This time I would love to share some anime series that I watched and love and my thoughts on them. I would specifically post about anime that depicts school life, youth, and friendship, and sometimes a little bit of romance for this post. I said “a bit” because I think romance is just a spice, and I want to focus more on the characterization, i.e. how these young characters/high schoolers deal with the “youth” conflicts they had 🙂
[For anime movies, you can find and read them here.]
Disclaimer: I wanted to include One Piece, but it’s not really about school. LoL And I’ve talked a lot about it too. But if you want to read more about my posts on One Piece, you can read them here 🙂
Alright, without further ado, here are some anime series about youth, school life, and friendship that I like 🙂
1. ハイキュー!! [Haikyuu!!]
There are currently 4 seasons (Season 1: 25 Eps, Season 2: 25 Eps, Season 3: 10 Eps, Season 4 [I]: 13 Eps, Season 4 [II]: 12 Eps, each episode is about 24ish minutes). It’s a story about volleyball clubs or volleyball teams. Summary: A young boy, Hinata, aspired to be a great volleyball player and entered Karasuno high school, the same school his inspiring person went to study. However, the volleyball club in that school was currently struggling as they were short of players and such. They might have even been considered “a weak team”. However, as depicted in this anime, the boy brought spirit to the team. They somehow got more (talented) members and found friendship with one another. They practiced, joined competitions, met other fantastic teams, lost some, and won some while enjoying and giving their best playing volleyball and aiming for the top position. In short, it’s a story showing their journey realizing their dreams through volleyball.
Ok, before I continue, should I actually mention the names? I am thinking that I am writing this post for people who might have not watched the anime and are looking for an anime series to watch, so maybe giving it the general idea would be more helpful. If I mentioned names, I’m afraid it would be more confusing considering that there are so many amazing characters here 🙂
So, why do I like this anime? Why did I even watch it? LoL Well, I started watching this anime when I was doing my written comps (should write 50pages in one week🙃). I was so stressed, my sleep schedule was messed up. I distracted myself with other things and somehow I ended up watching this and grew to love it. Finished all 3 seasons in that span of one week🙃. I love this anime because, like One Piece, every character is unique. It’s hard to pick only one favorite character here. We can see how everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. We can see how everyone has their own roles, struggles, and fights. And most of the time, the competition is not with others but with ourselves: how we can be better than we were. When they “compete” and “compare” with others, it’s not in the negative jealousy type or wishing the other party the bad thing, but it’s more about how to use it as a motivation to improve ourselves and grow to be better. And I guess that’s just how it should be. It’s kinda impossible to not compare ourselves to others sometimes. If we do it too much, we’ll be down too. But if we can see it with the right pov (point of view), we can actually take advantage of it. No negative feelings. Just positivity. And that’s how it is in this anime. And what I like too is the fact that even though they were rivals sometimes, they weren’t too petty or stingy to share. They actually shared their knowledge (about techniques, strategies, and stuff), and they taught one another what they’ve got without fearing that the other party would beat them. And I really love it. In real life, we are often scared of sharing because when we share something with someone, we’re so afraid that someone would beat us. But actually, that’s not how it is. Sharing is one thing. If we’re so afraid of it, we won’t improve. By sharing with and teaching others, we can also learn to improve ourselves. If that person became better than us, it just means that we are a good teacher, right? So no need to be afraid of such things. And that’s why I love this anime. Again, usually, fiction will present a perfect character, meanwhile, other characters are made full of flaws. But just like One Piece, this anime is not like that. We do not see one as less than another. We can just see that people are different and that’s okay, i.e. you can still be likable. So I think, by watching this anime, it would be easier to accept ourselves because we can always find a character we can relate to. We don’t have to try so hard to be like A, for instance. We can just say “I’m more like B”, and that’s alright. And this way, we can learn to see the strong points of the characters that we think are like us. Am I making sense? Or am I just talking another non-sense? My apologies. But really, I love how they work, learn, fight, and grow together as a team. I love how they care for one another as friends. Maybe it’s one of those friendships I wish I had 🙂 So, if you like this kind of anime, you might want to watch this one 🙂
2. 虹色デイズ [Nijiiro Days/Rainbow Days]
24 eps, each eps is around 13 minutes. It’s about the friendship between 4 high schoolers of different characters (Natsuki-innocent and dreamy of love, Tomoya-kinda a playgirl type (popular with girls), Keiichi-a bit of a sadist, and Tsuyoshi is an otaku with a girlfriend who loves cosplaying. The latest is smarter than the first three🤣🙈😅). Summary: Natsuki fell in love with a girl who happened to be in the same high school but of a different class. Trying to pursue his love, he’s got his friends who come to be helpful and supportive. But just like a high school life normally, they’ve got their own problems and worries: romance, studies, future, etc. They had their share of “friendship fights” and “misunderstandings” too.
I love how the four friends had distinct characters here, like really different from one another, yet they can be best friends and support one another. Well, we have been given this idea that we can be friends only with those who have got the same interests, characteristics, and such, but this anime defies that. This anime might often show how they are always together, but their story actually implies the unshown scenes, i.e. as friends, we don’t always have to hang out together every single damn time. We can have our own space, a world that we explore independently or separately without our best friends, and that’s fine. We can share with them once in a while and they don’t have to show so much or the same enthusiasm in it, and again, that’s okay. After all, that’s what friendship is about, right? Giving one another their own space, respecting each other, and being there when needed but also not so intrusive. Well, they do share some similarities, though, i.e. value in friendship?^^ I also love how they had their own problems, which were different from one another. Natsuki with his pursuit of love. Tomoya with his sister complex (Hahahaha! You can guess that Tomoya is actually my favorite character here!) and finally falling truly in love with someone after playing with many girls before. Tsuyoshi, who needed to decide about his own future. Keiichi with his own dilemma. And again, I love how they support one another while trying to understand one another and solve their own problems. In short, I love this anime 🙂
By the way, I watched the live adaptation movie first before watching the anime. The cast is so great. Normally I am not really interested in watching the anime if I watched the live adaptation first. But somehow I got bored, I just wanted to watch a good anime with a good story, so I gave this anime a try especially because one of my favorite seiyuus, Uchiyama Kouki, voice one of the characters, i.e. he voiced Tsuyoshi. I thought I would fall for Tsuyoshi but somehow Tomoya’s character stole my heart^^)
3. 君と僕 [Kimi to Boku/You and Me]
There are 2 seasons, each season consists of 13 episodes, and each episode is about 24minutes. Similar to Nijiiro Days, it’s about the friendship of 5 people with different characters, the twins: Yuuta and Yuuki, the feminine and soft Shun, the smart, studious, and serious Kaname, and the cheerful Chizuru. Summary: Yuuta, Yuuki, Shun, and Kaname were best friends since they were kindergarteners. They continued to be together in elementary school, middle school, and now high school. A transfer student, Chizuru, suddenly joined their group and became best friends with them.
[Spoilers: Chizuru actually met the twins when he was a kid, before he moved overseas]. This anime shows the story of how they lived their life as high schoolers. This anime portrays the amazing friendship they had while also trying to know themselves and know one another better. This anime also depicts how they dealt with minor conflicts that they encountered: family, romance, brotherhood, etc.
I love this anime so much. It literally is just five young boys living their high school life. It might sound boring but it’s so interesting and looks so fun. They studied together. They teased one another. They helped each other. They had fun together. It looks like they didn’t have much to worry about. But, well, of course they did, but they were still young, and so they dealt with it not too “heavily”. I don’t know how to explain it but I really really really love this anime. It’s so good that I feel two seasons are not enough. I just want more. I want to see how they grow and keep their friendship in the future. If you love anime with this theme, I would really recommend you to watch this one 🙂
Also, actually, I started watching this anime because I learned that Uchiyama Kouki voiced Yuuta. So yes, I love Yuuta. He’s such a good brother, composed, cool, and all. But maybe I’m biased. When I was watching this, I was actually rooting for Chizuru to be happy. That must be because of my second lead syndrome. LoL But, seriously though, I really want Chizuru to get his feelings returned 😉
4. この音とまれ！[Kono Oto Tomare!/Sounds of Life]
Actually, it literally means “Stop this sound.” There are two seasons, each season has 13 episodes, and each episode is about 23 minutes. It’s about a school club focusing on Koto, a Japanese musical instrument. Summary: Chika, a high schooler who was often perceived as delinquent and violent, joined the Koto club in his school as he’s trying to understand his late grandfather, a Koto maker. The club was actually on the brink of disbandment as they did not have enough members. However, the club managed to survive and actually strove to join some Koto competitions. This anime depicts the struggle and life problems of each member of the Koto club as they’re trying to master the Koto.
I love this anime so much because it is just so meaningful and emotional (?). I even cried at some episodes when watching this because I could feel their pain, their fury, and their frustration. And perhaps, this anime is trying to tell us how society and people are often unfair and cruel with their stereotyping, assumptions, and expectations. People often look only at the “outside looks” and immediately label them as problematic without even trying to understand what has caused it or how to help them with it. People often want the best in us without even helping to bring the best out of us. It’s just sad that people tend to abandon and cast out those they consider problematic when all they need is just a little trust, understanding, kindness, acceptance, and a chance. I don’t know how to explain it well ’cause I know I’ll end up giving so many spoilers if I should explain more. But, for instance, [Spoilers?] Chika was seriously trying to learn to play and understand Koto because he loved his late grandfather and perhaps he was sorry that he didn’t get the chance to do it when he was still alive. But some people thought he was just fooling around. They thought he wasn’t serious and would only cause trouble. They even thought of him and his friends as losers. They looked down on them. [Dang, I am so mad and feel like crying again now that I remember this!!!]. But I can tell that his love for his grandfather was sincere and genuine. And then there was Satowa, burdened with family expectation and “abandoned” by her own mother as the mother was having a hard time herself. But people were so quick to judge that she was just being arrogant and a show-off without bothering to try to understand her pain and her problems, all because she came from a well-to-do family. It’s so fucked up. But as we watch this, I think we can learn to love, trust, and be kind. Well, I can write more and on about this, but I think it’s better if you watch it yourself.
And by the way, I got really thrilled when watching this anime especially when they were joining a competition. It feels like a real-life competition, where I get nervous to find out who’d win, hope and pray that they’d win. LoL I mean, I know it’s silly. It’s fictional, if I just fast forward to the end, I’d know instantly who’d win. Still, the sensation is different. It’s even different from when I watched Haikyuu!! Because in Haikyuu, we’d instantly know who won after the game is over, but in this anime, we should wait for all performances to know who’d take the first place and all. It’s so thrilling. And the music is enchanting too! I don’t know much bout music and Koto, but when I watched this somehow I could tell which music is great or not. Perhaps because of the comments from the characters in the anime. Haha But, well, it’s that amazing, so I hope you can give it a chance 🙂
Anyway, my favorite character is, of course, Chika. But I also love Tetsuki, Kanzaki, and Suzuka. I find them “mysterious” and intriguing. They are so cool 🙂 And by the way, I told my Japanese friend that I watched and loved this anime, and guess what? She told me that she was actually in the Koto club when she was in high school! Somehow it felt surreal 😉
5. 東京リベンジャーズ [Tokyo Revengers]
By the time I’m posting this, both the manga and the anime are still ongoing. And, this one might be a bit different from the anime I reviewed or recommended above. This one, in a way, is more “serious” and “fascinating” as it involves fights among “gangs.” And perhaps, it’s not really about school life per se. It’s more about an adult who went back to his school days to prevent what he didn’t want to happen in the future. So yes, this one includes time travel as the main character, Takemichi, went back to the past in an attempt to change the future. And perhaps, the school life depicted here was not like that of usual or normal high school students, because, again, this anime focuses on gang fights.
Summary: After learning about the death of his ex-girlfriend (Hinata) and her brother (Naoto), Takemichi accidentally fell down the train rail and seemed to be crashed by the coming train. However, instead of dying, he went back to his high-schooler self, 12 years before the present time. There he had to relive his life as a high schooler trying to be a cool gangster. He met Hinata and Naoto. He told Naoto about what happened in the future and told him to protect Hinata. He thought he was just dreaming before going for good into the afterlife, but after shaking hands with Naoto, he actually came back into the present time and found a different future, in which Naoto was still alive. With Naoto, he learned that he could go to the past and change the future. Knowing this, they schemed some plans so that Takemichi could go back to the past, relive his school life, and change several things to prevent the unwanted future. And when he came back to the future and found that things were not as they wanted, he would go back again into the past, continued to live his school life, and tried his best to prevent anything that might have caused the unwanted future. Would he succeed? Well, I can’t say much since both the anime and the manga haven’t ended. LoL
But why am I putting this here along with the other anime above? Well, first, I’ve got a list of anime I have watched but I just can’t put them all here, otherwise it would be too long of a post. Second, I think it still fits the themes of youth, school life, and friendship (with a bit of romance). And third, I actually love the story. When I started watching the anime, there were only around 4 episodes. I got impatient so I decided to read the manga. I just couldn’t stop reading because the story is very interesting. It’s engrossing. I cried at some scenes too. Well, ok, maybe I’m such a crybaby, but seriously, it can get pretty emotional. I can feel the despair and desperation. I can see how genuinely and sincerely Takemichi cared for his friends and tried to save them, trying to prevent them from dying too soon in the future. It’s just, well, like the friendship stories that we’ve discussed above, this one shows how nice it feels to have a friend. To have someone we care about and who cares about us. To trust and be trusted. To be given chances to prove ourselves. To protect and be protected. To be given a second chance to fix our mistakes. Etc. It’s simply worthwhile. Well, I might be biased considering how much I love stories with time-travel or time-skip themes, but I would recommend you to watch this anime or read the manga 🙂
And by the way, they actually have a live adaptation movie of this anime that is scheduled to be released this year. The cast is so lit. A lot of famous actors are involved. It’s such a feast to the eyes. Well, not only about their looks actually, but also their acting skills! Man, I wish they would screen it in the cinema here. If they do, I’ll definitely watch it. I’m especially interested in knowing how Mickey, my favorite character, will be portrayed in the movie. But, well, let’s just wait and see. More importantly, do you think you’ll watch this?
6. 浦島坂田船の日常 [Urashimasakatasen no Nichijou/Everyday Life of Urata, Shima, Sakata, and Senra]
I put this anime here as a “bonus.” This anime is different from the anime I mentioned previously. It’s really really short, consisting of 12 episodes with each episode around 4minutes. It uses the real-life characters in the anime but as high school students. As the title indicates, it literally tells the everyday life of the members of the real-world male vocal unit: Urashimasakatasen (Uratanuki, Shima, Tonari no Sakata, and Senra) as high school students. Summary: Four students transferred to a high school at the same time and they quickly bonded, became friends, and formed a school club of their own: A school club for transfer students. The anime depicts how they tried to create fun activities in the club. I really love this anime because it’s so funny and entertaining. It’s short and it makes me want to watch more. I thought there was a longer version of this anime, but when I browsed I just couldn’t find any, so I guess that’s all there is to it. Seriously, though, I wish they made a longer version with the characters having “a normal size” of high schoolers because in this anime they made it like a special edition where the characters were small. LoL Well, it’s a special anime, so I guess I can’t complain about it. And perhaps, that’s what makes it endearing 🙂
PS: In case you wonder, I wasn’t really on Instagram lately. I took my regular annual break as usual, but this time I don’t feel like going back to posting as I used to. That means I get busy with my other distractions. LoL So yeah, that’s how I could write up all these animes in this post. Somehow I ended up watching more anime, and when the anime was slow, I ended up reading the mangas. It’s because I was just impatient to wait for how the story went on. Thankfully, I don’t hate spoilers :p Well, I’ve got a lot more anime series to share. Let’s see when I can draft and post them^^ Anyway, thank you for reading this post. I hope you find it useful 🙂