Kurosawa's last and not at all samurai related film, Maada da yo. It's amazing and hits you pretty hard without being sappy or turning into another one of those template The Amazing Teacher That Turns the School Around But His Unorthodox Ways Get Him Fired and the Community Bands Together to Bring Him Back movies.
Follows an old Japanese professor through his life and revolves around his birthday party tradition every year.
I CONCUR. Also, give Dave McKean some cred-- a long-time collaborator with Gaiman, he not only directed the film, but designed pretty much all of the stunning visuals in it. This movie should have been more popular. Or at least more popular in a "kooky cult hit" sense.