10 Best Wholesome Anime Movies To Uplift Your Spirits Right Away!!

Wholesome anime. Irrespective of the genre an anime fan says they love, one thing every anime lover can agree upon is their love for wholesome anime movies and series.

We are hardwired to watch content that has an ending that we all prefer. This is not only in the case of anime, even movies – I don’t know how many times I’ve rewatched ‘The Green Book’ and ‘Interstellar’ and the ending always gets me no matter how many times I watch it.

It does not necessarily have to be a rewatch even – the first time you watch an anime and if things go in the way you want it with a dash of wholesomeness in it, you feel so content after finishing that anime. We don’t stop thinking about the anime for days together sometimes.

The anime that are genuinely wholesome are really good mood lifters. After an exhausting and long day, we can uplift our moods by watching something that is wholesome.

Now that we are in the zone for some wholesome anime, let us help you with a list of some of the best wholesome anime movies to grace our screens. Sit back and enjoy as we kick things off with the 10th on the list.

Ikuzooooo Minnaaaa!!!

Best wholesome anime movies:

Best Wholesome Anime Movies

10.  Mai Mai Miracle:

Runtime: 93 Minutes
Director:  Sunao Katabuchi
Studio: MadHouse
Release: 21 November 2009

Mai Mai Miracle is the story of Shinko, a girl who grows up in the countryside of Tokyo listening to the stories her grandfather tells her. One such story that Shinko listens to is that of a princess who lived in the same region as her home, which was also the capital of the princess’ kingdom 1000 years ago.

With her newly made friend Kiiko who shifts school from bustling Tokyo to the countryside following her mother’s death, they both set out to make friends with the friends from Shinko’s vision. The story is set in two halves running parallelly – one telling the story of Shinko who can listen to the yearning of the princess who longs for a friend and the other with Mai Mai’s present story.

Mai Mai Miracle is a movie about the imagination of the children. It does not have a big bad villain as such rather the movie focus on the children learning to make friends and understanding their ancestors and their history. The movie will for sure be a treat to Ghibli lovers due to the obvious nature of similarities and world-building but minus the flying dragon.

It is also one of the most underrated anime movies out there.

9. Ponyo

Runtime:  101 Minutes
Director:  Hayao Miyazaki
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Release Date: July 19, 2008

Hayao Miyazaki’s 10th directorial work is a cute fest for people who love adorable characters in the movies they like to watch. The anime movie Ponyo revolves around the titular character Ponyo who one day goes about strolling in the deep waters with her once-a-human wizard turned to deep-sea dwelling father.

Ponyo decides to run off and gets in a trawler and unfortunately ends up in a glass bottle. The bottle is found by the protagonist Sousuke who rescues her after breaking the bottle and gets hurt in the process. Ponyo heals Sousuke and expresses her desire to become a human, and using the blood of Sousuke she transforms into a human while using her innate magic.

This ends up having catastrophic aftereffects. The only way to save the world is for Sousuke and Ponyo to undertake a trial.

Let us make one thing clear, even though Ghibli movies are enjoyed by the whole of the population, the movie was initially intended for children.

This wholesome anime movie has no villain, no arduous adventure for the “hero”/”heroine” to undertake, which in turn makes them to grow. The only thing closely resembling it is the last arc. The scenes and the ending is as wholesome as they get and I’m sure you’ll definitely cry and will want to watch it over and over again.

8. Night Is Short, Walk On Girl

Runtime:  93 Minutes
Director:  Masaaki Yuusa
Studio:  Science SAARU
Release Date: 7 April, 2017

Boasting some of the best animated sequences, the wholesome anime film that makes it to the 8th place is Night is Short, Walk on Young Maiden directed by Masaki Yuasa, and adapted from Tomihiko Morimi’s book of the same name. For such a simple story, the movie surely is narrated in a captivating manner. It makes you smile throughout the runtime for sure.

It is set on a night in Kyoto which through the eyes of the writer is so vibrant with every crevice of the city lit up with lights. And in the middle of the city, walking through it are 2 individuals, Kouhai and Senpai [Meaning Junior and Senior respectively].

Senpai who wants to profess his love to Kouhai is met with surreal obstacles throughout the night. These obstacles oh man!! They are so surreal and so intriguing at the same time. Some can drink endlessly, and some can eat endlessly – basically bottomless pits the entities’ stomachs are, making it weirdly hilarious.

The Senpai who tries to be utterly grandiose in his ways of approaching and confessing love, and the black-haired maiden who loves to take in things and enjoy them as they come believing it was destiny’s play that led to it, the juxtaposition of the two make for a delight watch which takes place in a single night.

Fun fact – the writer is the same person who wrote Tatami Galaxy – and it is believed that both stories are set up in the same world. In Night is Short, Walk on Young Maiden there are appearances made by characters of Tatami Galaxy, making it a treat for people who’ve seen Tatami Galaxy.

Also, this is another underrated gem you need to check out!

7. Kiki’s Delivery Service

Runtime:  103 Minutes
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Studio:  Studio Ghibli
Release Date: 29 July, 1989 

Le Miyazaki Sensei’s movies to our list – “It’s Me, Hai, I’m the Problem it’s Me.” 

Hayao Miyazaki’s fantasy movie Kiki’s Delivery Service takes the fourth spot on the list of wholesome anime movies. Majo no Takyuubinn is the story of Kiki, a girl who can fly, and her talking cat Jiji. Kiki who moves away from her home to be independent, gets a job at a bakery owned by a kind lady called Osono. Kiki uses her powers to do the delivery and calls it the ‘Witch Delivery Service.’

But her first delivery goes awry and things that follow form the rest of the plot.

Miyazaki has crafted some of the best movies with Studio Ghibli and Takahata sensei. While everyone raves about Princess, Spirited Away, and The Grave of the Fireflies, I personally feel that Kiki’s delivery service is an under-appreciated piece of fantasy fiction that is slept on by anime enthusiasts.

The relatability that we develop Kiki in her phase of down, trying to find her place in the world is extremely delicately crafted by Miyazaki sensei in a rather simple plot. Kiki’s feelings when she loses something that she owned her entire existence was all too painful for me.

Out of all the Ghibli movies, this is one that actually made me cry – out of happiness of course. It is delicately crafted and brilliantly executed even with a rather seemingly simple plot is the beauty of the movie according to me. It’s truly something that raises your spirits.

6. My Neighbors The Yamadas

Runtime: 103 Minutes
Director: Isao Takahata
Studio:  Studio Ghibli

Release: July 17, 1999

An underrated piece from Studio Ghibli is the vignette movie titled My Neighbors the Yamadas. Directed by the co-founder of the Ghibli Studios’ Isao Takahata, the movie revolves around the daily life of the Yamada family. This wholesome anime movie is made in the form of comic strips that are sometimes long and in some cases very short.

The story includes the family experiencing many different scenarios that take place from something as mundane as the family going grocery shopping to an all-out crisis. The movie captures the essence of the Yamada family beautifully in a way that you’ll start relating with the characters so much and start feeling happy for the small little moments the family experience.

This is a movie that is completely different from the fantasy drama-oriented ones that we are used to from Studio Ghibli.

With such a simple storyline this movie sells to you the idea of family – its importance in your life and what it means to have your family behind you when you face hurdles in life, whether big or something very insignificant even. This is a movie that tries to teach you to persevere and move ahead and I feel Takahata sensei has delivered brilliantly on this. Do watch.

5. Okko’s Inn:

Runtime:  94 Minutes
Director:  Kitaro Kosaka
Studio: Dream Link Entertainment, Madhouse
Release Date: June 11, 2018

Okko’s Inn is an anime movie that has some tragic undercurrents. However, once you get used to that, you’ll realize that it is one of the most wholesome anime movies out there.

The plot follows Okko, who moves to the countryside to live with her grandmother after her parents passed away in a tragic accident. She now lives at a traditional inn called Hananoyu.

As Okko adjusts to her new life, she discovers that the inn is no ordinary place. It is inhabited by playful and mischievous spirits known as yokai. Initially afraid, Okko gradually forms bonds with these supernatural beings, who become her companions and guides in the mystical world that coexists with the human realm.

With the guidance of Matsuki, a friendly ghost who takes on the form of a boy, Okko learns the responsibilities of being an innkeeper and strives to carry on her grandmother’s legacy. As she immerses herself in the day-to-day operations of Hananoyu, Okko encounters various eccentric guests, each with their own unique stories and challenges.

The film delves deep into the themes of healing and coping with loss. It is quite heartwarming to see Okko forming bonds with others, which coupled with the antics of the yokai, will make your movie watching experience quite wholesome and enjoyable.

I also want to point out the aesthetically beautiful animation in the movie, it’s vibrant use of colors and the amazing scenic shots, which will immerse you and adds to the wholesomeness of the movie!

4. My Neighbor Totoro

Runtime:  86 Minutes
Director:  Hayao Miyazaki
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Release Date: April 16, 1988

Bear with us, I know that this list is seemingly becoming a studio Ghibli stan post. But we can’t help it if they make some of the best wholesome anime movies on the planet. Relying heavily on the theme of Animism, the movie is the story of two sisters who are able to see mystical creatures and interact with them.

Satsuki and Mei are the two daughters of Professor Tatsuo Kusakabe who shift to the countryside to be closer to their mother who is recovering from an illness. While actions and interactions constitute most of the wholeness in the movie, we can’t ignore the rest of the aspects, which equally stand out!

Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro is a metaphor for a child’s imagination brought to life, filled with optimism and enthusiasm that resonates very well with not just the children, but with everyone. Subverting the classical troupe of Ghibli-Miyazaki movies is the absence of a single focused villain that they needed to overcome to end the movie – rather the movie is about the self-discovery of these two young sisters that make us a part of it.

It would be criminal of us if we did not mention the readers of its aesthetics which are top notch even by today’s standards. This movie is still a great watch to this day for kids and for adults who grew up watching the movie, it is a great movie to reminisce about the old simpler times.

3. Tokyo Godfathers

Runtime:  92 Minutes
Director:  Satoshi Kon
Studio:  MadHouse Productions
Release Date: 8 November 2003

Co-written and directed by Satoshi Kon, Tokyo Godfathers is a really wholesome anime movie that takes place over a span of 2-3 days when a rag-tag bunch of homeless people finds a baby in the trash bin.

Set on the eve of Christmas, 3 homeless people – an alcoholic named Gin, a transgender Hana, and a runaway Miyuki go through trash bins looking for presents and finds a child discarded in the trash. Hana’s motherly instincts kick in and she’ll want to find the parents and ask them why they did so.

As the trio set out on an adventure to find out the truth, they are met with some of the wackiest situations deterring them from inching closer to find the baby’s parents.

Tokyo Godfathers is a movie that explores various themes that humans individually go through and it’s their pain that connects the three main characters in the movie. The movie borders on reality and fiction making it a really good watch while some themes of surrealism only add for enjoyment.

Yet another feather on Satoshi Kon’s cap should be the way in which he has explored all the characters in the movie, giving for very good character development. Tokyo Godfather is a movie that comes full circle and will make you come back for more every time. You will enjoy every bit of it, even when you are re-watching it. Watch this movie when you are sad, the movie will end up leaving a smile on your face.

2. Whisper of the Heart

Runtime:  111 Minutes
Director: Yoshifumi Kondo
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Release Date: July 15, 1995

Again, written by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Yoshifumi Kondo, Whisper of Heart is a simple, realistic slice-of-life movie with a small pinch of rom-com thrown in. It follows a 14-year-old girl Shizuka Tsukishima and Seiji, a guy she meets and at one point a cat (cameo).

Set in a small town, the story revolves around their love for their dreams – Shizuka who wants to become a writer, and Seiji who aspires to become a master Luthier. This movie by Miyazaki is very different compared to the others as it lacks the whimsical fantasy setting which often defines them. The way things happen in Whisper of the Heart has a certain sense of realism that is not forced, and is soo subtle, that it’ll leave you smiling.

The understanding of children’s psychology by Miyazaki is top notch ensuring some really brilliant character developments. Oh, and the cohesive ending, man it is bound to leave you satisfied. Trust me, you’ll come back for more. This movie will stay with you.

1. Mirai no Mirai

Runtime:  98 Minutes
Director:  Mamoru Hosoda
Studio:  Studio Chizu
Release Date: 20 July 2018

Leaping into the first position on our list of best wholesome anime movies is one of Mamoru Hasoda’s creations, the movie Mirai no Mirai. The movie

follows Kun Oota, a four year old boy, whose life is thrown upside down after the arrival of his little sister, as she becomes the object of his parents attention.

Amid the tantrums, Kun is visited by his little sister from the future and is taken on a journey traversing time as he meets the past, present and the future selves of his family.

Hosoda has always been someone fascinated with the idea of family and he portrays his understanding wonderfully with this movie, showing it through Kun’s eyes for viewers. The movie has a brilliant background score, with music-making scenes more impactful. The art of the movie is also pretty incredible with the animations being drawn in and very minimal CGI being used. 

The movie is a visual masterpiece as you slowly fall in love with the tantrums of a toddler who is begging for attention from his parents!

Which of these wholesome anime movies is your favorite? Do you have any other titles you’d like us to consider in this list? Let me know them in the comments below!

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