We live in a world where anime shows are typically used as a medium to escape the harsh and cruel reality of adulthood. The good news is that you can definitely relate to the best work-life anime of all time because they frequently explore mature workplace themes and elements.
Whether you're a working adult or a student, these work-life anime shows will undoubtedly provide a slice of reality that narrates the joy and hardship of the transition.
Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku
Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku is a work-life anime that focuses on the budding romance between the main characters, Narumi Momose and Hirotaka Nifuji, as well as its side characters, Taro Kabakura and the lovely Hanako Kayanagi.
In the series, all of the characters work together after Narumi gets a job in the same office as Nifuji.
While Narumi is a secret otaku who works hard to keep her identity hidden from anyone she dates, Nifuji is a carefree game otaku.
Hirotaka asked Narumi to be his girlfriend in order to help her grind resources and materials in a game they were both playing at the time.
From this point forward, the story focuses on their growing relationship and their struggles to keep it private at work.
Working!!, also known as Wagnaria!!, is a work-life anime that combines comedy and romance.
It revolves around Souta Takanashi, who has an obsession with small and cute things, including his new coworker, the childlike Popura Taneshima.
Takanashi must deal with a katana-wielding floor chief, an intimidating head chef, a sadistic sous chef, a waitress with a trauma against men, and a lazy manager after hiring Popura at Wagnaria, a family restaurant in Hokkaido.
With such a diverse workforce, Wagnaria's day-to-day operations are never dull, with some of the most ridiculous antics from this odd group of employees.
Aggretsuko, also known as Aggressive Retsuko, is a work-life anime with an anthropomorphic theme, comedy, and angst. Surprisingly, it is a Netflix and Sanrio anime collaboration.
The anime follows Retsuko, a 25-year-old red panda who works in the accounting department of her dream company, or so she thinks.
While Retsuko's workload and tasks continue to pile up, her boss and coworkers irritate her due to their ignorance, negligence, and discrimination.
Despite her difficult circumstances, Retsuko always maintains her composure in front of her coworkers.
Most of the time, Retsuko vents her frustrations by singing death metal karaoke behind them.
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New Game is a work-life anime that explores the ups and downs of being a game developer and designer in the middle of a growing industry, with an intriguing setting and premise.
The anime follows Aoba Suzukase, a rookie game designer at Eagle Jump, as she works for Kou Yagami, the lead character designer of her favorite video game series, Fairies Story.
Together with her coworkers, monster designer Yun Ijima, shy and aloof Hifumi Takimoto, animation team member and figure enthusiast Hajime Shinoda, art director Rin Tooyama, game director Shizuku Hazuki, and head programmer Umiko Ahagon, she strives to create the perfect sequel to the Fairies story.
Salaryman's Club is an anime about work and sports that features corporate badminton.
In case you missed it, when a company sponsors or backs the players and/or team, sports become corporate.
Having said that, the anime revolves around Mikoto Shiratori, a once-famous child prodigy who is fired by his sponsor, the Mitsuhoshi Bank, after a string of disappointing results, much to the chagrin of the employer.
As a result, Mikoto is recruited not only as a doubles badminton player but also as a sales representative by the Sunlight Beverage corporate badminton team.
Despite his reluctance and difficulties at work, Mikoto learns about his new teammates, which motivates him to compete at his best in the corporate games.
Police in a Pod
Police in a Pod is a work-life anime set in a police station that follows the daily lives of female police officers Mai Kawai and Seiko Fuji.
With a police theme, the anime is a mix of comedy, slice-of-life, and seinen. Not only is there an anime adaptation of the manga, but there has also been a live-action film released in 2021.
The anime follows Mai Kawai, a rookie police officer who fails a series of civil service exams and ends up working in a small police station.
While she completes the task, she is met with criticism not only from her coworkers but also from the general public, much to her chagrin.
Due to the toxic work environment, she decides to resign, but not before meeting the former ace of the Criminal Affairs Division, the charismatic and enchanting police instructor, Seiko Fuji.
Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan
Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan is a work-life anime with a comedic twist that has an intriguing and unusual premise.
The anime follows the crew of miserable adults who work behind the children's show Together with Mama, which has a heavy take on adulthood and life in general.
With that said, the children's show aims to educate innocent preschoolers, which explains the miserable crew's series of fake smiles and cheerful demeanor.
Uramichi Omota, a former gymnast and realist, is a member of this crew, and he gets carried away by his pessimism and miserable life even in front of the cameras.
Uramichi's life is getting worse by the day, thanks to two misfits, the rabbit and bear mascot singers.
Odd Taxi is another work-life anime that combines anthropomorphism, comedy, and mystery.
It follows the story of a walrus taxi driver named Hiroshi Odokawa as he becomes involved in the case of a missing high schooler.
When the police start following up on leads with him, and a yakuza and corrupt cops are hot on his tail, his peace is disturbed.
What begins as a peaceful and mundane driving job quickly transforms into a dark crime thriller.
Set in a strange city full of strange people, from a jobless man to a comedic duo, Hiroshi must embark on a path where he must clean up his unblemished reputation.
After the Rain
After the Rain is a work-life anime with a mix of romance and drama based on Mayuzuki Jun's seinen manga.
After the Rain is a beautifully aesthetic anime that explores complicated human emotions, love, and societal acceptance. It has an intriguing premise and a fresh take on the romance anime genre.
After the Rain follows Akira Tachibana, a reserved and beautiful high school student, and former track runner.
Despite her popularity, Akira is uninterested in boys at school. Instead, Akira develops feelings for Masami Kondou, the 45-year-old manager of the Garden Café, where she works part-time.
Having said that, Akira's feelings grow stronger by the day, leading to her inevitable confession to the kind and gentle Kondou.
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Yotsuiro Biyori is a work-life anime set in a traditional Japanese-style café called Rokuhoudou, and it features good-looking bishounen and/or husbandos' gourmet cooking!
Yotsuiro Biyori, which has a relaxing atmosphere similar to Laid Back Camp and Slow Loop, is a must-see!
The anime follows Sui Togoku as he manages Rokuhoudou with the help of his attractive friends.
The anime is episodic in nature, which means that each customer's narrative tells a different story episode by episode.
With that said, Sui and his coworkers strive to provide high-quality service to their customers in order to convert them from one-time to repeat customers.
Wave, Listen to Me
Wave, Listen to Me is a work-life anime set in a radio station that is a mix of comedy, drama, and romance aimed at the seinen demographic.
Minare Koda, a restaurant worker, becomes a late-night talk show host after a strange incident.
What began as a drunken outburst on the radio with the radio station's director, Kanetsugu Matou, turns out to be the discovery of new and fresh talent in the persona of Minare Koda.
Minare is recruited under Matou's supervision thanks to her impromptu talk in the air, which is full of energy and smooth dialogue.
To make ends meet, Minari must balance her day job, late-night gig, and personal life.
Africa Salaryman is a work-life anime full of workplace comedy, remarks, and ridiculous antics.
Despite its anthropomorphism, the show is an intriguing take on the work-life anime genre, with unusual animation and art style.
This work-life anime follows the kind lion, the jaded lizard, and the perverted Toucan as they go about their ridiculous and forbidden workplace antics.
With a story that explores the dos and don'ts of being a good worker, it is up to the lion and the lizard to keep their jobs secure in the face of the perverted and selfish Toucan's actions.
Kakushigoto is a work-life anime that combines comedy and slice-of-life elements and is aimed at the shounen demographic.
It's an anime that delves into not only adulthood and work but also family bonds and secrets.
It is a refreshing anime that is so sweet and adorable that no one can stop themselves from watching all 12 episodes in a single day.
This anime follows Kakushi Gatou, a well-known mangaka who specializes in NSFW and/or explicit content.
With the birth of his daughter, Gatou vows to never tell Hime about his work in order to keep her from becoming disgusted and disillusioned.
Gatou struggles to make ends meet as a single father while dressing up as a salaryman to maintain their peaceful lives in order to keep his secret hidden.
Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san
Despite its short episode length of 11 minutes, Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san is one of the best, if not the best, short anime of 2018. This work-life anime is an amazing show that deserves a lot of recognition.
It is a lighthearted, feel-good anime that gives viewers a glimpse into the life of a bookseller.
From the way the characters channel their roles and their remarks toward their customers, this work-life anime is an amazing show that deserves a lot of recognition.
Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san, as the name suggests, follows the bookseller skeleton, Honda-san, who insists on telling everyone that his job is extremely difficult, despite being regarded as average by customers.
Honda, along with his eccentric coworkers, faces the challenges of being a bookseller whose sole goal is to be the best in his industry and in the eyes of his customers.
Back Street Girls
Back Street Girls is a work-life anime with an unusual and out-of-this-world premise that focuses on comedy and ecchi aimed at the seinen demographic.
Back Street Girls is an underrated anime with a twisted sense of humor and an unconventional take on work-life that needs to be featured every now and then for anime viewers to pick it up.
Kentarou, Ryou, and Kazuhiko are three misfits and Yakuza members who travel to Thailand to undergo sex realignment surgery in order to become idols.
The anime follows their transformation from a gang of thugs to a top idol group known as The Goku Dolls.
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