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The 20 Best Feel Good Anime Movies To Watch!

best feel good anime movies

As fiction presents itself in a myriad of different genres, anime does not fall behind due to its insane amounts of offerings in every department. You name the genre, you get a lifetime of options to watch, be it rom-com or psychological horror.

It is all there and the Feel Good genre is one of the most sought out by people looking to watch anime. But what exactly does it mean?

You see, wholesome anime are the ones typically containing a smooth and easy going plot with beautifully presented emotions and moments typically in the positive sense, but the genre of “Feel Good” provides us with a huge variety of emotions, ranging from one end to the other of a scale which eventually boils down to a blissful sense of satisfaction.

The best part about such a genre is that it can explored in any setting possible.

You can expect a feel good anime with a fantasy setting with magical beasts flying around or you can also find them in high school romance anime but as mentioned, the output is the same as despite the difference in setting, the resultant emotions are worth it.

Best Feel Good Anime Movies:

To make the job easier, we have compiled the top 20 best feel good anime movies present in the industry without discussing major spoilers so sit back, grab some popcorn and get ready!

20. Time of Eve

Runtime: 106 mins
Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Studio: Studio Rikka
Release Date: March 6, 2010

Starting off the list of feel good anime movies, we have Time of Eve. Set in a futuristic era of Japan, androids are employed by humans for work. Even though it is common to see an android everywhere, people are in the constant fear of them turning against their creators.

The main character Rikuo is in the same condition but his house droid keeps going somewhere without any form of instruction from him.

It is then revealed that she was visiting a cafe called Time of Eve, which had a special rule for everyone inside. We are not going to spoil it for you but this enables Rikuo and his friend to understand more about the Robots and their constant efforts to mix with the human society who were not treated in the same way.

As he learns more about the androids, he begins to question himself whether they are just mere tools to society or something more than that. The act of his realization is a magical process for him and he starts to look them in a different way!

19. A Whisker Away

Runtime: 104 mins
Director: Junichi Satou, Tomotaka Shibayama
Studio: Studio Colorido
Release Date: June 18, 2020

One of the more recently released movies, A Whisker Away takes the 19th spot on the list. Miyo’s life is hard due to her parents, with whom she does not get along very well but she has a place to retreat to; her crush Hinode.

Although he rejects every form of flirting she throws at him, Hinode does seem to notice when she comes to him in the form of a cat! and the best part is he does not know the fact that it is the same girl he never cared about.

As he starts spending time with her feral form, she starts to understand his family problems as he liked talking to the cat while doing his pottery.

As Miyo decides to change his mood by truly confessing her feelings, things go south and the story becomes a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

But what makes it truly special is the fact that despite the sad moments, the characters start understanding each other and the conclusion itself is very satisfying, making it a must watch. The feel good is real!

18. Her Blue Sky

Runtime: 106 mins
Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai, Miyuki Kuroki
Studio: CloverWorks
Release Date: October 11, 2019

Her Blue Sky is a story about the Aioi sisters Aoi and Akane who lost their parents a long time ago and Akane decided to cast off her dreams away of moving to Tokyo with her boyfriend to take care of Aoi.

Now thirteen years have passed and Aoi is aspiring to become a musician just like Shinno, who left for Tokyo himself, but one day the unthinkable happens and Aoi meets the younger self of Shinno and runs away in fear of him being a ghost.

They also meet the real Shinno, Shinosuke Kanomura playing in a band with his former bandmate Michinko, who was the drummer.

With the two Shinnos existing simultaneously, a myriad of emotions and nostalgia is induced within the sisters and now they have to deal with the two are who basically polar opposites of each other. Despite the challenges, the story presents a beautiful mix of emotions and the feel good factor by the end is high. Also a great choice for music lovers!

17. The Anthem of the Heart

Runtime: 119 mins
Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Release Date: September 19, 2015

Another anime directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai himself, The Anthem of the Heart is a feel good anime movie from the creator of Anohana which is filled with intense drama and beautiful romance.

Naruse‘s is a happy go lucky kid who only believes in happy endings and does not have a filter in her words, due to which she is brutally honest. But after that causes problems in her life, a magical fairy egg ‘zips’ her mouth like a zipper, rendering her unable to speak so that she wouldn’t repeat the same mistake.

She remains the same in high school but fate had different plans, as she realizes there is a way for her to express her feelings: through music.

With the help of her fellow classmates and especially Sakagami, she starts to believe that she might be able to finally express the true feelings coming from the heart, as the title suggests. It offers raw high school drama with a heavy feel good factor as we follow Naruse on her quest to express her feelings. As expected from Nagai, he never fails to create beautiful anime movies.

16. Josee, the Tiger and the Fish

Runtime: 98 mins
Director: Koutaro Tamura
Studio: Bones
Release Date: December 25, 2020

Next up on the list comes a must watch for feel good anime fans, which is Josee, the Tiger and the Fish. It is a story about Tsuneo, a university student with a passion of marine biology who dreams of going abroad to study.

As he is looking for jobs to save up money, he encounters Josee, a young crippled girl on a wheelchair whose grandmother fatefully offers Tsuneo the job of her caretaker. Although he gets a job and has a chance to save up more money, her rude behavior makes it a tough time for him.

As time passes on Tsuneo starts losing his calm and ultimately decides to leave the job but then learns about Josee’s dream of travelling to the outside world which she herself considers to be a pipe dream.

Tsuneo realizes her predicament and makes his mind to help her. With the beautiful artwork and sceneries together with the bond that forms between the two of them makes this one of the top feel good anime movies out there.

15. Flavors of Youth

Runtime: 3 segments, 26 mins each
Director: Haoling Li
Studio: CoMix Wave Films
Release Date: August 4, 2018

Set in the streets of China, Flavors of Youth is a collection of three episodes and three different stories about people realizing the hardships of adult life after growing up. The episodes are called The Rice Noodles, A Little Fashion Show and Love in Shanghai.

In each of the stories we go through the lives of certain characters who reminisce of the past and induce nostalgia but the simple moments and memories of our childhoods like spending time with the family or eating our favorite dish is what leaves a strong mark in us.

The crisp animation along with the beautiful audio design makes the trip down the memory lane a very relatable topic to everyone and even though this movie is a homage to 5 centimeters per second, it is gained its own standing in the world of feel good anime. Even though the topics might seem to be induce more of a nostalgic feeling, the ending of each story leads to a happy conclusion and anyone watching will fall in love with the dynamics between of all the characters!

14. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop

Runtime: 97 mins
Director: Kyouhei Ishiguro
Studio: Signal.MD, Sublimation
Release Date: July 22, 2021

Another entry for music lovers, Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop is a well done anime movie with a peculiar artstyle and an interesting setting. Cherry’s passion for Haiku is evident as keeps writing all day and posting on the internet, although no one gives any attention to it and on the other hand Smile is a budding influencer spreading positivity everywhere.

Despite their supposedly normal lives, they have their own insecurities due to which they have to limit their social interactions.

Their chance encounter changes everything as they both start working in the same welfare facility during the summer time. They both are tasked with helping a senile old man find something very dear to him before he loses memory of it and they start the search in the scorching summer heat!

There are a lot of dynamics and subplots at play but it wouldn’t have been on the list if not for the feel good factor as the relationship between Cherry and Smile start to grow, fighting off each other’s insecurities. Even if you are put-off by the animation at first, it’ll grow on you as you watch the movie, and realize that it goes well with it’s narrative style.

13. Garden of Words

Runtime: 46 mins
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Studio: CoMix Wave Films
Release Date: May 31, 2013

Makoto Shinkai never ceases to put out excellent movies and he does not even need to have them run for two hours straight as Garden of Words is a fantastic representation of personal struggles and relationships under an hour of runtime.

It is the story of 27 year old Yukino Yukari and 15 year old Akizuki Takao struggling to live in their respective teenage and adult life. After a fateful encounter, they continue meeting throughout the rainy season as they realize that they both can make each other forget about their worries, even though temporarily.

The main focus of the story is arguably the rain, as the drops falling down on the small shelter where they sit on adds a lot of depth to the moment. This movie also explores the idea of a huge age gap and how maturity is achieved differently by people, despite of age.

Yukari never opened up but Takao was able to share his passion through and through and she does acknowledge the fact that the time they spent together meeting up saved her from her depressing life. The show ends on a hopeful note as Takao does not lose hope and plans to find Yukino after becoming successful in his career.

12. When Marnie Was There

Runtime: 102 mins
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Release Date: July 19, 2014

Here we have another entry by the visionary Studio Ghibli named When Marnie Was There, which is a story about the young Anna Sasaki who was sent to the countryside. She was suggested so by the doctor as the cleaner and less stressful life would help her relax and improve her condition of health which was down due to asthma.

As she discovers her passion for sketching and meets the strange girl Marnie, her summer life was going to change forever. The chance encounter with Marnie was decided to be kept as a secret as they both become fast friends.

As the story opens up, many secrets are revealed and it seems Marnie has a mysterious background but despite all of that, the subjects of adolescence, friendship and mystery are well presented with the ever beautiful art style by the talented folks of Studio Ghibli.

The revelation is fantastic with a massive twist as the characters improve themselves and their relationships but in front of everything, the feel good factor is present in abundance.

11. Penguin Highway

Runtime: 118 mins
Director: Hiroyasu Ishida
Studio: Studio Colorido
Release Date: August 17, 2018

Penguin Highway takes the eleventh spot on the list. Aoyama is a curious and intelligent child who keeps a note of everything he learns in a notebook. Despite other kids of his age teasing him all the time, he will not leave any mystery to be left unsolved.

The plot actually triggers when penguins start appearing in his town all of a sudden. Nobody knows from where or how did they came to that place but this only fired up Aoyama’s curiosity as he sets to find out more about this bizarre condition with his crush who interestingly enough is the local dentist.

As they try to get deeper into this phenomenon of randomly appearing Penguins, strange events start to occur and Aoyama realizes that not everything can be understood easily and be explained in words. Coupled with beautiful artstyle, music and visual direction, Penguin Highway is highly recommended for animal lovers. And with the buildup to the ending, it is worthy of getting the label of a feel good anime movie.

It also won the Excellence Award on the 22nd Japan Media Arts Festival.

10. The Boy and the Beast

Runtime: 119 mins
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Studio: Studio Chizu
Release Date: July 11, 2015

As we make our way to the top ten list, the first entry to introduce us to the best ones is The Boy and the Beast. The story revolves around nine year old Ren who has no home and no family.

As he finds himself lost in the alleys of Shibuya, he stumbles across Kumatetsu, a demon who is the potential candidate to become the new leader of the Demon Kingdom. Their fateful meeting changed each other’s lives as Kumatetsu now had a disciple to train and Ren now someone to call family.

He now goes by Kyota who trains to fight under Kumatetsu who is slowly gaining supporters unlike before and Kyota is slowly becoming adept at fighting.

But this is not all as Kyota is not a demon and his true place resides in the human world. Kyota’s struggle to exist in both worlds and Kumatetsu’s own struggles leads to a very satisfying development in character and an action driven plot. The growth of the different creatures is unmatched as the satisfying ending is like a cherry to the top.

9. Howl’s Moving Castle

Runtime: 119 mins
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Release Date: November 20, 2004

One of the best creations of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, Howl’s Moving Castle is not only one of the best feel good anime movies but also in an overall sense. Most of you may have seen this movie already but those who haven’t, fret not as it is better late than never.

The basic theme portrays a sophisticated mass of architecture flying on it’s own, where Howl resides. The mere act of saving Sophie results into a myriad of problems as she has to now accompany this eccentric wizard with his war.

Winner of multiple awards in multiple years even after release date, it is no doubt that the movie’s reception was impressive.

As expected from the likes of Ghibli, the art style and sound design is off the charts and the different themes portrayed are add up to the experience but what makes this movie an absolute blast to watch are the different characters with their different attitudes and roles which fills up the heart to its brim, making it one of the best feel good movies out there which can enjoyed by people of any age.

8. A Letter to Momo

Runtime: 120 mins
Director: Hiroyuki Okiura
Studio: Production I.G
Release Date: April 21, 2012

A Letter to Momo is a beautiful and outstanding anime movie which talks about the life of children after losing a parent. Momo, a young eleven year old girl has to shift to a remote island from the main city of Tokyo and the only memento she has from her father is a letter which stated to Momo, with only two words written: “Dear Momo”.

This leaves a massive unrest in her heart as she constantly spends time thinking about what he could’ve meant with that supposed letter.

As she tries to settle in her new life of the relatively detached world of urbanization, she stumbles across a book about Youkai which triggers her meeting some new interesting yet troublesome friends.

These two supposedly different subplots lead to Momo’s growth as a character and brings her closer to understanding what her father meant with that unfinished letter. A very peaceful yet bizarre story, it is also a winner of multiple awards and is a beautiful representation of the rural life.

7. From Up on Poppy Hill

Runtime: 95 mins
Director: Gorou Miyazaki
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Release Date: July 16, 2011

The Miyazaki family have it in their genes to create masterclass after masterclass as From Up on Poppy Hill is made by Gorou Miyazaki, the son of the renowned Hayao Miyazaki.

A simple yet powerful story, Umi Matsuzaki is a responsible girl who does a lot of chores and also makes out time to go to school but due to the upcoming Olympic games, the clubhouse was decided to be demolished for it to become a modern building.

This wasn’t not taken lightly by the students as they all start to spread information throughout the town in order to prevent it.

Umi finds herself working for the newspaper club where she meets Shun Kazama who doesn’t know much about his past. She then tries to help the boy to look for his origins but things get really interesting as it seems that their origins are connected in a way.

The way the movie connects their past and present scenarios gives the viewer a heavy heart but the after the satisfying ending, you will feel good that you continued to watch till the end. Its reach didn’t stop at Japan as it has also won a couple of foreign awards.

6. Only Yesterday

Runtime: 118 mins
Director: Isao Takahata
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Release Date: July 20, 1991

As we climb the ranks higher, we find ourselves with familiar names but Only Yesterday is in fact an underrated gem of the 90s which may have not received enough reception even though created by Studio Ghibli but that does not stop it from being higher on the list.

Recommended for adult audiences more, the story revolves around Taeko Okajima, an independent woman living in Tokyo, chooses to visit her family in the countryside to help with the harvest, which will also serve as a respite from her city life.

As she movie progresses, she compares her lifestyle with the ones when she was a child, reliving past memories. The film is nostalgic and bittersweet, following Taeko’s struggle as an adult woman coming to grips with her childhood goals in comparison to the person she is today but as she develops a passion for farming and harvesting again, she realizes what was missing from her life and decides to take a different turn.

The ratings received are pretty high and is great portrayal of nostalgia but that does that fail to make it a beautiful feel good anime movie.

5. Tokyo Godfathers

Runtime: 92 mins
Director: Satoshi Kon
Studio: Madhouse
Release Date: November 8, 2003

Entering the top five and we start with Tokyo Godfathers. It is story about the trio of Hana, Miyuki and Gin who are planning to enjoy the Christmas Eve in there own way i.e. by looking through the heaps of garbage in the dump yard for “presents” but their chance encounter with an abandoned new born in the cold winter night was responsible for the journey they embark to in this movie.

They name the child “Kikyo” and decide to find the baby’s mother for an explanation, having some clues to help them.

As they start looking everywhere, they stumble across unprecedented events that makes their search for the baby’s mother not an easy one. Their bond with the baby grows as they go through the hardships and solve the mystery behind the abandoning of the baby.

The movie ends with a taste of fulfillment and content as they make their Christmas Eve a special one. This movie won the Excellence Prize at the 2003 Japan Media Arts Festival and the Best Animation Film at the 58th Mainichi Film Awards.

4. Your Name

Runtime: 106 mins
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Studio: CoMix Wave Films
Release Date: August 26, 2016

Definitely the most famous title of all time, Your Name is blockbuster hit and one of the highest grossing anime films ever. Although it is strange knowing that someone reading this list may not have watched this Makoto Shinkai masterpiece, but we don’t judge anyone here and in the end it is better late than never.

In brief, it is the story of Taki, a boy living in Tokyo and Mitsuha who lives in the countryside, dreaming to live in Tokyo. Fate makes it move as it may seem that Mitsuha’s dream might actually have a chance to come through.

Without spoiling too much, a sudden event takes place and lets say Mitsuha actually reaches Tokyo but for someone who hasn’t watched it, the surprise is not worth spoiling as now these two seemingly random individuals without any connection now live in a world where they affect each other’s life significantly.

As expected from a Shinkai Makoto masterclass, everything from animation to story to music to emotional moments to a satisfying conclusion is top notch and if you haven’t watched it already, we hope this short summary encouraged you to do so! What are you waiting for?

3. The Ocean Waves

Runtime: 82 mins
Director: Tomomi Mochizuki
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Release Date: May 5, 1993

The last entry from Studio Ghibli, Ocean Waves takes the spot of bronze medal for the best feel good anime movies.

Just like Only Yesterday, it is another one of Studio Ghibli’s underrated pieces of art as it was focused more on the high school teenage life than children but having one of the most satisfying endings ever, it wouldn’t have been justice to not have it on the list.

The story follows the life of Taku Morisaki, his friend Yutaka Matsuno and Rikako Muto, a beautiful girl transferred from Tokyo into the city of Kouchi.

Even though Rikako is a gifted student both academically and athletically, her seemingly harsh attitude makes her unapproachable. The story gets more complicated as Taku learns about Rikako’s past and a love triangle gets formed between Taku, Rikako and Matsuno.

Now Taku has to to figure out how to balance his friendship with the intrusion of a girl into their lives. The character growth is apparent and although it may come of as a slow start, the ending is a masterclass which deserves to experienced by everyone.

2. Mirai no Mirai

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

Understanding the importance of siblings and a family is important and Mirai no Mirai does that job wonderfully. The adorable four year old Kun never had any worries in life as he was the center of attraction to his parents. Along with his dog Yukko, he enjoyed his life but everything changed when his little sister Mirai was born and all the attention turned towards her!

The jealous Kun now does not receive as much love and care as before but this is not the end for the little Yun.

After meeting a strange man who would help him travel through time, Yun embarks on a journey to meet the past, present and the future versions of his family which opens up his mind to their personal lives and how a person behaves in different stages of life.

Yun’s journey to understand his family and to become a better older brother is met with a variety of ups and downs but despite all of that, the viewer will be satiated with the conclusion. It was in fact the first non-Ghibli movie to receive a nomination in the academy awards for Best Animated Feature.

1. A Silent Voice

Runtime: 130 mins
Director: Naoka Yamada
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Release Date: September 17, 2016

Our journey of discovering the best best feel good anime movies is coming to a close but we shall close it in the best way possible. The biggest rival to Your Name, both releasing in the same year and with some of the best character development ever seen, it is no doubt that A Silent Voice stands at the pinnacle of this beautiful genre of anime.

In brief, Shouya Ishida is someone who only cares about one thing i.e. to find ways to amuse himself out of boredom. He does not care how he achieves this and his next target is Shouko Nishimiya, a deaf girl.

That is all for a summary as each and every moment is presented with the extreme attention to detail and it would be shame to spoil any moment in the movie. What makes it stand out the most is the wide range of emotions that one feels while watching as we follow their lives through the surreal 130 mins.

It won’t be surprising if you finish a whole box of tissues but one thing is for certain: the tears of sadness WILL turn into tears of happiness by the end of the story and that folks, is the best feel good anime movie of all time, without a doubt.

Conclusion

Feel Good anime is certainly different from your usual wholesome types but if you watched even one of these movies in the list, you know that they are worth your precious time.

We have also seen entries of different varieties, ranging from teenage life to fantasy settings that can provide such a feeling and even if you have not watched any of them, it is never to late to get into as these movies are available easily on many famous streaming platforms and also have a huge fanbase on social media so you don’t have to worry about feeling left out and happiness is surely present at the other end.

Also what other anime movies can you think of that can be mentioned in this list? Do let us know down in the comments below so that we can keep exploring the boundaries of the feel good realm.

2 Comments
  • Thank you for putting together this fantastic list of Feel Good anime movies. I haven’t had the chance to watch Penguin Highway, A Letter to Momo, or Her Blue Sky yet, but they all sound intriguing. I think I’ll start with Her Blue Sky, as it seems to be right up my alley.

    • We are glad that you enjoyed the list! Also do share it with your friends as we always encourage an engaging discussion with other people.

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