You may not understand what “JK anime” means, but you’ve probably watched some. JK stands for Joshi Kōsei, a Japanese term for “high school girl.”
Let’s take a look at the nine best anime series all about schoolgirls in high school.
List of Best JK Anime of All Time
- Yuru Camp
- Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!
- Do It Yourself
- Asteroid in Love
- Lucky Star
- Love Live!
Best JK Anime of All Time
1. Yuru Camp
This laid-back, healing, and comfy slice-of-life series features a group of high school girls who like to go camping in the Yamanashi Prefecture area surrounding Mt. Fuji.
Besides the camping, there’s also a lot of tasty-looking food in this series, thanks mostly to Nadeshiko’s cooking skills. We also get useful camping tips.
There’s not much of a plot — the girls go camping, while solo camper Rin goes off on her own. But it’s a fun and enjoyable series, especially in these stressful times.
You may know this series as Laid-Back Camp.
If the links don’t work in your region, you may need Nord VPN or something similar.
2. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!
The wildly creative and imaginative Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! is a joy to watch.
First of all, it accurately depicts the ups and downs of creating art — the battle between vision and budget, creative differences, etc. It’s also animated wonderfully, with all of the animation club’s wild leaps of the imagination depicted in full.
Admittedly, the world of Eizouken is not your typical school setting. But the basic school club elements are there — struggling to get recognized, for example.
And the theme song is a banger, too.
Schoolgirls start a rock band in this funny slice-of-life series.
Perhaps because it is a seinen series, K-On! lacks the “we must get better in time for our big concert” motivation of some series. Indeed, the girls seem to spend as much time on tea and dessert as they do practicing.
But the music is catchy. And when they do perform, Hokage Tea Time is quite good.
The real joy of the series is the interaction between the more serious Mio and Azusa, and the more silly Yui and Ritsu. (Mugi is somewhere in the middle.)
Technically speaking, Nichijou isn’t strictly a JK anime series — a few male characters do get some screentime.
But the grand majority of the series focuses on the funny and surreal misadventures of three schoolgirls. The three are eventually joined by a robot girl, and that’s not even the weirdest thing about this hilarious and unusual series.
Crunchyroll gives the series the subtitle My Ordinary Life, which only seems to emphasize how extraordinary this “ordinary” daily life actually is.
5. Do It Yourself
This clever and cozy series features schoolgirls using power tools to build stuff. But, in the end, they’re really building relationships.
The series actually features two high schools — the old-fashioned Gatagata Girls’ High School, and the high-tech, cutting-edge Yuyu Girls’ Vocational High School. This division leads to a rift between childhood friends Serufu (who goes to Gatagata), and Miku “Purin” (who goes to Yuyu).
Clumsy Serufu enthusiastically joins the DIY Club. After insulting the club, tsundere Purin is too embarrassed to even come near it.
6. Asteroid in Love
Like Yuru Camp, Asteroid in Love is a comfy series about a school club which spends a lot of time outdoors.
But it also has yuri romantic comedy overtones. And it has a bit more plot than some cozy anime series.
The main characters are members of their high school’s earth sciences club, which combines astronomy and geology.
At the beginning of the series, one of the girls mistakes another girl for a boy at first. Their stated goal is to discover an asteroid together. Towards the end of the series, it’s revealed that one of the girls will have to move away to another school.
But generally speaking, this is a fun school club comedy series.
7. Lucky Star
Lucky Star is a slice-of-life comedy series with a high amount of random, observational humor. You might call it “Seinfeldian,” because the girls often “talk about nothing.”
It has a lot of otaku comedy, especially when Konata gets involved. Konata drags the other girls to the Comiket anime convention, and a cosplay cafe. (Konata, voiced by Aya Hirano, even cosplays as Haruhi, voiced by Aya Hirano.)
Four weird and insane girls make up the Kameido High School Tennis Club in this utterly nonsensical parody of both shonen sports and slice-of-life anime series.
As it so happens, the girls don’t seem to actually know how to play tennis, but that doesn’t matter. The club is just an excuse for fast-paced, high-energy jokes and gags. They parody Japanese pop culture, do all sorts of surreal stuff, and break the fourth wall a lot.
Each Teekyu episode is short, but they manage to cram a lot of hilarious action into each one. If one joke falls flat, there’s another one right around the corner.
There are nine quick-moving seasons (not counting the spin-offs Usakame or Takamiya Nasuno Desu!).
9. Love Live!
The Love Live! multimedia franchise is a giant of the idol genre.
Unlike The Idolmaster, Love Live! features high school girls who aim to succeed as idols. The basic premise is that this will help publicize their struggling school.
The series starts with Love Live! School Idol Project, and continues with Love Live! Sunshine!! They are followed by Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club, and Love Live! Superstar!!
In addition, Nijigasaki has a silly spin-off, Nijiyon Animation.
But regardless of which version you watch, there are always plenty of schoolgirl idols to root for.
Why Is ____ Not On The List?
This list follows certain rules which eliminated a lot of good shows:
- Takes place in high school — No Teasing Master Takagi-san, The Little Lies We All Tell, or Akebi’s School Uniform (middle school), or Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! (college).
- It doesn’t need an all-female cast, but the focus should be on girls — No romantic comedies (except some mild yuri), or harem series.
- No magical girl series — Cardcaptor Sakura, Magica Madoka, and Sailor Moon all feature middle school girls. I also left out Little Witch Academia.
- The series should be available to stream legally at licensed sites such as Netflix, Crunchyroll, HIDIVE, etc.
I also considered Azumanga Daioh, Is the Order A Rabbit?, and others. But every anime on this list deserves to be on it.
Hope this list helps you find some good JK anime.