Does your kid want to start watching Anime but you’re worried about the content? In your head you picture Anime being filled with big breasted, scantily clad animated women, violence and blood galore.
You’re right to be worried. There’s plenty of Anime out there that’s definitely not good for kids to watch, in fact, most of my favorite Anime isn’t something I’d want my daughter to watch until she’s a teenager or older because they’re kind of frightening even for me to watch.
But thankfully there’s plenty of Anime that is safe for your kids!
Why should you trust me though? Didn’t I just tell you that my favorite Anime wouldn’t be good for kids to watch?
Growing up, I lived in a pretty conservative, fairly non Geeky family. But my parents were great at cultivating our interests as long as the content was deemed appropriate enough. I may not have seen some of the more gritty Anime like my husband Sean saw, like Akira, Neon Genesis Evangelion, or Cowboy Bebop (which if you’re wondering, those are definitely not for kids!)
So which ones are safe for your kids to watch?
Before I move onto my list, there is one thing I would like to point out, this list is all opinion based. I personally believe the content is safe for kids, but as with anything, you know your kid best. I won’t be offended if you watch it and think “I can’t believe Jessica would recommend that!” Because we are all different. Plus, Japanese Anime doesn’t sugar coat things, so if you feel a theme of a movie or show is too much for your kid, then wait until they’re a little bit older.
1. Pokemon (Netflix)
Everyone and their dog knows what Pokemon is. If you don’t know, then you must be living under a rock, especially since Pokemon Go took the world by storm last year. I grew up watching the original Indigo League series over 15 years ago, but it’s still going strong with different reiterations that coincide with the games.
2. Spirited Away and other Hayao Miyazaki films (Amazon)
As much as I watched Pokemon, I’d say that the Miyazaki films were what really sealed my love for Anime. Miyazaki is sometimes called the “Disney of Japan” and Disney even has the release rights to sell them here in the states! His films are beautifully animated and family oriented (though Princess Mononoke might best be saved for when your kids are into their teens, or at least have you watch it first). Some of my favorites are My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
3. Summer Wars (Amazon)
This gem came out when my husband Sean and I first got married. It’s a cute movie about the importance of your family, especially extended family! It’s also colorful and the use of technology in the movie will have your kids relating to the characters in no time.
4. Hamtaro (Amazon)
Who doesn’t love cute little hamsters? This one is great for even the younger kids to watch! I kind of want to cuddle one of them…
5. Sailor Moon (Hulu)
You’ve probably heard of Sailor Moon. It’s popular among a lot of young women because it’s what they grew up watching as a kid! I remember my friend in elementary school being obsessed with it. Admittedly, I haven’t seen it (yet), but when I asked my friends, that was one of their top choices of Anime that is safe for kids to watch. I can’t wait to share it with my daughter Marvel when she gets a bit older.
6. Speed Racer (Hulu)
I know what you must been thinking, “Speed Racer is an Anime? No way!” But it is! It’s great for boys (and girls too!) and a great way for you to connect with your kid while reminiscing about your childhood.
When I was younger, my cousins were obsessed with Dragon Ball Z, which can be attributed to the fact that it was pretty readily available on TV for them to watch. I remember them pretending to be their favorite characters and “battling it out” with each other. This one is definitely kid approved!
8. Yu Gi Oh (Netflix)
Yu Gi Oh, like Dragon Ball Z, was popular because of it being easy to find on TV. My brother was into Yu Gi Oh, so I watched it a few times with them and it was pretty fun! There’s also a card trading game (similar to Pokemon), which they played, but I didn’t get into it like I did Pokemon.
9. Yo-Kai Watch (Netflix and Disney XD)
Yo-Kai Watch is a series based on a video game for the Nintendo DS. It’s a fun series where Nate finds Yo-Kai (spirits) which help him battle other Yo-Kai. It’s a more recent series so your kids my be able to relate to the main character more than some older ones.
As you can see from my list, there really are some great Anime out there that’s safe for your kids to watch without the fear of them being bombarded with large breasts and excessive violence. There’s a good mix of movies and series that you could even let them watch alone or of course you can watch them together! I’m sure I missed some others so let me know in the comments if you have any other safe Anime that you’d recommend for kids.