School-themed anime are ideal for when we’re bored. They’re usually short and plot-heavy, with a generous amount of comedy. Perfect for rainy days.
After researching a ton of school-themed anime, using MyAnimeList, online forums, and other resources, we’ve created a short list of what we’ve found to be the best school-themed anime out there.
Clannad is among the most loved romance school-themed anime out there. Its immense popularity and high score are proof of that.
The story follows Tomoya Okazaki, a delinquent who believes he would never amount to anything. He skips school and aims to waste his high school days with his friend Youhei Sunohara.
His life begins to take an unexpected turn when he encounters Nagisa Furukawa, an eccentric girl yelling and murmuring to herself. At first, he dismisses her as nothing but a weirdo, but he soon begins to take notice of her around school until he eventually befriends her, and even agrees to help her attain her goal with for other girls.
Tomoya learns more about the girls and their concerns as he spends more time with them. As he tries to help each girl overcome her own challenge, he realises that life isn’t as dull as he originally assumed.
If you dislike the idea of gambling, then perhaps this anime isn’t for you; Kakegurui brings out the inner gambler in whoever watches it.
Attending Hyakkaou Private Academy means submitting to a hierarchy based on gambling prowess. Students here are mostly children of the rich and powerful but given the stakes of the frequent gamblings, even that may not save them from garnering debts.
This school-themed anime follows a story about Yumeko Jabami, a compulsive gambler who absolutely adores the thrill of a high stake gamble. Her addiction tends to draw her near trouble – not just for herself but her friends too.
Charlotte is a unique, 1-season short story about Yuu Otosaka, a high schooler, who has lived his last several years cheating his way through life using his special ability allowing him to take over the bodies of people for 5 seconds. Using these abilities he has gotten high grades, made himself popular and even got the prettiest girl in school to pay attention to him.
However, his comfortable lifestyle would soon end when he encounters Nao Tomori, a high school student with an ability of her own: to turn herself invisible. Having discovered Yuu’s immoral habits, Nao threatened to haunt him unless he transfers over to her school, a school of various ability wielders, to change his life for the better.
This school-themed series may begin as a slice-of-life anime, but the plot slowly but surely begins to deepen.
One of studio Bones’ most notable animations; Sole eater has garnered a huge fan base since its release in 2008. It reins as one of the most popular classics.
Following the Soul Eater Evans, a Demon Scythe who only appears to care about what’s popular, aspires to become a Death Scythe with the assistance of Maka Albarn, his straight-laced wielder, or meister. The contrasted pair work and study alongside the hotheaded BlackStar and his loving weapon Tsubaki, as well as Death the Kid, the Shinigami’s own son, an obsessive-compulsive dual wielder of twin pistols Patty and Liz.
Soul Eater follows these Shibusen students as they embark on missions to gather souls and safeguard the city from the world’s threats, all while working together to become healthier in mind, body, and soul.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War
With its latest season, Kaguya-sama: Love is War has made waves pushing it to become a top 3 ‘best anime of all time series on MyAnimeList – and its soaring popularity justifies just that. This is a must-watch!
Love is War follows Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya, president and vice president Shuchiin Academy – an academy where status and reputation are everything. As it happens, the two harbour strong romantic feelings for one another. However, their feelings of pride would never allow them to confess. Thus, the romantic cold war begins.
In this romantic comedy, whoever confesses their love first loses.
Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
If you’re also looking to spark an interest in cooking, then Food Wars! is the perfect anime to watch. This school-themed anime pushes the true meaning of competitive spirits through their iconic food wars. Although cooking is at the focus of the series, you’ll find its plot is also a reason for its soaring popularity.
Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma follows a story about Somua Yukihira, a young high schooler enrolled at the prestigious Tootsuki Culinary Academy, whose competitive spirit drives him to aim for the top spot as an upcoming chef, among his many peers. Being introduced to the various cuisines and cooking styles out there, Souma quickly realises that there a people far more impressive at cooking then he’d ever imagined.
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
This anime boasts a huge fan base, and rightfully so. Touching on quantum mechanical phenomena to base the various arcs on is a concept none of us disliked.
Puberty Syndrome is a case where teenagers experience abnormal phenomena during adolescence. Or so the myth states.
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai follows a short story about Sakuta Azusagawa, a third-year high schooler, who becomes involved with various people, each burdened by their own cases of puberty syndrome. Having been a direct victim of puberty syndrome himself, Sakuta feels obliged to offer his assistance in the various cases he encounters.
Another is a gory school-themed anime based on a popular light novel. Since its release in 2012, Another has gained a huge fan base – and respectfully so.
Following a story about Kouichi Sakakibara, a transfer student who returns to Yomiyama North Junior High after missing the first month of school due to illness. Among his new classmates, he is curiously drawn to Mei Misaki, a shy girl with an eyepatch whom he met in the hospital while he was away. But none of his classmates are aware of her existence; they caution him not to become acquainted with things that do not exist. Despite their warnings, Kouichi meets Mei, only to discover the deadly reality behind his friends’ fears.
The unsettling whispers focus on a former student from class 3-3. No one, however, will tell Kouichi the entire story of what happened. Kouichi becomes engrossed with the curse that afflicts his class and sets out to investigate its link to his new friend. As a sequence of catastrophes unfold around them, it is up to Kouichi, Mei, and their classmates to solve the spooky mystery—but doing so will cost them dearly.
Kill la Kill
Kill la Kill is a commonly loved anime following a story about Ryuuko Matoi, who has been travelling the land pursuing her father’s murderer since his murder. She arrives at the famous Honnouji Academy, a high school unlike any other, after following her only lead—the missing half of his invention, the Scissor Blade. However, her welcome was not in any way warm.
Satsuki Kiryuuin, the intimidating and cold-hearted student council president, rules the school alongside her formidable underlings, the Elite Four. Satsuki bestows special clothing dubbed “Goku Uniforms” to individuals at the top of the school’s ruthlessly competitive hierarchy, which provide the person exceptional superhuman abilities.
Ryuuko flees to her demolished home after being severely battered in a struggle with one of the students in uniform, where she discovers Senketsu, a rare and sentient “Kamui,” or God Clothes. Senketsu wakes after coming into touch with Ryuuko’s blood, latching onto her and bestowing enormous strength onto her. Ryuuko now takes a stand against the Elite Four, equipped with Senketsu and the Scissor Blade, hoping to reach Satsuki and finally find out who killed her father.
Many consider Haikyu!! the best sports-themed anime ever, and you can really argue against that. This anime follows a story about a high school volleyball team, with Shouyou Hinata at its core.
Shouyou Hinata, a short but aspiring volleyballer has been bewitched by the sport ever since witnessing the ‘Little Giant’, a short but dominant professional player on tv. When he enrols into Karasuno High School, Shouyou finally takes his first real step into the competitive volleyball scene – going up against terrifying players from different schools all around the region and beyond.
Blue Exorcist is an action-packed, school-themed series that follows Rin Okumura, who may look like an ordinary problem child, but is in fact the son of Satan himself.
As a result of a tragic incident, Rin finds himself transferred to an elitist high school for prepping future Exorcist prospects. In a world where humans and demons exist like two sides of the same coin, Rin, a half-breed, struggles to fit into the human society he inherently grew up in – whilst completely despising his demonic counterpart.
It must come as no surprise that Assassination Classroom made this list. After all, the response it got from the anime community has been nothing but positive. If you have not yet watched this, make sure to add it to your watchlist. This is not one you’ll want to skip out on.
This anime follows a story about a class of high schoolers, whose teacher is the near-omnipotent monster Koro-sensei – who has threatened the world by claiming he’ll blow up the moon by the end of the academic year.
As a compromise for not rampaging across the world immediately, the government gave in to his demands to lecture a certain class of high schoolers in the months leading up to said doomsday.
Angel Beats! introduced a unique story concept. From a slice-of-life to a plot-heavy thriller; you’ll begin Angel Beats! enjoying the humour, mystery, and interesting world-building, until about halfway through the series, when its apparent plot starts to deepen.
This school-themed anime follows a story about 17-year-old Yuzuru Otonashi, who seemingly… died. As it happens, Yuzuru finds himself waking up in a strange place – one that is neither heaven nor hell. Much is to be explained but from the get-go, Yuzuru is being hunted by what they call the “Angel” – Kanade Tachibana.
Your Lie in April
Your Lie In April is one of the most popular anime out there, let alone school-themed. Perhaps, this is because of its musical element which will undoubtedly spark interest and admiration in pianism and violins. Nevertheless, this anime is truly a 1-season masterpiece.
This short series follows a story about Kousei Arima, a child prodigy gifted at piano, who after his late mother’s passing, found himself with nothing but trauma playing the piano. After a fateful encounter with Kaori, an aspiring violinist in the same grade, Kousei’s rejection of playing gradually begins to melt away – as his feeling for her get stronger.
Toradora is one of those anime you would consider a ‘must-watch.’ A short, wholesome, comedic anime with romantic drama to keep us in suspense.
Toradora! is a school-themed anime that follows the story of a duo of protagonists – Ryuuji Takasu & Taiga Aisaka. Both are notoriously known around the high school for different reasons, and a random encounter and a share of interests cause the two to form a unique relationship. The two had promised each other to help one another date their crushes.
Introducing, Minori, Yuusaku and Ami, the collective 5 of them form a group filled with romantic drama, humour, and moments that’ll pull on your heartstrings.
Jujutsu Kaisen made hits with its season 1 debut back in 2020. Based on its highly loved manga source, Jujutsu Kaisen amassed a huge audience throughout its airing period. Its popularity shot up even further with its prequel movie that followed shortly after – Jujutsu Kaisen 0. And respectfully so. The series as a whole boasts above-standard industry animation and production quality.
This school-themed anime follows a story about Yuuji Itadori, a high schooler who finds himself mixed up in an underworld of cursed spirits and sorcery after he encounters a supernatural creature. As fate would have it, Yuuji finds himself forced to consume a cursed object, causing him to become possessed by the legendary cursed spirit: Sukuna Ryoumen, the “King of Curses.”
Yuuji, with his life in balance, decides to use his supernatural powers to save people, so that should he find himself on his deathbed, he’ll be proud of the life he lived.
This anime introduces a number of iconic characters many anime fans have come to love.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Charting the top 10 in almost every anime list, Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Rebellion is renowned as one of the best anime ever, let alone among the school-themed genre.
The year is 2010; Brittania, a military nation, is establishing itself as one of the most dominant, during its conquest of Japan. Rebellion against Brittania is little, but not null.
The story follows Lelouch Lamperouge, a high school student harbouring revolutionary ideals. A fateful event leaves him with the supernatural ability to brainwash all those he looks in the eye. Using this power, Lelouch, with his genius strategic mind, has found an opportunity to pursue his ideals in hopes of a liberated Japan.
My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia is among the most popular anime out there and the best school-themed anime. Given its incredibly intriguing story and world-building, there is no wonder why.
It follows a story about Izuku Midoriya, a boy born into a world where 80% of the population boasts unique supernatural abilities – quirks! In this world exists heroes, those who use their quirks for the greater good, and villains, those who do the opposite. Izuku, who has had a deep admiration for heroes since his childhood, just so happens to be part of the remainder 20% who are dubbed ‘quirkless’. However, his unfair fate takes an unexpected turn when encounters the number one hero: All Might.
All Might’s quirk is a special power that can be inherited, and he has selected Izuku to be his successor! Izuku was now able to pursue what had before looked like an impossibly unachievable dream: becoming the greatest hero. But the first step in his journey would be to enrol at UA High, an elite school for promising professional hero prospects.