Back in 2018, a very wholesome meme started making the rounds, the Lo-Fi Study Girl. A young girl, wearing headphones, sits at her desk studying while a lo-fi hip-hop soundtrack plays in the background.
This short animation loop was actually inspired by a character from Studio Ghibli’s film Whisper of the Heart. The film follows Shizuku Tsukishima as she tries to balance her passion for creative writing and studying for high school entrance tests. Apparently, the originator of the meme would use clips of Shizuku studying for their streams, and after some copyright infractions, they called for artists to reimagine the scene. Thus, ” Lo-Fi Study Girl “ was born.
In honor of Shizuku’s struggles and what Lo-Fi Study Girl promotes, I’ll be counting down the Top 10 Anime That Inspire Us to Study. Now, “study” could refer to anything, so to keep it consistent, I’ll be focusing on anime that feature mostly book-smarts. Let’s start with some specified subjects. These are the subjects we could easily see ourselves learning in a classroom setting.
SPICE AND WOLF
When asked to describe the series, the humorous answer is usually “ Economics With A Wolf God.” It’s funny because it’s true. The series splits its time between developing the relationship between Lawrence the trader and Holo the wolf god and exploring the trade practices of this medieval world. A lot of business acumen is on display from establishing trade relations, to tracking currency exchange rates, to investing in business ventures.
The story is very meticulous and takes a lot of time to explain what is happening, but it never feels like a lecture.
It keeps you engaged with the interpersonal relationships that naturally come about through business relationships. In all honesty, a better way to describe this series would be “ The Business Of People.”
SCIENCE FELL IN LOVE SO I TRIED TO PROVE IT
The title says it all. This has less to do with a specific field of science and more with the scientific method, how researchers go about conducting studies, forming hypotheses, and gathering data. In this case, however, the characters set out to scientifically prove they are in love with each other, to comedic effect.
That’s the core of the story, but the series does a good job of introducing scientific principles and how to apply them. It often does this via cutaway to a passive-aggressive teddy bear, but it’s still informative.
What this anime tries to convey, more than anything, is that scientific analysis can be applied to anything and that having a deeper understanding of the world is never wrong. Where else can you find an anime where a character argues dating sims are NP-hard? Don’t know what that is? Time to study.
Remember having to memorize historical dates, chemical equations, and vocabulary definitions? Try that, but with 100 poems.
Then try recognizing those poems just from the last few lines. Then try that in a competitive game of Memory. The game I just described is a pastime in Japan known as “ Uta-Garuta ” or “ Poetry Karuta ”.
It may seem simple, but the mastery comes into play you realize how fast and intense these rounds can get. Our main character, Chihaya Ayase, wants to be the best karuta player in Japan and she needs to study and hone her reflexes if she wants to keep up.
It’s not uncommon for competitors to recognize the poem from just the first word, or even the first syllable. As hard and time consuming as it may be, sometimes memorization is the best course of action. But the payoff is very much worth it.
HEAVEN’S DESIGN TEAM
God created the world, land and sea, but populating it with animals became a hassle so. He outsourced it to a group of designers. With vague commissions like “has no wings but still flies” and “animal that tickles the maternal instincts,” every episode becomes a guessing game for the viewer.
This show is the perfect blend of zoological fun facts and creative thinking. Animal lovers can get a kick out of the wacky trivia that inspires each animal and those of the artistic persuasion can relate to the aggravating requests and accidental genius.
Did you know that unicorns can’t exist because of calcium deficiency? Or that bats are just flying horses? And who knew so many animals ate feces? Learning can be fun, and the characters express inspiring levels of enjoyment and dedication in their craft.
CELLS AT WORK
Japan can turn anything into a cute anime girl, including platelets. Cells At Work definitively falls into the edutainment category. Every episode focuses on a different ailment or physical malady and shows what happens to the human body on a micro level. An impressive amount of research and detail goes into every aspect of the show.
Biology classes may as well incorporate this anime into their curriculums. There are several videos of doctors reacting to this show and explaining what’s happening in further detail. That alone should be enough to spark an interest.
The decision to personify each cell-type based on their function in the human body provides entertainment value while still being very biologically accurate.
If there’s a formula for good edutainment, Cells At Work perfected it. Now it’s time for general studies. Instead of highlighting one subject, these shows inspire a sense of academic and personal improvement. These are the characters that inspire us through their intellect, critical thinking, and drive to learn more.
THE QUINTESSENTIAL QUINTUPLETS
Admittedly, this anime is more of a harem romcom, but the academic aspects serve to drive the narrative forward. Futaro Uesugi is hired to tutor the Nakano quintuplets, each of whom is in danger of flunking out of high school.
Comedy and hijinks abound, but the show really shines in developing the relationships Futaro has with each of the sisters through academic study. He may be the straight A student, but his snide personality only gets him so far and he learns to be more personable.
On the other hand, the sisters start off thinking he’s an intruder and studying isn’t worth their time, but they slowly learn to open up and accept his help. It’s a balancing act that Futaro and the sisters are constantly tweaking, something that any viewer can take to heart.
ASCENDANCE OF A BOOKWORM
Where so many isekai anime rely on power fantasies or trope subversion, this anime uses the genre to explore adaptation to a new world. Urano Mototsu, a self-professed bookworm, is reincarnated in the body of a little girl named Myne.
She retains all her knowledge from her previous life, including everything she learned from reading books. That knowledge helps her make the most of this new life where magic exists, books are a luxury, and modern practices are nonexistent.
The premise is nothing, but the show takes its time with world-building, going the extra mile to show that Myne’s modern knowledge is a commodity at best and a hindrance at worst. Nevertheless, she uses her extensive intellect to better the lives around her. With a tenacious attitude and a wealth of knowledge, Myne proves that anything is within her grasp.
Very similar in concept to the previous entry, but this show demonstrates how knowledge can give you everything from nothing. When all of humanity is mysteriously petrified and 3,000 years pass, Senku seeks to rebuild the world with the power of science.
Senku is a genius, and while many of us can’t come close to his level of scientific knowledge, there is a heavy focus on community. It takes all kinds, as they say, and Senku’s genius only serves to support the natural abilities of those around him.
That said, the things he creates are wildly impressive, considering humanity was thrown back to the stone age. A water wheel, ramen, steel blades, even a working automobile are easily attained. And the show goes out of its way to show you how to do it, with a friendly warning not to reproduce the more dangerous stunts. Genius or no, stone age or modern age, the pursuit of science is ever flowing, building and improving on its predecessors.
On the surface, Golden Boy seems to just be a story of a drifter goof ball who ogles women and does everything he can to get close to them. However, look deeper into Kintaro Oe’s character and you’ll find a surprisingly earnest young man who never lost his drive to study and learn. Instead of pursing a law degree, Kintaro decided to travel Japan, drifting from job to job.
As such, he picks up a multitude of skills and expertise, all of which he records in a notebook. His treatment of women leaves a bit to be desired, but he never takes advantage of them and instead chooses to enrich himself with every new experience.
All he wants is to study and learn. For crying out loud, he rides his bike on top of electrical lines shouting “Study!” as he races against a motorcycle. If that doesn’t scream commitment, I don’t know what does. Childish, horny, and over the top, this anime, above all else, inspires a love of learning new things.
There’s no shortage of anime that focuses on school and mentor figures. The one that delivers the most with its life lessons and entertainment is Assassination Classroom. Korosensei not only teaches his students how to succeed academically but also how to succeed personally.
There is a genuine sense of self-betterment that the show takes every opportunity to convey. Every setback is a chance to grow, every victory should be celebrated. And everyone should feel they have someone to support them.
It seems counterintuitive in a show where the ultimate goal is to kill the teacher, but the analogies between taking a test and sniping a target are surprisingly profound. The assassination plot is just set dressing, anyway, and serves as tangible benchmarks for what the students have learned.
” Thanks to Koro-sensei’s faith and guidance, the students learn, even if the world gives upon them, to never give up on themselves. “
That concludes our list! and we hope you liked it, It can be anything. It’s amazing what slapping an anime face on an activity can do for our motivation.
- Have any of the entries on this list inspired you?
- If not, What is an anime that inspires you the most?
There’s nothing wrong with discovering a new hobby or passion because of anime. Inspiration is inspiration and being exposed to these larger-than-life depictions of those activities is the best way to discover them.
Leave a comment below and tell us where anime has led you! While you’re here, take a look at some of our other articles. We post Top 10’s, news pieces, and other topics for every kind of fan. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
As always, have fun, stay safe, and get your WEEB ON!