Taishō Era is among the shortest in Japan’s history, ranging from 1912 to 1926, namely the reign of the Taishō Emperor, Yashihito. This period saw an increase in westernization and political liberalism, elements that you will see in a lot of anime set during this era.
This shift of power caused many changes in the societal asset of the country, with the fall of many families belonging to the old order. Some may even define it as Japan’s roaring ’20s, about the progress of culture and openness to Western customs.
But this era isn’t all fun and games, as two tragic events market it: the Great Kanto Earthquake and World War I.
This listicle will show you the best anime set during the Taishō Era, teach you some history, and let you enjoy mesmerizing settings.
Table of Contents
6. Libra of Nil Admirari
A decent reverse harem with a historical setting and based on a Josei manga.
We’re in an alternate version of the Taisho era, in which the period didn’t end in 1926 but continued for an additional 25 years, where a Tsugumi Kuze marries a rich man whose name or face she doesn’t know.
Just before the arranged marriage, her younger brother attempts to commit suicide. After witnessing his attempted suicide, the protagonist gains the power to see the Aura of cursed books, called Maremono.
The situation of Tsugumi’s family describes the turn of events during Taishō Era, when some noble families began to lose relevance due to the political changes in the country.
On top of that, the villains of this show want to overthrow the current government, making this anime slightly more interesting if you are into political plots.
Unfortunately, Libra of Nil Admirari features a boring heroine and almost no romance. The synopsis is misleading, as there is close to no relationship throughout the series.
5. Sakura Wars
Sakura Wars is a steampunk media franchise that has a few anime adaptations. The general setting is a fictional Taishō era where girls with magical powers fight demons aboard mechas, so it’s also a great anime set in 1920.
A part of the series is set in Tokyo and the locations mirror reality with a blend of unique steampunk elements. Ginza is the most common district to be featured and for good reasons. It was one of the most important places during Taishō due to its new look and Western shops.
References include the Grand Imperial Theater in Ginza, inspired by the Imperial Theater in Marunouchi before the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923.
Other examples include Kabuki-za or the Imperial Hotel, both inspired by real-world locations.
The most striking difference in terms of history is that Sakura Wars’ Taishō Era ended much later, in 1940, also referred to as Taishō 29.
4. Taishō Baseball Girls
Taishō Baseball Girls is an anime that often gets overlooked, but it’s worth your time.
The show is a sports anime that takes place in the Taishō era, a time when Japan was on the brink of modernization but still held onto many traditional values, including the emancipation of women.
The protagonist, Koume Suzukawa, dreams of a more liberal and progressive lifestyle, but her father, a staunch traditionalist, is always there to remind her of her place.
When a friend suggests they form an all-girl baseball team to challenge men and defy societal expectations, will Koume leap?
Taishō Baseball Girls is a great sports anime that blends classic sports anime tropes with important historical themes. The animation style also brings a lot of nostalgia for fans of 2000s anime.
3. Here Comes Miss Modern
An interesting romcom that can be considered niche, as this movie isn’t popular at all. Actually, we should say 2 movies because they were adapted from the 42-episode anime.
Set during Taishō Era, the story follows Benio Hanamura, or Haikara-san, if you prefer. This girl is an orphan of her mother and was raised by her father, an officer in the Japanese army.
Haikara-san rejects the femininity notion of the time, as she doesn’t want an arranged marriage and is not interested in housework. This is conveyed by her Western look as well, to symbolize progress and the refusal to abide by outdated ideas.
The Western component is characteristic of the Taishō Era, as well as the presence of World War I, which happened during this era.
We love this anime because the main character believes in her sense of independence and it’s quite funny to watch. The second movie is not recommended as they ruined the climax built during the first, so we definitely recommend you watch the first.
But we can’t deny that this is one of the best historical romance so far.
2. Taishō Otome
Tamahiko is born into a wealthy family but will face some problems after he loses his mother and the use of his right arm in an accident.
She won’t be considered the heir anymore and her father will exile him. Tamahiko will have to live in one of the family properties.
One day he discovers that his father has bought him a wife to take care of him, the young Yuzuki.
Taishō Otome is a super fun romcom with a historical setting, as the name suggests. This is clearly visible from the presence of the tragic Great Kanto Earthquake on September 1, 1923.
1. Demon Slayer
While we don’t know the exact year, Demon Slayer is set during the Taishō Era. This is clearly visible from the fashion, steam locomotives, and the use of electricity.
This is even more evident when looking at Tokyo, a modern metropolis for the time that set a spark contrast to other areas of Japan. As mentioned before, fashion gives us a lot of clues about the setting of the series, due to Japan opening borders, we get to see Western clothes.
Muzan is such an example, as his clothes are all but Japanese.
Demon Slayer is the ideal anime to understand the contradictions and radical changes that affected Japan during the Taishō era.
Tanjiro every day travels to the city to sell coal. Upon returning home one evening, he discovers that his entire family has been mauled by a group of wild demons and that his beloved little sister Nezuko has herself become a demon.
Determined to find a cure that can return his sister to normal, Tanjiro will undergo grueling training to become a demon hunter, hoping to shed light on this horrible mystery.