12 Best Anime for Learning Japanese

Watching anime can be helpful for Japanese learners to reinforce the language learning but the premise is you have gone into a suitable title since not all anime are beneficial. The following is our hand-picked 12 best anime for learning Japanese. You can begin with any of them to immerse yourself in the language.

Vita Vita | Updated on Sep 1, 2023

1. Chi's Sweet Hom

2. Shirokuma Café

3. Azumanga Daioh

4. Yuru Yuri

5. K-On!

6. Nichijou

7. School Rumble

8. Detective Conan

9. Honey and Clover

10. Tamayura

11. Bakemonogatari

12. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Is Anime a Good Resource for Learning Japanese

Many people have tried to learn Japanese with anime, but if you make a survey on the Internet, you will find divergent views on the feasibility of learning Japanese from anime. Is anime a good resource for Japanese learning?

Anime is Not for Learners with Zero Knowledge of Japanese

In fact, for newcomers who have no basic grasp of Japanese, Anime is not recommended material to start with. The most fundamental elements of Japanese are Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji, pronunciation, and basic syntax rules, yet which cannot be learned from any anime directly. Even if you have learned some phrases from an anime series after an extend period time, you still bog down on the entry stage without knowing the semantic components. Anime can be an assistance of reinforcing pronunciation, listening skill, and enlarging vocabulary, but learners can’t lean on anime only for learning the language.

Not All Anime are Suitable for Japanese Learning

Despite the popularity, a quite number of action, fantasy, magic, and supernatural anime series include abnormal and made-up words that people don’t use in daily life. Some also include nonstandard pronunciation and speech patterns. If you enter upon such a series for learning Japanese, the impact may continue to the subsequent learning and you may need to take much time to correct previous understanding. Slice-of-life anime series are well regarded as the best type for learning Japanese since they are much closer to the reality and involve kinds of formal and informal speeches people can use to communicate with family, friends, colleague, etc. and on different occasions. Depend on different levels, the selections can be varied. The following is our curated list of 12 best anime to learn Japanese for people who are in the earlier stage.

More Anime Lists: Top Anime Download Sites l Best Anime Streaming Sites

Here are 12 good websites for anime subtitle download, on which you’re able to download English, Japanese, and other languages for anime.

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Review of the Best 12 Anime for Learning Japanese

1. Chi's Sweet Home

Easy anime for learning English

Chi’s Sweet Home follows the adventure of a grey-and-white tabby, Chi, and the Yamadas family adopting her. Chi gets lost in her first outing with her mother and siblings. Later, the kind Yamadas family find and take in her. A lot of funny things have happened to the cutie kitten and the Yamadas. 

Chi’s Sweet Home is adapted from a manga series with the same name and the animated version has two seasons lasting from March 31, 2008 to September 25, 2009. Season 3 and 4 are released in succession since october 2, 2016 in the form of 3DCG anime.

This anime series features relatively easy vocabularies and simple story plot. Each episode is around 3 minute. Chi's baby talk words in the anime may confuse learners, but on balance, this is a good anime for Japanese beginners.

2. Shirokuma Café

Learn Japanese anime

Shirokuma Café is a popular spot for animals and human beings, on which common but interesting stories go on every day. The café is run by a polar bear loving to make bad puns with his customers and friends. Frequent customers including a lazy, naïve, but kindhearted panda, an emperor penguin having crush on another penguin and more other animals and human beings bring vigor and vitality to the café. They all have distinct characters, their own annoyances, and different interests and experiences.

Shirokuma Café is a lighthearted and slice-of-life anime featuring many simple sentences and conversations for different scenarios, which are easy to follow.

3. Azumanga Daioh

Learning Japanese through anime

Azumanga Daioh is anime released in 2002. Despite that it is a quite old title, Azumanga Daioh has been long well-remarked by anime fans as one of the best school life anime. Azumanga Daioh focuses on six girls and two teachers in an unnamed Japanese high school to show their funny daily life. All stories in Azumanga Daioh depict the real Japanese high school life: Daily test, talking between classes, sport events, festivals, vacations, etc.

What’s more, Azumanga Daioh is at a slow pace and the speech is fairly clear. For more practical Japanese learning, you may go into this anime. 

4. Yuru Yuri

Anime for learning Japanese

Yuru Yuri is a slice-of-life and comedy anime series adapted from manga with the same name. Besides four seasons of anime television adaptation, there also have OVAs and TV specials released in different periods. Yuru Yuri series follows the middle school life of four girls: Akari Akaza, Kyōko Toshinō, Yui Funami, Chinatsu Yoshikawa, and the Student Council consisting of a group of characters.

Many words and dialogues from stories in Yuru Yuri can be applied to the real life. Whilst learning Japanese, you can find something joyful in Yuru Yuri.

5. K-On!

Good anime to learn Japanese

K-On! is another slice-of-life anime series focusing on high school and music. Two seasons have been published so far along with several additional OVA episodes and an animated film based on the series. K-On! follows music journey of the only four girls in the light music club through their high school, Yui the lead guitarist, Tsumugi the keyboardist, Mio the bassist, drummer Ritsu Tainak. In their second year in high school, underclassman Azusa Nakano becomes a member in the light music club, as the rhythm guitarist. As the story continues, more music partners have joined.

K-On! involves more vocabularies on music as the result of the theme of the anime series. Even so, learners are still able to know enough practical expressions in this anime.   

6. Nichijou

Good anime for learning Japanese

Nichijou (Everyday) tells the ridiculous and amusing life events occurring on a group of distinct characters in a town of Tokisadame. Adapted from a comedy manga series of the same title, this anime series has been highly remarked in both Japan and foreign countries. It also gets re-released for several times in different versions. Nichijou emphasizes noticeable character personalities and outlandish plots through everyday life. You will experience pleasure of learning when watching this anime.

7. School Rumble

Anime that teaches Japanese

School Rumble is set at a fictional Yagami high school where various young students with different temperaments and hobbies come together. The romance Shōnen anime mainly portrays unrequited love and everyday life of the characters.

School Rumble is a quite classic manga series serialized from 2002 to 2008 in Weekly Shōnen Magazine and the later animated adaptation has been particularly popular. Its animation versions including three seasons of TV series and OVA episodes though the third season finally became two mini-series episodes.   

Notwithstanding lots of new titles of the same category coming out these years, School Rumble is still regarded as a wonderful work among many anime fans. If you plan to find some good school life anime to reinforce your Japanese learning, School Rumbel is a good destination.

8. Detective Conan

Detective anime for learning Japanese

Detective anime is well-known as a good genre for Japanese learners and Detective Conan is definitely a great selection you can go. The long-running anime series contains a lot of learning materials that we can dig into. Another good point of Detective anime is most characters in the anime speak exceptionally clear in Tokyo dialect. Informal and formal languages are mixed based on corresponding occasions and people. If you like to take down practical words and sentences when watching an anime, Detective Conan is certainly the anime you need to change notebooks most frequently for.

9. Honey and Clover

Life anime for learning Japanese

Honey and Clover centers around love triangles and unrequited love of five characters, along with their growth path. This is a lighthearted and romance anime series aired in 2005. Even now, it still strikes a chord with most young people. What’s more, this a good anime you can learn everyday Japanese when binging with it.

10. Tamayura

Slice of life anime for learning Japanese

Tamayura is about the happily everyday life of several young girls living in Takehara. One of the main characters, Fū Sawatari, is a high school student being fond of photography. After she has moved to Takehara, the place where her late father grew up, she makes friends with many girls in the town. Fū Sawatari captures every blissful moment of her surroundings and hope to find the concrete figure of happiness called Tamayura on these pictures.

This is a typical slice of life anime at a moderate speed and easy words. You can take it into consideration as your learning resource.

11. Bakemonogatari

Anime to help learn Japanese

Bakemonogatari is the first part of the the Monogatari light novel series and was animated in 2009. At the very beginning, a high school student, Koyomi Araragi, has been bitten by a vampire. He finds that some vampire powers and abilities still remain in his body after being cured. Bakemonogatari follows inexplicable occurrences around Koyomi Araragi and several girls. Although primarily set at school, Bakemonogatari is actually a paranormal anime. If you expect more gripping story plots, you may watch Bakemonogatari.

One thing to be aware of, however, Bakemonogatari features quicker speech pace and many difficult vocabularies. It is more suitable for advanced learners.  

12. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Advanced Japanese learning from anime

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime series is a great success adaptation of light novel. The anime focuses on a school girl named Haruhi Suzumiya who has the ability to create reality via simply thinking while she is not aware of her power at all. At the same time, she is crazy about supernatural phenomena and figures, and create a school club to explore mysterious events. However, three of her members are such extraordinary characters she is always looking for….

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya owns complicated story structure, a massive number of vocabularies, and fast speech pace. Go without saying, it is for learners at advanced levels who are seeking for challenging anime.  

In Summary

All options mentioned in this post are not only the best anime for learning Japanese, but classic anime all the time worthy of watching over and over again. Hopefully, you will find these anime series is useful for your Japanese learning.

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