ratings among the overseas anime community, but the main characters are played by popular voice actors Miyano Mamoru and Hanazawa Kana.


キミだけにモテたいんだ。/Kimi dake ni Motetainda/I Want to be Popular Just to You

Studio: Signal.MD (Net-juu no Susume, Hirune Hime)

Genre: Music, Romance

Kimi dake no Motetainda is a collaboration between Okada Mari, who worked on the series composition of Toradora and Black Butler, and Yamako, an illustrator best known for her work with the popular music group, Honeyworks. The cast of five high school boys attempt to win a contest for attractive men under the direction of one girl. Just from the plot summary, it is clear that this is a recommendation for anyone who enjoys watching reverse harem anime or idol boys.



Studio: Tear-Studio

Genre: Romance, Slice of Life, Supernatural

The yuri genre has never gotten many animated adaptations, so Fragtime is a must-watch for yuri fans. Protagonist Misuzu has the ability to stop time for just three minutes. However, her classmate Haruka is for some reason immune to Misuzu's powers. Satou Takuya who worked on series such as Steins;Gate directs this short one hour film.


ぼくらの7日間戦争/Bokura no Nanoka kan Sensou/Seven Days War

Studio: Ajia-Do (Kakushigoto)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Thriller

A coming of age story and social satire based off a novel written in 1985, Bokura no Nanoka kan Sensou follows the adventure of a group of middle school students who hole themselves up in an abandoned factory in a revolt against adults.


囀る鳥は羽ばたかない/Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai: The Clouds Gather/Twittering Birds Never Fly


Genre: Drama

BL movies are not widely advertised, nor well-produced in Japan. Studio GRIZZLY is aiming to change that trend, announcing that they will be producing exclusively BL anime. The creator of the original manga for Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai is Yoneda Kou, whose work Doushitemo Furetakunai received a live action adaptation in 2014. Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai seems to have a heavier mood than many of the animated BL adaptations out there, and it may be a good watch for BL fans who like darker themes.


泣きたい私は猫をかぶる/Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu/A Whisker Away

Studio: Studio Colorido (Penguin Highway)

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

A Whisker Away is about an eccentric girl named Muge who is in love with her classmate Hinode, but cannot get him to notice her despite her advances. When a talking cat gives her the ability to change into a cat to get closer to Hinode, everything seems to be working out for her... until she is unable to turn back into a human. A Whisker Away has studio Ghibli vibes mixed with a romance aspect and is good for any viewer who wants to watch a good heartwarming movie.


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