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  • Joined Sep 15, 2017
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Best Anime about art and artistic endeavor

This is my ongoing list of anime about art and artistic endeavor.
1 Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile

The art depicted: classical music.

This has to be one of the most beloved anime connected to artistic endeavor. Ever.

If you're looking for a (soft) romcom about classical music - this is it.

Seriously, even the bad (for our day and age) animation cant take away the joy of this series.

Go check it out already!

2 Nodame Cantabile: Paris

Nodame Cantabile: Paris

3 Nodame Cantabile: Finale

Nodame Cantabile: Finale

4 Welcome to the Ballroom

Welcome to the Ballroom

The art depicted: competitive dancing 

This is one of my favorite anime series ever - and I'm speaking as a person with no interest in dancing whatsoever.

First, the story is great. It's structured perfectly in over twenty episodes during which the main protagonist (and the viewer) gradually meet quite a group of well-developed characters. Competitive dancing is the core of the storyline but it's shown through several tournaments which creates tension and excitement even if someone (once again - like me) isn't all that interested in dancing.

Second, the characters are interesting and every single one of them has an arc that he or she complete by the end of the season. The main protagonist is very talented and learns how to dance very fast but his progress is realistic and doesn't break suspension of disbelief. The show pulls off a difficult task of introducing several characters right in the middle of the story in a way that doesn't make them one dimensional or just plain boring. 

What's more: the animation is just plain stunning.

All in all: it's a great series and one should definitely check it out even if You're doing it just for the animation and the tournaments.

5 Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

The art depicted: rakugo (basically Japanese one person plays). Don't get discouraged by not knowing or caring what it is - you will do both by the end of the series)

This one would actually be my top choice for anime about artistic endeavor if not for one minuscule detail of the story right at the last minutes of it which kind of soured my feeling towards the series. That may be a cultural thing or just my thing though since I haven't found anyone complaining about it in reviews.

Anyway, this is a must-see for anyone interested in anime and doubly so for people who find anime about art interesting.

The story is captivating, the characters are great the animation is beautiful and the music is pretty good too. Its one of those series that come very close to being perfect. I definitely recommend it.

6 Descending Stories: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Descending Stories: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

7 Bakuman.


The art depicted: manga (and everything associated with creation of it)

As far as 'anime about art' goes this is one of the best series out there. Apart from a great story and characters, its main focus is the process of creating a manga depicted in a realistic way.

Each season consists of over twenty episodes and that formula lets the characters grow and evolve. This is one of the reasons that every next season is better than the one that precedes it. 

Also: the show takes seriously the process in which manga is created. I actually learned a lot from this series.

Even if the viewer is not interested in the creation of manga the intense rivalry between the characters making it draws one into the story.

If I would have to point to a single flaw in the series it would be the romance subplot of one of the protagonists. It's boring as hell. Fortunately, it's not the main plot point of the story (although it seems that way at the beginning of it) so it's more of nitpicking than an actual problem.

All in all: it's a great series that anyone interested in manga or anime should watch at least once.

8 Bakuman. 2

Bakuman. 2

9 Bakuman. 3

Bakuman. 3

10 Barakamon


The art depicted: calligraphy

If you're looking for a heartwarming story about art look no further. The plot revolves around a calligrapher who lost his nerve and punched a critic. This resulted in him being shunned by his environment and having to move to an island to calm down a little and reflect on his life. Which he's not very good at.

Once he moves to his new house he meets a kid and a few neighbors who very subtly change his views on life as the plot moves on.

While the anime does depict calligraphy at its heart it's about the growing relationship between the protagonist and the people he meets. It's a must see if you ever feel down. 

11 Kids on the Slope

Kids on the Slope

The art depicted: jazz music.

This is a good slice of life anime with some jazz music in the background. The main focus of the story is a description of the relationships between the characters and their development through each individual arc. While the series contains some stories about romance it heavily focuses on the friendship between two main characters.

The only flaw of the series is that it uses jazz as a mere tool to move the story forward without giving it any more meaning. The story is great though so this is more nitpicking than a real problem.

All in all, I can highly recommend the series to anyone.

12 Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun

Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun

The art depicted: manga (mostly)

Passion for the art (in this anime it's mostly manga with a smidge of other stuff) is kind of a saving grace for the overall bland story in this one. The animation is pretty good, the characters are likable and the show captures that feeling of passion for art. It won't win Your heart but is still worth checking out. 

13 The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

The art depicted: may, many things like drawing manga, painting, game development etc.

This is a story about being genius (and more importantly for the main protagonist: not being one) and effort and very, very strange people trying their best to achieve their dream of well ... doing something artistic.

A go-to if You're interested in the subject of art overall, mainly because it does not focus on just one type of it. There's game development, manga, painting, writing and lots of other areas the characters (and the show) is interested in. 

On the other hand, the show is not as focused on one subject matter as many others on the list are. So if you are interested just in painting or game development or one of many many more artistic endeavors depicted in the anime you can be a little disappointed.

I can recommend this one as a must-see for anyone whos interested in art overall.

14 Waiting in the Summer

Waiting in the Summer

The art depicted: filmmaking.

Filmmaking is just a small (albeit important) part of the story but still, it's a great anime. If You haven't - try it out, you'll probably like it.


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Melissa93 Jan 24, 2021

Great list ! Thank you