Netflix’s ‘Drifting Home‘ is a fantasy adventure anime movie produced by Studio Colorido. The Hiroyasu Ishida directorial follows a group of sixth-graders as they mysteriously end up falling through a crack in the space-time continuum while trying to explore a decades-old about-to-be demolished apartment complex that holds sentimental value to them. Stranded in the middle of nowhere with no food and water, these kids struggle for their survival all the while coming to terms with the harsh realities of life.
In case you also enjoyed this edge-of-the-seat survival film that focuses on themes like loss and love, then we have a few recommendations for you. You can watch most of these anime similar to ‘Drifting Home’ on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll, or Funimation.
7. Big Fish & Begonia (2016)
‘Big Fish & Begonia’ is a supernatural adventure film focusing on the themes of death, love, and other complex emotions exactly like Netflix’s ‘Drifting Home.’ The movie recounts the story of a young girl named Chun, who is one of the many spirit-like beings living in the old mythical world and is responsible for supervising the true order of the human world. When she is about to come of age she travels to the mortal world to have a first-hand experience of it. Unfortunately, her journey ends tragically when a boy loses his life while trying to rescue her. In order to fix things, she decides to trade a few years of her own lifespan to revive the boy not knowing the far-reaching consequences of her actions.
6. Tamayura (2010)
Hal Film Maker’s ‘Tamayura’ is a slice-of-life drama anime that focuses on the life of Fuu “Potte” Sawatari, a high schooler who uses her camera as a source of cathartic meditations on loss and grief, with the hope to turn it into something positive. Much like Natsume who used to visit grandfather Yasuji’s room to recall good memories, Fuu also tries to do the same with photography. Although ‘Tamayura’ does not have any supernatural elements, it is still a moving reflection on dealing with a personal loss which is an important theme of ‘Drifting Home’ as well.
5. Bubble (2022)
Produced by Wit Studio, ‘Bubble‘ is a post-apocalyptic anime movie that focuses on the city of Tokyo which gets enveloped by a giant bubble following a massive explosion. In the following years, the residents are forced to leave as the city gets drowned in a gravity-bending sea. However, some orphans start using the uninhabited region for parkour team battles. One of these teenagers tries to unravel the mystery of the bubble phenomena that changed Tokyo by going to ground zero of the explosion.
Although he fails, he ends up meeting a mysterious girl named Uta, who changes his life forever. The Tetsuro Araki directorial uses an inexplicable natural phenomenon to explore the deeper emotional turmoil of its main characters just like ‘Drifting Home.’ Therefore, fans of the former will probably enjoy the latter as well.
4. A Letter to Momo (2012)
Like Netflix’s ‘Drifting Home,’ ‘A Letter to Momo’ is a fantasy anime film that explores themes of grief and loss with supernatural events serving as a key plot device. Momo Miyaura is an 11-year-old girl who moves to a remote island in the Seto Inland Sea following the untimely death of her father. As she reluctantly tries to instill some sense of normalcy in her life, she accidentally has unexpected encounters with supernatural creatures. Although such inexplicable experiences complicate her life initially just like Natsume and Kousuke struggled while they were stranded in the sea, they ultimately help her come to terms with the grief in her life and find meaning.
3. Okko’s Inn (2018)
Kitaro Kosaka’s ‘Okko’s Inn’ is another beautiful movie that masterfully utilizes supernatural beings/events as a lens to recount a story of overcoming loss and finding meaning in life. The film revolves around the titular protagonist whose parents tragically passed away in a car accident following which she has to live at her grandmother’s traditional hot springs inn. It turns out that the inn is haunted just like the apartment complex in ‘Drifting Home.’ Like Noppo plays a crucial role in helping Natsume and Kousuke, Okko finds similar emotional support from the spirits in the village and at the inn.
2. Spirited Away (2001)
Consistently ranked as one of the best anime movies of all time, ‘Spirited Away‘ revolves around a 10-year-old Chihiro Ogino, who unknowingly ends up in the spirit world. As she begins to explore the foreign realm, Chihiro has to be very brave when she encounters the supernatural and is forced to live with them. Just like Natsume, Kousuke, and their friends who are hopelessly lost at the sea and have to fight for their lives, Chihiro also strives to return home safely after saving her parents. The two films use supernatural events to recount a gripping tale of adventure and self-discovery that anime fans will definitely enjoy.
1. Child of Kamiari Month (2021)
Takana Shirai’s ‘Child of Kamiari Month‘ is a supernatural fantasy anime movie that focuses on themes like loss and love just like ‘Drifting Home.’ The film follows a sixth-grader named Kanna Hayama who struggling to come to terms with the unexpected death of his mother. Although she has barely gotten over it, Kanna learns that she is a descendant of the gods, who are responsible for gathering offering from different deities and bringing it to Izumo during the annual Kamiari Festival.
Following her mother’s death, she is entrusted with fulfilling this responsibility as an Idaten. The movie explores Kanna’s inner turmoil which is quite similar to that of Natsume and Kousuke, who are also trying to come to terms with the death of a loved one.
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