Anime Underground

15 Anime That Will Turn Your Parents Into Total Otaku  

Anna Lindwasser
2.1k votes 682 voters 15.2k views 15 items

List Rules Vote up the shows you know your parents will love.

From kids who are just starting to make their own media choices, to adults who want to share their passions with their loved ones, many anime fans dream of getting their parents into anime. However, figuring out how to do it is easier said than done, as it's difficult to know which anime your parents will like. 

If you're trying to choose the right anime for parents, it's best to find series that don't contain the genre's usual tropes. These cliches can be confusing or off-putting for non-anime fans, and they contain elements that may not be appealing to older generations. 

You're going to want to tailor your choices around your parents' interests. If your folks' collection of jazz LPs takes up an entire room in your house, Kids on the Slope or Cowboy Bebop could be the perfect way to get them hooked on anime. If your parents don't like watching violent stuff, you might not want to let them know that you love Psycho Pass. 

You know your parents best, so use that knowledge to help them pick out their next favorite show.

Wolf Children is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 15 Anime That Will Turn Your Parents Into Total Otaku
Photo:  Wolf Children/Studio Chizu

Wolf Children is a particularly good choice for getting parents into anime. The story follows Hana, a college student whose life is derailed after she falls in love with a werewolf. The two decide to start a family, but Hana's lover dies soon after, leaving her to raise their werewolf babies alone. While the premise might sound a little silly, it's an emotionally resonant movie that's won several awards in Japan, Norway, and New York. Your parents will appreciate the tale's main subject; it's primarily about the struggles of raising children, which nearly all parents can relate to. 

More Wolf Children

#6 of 200 on The Saddest Anime Series of All Time #22 of 104 on The Best Madhouse Anime, Ranked #1 of 15 on The 15 Best Anime Films That Aren’t Studio Ghibli #8 of 13 on The 13 Best Supernatural Romance Anime

Would parents dig this?
see more on Wolf Children
2
A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 15 Anime That Will Turn Your Parents Into Total Otaku
Photo:  A Silent Voice/Kyoto Animation

A Silent Voice lit the world on fire when it was released, and for good reason. This beautifully animated film tells the story of Shouya Ishida, who is trying to make amends for his regretful past; he once bullied his deaf classmate, Shouko Nishimiya, when the two were both in elementary school

The story is a great way to show your parents that anime can have a positive message. Shouya recognizes that he did something grievously wrong, and seeks to atone for his misdeeds. If you have something you need to apologize to your parents for, you may want to wait until you've actually said you're sorry to share this movie with them. Showing them how anime shaped your good values is a fantastic idea, unless you're not actively displaying said values.

Would parents dig this?
Grave of the Fireflies is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 15 Anime That Will Turn Your Parents Into Total Otaku
Photo:  Grave of the Fireflies/Studio Ghibli

Want to prove to your parents that anime can carry emotional weight? Show them Grave of the Fireflies, AKA one of the most depressing anime ever. Created by Studio Ghibli, the film follows two Japanese children — Seita and Setsuko — who struggle to survive in a bombed out, post-war Tokyo. You and your parents will both probably be in tears by the time the film ends, but it'll be a good, cathartic cry, and it may cause your folks to catch the anime bug. 

More Grave of the Fireflies

#17 of 86 on Animated Movies That Make You Cry the Most #12 of 200 on The Saddest Anime Series of All Time #11 of 12 on 12 Anime Only A Psychopath Would Suggest For Date Night #44 of 198 on The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

Would parents dig this?
see more on Grave of the Fireflies
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 15 Anime That Will Turn Your Parents Into Total Otaku
Photo:  Mushi-shi/Artland

If you want to expose your parents to the atmospheric beauty that only anime can provide, the best place to start is probably Mushi-shiThis series follows Ginko, who is on a quest to study, understand, and protect people from mushi, which are a cross between bacteria and a deity

Mushi are the base components of life, and they can be both destructive and restorative. In some cases, they might be the cause of a horrid disease, whereas other times they might grant an individual psychic powers. It's a good anime to start with because each episode is a standalone story, and the art is uniformly beautiful throughout. 

More Mushishi

#60 of 129 on The Best Fantasy Anime of All Time #57 of 97 on The Best Adventure Anime of All Time #43 of 211 on The Best Adult Anime of All Time #14 of 67 on The Best Anime With Adult Protagonists

Would parents dig this?
see more on Mushishi