Fall Anime Preview: All Anime Movies Coming to Theaters

There is so much to experience and enjoy in the world of anime when it comes to theatrical releases for American audiences. With highly anticipated new features such as One Piece Movie Red and the original feature debut from fan-favorite director Atsuko Ishizuka, the upcoming U.S. premiere of Hideaki Anno’s Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.01 Once Upon a Timeand the re-release of anime classics like Howl’s Howl’s Moving Castle and A silent voiceit’s a fantastic time to be an anime fan.

Here’s our list of the biggest anime releases hitting theaters this fall, including some limited-release titles you don’t want to miss.


Goodbye Don Glee

Image: Madhouse/GKIDS

Director Atsuko Ishizuka Follows Up On Her Beloved 2018 Anime Series A place beyond the universe with its first original theatrical anime, Goodbye Don Glee. The film centers on the story of Roma, Toto and Drop, three misfit teenagers accused of starting a nearby forest fire. With no other option, they venture into the forest in search of proof of their innocence. What they discover, however, is a deeper truth that none of them are willing to tell or admit. A story of adolescence, adventure and growth inspired by the 1986s support me, Goodbye Don Glee has all the ingredients of an extraordinary anime.

Goodbye Don Glee is in select theaters September 14 and 20 (subtitled) and September 18 (dubbed).

Howl’s Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle Castle

Image: Studio Ghibli/GKIDS

Adapted from Diana Wynne Jones’ 1986 novel of the same name, Hayao Miyazaki’s 2004 animated film Howl’s Howl’s Moving Castle tells the story of a young woman named Sophie who is transformed into an elderly woman by a witch’s curse. After crossing paths with Howl, a flamboyant and mysterious wizard, Sophie comes to live with him in his massive move powered by a fiery spirit named Calcifer in order to find a way to lift the witch’s curse.

Howl’s Howl’s Moving Castle is in select theaters September 26 (subtitled) and September 25 and 28 (dubbed).

Mobile Suit Gundam Cucuruz Doan’s Island

The RX-78-2 Gundam wielding two beam sabers in Mobile Suit Gundam Cucuruz Doan's Island.

Image: Sunrise/Sotsu, Crunchyroll

A feature film adaptation of the original’s 15th episode Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam Cucuruz Doan’s Island follows Amuro Ray, pilot of the experimental RX-78-02 Gundam, and his comrades after they are stranded on a remote island. Upon discovering a group of children in the so-called Island of No Return and under fire from a mysterious mecha enemy, Amuro and co. seek a way off the island, which inevitably leads them to cross paths with a strange man known as Cucuruz Doan.

Mobile Suit Gundam Cucuruz Doan’s Island is in select theaters September 27 (subtitled) and September 28 (dubbed).

A silent voice

Shoko Nishimiya and Shoya Ishida in A Silent Voice

Image: Kyoto Animation/Eleven Arts

2016 anime film by Naoko Yamada A silent voice centers on Shoya Ishida, a high school social outcast and former bully who is given the opportunity to reconnect and befriend Shoko Nishimiya, the deaf girl he once terrorized. Cited by many as one of the best anime dramas of the 2010s, A silent voice is a beautiful coming-of-age story about bullying, mental health, disability, and forgiveness that implores these themes with a level of maturity, nuance, and care otherwise unseen in most other anime.

A silent voice is in select theaters October 12.

Taken away as if by magic

a young girl and a water dragon gasp at something off-screen in Spirited Away

Image: Studio Ghibli/GKIDS

Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning film Taken away as if by magic is generally hailed not only as the best film of Miyazaki’s entire career, but also as one of the best animated films of all time. As accessible as it is elusive, whimsical as it is frightening, and heartbreaking as it is inspiring, Taken away as if by magic tells the story of a 10-year-old girl named Chihiro who is taken to a spirit world and forced to work in a malevolent witch’s bathhouse when her parents are inadvertently turned into pigs. There she crosses paths with Haku, a mysterious spirit with deep ties to her past, who strives to help her break her parents’ curse and escape to the mortal realm.

Taken away as if by magic is in select theaters November 1 (subtitled) and October 30 and November 2 (dubbed).

One Piece Movie Red

A muscular man with red hair and a cape points to the camera

Image: Toei Animation/Crunchyroll

Executive produced by A play creator Eiichiro Oda, directed by Goro Taniguchi (One Piece Beat it! The Ganzack Pirate!) and written by Tsutomu Kuroiwa (One Piece Gold Movie), One Piece Movie Red follows Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates as they join thousands of others to witness Uta – the world’s most beloved (and most mysterious) singer – give an otherworldly performance. Things go awry, however, when the Navy intervenes and Luffy discovers that Uta is actually the daughter of Shanks, his childhood mentor and pirate role model.

One Piece Movie Red is in select theaters November 4.

Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.01 Once Upon a Time

A deformed, eyepatch-wearing Asuka screams in Evangelion 1.0 + 3.0: Three Times Upon A Time

Image: Studio Khara/GKIDS

The highly anticipated fourth and final installment in the theatrical “Rebuild” incarnations of the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise, Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.01 Once Upon a Time follows Shinji, Asuka, Rei and the crew of the anti-Nerv flagship Wunder as they regroup after their defeat at the end of Evangelion: 3.0, you can (not) redo and rally once more to stop Shinji’s father, Gendo, from inciting Third Impact. An exact date has not been announced, but a theatrical release is planned for later this year.

Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.01 Once Upon a Time will be released in theaters at the end of 2022.

About Monty S. Maynard

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