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Starting an Anime Club for Teens - Suggestions?


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Hey everyone,

I'm the Teen Coordinator at a library and I just started our Teen Anime Club. I'm a little out of the loop with the best new stuff, still thinking Cowboy Bebop and Trigun are the best of the best. So I need some suggestions for the kids today! 

Any anime I should think about showing? It needs to be appropriate for 12-16 year olds. Also, it needs to be on Crunchyroll because that lets us show it legally at our library.



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On Crunchyroll? I've got a few that might be appropriate(italicized descriptions paraphrased from Wikipedia):


1) Time of Eve

In the not-too-distant future, androids have come into common usage. Rikuo Sakisaka, who has taken robots for granted for his entire life, one day discovers that Sammy, his home android, has been acting independently and coming and going on her own. He finds a strange phrase recorded in her activity log, "Are you enjoying the Time of Eve?". He, along with his friend Masakazu Masaki, trace Sammy's movements and finds an unusual cafe, "The Time of Eve".

The series focuses on the strained relationships between man and machine and usually involves the characters interacting with various androids at home(where they are obedient and treated as slaves) and at "The Time of Eve", where they speak can freely and are treated as individuals. It's very story driven and light on action. It's very short, having only 6 episodes, and should be appropriate for all ages.


2) Eden of the East

On Monday, November 22, 2010, ten missiles strike Japan, but cause no casualties. This apparent terrorist act is referred to as "Careless Monday" and is eventually forgotten by the populace. The series begins three months later when Saki Morimi, a senior at university, visits Washington D.C. as part of her graduation trip. When she gets into trouble, a mysterious young Japanese man appears completely naked except for a gun and a cell phone, and rescues her. The man has lost his memory, but learns that he has a bunch of fake passports at his apartment; he chooses the Japanese one which names him Akira Takizawa. While he and Saki return to Japan, they learn that a new missile has hit. Akira discovers that his phone carries ¥8.2 billion in digital money, and that he is part of a game, where twelve individuals are given ¥10 billion to "save" Japan in some way.

Again, this one is somewhat story driven but has a lot more action/drama added to the mix. Mostly focuses on the main character trying to regain his memories, with themes regarding what is really "right". It has 11 episodes total(which cover most of the plot and are all available on Crunchyroll) and two movies(not available on Crunchyroll). Aside from a few moments(the censored nudity at the start) and the general violence, it's relatively safe.


Aside from those, there's also Ouran High School Host Club or Love Hina, both of which are on Crunchyroll. Both are pretty good(and I'd consider Love Hina a classic and must-watch in most situations) but they're also more along romantic comedies, though they tend to either be extremely comedic or extremely dramatic, not both at once. Not sure how big of a niche there is for that genre in your locale. Love Hina might push the age requirement just a bit with its perverse moments, though it's almost always played out for comedy. It may not be suitable if you have a lot of younger members. Ouran has a greater focus on comedy and should be safe for most age groups.

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I've seen A Loooot of anime xD.

These are some that could be good for that age range.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toward_the_Terra (Strongly recommend this one)

The story takes place in the distant future sometime after the 31st millennium where humanity exists under the rule of the political order controlled by supercomputers known as Superior Dominance and the carefully selected humans known as the Members Elite. Centuries before the story begins, the human race came to the conclusion that war and pollution rendered life on Earth unsustainable. Using warp travel the decision was made to leave a supercomputer Artificial Intelligence and caretaker humans behind and colonize distant stars.

Under the rule of Superior Dominance all humans are born in vitro and given to carefully selected parents. At the age of 14, all children are put through brainwashing where their memories are wiped by Superior Dominance and overwritten to produce functional adults. A race of advanced humans with psionic abilities called Mu (pronounced myuu, μ) has evolved, and the supercomputers that control Superior Dominance make every effort to exterminate them. Led by Soldier Blue and then Soldier Shin, the Mu make every effort to locate and rescue as many Mu children as possible before they are discovered and eliminated. The Mu have only one wish, to return to what they see as their promised land, Terra. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Your_Lie_in_April (Haven't seen this yet, but it's synopsis seems decent for kids that age)

Piano prodigy Kousei Arima dominated the competition and has become famous among child musicians. After his mother, who was also his instructor, died, he had a mental breakdown while performing at a piano recital at the age of eleven. As a result, he is no longer able to hear the sound of his piano even though his hearing is perfectly fine. Two years later, Kousei hasn't touched the piano and views the world in monochrome, without any flair or color. He has resigned himself to living out his life with his good friends, Tsubaki and Watari, until, one day, a girl changes everything. Kaori Miyazono, a fourteen-year old audacious, free-spirited violinist whose playing style reflects her manic personality, helps Kousei return to the music world and shows that it should be free and mold breaking unlike the structured and rigid style Kousei was used to.



The series begins with the execution of Gol D. Roger, a man known as the King of the Pirates (海賊王 Kaizokuō?). Just before his death, Roger announces that his treasure, the One Piece (ひとつなぎの大秘宝 (ワンピース) Wan Pīsu?), will be available to anyone who finds it, beginning the Great Pirate Era (大海賊時代 Dai Kaizoku Jidai?). As a result, countless pirates set out to the Grand Line to look for the treasure.


The fictional world of Earth-land (アースランド Āsu Rando?) is populated by wizards who coalesce into guilds to hone their magical abilities and apply them to paid job requests. Seventeen-year-old wizard Lucy Heartfiliaruns away from home to join Fairy Tail, a wizards' guild famous for its members' overly destructive antics. She is invited into the guild by Natsu Dragneel, a wizard with dragon-like abilities who travels the kingdom of Fiore(フィオーレ王国 Fiōre Ōkoku) in search of his missing foster father, the dragon Igneel. Lucy forms a team with Natsu and his cat-like companion Happy, later to be joined by ice wizard Gray Fullbuster and armored wizardErza Scarlet. The five embark on numerous guild missions, which include subjugating criminals, illegal dark guilds, and ancient Etherious (エーテリアス Ēteriasu) demons created by the dark wizard Zeref.


Hope these suggestions help :)

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Some advice.

First and foremost, I am not some Tumblr/SJW/prudish cliche. I am also not the polar opposite (not sure what to call that? Shitlord?). What I am is someone that has watched anime since the mid 1980. And no, I don't mean Robotech. We had access to Japanese Macross. Lots of stuff from various sources over the years. That guy down the street how had fifth generation bootleg tapes from his cousin in Japan, some video stores with a very limited selection, right up to the 90s and 2000s with local anime conventions and dedicated stores. And now we have stuff like Crunchyroll, Netflix and all those torrents and streaming sites. My god, you kids have it so easy now. Seriously, you can not comprehend how different things were twenty years ago, let along thirty or more. Fuck yeah, future!

Any way, you're aiming at teens, aged 12 to 16. OK, cool. Lots of people got into anime about that age. Anime can be funny, even mind-blowing, at that age. Like, "holy shit, that was a crazy story!" Or, "holy shit, did you see that fight scene? It went on for twenty minutes!" Good times can, and will, be had. Open up interests in other countries and cultures, history, art and music, all kinds of stuff.

Buuuuut... there is something that this vast access to anime has brought with it. A lot of anime simply isn't appropriate for teens. And I don't mean "time to show a little skin!" inappropriate. I mean stuff ranging from under-age sexualization (seems to be popular these last few... decades) to straight-up sexual assault. Case in point: Nanatsu No Taizai.

Early in the series, the male lead character brings the unconscious lead female character to a safe place after a minor battle. Once in bed, he looks over, places his hand on her breasts, gives them a big ol' squeezin', and when she wakes up, says he was just checking her pulse.

No. No, that is not right. You pull that shit in real life, you get arrested. But in anime, it's OK because... ANIME!! It's fine in Japan! (No it isn't, it's a crime and the penalty is quite severe. Like the police. Seriously, don't get arrested in Japan).

So not all shows, regardless of suggestions or recommendations, are going to appropriate for 12 to 16 year old kids. Watch the shows. Not one or two episodes, watch at least five of them (if not more) to make sure. Think about what kind of scenarios these kids are going to be watching over the weeks or months, and what kind of impressions and messages these shows are going to make.

And for the love of Arceus, legally cover you ass. Make sure everything you do is on the up-and-up. Work with the staff to make sure there are no laws or regulations in your town/state/province/territory/etc about shows and ratings. None of us want to hear about some guy in a small town library getting arrested for accidentally showing "that there Jap cartoon porn" to some 12 year-olds, even when we all know that is not the case.

Once you clear those two concerns, go for it. Invite the parents to watch with their kids, maybe get a small article in the local paper or something to get more members (and also solidify your good standing in the community), have a small local convention if there aren't any in your region. There are so many ways this could turn out good, and most of them you won't even have to work hard at. Small clubs can be a wellspring of friendships and good memories that will be around for years after the club could fold up. It's worth the time and effort, even if it's only in a small town library.

Good luck!

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On 3/6/2016 at 5:54 PM, Brandon Strader said:

Elfen Leid? ...no.... I don't know... Those animes you mentioned have a lot of adult themes in them. And I can't really think of any that dont, maybe Sword Art Online? It's hard to say. 

Eh, Trigun is kind of this weird hybrid of a shonen and seinen series, and even as a seinen series it's really tame on the "objectionable" stuff compared to a show like Black Lagoon. I saw the show when I was in middle school and liked it.

Cowboy Bebop might be a bit heavier but again, it's downright tame in a lot of ways compared to things like Kill La Kill, Black Lagoon, and even Evangelion (particularly End of Evangelion). I might hold off on it in an official capacity for legal reasons though...there is a little bit of fanservice in there.

Anime nowadays...I dunno wtf is up with it, but I swear it's just gotten more and more fanservice-y to the point that it's just...really cringeworthy. Like they decided to shy away from actual mainstream appeal and just pander to the pervert otaku fanbase.

But: something I could recommend, as long as the ridiculous gore isn't overly objectionable: One Punch Man. Legitimately funny, well-animated, great characters. Only problem I can forsee is some Fallout-esque gore in there. You can officially stream it on Daisuki.

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned Dragonball or Dragonball Z considering their continued popularity both here and in Japan. It's also more appropriate for children, especially the cut/censored US releases.

The main problem is that your target age range is more likely to be adventurous and find anime on their own, especially given how Crunchyroll gives easy access to the stuff. I teach middle school and many of my kids have definitely seen stuff that I would consider highly inappropriate for their age.

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There's a difference between what a teenager is actually interested in and is able to handle vs. what an adult is allowed to show them. It's one thing to recommend a good anime to a teen, it's another thing to run a club and show it to them, and be liable for it. That's why the caution is needed here.

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If the people in the club are anime fans, aren't they likely to have already seen Dragonball Z? Or do I not know what I'm talking about? Regardless, I think you should debut with a show that will "wow" them a bit more than that.

I haven't seen too much anime, but I too would recommend Blue Exorcist. When I was still in school, I saw Code Geass and loved it. But it contains a literal massacre, so I'm not sure if it would be particularly appropriate for your audience.

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Hey again everyone! We've done two weeks of Anime Club so far and so far we've watched

Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet.

On 3/11/2016 at 6:12 PM, Neblix said:

There's a difference between what a teenager is actually interested in and is able to handle vs. what an adult is allowed to show them. It's one thing to recommend a good anime to a teen, it's another thing to run a club and show it to them, and be liable for it. That's why the caution is needed here.

You've hit the nail on the head. I've gotten request to show anime there's no way I'm showing. So in reality, I'll probably be picking most of it. The hardest part is finding a show both the girls and boys want to watch. The girls wanted to watch Free and the boys scoffed (the show is great though, so they need to shut it).

None of them have actually seen Trigun so maybe I'll just make them watch that!

We did get permission to show Funimation movies and shows too, so now we can show those even if they're not on Crunchyrolls so anymore suggestions would help.

On 3/12/2016 at 2:56 PM, k-wix said:

Sword Art Online, Naruto, Fate/Stay Night (Might be too graphic), Blue Exorcist, Another (might be too graphic), Beyond the Bounds is amazing (Bit graphic), The Place Promised in our Early Days.

If we're only using Crunchyrolls Library, thats all that comes to mind.


I'm watching Blue Exorcist on my own right now but it seems like it might be okay. Thanks!

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On 3/12/2016 at 2:56 PM, k-wix said:

Sword Art Online, Naruto, Blue Exorcist




Not sure SAO would fly just because some scenes in the second half of the first season (ALO saga) dealing with Asuna are pretty bad and could probably land him in hot water if a staffer notices. Been a while since I've watched Blue Exorcist so I can't remember it too much other than Shura was pretty fan servicey and also SATAN. Some people could get uppity about that so it might be best to check with the staff/members first and see if that sort of stuff is okay to show. Naruto is probably alright, don't remember anything really bad about that.

Rurouni Kenshin is on crunchyroll and might be okay to show, at least the first 62 episodes/first 2 seasons anyways, 3rd season is filler which can be skipped.

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Yeah...I've heard nothing but bad things about SAO to be honest...

Rurouni Kenshin is really rad. It has a 90s dub so the English dub isn't all that up to snuff by today's standards, but it's known as a series with wide appeal. But avoid season 3, it doesn't follow the manga and is exceedingly stupid.

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