Fanservice-free Anime: A Service for Would-Be Fans

Note: Bombastic wordplay aside, this isn't an exhaustive or objective list -- it's not even a list of favorites. These anime fulfill three criteria:
  1. I have watched them;
  2. I am willing to recommend them, either because I thought they were okay at minimum or because they are critically acclaimed despite my personal dislike;
  3. I can personally vouch that they do not have fanservice, in the sense of* gratuitous sexy bits thrown in solely to appeal to the viewership's presumed libido. Unlike many professional reviewers and other fans, I am being extremely strict here and excluding anything which remotely pings me as having any whiff of fanservice, not just extremely blatant examples, because in the end this is a subjective list and that's how my subjective barometer is calibrated.
(*"Fanservice" in the sense of in-jokes, fan-favorite cameos, lore drops, etc. are not being screened for here, because I have personally never heard anyone bewail too much fanservice in anime and mean that.)

Table of fanservice-free anime

Total number of titles currently included: (requires Javascript). (You can also take it as a given that Studio Ghibli films are fanservice-free, but I think even straight-up haters treat those as an exception anyway, so I won't bother listing them.)

This table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers, and/or filtered by any of the text fields (requires Javascript).




# episodes



No. 6 2011 scifi, dystopian, m/m, thriller 11 A sheltered teen falls from grace for saving a fugitive's life, and slowly uncovers the secrets behind the rarefied cities of his youth. Crunchyroll
Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends) 2008 fantasy, contemporary 74 A boy works to free the spirits his grandmother subdued in her youth. A series about loneliness, kindness, and recovering from abuse Personal favorite Crunchyroll
Mushi-Shi (Mushishi) 2005 fantasy 46 Contemplative, lyrical, at times horrory vignettes following an unassuming wanderer as he helps people using his ability to see the unseen. Personal favorite Crunchyroll (partial), Hulu (full)
Chihayafuru 2013 sports, contemporary 65 A bunch of dorks, including an OT3y trio of childhood friends, are brought together by the competitive scene of a traditional poetry card game, each for their own reasons. Personal favorite Crunchyroll
Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son) 2011 coming of age, slice of life, contemporary 12 A shy middle-schooler struggles with gender identity, and the complications and consolations of friends going through similar journeys. Crunchyroll
Yagate Kimi Ni Naru (Bloom Into You) 2018 coming of age, contemporary, f/f 13 Faced with an upperclassman's crush on her, a high school first-year grapples with the uncertainties of sexuality, romance, and interpersonal relationships. I personally disliked this one, but a lot of people loved it
The Twelve Kingdoms 2002 fantasy, isekai, drama 45 An ordinary girl is thrust into ruling a magical kingdom, utterly unprepared, and must contend with the power dynamics and harsh realities there. Crunchyroll
Net-juu no Susume (Recovery of an MMO Junkie) 2017 romcom, contemporary, f/m 10 A young office worker, gripped by anomie, quits her job and finds friends in reverting to her old MMO obsession. Crunchyroll
Hinamatsuri 2018 scifi, slice of life, contemporary 12 A headstrong telekinetic child soldier from the future lands in the metaphorical lap of a gangster; they bond and change each other and form new friendships. Crunchyroll
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 2010 fantasy, thriller, dystopian 64 A pair of talented brothers, disabled from a young age by an alchemy mishap, seek the Philosopher's Stone; instead, they begin to uncover a vast, bloody conspiracy. Personal favorite. Also, the premise is dark, but it's very much not grimdark. Netflix, Hulu
Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish) 2010 contemporary, romcom, f/m 11 An all-female group of geeky housemates is thrown for a loop when jellyfish geek Tsukimi hits it off with a stylish crossdresser; they work together to save their home from predatory realtors. Explicitly tries to shut down non-heterosexual readings.
Baccano! 2007 fantasy, historical, action 16 A nonlinear puzzlebox of an ensemble adventure, pulled together by the intersection of its various characters with each other and with the elixir of immortality. Personal favorite. Very gory, but you're not missing anything if you look away from the gore.
Princess Tutu 2002 fantasy, magical girl 26 Kindhearted Duck, granted her wish to be a human ballerina, uses her power to help the troubled while struggling against tropes and tragedy arcs wielded by the undead author who has the town in his thrall. A story-about-stories. Hard to summarize!
Aggretsuko 2018 contemporary, workplace comedy, anthropomorphic 20 Meek, put-upon Retsuko endures the indignities of her office-lady life in silence during the day and vents with heavy metal karaoke at night, but can she break out of the cycle? Sanrio-style animation Netflix
Wakakozake 2015 food, contemporary, short 12 A young woman unwinds after work by going out alone to enjoy delicious food and drink at different places in the city each day. There's also a live-action adaptation. Crunchyroll
Silver Spoon 2013 contemporary, slice of life 22 A city kid, rejected from his dream high school, enrolls in an agricultural school instead -- only to find out that farming is much more complex and interesting than he imagined. Crunchyroll
Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori 2018 contemporary, slice of life 12 Four young men who run a tea house together try to make their customers' lives a little better, no matter in how small a way. Crunchyroll
ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. 2017 drama 12 A mild-mannered inspector visits each district of the kingdom, noting both the regional atmosphere and bureaucratic discrepancies of each, and becomes embroiled in a political conspiracy. Crunchyroll
Sarai-ya Goyou (House of Five Leaves) 2010 historical, drama 12 An inconveniently meek and unassuming ronin finally lands a job as a mysterious gangster's bodyguard, only to be drawn into more and more complications. Hulu
Miss Hokusai 2015 historical, drama, feature film 1 A series of vignettes from the life of the stubborn and talented artist O-Ei, apprentice and daughter of the famed artist Hokusai. Netflix
Poco's Udon World 2016 contemporary, slice of life, fantasy 12 A young man returns to his hometown to manage affairs after his father's death, only to discover a baby tanuki. A story about family, home, and parenthood. Crunchyroll
Tokyo Godfathers 2003 contemporary, drama, dramedy 1 Three homeless citydwellers encounter an abandoned baby and set out to return her to her family. It may be officially labeled "comedy" but there's a pretty violent beatdown scene. Also, one of the heroes is a trans woman and the translation probably is terrible about it.
Little Witch Academia 2017 fantasy, adventure 25 A clumsy but enthusiastic girl enrolls in witch school despite having no magical heritage; what she lacks in talent she makes up for in sheer grit and uncanny ability to find trouble. Netflix
Seinto Oniisan (Saint Young Men) 2013 slice of life, comedy, feature film 1 Jesus and Buddha visit Earth in the form of young men and spend a vacation as roommates in Tokyo.


Please send me the following only:
  1. specific, personal accessibility concerns ("This button/script/palette screws with my phone/screenreader/etc.")
  2. corrections of factual errors ("It released in 2015" / "She wields an axe, not a sword" / "You misspelled 'ghost'")
  3. updates regarding a title's streaming availability -- I freely admit I'm not keeping track beyond the initial entry
  4. opinions on whether a title I included has fanservice -- I might have missed something, especially in older titles
Please do not send me unsolicited comments about titles I did not include, opinions on anything other than the fanservicelessness of titles I did include, etc.


For my use in updating this table.