The 40+ Best Anime For Children With Explanations (2023)

Over 19.1K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The 40+ Best Anime For Children With Explanations (2023)

Are you a parent with children who can't stop talking about anime, but you're scratching your head trying to figure out exactly what it is? You may be slightly familiar with anime but need recommendations for shows you can feel comfortable showing to your young kids without having to constantly monitor the screen. No matter what situation you're in, we've got you. This is Ranker's comprehensive guide to the best anime for children, including explanations of each series and why you can feel great about your kids watching them.

For parents who are completely new to anime, here are some terms we highly recommend you familiarize yourself with before diving into the recommendations. These terms will be used in the descriptions for each series and will also help you if you're doing more extensive research outside of this page.

Shonen - Anime with a demographic that skews towards young boys, typically ages 8 to 18. This includes extremely popular anime like Naruto, My Hero Academia, and One Piece.

Shojo - Anime with a demographic that skews towards young girls, with the same age range of 8 to 18. Popular shojo series include Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura.

Kodomo - Anime that is specifically made with young children in mind, meaning children of any age can watch this material. If an anime has the kodomo label, you can rest assured that the show will be 100% kid friendly, even if your child is as young as 3 years old. Examples of Kodomo anime are shows like Doraemon and Hamtaro.

Fan Service - Material in an anime series that is designed to please the audience, usually sexual in nature. This might include scenes where female characters are wearing revealing clothing, or where male characters are shirtless but never full-on nudity of any kind. Fan service is something that is unique to anime and is rarely found in western animation. If you want a visual representation of what this looks like, here's a short YouTube video that will better help you understand what this looks like.

Although both shonen and shojo anime have a wide age range that includes young children, there are a few things you should look out for in each category. Shonen series often center around epic fights and good vs evil, so be aware that these anime usually contain soft violence of some kind. Shojo anime usually contain themes surrounding gender and sometimes sexuality, which you might consider a bit much for children who are younger than eight years old. The shonen and shojo labels are good in identifying what your boys or girls might gravitate towards, but they are just basic guidelines in recommending anime for children! Many young girls love shonen series, for example, but it's probably more rare that a younger boy will gravitate toward a shojo anime.

Now that that's out of the way let's talk about what specifically makes these anime suitable for kids! Our recommendations for kids' anime almost all have an overall lighthearted tone that will resonate with children, along with fun casts of characters that will make your children (and even you) laugh out loud. While none of these series can be considered educational per se, they teach very valuable life lessons about friendship, determination, self-confidence, loyalty, sportsmanship, and so much more. Unless we say otherwise in each explanation of the anime, you can comfortably put these shows on for your children and feel peace of mind knowing they're not consuming anything bad for their brains. That being said, we'd like to offer a disclaimer that anime recommendations for children are still subjective. For that reason, we've provided additional materials, such as YouTube links, for parents to decide for themselves whether or not they want their kids watching these shows.

Since Ranker is a crowdranked website that orders items by popularity, this page has over 120,000 votes from anime fans and parents alike that helped shaped the order of these recommendations. If you know of any of these series, please do the same and upvote the series you'd recommend to other parents.

This list has been updated for 2023, so expect to see some newer kids anime in addition to the many classics represented here.

Most divisive: Jewel Pets

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Although it's not technically an anime since it was produced in the West, Avatar: The Last Airbender is a classic animated series about a world where people can manipulate the elements of air, water, earth, and fire. The protagonist Aang and his group of friends as they battle enemies to restore peace to their world. This series is suitable for kids due to its non-violent approach to conflict resolution, relatable characters and story themes that focus on friendship, loyalty and courage. With plenty of humor sprinkled throughout each episode, Avatar: The Last Airbender is considered an honorary anime that is the perfect choice for children of all ages.

    • Anime Genre: Fantasy, Action-Adventure, Comedy
    • Type: Shonen (Skews male, ages 8 all the way to adult)
    2,709 votes

    Available On:


  • 2
    8,021 VOTES
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Pokémon was likely the first anime for many millenials back in the '90s, and it continues to be the same thing for younger children today. The original iteration follows Ash Ketchum, who sets out on an adventure to become the best Pokémon trainer in the world. Throughout his journey, he makes new friends and catches various Pokémon which he uses for battles against other trainers, but also develops meaningful relationships with that highlight the beautiful bond between humans and animals. This show is great for kids because it teaches them valuable lessons about friendship and determination while providing plenty of fun!

    • Anime Genre: Adventure, Comedy
    • Type: Kodomo (Suitable for all ages especially young children)
    8,021 votes
  • Little Witch Academia
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Little Witch Academia follows the adventures of Akko Kagari, a young witch who enrolls in Luna Nova Magical Academy. It has become trendy for its colorful and imaginative visuals and heartwarming story about friendship, courage and determination. Little Witch Academia is one of the best anime for kids due to its age-appropriate content, lighthearted comedy and positive messages about self-confidence and perseverance.

    Parents should look out for: The series does contain elements of violence. Here's a scene of a minotaur being eliminated to give you an idea of what to expect at times. Little Witch Academia is probably best for children 8 and above.

    • Anime Genre: Magical Girl, Fantasy, Coming of Age
    • Type: Shonen/Shojo (Skews female, but elements of both)
    1,549 votes

    Available On:


  • 4
    3,180 VOTES
    My Hero Academia
    Photo: user uploaded image

    If your children are obsessed with Marvel movies and superheroes, My Hero Academia is the perfect anime for them. Following a group of students attend a school to learn to be superheroes, My Hero Academia draws heavily from Western superhero movies like The Avengers. With plenty of humor, fantastic animation, and memorable characters to keep kids engaged with the story, My Hero Academia is a great option. Positive messages conveyed include those about friendship, courage, loyalty, and self-belief.

    Parents should look out for: Like most shonen series, My Hero Academia revolves around fights between good vs evil. At times there are scenes with blood, but it's not anything that's majorly graphic. Check out this compilation of intense scenes from one of the newest seasons to get an idea if this content is suitable for your child.

    • Anime Genre: Superhero, Action, Comedy, School,
    • Type: Shonen (Skews male, ages 8 and above)
    3,180 votes

    Available On:



  • 5
    6,298 VOTES
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Naruto is a top-rated and beloved anime series, especially among kids. It follows the story of Naruto Uzumaki – a young ninja with the dream of becoming Hokage, the leader of his village. Along with his friends, Naruto embarks on thrilling adventures filled with comedy, action and drama. The show also touches upon important themes such as friendship and following your dreams that resonate strongly with children. With its exciting plotline and relatable characters, it's no surprise that Naruto is considered one of the best anime for kids!

    Parents should look out for: The most exciting parts of Naruto are the fight scenes, and although there isn't anything majorly graphic, there are sometimes moments where blood is shown and at rare times characters are killed. Early on in the show a significant character passes away and there is a funeral scene - if you haven't talked to your young children about grief or loss this series could spark a conversation.

    • Anime Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Martial Arts
    • Type: Shonen (Skews male, ages 8 and up)
    6,298 votes

    Available On:



  • 6
    423 VOTES
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Haikyu!! is a highly praised anime that is suitable for children and adults alike. It follows the story of a group of high school students trying to make it in the competitive world of volleyball. The show features excellent character development and unique animation styles that will captivate viewers both young and old. Parents can rest assured knowing that this show is safe for children to watch with its positive messages about teamwork, friendship, self-improvement, and perseverance! Don't be surprised if your child wants to take up volleyball after watching this fantastic series.

    • Anime Genre: Coming of age, Sports
    • Type: Shonen (female and male, ages 8 and up)
    423 votes

    Available On: