What are some good anime with relatively simple vocabulary and such that I can use to help me learn some more Japanese? I know it's not a substitute for actually learning the language, but this might be something fun to try out. Likewise, it's something I would want to watch raw instead of subbed.
My current level is JLPT level 3 with the old format, if that helps.
Well watch something that doesn't involve alot of science. so something day to day Like High School anime. Don't watch anime specific, like Genshiken, where there are lots of anime and game references.
Would recommend watching something you've watched before but without subs.
My Japanese professor was a big anime fan, so she would sometimes show us anime in class to help us practice. Usually stuff like Doraemon (we even had a Doraemon-themed textbook one year), but we also watched things like My Neighbor Totoro and anime adaptations of various Japanese folk tales.
Doraemon's definitely a good way to go if you want something cute with simple dialogue. I think we also watched Okaasan no Uchi in first-year Japanese class and it was accessible to us even then.
I find the new Pokemon series is quite easy to understand, I've watched a few episodes raw and managed to get the gist of most of the dialogue. Kids anime in general is probably a good bet as the dialogue is often much more pronounced and easier to follow along with.
The Mameshiba shorts might be worth a look as they don't use any complex words. They're literally 30 seconds long, but they're good for checking if you can keep up with the native speed of speech.
I don't think there's really any anime good for learning japanese, but if you're going to try it I would recommend simpler shows like Doraemon, Chi's sweet Home, Sazae-san, and pretty much what's has been said in this thread, another thing that might help you out is watching both subs and raws. I think that's how I picked up some of what I know, that and listening to music.
I would say there are only the occasional BAD anime to try to use to learn Japanese. Tatami Galaxy. stay away from that.
Otherwise, even if there's slang, you probably won't pick it up right away as you need to kind of get used to grammar and such first before you can really pick up vocab. You'll just learn the most basic things first. Greetings, partings, the fact that "no" is possessive, which you can learn with anime in any setting. Just make sure they don't talk too fast.
As soon as you learn a little bit, you'll be able to distinguish slang, polite speech, maybe some accents, so you can pick and chose which sentences to use after that.
I found that Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was particularly easy.
I'm learning Japanese too...
and at same level like you...
here, some advice...
just watch many anime as much as possible, don't care it's easy or not. it help a lot for your conversation and listening ability...