10 Anime Like Maboroshi That Deserve Your Attention!

Written by Mari Okada, ‘Maboroshi’ or ‘Alice to Therese no Maboroshi Koujou‘ is a romantic drama film produced by MAPPA. The Seimei Kidokoro and Mari Okada directorial is based on the theme of love and uses surreal animation with imaginative visuals to explore human relations and their complexities. The anime follows a third-year middle school student named Masamune, who lives in a town that is frozen in time following a mysterious explosion at a still mill.

The townsfolk live with the desperate hope of returning to normalcy someday. But one day, Masamune’s life takes an unprecedented turn as Mutsumi introduces him to a wolf-like girl residing in the still mill. This meeting eventually disrupts the balance of the strange world they inhabit marking a period of uncertainty that changes everything. The drama that unfolds is so gripping that it keeps viewers to the end, a thrilling experience that you can experience in the anime listed below.

10. Your Lie in April (2014 – 2015)

‘Your Lie in April’ is another great romance anime that like ‘Maboroshi’ focuses on a complex love story that ends on a bittersweet note. The former revolves around Kousei Arima, a child prodigy whose musical talent leaves even professionals in awe. He wins one competition after another earning a name for himself but it all comes crashing down when his mother tragically passes away. Following her death, Kousei is unable to cope with loss and loses his ability to hear the sound of a piano. It appears that the promising career of a great musician has come to a halt with no hope in sight. That’s when the eccentric violinist Kaori Miyazono enters Arima’s life and pushes him to start playing the piano again.

Although the challenges in his path continue to complicate his comeback, Kousei eventually makes great progress. But just when it seems that everything is finally falling back in place, another horrific experience awaits Arima that threatens to jeopardize his career and ruin his life all over again. Feel free to watch the anime here.

9. Steins;Gate (2011)

One of the key components in the premise of ‘Maboroshi’ is the time freeze that perplexes Masamune and his fellow townsfolk. Fans can experience a somewhat similar time travel drama unfolding in the popular science-fiction series ‘Steins; Gate.’ The anime revolves around the eccentric scientist Rintarou Okabe, who established the Future Gadget Laboratory with his friend Mayuri Shiina and his roommate Itaru Hashida hoping that he will eventually create technological innovations that would change the world.

But despite their best efforts, all they have come up with is a strange microwave that serves no unique purpose other than turning bananas into green goo. However, Okabe is shocked when he learns that his invention can send messages into the past. Influencing events in the past leads to catastrophic changes. As Rintarou tries to fix things in his timeline, he is caught up in a seemingly never-ending puzzle that pushes him toward insanity. You can watch the anime here.

8. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (2011)

‘Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day’ is not a romance anime like ‘Maboroshi’ but it takes viewers through an emotional journey in which the the characters are desperately trying to help someone they value eventually reach where they truly belong. Jinta’s mundane life takes an unprecedented turn when he sees his dead childhood friend, Meiko “Menma” Honma one lazy afternoon during the summer. Since these persistent visions continue to annoy him, he eventually decides to take the help of his childhood friends so that they can together support Menma in her efforts to move on. You can find the anime here.

7. Orange (2016)

When it comes to anime that are quite imaginative in their portrayal of temporal anomaly, ‘Orange’ is without a doubt one of the best. It primarily centers around Naho Takamiya, an ordinary high schooler who is puzzled when she starts receiving letters from her 26-year-old self. She learns that she is going to make several regretful choices and will go on to hate herself for them. Now that she has been warned in advance, this is Naho’s opportunity to make amends and ensure that the worst does not transpire. While ‘Orange’ may not have a lot of similarities with ‘Maboroshi’ both anime center around the mysterious temporal anomaly. Feel free to stream the former here.

6. I Want To Eat Your Pancreas (2018)

‘I Want To Eat Your Pancreas’ or ‘Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai’ is a great romantic movie that will intrigue ‘Maboroshi’ fans. Haruki Shiga is an introverted teenager who likes to remain aloof and detached from people around him. One day he accidentally finds the handwritten book, titled Living with Dying which he soon learns belongs to his bubbly peer Sakura Yamauchi. In a strange turn of events, she confides in him that she suffers from a terminal disease and does not have much time to live. Despite the shocking truth, Haruki remains unsympathetic. But in the next few days, he is unable to distance himself from Sakura and ends up accompanying him in her last days- an experience that changes him forever.

5. Paprika (2006)

Satoshi Kon’s ‘Paprika’ is another mentally stimulating movie whose surreal themes and imaginative worldbuilding captivate the audience to the end. Atsuko Chiba and Kosaku Tokita are two extremely gifted scientists who are on a mission to perfect a technology to delve into people’s subconscious minds to cure them of psychological disorders. However, when their invention is stolen, the duo is forced to launch an urgent investigation as the technology in the wrong hands could be used for psychological terrorism. As they embark on their quest to save a promising discovery, Kosaku and Atsuko have to go down into the complex dream world to get their hands on the mental terrorist. Feel free to watch the movie here.

4. Summer Time Rendering (2022)

Shinpei Ajiro lived with the Kofune family after the unexpected death of his parents at a very young age. That’s how he got to know the sisters Mio and Ushio. Although he later shifted to Tokyo, Ajiro visited his hometown when he learned about Ushio’s tragic death. But soon it became evident to him that her death was probably not accidental. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and to make sure that he protects Mio, Shinpei decides to stay at Hitogashima Island, unbeknownst to the challenges that stand in his path. ‘Summer Time Rendering’ is a suspenseful anime filled with mysteries, so it’s an ideal show for the fans of ‘Maboroshi.’ You can watch the anime here.

3. Erased (2016)

‘Erased’ is another suspenseful anime that grips the viewers’ attention with its captivating storytelling and uses temporal anomaly as one of its main themes. The show revolves around Satoru Fujinuma a manga artist who has the strange power to be sent back several minutes before an accident occurs, using which he has been able to save a lot of lives over the years. But when the tables turn against him and he is accused of taking the life of someone close to him, he suddenly goes back 18 years in time. Soon Satoru comes to the conclusion that the murder he is wanted for is actually connected to the abduction and death of his classmate in 1988. But as he sets out to clear his name and save her in the process, Fujinuma is challenged by evil forces. You can watch the series here.

2. Your Name. (2016)

Taki Tachibana is a high schooler who is struggling to make ends meet by juggling part-time jobs and desperately hopes that his dream of becoming an architect does not fall apart. Meanwhile, a girl named Mitsuha Miyamizu who comes from the humble countryside dreams of living in Tokyo someday. One morning the duo wakes up to find one another in each other’s bodies, nudging them to immediately look for answers to explain their strange circumstance. Although ‘Your Name.’ has few similarities with ‘Maboroshi,’ viewers who are looking for another romantic movie with a surreal premise will definitely enjoy the former. Feel free to watch the anime here.

1. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’ or ‘Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo’ is a perfect film for viewers looking for an anime based on time travel. The movie revolves around Makoto Konno, a high schooler who is shocked to learn that she is gifted with the mysterious power to leap through time. She is excited to test her abilities and frequently uses it to travel through time. But Makoto slowly learns that each of her choices has far-reaching consequences. You can watch the film here.

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