If you are trying to use anime to practice your Japanese then this post is for you. I will talk briefly about the types of shows that are good to use, which ones are bad, and why. As well as a recommendation list. If you have any of your own that you’d like to suggest please feel free to leave a comment.
|Servant x Service
(Good show about government office workers)
So anime is a great way to practice your everyday, casual Japanese and grammar. As always I suggest studying on the side and using anime to practice, but what kind of anime is good to practice with? Well, slice of life and/or romance anime. These are mostly based in schools but you can find a few that are based in working environments which mean keigo and polite Japanese is used, and it’ll teach you Japanese used for other situations besides in a school environment.
Avoid fantasy, sci-fi and historic anime. This is because they have very field specific language which you probably won’t be learning in your everyday lessons. (Unless you go out of your way to study Meiji period classic grammar, or complex economic, political, or vocabulary about video games, or complex chemistry and philosophy.) These anime will have the everyday phrases and vocabulary used in romance and slice of life, but it won’t be as frequent or as useful in everyday situations.
The following are all very good, great fun shows which I really enjoy and noticed had a lot of useful Japanese in them:
Keep in mind that you won’t understand everything 100% at first and you might need to watch a show multiple times before you begin to pick up and understand what’s being said. If you watch it once with the subtitles, try and watch it again without them.
- Tonari no Totoro
- Karigurashi no Arrietty
- Summer Wars
- Kimi no Na wa
Not Based at High School:
- Yama no Susume – 3min episodes about hiking
- Working – about working in a fast food restaurant
- Servant x Service – about government workers (uses keigo)
- Genshiken – University students in a manga research club
- Tamako Market – working in a shopping arcade/Japanese sweet store, romance
- Bakuman – working in the manga industry, romance
- New Game – working in the games industry
- Love Stage – romance
- Akagami no Shirayuki-hime – Fantasy, romance
- K-On – slice of life
- Toradora – romance school anime
- Kimi ni Todoke – romance school anime
- Free! – swimming school anime
- Kaicho wa Maid-sama – school romance, maid cafe
- Chihayafuru – card game club, school anime
- Kiniro Mosaic – English girl goes to study in Japan, school anime
- Ore Monogatari – Romance
- Your Lie in April – music
- Hibike! Euphonium – brass band club
If you have any suggestions of your own please leave them below with what the show’s about and why you think it’s good.