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The 4 Best Anime For Beginners Learning Japanese

Learning Japanese certainly has its perks. For starters, once you’ve decided to learn Japanese, you’ll have access to one of the fastest growing niches in the entertainment industry, anime. Not only will you gain access to it, but its use will become two-fold. What this means is that you can learn from it and keep yourself entertained at the same time!

In this article, I’ll be going over four of the best anime for beginner Japanese learners to watch.

*Disclaimer: Many of the words used in Japanese anime aren’t necessarily used in real life conversations and may come off as odd or even unintelligible in some cases. So, be sure to do your research and learn new things accurately.

Top 4 Anime For Beginners To Watch

Courtesy of Shogakukan Inc.


Doraemon is a favorite among kids and adults. I even remember my Japanese language teacher in college teaching us how to say the words for simple things like the movie theatre. The anime features a young boy by the name of Nobita who has many everyday troubles such as bullying, poor grades and relationship issues. Luckily one of his descendants from the future was considerate enough to send a futuristic robot back into the past to be his guardian. This robot is named Doraemon.

You’ll learn common words that you would probably use in everyday life seeing as the anime was originally made for kids. Also, since the situations aren’t too crazy or out of pocket, you’ll have a easy time comprehending what is being said based on the context.


Courtesy of The Pokémon Company

Believe it or not, most people forget that Pokémon is a Japanese production. You can’t really blame them either since it is mostly played in its English counterpart outside of Japan. But, watching Pokémon in the original Japanese version you’ll be absolutely amazed at the amount of useful information you can acquire.

Besides from learning 300+ Japanese Pokémon names topics related to friendship are often discussed as that is the common theme of the series. Of course, you’ll run into more complex words like “laboratory” or “secret organizations,” but those still have their place in your word lists, so go ahead and learn them anyway.

Pokémon will give you a fantastic balance between adventure, hard work, and motivation. It’ll be sure to leave you feeling like it’s a brand-new day every episode and will keep your language learning spirits high!

Hunter X Hunter

Hunter X Hunter
Courtesy of Shueisha Inc.

This one will have you on the edge of your sit! Hunter X Hunter is arguably the best Shounen anime out to date, being contested by few others. The genre is adventure, but there are moments of intense action that’ll have your jaw clenched. With the first episode, you’ll meet a boy by the name of Gon who sets out to become a “Hunter” which is the equivalent of a hero in more simple terms. Along the way, he meets other individuals with that same goal in mind and they come across various obstacles.

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The anime rises and falls with moments of cartoon friendly interactions and philosophical lessons topped off with a spruce of fighting. When it comes to vocabulary and grammar, you’re certainly in for a wild ride.

The story is narrated by a third-party during moments of intense emotion, and it almost feels as if he’s speaking slow motion. Every word is clearly pronounced with the right amount of stress and intonation and while there are a few curveballs in there you’ll still benefit a great deal with the right amount of listening practice!

Shirokuma Cafe

Shirokuma Cafe
Courtesy of Shueisha Inc.

This anime is one of the most popular and recommended in the Learn Japanese community on Reddit. It revolves around a group of animals mingling amongst each other and talking about their everyday lives.

What makes this so popular with the Japanese learning community is the dialogue, which is closely related to everyday conversation (with lots of dry humor added in between). Also, since it’s an anime geared towards a younger audience, the dialogue shouldn’t be difficult for high-level beginners. If you’re interested in similar anime, you should check out those that fall under the slice of life category

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The best way to study anime

While it’s beneficial to watch anime to help your listening and reading skills, it may be a bit difficult for beginners to follow along. For example, having new characters pop by, pausing your screen, then looking them in another dictionary up is a bit tedious, especially if you’re doing this over and over again. Also, if you want to take your anime on the go and use it on your mobile, how can you possibly read those tiny subtitles?!

That’s why there’s LingQ. LingQ allows you to import your favorite anime and turn them into interactive lessons.

For example, here’s a lesson in LingQ using Shirokuma Cafe’s audio and transcript.

Learn Japanese on the LingQ mobile app

What makes this so great for beginners is:
It’s easy to read
You can look up your new words by a simple tap, save them, and review them in LingQ
You can listen to the audio
Using LingQ’s mobile app, you can take your lessons anywhere you go and increase your study time

To learn more, check out LingQ’s article about importing anime subtitles to see how easy it is to import content.

You can try LingQ’s language learning app for free. They are available for both Android and iOS. Good luck!

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