Six 2018 Slice-of-Life Anime That Will Leave You Relaxed

It's time to kick back and unwind

Imagine this: you’ve just come back home after a hard day of work, school, or something taxing and have found yourself here on Crunchyroll. Sure, you’ve got the hottest new action series in your queue, but you’re tired and just want to melt into a chair. What shows could you watch that would make you feel cozy and relaxed? Well friend, the slice-of-life genre is here to pick you up when you need to chill out and enjoy yourself.

 

In fact, 2018 has been a pretty good year for the genre, with a good variety of shows that range from being dramatic to absurdly weird. The year might have been front loaded more with shows in the genre, but now’s a perfect opportunity to catch up if you missed any of these! So, when you need something to watch and unwind, here are six of this year’s top slice-of-life shows.


A Place Further Than the Universe


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Sometimes, you’ve just gotta band together with freshly-made friends and take a trip to a sparsley-populated continent that is home to mostly animals and some scientists. Of course, a trip to Antarctica is not that simple, and the trials and tribulations that Mari, Shirase, Hinata, and Yuzuki go through will leave you laughing and at times incredibly emotional, but A Place Further Than the Universe really nails down the relaxation and drama of slice-of-life.

 

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This show really covers the spectrum of empathy and human emotion, especially considering that one of the main points is Shirase wanting to truly understand the appeal of Antarctica while another of the show's main points is Shirase  wrestling with it also being the place where her mother died. Personally, I’d tell you this is the best slice-of-life of the year, but that’s not exactly why we’re here. If you want to potentially cry, kick back and watch girls help girls, laugh at Mari and Hinata’s antics, and see Shirase’s multiple moments that should be nominated for the pettiness hall of fame, watch this show.


Laid-Back Camp


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The emphasis of Laid-Back Camp is immediately in its name: it’s perhaps one of the better examples here of a show you can just watch and instantly be relaxed. You can also argue it probably helped people begin to consider camping as an activity moreso than anything else lately. While compared to other shows, it’s not as dramatic, but it doesn’t need to be. Sometimes you just need shows where it’s just girls hanging out while camping and their more prevalent problems are just trying to afford better camping equipment.

 

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Watching Nadeshiko’s friendship with Rin evolve throughout the series via camping is a joy to watch. The two begin as polar opposites and show a clear difference between introverts and extroverts, but opposites attract here and allow Rin to see a new way of camping that Nadeshiko brings out of her. This is certainly the show to put on after you’ve had a rough day and just want to watch a show to chill out.


HINAMATSURI


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At times, everyone’s life has absurdity in it, but maybe not the amount of absurdity that HINAMATSURI brings with its supernatural and comedy slice-of-life antics. While stories about the everyday lives of yakuza members are nothing new, finding an amnesiac girl who has psychokinetic abilities is perhaps a bit different from everything else. Hina having these abilities doesn’t turn the show into an action series, but instead are used to help problems such as yakuza-related activities and casually throwing away trash.

 

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It’s probably easier to describe this as a slice-of-strange-life, as unlike most shows in the genre that could realistically happen, you’re probably not going to have people from the future land on you or meet someone with psychokinetic abilities. Still, HINAMATSURI will let you de-stress with some laughs and charm as is the slice-of-life way.


KARAKAI JOZU NO TAKAGI-SAN


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Teasing is the name of the game in KARAKAI JOZU NO TAKAGI-SAN as each episode’s mini-stories feature Nishikata and Takagi trying to one-up each other, mostly to Nishikata’s detriment. There’s a lot of comedy to go around as their teasing antics see both get into ridiculous situations, but also can fill you with angst as the two struggle with not understanding they like each other.

 

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KARAKAI JOZU NO TAKAGI-SAN’s way of storytelling with multiple stories per episode fits slice-of-life very well and allows you to see what not only Nishikata and Takagi are up to, but their classmates’ strange journeys as well. It’s a charming show that allows itself to be silly and also relaxing for viewers to enjoy.


Holmes of Kyoto


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If you need to solve a mystery, do you call a detective or an antique appraiser? You’ll most likely choose the former, but Holmes of Kyoto would like to offer the latter as an option. Similar to another slice-of-life mystery series, Hyouka, there are strange circumstances, deductive reasoning, and thrilling conclusions that Holmes of Kyoto offers in a way that is less intense than shows that completely focus on the mystery aspect.

 

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Kiyotaka might have been nicknamed “Holmes” due to a pun of his last name, but he lives up to that moniker with his skills in solving mysteries and discerning fake antiques from the real deal. Along with Aoi’s intuition, they are able to solve a bounty of mysteries that pop up over the course of their time working together both in the antique shop and out.


Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san


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Slice-of-life can deal with drama, comedy, everyday life, and absurdity, but it can also be weird. That’s the case with the newest entry to 2018’s slice-of-life catalog, Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san. We've seen what can happen with weird slice-of-life with HINAMATSURI, but here there is less supernatural absurdity and more of a dose of realism with retail work and the strange people you can meet within that space. Now you might be thinking: sure, a skeleton main character is kind of weird, but the actual weirdness comes from the bookstore. If this show teaches us anything, it’s that working at a bookstore is a wild and weird ride

 

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While it’s still an ongoing series, the shorter episodes really help the comedic elements hit and not feel dragged-out. Sometimes you only have time to have a brief bit of rest and relaxation and that's what makes this show a perfect fit with it's lower episode length. For some people, weirdness will help you be able to relax and unwind, which is certainly what Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san is able to do.


With all of these shows, you’ll be ready to let loose and relax for the rest of 2018. When you get through all of these and you still want more slice-of-life, there have been other shows in the genre this year that you may want to check out or shows from the past that might be up your alley. If there’s a show that you believe would also be a good shout as a good slice-of-life series from 2018, let us know down in the comments below! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to throw on some slice-of-life and just let the stresses of everyday life melt away. What other slice-of-life series from this year do you think are worth watching? What about those that aired before 2018? Let us know in the comments below what slice-of-life helps you relax!

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Jared Clemons is a writer and podcaster for Seasonal Anime Checkup. He can be found on Twitter @ragbag.
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