It’s hard to find any source of entertainment “without” any hint of sexism or stereotypes. Because a lot of entertainment and TV can be sexist.
Sometimes it’s so subtle you won’t even realize it’s there.
Anime is no different.
So many of the most popular anime series like:
- Mirai Nikki.
- One Piece.
- Fairy Tail.
- Black Lagoon.
And other anime are either filled with sexism, or there’s “some” level of it hiding underneath the surface.
In this post I’ll share anime I feel aren’t “sexist” based on the themes, characters, stereotypes and how each gender is treated.
And I’ll focus on anime that do a good job of keeping any hint of “sexism” from spiraling out of control.
Let’s get started.
1. If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat A Demon Lord
If It’s For My Daughter is adapted from a light novel series. Turned into an anime in 2019 (it’s still airing).
As the title implies, it’s about a little girl and her adopted parent.
Latina, the daughter is a devil and Dale, the parent is human.
Together they go on adventures and Dale does his best to take care of Latina after her father dies in the first episode.
It’s a story that will stir your emotions and help you see “parenthood” from a different perspective, with its sweet and light-hearted episodes.
2. Flying Witch
Flying Witch is a slice of life series in the rural countryside. Focusing on Makoto Kowata,a “witch” in training.
The majority of the characters in Flying Witch are female, with the exception of Kei. Makoto’s cousin.
But with the main theme centered around relaxation, and day-to-day life in the countryside, sexism is a thing you won’t find here.
The anime itself isn’t deep to begin with, and is more about the simple aspects of life we tend to miss.
3. Owari No Seraph
Owari No Seraph is about demons vs humans. Nothing too creative or “out there” as far as the plot goes.
It’s produced by WIT Studio, the same studio behind Kabaneri Of The Iron Fortress and Attack On Titan.
Right from the first episode you get the sense of “tragedy” towards the end. This is no different to Attack on Titan in this way.
This sets the mood for the entire anime series, with battles, action and “bonding” between the main characters as they fight to see a better day.
4. Attack On Titan
Attack On Titan is another anime series that doesn’t highlight or abuse sexism. It’s well balanced with its characters and genders, and doesn’t stereotype or “downplay” a certain gender for the convenience of the plot.
After all – this is a horror/action series with what some fans call “over the top” violence, depending on who you ask.
It’s NOT for the kids though. And the interactions (and action) between each character is what makes Attack On Titan the anime its become over the years.
Not to mention the powerful animation quality.
5. Higurashi: When They Cry
Higurashi is the type of anime Btooom! tried so hard to be. The village of Hinamizawa is cursed by the God: “Oyashiro”.
Anyone who tries to leave, or breaks any taboo’s either disappears or ends up in a ditch with their body torn open (or the equivalent).
The whole anime feels like one big psychological experiment. And it does whatever it takes to breakdown each character, pushing them into a corner until they’re forced to take drastic action.
And that’s where the horror and violence stems from. Few anime are written as well as Higurashi, and “cliches” aren’t common here.
With the exception of 2 or so scenes with “fan service”, you won’t find any heavy level of sexism in Jormungand.
It’s an anime about arms dealers, and the main character: Koko Hekmatyar who’s in the business of selling weapons in the underworld.
You could look at Jormungand as the “classier” version of Black Lagoon as far as how anime characters are dressed, or treated based on gender roles and what not.
If you want something filled with action, a unique plot like no other, and a well-written story, Jormungand won’t steer you in the wrong direction. It’s underrated.
7. Gakkou Gurashi
What would you do if you were trapped in a school building, forced to live on rations everyday? This is one of the main themes in Gakkou Gurashi.
The only missing theme here is zombies. The world is now overrun with them and 4 teenagers are forced to figure out how to survive on their own.
And what comes with that is mental illness and delusions experienced by one main character in particular: Yuki Takeya.
Gakkou Gurashi isn’t for fans who don’t have the stomach for it.
It’s more deep than it is violent. But you do get a mix of both.
Minami-Ke is about the daily lives of 3 sisters. The middle sister: Kana is the center of all the comedy in Minami-Ke, with the other two playing their role in making it funnier.
Sometimes it’s not the humor that sells this anime though, it’s the relationship between the 3 sisters, the chilled episodes and other elements that come together.
You do get silly things like “trap” characters. This is one of the anime that influenced it to a degree in the modern anime age.
But any hints of so-called “sexism” can’t be taken seriously in Minami-Ke.
9. Guardian Of The Sacred Spirit
Guardian Of The Sacred Spirit is an unsung anime that goes unnoticed by most anime fans. It’s produced by Production I.G, the same studio behind Psycho Pass.
One of the main characters who’s a prince is abandoned by his people who attempt to murder him. So a character named Balsa becomes his bodyguard in secrecy and helps him “go on the run” before that happens.
This is not a slice of life, but an adventure. Though you do get the relaxed vibes that “slice of life” is known for. Along with some of the best anime fight scenes, meaningful stories and emotionally driven episodes.
It’s almost like watching the relationship of a child and a mother build overtime.
Clannad starts off like a regular slice of life/romance. Tomoya Okazaki runs into Nagisa Furukawa, and their romance starts to build slowly during the first season of Clannad.
Other characters fall into the mix to keep things interesting, like Kyo, Kotomi and a few other characters who make “appearances in the second season.
The 2nd season of this anime is where things take off in a direction that will break the hearts of anime fans.
But at the same time – it’s the reason why Clannad is one of the pioneers of the romance genre.
Sexism isn’t really a thing here, either.
Barakamon is about Seishuu Handa, a young adult who punches a director in the face for criticizing his work. That’s how the anime starts off.
The result of that is Seishuu’s moved to a remote island to work on some personal development, and to change his ways.
At first he’s pissed off because he’s a workaholic and all the little distractions stop from him doing his calligraphy.
But he comes to learn some life lessons along the way that actually help him feel more inspired to do calligraphy, and other things.
It’s the type of slice of life series that can inspire you in only 12 short episodes. And it’s one of the cleanest anime shows you’ll ever come across.
No fan service at all.
12. Bungou Stray Dogs
Bungou Stray Dogs isn’t for everyone. I’ll start by saying that. It’s a weird anime with even stranger characters who do strange things.
The first episode has Osamu Dazai attempt suicide, and there are two support characters (siblings) who are in a relationship with each other.
But don’t like that scare you off from Bungou Stray Dogs – the anime itself is so well-written, funny, and better yet: entertaining it’s hard to turn your head away from it.
You can think of the supernatural themes, elements and story as a “dark” version of the more fluffy stuff you see these days in the industry.
It knows how to tell a good story, and how to present characters (and even battles) in a way that most fans can appreciate.
Gamers takes the concept of “romantic misunderstandings” and turns up the volume to the loudest setting. So depending on your level of tolerance, this anime might be too much.
But if you’ve watched anime like My Bride Is A Mermaid or Gintama, you’ll ease through Gamers with no problems at all.
As the title implies, the characters are mostly gamers and Otaku’s, and many of them are “into” each other.
The comedy of how certain things are misunderstood, and the heavy use of gamer jokes has its own level of “funny” that similar anime don’t offer.
I’ve watched Gamers twice, and I enjoyed it the second time more than the first. Fanservice isn’t really a thing here either.
14. Golden Kamuy
Golden Kamuy is another unsung anime on this list. I don’t see too many influential anime sites, bloggers or “voices” mentioning it.
But one thing you won’t find is people bashing, hating, or doubting the quality of this anime.
Golden Kamuy does what most anime fail to do: sell you on a story that’s original with historical facts and influences thrown into the plot.
You get to learn while being entertained. And the characters give you a nice blend of comical, fun and sometimes serious personalities that drive the story forward.
15. Land Of The Lustrous
Land Of The Lustrous is how an anime ends up when it manages to get “CGI” done right.
Released in 2018, Land Of The Lustrous is all about mystique and an unusual story related to aliens, birth and existence.
Phos is the main lead (left image) who’s known as a “Gem”. A type of organism created in the far future. She’s fun, energetic and never disappoints because she’s so f*cking entertaining.
The other main and support characters like Cinnabar play their role in bringing everything together, and making sense of what’s happening under the surface.
They just don’t make anime like this these days. Not often.
There’s no fan service, lewd themes, or nonsense to stand in the way of an original plot and beautiful animation.
Hyouka is about teenagers who end up working together to “solve” mysteries for their own entertainment.
It’s nothing serious like murder cases or anything like that. It’s the “everyday” kind of things that teenagers get up to or think about, but often overlook because most people aren’t paying attention to it.
Houtarou Oreki is the main star of the show, alongside Eru Chitanda who’s curiosity is the reason this anime goes in the direction it does.
What’s amazing about Hyouka is how it manages to take mundane, boring ideas and themes, and somehow turns it into something thought-provoking and interesting.
I rated it a 10/10 on that alone. Plus it doesn’t rely on fan service or the usual cliches so that makes it a “stand out” series.
17. Hell Girl
Hell Girl is like the little sister of Death Note, in the sense that the methods for how each character is killed is similar. But the anime itself is unique enough to stand up on its own legs.
Hell Girl is more like a grim reaper who shows up in your room at night, looks deep into your eyes, tells you why you’re in trouble, and sends you to hell without sympathy or empathy.
But she wasn’t always this way. “She” meaning Ai Enma, the hell girl.
She’s forced into being a slave for the Hell Master himself for no fault of her own.
I won’t say much more because of spoilers, but aside from the messed up, realistic episodes and relatable stories, you won’t find fan service or sexism here.
18. Kino’s Travels: The Beautiful World
Kino’s Travels: The Beautiful World is actually a cruel world seen through beautiful eyes.
Kino’s the type of person who looks at the world differently. Maybe that’s because she travels the world on her motorbike, staying in each town, village or country for 3 days at a time.
That’s why she’s so open-minded. Traveling and learning about different cultures gives you a fresh perspective few people can have without traveling.
The best aspect of Kino’s Travels is the adventures and story telling.
There’s NO anime on earth that tells stories better than Kino’s Travels. It’s the thing that makes it so different in the anime industry.
What would you do if you were a surgeon, and you found out the kids life you saved is the life of a future serial killer?
This is the reality of Kenzo Tenma, a surgeon AND main character in the Monster series. Produced by Madhouse.
He’s forced to deal with the responsibilities and the weight of his actions. Or I should say – he feels obligated to do something about it because of the guilt and regret in his heart.
This takes Kenzo on a journey of self discovery, violence, and the dark underworld attached to murderers, killers and “shady” characters.
The story, the characters, male and female, are some of the greatest I’ve ever seen in my history of watching 100’s of anime.
It’s a horror series with super realistic themes few anime can match up to.
20. Nodame Cantabile
Nodame Cantabile is still a classic to me as far as music anime shows go. A genre that doesn’t have “much” to begin with.
Aside from the music, musicians and everything connected to that, Nodame Cantabile is also a romance that seems to break any cliches most romance are known for.
The unusual, but comical relationship between Chiaki, a guy who can play multiple instruments, and Nodame – a pianist is why this anime is dripping with quality and comedy.
I’d recommend watching it especially if you’re a musician, play instruments or anything similar.
21. The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K
The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K, produced by J.C Staff is the modern-day version of Gintama… WITHOUT the crazy fan service or so-called “violence”.
I don’t know how they did it, but Saiki K is a comedy/parody series that’s able to make you laugh without doing anything extreme, outrageous or “cliché” to make it happen.
It all feels original and creative with the way it approaches comedy. And the main character: Kusuo Saiki (who’s a psychic) takes the plot into an interesting direction not seen in other anime.
It’s one of my top anime shows of all time.
22. The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland doesn’t discriminate, stereotype or “pick on” genders or anything of the sort. It’s a plan horror series that feels more like a mystery type of anime.
It has its fair share of similarities to Death Note for the “thinking” side of the plot, but it’s only subtle and lightweight in comparison.
Even still – The Promised Neverland does have its good points. Like the animation, main characters and designs.
We need a 2nd season but for now – season 1 is worth watching, even if it’s a little underwhelming compared to the Manga.
23. D. Gray Man
D. Gray Man is a Shounen that goes unnoticed in 2019. But similar to an underrated series like Soul Eater, it’s one of the early pioneers of “modern day” Shounen in the 2000’s.
It’s also a little different to the typical plots and style of shows like DBZ or Naruto.
Allen Walker, the main protagonist has a cursed eye that can see ghosts, demons and anything a human eye can’t.
He’s an exorcist that “exorcises” demons in an attempt to help the human soul trapped inside to be set free.
The anime constantly swings between good and evil, dark and light, and similar themes that will make you think about the actions of each character. And what’s happening around them.
It’s about 100+ episodes long for the first season. So it’ll keep you occupied with the stellar male and female characters. And the bonds they share as they fight for their cause.
- Magic Knight Rayearth.
- Space Brothers.
- Beautiful Bones.
- Samurai Champloo.
- Girls Last Tour.
- Little Witch Academia.
- Madoka Magica.
- Yona Of The Dawn.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion.