Anime Underground

The 15 Best Anime With Child Protagonists 

Anna Lindwasser
Updated June 26, 2019 2.4k votes 661 voters 8.7k views 15 items

Teenagers are the most commonly represented age group in the world of anime, but other age groups have interesting experiences and rich inner lives that are worthy of exploration, too. Anime about children can be just as fascinating as anime about teens or adults.

Some of these shows, like Digimon and Card Captor Sakura, are appropriate for kids the same age as the protagonists, but others are aimed at an older audience - shows like Dororo and From The New World may have kids at the helm, but their stories are too violent and complex to appeal to young children. No matter what audience anime with child protagonists are aimed at, it can still tell a complex and engaging story.

​​Which ones are your favorites? Don't forget to vote them up.

Hunter X Hunter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 15 Best Anime With Child Protagonists
Photo:  Madhouse

In a world where being licensed as a hunter gives you unprecedented freedom, twelve-year-old Gon Freecss sets out to earn the coveted title by preparing for the hunter exam. Working alongside him are Kurapika, a child hellbent on getting revenge, a kid named Killua with mercenary training, and a teenager named Leorio who is trying to become a doctor. Together, the four of them will face many hardships - but they'll also gain something meaningful, too.

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Assassination Classroom ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 15 Best Anime With Child Protagonists
Photo:  Lerche

When a tentacle monster with a smiley face for a head claims to have destroyed the Moon and threatens to do the same thing to the Earth, it seems like no one can stop him - but he does offer humanity one chance. If he's allowed to teach a specific class of middle schoolers, he'll give humanity until the end of the school year to stop him. At the forefront of this effort are the middle schoolers themselves, who the monster - now called Koro-sensei - is teaching the fine art of assassination. Will they be able to defeat him - and by the end of the year, will they even want to? You'll have to watch the show to find out!

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The Promised Neverland ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 15 Best Anime With Child Protagonists
Photo: CloverWorks

Raye, Norman, and Emma seem to be living peaceful and idyllic lives at Grace Field House, an orphanage run by a seemingly wonderful woman named Isabella. They quickly learn that their happy life is a lie. Rather than acting as a gentle motherly figure, Isabella is shipping the kids off to be eaten by a race of man-eating demons. When the children discover this terrifying information, they decide that they aren't just going to lie down and take it - they're going to escape.

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Spirited Away is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 15 Best Anime With Child Protagonists
Photo:  Studio Ghibli

Many of Hayao Miyazaki's works focus on young girls, but Spirited Away is perhaps the most renowned. When Chihiro's family has to move, she isn't happy about it - actually, she's pretty annoyed. When her family stops in the middle of their journey, Chihiro's life is completely changed. Her parents are transformed into pigs, and she enters the spirit realm. In order to return home and save her parents, she'll have to make life work in a completely foreign place, working at a bathhouse, dealing with strange supernatural beings, and falling in love for the first time. 

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