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10 Best Japanese High School Anime Movies

High school is a time of drama, learning, romance, and more. It’s a popular setting for movies worldwide and high school amine movies are their own genre in Japan.

Many people who are not familiar with a verity of anime genres should watch these popular anime films and get a new taste.

There are a lot of great high school anime movies out there, with excellent animation and compelling stories. Here are ten of the best Japanese high school anime movies:

1. Your name/Kimi no na wa (2016)

Original title: Kimi no na wa, Directed by: Makoto Shinkai. Photo Credit: Amazon.com.

Directed by Makoto Shinkai, this beautiful film is the story of a country girl and a city boy who both long for different lives and find themselves magically living the other’s life from time to time.

Romanic and heart wrenching, this movie has a lot of fantasy elements and plays a great deal with the concept of time. It is not purely a drama movie and there is a bit of thrill to be found in the film’s climax.

This film won many, many awards worldwide and is well worth a watch. Watch it now.

2. A Silent Voice/Koe no Katachi (2016)

Based on a manga of the same name, this film deals with trials and travails of high school social life as well as thoughts of suicide.

In many ways, it is a movie about forgiveness. Symbolism is very important in this movie, especially flower language. There are also short dream sequences.

Altogether, these factors elevate the film from merely high school drama to an exploration of bullying and other social issues. This has led to A Silent Voice winning international acclaim, and if you watch it you will see why.

Buy this movie here

3. Classmates/Doukyuusei (2016)

This popular high school romance drama film is the tale of two opposite boys who grow closer once they realize a mutual singing talent. Also called Classmates, this popular movie is based on an equally popular manga.

This is a much slower film than many, focused more on drama than anything else. It has won several awards and much praise. 

Watch the movie trailer on YouTube

4. The Anthem of the Heart/ Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda (2015)

The Anthem of the Heart is considered one of best Japanese animated high school drama films. The story is written by Mari Okada and directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai.

This high school drama is centered on a girl (Jun Naruse) who is rendered mute as a result of a curse. The curse does not work when she sings, opening up new possibilities for her friendships and a potential new relationship.

The songs you will listen to while watching the movie are amazing.

Lighthearted and sincere, this sweet little movie is a sure pick-me-up for any fan of romantic movies. You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video.

5. Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade (2015)

Funded through Kickstarter, this short movie is a masterpiece produced by the now-famous studio, Trigger.

When a set of witches get in trouble in witch high school, they find themselves forced to organize the annual parade that commemorates witch-hunting. Driven to put their own twist on the morose parade, they try to make it into something entirely new.

This film helped to inspire the Little Witch Academia television series and has been a huge hit with anime fans worldwide.

6. Orange: Mirai (2016)

This is another high school drama that plays with time travel. When a man, his wife, and several high school friends reunite and find themselves remembering a dear, long-gone friend.

They write letters to their past selves- letters that somehow make their way to their 16-year-old selves.

With this newfound knowledge, how will their lives change? This is an excellent look at growing up and looking at the past. Buy it here.

7. Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita (2016)

Directed by Tetsuya Yanagisawa, this high school youth romance film was released on April 23, 2016. Beautiful soundtracks, animation and story of this movie would definitely satisfy you.

If you’re looking for a tale of star-crossed high school romance, this is the high school anime for you!

Secret crushes, love confessions, and growing up are all found in this movie, as well as a good dose of drama. This is the essence of an anime high school movie and well worth a watch.

8. The Case of Hana & Alice (2015)

One part ghost story (of sorts) and all parts high school drama, this movie tells the story of Hana, Moo, Alice, and more.

Being the new girl in school is never easy and nothing turns faster- or less accurately- than a high school rumor mill.

As new girl Hana tries to find her footing, she becomes tangled in an old high school story. The movie was rotoscoped and is slightly odd to look at, but all the characters are likable, making the film well worth watching on a cozy night in.

9. Harmonie (2014)

Akiro is uniquely gifted: he can play any music he hears on the piano. When his beautiful classmate Juri’s phone plays a soothing tune, he tries to recreate it and gets an opportunity to learn more about this captivating girl.

This is a short and beautiful film. One of its primary themes is how art helps connect people and it displays this wonderfully. It’s a pleasant little gem of a movie.

10. Book Girl/Bungaku Shoujo (2010)

Based on a series of light novels, this film features the quirky girl Tohko and the young bookish man Konoha. 

As the only members of the school’s literature club, they are swept into a whole new drama when they set up a box for letter submissions.

The character designs are all based on the designs from the original light novel. This movie not only shows you youthful drama, but it has a sweet happy ending after all the tension!

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