Japan's Most Recommended Anime Films Of 2012

Back in November, 1049 Japanese people were asked by survey company goo Ranking to choose which animated or Tokusatsu (think Godzilla or Power Rangers-style) movies of 2012 they would recommend to other people. Here are the top five recommended films of 2012 — all of which are anime.

#1 — The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki

The most recommended movie by a wide margin was The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki. This is a slice-of-life tale about a human single mother raising her half-wolf children in modern Japan. It's a heart-warming tale focusing on the themes of parenthood, community, and the return to nature. If you're jonesing for a family adventure, The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki will no doubt tide you over for a long while. Click here for our full review.

#2 — Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo

The next most recommended film was Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo. Like it or hate it, no one will dispute that it completely destroyed any and all expectations that fans had going in. The Evangelion presented in this film is unlike any other and is so far removed from the events seen in the original series, it's difficult to even compare the two. So if you were thinking this film would be similar in tone to the other Rebuild of Evangelion movies, cast those illusions aside. You're in for a wild ride with this one, if nothing else. Click here for our full (and spoiler-filled) review.

#3 — Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker

Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker is the sixteenth film in the long-running Detective Conan (aka Case Closed) series. This time out our teenage genius detective (who is, as always, trapped in the body of a young child) is dealing with a serial bomber who has been planting bombs at high profile soccer games. Conan and the rest of the main cast try to decipher the criminal's cryptic clues to find where the bombs are and how to stop them. It is a fun little mystery adventure that will keep both children and adults entertained till the very end.

#4 — One Piece Film: Z

The fourth most recommended film was the twelfth and latest film in the One Piece franchise: One Piece Film: Z. This film is largely focused around the titular villain "Z" and his plan to rid the world of pirates. What comes out of this story is an incredibly well-developed and sympathetic villain who outshines even the franchise's main cast in this outing. Click here for our full review.

#5 — Doraemon: Nobita and the Island of Miracles ~Animal Adventure~

Doraemon, the earless robotic cat from the future, is back once again in his 32nd movie. This time he, along with the usual gang, travel to an island where extinct animals still roam the land and battle against forces from the future to protect it.

Outside of the top five, other notable titles include the only non-Japanese movie in the top 10, Dreamwork's Puss in Boots, which came in at number six. The two Madoka Magica movies were the eighth most recommended, while the CG video game tie-in Resident Evil: Damnation took the number 10 spot.

Among the other anime movies we have looked at in 2012, 009 Re:Cyborg came in at 16, Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey at 19, Tiger & Bunny: the Beginning at 24, and Macross FB7 at 27.

To check out the full list, head over to What Japan Thinks to see the entire survey translated into English.


    I'm really looking forward to Evangelion 3.0 - I was dubrious about the rebuilds at first but have really enjoyed them.

    I've been wanting to see Wolf Children too...

    But RE:Damnation was terrible imo (especially compared to the previos CG RE movie) - I'm surprised to see it in the list.

    No 'Poppy Hill'? :(

    It was the only Anime I saw last year and it was brill.

      This is a Japan-centric list and Poppy Hill was a 2011 theatrical release there. Otherwise I'd imagine it'd definitely be in this list.

        Well... Ok then.
        So long as both of Ghibli's 2013 releases are on next year's list.

    God damn anime is weird.
    Honestly, i only watched the first two trailers, and while i can say that at the very least they look nice, i just cannot stomach the weirdness of the storyline.


    Immediatly after writing that out, i realised that by having a weird storyline could be a great benefit for exploring different sections of society, like - as with the first one - family and living ina modern world...
    Its certainly got a better shot, at least, than any of the crap on Western Televison. (I say that as my 15 year old brother turns over to nickelodeon to watch spongebob.)

    Man, it's becoming more and more apparent that I'm in the minority when i say that I hated Wolf Children. I loved The Girl who leaped through time and Summer Wars so i was beyond excited to see it. What I saw was I don't know how many hours of a watching a woman living her mostly boring life. I was all up for the concept, but there's a difference between slow pacing and almost no plot development for the majority of the film. We get it, rural life is hard, no need to show us the woman fixing a house, planting some vegetables, getting advice about said vegetables, plowing the fields, finding a job, doing said job...ect.

    The parts focusing on the kids and there struggles with their dual identities was genuinely interesting and lead to some amazing scenes, but it was mostly buried under the mother's mundane bullshit and in the girl's case, dragged on in some scenes.

    Want to see Evangelion 3.0 & Wolf Children :( Hate the wait for a local release, takes forever! And there's rarely ever a cinema release unless you attend to Reel Anime at an obscure cinema & for an extremely limited time

    Wolf Children ended up being my favourite movie of 2012. Love love love that movie.

    The wait for Eva 3.0 is rough but it wont be too long now.

    Last edited 14/01/13 8:22 am

    So, she had sex with a wolf then? Am I the only one picking up on this?

      Bit like the undying incest love in up on poopy hill.

        Watching Poppy Hill a second time was so much easier knowing how it ends but I was really struggling with the content the first time around.

    Is the villain from One Piece Z the same voice actor as Jiraiya from Naruto?

      IMDB doesnt think so

      Although the One Piece Z page is pretty empty of voice actors, so might be.

    Can not wait for Evangelion 3.33, the wait is killing me here!!! Wolf Children is also on my list but I still don't know if I will love it or hate it. Loved Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time so i'm hoping I do.

    I need new Anime :-/

      Wolf Children is my favourite betwen the three. By a wide margin too.

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