The plots of the most popular josei anime tend to revolve around a unique take on ordinary life experiences. These narrative twists on ordinary life are usually entertaining. Despite this fact, they often aren’t interesting enough to leave a lasting impact.
Anime like Princess Jellyfish and Usagi Drop are examples of anime that are good in their own right but don’t live up to the hype they receive. The spectrum of sub-genres that can exist in josei anime give shows in this category so much potential. However, many josei anime have too many similarities to a typical slice-of-life, which causes them to lose some of their value.
10/10 Usagi Drop Is A Typical Slice-Of-Life
Usagi Drop is a josei anime about the different dynamics present in various family situations. The plot follows the story of Daikichi as he adjusts to living with the 6-year-old Rin, who came to live with him after the passing of a relative. The anime is a calm slice-of-life with good characters and a somewhat interesting plot.
However, many anime along this nature have already been done. The Yakuza’s Guide To Babysitting is another example of an anime in which a young bachelor ends up playing the role of a young girl’s caretaker. Usagi Drop doesn’t have any major drawbacks, but it doesn’t stand out from other anime.
9/10 Princess Jellyfish Is More Childish Than Other Josei
The main theme of Princess Jellyfish is the importance of being true to oneself. By watching the adventures of Tsukimi and Kuranosuke, viewers can observe how hard it is to be authentic — and also how much it pays off. The message is valuable, but it’s not as complex as other josei anime themes.
Although Princess Jellyfish is a good fit for anyone who prefers lighter slice-of-life anime, it has less appeal to older demographics. Princess Jellyfish can seem childish compared to Paradise Kiss. The character’s struggles in Princess Jellyfish are completely valid. Still, the difference between the conflicts in Princess Jellyfish and other josei make this anime seem immature by comparison.
8/10 Honey & Clover Doesn’t Have An Interesting Plot
Honey & Clover
Honey and Clover‘s plot is about a group of art college students’ interactions with the next student Hagumi. The anime explores the trials of first love and portrays college life in a funny but realistic manner. However, the main love interest in the series is Hagumi, a young woman with a very childlike appearance.
Even though Hagumi is stated to be eighteen years old, she still has the physical appearance of a young girl due to her height. Furthermore, some of her mannerisms seem childish due to her shy nature. So much of this show’s romance revolves around characters depicted as adults developing feelings for a character with the typical design of a child.
7/10 Romance In Fruits Basket Is Over-Emphasized
Fruits Basket‘s is a well-known romance shojo anime that easily blurs over into josei themes. The series is about Tohru Honda, a high schooler who lives on her own, and her relationship with the Sohma family after she moves in with them. Since Fruits Basket is a romance anime, there are many scenes in the series that a romantically coded.
Right from the first episode, mundane interactions are dramatized as romantic encounters. While this anime is a great choice for romance fans, even insignificant scenes are idealized to the point of seeming extravagant. Even though this anime is a fan favorite, the romantic relationships in this series are overdone.
6/10 Love Of Kill’s Male Lead Is Too Pushy
Love Of Kill
This anime’s plot follows the missions of a hitman named Chateau. Song, a rival hitman, takes an interest in her and makes multiple attempts to establish a romantic relationship. Chateau efficiently refuses his advances in an impressive manner that shows her strength and confidence.
However, Song’s pushiness obviously makes Chateau uncomfortable and doesn’t seem necessary since the anime revolves more around action than romance. Additionally, Love of Kill‘s overly bright color choices struggle to fit the dark action of this anime. The plot is interesting, but the combination of the color choices and Song’s overconfidence take away from this anime’s appeal.
5/10 The Humor In Strange+ Often Misses The Mark
Strange+ has a very chaotic nature. In the span of three minutes, the main cast flops between yelling at each other, fighting mutual enemies, and making uncomfortable jokes. Much of the humor in Strange+ centers around inappropriate relationships and bad jokes.
Even though it’s a comedy, many of the jokes in this anime are too crude to be actually funny. Its fast-paced episodes make it hard to follow what little plot this series has. Even though Strange+ is somewhat amusing, the rude humor it features is not for everyone.
4/10 Ristorante Paradiso’s Portrayed Morals Are Uncomfortable
Ristorante Paradiso is an anime about new beginnings, change, and romance. The main character, Nicoletta, travels to Italy while trying to sort through the emotions she feels because of her mother’s absence during Nicoletta’s life. She starts working at the restaurant her mother owns and meets an older gentleman named Claudio.
The anime follows Nicoletta’s growth and her attempts to start a relationship with Claudio. Even though both characters are adults, their large age gap and Nicoletta’s refusal to take no for an answer make their relationship seem toxic. Because the anime mainly focuses on this romance, it doesn’t appeal to fans who are uncomfortable with the portrayed relationship dynamics.
3/10 Kids On The Slope Is Simply Too Boring
Kids On The Slope
The coming-of-age story depicted in Kids On The Slope is endearing but unengaging. This anime focuses on the complex web of romantic feelings between Nishimi, Ritsuko, Sentarou, and other characters in the anime. There are many pre-existing and more popular anime that revolve around love triangles.
As a result, Kids On The Slope doesn’t stand out much. The anime’s plot progresses slowly and doesn’t present a new perspective on the overdone love triangle complex. This anime’s predictability makes it hard to become too invested in the plot and characters.
2/10 Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Is Overdramatized
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju is an anime about the Japanese art of rakugo. Rakugo is storytelling performed by one sedentary person in front of an audience using a single, simple prop. Stories in rakugo are generally comedic in nature. In this anime, former yakuza member Yotaro attempts to learn how to perform rakugo from the Yakumo, an experienced storyteller.
The anime’s plot is quite unique, but many minor plot points are exaggerated. Even smaller setbacks are portrayed as devastating to the characters. The overall anime loses some of its meaning as a result of its constant dramatizing of small events.
1/10 Only Yesterday’s Plot Is Messy And Hard To Follow
Taeko’s life story is the main plot of Only Yesterday. The anime focuses on Taeko’s storytelling about her slow maturing from being a young child into becoming an adult. Taeko doesn’t tell her stories in chronological order, so it can be hard to follow the plot.
Takeo’s tales seem to be all over the place and lack a central theme or set of morals. The anime is undoubtedly a classic Studio Ghibli film, but the unique storytelling style of Only Yesterday takes away from its meaning and causes it to lose some of its appeal.
NEXT: 10 Amazing Josei Anime That Were Ruined By Their Endings