18 Coming of Age Anime Absolutely Worth Watching

18 Coming of Age Anime Absolutely Worth Watching

Coming of age stories are popular in anime, and why wouldn’t it be? Young people solving personal problems is a staple of the industry!

The right doses of drama, romance, and introspection has made the genre popular with all sorts of fans – especially ones addicted to character growth. Here are some of the best of the genre!


1. Clannad

Studio: Kyoto Animation

Genre: Comedy / Drama / Romance / Slice of Life / Supernatural

Episodes: 47 +2 OVAs

Quick Pitch: Tomoya Okazaki has already decided to waste away his high school life, but a chance encounter with Nagisa Furukawa alters his plans. She was held back a year due to a severe illness and dreams of reviving the school’s drama club. Claiming he has nothing better to do, Tomoya decides to befriend Nagisa and help make her dream come true.


2. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Genre: Drama / Slice of Life / Supernatural

Episodes: 11 + 1 Movie

Quick pitch: Jinta Yadomi lives life as a shut-in. One hot summer day, Jinta sees Meiko Honma, who is an old childhood friend. She spends the day pestering Jinta about a wish but ignores her since she died several years ago. Thinking this was a hallucination, Jinta is convinced that he has been seeing Meiko’s ghost. He must reunite their old friends so that Meiko’s soul can be put to rest.


3. Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon)

Studio: MAPPA / Tezuka Productions

Genre: Drama / Music / Romance

Episodes: 12

Quick Pitch: Kaoru Nishimi has arrived in Kyushu to attend high school, but his constant moving to new towns has killed his hopes of fitting in. Kaoru prepares for another lonely year, but things change after an encounter Sentarou Kawabuchi and class president Ritsuko Mukae. The trio begins to bond over jazz music and they decide to form a band.


4. Nana

Studio: Madhouse

Genre: Drama / Music / Romance

Episodes: 47

Quick Pitch: Nana Komatsu is a hopeless romantic who clings to those around her. Though Komatsu has ambitious dreams, she boards a train to Tokyo so she can be close to her boyfriend.

Nana Osaki is enigmatic punk rock singer with dreams of becoming a star. Osaki puts her past behind her and boards a train to Tokyo with the goal of debuting with her band Black Stones.

Both Nana’s lives are about to become intertwined.


5. Ping Pong the Animation

Studio: Tatsunoko Production

Genre: Drama / Sports

Episodes: 11

Quick Pitch: Peco and Smile are childhood friends who share an interest in ping pong. Their lives change after Peco loses a match and decides to quit practicing. Smile, due to his own issues, can’t find it in himself to beat Peco in a match. However, a coach sees great potential in Smile.


6. The Anthem of the Heart (Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda.)

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Genre: Drama / Romance

Episodes: 1 Movie

Quick Pitch: Jun used to be a chatterbox, but a magical egg convinces her that her talking caused her parent’s divorce. Placed under a “curse,” Jun loses her ability to speak. In high school, Jun is enrolled in the Community Outreach program with three other students. After bonding, they decide to do a musical based on Jun’s experiences.


7. Silver Spoon (Gin no Saji)

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Genre: Comedy / Romance / Slice of Life

Episodes: 22

Quick Pitch: Tired of trying to meet the impossible expectations set upon him, Yuugo Hachiken enrolls at Ooezo Agricultural High School, which is far from the city life he has always known. With no plans for the future, Yuugo uses his high school years learning about agricultural life and how it affects the lives of his new friends.


8. Chihayafuru

Studio: Madhouse

Genre: Drama / Romance / Sports

Episodes: 50 + 1 OVA

Quick Pitch: Chihaya has spent most of her young life supporting her sister’s modeling career, but she finds new purpose after meeting a karuta player named Arata. After becoming friends, Chihaya learns she has the potential to become a great competitive karuta player and she strives to make the dream a reality.


9. Wolf Children

Studio: Studio Chizu

Genre: Fantasy / Slice of Life

Episodes: 1 Movie

Quick Pitch: Hana is a college student who falls in love with a mysterious man. On a full moon, it is revealed that he is the last werewolf but that doesn’t weaken their bond. Shortly after giving birth to two babies, Hana’s lover dies in an accident. Now, she is left alone to raise two children who can turn into werewolves and are the last of their kind.


10. Hanasaku Iroha

Studio: P.A. Works

Genre: Drama / Romance / Slice of Life

Episodes: 26 + 1 Movie

Quick Pitch: Ohana is sent to live at her estranged grandmother’s hot spring inn after her mother’s elopement. Ohana begins working at the inn, but she has trouble getting along with her co-workers and customers. After wallowing in discouragement, Ohana decides to use the situation to change not only her personality but to improve her new relationships.


11. Tsuki ga Kirei

Studio: feel.

Genre: Romance

Episodes: 12

Quick pitch: Akane Mizuno and Kotarou are third-year students at a junior high school, and are becoming classmates for the first time. Along with Chinatsu Nishio and Takumi Hira, the group of friends will rely on each other to overcome the challenges they face as third-year students.


12. The Boy and the Beast

Studio: Studio Chizu

Genre: Adventure / Supernatural

Episodes: 1 Movie

Quick Pitch: Ren is a 10-year-old boy who runs away from his terrible family life to wander the streets of Shibuya. When Ren gets lost in a maze of alleyways, he ends up in Shibuten – a world of beasts that is full of fierce aggression and gentle kindness.


13. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Studio: Madhouse

Genre: Adventure / Drama / Romance / Science Fiction

Episodes: 1 Movie

Quick pitch: Makoto Konno is in her last year of high school, but she has no plans for the future. Makoto deals with the pressure she faces from teachers by hanging out with her friends. But her life changes when she accidentally learns that she can leap through time.


14. Nodame Cantabile

Studio: J.C. Staff

Genre: Comedy / Drama / Romance / Slice of Life

Episodes: 45 + 4 OVAs

Quick Pitch: Chiaki is a master pianist and violinist, and he wants nothing more than being able to pursue his musical career in Europe like his mentor had. There’s just one problem: he’s deathly afraid of flying. When Noda Megumi, another pianist with magical fingers, walks into the picture, that which follows is a warm tale of two people striving to make each other happy.


15. Maison Ikkoku

Studio: Studio Deen

Genre: Comedy / Romance

Episodes: 96 + 3 OVAs + 1 Movie

Quick Pitch: Yusaku Godai is a college student living in Maison Ikkoku, a comfortable but threadbare dormitory complex. Tired of being teased for his introvert personality, Godai vows to find a new residence but changes his mind after meeting Kyoko Otonashi. She serves as Maison Ikkoku’s new manager, and Godai immediately falls for Kyoko’s charm. But she is a widow that is slowly being consumed by depression.


16. Honey and Clover (Hachimitsu no Clover)

Studio: J.C. Staff

Genre: Romance

Episodes: 36

Quick Pitch: Yuuta, Takumi, and Shinobu are bachelors who share an apartment with no bath. However, the low rent is perfect as they try to eek out lives as art students. Their lives start to get a little more interesting when two girls move-in: Hagumi and her guardian Shuuji. Life of a young college student may seem fun, but it’s filled with pitfalls that are difficult to navigate.


17. A Letter to Momo (Momo e no Tegami)

Studio: Production I.G.

Genre: Drama / Supernatural

Episodes: 1 Movie

Quick Pitch: Momo and her mother move to the remote island Seto following the unexpected death of her father. The possession Momo has from her father is an unfinished letter that reads, “Dear Momo.” Struggling to adjust to rural life, Momo finds an old youkai picture book, with three of the youkai coming to life.


18. Genshiken

Studio: Palm Studio (Part 1) / Arms (Part 2)

Genre: Comedy / Slice of life

Episodes: 24 + 3 OVAs

Quick Pitch: Kanji is a shy college freshman who decides to join Genshiken, which is a club for otaku. He hopes to become a little more social to quit feeling guilty about being an otaku.

Saki is bewildered by her boyfriend, anime otaku Kousaka, and wishes to drag him out of the club. Thinking otaku culture is for losers, she slowly learns more than she ever thought possible about the various subcultures.
What is your favorite coming of age anime?

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