If you see them as they are, you will enjoy these animations. Stay tuned as we bring you the best action anime movies.
Table of Contents
- 1. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005)
- 2. The Last Naruto the Movie (2014)
- 3. Summer Wars (2009)
- 4. Ninja Scroll
- 5. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)
- 6. Redline (2009)
- 7. Sword of the Stranger (2007)
- 8. Appleseed (2004)
- 9. Dragon Ball: Broly (2018)
- 10. Appleseed Ex Machina (2007)
- 11. Sky Blue (2003)
- 12. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
- 13. One Piece: Strong World (2009)
- 14. Berserk Golden Age Arc I (2012)
- 15. Streetfighter II: The Animated (1994)
1. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005)
Advent Children follows two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII. It explores the kidnapping of children infected with an unexplained disease by a group of three unknown assailants.
Cloud Strife, the prominent hero of the previous movie, goes after the trio to rescue the children. Spoiler alert.
Cloud Strife suffers from a similar disease as the kidnapped children. Tifa contacts Cloud and summons him to a meeting with Rufus Shinra, the Shinra company’s former president. Shinra was presumed dead from Final Fantasy VII.
Rufus beckons on Cloud to help stop Kadai, Yazoo, and Loz, who are the trio kidnapping the children. It turns out that the three are physical manifestations of Sephiroth’s spirit.
Together, they seek to resurrect Sephiroth by using the remains of Jenova, an extraterrestrial villain.
Cloud walks away, refusing to lend his help to Rufus. In the meantime, Kadai and his cohorts are attracting children with Geostignma, promising them a cure for their infection. Loz attacks Tifa and Marlene in Aerith’s church after following them searching for him.
Final Fantasy VII is a good movie adaptation. The computer-generated imagery in the movie still holds up, making it one of the best action anime movies produced in the last decade.
In summary, the film explores the survivor’s guilt experienced by Cloud. However, if you have not played the game, you will be lost in the movie.
The studio has released multiple versions of Final Fantasy, with a complete version released in 2009 on Blu-ray. The complete version is the last and has an extra 26 minutes of expanded scenes added to the original.
2. The Last Naruto the Movie (2014)
The Last Naruto focuses on the critical romance based on the hit action series. Fans love it so much because it develops the romantic story pleasantly—the creator’s incorporated amazing action into this animation and breathtaking and fluid sequences.
This anime is the last movie in one of the best action anime movie sagas, and it closes the long-running storylines to allow new generation heroes to emerge.
Two years after the fourth shinobi world war, Naruto races to stop Toneri Otsutsuki.
The Last: Naruto the Movie gives a perfect ending to the Naruto saga. The animations are exquisite, and the music blends well with the character development. The produces keep the movie’s pace at an ideal rate to crown it all.
If you are familiar with the Naruto saga, you will know that there has always been much hatred. However, this final release ditches the hatred cycle and embraces love, projecting selflessness rather than self-preservation.
The creators give a fresh take on the narrative by focusing on the minor characters and integrating the love theme. The absence of characters like Kakashi and Sasuke reduces the moral ambiguity usually present in the previous series.
This final story focuses on the external views of its diverse characters and beams more attention on the bubbling romance between two interwoven characters.
The writers delivered superb dialogue, subtle symbolism, and heartwarming metaphors.
As one of the best action anime movies, The Last: Naruto, the movie brings an end to the personal journey of the main act with a reconciliation that is personal.
3. Summer Wars (2009)
Summer Wars explores the journey of Kenji, a mathematics genius who is recruited by his crush, Natsuki, to play the role of her boyfriend for four days. Kenji accidentally breaches the security of Oz, a vast virtual world.
The security breach came from a math middle sent to Kenji on his phone. The Love machine, an evil artificial intelligence program, hijacks accounts in Oz, leaving chaos and destruction in its wake.
Kenji takes the fall in the chaos that follows the hijacking by the love machine. Natsuki and her extended family aid Kenji in going into the virtual world to reverse the damage, and he fights several battles in Oz.
The battle scenes are stunning. The creators used a combination of hand-drawn and computer-generated visuals to portray a strikingly colorful environment filled with avatars with razor-sharp teeth.
Mr. Hosoda’s storytelling is among the best action anime movies. The quality is lovely and unhurried, matching his ambient story’s clean and classically generated images.
There is much likeness to the works of the great director Yasujiro Ozu in visuals.
The producers created a nice contrast between the outer world and the hyperkinetic Oz. You will love this animation.
4. Ninja Scroll
Ninja Scroll is one of the fast-paced best, action anime movies set in feudal Japan. Wandering mercenary battles, eight super-powered ninjas intend to remove the Tokugawa Shogunate. Many fans praised this movie for its incredible action sequences.
Ninja Scroll influences the entire anime industry because of its action scenes and intriguing art. It partly inspired the creators in producing action sequences for the Matrix, a well-known global success.
The producers kept the plot strong by providing enough story and drama from the action. They produced this anime purely for its action, and they did an excellent job. Any fan of anime action that hasn’t seen this movie is seriously lagging.
5. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)
This is a Japanese animated movie based on a 1998 anime series. Hajime Yatate created the Cowboy Bebop, a 1998 anime series
The bounty hunting crew of the Bebop spaceship work to uncover the terrorists and also discover the source of the pathogen before the attack is carried out.
Cocky Spike Spiegel and the crew of Bebop land on Mars in the year 2071 in chase of an enormous cash reward. Bebop is an intrepid band of bounty hunters who would do anything for the money for those who don’t know.
The four-person team includes Cyborg Jet Black, tech expert Edward, and fearless Faye Valentine. They search for an ex-military officer Vincent who has become a biological terrorist. Vincent threatens to release an arsenal of devastating Nano-bots on Alba City on the night of Halloween.
This is one of the best action anime movies that will get heads turning. Finally, bounty hunters are doing some good for humankind.
6. Redline (2009)
This science-fiction film is among the best action anime movies produced by Madhouse. Takeshi Koike directed this film starring Takuya Kimura, Yu Aoi, Tatsuya Gashuin, Yoshinori Okada, Kainji Tsuda, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Takeshi Aono, and Tadanobu Asano.
Katsuhito Ishii, Yoji Enokido, and Yoshiki Sakurai combined to write the screenplay based on an original story written by Ishii. The creators set this film in a distant future where JP goes to great lengths to win the titular underground race.
This film was in production for seven years. The reason is that the entire movie was cell is drawn, similar to what you get in Loony Tunes and the classic Disney. It is an impressive movie when compared to other digital anime movies.
Redline is a fine blend of cool and nerdy. The character designs may seem uncomfortably realistic, but they have sharp lines, bright Fluro color, and a heavy focus on the shadows that retain their cartoon form factor.
Redline is a unique animation that may not appeal to everyone. It basks in the joy of adolescence with the stunningly animated racing scenes and the ridiculous bravery of the characters. It is an epic story that brings a crazy and exciting movie universe.
This film is one of the best action anime movies made in 2D. The characters can quickly get their spin-offs because of the character development.
It is hard not to vibe with such a movie. If you are ready to ditch your expectations for a 3D animation, then this is a good catch.
7. Sword of the Stranger (2007)
This film explores the journey of a young boy and his dog fleeing from a group of warriors who intend to use the boy for a dark purpose. Luckily for the boy, he gains the help of a samurai who is traumatized and has a dark past.
The creators of this anime created a beautiful, violent, and intriguing animation in one hundred and two minutes. It is an enjoyable and thrilling movie despite its violence, and however, intense violence may not be suitable for kids.
Sword of the Stranger reminds us of the great films starring Toshiro Mifune made by Akira Kurosawa and Hiroshi Inagaki. It is an action-packed thriller among the best action anime movies.
The film stays true to the live-action samurai-themed movies with intense violence that usually accompanies such. Every twist and turn in the film leaves the viewers wondering if their heroes will still be alive at the end.
To the surprise of many, the writers use non-Japanese warriors in the climactic duel with Luo-lang. No name is a foreigner despite being a formidable samurai. He survives a shipwreck that dyes his reddish hair black to hide his alien form.
No name and Luo Lang honor the samurai principles. While no name seeks to protect an innocent friend, Luo Lang aims to fight an opponent worthy of his mastery.
Believe me when I say that many live-action directors would envy the intensity of their duel.
Ando and his fellow creatives incorporate computer-generated imagery to broaden the film’s scope. The CGI enhances the battles effectively, providing an immersive experience.
8. Appleseed (2004)
A female warrior, Deunan Knute, survives the global war and meets her former lover, Briareos Hercatonshires. Deunan discovers that her former lover is now a cyborg based on his injuries from combat.
The peaceful city of Olympus has played host to create a new race of cyborgs called Bioroids. However, an unknown cause sabotages the bioroids and makes their lives extremely short. Deunan goes on a journey to discover the cause.
It is outstanding how this anime simplifies a complicated plot into a spin-off movie that fits neatly within a feature film’s running time.
The producers showed a lot of restraint in including fighting scenes. Instead, they ensured a progressive buildup to a huge climactic battle.
It is disappointing that the climactic battle feels like it’s over before it started. However, the film’s pacing is impressive, and the characters are solid. It embraces the popular genre theme of a police state against a futuristic, cyberpunk base.
Appleseed has an unrivaled place among the best action anime movies. If you are the slow and steady type of person, this will be a good viewing experience.
But don’t expect an over-the-top and badass action sequence, and the film lacks this vibe, sadly.
9. Dragon Ball: Broly (2018)
Tatsuya Nagamine directed this 2018 Japanese anime filled with martial arts, fantasy, and adventure. It is written by the dragon ball series Akira Toriyama and is the twentieth movie to feature in the dragon ball series.
The creators placed the dragon ball super branding in this movie as the third film to be produced with the direct involvement of Akira Toriyama.
10. Appleseed Ex Machina (2007)
Shinji Aramaki directs this sequel to the 2004 released Appleseed film. The movie is an animated computer-generated science fiction film produced by Hong Kong director and producer John Woo. Toei Company released the film in Japan on 20th October 2007.
In this movie, high-minded terrorists intending to control the will of the world’s populace attack the utopian city of Olympus.
They seek to control all, including humans, cyborgs, and bioroids: Deunan Knute, the ES.W.A.T. enforcer partners with her cyborg lover Briareos to bring them to justice.
A new bioroid named Tereus, created from the DNA of Briareos, develops feelings for Deunan. The producers keep the storyline uncomplicated and straightforward. The terrorists seek to eliminate free will and individuality from the world.
Terrorists transmit a virus through cellphones that look like in-ear Bluetooth headsets. The virus can subject all humans, cyborgs, and bioroids under one consciousness.
The rogue scientists believe that total world peace can only be achieved if everyone has the same heart and mind. Ironically, when their plan pulls through, people take to the streets in mass riots and property damage with countless casualties.
The stunning irony relates to today’s thoughts. We can’t achieve world peace if we are all like-minded. Appleseed Ex Machina is one of the best action anime movies, far ahead of its predecessor, Appleseed (2004).
11. Sky Blue (2003)
This film is one of the best action anime movies that feature backdrops rendered using photo-realistic computer-generated imagery. The computer-generated imagery was so good that it was comparable to those used in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
Kim Moon-Saeng directed this 2003 South Korean animated science fiction film. He also incorporated highly detailed models in some of the backdrops into which the cel-animated characters were created.
The producers were careful enough not to use computer-generated for human characters. They shot the backgrounds using traditional motion control techniques, and the post-processing editors then rendered the shots to look computer-generated.
The producers rendered all vehicles used in this movie.
12. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Ghost in the Shell explores the cyberpunk life of Major Motoko Kusanagi, a commander of a security force dedicated to fighting dangerous cybercrimes. The producers staged it in a futuristic rendering of Japan.
Ghost in the shell is among the best action anime movies and thrilling. Even with the producers’ reasonably heavy dialogue, action fanatics will enjoy this movie, and I wish it had a lighter conversation.
Ghost in the Shell shows cyborg federal agent Major Motoko trailing the Puppet master. The puppet master hacks into cyborg-human hybrids’ virtual minds or brains, a significant cybercrime in cyberpunk Japan.
The puppet master can also modify the identity of the cyborg-humans and strangers. This leaves Major Motoko wondering what her life might look like if she were more human than a cyborg. Together with her partner, they apprehend the puppet master.
However, the curiosity of Major Motoko about who she is sends the case spiraling in an unforeseen direction.
13. One Piece: Strong World (2009)
The much-loved cast of the anime series One Piece return to star in this exciting and thrilling adventure. In this movie, Straw Hats work to save one of their own and prevent an attack on East Blue.
One Piece: Strong World is the tenth movie in the One-Piece series. The creator of the One Piece series involved himself in this movie personally. It is celebrated for its beautiful design and incredible animation.
In his quest to defeat the world government, the pirate Shiki takes the straw hat pirate crew hostage. He forces them to be his navigator. The rest of the straw hat pirates work to rescue their friend and escape Shiki.
Golden Lion Shiki is the villain of the story. He is shown to be a tough man who cut off his legs to escape from prison and replace them with swords. He is also able to float around without walking.
Lion Shiki reveals to Luffy and the Straw Hats that he intends to make Nami his navigator and destroy the East Blue. He threatens to kill the folks if Nami refuses to be his navigator.
14. Berserk Golden Age Arc I (2012)
Berserk Golden Age Arc I marked the first entry into a three-part series. It explores the life of mercenaries in a medieval world that has become torn apart by war. The violence and grim make this movie a bit disturbing.
The central theme of this well-animated action flick is about the damage a man can do to fulfill his selfish ambitions. If you prefer a dark action animation, this movie will suit your taste.
The producers intrigue viewers with fantastic hybrid animation and battle sequences. Arc 1 will leave wanting more as it is not a stand-alone movie but part of a storyline told through a series of films.
15. Streetfighter II: The Animated (1994)
Streetfighter is well known in the action movie universe. I remember the days I would dress up as my favorite character. Streetfighter II: The Animated gets its adaptation from the street fighter II fighting game.
Kenichi Imai wrote this action anime subsequently directed by Gisaburō Sugii and animated by Group TAC. Initially released in Japan in 1994, it had subsequent theatrical releases in the United Kingdom, France, and Spain.
Animaze for Manga Entertainment later adapted the movie into the English version in dubbed and subtitled format. Toei Company distributed the film in Japan, while 20th Century Fox distributed it in other countries.
Streetfighter II is one of the best action anime movies adapted from the game.