Top 10 Heartwarming Anime Movies To Watch With Loved Ones [Best Recommendations]

More often than not, watching anime is a solo activity. However, just like most things in life, doing things together with our loved ones is just so much more fun than doing it alone. That being said, not every anime can be watched together with your partner or parents. Berserk trilogy would be a very odd choice to show to your entire family during a movie night. So what is the best movie that you can watch together with your loved ones?

Well, different people would have different answers to those questions. But for this article, it will be movies with strong familial elements, heartwarming love, interesting story, and fascinating characters. To make things more interesting, there's no movie made by the same director on this list. Now that we get that out of the way, here's the list of anime that you can watch together with your loved ones.

10. Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara (Ride Your Wave)

Let's start this list with a recommended movie for lovers. Ride Your Wave is a story about Hinako, a college girl who chose to live near the ocean because she loves to surf, and Minato, a firefighter with an incredible sense of justice. One fateful day, Minato saves Hinako from his apartment building that is engulfed in fire. One thing leads to another, they become lovers.

Unfortunately, Minato lost his life when he tried to save somebody from drowning. Hinako couldn't accept his death and fall into a deep depression. That is until she realizes that whenever she sings their favorite song called "Brand New Day", Minato will appear in the form of a water spirit. Hinako is overjoyed by this magical development, but can this situation last forever? Can Hinako learn to accept her grief and move on with her life?

This 2019 flick by Masaaki Yuasa talks about the terrible grief and how hard it is to accept the death of a loved one, and how eventually we have to learn to move on. This is one of the saddest movies on this list, but this is also something that will happen to everybody someday. Only by realizing that nothing lasts forever can we appreciate the significance of that special person in our life.

9. Sakasama no Patema (Patema Inverted)

In the world of Patema Inverted, a scientific experiment went wrong and caused a large number of people to live in an inverted gravity. The story follows Patema and Eiji, two teenagers who live in different gravity but manage to find not only an understanding but also the feeling of love between them. Together, they try to break the boundaries between their people and dispel all of the prejudice and hatred between the two vastly different societies.

Patema Inverted uses the theme of love between two different people and takes it to the extreme. Director Yoshiura Yasuhiro successfully utilizes this universal theme to tell a story packed with action and heart. And by using such a wondrous world as the setting, the viewers get to enjoy such a unique and fantastic world-building on top of the already remarkable story.

8. Mimi wo Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart)

Shizuku is a 14-year-old girl who loves to read and write stories. One day, she realizes that a boy named Seiji has always borrowed the same book as she has from their school library. One sunny afternoon, they both accidentally meet with each other.

They are at each other's throats at first, but as they get to know each other better, Seiji and Shizuku start to enjoy each other's company. That is when he tells her about his dream of becoming a Luthier, somebody who crafts and repairs string instruments. At the same time, he also encourages Shizuku to pursue her dream as a writer.

Whisper of the Heart is one of the few movies from Studio Ghibli that was not directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is a movie by Yoshifumi Kondo, and he managed to weave together a sweet romance, an inspiring coming-of-age story, and a touch of fantasy featuring a cat baron into this heartwarming movie.

7. Momo e no Tegami (A Letter to Momo)

From lovers, we now move on to stories featuring parents and children. A Letter to Momo tells the story of Momo Miyaura as she moves to a small island following the death of her father. Momo carries an unfinished letter from her father to the island and she is curious to know about her father's last words.

During her little adventure to find the truth about the letter, she gets to explore the island, talk to different people, and meet three mischievous Yokai. Unbeknownst to her, all of these seemingly disconnected things are the ones that will lead her closer to what she has been looking for all along.

A Letter to Momo is a 2012 movie by Hiroyuki Okiura. This movie is his way of describing the delicate process of rekindling the love and understanding between parents and their children. It is not an easy process, and sometimes absurd and dangerous things may happen, but once everything is said and done, there is nothing but love in the end.

6. Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo (Children Who Chase Lost Voices)

The Children Who Chase Lost Voices tells the story of an elementary school girl named Asuna Watase who just lost her father. While she’s still in the middle of accepting that terrible reality, she encounters a mysterious boy named Shun. He tells her about a magical place called Agartha.

Later on, Asuna finds out from her teacher, Mr. Morisaki, that Agartha is the realm of the dead where the God named Quetzalcoatl, resides. So begins their journey into a surreal world, filled with mysterious people and strange creatures as they go through the gate of Life and Death.

To date, Children Who Chase Lost Voices remains the most ambitious project of director Makoto Shinkai. It presents the kind of epic story that usually appears in Ghibli movies, rather than Shinkai's usual brand of real-life drama with fantasy elements woven inside it. This movie tackles the subject of life and death and the length that people will go through just to see their loved ones for one more time. Yet it also manages to tell an inspiring and heartwarming story at the same time.

5. Shika no Ou: Yuna to Yakusoku no Tabi (The Deer King)

The Empire of Zol has invaded the nation of Aquafa and leaves trails of blood in its wake. In the meantime, a mysterious infectious disease spread by the Black Wolves begins to indiscriminately take lives from both sides. Caught in the middle of this chaos is Van, an ex-soldier and prisoner of war, and a little girl named Yuna.

For some reason, they are immune to the disease. The only thing that they want is to lead a quiet and peaceful life, and yet they are now stuck amidst a destructive power struggle, strange illness, religious zealots, and fearsome soldiers.

The Deer King is the debut directorial work of Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji. They tell a story of war, disease, environmental damage, and religious fanatics, and wrapped it under a wholesome father-daughter interaction between Van and Yuna. They effortlessly blend the element of drama, action, and social commentary into one powerful movie.

4. Colorful

In a place where every soul awaits their judgment, a nameless soul is given a second chance at life. He will be put into the body of a comatose middle schooler named Makoto Kobayashi. The boy commits suicide and will soon lose his life.

The soul is given two major tasks. The first one is to remember what his sins were when he was alive. The second one is to find out what happened to Makoto that drives him to commit suicide. As if that isn't hard enough, he only has six months to find the answer, otherwise, he will be back in the land of death.

Keiichi Hara's ‘Colorful’ deals with so many sensitive and difficult tasks such as depression, loneliness, teenage angst, and suicidal thoughts. It will unravel the complex relationship between family and friends, and examine what are the effects of such a burden on a young 14-year-old mind. It is a difficult yet highly important and interesting watch for people across different generations.

3. Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro)

10-year-old Satsuki, her little sister Mei, and their father move to the countryside to be closer to their mother's hospital. As the father is overwhelmed by the amount of work and responsibility that he has to fulfill, the girls manage to find various spirits living freely around them, including the fluffy bear-like spirits called Totoro.

To cure their boredom and loneliness, the girls hang out at Totoro's lair in the middle of a large tree and travel across the village with a magical cat-like bus. There are sad and happy moments every day, but Satsuki and Mei face each day with the level of curiosity and optimism that only exists within the hearts of children.

My Neighbor Totoro is one of the best movies by the legendary director Hayao Miyazaki. And just like other great pieces of art, this movie works in multiple layers. For young viewers, it is a story about magical exploration and youthful innocence. For adult viewers, however, it is a rather heartbreaking story of children who have to find a way to entertain themselves due to their bedridden mother and busy father. And yet both perspectives work together to create a wholesome and heartwarming movie.

2. Tokyo Godfathers

On the cold Christmas morning, Gin, a homeless middle-aged man, Hana, a homeless transgender man, and Miyuki, a homeless teenage girl, find an abandoned baby among heaps of trash. Gin and Miyuki insist that they should give the baby to the police. But Hana believes that the baby, later on, named Kiyoko, would only suffer from one foster home to the next without ever having any memory of being loved. So they agreed to find the mother, based on the little information they found on Kiyoko, and talk directly to her.

So begin the journey of these three idiosyncratic individuals as they travel through the streets of Tokyo. On the way, they get tangled up with an assassination attempt at a Yakuza wedding, narrowly escaped an ambulance crashing into a grocery store, look after an old drunken homeless man who's about to die, and lots of other crazy things.

Tokyo Godfathers is one of the few movies that was made by a legendary director and storyteller, the late Satoshi Kon. In one movie, he manages to display a nuanced take on familial love, the life of people living underneath the poverty line, the interaction between people from different generations, and tells a story that is filled to the brim with heartwarming moments and plot twists. Definitely one of the best anime movies ever made.

1. Wolf Children

Hana falls in love with a werewolf and gives birth to a son named Ame, and a daughter named Yuki. Soon after, her husband died, leaving Hana to take care of her two werewolf children on her own. She decided to move to the countryside to hide her children's true identities.

But life as a werewolf, especially for children, still has tons of complications that Hana herself doesn't understand. She is honestly overwhelmed by all the work that a single mother like her has to do, but she will do everything no matter how hard it is if it's for the sake of her children. However, the time is coming when her children have to pick what is the best life for them. And when the time comes Hana can only pray that she is ready to help her precious children to choose the right path.

It is no exaggeration to say that Wolf Children is Mamoru Hosoda's magnum opus. He uses the familiar werewolf trope and uses it to tell an inspiring coming-of-age story with deep elements of familial love. He manages to capture the complexity of living as a single mother while raising two little werewolves. It is interesting, it is uplifting, and it will make you smile and sad at the same time. It is easily the perfect anime movie to watch with your loved ones.

Final Thoughts

These lists are just some of the titles that you can thoroughly enjoy watching together with your loved ones, be it your lover, your siblings, or your parents. If you like any of the movies on this list, then you should check out other works by that director because chances are, you'll also like their other projects.

Have you watched any of these movies? If you have, what do you think about it? If you haven't, is there any particular movie that caught your attention? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Shika-no-Ou-Yuna-to-Yakusoku-no-TabiWallpaper-504x500 Top 10 Heartwarming Anime Movies To Watch With Loved Ones [Best Recommendations]


Author: Harry

Harry is a manga addict first and freelance writer second. While he hasn’t read every manga under the sun, he has read an unhealthy amount of Shounen and Seinen manga. When he’s not writing in Honey’s Anime, you can find him in his personal blog:

Previous Articles