One of this season’s most interesting slice of life titles is the aptly named Hige wo Soru, Soshite Joshikosei wo Hirou (Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway). With a rather unique twist on a common storyline trope, Higehiro has been a consistent source of drama from week to week. The will-they-won’t-they that has this show teetering between weird and wholesome is one of Higehiro’s strongest elements, but also one of its most unique, with the protagonist Yoshida choosing to be some kind of responsible adult above all else. So, what other shows have a similar vibe? We are spoilt for choice when it comes to anime featuring a character living with an unexpected roommate, but as you’ll see, most of the shows we’re about to mention bear quite a lot of similarities to this season’s Higehiro. Without further ado, presenting 6 anime like Higehiro!
Similar Anime to Hige wo Soru, Soshite Joshikosei wo Hirou / Similar Anime to Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway
1. Junjou Romantica
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2008 – June 2008
Junjou Romantica follows the relationship that develops between Takahashi Misaki, a high schooler preparing to take university entrance exams, and his older brother’s best friend, famous author, Usami Akihiko, who helps Misaki study for his exams. Misaki reads one of Usami’s books and realizes that the content is, as they say, “not safe for work”, but this raunchy material seems to be bringing something out of Misaki, something he might not have known he had.
The story of Junjou Romantica is divided into three parts, each of which focuses on a different couple and the first of which focuses on Misaki and Usami. The other two are loosely related to the core story, but all are bound by a common theme of passion in the midst of major life transitions, passion in the midst of somewhat taboo connection and the difficult feelings that each couple deals with as their stories unfold. The biggest similarity to Higehiro lies in Junjou Romantica’s depiction of romantic relationships between teenagers and slightly mature adults, although, Higehiro builds more tension around whether or not the main pair in question will actually reach the point of becoming a couple.
2. Koi to Yobu ni wa Kimochi Warui (Koikimo)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2021 – Ongoing
Amakusa Ryou is a genius playboy who seems to have it all: money, looks and status. The reality is that Ryou has it all, and usually gets what he wants. Ryou is saved from falling off the stairs one rainy morning by teenager Arima Ichika, who turns out to be his little sister’s best friend! Ryou attempts to show Ichika his appreciation in the creepiest way possible – he tries to flirt and woo his way into Ichika’s heart using his usual tactics, but he is rejected immediately. This only makes Ryou want Ichika even more, experiencing rejection after rejection. However, is this behaviour slowly chipping away at Ichika’s defenses?
Koikimo is an anime that brings the same pieces as Higehiro, but constructs a different puzzle. The similarity between these two anime lies in the relationship between an older man and a young girl, although in Koikimo, the adult in the situation is outright trying to seduce a teenager, while Higehiro’s protagonist seems to be going in the complete opposite direction, rejecting advances from the younger girl and dating people his own age like he should.
3. Blend S
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2017 – December 2017
Cheery 16-year-old Sakuranomiya Maika is desperate to find a part-time job and earn enough money to study abroad; however, her applications are constantly rejected because she looks scary when she smiles. Maika’s luck changes one day; however, when she comes across Café Stile, a themed restaurant where staff serves customers while roleplaying! Dino, the Italian store manager, thinks Maika is cute at first, but upon seeing her smile, he offers her a job roleplaying a sadistic waitress. Maika is soon beloved by two masochistic customers, who also appreciate her for her clumsiness, jumpstarting her mission to earn enough money to study overseas!
The similarities between Blend S and Higehiro lie in the dynamic between the main characters of either series. Blend S is quite different from the other shows on this list because it has a heavier focus on comedy. In Blend S, Maika’s older manager hires her on a whim because he has supposedly fallen in love with her. While that is the premise, the show is more focused on Maika and her ragtag team of roleplaying co-workers, which in a sense, makes it more similar to Higehiro because of its sidelining of a romantic element between the age-gap relationship in question.
Blend S PV
Any Anime Like Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway / Any Anime Like Hige wo Soru, Soshite Joshikosei wo Hirou?
4. Kotonoha no Niwa (The Garden of Words)
- Episodes: 1 (movie)
- Aired: May 2013
Akizuki Takao is an aspiring shoemaker who skips class one rainy morning. While sketching designs in a beautiful garden, he meets Yukino Yukari, a beautiful woman he has never seen before. Smitten by her, Takao offers to make a new pair of shoes for her and sees her at that same garden throughout the rainy season. Unbeknownst to the two of them, a deep relationship is developing, one that relieves the anxieties that plague them in their daily lives. While in the garden, the two of them have nothing to focus on but the sound of the raindrops crashing against the ground, and each other.
This short film is known for its stellar animation and the emotional rollercoaster it takes viewers on. Just like in Higehiro, an unlikely relationship forms between an adult and a teenager, one that is kicked off by a chance encounter. These short-lived yet intense connections are extremely profound for both sets of characters; however, while Higehiro is still teetering between what is convoluted but wholesome and what is taboo, The Garden of Words makes absolutely sure that you know they’re going down the dark path of age-gap romance.
Kotonoha no Niwa PV
5. Yesterday wo Utatte (Sing Yesterday For Me)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2020 – June 2020
Uozumi Rikuo is a twenty-something who has given up on life. After graduating from university, he now works at a convenience store, living a monotonous life. However, a peculiar teenage girl appears one day and starts making those appearances a habit because she wants to befriend him, but Nonaka Haru has a lot going on in her life, more than Rikuo can bargain for. Things get really interesting for Rikuo when his college friend and crush, Morinome Shinako, moves back into town, harbouring her own set of scars and an uncertainty about the future. These three characters end up being linked by a common thread of being stuck in the past and afraid to embrace the future.
The similarities between Higehiro and Sing Yesterday For Me are in the main dynamic between a high school runaway and a twenty-something who is in some kind of rut. While Yoshida the salaryman is enjoying a kind of professional success that Rikuo longs for. Either way, they are kindred spirits when it comes to the mundane, boring lives they lead before someone way too young for them comes into the picture. Yoshida and Rikuo also seem to be hung up on someone who rejected their romantic advances in the past. Haru and Sayu have their own set of similarities, both being high school runaway dropouts who find a nice older man who seems to be a better person than most.
Yesterday wo Utatte PV
6. Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (After the Rain)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2018 – March 2018
17-year-old Tachibana Akira is a quiet high school track star nursing a foot injury that has left her unable to run like she used to. She works part-time at the Garden Café for a while and begins to develop feelings for the café’s manager, a 45-year-old man named Kondou Masami. His soft-spoken personality and kindness towards customers draw Akira to him and they spend time together, which nurtures their relationship. However, what would happen if Akira were to confess her feelings to this much older man?
The major similarities between After the Rain and Higehiro are in the conduct of both older men. Both Kondou and Yoshida assume the role of a regular adult in the lives of their teenage counterparts. When Akira confesses her feelings to Masami, he is shaken and tries to be sensitive towards her feelings as he rejects her. In certain ways, Yoshida and Masami are quite similar; however, the trajectory of Higehiro is completely different because we aren’t completely sure how either of them feel. Of the two, After the Rain is definitely the more romantic of the two, focusing on soft moments and stolen sniffs of abandoned t-shirts (okay, maybe it’s very weird) while Higehiro has heaps of drama to unload each week.
Koi wa Ameagari no You ni PV
Higehiro is one of this season’s most consistent titles, giving us week to week of nearly unbearable angst and even painful moments. While it threatens us with a romantic development whenever it can, it has proven to be a strong anime based on the way it is trying to subvert old tropes. If you’re looking for something similar, the shows on this list may just scratch that itch for you! Do you have any recommendations that are similar to Higehiro? Drop a comment below and tell us all about them!