With the relaunch of the new Sailor Moon Crystal series I’ve been itching to get back in to anime. I have too many favorites right off the bat so here’s a list of my favorite shoujo anime. For those who may be unfamiliar with the term, Shoujo translates to girl. So shoujo anime are generally geared towards younger women or tend to be more romanced fueled with a younger female lead protagonist while shonen (boy) anime are more about action/battles and feature a male lead protagonist. I have issues with these classifications cause boys can like shoujo/girls can like shonen but that’s a post for another day! On to the Friday 5!
PLEASE SAVE MY EARTH (1993)
Besides Sailor Moon Please Save My Earth was one of my first exposures to anime as it used to air on KTEH (now KQED) back in the 90’s. The anime is technically is OAV (Original Animation Video) series so it was only 6 episodes long. The show deals with 6 alien scientists who died while researching Earth from their station on the moon who were then reincarnated as 6 students living in Japan with no memory or their past lives at first. The series deals with love, loss, religion, betrayal, and death. How would you deal with returning memories of a past life and all the pain and emotions that come with that?? I wish they’re do a proper full length anime series as the source material is 20 volumes long! Grab a tissue, if you choose to watch it!
CARDCAPTOR SAKURA (1998)
It was through Cardcaptor Sakura that I fell in love with CLAMP (a 4 woman team of artists and writers) and their series. Cardcaptor Sakura is about a 10 year old girl who accidentally unleashes magical Clow Cards into her town and its her job to capture them and keep them from running amuck. This a classic Mahou Shoujo (Magical Girl) series and the relationships with Sakura and her friends/family are just SO enduring. I don’t think there’s a single character I dislike. Even after the 1st season of her finishing collecting the cards more mysteries revolving around her family are slowly revealed.
FRUITS BASKET (2001)
Oh, Fruits Basket aka Furuba, how I dislike your opening sequence, but damnit, I love this series! Tohru, an orphan high school girl, stumbles upon the Sohma family who just so happen to be cursed with the animal of the Chinese Zodiac. What type of curse, you may ask? Whenever they are hugged or embraced by the opposite gender (who isn’t already cursed) they transform in the animal along with just feeling sick, weak or stressed can trigger the transformation as well so OF COURSE silly awkward moments ensue! Though the series is largely a comedy it does have very serious dark undertones of having to deal with the curse and can be very touching at times. POOR KYO, I LOVE YOU.
OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB (2006)
I love me some good genderbending series and Ouran High School Host Club is one of the top ones! The series follows Haruhi who is a scholarship student at Ouran High and finds herself masquerading as a boy in the school’s Host Club that exists to essentially woo and wait on the female students. The series itself is constantly making fun of itself and the cliches that are all too common in reverse harem and shoujo anime meaning excessive use of sparkles, and flower petals. This is one of those shows that I’ve never laughed so hard in my life at how ridiculous some of these characters are.
Sweet lord this series is the more drama filled series on my list, second probably only to Please Save My Earth. The two main female protagonists moved to Tokyo and are complete strangers until they move in to an apartment together. Oh and they both happened to be named Nana. One moves out on her own after a bad breakup to make it out on her own while the other is the lead singer in a punk band hoping to make a big break in to the Tokyo music scene. Then shit hits the fan as people start falling in and out of love within their friend circles, then there’s exes showing up to ruin things and a rival band loaded with more drama and OH MY GOD. Such feels and drama! Not to mention the music is AWESOME.
Thanks to Nana I was able to discover Anna Tsuchiya and Olivia Lufkin some of my favorite J-Pop artists to this day~
BONUS! (cause like anyone else who grew up watching anime seems to have it as their favorite)
SAILOR MOON (1992)
This is typical for most 90’s anime fans, but I can’t ignore it because of what a HUGE impact the Sailor Moon franchise has had on my life. There were Mahou Shoujo series prior to Sailor Moon but it is THE quintessential magic girl show that helped popularize anime in the US along side Dragon Ball Z. Even if you didn’t watch Sailor Moon you knew someone who did or at least know of it which is why I’m gushing instead of giving a one sentence summary of the series. So yeah, Sailor Moon will forever be a part of my life and I’m completely ok with that.
Well that’s my list of shoujo anime. Are your favorites on there too? Let us know in the comments! I’m always looking for new anime recommendations.
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