My brother DJ has asked me this question more than once and I couldn’t give him an answer outside of maybe one or two anime shows. Mainly because it was short notice and kid shows aren’t the first thing I think about when it pertains to anime. But after some thinking and convos with some other anime watching friends, I compiled a short list of anime you and your kids can watch! So lets get into it!
I will always hype up Digimon. I’m a huge fan and it’s better than Pokemon (yeah I said it). Better story-line, better character development, and the Digivulutions are much better than Pokemon evolutions (fight me). This series came out after Pokemon launched in the US, which made it’s initial reception kind of iffy. Mainly because it sounded like Pokemon but wasn’t Pokemon so everyone assumed it was a ripoff (technically Digimon came out before Pokemon). But Digimon is a series where it’s characters and story grow on you. It deals with the importance of friendship and caring about others. I would recommend this anime for ages 8-14. Season 3/4 is where it gets a little more serious hence the age up to 13-14. Find the first two series on Hulu.
Now this is more a nostalgic show for the parents but your kid may know who Sonic is and have played the games so it’ll work. If not, then this is still a great show to watch. I know it’s not quite an anime but it’s pretty close. It’s fun, bright and actually has somewhat of a story-line after the first few episodes. You get to see an beloved game character in animated form while exposing your child to a great show. I would recommend this for children ages 8-11. I am unsure if this is on Hulu but I have seen it on Netflix so check there first.
This anime is a personal favorite. It has story, character development and amazing fight scenes. The story is a bit obscure but it really picks up later in the first season. Every 1000 years, 100 Mamodo’s go to Earth to battle to become the next Mamodo King. Every Mamodo needs a human partner to use their spell book which seals their power. This anime starts out very light-hearted but then gets serious. Not ‘blood and guts’ serious but serious enough to make sure you are paying attention. I would recommend this anime for children ages 10-14. Hulu has the full series in their library.
Another favorite of mine. Detective Conan (Case Closed) is one the longest running anime series, behind One Piece of course. Long story short, Jimmy Kudo was an ace high school detective who witnesses something he shouldn’t have and is forced to take a substance that was supposed to kill him. Instead, it puts his high school mind into a 10 year old body, which he then changed his name to Conan Edogawa. Keeping his identity secret, he lives with his childhoold friend Ran and her father Private Detective Koguro. Jimmy still solves mysteries but as a child and using the many devices provided for him by a friend of his parents. Some of the cases have some adult themes (murder, revenge,etc) so I would recommend this series for ages 13-15. The first few seasons of Case Closed is on Hulu while the newer episodes are on Crunchyroll.
You Are Umasou
I can’t speak too much about this anime but it was recommended to me by a good friend who’s children love it. “You are Umasou” is about a Tyrannosaurus called Heart that is raised by a herbivorous dinosaur. As he grew up, he was scared by other dinosaurs. One day, Heart meets a baby Ankylosaurus and he names the baby “Umasou (looks delicious)”. Umasou started to be attached to Heart and a strange family love develops between the two (info from Myanimelist.net). From the looks at it, this anime seems to be appropriate for all ages. I am not sure where you can find this anime yet but when I do, I will update.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Last but not least…Avatar. Technically, this show is not an anime in the traditional sense. Meaning that this was not created in Japan or considered “Japanese animation”. But this show draws it’s art style from anime so I included it. You may have already seen this on Nick years ago. I personally enjoyed this series so very much. The fight scenes are awesome, the characters are lovable and grow on you and on top of that, the story is linear but well developed. Recommended age for this would be 12 and up. Could go younger depending the child but I leave that up to your discretion.
That is my shortlist of anime safe to watch with your children. I know there may be more but I only listed ones I’ve personally seen or were suggested to me. Have some to add? Please list them in the comments. If you are and your child are first time anime watchers, this is a good start but there are plenty and plenty more to choose from. Those that watch anime, what would you recommend? Until next time, Nerd out!