There are a lot of TV shows 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 that highlights life in a school setting. From supernatural romances to over-the-top comedies, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below, and we’ll get them added on!
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is one of Kyoto Animation’s best works. It delivers a colorful main cast that is seeping in personality and appeal. These characters often get themselves in tight situations and develop logical yet hilarious ways of getting out of said circumstances.
It captures the wonders and downsides of being a high-schooler. It addresses realistic issues most tend to face at this time like low self-esteem and bullying. Furthermore, the activities its main character, Haruhi Suzumiya, and her friends will find themselves in will resonate with fans who’ve been a part of quirky clubs.
Furthermore, Haruhi’s energetic attitude is unmatched and will fill you with excitement. To play off her overwhelming charisma is the anime’s male protagonist Kyon whose as bland and brass as you’d expect. However, when he runs into Haruhi, his whole world will spiral into something more ambiguous and adventurous.
Toradora is a romantic comedy anime with incredibly written characters and humor. It follows Ryuuji Takasu, a high school student who enjoys performing chores around his house. Despite being a hard worker, many people depict him as a delinquent because of his intimidating persona.
One day, he meets Taiga Aisaka, who looks cute buts acts like a rambunctious teenager. She’s an incredible sword-wielding girl who’s not afraid to give anyone a beat down if they disrespect her. Anyway, their meeting is anything but sweet as the two end up embarrassing themselves in public. They interact for a bit and find out they both have a crush on each other’s best friend.
Therefore, the anime follows Taiga and Ryuuji on their quests to attain the heart of their fantasy husband and wife. However, they’ll come to realize that their soulmate was right next to them the entire time.
It’s a hilarious and beautiful anime that showcases the joy of discovering love at a young age. If you’re looking for an anime that depicts the joys you had searching for love during your school days, check out Toradora.
School Rumble is a hilarious romance and high school anime. This anime delves into unrequited love and unspoken confessions and showcases students undergoing nervous behaviors when approaching their love interest. It’s an anime that will resonate with folks who had trouble confessing their love for the other during school.
This anime follows Tenma Tsukamoto and her quest to confess her feelings to the males she likes. At the same time, we follow a boy named Kenji Harima who is in a similar bind. Therefore, the anime delves into the two’s daily school activities as they try to confess to their lover.
You’ll see these characters end up in embarrassing school-oriented circumstances which will lower their self-esteem. Some involve being late for class or taking on responsibility for tasks they’re unfamiliar with. This is all for the sake of winning over their interest and adding some touches of humor to the narrative.
Clannad is one of the best high-school romance anime of all time. Many of its superb and hard-hitting qualities appear in the sequel Clannad After Story, though. That’s because the sequel focuses on their dault lifestyles after school. Yet, Clannad’s charm stemmed from following the characters’ lives in high school.
This anime follows the delinquent Tomoya Okazaki, a boy who believes life is boring and that he’ll never achieve anything. One day, he meets a girl named Nagisa Furukawa who seems weird to him at first glance and decides to pay her no mind.
However, he’ll later run into her from time to time and decides to befriend the girl. He finds out that Nagisa’s dream is to revive their school’s drama club, and Tomoya reluctantly declares that he’ll help her do so. The anime takes off there and follows the building of friendships between Tomoya, Nagisa, and others in their school and neighborhood.
As one can tell, this anime loves to dive into its characters’ reactions to their world. It also showcases characters performing horrible and righteous stunts while attending their classes. It later delves into the backgrounds and psychology of each of the characters in dramatic ways. If you’re looking for an anime that will resonate with you, check out Clannad.
K-On is an anime known for popularizing the moe sub-genre. For those unaware, the moe sub-genre depicts cutesy-looking girls doing adorable things in whatever setting they surround themselves in. This genre tackles and gives off feelings of innocence and the joys of youth.
K-On follows a girl named Yu Hirasawa who ends up applying to join her school’s Light Music Club. However, she was unaware that the club was about playing music and quit. She leaves because she has no experience playing music. However, the club members desperately offer her reasons to join their club and end up playing a catchy song to get her to reconsider. From then onward the anime follows Yui and her clubs’ daily lives.
This anime is full of soft and lighthearted themes. It’s an anime that will remind you of the joys of hanging out with your friends during your youth. It will also fill you with joy and passion to see Yui develop her instrumentation over time. If you’re looking for a great wholesome anime- K-On is worth watching.
Lucky Star is like the little sister series to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. This is not because Lucky Star’s protagonist Konata Izumi is a huge fan of her work. It’s due to the anime having similar content and structure (to some degree).
Our tale takes place in a school setting and follows Konata and her friends’ daily lives and antics. It has an episodic plot structure as there is no end-game or motive shown for any of the girls. The anime chooses to opt-out of a complex narrative for one that’s simple, hilarious, and charming.
Konata’s known for being a lazy girl who’s obsessed with the Otaku culture. You’ll see her try to convince her friends to participate in activities that don’t match with their well-mannered behavior. Some side characters serve as depictions of well-disciplined individuals who like to complete their homework, study for tests, and act accordingly.
It’s a series with many easter eggs, hilarity, and appeal to warrant a watch from fans.
Nichijou is another hilarious high school anime that zones in on the daily antics that crop up in a high school setting. The anime contains wonderful characters, charming humor, and a cozy atmosphere. The anime’s visuals are also breathtakingly wholesome and delightful.
Nichjou focuses on three friends named Mio Naganohara, Yuuko Aioi, and Mai Minakam. It showcases their daily lives and the mishaps they end up getting into while attending school. The anime also features slight supernatural elements regarding a robot caretaker named Nano and a talking cat called Sakamoto.
In the anime, you’ll see these characters react and take in the sights surrounding them. Some scenes include absurd activities like watching their principal wrestle a deer or seeing one of their classmates being bitten by a talking crow. It’s an anime with a lot of weird imagery that’s sure to get a rise out of you.
Ouran High School Host Club
Ouran High School Host Club is a great anime depicting students’ daily lives in a club. It has an episodic plot structure, likable characters, and a slew of comedic scenes full of absurdity. The anime does feature some sad occurrences whenever it delves into some characters’ past lives, though.
These sad occurrences are often coupled with touching character moments that will make you bawl your eyes out. Besides that, Ouran High School Host Club wishes to cheer you up by placing its characters in joyful and fun-filled scenarios.
Ouran High School Host Club follows a well-mannered girl named Haruhi Fujioka, who is trying to find a quiet place to study. During her outing, she finds an unused music room. Upon entering, she’s met with a loud welcome by the Host Club. This club consists of handsome boys who love to amuse the girls in their school.
Haruhi tumbles over and knocks an expensive vase out of shock. To repay them for the vase, Haruhi joins the club and becomes a host. While pretending to be a boy, Haruhi must now participate in this club’s activities if she hopes to repay them for breaking their vase.
Kaguya-Sama Love Is War
Kaguya-Sama Love is War focuses on the tale between two class representatives named Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya. Many classmates classify them as the ideal couple because of their shared status. Yet, Kaguya and Miyuki don’t concur.
The twist is they do have feelings for each other, but none of them wants to let the other know. They both believe if they confess their love, people will think they’re weak and unfit for their roles. So, the anime follows the two’s growing rivalry and love for each other.
This anime emulates high school romance wonderfully. The main characters exhibit realistic signs of rebellion while also showcasing a softer side to themselves. The anime plays the point about keeping secrets up well. It does so by making its characters endure uncomfortable situations that will encourage one or both to slip up.
It makes for a hilarious and exhilarating watch. If you’re curious to see who will be the first one to confess, then check out Kaguya-Sama Love is War.
Azumanga Daioh is a slice-of-life anime with no complex premise. What it lacks in a complex story, it makes up for with a plethora of skits that’ll make you laugh your pants off. From hilarious gags to clever slapstick humor, Azumanga Daioh has it all. You’ll see teachers driving terribly, characters’ faces turning red, and other humorous bits.
While the anime’s full of laughs, it also offers some relaxing and wholesome moments. These scenes include students taking exams, participating in New Year’s and high school activities, and other things in between. It offers a mixed bag of events that are sure to warm your heart and delight you.
At the same time, the anime’s characters come off as likable and relatable individuals. There are characters who showcase a lack of care for social activities and others who are full of energy. The voice actresses do a fine job at bringing these characters to life because there’s never a dull moment. The music also matches the cheery and wacky tones of the show well.
Overall, Azumanga Daioh promises viewers will walk away feeling happier about themselves and the world we all inhabit.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime through the years about school life!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!