Creativity comes in all shapes and forms and is not exclusive to the practice of putting pencil to paper for visual effect. Anime simply wouldn’t exist without art, and many shows have dedicated their stories to celebrating the creative process in one way or another. From music to painting, photography, fashion design and more, these inspiring Anime series are sure to spark some creative flair from the audience.
It is a general misconception that one must be born with a natural talent before one can earn the right to pursue a creative dream, but the following motivational stories show that with hard work and dedication, anyone with enough passion and commitment can make their dreams come true.
10 Vampire In The Garden: The Forbidden Art Of Expression
In Momo’s world, anything creative is strictly forbidden, as elements of music and art are allowed for only the vampires to appreciate and cultivate. Like all artistic souls, Momo feels drawn to any stimulating object that may hold exquisite artistic secrets, and ends up aligning herself with the feared and forbidden supernatural creatures of Vampire in the garden.
The vampire queen, Lady Fine, takes a liking to the young girl and decides to take Momo on her journey to discover Eden: a realm where humans and vampires can live in sync while embracing all things aesthetic. During her travels, Lady Fine introduces Momo to songs, dances and various art forms, for which humans seem to have a natural talent. Together they fight for freedom of expression to be restored in the corrupt society that imprisons self-expression with radical laws.
9 The garden of words: Shoemaking, stanzas and loneliness
Not just is The garden of words visually stimulating in itself, but the content also assaults the senses with Takao’s passion for all things shoemaking. When not engrossed in the task of actual footwear production, Takao can be found in isolation, quietly sketching his surroundings and gathering inspiration for new potential designs.
The young boy forms an unlikely bond with a woman who seems to enjoy solitude as much as he does, and the two have many unplanned encounters in the Shinjuku Gyo-en gardens, especially on rainy days. Poetry becomes their love language as Takao and Yukino work through the intricacies of their unconventional friendship while dealing with societal rejection due to their unusual habits.
8 Ascendance Of A Bookworm: Constructively Creative Printing
When Myne tragically dies in an unfortunate accident, it is far from the worst thing that can happen to Miss Kna Ascendance Of A Bookworm. The book enthusiast finds himself reincarnated into another universe and is now without access to any reading material, which is reserved for the rich and noble. Refusing to accept defeat, this Gekokujo madman uses his modern experience to renovate the historical timeline by reinventing the printing, binding and papermaking processes.
Prints and artists’ books are respected in art institutions as acceptable creative media, and many of the techniques that Myne experiments with are taught in several art-oriented schools. As a former librarian, Myne has a thorough understanding of the various methods used in creating books and plans to make reading accessible to everyone regardless of their financial status, and her passion is certainly contagious!
7 Forest Of Piano: Cultivating Classical Music
What makes a musician exemplary: natural born talent, or years of dedication, practice and commitment? This is the question that plagues young Shuhei Amamiya Forest of pianowhile attending the same music school as a seemingly unworthy savage, who happens to have impeccable classical piano skills.
Hailing from a troubled home, Kai Ichinose distracts himself by tinkering with a mysterious piano deep in the woods, then teaching himself to play in the process. But when Shuhei tries to join his new friend at a forest concert, the piano makes no sound. The two fight for the top spot in the Chopin competition and walk the fine line between friend and foe, with a beautiful musical score accompanying the ears along the way.
6 Shirobako: Anime About Anime
Five young girls attending Kaminoyama High School have come together to form an Anime Club, but not with the typical otaku bells and whistles, as these ladies want to get involved in the production side of things. Each character is fascinated by a different aspect of anime creation, including drawing, production management, animation, singing and voice acting, all of which come with their own set of rewards and difficulties.
Shirobako gives the audience a unique view of what goes on behind the scenes of Anime production, which is not as glamorous as the girls (and most viewers) expected. Jumping two years into the future, fans get another glimpse of how Aoi Miyamori, Ema Yasuhara, Midori Imai, Shizuka Sakaki, and Misa Toudou’s introduction to the anime industry goes so far, and what unexpected problems they struggle with on a professional level.
5 My Dress-Up Darling: The Titillating Triple-Threat
My boyfriend hits viewers with a trifecta of creative stimulation, as Gojo and Marin inspire painting, sewing and cosplay from the audience. When fans first meet Gojo, he is obsessed with becoming a respectable kashirashi, and painstakingly spends all her free time painting Hina Doll faces, hoping to one day perfect the art. Marin, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to express herself through cosplay, which requires her own level of creativity and photographic skills. She asks Gojo to use his impressive sewing skills to put together her otaku ensembles, and the young man discovers a hidden talent for fashion design in the process.
New cosplay enthusiasts Juju and Shinju Inui help their new friends improve their photography skills by sharing their knowledge of background settings, lighting and using digital photo manipulation software (such as Photoshop.) This truly inspiring content combined with humorous and seductive elements makes My boyfriend a unique anime viewing experience!
4 Words bubble up like soda: Neurodivergent forms of expression
For the more poetic audience, Words bubble up like soda is a perfect choice, as haiku is the main theme that runs throughout the story. Yui Sakura, better known as Cherry, has a communication disorder and prefers to express herself in the traditional Japanese written form of poetry. A serendipitous meeting with the socialite, Smile, exposes him to the art of content creation, as Yuki is quite a successful influencer.
Hailing from opposite ends of the social spectrum, Cherry and Smile find common ground through Mr. Fujiyama, whom they met while both working at the local seniors’ center. Music later becomes a crucial component of the story as well, as the youngsters go out of their way to track down Mr. Fujiyama’s long-lost vinyl, featuring one of the last known recordings of his wife’s stunning voice. Love, life and everything in between, this is a heartwarming alternative for those who like to play with words.
3 Carole and Tuesday: Musical motivation
Carol and Tuesday is a modern take on breaking into the music business as an up-and-coming pop star, and all the unforeseen hardships that come with it. Two girls from opposite sides of the track accidentally stumble upon each other on a bridge and they instantly connect over their mutual passion for music. Both young, aspiring singer/songwriters, Carol and Tuesday combine their individual musical styles to create a unique sound, which later takes the world (well, Mars) by storm when a clip of them performing goes viral.
Deciding to use their newfound fame as momentum, Carol and Tuesday work around the clock to create enough original content to triumph in the prestigious “Mars’ Brightest” talent competition. The girls must navigate the politics of the music industry, appreciating each artist’s creative contribution while adapting their own musical style, rising through the ranks in the process.
2 Whisper Of The Heart: Daring To Dream
A quote from Senji Amasawa that sums it up The whisper of the heart perfect is”I don’t know if I have talent until I try.” This classic Studio Ghibli the story tells the story of Shizuku Tsukishima, whose obsession with reading has inspired her to become a writer at any cost, despite her family’s apparent disapproval. She meets Senji and is drawn to his passionate aura as he also wants to defy all odds and follow his dreams of becoming a violin maker.
This inspiring story emphasizes that exploring one’s talents is not an easy task and perfecting a skill requires dedication, patience and a relentless drive to perform to the best of one’s abilities. Like an unpolished stone, a person’s natural born talents must still be refined to fulfill one’s true potential, which is an attainable goal if approached in the right way. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but thankfully delivered in the typical feel-good style that goes with everything Ghibli-related.
1 Blue Period: A Masterpiece in the Making
Not much combines art and anime better than Blue period, a slice-of-life drama that closely follows Yatora Yaguchi through his journey of self-discovery as he struggles to gain recognition for his work. Although he finds little challenge in excelling at school, Yaguchi is unfazed by his educational success and is rather bland about life in general. That is, until the fateful day when the landscape painting transports him into another realm of creative insight, when the art world suddenly reveals its alluring mysteries to the unsuspecting boy.
With only a few months left before university, Yaguchi throws everything he has into practicing his newfound art skills, absorbing as much information from the art club and school as physically possible. Struggling with the concept that plagues all creative minds, he tries to determine the definition of what “good art” is while trying to incorporate different techniques, subjects and emotions into his paintings. Blue period presents a relatable narrative of the art school experience, packed with aesthetic qualities and artistically accurate lessons.
MORE: Artistic anime to watch if you enjoyed Blue Period