The 11 Best Kids Anime Everyone Should Watch
Are you looking for the best kids anime? Many shows and films end up tagged as being family-friendly but are actually more suited for teenage audiences. Which can make it tough for parents looking for anime that is actually suitable for children.
So, in this article we list some of the best kids anime shows and films. And while these are all suitable for children, we recommend them to everyone who likes anime, however old or young.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-find and easily accessible kids anime, Pokémon should top your list. With series staples Ash Ketchum and Pikachu returning for every series, there’s plenty of episodes around to form an emotional investment with. Following Ash’s journey, failures, and friendships across different seasons provides lots of surprises.
Plus, the colorful Pokémon designs and their distinctive way of speaking provide welcome distractions. So if you’ve played any Pokémon games , you can look forward to seeing them come to life in the anime.
2. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
While other Yu-Gi-Oh! anime titles exist, none have quite captured the same level of acclaim as the original series. Alongside the iconic character and hairstyle of Yugi, five seasons of exciting card game dueling exist. Like Pokémon, the legacy appeal of the series keeps it steadily available and accessible.
The over-the-top card battles, strategies, and rules make for some wonderful spectator entertainment too.
While both of the previous titles focus on monster battling, Aikatsu! takes a different approach. Based on Bandai’s arcade game, this kids anime provides a colorful and accessible interaction with Japan’s idol culture. It’s a story of individual growth and personal development amongst many ambitious young girls at Starlight Academy.
Through its different seasons, there’s a flurry of lively songs, performances, and colorful transformations.
4. Yo-Kai Watch
Like with Pokémon, the Yo-Kai Watch anime is based off of the game of the same name. While Pokémon focuses on living creatures of their world, Yo-Kai Watch focuses on the unseen spirits and their effect on the world. After coming into possession of the Yo-Kai Watch, Nate goes on to solve the episodic mysteries.
While seemingly creepy, the wacky designs and absurd humor make this a brilliant anime for kids.
5. Digimon Adventure
The original Digimon Adventure (1999) introduced the world to the fates of the DigiDestined. It still remains a great entry title to the franchise.
With the reboot of the Digimon Adventure anime, Digimon Adventure (2020) provides a fresh coat of paint to the nostalgic anime as well as many nods to the original virtual pet. While other monster-centric titles focus more on the natural world, Digimon has always been unique in its focus on technology and the digital world.
Besides the unique references to cybersecurity and digital vulnerability, a wholesome tale of friendship and action-packed adventure awaits.
Bananya and its adorably bizarre premise make for a wonderful kids anime. Enjoy the daily life antics of cats living inside of bananas. It’s wholesome, great for cat lovers, and inexplicably cute.
As an added bonus, each episode’s runtime is incredibly short. As such, Bananya makes for a great quick stress reliever or weekend watch.
7. Speed Racer
Speed Racer provides a fascinating and easily digestible anime for fans of racing. There’s no deep plot here, but an enjoyable mix of fast cars, explosions, and reaction shots. With Speed’s unrelenting desire to race and the Mach 5’s array of gadgets, every race will thrill you.
With the age of the show and its place in anime history, Speed Racer is a great introduction to old school animation. It might even spur you to learn how to draw anime and manga comics .
8. Bakugan Battle Brawlers
Like other card- and toy-based anime, Bakugan Battle Brawlers starts with a simple yet magical plot. Cards come down from the sky, kids come together online to play a game, and the cards reveal the beasts they have stored inside. With their newfound battling beast born from the cards, the kids engage in battles with each other.
Bakugan follows the typical trend of different youths wanting to be the best, but it offers tons of exciting battles too. If you enjoy the designs and want more cards, it’s a welcome alternative or addition to the Yu-Gi-Oh! series.
No list of kids anime would be complete without some nods to Studio Ghibli’s classics. Ponyo isn’t always the first film to come into consideration, but it’s definitely one of the best for younger audiences.
The tale of a young goldfish wanting to become human turns into so much more. Ponyo’s character shows us her youthful innocence, mischievousness, and love of ham. The characters and motivations aren’t particularly deep, but they’re still wonderful.
The breathtaking visuals throughout the film make for a wonderful watch. And if you enjoy Ponyo check out our list of all of the Studio Ghibli films, ranked .
While battling tops doesn’t seem like it would captivate the hearts of audiences everywhere, the Beyblade anime proved to be as addicting as the toyline. It’s a great entry anime in terms of teaching friendship, cooperation, and teamwork. Plus, with its over-the-top battles, Beyblade continues to be a great anime for kids.
If you need more convincing, just look at how the bit-beasts add a unique touch and visual thrill to the battling tops.
11. My Neighbor Totoro
Studio Ghibli possesses lots of iconic creations, but Totoro is inarguably the most iconic. Totoro can be seen everywhere, and that’s with good reason. While Totoro and Catbus’ design is enough to thrill most kids, it would be a disservice to suggest the film for this alone.
My Neighbor Totoro is a great anime to show kids and spur their imaginations, but there’s plenty of fan theory, speculation, and small details which will appeal to adults.
Where to Watch Anime Online for Free
There are plenty of reasons to watch kids anime. Even as an adult. For kids, these shows provide pure, unadulterated entertainment. For adults, they’re a great way to revisit the nostalgia of childhood. And if you’re a parent it helps to know what shows are safe for children to watch.
While many of these shows are available on streaming services, there are also websites where you can watch anime online for free .