I'm looking for a difficult anime

I’m looking for an anime with the following qualities. If it’s on Animelon, that is a plus.

Relatively difficult

I’m watching a weighted mix of anime that is slightly below my level, slightly above my level, and quite difficult. In this case, I want the anime to be quite difficult.

Relatively standard Japanese

Lots of shouting, rude expressions, dialect, etc are sub-optimal, although I have some degree of tolerance. It doesn’t have to be slice-of-life. (E.g. Death Note is okay. Some over-the-top shounen anime are borderline. I have no problem with shouting, rudeness; it just makes my study less efficient.)

The vocabulary is useful and not overly niche

A little bit of show-specific or fantasy vocabulary is fine. (E.g. Death Note is okay. My Hero Academia is borderline but still okay.)

Not overly sexual

Kill la Kill is my limit. Beyond that and I get too easily distracted… (This has nothing to do with an aversion to sexuality, violence, etc. I just don’t want my mind to wander while I’m trying to study.)

Genres to avoid

Over-the-top shounen, emotional drama, extremely long series (looking at you One Piece), very niche fantasy (e.g. I’m now stuck in a video game)

Cells At Work?


Holy crap, I think with all these standards, you’ve eliminated every single anime there is. Congratulations!


Nah, there are plenty of 1 or 2 season long seinen series that aren’t goofy.

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The Monogatari series for sure. Check out Bakemonogatari - the dialog is lightning pace and full of difficult stuff. Even watching with subs on I feel my head getting hot trying to keep up during the heated scenes.


If you want to learn like government positions or terms for politics and stuff, “Ghost in the shell: Stand alone complex” is a good one. The art and action are amazing. The gore is almost all like androids and wires so its not so bad there either. They do talk fast so you gotta pay attention and be able to read the subs fast.


I was looking at Monogatari. Is there a Monogatari anime that isn’t overly sexual? (I have no problem with the sexuality itself. I just don’t want to have my mind wander and then have to take care of business every episode while I’m trying to study.)

By the way, a little goofiness is totally okay. I love Kill la Kill. It’s just that anime with constant shouting and very rude expressions every other line are going to be a lot less efficient for my study than, say, 10 - 20% of lines. And when I say niche fantasy, I mean very niche.

Yuru Camp. Always Yuru Camp. :grinning:


It’s not on Animelon, but have you watched Monster? It’s 74 episodes–on the longer side, but not too crazy. It’s about a surgeon who saves the life of a future serial killer. It’s very grounded in reality and while I can’t speak to how standard the Japanese is (especially seeing as how it’s set in Europe), I didn’t notice any strange dialects or vocal tics.

EDIT: Monster is pretty dark, but overall has a hopeful message. It might not be for you!


Katanagatari. :slight_smile:

It’s by the same author, but it’s not overly sexual. It’s also better overall and more consistent in my opinion. Just keep in mind that it takes place in the Edo period, so some of the dialog will use older Japanese.

Also, please keep in mind that this is a PG-13 forum. :slight_smile:


I’m still too low level to figure out if an anime is more on the easy side or the difficult side. But if you’re ok with Kill la Kill-level goofiness and fanservice, Monogatari will be fine as well.

Also, could you say more about your limit for emotional drama as well? I think that will make it a lot easier to give recommendations.

I don’t know. Monogatari Series is very cringeworthy very often. I still enjoyed it overall despite being averse to fan service, but some of the scenes made me quite uncomfortable.

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Monogatari goes a lot farther than Kill la Kill. I have no problem with cringe, violence, degeneracy, etc. Just don’t want my mind to wander while I’m studying. As far as emotional drama goes, I avoid most romances, extremely gushy, heart-warming anime like Usagi Drop, and extremely bleak, dark anime (as in much bleaker and darker than Death Note).

Dr Stone has a lot of sciency/chemistry terms


Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu?



I’m going to recommend:
Blast of Tempest - because it’s fun and ridiculous, and not terribly over the top in terms of fight scenes. I don’t remember it being shout-y. It’s very dramatique (koff getting a lot of mileage out of Shakespeare analogies and outrageous monologues that are difficult but fun to follow koff), but not emotionally sticky, though it has moments of poignancy. Be aware that the heroine wears the same bare midriff Shipwrecked Outfit for, like, half the anime - which makes it more of a plot thing than a fanservice thing. Also, warning for flashbacks to a backstory suicide.
Durarara - has moments of chaos, but they don’t last too long. Kinda random slew of vocab which includes gang vocabulary. Slice-of-life/fantasy.
Psycho-pass - if you want to learn police / politics / psychology words that are basically long strings of on’yomi, listen to this. More gore and violence than sexiness.
Tatami Galaxy - your problem here is comprehending at speed, not vocabulary difficulty. The grammar feels more literary than most shows. This one is fun to revisit. Touches more on sexuality than sexiness.
Death Parade - if I recall correctly, slides sharply between simple and difficult. Buddhist vocabulary may be brought up very occasionally. Kind of a tearjerker depending on your sentimentality. Again, more violent than sexy.
Mushishi - deceptively slow and simple. May have some limited dialect. It has show-specific fantasy vocabulary, some of which involve puns, and a lot of nature words. Generally these words should be evident from context, so it’s easy to learn from. I’m calling it difficult because I can’t stomach more than one or two episodes of it at a time—the stories MUST be digested slowly because a lot of them are parable-like, unsettling, and eerie, although at the same time the show can also be very beautiful and calming.
Hyouka - it’s got some intriguing mysteries, which makes it a challenge to follow at times. A few characters have distinctive catchphrases. Imaginative but chaste. If you like the kind of mysteries brought up in Haruhi Suzumiya or Bakemonogatari without fanservice and fantasy baggage, try this one.


Ok then. I recommend:

Durarara!! (somewhat long but rather unique, and not over the top)
ACCA 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (this might be exactly what you’re looking for)


By the way, outside of Animelon, does anyone know how to find some of these anime with Japanese subs?

Isn’t very subjective what difficult is? Which shows do find easy and just on your level?
If a show is easy does it mean you understand it all whatching with no subtitles?
And a difficult one? You barely understand anythin? :sweat_smile:

For me personally a difficult show is the one with a ton of niche vocab and/or techno-babble. For instance, I watched the first 10 minutes of the new Eva Rebuild film and could barely understand anything at all… That doesn’t seem useful for learning a language.

And a show like Shirobako is watchable but has some technical terms + workplace formal expressions. Here’s a sample (don’t read the subtitles :wink: )

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