Top 10 Best Underrated Anime Movies

Top 10 Best Underrated Anime Movies That You Must Watch!

The anime world is cruel and unfair as a lot of movies, which should have risen the ranks of fame, lie forgotten in the dust. Actually, It is pretty satisfying when you come across some underrated anime movies and end up falling in love with them deeply.

However, the search for such underrated anime movies can prove to be exhausting. Don’t worry, Anime Troops have got you covered here!

So, here is our list of Top 10 underrated anime movies that you must watch!

Top best underrated anime movies

Top best underrated anime movies

In order to make your job easy, we have come up with a top 10 list of the most underrated anime movies that are totally worth your time.

From slice of life stories to films with surreal plots, our top 10 list of underrated anime movies has something to offer for every fan.

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Patema Inverted (Sakasama no Patema)

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Patema Inverted (Sakasama no Patema)
  • Aired: November 9th, 2013
  • Studios: Studio Rikka & Purple Cow Studio Japan
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Mystery
  • Duration: 1 hr. 38 min.
  • Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older

Patema is a brave young girl from an underground civilization providing an unimaginable network of tunnels. Inspired by a friend that mysteriously went missing, Patema is often reprimanded due to her constant excursions of these tunnels due to her royal status.

After she enters what is known as the “forbidden zone,” she accidentally falls into a giant bottomless pit after being startled by a strange creature.

Finding herself on the surface, a world literally turned upside down, she begins falling towards the sky only to be saved by Age, a discontented student of the totalitarian nation known as Aiga.

The people of Aiga are taught to believe that “Inverts,” like Patema, are sinners that will be “swallowed by the sky,” but Age has resisted this propaganda and decides to protect his new friend.

A chance meeting between two curious teenagers leads to an exploration of two unique worlds as they begin working together to unveil the secrets of their origins.

Top 10 Best Manga To Read In 2022

It is not everyday that you find yourself trapped in a world that wasn’t supposed to exist, let alone be inverted.

The dystopian future drama is a great blend of animation, interesting story and beautiful visuals. Seeing two teenagers defying the opposing laws of gravity and coming together to find a peaceful solution makes for a wonderful watch and guarantees this flick a place in our Top 10 most underrated anime movies.

Top 15 Best Anticipated Anime of 2022!

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Mai Mai Miracle (Mai Mai Shinko to Sennen no Mahou)

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Mai Mai Miracle (Mai Mai Shinko to Sennen no Mahou)
  • Aired: August 15th, 2009
  • Studios: Madhouse
  • Source: Novel
  • Genres: Adventure, Historical, Slice of Life, Drama
  • Duration: 1 hr. 35 min.
  • Rating: PG – Children

Mai Mai Miracle is a Drama – Slice of Life movie directed by Sunao Katabuchi at Madhouse Studio and is an entry that should be there in the list of top underrated anime movies.

The story is set in 1955 in Kokuga, Hofu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture and follows Shinko, a third grade elementary school student, who was born and raised in one of the town’s venerable families.

She is a little girl whose characteristic is a strange curl on her forehead (she calls it her “Mai Mai”), and her love for playing in the fields. On the other hand, her secret joy is to imagine and to daydream about the world of one thousand years ago. 

The movie follows themes of children coping with growing up in an almost Ghibli-esque way, but retains its own distinct signature in storytelling.

This underrated anime movie allows the watcher to explore the wonders of childhood through Shinko, who learns to admire the world around her, convey her feelings and to make friends along the way.

Definitely a must watch movie for people who love family friendly movies with a tinge of childhood nostalgia!

Top 6 Types Of Couples In Shôjo Manga

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Hoshi Wo Ou Kodomo)

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Hoshi Wo Ou Kodomo)
  • Aired: May 7th, 2011
  • Studios: CoMix Wave Films
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Drama
  • Duration: 1 hr. 56 min.
  • Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older

Children Who Chase Lost Voices is a fantasy adventure movie directed  by Makoto Shinkai at CoMix Wave Films.

The movie follows Asuna Watase, a young elementary school girl, who is unknowingly dragged into a journey to a long lost land, after she accidentally tunes her old crystal radio to a melancholic song from this mysterious hidden world.

This adventure bound to surpass her very imagination, turning her once melodic life into an intricate requiem.

This underrated anime movie masterfully encapsulated the themes of life, death, separation and loneliness through the eyes of a student and a teacher as they go in search for something that is not fathomable in tales of fantasy that a 12-year-old might know.

This movie also seems to take a leaf out of Miyazaki’s book and is worth a watch, especially for Shinkai fans who want to experience something different from the director.

Zankyou no Terror Review: What makes Terror in Resonance a great Thriller anime?

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Memories

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Memories
  • Synonyms: Magnetic Rose, Stink Bomb, Cannon Fodder
  • Episodes: 3
  • Aired: December 23th, 1995
  • Studios: Madhouse, Studio 4°C
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, Psychological
  • Duration: 37 min. per ep.
  • Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older

Memories is an anthology movie, featuring 3 different stand-alone movies: Magnetic Rose (directed by Koji Morimoto), Stink Bomb (directed by Tensai Okamura) & Cannon Fodder (directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, who is also the original writer of these stories).

Co-produced by Madhouse and Studio 4°C, the short films encompass different genres including Sci-fi, Horror and Psychological Drama. 

I would rather place this movie in a list of lesser known anime movies, than a list of underrated anime movies, for there aren’t many who know about this masterpiece out there.

The technical and visual style of all the stories in Memories are closely related, even with the differing core themes. It is one of the most critically acclaimed anime movies in Japan.

The movie is guaranteed to give you an amazing experience (if you are a fan of Satoshi Kon movies) with a great story and deep basic themes.

Monster Anime Review: Why You Must Watch This Great Seinen?

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Only Yesterday (Omoide Poporo)

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Only Yesterday (Omoide Poporo)
  • Aired: July 20th, 1991
  • Studios: Studio Ghibli
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Slice of Life
  • Duration: 1 hr. 58 min.
  • Rating: G – All Ages

Only Yesterday is a drama movie written and directed by Isao Takahata at Studio Ghibli.

The plot follows Taeko Okajima, a 27-year-old unmarried & independent woman, who decides to visit her distant family in the rural countryside to help with the safflower harvest in order to get away from and unwind from the rush of the big city.

Having your past self follow you around can be quite a difficult thing to deal with, even if it happens subconsciously. Balancing your childhood dreams and your current self is a theme that is explored in this underrated Ghibli anime movie.

Unlike normal anime film tropes, Omoide Poporo has a very realistic story which focuses on adult women. The movie has a nostalgic theme as Taeko looks back on her childhood dreams and experiences, comparing them to what she has become today as an adult.

This one of the underrated anime movies that subtly touches on the problems and situations that every adult might face in their life and shows it in a heartfelt and entertaining way. If we may say so, this is a “boringly enjoyable” movie that you definitely have to watch.

3 Excellent Reasons To Why You Must Read Vampire Knight

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Tekkon kinkreet

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Tekkon kinkreet
  • Aired: December 23th, 2006
  • Studios: Studio 4°C
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Supernatural, Psychological
  • Duration: 1 hr. 51 min.
  • Rating: R – 17+ (violence & profanity)

Tekkon kinkreet follows two orphans who attempt to prevent the Yakuza and their assorted violent and corrupt allies from taking over their city.

Tekkon kinkreet is a movie that is famous for its unique and distinct character design. While it might not adhere to everyone’s tastes, the movie’s plot and stylish art which embraces creative freedom and delivers in every way possible makes it one of the gems in thistop list of underrated anime movies.

With dark and deep themes depicted throughout, this is one of those rewarding movies that oozes with quality. The movie will make you question morals, loyalty and relationships as the brothers strive to outlive the violent underbelly of Treasure Town.

Top 10 Strongest Titan Shifters in Attack on Titan

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: In This Corner of the World (Kono Sekai No Katasumi Ni)

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: In This Corner of the World (Kono Sekai No Katasumi Ni)
  • Aired: November 12th, 2016
  • Studios: MAPPA
  • Source: Manga
  • Genre: Drama, Historical, Seinen
  • Duration: 2 hr. 48 min.
  • Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older

Co-written and directed  by Sunao Katabuchi at MAPPA studio, this underrated anime movie follows the life during the years surrounding the second World War in Japan through the eyes of a girl, Suzu Urano, who has to leave her home after getting married to a man she barely knows.

Put to work in her husband’s household, the homesick girl struggles to adjust to the unfamiliar environment, living with a family who treats her coldly. She can’t help but question: can this ever truly become her new home?

Kono Sekai No Katasumi Ni is a movie that offers a refreshing take on Japan during the Second World War.

Instead of focusing directly on the bombings and hardships, the movie depicts the changing conditions in a daily home as Japan slowly entered the years of war.

The peaceful everyday lives of everyone is slowly replaced by harsher and unforgiving situations that accompany a war.

Contrasting themes of innocence and cruelty are present throughout the movie as the director tries to paint the image of mundane life amidst the bombings in Japan.

Top 5 Best Anime to Watch for New Weeb!

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Tokyo Godfathers

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Tokyo Godfathers
  • Aired: November 8th, 2003
  • Studios: Madhouse
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Childcare
  • Duration: 1 hr. 32 min.
  • Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older

Tokyo Godfathers follows an aging alcoholic, an ex-drag queen trans woman and a young runaway who set out in search of an abandoned newborn baby’s mother, whom they found in a dumpster on Christmas eve.

During their journey they run into  yakuza members, a dying homeless man, and other interesting characters.

Though they are homeless and are broke, the trio do their best to look after the baby, whom they name Kiyoko, all the while confronting their pasts and realizing the importance of having a family.

Tokyo Godfathers is a comedy drama movie directed by Satoshi Kon at Madhouse. Though it is a critically acclaimed movie, not many are familiar with this film. This makes it not just an underrated anime movie, but also a lesser known one.

The highlight of the movie is the characters and their interactions which add to the overall feel good value of Tokyo Godfathers.

Top 5 Adventure Manhwa (Webtoon) With Insane Storyline!

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Liz and the Blue bird (Liz To Aoi Tori)

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: Liz and the Blue bird (Liz To Aoi Tori)
  • Aired: April 21st, 2018
  • Studios: Kyoto Animation
  • Source: Novel
  • Genre: Drama, Music, School
  • Duration: 1 hr. 30 min.
  • Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older

Liz and the Blue Bird is a drama-musical based on Ayano Takeda’s Sound!Euphonium (Hibiki!Euphonium) novel series. It is directed by Naoko Yamada at Kyoto Animation.

The movie focuses on Mizore Yoroizuka and Nozomi Kasaki (supporting characters in Sound!Euphonium) who are tasked to prepare for a concert with the school’s brass band.

The concert is based on a fairytale mentioned before, which acts as a story inside the story of the movie. 

A fairytale of a blue bird in the form of a young girl and real story running in parallel, surrounded by blossoming relationships and heart wrenching decisions is something which makes this anime movie stand out from its underrated counterparts!

The movie flourishes with fresh character designs, incredible art style and awesome soundtracks. Coming from the director who gave us A Silent Voice, Liz and the Blue Bird focuses on the struggles of self discovery and other teenage personal issues that arise between the focal characters.

Top 10 Mystery Thriller Anime That Will Blow Your Mind

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: A Letter to Momo (Momo e No Tegami)

Top 10 Most Underrated Anime Movies: A Letter to Momo (Momo e No Tegami)
  • Aired: April 21, 2012
  • Studios: Production I.G
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Drama, Supernatural
  • Duration: 2 hr.
  • Rating: G – All Ages

Momo e No Tegami is an inspiring supernatural drama movie written and directed by Hiroyuki Okiura which portrays the varied emotions of a girl recovering from her father’s death.

The story follows 11-year-old Momo Miyaura, who moves with her mother to a small island town after her father dies. When she arrives, she encounters three goblins that others can’t see who help her to cope with the loss of her father and the changes in her life.

Apart from the stunning visual quality, the movie scores pretty high for its humor, overall plotline and the theme of coping with the loss of a loved one.

The film transitions from a lighter mood to a much serious one with ease and will manage to keep you entertained throughout. The characters don’t have an idealistic nature and come with their flaws, making them more endearing and lovable.

You should definitely give this underrated anime movie a try.

Since you have read this far, here’s a list of some more underrated anime movies (as a bonus of course 😉 ) that you might want to check out just in case:

  • Redline
  • Shashinkan
  • Promare
  • Summer Days with Coo
  • Miss Hokusai
  • Napping Princess
  • Steamboy
  • Penguin Highway
  • Mirai no Mirai
  • The Sky Crawlers
  • Mind Game

Do you feel there are any other underrated anime movies that are not quite well-known but definitely worth a try? Let us know in the comments section below!