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Top 5 Anime to Help You Learn Japanese

Japanese anime is very popular around the world. So popular that many people decide to learn Japanese because of their love for their favorite anime shows.

Top 5 Anime to help you learn Japanese!

But one problem with learning Japanese through anime is the kind of Japanese you’ll absorb this way. The characters in anime live in their own universe, where everyone tends to use slang, casual language, informal pronouns and even made-up words. It’s very easy to spot people who learned Japanese exclusively through anime – you’ll see 20-year-old boys talking like 10-year-old kawaii girls, or 20-year-old girls talking like yakuza, for example! Needless to say, native Japanese speakers may not take them seriously!

Despite this, it can actually be useful to incorporate anime into your language learning routine.

Anime has a lot to offer to Japanese students on every level:

1. It helps you practice your listening skills. Listening skill are of course closely related to pronunciation.

Click here to learn more about Japanese pronunciation.

Practice your listening skills

2. It gives you more than just a glimpse into Japanese culture and modern day pop-culture.
Cultural references are absolutely vital to learning any new language, and anime is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. People will throw anime references into their casual, polite and even business conversations.

To learn more about Japanese society, check out this free lesson.

3. Just as importantly, catching up on your favorite shows is a great and fun way to take a break from your ordinary language learning routine.

Anime is a great learning tool because it’s fun and there is a lot of it. In fact, there’s anime for everyone: romance, action, adventure, horror, comedy, sports, historical – basically in any genre you can think of.

As long as you don’t lose sight of your ultimate Japanese language goal – to speak fluently and properly in any situation – ‘anime Japanese’ definitely has a place in your language learning routine.

We’ve listed some fun anime series you can get into and improve your Japanese. We tried to pick easy to understand shows that use everyday language. Hopefully these will give you some good jumping off points. But remember: this is just a partial list, and there really is an anime for everyone. If you don’t like the series we listed below, you can easily find a different one!

1. Shirokuma Cafe

Genres: Comedy
Aired: Apr 5, 2012 to Mar 28, 2013
Episodes: 50
Duration: 24 min. per episode

The show revolves around a polar white bear that quits his boring job and opens a cafeteria near a zoo. Although it might appear aimed at a younger audience, compared to other anime, it’s a great source for beginner level Japanese students. The language is quite easy to follow and the characters introduce a lot of vocabulary. Much of the dialog is spoken slowly.

2. Persona 4 The Animation

Genres: Adventure, Mystery, School,Sci-Fi,
Aired: Oct 7, 2011 to Mar 30, 2012
Episodes: 25
Duration: 25 min. per episode

The show takes place in a rural town named Inaba. A series of mysterious murders have occurred whenever there has been fog after heavy rain. People from the town keep disappearing and ending up on the mysterious midnight channel. The dialogue is relatively simple, and easy to understand.

3. Bartender

Genres: Drama
Aired: Oct 15, 2006 to Dec 31, 2006
Episodes: 11
Duration: 23 min. per episode

Genius bartender Sasakura Ryuu makes the most incredible cocktails anyone has ever tasted. Seeking his “Glass of God”, individuals from all different walks of life visit his bar. With both a compassionate ear and a godly drink, Ryuu helps people with their problems.

4. Joshiraku

Genres: Comedy
Aired: Jul 6, 2012 to Sep 28, 2012
Episodes: 13
Duration: 24 min. per episode

An adaptation of a manga written by the author of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei about a group of girls who discuss random things and usually reach an unusual or humorous conclusion that’s far from the initial discussion topic. It’s heavily dialogue-driven, fast-paced and in your face!

5. Death Note

Genres: Mystery, Supernatural, Thriller
Aired: Oct 4, 2006 to Jun 27, 2007
Episodes: 37
Duration: 23 min. per episode

Yagami Light is a 17-year-old genius from Japan who is tired of the state of the world as he knows it. One day, Light stumbles upon a dark notebook with “Death Note” written on the front. Intrigued by its appearance, Light reads the first few sentences, only to find out that it anyone whose name is written inside will die. His human curiosity takes the better of him and he tries the notebook, discovering the truth behind the first sentence. Now, with power in his hands, Yagami Light goes on a quest to change the world and become God of the New World.

What anime series would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their Japanese?

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