Here’s a fun way of learning Japanese — ANIME! Here are the best anime to learn Japanese.看看吧!
Many Japanese educators suggest anime series and anime novels are a great way to increase motivation to learn the language and a great way to understand how the words are pronounced. So I’ve shortlisted a couple of my favourite animes that have a good storyline and are easy to understand.
So let’s get started with the Best Japanese Anime To Watch!
Best Anime to Learn Japanese — Quick Summary
|Best Anime to Learn Japanese||Ease Of Understanding|
|My Neighbor Totoro||5/5|
|Kiki’s Delivery Service||4/5|
Top Anime To Learn Japanese
スクールランブル (School Rumble)
If you love high school drama, School Rumble will have you hooked with a medium pace of speech, this anime is great to learn high school Japanese lingo. The show revolves around Tenma Tsukamoto, a high school girl who is trying her best to win the heart of the high school bad boy.
This anime can teach you how to understand and react to local casual talk among friends. A great help to socialize among the younger crowd in Japan.
ポケモン (“Pokémon”) – Best Anime to Learn Japanese
宠物小精灵 short for pocket monsters have been around for decades and have been loved for their positive messages to young children to value friendship and work hard to achieve their dreams.
This is a great Anime to watch and learn a combination of useful information, the anime is directed towards teenagers. So the pace of speech is moderate, making it easier to understand the pronunciation of difficult words.
The main character Ash sets out on a journey to become the world’s best pokemon trainer, through his journey he finds friends who support him to achieve his dreams as well as theirs through the process.
This is a great anime to start learning Japanese with as they don’t use complex words. A version of the show is available that has a faster pace and complex words that really emphasize more meaning. You can check it out for advanced learning.
Here is another high school classic anime, K-On!, that is great if you’re a musician and would like to connect and socialise with local musicians in Japan. The series is about four high school girls who start a band to find their way into fame and fortune.
The vocabulary and notion of speech are mainly about the performing arts and how they communicate with each other to achieve greatness in their musical careers.
The anime consists of one season that has thirteen episodes which are great if you don’t like getting into a multi-seasonal binge.
I would suggest this anime to people who are planning on pursuing a musical career in Japan as the whole show revolves around different musicians the four girls meet and also a great way to understand the musical taste of the Japanese.
デスノート (“Death Note”)
死亡笔记 is my favourite and also a favourite among many others around the world. The anime is a combination of thrill, excitement and intellectual thinking.
The pace and vocabulary are showcased for upper-level Japanese students so it might not be the best choice to start with but a great series to advance to once you’ve got a hang of the basics.
The show is about the death notebook that falls into the hand of a young aspiring high school student who is the son of a police officer.
轻轻的八神庵, the main character who finds the death note is a genius who has been given the power to control the fates of the people he finds unworthy to exist after their crimes to create a world without crime.
The vocabulary used revolves around law enforcement and a lot of police work lingo. The series is great to understand Japanese Kanji, which is quite different from the flow English has when speaking the language.
ドラゴンボール (“Dragon Ball”)
龙珠 is by far one of the oldests and still running anime series that is a favorite among teenagers from all around the world. The series is culturally rich and is perfect for beginners as the pace of speech is slow and clear with a lot of action to keep you glued to the screen.
The series focuses on 悟空 the main character of the series and his friends who are out to find the seven Dragon balls that have been scattered around the world and once brought together summons a wish-granting dragon that full-fills all of your desires.
The series is rich with Japanese culture and martial arts that makes it super fun and exciting to watch. This is an excellent anime to start learning Japanese.
となりのトトロ (“My Neighbor Totoro”)
My Neighbor Totoro comes from one of the most famous anime studios, Ghibli movies. It is a classic Japanese children’s favorite that has made it to the hearts of kids all around the world.
Here is another excellent Japanese anime to start learning the language with simple words and pronunciation that is easy to understand, grasp and remember, thanks to the lovable characters.
The storyline involves two main characters Mei and Satsuki who move to a rural village and start a life there with their family. The anime shows rural scenery and landscapes of old japan that they’ve taken inspiration from the history of the place.
魔女の宅急便 (“Kiki’s Delivery Service”)
Kiki’s Delivery service is a great follow up from My Neighbor Totoro, made by the famous Studio Ghibli.
I’m sure if you ask any adult or child in Japan about this anime they will tell you they grew up with it as the series has been on air since 1989. Making it an excellent anime for beginners to start learning Japanese.
This is a great series to show children who want to learn Japanese as there are no vogue Japanese words used and no local slang.
The storyline is about a small 13 year old girl who is a young witch and her black cat companion. The anime is of a comedy genre and has excellent japanese phrases of positive nature to learn from.
"您的姓名” is definitely one of the most amazing and successful Japanese anime movies that has made it to the Japanese screens after two thousand.
The vocabulary is above moderate and has the native lingo that makes it a bit difficult for beginners to understand. But it has rich native japanese words that are good to add to your vocabulary.
The anime is based on 新海诚‘s perception that shows the daily life of growing teenagers in a fantasy world in japan.
The characters are exciting and grab your attention making it an excellent anime for upper beginners to check out to see if they can follow the speed and pronunciation.
Bakemonogatari is an excellent anime series to watch if you’re into witty conversations among high school students.
This is an excellent anime to test and improve your Japanese as the conversations are fast paced with sarcastic and most of the time double meaning intentions that are not easy for beginners to understand.
It is safe to say this anime is for advanced Japanese learners, the storyline is based on a young high school kid named Koyomi Araragi that has a way with words and tries to talk his way with many different heroines that he comes across in the anime.
ペルソナ4 (“Persona 4”)
Are you a fan of murder and mystery based stories, Persona 4 will peak those interests while teaching upper beginner phrases and dialogues that can help you improve your basic Japanese.
The storyline starts with a series of mysterious murders that take place in a rural town called Inaba. The murders happen when there is a fog immediately after a burst of heavy rains where people have gone missing right after.
The people who disappear after the fog somehow end up in a channel that comes on air mysteriously at midnight.
How To Use Anime To Learn Japanese
While anime is a great tool to learn Japanese, it shouldn’t be your only way to learn Japanese. This is because Japanese anime uses a lot of informal language and a lot of made up words.
And if you converse with Japanese people like how they converse in anime, it’ll be considered rude. It’s important that you learn the right honorific’s in Japanese and what to use where.
However, all hope is not lost. You can still learn Japanese watching good anime. It can help you understand basic words in Japanese like yes, no, up, down, here, there, where?, what?, when?, etc. And you will also understand what nouns, verbs, adjectives you can use depending on the context.
Here are some tips you can keep in mind when watching anime to learn Japanese
First Learn Your Basics
Start watching anime to learn Japanese only after you have some understanding of Japanese. Get your foundation right by watching tutorials.
Choose A Relevant Anime
To learn Japanese when watching anime, you need to choose anime that makes sense. As much as possible, choose anime that is set in the real world in present. This way the conversations will be more realistic-like. It’s best to stick to anime whose timeline is set to present day.
Take Notes and Actively Listen
Make sure that you actively listen to the words being said. The patterns they are used in. The different conjugations they are used in. Make sure that you also take notes of words or phrases you havent heard or understood so you can look it up later
Rewatch the Anime
Try as much as possible to rewatch anime so you can understand how much you have learnt and can compare the level of understanding as you keep learning Japanese. Try turning the subtitles off and figure out the meaning of the phrases and then turn it on to check if you were right.
Another useful tip: Choose one anime episode or movie as a standard to check your level of understanding. Rewatch this particular episode or movie in regular intervals like maybe end of every month so you can understand how much of the anime you can understand without the subtitles