Otaku USA Magazine
The Best Anime to Watch with Your Non-Anime-Watching Family

Spending time with parents? Convinced them to watch something with you? Here are the best anime for that endeavor.

You’re together with family for the holidays, and it’s your turn to pick what’s on TV. We all know you’d throw on Re:ZERO in a heartbeat if it wouldn’t freak out 90% of your family. But never fear — some of the best anime out there are also watchable with your family!

Should you decide to take up this task, try one of these titles. They’re down to Earth, accessible no matter what you’re into… and just plain good. (And if you do go for it, let us know how it went.)


Spirited Away

Spirited Away

Studio Ghibli has not only made some of the best anime films out there, it’s also a good choice for newcomers or casual viewers. Even their weirder stories can be grounded and charming. While Howl’s Moving Castle initially seems for fitting thanks to its European influence, Spirited Away has a lot more footholds for someone unfamiliar with the medium.

For starters, it’s all about a little girl saving her parents — a good start. It’s got beautiful music and a sweet story, naturally. And it’s won an Academy Award, which is a language everyone speaks. Plus, Ghibli dubs are by and large very good, and feature actors your family might be familiar with. In particular, you can point out that this was Suzanne Pleshette’s final role.


Space Brothers

Space Brothers

Space Brothers isn’t the best anime to watch fully on a single day… it’s pretty long. But it’s a great one to put on for a few episodes — especially the early ones — for a nice watch with family. It is, of course, a show about family. It’s all about space and how cool it is, which is super relatable. And it’s got a pug in it. Everyone loves pugs.

Okay, to give it a bit more credit. Space Brothers is a wonderfully written series about how it’s never too late to chase your dreams, and how a supportive family can change everything. You don’t have to be an anime fan to warm to the Nanba brothers and their sky-high dreams. (And it’s got a pug, everyone loves pugs.)


Kids on the Slope

Kids on the Slope

Has anyone in your family been watching the Cowboy Bebop remake on Netflix? Then this is the best anime to direct them to — especially if they’re enjoying the soundtrack. Kids on the Slope reunites the Bebop dream team of Shinichiro Watanabe and Yoko Kanno to tell another music-infused story. This time, though, everyone’s feet are firmly on the ground.

The series follows a group of jazz-loving teens in the 1960s as they navigate school and love. Best of all, it has jam sessions animated from real musicians. If nothing else, the musical numbers are fun to show off.

Or, you know, you can go buckwild and throw on Space Dandy. Live your best life.

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.