Anime like Spirited Away that you should consider watching includes Howl’s Moving Castle, A Whisker Away, and The Cat Returns.
Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed movie “Spirited Away” delves into a profound journey of self-discovery; numerous other anime titles share this thematic resonance.
Much like Miyazaki’s masterpiece, these anime stories weave intricate tales that immerse viewers in fantastical worlds and emphasize the significance of inner growth, self-awareness, and the transformative power of human connections.
If you’re searching for anime that echoes the enchantment of “Spirited Away,” I recommend diving into the following titles.
I love all of these, so I can’t give them a rank – watch them ALL ❤️
Howl’s Moving Castle
Miyazaki’s “Howl’s Moving Castle” stands out as perhaps his most mesmerizing creation. While many of his films, including anime movies like “Spirited Away,” follow a linear trajectory and dazzle with visually stunning worlds, “Howl’s Moving Castle” immerses us in a dreamy, imaginative realm that surpasses them all in its captivating and bizarre beauty.
It might not elicit the sheer awe of “Spirited Away” or the intense action of “Mononoke,” but it resonates deeply, much like “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” where a young girl discovers strengths she never knew she had – a theme Miyazaki consistently explores in his works.
Natsume’s Book Of Friends
If you’re in the mood for a feel-good anime, this show nails it. For those seeking warmth and relaxation similar to anime like “Spirited Away,” this is a must-watch. While it may not cater to fans of fast-paced action, its heartwarming characters and narrative compensate for its slower pace.
I strongly recommend sticking with it until a few episodes into season 2; the depth of its characters and story truly shine through, making it a rewarding experience.
Into The Forest Of Fireflies’ Light
To the Forest of Firefly Lights (Hotarubi no Mori e) delivers a poignant coming-of-age tale about a young child saved by a spirit in a magical forest, charting their unique decade-long bond.
This short and touching anime often draws comparisons to the best anime like “Spirited Away” due to its similarities in myths and thematic elements with Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpieces.
However, while both share some common ground, “Hotarubi no Mori e” doesn’t quite reach Miyazaki’s works’ immersive depth or animation quality, making the comparison a double-edged sword for its reputation.
The Boy and the Beast
The Boy and The Beast by Mamoru Hosada, though not on par with “Wolf Children” or “Summer Wars,” remains a commendable film. The story centers on a beast aspiring to be the grandmaster.
Before attaining this title, he must defeat one final opponent and take under his wing a protégé. This journey leads him to an orphan boy who has fled his home in search of refuge.
While the movie didn’t strike me as groundbreaking, it beautifully portrays two individuals filling their voids through mutual learning. For those who enjoy top anime movies like “Spirited Away,” focusing on deep character development and bonds, I recommend watching this one.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices
Stumbling upon this film was a delightful discovery. The narrative captivates, bolstered by stellar Japanese voice acting and an impressive realm of imagination.
What truly caught my eye were the meticulous details: the shifting daylight within scenes, the nuanced wear and weathering, the authentic animation of water and wildlife, and the masterful play of light and color.
Such intricacies greatly enrich the visual journey. With intriguing and layered characters complemented by a fitting musical score, it’s a must-watch for anyone who appreciates a good anime movie like “Spirited Away” or has a penchant for imaginative drama and fantasy films.
Mushishi offers a uniquely soothing anime experience, set in a setting reminiscent of feudal Japan, albeit with a touch of modernity evident in the presence of certain technologies.
We follow the journey of Ginko, a man with the rare ability to see mysterious lifeforms called Mushi. Each episode presents a standalone tale, with Ginko at its heart and occasional interactions with his friend, Adashino-sensei.
As a Mushi-shi, or “bug master” in a direct translation, Ginko ventures throughout Japan, exploring and documenting the diverse Mushi species. For those who enjoy cute anime movies like “Spirited Away,” “Mushishi” provides a captivating and serene viewing experience.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
“Anime movies similar to Spirited Away” often strike a chord with audiences through their imaginative storytelling, and “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” is no exception. Originating from a renowned 1967 novel, many remember its popular 1983 film adaptation directed by Oobayashi Nobuhiko.
Rather than simply replicating the story, the creators bravely ventured into new territory, setting their animated adaptation roughly 20 years after the original narrative.
This bold move resonated deeply with audiences, as evidenced by the movie’s impressive haul of at least 23 global awards.
Princess Mononoke feels deeply personal and meticulously crafted. It transports us to a fantastical era where ancient Shinto gods – deities of nature and specific locations – coexist with early human settlements and the dawn of metalworking and conflict.
The equilibrium of this world falters as industrial progress clashes with nature, injuring one of the forest deities. A young sentry, guarding farmlands, kills the enraged god when it encroaches upon human territory.
Its animation stands unparalleled. While the stunning visuals might captivate children, the depth and nuances of the story might elude younger viewers. For adults, however, the richness of the narrative reveals itself more with each viewing.
A Whisker Away
From the outset, this film resembles Studio Ghibli’s signature style, making it easy to draw comparisons to romance anime movies like “Spirited Away.” It is rich with quirky fantastical elements, profound philosophical insights from a teenager’s perspective, and an emphasis on intricate character growth.
The story follows Muge, a young woman grappling with unrequited feelings. She transforms into a cat in her quest to get closer to the one she adores. While the plot might not be groundbreaking, its engaging pacing and the genuine rapport between characters captivate the audience.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride
The show boasts beautiful animation and intricately crafted characters. However, its slow and winding pace didn’t capture my interest. While I understand its appeal and can see why many adore it, after diving into the first three episodes, I realized it’s not my cup of tea.
Nonetheless, the creature designs truly stand out and impress.
When young Kun’s little sister Mirai arrives, he feels overshadowed and neglected by his family. In his attempt to escape, he discovers a mystical garden that acts as a portal through time. Here, he meets his mother as a young girl and embarks on adventures with an adult version of his baby sister, reshaping his understanding of his surroundings.
The film powerfully expresses the emotions of every family member, with a particular focus on the child’s perspective. It tastefully showcases the Oriental view of family without coming across as overbearing. I found it truly enjoyable.
Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) chronicles the lives of two teenagers from contrasting worlds. One boy thrives amidst the bustling streets of Tokyo, embodying the urban life, while a girl from a remote rural town remains untouched by modern technology and the city’s excitements.
Having tracked Makoto Shinkai’s previous creations, I’ve observed that many conclude on a somber note. Despite their quality, they often left me melancholic.
However, this movie offers a refreshing sweetness. Shinkai masterfully tugs at our emotions. As a fan familiar with his past works, I spent the entire movie fervently hoping for a favorable ending.
Castle In The Sky
I initially watched this in the early 90s on UK TV. Although I enjoyed it immensely, I missed recording it. As the years rolled by, its memory lingered, especially the ending. The entire castle sequence deeply resonated with me.
The film’s captivating story, memorable music, and remarkable animation reminded me of movies and anime like “Spirited Away”.
While I can rave about its excellence, viewers will inevitably have their own favorite moments. While stunning, the animation reveals its age in a few scenes.
Everyone should experience it and derive their own impressions.
A Letter To Momo
The movie chronicles a young girl, Momo Miyaura, as she navigates spiritual growth and challenges in her new life. At 11 years old and quite reserved, Momo meets three goblins straight out of an Edo-era comic book: Iwa, Kawa, and Mame.
Iwa, the large and bumbling one, exudes sincerity. Kawa, of medium build, displays cunning and greed, while Mame, the smallest, behaves sluggishly and childishly. These goblins, despite their mischief and clumsiness, play a pivotal role in Momo’s journey.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Hayao Miyazaki masterfully directs “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” showcasing the journey of a young witch, Kiki. Tradition dictates she live independently for a year, which leads her to a quaint town.
Securing a part-time role at a bakery, she kickstarts her own delivery service, navigating her tasks aboard her broomstick.
Much like “Spirited Away,” this coming-of-age tale delves into self-discovery. Both Kiki and Chihiro encounter challenges in unfamiliar settings but find the strength to conquer their obstacles.
Kana Akatsuki penned the Japanese light novel series “Violet Evergarden,” with Akiko Takase providing the illustrations. From December 2015 to March 2020, Kyoto Animation published the series under their KA Esuma Bunko imprint.
The narrative centers on Violet Evergarden, a former soldier. Her new role at a postal company challenges her to craft letters that bridge hearts and souls.