Top 5 Anime Genres for Women [Recommendations]

Anime Genres for Women

We have already introduced the Top 5 anime genre for men to you - now it’s time to address all the female fans out there.

In this article we feature some genres that women in particular should be able to enjoy. Our choices are based both on the main leads and the major themes of the shows we will present to you. They range from more joyful and light-hearted stories to deep and moving shows, so there should be something for everyone to enjoy.

Even if you are not a woman, stick through until the end since these shows and genres are universal masterpieces. Enjoy!

1. Shoujo

Let me start with one of the more obvious choices, Shoujo anime. “Shoujo” literally translates to “young girl” so the name already tells you for whom shows of these genres are mainly produced.

It’s not only the topics and storylines of Shoujo anime that make them so popular among women. Often, the story is told from the viewpoint of girls so it’s easy for female viewers to relate to them. Topics that are dealt with range from love, friendship or drama to magic and Co. These shows get many young girls started as life-long anime fans so let me highlight two of the most successful Shoujo anime.

Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: April 2010 - September 2010

Kaichou wa Maid-sama is almost infamous when it comes to Shoujo or Romance anime. Thousands of girls out there have watched the relationship between Usui and Misaki slowly develop as the two of them tackle their daily problems together.

This show does not only offer a cute love story but also a strong female lead that works as a role model to many girls. Misaki does not wait for a prince in shiny armor to come and save her but rather takes means into her own hands. Who would have guessed that the strong and independent student works at a maid cafe in her free time and serves guests in a fitting uniform? Kaichou wa Maid-sama is funny and entertaining at the same time and definitely a must-watch for all the girls out there.

Kaichou wa Maid sama Trailer

Lovely Complex

lovely complex dvd
  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2007 - September 2007

Lovely Complex is a similar timeless classic with a great sense of humor. It tells the uncommon love story of an extraordinarily tall girl and an extraordinarily small guy. Between their constant teasing and harmless fights they start developing feelings for each other despite their obvious differences in appearance.

Lovely Complex is definitely not only aimed towards women or young girls. The jokes are universal and can be enjoyed by almost anyone who likes the a little bit over-the-top kind of humor of many anime shows. Most importantly, Lovely Complex shows some amazing characters and especially the main leads will make their way into your heart. Check it out if you can.

Lovely Complex Official Trailer

2. Josei

These shows could be described as the grown-up versions of Shoujo shows and are aimed towards more mature women in their late teens or early adulthood. With this level of maturity comes a whole new set of major themes like love, passion, struggles for success and the difficulties of womanhood.

Josei stories are at least as popular as their Shoujo counterparts and many women effortlessly transition from one genre to the other. These shows take you on adventures through adulthood and all the new struggles that come with it. A big recommendation for those of you who are in the same phase of life right now.


chihayafuru dvd
  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: October 2011 - March 2012

Chihayafuru does a great job at depicting a girl living out her passion and striving to improve herself constantly. Not only that, but Chihayafuru introduces you to the rather unknown card game Karuta which is an important part of Japanese culture.

Protagonist Chihaya Ayase started her journey towards becoming a professional Karuta player from a young age. Now, after enrolling in high school, she wants to share her passion with her classmates and create a Karuta club. Chihayafuru is a great feel-good anime that grabs your attention from the very first episode and shows you the journey of Chihaya and her friends.

Chihayafuru Trailer

Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile DVD
  • Episodes: 23
  • Aired: January 2007 - June 2007

Nodame Cantabile is a timeless classic and a must-watch for fans of classical music. The story is set in a college environment and follows the rather unique relationship between Shinichi Chiaki and Noda Megumi.

This show is at least as hilarious as it is engrossing. It gives you an insight into the world of professional musicians and what it means to completely immerse yourself into the world of music. Nodame Cantabile especially highlights the personal struggles each character has to overcome. Together as a team and with the help of their love for music Chiaki and Nodame manage to surpass their limits and continue on their journey towards becoming praised musicians.

Nodame Cantabile Trailer

3. Romance

Ah, the good old romance shows. A fateful encounter, a tragic love story and two heartbroken lovers - romances like that have entertained women (and men) for centuries. So why not check out some of the most successful romance anime of our times?

The plots of these shows are all fairly similar, but still unique in their own way. Each couple has its own dynamics and each relationship unfolds differently. So give multiple shows a try, you never know what kind of story might await you.


nana dvd
  • Episodes: 47
  • Aired: April 2006 - March 2007

Nana is one of the most highly recommended shows when it comes to anime aimed towards women. Maybe it’s the fact that this show highlights the lives of two women, both named Nana, who couldn’t be more different that makes this show so interesting. It really tries to depict their daily struggles and what it means to be a woman in these days.

In the center of the show stands the friendship between the two women that decide to move in together. One Nana is an aspiring rock star while the other one is a more feminine and shy kind of girl. Still, despite their differences in character they manage to get along and grow closer to each other than they would’ve ever expected.

Nana Trailer

Skip Beat

skip beat DVD
  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: October 2008 - March 2009

Skip Beat is a heart-warming story that still has as many fans today as it had when it first aired. Again, we have a strong female lead whose passion and strength should be an example to all of us.

After getting her heart broken by long-time boyfriend and uprising idol Shou, Kyouko decides to take her happiness into her own hands. She steps into the world of entertainment and plans on becoming the next big thing in order to get revenge on Shou. Easier said than done, as Kyouko soon has to realize. Skip Beat is an up-lifting and humorous show that will leave you behind wishing for more episodes.

Skip Beat Trailer

4. Drama

Drama shows shine with their ability to portray characters going through hardships only to come out stronger than they were before. They don’t only try to tell a story or introduce some interesting characters to you, but rather convey a message that is bigger than the show itself.

Drama shows can be deep and moving while still remaining entertaining and fun to watch. This genre is challenging like no other and good drama shows will almost certainly be a huge success. If you are ready for some brain teasers and moving stories then check out these drama recommendations.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)

Mahou Shoujo Madokau2605Magica
  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2011 - April 2011

This show might look unlikely to be moving or even remotely thought provoking, but trust me, Madoka Magica will surprise you. It’s a show as deep and emotional as no other and the end will touch you no matter what.

The story is revolving around a group of magical girls that fight to protect the people around them. But unlike most other shows we do not have a harmless adventure or nice story about friendship and companionship. No, Madoka Magica shows the dark side of being a magical girl and how heroine Madoka gets trapped inside a world full of regrets and unfulfilled wishes. Bear with Madoka Magica until the last episode and you will be rewarded with a grand final battle.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Trailer

Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop)

usagi drop dvd
  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: July 2011 - September 2011

Usagi Drop is something for those of you that enjoy family dramas. Life doesn’t always turn out as you plan it to be and sometimes you encounter struggles that you thought would never cross your path. This anime shows both the tough and the joyful sides of everyday life and how one man tries to find a good balance between them.

After his grandfather dies, Daikichi has to find out that the old man had an illicit child with another woman. Rejected by other family members, Daikichi is the only one ready to adopt the little girl called Rin. A new life as a single father awaits him and with it comes a whole new set of struggles and responsibilities. The connection between Daikichi and Rin is really heart-warming so give Usagi Drop a try.

Usagi Drop Trailer

5. Slice of Life

Last but not least we have Slice of Life anime. As you might expect, these shows are set in everyday life and want to tell extraordinary stories in an ordinary environment. These shows are especially great if you are not a fan of supernatural stories set in a far-away universe, but rather like to watch something that’s easy to relate to.

Often, these shows do not have a clear or straight-forward plot but rather want to carry the viewers away into the daily lives of the main characters. Of course, many of these shows are also interesting for men, but especially the ones with female leads are relatable for all the girls out there.


barakamon dvd
  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2014 - September 2014

Barakamon was a highly anticipated show of the Summer 2014 season. With its lovable main cast it captured the hearts of its viewers in no time. If you are out for a fun and charming show then Barakamon might be the one for you.

Young calligrapher Handa Seishu gets sent away to a remote island after punching a successful artist for criticizing his work. There, the young man has to get used to life on the countryside as well as to the eccentric people living there. Soon, he realizes under how much pressure he has put himself in Tokyo and that there are more things out there than just competitions and success. A heart-warming story and the feel-good show of last summer.

Barakamon Trailer

Suki-tte Ii na yo. (Say “I Love You”)

suki tte iinayo dvd
  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 2012 - December 2012

The last anime recommendation on this list is Suki-tte Ii na yo which brings you back to high school and shows you the troubles of finding your first love.

Not only does heroine Mei Tachibana struggle finding a boyfriend, but making friends in general is a challenge for her. That’s why she grows up isolated and decides to give up on relationships with other people. It’s not until handsome and popular Yamato Kurosawa steps into her life that she decides to move out of her comfort zone. Suki-tte Ii na yo shows not only the importance of trust and friendship but also the daily struggles of female students. Definitely worth a watch.

Say I Love you PV

This is it - our Top 5 genre recommendations for women. Let me just leave a quick note at the end of this article and tell you that I don’t want to start a dispute between men and women. Watching anime has nothing to do with your gender and you should be able to enjoy any genre that interests you. Anime are so diverse nowadays that there should be something out there for everyone to watch. These are just some genres that women might want to give a second look since they are especially aimed towards them.

Let us know down below what you think of our list and which shows or even genres need to be included. Your input is more than welcome.

Cornelia Wagner


Author: Cornelia Wagner

Coffee enthusiast, world traveler and writer at heart. Left Europe to live and study in the insanity called Tokyo.

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