The slice of life has exploded in recent years, and it’s filled with tons of shows about young girls in high school doing various club activites, or really anything your imagination can muster. I don’t mean this to sound negative, I love a lot of these shows, and I don’t intend to sound negative regarding them or denigrate them, because that’s the last thing I want to do. I do, however, want to give some attention to these few shows, slice of life series which take a different route compared to the usual, and they’re all amazing. Basically, I just want to reccomend some shows that are a bit unconvential, yet just as good as the normal stuff. Regardless of what decade of animation you prefer, whether you want a short OVA or a long TV series, this, admittedly short list should have you covered.
Table of Contents
best Slice of Life anime not set In high school
5: Akachan to Boku/Baby and Me
TV: 35 episodes – Manga: 108 chapters
This show in particular is actually one of my favourite anime of all time, and with good reason. The show is mostly episodic, and about a family of three: The dad, Harumi, the older brother, Takuya, and the little brother, who is also a baby, Minoru. Harumi is a single dad, as his wife died earlier. The voice acting is great, and adds so much to the characters, which you really get a feel for after these 35 episodes.
The show itself does have a larger scope than just the Enoki family though, as it overall is more focused on the town as a whole, although most episodes do focus specifically on the main characters. The visuals are also great, that and the character designs are definitely my favourite aspects of it. Minoru is just so adorable, and watching this family go through so many different scenarios is just great. I don’t have a single dad, but you can bet I found a lot to relate to in this, as someone who has a younger brother. Absolutely check this out!
4: Jarinko Chie/Chie the Brat
– Movie: 1 hour and 50 minutes
There is a 64 episode TV anime, as well as a manga with over 700 chapters, and I’d love to reccomend them, because I’m sure they’re good, but sadly, when we’re dealing with mediums such as anime and manga, the inevitable is going to happen: some work is left untranslated. And that sucks, it really sucks a lot. This movie (and the TV show) is directed by Isao Takahta, co-founder of Studio Ghibli, and one of my personal favourite directors of all time. He’s made tons and tons of great movies, from ‘Grave of the Fireflies,’ to ‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya’ to ‘Only Yesterday,’ the man is nothing if not prolific, which isn’t suprising, considering that he started working in the anime industry all the way back in 1961, when he directed ‘Anju to Zushiomaru.’ But, back to the topic at hand.
The movie is great, as it’s about a young girl, Chie, and her daily life, which involves helping out at her dad’s resturant, while occasionally going to see her mom, as her parents don’t live together anymore. It’s such a fun, yet emotional, and at times even slightly absurd movie, but it’s a lovely aesthethic, and I really wish there was more contemporary slice of life such as this. If only the manga and TV series was translated…
3: Akage no Anne/Anne of Green Gables –
TV: 50 episodes – Manga: 18 chapters
No, you didn’t read this wrong, I am in fact reccomending an anime and manga adaptation of L. M. Montogomery’s Anne of Green Gables. But why? Well, it’s simple, it’s a great show! If you interact with certain circles/subsets of the anime community, you’ll find tons of people who love it, and for good reason too. There’s something quite special about watching a character grow over the course of their life, and this show manages to execute it perfectly, and the character drama is also on point. The plot is about Anne, who is an orphan, but one day gets adopted by the Cuthbert family, which consists of Marrilla and Matthew.
No, they’re not lovers, just a brother and sister who run a farm together. The thing is though, they wanted a boy to help out at the farm, and yet, they’re stuck with a girl. Watching as they slowly grow into more of a family is great, and the supporting cast is fantastic too, with tons of lovely character designs and outfits. Eventually seeing Anne grow into an adult is quite the experience, and there are a few quite emotional moments at the end too. If you like well written character drama and seeing multiple characters develop as they get older, well, I don’t think I can reccomend a more quintessential show than this.
2: Usagi Drop/Bunny Drop
TV: 11 episodes, 4 specials – 62 chapters
There’s a noticeable trend of single parenthood on this list, isn’t there? Well, that’s not going to stop me from reccomending this lovely series. The plot is about a 30 year old office worker named Daikichi, who while seemingly doing well, is still feeling conflicted and undecided about what to do with his life. When his grandfather dies, he meets a young girl by the name Rin, who he finds out his actually his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter. When none of the other relatives seemingly want to take care of her, Daikichi takes it upon himself to take care of, and raise her, regardless of the fact that he has no prior experience with child rearing.
it’s really wonderful to watch, as Daikichi goes through the daily struggle of child care, and tries his best to balance it with his work life. What really suprised me while watching this show is just how much the average office worker is expected to work, later on in the series, there’s a scene where Daikichi talks about getting his hours cut, and he says that he’s only going to work until five or six o’ clock, I don’t remember exactly. But that really caught me off guard, because my dad, who is an office worker, was often able to come home during three or four o’ clock, and that is normal for me. Seeing something so vastly different, it really is weird. But back to the series itself, I think this is part of what makes it so intrugiung. It is difficult to have a family, and to take care of another person, and yet, it’s such a rewarding and beautiful experience anyways. And I think that’s great.
1: Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou/Yokohama Shopping Log
OVA: 4 episodes – Manga: 142 chapters
Do you like slow pacing? Do you like seeing daily activites repeated, with beautiful music and wonderful colours to go along with it? Does the inevitability of the apocalypse and living a small town life entice you? If so, then this show is perfect for you. The plot of Yokohama Shopping Log is as quiet as its direction; Alpha, a robot indistuingishable from a human, takes care of a cafe which was left in her care by her owner. Everyday, she goes through her daily routine, interacts with the other people who live nearby, and occasionally goes outside to do various activites.
And that’s the show, and I absolutely love it. If you want to relax, and I mean truly: relax, if what you want is to inject condensed “relax” right into your veins, then watch this show, because I can guarntee you, even within iyashikei series, there is nothing quite like this.