Slice of Life is a very popular genre of anime. Yet it is a very tough genre to pull off. Since slice of life anime depict the everyday life of people and the challenges that come with it, it can often be very dramatic and anti climactic. That is why it is tough to pull off and has to have a balance of excitement and realism to keep the audience interested in the anime. This is one reason why many newcomers in the anime world tend to avoid slice of life anime. Good slice of life anime is really tough to find. But don’t worry, Senpai is here. Slice of Life is one of Senpai’s favorite genres and this is a list to help all of you get an idea about some of the best slice of life anime out there.
Bakuman is one of my favorite slice of life anime ever. The story of Bakuman revolves around two friends Takagi and Mashiro who aim to be mangaka. It’s an extremely fascinating anime that shows how two boys struggle to achieve their dream. They had to deal with hardships and struggles, they failed and yet they kept on going undeterred and unfazed by all the adversities they are faced with. It also gives us a detailed insight on the procedure of making a manga. Many people read manga but do we really know how a manga is made? and how much effort is put in to create a manga? Bakuman offers us an opportunity to have a detailed idea about the process of making a manga.
Bakuman is one of the finest Slice of Life there is. It has comedy, it has romance, it has setbacks and it just teaches you how hard life can get. Bakuman shows us that the bravest of people are those who pursue their dreams and struggle to make them come true without ever giving up.
Nana is another great slice of life anime. Nana is also a story of two friends trying to pursue their dream. However, unlike Bakuman, Nana is deeper and darker. Nana has tons of heartbreaks and possesses a very depressing mood. The story of Nana circulates around two girls both having the same name “Nana”. They meet each other at a train and coincidentally ends up being roommates. Nana is more of music related. Osaki Nana is an aspiring musician who is a vocalist of a band named “BLAST”. The other one is Komatsu Nana who followes her boyfriend to Tokyo.
Another key difference that Nana has with Bakuman is that Bakuman’s story is driven by romance, whereas Nana’s story is about romance. Nana’s story depicts how two strangers become friends and support each other through good times and bad, through heartbreaks and happiness. It is a really great slice of life anime and is very underrated. Everyone should give this anime a try.
Mushishi is one of the best Slice of life anime there is. Unlike Nana or Bakuman Mushi-Shi it is a bit supernatural. Mushi-Shi is an episodic anime and also really slow. So it may be a bit difficult for the newcomers to swallow. However, the slowness was absolutely necessary. Mushi-Shi deals with really deep philosophies so you need to have the time to understand each issues. So the slowness actually gives you the chance to grasp the concept.
The story revolves around a man named Ginko who travels around chasing the rumors and occurrences that are tied to “Mushi”. He claims himself to be a mushi master and goes these journeys that ultimately leads to and epic plot. I will not spoil it anymore but do watch it. It is a top tier anime and absolutely fantastic.
4. Welcome to the NHK
Welcome to the NHK is about a college drop out named Satou Tatsuhiro. He is an asocial person who keeps himself aloof from the society and is a shut in. He has been a “hikikomori” for four years until one teenage girls comes to his rescue.
The show deals with the complexities an asocial person has and what he has to go through. Welcome to the NHK, unlike most slice of life anime, has a very serious tone although there are those occasional laughters. Watch the anime to see how Satou lives the life of a hikikomori and how he tries to fight against this situation. It is a very good anime and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
5. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
The story of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU revolves around an asocial boy named Hikigaya Hachiman. He has a very unique style of approaching life. He prefers being alone and mostly considers youth and fun as illusions. One day his teacher makes him join the Volunteer Service Club where he meets a soft spoken girl named Yukinoshita Yukinon.
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU is an exceptional anime with a great set of characters and Hikigaya’s different but harsh outlook on life. It is without doubt a must watch slice of life anime.
6. Honey and Clover
Honey and Clover is about three people living in a dorm struggling against poverty. Although deprived of the luxuries of life they are able to find pleasures from smallest of things. Honey and Clover is a prime example of what a slice of life anime should be like. It’s realistic, it’s funny, it’s depressing.
Honey and Clover is a portrayal of what the lives of poor students can be like, what their love lives can be like. Honey and Clover is undoubtedly a masterpiece slice of life and should be on your watch list.
7. Aishiteruze Baby
This show is about Katakura Kippei, a highschool playboy with zero sense of responsibility. But one day he is given the responsibility of taking care of his 5 year old cousin Yuzuyu, whose mother disappeared. Thus starts a stunning journey of Kippei and Yuzuyu that will take you on a feels trip. Aishiteruze baby is a very underrated and a heart touching anime. It depicts how Kippei’s life changes because of Yuzuyu. How he tries to change because of Yuzuyu, how his love life goes on and how he tries to help the heart broken Yuzuyu out of her loneliness.
It doesn’t have a sad ending but every 2 or 3 episodes it will make you sad. It’s cute, it’s heart breaking, it’s lovely, it’s funny, it’s romantic. If you are not picky about anime I urge you to watch this. You’ll have to read the manga though, since the anime’s story is incomplete. But there only 33 chapters so it will not be a long read. It is a very fulfilling story and I love it to bits.
8. Clannad: After Story
Clannad: After Story is about Tomoya Okazaki who struggles with life after a series of tragic incidents. He is a person with no aim, nothing about the world interests him. Clannad: After story is one of the emotional slice of life anime out there. You are missing out on something special if you don’t watch it.
Sorry, this description is vague I tried to keep it spoiler free. Watch Clannad, I know it is seriously boring but you will feel more attached to the characters when you start after story. Clannad: After Story is an absolutely amazing anime that depicts the importance of family and parental love. It will bring you to tears and change your perspective about family forever.
9. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 takes an apocalyptic look at the possibility of an earthquake of magnitude 7 or greater striking the Tokyo area. Mirai, a middle school freshman girl who goes to Tokyo’s artificial Odaiba Island for a robot exhibition with her brother Yutaka at the start of summer vacation. A powerful tremor emanates from an ocean trench, the famed Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge crumble and fall, and the landscape of Tokyo changes in an instant. With the help of a motorcycle delivery woman named Mari who they meet on Odaiba, Mirai and Yutaka strive to head back to their Setagaya home in western Tokyo.
The anime deals with what would happen if there is a 8.0 magnitude earthquake. It follows two siblings who are away from their family at a time of dire crisis. It depicts how these two mere children try to survive the after effects of this cataclysm and learn the importance of family. Tokyo magnitude is an underrated yet an extremely good anime. Though a lot of people labels it as a drama anime I for one is in favor that TM is a slice of anime.
10. Natsume Yuujinchou
Natsume Yujinchou deals with a 15 year old boy who has a terrifying secret regarding yokai. He learns that his deceased grandmother had passed on the yuujinchou to him which contains the names of the spirits that she brought under control. It’s an extremely fascinating concept and I was pleasantly surprised how the anime successfully merged the fantasy and slice of life genre.
It is a different type of slice of life anime that intrigued me and i really enjoyed it. That is why I decided to include it here. It is very underrated and not many people know about it. But i believe it deserved to be seen and I know all of you will enjoy it too.
The story of Hyouka revolves around Oreki Houtarou who joins the classic literature club on request of his sister. There he meets Chitanda, Fukube and Ibara. They start investigating a case that occurred 45 years ago. As the story progresses the two of them start to solve different types of mysteries that depict the everyday life of the people around them.
Hyouka is a really good Slice of life anime and everyone should try out. I really enjoyed it even though it can be slow at times. It also has tons to offer to the mystery lover as well. It is a great blend of slice of life and mystery.
12. Usagi Drop
The story of Usagi Drop follows Souchiro Kawachi who at the funeral of elderly, his family is shocked to learn he had a six-year-old daughter named Rin. There is talk amongst the family of putting her up for adoption to avoid scandal and talk; disgusted at this behavior, Souchiro’s grandson Daikichi decides to take her in himself and raise her as his own child. Thus he begins an arduous, consuming but ultimately satisfying trip through single parenthood, as he and Rin struggle to become a part of each other’s lives and bond together.
Usagi Drop is a very heart warming anime and it deals with emotions of a child suddenly at a loss of her father’s death and is forced to live with a complete stranger. On the other hand it deals with the life of a middle aged single man who has to take cake of a growing child and how this affects his own life. It is an absolute gem of an anime and i loved it to bits. A little warning though, after seeing the anime, if you loved it, then let it be. DO NOT read the manga. You’ll be scarred for life.
The thing about Slice of Life is, it is a portrayal of the reality of life. It is something you can relate to, to your daily life. It teaches you about the struggles of life. Slice of life are not flashy like shounen anime but they definitely go toe to toe if not even surpass in terms of quality and depth of story and characters. If you enjoy them then good, if you don’t watch these I’m pretty sure this list of slice of life anime will change your mind.