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Top 10 Slice of Life Anime

VO: Ashley Bowman
Written by Alex Crilly-Mckean Let’s sit back and enjoy the normalities of life. Kinda. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll counting down our picks for the Top 10 Slice of Life Anime. For this list, we’ll be looking at our favorite series that focus on the ups and downs of life as we know it... with an anime twist, of course. We’ll only be looking at series that are primarily classified as slice of life, so let’s head to class, prepare for entrance exams, and hang out with our friends! …Not that we have any.
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Top 10 Slice of Life Anime

Let’s sit back and enjoy the normalities of life. Kinda. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll counting down our picks for the Top 10 Slice of Life Anime.

For this list, we’ll be looking at our favorite series that focus on the ups and downs of life as we know it... with an anime twist, of course. We’ll only be looking at series that are primarily classified as slice of life, so let’s head to class, prepare for entrance exams, and hang out with our friends! …Not that we have any.

#10: “Silver Spoon” (2013-14)


Ah, entrance exams, a huge source of stress for several characters in the slice of life genre. Yuugo Hachiken is one of those characters, and sadly, he misses the mark and fails. Afterwards, he decides that a change of scenery -- and academics -- is necessary, so it’s off to the country to enroll in an Agricultural school, because surely, that’s an easier field to embark on... right? Seems like he missed the memo on how labor intensive Agriculture is, but at the end of the day, the hard work pays off, as he develops strong bonds with his peers and becomes a better person.

#9: “Shirobako” (2014-15)


We’re sure some of you out there have grandiose dreams of being part of the anime industry. Such was the case for five friends who met in the animation club of their high school. The gang all take on various aspects of the anime world -- animation, voice acting, writing, and production. Each girl works to develop her skills to someday come together and create a breakthrough series of their own. Shirobako focuses on their friendship and the trials and tribulations of pursuing your demanding, yet fulfilling, dream career.

#8: “Bakuman.” (2010-13)


Moritaka Mashiro is a talented artist who could have a solid future creating manga, meanwhile, Akito Takagi is an aspiring writer who wants Mashiro to illustrate his stories. There’s just one tiny hiccup in the plan: being an artist is beyond stressful. This is something Mashiro knows all too well as his uncle died from working too much. This stops Mashiro from wanting to become a manga artist... that is, until, Miho Azuki reveals that she wants to be a voice actress. Did we mention Mashiro has a crush on her? Ah, school romance.

#7: “Barakamon” (2014)


Man, when someone criticizes what you do, don’t you just wanna punch them in the face? Most of us know to hold in the urge and go about our business, but not pro calligrapher Sei Handa, who straight up punches a gallery curator who dares to call his calligraphy unoriginal. Since this is the world of anime, he’s sent to the Goto Islands to cool off instead of, you know, prison? It’s here that we meet a rather unique, but caring, cast of characters as our hot-tempered lead tries to adjust to his new life while improving his skills as a calligrapher.

#6: “Nana” (2006-07)


Filed under one of the biggest coincidences in anime history, two girls -- both named Nana -- meet on a train on their way to Tokyo. There’s the kind-hearted, but sometimes childish, Nana Komatsu, who tends to to fall in love far too easily. Then there’s the tough as nails punk rocker, Nana Osaki, who is out to make her band, the Black Stones, a success. The two women end up living together, both drawing strength from one another as they maneuver through life, friendship, love, heartache, and plenty of cool music and stylish animation.

#5: “Aria the Animation” (2005)

Who says slice of life has to take place in current times? We’re sure futuristic societies have normal, everyday ongoings, right? It’s the 24th century, and Akari Mizunashi has migrated from “Manhome” -- aka Earth -- to pursue her dream of becoming an undine, which basically translates to a gondolier tour guide on planet Aqua. And... that’s it. That’s the story. It’s a fun, simple, slice of life story with a loveable main character and her day to day interactions with the residents of a world that’s not all that different from our own... give or take a few centuries and cute uniforms.

#4: “March Comes in Like a Lion” (2016-18)


While we could give this spot to “Honey and Clover”, you just can’t beat Chica Umino’s magnum opus. Hampered by a traumatic childhood, seventeen year old professional shogi player Rei Kiriyama lives a life of solitude, that is until he becomes acquainted with a group of three sisters. While balancing his life between high school and his profession, Rei finds himself opening up more and more to those around him thanks to the sisters efforts, and soon learns how to better deal with his past.

#3: “Hyouka” (2012)


The high school classic literature club will be forced to close its doors soon, and Hōtarō Oreki... doesn’t think much of it, until he meets a rather curious girl by the name of Chitanda. Hōtarō is a rather interesting boy who loves a good mystery, which creates a slice of life detective drama of sorts. This is what makes the series so charming, as the mysteries aren’t anything too dramatic, but they are things that would be important to school kids and tie in with the various life lessons you typically learn when going through your days at school.

#2: “Usagi Drop” (2011)


We know the running gag with anime is the absence of parental figures... or their untimely demise... but this series is all about being an alive and well single parent! Daikichi Kawachi returns home after the death of his grandfather, but while at the funeral, he learns of the elder’s illegitimate child. The young six-year-old is shunned by the rest of the family, but Daikichi steps up to the plate and decides to take care of her. As to be expect, being a single parent is tough, but the loving relationship between father and daughter will warm your heart.

Before we get to our number one pick, let’s sit back and reflect on these honorable mentions:

“Lucky Star” (2007)

“Non Non Biyori” (2013)

“Hidamari Sketch” (2007)

#1: “Kids on the Slope” (2012)


Kaoru Nishimi was just your average, introverted, honor student... but then bad boy Sentaro Kawabuchi had to strum into his life. This is one of those coming of age stories that does everything right. The sleek animation for each and every scene. The incredible music that you’ll tap your foot to. The unforgettable characters and their relationship with one another. We watch Kaoru slowly come out of his shell through the highs and lows of his blossoming friendships, and, of course, plenty of those difficult teenage feelings sprinkled in. It’s a perfect playbook on what the genre is all about.
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