Studying or training as the main plot
I am looking for anything (manga/anime/drama) with a story that revolves around studying or some sort of training in hopes to reach their goals. It has to a major part of the story. I want the plot to be somebody getting educated and working towards their goals.
Anime’s that I’ve seen and are similar to what I’m looking for.
Love Hina – 50% of the story was him studying to get into Tokyo U.
Aria – Every episode involved training.
Honey and Clover
Not exactly what I’m looking for, but still kind of works.
Sakurasou - I felt this anime was more of learning how to be less envious of others, rather than someone getting educated.
Cooking Master Boy
What I’m NOT looking for.
Any sports anime – I know sports is all about training oneself over and over again. But I’ve seen pretty much every single one of them.
Fighting / action anime.
The main character being in conveniently being in high school when it has absolutely nothing to do with education (Code Geass, Death Note, Suzumiya, etc)
Kaleido Star comes to mind. Lots of training and striving as a performer.
In Skip Beat! the protag works to become an actress/idol.
I haven't really watched it, but there's Glass no Kamen.
As for manga... Ashita no Ousama is the first to come to mind (didn't see you were looking for manga as well, would have listed more to begin with... but I'm done lol).
These are the best I can think of that fit your requirements
welcome to the nhk
I almost forgot
Bakuman is one of the best. While it is not about education, main heroes are racing towards theirl goal to become great mangakas.
Uchuu Kyoudai - ongoing series where main hero tries his best to become an astronaut and visit a moon with his brother.
I know you said no sport shows but did you try Chihayafuru? 2nd season is in progress right. While it is a sport anime, it has its own unique atmosphere as well.
GTO - main hero starves to become the best teacher in Japan and in order to become one he tries to help his students in any way he can. One of the arcs involved him studying himself.
What have you seen so far? Do you have a full list?
Space Brothers is the first one that springs to mind, although most of the learning is usually obtained through tests and exams. It's about a guy competing to become an astronaut.
Kemono no Souja Erin is about a girl that learns a lot about how to handle beasts. It's in a fantasy setting but it's not an action anime and it's more slice of life/drama. It can be quite slow but I think it has exactly what you're looking for.
Ikoku Meiro no Croisee would probably fit in the "Not exactly what you’re looking for, but still kind of works" category. Although it's not official, the main girl does spend a lot of time learning about another culture whilst working.
Usagi Drop is about a guy learning how to raise a kid, though there's no official training involved and aims and goals are technically not as clear cut. If that counts then I'd also recommend The Wolf Children which is a film about a mother learning how to raise kids that can turn into wolves. :heh:
The only other ones I can think of would be The Idolm@aster and Piano no Mori but I guess that would also be in the same category as Tari Tari.
Strong seconds to Space Brothers and Chihayafuru. I'd also recommend as a manga 3-gatsu no Lion which is by the same Mangaka as Honey & Clover. You might enjoy the historical manga Historie about Eumenes the personal secretary of Alexander the Great.
I know you said you weren't interested in things sports/martial arts related but I've got some mangas I have to recommend because they're so so good.
Baby Steps a very realistic take on Tennis, and if it helps the MC was a book-nerd prior to taking up tennis and takes a very analytic approach with pages and pages of notes.
All Rounder Meguru - Normally I really really hate martial arts mangas, but this is one of my all time favorite series. It details in an absurdly realistic way the training and matches involved in Shooto, or Japanese mixed martial arts.
And then anything by Adachi Mitsuru, which would be Cross Game(Baseball), Katsu! (Boxing), Rough(Swimming) and H2(Baseball).
Nodame Cantabile is what I call a "senpai romance" where a younger woman falls for her older mentor. There are others in this genre, particularly Toshokan Sensou, Planetes, and perhaps REC. In these the young lady is training to be an armed librarian, a space trash collector, and a voice actor respectively.
Along the lines of Chihayafuru, I'll add two other shows about board games, the rather well-known Hikaru no Go and its punningly named "sister" Shion no Ou. They both focus on middle-schoolers who decide to pursue a career as a competitive game player, Go in Hikaru's case and Shougi ("Japanese chess") in Shion's. Hikaru's story follows the memes of shounen "levelling up" stories; Shion's includes a murder mystery as well.
Another possibility might be Nijuu Mensou no Musume about a young girl who is kidnapped by a master thief and learns his trade.
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