Slice of life anime are amazing to watch as this genre has some of the most relatable anime series and movies of all time. Unlike shonen shows or action and adventure genre, this particular genre usually focuses on light drama. Sure, you may get some intense emotional scenes but don’t expect crazy fights, shouting power-ups or tons of energy blasts. I am a fan of anime featuring a convoluted setting with tons of action sequences, but I would never say no to watching a slice of life anime because these shows are just amazing stressbusters and I often find myself smiling while watching the shenanigans of the characters in the show!
If you too are looking for recommendations in the slice of life genre because you are bored with the usual stuff that you watch, then you’ve landed on the right page. In this article, I have listed down some of the most popular anime shows in the slice of life genre that are bound to put a smile on your face. Plus, these anime shows don’t have a ton of episodes and are pretty fast paced.
Best Slice of Life Anime in 2021
23. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou
Sakurasou, or Sakura Hall, is a dormitory for misfits. Sorata finds himself in this dormitory when he refuses to get rid of his cats. While in Sakurasou, he meets the strange occupants with their special quirks that landed them in the infamous hall in the first place. Amongst them is the autistic artist, Mashiro Shiina, who cannot take care of her basic needs!
Sorata becomes her caretaker and slowly starts to fit in and understand the other misfits. This show has deep concepts with love, friendship, jealousy and creativity mixed in.
22. Restaurant to Another World
If you don’t mind viewing lots of mouthwatering food then you can probably watch this anime, food is wonderful and it brings a lot of people together. The western restaurant Nekoya seems normal but when they close their doors to the human world on weekends, they open up a doorway to welcome different creatures from different worlds.
The restaurant opens up for dragons, fairies, elves, mages and all sorts of magical creatures, and the chef of the establishment cooks up their favorite dishes to satisfy their food cravings.
21. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
I’m pretty sure no one has ever imagined having a dragon as a maid. An office worker, Kobayashi accidentally wins the favor of the dragon, Tohru, and takes her in as her maid; she later takes in another dragon Kanna as well.
Although they are entirely different species, Kobayashi gets closer to the dragons as they try to blend in with humans in their humanoid form. There are so many heart-warming moments about friendship, love, sadness and mistakes in this show that makes it one of the to slice of life anime series!
20. Love, Chunibyo And Other Delusions!
Chunibyo or “Eight grade syndrome” is what happens when you believe you are a fictional character from another universe. Yuuta had the eighth-grade syndrome in middle school where he called himself the dark flame master; but he outgrew it and decided to live a normal high school life.
He actually succeeds until he meets Rikka who has a bad case of chunibyo in high school. They meet even more characters with this syndrome and Yuuta tries to get them under control as he now finds the syndrome embarrassing. This anime is totally goofy with imaginary battles and a ton of humorous scenes, and a perfect anime to watch to have a good time.
Everyone would love to take a shot at relieving their high school days. Arata Kaizaki is given the opportunity to become 10 years younger and attend a year of high school to restart his already failing adult life. The episodes follow Arata as he makes friends with his new classmates and creates deep bond with them. A requirement for the deal of going back to high school is that none of the friends he makes will remember him after the experiment.
ReLIFE reminds one of the beauties of life and fighting personal demons. It has romance, comedy and it is emotional, and is one of the best shows to watch!
18. Dagashi Kashi
You’re going to love this if you have a sweet tooth. You Shikada tries to convince his son, Kokonotsu, to take over the candy family business but he wants to be a manga author instead.
A drastic change happens when Shidare Hotaru comes to ask You to make his company a part of her father’s own. He agrees on one condition, she should convince his son to take over the family business. Hotaru begins her quest and we get to learn more about the history of Japanese candy.
17. Daily Lives of High School Boys
This hilarious slice of life anime is about three friends who do not have any idea how to date girl. Daily Lives of High School Boys address the misconception that boys and girls already have of each other. There are no reoccurring plots, we literally get to see the humor-filled lives of high school boys, and their vast and colorful imagination. Although this anime is light, it actually comes pretty close to actual high school stuff.
16. Kokoro Connect
Kokoro Connect tells the story of 5 seemingly normal high school students who set up a club. They live normal lives until something strange happens – members of this club start switching bodies! This phenomenon tests the characters bonds as living each other’s lives makes them learn secrets about themselves and allows them to get closer as friends.
Although this anime has a fantasy element, it shows the normal reactions to these mysterious happenings while giving us wonderful characters. Two of these students even get especially close!
This hilarious slice of life anime is so easy to fall in love with. Hina is a powerful psychic who “falls on earth” and is discovered by a Yakuza member, Nitta. He is kinda roped into letting Hina stay with him and acting as a paternal figure to her. Although Hina is initially aloof and has no emotional attachments, she eventually forms a bond with Nitta after lots of hilarious scenarios.
Hinamatsuri has a touch of fantasy but that isn’t the main focus, as the supporting cast of characters also develop along with the main characters to become better people.
This anime follows Tomoya Okazaki, a delinquent without any interest in school. When deciding to skip school and waste the rest of high school away, he meets Nagisa, a cute kind girl who was forced to repeat a year while her friends graduated. At first it seems like the good girl, bad boy cliché but Clannad is anything but that, the relationship between Tomoya and Nagisa is not forced at all.
Clannad also has a lot of supporting characters whose experiences makes the story come together. Another interesting thing is that the second series of this anime, Clannad: After Story, features the matured version of the characters when they are adults.
13. Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for An Otaku
There’s nothing wrong with being a successful office lady and an otaku at the same time. Narumi is a yaoi manga lover whose childhood friend Hirotaka is a hardcore otaku gamer. They both reunite when they start working in the same office and decide to start a relationship. This is not the usual high school anime and it gives us a glimpse of how young nerdy adults go about their professional lives and hobbies.
The side characters also have their own budding romance so you get to experience daily lives of four nerds as they discover that love really is hard for an otaku!
12. Fruits Basket
The amazing high school girl, Tohru Honda, finds herself in a bizarre situation after being taken in as a guest of the Soma family. She discovers that members of the family can involuntarily turn to one of the animals in the Chinese Zodiac sign. Although she agrees to keep their secret, she goes further by helping each family member deal with their personal problems.
This is one of the best slice of life anime with a Japanese rural life setting. Handa Sei, a young calligrapher is sent to a small rural island after punching a curator for criticizing his work. He sees the villagers of this island living in a huge contrast from the usual city life and also encounters an energetic little girl, Naru, who brings a lot of comedy to the show.
There are a lot of strong characters in this anime like the mayor, a group of old ladies and the village children. Handa undergoes personal reflection and growth as he works on his calligraphy while growing to like the village and its inhabitants.
10. The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K
When you are an overpowered character with powerful telepathic and telekinetic abilities, how would you choose to live your life? Well, according to Saiki Kusuo, you try to live a normal life while trying to hide your abilities from your classmates without being noticeable.
Unfortunately for Saiki, he is always put in situations where he has to use his abilities and take extreme measures to prevent anyone around him from noticing his powers. This anime is hilarious, Saiki makes commentary on the other characters around him and that is the real gem of the show.
If you love music, K-On is definitely your type of anime. It follows the life several high school girls who are part of a club called The Light Music Club. This anime is the ultimate description of slice of life, there is no huge plot and we watch the girls go through normal high school lives but the characters are cute and extremely likeable.
The friendship between the characters is also adorable as they become better musicians. K-On is light, fluffy and relatable, no flying swords or huge focus of romance but it is still fun!
This mysterious slice of life anime focuses on the usually apathetic Houtarou Oreki who joins the Classic Literature Club. He would prefer not to exert his energy on anything but the always curious Chitanda Eru drags him along to solve the many mysteries surrounding the school.
He tries to solve each mystery fast in order to go back to his peaceful school life but more mysteries arise, and his character is developed in the process as he becomes less indifferent. This anime does not have deep mysteries, it focuses on its characters and tells a high school story from a different perspective.
Ginko, the Mushi-shi, travels around Japan chasing rumors that could be related to the Mushis! Mushis are strange lifeforms that are neither human nor animals. Ginko, who sees these lifeforms as only a few can, wants to restore balance between human life and Mushi. Each episode is independent, engrossing and has a deeper meaning that imparts the human emotion and love.
If you want a calm, sentimental anime with beautiful visuals, soundtrack and thoughtful episodes, Mushishi is one of the best that you can find.
6. Usagi Drop
Daikichi, a thirty-year-old business man, decides to adopt his six-year-old aunt Rin, who happens to be his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter, and has to balance work with being a single parent. If you want a taste of reality, look no further. Being a single parent is not easy as we watch Daikichi and Rin’s bond slowly grow as he makes some life changes to accommodate her appearance in his life.
This refreshing anime gives us a special side of slice of life. High school setting is adorable and teenagers are sweet but if there is one word for this anime, it is heartwarming.
Also known as “My Ordinary Life”, this anime is anything but ordinary. I mean there are characters like a robot, a talking cat, a boy who rides to school on a goat and a professor who is only 8 years old.
This comedy slice of life anime is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on 3 main characters; Yuuko, a fun and energetic girl who is extremely lazy; Mio, a short-tempered secret manga artist who can be violent; and Mai, a quiet but funny girl. The second half of the series focus on the professor and Nano the robot who is insecure about the fact the she is a robot.
Nichijou is a joyful anime that will give you an abundance of laughter. All the hilarious characters try to live a normal high school lives but find themselves going about it in the most abnormal way.
4. Great Teacher Onizuka
High schoolers always want cool home room teachers. Well, Eikichi Onizuka is a former biker with police records who decides to become a teacher originally for perverted reasons. He is eventually hired by a private school to tame a notorious class who drove a teacher to death, another to join a cult and lead one other to a nervous breakdown.
The challenge becomes interesting when Onizuka takes his time to learn about the students individually, helps them and learns to love his new job. This slice of life anime also has a lot of comic scenes that will make you roar with laughter.
3. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
At first sight, this may seem like another slice of life anime set in high school, but it isn’t. As it turns out, Haruhi Suzumiya has the ability to destroy the world, well that’s if she gets bored with it.
This causes her to create a club in school where she recruits interesting members ranging from an alien and a time traveler, a psychic, a mascot and even a transfer student. We view Haruhi’s adventures through the eyes of the Kyon, the only class member she talks to and her voice of reason (which she rarely listens to).
Another interesting touch is that the episodes of this anime are not aired in chronological order so you may have to re-watch it a second time. This does not stop the story from being amazing and extremely funny with fun-filled high school shenanigans. Contrary to its name, it is anything but depressing!
2. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
This slice of life anime revolves around Jinta Yadomi, a high schooler who is considered a slacker because he usually skips school. The ghost of his deceased childhood friend Menma appears one day asking him to fulfill her wish.
This causes him to reunite with childhood playmates who have all taken different personalities from when they were kids. Jinta does not only have to fulfill Menma’s wish, he also has to make his former friends believe that Menma exists because she only appears to him.
This coming-of-age anime brings a lot of strong emotions to the surface as the friends try to come to terms with their more matured selves while resolving problems from the past!
If you have a short fuse, you’ve got nothing on Taiga Aisaka. As her name suggests, Taiga is a short, snarky and aggressive girl who is known as the Palmtop Tiger throughout the school. She becomes friends with the main protagonist, Ryuji Takasu, who is the complete opposite of Taiga although his features, especially his eyes, make him look mean. Although they had a rocky beginning, Ryuji and Taija soon find out that they are neighbors and have a crush on each other’s best friends. They become close while trying to set themselves up with their respective crushes.
Toradora is extremely popular because even though it has a simple plot, it is executed in an exceptional mix of romance, comedy, drama and slice of life. The secondary characters, the best friends, a former neighbor and Ryuji’s mother are also fun to watch.
What’s Your Favorite Slice of Life Anime?
Slice of life anime shows can feel a bit slow paced for the first few episodes because there are no awesome fights or flashy abilities like you’d see in a shonen anime series.
But that’s okay because sometimes its great to just chill and watch an anime that you can connect to your own experiences and remember fond memories. This is the reason why there are so many awesome slice of life anime series, and why people love watching them just as much as shows from any other genre!