20 Best High School Anime of All Time

Anime come in various genres. Action and Romance being the most common ones. But there’s one genre of anime that is quickly rising to become the most popular among all. In fact, most often, other genres of anime come with a backdrop of high school. And why not? After all, the biggest group of anime fans are teenagers. So, it is obvious that anime-makers try to make movies and shows for their target audience. Over last decade we have seen several great teenage anime, and therefore, the task of selecting the top anime ever was a very difficult one. We still tried our best. Here’s the list of best high school anime of all time. You can watch many of these on Crunchyroll, Netflix, or YouTube.

20. Sukitte Ii na yo. (2012)

This is a nice little romantic anime. The female lead of ‘Sukitte Ii na yo.’ is Mei Tachibana who doesn’t like socializing with people. She is afraid of getting hurt by them. This attitude towards friendships and relationships, in general, started when Mei was still a child. Her friends, or rather she thought they were her friends, betrayed her and blamed her for the death of a classroom pet. Since then she tries to keep to herself. But fate makes her have an encounter with a popular student and also the male lead of this anime, Yamato Kurosawa. He finds her interesting and wants to be her friend. But Mei tries to reject his advances. Well one thing leads to another and after one incident Mei starts reciprocating slowly and their relationship strengthens. What’s more is that Mei actually got a real friend.

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19. Tonari no Seki-kun (2014)

I have no idea when I watched this anime. While researching for this compilation I came across it and the plot seemed quite familiar. This is one of those anime I guess, which are good for a niche audience. I don’t really remember if I ever completed watching it but I am sure that there were some funny bits. Also, the plot is kinda different. In a school, there’s a boy known as Seki-Kun. Yup, that’s what he is called, nothing else. He is master of not paying attention in his classes and wastes time doing idle things. Yokoi is a girl who sits near him. She often gets invested in things Seki-Kun does, like making a mini-golf course on his desk or making paper shogi pieces go on war. Due to this she always gets in trouble with the teacher.

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18. Koe no Katachi (2016)

I always love watching anime movies. I mean most of them are so great. This too is a really good romance genre, high school setting anime movie. Shouya Ishida is the male protagonist of the movie. He usually tries to kill boredom by doing cruel things to others or making fun of them. So, when a deaf girl Shouko Nishimiya transfers to his class he and all other classmates start making fun of her. This makes Shouko’s mother angry and the school is notified of the bad behavior. But rather than the class getting ridiculed Shouya is singled out and blamed. Shouko later transfers out of school. This leaves Shouya no chance of redemption. His classmates keep on pointing fingers at him. Now, in the third year of his school Shouya decides to meet Shouko apologize and make amends.

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17. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (2014)

The plot of this anime is set in a world where magic was once thought to be imaginative and subject of fictional stories and fairy tales. But now it has been discovered and used as an everyday technology. First High School is an academy which teaches students magic. They take an entrance exam which grades the students. Based on the grades the students are separated into two groups. The ones with higher grades are the ‘Blooms’. They are meant to take on the first course. The ones with average marks end up in the ‘Weeds’ category and are meant to take the second course. The story focuses on two siblings one highly skilled and the other not so much or rather it appears to be. The skilled one easily makes into the ‘Blooms’ but the other one is sent to ‘Weeds’. But his special abilities might be unique.

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16. Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (2012)

The main protagonist of the anime ‘Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo’ is Sorata Kanda. He loves cats. To the extent that he has several cats leaving in his room. But there is a strict policy against cats in his dorm. Unable to give them up Sorata had to move to the satellite dorm known as the Sakura Hall until he manages to get rid of the cats. This dorm is famous for its eccentric members. Here is where some of the other main characters of the anime like Kamiigusa Misaki, Mitaka Jin, Ryuunosuke, Aoyama Nanami, and Shiina Mashiro are found. Sorata needs to get used to his new lifestyle in this dorm until he can find owners for the cats.

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15. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (2014)

‘Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso’ is another great anime series and has received some great ratings. The show has a high school setting giving it a spot on this list but the underlying musical, inspirational and romance theme is what made me enjoy this anime. The plot follows the life of Kousei Arima who is a skilled pianist. But after the death of his mother, he couldn’t bring himself to play the instrument. Enter Kaori Miyazono, a talented violinist. She is bright and cheerful and the perfect person to bring Kousei out of his depressive state and begin playing again. With Kaori by his side, Kousei begins to play again and slowly moves on with his life. This show is quite great and is a tear-jerker.

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14. Kimi no Na wa. (2016)

Alright, let me just say this outright, the concept of this movie isn’t something new. But this anime has executed it quite nicely. The concept is ‘What if you woke up in someone else’s body?’. I kinda remember the first time I encountered this concept. I guess it was in some story by Rabindranath Tagore. Do comment if you remember it. Anyway, the plot of the movie focuses on two characters Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana. Mitsuha lives in rural area and dreams of living the life of a boy in the city of Tokyo. Taki is a boy living in Tokyo who aspires to be an architect. One morning both of them wake up to find that they are not themselves anymore but have rather switched bodies. The movie showcases their new lifestyle while they try to find the other person.

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13. Another (2012)

Though high school anime tend to be more focused on romance and shows the characters mostly in a high school setting, ‘Another’ isn’t like that. It is a horror-themed thriller genre anime that keeps the viewers on the edge of there seat. The plot tells us of a school Yomiyama North Middle School where a girl named Misaki died many years ago. Kouichi Sakakibara is a teenage boy who transfers to this same school and is assigned the same class as Misaki. He soon finds out that the class is shrouded in a gloomy atmosphere. What’s odd is that there is a girl named Misaki with an eyepatch in the class. The students try to treat her as if she doesn’t exist. Despite cautions from classmates and Misaki herself, Kouichi starts getting close to her.

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12. Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou (2012)

‘Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou’ translates to ‘Daily Lives of High School Boys’ and there isn’t much to say about it rather than it is just an anime which showcases daily lives of high school boys. Yup, I am not saying this because I don’t have any explanation of the plot but the title of the anime describes it the best. Each episode of the series brings in a new set of normal adventures in the life of three close high school friends namely Hidenori, Yoshitake, and Tadakuni. They love to imagine things like big robots and intense romance and other things boys of that age do. The show is really funny has some great jokes. Also, if you don’t want unnecessary ecchi activity in your high school anime then this is a good choice.

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11. K-Project (2012)

This anime is based on the concept of Kings. They are special humans who have superhuman abilities. They become head of a clan and recruit clan members. Kings also need to take care of their clansman and protect them when needed. Yashiro Ishana is a high school student who has a normal life. But after the murder of Tatara Totsuka, a member of HOMRA, everything changes. The video of the murder his went viral and the murderer seems to bear a close resemblance to Yashiro. The red clansmen of HOMRA are not the one to take the death of one of their own lightly and send assassins to hunt down Yashiro. Will Yashiro be able to survive this ordeal?

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10. Highschool of the Dead (2010)


I know you guys have been wanting some ecchi stuff to appear and so far I haven’t included many. Well ‘Highschool of the Dead’ is certainly a good choice if you want to watch an ecchi genre high school anime. Also, if you love watching zombie-themed stuff then this one may be an entertaining watch for you. The plot is set in a Zombie infested Japan. The undead have risen and the country is slowly falling into utter chaos. Amidst all this, a group of high school students is trying to survive this zombie apocalypse. Takashi Kimuro is one of those students. He had to kill his best friend after he was bitten by a zombie. Now, he is with Rei who was the girlfriend of his now dead best friend. He promises to protect her with his life. He also meets other fellow survivors on the way.

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9. Kimi ni Todoke (2009)

This is a nice little high school anime nothing too special or too cliche. But sometimes that’s the recipe that works I guess. ‘Kimi ni Todoke’ speaks of a girl named Kuronuma Sawako. She is shy and timid but people and her schoolmates often mistake her personality. Her physical appearance helps fuel this misunderstanding because Sawako has a close resemblance to the ghost girl from the horror flick ‘The Ring’. Her peers have even nicknamed her Sadako. Sawako just wants to live a normal life and have friends she can spend time with. A popular boy named Kazehaya Shouta catches her eye but will he even respond? But he does and starts talking to Sawako. So, there is some hope for our Kuronuma.

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8. Angel Beats! (2010)

Well, this is the afterlife we should be taught by our religion. Otonashi is dead. Is he in heaven chilling with the Almighty or is he in hell being roasted by the Devil? Well, we can’t be sure (is either God or Devil a gun-wielding teenage girl?) but what we can say that he is dead and is experiencing the afterlife. He doesn’t remember anything about himself other than his name. Otonashi meets a gun-wielding girl named Yuri who tries to help him get used to his afterlife. He also tells him that she is the leader of a group named Shinda Sekai Sensen which is fighting against an evil girl named Tenshi. But Otonashi doesn’t really believe Yuri. Even after joining the SSS he finds himself drawn to Tenshi.

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7. Great Teacher Onizuka (1999)

‘Great Teacher Onizuka’ is a nice anime. The concept is great and so is the execution. The plot revolves around a Biker gang leader named Onizuka. He wants to leave his gangster life behind and aspires to become the greatest teacher. What brought him to have such a noble aim, you ask? Well, the reason isn’t as noble as you think it is. Yup, what else did you expect? Anyway, the task isn’t going to be simple as the school delinquents seem to enjoy creating problems for their teacher. But Onizuka is the perfect person to handle these delinquents being a professional in their matters.

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6. High School DxD (2012)

Issei Hyoudou is a big pervert. He and his friends pass their time trying to talk about girly assets. They even try to peep when the girls are changing. All Issei wants is a beautiful girlfriend. Maybe someone out there is looking after him since a girl asks him out on a date. But everything isn’t so fairytale like as the girl turns out to be a fallen angel and kills Issei. But there’s more to his story. He is saved by the beautiful Rias Gremory, a devil. Now, Issei is her slave and needs to do her biddings. ‘High School DxD’ is for those who love nudity and ecchi stuff. There’s plenty of those. I kinda liked the anime because a normal anime can have nudity without being a hentai.

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5. Sakamoto desu ga? (2016)

‘Sakamoto desu ga?’ is a high school comedy. The story isn’t something new but is kinda relatable. I mean, didn’t we have a guy or a girl in the class whom everyone appreciates and wants to be like? It’s that guy who is intelligent, handsome, athletic and has the best personality. I am sure someone just popped into your mind. Well, Sakamoto is that guy and since this is anime, you can multiply those said attributes by ten. In the first day of his school, he captures everyone’s hearts. Girls instantly begin to fall for him. Are the students or even teachers going to match his level? But one thing is sure enough though they can learn a lot.

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4. Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (2010)

Well, anime can turn a seemingly normal concept to a fantasy genre weird storyline. This story follows Akihisa Yoshii who studies in a school which experiments with summoning of mythical beasts. The school has a strict ranking system with consequences. If you are a highly skilled student and have good grades then you are in the A-level group which gets the best perks the academy has to offer from beautiful and comfortable seats to air-conditioned classrooms. But if you are on the other end of the spectrum things can go pretty bad very fast. The seats are bad and there’s no airconditioning or respect. Akishisa is obviously in the F grade, otherwise, we wouldn’t be having an anime, right? He strives to get to the higher tiers to get the advantages.

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3. ReLife (2016)

Have you watched the movie ’17 Again’? Well, this right here is an anime version of that stuff or at least the concept is. the protagonist is Arata Kaizaki a hopeless 27-year-old man whom everyone deems a failure. He keeps changing jobs and seems to have no aim in life. But one encounter with a researcher, Ryou Yoake, from ReLife research institute changes everything. She requests him to take a mysterious pill which will change his life forever. He takes it and wakes up as a 17-year-old. Now, he must study at a high school for a year as he is being subjected to the experiment. Ryou is supposed to keep a watch on him. But one thing hasn’t changed he is still a loser. He flunks his tests and can’t get used to any rules. He needs to try and not repeat his past mistakes this time around.

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2. Orange (2016)

‘Orange’ has a great concept. I kinda liked this anime. The protagonist of the anime is Naho Takamiya. She receives a strange letter. The letter is, of course, addressed to her but the uncanny part is the sender. Naho has herself sent this letter from the future. Yup, future Naho has sent this letter to her 10-year past self. The letter details that Naho’s future is pretty regretful and she wants the present Naho to fix things up by following the letter as a guide. Also, the letter talks of a boy named Kakeru for whom Naho needs to keep an eye out since he isn’t there in the future. She needs to save him and also to make her future better.

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1. Mightiest Disciple Kenichi (2006)

This anime is just fun. It is funny and has some great martial arts action. The main protagonist and the titular character of the anime is Kenichi. He is weak and is always getting picked on by others. But in spite of training and becoming strong, he indulges himself in self-help books rather than physical workout. But after he is challenged by a delinquent at a karate club he needs to learn to fight if he wants to continue coming to the dojo. He gets help in a place known as Ryouzanpaku where there are various masters from different martial art disciplines. The training is rigorous to the point that Kenichi wants to quit. But his willpower and love for his classmate Miu, who also happens to live in the dojo and is a great martial artist herself, makes him continue and become stronger.

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