Slice of life anime never fails to make a real-life ordinary situation exciting. All the everyday routines that we go through eventually turn uninteresting—but for some reason, it’s always fun and relaxing in an anime context. What’s nice about this genre is that it reminds us to appreciate the little things, take a breather, and laugh it off.
So for the people who are only starting to get into anime, I’d recommend that you add some good ol’ lighthearted stuff to your list. In no particular order, here are 8 of the best slice of life anime for beginners.
One of Naoko Yamada’s masterpieces, this cute and wholesome anime talks about music and high school friendships. K-On tells us the story of Yui, Mio, Ritsu, Tsumugi, and Azusa, members of a band called Ho-kago Tea Time. Together they make up the Light Music Club of their school. While it seems that all they do during club hours is have tea and snacks, they still actually practice.
What I love about their songs are the cute messages—comparing the shaky feeling of love with a fluffy marshmallow, eating a strawberry parfait, intense love for curry, among other things. As much as K-On looks like moe heaven, there is much more to this than girls doing cute things.
2. Mob Psycho 100
Shigeo Kageyama (also known as Mob) is a quiet and reserved middle schooler who has been bestowed with crazy psychic powers ever since he was young. He works as an apprentice under Arataka Reigen—a con artist pretending to be a psychic. Due to this, exorcising evil spirits has become a part of Mob’s slightly troublesome life.
Mob’s development involving his struggles in bettering himself is so heartwarming that you can’t help but root for him. This series is great to watch for anyone who had gone through bouts of self-doubt and low self-esteem. The animation is captivating, and Mob’s gym bros deserve a special mention. A bunch of nice and supportive buff dudes who give great moral support? Yes, please.
3. Yuru Camp
I’d like to think that Yuru Camp feels like playing Animal Crossing alongside high schoolers simply because it’s so relaxing. This anime takes us around on a tour of the scenic nature sites at the Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan through a tranquil and cute vibe. The wholesome interactions between the characters and their camping adventures offer the audience an incredible healing experience.
It’s also quite the educational series for non-campers, seeing as the show regularly gives us a lot of camping tips. Lastly, before I forget to mention—there are adorable dogs in this anime.
4. Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san
The series revolves around the encounters that a skeleton named Honda has at the bookstore he works at. It ranges from dealing with a foreign dad who unknowingly ends up looking for 18+ doujinshi for his daughter, to an endless number of eccentric people obsessing over BL manga. He usually has intense and panicked reactions over these generally chaotic moments which are meme-worthy.
This one’s easy to watch since the episodes are shorter than the usual 20 minutes. Perfect for anyone trying to get a sneak peek into anime.
Nichijou is a purely chaotic comedy that’s centered on a trio of high school girls. Other characters include a genius and her seemingly human robot, plus a talking cat. In the midst of their everyday situations, something absurd is bound to happen.
In one episode, Yūko and Mio get bitten by dogs. Their reactions? Both of them shoot giant lasers from their mouth upon screaming in pain. One laser shoots through the sky while the other goes through several buildings.
This exaggerated depiction of pain seemed like it came straight out of a shōnen anime.
6. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
Being born with god-like psychic powers is bound to be a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, Kusuo Saiki just wants to live a normal life despite having these abilities—so he tries to be as average as possible.
However, the people in his life seem to be chaos magnets so he has to use his powers (often discreetly, which makes it funny) in order to solve the current problem. This wild ensemble of characters makes Saiki seem relatively normal despite being an overpowered character.
For those who are used to reading subtitles, this show is a great test to see how fast your reading skills are.
7. Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto
Everything Sakamoto does is perfect and always executed in such a smooth and elegant manner for some reason. That’s why he’s the coolest guy in school.
Anyone who tries to sabotage him by trying to make him look bad fails—no matter what happens, Sakamoto makes it look great. Gonna try to pull a prank on him by tweaking the drinking fountain so the water explodes? Nice try. He’s going to run his hands through his hair and look like a sparkling model. Cue the screaming fangirls in the background.
He’s portrayed as someone so charming and suave that he even has his own classy theme music playing in the background whenever he does something cool. Which is most of the time.
Retsuko is a red panda in her mid-20s that is constantly stressed from her office job. Due to her seemingly nice nature, she’s often taken advantage of at work. So how does she let off some steam? Why with death metal karaoke, of course.
The stark contrast between Retsuko’s office self and enraged self is truly a relatable mood for any twentysomething corporate employee.
Related: What is Slice of Life Anime Explained
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