Over the last few years, anime has continued to grow in popularity among a variety of different ages. While many anime shows feature dark themes or complex plots, there is a surprisingly enjoyable selection of shows considered suitable for children. If you’re looking for some offerings to enjoy with younger individuals, or are looking for the perfect introductory series, then we’ve got you covered. Here are the 10 best kid-friendly anime that can be enjoyed by all ages, listed in no particular order.
Watch On: Netflix, Pokemon TV, Prime Video
You can never go wrong with a classic such as Pokemon. This anime revolves around protagonist Ash Ketchum and his beloved partner, Pikachu, as he sets out in the Kanto Region to collect all eight Gym Badges, challenge the Elite Four, and become a Pokemon Master.
Ash meets many beloved friends, hilarious enemies and rivals, unique Pokemon species, and challenging situations during his journies. While the plot is fairly basic, it’s extremely easy for children to follow, and there’s a sense of satisfaction that can be found in watching this ten-year-old newbie trainer grow stronger and stronger along the way.
Plus, there are numerous Generations of the show each taking place in a different Region, and hundreds of episodes to keep the whole family entertained. Give this one a try for a few episodes, and in no time you’ll find everyone singing along to the iconic opening theme song.
Watch On: Crunchyroll
If there’s one thing children love to keep themselves entertained with, it’s toys. Beyblade capitalizes on this by having characters fight one another using decked-out spin tops.
In this series, protagonist Tyson and his friends travel the world under the team alias of ‘the Bladebreakers’, aiming to win a championship title. These Beyblades also contain the power of Bit-Beasts, powerful creatures who can be summoned to aid the Blader in battle.
This show has always been one of the more popular anime for children, and with good reason: They somehow managed to make spin tops seem like one of the coolest things in the world. Beyblade is not only completely family-friendly, but also has multiple seasons with plenty of episodes to keep young fans entertained.
Watch On: Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu
Originating from the 22nd Century, Doraemon is a blue, robotic cat who is sent back in time to the 20th Century where he is tasked with aiding ten-year-old Nobita Nobi. Nobito is a kind, but very unmotivated student who often finds himself bullied by others. As it turns out, Doraemon was sent back in time by Nobita’s future grandson to take care of him and inspire him. In turn, he can give his descendants a better life.
Doraemon has a 4D pocket on his belly consisting of four-dimensional space that houses thousands of unique and bizarre gadgets. He uses these gadgets to aid Nobita whenever the latter encounters a problem or obstacle in his day-to-day life, which can lead to many humorous and creative situations.
Doraemon is charming, vibrant, and easy to watch for all ages, making it a perfect first anime selection for a younger audience.
Watch On: Crunchyroll
If you’re looking for a simple, charming, and adorable anime to enjoy with even the youngest of children, then Hamtaro should be your go-to choice.
This whimsical little wonder of a series revolves around a group of hamsters getting up to daily misadventures in the absence of their owners, who are all human children. It doesn’t get much more endearing than that, right? Plus, just look at their little faces – cuteness overload!
From scurrying around on their wheels and pretending they haven’t just succeeded in their daily great escape, to munching on sunflower seeds with a ridiculously innocent look on their faces, these hamsters and their shenanigans will have people of all ages admiring them. But then, it’s almost impossible not to.
Watch On: Crunchyroll, Netflix
Yu-Gi-Oh! tells the story of Yugi Muto and his adventures through the game of Duel Monsters, a collectible trading card game in which the characters can play to battle one another. After completing a mysterious item known as the Millennium Puzzle, Yugi inherits the alter-ego spirit from this Egyptian artifact, which takes his dueling capabilities to a new level.
However, things soon take a turn when the creator of Duel Monsters, Maximillion Pegasus, kidnaps the soul of Yugi’s grandfather. With the assistance of his beloved friends, Joey, Tristan, and Tea, Yugi enters Maximillion’s Duel Monsters tournament to defeat Pegasus and free the trapped soul of his grandfather.
This show is very engaging for younger audiences and has a great variety of personalities within the cast of characters. Plus, there are plenty of cute, cool, and powerful monsters, and most anyone can find a favorite among them.
Chi’s Sweet Home
Watch On: Crunchyroll
Another family-friendly anime centered around an adorable animal? Check.
Chi’s Sweet Home tells the story of Chi, a young kitten who wanders off from her mother and siblings and finds herself lost in unfamiliar territory. Thankfully, Chi is stumbled upon by the Yamada family, who take her in an attempt to find her a safe and loving home.
However, in the process of trying to find Chi a new home, this adorable and endearing little kitten manages to capture the hearts of the Yamada family. As a result, Chi wears them down and convinces the family to keep her as their pet, despite their apartment building being a no-pet zone.
Chi’s Sweet Home is an adorable anime series suitable for even young children to enjoy, and is full of hilarious little moments that perfectly capture what it’s like to be a cat owner. Most every episode will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside, and there are over 100 episodes to dig into.
Watch On: Netflix
When searching for recommendations for kid-friendly anime, films created by Studio Ghibli are often at the top of the list. Not only are these films known for their bright and vibrant colors, but for the most part, all titles are standalone films. This can be great if the younger members of the household struggle to sit through multiple episodes.
Ponyo is among the best Studio Ghibli films to introduce to children, telling the story of a goldfish who encounters a young human boy during a forbidden adventure to see the surface world. This boy, Sosuke, nicknames the fish Ponyo, and the two establish a friendship, which causes the latter to become more human-like as their bond grows.
Afraid that his daughter has been kidnapped, Ponyo’s father retrieves her from her misadventure. However, after meeting Sosuke, Ponyo has developed a will to become human. In chasing this will and achieving her goal, Ponyo accidentally sets off a tsunami on Sosuke’s village as a result of the magical force used to change her form. Ponyo and Sosuke must now find a way to return balance to nature and therefore the threat of natural disasters to the village.
Ponyo has a few similarities to Disney’s The Little Mermaid, which makes it the perfect introduction to anime for any child. It also carries that same Ghibli magic that makes it enjoyable to watch at older ages, which means parents or older siblings can tag along for a viewing and leave just as entertained.
Watch On: Crunchyroll, Prime Video, Netflix
If your child has a preference for magical girls over monsters, then Cardcaptor Sakura may just make the perfect introductory anime show to watch together.
In this series, the plot revolves around a ten-year-old girl named Sakura Kinomoto. She accidentally stumbles upon newfound magical powers after releasing a set of magical cards named Clow Cards from a mysterious book in her basement. Cerebus, the guardian of these Clow Cards, appears and tasks Sakura with retrieving these now lost items, which involves battling and sealing each card’s magical personification away.
During this entire process, Cerebus acts as Sakura’s guide, encouraging her during her adventure. However, Sakura’s potential may be put to the test, as she isn’t the only one in search of these cards.
Boasting both an engaging core premise and interesting “enemy of the week” concepts, there’s more than enough here to keep younger viewers coming back for more. There’s plenty for them to watch too, with a plethora of episodes and films released over the years.
Watch On: Netflix
After wandering deep into a forest in search of bugs to catch, youngster Nate encounters a mysterious, withered, old gotcha-style capsule machine. Intrigued by this machine, Nate spares some loose chance, and out pops out Whisper, an odd, ghost-shaped Yo-Kai who has been stuck within for close to two hundred years!
To thank Nate for his freedom, Whisper becomes his guardian, pairing him up with a Yo-Kai Watch, enabling him to see and interact with the numerous other Yo-Kai that inhabit the world.
Soon after, Nate and Whisper meet Jibanyan, a cat-like Yo-Kai spirit. The three of them team up to help solve problems of the Yo-Kai world, using teamwork and the powers of other species they befriend to maintain peace. During his adventures with Whisper and Jibanyan,
Nate meets many friends and learns important life lessons, making it a great show to watch with children. The show uses fairly rapid pacing to keep things moving and is full of comedic circumstances, ensuring younger viewers will never become bored with what it has to offer. There’s even more content that you can dive into if you find Yo-Kai Watch to be a hit too, such as the video game series on Nintendo consoles the show is based on.
Watch On: Prime Video
Sports anime are often appreciated for being entertaining, fast-paced, and packed full of action, without the need for violence. Inazuma Eleven is the perfect first sports anime for children and younger viewers, keeping everything completely family-friendly and easy to follow at all times whilst telling the story of a Junior High soccer team and their dreams to make it to the title of best in Japan.
In this series, bright and cheery Goalkeeper, Endou Mamoru and the six other players on his team are faced with a huge hurdle – if they are unable to secure victory against Teikoku Gakuen, the best team in Japan, then they will be disbanded. To fight back, Endou gathers four additional players for the team to navigate the Football Frontier, and become the new best in Japan.
Uplifting and full of creative designs, the series is sure to capture the attention of most any young sports fan in the making. There’s no shortage of episodes for them to dig into either, with over 200 episodes spread across the main series and spin-offs.
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