Post Reply Line between Drama and Slice of LIfe
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39 / M / Charlotte NC
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Posted 1/20/18 , edited 1/20/18
So looking over the anime awards I started wondering what the line is between a drama and a slice of life? I mean even in good slice of life shows things happen otherwise they would be boring. How do people usually separate these two? I mean I could make an argument that many of the drama entries are slice of life and many of the slice of life are drama...
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39 / M / SW Ontario, Canada
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Posted 1/20/18 , edited 1/20/18
The usual argument is that it depends on what the focus of the series is. Is the focus on a dramatic storyline with some sort of "end point" or is the focus on the daily lives of the character involved without concerning itself much with storyline or an "end point." That does sort of fall apart in some cases where the focus isn't clear (such as when the overall is slice of life but there are definitive contained story arcs, or when there is a definite story pushing things along but there's no real story pressure or "end point") or where the show in question jumps between genres.

On top of that ,often if a show can't be decisively slotted into a known major genre like "drama" or "action" people just throw it into Slice of Life because it doesn't "fit" anywhere else and, heck, every show has at least some element of showing "normal" periods in character's lives. That just muddies the water even more.
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33 / M / L'Étoile du Nord,...
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Posted 1/20/18 , edited 1/20/18
This is an interesting question.

I would think that Slice of Life and Drama would be, like, one in the same, depending on the story.

I'll have to study up more on this.
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Posted 1/20/18 , edited 1/20/18
Drama as an element of storytelling can be present in a Slice of Life genre anime -- but it's not the same as Drama genre anime.

Drama as a genre tends to include darker aspects of human nature, and generally has a beginning and an end point. There are serious relationships, fighting, illness and even death. There's tenseness, sadness, conflict -- hence "Drama." There can also be comedic elements, but not enough to mark it as a Comedy genre.

Slice of Life the genre comes from "just everyday life." They're not trying to save the world from the demon lord, nobody's being pursued by a serial killer, nobody's breaking up from a 10-year marriage. Every episode is a normal day for the characters. Even if their "normal" is nothing like a real person's.

I'll try some examples (people may disagree).

Drama:
Psycho Pass (Sci-fi Drama)
Code Geass (Sci-fi Drama)
Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens
Acca 13

Slice of Life:
Laid Back Camp (cute-girls-doing-cute-things Slice of Life)
Wagnaria!!/Working!! (Comedy Slice of Life)
Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid (Comedy Slice of Life)
Karakai Jozu no Takagi San (Comedy Slice of Life)
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Posted 1/20/18 , edited 1/20/18
I think the line between drama and slice of life is conflict; more specifically in the implementation and gravity of conflict. In dramas, there are usually overarching (meaning lasting a significant portion of a season or through the entirety of series), serious (meaning the consequences have grave consequences on the character's developments) conflicts. Among the Winter shows I'm watching, the two dramas are March Comes in Like a Lion and Citrus. In the former's current season, the overarching conflict is bullying. In the latter, the overarching conflict revolves around romance and the shared family situation. Slice of life can have conflict too, but usually it is not as severe (as drama) and can be resolved in a short time frame (within an episode or two).

As a preface, a show can have primary genre(s) and secondary genre(s). March Comes in Like a Lion has the primary genre of drama, and secondary genre of slice of life. Citrus has the primary genres of drama and romance, and also secondary genre of slice of life.

I suppose another line is the nature of relationships in drama and slice of life. In drama, there are usually strained or tension-filled relationships between main characters. In March Comes in Like a Lion, there is a strained relationship between Rei and Kyouko's family (plus Gotou). Additionally, there is a strained relationship between Hina and her school community. In Citrus, there is a strained relationship between Yuzu and Mei's side of the family. In comparison, the relationships in this season's slice of life (like Laid-Back Camp, Mitsuboshi Colors, and Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles) are generally friendly and, at worst, have mild indifference.
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Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/15/18
They can both have overlap. Anime can be multiple genres. Mainly because there are different forms of genre. Comedy, drama, romance are theme genres. In other words, it's the style of the plot/story. Slice of life, high fantasy, Trapped in Game are setting genres. They refer to the environment of the plot/story. So you can have a slice of life comedy, or a slice of life drama. Slice of Life is just that, a slice of life. The story/plot takes place in a real-life situation. Sadly, many anime are deemed slice of life when the story is so surreal as to be outside the bounds of realism. These anime would normally fall into another setting category or just land in a theme category; like just a comedy anime or just a drama anime.
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Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/15/18
Slice of life can have drama, comedy, or romance aspects into it. If the drama is persistent across most of the episodes, I would consider it a drama.

A question I have is...
are American sitcoms the same as slice of life anime?

I never watch real life series, and I started watching one recently. So that question came to my mind.
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M / Mega-City One
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Posted 2/15/18 , edited 2/15/18
Life, observed and examined.


anikevin wrote:
A question I have is...
are American sitcoms the same as slice of life anime?


Every sitcom I can think of off the top of my head is slice of life at heart, so I'd say SoL encompasses sitcoms.
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