Anime movies are a real joy to watch. They combine all elements of real life similar to a movie. However, the lack of real people or real objects makes them so special and also powerful. Like real theatrical films, anime films are of similar length and have a strong storyline to support the playtime. While anime movies can belong to different genres, here we will only discuss the action anime movies. The basic essence of action anime movies is so profound that they have easily won their place in the hearts of anime lovers. As my number one anime piece of advice, let’s discuss top 10 action anime movies that have been dubbed classics and trendsetters by anime lovers and have since created a cult following.
Imagine a film from 1988 that is still loved by fans around the world and accepted by the new generation alike. Well, the movie Akira it is talked about. Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of the manga of the same name, Akira is an epic animated sci-fi action cult classic set in a futuristic neo-Tokyo. A secret military project creates psykers called Espers that unintentionally lead to the destruction of Neo Tokyo. The main character, Akira, was the first and most powerful Esper whose psychic powers led to the destruction of Tokyo in World War III. Considered one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time, it is definitely one of the top action anime movies.
ghost in the shell
ghost in the shell is an anime cult action film directed by Mamoru Oshii and based on the manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow. Set in the dystopian future, it follows the story of Motoko Kusanagi, a Section 9 public safety officer tasked with tracking down a mysterious ghost hacker dubbed “Puppet Master”. The film follows Motoko’s quest on her newly assigned mission, which leads her to the mysterious Project 2501, created by the corrupt Section 6, who in turn were responsible for the creation of the antagonist. Considered to be the benchmark for sci-fi movies, it’s rightly called one of the best action anime movies.
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
The film follows the story of D, a bounty hunter hired to bring back a young girl named Charlotte who was kidnapped by a noble vampire named Meier Link. The film is based on the novel Demonic Death Hunt, the third in Hideyuki Kikuchi’s Vampire Hunter D series. If you are a fan of hardcore anime action then this movie will satisfy you with loads of demon slaying action.
A critically acclaimed Japanese animated action film released in 1993. Ninja Scroll depicts the events of a bloody battle in feudal Japan between a ninja and the eight devils of Kimon. The film was written and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. The anime film has gained immense popularity due to its narrative style about the journey of the protagonist Koichi Yamadera, a ninja whose character is inspired by the Japanese folk hero Yagyu Jubei Mitsuyoshi.
If you just want a lot of action in a movie then this is it Princess Mononoke is your choice of action anime movie. Set in the late Muromachi period, the story revolves around a young Ashitaka, the last prince of the Emishi tribe, who is determined to restore peace between the forest spirits and the humans who are consuming the forest’s resources. Princess Mononoke is considered one of the best action anime movies to this day. It gradually became the highest-grossing film of all time until the release of titanic later that same year.
Cowboy Bebop – The Movie
Hardcore anime lovers know the name “Cowboy Bebop” for the TV series that ran from 1998-1999 and won millions of hearts with its 26 limited episodes. Based on the same story between episode 22 and 23, Cowboy Bebop – The Movie follows the story of the space bounty hunter crew on the spaceship named Bebop who are tasked with taking down a chemical terrorist who is threatening to destroy the planet Mars with an unknown pathogen. Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe and produced by Sun Studios, Cowboy Bebop is considered a classic in the world of action anime movies.
Street Fighter II – The Animated Movie
Have you ever imagined turning a game into a movie? The makers of this movie actually did that by making a movie based on the popular fighting game series of the same name. The film was written by Kenichi Imai and directed by Gisaburo Sugii. It follows the story of Ryu, a street fighter who takes on a crime boss named Bison who is determined to defeat the world’s greatest fighters. The film has since garnered a large following and serves as inspiration for the live-action film starring Van Damme.
Created by Ghost in the Shell celebrity Masamune Shirow, Apple Core is a computer-animated science fiction action film with eye-catching animation. The film revolves around the former Deunan Kute who, with her cyborg partner, sets off to restore peace to a post-apocalyptic utopian city called Olympus, whose population is roughly evenly divided between genetically engineered clones called Bioroids and humans. Hardly having feelings like anger or fear, the artificial Bioroids were created with the intention of balancing human society and bringing peace. But certain organizations are against it and want to upset the balance and peace again. Apple Core and also his successor Appleseed – Ex Machina are definitely must-watches for all fans who love action, science fiction and an epic soundtrack.
Stranger’s Sword is directed by Masahiro Ando and produced by Bones, the same studio that co-produced the classic Cowboy Bebop – The Movie. The film follows the story of a little boy named Kotaro and his dog who meet a retired ronin named Nanashi while running away from mysterious swordsmen who are hunting them for mysterious reasons. While avoiding ever drawing his sword again, Nanashi is caught between morality and commitment when he agrees to take Kotaro to a remote Buddhist temple. Stranger’s Sword is my top anime pick. It’s a masterpiece for its genre. Everyone who likes samurai and sword movies, atmospheric soundtrack and top-notch animation will love it Stranger’s Sword.
Fist of the North Star
The last to add to our list is, but not least Fist of the North Star. Like most other anime action movies, it is an adaptation of a manga series of the same name. With violent elements similar to the manga and set in a post-apocalyptic world, the story is based on the protagonist Kenshiro, who goes in search of his wife Yuria after being badly defeated by his former friend Shin. The film will be directed by Toyoo Yashida, who also directed the first film in the series Vampire Hunter D Series.