with Jujutsu Kaisen 0 and bubble already making waves earlier this year and a new movie on the way in late 2022 from acclaimed director Makoto Shinkai, who was responsible for the sensational Your Name and Weathering With Youthere’s no doubt this year will be remembered as a classic when it comes to anime movies.
With new movies in the One Piece and Dragon Ball Super franchises as well, anime fans on Ranker had a tough time voting on which movies deserve to be considered the biggest and best releases of 2022. These are the titles they deemed the most unmissable.
Note: Ranker lists are live and continue to accrue votes, so some rankings may have changed after this publishing.
10 Fruits Basket: Prelude (June)
Whilst the critical response to Fruits Basket: Prelude hasn’t been overwhelmingly positive for a few reasons, it will be sure to please fans of the rebooted series who are eager for any amount of new content. New content is one of the issues of the movie, however, much of which is simply a recap of things the audience has seen before.
As the title “Preludeimplies though, there is what amounts to a new episode that acts as a prequel to the series, telling the story of how fan-favorite protagonist Tohru’s parents met and fell in love. There is also some content taking place after the series, which may have been enough to please even the most skeptical of Fruit Basket fans.
9 To All Of You That I Loved/To The Only Me Who Loved You (October)
Although it might be unfair to consider two movies together, To All of You That I Loved and To The Only Me Who Loved You are two closely related multiversal movies, intended to be watched together. Both romance movies are to be released on the same day and center on the same basic premise, that there are parallel worlds and it’s possible to move between them.
In one, the premise is used by two lovers to escape from a scenario that would prevent them from being together, and, in the other, an isolated student is suddenly visited by someone who claims to be his lover from a parallel world. Whilst a lot is still to be seen, the novel release has captured a lot of fans’ imaginations, creating a fair amount of hype.
8 Drifting Home (September)
An upcoming addition to Netflix’s growing library of great anime movies, Drifting Home is a story of two childhood friends who find themselves apparently transported to the middle of the ocean while exploring the soon-to-demolished building where they grew up. Not much is known beyond that but the trailers suggest it will be a beautiful and vibrant fantasy adventure.
Studio Colorido, who produce the movie, has a track record too, as they were also responsible for another Netflix hit in the form of A Whisker Away. Of course, how well the premise works will depend a lot on how good the anime’s ending is but, for now, there is understandably a lot of excitement ahead of its Fall release.
7 Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (August)
Although it was already released in June in Japan, fans in the US will likely have to wait until August to see the latest outing for the dragon ball franchise. The twenty-first dragon ball feature film but the first to use primarily 3D animation, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is guaranteed to bring the intense action everyone’s come to expect from the series.
The movie is centered on a new threat heading toward Gohan and Piccolo in the form of two powerful androids created by the Red Ribbon Army, Gamma 1 and Gamma 2. With heavy involvement from series creator Akira Toriyama, the movie will no doubt be a treat for dragon ball fans and it’s no surprise it’s a popular choice.
6 Belle (January)
Reinventing fairytales is a formula that’s worked time and time again and Belle is yet another example of how it can be done right. Based on the story of Beauty and the Beast, the movie takes place in the virtual world of U, where the protagonist becomes a popular singer referred to affectionately as “Belle”.
The Beast in this version is the Dragon, an incredibly powerful user who’s vilified by the inhabitants of U but draws the attention of a curious Belle. With the added element of both having online and offline personas, it makes for an interesting take on a classic story and one that worked well for audiences when it was finally released at the start of this year.
5 That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime: The Movie – Scarlet Bond (November)
For those who haven’t had the chance to get invested in one of the most inventive isekai series around, it’s worth noting that That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime often gets ranked insanely highly even in the intensely competitive category of best fantasy anime series. Things have ramped up a lot by the time of this movie’s events, so it’s worth getting caught up.
For those who are already familiar, the movie picks up with Rimuru Tempest and his friends in a small country located to the west called Raja which has a dark conspiracy at its heart. The series has a strong and loyal following so there’s a fair amount of buzz already ahead of the movie’s November release.
4 Bubble (April)
Thanks to its high profile Netflix release, bubble managed to get plenty of attention earlier this year. The movie is directed by Tetsuro Araki and produced by Wit Studio, both of Attack on Titan fame, and that’s more than enough reason why bubble is worth a try on its own for a lot of anime fans.
Luckily, the story is also intriguing. Set in a future where Tokyo is suddenly the site of a gathering of gravity-destroying bubbles and the only people who remain there are parkour-obsessed youths, bubble may not be the most grounded movie but that ends up working to the benefit of a popular movie that’s full of fun action.
3 One Piece Movie: Red (August)
As the 15th One Piece movie released tangentially to the long-running and widely beloved series, it’s no surprise that they seem to be willing to take a few risks with this one. Instead of just Luffy, red looks to expand on the lore of a character that has become a fan favorite despite having a lot less screentime – Shanks.
In doing so, it will also introduce a major new character in the form of Shanks’ estranged daughter Uta, a world-famous diva with a striking character design even for a One Piece character. Although it might not be of much interest to anyone not invested in the series, red only has to please One Piece fans and it will certainly be a hit.
2 Suzume’s Door-Locking (November)
Whilst 2019s Weathering With You didn’t quite achieve the same immense level of critical and commercial success for Makoto Shinkai as Your Name, it demonstrated a director still in fine form. Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of anticipation ahead of his latest effort, which centers on mysterious doors that begin appearing throughout Japan.
Anyone familiar with his other movies will know to expect romance, natural disasters on a massive scale, and, of course, absolutely gorgeous visuals. Despite a late 2022 release meaning it likely won’t be released until early 2023 in the US, that hasn’t stopped it from being one of the most anticipated movies of the year.
1 Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie (March)
After being one of the biggest hits of 2020, Jujutsu Kaisen left a lot of fans of the anime hungry for more. just when it was needed, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 was finally released late last year and immediately became one of the biggest anime movies ever. With its release in the west earlier this year, overseas fans finally got to enjoy its all-out thrills.
As its title suggests, the movie is a prequel but, rather than that making it irrelevant, it’s considered pretty fundamental to the series. It also makes itself a must-watch by telling its own fascinating story of how Yuta and Rika became such a powerful combination and it does so in typically stylish Jujutsu Kaisen-fashion. The movie hits all the right notes for the series’ fans.
NEXT: 10 Best Anime Movies On Amazon Prime Video, Ranked By My Anime List