This year is a big year for anime and video game fans as 2019 will usher in a strong line-up of films based on incredibly popular franchises from the genres. Also on the horizon is the long-awaited release of director and writer Makato Shinkai’s ("Kimi no Na wa") next film. The list of upcoming films include the live-action adaptation "Detective Pikachu."
Previously, Hollywood’s attempt at movies based on video games and anime have been panned by audiences and critics — and for good reason. Hardcore fans of the long-running franchises are passionate about the stories they hold dear to their hearts and when an adaptation is poorly or lazily done, it’s often seen as a sleazy industry money grab. Whether it be a strong cast or solid writing and directing, the five films below — listed in order of release date from earliest to latest — show great potential to do their source material justice. For better or for worse, these are this year’s “must-sees” for all who consider themselves anime and video game fanatics.
1. Doraemon the Movie 2019: Nobita’s Chronicle of the Moon Exploration
One of the longest-running and most beloved children’s anime of all time, "Doraemon" has steadily been releasing a new film every year for the past four decades.
This year, Doraemon, Nobita and his friends explore space travel to the moon in the film which was released on March 1, 2019 in Japan.
The film begins when a mysterious student transfers into Nobita’s class and the story explores the Japanese belief that a rabbit lives on the moon (rather than the Western myth of “the man on the moon”). "Doraemon" has been such a successful series over such a long period of time because the "Doraemon" film story arc has been done and redone again and keeps fans coming back for more. With any "Doraemon" film we know to expect a light, playful story suitable for all ages. We expect a movie filled with laughter, tears, and overcoming adversity. We know that the plot will be easy enough for children to understand, yet deep enough for adults to come away with some deeper message or meaning as well.
While the "Doraemon" series is not yet popular with Western audiences, I highly recommend "Doraemon" for anime fans of all ages. Hardcore fans can watch the film in its original language this March before the release of the English sub-titled or dubbed versions later in the year.
- Release Date: March 1, 2019 (Japan)
- Starring: Megumi Ohara and Wasabi Mizuta
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