The new anime film “The Imaginary,” based on the illustrated book by A.F. Harrold and Emily Gravett, depicts a world in which imaginary friends are real. I can imagine hordes of children protesting — “Of course they’re real!” — and I suppose that’s the point.

At the center of “The Imaginary” is the young Amanda Shuffleup (voiced by Rio Suzuki) and her imaginary friend Rudger (Kokoro Terada). Amanda’s after-school flights of fancy take her and Rudger through fantastic worlds populated by amazing sights, sounds and creatures. But Amanda’s worlds also contain a certain amount of darkness. We soon learn, as is often the case with imaginary friends, that Rudger was born as a response to trauma: the sudden death of Amanda’s father.

Also adjusting to this new reality is Amanda’s mother (Sakura Ando), who’s dealing with both her own grief and the unpredictable Amanda, whose near obsession with Rudger has her worried.