I think a good majority of us can recall the very first anime we watched as a kid. For me, it’s Sailor Moon.
As you grow older and get married and have kids, there may come a time when you want to introduce the world of anime to your kids. Here’s a list of gateway anime that can ruin, I mean, make your child into an anime fan.
Summary: Sakura Kinomoto unleashes the Clow Cards into the world, and she must return them into the book or else, something catastrophic will happen.
Recommended: Kids that are interested in fashion or cosplay. Sakura has some adorable costumes.
Summary: Astro is a robotic boy with superhuman powers and artificial intelligence. He saves the world from bad guys.
Recommended: If you’re a hardcore anime fan and want to teach your child the origins of anime, you should show them Astro Boy. I mean, the creator, Osamu Tezuka is the “Godfather of Manga.”
Summary: Sosuke rescues a goldfish named Ponyo. Ponyo desires to be human, but her wish disrupts the balance of nature and causes a storm.
Recommended: If you like Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax or Disney’s The Little Mermaid, I am pretty sure you will like Ponyo.
Summary: Amu Hinamori receives three Guardian Characters that help her transform into her “would-be” self. She helps the student council seal corrupted X eggs and X characters that were once filled with people’s happy dreams.
Recommended: Shugo Chara! inspires kids to be themselves without having to feel insecure. Also, I feel like this anime should be watched by pre-teens as they slowly transition from little boys and girls into young adults.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
Summary: A tenth grader, Yugi Mutou, solves the Millennium Puzzle which grants him immense powers. With this power, Yugi possesses an alter-ego and challenges evil-doers into the Shadow Games.
Recommended: For kids that are interested in strategic card games.
Doubutsu no Mori
Summary: Ai moves into Animal Village and befriends many villagers. She finds a message in a bottle that instructs her to plant pine trees around Animal Village. If she does, a miracle will occur on the eve of the Winter Festival.
Recommended: Kids that like video games and/or cute things. This anime movie is based on the video game, Animal Crossing.
Tokyo Mew Mew
Summary: Ichigo and four other girls get zapped with a strange ray, giving them “Red Data” animal abilities and powers. These girls are on a mission to protect Earth from an alien enemy called Deep Blue.
Recommended: If you like W.I.T.C.H or Winx Club!, check out Tokyo Mew Mew. Expect cute things!
Summary: Ash Ketchum, with his best friend Pikachu, sets off on a journey to become the next Pokemon Master. Along the way, he befriends a Rock Pokemon Trainer and Breeder, Brock, and a Water Pokemon Trainer, Misty.
Recommended: I don’t think a ten-year-old is old enough to travel around the globe without adult supervision. However, this anime teaches audiences the value of friendship and the importance of helping and caring for others.
Summary: Ichigo Amano has a great sense of taste, and she gets invited to attend St. Marie Academy to become a pâtissière. At the school, she is aided by the three Sweets Princes and their Sweets Spirits in order to become a skillful and confident pâtissière.
Recommended: If your child is interested in becoming a chef or pâtissière when he or she grows up, you should definitely check this anime out.
Chi’s Sweet Home
Summary: A kitten wanders away from her mother and siblings. A young boy, Youhei, discovers the kitten and keeps it as a pet named “Chi.”
Recommended: Cat lovers.
Summary: Keita Amano inserts money into a capsule toy machine, and a ghostly creature called Whisper comes out of the capsule. Whisper gives Keita a Yo-kai Watch, which allows the person wearing the watch to see supernatural creatures that have magical abilities, and can summon any Yo-kai that he or she befriended. Keita and Whisper go around town trying to resolve the mischief caused by other Yo-kai.
Recommended: If your child likes Pokemon or Ben 10, this is another anime to get him or her into. It could also blow a hole in your pocket due to the amount of merchandise out there.
Summary: Sonic and his friends join Christopher Thorndyke in collecting all the Chaos Emeralds and to stop the evil Dr. Eggman.
Recommended: Well…it is Sonic. Fun and adventure!
Hoshi no Kirby: Right Back At Ya!
Summary: A strange pink creature orbiting around space, called Kirby, lands in Dream Land. Kirby defends the citizens of Cappy Town against the self-proclaimed dictator, King Dedede.
Recommended: Kirby is a cute pink furball that looks like Jigglypuff. A weird main character, but it’s an entertaining anime show when I was a kid.
Summary: Doraemon is a cat-like robot who guides the clumsy and innocent boy, Nobita, to a bright future.
Recommended: Doraemon teaches kids some important life lessons about growing up. In addition, children can also have a chance to learn about Japanese culture.
My Neighbor Totoro
Summary: Satsuki and Mei move into a new home in the countryside. They befriend a forest spirit called Totoro, and they get introduced to other mystical creatures.
Recommended: If your child has an imaginary friend, I think this is a cute movie for him or her to watch. Let your imagination run wild!
Summary: Hamtaro and friends go on crazy adventures around the city.
Recommended: If your child wants a real hamster, just show him or her this anime and hope that they will settle for a Hamtaro plushy instead.
Summary: Seven kids, who were all at summer camp, are magically transported into the Digital World, and befriend a group of Digimon. These children learn that they are the DigiDestined, and must save the Digital World from evil Digimon.
Recommended: Digimon Adventure teaches children some very important humanitarian traits like courage, friendship, and love.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Summary: Kiki is at the stage where she must travel and live independently for one year, as part of her witch training, in order to become a full-fledged witch. She starts her own delivery service and gains some valuable experiences.
Recommended: As parents, there is a part of you that always wants to protect your child from anything. However, children grow up and must learn from their failures and mistakes. Kiki’s Delivery Service is a great anime movie that exposes children to the life ahead of them: independence, responsibilities, and adulthood.
Summary: Goku and his friends must protect Earth from a variety of villains, who desire the Dragon Balls that have wish-granting powers.
Recommended: Dragonball Z is the gateway anime for boys during the 90s. It is a great introduction anime to the shounen genre.
Summary: A fourteen-year-old girl, Tsukino Usagi is given the power to transform into the warrior of love and justice known as Sailor Moon. Usagi and her fellow Sailor Scouts must protect Earth from the forces of evil.
Recommended: Like Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon is the gateway anime for girls during the 90s. Personally, I think it is the ultimate anime to introduce girls into the world of shoujo.
Do you have any other anime recommendations for children? Let us know in the comments!