**Chugs a can of Monster** ACTION BABY, GUNS, FIGHTS, HAND TO HAND COMBAT THATS WHAT WE LOVE WOOO!! The action genre has been around for quite some time and we have seen it in many forms.
Having action in a medium helps elevate it to new levels whether it be pacing-wise or plot-wise. In the world of anime, action has been a staple for a lot of popular titles. Leading us into our article, we decided to rank the top 15 best action anime films that you will come to love, they consist of everything you desire when you think of the popular action genre.
- 1. Ghost In The Shell
- 2. Akira
- 3. Rebuild of Evangelion
- 4. Jujutsu Kaisen 0
- 5. Berserk: The Golden Age Arc
- 6. Fate/Stay Night Movie: Heaven’s Feel
- 7. ONE PIECE STAMPEDE
- 8. Cowbow Bebop: The Movie
- 9. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train
- 10. Gintama: The Movie
- 11. The Last: Naruto the Movie
- 12. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
- 13. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero
- 14. My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission
- 15. City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes
1. Ghost In The Shell
Ghost in the Shell is a 1995 cyberpunk anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii, based on the manga of the same name by Masamune Shiro. The movie takes place in a futuristic world where cybernetic technology has advanced to the point where humans can replace their entire bodies with robotic parts.
Ghost in the Shell is a great anime film for several reasons. First, its visuals are stunning, featuring detailed and intricate cityscapes and character designs that reflect the film’s cyberpunk themes. Second, the film’s exploration of the relationship between humans and technology is thought-provoking, and its themes of identity, consciousness and the nature of the self have resonated with audiences for decades.
The film’s action sequences are expertly crafted, combining traditional animation with computer-generated imagery to create fast-paced and thrilling scenes that keep the audience engaged. Ghost in the Shell has become a seminal work in the anime genre and a classic of science fiction cinema, inspiring countless imitators and influencing filmmakers and artists around the world.
Akira is a 1988 cyberpunk anime film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, based on his own manga of the same name. The movie is set in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo in the year 2019, where a biker gang member named Kaneda becomes embroiled in a government conspiracy involving a powerful psychic named Tetsuo.
The film’s themes of power, corruption and the dangers of unchecked technological advancement are as relevant today as they were when the film was released over thirty years ago. Akira’s action sequences are breathtaking, featuring dynamic camera work and fluid animation that captures the raw energy and violence of the film’s dystopian world.
This is a cult classic for anime fans, even non-anime fans know of Akira’s greatness. It has seen many references in pop culture. This is a MUST WATCH, even better if you go read the manga.
3. Rebuild of Evangelion
The Rebuild of Evangelion is a tetralogy of anime films, released between 2007 and 2021, which serve as a remake of the influential anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. The films follow the story of Shinji Ikari, a teenager who is forced to pilot a giant bio-machine called an Evangelion in order to protect humanity from monstrous creatures known as Angels.
As the series progresses, Shinji becomes increasingly embroiled in a complex web of government conspiracies and personal conflicts, all while struggling with his own identity and sense of self-worth. The Rebuild of Evangelion is a great action film because of its ability to balance intense, high-stakes battles with quieter, more introspective character moments, creating a story that is both thrilling and emotionally resonant.
Look, I love Asuka, she’s literally why my taste in women is the way it is. But when the fight scenes came on, I immediately forgot who she was since the action was soo well-animated that it blew me away. The 3-D CG helped the action scenes feel more impactful.
4. Jujutsu Kaisen 0
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a 2021 anime film based on the popular manga series of the same name by Gege Akutami. The film serves as a prequel to the anime series and follows the story of Yuta Okkotsu, a high school student who possesses a powerful curse that he struggles to control.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a great action film for a plethora of reasons. Its animation is top-notch, featuring highly detailed and fluidly animated action sequences that showcase the unique powers of the series’ various curses and sorcerers.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 has become a popular and critically acclaimed addition to the Jujutsu Kaisen franchise, with its stunning animation, engaging characters, and thrilling action sequences making it a must-see for fans of the series and newcomers alike. I watched this one and boy is it amazing. I mean any JJK fight is great and a pleasure to watch, but this one just takes the cake. I’m calling the Louvre and we replacing the Mona Lisa for this.
5. Berserk: The Golden Age Arc
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc is a trilogy of anime films released between 2012 and 2013, based on the dark fantasy manga series Berserk by Kentaro Miura. The films cover the events of the Golden Age story arc, which details the backstory of the series’ protagonist, Guts.
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc is known for its gritty and violent tone, with scenes of brutal combat and graphic violence that are not for the faint of heart. However, the film’s complex characters and intricate plotting have earned it a devoted fanbase and critical acclaim.
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc is a great anime film because of its ability to balance intense action scenes with quieter, character-driven moments, creating a story that is both thrilling and emotionally resonant. Despite its controversial content, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc has become a landmark work in the anime genre, inspiring countless imitators and influencing filmmakers and artists around the world. It remains a must-see for fans of dark fantasy and action anime.
6. Fate/Stay Night Movie: Heaven’s Feel
Fate/Stay Night Movie: Heaven’s Feel is a trilogy of anime films released between 2017 and 2020, based on the visual novel Fate/Stay Night by Type-Moon. The films adapt the Heaven’s Feel route of the game, which focuses on the character Sakura Matou and her relationship with the protagonist, Shirou Emiya.
As the story unfolds, Shirou becomes embroiled in a deadly war for the Holy Grail, a powerful artifact that can grant any wish. As the stakes get higher and the battles more intense, Shirou must confront his own beliefs and ideals, all while trying to protect those he loves from harm. This movie is divided into 3 parts and I recommend having some background knowledge of the series before consuming this trilogy.
The trilogy is packed with action but also focuses on worldbuilding/character-building since once again it’s a trilogy. Personally, I haven’t watched this trilogy, but I know my boss would recommend it to you, she’s a cool otaku.
7. ONE PIECE STAMPEDE
One Piece: Stampede is a 2019 anime film based on the popular manga and anime series One Piece. The story follows the Straw Hat Pirates as they attend the Pirate Festival, a massive gathering of pirates from around the world in search of the treasure left behind by the legendary Pirate King, Gol D. Roger.
The film’s pacing is expertly handled, with a steady stream of action and adventure that keeps the audience engaged and excited. The film also manages to balance the action with moments of humour and heart, making it a well-rounded and emotionally resonant experience.
One Piece: Stampede is a thrilling and entertaining action film that delivers on the promise of the One Piece franchise’s high-octane action and adventure. To my One Piece fans, you won’t be disappointed with what Oda was cooking here.
8. Cowbow Bebop: The Movie
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, also known as Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, is a 2001 anime film based on the popular Cowboy Bebop anime series. The story takes place between episodes 22 and 23 of the series and follows the bounty hunter crew of the Bebop as they investigate a terrorist attack in the city of Mars.
As the crew delves deeper into the investigation, they uncover a plot to unleash a deadly virus that could wipe out the entire population of the planet. With time running out, they must race against the clock to stop the terrorists and prevent a catastrophic disaster. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is a great action film because of its ability to blend action, suspense, and character development into a seamless and cohesive whole. The film is not just about the action, but also about the personal struggles and relationships of the main characters, which adds emotional depth and resonance to the story.
Overall, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is a thrilling and entertaining action film that captures the essence of the beloved anime series. It is a must-see for fans of the series, as well as anyone looking for a fun and excited.
9. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train is a 2020 anime film based on the popular Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga and anime series. The film picks up where the first season of the anime left off and follows the demon slayer Tanjiro Kamado and his companions, Zenitsu and Inosuke, as they board the mysterious Mugen Train in search of a demon terrorizing its passengers.
It’s a great action film because of its ability to balance the action and the emotional beats of the story. The film is not just about the action, but also about the personal journeys of the characters and their relationships with each other, which adds depth and richness to the story.
I really praise Ufotable for bringing the manga panels to life for the fight scenes. While not ranked top 5, I recommend this if you like action and supernatural fights.
10. Gintama: The Movie
Gintama: The Movie, also known as Gintama: Shinyaku Benizakura-hen, is a 2010 anime film based on the popular Gintama manga and anime series. The film follows the quirky and humorous adventures of the odd-job agency, Yorozuya, and their quest to stop a deadly plot to create a powerful weapon called the Benizakura.
As they investigate the Benizakura project, the Yorozuya team discovers a dark conspiracy involving a powerful corporation and a former ally who has gone rogue. Along the way, they face off against dangerous enemies and engage in thrilling battles to protect their city and their friends. The film’s story is engaging and suspenseful, with twists and turns that keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The film’s characters are also well-developed and likable, with each one having its own backstory and motivations.
Gintama: The Movie is a great action film because of its ability to balance the action and comedy elements of the story. The film never takes itself too seriously, but also delivers exciting and well-executed action scenes that are a joy to watch.
11. The Last: Naruto the Movie
The Last: Naruto the Movie is a 2014 anime film based on the popular Naruto manga and anime series. The film follows Naruto Uzumaki, the legendary ninja and the Seventh Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village, as he faces his most dangerous challenge yet. This takes place during his young adult era before he became Hokage in the last film.
The story takes place two years after the events of the Fourth Great Ninja War, and the world is on the brink of destruction as a mysterious moon is on a collision course with the Earth. Naruto and his friends must embark on a perilous journey to save the world and stop the evil forces behind the moon’s destructive path.
The fight scenes in this movie blew me away, I couldn’t believe my eyes watching Naruto go against the Otsutsukis! Kishimoto really put his heart into making this film and even better was that we got the answer we wanted when it came to Naruto’s relationship with Hinata. I would also recommend Boruto: Naruto the Movie for its insatiable fight scenes.
12. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a 2018 animated film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. The film follows teenager Miles Morales as he becomes the new Spider-Man and navigates his way through a multiverse of different Spider-People from various dimensions and timelines.
As Miles adjusts to his new powers and responsibilities, he teams up with a diverse cast of Spider-People, including an older Peter Parker, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker, and Spider-Ham, to stop a powerful villain from destroying all of reality. One thing about this movie is its animation, its fluidity in the fight scenes is soo mouth-watering that it received high praise among various fandoms both comics and anime.
This is a primo recommendation from me because it helped introduce other spiderman characters that are both niche and interesting. Also, it did amazing world-building and interestingly enough that it is getting a second film with even more characters to introduce.
13. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero
This film follows piccolo and Gohan as they defend the world from the new oncoming threat, the Red Ribbon Army. This film was released in 2022 and was the first to be produced using 3-D animation.
Fans of Dragon Ball are treated to a variety of easter eggs throughout the film. One of the most notable ones is the reiteration of Cell, a popular character both in and out of the fandom for its iconic role in the series. Having “Cell” come back as a villain helped revitalize some characters like Gohan, Goten, and Trunks breathing new life into them.
I had the pleasure of watching this movie in theatres and in my personal opinion, and I liked the 3-D animation quality. Also, the action in this movie is incredible albeit very aligned with what Dragon Ball action is, haha.
14. My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission
This film takes place during the Endeavour Agency Arc of the manga. Deku and Co. come together to stop a terrorist plan that would end humanity itself.
This movie received high praise from both fans and critics alike for its stunning animation quality and plot. The only iffy part of it was the character development, but hey, can’t win them all.
Like the main series, the fight scenes are pretty well done, and honestly, they are refreshing even have watched it a total of 5 times as of writing this article. I usually ask my friends what they think of modern-day anime films since a lot are being pumped out and this film is always brought up in the conversation as a great example of good action.
15. City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes
City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes is a 2019 anime film based on the popular manga and anime series City Hunter. The film follows the adventures of Ryo Saeba, a skilled detective and expert marksman, and his partner Kaori Makimura as they take on a new case in Shinjuku.
City hunter has always been about action and it’s no surprise that it’s one of the main focuses. Ryo’s expertise with guns and Kaori’s proficiency in hand-to-hand combat make for a thrilling and dynamic duo that keeps audiences engaged and on the edge of their seats.
Ryo and Kaori’s partnership is the heart of the City Hunter franchise, and the film builds on their chemistry and dynamic in a way that is both entertaining and emotionally resonant. I’m an old-school kind of guy and this is the action I grew up with aside from Rambo and Die Hard, so it’s always great to see classics get a modern treatment.
I love action, it just adds that pace changes to a story that makes me hop out of my seat and blows my mind. Whether it’s weapons, hand-to-hand combat, or even cars (FF reference), the action genre is iconic and always is a treat for viewers to enjoy. Personally, I’m a big action nut having grown up on it in my youth, so I can wholeheartedly say, action is love, and action is life.
We hope you found an action anime film that piques your interest!
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