Best Josei Anime

Since I recently created a list of my favorite Shoujo anime, I thought it would only be appropriate to also make a list recommending my favorite Josei titles. There currently aren’t very many Josei anime in comparison to Shoujo, so my list is kind of short. If you really enjoy the Josei genre, I suggest you start reading more manga because there are a lot of really great stories with a larger selection to choose from.

Chihayafuru

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Photo: MyAnimeList

Synopsis: “Chihaya Ayase, a strong-willed and tomboyish girl, grows up under the shadow of her older sister. With no dreams of her own, she is contented with her share in life till she meets Arata Wataya. The quiet transfer student in her elementary class introduces her to competitive karuta, a physically and mentally demanding card game inspired by the classic Japanese anthology of Hundred Poets. Captivated by Arata’s passion for the game and inspired by the possibility of becoming the best in Japan, Chihaya quickly falls in love with the world of karuta. Along with the prodigy Arata and her haughty but hard-working friend Taichi Mashima, she joins the local Shiranami Society. The trio spends their idyllic childhood days playing together, until circumstances split them up. Now in high school, Chihaya has grown into a karuta freak. She aims to establish the Municipal Mizusawa High Competitive Karuta Club, setting her sights on the national championship at Omi Jingu. Reunited with the now indifferent Taichi, Chihaya’s dream of establishing a karuta team is only one step away from becoming true: she must bring together members with a passion for the game that matches her own.” -MyAnimeList

Check this out if you like:

  • Sports
  • Competition
  • Tsunderes
  • Love Triangles
  • Dense female lead
  • Female lead with unique hobbies
  • A romance story between childhood friends
  • A female lead who is more interested in fulfilling her dreams than finding love

Watch it here

Kuragehime/Princess Jellyfish

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Photo: MyAnimeList

Synopsis: “Ever since her late mother took her to an aquarium when she was young, Tsukimi Kurashita has been obsessed with jellyfish, comparing their flowing tentacles to a princess’s white dress. Now living with five other unemployed otaku women, 19-year-old Tsukimi spends her days as a social outcast dreaming of becoming an illustrator. However, her life changes forever when one day, a beautiful woman unexpectedly helps her save a jellyfish in a local pet store. From then on, the stranger—confident, fashionable, and the complete opposite of Tsukimi and her roommates—begins to regularly visit the girls’ building. This trendy hipster, though appearing shallow at first, harbors some secrets of her own, starting with the fact that “she” isn’t really a girl at all, but a wealthy male college student named Kuranosuke Koibuchi!” -MyAnimeList

Check this out if you like:

  • Crossdressing
  • Fashion
  • Comedy
  • Hot anime guys
  • Okatu female lead
  • Male lead character with a unique personality
  • Romantic relationship developing from a friendship
  • Romance between a beautiful male lead and a less attractive female lead
  • Deep themes shown through a contrast of beauty between the main characters
  • Romance where both main characters take a while to discover their feelings for one another

Watch it here

Paradise Kiss

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Photo: MyAnimeList

Synopsis: “Third-year high school student Yukari Hayasaka has no time for frivolous things. She needs to study hard and attend cram school so she can do well on her university exams. She doesn’t care which university she gets into; she just wants to leave the town she’s grown bored of. Too bad her parents have other opinions on the subject. One day, while Yukari is walking down the street, a guy with multiple piercings and bleached hair flags her down. Suspicious of the stranger, she tries to get away from him but fails and ultimately ends up meeting his friends: a group of third-year fashion design students at a prestigious art school. They want her to be their model for their final project, but Yukari thinks it will only get in the way of her studies. But the more she gets to know them, the more she grows to admire the way they go after their dreams. Will modeling for this eccentric group of would-be fashion designers give Yukari a much-needed push to strive for her own goals? And what about her attraction to the group’s leader, George Koizumi? Can a relationship between them work? Watch Paradise Kiss to find out!” -MyAnimeList

Check this out if you like:

  • Lolita fashion
  • Fashion design
  • Modeling
  • Artistic characters/personalities
  • Characters working to pursue their dreams
  • Straight male characters pursuing fashion design
  • Romance anime with multiple romantic couples
  • Romance anime about finding and overcoming first love
  • Romance where female lead pursues male lead

Watch it here

Natsuyuki Rendezvous

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Photo: MyAnimeList

Synopsis: “Ryousuke Hazuki is a young man whose heart has been stolen away, stopping by the local floral shop daily in order to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Rokka Shimao, the shop’s owner. In hopes of getting close to her, he decides to get a part-time job at the shop, but before he is able to make his move, he runs into a major roadblock: in her apartment dwells a ghost who claims to be Rokka’s deceased husband. Atsushi Shimao has quietly watched over his widowed wife ever since he passed three years ago. However, Hazuki is the first person to ever notice him, and the two quickly find themselves at odds: the jealous Shimao attempts to thwart the suitor’s advances and possess his body, while Hazuki simply wants the ghost to pass on for good, allowing Rokka to move on from the past and him to be with the one he loves. As both men refuse to let go of their desires, an unusual relationship forms between a troubled woman, an unrelenting ghost, and a stubborn man in love.” -MyAnimeList

Check this out if you like:

  • Ghosts
  • Age Gap romance
  • Manager/employee relationships
  • Romance where male lead pursues female lead
  • Romance where characters learn to let go and love again after loss
  • Sad/romantic moments between the female lead and her deceased husband
  • Romance where one character takes longer than the other to realize their feelings

Watch it here

Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku: Kinetograph

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Photo: MyAnimeList

Synopsis: “Set during Japan’s Taishō era (1912-1926), a girl named Haru Asagi works as a maid of the Miyanomori family, which is headed by one of Japan’s most powerful magnates. However, the family head suddenly announces that he is retiring, so one of his six sons must assume control of the family.” -MyAnimeList

*While this show doesn’t have much depth to it, it’s my favorite Josei reverse harem anime and that’s why I included it on my list. It’s a fun show to watch when you’re looking for a light romance.

Check this out if you like:

  • Age gap romance
  • Hot anime guys
  • Tsunderes
  • Reverse harems
  • Otome games
  • Master/maid relationships

Watch it here

Chouyaku Hyakuninisshu: Uta Koi.

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Photo: MyAnimeList

“Uta Koi tells the “super-liberal interpretation” of the Hyakuninisshu anthology compiled during Japan’s Heian period of 100 romantic poems from 100 different poets such as The Tale of Genji’s Murasaki Shikibu.” -MyAnimeList

Check this out if you like:

  • Poetry
  • Historical romance
  • Royal characters
  • Childhood romance
  • Happy and sad romance stories
  • A different romance story every episode

Watch it here

 

 

 

 

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4 comments

  1. Princess Jellyfish is my jam! I love this anime This introduced me to Chatmonchy, and it also has my fave song from Sambomaster. 🙂
    Not a fan of Natsuyuki Rendezvous though. I like the setup, but the ending was disappointing for me.

    Like

    • That’s cool you like Princess Jellyfish. Yes, I can see why you didn’t like the ending of Natsuyuki Rendevous. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it so I don’t really remember my reaction but I liked the anime overall so I decided to include it on my list.

      Like

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