You must’ve heard a lot about the Shoujo genre but have you ever thought there is another genre with a similar caliber? Yes, I’m talking about Josei.
Josei anime specifically target women’s interests. They are marketed towards older teenage girls or adult women who often search for anime/manga to suit their tastes.
So, shall we begin this amazing list of Josei Anime that can entice you with beautiful storylines and astonishing characterizations?
Best Josei Anime List!
Is being a high school teacher and leading a yakuza can be possible at the same time? Kuniko always wanted to become a teacher, but it has become difficult for her as she is the heir of the Oedo group.
If the school finds out about her criminal activities, they will fire her. How will she try to become a good teacher while fighting off rival yakuza?
Kuniko is a dream character for most women. Just like how we dream about becoming a superhero, some women want to become strong.
Gokusen does well at exploring women’s interests while maintaining the pace and comedy. If you’re looking for a Josei anime with a badass main character, don’t think twice.
12. Paradise Kiss
Yukari is a typical student who attends a university. Her life wasn’t much interesting until a crew of fashion design students asked her to model for their brand.
Now she must choose between a normal life her mother laid out for her or an exciting world filled with hardships. What will she choose, and how will her life change from now on?
Paradise Kiss is a rare Josei anime that focuses on the fashion industry. Most women can relate to the main character, and perhaps a few of them could have led the same life.
The animation is one of the best aspects of the anime since MADHOUSE nailed it as usual. It’s not a happy-go-lucky anime but can pull your heartstrings at any moment.
11. Kids on the Slope
Kaoru Nishimi moved school countless times thanks to his father’s naval career. When he lands in Kyushu, he finds most of his classmates being antagonistic towards him.
But Sentarou and Ritsuko don’t mind his background and immediately pull him into their lives. Later, when they realize that Kaoru has a passion for Jazz, they begin their true journey into the musical world to find joy and happiness.
Kids on the Slope is your typical lonely MC kind of anime, but it is unusually amazing and unique. It has a great distribution of friendship, love, life story, and obstacles they face.
If I had to rate it based on every aspect, I would not give it less than 9/10. If you’re into music anime series, then you’ll love this anime to your heart’s content.
10. Mr. Osomatsu
Matsuno household is a home for six identical siblings with unique personalities. Even though each of them is over age 20, they’re incredibly lazy and rather live as NEETs than searching for a job.
From finding jobs to picking up girlfriends, their daily lifestyle is never boring as they engage in all sorts of crazy things. Explore their daily lives as they encounter various unsocial events.
I remember the days when I scrolled up through the list of anime and stumbled upon this one. Although it looked out of place at that time, I gave it a go anyway.
It brought me joy while watching every episode, and all the episodes connect in a weird way. It’s funny and amazing at the same time. I highly recommend you watch it if you’re into comedy Josei anime.
9. Pet Shop of Horrors
Count D holds a quite interesting pet shop where he sells hard-to-find pets for the people who wish for something special. But each sale comes with a contract that shouldn’t be broken.
Pet Shop isn’t responsible for what happens if someone should break the rules of the contract. How will a homicide detective named Leon Orcot link all the cases together and find out the truth about the pet shop?
Pet Shop of Horrors isn’t your typical one from this genre as it has only four episodes, and every episode contains a horror story. But the whole execution is done very well by selecting the best stories from the manga.
It won’t disappoint in the least bit if you get into it without any expectations. So, If you’re looking for a mystery Josei anime that focuses more on the storyline than romance, this one is for you.
On a rainy day, Amakusa Ryo, an office worker, gets saved by a high school girl named Arima Ichika. He is a womanizer, and to repay her, he insists on going out with her on a date.
But she rejects him, saying that he’s creepy for asking out a girl who doesn’t even know him. Soon, he madly falls for her and keeps trying to make her fall in love with him.
If you look at a few reviews, you may find some offending ones for this anime because it is an age-gap romance anime. As love is submissive to all ages, this anime is a good example of that.
Ichika is 17 years in the anime, so there is nothing wrong with portraying the love between them. So, if you’re into age-gap josei anime, try watching it.
7. Honey and Clover
Yuuta Takemoto is a student at art college and lives in a cheap apartment by sharing it with two of his seniors. He hasn’t thought much about his future until the day he fell for Hagumi Hanamoto on a fine spring day.
To his surprise, she enrolls in Takemoto’s college and befriends a popular student named Ayumi Yamada. It seems like Ayumi has a crush on one of the trio members. How will this story turn out in the end?
On the surface, the story seems like a slice-of-life anime of three roommates, but that’s just the gist of it. It actually adds so much depth and reality into it.
It is animated beautifully and comes with unpredictable moments. It is a refreshingly unique take on Josei anime where characters grow well, and the story matures at a realistic pace.
6. Only Yesterday
Taeko Okajima leads a not-so-interesting life in Tokyo, performing her office duties. Every day she listens to her mother’s remarks about her unmarried life on the phone.
To escape from all the stress, she visits the countryside that she loved in her childhood. This journey awakens the deep hidden memories and feelings, and now she must decide what kind of person she truly wants to be.
This beautiful film from Studio Ghibli hits deep for some women who lead their stressful lives to support their families or pursue their dreams.
It brings reality to a profound climax making it a moving story to the viewers. It is a must-watch anime for every Josei lover, and its depiction will move you.
5. Natsuyuki Rendezvous
Hazuki lives a boring life in his apartment filled with plants, but he couldn’t care less about them in reality. Most of his day is spent in the shop of Rokka, a widow, as he finds a part-time job there.
While his abrasive personality makes him unable to confess his feelings to Rokka, her dead husband’s soul haunts the shop, keeping people away from his wife. How will Hazuki free her from the haunting past?
It is quite hard to find a perfect Josei anime these days because there aren’t many in the first place. But Natsuyuki Rendezvous was just astounding and filled the void of not finding a good one.
You’ll fall in love with both the characters and during this short journey, we see a few struggles in their lives. In the end, you’ll love it wholeheartedly, and it is an absolute gem.
Chihaya is a famous beauty at school, and three years ago, she played a card game along with her friend named Taichi. While playing the Karuta game, she met Arata Wataya.
When this trio graduated from elementary school, they made a promise to meet each other again in national championships. But later finds that she’s the only one with the passion for fulfilling the dream.
The story of Chihayafuru is very original, and it makes you relate to them a lot. The characters are just so amazing, and the plot gives you a unique vibe.
I rarely love these kinds of anime wholeheartedly, but this one really made its way into my heart. If you find it a bit boring initially, try giving it another chance, it is a josei gem.
3. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
A small criminal gets out of prison and decides to change his life by becoming an apprentice to a rakugo master Yakumo VIII. Surprisingly, he agrees and brings the apprentice to his home.
At the same time, a hot-headed woman named Konatsu claims that Yakumo killed her father, and she is on a path of revenge. How will these three lives intertwine with each other?
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is a combination of an unusual setting and an engrossing storyline. Creators deserve all the praise for pulling off such an amazing anime with compelling characters.
The animation is of high quality, and it is perfectly suited for adults with its storyline. So, if you haven’t seen a good josei anime in a while, try this one out.
2. Nodame Cantabile
Chiaki is a popular and top pianist of his school, and he even dreams of becoming a world-class conductor in the future. But his fear of flying, a couple of other incidents make him lose hope.
One day, he gets drunk inadvertently meets a woman named Nodame. She is also a talented pianist just like him, and even though a polar opposite, she becomes the person to light up his world.
This anime gives me a feels of Your Lie in April but with a light-hearted tone. The main duo is hilarious together, and the romance feels so beautiful.
Instead of just focussing on the musical concepts, it has an enticing love story. In other words, you’ll find every element of this wonderful Josei anime. So, make sure to watch it.
1. Bunny Drop
Daikichi’s grandfather passes away, leaving a six-year-old daughter. While their family is embarrassed by the idea of how a 79-year old man had a six-year-old daughter, Daikichi gets irritated by it.
He steps in to take care of her even though he isn’t comfortable with kids. Now he must act as a parent with this adorable kid and guide her to a good future.
When slice-of-life anime gets too beautiful and realistic, you get Bunny Drop anime. It makes you cry and lets you shed tears of joy. The two main characters teach you what it means to love and sacrifice.
The animation is beautiful, and the characters bring out the most beauty of the anime, making it a special one in your heart. If you haven’t seen this heartwarming Josei anime yet, it’s never too late.
As it is already a popular opinion, Josei anime is pretty rare. Even though there are many anime out there with relative concepts, it’s hard to find a good one.
So, if you have been on a hunt for some really good Josei anime, we’re pretty sure you’ll find every title from the list interesting. So, do you think any other anime deserves a spot on the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
You might also like:
- Top 25 Greatest Shoujo Anime of All Time!
- 10 Best Romance Anime to Watch With Your Girlfriend!
- 13 Best Romance Manhwa Worth Reading Twice
Visit the anime community of India-Anime Ukiyo for more content!