Josei is a demographic that is meant for young adults. It is generally targeted at women between the age of 18-25. Unlike Shoujo manga which has bubbly romance stories, Josei stories focus a lot more on the harsh realities of life and focus on psychological and societal issues.
We at MyAnimeGuru bring you this list of the 17+ Best Josei Anime to Watch (Ranked) this summer. We know how our readers are always looking for something different and mature so that’s why we curated this list so that you can enjoy them.
This list will be based on the overall popularity of the show, the depth of its plot, and the quality of storylines as well as the likeability of the characters. So without further ado, let’s start this list.
List of Best Josei Anime
Let’s start this list of the best Josei Anime.
20. Little Petshop of Horrors
Episodes -4 | Year – 1999
A unique title that brings the elements of horror and mystery in a demographic where these genres are rarely used, Pet Shop of Horrors is an awesome anime. It features the mysterious Count D who has a strange pet shop where he sells exotic pets which in his words represent the dreams of people.
If his customers don’t follow the rules, they may suffer a painful outcome. Many alleged murders and crimes can be traced back to this small shop and that’s why Officer Leon Orcot decides to investigate the reality behind this shop. It is one of the best Josei anime.
19. Natsuyuki Rendezvous
Episodes -11 | Year – 2011
Showing a very unique love triangle, it deals with the feelings of grief and how people overcome despair and move on. Rokka is one such person. She is still grieving the loss of her husband and trying to adjust to her life as a widow. But a young man, Hazuki sees true beauty in her and gets attracted to her.
Wanting to get close he joins her flower shop but realizes that she still has intense feelings for her late husband. Not only that his husband’s spirit still lingers and hasn’t moved on yet ’cause of his feelings for her. Can Hazuki get his love? Find one of the best Josei anime.
Episodes – 13 | Year – 2013
Two men join forces to escape the government. They were both led to an eerie mansion where they were framed as criminals and are now on the run. One of them is a pickpocket who cheats while the other is a young man who is searching for a missing loved one with a bracelet being his only clue.
Now wanted, they have no other option but to ask the Circus for help. They are the country’s most powerful and infamous defense organization. Can Nai and Gareki save themselves? Find one of the best Josei anime.
17. Bunny Drop
Episodes – 11 | Year – 2011
When Daiikichi’s grandfather dies, everyone is shocked to know that the old man had an illegitimate daughter with a younger lover. Everyone is disgusted with the fact and nobody is willing to care for the young girl.
Daiikichi angry at them, decides to take of the girl Rin as his daughter and thus starts his journey as a parent. See his journey as he comes to know the joy of parenthood in one of the best Josei anime.
16. The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting
Episodes – 12 | Year – 2022
A sweet story between a bloodthirsty yakuza and the boss’s kid daughter starts when the boss asks Kirishima Tooru, his right-hand man and the most dangerous man of the Sakuragi Yakuza to become a babysitter for his young daughter.
Tooru who used violence and crime as the answers to every question life threw at him has to learn kindness now. Watch the odd duo’s heartwarming moments in one of the best Josei anime.
15. Sweet Blue Flowers
Episodes -11 | Year – 2009
Two old friends struggle to reconnect after they meet up again after a long time. It deals with the issue of estranged friends and how they deal with the struggles of rebuilding their friendship. Fumi and Akira are two such friends who meet again in high school after years of separation.
But instead of enjoying life, they have their problems as they deal with their high school. See how these two old friends mend their friendship and support each other as they live their lives. It is one of the best Josei anime.
Episodes – 11+ 1 Movie | Year – (2019-2020)
A beautiful story between teenage boys, Given shows how Satou who got a Gibson guitar under strange circumstances discovers his passion for music and singing. It started when one day he meets with Ritsuka who berates him about the rusty conditions of his guitar strings.
Satou requests Ritsu to fix them and teach him to play. This leads to him meeting the other band members too who on hearing his beautiful voice ask him to be their vocalist. After much debate Satou agrees to it and thus their band starts. Watch more of their journey in one of the best Josei anime.
Episodes – 12 | Year – 2021
A love story between a schoolgirl and her best friend’s elder brother, it is a unique take on the classic shoujo storylines. It starts when Arima, a high school girl saves the handsome playboy businessman Ryou from an accident.
While he simply flirts with her as a joke, Arima’s disgusted expression and the way she ridicules Ryou make him fall for her. From then on, he tries to win Arima’s heart while she continually rejects his advances. It is one of the best Josei anime.
Episodes – 24 | Year – (2019-2020)
Scientists predict that a meteorite is going to strike the Earth and will make it uninhabitable. To preserve humanity, they decide to cryogenically freeze many young adults and wake them at the right time with a computer. These young people in teams of 7 will then take back the Earth.
Just like that Natsu and Arashi and many like them go to sleep one night only to wake up many years later and find themselves in a hostile Earth with mutated plants and animals. With simply a guide and limited food supplies, can these people survive? Find it in one of the best Josei anime.
11. Recovery of an MMO Junkie
Episodes – 10 | Year – 2017
A refreshing take on the gaming addict meets cute girl trope, this show reverses that situation. Morioka is a 30-year woman and is a NEET. She doesn’t care about reality anymore and has drifted off into the virtual world of net games.
Here she meets another player whose character is a beautiful girl named Lily who has blue hair. The two bonded quickly. At the same time, she meets a handsome corporate guy with blonde hair and blue eyes who enters her life. What will happen next? Watch one of the best Josei anime.
10. My Senpai is annoying
Episodes – 12 | Year – 2022
Futaba Igurashi is a businesswoman and does her job spectacularly but she has a major problem. Even after becoming an adult and working as a professional, her short stature and childish face make people think she’s a kid. The worst of all is her Senpai at work, Takeda.
He treats her like a kid always and it always annoys her. But over some time she’s been noticing she’s feeling something different for her Senpai too. What is this feeling? Know more about Igurashi’s fun working life and her antics with her Senpai in one of the best Josei anime.
9. Kids on the Slope
Episodes -12 | Year – 2012
Kaoru is a straight-laced honors student who shifted alone to a new town because of his father’s job situation. Now living with relatives he starts high school in Kyushu where he meets the hoodlum and his classmate Sentaro. While Sentaro might be wild he is also a good guy.
As the 2 friends bond, Kaoru learns about Jazz music and how good it is. Through this passion for music, he makes new friends and discovers bonds with same-age people for the first time. A story about music, coming of age, and finding your place in life, it is one of the best Josei anime.
8. Paradise Kiss
Episodes – 12 | Year – 2005
Yukari is a normal high-school student who attends classes regularly and does what she’s told. She lives this life until one day she meets a bunch of fashion students who are looking for a model for their Paradise Kiss label at a fashion show. They decide to go with Yukari for it.
Initially scared of these people, Yukari soon realized that they are good people and doing what they love and decides that she is not satisfied with how she lives. She decides to pursue her dreams. See Yukari chases after her happiness in one of the best Josei anime.
7. Princess Jellyfish
Episodes – 11 | Year – 2010
Tsukimi is a recluse and a jobless illustrator. She is also for some reason obsessed with jellyfish. Her roommates are also as deplorable as her and are all social outcasts living in no man/ no outsider-allowed lifestyle.
This all changes when Tsukimi brings home a jellyfish she rescued from the beach which changes into a beautiful princess-looking guy. Yeah, you heard that right. Watch what happens to Tsukimi as this utterly bizarre story unfolds in one of the best Josei anime.
6. Honey and Clover
Episodes – 36 | Year – (2005-2006)
A sweet romance story that explores the life of 3 college students- Yuuta, Takumi, and Shinobu, who live in poverty-stricken conditions but still enjoy life to the fullest. Despite the lack of money, they know how to feel happy with the simple things in life.
The three continue their simple but blissful lives as these three roommates and their encounter with the short and talented Hagumi. See how each of their lives changes in one of the best Josei anime.
5. Ice Guy and his cool female Colleague
Episodes – 12 |Year – 2023
Himuro isa descendent of the Yuki-onna. On his first day at work, he is frozen solid cause of nervousness. This leads to an encounter with his coworker Fuyutsuki who is seen as a stoic and emotionless person. But Himuro knows that’s far from the truth.
It takes just one glance from Fuyutsuki for Himuro to fall for her and his intense feelings for her lead to cause blizzards in the office. But it seems his interest also is pretty curious about him. See as their sweet romance unfolds in one of the best Josei anime.
4. Wotakoi: Love is hard for an Otaku
Episodes – 11 + 3 OVA |Year – 2018
A fluffy romance between two office workers who also happen to be Otaku. When Narumi joins a new office she finds that one of her co-workers is her middle school classmate Hirotaka who knows she’s an Otaku.
She complains to him about how her former boyfriend left her because she was an otaku to which he says that maybe she can try another otaku as in him. And thus starts the allowed but wholesome romance filled with gaming. It is one of the best Josei anime.
3. Nodame Cantabile
Episodes – 45 |Year – (2007-2010)
It follows the story of two brilliant pianists and how they bond with each other and fall in love with each other. As we see Chiaki is a genius who comes from a distinguished family and wants to perform in Europe but can’t because of his fear of flying.
One day he meets with Noda who refers to herself as Nodame. She happens to have a crush on him and while he initially thinks she’s just another girl, hearing her piano, he is enchanted with her. See the gears moving in their hearts in one of the best Josei anime.
Episodes – 74 |Year – (2012-2020)
Chihaya Ayase is a splendid beauty but all she’s interested in is Karuta. She wants to be the no.1 in it in hopes of one day meeting with her estranged childhood friends Arata and Taichi again and reliving the blissful days she spent with the two playing Karuta.
Now in high school, she practices daily and wants to start a Karuta club in her school but fails to get any members. But as it turns out her childhood friend Taichi also studies in the same school and with this her dreams of being the best finally materialize.
With Taichi she starts the Karuta club in hopes that she’ll one day play a match against Arata, the person who inspired her to play Karuta. It is one of the best Josei anime
1. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Episodes – 25 | Year – (2016-2017)
Yotaro was a small-time crook who was in prison in 1960s Japan. But one day a Rakugo teller comes to the prison for a show which mesmerized Yotaro. He wanted to learn it too from the person who performed it, Yakumo.
Once out of prison he goes straight to the theater and requests Yakumo to make Yotaro his disciple. After much debate, he finally gets his wish and thus dives into the vivid world of picture storytelling. Know Yotaro’s journey in one of the best Josei anime.
And Thus folks, this was our list of the 17+ Best Josei Anime of all time (Ranked).
It took a long time to curate this list since we decided to include both popular titles and hidden gems so that when you want to watch the best Josei anime, you’ll get a varied list.
So we hope you liked this list and till the next article comes, please stay connected and binge on the best Josei anime while you wait for more cool lists. Till then, see ya.
Source – Anilist
When did Josei first appear?
Josei manga began to appear in the 1980s, during a boom period in the manga, when the girls who had read shōjo manga in the 1950s and ’60s wanted manga for adult women.
What is the best-known Josei manga?
Rose of Versailles(1979) is seen as one of the most well-known works in this demographic.