The world of anime has always been dominated by the male demographic. However, there are still many female fans out there who appreciate a good show without all that intimate content and gratuitous fan service. For these womenfolk, many probably got their first taste for Japanese animation through shojo series like Sailor Moon or Card Captor Sakura which were originally geared towards girls with strong heroines and healthy doses of action mixed in to appeal to boys too.
Shoujo is a popular genre that releases a lot of series, films and manga every year, from the 1970s to the present. And there is also the possibility that a shoujo anime would get popular over time. With that said, here are the Best Shoujo Anime of all time!
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1. Yagate Kimi ni Naru (Bloom Into You) (2018 Series)
Yuu always loved shoujo mangas, but she felt nothing when a classmate confessed their love to her. Yuu had waited for this moment all of her life and was not happy that it didn’t work out like in the manga‘s she read.
Yuu enters high school confused and unsure as to why she did not react the way she’d always believed until she meets Nanami, a girl who just turned down her suitor with such confidence that Yuu decides to ask for guidance. Little does Yuu know, but this meeting would be the first of many encounters which eventually lead up to Nanami’s confession.
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2. Banana Fish (2018)
The show has an interesting name, and it’s about a runaway who is picked up by the mafia. It jumps to Ash at 17, where he becomes boss of his own gang, but when a new material called Banana Fish starts popping up in that area, things start getting more challenging for him as they investigate this mysterious material which might be related to something from his past or heading towards future events.
3. Kimi no Na wa (Your Name) (2016 Film)
The anime movie, with its heartfelt smiles and beautiful scenery, will really make you fall in love with it. The idea of a hopeless and distant love is what makes this movie so unique; there’s never been anything like that done before by Makoto Shinkai!
Fate and circumstance weave together the lives of two strangers in a beautifully thoughtful film. Kimi no Na wa, or Your name, is an anime movie about Mitsuha (a girl living with her family deep in rural Japan) and Taki (an average student from Tokyo). The pair meet one morning when they both wake up to discover their bodies have switched places for some unknown reason; everything that follows forces them into making decisions based not on what’s best for themselves but instead on who will be affected by these actions most heavily.
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4. Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai (I’ve Always Liked You) (2016 Film)
As Natsuki Enomoto finally had the courage to confess her feelings to her childhood friend, Yuu Setoguchi, she passes it off as a “practice confession” due to embarrassment. Not understanding her true feelings and struggling with his own, Yuu promises to support Natsuki in her quest for love. All the while, fellow classmate, the timid Koyuki Ayase, struggles with his own feelings for Natsuki, determined to win over her heart. This beautiful love story follows Natsuki as she hopes that one day her practices end and genuinely confess to Yuu. Meanwhile, close friends also find themselves entangled in their own webs of unrequited love and unspoken affections.
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5. Orange (2016 Series)
One day, Naho Takamiya received a mysterious letter from herself in the future. The perfect description of what would happen that very same day made it impossible to deny its authenticity and opened up her past self’s eyes to how she should have behaved with regard to this new student.
The story of Orange is a time-travelling adventure with an offbeat sense of humour that will keep you guessing and won’t get old. It’s packed full of lovable characters, memorable moments, and deep reflections on the nature of fate.
6. Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!) (2015 series)
Unlike the typical Shoujo anime, My Love Story’s main character is a guy. Nevertheless, the series is still all about romance but hilarious and relatable.
In this story, Takeo Guoda has been struggling to get girls his whole life, while his best friend, Makoto, seems like he could have any girl in school for himself at any time.
Why does Takeo’s love interest always fall for Makoto? But things might change now that he saved a girl named Rinko Yamato from some bully who was trying to touch her inappropriately.
7. Your Lie In April (2014 Series)
One of the most emotive and intense anime ever seen. This show is perfect for anyone who loves classical music or tear-jerking tales about overcoming adversity. If you’re looking to have your heartbroken shattered into a million pieces, then this story will take care of that need in spades!
This is a story about Kosei, who lost his ability to play the piano after witnessing an event that traumatized him. He meets another musician, Saki, with a secret, and together they work through their fear of music until he can finally start playing again!
8. Akatsuki no Yona (Yona Of The Dawn) (2014 Series)
Yona, a princess from the Kingdom of Kouka and daughter to King Il. After her father‘s , she was betrayed by her cousin Su-won who had taken over as king in his stead. Yona flees with help from friend Son Hak but finds that all is not peaceful in this once seemingly prosperous kingdom overrun by poverty and corruption; it falls on Yona herself to restore peace within its people.
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9. Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride) (2014 series)
Blue Spring Ride is a feel-good anime that follows the story of Futaba, a young girl who fell in love with Tanaka when they were both in middle school. Their love story sadly ended when Tanaka moved away. They meet again in high school, but time changes things, even Tanaka’s name is now Kou Mabuchi, and they would need to reconnect and start a new school romance.
10. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun) (2014 series)
The first time, high school girl Chiyo Sakura confesses to Umetarou Nozaki, he hands her an unfamiliar autograph. Much to Chiyo’s confusion, when she learns the stoic teenage boy is actually a respected shoujo mangaka publishing under the pen name Sakiko Yumeno! A series of misunderstandings leads to Chiyo becoming one of his manga assistants.
Throughout the hilarious events that ensue, she befriends many of her quirky schoolmates-including Mikoto and Yuu. This shojo anime follows Chiyo as she strives to help Nozaki with his manga and hopes that one day he will finally notice her feelings!
11. Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii (The World is Still Beautiful) (2014 Series)
In the Sun Kingdom, sunshine is part of its citizens’ everyday lives, and raindrops are something that they have never even heard of. However, in a faraway land called the Rain Dukedom, people can create rainfall with their voices!
Livius Ifrikia conquered the entire world and expanded his Sun Kingdom’s influence in just three short years. Upon learning about the powers to create rain, he decides that Nike Remercier would be a suitable wife–one of the princesses from the Rain Dukedom (Nike was surprised by this). When word reached her outside of Livius’ kingdom, she began preparing herself for anything but what actually happened. She finally meets him personally-he is nothing like how those rumours painted him out to be!
12. Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia) (2012 Sereis)
Yuuko, the ghost of Seikyou Private Academy, found a Paranormal Investigation Club to help her find some answers. She meets Teiichi Niiya, and they quickly formed a bond that led him on an adventure with Yuuko as their guide.
The anime “Dusk Maiden of Amnesia” is a slice of life anime with supernatural elements. The story centers around high school student, Yuuko Kanoe who attempts to connect back into the human realm after becoming a ghost. What you may least expect from this series would be having a hot ghost troll hanging out with our protagonist on an everyday basis doing cutesy things here or there!
13. Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss) (2012)
Kamisama Kiss is a story about Nanami Momozono, an unfortunate high school student whose life takes a turn for the worse when her father suddenly becomes too debt-ridden to take care of their family. One day she saved a man from being mistreated by a dog and was bestowed with the rundown shrine to live in. As she immersed herself into performing duties of one who serves shrines, her path led on as becoming contracted with Tomoe -a fox familiar. So, like any other god-in-training, she embarks on a path full of challenges and threats.
14. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster) (2012 Series)
My Little Monster is an unusual shojo anime that takes the perspective of two unlikely friends. The show starts with both Shizuku and Haru as social outcasts who have no friends because they are too weird for anyone else to handle them. However, their personalities end up complementing each other very well and then it doesn’t take long before you’re sucked into this strange world where anything can happen!
15. Ano Natsu de Matteru (Waiting In The Summer) (2012 Series)
Kaito Kirishima just got a new camera; while testing it out at night, something comes falling from the sky and hits him, knocking him out. He wakes up the next morning safe in his room. Going back to his normal school life, he and his friends plan on using his new camera for a movie project during summer break.
Noticing that Kaito has an interest in the new upperclassmen Ichika Takatsuki, his friend Tetsuro Ishigaki decides to invite her as well as her friend Remon Yamano. In what becomes one of the most entertaining and exciting summers of their lives, these three friends find themselves not only creating a film but also confronting each other about how they feel for each other.
16. Kokoro Connect (2012 series)
One day, Aoki and Yui experience a strange incident when they switch bodies for a short period of time. As this supernatural phenomenon continues to occur randomly amongst the five friends, their lives start becoming more intertwined than ever before as each one discovers something about themselves that they never knew.
17. Hotarubi no Mori e (The Light of a Firefly Forest) (2011 Film)
In Hotarubi no Mori e, a young woman gets lost in the woods and meets a forest spirit with whom she slowly begins to fall in love. The only problem is that they can’t physically touch due to his existence is based on magic which means that if he touches her or any human for too long, he will disappear completely. Their longing relationship has you captivated as it tries its best without ever touching one another despite how much feelings develop between them over time.
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18. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day) (2011 Series)
Five childhood friends get together again after the ghost of their old friend returns. While this show is very dark, it’s also surprisingly lighthearted and humorous! It might only be a one-season series, but that doesn’t make watching it any less worthwhile. The story flows well without ever feeling rushed or incomplete in any way, so you can watch all episodes at once if you wish to do so!
19. Coquelicot-zaka kara (From Up On Poppy Hill) (2011 Film)
From Up on the Poppy Hill is a story of love and hope as we follow students who are fighting to save their boarding school. Come for an amazing tale, stay because you’ll be touched by its profound message about how people can make both good or bad decisions in life that impact not only themselves but those around them too.
From Up on Poppy Hill is a story with qualities that Miyazaki has been perfecting for years. The story, though not always happy or cheerful, will leave you feeling hopeful and optimistic about life’s possibilities after seeing it. If you have ever watched any of Miyazaki’s work and enjoyed it, then there is no doubt that this movie will be your new favorite too!
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20. Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya) (2010 Film)
Kyon heads over to the school and the SOS Brigade’s holiday celebration, only to realize that Haruhi Suzumiya seems to have disappeared. Moreover, no one even remembers her or the SOS Brigade; Mikuru Asahina knows nothing and is now afraid of him, and Itsuki Koizumi has also gone missing. The Literature Club (formed by an uncharacteristically shy Yuki Nagato) now occupies the old SOS club room.
21. Kaichou wa Maid-sama! (Class president is a Maid) (2010 Series)
Misaki Ayuzawa is the first female student council president of her once all-boys school, meaning she’s got her hands full managing a bunch of unruly teenage boys. And it doesn’t help that Misaki’s leadership style is excessively disciplinarian, earning her the nickname “Demon President.”
But what no one knows about this hardworking girl with high standards (even herself) are two things: 1.) She works part-time at a maid café to help provide for her family, and 2.) The most popular boy at school, Takumi Usui, happens to stumble across Misaki’s secret— but will he ruin or keep Miakai’s reputation?
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22. Angel Beats! (2010 Series)
Upon waking up one day, Otonashi learned he had passed on. He only remembers his name from before, so upon learning that the afterlife is actually a high school and all you have to do in order to be reincarnated again is overcome trauma experienced during life. This gave him hope for another chance at living. But it’s hard to accomplish when the other students are as traumatizing as what may have happened to him.
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23. Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You) (2009 Series)
When the popular boy, Kazehaya Shouta, saw her timid classmate Kuronuma Sawako in the hallways, he stopped and started talking to her. To appreciate this plot point, you need to understand that Kuronuma had always crushed on him. Now here’s where it gets interesting – Kimi ni Todoke did well to shroud their main character‘s relationship status, so all we can do is speculate!
24. Toradora! (2008 Series)
Amidst the many problems that plague high school love, one of the most common ones is figuring out how to get your loved one. Ryuuji and Tia are two ordinary students who end up working together in order to help each other understand what makes their heart flutter when they see someone else across a crowded room or just want to know if it’s worth fighting for at all–the only problem is these two don’t even realize they’re falling in love with each other!
With excellent pacing that keeps anticipation between potential couples high, this shojo anime manages to weave together depth-filled storytelling we can relate to while still keeping us on our toes about whether or not true romance will ever be achieved by either character before graduation day arrives.
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25. Skip Beat! (2008 Series)
Kyoko Mogami is a naive girl who works hard to support her childhood friend’s dreams. Despite the fact that she has done so countless times, he only sees her as his servant and not an equal partner in their relationship. So Kyoko decides to enter show business with determination, and we follow along on this journey of trials through which they must overcome together.
26. Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume’s Book Of Friends) (2008 Series)
Takashi Natsume is a fifteen-year-old who runs into some problems involving youkai. One day he found out his deceased grandmother Reiko had passed on to him the Yuujinchou, or “Book of Friends,” which contains the names of spirits whom she brought under her control before she lost his life. This has been causing Takashi trouble because for as long as he can remember, these creatures have constantly followed and chased after him. The book gives Natsume power which is why the enraged beings now haunt him in the hope of attaining their freedom.
The messages and lessons conveyed in each episode are just as pertinent to us humans, with a range from various Youkai simply wanting their names back all the way up to more complex issues such as lonely spirits longing for companionship. Each story is wrapped up so masterfully that you’re left thinking about it long afterwards.
27. Lovely Complex (2007 Series)
Nearly 15 years after it first released, Lovely Complex is still a high-ranking shojo romantic comedy that centres around an unusual pairing of Risa Koizumi (a girl who stands at 172cm tall) and Atsushi Otani (a boy who stands at 156 cm). The pair are frequently treated as a comedy duo, and they play along. But when the jokes start to get old for them- and their friends-, it’s time for something more serious: romance.
28. Byousoku 5 Centimeter (5 Centimeters Per Second) (2007 films)
Byousoku 5 Centimeter is a beautiful anime that focuses on the mundane and harsh reality of the long-distance relationship between childhood friends. Stuck in the past and unable to make any new memories, Takaki and Akari cling to hope for seeing each other again. They live their everyday lives half-heartedly, both hurting themselves as well as those around them.
29. Zero no Tsukaima (The Familiar of Zero) (2006 Series)
She’s a self-absorbed mage in a world of wands, cloaks and royalty. Although she studies at Tristain Academy, the prestigious school for magicians, Louise has been dubbed “Louise The Zero” by her classmates due to how poorly she can cast magic spells. When her summoning ritual goes wrong and results in Saito Hiraga appearing as Louise’s familiar instead who then becomes treated like her slave by every other student with no recognition for his abilities or worth. But when an unfamiliar brand is found etched on Saito’s hand from the summoning ritual, it is believed to be a mark of Gandalfr.
A fantasy anime with an isekai element, but through the eyes of the native, not the summoned one. It tells the story of an obnoxious female character as she struggled to change her reputation and interact with her summoned otherworldly being.
30. Ouran Koukou Host Club (Ouran High School Host Club) (2006 Series)
A popular anime that has elements of gender bender anime, it follows Haruhi Fujioka, a scholarship student at Ouran Academy, that breaks the vase in the Host Club Room and is forced to work there for two weeks as repayment of her damages. She soon becomes one of their hosts but with more boyish features that make it easier to get closer to them than any other girl would be able to.
It doesn’t take long before she gets drawn into all of the intrigues and excitements within The Host Club – from managing customers’ feelings about joining or leaving clubs; dealing with school scandals like exposing people’s secrets on-campus announcements; hosting tea parties where they serve up some really awesome desserts! Ouran High School Host Club is a rare gem of the shoujo genre.
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31. Nana (2006 series)
Nana is the story of two girls who meet on a train to Tokyo. Nana Komatsu, naïve and clingy; Nana Osaki fiercely independent with punk-rock roots: their fates converge as they decide to share an apartment where friendship begins through trials and tribulations that test both love for music–and romance!
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32. Full Moon wo Sagashite ( Searching for the Full Moon) (2002 Series)
Mitsuki Kouyama is a talented singer with one year left to live. Her childhood friend Eichi moved away before she could confess her feelings, and they made the promise that whichever of them achieves their dream first would support the other’s ambitions from afar.
Two years ago, Mitsumi found out about her throat cancer diagnosis – but this sudden revelation spurs Mitsuki into action! With the help of two shinigami, she will fulfil her dream before cancer can take her.
33. Fruits Basket (2001 Series)
Tooru is 16 years old and has just lost her mother in a car accident. Toaru then moves to live with her grandfather, but she loses him too when his home undergoes renovation work that makes it uninhabitable for the time being. As a result of her fear to face scrutiny from family and friends, Tooru had resorted to secretly live in a tent outdoors. After certain events, Yuki Souma and Shigure Souma invite her to stay with them until the renovations of grandfather’s home are complete.
Tooru is a curious soul and always has been. When she arrives at the Souma house, Tooru discovers their secret: if someone hugs them from the opposite gender, they transform into one of 12 animals! Her thirst for knowledge leads her to explore what this curse means and why it’s not just some silly game.
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34. Cardcaptor Sakura (1998 series)
Cardcaptor Sakura has a long history of being loved and obsessed over by anime fans worldwide. This classic magical girl show is so well known that it’s been dubbed into more than ten languages!
Sakura Kinomoto is just a fourth-grader with an average life until one day she discovers an old book. Suddenly, Sakura finds herself being tasked with capturing the world’s most powerful magical Clow cards! Use her power to return these incredible cards back into their rightful place before they cause any more trouble.
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35. Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena) (1997 Series)
Revolutionary Girl Utena is yet another perennial classic in the anime world, one which some fans say was an early precursor to Puella Magi Madoka Magica. The show follows Utena Tenjo as she fights her way through duels and comes across a game where students fight for the Rose Bride, who has been enslaving them all this time.
36. Kodomo No Omocha (1996 Series)
This is a classic 90s shoujo anime that follows sixth-grader Sana Kurata, a child star on an in-universe TV program that’s also called Kodomo no Omocha, or Kodocha for short.
In this series, she clashes with her homeroom troublemaker at school, Akito Hayama and becomes closer as the show progresses after their first meeting, where she openly challenges him to stop running his classroom with his gang of boys while he tries to flirt unsuccessfully with other girls behind her back who are oblivious to how much they bother each other which leads them straight into many hilarious antics!
37. Mimi wo Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart) (1995 film)
Shizuku Tsukishima is 14 years old and loves to read books. She visits the local library regularly for her fulfilment but always notices that whatever book she reads has been checked out by a boy named Seiji Amasawa as well. One day Shizuku decides to follow this cat when it gets on the train. The cat leads her to the boy that also loves books.
38. Sailor Moon (1992 Series)
The destiny of Usagi Tsukino is anything but ordinary. Growing up as an average student and crybaby klutz, she never expected to become Sailor Moon – a planetary guardian with the power to protect Earth from Queen Beryl’s evil monsters that steal energy for themselves!
Sailor Moon introduces us to Usagi at her most comedic: from the first episode, she not only saves the day but is also our comic relief. Over the course of this anime series, we are introduced to Luna, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars and other sailor scouts such as Venus and Artemis.
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39. Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa (Castle in the Sky) (1986 Film)
Sheeta is a young girl who has been kidnapped by government agents, but she does not let that stop her. She escapes from them and meets Pazu, the boy with big dreams of reaching Laputa. Together they embark on their journey to find this fabled flying castle in the sky.
An anime film from Studio Ghibli, it revolves around the story of Sheeta’s connection to the titular floating island, and those concerned for her well-being getting dragged into the conflict is a fascinating and creative journey. With its two hour length, there is enough time to explore this world, flesh out Sheeta’s origin stories, and see how both parties in pursuit of Sheeta are motivated by their own desires.
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40. Glass no Kamen (Glass Mask) (1984 Series)
Maya Kitajima feels as if she’ll be stuck forever helping manage a crowded restaurant alongside her mother. One day, however, the legendary diva Chigusa Tsukikage spots Maya’s formidable acting skills and invites her to take on the coveted role of The Crimson Goddess in a play by that same name; meaning she’ll have to pit herself against Ayumi Himekawa, who also wants it for reasons all of her own- because while Ayumi has always gotten what she wanted due to rich parents who are famous throughout Japan, but their daughter couldn’t care less about fame or fortune and only desires recognition for being an excellent actress.
41. Versailles no Bara (The Rose Of Versailles) (1979 series)
A classic 70s shoujo anime with gender bender elements. This show is about a time in history where high-class noblewomen were raised to be wives who don’t have much of an education. Marie Antoinette lives her life one way and then meets Oscar, a girl living as a male Royal Guard. They meet at this pivotal point when France starts having revolutionary thoughts from the lower classes; it’s unlike any other historical drama you’ve seen before!
And that, anime fans, is our list of best shojo anime of all time. Did we miss any of your favourite anime in the shoujo genre? Let us know in the comments, and let’s discuss. Enjoy!