Arrietty seems like another normal person, save for the face that she and her parents barely stand a few centimeters tall. In fact, they have to borrow from those around them. Humans have never seen one, but they do have their rumors of “the borrowers”. When Arrietty is a bit careless one day, she is discovered by a boy in the house that she and her family borrow from. His name is Shou and oddly, an unconventional friendship blossoms. This still poses a risk for Arrietty as she and her family could be discovered.
If you loved this magical journey in both story and art, then sit back, get some popcorn, or a snack of your choice, and dive on into our list of six more anime movies just like The Secret World of Arrietty that relate to it in more than one way!
Similar Anime Movies to Karigurashi no Arrietty / Similar Anime Movies to The Secret World of Arrietty
1. Hotarubi no Mori e
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Sept 17, 2011
One day, a little girl named Hotaru gets lost in the forest. She meets a man named Gin who wears a mask. He reveals himself to be a forest spirit and tells her that she must never touch him. She obeys and he leads her out. She insists on becoming friends with Gin and promises to come back every summer to visit him. Hotaru keeps her word and comes back summer after summer to visit Gin. Their friendship deepens and this culminates one day when the strength of their feelings threaten everything.
Right off the bat Arrietty and Hotarubi no Mori e are centered around a female protagonist who is happened upon by a boy and helped out. Both series also focus on nontraditional relationships and friendships that would be considered nonsensical in our everyday, mundane world. Both series sport fantastic art and showcase naïve main characters. If you love those unique friendships, then you need to see Hotarubi no Mori e.
Hotarubi no Mori e Trailer
2. Sakasama no Patema (Patema Inverted)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Nov 9, 2013
Patema lives in an underground society connected by a series of tunnels. One day, her friend disappears and she goes to search for them. As a member of the royal family, she is not supposed to be down there, and she ends up heading into a tunnel that was forbidden. This ends up leading her to falling into a pit that actually drops her into another world; but here is the thing: she is falling upwards into the sky? Now in a place called Aiga, she is saved by a boy named Age. He agrees to help her and resist the society which tells him to shun people like Patema. Their blooming friendship is not only going to touch you, it’s going to threaten everything between their worlds.
Patema and Arrietty both are strong-willed people who love to explore. This wonderlust leads both to be exposed to something that they should not be. Arrietty’s father and Patema’s family are both overbearing and chastise her for going against their well. Ultimately too, the theme of being true to oneself also leads both misfortune to befall the main characters while also allowing them to forge friendships that they never would have thought possible before!
Sakasama no Patema PV:
3. Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 19, 2014
Anna Sasaki is a lonely girl. With her constant asthma attacks, she has issues making friends. So, in order to help both her and her health, Anna is sent to the countryside to help her physically and mentally. So, she spends her days lazily drawing with her aunt and uncle in their house by the seashore. Then one day, Anna finds the Marsh House; an abandoned mansion. Anna meets the upbeat and cheerful Marnie whose energy is infectious. Before she realizes it, Anna is a changed person and meeting Marnie as much as she can. As she gets healthy though, she realizes that not everything is as it appears in this town.
Although both movies seem to be beautiful, slice of life stories, both harbor a deep sadness within them. Both Arrietty and Omoide no Marnie feature a main character who faces isolation, one forced and one ill, and both are drawn out of their reclusion by the characters they meet. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, both enjoy western themes, are from the same studio and same director, and both are based on non-Japanese novels!
Omoide no Marnie Trailer:
Any Anime Like The Secret World of Arrietty / Any Anime Like Karigurashi no Arrietty?
4. Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (Wolf Children)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 21, 2012
Hana is a university student who is in love! Well… sort of. You see she’s into this guy in her classes, but he’s not an actual student… and he’s not actually human either. In fact, he’s a werewolf. This does not deter Hana. The two fall in love and start a family. However, when he dies and Hana is left with her two children Ame and Yuki, she now has to raise these two half-werewolf children who can easily transform. The city where she lives though is not the best place to conceal their identities, so she goes into the countryside to try and raise them in secret.
Both Hana and Arrietty face terrible realities should they be found out, so as we would expect, they try to live their lives out in secrecy at first before, like other movies here, learning how to be true to oneself. In fact, self-acceptance permeates through the movies here lending to an overall positive tone. If you needed another reason to be into this movie, this was directed by Mamoru Hosoda!z
Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki Trailer:
5. Tabisuru Nuigurumi: Traveling Daru
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 6, 2012
Daru, which looks a lot like a daruma, accidentally is left behind at an airport after he is separated from his owner. Daru is a handmade stuffed toy and means a lot to his owner. So, what does any stuffed toy do in anime? Daru sets off on a journey to be reunited with her. Time passes though, and it’s clear that time is not on Daru’s side. The girl is slowly starting to forget about him. Can he make it back to her in time?
Daru, while short, still manages to do a lot in just 10 minutes. Arrietty and Daru find themselves in worlds that clearly were not made for their existence as they are so small. Both tell a journey of self-discovery and the pursuit of truth and curiosity are showcased as themes to be enjoyed. Ultimately, both will make you say “Is this it? Is this what they wanted?” while warming your heart up.
Tabisuru Nuigurumi: Traveling Daru Trailer:
6. Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 20, 2001
Chihiro is a bit of a monster. She hates the fact that she is moving and cannot get into it. However, when she and her parents stumble across an abandoned amusement park, which then turns them into giant pigs, she is at a loss. Things only get worse for her as the sun goes down because strange things start appearing. Ghosts, spirits, and beings that she has only read about in books. Then there is Haku, a boy who introduces her to a bathhouse. She needs to work to get money in order to save her parents from becoming food. However, every interaction gets a little bit more interesting.
Both Spirited Away and Arrietty take their main characters and put them into rather unwanted, and somewhat undesirable at first, situations. Both animated by Studio Ghibli, expect fantastic art and music and well as vivid imaginations played out throughout both movies. Yet again like with Tabisuru Nuigurumi and others on this list, the pursuit of truth is something both critical and quintessential to the main character and the story itself!
Spirited Away Trailer:
Arrietty may be one of the other Ghibli movies in that Hayao Miyazaki was not the director, however it still retains many of the tried and true methods that are employed by the studio in their movies. Fantastic Art, great soundtracks, a well-thought-out female lead who is multi-dimensional as well as independent to a certain extent all lend to make it a fantastic movie. There are only six movies on this list, but there are plenty of others as well that could belong here. When you are done with these six, be sure to check out their recommended lists on our site as well. Thanks so much for reading this article and if you have suggestions, we would love to hear from you. Till next time!