Josei anime are works that are marketed towards women between 18 and 40 years of age. These anime can encompass a variety of genres and artistic styles, but most josei series has a reputation for focusing on character growth. Also, not too many josei anime is produced, but manga has a wealth of titles to choose from!
Let’s look at some of the more popular modern josei anime! To be considered modern, a series had to have premiered in 2010.
Studio: Studio Deen
Genre: Drama / Historical
Quick Pitch: Yotarou meets the distinguished rakugo master Yakumo and requests to become his first apprentice in order to learn the traditional theater form. Once Yotarou begins, he meets an abrasive woman named Konatsu, who has been under Yakumo’s care since her father’s death. Their contrasting personalities brings back old memories of Yakumo and his rival in youth.
2. Bunny Drop (Usagi Drop)
Studio: Production I.G.
Genre: Comedy / Drama / Slice of Life
Episodes: 11 + 4 Specials
Quick Pitch: Daikichi learns that his recently deceased grandfather has an illegitimate six-year-old daughter named Rin. Family members refuse to adopt Rin due to her illegitimacy, so Daikichi decides to take her in. Even though Daikichi has no experience with children, he is determined to be a good father towards Rin.
Studio: MAPPA / Tezuka Productions
Genre: Coming of Age / Music / Romance
Quick Pitch: Kaoru Nishimi has arrived in Kyushu to attend high school, but his constant moving to new towns has killed his hopes of fitting in. Kaoru prepares for another lonely year, but things change after an encounter Sentarou Kawabuchi and class president Ritsuko Mukae. The trio begins to bond over jazz music and they decide to form a band.
Studio: Brain’s Base
Genre: Comedy / Romance / Slice of Life
Quick Pitch: Tsukimi Kurashita is an 18-year-old otaku girl who lives in a women’s only apartment complex. She loves jellyfish and sees one in danger at a local pet store. To Tsukimi’s surprise, a beautiful woman helps Tsukimi save the jellyfish. When they go back to the Amamizukan apartments, Tsukimi is shocked to learn that the woman is actually a man named Kuranosuke Koibuchi.
Genre: Drama / Romance / Sports
Episodes: 50 + 1 OVA
Quick Pitch: Chihaya has spent most of her young life supporting her sister’s modeling career, but she finds new purpose after meeting a karuta player named Arata. After becoming friends, Chihaya learns she has the potential to become a great competitive karuta player and she strives to make the dream a reality.
Studio: Doga Kobo
Genre: Drama / Romance / Supernatural
Quick Pitch: Ryousuke Hazuki is in love with a flower shop owner named Rokka Shimao. Wanting to get close to her, he decides to get a part-time job at a shop. But there is one problem: Atsushi Shimao, the ghost of Rokka’s husband, will do anything to prevent Ryousuke from getting any closer to Rokka.
Now, the three are faced with a complicated situation between a woman who can’t let go of the past, a ghost who fears being forgotten, and a man who can’t profess his love.
7. Polar Bear Cafe (Shirokuma Cafe)
Studio: Studio Pierrot
Genre: Comedy / Slice of Life
Quick Pitch: Located near a local zoo, the Shirokuma Cafe is a popular spot for humans and animals to relax after a hard day of work. The charismatic Shirokuma, sarcastic Penguin, and clumsy Panda get in all sorts of misadventures while caring for their clients and friends.
Genre: Action / Adventure / Fantasy
Quick Pitch: Nai is in search of his missing friend and meets a thief named Gareki while in a deadly situation. After escaping from a flesh-eating monster, the two are found by a defense agency called Circus. The two join and Nai hopes to find his friend while a member of Circus.
9. Chouyaku Hyakuninisshu: Uta Koi
Studio: TYO Animations
Genre: Historical / Romance
Quick Pitch: A modernized retelling of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, which is an anthology of 100 romantic poems from 100 poets from the Heian period (794 to 1185).
What are your favorite josei anime?