18 Most Wholesome Anime Shows & Movies: Our Top RecommendationsThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
After watching something with sinful themes like Ishuzoku Reviewers, or something as depressing as Evangelion, or even something as deprived as Scum’s Wish, you need something wholesome in your life.
And thankfully, anime delivers in spades.
So we’re gonna rank & review the best wholesome anime out there.
This way you can relax and get to sleep tonight without any shame, fear, or tears. Well, maybe a few tears.
18. Tsuki ga Kirei
I’m going to be real with you: it’s just a high school drama, no aliens, no Shinigami and no quadruple love triangles.
This has such a basic formula but it’s executed perfectly.
The characters are wonderfully written, with every interaction making sense for the given character and the relationships that are formed seem natural. The story is so beautifully simplistic that it doesn’t need over the top battle scenes or forced conflicts.
It just kind of flows and takes you upon its wing.
So if you’re looking for a high school drama and don’t know where to turn, this is the place for you my friend.
17. Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name)
I have no doubt that you’ve already heard of this movie, as the community went absolutely wild when it dropped.
And it makes sense, the movie is as feel good as movies get, reminding us all what love is all about, the thrill and the confusion of being young and infatuated, as well as the hand that fate plays in our lives.
It had its fair share of funny moments and the tone remained pretty light throughout with some epic music, great animation, and all of the feels.
It might not blow your pants off conceptually.
But I will be darned if it doesn’t put a smile on your face.
16. Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!)
Takeo Gouda is the feeling of wholesomeness as a person.
He’s this extremely big and extremely lovable oaf who is just trying to live his best life and find love.
He’s so kind and compassionate, inhumanly so at times, that you have to be a monster not to root for him as he grasps. And to feel the most profound sorrow when he misses.
His self-sacrifice, both physical and emotional, towards his friends just build him up higher and higher in your eyes until his happiness becomes your own.
Was that too sappy? Don’t judge me, I have feelings too.
15. I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying
As comedies go they’re usually wholesome, except Gintama. But this short gem is on a whole different level.
I say short because it only takes an hour or so to go through it.
It’s a skit-based show that centers around a newlywed couple and their struggles and victories on the road of marriage.
The husband is an otaku, which is where a lot of the comedy comes from. But it never seems mean spirited.
The wife has understanding for his passion and the show is far beyond just poking fun at anime culture.
I highly recommend this show, especially if you find yourself in a similar place in your life.
14. Isekai Quartet
As the name might suggest, this show is definitely aimed at isekai lovers.
It takes some of the most recognizable characters from four isekai and just throws them into this cartoony world to see how they get along.
A lot of these shows, from where the characters are taken from, are very dark in nature.
I mean have you seen Re: Zero?
To have them so out of place and just fool around in a pseudo-high school style just brings warmth to my transported-into-a-different-world heart.
13. Gakuen Babysitters (School Babysitters)
I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what part of life you’re at currently, this show will make you want a baby.
It’s all about Ryuuichi and his little brother Kotarou. After having lost their parents, they have to find a new guardian in the form of a chairman of an elite school.
However, in return for his generosity, Ryuuichi must now babysit all of the little children that reside in the school.
And they are so adorable.
I’m telling you guys and gals, there are so many cute moments in this show that you’ll wheeze yourself into the next dimension.
12. Merman in My Tub
For such a weird show, it’s oddly self-explanatory.
Our cranky boi Tatsumi finds a merman washed up on a river bank, as one does, and takes him back home, puts him in a bathtub.
Lots of fun ensues. The merman’s, Wakasa’s, personality is just so laid back and relaxed, he’s really out here living his best life in that bathtub.
He reads and gets excited over trivial matters, pokes Tatsumi here and there for good measure, and even invites some other aquamen to the party.
The whole show is basically chilling with the bois only they have fins and stuff.
11. How to Keep a Mummy
You’ll sense a general theme with these wholesome anime shows:
Normal person has to take care of something odd, childlike, and usually cute.
This time it’s a mummy!
Not one of those big, ugly ones though… no offense to any mummy watching, but a little adorable one.
Like really little, fits in your palm little. His name is Mii-kun and he is the most precious thing, as he’s so shy and cries all the time and the protagonist basically has to be the parent of this little ball of bandages.
Just look at him waddle!
10. Tanaka-kun is Always Listless
This show is definitely a fat mood type.
It’s all about Tanaka, a boy who honestly cannot be bothered with anything.
He just wants to slouch around, doze off, and keep to himself.
All of his friends and classmates constantly try to make him do something to enjoy himself while he constantly tries to avoid these said activities.
If you’re introverted and don’t need much to be happy, Tanaka is like the biggest mirror you can find. And his daily life is sure to put a smile on your face.
9. Hetalia: Axis Powers
Hetalia got me by concept alone.
It’s a slice of life show with the twist that every character represents a certain country, and all of the stereotypes that come with it.
I wouldn’t call it harsh social criticism, but rather a bunch of goofballs that like to poke fun at people. And I love them for it.
I find the enjoyment even better if your country is actually one of the characters. Then you get to have a grand old time of comparing yourself to your weird anime representative.
There’s even a spin-off where the concept is the same, but they’re all cats. And honestly how does that not sound wholesome?
8. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions
Call them imaginative, or a bit delusional, but these characters really know to enthrall themselves in their own little world.
Everything is an adventure. An epic clash where what might seem dull at first, is quickly made extravagant and fun.
The cast is pretty big and diverse so you get some time before you realize that Rikka is the most moe and that Yuuta changed his name to Kaidou Shun and joined up with an esper shortly after the series ended.
In all seriousness, it’s a very funny show.
Especially when the main dream team has to face reality, and it just makes you feel like a kid again.
What’s more wholesome than cute girls doing cute things? Nothing!
And K-On stands as a giant within this category by having both excellent animation and some of the most lovable girls this side of the guitar string.
The show centers around the Light Music Club, where our five main girls goof around, play some tunes, and generally make your day a little bit better.
Even the side characters are pure aww material, my personal favorite being #1 fan and sister Ui.
6. My Neighbor Totoro
You knew I had to throw in at least one studio Ghibli movie into the mix. They’re the kings of wholesome.
My Neighbor Totoro is one of their most popular franchises and for good reason.
It’s such an atmospheric piece depicting how one family strives to remain happy, even when the unfortunate comes their way.
Totoro himself is an absolutely lovable fur ball that just makes you want to sleep on his belly like Mei did.
And Nekobasu makes you envy their public transport system.
5. March Comes in like a Lion
This show might be a bit more on the serious side than the rest, but I still absolutely adore it.
This follows a shogi player named Rei who’s honestly stressed out of his mind.
He moves to Tokyo for some peace of mind. And there he meets the most adorable, wholesome trio of sisters.
The four of them, plus the O.G. grandpa, form a pseudo-family and just support one another through the difficult times of life.
It has a very similar appeal to my #2 spot here, so if you liked one then definitely check out the other.
4. Sweetness & Lightning
You’ve seen food become extreme. But has it ever made you want to cry tears of joy?
Well you came to the right place if that sounds like a weird food anime that you’d be into.
Sweetness & Lightning is all about a widowed father who’s just trying his best to make his little daughter happy.
He doesn’t have a lot of free time, so he resorts to premade meals bought at the store.
But after talking to a pupil, who was also in need of some company, the three of them start preparing food together and eating like a family.
This show just makes we want to call my parents and invite them for dinner.
3. Tamako Market
It’s like Romeo and Juliet, but instead of noble blood and a tragic ending we get a lot of mochi and cuteness.
A far superior version if you ask me.
As you might have guessed, our main girl is Tamako and most of the story centers around the Usagiyama Shopping District.
Here we see a whole bunch of characters, all unique in their own way, just living their lives.
We get a pretty adorable love story and an overweight bird that’s looking for the next princess. I mean, it’s definitely not a boring show.
Honestly this is one of my favorite shows.
It follows a man who’s trying to find his own style of calligraphy, and therefore finally climb the wall of mediocrity.
He goes to the Goto islands in order to find himself, and also think about his actions after sucker punching an old man.
It’s here that the rest of the cast is introduced, being women, children, old men, the whole lot.
It creates this very comforting family atmosphere that’s sure to put a smile on your face.
They all bicker and they fight, but they also grow and love each other. Ten out of ten, Naru is the cutest child ever, and Sei’s final project made me tear up in the best way possible.
1. A Place Further Than The Universe
If you’re looking for that pure wholesome adventure-y goodness then I recommend “A Place Further than the Universe”.
We get a core cast of four girls who all have their minds set on seeing something out of this world, or at least uncommon.
When one of the girl’s moms disappears, they all decide to travel to Antarctica in the hopes of finding her.
The show takes you on the journey right alongside the girls. Every episode feels fresh, the pacing of the story is just right, and the world so vibrant that you’ll have to remind yourself that it’s only a work of fiction.