Anime Like The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa?

Hi all, long time Waypoint fan, first time poster! I’m looking for some recommendations and was hoping folks here might have some ideas =3

I recently got really into The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa on Switch, and I’ve had this feeling like it’s evoking this whole genre of Japanese games and anime that I’m sort of only vaguely aware of and half recognize, but I’m interested in finding more of.

Broadly speaking, it’s about these punk-y teenagers in a small Japanese town going around and getting into fist fights with kids from other schools and engaging in this seemingly innocuous kind of play-acting of being in gangs and doing crime-- and of course, they all seem tough but have these complex emotional lives going on underneath, and it’s all very coming of age and about growing as people, spending time with friends, feeling nostalgic vibes around this town they’re growing up in, watching the sunset over it to chill music, all that.

The anime that come to mind as like very loosely touching on the punk teens thing are Yu Yu Hakusho, where the characters wear the same (I think) 80s Japanese school uniforms and are all delinquent and into fighting, or even Durarara!! with the kids getting into like low-stakes crime/gang stuff. On the flip side, the high school, slice of life, nostalgia stuff feels almost like K-On!, Anohana or Hyouka.

If anyone has played it, or just sort of knows what I’m getting at, do you have any recommendations for other things I can check out to keep running with these vibes? Is there some actual name for this genre of Japanese school gang fiction? Is it based on a real thing that happens? Was it a particularly 80s phenomenon or is that just some sort of genre convention or coincidence?

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My first instinct would be to suggest some sports anime, as they tend to blend the mundanity of life with heated, fighting-esque competition where personalities shine through and people get hot heads. Some personal favourites are Chihayafuru, Slam Dunk, and of course, Initial D. I’ve also heard great things about Kuroko no Basuke and Yowamushi Pedal.

Kids on the Slope might also be worth checking out. It’s about teens in the Japanese jazz scene in the 60s and it’s directed by Shinichiro Watanabe. Definitely has themes of youthful delinquency along with the expressiveness that comes with playing jazz.

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Try Rokudenashi Blues. I’m hesitating to recommend it since I’ve only briefly read the beginning chapters and don’t know how it plays out. But It seems to have all the things you’re looking for in delinquent stories.

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Maybe something like JoJo’s Part 4? The main character falls cleanly into that high school punk archetype, but the power he has (i.e. punches that heal people) and the situations he finds himself in typically serve to subvert the trope. Plus, while he certainly fronts as a delinquent a lot (e.g. skipping school, bullying younger students), the show will usually admonish these behaviors, and more often he’s just interested in hanging out with his friends, fighting Italian food, and finding ways to enjoy his teenage suburban life.

SuperEyepatchWolf has a great primer on the series if you’re interested in hearing more

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You’re probably specifically wanting stuff about the archetype of bancho or sukeban characters and the genre of “bancho manga”. Obviously the most famous bancho thing here in the West is the anime for Cromartie High School, but other than that, things like Sukeban Deka which is about a delinquent girl roped into going undercover for the cops, Kyo Kara Ore Wa! about 2 dudes trying to become the toughest guys in school, Angel Densetsu about a guy who accidentally gains the reputation from looking sinister, Crows / QP / Worst which are all tangentially related and by the same mangaka, and so on. If you really want to stretch it there’s Great Teacher Onizuka, which is about a former delinquent and generally horrible guy trying to become a teacher.

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it might be worth trying Beck? lots of melancholy teen growing up vibes, and while the main plot is based around the formation of a band rather than delinquent-style fist fights, the whole show does have a sort of grimy, punky atmosphere. (and a fair few fist fights, come to think of it.)

(also, just to be clear, it is set in japan; the opening is, well, it’ll be explained by the end of the show.)

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Although it’s not an anime, the J-Drama Bokutachi Ga Yarimashita is based on a manga and is fantastic. It’s about what happens when those teen delinquents take their shenanigans too far and do something that is going to leave them with major consequences in life, while also not really being mature enough to grasp the severity of what they’ve done (or to even deal with their lives outside of the main plot). It’s currently available for free on Viki.

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Ah yes, thank you! Knowing some genre names is extremely helpful!

Thank you, everyone! I have a really nice list of things I’m excited to check out now ^___^

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I don’t have anything to contribute here, but I just wanted to thank you for saying that the game was out on Switch, hah.

Table Friend Keith spoke highly of it in Run Button’s GOTY podcast and I’d been waiting for the Switch release to get it. Totally missed that it was out and so I’m very happy to have seen this by chance; I’ll pick it up soon (and then probably check out some of the recommendations here after!).

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