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Anime-Gataris centers on high school girl Minoa Asagaya and the members of the often-imperiled Anime Club at Sakaneko Private High School. Minoa isn’t exactly your typical anime club member, either. You wouldn’t even describe her as an otaku. She is what you might call a casual viewer. She is roped into joining the Anime Research Club by the blonde, beautiful and popular Arisu Kamiigusa. Upon joining the club, Minoa is tossed into the deep end of the anime fandoms of mecha, harem, and slice of life. She is kept from drowning in a sea of animated tropes by her fellow club members -- and a talking cat. The club itself is in constant danger of being shut down by the student council, which considers the club frivolous with no value. It is quickly hinted that there is more to the council’s single-minded quest to eliminate the club than meets the eye. We know from episode three that the story is going to be more than a group of otaku talking about anime and we are ready for the ride.
We love anime filled with that insider’s view of anime. Anime-Gataris is one of those shows that spends as much time poking good fun at the industry as it does moving the plot. The club members are constantly comparing their situations to popular anime, you just need to pay attention to the only slightly altered titles mentioned. A great example is when Minoa meets the cat that lives in the clubroom and asks him what his name is. She begins to say Doraemon, from the anime about a cat-shaped robot, before the cat shushes her and she settles for Neko-Senpai. The plot of a school club on the verge of being shut down by a student council with a mysterious agenda is a classic one in anime. The fact that the students identify the similarities between their lives and anime plots makes for some great laughs. If you are enjoying Anime-Gataris, then here are six more anime just like it that you need to check out.
Similar Anime to Anime-Gataris
1. Girls Beyond the Wasteland [Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu]
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2016- Mar. 2016
Buntarou Hojo is a writer, and like many writers early in his career he seems directionless. He posts his stories online as an outlet. Sayuki Kuroda, a classmate, creates a plan to harness his raw talent by drawing him into her game development group. In order to get his cooperation, she has to corner him in the bathroom and strong-arm him into joining. Her goal is to create a bishoujo game and she tells the group members she will split the profits with them. The two then go about recruiting other members for the game’s development bringing together an odd but talented group.
The two anime are similar in structure, you have a character with overwhelming personality drawing in and sometimes coercing other students into a club or association. We find at several moments the club’s existence is threatened; in Anime-Gataris it is external threats, in Girls Beyond the Wasteland it comes from infighting. In both cases, there is a bit of a mystery at play too. We don’t know the real reasons why the student council wants to shut the club down or what’s behind the mysterious locked door in Anime-Gataris. In Girls Beyond the Wasteland, we are left guessing about the reason for the near-frantic obsession Sayuki has with needing to complete the game until the series is almost over.
Girls Beyond the Wasteland PV
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2014- Mar. 2014
Kenji Kazama is a tough guy, or at least he thinks he is until fire breaks out in one of the club rooms after school one day. He puts out the fire in the Game Development Club room. The club members decide not to thank him but to bag, gag and threaten Kenji into joining their club. Kenji’s simple life as a thug is turned upside down by the four female club members and their never-ending battle against the student council and a competing gaming organization to keep their club alive.
The two anime have several similarities -- and not only that they are both set in rather nerdy school clubs. The clubs are both constantly being challenged by outside forces that want to shut the club down. Kenji Kazama and Minoa both get shanghaied into becoming a member of a club they don’t really understand. The two main characters also seem to find friends in, even if reluctantly, their new club mates. The geek speak shorthand is abundant even if you need to make a jump in understanding the parody names of the games and anime mentioned. We don’t have any talking cats, but the absurdity of the comedy is another similarity that will make you think life of a club member can be kind of fun.
3. Saekano [Saenai Kanojo no Sodatekata]
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2015- Mar. 2015
Tomoya Aki is an otaku’s otaku. He is a fan obsessed, as demonstrated by writing and editing an influential anime, light novel, and gaming blog. He is inspired one day by a chance meeting with a girl y to not be just a consumer of otaku culture but to become a creator, the creator of the greatest dating sim of all time. He knows to achieve this he needs to recruit a top-notch team and fortunately he knows a couple of people perfect for the job. Though it takes a lot of convincing, Tomoya recruits his estranged childhood friend Eriri, a popular illustrator, and Utaha his sempai who is also a successful novelist. He even drags in Megumi, the girl the he met that spring day, who provided his inspiration for the project.
The two shows have one big thing in common and that is the common man. The common man role is played by Megumi in Saekano and Minoa in Anime-Gataris. Minoa and Megumi are the non-otaku lens through which we view these stories. We listen, like they do, as the other club members fire back and forth, talking about anime at a rapid pace. The common man gives the more knowledgeable characters a reason to slow down and explain things that you might have missed. The dialogue is witty, especially if you already have a pretty good knowledge of anime and the anime industry. We also have the unlikely otaku characters. In Anime-Gataris they’re Arisu, the most popular girl in school, and Kouki, one of the hottest guys in school. Saekano’s closeted otaku are two of the most popular girls in school, Utaha and Eriri. We love shows that take a look at the industry, especially from a consumer perspective, and both of these shows give you that by the truckload.
Saenai Kanojo no Sodatekata PV:
Any Anime Like Anime-Gataris ?
4.Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends [Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai]
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2011- Dec. 2011
Kodaka is a transfer student at St. Chronica Academy and he is determined to give a positive impression and finally lead a normal high school life with friends and club activities. A chain of unfortunate events on his first day at his new school scuttled that plan. Well, at least most of it. He does become a member of a club with fellow loner, Yozora. Until recently, Yozora only had one friend, an “air-friend” (a.k.a. an imaginary friend) named Tomo. The club is eventually filled out with the daughter of the school’s director, who has a nasty personality, a female student prodigy who is into weird robot fetishes, and a “boy” so feminine he’s mistaken for a girl and very well could be one. The collection of students in the friends club is dedicated to learning social skills that might help them blend with society so they too can one day have friends to call their own.
The similarities with Anime-Gataris stem from its club setting. Haganai’s club members spend most of their time sitting in the clubroom each doing their own thing. More than once they try to use dating sims as a way to learn to be social. The two shows also have fast-paced, witty conversations and you’ve got to pay attention or you’ll miss a solid reference to another anime or game. Sena is a blonde-haired beauty who is never seen without her butterfly hair clip. When you watch Anime-Gataris you’ll meet a character, Krika Aoyama, who wears the exact same butterfly hairclip in an obvious homage to Haganai. The two shows share a similar theme of awkward people trying to find a group of people that understands them, a group of people to call friends.
Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends PV
5. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU [Oregairu, My youth romantic comedy is wrong as I expected]
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Apr. 2013- Jun. 2013
The world is a lie and people are fake – at least according to Hachiman Hikigaya, an apathetic high school student who thinks the idea of a joyful youth is a sham and he wants no part in it. He writes an essay in class laying out just what he thinks about high school life and it isn’t a glowing recommendation. His teacher decides he needs an attitude adjustment and forces him to join the Volunteer Service Club. He finds himself serving with Yukino Yukinoshita, a quiet and aloof girl that isn’t very sociable, and Yui Yuigahama, a girl from the in crowd with a rather bubbly personality. The goal of the service club is to help any student who submits a request to achieve their goals. We know, the perfect place for two anti-social narcissists like Yukino and Hikigaya.
The most glaring similarity between the two shows are the characters of Yoshiteru Zaimokuza, a high schooler suffering from chuunibyou in SNAFU and Kai Musashisakai on of the anime club members in Anime-Gataris who also is a big chuunibyou. The two, like most chuunibyou, have problems separating reality from fantasy and are prone to outbursts about unleashing their magical powers. The two both have white hair, glasses, brown trench coats, and lose-fitting ties. They look so much alike they could be brothers. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU and Anime-Gataris are both high school club based. We find out quickly one of the ways to make the anime club “relevant” and not a drain on resources (according to the student council) is for the club members to take on odd jobs for the other clubs, much like the service club in SNAFU.
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU PV
6.And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online? [Net Game no Yome wa Onna no Ko ja Nai to Omotta?]
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2016- Jun. 2016
Hideki “Rusian” Nishimura is an online gamer and like some gamers his online life is far more interesting than his actual life. He also learns the hard way that sometimes the gender of the in-game character isn’t the same as the player’s in real life. Rusian decides from then on that in game romance no matter how good they get along or how cute the avatar is, romance is out of the question. He eventually joins a guild with a player that has a female avatar named Ako. Ako confesses she’s in love with him and wants to marry him. He eventually relents, saying it’s only in-game and it doesn’t matter if Ako’s really a guy since it’s just in-game. The guild eventually decides to have an offline meetup and behold, his guild members are all girls and they all go to his school. Ako is, in fact, a really cute girl and in love with him and hasn’t quite sorted out the idea that an online marriage is different from one in real life.
We have a consistent theme here in this genre, one of the main protagonist being pulled into a club filled with an odd assortment of characters. The otaku coping with real life problems is a big part of the comedy in both And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online? and Anime-Gataris. The focus of And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online? is mainly the awkward romance between Rusian and Ako, while at this point in the Anime Gataris we don’t have a romance but there are signs that one could be on the horizon for Minoa. We also have a very similar art style and character design between the two shows. The dialogue is run through an otaku filter and, like in Anime Gataris, the examples given for this or that situation are put into terms that anime aficionados and gamers can understand. The club angle, both in and outside of school, is a staple feature shared by both shows.
And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online? PV
We love anime and characters that seem self-aware because we share a love of talking about anime. We’re like a cat that hears a can opener and then comes charging into the kitchen when we hear anyone speaking about anime. We know you. We know you’ve had the experience of sitting in a café or standing in line when you hear some stranger mention a character’s name and you have the compulsion to chime in with your own opinion. And we love reading about anime (after all, you’re reading this). So, when an anime comes along and spends most of its time talking about anime, you can’t help but love it.