There’s nothing like “slice of life” anime. After all, that’s exactly what you’re getting.
- A slice of characters lives on a day-to-day basis.
- Their ongoing struggles, challenges, and happy moments.
- And a strong focus on the characters lifestyle.
Or as Google’s definition puts it:
“a realistic representation of everyday experience in a film, play, or book.”
Here’s a list of some of the BEST shows worth checking out.
36 Slice Of Life Anime:
1. Sakura Quest
Sakura Quest starts out with Yoshino Koharu. A girl who’s having trouble job-hunting in Tokyo, and ends up getting work in a rural village by accident.
A few highlights from Sakura Quest:
- It focuses on travel and tourism (as a business).
- The anime is based in a real life Japanese village, called Manoyama.
- The purpose of the plot is to bring “Manoyama” back to life, and attract tourists to the forgotten village.
- There are around 5 main female characters. Each with their own flair and personality.
- And there is NO fan service that’s inappropriate.
If you wanna watch this with anyone besides yourself, you can. Fanservice is lightweight.
Sakura Quest is good for anyone interested in business and tourism (with some comedy).
But Toradora is for anyone who wants a romance series with “emotional” episodes.
In the beginning it’s about Ryuuji and Taiga.
Taiga constantly abuses Ryuuji non-stop.
But as you get into this anime, assuming it doesn’t force you to drop it, each character starts to develop more, and you learn more about each characters inner-struggles and backstories.
Later the anime starts to get intense unlike any other slice of life series you’ll ever see.
For that reason, Toradora is a masterpiece in the “slice of life” department. And you should watch it.
3. Tamako Market
Made by Kyoto Animation, Tamako Market is an innocent slice of life about Tamako, the daughter of a business man who makes Mochi for a living.
Unlike an anime like Sakura Quest, Tamako Market doesn’t have a particular focus or plot. Other than highlighting the daily lifestyle of living in a small town, doing business, a fat talking bird, school and comedy.
But don’t be fooled by that. This is one of the most relaxing anime shows that will put you at ease.
And you also don’t have to think too much about what you’re watching… Because it’s that chilled and simple.
4. Flying Witch
Where as Tamako Market is about a town that makes Mochi, Flying Witch is about a witch in training.
Makoto Kowata moves to the countryside with family to get some “personal experience” that will prepare her for the future.
As a witch.
Though you don’t see much “magic” in this anime, when you do it’s used to lighten the mood, or to explain something the anime is trying to portray.
Don’t expect too much comedy from this one, but do expect to feel chilled and relaxed like no other anime is capable of.
An anime like Toradora highlights the emotional struggles of romance (eventually).
But Orange highlights depression, suicide, romance, guilt and bullying. Which sets it apart from your average slice of life series.
Like any “normal” person would, Kakeru Naruse is guilty of his mother’s death. Because the day she died he said something he shouldn’t have.
And regret is destroying him from the inside out.
This is a deep, meaningful series so keep that in mind before you decide to watch. As it gets uncomfortable for obvious reasons.
6. Kokoro Connect
At first I didn’t know what to make of Kokoro Connect, but as it makes progress it starts to shine and blossom like an Iris flower.
Kokoro Connect is about 5 students who are forced to play along with an “experiment” that tests their friendship, sanity, emotions and relationships with each other.
It’s thought-provoking. So it’s unlikely this anime won’t make you think about your own life in some way or another.
There’s some romance too if that tickles your fancy.
Clannad is known as a “masterpiece” when it comes to romance and slice of life. And I agree as I’ve watched it.
The first season focuses on Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa.
Nagisa is “weak” physically, and there’s a deeper reason about why. But the first season of Clannad focuses more on having fun, with your “odd” moment that’s meaningful.
Season 2 is where Clannad evolves into something deep, tragic and pouring with emotional baggage.
So if you consider Clannad, make sure you watch both seasons to get the full story and experience.
Produced by Kyoto Animation, Kanon is what I call the little brother of Clannad.
Typical of Kyoto Animation, the styles, design and characters share strong similarities.
The animation is just as nice for its time, and the story is worthwhile too. But Kanon is overshadowed by Clannad’s success.
That aside, if you want something besides Clannad with a different story and theme, Kanon is the best choice.
There’s few comparable slice of life to Clannad like Kanon that are worth mentioning.
9. New Game!
New Game! is one of the freshest slice of life shows in the industry. Released back in 2016.
Aoba Suzukaze is the protagonist, and her dream is to work for a gaming company and create games for a living.
Season 1 and 2 follows Aoba Suzukaze on her journey in the gaming industry. Along with other characters who all work for the same company (with similar goals).
So you’ll enjoy this if “gaming” or “programming” is a personal interest.
Animation quality is one of New Game’s strongest traits. It’s bright, colorful, gorgeous and nice on the eyes.
10. Violet Evergarden
Made by Kyoto Animation, Violet Evergarden is an anime that knows how to tell emotional stories.
Each set of episodes is focused on the main character, Violet, whose job is to help people write letters to the people they love.
To give them closure.
Words can’t describe how much of a masterpiece this anime is.
It’s even comparable to shows like Clannad for its emotional story-telling.
Barakamon is about Seishu Handa, a calligrapher who’s sent off to live on an island to work on his bad behaviour.
All 12 episodes focus on Seishu Handa’s personal development, journey, and the changes he goes through as a person.
There’s also a nice range of ages among the main and support characters in Barakamon that you’ll like.
12. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is pure fun, with a couple of warm moments to change-up the pace every couple of episodes.
The main difference between this and regular slice of life, is it’s focused on 1 human character, and human-like dragons.
You can expect”some fanservice here from Lucoa, a character obviously designed for fanservice. But it’s much less than what you’d expect from comparable shows.
13. Himouto! Umaru Chan
Himouto Umaru Chan is about an annoying little sister, Umaru, and her older brother: Taihei Doma.
Umaru is two-faced, living a double-lifestyle just to live up to people’s expectations.
Just like Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, Umaru Chan is fun, and the comedy will make you chuckle.
Especially if you’re into video games the way the MC is.
14. Aria The Animation
Aria The Animation is the animated version of getting a massage. Because it’s relaxing, sometimes cheesy, and too chilled to be “serious”.
There isn’t much comedy in this type of anime, but you don’t need it because it blends slice of life with sci-fi and fantasy.
And the city the anime is based in is taken from the city of Venice, in Italy. With a few changes to make it unique.
15. Classroom Of The Elite
Classroom of the Elite is nothing like your everyday slice of life series.
Why? It has a darker side than most. You discover this pretty fast within the first few episodes.
After all, the plot centers around students who are forced to compete with each other to survive and make money, as part of the school’s system and harsh rules.
It’s an anime in a league of its own.
16. Love, Chunibyo And Other Delusions
Chunibyo is the kind of the slice of life that will make you cringe, and force you to drop it.
Or at least that was my experience… until I gave it another chance and enjoyed it to the fullest.
The story is mostly about Rika, a teenager who believes she has superpowers. And Yuta, a male protagonist who gets caught up in Rika’s delusions.
Things start to get a little romantic in the second season of this series.
17. Best Student Council
The plot is all in the name.
It’s about the best student council and their daily lives of managing their school. Focused mainly on Rino Rando and Kanade Jinguji.
Each character is memorable, even though there are 8 characters. And you get a mix of romance, stupid comedy, and a small drop of heart-warming episodes to top it all off.
I love an anime that can make me laugh and make me feel for the characters.
Hinamatsuri has mastered the art of doing both.
On one hand you have Hina, a girl with supernatural powers (who lives with a Yakuza).
And then you have Anzu, a girl with supernatural abilities… except she ends up homeless.
You see these two elements play out from start to finish, the anime does a good job of “timing” it right.
Hyouka is about an annoyingly persistent girl: Eru Chitanda, and a lazy guy: Houtarou Oreki.
Together (with other characters) they solve mysteries and find answers to complicated questions.
Almost like detectives.
The most surprising thing about Hyouka is how entertaining it is, despite the theme seeming so boring and average.
ReLife is a relatable slice of life series about young adulthood and turning your life around for the better.
Kaizaki Arata gets lucky and is given the chance to turn his life around, and correct the mistakes he’s made as a young adult in Japan.
What comes next is pure comedy, and a meaningful story that follows a handful of characters in college.
Occasionally, it gets a little “dark” as well.
21. Ranma 1/2
Ranma is made by the same producers of Inuyasha. So it’s old school by 2018 standards.
But if you want a slice of life series that inspired slice of life today as we know it, start with Ranma 1/2.
It’s one of the most original slice of life shows that’s still relevant and worth recommending.
22. Kino’s Travels (And Kino’s Journey)
Kino’s Travels is the first (and only) season of the Kino’s anime series.
It started out in the early 2000’s, and the animation is proof of that. But don’t be put off by it.
As far as story-telling goes, Kino’s Journey is the most refreshing anime I’ve watched. And the aspect of traveling to dozens of countries and cities is another special reason to consider it.
Kino’s Journey is an “additional” anime with modern animation and up to date visuals. But the original is the best version of the two.
This anime is all kinds of weird, depressing, and in some ways,effed up. It’s what you’d call “dark comedy” with slice of life being its main focus.
Tomoko Kuroki is a teenage girl after all with low self-esteem, no friends, and a low opinion of herself.
So the kinds of things she does to get attention, get noticed, and “make an effort” naturally turns into weird, awkward circumstances that will make you laugh.
If not, it’ll make you cringe.
24. The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K
Saiki K is a refreshing approach to slice of life because it adds an element of fantasy, superpowers, and an introverted protagonist who see’s his abilities as an inconvenience.
In his eyes, Saiki K just wants to live his life and avoid being troubled by anyone.
But as you’ll see with the crazy comedy and relentless parodies, this is obviously too much to ask for.
I’ll never witness a more realistic slice of life series for as long as I live.
Nana is the most “true to life” romance in the industry. Produced by Madhouse.
I’d recommend ALL young adult (and Millennials) to watch it. Because it’ll open your eyes to the world around you, in a way that’s realistic and easy for you to relate to.
26. Squid Girl
Squid Girl is a girl from the sea with the powers and abilities of a squid. Even the way she talks is a little weird, strange, but most of all, hilarious.
That’s part of the animes killer charm.
With 3 seasons in total, and an OVA, this is a laid back, care-free slice of life to keep you entertained.
Squid Girl for me is underrated, probably because it’s seen as too “childish” (whatever that means).
27. Nodame Cantabile
Nodame Cantabile takes your average romance cliches, and crushes it without remorse.
Take the main character: Chiaki for example.
A guy who instead of handing over an umbrella to the girl who adores him, he walks away and uses it for himself.
If you want something unconventional and tasteful, Nodame Cantabile might surprise you.
28. Love Live School Idol Project
Love Live is a “cute girls doing cute things” slice of life series. But it’s not entirely true.
The main plot is about Honoka Kousaka, her friends, and their goal of becoming school idols together.
It’s one of the first “all girl” anime shows I watched, and each character makes Love Live all the more fun and enjoyable.
29. Lucky Star
Lucky Star is another all-girl anime series. But that doesn’t matter if you’re open-minded and want some GOOD comedy.
Konata Izumi is the laid back, sarcastic character who brightens up the show. And her friend – Kagami is the opposite.
Expect to see gaming references, Otaku culture, NO plot, and random episodes that will make you wonder WTF you’re even doing with yourself.
30. School Live (Gakkou Gurashi)
Gakkou Gurashi, or School Live in English, is a horror series about zombies, mental illness, and the psychology of each character.
All the main characters are forced to live on “leftovers” because the world has come to an end. Since it’s crawling with Zombies.
Yuki Takeya, one of the main characters develops a mental illness from all the stress and depressing circumstances.
If it’s something chilling and dark you want, this is the slice of life anime to get into.
So don’t let the “cute” fool you.
31. Tanaka Kun Is Always Listless
Tanaka is a lazy student who’s too reserved for his own good. In fact he’s so chilled, you’d think he’s been smoking weed and getting high off it.
His friend Oota is a mature, thoughtful and practical character who Tanaka relies on.
There isn’t much of a plot, but there doesn’t need to be. Because it’s the kind of anime you watch for the characters, the relaxation, and occasional comedy that’s in a league of its own.
32. Little Witch Academia
Little Witch Academia is one of Studio Trigger’s best anime in their catalog.
You won’t find fanservice here. Or anything that tries to sneakily throw in fanservice for fanservice’ sake.
The plot is about Atsuko Kagari, and her dream of becoming a witch that can make people smile.
This simple dream turns into a mad adventure that’s fun, educational and makes you wish you could join her.
It’s the kind of anime you wished you watched as a kid, except it never existed.
You didn’t think this list would be complete without K-On did you?
K-On is the undisputed queen of slice of life shows. That’s just how Kyoto Animation rolls as an anime studio.
There’s no plot, just like Lucky Star, and it’s the literal definition of “cute girls doing cute things”.
And even still, the animation is well-done, the comedy is classic, and like many slice of life, it’s easy to warm to because it’s so easy going.
Hanayamata is about Naru Sekiya, a shy teenager who’s anxious and nervous in big crowds.
Eventually Naru and other characters get together and start doing what Japan calls Yasakoi.
Which is a freestyle type of dancing.
Hanayamata is another “cute girls doing cute things”, except the designs and characters are more realistic. Where as an anime like K-On is more “child-like” because of the “Moe” drawings.
It’s one of the purest slice of life shows that has a good balance of everything you’d expect, without being boring or too cliche.
35. The Ancient Magus Bride
The Ancient Magus Bride is a beautiful slice of life, comparable to Violet Evergarden for its animation quality.
It’s about Hatori Chise, an orphan with special powers who’s been denied and rejected all her life because of “what” she is.
The first wave of this series starts out strong, but depending on your perspective, the last half falls off a bit.
But It’s still worth recommending
36. Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends
Haganai takes the usual slice of life concept, and then adds bullying, loneliness, and Ecchi to the mix.
It’s a “Harem” as well.
So if you weren’t expecting fanservice… now you know what to expect.
Haganai is a slice of life unlike anything you’ll see. Because of the way it tackles loneliness and bullying. While still managing to throw in comedy and romance without embarrassing itself.
- Skilled Teaser Takagi.
- Isshuukan Friends.
- Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto!
- Kantai Collection.
- Daily Lives Of High School Boys.
- Non Non Byori Repeat.
What else would you add that’s worth mentioning?
I’m the Founder of Anime Motivation.
The 1st anime I watched was Dragon Ball Z. Followed by Claymore, Inuyasha, Attack On Titan, and the rest as they say is “history”.