With gigantic casts of characters who are groomed to become fan favorites, what’s not to love? Did your favorite idol anime make the list?
Idol stories in anime combine the glitz and glam of the Japanese music industry with the in-depth character-driven drama of a great reality TV show. Sure, these idols might be fictitious, but that doesn’t stop fans from somewhat pretending that their favorite characters are real!
If you’ve wanted to jump into the idol anime game, but don’t know where to start, here’s a list of 10 of the best idol anime.
They love to catch them while they’re young! This popular anime from Bandai has a very young target audience, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great.
9. Show by Rock!!
With the help of Sanrio (the company behind Hello Kitty), this 12-episode anime adaption is based on a game of the same name that is geared towards older males and young adults.
8. The Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls
Part of Bandai Namco Entertainment’s The Idolm@ster franchise, this series focuses on Uzuki Shimamura and her quest to become an idol through something called the Cinderella Project.
7. Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 1000%
This is the only male-focused idol anime on the list. They’re pretty rare, but just because Prince-sama runs against the trends, doesn’t mean it’s not great television. The cast of studs all try to earn the affection of their composer, but she also becomes an integral part of their idol group in the end. If pretty boys aren’t going to have you sticking around, the music just might.
6. Pretty Rhythm: Aurora Dream
Based on a rhythm dancing game, this show focuses a little more on the fashion side of an idol and the public image that all the fans see. The strong cast of characters is what really separates this idol anime from the rest of pack.
Set in a dystopian future where music is illegal on several planets, several young girls attempt to join the successor group to AKB48, AKB0048.
4. Futsu no Joshikosei ga Locodol Yattemita (Locodol)
Three girls become local idols or “Locodol” under the name Nagarekawa Girls to promote their city and their new idol group. The show mostly plays with all the same ideas that famous national idols have to deal with, but it’s fun to see these characters give it their all for the people around them that they know and love.
3. Wake Up, Girls!
A production company in Sendai, the biggest city in Tohoku, is about to have zero talento on its books. The president of the company decides that he wants to produce an idol group and sends the manager off to find the new talents. This anime really gives viewers a behind the scenes look at the idol business, which means it provides a little more realism (we hope!) about the topic than some of the other titles on this list.
2. Love Live!
A group of girls band together to save their school by forming an idol group. It sounds like the plot for most of these anime, but Love Live! is one of the shows that does it best. Maybe it’s the school setting, or the catchy music, but Love Live! really is the complete package.
1. The Idolm@ster
If you talk to anyone into idol anime, they’ll likely tell you that The Idolm@ster is the cream of the crop. The show takes all the elements expected in the genre and executes them all perfectly. This huge cast of characters might seem unwieldy, but the wide range of personalities means each situation has its own spin depending on which characters are there.
Did your favorite make it onto the list? Whether you are just jumping into the genre or are a seasoned idol veteran, there is surely a great show on this list for everyone.