10 Great Doga Kobo anime To watch

When thinking about moe anime, Kyoto Animation may be the first name to come to mind. And, after having produced such cute shows as K-On!, Lucky Star, or even Kyoukai no Kanata, if one thing must be said, it’s that this studio stands apart from others. But if one studio could compare to Kyoto Animation’s mastery, that might just be Doga Kobo, having already put together Yuru Yuri, Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san, Koisuru Asteroid.

Being able to contend with the industry’s giant and its cultivated flavor already means a lot. But who Doga Kobo really is? Toei Animation, known for One Piece, or Dragon Ball, once was Toei Doga. Back in 1973, two former animators from this company, Megumu Ishiguro and Hideo Furusawa, decided to found their own studio. At first subcontracted to produce for other studios like Ghibli, OLM (Pokémon movies) or Shin-Ei Animation (Crayon Shin-chan, Doraemon movies), the studio then became a joint-stock company in 2006, thus being able to produce its own series with Myself; Yourself in 2007.

For experience is better displayed by former accomplishments, a bunch of names may explain more about the studio itself. Let’s just say they are the ones behind Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Yuru Yuri, Plastic Memories, Himouto! Umaru-chan, New Game!, Gabriel DropOut, Love Lab. Doga Kobo is a studio that can be known for a few trends. They first started to animate shows in order to advertise visual novels (Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi, Myself; Yourself, 11eyes), but also cultivated the art of CGDCT (New Game!, Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!). They can also be credited for moving romance comedies, with works like Plastic Memories or Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

For the sake of diversity, without pretending to exhaustivity, this article features 10 series with which you may discover Doga Kobo as a studio under a different day. In order to be relevant, the titles hence mentioned all date from the past decade.

Sansha Sanyou (2016)

Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, School, Slice of Life
Synopsis: Futaba is a lively girl that loves to eat. Teru at first may seem an angel, but in truth possesses a demonic nature as class president. Youko is the poor daughter of a once rich family, whose father’s company went bankrupt. Though the three of them possess the kanji for “leaf” in their name, they share almost nothing.
Sansha Sanyou, in essence focusing on the twists and charms of its youthful cast’s amities, develops a take on personalities as they adapt to one another. Other than that, its comedy brims with hilarity, lightening the somewhat dark mood due to tackling a high schooler’s adaptation to poverty.
Available at: Funimation.com

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New Game! (2016)

Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, Game, Slice of Life
Synopsis: Freshly graduating from high school, Aoba Suzukaze aims to join Eagle Jump, a video game company involved in her favorite game’s making. Luckily for her, she even gets to be working with her idol, Kou Yagami, in her team department. The series then proceeds to display the team department’s progress as the game continues to be made, as well as Aoba’s acclimatation to her co-workers.
New Game! is a series you may like if you either are curious about the video game industry, or if you find art an interesting theme to build a story around. Because the show adopts a corporate environment, and its characters are faced with mature issues, and for its coloration remains bright throughout everything, it is likely to appeal to a wide variety of ages.
Available at: Funimation.com, Crunchyroll.com

Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? (2019)

Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, Ecchi, Slice of Life, Sports
Synopsis: Hibiki Sakura, a gluttonous high schooler, after remarks about her growing midriff voiced by her best friend, decides to exercise. After trying alone unsuccessfully, she joins Silverman Gym, a brand new establishment that’s close by. There, she runs into Akemi Souryuuin, the Student Council President. Met by a muscle fetishist and by famous bodybuilders, Hibiki tries to leave, but eventually signs up as a gym member.
Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? is an interesting take from Doga Kobo, as they’re not known to tackle the sports genre. Anyhow, this anime may be your luck to start out fitness, for it aims to gloriously display what gym is really all about, in an educational, fun and spectacular fashion.
Available at: Funimation.com

Luck & Logic (2016)

Episodes: 12
Genres: Action, Fantasy
Synopsis: Some day, Tsurugi Yoshichika, a civilian lacking “Logic”, meets Athena, a beautiful goddess in possession of Tsurugi’s lost card. Because of this, Tsurugi is able to become a logicalist again, and to join ALCA, a police specialized in protecting the city from otherworldly foreigners eager to conquer the world.
Luck & Logic tells the tale of professional protectors of the city as they go on with their work. But it also features a romantic flavor with the symbolism that trances involve: for example, Athena and Tsurugi fuse together each time they are to fight. Though following a simplistic plot, a thing most Doga Kobo productions seem to share, it manages to put together a gorgeous action and an exciting development.
Available at: Funimation.com

Yuru Yuri (2011)

Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, School, Shoujo Ai, Slice of Life
Synopsis: Founding the clandestine “Amusement Club” meant to occupy the now vacant Tea Club’s room, Akari’s friends, Kyouko and Yui, intend to make the most fun of ouf their middle school days. Soon enough a new member, Chinatsu, joins their club, at first seeking to join the Tea Club itself.
The show tells the tale of their aimless youthful days, all the while spiced by the Student Council’s piqued interest in the Amusement Club. Yuru Yuri, being the chaotic yet relaxing comedy it is, doesn’t really follow any kind of plot, instead focusing on cultivating a soothing sentiment that is sure to last.
Available at: Crunchyroll.com

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Plastic Memories (2015)

Episodes: 13
Genres: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Synopsis: Thanks to his father’s ties, Tsukasa lands a job at SAI Corp, a company involved in the production and gestion of “Giftias”, androids with personalities similar to that of ordinary humans. Tsukasa’s station, Terminal Service One, is charged with the disposal of expirating Giftias, subceptible to meet memory loss after their lifespan, and whose inhibitive functions altogether cease to function, becoming hostile. Plastic Memories is also the story of Tsukasa and Isla, his Giftia co-worker, of a meek and peaceful nature, and their budding relationship, even though her lifespan is almost over.
Plastic Memories is like a violin: able to get grievous, solemn and emotional at key times, or keeping a consistent mood otherwise. But this gem charms in other ways as well, possessing a futuristic and colorful vibe, and featuring some good and touching music.
Available at: Hulu.com

Houkago Teibou Nisshi (2020)

Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, School, Seinen, Slice of Life
Synopsis: Do you know how to fish? Hina Tsurugi, freshly moving to a peaceful seaside town, doesn’t at first. By chance or fate, she soon meets Yuuki Kuroiwa, one of her new upperclassmen, inviting her to fish. As Hina reels in an octopus, she is utterly disgusted! Somehow, Yuuki gets Hina to fish with her club as a first trial, hoping to make her fall in love with fishing. Little by little, she accustomates herself to fishing with the Breakwater Club, mostly renowned for its weirdness.
Houkago Teibou Nisshi follows Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?’s educational fashion, though this time, instead of using aspects like cosplay or ecchi to create a bridge between otaku culture and the world of fitness, it’s instead bonding and a relaxing experience that are used to glorify fishing. The spice of this show may become the various species fished here and there, however the coronavirus outbreak and Japan’s current emergency state stopped this series’ airing as well as some other shows this season.
Available at: Funimation.com

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (2014)

Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, Romance, School
Synopsis: Chiyo, a happy high schooler that fell in love for Nozaki, confessed to him. Oblivious to her declaration, he gives her an autograph. The reason is that the boy is also a shoujo mangaka. Incomprehension and hazard both ensue as Chiyo becomes Nozaki’s assistant. During the show, some of her weird schoolmates become acquaintances, as she pursues to help Nozaki, hoping for him to comprehend her feelings.
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun comes with a similar flavor to Love Lab, from the same studio, in which the cast tried to discover what love is about, in that here, it’s the art of shoujo manga that becomes an object of science. For anyone loving relationships in the making, or curious about the mangaka profession, you will love it.
Available at: Crunchyroll.com

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Koisuru Asteroid (2020)

Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, School, Slice of Life
Synopsis: As a child, Mira once met Ao, stargazing. Even if they did not know each other for long, Ao initiated Mira to astronomy’s beauty. As they departed, Mira learned she shared her name with a star, but none with Ao’s. She then promises to name a celestial body Ao. Now an high schooler, Mira joins the Earth Sciences Club, a mishmash formed by the Geology Club and the Astronomy Club. It is there she encounters her fateful friend, Ao. Wishing to fulfill their shared dream, the two of them and their clubmates spend their youthful days.
Koisuru Asteroid, one of Doga Kobo’s most recent series, share with Houkago Teibou Nisshi a poetry in its execution: where one tackles fishing and the ocean, the other focuses on astronomy and the starry sky. Its lesbian undertones may be appreciated as much as in other Doga Kobo productions.
Available at: Crunchyroll.com, Funimation.com

GJ-bu (2013)

Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, School, Slice of Life
Synopsis: Most school clubs possess clear activities, but the GJ Club is unlike them. Kyouka Shinomiya, the most recent addition to this club, finds himself the sole boy among five. The other members all are cute oddballs, with Kirara Bernstein, a petite girl with a feline personality easily stealing the shine of everyone else.
GJ-bu doesn’t embarrass itself with pretending to follow a plot, nor to be clearly defined. Instead it simply exists, exciting, fun; a chaotic curiosity with its own logic. This kind of show is better suited for times when you want to turn your brains off, but to be sure not to get your heart crushed by the end of it. Though the formula may not be unique, GJ-bu does its own thing with such an impact that it’s exemplary.
Available at: Crunchyroll.com

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