Some of the best slice of life anime are filled with elements that can make their audiences fall into a depression or they can heal their soul. The latter kind of shows, however, falls into the Iyashikei category, where viewers can witness the characters of shows living peaceful lives, therefore, having a healing effect on the audience.
This specific trope is common among slice-of-life shows, some of which also teach viewers about native dialects, delicacies, and environments. This article focuses on 10 shows that have been known to heal their viewers by being light-hearted.
Disclaimer: This article is subjective and relies solely on the writer's opinion.
10 Best Slice of Anime as of November 2023
1) My roommate is a cat (2019)
My roommate is a cat follows the story of a 23-year-old novel author, Subaru Mikazuki, who also happens to be a major introvert. His solitary life worsened when his parents tragically passed away in an accident. However, things start to change for the better after his encounter with a cat named Haru near his parent's grave.
Despite being inexperienced when it came to adopting a pet, Subaru decides to take Haru home and look after her by giving her all the luxury he can offer. Haru is also shown to care for her master, which progresses into a wholesome friendship between a human and a cat.
2) K-ON! (2009-2011)
K-ON! is a story about music, friendship, and passion, where five girls of the Light Music Club follow their love of music, make new friends, and experience new journeys along the way. The initial stages of the show follow Yui Hirasawa, a confused young girl who mistakes the Music Club for something simpler and easier.
Therefore, seeing how she can't play the most straightforward instruments, Yui decides to quit the club and apologizes to the members. However, the club itself is on the verge of getting disbanded due to the lack of members, which makes the existing four members of the club desperate to make Yui stay.
K-ON! is a joyful ride for both music lovers and slice-of-life fans.
3) Deaimon (2022)
Deaimon is the newest addition to the Iyashikei roster, as it aired its last season in spring of 2022. The story follows Nagomu Irino, an aspiring musician forced to return home to tend to his family's legacy. While returning, Nagomu's girlfriend, Kanoko, breaks up with him.
However, his real challenge presents itself when he has to become a father figure to the supposed successor of Nagomu's family's shop.
Deaimon provides a wholesome experience that involves family, friendship, native Kyoto dialects, and real-life locations.
4) Natsume's book of friends (2008-2018)
Natsume's book of friends is one of the most appreciated and well-known supernatural shows known to the community. The story follows the titular protagonist, Takashi Natsume, who could see Yokai from a very young age. Due to this ability, he was never able to fit into society, being moved from one foster home to another.
However, things started to change during his high-school days, as Natsume started to encounter more friendly Yokais, and he helped them regularly. He even got acquainted with Madara, one of the most powerful spirits to exist, and formed a contract with him. Natsume Yuujinchou's main story consists of six seasons and a movie.
5) Croisee in a foreign labyrinth (2011)
Another show that follows the theme of child-care, Croisee in a foreign labyrinth, or Ikoku meiro no Croisee the animation, introduces viewers to a crossover between the two cultures. The story takes place in 19th-century Paris, where the protagonist, Claude, has a sudden encounter with a young Japanese girl named Yune.
Despite being reluctant at first, Claude comes to terms with having Yune by his side, as she has to settle into her new home as a live-in maid. As the story progresses, this wholesome story shows Claude taking care of Yune, learning more about her as well as the entirely different world she comes from.
6) Usagi Drop (2011)
Usagi Drop was a breath of fresh air back when it came out in the summer of 2011. The story involves two main characters, a 30-year-old aimless bachelor with a stable job and a seven-year-old outcast girl.
The protagonist, Daikichi, comes across the young girl at his grandfather's funeral; however, much to his surprise, the girl is Daikichi's grandfather's illegitimate daughter.
While everyone in the family refuses to take her in, 30-year-old Daikichi steps up despite his inexperience with raising anyone. This 11-episode-long anime follows the story of Daikichi Kawachi's journey through fatherhood, alongside his struggles and joy in taking care of the outcast girl, Rin Kaga.
7) Barakamon (2014)
Barakamon is centered around Seishuu Handa, a calligrapher who was sent to a rural island due to his violent actions against a veteran's remarks. While Handa is shown to be a narcissist at first, his view of the world starts to change as he encounters the island's residents as soon as he sets foot in his new home.
Although his visit here is for the purpose of living a quiet and peaceful life while looking for inspiration for originality, Handa comes across moments that teach him far more than he could have hoped for. Barakamon shows how unplanned encounters can turn into friendships, further changing one's lifestyle, attitude, and approach towards life.
8) Flying Witch (2016)
Flying Witch follows the story of Makoto Kowata who leaves her parent's home as per the witch's tradition, to live independently. Therefore, she moves into her second cousin's home, where she meets Kei Kuramoto and his little sister Chinatsu. From there, Makoto starts living a new life as a witch, where she helps her cousins with house chores and daily activities.
Flying Witch provides a very light-hearted experience, as the peaceful setting of Aomori and the portrayal of each character can fill anyone's heart. However, each episode does come with a twist of witchcraft and peculiar magic, as Kowata, being a witch, finds herself separated from the everyday normal lives of other characters in the series.
9) San-gatsu no Lion (2016-2018)
San-gatsu no Lion focuses on a depressed boy named Rei Kiriyama, who is also a professional Shogi player at a very young age. However, his life has been nothing but misfortune involving the loss of family in an accident as well as bullying and abuse from his step-sister, Kyoko.
Wanting an independent life from his foster home, Rei leaves his home to live alone, resigning to a poor lifestyle. Later, he meets three sisters, Akari, Hinata, and Momo, who vow to free Rei from his depression and help him forget his traumatic past.
San-gatsu no Lion tackles a lot of heavy topics, including bullying, depression, physical abuse, and suicide. However, it also depicts family, friends, passions, and resolve in the most wholesome way possible.
10) Non Non Biyori (2013-2022)
Non Non Biyori anime follows the story of Hotaru Ichijou, who moves in with her family in the Asahigaoka village. This completely changes her lifestyle compared to how it was in Tokyo. After moving to the new village, she attends her new school with a single classroom and only five students. Despite dealing with inconveniences with her new lifestyle, Hotaru finds peace in her new home, along with new friends.
The cast of Non Non Biyori anime consists of four main characters, named Hotaru, Renge, Komari, and Natsumi. The story reveals the backstories and activities of each character's life in the village, with each episode depicting the peaceful everyday life of the countryside away from the noisy city.