Top 5 Anime for Japanese Language Learners

Mason Williams
TV Anime
TV Anime

Are you a Japanese language student and fed up with boring textbooks and tedious learning aides? Have you tried using anime to overcome some gaps in your learning process? Here are five amazing anime shows that are sure to test your knowledge while engaging your desire for unforgettable entertainment.

Sword Art Online

Fighting Aincrad and language anxieties one floor at a time.

Sword Art Online is nothing without its compelling story and fascinating world. It’s also a fantastic anime to watch if you want some extra practice understanding Japanese. One of the interesting language features of Sword Art Online is the battle callouts during fight scenes which show characters communicating with each other. You’ll hear characters shouting “switchi” when coordinating their assaults against enemies and planning for bossu fights.

The anime is also good for Japanese language learners as there aren’t too many instances of made up words or terms that muddy the ability to comprehend what the characters are saying. Find yourself sucked into Aincrad with SAO and get ready to take some notes.

Attack on Titan

The titan named 'Kanji' looms before a brave Japanese student.

In addition to an interesting story and cast of characters, Attack on Titan also serves as a great resource for studying Japanese. Aside from Mikasa, the characters in Attack on Titan do not have traditional Japanese names meaning viewers can listen to the way names like Eren, Arwin, Levi, and Sasha are pronounced to get a better idea of how native Japanese speakers pronounce non-native words.

Attack on Titan is also one of the most enthralling anime to come out in recent years; you’ll be hanging on every word. Since each episode ends on a cliffhanger, it will be impossible to stop watching once you’ve started. This anime offers lots of potential as a learning resource for students of all levels.

Blend S

If this image alone doesn't give you reason enough to watch this show the Japanese practice oughta do the trick!

Premiering in the fall season of 2017, Blend S is a charming anime about a high school girl looking to save up money so that she can study abroad. On the language side of things, the show features some very simple Japanese — its an incredibly good anime to use for general comprehension practice.

One character, Dino, is from Italy, so his accent sounds a little strange. This is helpful for pronunciation practice since viewers can compare Dino’s accent to the rest of the cast for insight into proper pronunciation.

One-Punch Man

None of us can 'One Punch' our way to fluency; Saitama and some valuable practice will have to do.

One-Punch Man chronicles the adventures of Saitama, a man who is a hero for fun. The anime is great for helping language learners get a grasp on some exclamatory noises that are unique to Japanese. Saitama and his sidekick Genos frequently use reaction words and sounds like hee and nanda both in reaction to each other and to the strange enemies they face.

One-Punch Man is more challenging for new learners but it has enough beginner Japanese that it’s still useful for any proficiency level.

My Little Monster

Find someone who looks at you the way Haru looks at that scarf.

My Little Monster is an amazing love story about a girl at the head of the class, Shizuku Mizutani, and a delinquent boy, Haru Yoshida who falls head over heels in love with her.

Haru Yoshida acts as the shows soft-hearted delinquent and he speaks using a lot of informal language and slang. This is a valuable aspect of the show for Japanese language learners as the dialogue sounds like a group of actual friends and how they would speak with each other. My Little Monster is terribly underrated but if you’re looking for a laugh and a learning tool, you’ll find both in this anime.

So, what are you waiting for? Start studying!

Mason Williams
Just a dude that loves to write and hopes to work in Japan one day! Always down for a conversation about anime and video games. Snapchat:masonofwilliams
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