Japanese dramas, or “doramas,” have captured the attention of viewers of all ages worldwide. These dramas provide kids with a special fusion of entertainment and education by exposing them to various cultures, values, and life lessons.
Additionally, they provide kids with a special mix of entertainment and education. These programs not only tell a compelling story but also impart important life lessons like cooperation, tenacity, and problem-solving.
Here is a beginner’s guide to some of the top Japanese children’s dramas if you’re new to the genre. These programs will delight and motivate young viewers with everything from uplifting family tales to action-packed tales.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of “36 must-watch children’s Japanese dramas” that will entertain and motivate young viewers.
The well-known Japanese manga and anime series Doraemon was created by Fujiko F. Fujio. The robotic cat Doraemon, the protagonist of the story, travels through time to help a young boy named Nobita Nobi overcome his daily challenges.
The anime is widely regarded as a must-watch for kids because it imparts important life lessons and values like friendship, perseverance, and hard work. In Japan and other countries, this anime has enjoyed tremendous popularity, and it still does.
Japanese children’s anime Anpanman has been on the air since 1988. Anpanman, a superhero with a head made of Anpan, is the focus of the narrative. The program is renowned for its uplifting messages about friendship and charitable giving. The fact that it instills virtues like kindness and compassion makes it a must-watch for kids. It has a sizable fan base and is also a very well-known character in Japan.
Based on Machiko Hasegawa’s long-running manga series of the same name, Sazae-san is a popular anime series. It is regarded as one of the most recognizable and cherished children’s Japanese dramas ever made.
The show portrays the title character, Sazae-san, and her family’s daily activities and interactions in a lighthearted and humorous way. OIt has been on television since 1969, making it one of the longest-running anime series. Anyone interested in Japanese culture and family-friendly entertainment is advised to watch it.
The popular Japanese anime and manga series Chibi Maruko-chan was produced by Momoko Sakura. The protagonist of the narrative is a 9-year-old girl named Maruko who resides in the made-up Japanese city of Shimizu.
The show depicts her day-to-day activities, her relationships with her family and friends, and the various problems she encounters growing up. Since its debut in 1990, this family-friendly program has been entertaining viewers of all ages. It is regarded as essential viewing for anyone interested in Japanese children’s dramas and has its own line of plush toys, apparel, and accessories.
Yoshito Usui is the author of the anime and manga series “Crayon Shin-chan” in Japan. Shinnosuke “Shin” Nohara, a 5-year-old boy, and his family and friends are followed on their travels throughout the series.
It is well known for its slapstick humor and frequently deals with adult themes like sex, politics, and societal problems. For both kids and adults, it is regarded as a must-watch anime series. It is among the most popular and enduring anime and manga series in Japan and has been adapted into a variety of media and products.
Japanese animator Gosho Aoyama is the creator of the “Detective Conan” TV show and manga series. The plot centers on a high school detective who, after being poisoned, turns into a child and must continue to solve crimes while hiding his true identity.
The show is renowned for its intricate and captivating mysteries, as well as its powerful characters and poignant plots. It is considered a must-watch for children and fans of Japanese dramas.
Kimi Ni Todoke
Japanese drama series “Kimi ni Todoke” was produced in 2009 under the direction of Hiro Kaburagi. The television program was based on the identical Shoujo manga series written and drawn by Karuho Shiina.
The story revolves around Sawako Kuronuma, a high school student who has always been shunned and misunderstood because of how much she resembles Sadako from the horror movie Sadako. Her life changes, though, when the most popular boy in school starts speaking to her. It is a must-see for anyone looking for a touching coming-of-age tale in the Japanese children’s drama genre.
Based on the manga series written and illustrated by Wataru Watanabe, “Yowamushi Peda” (2013–2014) is a sports anime series produced and directed by Osamu Nabeshima. The protagonist of the story is Sakamichi Onoda, a high school student who enjoys anime a lot and initially aspires to join the anime club but eventually joins the bike club.
It is a coming-of-age tale that also highlights the challenges and victories the cycling team faces as they take part in different competitions. Because of its emphasis on the importance of friendship, tenacity, and determination, it is regarded as a must-watch children’s Japanese drama.
Kimi To Boku
“Kimi to Boku” (2011) is a coming-of-age Japanese drama series directed by Kenichi Kasai. The show follows the lives of four childhood friends as they navigate through high school and the challenges of growing up. It is considered a heartwarming and nostalgic series that portrays the highs and lows of youth and friendship.
It is considered a must-watch Japanese drama series for children and teenagers. It has two seasons and a movie adaptation.
The Japanese musical comedy-drama anime series “K-On!” was created and directed by Naoko Yamada. The narrative follows four high school girls on their journey to becoming a successful band after they join the school’s light music club to prevent it from disbanding.
For kids and fans of Japanese anime and music, this series is a must-watch because of its endearing and humorous storytelling, relatable characters, and emphasis on music.
Bokura Ga Ita
The Japanese drama series “Bokura ga Ita” is helmed by Tatsuyuki Nagai. The story is based on the associated manga series. And it chronicles the romance between Yano Motoharu and Nanami Takahashi, two high school students, as well as the challenges they encounter in their relationship.
As it explores themes of teenage love and the challenges of growing up, the series is regarded as essential viewing for lovers of Japanese children’s dramas. It received praise for its potent performances and its truthful depiction of adolescent relationships.
The magical girl anime series “Ojamajo Doremi” is produced and helmed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi in Japan. Doremi Harukaze, the protagonist of the anime, enrolls as a witch apprentice in an effort to become a witch so that she can aid her friends.
It is regarded as a must-watch for Japanese children’s dramas because it is a heartwarming and enjoyable program that teaches important life lessons. Additionally, it is well-liked by older audiences as well. It is the ideal fusion of fantasy and reality thanks to its captivating plot, endearing characters, and well-balanced use of humor and emotional moments.
GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka
“GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka,” a 1999-released Japanese drama series, was created by Masayuki Suzuki. The protagonist of the tale is Eikichi Onizuka, a former biker and gang leader who is now a teacher and employs creative techniques to both praises and correct his students.
The series is based on the same-named manga series, and it is one of the most well-liked and highly-rated Japanese dramas of all time. It is regarded as a must-watch due to its amusing and pleasant themes and likable characters.
The Japanese anime series Keroro Gunso, created and helmed by Junichi Sato, ran from 2004 to 2011. This comedy-drama series follows a group of frog-like alien soldiers who attempt to conquer Earth but fail miserably.
The program, which blends slapstick humor and action adventure, is regarded as essential viewing for kids who enjoy Japanese dramas. It also goes by the name “Sgt. Frog,” has a cult following, and has inspired a number of spin-off television shows and motion pictures.
Koe No Katachi
In 2016, Naoko Yamada released the Japanese animated drama Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice). The movie is a rendition of the corresponding manga, which tells the tale of a deaf girl named Shoko Nishimiya’s interactions with her former bully, Shoya Ishida, who is now determined to atone for his previous wrongdoing.
The theme of bullying and the effects of one’s actions on others are both explored in the movie. Because of its emotionally stirring narrative and nuanced characters, it is regarded as one of the Must-Watch children’s Japanese dramas.
Masaki Tachibana is the creator of the Japanese anime series “Barakamon,” which debuted in 2014. The narrative centers on Seishu Handa, a young calligrapher who is sent to a deserted island to find inspiration and develop his own style.
The slice-of-life comedy series primarily focuses on Seishu’s interactions with the island’s residents, especially the kids. It is regarded as a must-watch for children’s Japanese dramas because it is a touching and enjoyable series that explores issues of family, friendship, and personal development.
The “Kamen Rider” franchise is a live-action tokusatsu (Japanese animation) series that debuted in 1971. It tells the tale of motorcycle riders who, using unique tools and vehicles, transform into strong, armored warriors known as Kamen Riders and engage in combat with various bad guys and monsters.
Action and science fiction fans, as well as those who enjoy Japanese children’s dramas, should definitely check out this franchise, which has undergone numerous iterations and spin-offs.
The anime and manga series “Genshiken” was produced in Japan by Shimoku Kio. It tells the tale of an otaku club in college and depicts its members’ daily lives. The show is regarded as essential viewing for otaku culture enthusiasts as well as fans of anime and manga.
It is renowned for portraying otaku life in a way that is relatable and realistic and for being able to engage both fans and non-fans. It is also one of the most-watched Japanese dramas for kids.
Based on the manga of the same name, “Gintama” is a Japanese comedy-drama television series. The program takes place in an alternate Edo-era Japan in which the nation has been overrun by Amanto aliens. The plot centers on a samurai named Gintoki and his friends as they struggle to survive in this strange new world.
The program is renowned for its distinctive fusion of comedy, action, and satire and has received high praise for its narrative structure and character growth. Anyone who enjoys Japanese children’s dramas must watch them.
The Garden Of Words
Makoto Shinkai was the director of the 2013 drama film “The Garden of Words.” The movie centers around a young man, Takao Akizuki, a student and aspiring shoemaker, who begins to secretly meet with a mysterious woman, Yukari Yukino, in a park during rainy days.
The film is a must-watch for children and adults alike, and it’s a heartwarming and simple story that explores the beauty of everyday life and human connections in an understated way. It’s one of the best examples of the heartwarming and evocative storytelling of Japanese animation.
Hana Kappa, a Japanese children’s drama, is regarded as a must-see for young viewers. The story follows the exploits of a young boy named Hana Kappa, a diminutive mythical creature that dwells in the forest.
The show is renowned for its subdued humor, endearing narrative, and uplifting themes of friendship and the environment. It’s an excellent way to teach kids about Japanese culture and the value of preserving the environment.
Gegege No Kitaro
Based on Shigeru Mizuki’s manga, “Gegege no Kitaro” is a 2018 Japanese supernatural drama series. The show centers on Kitaro, a ghost who fights for harmony between ghosts and humans.
The program is renowned for its distinctive blending of fantasy, comedy, and horror elements, making it a must-watch for both kids and adults. The series has a sizable following and is a classic among Japanese children’s dramas.
The Japanese anime series “Tetsuwan Atom” (Mighty Atom), also known as Astro Boy, was created by Osamu Tezuka. The series debuted in Japan in 1963 before being translated into a number of other languages. The plot centers on Dr. Tenma, a brilliant scientist who lost his son and went on to build Atom, a robot boy.
With human emotions built into its programming, Atom embarks on adventures while battling injustice and crime. The show is renowned for its messages of love, peace, and social justice and is regarded as a must-watch for kids.
The well-known Japanese animated series “Pokemon” was created by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori. The franchise started out as a collection of video games but has since grown to encompass an anime series, films, trading cards, and merchandise.
The narrative follows a young boy named Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu as they embark on a quest to become the greatest Pokemon trainer in the entire world. The anime series, a cultural phenomenon that has captivated audiences of all ages with its themes of adventure, teamwork, and friendship, should be watched by kids.
The popular Japanese anime series “Digimon” debuted in 1997. The main characters of the show are a group of young kids who are transported into a virtual world where they meet and raise “Digimon,” or virtual monsters, to help them on their journeys.
The brand encompasses a wide range of video games, merchandise, and anime films. It’s regarded as essential viewing for anyone who enjoys anime and children’s Japanese dramas. The show is renowned for its resounding messages about friendship, teamwork, and the value of standing up for what is right.
Produced in 1981 by Akira Toriyama, “Dr. Slump” is a manga and animated television series. The focus of the comedy series is a robot girl named Arale Norimaki and the man who created her, Dr. Slump. The show is renowned for its slapstick humor and bizarre characters, and it is regarded as a classic among Japanese children’s dramas. Additionally, a movie and anime series were made from it.
A well-known Japanese animated children’s program called “Tottoko Hamtaro” debuted in the year 2000. The adventures of Hamtaro, a cute and inquisitive hamster, and his hamster friends are the main subject of the television show.
The cartoon is renowned for its vibrant animation and believable tales of friendship and cooperation. For kids looking for a fun and instructive anime series, it’s a must-watch. In addition to educating children about Japanese culture and customs, it teaches them important life lessons like teamwork and problem-solving techniques.
Anoshii Moomin Ikka
The popular Finnish-Swedish children’s books and comics by Tove Jansson are the inspiration for the Japanese animated television series “Anoshii Moomin Ikka” (The Moomins). It continues the exploration of the forest by the Moomin family and their friends, as well as their encounters with various animals.
The show is a must-watch for kids and families because of its renowned heartwarming and imaginative storytelling. It was broadcast in Japan in the early 1990s and is still regarded as a classic in the children’s anime community.
Omae Wa Umasou
Japanese animated drama “Omae Wa Umasou” (2010) is a Munehisa Sakai production. The story is based on the beloved children’s book of the same name, which tells the touching story of a young dinosaur who learns that he might not be the fearsome predator he first believed he was.
This timeless Japanese children’s drama explores the concepts of self-acceptance and self-discovery. It has won praise for its story and animation, making it a must-see for both children and adults.
Chi’s Sweet Home
The charming Japanese manga and animated series “Chi’s Sweet Home” is directed by Kenji Kamiyama. The anime follows the adventures of Chi, a stray kitten who is adopted by a human family and learns to adapt to her new home. Children and families should watch the series because it teaches important life lessons about responsibility, love, and family in a relatable and fun way.
In 1993, the Japanese children’s comedy-drama “Nintama Rantaro” made its television debut. The series follows the adventures of Rantaro and his friends, who study at a ninja academy. The program is renowned for its unique fusion of humor, action, and educational material.
It has been airing in Japan for over 20 years with a sizable fan base and is regarded as a must-watch for kids. Through the humorous story of Rantaro and his friends, the program instructs young viewers about Japanese tradition, culture, and history.
“Yokai Watch” is a Japanese fantasy children’s anime series and video game franchise. The narrative centers on Keita Amano, a young boy who meets and befriends a variety of Yokai, supernatural spirits that are typically imperceptible to humans.
The show is renowned for its distinctive fusion of fantasy, comedy, and adventure. It is regarded as a classic among children’s anime series and has enjoyed enormous popularity in Japan.
Futari Wa Pretty Cure
Toei Animation created the magical girl anime series “Futari wa Pretty Cure” in 2004. Honoka Yukishiro and Nagisa Misumi, two young women who transform into formidable warriors known as Pretty Cure and battle the forces of evil, are the subjects of the television series.
The program is regarded as a must-watch among Japanese children’s dramas because of its positive messages, powerful female characters, and capacity to amuse both kids and adults.
Furusato Saisei Nihon No Mukashibanashi
“Furusato Saisei Nihon no Mukashibanashi,” a Japanese drama series, aired from 2016 to 2017. The show is based on traditional Japanese folktales and is aimed at children. Every episode tells a different folktale. It has been handed down through the generations. As it imparts important life lessons and traditional values, the program is a must-watch for kids and families who are curious about Japanese culture and folklore.
Shima Shima Tora No Shimajiro
Japanese children’s drama series “Shima Shima Tora no Shimajiro” first aired in 1986. As an educational program that teaches kids about various cultures and customs, it is a must-watch for kids and families.
Shimajiro, a tiger who visits numerous islands throughout the world and picks up important lessons along the way, is the star of the show that chronicles his exploits. This is a fun and engaging way for kids to learn about their surroundings.
Eiko Kera created the Japanese manga and anime “Atashin’chi” from 2002 to 2018. The series, which follows the Tachibana family and is both humorous and realistic, depicts the problems they encounter on a daily basis.
The program is regarded as a must-watch for kids and families in Japan because it is both entertaining and educational, imparting important life lessons. In addition, it covers a wide range of relevant topics for kids, like school, friends, and family.
In conclusion, there are many Japanese children’s dramas available that are worthwhile to watch. For those looking to immerse themselves in the world of Japanese entertainment, these 36 must-watch series are a fantastic place to start.
These series offer something for everyone, from uplifting stories of friendship to exhilarating adventures. We strongly advise watching these shows with your kids so that you can all share in the magic of Japanese dramas. Happy watching!