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The 15 Greatest Guilty Pleasure Anime You Secretly Love

Updated November 15, 2019 38.9k votes 8.4k voters 242.1k views15 items

List RulesVote up the anime you're secretly into.

The guilty pleasure anime category encompasses the shows you don't want anyone to know you're into. For some people, these are fan service anime - these series can be a ton of fun, but viewers might feel weird about them, either for moral reasons or simply because they'd be embarrassed to have someone walk in on them while they're watching. For others, a guilty pleasure show might be super cute in a way that doesn't fit their image.

There's no reason an adult can't enjoy Chi's Sweet Home, but it may be hard to explain to a non-fan why they're watching a show aimed at small children. A handful of shows just aren't well-written or are only good in parts. If someone is a literature major who regularly reads the classics, they might struggle to articulate why they're so passionate about Yu-Gi-Oh! Regardless of individual taste, there are a ton of popular shows people wouldn't necessarily boast about watching.

  • Someone claiming they're watching A Sister's All You Need for the story is like claiming they're reading Playboy for the articles. That being said, the show's story isn't all that bad. Itsuki Hashima is a semi-successful light novel author who is so obsessed with the concept of little sisters that he alienates his friends and risks his career. While viewers watch Itsuki struggle with his own impulses, they also get to watch Nayuta Kani do everything she can to make this anime the guiltiest of guilty pleasures.

    Do you secretly love this?
  • Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend is an oddly charming series about a high school boy named Tomoya Aki and his journey toward becoming a dating sim creator. The plot is engaging, and there are moments when the character development really soars - especially when Utaha and Eriri, the dating sim's writer and artist, respectively, are trying to improve their artistic prowess. Even Megumi, the "boring girlfriend," gets some cool development as she starts to dedicate herself to coding and production.

    Sadly, watching three intelligent and interesting girls fight over a lackluster dude gets annoying, and many viewers will find themselves wondering why they're still watching.

    Do you secretly love this?
  • Free! is clearly a fan service show, aimed mostly at teenage girls but appreciated by anyone who likes a good six-pack. Oh, and there's a ton of homoerotic content that never quite takes the plunge into LGBTQ+ representation, so you know it's aimed at the yaoi fandom. For this reason, it's a guilty pleasure for a lot of viewers.

    But there's more to Free! than just the fan service. On the rare occasion the show gets serious about its characters, the development is pretty deep. This is especially true for Haruka Nanase, the protagonist, who has to come to terms with the requirements of adult life while feeling out-of-place anywhere other than in the water. If the fan service is too much, knowing there's real character development might help convince viewers to stick around.

    Do you secretly love this?
  • Hetalia is one of those anime that's met with a lot of resistance. Some people just don't buy into how cutesy it is, while others find it actively offensive. Considering it's a series where each country is represented by a cartoon, it's unsurprising that not all of these representations are perfectly sensitive. In fact, the South Korean government was so offended by the portrayal of their country that they lodged an official complaint.

    Despite all the controversy, it's hard not to get into this ridiculous anime. Politics aside, it's a bunch of cute guys singing about pasta, which is far from offensive.

    Do you secretly love this?