Best Slice-of-Life Anime

Autumn really is a beautiful time of year. The leaves change color, the air is cool and crisp, and there’s plenty of opportunities to see friends and family thanks to the holidays. However, with all the great things about the season comes quite a few rough things, too. Holidays cause stress. The days are shorter and it’s dark earlier. Cool weather also brings overcast skies and rain. These things can make this time of year feel overwhelming, stressful, and a bit bleak.

What better way to raise your spirits and bring a smile to your face than to watch something that’ll make you laugh? Something where all the characters are living the same day-to-day life as you that pokes fun at all the little things while also giving you that healthy dose of realism once in a while? Look no further than slice-of-life anime; it’s all of this and more, and these are five titles that are sure to give you a boost if you’re feeling down (or even if you’re feeling just fine!)

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Silver Spoon

This title comes from the same great mind that brought us Fullmetal Alchemist - Hiromu Arakawa. Though Silver Spoon isn’t a dark fantasy, action-packed series like Fullmetal Alchemist. Revolving around the lives of students at an agricultural high school, Silver Spoon was directly influenced by Arakawa’s life in rural Japan. It follows Yugo Hachiken, a city boy who decides to go to an agricultural high school after failing his entrance exams for his planned school. With no knowledge of life on a farm, Yugo receives quite the culture shock when the students seem to be more concerned with livestock and crops than grades. As a perpetual people pleaser, Yugo is quick to try new things around the school, and his successes and failures alike are amusing. Along with all the humor, Silver Spoon also tackles some difficult issues, such as strained family relations, economic hardship, and the struggle of trying to fit in. The series is a hilarious and heartfelt slice of life that has an unusual setting that gifts the audience with many adorable animal companions in addition to life lessons.

Gakuen Babysitters

This anime is perfect for people with siblings as well as people without. Gakuen Babysitters focuses on Ryuuichi Kashima, a boy whose parents tragically died in a plane crash, leaving him with his little brother, Kotaro, as his only family. The brothers are taken in by Yoko Morinomiya, an academy chairwoman, but she gives Ryuuichi a condition: he must work at the school daycare in his spare time, caring for the children of the teachers! Now Ryuuichi must care for a handful of little toddlers with big personalities, and with all these kids come oh so many (mis)adventures! In addition to tons of hilarity, the show also knows how to be serious at times and handle some big topics, such as grief and divorce, among other things. It also definitely understands the duality of siblings and how no matter how frustrating and annoying your younger sibling is or how much you may fight, you would still do anything for them and care for them greatly. This adorable title will melt your heart and make you laugh, not only with the antics of the toddlers but their caregivers too.

The Royal Tutor (Oushitsu Kyoushi Heine)

A ridiculous and regal title, The Royal Tutor is a series that follows genius Heine Wittgenstein, who is hired by the king to tutor his four young sons, princes Licht, Leonhard, Bruno, and Kai. Many tutors have failed before in teaching them due to their difficult and varied personalities, but Heine refuses to fail, even when his attempts to connect with them end in disaster. Over time, the princes grow to trust and confide in him, and he manages to teach them plenty of lessons, both out of books and in life. However, for all the issues the princes have, Heine has secrets of his own that are slowly catching up with him and might unravel all of his progress. Silly, sweet, and surprisingly suspenseful at times, The Royal Tutor will reel you in with fun characters, a plot that creeps upon you, and the hilarious interactions between the princes and Heine.

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless

In the fall, it seems like everyone is always a bit sleepy and eager for uneventful days where they can just chill. This is the same way the titular Tanaka feels every day in Tanaka-kun is Always Listless. A high school boy that loves to sleep and take it easy, he’ll go to great lengths to be able to live a calm and lazy life. However, life is always trying to throw wrenches into his plans and trying to ruin his easy days! Luckily, his friend Ota is there to help him out with some of these pesky issues and sometimes enjoy the lazy days with him. This series is all about comedy, so get ready to laugh as you watch Tanaka go through his days and handle a number of exhausting - yet hilarious - tasks, from dentist appointments to school projects to finding the perfect conditions for an afternoon nap.

Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan

A recent anime from the 2021 summer season, Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan is an anime all about the struggles of adult life and the way adults try (and sometimes fail) to keep it together. Focused on the titular Uramichi, the anime follows him as he does ridiculous things for his job as a children’s television personality, and goes through the difficulties of life, such as forgetting the names of things, dealing with people, and struggling with his past. Despite dealing with some heavy topics, the anime is still hilarious and manages to be heartfelt and biting at just the right moments. Plus, its cast of characters is fantastic, from the air-headed perfectionist Iketeru to the quiet yet explosive Kumatani to frustrated in love Utano. No matter what draws you in, Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan will boost your mood with its relatability, humor, and life lessons.

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Sebastian Stoddard (24 Articles Published)

Sebastian Stoddard is an Anime Features writer for Collider. He also writes video game reviews for Popzara, where he enjoys being able to try out tons of great (and not so great) titles. When he's not writing (which isn't often), he can be found playing D&D, reading and researching, making and taking quizzes online, and watching documentaries about whales and dolphins. He also may or may not be thirty tarantulas disguised as a human boy...but that's classified information.

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