School anime is a genre that’s a little different than what you might see in the West. Anime has a special way of portraying the high school experience, and here are some of the best!
The first thing to know about school anime is that it typically follows one character throughout their entire academic career. This makes for an interesting dynamic because we get to follow them from freshman year all through graduation-usually with hilarious and heartwarming moments along the way.
If you’re looking for something fun, lighthearted, and inspirational, these are perfect choices!
- Assassination Classroom
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
- Fruits Basket
- Your Lie in April
- A Silent Voice
- My Hero Academia
- Love, Chunibyou & Other Delusions!
- Angel Beats!
- Seitokai Yakuindomo
- Shokugeki no Souma
- Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts
- Gakkou Gurashi!
- Tsuki ga Kirei
- Daily Lives of High School Boys
- Classroom of the Elite
- *Wrap It Up
The series follows a ragtag bunch of misfit students in the Japanese equivalent of high school attempting to assassinate their teacher before graduation, or risk being killed by him instead.
While the premise may sound intriguing, what really sets the series apart from other Shōnen titles is its dark humor and satirical take on the problem of bullying in schools.
Great Teacher Onizuka
The story of Great Teacher Onizuka focuses around the life of Eikichi Onizuka. He is a 22-year-old college drop out that has managed to find work as a high school teacher.
The main character is Eikichi Onizuka. He’s an ex-gang leader who has a noble goal to help students succeed. In order to find his way he joins the teaching profession. His colleagues and students all have very strong personalities that often clash with his own.
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU is an anime series about a high school student, called Hachiman Hikigaya, who has no friends. He is always told that he is too pessimistic and does not come off as friendly.
His lack of friends leads to him believing that the world will always be cruel, so he decides to get revenge on this society. It turns out that Hachiman ends up being just as hurtful as the rest of the world when you get past his tough exterior.
Toradora! is an anime series with a romantic comedy plot. The story follows two high school students, the popular yet gentle Taiga Aisaka and the mysterious underachiever Ryuji Takasu, who agree to help each other overcome their respective social difficulties in exchange for being best friends and “a purely platonic relationship”.
It follows their adjustment to their new lives and cultures while transforming both of them into better people.
Fruits Basket is a story about Tohru Honda, who has just found out that her mother was dead. The only family she had left was her late mother’s husband and his three children–Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo Sohma.
In addition to being the new kid in school and having no where else to go, Tohru also finds out that all four of them are possessed by the animals of the Chinese zodiac after they saved her from a car accident.
K-On!! is an anime series about five friends who are in a band called the light music club during their last year of high school.
The light music club is a place for the girls to share their love of playing music together-even though they are all still amateur musicians at this stage.
Your Lie in April
Your Lie in April is an anime series based on the manga of the same name by Naoshi Arakawa. The story follows a teenage piano prodigy, Arima Kousei, who has been hailed as a child genius due to his remarkable piano playing skills.
However his life changes dramatically after the death of his mother and he no longer wants anything to do with the piano. One day he meets the mysterious violinist Miyazono Kaori, who helps him return to music and engage in a competition for the seat of best pianist against his former friend.
A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice is an animated film based on the manga of the same name. The story follows Shoya Ishida, a boy who bullies a deaf girl named Shoko Nishiyama, which ends up inciting her to violence and making everyone turn against her.
Afterwards Shoya finds that he has been turned into a bully instead of himself being bullied. He asks Shoko out several years later in order to try and make things right, but her hearing loss has worsened and all she sees is his insincerity. Now he wants to do anything he can to redeem himself for what happened in the past.
My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia follows the story of Midoriya Izuku. He lives in a world where 80% of the population has superpowers.
As he was born without any, this makes him an outcast at school and at home. All is not lost though as it turns out that his idol and legendary hero All Might is willing to pass on his superpowers to Izuku.
Love, Chunibyou & Other Delusions!
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions is about Yuuta Togashi and Rikka Takanashi. They both have “chunibyo”, which is a disorder that makes people act like they are living in an anime world.
As such they spend most of their time acting out scenes from famous anime with each other as the main characters. This comes to a stop though when the two of them fall in love with each other but can they handle being together?
D-Frag! is all about a delinquent who goes by the name of Kenji Kazama. He ends up with an unwanted female roommate that comes to school dressed as a boy and ends up being the leader of the Game Creation Club, which he hates.
Unfortunately for him he gets blamed by her for committing various crimes around school, so now he has to try and clear his name.
Charlotte is an anime series about Yu Otosaka. He has a special ability that allows him to possess anyone for five seconds and then have them forget what happened while he was controlling their body.
After using his power in order to get perfect grades, he finds himself entwined with the members of the student council who are trying to stop him.
Angel Beats! is an anime about Otonashi Yuzuru. He wakes up after dying, but he can’t find any of his memories from before and there are no other humans around.
After being attacked by a mysterious shadow figure, he finds himself in the afterlife where everyone has their own supernatural abilities. Now he must choose to join either god’s side or rebel against it if he wants his life to have a purpose.
Seitokai Yakuindomo is a high school anime about the Student Council. The former student council president was kicked out and now his successor starts to re-evaluate things that he never used to think twice about, such as whether or not the girls should be allowed to join the council.
Unfortunately for him, everyone around him does the exact opposite of what he expects so it becomes difficult to make decisions.
Shokugeki no Souma
Shokugeki no Souma is an anime about Yukihira Souma. He has been working with his dad at their family diner since he was a kid in order to surpass him as the best cook ever.
Unfortunately, that all changes when his father closes the restaurant and sends Souma off to Tootsuki Academy where only 10% of the students graduate.
Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts
Baka and Test is an anime about students trying to get good grades. In order to do so, they have to battle each other in sporting events. It’s not the most unique premise, but the characters are fun and there is plenty of comedy through misunderstandings.
Baka and Test is a very funny anime that makes studying seem exciting. The antagonists get away with ridiculous things just because they take studying too seriously!
ReLLife is an anime about Arata Kaizaki. He has no money or good job so he can’t even pay for his rent. One day, a man offers him a way to change his life forever by making him relive high school for one year via cell rejuvenation therapy.
This therapy allows him to experience high school like a student again, as the effect only lasts for one year.
Gakkou Gurashi! is an anime about Yuki Takeya and her school friends. They are in their third year of high school, which for most people is the best year due to not having any intense exams.
Unfortunately for them though, a group of zombie-like creatures start attacking them and they must decide whether to stick together or survive on their own.
Tsuki ga Kirei
Tsuki ga Kirei is an anime about two middle schoolers called Azumi Kotarou and Mizuno Akane. They develop feelings for each other at first sight which makes it difficult to confess their love.
As time goes on, they struggle with all sorts of issues such as whether they will be separated if they go to different schools.
Daily Lives of High School Boys
Daily Lives of High School Boys is an anime about Tadakuni, Hidenori, and Yoshitake. This school anime follows their day to day lives which consist of awkward moments that are also really funny.
They interact with a lot of students and teachers, all of which have crazy personalities so you’re sure to be laughing the whole way through.
Classroom of the Elite
Classroom of the Elite is an anime about Kiyotaka Ayanokouji. He moves to a prestigious school where he meets students who are all ranked by exam scores alone.
He decides to befriend one of these students but soon realizes that they have ulterior motives and are hiding dark secrets. This is a school anime that will leave you guessing the whole way through.
*Wrap It Up
If you’re a high school student who is looking for something to watch, these anime series are perfect. You don’t have to worry about being too old or childish because they cover the typical issues that everyone faces in school from friends and relationships all the way up to exams and rankings.
If your worries were on whether or not it would be difficult to relate with any of them due to their genre stories, fear no more! These shows provide plenty of laughs while also touching upon some heavier topics such as bullying and self-confidence which make for an interesting viewing experience. Consider checking out one (or all) of these titles if you’re interested in watching some school anime today!
Read more: Best Romance Anime.