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Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari takes us to a world where we can relax; a small town in the middle of Kagawa Prefecture, famous for its udon noodles. Here we meet Souta, who has returned to his hometown from Tokyo after his father’s death, who through various circumstances ends up taking care of Poco, a tanuki who has taken the form of a human child. Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari is all about human relationships, in particular the relationship between Souta and Poco. We watch how they learn from each other and grow as people (well, person and tanuki-child).
But what Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari really excels as is adorableness. Unlike human children, Poco hasn’t had any human upbringing, and doesn’t know the ways of the world - he also really loves frogs, and ends up in all kinds of mischief. However, alongside this cuteness lies a poignancy around family relations - the loss of Souta’s father and the unresolved issues left between father and son. These themes come together to bring an amazing slice-of-life anime that is not only easy to watch, but leaves you wanting more. So with that in mind, we’ve put together six anime just like Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari!
Similar Anime to Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari / Similar Anime to Poco's Udon World
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2014 - September 2014
Seishuu Handa is a young, handsome, and successful calligrapher - and a total narcissist. After quite literally flipping out at a calligraphy critic, he’s forced by his father to leave the bright lights of Tokyo and live out in the sticks in the Goto Islands to learn a lesson or two. At least in this quiet, calm countryside he can get some work done - or so he thinks. Before he knows it, Handa is surrounded by hyper, screaming children, teenagers infiltrating his home, and nosy old men all up in his business. With plenty of laughs, super-sweet moments, and a bit of drama on the side, Barakamon is one of the best slice-of-life comedy anime out there.
So how is it similar to Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari? To start with, both anime follow male protagonists who move from Tokyo to more rural areas of Japan. What’s more, both start out not wanting to be there, but quickly find themselves enjoying countryside life. Both Souta and Handa also form close bonds with small children, showing fatherly tendencies towards them despite not having their own kids. Furthermore, both Barakamon and Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari have elements of Japanese tradition - calligraphy and udon-making. These slice-of-life series even have similar character design and a calming colour palette, so if you’ve been soothed by Poco’s Udon World, make sure to make the land of Barakamon your next destination.
2. Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness & Lightning)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2016 - September 2016
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Next up on the list we have summer 2016’s Amaama to Inazuma. Kouhei Inuzuka might be a father, but since the death of his wife, he’s realised just what it means to be a parent. Children create mess that needs cleaning, dirty clothes that need laundering, and most importantly, mouths that need feeding. Feeling guilty about his and Tsumugi’s ready meal-based diet, Kouhei sets out on a journey to learn how to cook for his daughter - and how to be a better father. With its warm colours, cute character design, and adorable voice acting, Amaama to Inazuma is a cavity-inducing slice-of-life anime perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.
The first similarity we can see between Amaama to Inazuma and Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari is the relationship between a grown man and a child, both of whom don’t quite know their way around the world. While Souta has been working in Tokyo as a web designer, his father’s death and his own return to Kagawa has left him in a state of upheaval, not knowing which path is best for him - especially now he has Poco. Kouhei has lost his wife, the heart of their family unit, and is at a loss as to how to do best by Tsumugi. However, in both of these anime, the children play an integral role by pushing these father figures out of their comfort zone and showing them the simplicity of things. Seeing these super-adorable children bring out Souta and Kouhei’s fatherly natures is truly heartwarming to watch.
Another similarity we can see is a focus on food. With the help of his high-school student Kotori, Kouhei learns how to cook a variety of dishes, introducing Tsumugi to new foods and even trying to make her enjoy the taste of green peppers. In Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari, Souta feeds Poco foods that he’s never seen before, and just like Tsumugi, Poco is more than happy to be able to eat delicious new things. Through eating together, the characters in these anime become closer and better able understand each other. If you enjoyed the family aspect of Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari and don’t mind getting kind of hungry every time you watch an episode, Amaama to Inazuma is definitely one to watch.
Amaama to Inazuma Promotion Video Long Version
3. Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop)
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: July 2011 - September 2011
Third on our list we have Usagi Drop, which follows Daikichi Kawachi, a bachelor whose grandfather has just passed away. When he goes back to his hometown for the funeral, he ends up coming back with something he hadn’t quite imagined taking home - a little girl. The quiet, soft-spoken child, Rin, is actually his grandfather’s secret illegitimate daughter - in other words, she’s his aunt! Usagi Drop follows the antics of these two as they come to terms with their loss, the difficult family situation, and learn how to look after each other.
Usagi Drop is another amazing slice-of-life anime with some poignant moments that really hit you right in the feels. Daikichi is similar to Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari’s Souta, in that they both return to their hometown due to a family member’s death and end up suddenly taking care of a child they’ve never met before. They are also of similar age, with no parenting experience, and seem to have a lack of purpose in their lives - something which is given to them by Rin and Poco. In both Usagi Drop and Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari, the adults grow as characters through raising the children, and Daikichi and Souta’s fatherly ways are sure to make you go, “Aww!” If you’re after a soothing series that can make you cry and smile in the same episode, look no further than Usagi Drop.
Bunny Drop Official Trailer
Any Anime Like Poco's Udon World/ Any Anime Like Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari ?
4. Gugure! Kokkuri-san
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2014 - December 2014
Kokkuri-san is a fox spirit said to be summoned by a forbidden incantation - one you must never utter, especially not alone, lest you be possessed by him. But apparently self-proclaimed doll Kohina Ichimatsu doesn’t care about that kind of stuff, because she goes right ahead and summons him! Luckily for her and unluckily for Kokkuri-san, he can’t quite bring himself to possess her - and ends up looking after her instead. With fantasy and comedic elements, Gugure! Kokkuri-san offers us another slice-of-life must-watch anime.
Unlike the other anime we’ve seen on this list so far, Gugure! Kokkuri-san brings Japanese folklore into the everyday, much like Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari. In Gugure! Kokkuri-san, we have the kitsune Kokkuri-san, the dog spirit Inugami, and the middle-aged tanuki, Shigaraki, all of whom follow around Kohina. In Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari, we have Poco, the tanuki who takes human form and follows around Souta. Both anime also feature the father-like figures - although in Gugure! Kokkuri-san’s case, it’s the yokai looking after the human - who at first want nothing to do with the child, but soon warm up to them. These two anime also share a light-hearted humour that centres around the antics that arise when humans and spirits come together. All in all, if you enjoyed Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari, Gugure! Kokkuri-san is a must-see.
TV Anime Gugure! Kokkuri-san 2nd PV
5. Kuma Miko (Kumamiko: Girl Meets Bear)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2016 - June 2016
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Machi hates living in the countryside. She’s determined to quit her life as a shrine maiden and go to high school in Tokyo. There’s just one problem… She knows nothing about life outside her small village! That’s where her guardian Natsu comes in. But Natsu isn’t the father figure you’d expect - unless you expect a giant bear to be able to look after children, that is. Kuma Miko follows these two as Machi tries to prove she can cope with life in the big city, Natsu tries to show her it’s not as easy as she thinks, and other villagers try to liven up their neighbourhood and make is prosperous again. Overall, this is a laid-back slice-of-life anime that has a serious side behind the comedy.
The setting of Kuma Miko is the first thing we can see is similar to Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari. Our main characters are surrounded by nature out in rural Japan. There’s also a hint of the supernatural, what with Natsu being a talking bear and our little tanuki Poco quickly picking up human speech. Both anime also highlight the difficulties of living outside of Tokyo due to urbanisation, whilst also showing their respective towns as somewhere nice to live. Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari’s humour is also often similar to that of Kuma Miko, as it surrounds the relationship between father- and child-like characters, and one of them not being human. We definitely recommend Kuma Miko to anyone who enjoyed Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari - just maybe don’t watch the last episode.
TV Anime Kuma Miko PV 2
6. Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (Wolf Children)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 2012
It’s not often you get told that the guy you’re in love with is a werewolf - and it’s even less often someone who’s told that accepts it and decides to have two kids with him. But that’s exactly the situation surrounding Hana and Ookami - their love can overcome their differences. However, when their children Ame and Yuki are still young, Ookami passes away, leaving Hana a single mother to two half-wolf children. This bittersweet anime movie is sure to leave you feeling all kinds of emotions.
Both Wolf Children and Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari surround the idea of human parental figures raising supernatural children alone after the loss of a family member. Suddenly being the sole person to know of their children’s secret, both Hana and Souta start to experience big changes in their life. The way they interact is also similar - much like Souta makes Poco promise not to show his tanuki form in front of others, Hana makes Ame and Yuki promise not to show their ears and other wolf-like features in front of other people. This shows the difficulties of treading the line between human and supernatural creature. These anime also share the themes of growing up and learning to be independant. If you’re looking for an anime movie to settle into that’s similar to Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari, Wolf Children is the one for you.
Movie Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki Trailer 2
So there we have it, our six similar anime recommendations for Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari, aka Poco’s Udon World. Whether you’re here for the feels-y family relations or the twist of Japanese folklore, there should be something for you here. But maybe six just isn’t enough! Can you think of any other soothing slice-of-life to add to this super-sweet line up? Make sure to let us know in the comments!