Top 5 60’s Shoujo Anime You Need To See
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It’s difficult to find a big list of 60’s anime mostly because it doesn’t exist. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of anime in the 1960’s, but not nearly as much as you can find in later decades. Anime was such a new phenomenon. I’m not sure we can even call it a phenomenon back then. There was a huge boom in manga sales during the 70’s, but that wouldn’t have taken place without all the cool, experimental anime of the 60’s.
Animation in general, on a worldwide scale, was very much hindered by World War II. Resources were limited and many nations focused their attention on the war at hand. Even though some of the first productions of what we would consider anime was created decades prior, the 1960’s was the first opportunity for anime to begin to thrive.
Today I’m looking at some 60’s shoujo anime. What’s a shoujo? We don’t typically divide our media into this type of category. It refers to the target demographic rather than the media itself. Shoujo is intended for a primarily female audience.
So let’s take a look at some of the coolest shoujo anime from the 1960’s!
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Attack No. 1 is a sports drama shoujo about a girl named Kozue Ayuhara. The story is about her experience as the newest member of her high school volleyball team. Ayuhara recently moved to the school from Tokyo. When she steps into the team, it doesn’t set well with the existing members.
Volleyball was notably popular in Japan during the 60’s—this was likely helped by the women’s volleyball gold victory in the 1964 Olympics. This definitely helped Attack No. 1 catch on in popularity.
Like I said, this show is a drama. It follows Ayuhara’s struggles, relationships, and growth—something very appealing to a teenage or young adult demographic. The manga was created by Chikako Urano in 1968, while the anime was produced by a studio known as TMS Entertainment in 1969.
Himitsu no Akko-chan
This next show is kind of hard to find. I was able to locate clips of the intro song online, and I have faith that with a little research you can find what you need, too.
This is Himitsu no Akko-chan. This show is a wonderful example of studio Toei’s early work. The manga this show is based off of was written by Fujio Akatsuka way back in 1962.
Seven years later, the manga finally received its first anime adaptation. It’s about a really young and rather naive schoolgirl named Atsuka Kagami. She has a serious thing for mirrors for some reason, and really takes to one given to her by her mother. When it accidentally breaks, she finds much sentiment in the mirror and decides to bury it outside instead of throwing it away.
This act of kindness inspires a supernatural being from some kind of mirror dimension, who gives her a magical mirror capable of magical transformations. She can turn into anything she wants with it. This series has received a few adaptations, the most recent being in 2012!
This next series is called Akane chan. The studio behind the series, Toei, curated the creation of the show intentionally.
An interesting figure I found working on the production of the anime was Yasuo Yamaguchi. You may know him for his work on Candy Candy! But let’s get back to Akane chan. The original manga was written by Tetsuya Chiba and published alongside the anime in 1968.
The story is about, you guessed it, I hope, Akane chan. She’s a lovely, curious girl who’s spent most of her life growing up in the country. But life quickly picks up speed when she moves to a new school in Tokyo.
She makes friends with a couple of misfits who form a nice little rag tag team—perfect for adventures. They even find a huge dog to join their journey. What do they name this giant fuzzy pup? Chibi of course.
If you’re looking for a fun, easy going shoujo—you may want to look elsewhere because this show is hard to find! I managed to find a few clips of the intro online. Just, please be careful not to mix it up with Akane chan Overdrive. That is NOT the same franchise.
Ribbon no Kishi
This series was created by the legendary Osamu Tezuka. For those who may not recognize this name, he’s very notorious for his creation Astroboy.
This series is called Ribbon no Kishi (or Princess Knight in a few English adaptations). It’s a really unique show and you should definitely look into it if you’re into super retro shows. The manga was first created back in 1953. It was published in Shoujo Club by Kodansha.
The story is about Princess Sapphire who’s raised as a prince with the intention of her becoming the successor to the kingdom. But when evil forces start to meddle in her business and hurt the kingdom, she decides to disguise herself as Princess Knight.
This was a very popular show and definitely influential on anime as a whole.
And the number one 60’s shoujo anime on this list is…Mahoutsukai Sally!—also known as Sally The Witch.
This show is a retro anime classic. It’s cemented forever in anime history as the first magical girl anime. Sally is…as you may have heard, a witch. She longs to visit the mortals of Earth and has the opportunity to disguise herself as a human.
Along the way, she makes a couple of friends and decides it’s best to keep her magical powers a secret. The show focuses around her adventures and attempt to keep her secret safe.
This show had an incredible impact on Japanese culture. These shows are like the Hannah Barbera cartoons of Japan. Everyone was watching them. Everyone knew Sally Yumeno.
The original manga was written by Mitsuteru Yokoyama and released in July of 1966. Studio Toei oversaw the anime production which released later that year in December.
Do you need more shoujo in your life? Be sure to check out these awesome lists of shoujo anime from decades past!