Compilation of top anime of the decade list – Movie / OAV

Finally got time to post the second edition in this series of posts. This time I will be talking about anime films and OAV. The sample size for this is a little smaller but there are still some very cool results and trends based on all the lists posted by everyone.

First off, let’s have a look at top 20 movies + OAV list. I am presenting the data for movies and OAVs in a combined format since most have comparable length anyway. Besides, a lot of blog seems to interchangeably list OAV in a movie list anyway. Method used to rank them is described briefly in my first post:

Figure 1: Top 30 movie/OAV in each year (Click to enlarge)

Here are some comments:

1). General

1.1). Spirited Away really run away with this one. It registers in 18 out of 34 lists (53%) that have movies/OAV in them.

1.2). The top 20 are very high concentrated among a few directors. Kon Satoshi has 3 represented, Shinkai Makoto 3 and Miyazaki Hayao 3 and Hosoda Mamoru 2. 11 most well-liked movie / OAVs are made by only4 people. Is this just because these four are just a level above the rest or is there a lack of many consistent talents in general?

1.3) In terms of animation studios, Madhouse Animation wins by quite a long way with 6 movies in the top 20 alone. It is responsible for all of Kon’s and Hosoda’s works as well as Metropolis.  Will do more in-depth analysis of animation studios later when I have collected all the data.

1.4). Only 2 list have Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in it (despite it being the second most popular films in the list). I personally enjoy the many shout outs to the fans in the film. Having considered FFVII one of the best game ever, it was so awesome seeing Cid, Aerith and co. rendered in 3D. However, The story itself seems to take its toll and people sure recognize that.

1.5). Best rated film is Millennium Actress (12 lists gave it an average of 6.8) & Best rated OAV is FLCL (11 giving 4.9 on average)

2). Yearly look

2.1). 2004 is hands down the strongest year for shorter version of anime with 5 releases in the top 20 (Spirited Away, Millennium Actress, Read Or Die, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie & Metropolis). See Below

Figure 2: list of movie in top XX for each year.

2.2). Similar to anime series, 2000, 2008 and 2009 are down years with only 5 features in the top 30.

Figure 3: list of top movie/OAV in each year.

2.3). The three years that Shinkai Makoto released his features (Voices in 2002; The Place Promised in 2004; and 5 Centimeters in 2007) they are ranked no.1 in their respective years. How amazing is that. Miyazaki misses out on that honour when Howl’s got beat by Place Promised in 2004.

2.4). Looking at those two charts above also make me notice that 2005 is probably the worst year for short format features! Only FFVII: Advent Children, FMA: THe Movie and One Piece Omatsuri… (The one that Hosoda directed) made it to the list. And all are tied to popular game/anime franchises. Talk about a chronic lack of original movies in that year!

It’s getting late here so that’s it for now. Will post separate Movie and OAV list in the future posts + any additional analysis I think would be cool to do. Any comment on this is most welcomed!


Thanks again to all the bloggers for posting the lists:) For recognition, here are the additional movie-only decade lists that I have used for the above analysis (also added a few additional series+anime list that I have found after I made the first post:

Behind the Nihon Review – Reflection:

THEM Anime – Stig:

Japan Cinema:

Anime Dream – Matt:

Canne’s Anime Review:

Chaos Tangent:


The Mask :

6 Comments on “Compilation of top anime of the decade list – Movie / OAV”

  1. Canne says:

    Again, the credit goes to you who made this interesting and insightful analysis. I personally would have picked Millennium Actress over Spirited Away but still glad most of my picks are in the top rank. The only problem that remains is that so many of many favorites come from before 2001. So I feel that the list is kind of incomplete nevertheless.

    • aquabluesweater says:

      You are pretty right about that. This movie/OAV list feels so much more incomplete than the series list. I guess because there are fewer quality movies released, we are probably as familiar with the older films as newer ones, more so than series anyway. The fact that only three films from Miyazaki qualifies does leave quite a big crater at the top!

      Nonetheless, this list gives the best (or most popular) movies 2000s have to offer:) I should probably add this disclaimer at the top of the post. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Fact is, anime movies are really expensive to make, so it’s a high-risk thing. Because of that, only big-name directors known for doing movies are really allowed to handle those kinds of budgets. On your list, the only movie not directed by a big-name director is Sword of the Stranger, though the OVAs get far more leniency.

    Most of this list is very unsurprising, but a couple of very pleasing surprises are Petit Cossette and Metropolis making the list ❤

    As far as Advent Children goes, you actually may be surprised how few animebloggers have seen it since a lot of them (like myself) haven't even played FF7 (well, I never beat it.) I thought it was a good movie for the cool action scenes, but that was about all.

    Also, Cowboy Bebop the movie came out in 2001, not 2004.

    • aquabluesweater says:

      My bad with Cowboy Bebop The Movie. Not sure why i ended up writing it as coming out in 2004 (having actually correctly inputted it as 2001 in the datasheet!) Thanks for your thought on this. anime movie industry does seem a lot more concentrated than I originally thought. I think there are about 40 films overall that got any votes at all the last decade in my list. That really works out to only 4 ‘worthwhile’ films per year! Not as many as I would have guess for sure!

      FF7 was one of the first role-playing games I got to play (or more like my brother played and I watched:)) and I really got pretty attached to it. You can never beat the sentimental X-factor that helps to mask over other flaws the film may have!

  3. Funkgun says:

    Thanks for including me in your addition of lists.
    I often wondered if picking an odd number like 35 was going to be too odd.
    You put a lot of time into this, I find the overall numbers to be a good pulse on shows

    • Thank you very much for the comment! Your choice of 35 is certainly very unique among all the lists I have collected, that much I can say:) Top 20 is the most common (27% of my samples) and then most go for top 50 if there are going to go high. I only have one top 25, one top 30 and your top 35 inbetween.

      It took a while to collect all the data but the analysis part makes it all worth it. I hope to definitely compare this list with the ratings on Anime News Network, MyAnimeList and AniDB to find out how the wisdoms of the blogsphere compares to those on the popular English rating sites. Taking a while for me to collect data but hopefully I will get to write a post on that soon…

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