10 Best Anime for Kids Reviewed in 2020
Selecting an Anime series for your kids can seem like a tough job. Many of the movies and series have a lot of violence or are not appropriate for kids. We have created a list of Anime that has been reviewed and is great for them. The list has many different kinds of Anime. There are stories created from fairy tales and also films that have been created from video game storylines. No matter what you select this compiled list has been created with kids in mind. They are all rated for kids and have English versions for their viewing pleasure.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 29 hrs of research
The animation is beautiful
The music is high-quality and fitting
Characters are easy to become attached to
Perfect for literally any age
10 Best Anime for Kids
1. Avatar: The Last Airbender
The animation is beautiful
The music is high-quality and fitting
Characters are easy to become attached to
Perfect for literally any age
Every season is no longer included with Amazon Prime memberships
This beautiful and emotional journey that your children will take while watching this anime is truly unparalleled. It's everything an anime should be, filled with amazing animations, delightful characters, and imaginative scenarios. While it is mostly enjoyed by kids, adults also love to partake in this show as it's family-friendly and age-friendly.Read more
As an anime that consistently receives five stars across the board with a beautiful storyline, thoughtful music, and characters who are dynamic and interesting, Avatar: The Last Airbender is everything we'd expect and so much more. The music in Avatar: The Last Airbender stands out on its own as some of the best. While it's not necessary to have enchanting music to accompany a story as well-written as this, it will just add a level of depth to your child's watching experience that's incomparable.
This anime has been loved by people of all ages, from tweens to the elderly. It's captivating as far as hitting emotional levels that many anime just don't quite reach and can be a wonderful option for a family night.
The show begins with two siblings, Katara and Sokka, stumbling across a boy who appears to be very different from them -- Because he's an Airbender! While Aang is supposedly the last in the world with this incredible power, the story teaches children to use their unique power to help others in need.
The overall design is enchanting and mesmerizing while the journey of the trio is memorable, intimate, and holds enough twists for your kids to be hanging on the edge of their seat after each episode.
2. Kiki's Delivery Service
The story is wholesome and fun
Introduces common issues kids can relate to
Kiki is relatable and a strong lead character
Supporting characters are entertaining and amusing to watch
The element of fantasy and magic is fun and unique
The new edition of the film left out some dialogue and altered the music slightly
Kiki's Delivery Service is, in one word, incredibly cute. It's a story that gives you the feeling that you know this young witch personally and tells of her journey as she overcomes tremendous self-doubt to achieve the life she desires. If you're familiar with Studio Ghibli, then you've probably heard of the movie Kiki's Delivery Service. From the same incredible director who brought you so many prior award-winning anime films come to light a story about a young witch waging an inner battle.Read more
The dialogue in this movie is witty and clever but not hard to understand. Kiki is just a young girl who is preparing for her training as a witch and while she is accepted by her tiny seaside town, she has her own battle with self-doubt that eventually leads her to make a choice.
Kids will adore the loveable cat, Jiji, who's a bit of a snarky kitty but never fails to be there for Kiki as she travels around on her broom carrying out her delivery duties. The story is well-written and innocent in such a sweet way, which many children will be able to relate to.
Everyone experiences those few moments where they doubt themselves and their abilities, and Kiki is a classic example of that. Age isn't a factor when it comes to wondering whether or not you'll succeed, and this movie provides a wonderful lesson for kids should they ever feel that way.
This is a movie that will be loved by most ages and is a great way to introduce your child to anime without overwhelming them with an entire season of shows. Not to mention, Studio Ghibli has produced many other movies that are just as captivating and enchanting as Kiki's Delivery Service -- Perfect for a movie-packed weekend!
3. My Neighbor Totoro
Designed with creative and stunning animations
Encourages viewers to respect nature and love their family
Adventures through the forest are entertaining
Appropriate for all ages
Some fans do not like the English voice-overs.
The legendary Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazak has created another magical masterpiece for the whole family to enjoy.Read more
The story follows two young sisters who move to a new home in the countryside with their father. Both Satsuki and her younger sister Mei soon discover that the woods near their house are full of magical creatures. They befriend a gentle but giant forest spirit known as Totoro. Their new friendship brings tons of magical adventures.
The friendship between Satsuki, Mei, and Totoro displays the value of having a friend. The movie also highlights the importance of family. The girl’s mother is sick in a nearby hospital. With their father being busy with work, mei decides to venture out by herself to bring her mother an ear of corn. Mei gets lost. Satsuki joins forces with the Totoro and the other forest spirits to find her sister.
The girl’s journey through the forest and with the forest spirits encourages people to love nature. Viewers will also learn how to become more comfortable with change as they watch Satsuki and Mei excitedly explore their new home. The director also likes to remind viewers to breathe. In several of his films, you will notice a quiet scene with little to no action. Miyazaki puts these scenes into movies to allow views to take a breathe, thus allowing them to gain a deeper appreciation for the plot and characters.
Totoro and his forest friends are designed to look like lovable stuffed animals. They’re big and furry, which appeals to people of all ages. The animation in the entire movie is nothing short of amazing. However, the fantasy world appears to be almost dreamlike and will have viewer’s imaginations soaring. The creativity used in developing the characters and the vibrancy in the scenery makes this an anime with a superior level of design quality.
4. Dragon Ball Z
Traditional anime style
Incorporates Japanese culture
The story is simple yet features plenty of complex plot
Plenty of seasons to watch
The entire anime is creative and truly one of a kind
The voice acting is mediocre
We know you're familiar with this epic series but the question is, do your kids know all about how awesome it is? Dragon Ball Z took the world by storm upon its conception and it's still just as incredible a series to this day for anime lovers. The one great thing about anime -- Though the style changes, it never really becomes outdated in any way, especially when it comes to anime that focuses on a fantasy plot such as this one. Many parents might even remember watching this world-renowned anime, therefore, creating a sense of nostalgia for you while watching your child explore this series with new eyes.Read more
For a 90s show, Dragon Ball Z has aged incredibly well. With martial arts, creatively imaginative villains, and characters that are wildly amusing and intense, Dragon Ball Z was really nothing like any other show at the time of its conception.
The show follows Goku, the main character, as he goes in search for these magical items known as "dragon balls". It's on his emotional journey that he faces the destruction of humanity over and over, against various villains, and it's up to him and his team of "Z-Fighters" to keep them from winning.
Dragon Ball Z incorporates bits of traditional Japanese culture into the story which make it not only unique but educational as well. These few nods to the culture help to expose kids to other customs and expand their minds in the way of learning how big this world truly is.
We love that this series has been going on for so long and hasn't experienced a bad season yet. Dragon Ball Z continues on through generations and is a wholesome watching experience for both kids and parents as one steps back in time, while the other watches with new and riveted eyes.
5. Spirited Away
Highlights elements in Japanese culture
Encourages children to be brave and selfless
Plot is highly entertaining
Stimulates the imagination
Some reviewers received their copies with the settings in Japanese
Since its debut in 2001, Spirited Away continues to awe people of all ages. This critically-acclaimed film created by Hayao Miyazaki is creative, entertaining, and nothing short of a masterpiece.Read more
Chihiro, the main character, is a young girl who moves into a new house with her family. On the way, the family comes across an abandoned village and decides to get out to explore. Her parents are put under a spell by the Sorceress Yubaba. Chihiro must find a way to save her parents and herself in order to return back to the normal world.
Watching Chihiro overcome her fears, your child will be encouraged to be brave and to put their fears aside. Viewers will also be taught to be selfless as they watch the main character help every spirit in need. Throughout her journey, Chihiro serves as the perfect representation for determination. She continues to overcome any obstacle that she encounters.
While the plot is highly entertaining, viewers will also learn a little about Japanese culture while watching the movie. The bathhouse highlights Japanese spirituality as well as tradition. Inside the bathhouse as Kamis which are spirits that belong to the religion Shinto. Japanese people view these spirits to be linked to elements in nature. In fact, the movie reminds viewers to respect the planet by not trashing it.
Chihiro’s adventures take place in a magical bathhouse that is overflowing creative characters and magical elements. Through small, but important details, Miyazaki makes viewers feel as though they are in the movie. For example, seeing the bottom of Chihiro’s feet covered in the dirt really makes viewers feel more connected to the entire film. Every character in the movie was designed to have their name be a direct representation of who they are. For instance, Yubaba means bathhouse witch and Boh means son.
6. Sailor Moon Season 1, Part 1
Every character has a distinct personality
The villains are powerful and make for some interesting situations
Storylines are creative
It provides adequate history to make the show understandable
Catchy music and themes
The series is massive and each part must be purchased separately
"Fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight... Never running from a real fight, she is the one named Sailor Moon!" If the theme of this show doesn't say it all, then we don't know what does.Read more
It seems that there's really no end to the magical Sailor Moon series! Part 1 tells the story of how a normal teenager, Usagi, becomes a mysterious moon princess otherwise known as the terrestrial fighter Sailor Moon. Throughout the series, she finds other friends called Sailor Scouts, each representing their own planet that they have been sworn to protect, to help her fight the villains that threaten to take their peace away on earth.
This series is full of epic girl power, fantastic villains who threaten to turn all of humanity against the scouts, and a detailed history that leads up to a beautiful storyline. The seasons are incredibly long and the story just keeps growing, but for the fans of the series, this definitely isn't a bad thing!
Usagi is a hilariously whiny, average teenage girl who simply doesn't understand her past or why she's so important. It's through the power of her friends, her historic love story with Tuxedo Mask (who happens to be the prince of the Moon Palace!), and the guidance of her cat pal Luna that she finally understands the fight that lies ahead.
Sailor Moon is entertaining, of course, but it also has powerful themes of love and friendship that are undeniable. Kids will be able to relate to each character as well as understand how important it is to keep up hope and remain positive, no matter what you may be faced with.
The anime itself is engaging and rather fast-paced, feature two human familiars, Luna, and Artemis, whom fans are sure to fall in love with. It's a classic battle of good versus evil in this anime and it'll have your child at the edge of their seat for sure!
7. Pokemon Indigo League: Season 1
Each pokemon is unique and interesting
Pikachu is a favorite amongst kids
Ash is very relatable
Teaches lessons about friendship and doing the right thing
The villains are quirky and amusing
Season one has been split into three separate parts because it is so long
There is no way we could possibly put a list together of the best anime shows out there without including Pokemon! Not only has this anime been brought back to life with the recent addition of its spin-off games to the Nintendo Switch and mobile phones, but many still go back and play the original Game Boy and Nintendo games. Regardless of how you've loved anime before this, it might be time to pass that love on down to your child.Read more
It's very rare that anyone could hate Pokemon simply because Ash, the main character and Pokemon trainer-in-training, is so relatable. He and his faithful -- yet sarcastic and temperamental -- pal Pikachu are always up for a battle and out to do the right thing. It features by far one of the most entertaining plot in the anime world. They get themselves into some wild situations, especially after meeting up with two other Pokemon trainers to form a lifelong friendship. What has made this series so memorable are the villains, Team Rocket, as well as all the different Pokemon creatures that Ash captures and helps while completing his training.
We should really let the theme song of this anime speak for itself because Pokemon is too epic an anime to be explained in so few words. It's fun, adventurous, exciting and emotional, especially when Ash reveals that Pikachu is "his best friend, in a world we must defend".
Any child will be able to relate to Ash as a character from his quirky attributes to his occasional immaturity when it comes to handling a certain situation. What makes this such a valuable part of the anime is how Ash finds his way out of his own problems, which help kids to find their own confidence and believe that no matter what, they're capable of anything.
There's always a "good vs. bad" side to each episode of Pokemon, and while it can be somewhat emotional, kids will learn how important it is to stick to your guns and follow your heart. All three of the main characters in this anime are truly inspiring role models and while they're still learning, they make choices that are highly relatable to real life.
8. A Letter to Momo
Japanese Anime drama movie
Created in 2011 in Japan
Main character is 11 year old girl
Character moves in with the mother after losing a father
Encourages kids that have lost someone close to them
Plot is really drugged out and makes the movie seem long
English budded over is not done very well
A Japanese anime film that was created in 2011 this film was written and directed in Japan. The film picks up where the 11 year old girl has to move in with her mother after she lost her father. Her mother lives in a very small town on an island. As she arrives at the island she meets three goblins who are able to help her cope with the loss of her father. This event changes her life. The last time that she saw her father they were not on good terms and all she has left of him is a blank sheet of paper with the words “Dear Momo” on it.Read more
Even though the story might seem sad, the overall anime is filled with beautiful scenery and an interesting turn of events which will undoubtedly capture the attention of the viewer.
Telling the tale of losing a parent is hard. Dealing with all the mixed emotions for a kid can be hard. This film works through the change of life for one anime character and can offer some light on a situation for a kid going through the same thing.
Nice movie with healing messages and no violence. Has a great plot and kids are able to learn how to cope with a tragic loss in life through the eyes of the main character.
The movie takes the viewers through the move and the emotions of her losing her father. Her life has changed and watching her work through it can help a lot of kids that go through similar situations.
9. Mary and The Witch's Flower
Fantasy anime film created in Japan
Released in 2017 Japan and US version in 2018
Tells the story of a girl who is a witch for only one night
Character drops magic beans and everything starts to grow
Engages creative thinking
Character is not very well build up
Losing translation from Japanese to English
This is a Japanese anime film with a fantasy theme. The film was created in 2017 and was produced and distributed in Japan. The film is based on the storyline from the movie, The Little Broomstick. It is a first feature film by this founder. The story begins when the little girl escapes from a magic laboratory that has catch fire. She is being followed but manages to slip away. As she is on the run she gets knocked off her broomstick. When she hits the ground she spills the magic seeds. This cases the plants and animals all around the area to grow rapidly.Read more
Once Mary discovers the magical world, the story really takes off. From this point on it is a complex storyline that will keep the kids watching the whole way through. It is almost impossible to get bored on this whimsical anime adventure.
Imagining walking along the character through the movie is a special time for kids. This film has a fantasy storyline that they will love placing themselves in. It's truly an emotional journey for any viewer.
Fantasy films are always a nice thing to watch with your kids. It really sparks their creative thinking and allows them to place themselves in the movie. They will learn to unleash their imagination and make their wildest dreams come true.
Neat story with the true fantasy storyline. Designed with great attention to detail. Great for the kids and really keeps them engaged as they watch the story unfold.
10. Pokémon the Series: Ruby & Sapphire
Anime movie series from the popular card and video game
Season 6, Volume One of the series
Main characters; Ash Ketchum and Pikachu
Tells the story of their adventures to become the Master of all the Pokemon
Creates social interaction through family TV movie night
Episode tells the same tale over with different characters
Not a high action film
From the makers of the video game comes the anime series. This is season 6, volume 1 of the story of Ruby and Sapphire. Just like in the video game the storyline explores the adventures of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu. The two partners explore the world of Pokemon. Along the way, they meet new friends and are introduced to even more powerful Pokemon. The goal of the character Ash Ketchum is to become the master of all the Pokemon.Read more
This is a fun film that brings the card game, video game, and storyline together. It is as entertaining and captivating as all the other Pokemon series. If your kid loves Pokemon they will love this film.
From the makers of the video game, they bring to life the characters in this series. It is a great way to get the kids off the screen and watching some TV time together.
There is an important lesson on the power of kindness, friendship and companionship that can be learned from any Pokemon series out there, including this one.
Fun movie to the series that kids love because it shows all the characters that they love from the video or card games. It is very well designed and it will easily become one of your favorite anime series of all time.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
It's a challenge trying to figure out what your child will actually enjoy watching versus what will bore them out of their minds. Anime has a way of making that choice a bit simpler with storylines that are involved yet easily understood and characters who are just so easy to fall in love with. The style of anime is captivating as well and offers a unique new design to its characters, with traditionally larger eyes and very obvious facial expressions. They're like traditional cartoons but made so much better and offer a much more involved and intricate plot line, that often spans for season upon successful season. It was this love for anime that we tried to convey through shows that have been held in high regard but are also just truly fun to watch! Granted, some of these have regained popularity due to recent game releases but overall, none of them ever really went out of style.
In order to determine which anime shows were worthy of making our list, however, we first needed to review several key points before making our final decisions. First of all, the anime had to be relevant, so a child can attach to it emotionally and further develop positive personality traits. In other words, we had to pick shows that were either still in production or would always be relevant and timeless, in a sense. Since no child is interested in something that's old and outdated, we had to weed out shows that simply did not age well. We were left with many fantasy-genre and superhero-related anime because those type of storylines never get old and won't show their age. Every generation has its own dreams and imaginative way of coming up with how they can be a superhero, so those themes will always be popular with kids.
We needed to find anime shows with likable and positive main characters. We were seeking strong leads that would not only entertain kids but also help to teach them valuable lessons, as anime often does. These main characters had to be strong of heart and positive, but still human enough for kids to be able to relate to them. In addition, we took a look at the supporting characters as well as antagonists and asked ourselves these questions: Are the supporting characters serving a purpose? Does every character help to create a conflict-resolution scenario? Is there a lesson to be learned by the end of this episode or show? Are the villains’ intents clearly stated and is it an appropriate motive for most ages? When we had answered those, we were beginning to have a fairly solid outline for what types of anime we sought.
We took a look at the overall design, dialogue, and nature of the show itself. The characters had to be detailed and while none of the artwork necessarily needed to be stellar, it had to be done well enough that kids were interested and engaged. Since anime relies very heavily on the quality of its animation, this was something we hold in high regard to what we were looking for. We also took an overview of the dialogue to ensure that it was easy to understand yet not boring, clever, and would further character development and the plot line. Once we’d confirmed this, we’d found our list of ten anime shows that offer benefits as well as high entertainment value.
Much like fables, anime often concludes with a moral or an ending that is highly symbolic. The main character will often have a feeling of accomplishment or, at the very least, have gone through substantial personal growth. Unlike westernized cartoons, anime often has a moral to the story that traditional cartoons don't have since they're purely for entertainment value.
Regardless of the genre, anime has a way of propelling characters forward, throwing them into a tough-to-handle situation, and allowing supporting characters to lend a hand in guidance as well as advice. It's often the main character's job to make challenging decisions and choose the "right" path, all of which can be of high emotional value to kids.
Other Factors to Consider
Additionally, anime is fun to watch. With those huge eyes and expressive faces, it's not hard to become attached to the characters you see on the screen. Many kids are even inspired by anime and use it as a way to branch off into a new hobby, such as learning how to draw in a cartoon or manga-style. Anime can be inspirational in more ways than one; these shows have resulted in fan clubs as well as popular games and costumes that are based on characters from the shows. There's no better feeling for a child than when they've found a character they can truly relate and look up to, and you'd be surprised to learn that many of these come in the form of anime.
Another important factor to note is that anime can be watched repeatedly and independently or as a social activity amongst friends. The anime we've chosen for this list all contain scenes that have been highly regarded and discussed for years with other fans and truly help to form a bond between like-minded individuals. It's because of these scenes that each show is able to be watched numerous times because watching your favorite character win a fight, make the right choice, or do something else just as intense is worth sharing with your companions. Many of these shows have more than one season and accompanying movies as well, meaning your child will have plenty of material to keep them going for quite some time and create new friendships along the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What age is appropriate for most of these anime shows?
Overall, it's a good idea to wait until your child is at least six before introducing them to any of these shows, if only because they might have a tough time understanding the plot before that age. Some shows, such as Dragon Ball Z, are a bit heavy on the martial arts -- Use your discretion.
q: What type of morals will these teach?
Similar to Marvel or DC comics, movies, and shows, Japan has their own way of showcasing superheroes that fight for good over evil. This is the same theme that runs through many anime shows and movies, including these. Through various conflicts with the shows' villain(s), it's usually up to the main character to defeat them and prove that anything such as love, the power of good, or even the power of friendship, can overcome bad intentions and power.
q: Are any of these geared more toward boys or girls?
No way! Anime is for everyone. While some shows (Sailor Moon, Kiki’s Delivery Service) might seem a bit more feminine, there is no rule or guide to who can watch them. These shows are unisex and created for everyone to enjoy.
q: What’s the difference between a show being “dubbed” or “subbed”?
This simply means that a show has been translated either with voice acting or subtitles. A show that has been dubbed means it has English voice acting, while a show that has been subbed means that the English translation in the form of subtitles has been added. All of these shows have been chosen based on dubbed versions for the convenience of your child.
q: Where can I find the other seasons?
Many of these shows are all found on Amazon. By following the link provided, you can either search for other seasons or find them in the “recommended” section of each product.
q: If these shows are inspired by manga first, will my child have had to read those issues prior to watching the show in order to understand what’s going on?
Not at all! These shows have been created for both lovers of the manga as well as newcomers to the series. In fact, many times the show differs from the manga because the anime is often “based on” rather than being a straight-forward animated version.