Here are my favorite picks for anime like Kabukibu!. Keep in mind the list is in no particular order. Enjoy!
Chihaya Ayase, a strong-willed and tomboyish girl, grows up under the shadow of her older sister. With no dreams of her own, she is contented with her share in life till she meets Arata Wataya. The quiet transfer student in her elementary class introduces her to competitive karuta, a physically and mentally demanding card game inspired by the classic Japanese anthology of Hundred Poets. Captivated by Arata’s passion for the game and inspired by the possibility of becoming the best in Japan, Chihaya quickly falls in love with the world of karuta. Along with the prodigy Arata and her haughty but hard-working friend Taichi Mashima, she joins the local Shiranami Society. The trio spends their idyllic childhood days playing together, until circumstances split them up.
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Yotarou is a former yakuza member fresh out of prison and fixated on just one thing: rather than return to a life of crime, the young man aspires to take to the stage of Rakugo, a traditional Japanese form of comedic storytelling. Inspired during his incarceration by the performance of distinguished practitioner Yakumo Yuurakutei, he sets his mind on meeting the man who changed his life. After hearing Yotarou’s desperate appeal for his mentorship, Yakumo is left with no choice but to accept his very first apprentice.
As he eagerly begins his training, Yotarou meets Konatsu, an abrasive young woman who has been under Yakumo’s care ever since her beloved father Sukeroku Yuurakutei, another prolific Rakugo performer, passed away. Through her hidden passion, Yotarou is drawn to Sukeroku’s unique style of Rakugo despite learning under contrasting techniques. Upon seeing this, old memories and feelings return to Yakumo who reminisces about a much earlier time when he made a promise with his greatest rival.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Kyon, your typical high school student, has long given up his belief in the supernatural. However, upon meeting Haruhi Suzumiya, he quickly finds out that it is the supernatural that she is interested in—aliens, time travelers, and espers among other things. When Haruhi laments about the lack of intriguing clubs around school, Kyon inspires Haruhi to form her own club. As a result, the SOS Brigade is formed, a club which specializes in all that is the supernatural.
Much to his chagrin, Kyon, along with the silent bookworm, Yuki Nagato, the shy and timid Mikuru Asahina, and the perpetually smiling Itsuki Koizumi, are recruited as members. The story follows the crazy adventures that these four endure under their whimsical leader, Haruhi. The story is based on the light novels by Nagaru Tanigawa.
Haruchika: Haruta & Chika
Chika Homura begins her high school career with a goal: to develop a “cute girl” persona. After quitting the volleyball team despite her all-star status, Chika decides to join her school’s underrated Wind Instrument Club and play the flute, believing it to be the most delicate and feminine instrument. For the first time in nine years, Chika reunites with her childhood friend and total opposite, Haruta Kamijou. Unfortunately for Chika, Haruta is not fooled by her efforts to become more endearing. But this does not deter Chika, and she develops a crush on the band instructor, Shinjirou Kusakabe—but so does Haruta!
However, Chika’s high school life just won’t go according to plan, as mysteries begin appearing around her and her friends. The club members must work together to solve the mysteries plaguing the school, all while trying to find more members to compete in musical competitions.
Chihaya Ayase is obsessed with developing her school’s competitive karuta club, nursing daunting ambitions like winning the national team championship at the Omi Jingu and becoming the Queen, the best female karuta player in Japan—and in extension, the world. As their second year of high school rolls around, Chihaya and her fellow teammates must recruit new members, train their minds and bodies alike, and battle the formidable opponents that stand in their way to the championship title. Meanwhile, Chihaya’s childhood friend, Arata Wataya, the prodigy who introduced her to karuta, rediscovers his lost love for the old card game.
After suffering from a shoulder injury, shy first-year university student Haruki Bandou gladly takes the opportunity to give up judo, failing to find happiness in the sport regardless of his family owning a dojo. He did not expect, however, that his best friend Kazuma Hashimoto would also decide to leave their university’s judo club at the same time as him. Despite Haruki’s protests, Kazuma already has plans for a new and revolutionary activity: a cheerleading team made up of only men. Although heavily reluctant, Haruki ends up helping his friend set up the team. Through sheer determination, and with support from their newfound club members, Haruki and Kazuma persist in founding the Breakers, the first ever all-male cheerleading team of Meishiin University, slowly making history in spite of the feminine tag attached to the sport of cheerleading and the prejudices, physical challenges, and self-doubts that inevitably follow.