If it's true that some anime genres are blatantly oriented toward a male audience, it's even true that some other ones are particularly enjoyable by girls. In this list, we chose five genres and shows that, because of their themes, characters, and plots, seem to be oriented to a female audience. Of course, this doesn't mean that boys can't enjoy them, as well, so stick with us until the end to discover our picks!
As this is an update, don't forget to scroll down to check our original article, too!
Let's start with josei, that means exactly “woman”. In the anime universe, this word defines those shows intended for women in their late teens, or into adulthood. Josei anime usually depict more realist romance, and are more explicit in all respects. But josei shows aren't only about romance; in fact, some josei anime feature male characters very compassionate towards each other, and a lot of bromance, that girls truly love. If it's still unclear the reason why this genre is so popular among women, here we give you two masterpieces erasing any doubt.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (Showa and Genroku Era Lover's Suicide Through Rakugo)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 2016 – April 2016
Yotaro ended up in jail, and there, he discovered a passion for Rakugo while listening to Yakumo's performances. The moment he stepped out of prison, he started begging Yakumo to become his apprentice. After the initial reluctance, Yakumo accepts Yotaro, and that will become his occasion to revisit a past full of memories of his rival, and friend Sukeroku.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is a wonderful josei anime, which very well portrays the Shouwa era. It revolves around two friends performing Rakugo – a form of Japanese comedic storytelling – and it depicts all the hardships they had to go through. What we said up above about bromance and male characters being very compassionate towards each other here is expressed perfectly. In fact, Yakumo and Sukeroku, the two protagonists, grew up together, and kept helping each other through the years. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu deals with mature themes, even though they are debated lightly; don't forget it's a josei anime, it hits where it hurts, and that's what makes it a wonderful show.
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu PV:
Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey and Clover)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2005 – September 2005
Shinobu, Yuuta, and Takumi are college students sharing an old room without a bath. Ayumi is a girl lacking self-esteem chasing after an unrequited love, and Hagumi is the doll-like new talented student. Their lives will unavoidably intertwine, and when their paths will eventually divide, their bonds will stay.
Hachimitsu to Clover is yet another masterpiece in the josei genre. It wields all what you could expect from this genre. With a solid plot, it depicts actual situations that each of us comes to face during life. Episode by episode, we witness the characters' growth, and how hardships shape their personalities. Hachimitsu to Clover is very touching, it can pull your heartstrings, and even make you shed some tears. Catch it if you can!
Another genre which is super popular among women, is shounen-ai. These shows feature romance, or non-sexual relationships among male characters. Shounen-ai anime are full of cute characters, comedy, lighthearted atmospheres, and sometimes mild boy-on-boy action. This genre debates various themes: a shounen-ai show can be action-packed, can be about sports, or even have sci-fi elements. What every shounen-ai wields, though, is love and sweetness! Featuring homosexual relationships among hotties, it's no wonder how it's overly appreciated by the women.
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi (World's Greatest First Love)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2011 – June 2011
Ritsu Onodera was Masamune Takano's first love during high school. It's from those years that he still sticks to his memories of Onodera. On the other side, Onodera considers Takano the greatest love delusion of his life. Years after, when life puts the two of them again on the same path, is it fate, or is it just the worst nightmare?
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi is one of the most popular shounen-ai anime out there. With a captivating plot, and funny characters, this show is totally enjoyable. Aside from the main couple made of Onodera and Takano, it features other couples, each of them equally adorable. Onodera is your clumsy boy trying to avoid Takano, and Takano is the one teasing him non-stop. It will take time for Onodera to face his past again, but when he will, the viewers will witness the most tender romance!
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi PV:
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: April 2016 – June 2016
After his parents' divorce, Haru Kaido moved from Canada to Japan, and started living with his father and his new family. When he turned 17, though, his mother called him back to Canada, stating that she really needed his help to tame a little beast. Worried, Haru ran back to Canada where he met Ren – an 8-year-old boy – the “little beast” his mother was referring to. Years after, the brotherly love tying Haru and Ren together turns into something else.
Super Lovers is a shounen-ai show featuring two protagonists with a huge age gap. But even though Ren is a teenager, and Haru is already an adult full of responsibilities, their feelings towards each other will overcome every hardship. If the premises may make it look like a shota-con, don't worry: Haru doesn't feel like laying his hands on Ren yet, still the viewers will get to see their relationship getting deeper, and tons of love and affection. Super Lovers is a must-see among all the shounen-ai out there, so give it a shot!
Super Lovers PV:
Let's go on with the epitome of the genre preferred by women! Shoujo means young lady, and in the anime universe this label obviously depicts a genre aimed at a young female audience. Shoujo comes with all kinds of sub-genres, like action, drama, slice of life, and so on. It differs from josei because it's usually less heavy on drama, and the romance is idealized, and very far from reality. Shoujo shows are a roller coaster of feels, but there are certain traits that each shoujo wields, such as very good vibes, a lighthearted atmosphere, and the importance of themes like friendship. Another one thing is for sure: a happy ending! It's no wonder women enjoy a very good shoujo anime.
Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2012 – December 2012
With a gambler father, Nanami Momozono finds herself deprived of a roof above her head, and broke. The situation changes when she meets Mikage, the Land God, who offers Nanami his house, without telling her that she's just become the new Land God. Soon Nanami discovers that Mikage's house is a shrine, and that she has to deal with Tomoe – Mikage's familiar. How will Nanami adapt to the new, incredible situation?
Kamisama Hajimemashita is a shoujo anime overly appreciated by the girls thanks to a non-conventional shoujo heroine. Nanami doesn't get discouraged in spite the situations she comes to face: she is strong-willed, determined, and ready to do her best! Alongside the sparkly Nanami, there's Tomoe, who will save her from trouble. Step by step their relationship will strengthen, and eventually turn to love. In the meanwhile, enjoy their antics: we guarantee tons of gags!
Kamisama Kiss Trailer:
Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2008 – September 2008
Takashi Natsume is an orphan who lived a very sad childhood: he jumped from one relative to the other, because he was considered too strange. In fact, he can see the spirits, an ability he inherited by his long gone grandmother Reiko. When he finds the Book of Friends left by Reiko, Natsume's life changes for good. After meeting Madara – alias Nyanko-sensei – the two begin a journey bound to give the spirits whose name appear on the Book of Friends, their name back.
We said that shoujo anime are not all about romance, and Natsume Yuujinchou is the perfect example. Because of his childhood, Natsume got used to being alone, but suddenly his life will be full of friends, human or spirits. As a boy knowing loneliness more than anyone else, he'll do his best to help the spirits. He'll come to know the joy of friendship, and for the first time the warm feeling of having a family, and a place where to belong. Natsume Yuujinchou is a touching anime, a real masterpiece of the shoujo genre. You're bound to love it!
Natsume Yuujinchou Trailer:
Seinen anime can be considered as the male equivalent of the josei: anime intended for male in their late teens, or into adulthood. It differs from shounen for its themes, which usually are darker, more mature, and for its protagonists, who are usually older. Seinen anime can debate a lot of different themes, and have various sub-genres. Right because of the big range of topics, and the in-depth analysis of the characters, some seinen anime are particularly appreciated by the female audience. Some examples may be Bungo Stray Dogs, with male protagonists and a sprinkle of bromance; Piano no Mori, which portrays the strong friendship of two boys as they grow up; Kuzu no Honkai, which depicts love triangles and unrequited feelings. Keep reading to discover our picks!
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2005 – June 2006
“Mushi” are the most basic form of life: they are everywhere, but they can't be seen by everyone. Ginko is a Mushi-shi, and not only he can see the spirits, but he also travels from place to place in order to study them. His goal is to help people unknowingly affected by Mushi, and his journey will teach him a lot about spirits, human beings, and even himself.
Mushishi is a rare gem, a wonderful masterpiece of the seinen genre. This show is very introspective: through Ginko's journey, we'll come to face different delicate themes, such as loneliness, fear, loss. Mushishi is a slow-paced show, which offers food for thought; it has a very solid plot, and it's inspiring, but also heartbreaking. Trust us, Mushishi went a bit unnoticed, but it absolutely deserves consideration: catch it up!
3-gatsu no Lion (March comes in like a lion)
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: October 2016 – March 2017
Rei Kiriyama is a 17-year-old boy, and already a pro Shogi player. When he lost his family due to a tragic accident, he first moved in with an adoptive family, but since things didn't really work out with his foster siblings, he decided to move to Tokyo alone. Even if he is a professional Shogi player, Rei is still a teenager without a family, therefore he is forced to face things that adults should do, all on his own. The tables turn when he meets his neighbors, the Kuwamoto sisters, who, exactly like Rei, have a difficult past to cope with...
By the premise, you can clearly understand why this show was so appreciated by the female audience. 3-gatsu no Lion is a real roller coaster of feels: it can be lighthearted at times, what with Rei getting flustered, dealing with the Kuwamotos; then, it can turn to heart-breaking, when the past keeps knocking on Rei's doors, and you realize how lonely he is. 3-gatsu no Lion is a drama show, which debates very sensitive issues, but it's also a must-see of the genre.
3-gatsu no Lion Trailer:
In the anime universe, the word “spokon” defines sports anime. Spokon is the acronym of “sport”, and “kondo”, which means “spirit”, or “kon”, which means “obsession”. As to why this genre is on a list of anime genre for women, well, is there a woman out there who doesn't enjoy watching boys showing off their perfect bodies? We're half-joking, of course, as spokon anime are full of adrenaline, and enjoyed by anyone. Some spokon anime, though, have some subtle hints of bromance, or even BL sometimes: those are the spokon anime aimed at a female audience. The anime we chose are those you would expect.
Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2013 – September 2013
Haruka Nanase loves water, and swimming freestyle. During elementary school, he and his friends of the swim club – Rin, Nagisa, and Makoto – won a relay race, but then some circumstances separated them. Years after, Haru, Makoto and Nagisa attend the Iwatobi High, while Rin attends the Samezuka. Led by Nagisa's determination, Haru and the others form the Iwatobi Swim Club, with a new entry – Rei. This will lead Haru and Rin once again on the same path, but as rivals...
Free! is a sports show overly appreciated by the female audience. Firstly, because there are high school hotties always in swimsuit, showing their perfect bodies off; secondly, because Free! hides – not very much – hints of BL between certain characters. Well, it's almost impossible to not notice how Makoto acts around Haru, or how Nagisa clings to Rei, but still. Aside from all this, however, Free! is full of funny moments, adrenaline-packed scenes, and very good vibes! This kind of spokon show is truly loved by the fandom, so watch it if you can.
Yuri!!! on Ice
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2016 – December 2016
Yuuri Katsuki is a figure skater who wants to give up skating after the defeat at the Grand Prix Finale. Going back home in Japan, he gets filmed by chance while performing Victor Nikiforov's routine, and the video immediately goes viral, reaching Victor himself. Impressed by the potential he recognizes in Yuuri, Victor decides to become Yuuri's mentor, and appears before his eyes. As a huge fan of Victor, Yuuri can't believe his eyes... and accepts right away!
Yuri!!! on Ice is a very peculiar sports anime. It's full of very well-built guys in leotards skating on ice, and this could be the first reason for women love it. What is fascinating about this anime, though, is that Victor really courts Yuuri throughout the entire show, with a little surprise towards the end! Even if it's not labeled as a shounen-ai, this spokon anime blatantly portrays a homosexual relationship, for the joy of the fujoshis, and multishippers out there. Of course, the show doesn't focus solely on that aspect, but it's what makes Yuri!!! on Ice the perfect spokon anime for women.
Yuri!!! on Ice Trailer:
This is how our list came to an end. We didn't mean to discriminate: watching anime has nothing to do with your gender. Both males and females can enjoy different kinds of anime, we only meant to highlight some genres that women in particular should be able to enjoy. We truly hope you'll find this list useful somehow. As always, let us know what you think in the comments below. See you next time!
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!
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
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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
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)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
Suki-tte Ii na yo. (Say “I Love You”)
- 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.