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Top Ten Favorite Non-Studio Ghibli Movies that Feature Love:

Top Ten Favorite Non-Studio Ghibli Movies that Feature Love:

L is for the way you look at me.  O is for the only one I see.  And V and E?  Well, those stand for ‘VERY EXTRA” because no matter the genre of anime films, that is what anime stories are going to give you!

I love anime.  I love movies, I love romance. So, anime movies for Valentine’s Day?  Yes, please!  Many people have discussed their love for Studio Ghibli works, and rightfully so.  They are masterpieces in every light and that of course includes the characters and potential pairings.  But, there are numerous other amazing animated original films made in the land of the rising sun and, not surprising, many have romance in them.

To celebrate the day of hearts, lace, and gods that shot you and force you to become a mindless salve in the name of passion…wait…Anyway! Here are my Top Ten Favorite Non-Studio Ghibli Anime movies that Have Love.  Most have it as a main genre, but for some, it may not be the biggest focus even if it is important. <3 Love love!


Top Ten Favorite Non-Studio Ghibli Movies that Feature Love:

Words Bubble Up like Soda Pop- “This Netflix original movie is refreshing like a soda pop.  Huh.  Fitting.  ^_^ It has a very unique art style and the story is sweet.  A shy boy.  A self-conscience social media star.  An accidental bumping, them exchanging phones and learning about the other, going on an adventure to help a kind old man and forgotten love.  The power of memories, accepting differences, and words bubble and can change your mindset and your heart.”

Weathering with You- “First off, this movie is breathtaking! The rain effects are so lifelike and the prism backdrops are captivating.  The movie features a lost boy moving to Tokyo to run away from his life, his life spiraling when he accidentally obtains an illegal firearm.  Then he meets a girl who can pray for sunshine and make it appear, which is critical since it has not stopped raining in Japan for years.  The two form first a business partnership that blooms to a tenderness that is momentous.  This may be critical because when you have the power to control the sun, what would that cost?  A raw story.”

Hal- “This is a 50-minute special and it is a kaleidoscope of emotions, an array of colors like the rubric cubes that our leads use to communicate their secret messages to each other (how creative!)  Robots that look and can form feelings like humans live side-by-side with us.  A woman is sinking into despair after losing her boyfriend, so a family robot offers to gain the dead boyfriend’s memories and his looks in order to heal her heart.  A beautifully composed tale with some twists that grab you.”

Belle- “This film was a sensation when it came out.  A world where we can travel into the Internet from a program called “U” and become anyone we yearn to be, who we are meant to be.  Suzu is a very timid rural girl who loves to sing, but is a shadow of herself since her mother passed.  In U, she becomes the idol Belle, the world loving her singing as they try to find her identity. Then in the middle of a concert, a user called the Beast tries to grab her.  But, instead of being fearful, she yearns to find him and discovers serious things she could never fathom. Love is apart of the story, but the real focus here is believing in yourself and even protecting others from violence.  A very powerful watch.”

Ride Your Wave- “‘There you are, out on the water. I can see your smiling face looking back at me.’  Our couple started to date after our man rescued her from a fire, both of them loving the ocean and surfing, their love as gentle and lovely as the waves.  Then, like the ever-changing seas, a hurricane sweeps their lives, leaving destruction in their wake.  Yet, the universe intervenes to help, or is it really a situation or another curse?  This story is breezy like the beach, touching, fun, and heartbreaking all at once.”

Wolf Children- “The love of a parent is so unbreakable in this marvel.  It does start off with romantic love, pure and tragic at the beginning, but then in shifts to a mom trying to raise her unique children all on her own, the bond between the three as apparent as the sky above you, and some days are sunny, some stormy, some make you lost, but the power of the pack can make or break your bond.  A very emotional ride.”

Millennium Actress- “This film is A MASTERPIECE! OH MY GOSH! A young woman in World War II Japan runs into an artist escaping for his life from the enemies.  This movie is like a documentary as she is in her lovely golden years, being interviewed by her biggest fan, them traveling to her life through her films and behind-the-scenes truth to her life.  It is expertly done and will leave you glued to the screen and stay with you for ages to come.  Love is a twist component in this movie.”

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas- “I get this title makes you arch your brow and I love getting that reaction.  But when I got my girls together for our Otaku Girls Club in 2020, this is the first film I showed them and man, did they bond that day by clinging to each other and their plushies and through their tears! LOL! I am a little proud!  This is a pure heartbreaking potential romance I recommend everyone watch.  It also has amazing twists that had my brother and I screaming at the T.V.”

Garden of Words- “Another about 45-minute special that I believe is currently the most stunning visually anime film I have ever seen.  All the landscapes and rain are so lifelike, like enchanting photographs you want to stroll in.  A high school guy who skips school on rainy days.  He encounters a woman eating chocolate and drinking coffee, skipping work.  The two begin to meet up and talk, forming a fascination with each other.  Yet, she seems surprised he doesn’t remember her.  The age gap between these two might not fly with everyone, but other than that, it is a raw, beautiful messy story that has some great turns and different ways to take the ending.”

Your Name- “The legend right here! This film smashed box office records and boy does it deserve it! Somehow, it seamlessly blends a coming-of-age,body switch, sci-fi, alternate universes, Japanese legends, and of course, romance!  And each hits it tries to make, it hits them right: comedy, love, tug at your heartstrings, supernatural, etc, and the characters are so grounded, but also larger than life in the best ways.  It really is an experience and our pairing will have you cheering and crying alongside with them, the definition of love.” 


Be swept away by love and animation! Stay geeky! 🙂


Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice, and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real-life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her “bubbliness.” It is Morgan’s mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.

For more information about Morgan and her works, check out her website, which also has links to all her social medias: http://morganscomnick.com




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