Doug Walker’s Favorite Anime Movies

No new Nostalgia Critic this week as Doug takes a mini break. Does your favorite make the list? Doug talks about the animated films from Japan that play a big part in his life.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. Funny you’ve never seen Summer Wars, It’s the perfect Version of the Digimon movie you were forced to review….

    • Actually I’m doing a review of the digimon movie soon to tie into my Summer Wars Review two weeks later!

    • Personally, Summer Wars was not my cup-o-tea lol. Kinda.. too cliche and overdramatic for me.

    • As I recall, Doug was never really into Digimon, so I doubt he’ll care how much like the Digimon movie it is. If JO were still with Channel Awesome (or Inked Reality), you’d be better off telling him. Although chance’s are– since he’s an otaku and anime reviewer, he probably already knows about it.

      ((And for anyone still left over from the TGWTG days, no I did not make any typos. JO is a “he”. He came out on Twitter as a trans man some months ago. Not that it’s important to my comment, I’d rather nip this in the bud before I get any, “lol typo”-like comments.))

  2. Wait…. the last time he postponed NC for a week and just aired an editorial, we got….

    *sigh* Goddamn it, he’s doing the new Ghostbusters movie, isn’t he? WITHOUT clips? Well, if so, who you gonna call? A script doctor!

  3. I first saw Ghost in the Shell when I was 13; I didn’t really get it then, either. Nowadays I think it’s great, but you need a specific state of mind to watch it. The same applies to all Mamoru Oshii films, really. They’re extremely deep, but also extremely mellow. I think they’re at their best when you’re slightly drunk and feeling introspective.

    • Incidentally, the original manga is a lot better Akira experience than the film. The film has some very nice scenes, but it reduces most characters to cardboard cutouts and really doesn’t do justice to the manga’s story.

      • I have to agree, I read the manga before seeing the film, I adore the manga so much that when I finally got to see the movie I actually hated it my first viewing. I’ve grown to love the movie now but it just doesn’t hold to the epic 2000 page manga at all

  4. Wind Rises is only two hours, not three. Just getting that out there.

  5. The Mysterious M

    …He’s doing clipless Ghostbusters 2016 isn’t he?

  6. with how much you like kiki, you should check out the anime “flying witch”

  7. Cool, I love Akira as well! Neat shirt, by the way!

  8. Both Ghost in the Shell and Summer Wars are IMO movies that you need to watch and experience because some one telling about those can’t make justice to those movies. Wolf Brigade is also worth watching as it’s really good as well.

    I myself watch more anime series than anime movies but personally besides of those I also like Rebuild of Evangelion movies as well as Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust and Cowboy Bebop the Movie (Knocking on Heaven’s Door).

  9. Devil's Advocate

    since you seem to have similar misconceptions about it that you do Pokemon. I’d suggest you watch the new Dragon Ball Z movies, I think you’d like the more comedic tone of Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F still has the two funniest characters.

    and most of the stuff you’d need to know going in is covered in BOG’s Prologue with only a few things you’d need to google. but you should also know that two villains mentioned in that prolouge are now good guys.

  10. If you’re looking for more anime movies, I highly recommend Kara no Kyoukai. It’s a movie series that’s really confusing at first, but also really good. If nothing else, it’s worth watching for the animation, which is amazing.

  11. I still personally think Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland IS a good movie.
    I know Doug doesn’t like it, but there’s a difference between a “Bad movie” and “Not liking the film”.

    Besides, at Indy PopCon I told him I wasn’t a fan of the review and mentioned that I see the movie as a childhood classic, and he said “That’s great, go ahead and enjoy it. Who are we to judge your tastes?”

    That was one of the greatest moments of my life. But for future reference I hope that for the next time he mentions his opinion for Little Nemo, I hope he doesn’t label it as “Not a good film” he would label it as “A movie that’s not really for me.”

    • thatchickwithlonghair

      I also love Little Nemo. I have very fond childhood memories of it and it felt like one of those 80s movies he described: “Let’s throw a kid into this weird, wonderful world and scare the shit out of them!” Which makes me question why he doesn’t like it because that’s the exact type of film it is. I have to admit that the voice acting hasn’t aged that well. But it’s still a good film. Full of imagination. That damn Nightmare King scared me so f*cking bad!!! I’d run out of the room during his scenes. XD Actually, anything that had to do with the Nightmare world was utterly terrifying….or at the very least, unsettling to watch. The movie captures what nightmares feel like WAY too well!

      • I know right?

        The movie itself felt like a dream sequence. You get happy moments, you get imaginative sights, you get things that randomly scare you, you even warp from one place to another without explanation, you even sometimes think you woke up only to realize you’re still having the same dream.

        That’s the Primary reason I love this film and also the reason I see why critics actually liked it when it came out. Because it was what I would call a “Dream” movie.

        I’m still looking for Dream-themed movies that capture that feeling.
        Sure movies like Inception and A Nightmare on Elm Street were cool films, but they don’t function like “actual” dreams.

        • thatchickwithlonghair

          Well, it’s not a movie but another anime that really captured that feeling for me was a 90s OVA titled “My Dear Marie”. It’s about an android girl and the final episode’s plot revolves around her wishing to dream the same way humans do. It’s rather surreal. Has silly moments but the randomness is also what makes it feel dream-like and weird. The best part is how her dreams constantly change tone, setting, situation, without warning or build-up. It’s somehow….really realistic because that’s just how dreams are.

  12. I want Doug to do a list of his top favorite horror films!

  13. When you get around to seeing Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, you should also watch Wolf Children and The Boy and the Beast. All four of these are by probably my single favorite anime director, Mamoru Hosoda, and they are all absolutely astonishing films.

  14. thatchickwithlonghair

    It’s hard for me to choose between Air: The Motion Picture and Gurren Lagann: The Lights in the Sky are Stars. They’re both amazing anime films. I love Princess Mononoke as well….but sometimes it drags a bit.

  15. Yeah. Thanks for posting this. It’s kind of a slow day today on Channel Awesome. I’m glad I used to be an okatu or I wouldn’t have heard of any of these. I remember wanting to see The Wind Rises but I didn’t have a car at the time and no one in my family wanted to see it at our local indie theater. When you were talking about teens, I would say that I changed after freshman year of high school but I’m pretty much the same as I was in my senior year of high school. Also, my favorite Miyazaki film is Spirited Away. I saw it when I was a kid. I can’t believe that it’s been that long ago. O.O

  16. Ugh, I love “Millinium Actress,” I was really hoping you’d include it. It makes me happy that you think it’s the best of his movies; most people prefer “Paprika” or “Perfect Blue,” but this is my favorite, too. At it’s heart, it’s a movie about films, and art as a whole. The man she loves is what inspires Chiyoko in her acting, so seeking him is kind of an extended metaphor for seeking perfection in your art. It’s something that can never be achieved, but it’s kind of better that way. Like the man says, the moon is most beautiful just before it’s full, when there’s still something to look forward to. And I also find it interesting that the director character has a similar relationship with Chiyoko– for the director, the inspiration is the actress. I love all that literary stuff…

    But to be honest, that’s not why it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. What Chiyoko goes through chasing after the man is… Well, I’ve always obsessed over fictional characters. It’s something that’s always made me happy, but it started to be painful, too, when it started bothering me that they aren’t real. It feels really similar to unrequited love, if you can’t exactly relate. The movie captures so beautifully how it feels to long for a dream. When the old woman says, “I hate you more than anything… And I love you more than anything,” that’s really how Chiyoko feels about her love for the man, and… Even if it’s a metaphor for art, the emotions come through so strong. I have to wonder, though… I think my relationship to characters and the difficulties it’s caused me is a problem writers tend to have; to really develop a character, you have to spend a lot of time thinking about them, so of course you get attached. I remember in the last volume of the manga “Honey and Clover,” the author talked about how she’d had all the characters with her constantly for so long… And when she finished the series, her head felt empty, and she missed them. So if that was intentional… that really brings it back around to being about our relationship to art. I wonder if Kon felt that way about his own characters…

    “Spirited Away” is another one of my favorites. I love how strange and creative it is… But within all that, there’s a strong since of warmth, between Chihiro and Haku, Chihiro and Lin, Chihiro and the boiler man… I love that contrast, how that warmth kind of shields the characters from all the strange and difficult things they go through.

    As for Mamoru Hosoda, my favorite film of his is “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.” People tend to prefer “Summer Wars” or “Wolf Children,” but… Just personal preference, I guess. The premise really grabbed me, and I loved what Hosoda does with it.

  17. Cynical Bibliophile

    I’m so happy that Kiki’s Delivery Service is on this list! It was my first ever anime film and I have so many fond memories of it. I recently recommended it to my grandmother, who is an animation connoisseur and was curious about Japanese animation, and she liked it very much. I’m also very glad you mentioned Millennium Actress. I love Satoshi Kon’s works and it’s truly a tragedy that such a creative person died so young.

  18. Hey Doug, Have you seen The Boy and the Beast? It’s from the same guy that did Wolf Children, Summer Wars, and the Girl who Leapt through time.

  19. Some good choices on this list. My personal favorite Miyazaki film will forever be a tie between Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle. Former being more serious and impressive with latter being all about whimsy and joy. Honorable mention to Strong World for being my favorite of the One Piece movies though I generally enjoy them all.

    Also Doug, you should look into Bakemono no Ko (The Boy and the Beast). Beautiful animation, heartwarming story, and didn’t pull any punches in the finale.

  20. Doug is almost spot on regarding Grave of the Fireflies. The pride is meant to be a cultural thing and the director is condemning it. But not by saying the main character is wrong and should be hated, since it’s the whole country that did terrible things and pushed along bad behavior and mistakes.

    In before people insisting the purpose of the movie was to make children feel bad and the director is a mustache twirling baby eater because Sage’s Chick Tract of a review said so. Or that it’s trying to manipulate the world into feeling anti-American sentiments or whatever is a sinister agenda people need to be outraged over.

  21. Oh man if he doing the New Ghostbusters; I hope he doesn’t get attack by those “youtube commenters” from the recent “awesome comic” episode. All because he said it was “Good, but it had problems”.

  22. Hey Doug! Can you please do an Old vs New review on The BFG animated movie from 1989 and the new The BFG movie that came out this of year of 2016?

  23. what happend to the calendar on the website that allows me to see the recent videos and watch them? Please fix this.

  24. Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind remains my favorite anime movie/animated movie in general.
    Others I love include:
    Ghost in the Shell (of course)
    Howl’s Moving Castle (don’t care what anyone says)
    Origins: Spirits of the Past (criminally overlooked)
    Porco Rosso (one of Ghibli’s most adult works)
    Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (as good as any episode)

  25. The only movie I have seen out of the list is Spirited Away. That was really good.

  26. I would highly recommend ANYTHING by Mamoru Hosoda! He is fantastic! Imho better than Miyazaki… also if you haven’t seen it, Tokyo Godfathers. Three hobos, an alcoholic, a crossdresser, and a teenager find a little miracle on Christmas Eve and spend the next few days running all over Tokyo trying to find who it belongs to.

    • Well, they’re kinda different. Miyazaki meanders more, takes more time to explore his environments and observe the characters in small moments. Hosoda is more to the point. I don’t think I’d say one is better than the other… I just compare the films. I prefer some Miyazaki films over some Hosoda films, and vice versa.

      But yeah, “Tokyo Godfathers” is great.

  27. I’m not sure in what order I could put my favourite Anime Movies List.
    But Whisper of the Heart is still currently my favourite.

  28. Cowboy Bebop Movie and Princess Mononoke are, imo, the best.

    Jin Roh is FANTASTIC too though.

    And, omg, Millennium Actress is FANTASTIC too! From the same person who made Paranoia Agent (RIP). The music is… man.. my god… I love it.

    I haven’t seen The Wind Rises yet, I want to so bad.

    Grave of the Fireflies is a GREAT movie, but it’s the best movie I never want to see again. Once was enough.. my god…

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