Watching anime is one of the most fun and wholesome activities you can share with your children. Japanese cartoons have a unique and special charm to them that is very different from the usual fare of children’s cartoons.
This anime Perler bead list is actually very special. I put in my best effort to curate a list of the best anime for children. A lot of these I watched with my own children, but some I happily discovered with research. (I just finished watching Princess Tutu now!)
The great thing about good anime is that you can watch it at any age. I’ve re-watched the Ghibli movies countless times, but there is always something new to discover and learn every time.
This being a kid-friendly anime list, I hope you find designs for your next Perler bead projects.
In Japan, Anpanman is one of the most well-loved anime series among children. Anpanman is a kind and just superhero who has an anpan for a head (a bean-filled bread pastry). He helps people in need by breaking off pieces of his bread face for them to eat. His adversary is Baikinman, an evil anthropomorphic germ.
For sure, Anpanman is a curious hero. His illustrator Takashi Yanase calls him the world’s weakest hero. He can’t use his powers when he gets wet and he gets weaker every time he gives away pieces of himself. Ironically, the invincible Saitama of One Punch Man was based on Anpanman.
In 2018, BTS released Anpanman, a song about how one doesn’t have to have amazing powers to give the world hope and solace.
I don’t have biceps or pecs– BTS singing Anpanman, 2018
I don’t have a super car like Batman
My ideal is a really cool hero
But all I can give you is just Anpan
The original 1980 Astro Boy is a cool anime for young children to watch. It’s about a robot boy with amazing super powers. He can fly, has super strength, has a built-in arsenal of weapons, and to top it all off, he is built with super-intelligence. The series revolves around him saving Metro City and the people he loves. What makes Astro Boy special though are the fragile emotions of this little boy despite his robot body. Honestly, there were many times in the series that I just wanted to adopt him, give him a warm hug, and feed him a homecooked meal.
Here is a Perler bead design of Astro Boy in one of his iconic poses – midflight with jets on full blast.
Anime sports fans, we can’t forget Captain Tsubasa. Tsubasa made soccer look super cool and exciting. A young protégé, it was very satisfying to see Tsubasa and his friends overcome rival after rival team all the while going through their own personal character developments. I wouldn’t be surprised if your child has the Rise of New Champions video game.
Here is a Perler bead design of Tsubasa in his iconic soccer uniform.
We can’t have an anime list without Cardcaptor Sakura. In our household, the show is the mother of all magical girl anime. The girls loved the adventures of Sakura from that fateful moment when she released the magical cards and her journey in retrieving the cards. I personally liked how cheerful, responsible, kind to others, and emotionally strong Sakura remained throughout the episode. I felt that she was a good character for my daughters to watch.
Honestly, there were so many cute designs to choose from. In the end, I settled on this chibi Sakura with Kero Chan.
I also stumbled across this 3D Sakura. I can’t find a tutorial on how to make her but I just had to show this to you. It makes me wish my 3D Perler bead skills were better!
I highly recommend Chi’s Sweet Adventure for very young kids and cat lovers. This show totally understands cats and if you’re a cat mom, you’ll definitely see your pet in the adorable Chi.
The show is all about the day to day life of Chi and the Yamada family. It sounds uneventful but every show is a little gem. It’s funny when Chi’s hijinks go full throttle, endearing Chi pulls out the adorable kitten card, and sweet when the family gets together. It kind of reminds me of Calvin and Hobbies with how the main characters and their family are just bursting with personality and fun. Just a warning though that it may choke you up sometimes because, well, Chi’s lost her real cat mum.
Here is an awesomely detailed Perler bead design of the adorable Chi.
If you ever need to prove that anime is super unique and creative, just introduce the naysayer to Doraemon. When I first saw Doraemon, I thought he was a strange-looking blue bear, but this is a case where fact is stranger than supposition.
Doraemon is a cat robot from the 22nd century sent to the past to take care of young Nobita Nobi. After robot mice chewed off his ears, he turned blue from the shock of losing his yellow color. Doraemon is OP because he has a 4D pouch where he stores tools and gadgets from the future. Kids will no doubt identify with the kind-hearted but unlucky Nobita, and be tickled pink with the idea of having a friend like Doraemon by their side.
Here is Doraemon in all his blue cat glory.
Dragon Ball is one of the legendary anime series. The girls (and their playmates) had a phase where they kept doing the Kamehama attacks. If you don’t know it, then you’ve been living under a rock.
Dragon Ball follows the story of young monkey-tailed Goku on a quest to find the seven mystical Dragon Balls. On the way, he fights many battles and meets many friends and comrades. Dragon Ball is loosely based on the folk tale Journey to the West which tells the story of Buddhist monk Xuánzàng’s pilgrimage to find the sutras.
Now check out this amazing Perler bead design of the lovable Son Goku.
Here’s another anime that’s right along the lines of Chi’s Sweet Adventure. Hamtaro is a curious hamster who goes on various adventures and expeditions with the Ham-Hams, his fellow hamster playmates. Unlike the other anime on this list that appeal to a wide range of audiences, Hamtaro is best enjoyed by very young kids. You can find English-dubbed episodes on YouTube.
Check out this very cute Perler bead Hamtaro.
Here is the pattern for it.
Howl’s Moving Castle – Calcifer
Out of Studio Ghibli’s masterpieces, my personal favorite is Howl’s Moving Castle. I first read of Howl’s story in the pages of Diana Wynne Jones’ book. One of my favorite fantasy authors, she wove a wonderfully whimsical love story. Later, Hayao Miyazaki would create an anime out of it. And while certain elements changed somewhat, Miyazaki was able to capture and recreate the best things from the book — the huge walking and creaking castle, the OST Merry Go Round of Life (which my piano-playing daughter actually learned), the magical doors of Howl’s cottage, Sophie’s disguise, dashing Howl, and all the lovable side characters.
I was hoping to find a Perler bead (or even Hama bead) artwork of the castle itself, but I failed. I only found this spectacular diamond painting project.
Still, I DO have a Perler bead work to share. It seems that crafters have a bias for Calcifer. Most of the Perler bead artworks for this anime are of this fiery spirit.
You can find the pattern here.
I am sharing the official trailer because I can’t help myself.
Even if you’ve never watched the cartoon, you might have seen Kirby if you’ve played the game Super Smash Brothers. Kirby is a pink blob with superpowers. He can inhale things and creatures, and then later gain their powers. He uses these powers to save his home Planet Popstar and other worlds. Kids love Kirby because he is cheerful, fearless in the face of danger, and loves food. The anime is created for young children, but it should also be quite entertaining for parents as well.
Last Airbender – Aang
Even though the real life action movie tanked, the original anime of The Last Airbender was excellent. The concept of elemental powers and one Avatar possessing all four powers made from a great story, and the anime really delivered with well-executed storytelling.
Happily, there are a lot of Last Airbender Perler bead artworks out there but this Aang is my favorite.
Little Witch Academia – Akko
In every list of anime for children, Little Witch Academia is never absent. My daughters LOVED this anime when they were little, and it probably holds a lot of nostalgia for them now if we were to re-watch it. The show follows the personal journey of a young witch named Akko. She has a non-magical background so she struggles when she enters the prestigious Luna Nova Magical Academy – a school for witches in training. The stories are very entertaining and the artwork topnotch.
Here is a Perler bead project of Akko holding her magic relic.
The Moomins are unforgettable characters. Resembling white hippos, they are actually a family of trolls. They live in a quaint house in Momminvalley and have various adventures with their equally interesting friends. It’s a great show for children because Moomintroll is a kind, curious, and brave little boy who always tries to be good despite the occasional scrapes he gets into.
Naruto – Sasuke and Naruto
Who doesn’t know Naruto? Many anime lovers fell for the story of the young orphan ninja who struggled to find his place in a seemingly cold village. The draw for me was Naruto’s crazy potential given that he was the Nine-Tails’ host. An underdog story, it was so easy to cheer for young Naruto’s every success as he grew into his power.
Here is an excellent piece from the Perler Bead Post featuring Naruto and Sasuke.
Natsume’s Book of Friends – Nyanko Sensei
Most anime lovers know the usual anime titles — Naruto, Cardcaptor Sakura, One Piece, Dragon Ball. Anytime these shows are mentioned, it’s most likely that they’d be recognized. However, I feel that my favorite anime of all time is a little more obscure. It’s a pity because it’s an absolute gem of a series.
Natsume is an orphaned teenager who can see spirits or yokai. It makes for a dangerous and anxiety-ridden life because once the (often nasty) spirits realize that he can see them, they always start chasing the poor boy. Predictably, his peers find his behavior very strange. Then one day, Natsume discovers The Book of Friends, his grandmother’s mysterious notebook that binds powerful spirits. Later, he accidentally frees Madara, a powerful beast yokai and forms a contract with him. Thus begins the beautiful and unexpected friendship between Nyanko Sensei (the yokai’s tabby cat form) and Natsume. From there, they meet more yokai (friendly and otherwise), people, and new friends.
Here is the funny food-loving Nyanko Sensei.
If I were to ask you to watch just one anime, I would recommend Natsume Yuujinchou for its supernatural setting, buoyant humor, interesting new characters per episode, beautiful art, excellent big name voice actors, and a rich backdrop of Japanese lore. But what REALLY makes it unforgettable are the bittersweet ephemeral feelings of loneliness and sadness that hit you in the gut at the end of each episode. My daughter and I would sometimes laugh at each other for being in tears by the time the ED played out.
The lyrics are very beautiful and poignant.
My Neighbor Totoro – Totoro
Most, if not all, of Studio Ghibli’s anime are highly recommended for both young and old alike. My Neighbor Totoro is the magical story that starts when Professor Tatsuo moves into an old house in the country side with his two daughters Satsuki and Mei. By the time the dust sprites coyly show themselves and the two children roll about the house in a chaotic way, you already know for sure that this show is gold. The story and animation is 11/10, a true Hayao Miyazaki masterpiece.
Here is a chibi of the massive forest spirit Totoro with his iconic umbrella.
Check out the pattern here.
One Piece is the TV series that appears to go on forever. As of writing, more than a thousand episodes have been aired all around the world. Its fans cannot seem to get enough of it as they’re still sticking around fillers notwithstanding. Credit has to be given to its mangaka Eiichiro Oda. He created an intricate world, engaging characters with the best chemistry and synergy, and a compelling storyline. We’re cheering for Luffy and his the Straw Hat Pirates to finally find the One Piece so that Luffy can become the next Pirate King.
There are many good Perler bead artworks of Luffy, but for this show, I chose this cute collection of bead sprite magnets of the whole gang.
Pokémon – Pikachu
And finally, we get to one of the most loved anime in the world, Pokémon! Many young adults today grew up following the adventures and misadventures of Ash Ketchum and his trusty Pikachu. Even non-anime watchers can immediately recognize the bright yellow Pikachu.
Here is the pattern for our bubbly Pikachu.
Ponyo was one of the Ghibli movies that we watched just recently. I think we held off simply because it looked so strange. And strange it was when we finally got around to watching it. It has magical goldfish, a toy boat that gets bigger, a scary submarine, an old folk’s home, a pure-hearted boy named Sosuke, and a goldfish who wanted to be a human girl. Two words that describe the whole movie would be magical and fantastical. You’ll always be at the edge of your seat, too.
And just like any Hayao Miyazaki movie, it imparts a VERY important lesson about nature which I’ll leave for you to discover.
Here is Ponyo in her goldfish form.
My girls grew up watching the Powerpuff Girls. It was so faithfully watched in our house that I could do the narration even in my sleep:
Sugar, spice, and everything nice. These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little girl. But Professor Utonium accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction–Chemical X. Thus, The Powerpuff Girls were born. Using their ultra-super powers Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup have dedicated their lives to fighting crime and the forces of evil!
I bet you read that in your head in the narrator’s voice, too, didn’t you? Now here are the girls off to save the day.
Here is the pattern for your reference.
Here’s more magical fighting girls coming your way. In each series, the show introduces new characters with new magical items, abilities, new allies, and even stronger enemies. The charms of the show include the pretty transformations, new stories, and the kick-ass fight scenes. While most shows revolve around solving puzzles and problems, Precure is a lot like Sailor Moon but with a whole lot more cool physical fighting.
Princess Tutu is an anime that is not for the faint of heart. For risk of giving any spoilers, I will just say that the story is an amalgam of The Ugly Duckling and The Swan Lake, two stories that are inherently sad and painful. Yet Tutu is such a bright character, her everyday life just as colorful, and the ballet dancing and score simply magnificent that you’d be hard put to pass it up.
I feel that somebody loved Princess Tutu so much that they created this Perler bead artwork.
And here is Duck ingeniously hung up against a window with a suction cup. The garden backdrop is perfect. Duck, wherever you are, I hope you are happy.
Sailor Moon is another very popular magical girl type anime. Some claim that Sailor Moon popularized the genre. Even if my girls didn’t watch it, I can definitely recognize Sailor Moon anywhere in that outfit and blonde pigtails. In case you didn’t know, some claim that Sailor Moon is strong enough to beat Son Goku.
Here is a chibi of Usagi Tsukino.
And here is a pattern of her very recognizable silhouette.
Cut and Keep created this easy Sailor Moon transformation brooch. It’s a small piece that you can use if ever your child wants to cosplay or you can even turn it into a ref magnet or a keychain.
Spirited Away – Sen and Haku
Spirited Away is one of our family’s Top 3 favorite anime movies by Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki. It is magical, whimsical, and everything I always wanted in a story. I believe that every child longs for a magical secret world that they can stumble upon and Spirited Away is exactly that and more. The characters inhabiting them are so unique, the backdrop breathtaking, the conflict gripping, and every frame is exquisite.
Whatever age you are, it’s always a good time to re-watch this Miyazaki masterpiece. A young child might perhaps understand it as simply a story about a child who tries to rescue her parents, but as one grows older and our experiences broaden so too does our understanding of the movie change. This movie truly deserved to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature for 2002.
Here are chibis of Sen and Haku.
And this is the grandiose Bathhouse owned by the intimidating Yubaba.
Let’s volt in! If you know this catchphrase, then you’re one of many who watched Voltron, the Defenders of the Universe. Whenever I would hear these blessed words, I knew the bad guy was finally getting the ass-beating they deserved.
Looking for Demon Slayer? We have a whole page dedicated for Demon Slayer Perler Bead Patterns.
Looking for Demon Slayer? We have a whole page dedicated for Genshin Impact Perler Bead Patterns.
I hope that this list helps you not only find good Perler bead ideas but also the best anime suited for your young children. Please do bookmark this page and share it with your fellow parents and crafters!