My days of binge watching random anime series on Crunchy Roll has taken quite the backseat in my adult life ever since having babies. Maybe it is my penchant for reverse harem anime.. maybe it is the ransom twincest that pops up now on then… whatever it is, I have come to the conclusion that randomly pressing play on any old anime with a toddler in the room is not a good idea.
The last time I tried to watch an anime series that I absentmindedly deemed toddler friendly, I had to deal with a traumatized two year old asking why Ichiru had to kill a demon in episode two of Bleach. Oops. Parent fail!
Since not all anime is intended for children to watch, I have decided to compile a mini list of series that are safe and enjoyable for the youngest budding otaku viewers, AND enjoyable for the parents too!
What makes these particular anime series good for a younger audience? Not a gratuitous amount of fighting and violence, for starters. These shows are all silly and fun, with copious amount of cuteness to boot. Check out my Top 5, and let me know if you have any series to recommend!
Pokémon has been around for almost 20 years, meaning it must have something good. (Right?!) Most young parents were were raised playing Pokémon games and watching the anime, and there is something we all can agree on: Pokémon has a unique way of catching the hearts of children, with a colorful world filled with interesting creatures that you can collect and fight together with. What child wouldn’t like that?!
The series cover the epic adventures of Ash (Satoshi) as he travels the world of Pokémon on his journey to become the very best Pokémon master. With his inseparable partner, Pikachu, and many friends they make along the way, you’ll surely find something new in every episode. Ash is always far from his goal, but he has an understanding of how Pokémon feel, and how to bond with them. In this world of pokémon we meet many different creatures and trainers each co-existing in both harmony and chaos. What kind of pokémon will we see next? If you grew up addicting to this classic, you will want to make sure your kids discover the wonders of this fantastic world like you once did.
Why it’s good for toddlers:
Pokémon is a real breathtaker for kids. This unique world readily catches the eyes of kids plus the plot is easy to process. Pokémon were designed to be flashy, captivating and addicting, and there’s one for everyone. It teaches about companionship, healthy competitive activities, exploring, working hard, and following your dreams no matter what.
Chi’s Sweet Home
This is absolutely perfect for toddlers (and crazy cat people). A series about an adorable kitten named Chi whose owners move into a new house because they couldn’t have pets in their apartment. Chi steals your heart barely 30 seconds into the show and once you hear her voice, she will almost kill you from cuteness overload. The style is so simple, it almost doesn’t look like an anime and instead seems like a children’s story book. The episodes are 3 minutes long so even a baby could go through it without looking away from the screen.
Chi puts a smile on your face for over 100 episodes, and for a toddler flick it has surprisingly heart-touching moments that might make you cry. (Guilty.) The background music is delicate, and sounds like a music box most of the time, which is quite enjoyable for youngsters. It’s good to get kids to understand the behaviors of animals if you aren’t lucky enough to have a few in your household.
Why it’s good for toddlers:
The adventures of Chi around her new home are simple but unforgettable! Surely parents will be stuck watching together with the kids. It teaches the impact a new pet has on the family and how your pet can become a family member. It also shows some great parent-child bonding concepts everyone should take notes on and it will absolutely make your kid want a cat; so be careful!
This science fiction anime television series is based on the real life popular AKB48 idol group in Japan. The story is set at the start of the 21st century, where an interplanetary war has broken out. Earth’s ecosystem is severely damaged, and humanity is forced to flee the planet, thus beginning a new history with the Star Calendar starting from the year 0000. In several planets of this new society led by a totalitarian government, the Deep Galactic Trade Organization [DGTO] has forbidden things that “disturb the heart” like music and art. The legendary idol group AKB48 is later resurrected as the interplanetary troupe AKB0048, made up of girls who carry on the title and spirit of the original members. Since the government sees the existence of the idol group as illegal, the idol group cannot hold their concerts officially. Held as heroines by some and labeled as terrorists by others, they take up arms to bring their music to their fans wherever they are. The story follows a group of young hopefuls as they train to become the next generation of AKB0048.
Why its good for toddlers:
Every single episode is made up of action and dancing set to catchy (dare I say addicting??) JPop tunes from the live action bank ABB48. I binge watched this series when I was pregnant with Tessa, any maybe this accounts for her loving the soundtrack from this series, or maybe it really is perfect for toddlers. Regardless, give this anime a try! Odds are your little ones will be dancing along and equally captivated by the pre-teen divas taking to the stage to spread music and love and freedom to the galaxy!
Glitter Force, known in Japan as Smile PreCure! Is an adorable fairy tales anime (currently available on Netflix!). It is set in the kingdom of Jubiland, where various characters from fairy tales reside. The kingdom is attacked by the evil Emperor Nogo, who intends to direct its world to have its unhappy ending, but is stopped when Queen Euphoria uses the last of her energy to seal him away. When Nogo’s minions from the Shadow Realm try to revive him by harnessing negative energy from the people of Earth, Euphoria sends the messenger Candy to assemble a team of five magical girls known as the Glitter Force (Smile Pretty Cure). The series follows the formation of the team and the adventures of the girls as they try to fight off their enemies to collect the magical Glitter Charms that will enable them to upgrade their powers and revive Euphoria.
Why its good for toddlers:
Bright colors, peppy and energetic super feminine voice actors, and lots of toddler friendly action scenes make this series a winner for toddlers. The music is catchy, and while the storyline may go over little ones heads, the rainbow clad visuals will keep your little ones captivated long enough to the dishes. And maybe the laundry. MAYBE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME! Win!