FEATURE: Study Up With Crunchyroll's Back-to-School Anime Picks

Celebrate the academic grind with some school-themed anime from a wide variety of styles

Paul Chapman (@gooberzilla) struggling in the jaws of a life-sized model hippo.


This article written by Paul Chapman was originally published on September 16, 2020


Going back to school can be rough, especially in these days of remote learning and Zoom classroom conference calls, so Crunchyroll is here to help assuage those academic headaches in the only way we know how: by binging on lots of school-themed anime.


Below please find a curated list of school-related anime for fans of all sorts of formats. Want a school-themed horror story? How about a romance? A musical? We've got you covered with our Back-to-School Anime Picks:


Yoo Mira and Jin Mori lend their shoulders to Han Daewi after a cataclysmic martial arts match in The God of High School TV anime.


Back-to-School Action: The God of High School


It's just like going to high school — if your high school was populated by super-powered martial arts weirdos participating in a deadly melee tournament to determine who is the top dog.


Other Options: Air Master, Kill la Kill, My Hero Academia


Tabata, Tadakuni, and Tanaka get busted trying on Tadakuni's sister's school uniform and other clothing in a scene from the Daily Lives of High School Boys TV anime.


Back-to-School Comedy: Daily Lives of High School Boys


As the title implies, a perfectly ordinary comedy about some perfectly ordinary high school boys enjoying their youth in perfectly ordinary ways.


Other Options: Wasteful Days of High School Girls, Asobi Asobase - workshop of fun -, Cromartie High School


Kurumi Ebisuzawa hoists her shovel and salutes as she prepares to venture out into the zombie-infested school in a scene from the SCHOOL-LIVE! TV anime.


Back-to-School Horror: SCHOOL-LIVE!


Wait, why'd we put this one in the horror category? It's just cute girls camping out at their school as a part of their club activities, right? Right?


Other Options: Another, Parasyte -the maxim-


Characters from Overlord, Saga of Tanya the Evil,KONOSUBA -God's blessing on this wonderful world!, and Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- pack the school auditorium in a scene from the Isekai Quartet TV anime.


Back-to-School Fantasy: ISEKAI QUARTET


By my count, this is at least six series for the price of one, all bundled into a handy academic setting with a chibi art style.


Other options: Outbreak Company, Fushigi Yugi, The Twelve Kingdoms


Fumi Manjome and Akira Okudaira share a quiet moment in class in a scene from the Sweet Blue Flowers TV anime.


Back-to-School LGBTQ+: Sweet Blue Flowers


High school is a place where many queer people begin exploring their identities, and sometimes the process can be messy and full of complicated, conflicting emotions, and such is the case in Sweet Blue Flowers.


Other Options: Kaze-san and Morning Glories


The girls of Aqours gather around a smart phone to check out the school idol rankings in a scene from the Love Live! Sunshine!! TV anime.


Back-to-School Musical: Love Live! Sunshine!!


For a particularly rosy depiction of high school and idol culture complete with song and dance numbers, look no further than the latest installment in the Love Live! mixed media franchise.


Other Options: K-On!, STARMYU


Takeo Goda and Rinko Yamato take a selfie together at a bowling alley in a scene from the MY love STORY!! TV anime.


Back-to-School Romance: MY love STORY!!


Filled to bursting with love, friendship, and human kindness, MY love STORY!! is a sweet high school romance featuring an unconventional leading man whose giant body contains an equally giant heart.


Other Options: Toradora!, Fruits Basket


Kaguya Shinomiya blushes in embarrassment in a scene from the KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR TV anime.


Back-to-School Romantic Comedy: KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR


Love is a battlefield, but these kids are effectively unarmed in this uproarious romantic comedy that pits two hopelessly infatuated high school elites against one another in a contest to see who will confess their true feelings first.


Other Options: Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU


Shigeo Kageyama, aka "Mob", expresses contentment over a threat that he mistakes as flattery in a scene from the Mob Psycho 100 TV anime.


Back-to-School Science Fiction: Mob Psycho 100


School life can be rough when you're both an unassuming, mild-mannered, ordinary kid and also the most powerful psychic on the planet ...


Other Options: Kokoro Connect, ReLIFE, Charlotte, The Tatami Galaxy


Renge plays the recorder with a suspicious expression on her face in a scene from the Non Non Biyori TV anime.


Back-to-School Slice of Life: Non Non Biyori


Living in the middle of nowhere isn't so bad when you get to spend peaceful days with the entire K-12 school system in a single classroom and you still have plenty of room to spare ...


Other Options: Azumanga Daioh, sweetness & lightning


Chihaya Ayase claims a card in a game of competitive karuta in a scene from the Chihayafuru TV anime.


Back-to-School Sports: Chihayafuru


Competitive karuta (Japanese playing cards) may not be the first activity that springs to mind when you think of high school athletics, but give it a try and you'll see that the game requires both brains and brawn and that Chihayafuru is one of the best modern sports anime around.


Other Options: Haikyu!!, Slam Dunk, GIRLS und PANZER, Faster Finger First


And there you have it, a selection of top quality school-themed anime specifically picked to help you get in that back-to-school mood.


What are your favorite anime with academic settings? Let us know in the comments section below, and don't say School Days or I'll say “Nice boat.”


Hime poses for a Crunchyroll ad banner.



Paul Chapman is the host of The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast and GME! Anime Fun Time.

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