Good anime to learn listening?

As the topic has said, anime is one of the method to learn quick skills of listening. So anyone has some easy-to-listen anime for a starter?

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Chi’s sweet home is easiest thing i know. I find it rather annoying tho but if you like overdose of cat cuteness it might be ok.

Bono Bono.
I used crunchy roll and change the subtitles to a language I couldn’t read so I wouldn’t auto focus on the subtitles

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Wouldn’t it be easier to just disable the subs to begin with?

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I just use Yuruyuri, because I like yuri.


Just using Japanese subs should be OK, unless you are too good at reading Japanese.

Didn’t think there was a way

My suggestion is usually shoujo anime. The conversations are usually much more natural compared to giants robots, fantasy or lots of other kinds of anime.

Not that I watch lots of it, but even as an older male some of the stories hold my interest. For example the first season (not so much the second season) of 君に届け (From Me to You) was quite enjoyable with pretty much completely normal conversation. You’ll pick up that the main character is very polite and mostly speaks keigo.

Another option is anime based on seinen manga. But those can be from a typical drama to psychological and horror.

I’d say any shounen anime. They’re usually pretty simple.

Slice of life is best for listening practice. (Fairly) natural conversations.

More so than action series at least.


Kino no Tabi is really good. The character voices aren’t anything stupid and the vocabulary is stuff that you will encounter in everyday and can easily use.

However, learning from anime is no beginners task and it is definitely not something to be used as a passive study tool otherwise it just becomes useless for learning. Trust me. Koichi wrote an article on the same topic on tofugu on how to get the best out of learning from anime and it is a serious exercise albeit one with with incredible reward to it.

If you don’t mind spending a bit of money I would recommend getting the language learning application “Caterpillar”. I started using it for learning from anime and it covers everything by automatically cutting the video up into small segments and then testing you on what is being said based on the subtitles. To make sure that you are learning effectively it also uses SRS which is damn awesome.


I forgot about Kino no Tabi! Also the pacing and conversation is relatively slow.

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I thought about slice of life, but frequently there are many subtle gags. Puns and such in English that can sometime make for odd sentence structures or word usage.

Anime really isn’t the best for learning listening, but if you insist, I’d recommend watching something like Doraemon.

If you’re serious about listening practice, I’d suggest looking into services like JapanesePod101.

Maybe Non Non Biyori will work.

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Non Non Biyori is love


shirokuma cafe is nice and simple.


This seems like an odd one, but I recommend HxH 2011. From personal experience.
Someting about the way (most of) the characters talk makes it fairly easy to understand them.

Before I even knew that I wanted to learn Japanese, I was able to learn many words by listening and reading subtitles. I suspect that if you are actively trying to learn from it, the benefit will be even bigger.

The series is quite long too, and interesting.

Check out (will not work without https://).

The website has a variety of anime that it streams from other sites and features customizable subtitles – in English, romaji, hiragana, or kanji. You can choose to display as few or many as you wish.

I particularly recommend an anime called Shirokuma Cafe – it’s a slice of life comedy about a polarbear who runs a cafe and the adventures that ensue in order to obtain food items, manage relationships between customers, etc. It’s chock full of dry humor (if that’s your thing) and frequently references older episodes to “build” jokes. I think it’s a good watch for a few reasons.

(a) being slice of life, anything and everything you hear within the anime could very well come up in any given conversation.

(b) there are a huge variety of customers/regular characters and each of them have their own accent; I think this is important because, for me, building your listening ability is essentially getting in tune with the sounds of a language and becoming flexible: being able to follow context and deduce that someone means 言わない even if what they actually said was 言わねー、言わぬ、言わにー、言わん、 or even something that takes away the important focus on the /n/ sound like 言わへん。I really believe that “learning to listen” is “learning to be flexible” – and that basically involves (1) being familiar with the structures in which a language can express itself + how they can shift about and (2) the sounds it can make, and how its sounds can be altered.

© The anime is super long – like 80+ episodes or something. That means you get a lot of time to get familiar with the accents of the main characters. For the longest time it will be sort of confusing, but then you sort of catch the flow, and figure out that “when this character makes X vowel, he tends to pronounce it as Y vowel” … and eventually it just makes sense and you focus more on the language than the sounds. Plus, anime makes use of a lot of “stock” characters – once you get the basic voices down, it’ll be easier to pick up on similar voices in other anime.

(d) polar bears

But ultimately, above everything, you should pick something you enjoy. You are only a finite number of hours away from competently “listening” in Japanese (albeit, a lot of hours)… and the most important thing is to keep chipping away at that number. Maybe a “good” anime will get you there in 300 hours and a “niche” one will take 700 – but if you’re motivated to watch 4 hours of “niche” anime a day while dreading the idea of one more 23minute episode of Le PolarBearCafe a day, get a calculator and check out that math.

A Russian friend of mine found her time sink was reading about missles & North Korea in Japanese news… she’s more comfortable talking about them in Japanese than Russian, ahaha. If that winds up being you about anything mechanical in Japanese? Ok, not really any skin lost. Maybe you get a kick out of action anime – last semester I was taking an N2/N1 class with a guy who spoke only in casual, slangy kansai-ben to everyone … they just laughed about “foreigners”… and if he really had to be polite, he’d open a conversation with “Please forgive me, I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t know how to use Keigo” … the person would be like “Ohh yeah, keigo is hard, I struggle with it even though I’m Japanese” then they’d go on talking with no hard feelings.

Sooo… I don’t think it’s really important what you watch, so long as you watch. And that you watch a lot of it – sort of on repeat. If you hear something that you don’t understand – don’t skip it, hit the back button and watch it five or six times until you make it out. If you don’t figure it out earlier, it will still confuse you later.

go fight win#


You can disable the subtitles on the full webpage, but not on the mobile app.