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Updated by Soubin Nath on Jun 25, 2017
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15 Best Animated Movies From Japan of 21st Century

Animated movies are one of the most powerful parallel film mediums in the world which has sprouted at Hollywood. But the Japanese film industry has lifted this genre in to heights and became successful in competing with mainstream cinema. Here is the list of best 15 Japanese animated movie of 21st century.

Source: http://www.imdb.com/

Spirited Away (2001)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
With Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

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Metropolis (2001)

Directed by Rintaro
With Toshio Furukawa, Scott Weinger, Yuka Imoto, Kei Kobayashi

Kenichi and his uncle Shunsaku Ban must find the mystery behind robot girl Tima.

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Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

Directed by Mamoru Oshii
With Akio Ôtsuka, Atsuko Tanaka, Tamio Ôki, Kôichi Yamadera

In the year 2032, Batô, a cyborg detective for the anti-terrorist unit Public Security Section 9, investigates the case of a female robot--one created solely for sexual pleasure--who slaughtered her owner.

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Millennium Actress (2001)

Directed by Satoshi Kon
With Miyoko Shôji, Mami Koyama, Fumiko Orikasa, Shôzô Îzuka

A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.

Paprika (2006)

Directed by Satoshi Kon
With Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori, Tôru Furuya

When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it.

Wolf Children (2012)

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda
With Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Ohsawa, Haru Kuroki, Yukito Nishii

College student Hana falls in love with another student who turns out to be a werewolf, who dies in an accident after their second child. Hana moves to the rural countryside where her husband grew up to raise her two werewolf children.

The Wind Rises (2013)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
With Hideaki Anno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Miori Takimoto, Masahiko Nishimura

A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.

Tekkonkinkreet (2006)

Directed by Michael Arias
With Kazunari Ninomiya, Yû Aoi, Yûsuke Iseya, Kankurô Kudô

In Treasure Town, life can be both peaceful and violent. This is never truer than for our heroes, Black and White - two street kids who claim to traverse the urban city as if it were their own. But in this town, an undercurrent of evil exists and has its sights set on the pair of brothers, forcing them to engage in battle with an array of old-world Yakuza as well as dangerous assassins vying to ...

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

Directed by Satoshi Kon, Shôgo Furuya
With Tôru Emori, Yoshiaki Umegaki, Aya Okamoto, Shôzô Îzuka

On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents.

The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)

Directed by Makoto Shinkai, Yoshio Suzuki
With Hidetaka Yoshioka, Masato Hagiwara, Yuka Nanri, Unshô Ishizuka

In an alternate postwar timeline, Japan is divided into the Union-controlled North and the US-controlled South.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda
With Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura, Ayami Kakiuchi

A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own.

The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)

Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi
With Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Moises Arias

The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
With Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûin, Akihiro Miwa

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)

Directed by Makoto Shinkai
With Kenji Mizuhashi, Yoshimi Kondou, Satomi Hanamura, Ayaka Onoue

Told in three interconnected segments, we follow a young man named Takaki through his life as cruel winters, cold technology, and finally, adult obligations and responsibility converge to test the delicate petals of love.

Short Peace (2013)

Directed by Hiroaki Andô, Hajime Katoki, Shûhei Morita
With Kôichi Yamadera, Midori Yûki, Takeshi Kusao, Saori Hayami

A traveler is confronted by spirits in an abandoned shrine; a story of honor and firefighting in ancient Japan; a white bear defends the royal family from a monstrous red demon; ragtag soldiers battle a robotic force in futuristic Japan.