There is a wide range of anime genres, many of which specifically target certain age and gender demographics. It’s easier to create a popular series when there’s an established rubric and formula to turn towards, but there are also plenty of instances when an anime designed for one crowd brings in an unexpected audience from elsewhere.
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One of the most popular versions of this is when children’s programming can also be appreciated by adults, who might happen to be watching these shows with their children. There are some very entertaining anime series out there that are just as satisfying to adults and kids alike.
Anime’s Perennial Funny Feline Friend From The Future
Doraemon has been kicking around since the early 1970s, and it’s a symbolic piece of animation that’s produced more than 1160 episodes and 40 feature films. Doraemon looks at a robotic cat from the 22nd century who travels to the past to aid a shy boy, Nobita Nobi.
Doraemon has endless inventions and futuristic tricks that turn the most normal of situations into extraordinary adventures. The ongoing Doraemon iteration from 2005 is the most modern and kid-friendly, but the humor is timeless, and the ideas are unconventional enough to keep adults interested, too.
Forever Friends Celebrate Life’s Simple Wonders
Laid-Back Camp is a relatively newer anime from 2018 that’s produced 25 episodes across two seasons, with at least one more season of gentle storytelling on the way. Those who require a complex and plot-driven story will grow restless with Laid-Back Camp, which celebrates a group of friends and their communal passion for camping and simple recreational activities.
Laid-Back Camp thrives with its patience and careful character studies. Adults will appreciate how this anime emphasizes the importance of slowing down and valuing the small things in life. Kids will instantly love these fun characters and the sense of adventure that Laid-Back Camp conveys.
Shin-Chan’s Mischief Turns Into Entertainment For All Ages
Crayon Shin-Chan is an anime staple that’s produced more than 1100 episodes and continues to entertain modern audiences. Many of the longest-running anime series are programs that are geared towards kids, but still have something to offer to adults. Crayon Shin-Chan excels in this area since Shinnosuke Nohara’s slice-of-life shenanigans are easy to appreciate.
Children can relate to Shinnosuke’s rambunctious energy and adults will appreciate the character’s youthful innocence. It’s palatable humor that’s not likely to offend anyone, but it also doesn’t require adults to shut off their brains in order to enjoy this crude children’s series.
Hinata’s Optimism & Determination Fuel This Inspirational Sports Anime
There are a lot of eclectic sports anime out there, but those are grounded in reality and others that are wild hyperbolized versions of recreational pastimes. Haikyu!! is a series that’s risen to popularity over the past decade that focuses on a struggling high school volleyball team and its short, yet endlessly optimistic, protagonist, Shoyo Hinata.
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Kids will respond to Shoyo’s determination in the face of endless underestimation. However, the journey that Shoyo and his team head down in Haikyu!! is exciting and paced in a manner that will also pull in adults.
Senku Turns Science Into A Superpower
A relatively newer shonen series sensation, Dr. Stone creatively looks at Senku Ishigami’s efforts to rebuild society after more than 3500 years in petrified standstill. Dr. Stone has progressively become more of a standard battle shonen series with a bit of Lord of the Flies thrown in for good measure.
However, the first season creatively celebrates the power of science and brains over brawn. Senku and his small team are only able to survive and perpetuate society through their clever applications of everyday science. These lessons stoke children’s curiosity towards science while also educating adults in the process.
Tsubasa Never Misses A Goal
Another juggernaut of a sports series, Captain Tsubasa is the prototypical soccer anime that’s had five separate anime since the early 1980s, any of which are suitable for both children and adult audiences. Like many sports anime, Captain Tsubasa celebrates underdogs who go on to accomplish incredible things, but it never feels pandering or as if it speaks down to its older audience.
The original 1983 anime has more than 100 episodes and four films, while the most recent 2018 iteration has just over 50. Kids may better appreciate updated visuals and brighter colors of the modern Captain Tsubasa, but its morals and sports action are timeless.
Aang’s Adventure Features Some Of Animation’s Greatest Heroes
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Developed on Nickelodeon, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra are finally receiving the mainstream success that they deserve. There are very big plans on the way for this animated universe on Paramount+.
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Many adults avoided Avatar due to its child-like designs and “faux anime aesthetic,” but anyone who actually watches the series will be drawn in by its compelling storytelling and gripping character arcs. Avatar and Korra remain triumphs in animated storytelling and are proof that a good story will resonate with anyone.
Saiki K. Uses His Powers To Stay In The Shadows
The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K is so ridiculous with its comedy that it’s as much of a gag anime as it is a shonen series. Saiki Kusuo is a powerful psychic with unimaginable powers, yet Saiki’s simple aims in life typically result in him using powers to diminish his presence rather than put himself on a pedestal.
Saiki and his friends are teenagers, but the humor here is so broad and everyone functions like a caricature that it feels designed for children. However, the comedy moves at such a chaotic pace with unpredictable punchlines that are just as likely to make adults burst out in laughter.
U.A. High School Combines School With Superheroics
My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia feels like a more “adult” series, but it’s still a shonen anime that’s geared towards young male audiences. My Hero Academia follows the growth of Izuku “Deku” Midoriya as he acquires a powerful superpower and trains to become the number one symbol of peace and justice for society.
My Hero Academia coasts through lighter subject matter in its introductory seasons, but much like Harry Potter, the storytelling and villains gradually grow more mature as the characters grow older. It’s such a gradual shift that’s not jarring to young viewers but still substantial enough for the older crowd.
Catch ‘Em All In A Fun World Of Possibilities
Pokémon is a special phenomenon that continues to dominate anime and video games more than two decades after its debut. There are more than 1000 episodes of the Pokémon anime and close to two-dozen feature films. Pokémon is designed for children and typically explores lighter episodic storytelling that centers around specific Pokémon.
However, there’s still a level of suspense and serialization for adults to enjoy in the form of Ash’s Pokémon League battles. Additionally, Pokémon is a property that works for all ages since many of the adults who watch it grew up with the series and there’s some nostalgia involved.
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