The Best Anime About Orphans | TheReviewGeek Recommends

The world of anime is expansive and offers many unique stories with compelling characters, engaging plots, and epic moments. While some anime come and go, many deliver unique and memorable experiences. Those types of anime typically contain well-written storylines and characters.

For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, we’d like to highlight the best anime about orphans. From heartbreaking thrillers to atmospheric endeavors, there’s a great selection of anime on this list that’ll whet your appetite. 

Feel free to leave your comments about our choices below. If we missed any of your favorites, feel free to leave a suggestion below and we’ll add them on when we have the time. 

The Promised Neverland

The Promised Neverland is a captivating series centered around a group of orphans who live in a sinister orphanage. The anime masterfully explores themes of family and survival. It demonstrates how far one is willing to go to save those they care about.

The main trio Emma, Norman, and Ray are well-developed with unique personalities and motives. Their bond as orphans navigating a treacherous environment forms the heart of the story, showcasing their resilience, intelligence, and resourcefulness. Moreover, the anime depicts the orphan’s struggle for freedom and their pursuit of a better future.

The anime presents a dark and twisted reality where the orphanage is revealed to be a farm for human consumption. This prompts our cast to create an elaborate scheme to outwit their caretaker and flee the establishment for good.

With its thrilling plot and intelligent cast, you’ll likely enjoy this one’s offerings. 

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket (2019)

Fruits Basket is a beloved anime drama with an exceptional take on orphans. It follows Tohru, a kind-hearted girl who finds herself living with the interesting Sohma family. Many adore this series for its psychological and emotional aspects. The anime skillfully portrays the struggles and insecurities of orphaned characters, highlighting their stresses with abandonment and its impact. 

Each character copes with and carries their own emotional baggage, lending depth to their journeys. Through Tohru’s unwavering compassion, the show emphasizes the healing power of love and friendship too.

On top of highlighting key themes like self-growth and resilience, Fruits Basket is a must-watch. 

Kotaro Lives Alone


Dororo is a compelling story of Hyakkimaru, a person who embarks on a quest to regain his stolen body parts. The series is exceptional in its portrayal of orphans as it delves into themes like identity, resilience, and the search for purpose. Hyakkimaru’s tragic upbringing forces him to adapt and develop outstanding skills. 

As he meets various demons and battles to reclaim his limbs, he gradually discovers his own identity and the value he holds as an individual. On top of dealing with the harsh realities of orphan life in a feudal society, many people will adore Osamu Tezuka’s stance on orphan life in Dororo. 

Natsume’s Book of Friends

Natsume’s Book of Friends is a beautiful and heartfelt anime that explores the experiences of orphans in a profound way. The story follows Natsume, a boy who can see spirits and inherits his grandmother’s “Book of Friends” text. This book contains many spirit names that his grandmother defeated years ago. 

As Natsume encounters these spirits and learns more about his grandmother’s past, the anime delves into themes of loneliness, longing for family, and the search for belonging. With its excellent exploration of Natsume’s orphaned mindset and his longing to connect with others throughout the tale, you’ll adore the beautiful character-driven narrative presented here. 

Kamisama Kiss

Kamisama Kiss is a delightful anime that follows Nanami. She’s a normal girl who becomes a deity after inheriting a string from a mysterious individual. Many cherish this anime for its exceptional handling of Nanami’s growth. She starts off as this struggling orphan but gradually becomes a powerful and capable deity by the series’s conclusion. 

Moreover, this tale emphasizes the importance of “chosen family” and found connections. As Nanami takes on her new role, she meets several supernatural beings who become her friends. The anime depicts these bonds in beautiful ways, showing how Nanami finds love, support, and a sense of belonging for each group. If you’re into tales with powerful life lessons, check this out. 

Yona of the Dawn

Yona of the Dawn is a remarkable anime. It focuses on the journey of Princess Yona, who becomes an orphan-like character after witnessing her father’s demise. Yona’s transformation from a sheltered princess to a strong and determined individual is a spectacle to behold. As Yona embarks on her quest, the series explores her growth and desire to find her place in society. 

Additionally, the anime examines the emotional and psychological impact of losing one’s support system. Yona experiences immense grief. She grapples with her father’s loss a lot throughout the story and must confront issues related to her new lifestyle.

If you’re after a tale that explores an orphan’s journey to cope with loss, this is definitely worth your time. 

Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies is a gutwrenching Hayao Miyazaki classic. It follows two orphaned siblings named Seita and Setsuko who struggle to survive during World War II.

The film beautifully captures the devastating effects of war on innocent lives and provides a powerful portrayal of the experiences orphans face during warfare. It explores our characters’ struggle to survive, their bond as siblings, and the lengths they’re willing to go to protect each other during times of peril.

The anime’s haunting animation and storytelling convey these aspects well too. You’ll find it difficult to sit through Seita and Setsuko’s gradual loss of hope. From sickness to starvation, this is an anime best-watched with a box of tissues nearby. 

The Girl From The Other Side

The Girl From The Other Side is an artistic and psychological anime many people should watch. It delves into universal themes like love and isolation. The anime explores the bond between Shiva and her protector, Sensei. It gives fans an emotional exploration of loneliness and one’s journey to obtain a sense of belonging. 

Shiva, who lives in a world divided between humans and cursed beings, is ostracized due to her association with the Other Side. She’ll find solace and love from Sensei, providing viewers with a cozy and relatable watch.

On top of exploring their relationship to great effect through visual and traditional storytelling techniques, you’ll be bewildered by what’s presented here. 

Ringing Bell

Ringing Bell looks like a child-like anime based on the above promotional image. However, as they say, it’s never wise to judge a work by its cover image. This anime offers a unique and thought-provoking exploration of loss, revenge, and identity by following the journey of a young, orphaned lamb named Chirin. 

After seeing a wolf kill his mother in cold blood, Chirin embarks on a path of vengeance, seeking to become a powerful predator like the wolf. The anime delves into the intricacies of Chirin’s quest. His journey will shape his new identity and challenge his understanding of the world he lives in.

On top of exploring the psychological toll his mother’s death has on him, Ringing Bell is an exceptional and mature orphaned-themed anime everyone should watch. 

So, there we have it, our picks for the 10 best anime about orphans 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!

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