One of the reasons why I, along with millions of fans around the world, love our anime is because they’re creative. They can push the boundaries of imagination by taking us to new worlds. We also love the bombastic action scenes, heartfelt moments and silly comedy. We also grow to love the characters, both the ones with deep motivations and the stereotypes. We even love them for the fanservice they throw in for no reason!
There is this one aspect I’ve noticed that has been popping up in anime as of late. That aspect is the educational benefit you can get from watching an anime. Oh, there aren’t all that much of them and the teaching moments aren’t really the focus of the story. However, you can definitely learn a thing or three from watching the 5 animes below.
#1 Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? (How Heavy are the Dumbbell You Lift?) for Physical Education
You might even get a little too fit if you take what this anime teaches you to the extreme!
Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? or How Heavy are the Dumbbell (sic) You Lift? in English follows the exploits of high schooler Hibiki Sakura who joins a gym in order to lose some weight. When it turns out the gym is more of a bodybuilding gym than the spa she thought she was joining, she wants to quit but does get sucked up in the world of lifting weights and, in general, getting more muscle in order to stay slim. Hibiki and her friends’ exploits generally do follow just trying to get fit. There’s no over arching plot or evil to be destroyed. No, it’s mostly just a group of girls learning about lifting weights and getting fit, which is not a bad idea.
The educational benefit of Dumbbells comes from when the anime does teach you how to execute the exercises properly. It tries to educate the viewer on the proper form to get the most out of each exercise. It even gives suggestions on how to perform some exercises at home. It teaches you several bodyweight exercises as well as home alternatives like doing dips on a chair or substituting traditional weights for things like a backpack with books or even a filled water bottle.
I have seen all of the 13 episodes Dumbbells has to offer and I have tried some of the home workouts. They are tough, if you’re a beginner like me. So, if you are stuck at home (and, really, who isn’t nowadays?), you might want to give Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?/How Heavy are the Dumbbell You Lift? a watch and do some of the workouts there to keep yourself from getting all flabby.
#2 Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma for Cooking and Home Economics
I’m no chef but I can actually make some of these dishes… I think.
Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma follows Yukihira Soma, the son of a diner cook who is sent to the prestigious Totsuki Culinary Institute to learn more about cooking from there. Most of the school’s graduates move on to become heralded chefs, leading to most students having an air of superiority. However, Yukihira Soma, despite being a simple diner cook, still succeeds as he manages to infused the years of practical experience into the lessons as well as getting the upper hand against his opponents in the Shokugekis, the school’s cooking competition that is used to resolve conflicts.
There have been cooking animes in the past but, in my humble opinion, Food Wars! tops them all because, at least most of them anyway, every dish that is made looks like something I could make right now as they are deceptively simple! The Gotcha! Pork Roast is just mashed potatoes wrapped in bacon. The Chaliapin Steak Don dish is just a cheap steak that’s been marinated in diced onions. Probably the simplest dish seen in Food Wars! is the Egg Souffle omelette as it’s just eggs!
I actually tried making Soma’s Egg Souffle based on the anime and it was a triumph… mostly. My Egg Souffle did kind of deflate quite a bit and I’m not really sure where I went wrong. I’m guessing I was too rough when mixing the beaten egg whites with the egg yolks. Lesson learned! Still, the main fact I made something of that caliber impressed me! If I can do it, you can!
#3 Dr. Stone for General Science
Well, I guess it would look like magic to a caveman, wouldn’t it?
Dr. Stone is the story of Senku Ishigami and Taiju Oki. The entire human race entered a petrified state for no apparent reason and Senku and Taiju are revived inexplicably. While Taiju has no real skills, Senku is a scientific genius. The duo decide to find a way to revive the rest of mankind, with Taiju providing most of the heavy lifting and Senku using his scientific know-how to return humanity to its former glory.
I have only seen a few episodes and there are definitely times when I feel like I’m watching the anime version of MacGyver as Senku has this vast knowledge of how to put together items to create the things that he needs. What Dr. Stone has over MacGyver, however, is Senku is working from scratch as the materials he does require needs to be rediscovered. It’s also neat how each invention and discovery leads to the next invention.
Now, I can’t really vouch for the science behind the low grade technological marvels that are “invented” here, but it does make it seem like they, at the very least, have the theoretical side down pat. I never liked my science class, specifically chemistry, as everything just in one ear and out the other in a blink of an eye. I do feel I absorbed a whole lot more about the subject in the few episodes of Dr. Stone I’ve viewed.
#4 Hataraku Saibo (Cells at Work) for Biology
I didn’t know my platelets are so cuuuuuuute!
Hataraku Saibo/Cells At Work is basically the story of the human body. It focuses on anthropomorphized cells in the blood, mostly focusing on a Red Blood Cell and a White Blood Cell. It basically shows how the human body works and how it fights of infections and the many weird things about bodily functions.
Probably one of the most fun animes I’ve seen in a while, Cells At Work still does a good job of giving viewers a simple and easy-to-follow manner on how the complex human body works. It explores thinks like what cancer really is, why the body behaves the way it does during an allergy attack as well as how viral infections work and how the body tries to fight it off. The impressive thing is how Cells At Work gets a lot of their explanations right. This isn’t coming from me; this is coming from actual doctors!
Cells At Work is a good way to get some working knowledge on how the human body works. Not only that, it’s a super entertaining anime as well! I breezed through the entire season on Netflix in one sitting! I really wanted to know what was the next thing they were going to tackle! If you can get me interested in learning, then you’re doing a great job at teaching me stuff!
#5 Sounan Desu Ka? (Are You Lost) for Basic Survival Skills
When the apocalypse comes, you’ll be glad to have watched this anime!
Sounan Desu Ka?/Are You Lost? is an anime about 4 high school girls who manage to survive a plane crash. They find themselves on a deserted island with no sight of civilization. Lucky for them, Homare, one of the girls, has endured survival training from her dad ever since she was little. Using this knowledge, she tries her best to keep the rest of the girls alive until they are rescued.
Now, some of the things can be rather useful, such as the 5 main ways to find drinking water and using a plastic water bottle and the sun to create fire. However, some things can be rather extreme but can be useful in dire situations and your survival is on the line. I didn’t know you can ingest water the reverse way so you can absorb unsafe water! Not like I’ll do that unless my life is on the line, but it is interesting!
I’m not sure how useful the lessons in Sounan Desu Ka? will be for the most of us but it does do a good job of trying to educate people regarding how to survive in the wild with nothing but bare supplies. I just hope civilization doesn’t crumble so I don’t have to dump contaminated water into my butt!
BONUS: Detective School Q or any other detective anime for Logic
Not a subject in school and it’s a little too general… but I just had to put it here.
We do seem to have forgotten to follow logical flow, don’t we? Well, a lot of animes can help with that! Any detective anime will challenge you to think of how something happened and will help you exercise the logical side of your brain. I just picked Detective School Q as it’s my detective anime of choice.
What other animes can you think of that will help you learn something? Let me know in the comments section below!