10 Best Children’s Anime That Was Made For Adults

10 Best Children’s Anime That Was Made For Adults

There is a wide range of anime genres, many of which specifically target certain age and gender demographics. It’s easier to create a popular series when there’s an established rubric and formula to turn to, but there are also many cases when an anime designed for one crowd brings in an unexpected audience from elsewhere.


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One of the most popular versions of this is when children’s programming can also be enjoyed by adults, who may watch these programs with their children. There are some very entertaining anime series out there that are equally satisfying for adults and children alike.

10/10 Anime’s perennially funny feline friend from the future

Doraemon

Nobita, Shizuka and Doraemon in Doraemon: Nobita's Treasure Island

Doraemon has been around since the early 1970s and is an iconic piece of animation that has produced more than 1,160 episodes and 40 feature films. Doraemon sees a robot cat from the 22nd century who travels to the past to help a shy boy, Nobita Nobi.

Doraemon has endless inventions and futuristic tricks that turn the most normal situations into extraordinary adventures. The ongoing Doraemon The 2005 iteration is the most modern and kid-friendly, but the humor is timeless and the ideas are unconventional enough to keep adults interested, too.

9/10 Forever Friends celebrates the simple wonders of life

Relaxed camp

Outdoor Activities Club camping in Laid-Back Camp anime

Relaxed camp is a relatively recent anime from 2018 that has produced 25 episodes over two seasons, with at least one more season of mild storytelling on the way. Those who demand a complex and plot-driven story will be restless Relaxed campwhich celebrates a group of friends and their shared passion for camping and simple leisure activities.

Relaxed camp thrives on his patience and careful character studies. Adults will appreciate how this anime emphasizes the importance of slowing down and appreciating the little things in life. Children will immediately love these fun characters and the sense of adventure that Relaxed camp conveys.

8/10 Shin-Chan’s mischief turns into entertainment for all ages

Crayon Shin-Chan

Shinnosuke and friends run through nature in Crayon Shin-Chan

Crayon Shin-Chan is an anime staple that has produced more than 1,100 episodes and continues to entertain modern audiences. Many of the longest-running anime series are programs aimed at children, but still have something to offer adults. Crayon Shin-Chan excels in this area as Shinnosuke Nohara’s lively swagger is easy to appreciate.

Children can relate to Shinnosuke’s rambunctious energy and adults will appreciate the character’s youthful innocence. It’s palatable humor that probably won’t offend anyone, but it also doesn’t require adults to turn off their brains to enjoy this crude children’s series.

7/10 Hinata’s optimism and determination drive this inspiring sports anime

Haikyu!!

Shoyo and friends eat at a barbecue training camp in Haikyu!!

There are many eclectic sports anime out there, but those are rooted in reality and others that are wildly hyperbolized versions of pastimes. Haikyu!! is a series that has grown in popularity over the past decade that focuses on a struggling high school volleyball team and its short but endlessly optimistic protagonist, Shoyo Hinata.

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Children will respond to Shoyo’s determination in the face of endless underestimation. However, the journey Shoyo and his team embark on is Haikyu!! is exciting and fast-paced in a way that also draws in adults.

6/10 Senku turns science into a superpower

Dr. Stone

Senku holding test tube in Dr. Stone anime

A relatively recent shonen series sensation, Dr. Stone creatively looks at Senku Ishigami’s efforts to rebuild society after more than 3,500 years of petrified stagnation. Dr. Stone has gradually become more of a standard battle shonen series with a bit of Lord of the Flies thrown in for good measure.

However, the first season celebrates the power of science and brains in a creative way. Senku and his small team are only able to survive and sustain society through their clever use of everyday science. These lessons spark children’s curiosity about science, while educating adults in the process.

5/10 Tsubasa never misses a target

Captain Tsubasa

Rushing past the competition in 2018's Captain Tsubasa

Another spectacular sports series, Captain Tsubasa is the prototypical soccer anime that has had five separate anime since the early 1980s, all of which are suitable for both children and adults. Like many sports anime, Captain Tsubasa celebrates underdogs who go on to accomplish incredible things, but it never feels panicky or like it’s talking down to its older audience.

The original 1983 anime has more than 100 episodes and four movies, while the latest 2018 iteration has just over 50. Kids may better appreciate updated visuals and brighter colors in the modern Captain Tsubasabut the morals and sporting actions are timeless.

4/10 Aang’s adventures feature some of animation’s greatest heroes

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Aang and Zuko in awe from Avatar: The Last Airbender

Developed at Nickelodeon, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra are finally getting the mainstream success they deserve. There are very big plans afoot for this animated universe at Paramount+.

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Many adults avoided Avatar due to its child-like design and “faux anime aesthetic”, but anyone who actually watches the series will be drawn in by its compelling storytelling and poignant character arcs. Avatar and Korra remain triumphs in animated storytelling and are proof that a good story will appeal to anyone.

3/10 Saiki K. uses his powers to stay in the shadows

The disastrous life of Saiki K

Saiki Kusou and his many friends in The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K-anime

Tthe disastrous life of Saiki K is so ridiculous with its comedy that it’s as much a gag anime as it is a shonen series. Saiki Kusuo is a powerful psychic with unimaginable powers, but Saiki’s simple goals in life usually result in him using powers to diminish his presence rather than putting himself on a pedestal.

Saiki and his friends are teenagers, but the humor here is so broad and everyone functions as a caricature that it feels designed for children. However, the comedy moves at such a chaotic pace with unpredictable punchlines that adults are just as likely to burst out laughing.

2/10 UA High School combines school with superheroes

My Hero Academia

Ochaco and Deku fistfight in My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia feels like a more “adult” series, but it’s still a shonen anime aimed at a young male audience. My Hero Academia follows the growth of Izuku “Deku” Midoriya as he acquires a powerful superpower and trains to become the number one symbol of peace and justice for society.

My Hero Academia coasts through lighter subject matter in its initial seasons, but much as Harry Potter,the storytelling and villains gradually become more mature as the characters get older. It’s the kind of gradual shift that doesn’t jar for young viewers, but is still significant enough for the older audience.

1/10 Capture them all in a fun world of possibilities

Pokémon

Ash proudly holds the Masters Eight trophy in the Pokemon anime

Pokémon is a special phenomenon that continues to dominate anime and video games more than two decades after its debut. There are more than 1000 episodes of Pokémon anime and nearly two dozen feature films. Pokémon are designed for children and usually explore lighter episodic storytelling that centers around specific Pokémon.

However, there is still a level of excitement and serialization for adults to enjoy in the form of Ash’s Pokémon League matches. In addition, Pokémon is a feature that works for all ages since many of the adults who watch it grew up with the series and there is some nostalgia involved.

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