2023 isn’t over yet. However, the year has already seen some wonderful anime movies released, including some big-screen adaptations of popular mangas, novels, and original works.
And, while there is still more to come before the year wraps up, we’re already looking at eight of the best new anime movies in 2023.
One of 2023’s earliest anime movie releases, Blue Giant, is based on the manga by Shinichi Ishizuka. The film premiered in theaters on February 17 and is directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa.
It follows a high school student named Dai Miyamoto, who is interested in jazz and takes up the tenor saxophone. Dai practices by the riverbank and, after graduating, moves to Tokyo to pursue a musical career. He stays in the apartment of his high school classmate Shunji Tamada and meets Yukinori Sawabe, a talented pianist, at a live house.
Dai then invites Yukinori to join his jazz band. Yukinori, although initially hesitant, is moved by Dai’s saxophone playing and eventually agrees. Dai also inspired Tamada and took up the drums, and the three of them eventually formed the jazz band, “JASS.” The three friends work toward achieving their goal of performing in Tokyo’s top jazz club.
Blue Giant stars Yuki Yamada as Dai Miyamoto, Amane Okayama as Shunji Tamada, and Shotaro Mamiya as Yukinori Sawabe.
The Boy and the Heron
Another one of the best new anime movies in 2023 is The Boy and the Heron. It’s the latest anime movie by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli and inspired by the 1937 novel by Yoshino Genzaburo, “How Do You Live?.” Miyazaki has often cited the book as his favorite and the basis of his latest movie. It premiered in Japan on July 14, 2023, and is set to air in US theaters and IMAX on December 8, 2023.
The film follows the story of a young boy named Mahito, who is yearning for his mother. Mahito embarks on a journey that bridges the worlds of the living and the dead. The Boy and the Heron once again highlight the power of friendship.
Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki serves as the film’s producer, with music by Joe Hisaishi. The theme song is performed by Kenshi Yonezu and stars Soma Santoki as Mahito and Masaki Suda as the grey heron.
Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom
The fantasy-romance anime film is an adaptation of the manga by Nao Iwamoto and animated by Madhouse. Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom premiered in Japan on January 27, 2023.
Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom take place in a world where countries are in the midst of disputes with each other over the smallest of things. But as their disputes escalate into war sparked by dog poop, the gods decide that the most beautiful girl from the Gold Kingdom will marry the smartest man from the Water Kingdom.
Enter Sara, the princess of the Gold Kingdom, and meet Naranbayer, a man from the Water Kingdom. They agree to marry each other for the sake of keeping the peace between the two kingdoms. However, their plan gets complicated when they start to genuinely have feelings for each other.
Gold Kingdom and Water Kingdom stars Kento Kaku as Naranbayer and Minami Hamabe as Sara.
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War: The First Kiss Never Ends
The anime movie follows the events of the Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 3, which aired in 2022. After its theatrical release on February 15, 2023, the movie was available to stream on Crunchyroll in two parts on March 31, 2023, and April 2, 2023.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War: The First Kiss Never Ends follows Student Council Vice President Kaguya Shinomiya and President Miyuki Shirogane’s blossoming romance at the Shuchin Academy student council room.
Kaguya and Miyuki finally acted on their feelings and shared their first kiss at the Hoshin Festival. But even with their first kiss, there hasn’t been a clear confession of love yet. Kaguya and Miyuki are forced to navigate their feelings for each other.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War: The First Kiss Never Ends is already available to stream in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
Doraemon: Nobita’s Sky Utopia
For something a little more kid-friendly, there’s the anime movie Doraemon: Nobita’s Sky Utopia, which premiered in Japan on March 3, 2023.
Based on one of the longest anime series of all time, the movie follows the 10-year-old boy Nobita Nobi. and a robot cat from the future named Doraemon. Doraemon is tasked to keep Nobita out of trouble, but as he tries to do so, they go on a journey to find the perfect world in the sky.
The Feast of Amrita
The Feast of Amrita follows a young girl who is plagued by hallucinations and a constant ringing in her ear. She and her friends end up witnessing a man jump from a skyscraper. But when they investigate, the body is nowhere to be found. The hallucinations then spread to her friends and they are trapped in a reality where they don’t know how to escape.
The anime movie is directed by Saku Sakamoto and premiered in Japan on May 26, 2023.
Having premiered in Japan on May 12, 2023, Psycho-Pass: Providence is the new anime movie in the Psycho-Pass series. The prequel to Psycho-Pass 3, Psycho-Pass: Providence premiered in US theaters on July 14, 2023.
The movie takes place in the near future, where the surveillance network called the Sibyl System monitors all human psychological states to maintain order. The title of the series refers to the measured value of a person’s psychic state. Psycho-Pass: Providence follows the lives of Akane Tsunemori, Shinya Kogami, Arata Shindou, and Kei Mikhail Ignatov.
While the anime movie Suzume premiered in Japan in 2022, it only arrived in the US on April 14, 2023. Suzume is the latest movie from CoMix Wave Films and Makoto Shinkai, with music from RADWIMPS and Kazuma Jinnouchi.
It follows the titular character Suzume, who holds the key to avert disaster by closing mysterious “doors.” She’s a 17-year-old residing in Kyushu, who crosses paths with Sota, who is looking for a special “door.” There, Suzume discovers an ancient door hidden in the mountain ruins, setting a chain of events in motion. Mysterious doors soon open all over Japan, and it’s up to Suzume and the gang to close them.
Did your favorite anime movies from 2023 make the cut? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!