The 16 Best High School Anime Series Worth Watching

These awesome high school anime series serve up everything from cozy love triangles to sci-fi wish fulfillment!
The 16 Best High School Anime Series Worth Watching

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Sick of anime series that take place in fantasy realms or outer space galaxies far, far away? Prefer your anime to be a little more grounded, in a setting you can personally relate to?

How about... high school?!

If you're a high school student, you have to worry about homework, projects, and final exams. When you get home from school, you need ways to unwind and destress. (And if you're out of high school, you likely remember what those days were like!)

High school anime series can be cozy, exciting, charming, or even nostalgic. The one thing that ties them all together is that they employ the tropes that make high school such a unique experience for us.

Here are my picks for the greatest high school anime series that stand out and capture the essense of what it feels to be a student.

16. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (2006)

Action, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Originally aired 2006 to 2008

50 episodes (2 seasons)

8.70 on MAL

Code Geass takes place in an alternate history where the Holy Britannia Empire, the Chinese Federation, and the European Union are all in a standoff against each other.

The exiled prince of the Britannia Empire, Lelouch Lamperouge, ends up enrolled at Ashford Academy and promises to bring down Britannia. However, the school isn't the center of this show.

When an enigmatic girl named C.C. grants Lelouch a power called Geass, he takes one step closer to overthrowing the kingdom.

This power allows Lelouch to control anyone and force them to do whatever he wants. However, he can only activate this power when people make direct eye contact with him, and only once per person.

15. Haikyu!! (2014)

Comedy, School, Sports

Originally aired 2014 to 2020

85 episodes (4 seasons)

8.44 on MAL

You don't have to be a huge fan of sports to enjoy Haikyu!! because its satisfying storyline will rope you in almost immediately.

The anime follows Hinata Shōyō, a middle school student who develops a liking for volleyball after watching a competition on TV. Although this anime starts in middle school, it eventually progresses to high school life.

Hinata decides to pursue his dreams by joining his school's volleyball club, only to find out that he's the only one who joined the club. He ends up recruiting five other players to be eligible to compete in tournaments. Will the team have what it takes to defeat other schools?

14. Angel Beats (2010)

Drama, School, Supernatural

Originally aired 2010

13 episodes (1 season)

8.06 on MAL

Angel Beats is only 13 episodes long, but it's worth every minute. This unconventional anime is set in a high school full of dead students—but these students aren't zombies!

These students actually attend a school in the afterlife. In order to get reincarnated, they must first get past the traumatic events that happened in their previous lives.

The protagonist Yuzuru Otonashi lands in the afterlife with amnesia. He's soon invited to join the Afterlife Battlefront (SSS), an organization created by Yuri Nakamura that fights against the God that made them suffer in life. How's that for an interesting premise?

13. School Rumble (2004)

Comedy, Romance, School

Originally aired 2004 to 2006

52 episodes (2 seasons)

7.89 on MAL

School Rumble concerns the high school life of Tenma Tsukamoto. She's just an average student, but she has a crush on one of her classmates: the enigmatic Oji Karasuma.

Tenma has trouble telling Oji how she feels, and Oji remains clueless to her obvious crush. (He would rather just eat curry, anyway!)

Meanwhile, Tenma has her own admirer. Kenji Harima only goes to school to see Tenma, and he also struggles with confessing his love—and whenever he tries to make the big reveal, something always happens to interrupt him.

The complex love triangle leaves plenty of room for humor and fun, making School Rumble a light-hearted but intriguing watch.

12. Toradora! (2008)

Drama, Romance, School

Originally aired 2008 to 2009

25 episodes (1 season)

8.07 on MAL

If you're looking for a great high school-themed romantic comedy anime series, you should definitely check out Toradora!.

This show revolves around two students named Ryūji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka, and the show's title is actually a combination of these two characters' names. (Taiga and Tora are Japanese words for tiger while Ryū means dragon, pronounced doragon. So, tora and dora.)

Unlike most high school boys, Ryūji is good-natured and enjoys doing housework. However, he has a menacing face that intimidates everyone around him. Taiga has the opposite problem: she resembles a timid-looking doll, but she's actually super aggressive.

What happens when these two clashing personalities collide? You'll have to watch Toradora! to find out!

11. The Irregular at Magic High School (2014)

Action, Fantasy, Romance, School, Sci-Fi

Originally aired 2014 to 2020

39 episodes (2 seasons)

7.40 on MAL

Want to escape the reality of boring high school life? You should dive into The Irregular at Magic High School.

This anime takes place in an alternate universe where actual magicians live among regular humans. In this world, not everyone has magic powers—only some people are lucky enough to inherit the magic gene.

Magicians in Japan are required to attend one of the country's nine magic high schools, with each school training their respective magicians in their own style of magic.

The main character Tatsuya Shiba acts as a bodyguard to his sister Miyuki, who's known as the best magician in school. Meanwhile, Tatsuya's technical abilities make him an outcast.

10. Nichijou (2011)

Comedy, School, Slice of Life

Originally aired 2011

26 episodes (1 season)

8.46 on MAL

Nichijou is a slice-of-life anime that centers around the lives of a few high school friends in Tokisadame.

The bubbly and feisty personalities of Mio Naganohara and Yūko Aioi are countered and balanced by the subdued nature of Mai Minakami. The series also stars Nano Shinonome, a robot student who was built by an eight-year-old professor.

The show's title of "nichijou" means "everyday" in Japanese. It might sound like a typical high school anime, but it really doesn't conform to any of the clichés of your standard school-themed anime.

9. Ouran High School Host Club (2006)

Comedy, Romance, School

Originally aired 2006

26 episodes (1 season)

8.16 on MAL

Ouran High School Host Club is probably the most well-known high school anime series for its wacky plot and consistent humor.

The story follows Haruhi Fujioka, a student at the distinguished Ouran Academy. When she tries to find a new spot where she can study, she comes across the Third Music Room, which is where the Ouran High School Host Club is based.

This club specializes in catering to female guests by engaging them in conversations over cup of teas. After Haruhi accidentally breaks one of the host club's expensive vases, she must figure out a way to repay them.

Since the members of the club mistake the tomboyish Haruhi for a boy, she gets roped into becoming a host as a way to pay back her debt.

8. Charlotte (2015)

Drama, School, Supernatural

Originally aired 2015

13 episodes (1 season)

7.75 on MAL

Charlotte is an anime series that delves into a chaotic world where superhuman powers actually exist. These superpowers are granted by the dust from the comet Charlotte, which gives young kids special powers when inhaled, awakening during their teenage years.

The series follows the story of Yū Otosaka, a regular high schooler who awakens the ability to transfer his consciousness into someone else and possess their body for five seconds.

Those five seconds are enough for him to do things like cheat on exams and defeat bullies without anyone else noticing.

Yet while Charlotte starts off like a typical shonen series—with Yū meeting other ability users like him—this anime also depicts darker elements as it incorporates themes of death, isolation, depression, and redemption in the latter half of the series.

7. Kakegurui (2017)

Drama, Mystery, School

Originally aired 2017 to 2019

24 episodes (2 seasons)

7.24 on MAL

Kakegurui is one of the weirdest yet most compelling high school animes on this list. While it features a typical high school setting, there's a tension-filled story brewing beneath the classroom ambience.

This series is set in the prestigious Hyakkaou Private Academy for the rich and elite. However, instead of determining the student hierarchy via academic standards, students here are ranked through gambling.

Winners take glory, prestige, and money, while losers become the winners' pets. Caught up in the politics is Yumeko Jabami, a seemingly shy girl on the outside but a high-stakes gambler on the inside.

6. Komi Can't Communicate (2021)

Comedy, Romance, School, Slice of Life

Originally aired 2021 to 2022

24 episodes (2 seasons)

7.91 on MAL

Komi Can't Communicate is a light-hearted anime series that follows the story of Komi Shouko, who—as the title suggests—has difficulty communicating and socializing with others.

Komi really wants to talk with people and have friends like a normal student would. Fortunately, there's Tadano Hitohito, her knight in shining armor who promises to help her acquire 100 friends.

Their efforts to bring Komi back into society give us a unique romance story that's fitted with the usual slice-of-life and coming-of-age tropes you'd expect from a high school anime series.

5. Assassination Classroom (2015)

Action, Comedy, School

Originally aired 2015 to 2016

47 episodes (2 seasons)

8.09 on MAL

Assassination Classroom centers on the students of Class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High School. The thing is, Class 3-E is comprised of misfits who don't fit in with normal students. In fact, their classroom is even located in an isolated place far off the main campus!

As if that weren't bad enough, Class 3-E is tasked by the government to assassinate their new homeroom teacher: the all-powerful, unkillable, octopus-like alien creature Korosensei.

They find it hard to complete their mission, not because of the huge power differential but the bonds they eventually develop with Korosensei as he teaches them with genuine affection. Will they be able to assassinate a teacher who's so dear to them?

Assassination Classroom is light and fun with a good blend of action, drama, and humor. Unfortunately, Assassination Classroom was banned in certain countries due to its premise involving students who raise firearms against their teacher during class hours.

4. Classroom of the Elite (2017)

Drama, School, Suspense

Originally aired 2017 to 2024

38 episodes (3 seasons)

7.86 on MAL

In Classroom of the Elite, the prestigious school Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing School is where future leaders and elite generations are taught and trained.

However, not all of the students battle for merits and aim for the top—like the central character of this story, Kiyotaka Ayanokōji. Despite having the skills, ability, and intelligence to top the class, he tries his best to not stand out and just live a normal school life.

Don't expect Classroom of the Elite to be your typical slice-of-life anime with coming-of-age themes. This one tackles themes of perfectionism, isolation, and trauma hidden beneath its simple permise.

3. Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War (2019)

Comedy, Romance, School

Originally aired 2019 to 2022

37 episodes (3 seasons)

8.41 on MAL

Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War is a unique rom-com anime series like no other. Instead of one character denying their romantic feelings, there are two! And not only that, but both characters are waging psychological warfare to see who will break first in confessing their love.

This anime series centers on the characters Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya, two high school students who are a perfect match for each other. However, instead of simply admitting and saying what their true feelings are, they plan and scheme to make the other say it first.

This leads to their not-so-ordinary high school life since both of them are caught up in each other's plots. Making their romantic-story-turned-battleground even more chaotic are their peers, especially Chika Fujiwara, who adds tons of fun to the story.

2. One Week Friends (2014)

Comedy, School

Originally aired 2014

12 episodes (1 season)

7.52 on MAL

If you thought Komi Shōko had the worst high school life because of her inability to socialize, think again! In One Week Friends, Kaori Fujimiya has a problem that's just as bad.

Kaori forgets everything about her friends every week. She loses her memories of them due to anterograde amnesia, which she got after a car accident. That's why she distances herself from people: to avoid friendships that she will later forget after a week.

But we also have Yūki Hase. He's always by Kaori's side, and even though her memories of him change every week, it doesn't bother him. For Kaori, Yūki is a true friend—but for him, she's more than just a friend.

1. ReLIFE (2016)

Drama, Romance, School

Originally aired 2016

13 episodes (1 season)

7.97 on MAL

The premise of ReLIFE resembles a time travel story, with a main character who gets a chance to relive his life once again. However, there's no timeline shifting here.

ReLIFE follows the story of a 27-year-old NEET ("Not in Education, Employment, or Training") Arata Kaizaki. It seems like he'd be too old to be the protagonist of a high school anime, right?

But Arata becomes a test subject for an experiment called ReLIFE, which grants him a pill that would make him look 10 years younger. It makes him look like a high school student again, so he enrolls in school and tries to relive his life the way he should have.

Along the way, he develops friendships and relationships that will soon be erased from his memories—because the experiment and its effects are just temporary. That's the heartbreaking part!