There is a lot of anime out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable shows through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, our attention this time turns to anime from the shoujo demographic. From heartwarming relationships to action-packed female heroes, there’s a great choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll add them!
Kimi No Todoke: From Me To You
Kimi No Todoke: From Me To You is a well-written romance anime with likable characters and a great soundtrack. Our cast embarks on a mission of self-discovery, love, and friendship. By the end, you’ll be impressed by how much they learn from the anime’s conclusion. It revolves around Sawako, a girl ridiculed for her looks.
She’ll meet a boy named Shouta, a boy she admired for his bravery. As one can expect, we follow the romance between these two unlikely companions and watch them grow into a loving pair toward the end. Sawako will meet other kind-hearted people along the way who’ll help her develop as a human being.
With its pleasant atmosphere, beautiful visuals, and likable cast, this romance anime will warm any shoujo fan’s heart.
Sailor Moon owes Toonami many thanks. This programming block helped it reach a wider audience, making it a staple in many children’s viewing lists alongside other hits like Mobile Suit Gundam or Dragon Ball. What Sailor Moon had that these shows lacked were strong lead female protagonists who adore fighting crime and saving humanity.
Like most shounen works, Sailor Moon adopts an action-centric stance. While it features great character dynamics, development, and humor, Sailor Moon isn’t afraid to place its female cast in life-threatening circumstances. This doesn’t happen all the time, as it saves these instances for its bigger plot points.
However, it’s the girls’ companionship with each other that makes it an iconic work in many’s eyes, including males. If you’re looking for a gripping shoujo anime that anyone can enjoy, check out Sailor Moon.
Cardcaptor Sakura feels like Sailor Moon’s equal in parts. The show contains action, adventure, and romantic elements. It has a female-dominant cast that fans will adore and some male characters who aren’t pushovers. Cardcaptor Sakura includes some dark elements like Sailor Moon, but it isn’t anything too dark or terrifying.
Furthermore, this show contains a lot of slice-of-life and comedic elements. Our characters remain in Sakura’s hometown for the most part and you’ll get to peer into their school lives a lot. Not only does Sakura contend with mystical issues, but she must also solve real problems that crop up occasionally.
Furthermore, Sakura’s more fashionable, as her friends like to make her new outfits to wear. If you adore witchcraft, comedy, and shows with an adorable atmosphere, check out Cardcaptor Sakura.
Natsume’s Book of Friends
Throughout history, we’ve had many shows, films, and books containing adventure narratives involving individuals of different species. Natsume’s Book of Friends is another work that focuses on an inter-species bond between two folks. Our protagonist Natsume is known for speaking to youkai and chooses to isolate himself from society due to his powers.
One day, he’ll meet a cat-like spirit named Madara. Madara reminds Natsume of his late grandmother, whose known for creating a mystical artifact called the Book of Friends. In exchange for the book, Natsume makes a deal with Madara. Acting as Natsume’s bodyguard, the pair embark on a journey to free the youkai his grandmother sealed away.
This anime contains great visuals, animation, and character moments. Fans will enjoy seeing how our cast interacts with the people, wildlife, and world around them. If you admire shows with funny scenarios, great inter-species companionship, and magical settings, Natsume’s Book of Friends might be the show for you.
Nana is an underrated hit everyone should watch. It revolves around two women named Nana’s live in Tokyo. They hope to achieve better lives while visiting. One Nana seeks fame while the other hopes for a beautiful romance. The two will meet and forge a bond that develops into something wholesome and admirable by the series’s conclusion.
This anime features great music, comedy, and real-world issues. You’ll cherish the variety of music inserted into this show. Everything sounds great and many songs don’t feel repetitive. Both Nana harbor excellent personalities and traits that help them stand out and feel memorable. Fans will love seeing these two interact with each other and others in the show.
With a pinch of fashion and comedy, Nana is an incredible shoujo series with heart. Check it out if you adore music, fashion, romance, or shows with unique art styles.
The Rose of Versailles
The Rose of Versailles is an incredibly well-written shoujo series. It contains a strong female-dominant cast, a riveting art style, and excellent drama. Despite being a work from the 70s’, this anime has some remarkable animated sequences that’ll take your breath away. From its graceful dance scenes to its shots of the crowds, you’ll adore how lively this show can be.
The story follows a Princess named Marie, who gets sent to France to marry Prince Louis XVI. Their marriage will help strengthen the alliance between both countries. When Marie arrives, she meets Oscar, the commander of the royal guard. She was raised as a boy but desires to live life as a female instead. As Oscar monitors Marie’s frivolous behavior, he’ll grow resentment toward her.
This anime can get extremely complex and informative. It features real historical facts that led up to the French Revolution. This anime’s music is soothing and reflects what you’d hear in France. This is an old work that holds up well and will surely impress those who adore thought-provoking shows.
Whisper of the Heart
Whisper of the Heart is a vibrant film with an incredible atmosphere. In it, we follow Shizuku. She’s looking for a boy named Seiji, who seems to share the same love of literature as herself. The two meet in the shop and become close friends. However, after learning more about Seiji’s dreams and passions, Shizuku embarks on a quest to secure a dream of her own.
This is one of Hayao Miyazaki’s lesser-known projects. It’s more focused on highlighting our characters’ daily lives than featuring a narrative with groundbreaking elements. Fans shouldn’t expect our cast to wind up in life-threatening or absurd situations. They simply live in a world with high authenticity. Nevertheless, there are some magical elements at play to make things interesting.
That said, this is an excellent film that depicts child psychology. It features enough genuine dramatic moments to keep you invested and concludes satisfyingly. If you’re looking for a wonderful shoujo anime with romantic and magical elements, give this a shot.
Sometimes your best friends can become your worst enemies. Therefore, it’s best to choose your companions wisely. Otherwise, you’d end up in a similar predicament as Skip Beat’s protagonist, Kyouko. After spending so much energy supporting her friend Shoutarou, her adoration for him vanishes instantly.
One day, Kyouko overhears him speaking ill of her. Enraged, Kyouko vows to surpass Shoutarou in the showbiz world to get vengeance. Her plans don’t go accordingly. She’ll meet many people who’ll force her out of her comfort zone. Nevertheless, Kyouko’s determination will strike a core with most viewers. No one likes being robbed of their time and this is an aspect of the anime many can relate with.
If you adore romantic comedies with revenge plots, check this one out.
Yona of the Dawn
Imagine having your world taken from you in an instant. This is the situation Yona of the Dawn’s protagonist Yona suffers in this anime. She lives a peaceful life in her Kouka kingdom. However, a maniacal act of reason steals Yona’s happiness from her eyes. She flees the kingdom with her friend Son and plans to survive in the wild.
With a target on her back, Yona vows to seek vengeance upon the terrible people who deprived her of her lovely life. This anime contains excellent character development, action, and romantic elements. The animation is beautiful and its soundtrack will heighten your immersion in the anime.
Featuring a strong female protagonist, beautiful animation, and an enjoyable soundtrack and storyline, Yona of the Dawn is a must-watch series for adventure fans.
My Love Story!!
My Love Story!! is a romantic comedy with a unique structure. It doesn’t contain any emotional love triangles. In its place is a cast of characters who get into bizarre yet genuine situations. It’s a show that will fill your heart with comfort and immense happiness. In it, we follow Takeo, a boy who has trouble making friends.
It’s all due to his hulking body structure, which instills fear into everyone he meets. Upsettingly, his friend’s one of the coolest people in their school. One day, Takeo saves a girl named Rinko from perverted boys. He develops feelings for Rinko but assumes she’s more interested in his friend. Therefore, we examine Takeo’s attempts at getting Rinko and his friend together.
The characters in this show receive great development, characterization, and backstories. Fans will adore seeing Takeo uncover more intel about love while interacting with his buddies. The side characters play a huge role in helping Takeo thrive. If you’re looking for a romance anime that leans more toward charm than depression, My Love Story is worth a watch.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best shoujo anime through the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!