20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Coming of age is always a vital moment in a person’s life, which is why it is so often portrayed in artistic works. The coming-of-age genre is a specific genre of fiction that deals with the growth and evolution of a character over a period of time, usually during their childhood or the period during which they are growing up. This is a topic that has been featured both in Western and Japanese works, which is why we have decided to compose a list of the 20 best coming-of-age anime series and movies you need to watch.

1. Spirited Away

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Release: July 20, 2001
Running Time: 125 minutes

Spirited Away is one of the best-known Studio Ghibli works. Chihiro and her parents are forced to move to another city. During the move, his father decides to take a shortcut to save time, however, they get lost and arrive at a building with a strange tunnel in the center. Even though Chihiro refuses to enter, his parents insist on following the tunnel.

On the other side, they discover an apparently abandoned village; the family chooses to explore the place and end up finding a restaurant where they decide to stop and eat. Chihiro leaves them to continue investigating. As night falls a mysterious young man named Haku appears and orders Chihiro to leave the place before it completely gets dark.

2. Hunter X Hunter

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Release: October 16, 1999 – March 31, 2001 / October 2, 2011 – September 24, 2014
Number of Episodes: 62 / 148

Gon Freecss is twelve years old and dreams of becoming a hunter. Hunters are elite citizens authorized to do almost anything they wish on simple presentation of their membership card: they can thus acquire free of charge any object for sale on the funds of the association; requisition all vehicles, accommodation, and tools for their work; and are de facto entitled to exercise all trades in the world, being able to become bounty hunters, chefs, archaeologists, zoologists, vigilantes or consultants in various fields as well. His father, Ging Freecss, whom he does not know directly, is considered one of the greatest hunters of his time. It is also to find him that Gon wants to become a hunter.

RELATED: Hunter x Hunter 1999 vs. 2011: Differences & Which Is Better?

3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: April 5, 2009 – July 4, 2010
Number of Episodes: 64 (+ 4 OVA)

The story of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in the country of Amestris, a country where alchemy is elevated to the rank of universal science, two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, travel the country in search of the legendary philosopher’s stone. Their father left them and their mother, Trisha Elric, died a few years later of an illness, leaving her two young children behind.

Sometime later, the two brothers try to bring her back thanks to alchemy, defying the law which formally prohibits human transmutation. They will pay a heavy price. Edward, the eldest, will lose his left leg, his little brother his whole body. Ed will sacrifice his right arm by sealing the soul of his little brother Alphonse in armor.

Edward decides to enlist in the army at the age of 12 as a State Alchemist, passes the exam with flying colors, and obtains his alchemist name: Fullmetal. Helped by Edward’s state alchemist status, the two brothers will seek, at the risk of their lives, the stone that will give them back what they have lost, but the secret of the philosopher’s stone is well kept.

4. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: April 14, 2011 – June 23, 2011
Number of Episodes: 11

A group of six childhood friends split up after one of them, Meiko “Menma” Honma, died in an accident. Ten years after this tragedy, the leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, isolates himself from society and lives in seclusion.

One summer day, however, Menma appears to Jinta, looking older, asking him for help in fulfilling her wish. She believes she needs to accomplish it to fulfill her destiny. But Menma doesn’t remember what her wish was, causing Jinta to reunite her childhood friends again, as she believes they are the key to solving this problem.

However, the hidden feelings, internal conflicts, and the persistence of feelings of sadness by Menma’s parents result in complications for the group as they struggle not only to help Menma but themselves.

5. Honey and Clover

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: April 14, 2005 – September 14, 2006
Number of Episodes: 36

Yūta Takemoto, Takumi Mayama, and Shinobu Morita study at an art school in Tokyo (based on the Musashino Art School) and share the same dormitory. One day, the art teacher Shūji Hanamoto introduces them to 18-year-old Hagumi Hanamoto, a relative of his. She is quite small and very talented and Morita falls in love at first sight. But Takemoto also has feelings for her.

6. Blue Period

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: October 2, 2021 – December 18, 2021
Number of Episodes: 12

Blue Period revolves around Yatora Yaguchi who is a fairly popular student who excels in his studies at school but often deals with inner emptiness and frustrations. One day he became so fascinated by a painting at his high school art club that it inspired him to try painting. Later, he was inspired by a friend Ryuji and later joined the art club, becoming more deeply involved, and attempts to apply to Tokyo University of the Arts as his college choice.

7. Silver Spoon

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: July 11, 2013 – March 27, 2014
Number of Episodes: 22

Yūgo Hachiken comes from Sapporo and wants to get as far away from home as possible after high school. Therefore, he chooses the Ōezo agricultural high school in Yezo, which is remote in the country and has a boarding school. The normal school subjects are easy for him, but he has unexpectedly many practical hours, so that he hardly has any free time.

The other classmates mostly come from farming families in the region and are ahead of him with their specialist knowledge. Most of them, unlike him, already have plans for what to do after school. On the other hand, he can help them with subjects like math.

He quickly befriends Ichirō Komaba, Shinnosuke Aikawa, Tamako Inada, and Keiji Tokiwa. Since Hachiken also has to join a club, he opts for the riding club. His classmate Aki Mikage, with whom Hachiken falls in love, is also active in this.

RELATED: 55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

8. Komi Can’t Communicate

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: October 7, 2021 – present
Number of Episodes: 12

Komi Shouko is a girl who attends Itan High private school, where she is extremely popular with her peers due to her beauty and her seemingly haughty and superior attitude. On the first day of class, she meets Tadano Hitohito, her neighbor: he discovers, after trying to talk to her, that Komi actually suffers from a communication disorder that prevents her from speaking in front of other people and, consequently, from being able to make friends with anyone. Tadano thus promises to help her achieve her goal of finding a hundred friends.

9. Kimi ni Todoke

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: October 6, 2009 – March 30, 2011
Number of Episodes: 38

The high school student Sawako Kuronuma is loathed by her classmates, as various rumors manifested in the school that she could see ghosts and curse people. The reason for this is the similarity of her name to Sadako, a character from the Ring.

Many students fear her presence and avoid her as much as possible. Only the new and very popular student Shōta Kazehaya treats her like any other girl. One day they get the opportunity to talk to each other, which turns their entire life upside down.

RELATED: 17 Anime Like Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You (2022 Update)

With his help, she tries to make new friends and to talk to strangers like any other schoolgirl. She is almost exaggeratedly grateful for his support and a close relationship slowly develops between the two, which has to overcome many hurdles.

10. Violet Evergarden

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: January 11, 2018 – April 5, 2018
Number of Episodes:
13 + OVA

The story is set around a young girl who performs the trade of “automatic memory dolls”: dolls initially created by Professor Orland to help his blind wife Mollie write her novels, and later rented out to others. people who needed their services.

The term refers to people who perform the function of a public writer, whose purpose is to transcribe the words and feelings of people. After four years of bitter warfare, this young girl with a heavy past tries not without difficulty to rebuild her future, starting with the exercise of this profession. However, among all the wounds inflicted on him during the war, there is one that seems unwilling to heal.

The words of a loved one still echo in her heart, without the young girl knowing the real reason. She wants to know, to understand their meaning. Thus begins the quest of Violet Evergarden, learning mixed with letters, encounters, and various emotions.

11. Naruto

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: October 3, 2002 – March 23, 2017
Number of Episodes: 720

The story begins during Naruto’s adolescence, around the age of twelve. The orphan dunce and great prankster, he does all possible stupid things to get noticed. His dream: is to become the best Hokage in order to be recognized by the inhabitants of his village. Indeed, the nine-tailed fox demon sealed within him has fueled the fear and contempt of the other villagers, who, over time, no longer differentiate between Kyūbi and Naruto.

RELATED: Naruto Watch Order: The Complete Guide (Series & Movies)

Despite this, Naruto trains hard in order to become genin, the first level among ninjas. After failing the genin exam 3 times, he finally manages to receive his Konoha forehead protector. He is then included in a team of three ninja apprentices, with Sakura Haruno and the talented Sasuke Uchiha who wants to avenge the people dear to him, by killing his brother Itachi Uchiha.

Shortly after, they meet their jōnin (upper-class ninja), the one who will take care of their training: the mysterious Kakashi Hatake. At first feared and despised by his peers, Naruto will gradually rise in power and gain the respect and affection of the villagers’ thanks, in particular, to the battles he will win against the most powerful enemies of Konoha.

12. My Hero Academia

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: April 3, 2016 – present
Number of Episodes: 113 (+ 5 OVA)

In a world where 80% of the world’s population has superpowers, here called “Quirks”, we follow the adventures of Izuku Midoriya, one of the few humans without Quirks. Despite this, Izuku still dreams of joining the super-heroic branch of the great Yuei academy and one day becoming one of the greatest heroes of his time. One day, Izuku had the chance to meet his lifelong idol, All Might, the number 1 superhero. This one will bequeath to Izuku his Quirk, the One For All.

13. Haikyu!!

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Original Run: April 6, 2014 – December 19, 2020
Number of Episodes: 85 + 5 OVAs

Hinata Shouyou, a little middle school girl, discovered an unexpected passion for volleyball while watching a national championship match on television. Shouyou, a tiny kid dubbed “the little giant,” joined his school’s volleyball club, determined to emulate the championship’s standout player. Unfortunately, he was the sole member, and the group lacked even a practice space.

RELATED: 10 Best Volleyball Anime Series (RANKED)

He did not let this discourage him, and after recruiting five more players in his last year, he was able to participate in a real tournament – only to have his team draw the title favorite and its star player, Kageyama Tobio, dubbed “the king of the court,” in the first round.

14. Vinland Saga

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: July 7, 2019 – present
Number of Episodes: 24

Combining historical figures and events with many fictional elements, Vinland Saga is the story of the life of a young Icelandic man, Thorfinn Thorsson. This son of an illustrious repentant warrior will see his life turned upside down when his father is assassinated by pirates led by the cunning Askeladd. Driven by revenge, Thorfinn will follow and then integrate this gang, with the displayed desire to eliminate his father’s assassin in a loyal duel. Thorfinn’s vengeful quest is the common thread of the story’s prologue.

It will lead him, in particular, to participate in the invasion of England by the Danes at the beginning of the eleventh century. This part of the story brilliantly treats various subjects such as war, politics, and religion, and paints a convincing and human portrait of the daily life of the populations’ victims of the war but also and especially of the warriors, far away from the clichés usually conveyed by the Vikings.

15. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Release: July 15, 2006
Running Time: 98 minutes

It all starts in Japan with the adventure of Makoto Konno, a 17-year-old high school girl like the others. She befriends Chiaki and Kôsuke, two different students. Everything goes well, until the day she discovers that she can go back in time at will following a train accident that should have happened. She is helped by her witch aunt who mysteriously seems to know a lot about the subject.

Makoto uses her power to fix the mistakes she caused, but each time something else is taken away. Once, Kōsuke and Chiaki each fall in love with a girl they don’t know in high school. At the same time, Makoto does not hesitate to come to the aid of his friends for the love of girls. As Makoto used all of his power, Kōsuke was about to have the train wreck for him. But someone stopped time at that moment. This is Chiaki.

He tells her that he is from the future and that he was the one who gave power to Makoto. Moreover, he arrived here to see a painting that disappeared from his time. This is the one that Makoto’s aunt restored in her workshop. After that, Chiaki disappeared from the face of the earth. In the evening, she realizes that the last charge of her power has returned as a result of Chiaki’s time travel and uses it to bring him back, allowing her to return to her own time. The story always takes place on July 13.

16. Attack on Titan

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: April 7, 2013 – ongoing
Number of Episodes: 70 (+8 OVA episodes and several movies)

The plot of Attack on Titan revolves around the young Eren Yeager, his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackerman and his best friend Armin Arlert, who live together with the rest of humanity in cities that are protected by huge walls from the attacks of the so-called Titans, gigantic humanoid beings who devour people for no apparent reason.

RELATED: Attack on Titan Watch Order (Anime Series And Movies)

The walls that promised peace have existed for 107 years. But one day the Titans break through the outermost Wall Maria and the people are pushed back further. Eren’s mother dies and he and many other people flee behind the second wall, Wall Rose. Eren swears when his mother dies that he will wipe out the Titans.

17. SLAM DUNK

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: October 16, 1993 – March 23, 1996
Number of Episodes: 101

Slam Dunk tells the story of Hanamichi Sakuragi, whose evolution as a basketball player and as a person is the central theme of the anime. Sakuragi is a troubled 15-year-old and gang member with an impressive record of love rejections behind him. At the beginning of the series, Hanamichi does not know anything about sports or more than anything about basketball.

RELATED: 20 Best Basketball Anime & Manga

At the beginning of the play, we see Sakuragi, a fearsome and violent high school bully, newcomer to Shōhoku High School and dejected by his latest sentimental failure, which he attributes to the fact that his last girlfriend was in love with a basketball player which provokes him a deep rejection of that sport. Everything changes when he meets Haruko Akagi, whom he instantly falls in love with and whom he tries to impress through basketball thanks to her great stature and surprising innate physical condition.

18. Princess Jellyfish

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: October 15, 2010 – December 31, 2010
Number of Episodes: 11

Tsukimi Kurashita, a shy young girl, dreams of becoming an illustrator and has settled in Tokyo in a residence populated exclusively by otaku girls (one could translate as groupies). Passionate about jellyfish (kurage in Japanese and jellyfish in English) since her late mother promised her a wedding dress as beautiful as a jellyfish, saying that all little girls grow up to be princesses, she spends her time drawing some and visiting those of the aquarium in his neighborhood.

However, Tsukimi wonders what went wrong as she herself is nothing like a princess. Indeed, she doesn’t know how to dress, doesn’t wear makeup, is only interested in jellyfish and not shopping or boys. However, the residents, each crazier than the other, of the Amamizu residence will punctuate Tsukimi’s life. It is then that their lives will be turned upside down by the appearance of a strange humana coquetta, Kuranosuke, who turns out to be in fact the son of a wealthy family of politicians.

And the shy Tsukimi, who felt so apart, will suddenly feel her heart beating for new passions, such as creating dresses, but also for Kuranosuke’s brother, Shu. Which doesn’t seem to be to his/her new/new comrade’s taste. Princess Jellyfish recounts the life of Tsukimi and her otaku friends, their incomprehension and uneasiness in the face of a world whose codes they do not master, their true love for the object of their passion, and the injustice of having to comply with conveniences in order to be accepted.

19. Usagi Drop

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Run: July 7, 2011 – September 15, 2011
Number of Episodes: 11

When 30-year-old Daikichi returns to his grandfather’s house for his funeral, he discovers the existence of Rin, the six-year-old illegitimate daughter of his grandfather and unknown mother. This girl causes the embarrassment of her whole family and is treated like an outcast. Annoyed by their attitude, Daikichi decides to take care of Rin himself, even though he lives alone and has never raised a child.

Rin then becomes part of his life and Daikichi experiences the difficulties of a single parent. He befriends the single mother of Kouki Nitani, a friend whom Rin meets in kindergarten, and who gives him advice on raising Rin. A year later, Daikichi finds that his sacrifices for Rin were worth it. The first half of the series focuses on Daikichi’s point of view and his difficulties in raising Rin.

Ten years later, Rin is a high school student, and the rest of the series focuses on her, how she tries to come to terms with her feelings for Kouki, and her choice of career.

20. Penguin Highway

20 Coming-of-Age Anime You Should Watch Today

Original Release: July 29, 2018
Running Time: 118 minutes

One fine day, a strange group of penguins began to appear in the young schoolboy Aoyama’s small town. He then takes it into his head to discover the true nature of these creatures and their objectives by launching the “Penguin Highway Research”, and attends the appearance of a penguin when he is in a dental clinic.

This surprises the young woman who works there as an assistant who does not understand how a penguin can appear out of nowhere. Thus, with the help of his best friend Uchida, his classmate Hamamoto and the young woman, Aoyama will conduct his little investigation around the mysterious arrival of these little marine beings.

  • Arthur S. Poe has been fascinated by fiction ever since he saw Digimon and read Harry Potter as a child. Since then, he has seen several thousand movies and anime, read several hundred books and comics, and played several hundred games of all genres.