A Growing Genre: Top 10 Slice of Life Anime [Updated Recommendations]
Slice of Life anime is one of the fastest-growing genres in anime. Every season, new anime that detail their characters' daily lives and non-action adventures seem to be popping up. With so many additions from the last few years, we thought it was time for a 2021 update to our list of the best slice of life anime around! Whether you like the lighthearted slice of life or those productions that cause you to feel for the characters, we have got you covered.
10. Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? (How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift?)
Everyone has their own reasons for hitting the gym. It could be for fitness, it could be for weight issues, to fit into a cosplay costume, or it could be so they can eat a guilt-free treat. In How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift? everyone has their motivator, but the shared goal of getting to the gym and getting better is shared amongst all of these main characters. A group of girls from high school (and one of their teachers) join a local gym and learn to take care of their physical bodies! Watch this show for a comedic and lighthearted adventure that will also give interesting information regarding getting fit!
9. Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus' Bride)
Chise’s red hair is a sign that she is a rare “Sleigh Beggy,” whose capacity for magic is excellent but whose life is doomed to be cut short. After an unfortunate childhood, Chise finds herself sold at an auction to a tall masked man. The individual introduces himself and is a magus who has been around for many years. Though Chise was supposedly purchased to be his wife, her time living with the magus is spent learning different types of magic and learning more about her personal desires. With many magical creatures, a fun vibe, and an unusual story, check out The Ancient Magus’ Bride!
8. Yuru Camp△ (Laid-Back Camp)
Rin loves to go solo camping, and she has the process down. She loves to ride out on her bike, set up a tent in the purview of Mount Fuji, and enjoy an evening with a campfire and a book. Her knowledge will be put to the test and expanded when she meets some girls at her local high school who want to know more about camping as well. Get ready for some kawaii adventures, as the story shows these high schoolers prepping for and learning hacks for camping with simplicity. This cute-girls-doing-cute-things anime is a stress-free breath of fresh air.
7. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan (The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.)
Saiki K has mental powers that are beyond comparison. He has antennas and pink hair, and to avoid standing out, he has just convinced all of Earth that this is a standard color. When his mother needs the furniture moved? Saiki uses his telepathy and not his muscles. His favorite things are coffee jelly and being left in peace. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K is the story of Saiki going through his high school life with indomitable telepathic abilities, trying not to be noticed. Saiki K has a lot of gag comedy and silly moments that make this show fun and a light watch.
6. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April)
After the death of his mother, Kousei stopped playing the piano. In fact, two years have passed, and Kousei still does not play, even though he has fans who would like for him to do so. Though Kousei’s world has been emptied of music, things soon change after meeting Kaori Miyazono, who plays the violin. Although his pain and grief are not healed, Kousei and Kaori begin to make music together and learn that music is more than mechanical and it is more than a perfect performance. It is felt, and it is an intention of the soul. For a story of growth and working through grief, check out Your Lie in April.
5. Violet Evergarden
Violet Evergarden looks like a doll. With pretty clothes, clear eyes, blonde hair, and little emotion, she returns from war. Unsure of where her commander is, she is taken in by a household until she gets her life a little more together after returning from war. Along the way, she gets a job at CH Postal Services as an Auto Memory Doll. At this place, patrons express their feelings to an Auto Memory Doll, who puts the intended expressions into a letter for the recipient. Violet is a beautiful girl, but her scars run deep, and her capacity for human emotion is limited. As she takes on clients and processes their feelings, she begins to see some of her own emotions spark into life. Will she come as far as to acknowledge them? Check out Violet Evergarden!
Mushi are small spiritual creatures who do not often come into contact with humans. They live ethereal existences away from the perception of most people. If they do come into contact with someone, the person afflicted sometimes encounters bizarre side effects that impact their ability to live a normal life. Ginko travels the countryside and helps those whose lives have been changed because of the mushi. Though his clients can have high emotions, Ginko’s gentle approach puts them at ease as he assesses their situation and finds a way to help the mushi get back into nature and support the people involved ease their conditions.
3. Mob Psycho 100
Mob is an eighth-grader, is like Saiki K. in that he has vast psychic capabilities. Rather than stand out, Mob decides to suppress his abilities but uses them to impress a girl, and as an anime would have, she does not remain impressed. Mob is later conned by a fake psychic who uses Mob’s powers to make money. Mob now exorcises monsters upon request, and it becomes clear that if Mob’s deep-dwelling abilities are ever brought to the surface by strong emotions or need, that the effects could be so huge that they end the world. For an anime whose slice of life themes are only matched by the comedy it offers, check out Mob Psycho!
2. Fruits Basket
In unusual circumstances, Tooru Honda has been taken in by the family of someone she goes to school with. Though the Souma family is welcoming and kind, they have a secret curse that they have to protect. Tooru learns of this and is allowed to stay so long as she keeps it to herself, but as she continues to grow closer to the Soumas, things start to get tense. Is there more to their curse than what she can see? The impacts of the curse are very emotional, and Tooru starts to learn about the scars of her friends as her old personal trauma begins to heal. Fruits Basket is the story of the daily lives of Tooru and the Souma family, but with a mysterious background that is both dark and needing to see the light. If you watched the first go-around of Fruits Basket, you are missing out on the new series! If follows the manga all the way through instead of coming to an early end, and the last season (Fruits Basket: The Final) is a favorite amongst fans. Check out the recent heavyweight in the josei, slice of life, and high school anime stories.
1. Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice)
So the last one we have today is a movie and not a series. A Silent Voice begins with a girl who is deaf and was picked on in school after she transferred in. After things go too far and she changes schools as the result of that bullying, one of her bullies, Shouya Ishida, is singularly blamed. However, the situation was an ongoing contribution from the whole class. The issue was so extreme that Shouya is then looked down on and outcast throughout his elementary and middle school years. Years have passed, and it is his third year of high school. After all these years, Shouya decides to meet the girl from his childhood and make amends. This story includes a lot of mature emotions and is full of “the feels.” Even if you didn’t play the game or read the manga, A Silent Voice is beautiful in content and animation. For something more lighthearted, we refer you to something else on this list, but for a story that will make you feel and warm your heart, check out A Silent Voice.
The last few years have added some genuinely excellent slice of life anime to the genre, and many more didn’t fit on the list of ten that we wanted to showcase today. (Honorable mentions include Barakamon, Nichijou, and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.) Since this article is an update to a previous edition, keep scrolling for more suggestions for slice of life anime from years past! Did any of these titles make your watchlist? Let us know in the comments!
The Slice of Life genre is often recognized as a popular fan favorite. Slice of Life anime provides viewers with a realistic representation of everyday experiences such as romance, friendships, challenges, and success. While the Slice of Life category can often be intertwined with other elements such as fantasy, drama, historical, and the like, many on this list are very simplistic, essentially viewing the ordinary daily life of people. With that said, in the following anime, we present ten recommendations for the best slice of life series. We know there are many more shows that capture the day in the life of average folk, and so here’s what we’ve gathered so far! Enjoy!
10. Sakura Quest
Sakura Quest follows the conquest of Yoshino Koharu, a new Tokyo transplant in search of a job. After continuously applying for employment in the big city, she still hasn’t had any luck. One lucky day, she gets an offer to work at a travel agency. Overcome with excitement, she accepts the position but fails to read the fine print in her contract. The details include becoming the queen of a small country town for a year, promoting tourism in the area, and the small additions she overlooked. With help from Sanae Kouzuki, Maki Midorikawa, Ririko Oribe, and Shiori Shinomiya, Manoyama Town is going to be a happening place! Long live the queen! Sakura Quest spotlights young ladies who plan to make a name for themselves in the big city. This slice of life anime puts out the message that a dream can never be too small or impossible. Further down the road, when obstacles stand in the way of a goal, the girls receive immense support from their friends, placing the dream within their grasp. Additionally, as we commonly hear that “life’s not perfect”, our girls in Sakura Quest quickly discover that the joys in life are what people make of them.
9. Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness & Lightning)
It’s said that the loss of a loved one is the most stressful time in one’s life. Kouhei Inuzuka has experienced tragedy after the death of his wife, leaving him to care for his daughter, Tsumugi, as a single parent. With a busy schedule as a teacher on top of being a terrible cook, Kouhei must rely on konbini meals for himself and Tsumugi. However, Kotori Iida, one of Kouhei’s students, offers the family of two to dine at her family’s restaurant. With scheduling conflicts as well, Kotori often dines alone; but not for long as the family decides to eat at the restaurant, cooking and sharing delicious meals with company. Amaama to Inazuma is a sweet and touching slice of life anime that well rounded. It reminds us of the values of precious time spent on preparing a meal and sharing it with loved ones. It also shows that people can steer clear of their electronics for a short while to bond and enjoy what’s being served. Something we often take for granted except on Thanksgiving holiday, this simple series demonstrate gratitude for the things life provides us.
8. Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World – The Animated Series (Kino’s Journey – the Beautiful World- the Animated Series)
When 15-year-old Kino is burdened with stress and worry, she unwinds, finding comfort in traveling. Going to new places and discovering different sights and people, there is nothing she finds more satisfying. Fearless and adventurous, Kino is prepared for any uncertainty that may strike on her journeys, armed with her handguns, Cannon and Woodsman. With her trusty motorcycle, Hermes, the two of them travel the vast countryside, never settling in one place for more than three days. Kino no Tabi awakens the thrill-seeking spirit within us, taking us to new and exciting places that we only dream of. This slice of life series shares new civilizations and lives, respecting environments and cultures different from our own. Portraying stunning animation and beautiful landscapes, we come to learn that the vast unknown is riddled with discoveries and dangers.
7. Flying Witch
Fifteen-year-old Makoto Kowata is an apprentice witch who is leaving her home in Yokohama in pursuit of witchcraft studies. Along with her companion Chito, a black cat familiar, they embark on a journey to Aomori, an area recognized as a significant magical hub. Settling in Aomori, Makoto and Chito commence their new lives with her cousins, Kei and Chinatsu. Although Makoto can balance school and witchcraft effortlessly, she is having difficulty blending into her new surroundings. Makoto’s peaceful life is thus bombarded with the peculiarities of magical training. Flying Witch is a feel-good slice of life anime series that captures the essence of what it means to be a young witch in training. Far away from the big city, living in Aomori appears pretty laid back, giving us a glimpse of the region’s beautiful landscape paired with serene musical accompaniment. The characters are down to earth and charming, making Flying Witch a relaxing binging experience.
6. Gakkougurashi! (School-Live!)
Yuki Takeya may be one of the few people who love school so much she doesn’t want to leave! A third-year student, Yuki is a member of the School Living Club at Megurigaoka High School. Yuki, along with club members Yuuri Wakasa, Kurumi Ebisuzawa, Miki Naoki, Megumi Sakura-sensei, and the club dog Taroumaru, set out to make the club and school life the best and most positive experience they can be. However, the club is a mask to shield what’s going on around them, to escape a zombie apocalypse where they have barricaded themselves inside the school as the sole survivors. The other members are challenged with staying alive as well as keeping the truth from Yuki. Gakkougurashi! is all about keeping up with false appearances, as Yuki’s story may seem like a relaxing slice of life series, but twisted with outlasting the zombie apocalypse! The girls have banded together in their school to survive and also maintain some normalcy. Lol, we can say there is nothing ordinary about zombies! Each character stands out from one another in addition to complementing the group as a whole. Exciting and filled with tons of action, the slice of life genre is present along with psychological, horror and mystery.
5. New Game!
Aoba Suzukaze is a recent high school graduate, ready to impact the workforce by being employed at a famous gaming company. Aoba has been into games throughout her life. Incidentally, the individual who happened to create the game Aoba loved as a child is her supervisor. In addition to her excitement, she is working on future installments of this very game that drew her in from the start. In awe and admiration, Aoba is compelled to put in her most significant efforts at the company to be as successful as her predecessor. We also see the collectiveness that comes together in creating such imaginative productions. In New Game!, Aoba strives to become part of the entertainment industry, trying to make a name for herself in society. Aoba is new to the field with a lot to learn and experiences various events that contradict her previous ideals in the area. New Game! features an adorable cast, which we believe spotlights the innocence Aoba possess in starting out on her endeavors.
4. Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari (Poco’s Udon World)
After being away for quite some time, Souta Tawara returns to his hometown in Kagawa, taking a break from the excitable busy city of Tokyo. Although his parents are no longer around, his home and family-owned udon restaurant remind him of the good times shared with his family. Visiting memory lane, Souta enters the udon restaurant and discovers a young boy sleeping. Thinking nothing of it, Souta offers the young boy food and clothing. However, the boy suddenly sprouts a furry pair of ears and a tail! Souta comes to learn that the boy is the rumored shape-shifting tanuki that has been inhabiting Kagawa for many years. Naming him Poko, the two of them build an unlikely companionship, offering to one another a sense of home and belonging. “There’s no place like home.” Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari follows the heartwarming relationship between Souta and Poko, two distinct and intriguing personalities. The story has a reflective characteristic, making us reminisce about our past and cherishing the “good times.” A relaxing slice of life anime, Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari reminds viewers that the little things left behind are never entirely lost.
3. Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?? (Is the Order a Rabbit??)
Order up! with the second season of Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?? After a year at the café, Kokoa Hoto has adjusted flawlessly to waitressing at the Rabbit House even though it is not how she envisioned it to be initially. Kokoa continues to enjoy spending time with her coworkers and friends, getting involved in all sorts of adventures. Encountering peculiar guests, rival cafés, treasures and risqué menu items, what will Rabbit House get into next? Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?? is an enjoyable slice of life series that contains a great story complemented by endearing characters and tons of comedy dispersed throughout. Kokoa, Chino, Sharo, Rize, and Chiya are all super adorable with varied personalities to make the group dynamic invigorating. Building from the first season, Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?? shows viewers new experiences that are improved from the last.
ReLIFE documents the life of 27-year-old Arata Kaizaki. After quitting his first company job, Arata bounces around from one place to the next, often regarded as a loser by those who know him. On one occasion in his uneventful life, Arata is introduced to Ryou Yoake, a member of the ReLife Research Institute. Ryou offers him an opportunity to change his life by taking a mysterious pill. With nothing left to lose, Arata takes the pill, waking up the next day to find that he is 17 years old again. Now engaged in a unique experiment for the ReLife Research Institute, Arata must attend high school as a transfer student for one year. Believing that the task will be straightforward, Arata is proven wrong. ReLIFE follows Arata's struggle adjusting to his new but hectic life, learning to avoid all of his past mistakes. Arata slowly discovers more about his classmates, participating in new experiences and involving himself in romances. The chance to do-over life is something one dreams of when moments have passed, and regret lingers. We believe this slice of life anime is inspirational, showing that correcting life’s prior wrongs is never too late.
1. 3-gatsu no Lion (March Comes in Like a Lion)
Rei Kiriyama is a young student who reached a professional ranking in the competitive world of shogi. With this prestige, he faces an enormous amount of pressure from his family and the shogi circuit. Longing for escape, Rei moves into an apartment in Tokyo, although his personal and social habits have been nonexistent. However, shortly after arriving, Rei meets Akari, Hinata, and Momo Kawamoto, sisters who live with their grandfather who owns a traditional wagashi shop. The sisters are determined to help Rei seek friendships and maintain better personal habits. Sharing a unique familial bond, this group of friends helps each other in ways that support and lift one another up in the most critical time of their lives. Spotlighting the game of shogi, 3-gatsu no Lion provides viewers with more than just this strategic game, but on the complexities and natural qualities of life. The characters bring the story to life, as they are likable and relatable. Guiding us on an emotional roller coaster, 3-gatsu no Lion is a fantastic slice of life anime presenting to us unusual and unexpected opportunities, helping us grow when we welcome it with open arms.
We hope you enjoyed our recommendations for top slice of life anime! If you haven’t already, make sure to check out all of these great titles! As always, we truly appreciate you guys tuning in. Also, let us know if we’ve missed any other great, awesome slice of life anime by commenting below! Thanks, and see ya!
If you're thinking this list looks familiar, you would be half-right. Slice-of-life anime being such a popular genre, is one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of top 10s, which is why we've gone ahead and taken the opportunity to do a second one. We've rewritten it, better than it was before. Better, stronger, fast- okay no, but we have updated it with some of the best and latest slice-of-life shows! This isn't just a top 10 slice of life anime list, but a look at some classics you need to watch, and some more recent releases you can't miss. So read on below fellow slice-of-life lovers, for a look at the hilarious and heart-warming gems of the genre.
10. Denki-gai no Honya-san
You need no longer wonder what it's like to work at one of Akihabara's many anime stores, because Denki-gai no Honya-san here to help give you some insight. Follow the employees of the Umanohone book store as they work midnight releases, try to reach manga competition deadlines, and recommend customers excellent hentai. One of the most stand out things about Denki-gai no Honya-san is it's round, bouncy art style, which really reflects the silly attitude that the series takes. This pairs well with the super otaku setting, leading to an over all not-very-serious but very amusing series. Although it's not peppered with in-jokes or references, the setting and characters are definitely something any anime fan can relate to. Despite having no romance in the series, there are a few pairs worth shipping as well, which gives the plot a little bit more substance to keep things interesting. Denki-gai no Honya-san is great if you're into whacky characters, and want a show that leaves the often used school setting behind.
9. Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge (Tanaka-kun is Always Listless)
Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge is pretty much exactly what it says in the title: a story about a very listless high school boy. Thanks to his good friend Ohta acting as a human taxi, Tanaka is able to spend much of his school life sleeping, and finding ways to be the very best at doing the very least. His sleep filled days have also somehow managed to acquire him an unusual following of weird and wonderful friends, who like Tanaka himself, spend their days dealing with regular old high school problems. Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge is a dangerously laid back show, the kind of thing you watch before bed to chill out. A majority of the humour is not ridiculous puns or in your face noise, but revolves around the excellent character interactions, which always have a nice, natural feel. Even the simple art style suits the character of the show, and certainly has a way of making Tanaka look like the most tired anime protagonist that has ever existed. A great show to watch when you're tired or stressed out, Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge will make you feel as relaxed as Tanaka himself.
8. Himouto! Umaru-chan
Umaru Doma is the perfect high school princess, adored by all and second to none. At least until she gets home. Then she becomes the lazy, whiney, good-for-nothing otaku that she really is, bugging her brother for every little thing. But keeping up two personalities is surprisingly hard, especially when your best friend lives just downstairs. Watch as Umaru attempts to live her otaku life, without being thwarted by her friends or her big brother. The show's concept and characters are both pretty crazy here. Not only is Umaru herself a riot, spending most of her time in an adorable chibi form, but her friends also manage to be whacky in some regard: be it obsessive rivalry, or a strange shy, but yandere personality. Himouto! Umaru-chan is definitely one for those who like silly and whacky humour, and of course cute girls. One thing the show does exceptionally well is balance Umaru's character somewhere between "isn't she adorable, I want one as a pet", and "chibis are pretty small, I wonder how far I can kick her". It actually does wonders for keeping her and her brother's relationship interesting, and makes her daily switch to high school princess even more bizarre. Himouto! Umaru-chan is one we'd recommend to those who want something both ridiculous and cute to watch.
Lucky Star follows the lives of regular high school girls Konata, Kagami, Tsukasa, and Miyuki. As you can imagine though there's a bit more to it than that, with Konata's otaku lifestyle, Miyuki's ditzy antics, and Kagami and Tsukasa being the twins who could be no more different from one another. Along with a host of other barmy characters, look forward to hellish trips to Comiket, exam cramming, and surprisingly well choreographed cheerleading. Famous for it's popularity amongst otaku, Lucky Star is filled with gags and references that that any dedicated anime fan should love, as well as of course your standard slice-of-life silly conversations and events. There's a charming simplicity to the art, with bright colours and moe character designs that make the show easy and pleasant to watch, as well as enjoyable if you're after cute girls. A majority of Lucky Stars comedy and character interactions work so well because of how relatable the characters and situations manage to be, which is impressive considering the style and setting of the show. Lucky Star is one of those anime classics that even those who aren't fans of slice-of-life shows can enjoy.
6. Flying Witch
At the age of 15, Makoto Kowata is now considered an adult in the witching world, and so is expected to become more independant. But still wanting to finish high school, she has left her home in the city of Yokohama behind, and moved to live with relatives in the countryside of Aomori, to get the best of both worlds. Now settled in, she begins her new life, training to be a full fledged witch, with her family and supernatural friends. Flying Witch's main draw is how it takes supernatural scenarios and unusual characters, and manages to make them seem so normal, with most occurrences not even phasing the human members of the cast. The show gives you no real chance, nor reason, to question why everyone is so chill with the Harbringer of Spring dropping by to say hi, you just kind of go with it. And that's the key to the show's success, that everything just flows so nicely from story to story, without you ever worrying what's going to happen or where it's going. Flying Witch is another one for the ultra-relaxing shows pile: would highly recommend watching with warm milk.
5. Non Non Biyori
Another city dweller, now moved to the outback that is the Japanese countryside, Hotaru Ichijou is the new fifth grader at Asahigaoka Branch School, a school with a grand total of five students. With very little to do in the countryside village, Hotaru along with her new friends, Komari, Natsumi, and Renge, spend their days finding fun stuff to do and interesting places to go. The odd combination of characters in Non Non Biyori is one of the highlights for us, with several kids of different ages, as well as some very lazy adults, getting along like one big happy family. It really gives the area that they live in a sense of community, and a great deal of warmth to the show, making it the kind of place where you really wish you could spend some time relaxing. The art is another one of the centrepieces of Non Non Biyori, and although the characters may look simple, the backgrounds offer some truly stunning scenes of the lush, green land that they live in. Non Non Biyori really leaves the city life behind and provides a slice-of-life experience which although very different, is still very enjoyable.
4. Usagi Drop
After the unfortunate passing of his grandfather, 30 year old bachelor Daikichi Kawachi was surprised to find a young girl attending the old man's funeral. After discovering that the girl, Rin, is infact his grandfather's illegitimate daughter, and that no one else in the family is willing to take the poor girl in, he volunteers to look after the girl himself. Usagi Drop follows the two of them as Daikichi discovers what it takes to be a father. Usagi Drop takes on a much deeper story than many other slice-of-life shows would: the trials and tribulations of a new family getting used to living with each other. But it does this whilst maintaining a feel good, slice-of-life atmosphere, rather than taking a more dramatic turn. The character development is truly satisfying to watch, with both of the main characters, the whole cast in fact, being both incredibly warm and believable. Usagi Drop is perfect for times when you want something warm to watch, that still has a lot of substance.
3. Natsume Yuujinchou
Takashi Natsume has the rare gift of being able to see ayakashi, much like his deceased grandmother. Now in possession of the "Book of Friends", a book containing the names of ayakashi his grandmother brought under her control, he is often the target of their attacks. To put a stop to these disturbances, he has decided to return the names with the book to their respective owners, all the while assisted by his cat shaped "bodyguard" Madara. This is probably the strangest show on the list, with the unusual ayakashi featuring in every episode. The encounters with them range from the very trivial, to being quite over the top and even dangerous. Not only does the series tell the fascinating tales of the desires and lives of youkai, but also explores the bonds between humans, and more day to day situations. With four seasons out and a fifth on the way, there are plenty of stories in the Natsume Yuujinchou series, and plenty of time for the characters to develop properly. Being one of the longer running slice-of-life series, Natsume Yuujinchou is a great choice if you want to spend some time getting to really know some new characters and a new world.
2. Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou (Daily Lives of High School Boys)
Quite literally the daily lives of high school boys, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou revolves around the lives of Hidenori, Tadakuni, and Yoshitake, who do totally normal high school boy stuff (it may or may not be totally normal high school boy stuff). There's little more to say than that really, so look forward to disappointed little sisters, boys in skirts, and nipple shaving. Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou is one of the most laugh-out-loud funny series we've watched, with the guys out of control antics being a source of constant hilarity. A big part of this is thanks to the magnificent voice acting, perfect comic timing, and well written character interactions. The last point is very important, because this is clearly a very well written series, frequently parodying anime tropes and making fun of itself. If you want something that will make you laugh not matter what kind of day you've had, we'd highly recommend Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou.
The Goto Islands are the perfect place for an arrogant city boy to learn a bit of respect, and get some serious work done. So after young and skilled calligrapher Seishuu Handa flips out after getting criticised by a veteran of the art, it's the perfect place for his dad to send him. But whilst Handa is hoping to get spend his time improving his calligraphy and finding his own style, the quirky residences of the island have other plans. Well not really plans, they're just quirky by default. One thing that's really different about Barakamon is the range of characters it has. From old men, to very energetic young kids, Handa has to deal with everyone in his new setting, and being a city-boy he does have some difficulty. It's hard to say exactly why Barakamon deserves spot number on on the list, because like many other slice-of-life shows here, it's got some great comedy, realistic, well written characters, and some solid, well paced storytelling. The thing with Barakamon is simply that it balances all these things superbly, to create the perfect slice-of-life viewing experience. You won't see much plot development, and you might not learn much about calligraphy, but Barakamon is one of the highest quality, recent slice-of-life shows around.
There are a good deal of classic slice-of-life series about that didn't come up here: K-On!, Nichijou, and Sakamichi no Apollon to give just a few examples. But whilst they're all excellent shows, if every list just had the same series on it, some of the more recent anime would never get the exposure they deserve. Will the likes of Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge and Non Non Biyori stand the test of time? Who knows. But they're definitely worth giving a chance. So what did you think of our updated list? How did you feel about the newer series, or the slightly older shows that made it. Maybe your number one isn't listed here? Regardless, why not let us know in the comments below.
Anime has made a name for itself around the world as an art form that crosses genres and touches on subjects that have never been breached by animation. Anime like Dragon Ball, which deals with superpowered yet relatable characters, have made anime the way it is - world renowned, unique, and incomparable. However, not all anime is about superpowers and people who challenge fate to move and save the world. There are also some anime that deals with the little things in life - the little struggles and the little victories that the average man encounters on a day to day basis. These titles, though they focus on the simple realities of life, have become some of the finest examples of anime, creating a genre that is not usually found in western animation - the Slice of Life genre. Here is a list of anime that have carved themselves in anime history without resorting to spectacles that are designed to take your breath away. Here are the Top Ten Slice of Life Anime!
10. Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope)
Adapted from an award-winning manga by Yuki Kodama, the story centers around Kaoru Nishimi, a young, introverted, talented classical pianist, who moves into a new place due to his father's profession. While in his new school, he meets Sentaro Kawabuchi, an extroverted, free spirit who loves jazz music. The two different young men eventually hit it off, going on a personal journey of self-discovery through friendship and music. Directed by acclaimed director Shnichiro Watanabe, who directed modern anime classics like Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop. The excellent direction of the show, as well as the excellent score set against the backdrop of the jazz Renaissance in Japan, the series perfectly captures the nostalgic, somewhat sunny feeling that one gets when reminiscing young adulthood. It is a time that is perfectly described by the anime - a time of when everything seems possible, if not just a bit out of reach.
K-On! is a fairly new anime that has charmed the world with its wholesome approach to the Slice of Life genre. Shunning the supernatural elements of titles like other High School anime like Angel Beats!, K-On! is another anime that utilizes music as a central theme to the story. Focusing on four young girls who end up joining the light music club (light music is usually translated to mainstream pop music) of Sakuragaoka Girl's High School in order to save the club. Despite being the only members of the club, they eventually bond and become the best of friends. Though somewhat light in plot, K-On! is a fresh addition to Slice of Life anime, featuring a soundtrack that is both catchy and great. Humorous, somewhat less over the top than its counterparts in the genre, K-On! is one enjoyable ride from the first episode to the last.
8. Hanasaku Iroha ~ Blossoms for Tomorrow
Hanasaku Iroha is an anime that deals with a relatively mature plot. Ohana Matsumae, a 16-year old girl, is left to care for her aging grandmother after her mother elopes with her boyfriend. Upon arriving at her grandmother's estate, she quickly finds out that she is not there just to care for her grandmother, she is there to save a Taisho hot spring inn as well. Couple that with the fact that her grandmother and most of the workers in the hot spring inn dislike her and she has a huge challenge ahead of her. Undeterred however, she decides to take things into her own hands, doing what she can to make her stay there fulfilling. With smooth fluid, animation and backdrops that will not look out of place in a high budget production, Hanasaku Iroha is one anime that is very hard to stop watching. The characters are very well-rounded, and Ohana is just charming as a lead. This title is definitely worth a watch for anyone who loves the Slice of Life genre.
7. Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou ~ His and Her Circumstances
From the studio that brought the masterpiece Neon Genesis Evangelion to the screen comes this complex, psychoanalytical, slice of life drama in the guise of a comedy anime. Based off of a manga by Masami Tsuda, Kare Kano centers on the life of Yukino Miyazawa, a seemingly perfect girl whose facade of being a model student is but a mask that hides who she truly is. When another popular, handsome student, Soichiro Arima, beats her in the academics she so desperately wants to dominate, she commits herself to bringing him down. However, a series of circumstances, some humorous, and some traumatic, happen to them, eventually making them realize that putting on a facade is unnecessary and that they can live as people who can honestly put their hearts out into the world. With characters that are very real and relatable as well as a plot that is deeper that what it seems, Kare Kano is one entry in the Slice of Life genre unlike any other. What makes this series so great is the fact that the characters' psyche is so well-explored. Concepts from Freudian psychology and other concepts involving the student of the mind are touched on by the series.
6. Mimi Wo Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart)
Studio Ghibli is famous for creating imaginative stories that involve a good deal of fantasy and a great deal of style. Entries such as Spirited Away and the Howl's Moving Castle are but two of the masterpieces that the studio has come up with under the guidance of two prominent anime directors, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. However, the studio did come out with a remarkable Slice of Life anime, directed by the protege of the two great directors, Yoshifumi Kondo, who was set to take the reins of Studio Ghibli from MIyazaki and Takahata had he not passed away due to an aneurysm at a fairly young age. Centering on the coming-of-age story of a girl who is stuck between the twilight years of childhood and adolescence and the beautiful friendship she forms with a young man who has a passion for making instruments, Whisper of the Heart is one anime that has garnered universal acclaim, and for good reason too, for its story is simply beautiful.
5. Byousoku 5 Centimeter (Five Centimeters Per Second)
From the humble studio of one of the rising starts in the creation and development of anime comes this understated, yet poignant title, Five Centimeters per Second. Dealing with the theme of love, distance, and the progression of life, the story focuses on Takaki Tono, who befriends a young girl, Akari Shinohara.However, circumstances beyond their control have forced them to be apart from each other. The concept of the story is simple enough, but its subtle, execution is just beyond beautiful. What makes this anime even more amazing is the fact that it was created by just one person, Makoto Shinkai, heralded by many to be the next Miyazaki in the anime directing world. With backgrounds that are beyond detailed and a story that is sure to pull at your heartstrings, Five Centimeters per Second is one anime that is simply impossible to forget. Mark Schilling, reviewing the anime, states that Shinkai has even reached a point beyond Miyazaki with this title, for the anime "(pierces) the veil of the everyday to reveal a poignant, evanescent beauty most of us notice only in rare moments."
4. Maison Ikkoku
Rumiko Takahashi has carved her name in anime with her world-famous titles Ranma 1/2 and the epic Inuyasha series. However, she has also created a sweet, funny, down-to-earth love story between Yusaku Godai, a 20-year old who is down on his luck while studying for college entrance exams, and the manager of his boarding house, the beautiful, 22-year old widow, Kyoko Otonshi. With humor that only Rumiko Takahashi can pull off and charming story that is light and heartwarming, Maison Ikkoku is a humble title that definitely deserves to be checked out. Reviewers from prominent sites have given the series critical acclaim, stating that with a relatively simple plot, the story was able to focus more on the development of its characters, which drove the story forward and created a plot that is both beautiful and simple at the same time. Allen Divers of Anime News Network, who gave the series a positive review, stated that "the beauty of Maison Ikkoku is the fact that the entire cast feels dynamic enough that each could be the center of an episode without pulling away from the main idea of the series." As an anime fan, I have to fully agree.
3. Azumanga Daioh
Widely considered as the forerunner of the Slice of Life genre, Azumanga Daioh is an anime that is light on plot but heavy with humor and enjoyment. Centering on the day to day exploits of six girls in school as well as their young and equally quirky teacher, the story focuses on the banalities and absurdities of every day life. This simple formula was executed masterfully to the point that it has created a whole new subgenre on its own, the type of anime that involves Girls Doing Things Together. In a lot of ways, Azumanga Daioh has managed to strike the prefect balance between its elements. In fact, a number of anime have already attempted to simulate and achieve what the series has accomplished, but none have gotten the formula as right as this so far. As time passes, this anime just continues to establish itself not simply as the forerunner of the Slice of Life genre, it has established itself as one of its finest examples as well. If you are interested in checking out Slice of Life anime, this should definitely be on the list.
2. Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop)
Bunny Drop is one of those anime that presents a very realistic scenario that viewers simply cannot look away from. Centering on the story of Daikichi Kawachi, a single, 30-year old man who finds a surprise when he visits home after the death of his grandfather. As it turns out, his grandfather has a six-year old child, Rin Kaga, with another woman six years before his death. Unfortunately, the child is widely considered as a disgrace due to the fact that the child's mother has abandoned her. Taking pity on the unwanted child, Daikichi decides to raise her on his own, despite the fact that he has absolutely no idea how to be a parent. With touching scenes and a moving story about the journey of a man and his adopted daughter. Despite the lack of experience in parenting on Daikichi's part, he nonetheless decides to change his ways and commit himself full time to be the father that Rin has never had. Truly a heartwarming series, Bunny Drop is not to be missed in the Slice of Life genre.
1. Clannad: After Story
Though the story itself has some elements of the fantasy genre, Clannad: After Story nonetheless stands as one of the finest examples of anime that shows its viewers a slice of life. Revolving around the story of Tomoya Okazaki, a delinquent whose life changed direction after meeting and falling in love with Nagisa Furukawa, the sweet, optimistic, albeit fragile girl with a passion for theater, Clannad: After Story is one anime that has not only moved its viewers, it is probably one of the few anime that was make the world shed its tears. With an honest story that is not afraid to pull any punches in showing its viewers the realities and tragedies of life, Clannad: After Story is an anime that has almost become sublime, a modern anime classic that is surely going down in history as one of the finest examples of the Slice of Life genre. Universally acclaimed by critics and viewers alike, this is one anime that, regardless of the genre, deserves to be watched and pondered upon.
Slice of Life anime is arguably one the most understated and possibly underrated genre in the anime world. However, the genre also possibly contains anime's most subtle, honest titles. Even if anime is best known for titles that have taken the world by storm, Slice of Life anime is something that surely deserved to be fully appreciated, for all its humble glory.
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