The Josei anime can be categorized as a series and movie marketed to an adult female audience over the age of eighteen. Anime made for the josei population is usually more mature, emotionally complex, and heartfelt. In these anime, a happy ending is never guaranteed.
The Josei anime can also feature loss and horror and can be anything but heartfelt. These anime tend to be emotional roller coasters, leaving audiences empathetic and rooted for the protagonists. They’re more complex characters with deeper issues, and their stories may not end happily at all, even though the episodes leading up to the finale might seem upbeat.
ten Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop) deals with the complexities of parenthood
In Usagi’s Fall, Daikichi Kawachi is a 30-year-old man who decides to return home to his family after learning of the sudden passing of his grandfather. Little does he know that he will find an eccentric young girl at home named Rin, who is his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter. Rin is immediately ostracized from the family as an embarrassment, and Daikichi chooses to become his new father, despite his lack of experience with children.
Usagi’s Fall tugs at the hearts of the audience, making fans wonder how they would react if they immediately stepped in as parents. The 11-episode anime is heartfelt with a thoughtful and serious ending, unlike the manga which has a very disturbing and controversial finale.
9 Nana makes fans wonder what could have been
Nana Osaki and Nana Komatsu (nicknamed Hachi) in granny the two cross paths when they move to Tokyo at age 20. Nana O. pursues a professional music career with her band and Nana K. follows her friends and moves in with her boyfriend. These two young women coincidentally move into the same apartment and become best friends despite their totally different dreams and ambitions.
However, as Nana O. and Nana K. follow their different paths, fame and real-life drama get in the way. Through grannythe lives of the two women become separated and intertwined as time passes, and while the finale is wholesome for some fans, it’s devastating for others.
8 Petshop Of Horrors is a flash from the past
In pet shop of horrors, Count D is a mysterious pet dealer in Chinatown, Los Angeles who sells rare and hard-to-find animals. These pets are only given to people too desperate to see how dangerous they can be, with every sale including a contract. Homicide detective Leon Orcot is called in to investigate many strange and inexplicable deaths. He finds that the only similarity between the victims is that they were all customers of Count D’s pet store.
pet shop of horrors doesn’t have any happy undertones, but it does include a spooky atmosphere, tons of mystery and suspense that will keep the viewer on the edge of their seat until the end. pet shop of horrors also features a retro art style given that it aired in 1999.
seven Nodame Cantabile is a classic love story
Nodame Cantabile centers on two music academy students, Chiaki Shininichi and Noda Megumi. Chiaki is both extremely driven and a perfectionist who dreams of becoming a conductor. Noda Megumi, also known as Nodame, looks sloppy and her opposite, but she’s an amazing pianist. They don’t know they are neighbors and will quickly fall in love with each other’s talent and ambition.
However, fans have said that the end of Nodame Cantabile was rushed or unsatisfactory. Other fans will say they understand where the two are coming from emotionally and defend the characters. Nodame Cantabile has an ending that leaves viewers with two very different interpretations.
6 Paradise Kiss is the story of a new rebellion
Paradise Kiss features a high school girl named Yukari, who has done nothing but follow the rules all her life. When she begins to question her path, she encounters an eccentric and eccentric group of fashion design students. They decide they want her to model for their new showcase, and with some reluctance, Yukari accepts and becomes part of their group.
Along the same lines as Nodame Cantablethe end of Paradise Kiss is unsatisfying and not what fans wanted for the two beloved leads. Yukari and the one she loves break up and don’t recognize each other, leaving the fan base distraught.
5 Anohana: the flower we saw that day has viewers screaming
Anohana: the flower we saw that day follows Jinta Yadomi, who rekindles her friendship with her five friends after coming into close contact with a ghost. 10 years ago, the band lost their friend Meiko “Menma” Honma in an accident, and they all went their separate ways. That is, until Menma visits Jinta as a ghost and asks her for a favor.
The public is not surprised that Anohana: the flower we saw that day has a horribly sad ending. It’s a story of friendship, trust, and acceptance as fans follow the lives of these characters and embrace the inevitable alongside them.
4 Your Lie in April is one of the saddest anime ever
In Your lie in April, a young musical prodigy named Kousei Arima mourns the loss of his mother so much that he can no longer hear the sound of piano keys. He completely avoids music until an eccentric violinist, Kaori Miyazono, trusts him to accompany her on stage, playing the piano.
Your lie in April is an extremely tender and sweet love story between two musicians who deal with horrific trauma in their past and present. The finale is deeply sad and bittersweet as the episodes gradually prepare the audience for the end.
3 I want to eat your pancreas is another way of saying “I love you”
In I want to eat your pancreas, Mahiro Takasugi is a high school student who finds the diary of a girl named Sakura who is suffering from terminal pancreatic disease. As he returns her diary, Mahiro’s first reaction to finding out about his illness is to not care, and this intrigues Sakura to the point of wanting to know about him. Mahiro and Sakura have a slow friendship before it turns into romance.
As the audience comes to the end of I want to eat your pancreas, Mahiro tells Sakura that he would like to eat her pancreas, which is his way of saying he adores her. This ending is predictable, yet sad and sweet nonetheless.
2 The wind rises has hope and devastation
The wind picks up follows the life of Jiro Horikoshi, an aeronautical engineer who invented the famous “Zero” fighter plane. His model will be used by the Japanese Navy during the Second World War. Jiro’s wife, Naoko, is also featured in this story as they weather the economic hardships of the 1920s together.
Unfortunately, the two protagonists of The wind picks up have a tragic fate because the setting of this film is pre-war Japan. Jiro begins as a young boy and audiences watch him grow, along with his perspective on what is used for war and what can be left as a dream.
1 The girl who crossed time defies morale
The girl who crossed time is about a 17-year-old girl named Makoto who discovers she has the ability to “jump through time”. This means that she can only go back in time without changing anything too drastically. That is, until she meets a time traveler named Chiaki from the future who teaches her how to jump through time and use it in the right way.
This unlikely friendship blossoms in The girl who crossed time and leaves fans disappointed, but hopeful. The ending is heartbreaking, but fans hope for a happier future.
NEXT: 10 Josei Anime That Challenged Their Audiences