Slice of life anime and manga are narratives “without fantastical aspects, which [take] place in a recognizable, everyday setting, such as a suburban high school, and which [focus] on human relationships that are often romantic in nature.”
When compared to others, this genre specifically favors “the creation of emotional ties with the characters.” Slice of life, although present in Western art, is a genre that is more common in anime (in the West, it takes different forms, like coming-of-age or classical drama), and in this article, we are going to bring you the best slice of anime of all time.
Here is the list of the 25 best slice of life anime ever. They will be ranked based on the quality of their plots and we are going to bring you some basic information on each of them. We have opted for a wider approach, meaning that you’ll encounter both older and newer titles, as well as titles that aren’t purely comedy, but a combination of genres.
Best Slice of Life Anime
The list is going to be ranked from 25th to 1st place. Each series is going to be identified with a short informative paragraph and you’ll find out about the show.
Original Run: April 22, 2012 – September 16, 2012
Number of Episodes: 22 + 1 OVA
Hōtarō Oreki has recently been a high school student, but does not intend to break the rule he has always set for himself: do as little as possible, never stand out and stay average despite his intellectual faculties.
However, he receives a letter from his sister Tomoe, who asks him to join the Classical Literature Club, which is on the verge of disappearing. Oreki then meets Eru Chitanda, an energetic young lady who quickly discovers the young boy’s natural talent for solving all kinds of mysteries.
24. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou
Original Run: October 9, 2012 – March 26, 2013
Number of Episodes: 24
Sakura Dormitory is the dormitory of the high school affiliated with the Suimei University of Arts (often abbreviated to Suiko). Here reside the strangest students and those who create the most problems. After being kicked out of the official dormitory for housing a stray cat, Sorata Kanda is forced to move to the Sakura dormitory.
As he begins to get used to life in the dormitory, Mashiro Shiina, a world-renowned young artist, who can’t even handle the daily chores, moves into the dorm. Sorata is then forced to become Mashiro’s ruler. The series follows their daily life and the development of their relationship.
23. Tamako Market
Original Run: January 10, 2013 – March 28, 2013
Number of Episodes: 12
Tamako Kitashirakawa is the oldest in the family who runs the Tama-ya mochi shop in the Usagiyama shopping district. One day, Tamako meets a strange talking bird, called Mochimazzwi, who comes from a distant land in search of a bride for the prince of his country.
However, after eating too much of the overweight mochi, Dera ends up forgetting why he came and enjoys Tamako’s hospitality a bit too much. The series follows the daily life of Tamako, his friends, his family, his neighbors, and of this very particular bird.
22. Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku
Original Run: April 13, 2018 – June 22, 2018
Number of Episodes: 11
The series follows the awkward romantic comedy between “otaku” office workers, one of whom, Narumi Momose, is a stern fujoshi who somehow tries to hide her passions from others while her partner, Hirotaka Nifuji, is a beautiful, competent man addicted to video games who only lets go of his console to work. If they seem perfect for each other, love is still complicated for the otaku.
Original Run: April 4, 2010 – December 24, 2016
Number of Episodes: 53
Working!! is set in a restaurant called Wagnaria, located in Hokkaido prefecture. Sixteen-year-old high school student Sōta Takanashi one day meets Popura Taneshima, a pretty, short 17-year-old who is looking for a waiter to work part-time for Wagnaria. Sōta, who loves everything small and cute, accepts Popura’s offer and starts working as a waiter.
In addition to them on the staff of the restaurant, who manage the customers’ drinks, there are other employees who are somehow particular, mysterious and extravagant. Little by little Sōta realizes that perhaps he has very dangerous people for his workmates.
20. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Original Run: January 12, 2017 – September 23, 2021
Number of Episodes: 25
Kobayashi is employed at the InferNet corporation as a programmer and secretly passionate about the figure of the waitress, particularly from the Victorian era. Her life changes dramatically when she, returning home after a hangover, gets lost in the mountains and meets a dying dragon.
Kobayashi saves him and the dragon, assumed human form, turns out to be a young female to whom she Kobayashi offers, still drunk, hospitality.
The next day, Kobayashi, not remembering the events of the previous night, finds himself a dragon in front of her house, who becomes a girl with horns and a tail named Tohru.
After a brief summary and a moment of distrust, Kobayashi decides to keep her as a waitress. The stories see Tohru and her dragon friends trying to fit in with humans without being too conspicuous.
19. Natsume’s Book of Friends
Original Run: July 7, 2008 – June 21, 2017
Number of Episodes: 74
Natsume is able to see youkai and ayakashi (Japanese supernatural spirits) while those around him do not perceive them. When he was little, he didn’t particularly like them because the apparitions tended to put him in embarrassing, even dangerous situations and led him to behaviors that normal humans could not understand.
Categorized as “weird”, the orphan is lonely, rejected by other children and goes from foster family to foster family. After yet another move, many youkai start chasing him without his understanding why. While trying to flee an attack, he one day enters a sacred place and inadvertently releases Madara, a “cat” who had been trapped there.
This encounter leads Natsume to discover the legacy of his grandmother Reiko, the “Book of Friends”, a notebook containing the names of many spirits which then confers the power to control them.
Overcoming fear and incomprehension, Natsume forges bonds of respect and friendships with certain youkai and sets out in search of “returning” their names to trapped spirits.
Original Run: April 6, 2018 – June 22, 2018
Number of Episodes: 12
Yoshifumi Nitta is an ambitious young yakuza from the Ashikawa-gumi. One fine day when he was relaxing in his apartment, a mysterious metallic object in the shape of an oval suddenly fell on his head.
A young girl, named Hina, was inside; the latter has telekinetic powers and forces Nitta to take care of her. If on the one hand, Nitta sees a certain usefulness in Hina’s powers in order to regulate her yakuza affairs, nevertheless she can sometimes lose control and destroy everything around her.
17. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Original Run: April 2, 2006 – July 2, 2006
Number of Episodes: 14
Haruhi Suzumiya is an eccentric high school student whose sole purpose in life is to meet people of the paranormal type such as aliens, time travelers, or psychics.
Supernatural, strange or mysterious phenomena attract him and, conversely, normal people are indifferent to him. Kyon, meanwhile, is a young high school student who became down to earth after realizing that all these paranormal phenomena do not exist.
Original Run: October 9, 2014 – March 26, 2015
Number of Episodes: 24
Five best friends named Aoi Miyamori, Ema Yasuhara, Shizuka Sakaki, Misa Tōdō and Midori Imai all go to work in the anime industry after gaining experience in their animation club in high school.
Their respective jobs will not be easy at all, so much so that the story describes daily difficulties, as well as their efforts to overcome them. In particular, the series centers on the production of two anime television series, by Aoi and her staff at the animation studio Musashino Animation.
15. Aria the Animation
Original Run: October 5, 2005 – March 31, 2008
Number of Episodes: 52
Earth year 2301: It has now been 150 years since Mars was terraformed. The planet was given the new name of Aqua due to the melting of almost all of its ice, which also gave it the nickname “planet of water”, while the Earth was given the new name of Man-Home.
Akari Mizunashi is a young terrestrial who moves to Aqua to learn the trade of Undine, the gondoliers who act as a tourist guide in Neo Venice, a reproduction of the ancient terrestrial Venice now completely submerged.
In the “city on the water”, which still does not present the technological innovations now part of everyday life on the mother planet, the stories of Akari, who became an apprentice at the Aria Company, and the people she meets on her path to professionalism intertwine.
Original Run: October 23, 2005 – December 21, 2014
Number of Episodes: 46
Blending fantasy, ecology and traditional Japan, Mushishi is a series of stories or tales about mushi, a primitive life form, more basic than all other life forms.
These stories tell of the adventures of Ginko, a mushi specialist, one of the few people who can see them, and who has the gift of attracting mushi, which means that he cannot stay long in one place and the pushes to be an itinerant.
Each episode relates an investigation into more or less strange cases related to mushi, each mushi encountered causing different effects that are always manifested through their relationship to humanity, in spite of men or through the use they make of it: they range from illnesses to extraordinary gifts, including the fertilization of the land and the ability to restore life.
Original Run: April 3, 2009 – September 28, 2010
Number of Episodes: 39 + 2 OVAs
The story of K-ON! revolves around the Sakuragaoka High School Music Club. Upon arriving in second grade, Ritsu Tainaka forces his childhood best friend, Mio Akiyama, to join the light band. However, the club risks closure if it does not have a minimum of four members.
Ritsu, self-proclaimed “leader” of the group, manages to recruit Tsumugi Kotobuki. At the same time, we follow the entry into the second of Yui Hirasawa, a dynamic young girl, head in the air and very greedy. A few weeks later, Nodoka Manabe, her childhood friend, pushes the latter to join a club on pain of never “integrating into society”.
Yui ultimately chooses to join the light band, not even knowing what she would do there. Subsequently, Yui decides to learn the guitar under the watchful eye of her new friends. Later, Azusa would join the group as a second guitarist.
12. Fruits Basket
Original Run: July 5, 2001 – June 29, 2021
Number of Episodes: 89
Tohru Honda is a 16-year-old high school student who lives alone in a tent after the death of her mother. Without knowing it, she moved to the property of the Sôma family. When she explores the surroundings, she sees a house and enters it. There she meets Yuki and Shigure Soma. Having learned that she was living in a tent, they offered to stay with them in exchange for household chores.
Tohru accepts and then begins to live with Yuki, Kyô and Shigure. Very quickly, she learns the secret of the family: 13 of its members are victims of a curse. These people transform into one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, and the cat, when a person of the opposite sex throws themselves at their neck or when they feel embarrassed, or even weakened.
They become human again a few minutes later (the duration of the transformation can vary), but reappear completely naked (which can be very annoying especially for Tohru who is often there during the transformation).
11. Laid-Back Camp
Original Run: January 4, 2018 – March 23, 2020
Number of Episodes: 37 + 4 OVAs
When high school student Nadeshiko Kagamihara moved with her family to a Japanese country town, she fell asleep on a bike ride and only woke up at night. The experienced camper Rin Shima helps her until Nadeshiko is picked up by her older sister. They exchange their cell phone numbers and Nadeshiko resolves to go camping again with her new friend.
At school, enterprising Nadeshiko joins the outdoor club. With the other two girls in it – Chiaki Ōgaki and Aoi Inuyama – she wants to go on camping trips. Rin also goes to the same school and is urged by her friend Ena Saitō to camp with the others.
But the quiet girl prefers to stay to herself. But her friend tells Nadeshiko the destination of Rin’s next excursion, so that Rin gets a surprise visit while looking at Mount Fuji. Nadeshiko prepares her a real camping meal and Rin begins to like company.
10. Daily Lives of High School Boys
Original Run: January 9, 2012 – March 26, 2012
Number of Episodes: 12 + 6 specials
A trio of teenagers, Tadakuni, Hidenori, and Yoshitake, and their second A class live a very mundane everyday life. They attend the Sanada Nord high school, an establishment reserved exclusively for boys. Tadakuni, the main character, lives in a charming house with his younger sister and parents.
He wishes to have a companion like his two best friends, but his life is far from quiet because they often involve him in more than embarrassing situations and crazy plans, between his friends who constantly squat at his house, fittings of her sister’s female clothes, and their jealous classmates who can’t stand to see one of their own going out, or even talking with a girl.
9. Silver Spoon
Original Run: July 11, 2013 – March 27, 2014
Number of Episodes: 22
Yūgo Hachiken comes from Sapporo and wants to get as far away from home as possible after high school. Therefore, he chooses the Ōezo agricultural high school in Yezo, which is remote in the country and has a boarding school. The normal school subjects are easy for him, but he has unexpectedly many practical hours, so that he hardly has any free time.
The other classmates mostly come from farming families in the region and are ahead of him with their specialist knowledge. Most of them, unlike him, already have plans for what to do after school. On the other hand, he can help them with subjects like math.
He quickly befriends Ichirō Komaba, Shinnosuke Aikawa, Tamako Inada and Keiji Tokiwa. Since Hachiken also has to join a club, he opts for the riding club. His classmate Aki Mikage, with whom Hachiken falls in love, is also active in this.
8. Azumanga Daioh
Original Run: April 8, 2002 – September 30, 2002
Number of Episodes: 26
The action takes place mainly in a high school near Tokyo. The protagonists are young girls, students of this high school, and two of their teachers. Thus, the reader can discover, during their three years of study, their daily life punctuated by sometimes funny situations, both in class and after school or during their trips with friends.
The comic spring of this work is mainly based on the personalities and the antagonisms between characters, all very different and sources of recurring gags.
7. Your Lie in April
Original Run: October 9, 2014 – March 19, 2015
Number of Episodes: 22
Kōsei Arima, a piano child prodigy, dominated various music competitions in Japan and became famous among children’s musicians, but also controversial. After his mother Saki dies, he has a nervous breakdown at a piano competition, which leads to the fact that he can no longer hear the notes of his piano even though he can hear everything else normally.
Two years have passed since then, in which Kōsei has not touched the piano and only perceives the world in black and white, without atmosphere or color. His best friends, the softball player Tsubaki Sawabe and the soccer player Ryōta Watari, try to cheer him up and arrange a kind of “double date” in which Kōsei meets a girl who brightens up his colorless world again: Kaori Miyazono.
The free-spirited 14-year-old violinist, whose playing style reflects her manic personality, helps Kōsei return to the music world by pushing him back to play the piano. By playing the violin, she also shows him that, in contrast to the structured and rigid style that Kōsei plays, she appears free and lively.
6. Dagashi Kashi
Original Run: January 7, 2016 – March 30, 2018
Number of Episodes: 24
The story immerses us in the daily life of Kokonotsu, a young teenager who, despite his father’s insistence, does not want to take over the family business: a candy store in the countryside. One day, a candy-worshiping girl named Hotaru walks into the store.
From then on, she kept coming back to convince our hero to take over the family business. Furthermore, the candies and other sweets featured in the artwork are products that actually exist (or have existed). Their story is told to us most of the time by Hotaru, but also from time to time by Kokonotsu, depending on the context.
5. Non Non Biyori
Original Run: October 8, 2013 – March 29, 2021
Number of Episodes: 36 + 3 OVAs
The story is set in Asahigaoka, a small country town, a place lacking in amenities that city people are used to. The shops are a long way from the village and the school is made up of only five students, who attend several school years in the same class.
Hotaru Ichijō, a fifth grade student, moves from Tokyo, where she adjusts to the slow pace of the village. Her companions are Natsumi, who is in sixth grade, Komari, who is in the seventh grade, Renge, in first grade, and Komari and Natsumi’s older brother, Suguru, who is in eighth grade.
Original Run: April 3, 2011 – September 25, 2011
Number of Episodes: 26
The series follows the daily life of various people in the city of Tokisadame, including the energetic Yūko Aioi, the bright and joyful Mio Naganohara, the calm and impassive Mai Minakami, the worried android Nano Shinonome, its young creator the teacher and Sakamoto. , a cat gifted with words.
Various quirks and nonsense abound, like a robotic girl made by an eight-year-old scientist, a boy who rides a goat to school with his butler, a girl who can get various guns, a cat who can talk, and a principal who once fought a deer. Despite its quirky tone and special characters, the students still lead normal lives.
Original Run: July 6, 2014 – September 23, 2016
Number of Episodes: 24
Despite his young age, Seishu Handa is a professional calligrapher. His life is turned upside down the day when seized with anger, he hits the museum curator who finds his work banal and tasteless. As punishment, his father decides to send him to one of the Gotō Islands, in the depths of the countryside. Japanese. While he thought he would find peace and work, his new neighbors will land in his life.
Original Run: October 2, 2008 – March 26, 2009
Number of Episodes: 25
Ryuuji Takasu is a Japanese student who has just returned to the 12th grade and who lives alone with his mother. He would love to be an ordinary high school student, but he has one flaw: his intimidating eyes.
Because of his sinister demeanor, stupid rumors keep circulating about him, including the fact that he would hit anyone who dared to jostle him and that he would be ready to kill, while he is a very sensitive young man.
Because of this, he has great difficulty in making friends; the heaviest to bear is the absence of a romantic relationship. Luckily, he is in the same class as his best friend Yūsaku Kitamura and his crush, the pretty Minori Kushieda.
1. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Original Run: April 14, 2011 – June 23, 2011
Number of Episodes: 11
A group of six childhood friends split up after one of them, Meiko “Menma” Honma, died in an accident. Ten years after this tragedy, the leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, isolates himself from society and lives in seclusion.
One summer day, however, Menma appears to Jinta, looking older, asking him for help in fulfilling her wish. She believes she needs to accomplish it to fulfill her destiny. But Menma doesn’t remember what her wish was, causing Jinta to reunite her childhood friends again, as she believes they are the key to solving this problem.
However, the hidden feelings, internal conflicts and the persistence of feelings of sadness by Menma’s parents result in complications for the group as they struggle not only to help Menma but themselves.