Anime Underground

The 15 Best Anime About College Life 

Anna Lindwasser
Updated June 14, 2019 2.4k votes 1.2k voters 45.1k views 15 items

List Rules Vote up the best anime about the college experience.

Anime is a medium with the power to appeal to people of all ages. Despite its wide audience, the vast majority of shows center around high school students. While there's nothing inherently wrong with telling these stories, some fans might be looking for something a little different - especially those fans who have graduated from high school and don't exactly feel like looking back. 

High school anime has plenty to offer in terms of clubs, teachers, and social microcosms, but if you want to experience those things through the eyes of characters who are no longer children, there's college anime. Anime set in college is rare, but it offers a window into a life experience shared by countless anime fans.

What kinds of storylines can be found in anime about college? Just about anything. Run With The Wind is about a college student who tricks his classmates into running a marathon, while Steins;Gate is about college students who accidentally invent time travel. Whatever sort of story you're looking for, if you want to watch an anime that depicts college life there's something you'll enjoy.

Grand Blue is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 15 Best Anime About College Life
Photo:  Zero-G

Iori Kitahara is excited to attend Izu University, but his excitement turns to dismay when he finds out just what kind of school Izu is. He’s quickly drawn into its hardcore party scene and finds himself hungover and naked in the middle of the campus. This earns him some serious disdain from his judgmental cousin.

Can he salvage his reputation, or will he go down in university history as an undignified party machine? Also, it turns out that the musclebound dudes pressing alcohol on him are also genuinely into scuba diving and want him to do it too. Tori’s life at Izu University won’t be what he expected, but it will certainly be exciting.

Is this a good college anime?
Golden Time is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 15 Best Anime About College Life
Photo:  J.C.Staff

After an accident leaves Banri Tada with no memories of his former life, he decides to start over by enrolling in law school. As he settles into college life, he realizes that he has the chance to create a new life that has the power to replace the one he lost. 

But just as he’s beginning to establish new bonds - including one with a new love interest - his old life comes roaring back in the form of Linda, the girl he once loved. Will he be able to reconcile his old life with his new one? 

Is this a good college anime?
Run With The Wind
Run With The Wind is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 15 Best Anime About College Life
Photo: Production I.G.

Kiyose Haiji has a nefarious plan. It's his dream to enter the Hakone Ekiden Marathon, one of the most prestigious races for Japanese university students, so he assembles a group of his fellow university students in an apartment which no one but him realizes is supposed to be housing for a school track team. Faced with the possibility of moving out or going along with Haiji's scheme, many of his housemates choose to join. The problem is that no one except the final member, Kakeru, has any experience - and Kakeru knows all too well how impossible it is for a novice to compete. 

Is this a good college anime?
Steins;Gate is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 15 Best Anime About College Life
Photo: Metaweb/CC-BY

Steins;Gate is one of the most popular anime of the last decade, and that popularity is not unearned. It tells a fascinating story about a group of science students who accidentally figure out how to send messages through time using a microwave. This leads to a series of complications that take place inside and outside the world of their school. By turns philosophically complex, emotionally meaningful, and hilarious, this anime should be on everyone's to-watch list.  

Is this a good college anime?