Top 47 The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time!

04/04/2023 by

Speaking of the setting for Japanese anime, school is one of the most commonplace. There is a variety of school anime broadcasted in Japan, ranging from ordinary schools to schools where only those with special abilities gather.

Therefore, ANIME SAMURAI surveyed 400 Japanese people to find out about Japanese “gakuen anime,” which covers a wide range of genres from daily life to romance, battle, and suspense. Here is a ranking of the most interesting gakuen anime of all time.

Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.1 Classroom of the Elite


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2017
Director: Seiji Kishi, Hiroyuki Hashimoto
Original Work: “Classroom of the Elite” by Syougo Kinugasa
Production Company: Lerche
Theme Song: “Caste Room” by ZAQ
Official Website

The first place went to the “Classroom of the Elite.” Based on a light novel by Syougo Kinugasa, the story takes place in a highly prestigious school with a 100% rate of students going on to higher education and finding employment. The school offers good treatment to all students, who receive 100,000 yen worth of points every month, but in reality, a school is a place where many students lead a self-defeating school life, taking advantage of the fact that private talk and skipping class during class are tacitly allowed. The new student, Kiyotaka Ayanokoji, was assigned to class D, a class full of troublemakers. One month after entering the school, they realized that “only the best students receive favorable treatment.” The main character is usually unmotivated, but he is actually a boy with all kinds of hidden abilities, which made him so popular.

Reviews and Comments

The new protagonist is overwhelmingly strong because he doesn’t show off his ability, although he has everything. And he perfectly fulfills his purpose in important situations. The characterization seems to be a satire on the instinctive side of human nature and the unpredictable development of the story is very exciting. (Yuta)

I thought it was a typical school life story, so I was kind of shocked when it turned out to be a psychological warfare. The main character is so smart that even the viewer can be fooled, and it’s interesting that the girls of his classmates are all unique and quirky. I strongly recommend this interesting anime and I look forward to the sequel. (Shimashima na Neko)

It’s interesting to see the mind games where the main character never stands out, but has several people in the palm of his hand behind the scenes. I never get tired of watching a story that progresses in unexpected ways by how the main character pulls a few strings, which always surprises me. (Kuro)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.2 Kaguya-sama: Love Is War


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2019
Director: Mamoru Hatakeyama
Original Work: “Kaguya-sama: Love Is War” by Aka Akasaka
Production Company: A-1 Pictures
Theme Song: “Love Dramatic feat. Rikka Ihara” by Masayuki Suzuki
Official Website

In second place was “Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.” It is a romantic comedy set in a highly prestigious school where all the brilliant students attend. It is based on a comic serialized in Miracle Jump and Weekly Young Jump from 2015 to 2022. 2019 saw the release of a live-action movie as well. Kaguya Shinomiya, the vice president of the student council of a very prestigious school, and Miyuki Shirogane, the student council president, are attracted to each other. However, they are too proud of each other because of their excellence and intelligence. The story amusingly depicts a frustrating situation where they cannot confess their feelings. The story focuses on their mind games of romance, in which they consider it “losing” to confess their feelings for each other and thus keep thinking about how to make the other one confess first. It is highly rated in that the audience can enjoy the story not only as romance but also as comedy.

Reviews and comments

It is interesting to see their mind games and frustrating situations where both of them are too proud of themselves to be honest and confess their feelings, although they must be attracted to each other. Also, there are some comedy scenes as well as romantic ones, which makes it easier to watch. (Shiruku3)

It is basically about Kaguya and Miyuki, who are both very proud of each other and have mind games over how to make the other one confess first, but Fujiwara, who doesn’t read between the lines, is such a character that makes the whole anime more interesting. The main characters are important, but the supporting characters are just as important. (Bomu)

The characters are all unique and funny so I can enjoy it not only as a romance but as a comedy. (Arichan)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.3 My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2013
Director: Ai Yoshimura, Kei Oikawa
Original Work: “My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, as I Expected” by Wataru Watari
Production Company: Brain’s Base, feel
Theme Song: “Yukitoki” by Nagi Yanagi
Official Website

Third place went to “My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, as I Expected.” Based on the light novel of the same name, the long title is also known by abbreviations such as “Oregairu” and “Hamachi”. The main character is Hachiman Hikigaya, a difficult and friendless high school student who tries to put himself in isolation. The story begins when Hachiman is forced to join the “Service Club” by a teacher who worries about him. In the club, Hachiman meets Yukino Yukinoshita, who is known as the most talented girl in the school. There, Hachiman learns that Yukino is actually not very good at socializing with others like himself, although she is undeniably brilliant. This is a school love comedy that depicts them solving various requests brought to the Service Club. Many people were reminded of their own school days as they saw the growth of the protagonist.

Reviews and comments

The main character, who was incoherent and alone in the beginning, grows through club activities, classmates, and student council activities, which reminds me of adolescence. The happy ending is even better. (Lemonade)

The main character is smart, twisted, and yet very kind. The weird way he solves problems due to his difficult personality makes me feel really good. Also, the storyline in which the heroine, who is attracted to the self-deprecating, kind, and twisted protagonist, understands and supports him, warming his cold heart, is interesting. (Hayatechan)

This anime, which depicts the protagonist’s mixed emotions toward school and family, reminds me of my adolescence. (Akabane Taro)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.3 Ouran High School Host Club


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2006
Director: Takuya Igarashi
Original Work: “Ouran High School Host Club” by Bisco Hatori
Production Company: Bones
Theme Song: “Sakura Kiss” by Chieko Kawabe
Official Website

In third place was “Ouran High School Host Club.” It is popular since the original serialization, it has been adapted into a video game, a live-action drama movie, and a musical stage play, in addition to being made into an anime. The story is set in an elite private high school that only upper-class children attend, and the main character is Haruhi Fujioka, who comes from an ordinary family but was admitted as a special student with excellent grades. Haruhi is looking for a quiet place to study and ends up at the school’s Host Club where beautiful male students gather to entertain female students. One thing leads Haruhi to become a member of the Host Club, and she ends up serving the female students, but the big problem is that Haruhi is a “girl.” Thus, she begins her days serving in the Host Club while hiding the fact that she is the only girl in the club.

Reviews and comments

It is a school anime and a romance anime. Some said its anime adaptations is a failure, but this one is interesting from beginning to end, despite its original development. (Nakachan)

The story begins when a girl is mistaken for a boy. It’s cute how an ordinary girl is pushed around by the rich, gets along with them, and enjoys her school life. (Omimi)

It is a little old work, but always soothing to watch. Starting with Haruhi-kun, a host dressed as a man, the unique members of the Host Club are so much fun that once I start watching it, I can’t stop. (Anime zukina Mia)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.5 K-ON!


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2009
Director: Naoko Yamada
Original Work: “K-ON!” by Kakifly
Production Company: Kyoto Animation
Theme Song: “Cagayake! GIRLS” by Sakura High School K-on Club
Official Website

Fifth place went to “K-ON!”. It is an anime series based on a four-panel comic strip depicting high school girls’ band activities in a k-on club. The high-quality drawings of the performance in the work by Kyoto Animation have become a hot topic, and the series is so popular that it has become well known not only among fans of the original manga and anime but also among band music lovers and the general public. The story centers on four high school girls who join a light music club that had no members and was on the verge of disbandment and continue the club and depict their daily lives, including band practices, live performances, and school life. While many people started playing instruments or playing in a band because of this anime, it was popular among anime fans for its careful depiction of slow-paced daily life and the cuteness of the characters.

Reviews and comments

It’s a very relaxing, everyday anime, but it makes me feel like an adolescent, whether I’m healed by its vibe or moved to tears by its psychological descriptions. (Piyo-Piyo-Pon)

The cute characters and their way of speaking make me feel relaxed. It is an anime that reminds me of my old school days. (Icchan)

The characters and story are full of humor and I enjoyed it. (Dagon)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.5 The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

The-Disastrous-Life-of-Saiki K.

Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2016
Director: Hiroaki Sakurai
Original Work: “The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.” by Shuichi Aso
Production Company: EGG FIRM, J.C.STAFF
Theme Song: “Seishun wa Zankoku Janai” by Natsuki Hanae
Official Website

Also in fifth place was “The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.” Based on a comedy manga serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump, which was also made into a live-action movie in 2017, it features a high school student with psychic powers. The main character, Kusuo Saiki, is a boy who was born with supernatural powers and lives a normal life to hide his abilities, but he also has the kindness to secretly use his superpowers to help others. While the story depicts the slapstick that happens at school and with his friends in town, the main character, Kusuo, is always very calm. This is a very unique gag anime, in which the main character, the center of the story, develops the storyline while playing the role of the narrator.

Reviews and comments

It’s interesting that the story progresses along with the voice of his heart. The main character is able to use all kinds of supernatural powers and knows what others think in their hearts, which is a part of the story that is not often seen in other works. Also, I like how the main character reacts to the jokes. (Yubeshi-chan)

I like the unreal setting of this work that could never happen in real life, and how the main character, Kusuo Saiki, is strong, yet very calm and hopes to live a normal life. (Manatee)

This is the best. It’s too funny. I play it as background music and always end up laughing at the same part many times. When I’m having a hard time, it makes me laugh, and there are also some scenes that warm my heart, so it’s a “detox” for me. (Suzumochi)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.5 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2006
Director: Tatsuya Ishihara
Original Work: “Haruhi Suzumiya series” by Nagaru Tanigawa
Production Company: Kyoto Animation
Theme Song: “Bouken Desho Desho?” by Aya Hirano
Official Website

Also in fifth place was “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”. It is based on Nagaru Tanigawa’s light novel series. This work was the catalyst for “late-night anime,” which are anime programs broadcast in late-night slots, to become widely known to the general public. It is also known for raising the profile of Kyoto Animation as a production company, triggering a light novel boom, and becoming a kind of social phenomenon, with cosplay and the ending “Haruhi Dance” becoming popular in Japan and abroad. The series is a school comedy in which Kyon, an ordinary high school boy, gets into trouble with Haruhi, a beautiful and eccentric girl, but many people seem to be fascinated by the extraordinary development and characterization.

Reviews and comments

The story incorporates unusual elements that make me curious about the rest of the story. Also, Nagato really shines out, and everyone around me said the same thing: “Nagato is my wife.” I think it’s an anime that makes me feel somewhat nostalgic as I look back on my past, wishing I could have had a school life like that. (Papa-dango)

The main character, Haruhi Suzumiya, is so original and interesting that I never get tired of watching it. I feel as if I were back in high school. (Rei)

I like the way the worldview of the work becomes bigger and smaller. (Niemon)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.8 Hyouka


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2012
Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto
Original Work: “Classic Literature Club series” by Honobu Yonezawa
Production Company: Kyoto Animation
Theme Song: “Yasashisa no Riyuu” by ChouCho
Official Website

In eighth place went “Hyouka”. It is based on a mystery novel series in which the main characters, who joined the “Classic Literature Club,” which was at risk of being disbanded, resolve the mysteries hidden in everyday school life. The protagonist is a male student, Houtarou Oreki, who is a believer in “energy conservationism” and does not want to get involved in anything. He joins the Classic Literature Club on the recommendation of his older sister, who graduated from the same high school, and the story begins when several freshman students also join the club and restart the club without knowing the goal of the club activity. The story is characterized by the style of solving everyday mysteries, rather than by flashy and gruesome incidents. Many people seemingly want to watch it over and over again because of the foreshadowing interweaved in various parts of the story.

Reviews and comments

It’s interesting to see the way they deduce the mysteries that occur in everyday life by logically making sense of them. After watching this anime, I got to enjoy thinking about the reasons for the strange things that happen in everyday life. Also, it was interesting to see Tomokazu Sugita, a voice actor ignores the script and does an ad-lib. (Kuma-san)

The story is a school mystery, but it is not about a murder but about solving incidents that occur in the school. There is foreshadowing in various places, so it is refreshing when the case is solved. The drawings are by Kyoto Animation, so they are very beautiful. This is the work that got me hooked on anime! (Riyo)

I like the main character’s listless vibe and belief in energy conservationism, and the other main characters’ laid-back attitude (and the heroine is very cute). (HOSHINO)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.9 Angel Beats!


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2010
Director: Seiji Kishi
Original Work: Jun Maeda
Production Company: P.A.WORKS
Theme Song: “My Soul, Your Beats!” by Lia
Official Website

No.9 is “Angel Beats!”. This is an original anime written by Jun Maeda, who also wrote the scripts for the popular games “AIR” and “CLANNAD.” The main character, who has lost his memory, wakes up in a school in the middle of the night. The story takes place in the afterlife, and the girls he meets have a purpose: to allow those who have died with regrets to lead a school life and “pass on” the afterlife. As the original author is known to be good at creating games that impress the players and eventually make them cry, there are many developments and scenes that will make you cry as the story progresses from the beginning. The gap between the cute drawings and the story can be said to be one of the charms that attract many people.

Reviews and comments

I’m not sure if it is a school anime or not, but I like this anime no matter how many years pass, because it has both funny and touching scenes with some good music (Bey)

The drawings are beautiful. The characters are cute and cool. The songs are great too, and it is LiSA’s debut work, so I love it. There are some gloomy and tearful developments, that I will never forget. (Piano-chan)

The story is well written as it is made by key, which is a gaming brand that has produced several masterpieces. There are a lot of jokes in the beginning. But there are also many moving scenes as well. (Nah)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.9 SKET DANCE


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2011
Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi
Original Work: “SKET DANCE” by Kenta Shinohara
Production Company: Tatsunoko Production
Theme Song: “Kakkowarui I love you!” by French Kiss
Official Website

In ninth place was “SKET DANCE.” It is based on a comic serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump, and the TV anime has been broadcast for about a year and a half. It is a school comedy centering on the members of the school club, known as “Sket-dan” who work to help others so that students can enjoy their life at high school. The story is centered on slapstick comedy involving Bossun, the leader of the Sket-dan, Himeko, and Switch, the cool “brains” of the group, as well as the students, but the other elements, such as mysteries and dramas are included in the story development.

Reviews and comments

The setting of the characters is well-developed and various foreshadowings are interwoven in many places. I thought it was a comedy in the beginning, but I was drawn into this worldview and was unexpectedly moved as if I was watching dramas. The story is complete in an episode and easy to watch, making you feel like you are spending time at the school with the characters. You may find it fun to watch as you see all those unique and unrealistic characters as well as those real ones. (Sara)

I love this work because the jokes are funny and I laugh so hard that I have a stomach ache sometimes. There is a gap between comedy and serious scenes, but there are also some touching scenes where it depicts the emotional changes and growth of the main character and the characters around him. When I am feeling down, watching the gag episodes cheers me up. (Fuwa)

Both the gag and serious stories are interesting, and the characters are unique. The storyline is so well developed that you wonder if there was foreshadowing here and there. (Umami)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.9 Gakuen Alice


Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2004
Director: Takahiro Omori
Original Work: “Gakuen Alice” by Higuchi Tachibana
Production Company: Group Tac
Theme Song: “Pika Pika no Taiyou” by Mikan Sakura (Kana Ueda)
Official Website

In ninth place was “Gakuen Alice”. Based on a comic serialized in the shōjo manga magazine “Hana to Yume.” This work is rare among school anime in that it is mainly set in an elementary school. In a small country town, the main characters, Sakura Mikan and Hotaru Imai are good friends who attend an elementary school on the verge of being closed. Mikan struggles to keep the school from closing, but Hotaru suddenly transfers to a different school. The school to which Hotaru was transferred was a prestigious school where only those with a talent called “Alice” could enter. Although Mikan managed to enter Alice Academy, her class has already fallen apart… The story, which has both comedic elements and serious development, overturned the impression that it was intended for children, and was well received by the audience.

Reviews and comments

The story, which includes a mix of funny and serious moments, is worth watching. This is one of the works that I hope will have a sequel with a focus on the main character. (Nagomi)

It is rare to see an elementary school student in a school anime. The friendship and the effort to get good grades are depicted in a way that you can sympathize with the main character just as you would with a junior or senior high school student. (kalochan)

The main character is an elementary school student and many of the characters are children, so I thought it would be for younger viewers, but it has some serious parts and I think it would be interesting for all ages. (Yuyuyu)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.12 My Hero Academia

Quote: Amazon Prime Video

Release Year: 2016
Director: Kenji Nagasaki, Masahiro Mukai
Original Work: “My Hero Academia” by Kohei Horikoshi
Production Company: Bones
Theme Song: “THE DAY” by Porno Graffitti
Official Website

No.12 was “My Hero Academia.” The story depicts a world where heroes with various superpowers, “Quirk” play an important role in cracking down on enemies, “Villains” who abuse their powers. It is popular for the unique characters as well as designs and directions that are American comics alike. The main character is Izuku Midoriya a.k.a. Deku, who yearns to be a hero but is “Quirkless (has no superpowers).” Yet, he cannot give up on becoming a Hero, so he enrolls in a prestigious high school that develops those who aim to be a Hero. It is nominated for the ranking because while it is a battle anime in which heroes fight against evil, it is also a school anime in which students who aim to become heroes work really hard and encourage each other. Watching these young heroes grow through hard work would make you want to root for them.

Reviews and comments

The way the boys and girls with Quirks overcome the challenges and grow up is cool and very interesting. I also like how the story progresses through typical themes of students such as entrance exams, work experience, and tests to become a Hero, which I find exciting. (Chi)

The story is an interesting mix of school and battle elements. As a school story, the school events, the excitement of the characters, and the relationship between teachers and students are well depicted. (Namekku)

It’s awesome how a boy on the bottom rung in terms of his ability who only dreamed of becoming a Hero grows up to be the person of everybody’s dreams. Other characters are also unique. (Kuru)

Ranking of The Most Interesting Gakuen Anime of All Time: No.13 and below

No.13: School-Live!
No.13: Nichijou
No.15: Teasing Master Takagi-san
No.15: The Honour at Magic High School
No.17: High School! Kimengumi
No.17: Blue Period
No.17: Marmalade Boy
No.17: Prison School
No.17: Silver Spoon
No.17: Seitokai Yakuindomo
No.17: Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun
No.24: School Rumble
No.24: A Certain Scientific Railgun
No.24: Fruits Basket
No.24: Love Live!
No.24: Boys Over Flowers
No.24: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury
No.24: Sound! Euphonium
No.24: Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
No.32: Charlotte
No.32: Touch
No.32: Toradora!
No.32: Assassination Classroom
No.32: School Babysitters
No.32: Kimi ni Todoke
No.32: Komi Can’t Communicate
No.32: The Quintessential Quintuplets
No.32 : Saki
No.32: Wasteful Days of High School Girls
No.32: Revolutionary Girl Utena
No.32: Detective School Q
No.32: Daily Lives of High School Boys
No.32: Kakegurui-Compulsive Gambler
No.47: 4-nin wa Sorezore Uso wo Tsuku (The Little Lies We All Tell)
No.47: Azumanga Daioh
No.47: Asobi Asobase
No.47: Danganronpa
No.47: Chibi Maruko-chan
No.47: Haikyu!!
No.47: Higurashi When They Cry
No.47: Ranma ½
No.47: Highschool of the Dead
No.47: Kyō Kara Ore Wa!!
No.47: Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend
No.47: Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto
No.47: Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma
No.47: Haganai (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai)

Gakuen Anime Q&A

Q1 What are the top 3 most interesting gakuen anime?

Based on the survey, here is the ranking of the most interesting gakuen anime.
1 . Classroom of the Elite
2 . Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
3 . My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected
For more information, click here.

Q2 What is the most interesting gakuen anime?

According to a survey conducted on 400 Japanese people, Classroom of the Elite is selected as the most interesting gakuen anime. For more information, click here.

Q3 What gakuen anime I should watch?

Here is the list of what you should watch.
・Classroom of the Elite
・Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
・My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected
・Ouran High School Host Club
For more information, click here.


In this article, we introduce the ranking of the most interesting gakuen anime of all time. Although they all have one thing in common in that they are set in a school, there are many different types of anime chosen, ranging from comedies to mind games, romances, daily life, and many other types of stories. If there is a work you haven’t seen yet or want to see again, please try watching them on video streaming services!

※ This information is for 04/04/2023. Please check the latest delivery status on each site.

#My Hero Academia #Kaguya-sama: Love Is War #My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU #Classroom of the Elite #Ouran High School Host Club #K-ON! #The Disastrous Life of Saiki K #The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya #Hyouka #Angel Beats! #SKET DANCE #Gakuen Alice

She writes articles mostly about anime and Korean dramas. Watching Korean dramas is her motivation in life. A heavy NETFLIX user.

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