Home Movies Movie Features

The Greatest Film and TV Anime of All Time

In collaboration with Monsutā, we bring you some of our favourite anime films and TV series for newcomers and diehard fans alike

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Once considered merely a segment of fringe subculture, anime has exploded in recent years, smashing international box office records and becoming a means of escape for casual fans and self-confessed otaku alike. Whether you favour the kawaii or the kowai, one thing that can be said of most anime is that their immersive worlds, relatable characters, and larger-than-life stories resonate universally.

From the giant-sized sumo to the Okinawan cityscape, the artwork adorning Monsutā’s cans is inspired by anime’s larger-than-life stories and the landscape of Japan, where its drinks are made and canned. In collaboration with Monsutā, we bring you some of our favourite anime films and TV series for newcomers and diehard fans alike, with some objective metrics to avoid the otaku outrage. 

Highest Grossing: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train (2020)

From Nintendo’s Animal Crossing to YOASOBI’s “Racing Into the Night,” Japan provided a lot of what kept people entertained during pandemic lockdowns. Ranking highly on the list was anime, with Netflix quoting a 50% increase in anime viewers in 2020 compared to the year before, a large percentage of this being Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba viewers.

When the first series culminated in the feature-length film Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, it quickly smashed box office records to become the highest-grossing film of 2020. The film, marked by its rich animation and intense action scenes, picks up where the series left off, with Tanjiro and his friends embarking on a mission to investigate mysterious disappearances aboard the Mugen Train.

Oscar Winner: Spirited Away (2001)

The first and (to this date) only Japanese anime to win an Academy Award, it’s hard to look past Spirited Away as one of the greatest anime of all time. Released during what’s commonly referred to as Studio Ghibli’s golden era, the film sees director Hayao Miyazaki continue his spotlight on female protagonists with Chichiro at the centre of an otherworldly bathhouse as she fights to rescue her parents and return to the natural world. Brimming with lush, hand-drawn visuals, humour, no shortage of monsutās, and a memorable score, it’s no wonder the film, after over 20 years, is still considered one of the best anime films ever released. 

Most Influential: Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)

From an influence perspective alone, Evangelion helped to rescue what was a waning industry at the time, breathing new life into the mecha genre and anime as a whole, bringing with it legions of new anime fans. Tackling religious, philosophical, and mental health themes, the series set new standards for storytelling in anime, helping to legitimise it as an art form beyond the cheaply produced, high-output model of anime production that preceded it. Couple that with some great feature-length outings (even the new ones) and undoubtedly the best intro song in existence and it’s hard to argue that Evangelion is not one of the greatest anime series of all time. 

Fan and Critic Favourite: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009 – 2010) 

With a 100% Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes and consistent pride of place amongst innumerable otaku blogs, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is widely considered (and rightly so) as the best anime series of all time. The 2009 series came shortly off the back of the earlier 2003 series, sticking much more closely to the original manga source material.

The series follows brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric as they battle monsutās and government conspiracy to restore their damaged bodies after a failed attempt at using alchemy to bring their mother back to life. Like many other popular anime series like Attack on Titan and Berserk, Brotherhood brings with it huge amounts of thematic substance, but on top of that, balances lighthearted humor, stunning and varied animation, and superbly written characters to make it one of the most memorable and thought-provoking pieces of television ever made. 

With many of our favourite anime available on streaming services and Monsutā’s drinks available from BWS, Dan Murphy’s and Jimmy Brings, there’s no time like the present to crack open a cold drink and explore the world of Japanese anime.  

Monsutā alcoholic beverages are available at BWS, Dan Murphy’s, and Jimmy Brings.