It isn’t only Hollywood that’s known for beautiful and thought-provoking animated movies. Every year, the anime industry releases various of titles for the masses to enjoy. From psychological thrillers to hilarious comedies, here are seven of the best anime movies of 2017.
7. Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale
The online adventure continues with SAO: Ordinal Scale, but this time around, the gang will be trading in their AmuSphere for the Augma. And while the Augma is less risky than its predecessor, it seems ghosts of the past are hunting the SAO survivors.
While the opinion on SAO, may be divisive, fans of the series would enjoy seeing what the guild has been up to. Once again we see Kirito and Asuna’s relationship put to the test with a familiar yet new villain. But that’s not all, the new wearable multi-device, Augma, gives a new angle to the MMORPG anime genre that lately has been stagnant and predictable.
6. Project Itoh: Genocidal Organ
Terrorism is a harsh reality that we have to live with. No matter where you go it has become something we should all be aware. First published in paperback form in 2010, Genocidal Organ was meant to be released in the fall of 2015. However, when Manglobe, the studio in charge of adapting the book, filed for bankruptcy, newly created Geno Studio took on the task.
While a lot of anime movies and shows explore terrorism from the angle of middle eastern terrorists, Genocidal Organ does the opposite. Instead, we a have a Western white man engaging in heinous plots to protect his way of life. How the film explains this twisted way of thinking stays with you long after the credits roll.
5. No Game No Life: Zero
6000 years before the dynamic duo of Sora and Shiro arrived in Disboard, chaos roamed the land. People didn’t use games to solve petty squabbles, but rather, we see a world where humanity struggles to survive a war between powerful magical groups leaving the human race to survive unimaginable odds.
With this new creative direction, No Game No Life: Zero gets rid of the in-your-face fanservice and light-heartedness, commonly found in the TV series. Instead, the anime movie replaces this with a dark narrative that’s prominently displayed in its visual graphics. Due to these changes, the film has attracted a broader appeal from a wider audience who might have otherwise been put off by the TV series.
4. Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower
The fierce battle for the Holy Grail continues with part one of a three-part anime movie series, Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower. This time around, the main heroine is Sakura Matou, who has been portrayed as shy, soft-spoken, and eager to please.
By the end of the movie, there are still many questions that still haven’t been answered. And while this may be difficult for newcomers of the series, it does indicate that the best is yet to come. Not to mention, Ufotable brought back the dark and mysterious atmosphere of Fate/Zero and kicked it up a notch for Presage Flower.
The studio brought the fighting and gore scenes to life with its playful use of colors and intensity. For surpassing one of the best Fate adaptation, Fate/Zero part one of Heaven’s Feel trilogy is one of the best anime movies of 2017.
3. Mary and the Witch’s Flower
Also featured on our 15 must-see summer 2017 anime list, Mary and the Witch’s Flower is the first animated film from Studio Ponoc. And although the company is a reasonably new, it captured the magical charm of Ghibli in Mary and the Witch’s Flower. This is because several former Ghibli employees have come together to work on the film.
The movie follows a red-haired girl named Mary who spends the last week of summer visiting her great-aunt before starting a new school. One day, a black cat named Tib leads Mary to the nearby woods, where she discovers a magical broomstick that whisks her to the magic school of Endor College.
Mary soon discovers the atrocities committed against the animals at Endor, and while snooping around the school, Tib gets captured. Now, Mary sets out to free Tib and the rest of the animals all the while trying to evade the clutches of the headmistress.
Mary and the Witch’s Flower combines the best of Studio Ghibli’s hand-drawn animation style and the technical drawing advancements of digital effects. The work and detail that went into each scene bring the magical English countryside to life the way many other Ghibli films have.
2. The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
Released last spring, The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl is a romantic comedy directed by Masaaki Yuasa (The Tatami Galaxy and Space Dandy). The anime movie follows a young man who tries to “accidentally” bump into his crush, The Girl With the Black Hair.
However, the film follows not only the young man but also this mysterious Black Hair girl, who’s living her life like there’s no tomorrow. Along the way she meets several characters who help her live up the night. And trailing behind her the young man infatuated with her. Their night out is stunningly portrayed, as if audiences were transported to a modern art gallery museum, with beautiful music playing in the background.
The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl plays with many themes, from friendship and love to good and evil, that together tell a magical night on the town.
1. A Silent Voice
Getting a Western theatrical release this year, A Silent Voice tells the story of how a bully sets out to make amends for his behavior. The movie follows Shōya, a young boy who, along with his friends, pick on their new schoolmate Nishimiya, who happens to be deaf.
Because of the intense bullying spearheaded by Shōya, Nishimiya transfers to a new school. Feeling guilty for driving Nishimiya away, they focus their anger towards Shōya, making the bully now the victim.
Although the premise may not be one-of-a-kind, its themes and raw visuals deliver a clear unique message: be compassionate to those that “stand out” or need help. A Silent Voice draws the characters’ raw and intricate emotions in a straightforward and basic animation, which audiences seem to understand and connect to. This makes A Silent Voice the best anime movie of 2017.