[Hollywood to Anime] Like Eighth Grade? Watch These Anime!

Directed by Bo Burnham, Eight Grade follows thirteen-year-old Kayla Day as she traverses her last week of Eighth Grade before graduating. It is a week that is chock-full of social awkwardness and anxiety. We wanted to find two anime which pose similar challenges or themes to what Kayla Day goes through in the film.

Like Eighth Grade? Watch Tsuki ga Kirei (Tsukigakirei)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2017 – June 2017

Kotarou Azumi is a middle schooler with a passion for writing. He starts out his final year before high school with some new classmates such as Akane Mizuno, a member of the girls’ track team. Feelings begin to blossom between Kotarou and Akane but they are held back by their own self-doubt and lack of confidence. As the year passes, will they find the courage, to be honest with each other, or stay forever silent?

Major Similarities Between Eighth Grade and Tsuki ga Kirei

1. Shyness

One key trait that Kotarou and Akane share with Kayla is shyness. Shyness gets in the way of all three of these characters when it comes to achieving their goals. In the case of Kayla, it is preventing her from being her true self, making it harder for her to make new friends. In the case of Kotarou and Akane, their ever-present shyness keeps them from exploring their romantic feelings for one another, unable to express how they truly feel in words.

2. Self-Expression

A key part of Kotarou’s journey throughout the course of the anime, aside from his evolving feelings for Akane, is his continuous endeavor to improve his writing and narrative voice by entering contests and diversifying his reading. In a somewhat similar regard, Kayla Day uses YouTube as a way to express herself, to try to reach outside of her comfort zone by appearing as the confident girl that she wants everyone to see, often offering advice she struggles to apply to her own life.

Like Eighth Grade? Watch Just Because!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2017 – December 2017

It is the final semester of the last year of high school, Eita Izumi finds himself moving back to his home town after he had to leave because of his father’s work many years previously. In this final semester, he rekindles friendships with the likes of Haruto Souma and Hazuki Morikawa. Eita unearths buried feelings for Mio Natsume who may feel the same way for him. When a new beginning is so close to the end of something, how will Eita use his time before he must leave his friends again?

Major Similarities Between Eighth Grade and Just Because!

1. Transitions

Whereas Eighth Grade follows Kayla Day in her last week of elementary school, Just Because! Follows Eita Izumi in his final semester of high school. Both characters have a few years between them in age yet both find themselves facing the drastic nature of change and transition. Whereas Kayla must prepare for high school, Eita needs to determine his next steps for university, handling the relationships he builds through the course of the term and the ever-increasing pressure of becoming an adult.

2. Changing Relationships

Along with transitions comes change, specifically in how certain relationships evolve and serve us through different stages in our life. Near the end of Eighth Grade, we see Kayla become less reliant on the acceptance of “popular kids” and connect with her high school mentor as well as grow closer with her father. Eita faces a drastic change in his relationships as he rekindles friendships that had previously been extinguished and shapes them into something more.


Tsuki-ga-Kirei-dvd-225x350 [Hollywood to Anime] Like Eighth Grade? Watch These Anime!


Author: Joshua M

I’m an avid anime fan and writer born and living in Toronto, Canada. When I’m not watching or writing about anime, I write poetry and short stories. I’m currently working towards my Post-Graduate Diploma in Publishing and work in the child and youth mental health sector. I thoroughly enjoy Fantasy RPGs and other story driven games, comics, and I’m a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons.

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