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Warning: Some anime in this article are unsuitable for people under teen age. If you are a minor, please choose another one of our articles to read instead.
Ok otakus, we have to admit that most of the anime movies we all remember are either shoujo or shounen. Isn’t there some love for josei? Well, it was a bit tricky to find highly rated non T.V. format titles, but hey! We are Honey’s Anime for a reason! So find your favorite reading spot and prepare for a journey throughout the best Josei anime movies!
10. Choujuu Densetsu Gestalt (Gestalt)
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: Jan 22, 1997
If you feel intrigued by gods, perhaps you should watch Gestalt. A long time ago, a God fell from the sky and took shelter on an island that now is known as G. Although this cursed place is not popular, Father Oliver (a priest) has decided to travel there to discover the truth. On the way, he will meet several interesting magical characters, including the powerful sorceress Ohri.
So here you go, a fantasy josei anime movie with a bit of guild flavour in it. Gestalt has a focus on female characters and in female characteristics (particularly in the villains). It also has a surprisingly good art work. The only bad point is that it was too brief, leaving us wanting more 🙁
9. Wild Adapter
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: Mar 26, 2014
Welcome to the world of the mafia! Please side with your favorite gang, take your gun, learn a good deal of self-defense and obey your superiors. Sounds relatively easy and uneventful, especially if you are called Makoto Kubota. However, one day, you have an encounter with a strange drug called Wild Adapter that can kill you in an instant… or something worse. So, how will Makoto live in the sequels?
If you like a dose of action, you might want to try wild adapter. The mafia world portrayed here is paved with dozens of guys with different personalities. Some will remind you of what betrayal is, while others remind you of companionship. Also, a few others will remind you of just how love is in a crazy, violent world.
8. Chihayafuru: Waga Mi Yo ni Furu Nagame Seshi Ma Ni
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Sep 13, 2013
The protagonist of Chihayafuru is Chihaya Ayase, an upbeat girl who dreams big. With this, we mean that she wants the Karuta Club from her school to win in the national tournament and then be at the national level. For this, she will count with the help of her friends to find new club members, train and confront rivals. Of course, that Chihayafuru will become a legend as the first female champion of Karuta! However, this special is about what happens between her, Taichi, and Sumire during the summer!
If you have enjoyed the anime or manga of Chihayafuru but are curious about what happens between the characters beyond the Karuta game, this special is for you! The animation quality is superb, as expected from an OVA. We can also see more comedy with our beloved characters. Therefore, if you like romance and want to see another side of Chihaya and company, try this summer lovey-dovey option!
7. Pet Shop of Horrors
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: Mar 2, 1999
Legend says that if you search well enough in Chinatown, you will be able to find a peculiar shop. Here, Count D will get the perfect pet for you if you sign the contract. Will you be able to take care of your new pet adequately? It could be deadly if you don’t…
Pet Shop of Horrors is one of those oldie-but-goodies animes. We have crime, mystery and true, shocking horror combined with beauty. Count D and his relationship with Leon, the detective convinced he is a criminal, evolves from distrust to friendship. If you enjoy anime with a gothic atmosphere like xxxHolic, you should really get accounted with Count D and his beloved pets!
6. Osomatsu-san (Mr. Osomatsu)
- Episodes: 1 movie
- Aired: Apr 6, 2017
The original Osomatsu was a series of manga from the sixties which followed the adventures of six nearly identical siblings: leader Matsuno, cool Karamatsu, otaku Choromatsu, depressed Ichimatsu, hyperactive Jyushimatsu and sensible Todomatsu. In the original version, they are around ten years old. In the new release, they are in their twenties and causing problems as always. As people who don’t work nor study but want to have fun, they will live several adventures while they learn to deal with their similar features but vastly different attitudes towards life.
The first thing that catches the eye in the Osomatsu-san film is the simplistic but original art style. Don’t be fooled! Osomatsu-san is a ride with the dark but upbeat adult humor. We should warn you that sensitive people might get offended. Think of South Park but without the racism and with much less violence. However, as much as the Osomatsus are funny and likeable, the real protagonist of the series is Iyami, their enemy. This ridiculous character has powerful laughs in store, and used to be so iconic that some of his moves and manierism were usual in the good, old Japan.
5. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Yotarou Hourou Hen
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: Mar 6, 2015
Talking about laughs and the past, how about going even further back in time? A man who used to live the yakuza ways ends in prison. There, his life is changed forever when he watches the Rakugo performance of the master Yakumo Yuurakutei. Once freed, the first thing our man does is to beg the master to become his disciple.
Showa Genroku Rakugo is a historical and human jewel packed in two OVA chapters. The uniqueness on depicting a not so popular art among the youngsters (Rakugo) with the drama of a difficult past for master Yakumo is superb. Above all, the natural inclination for laughter is exacerbated in the charismatic protagonist who does everything in his hands to achieve his dream of becoming a Rakugoka. Points are added for bringing along the first female-Rakugoka-to-be along the ride.
4. Honey and Clover Specials
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: Dec 23, 2005
We could not pass the special episodes from Honey and Clover! If you are familiar with the original manga, you might have found the T.V. anime a bit lacking. This is unavoidable, as adaptations always have to cut or erase parts of the story which might be too much for a mainstream public, for example. So, if you miss some of the daily life antiques of the characters, these are the episodes for you!
The first episode deals with the life in the student complex and how a new character lightens the mood. The second one is about life in Fujiwara Design before Mayama went to work there. If you want to slow down the pace or if you identify with the artist-like daily life, these heart-warming side stories will keep you company. Needless to say that the animation is even better than in the T.V. anime.
3. Nodame Cantabile Finale Special
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Apr 7, 2010
Have you ever wondered how life is at a music conservatory? You only have to step inside Megumi Noda’s world! Nicknamed Nodame, this unusual girl falls in love with Shinichi Chiaki, an aspiring orchestra director. The comedy and drama are the order of the day when you have two opposite personalities fighting for their love, but above everything, fighting for their dreams… even in a foreign country!
This is the anime to watch if you have ever experienced the expat life. It also is the canonic anime for classic music lovers! In this special episode, we catch up with one of the secondary characters, Miki Kiyora. If you are a fan of this talented and serious musician who also has to balance his dream and love life, you should definitely watch this episode!
2. Saiyuki Reload: Burial
- Episodes: 3
- Aired: Apr 28, 2007
Saiyuki Reload is based on the widely popular Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. In this version which was also very popular, the characters were reimagined according to more modern times. These quartet of friends with supernatural powers should not be crossed in their mission to stop the resurrection of the Demon King Gyuumao!
So, what does this OVA has to offer us? Well, the fans of the original book will enjoy the first encounters between Sanzo and his master (the monk who taught him all he knows), between Sanzo and Goku, and between Hakkai and Gojyo. If you feel like the action (or the looks of these guys) distracts us from some character development, these OVAs compensate for it. Besides that, we can understand better how the past lives of the characters influence their destiny and companionship.
1. Omoide Poroporo (Only yesterday)
- Episodes: 1 movie
- Aired: Jul 20, 1991
Although we had other strong competitors in the list, Studio Ghibli had to win with the quintassential Josei movie! In Omoide Poroporo, we meet Taeko Okajima, your regular office lady working in Tokyo. When she decides to pass some time with her brother-in-law in a campiran village, Taeko will open the memory box and let the past flood her present…
What is there to not love in Omoide Poroporo? From the relatable protagonist to the nostalgic atmosphere, this movie is a warm-hearted train ride for all! Although the movie touches serious issues such as the expectations society has for a woman, we also see the contrast of the urban and campiran life. In the end, one cannot help but ask if the person we were yesterday is the same (or worse, or better) than the person we are today, just like the protagonist. And, should we remind you again this is Studio Ghibli??
That sure was a ride through several genres within the Josei queendom (not kingdom ;)) Which is your favorite Josei anime movie? Comment away! See you soon 🙂