[Lists 2010] All-time Faves and Rankings: Slice of Life

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I finally got to follow-up on the first post.  Yey!  I am so ashamed it took me so long.  But it’s funny what noise pollution can do to one’s mind.  So in order to keep myself from losing my sanity, I finally finished my slice of life list.

After this, the only other category that I am sure to do will be mecha.  As for the others, it depends on my mood whether I continue or not.  Right now I’m not exactly highly motivated to blog, especially with my RL issues.  But if you haven’t seen any of the shows and decide to take an interest (or even like it after watching), I will be happy.

Note:  If there is an asterisk (*), it means that the show has multiple seasons.   For shows with reviews,  I have provided links so that I don’t repeat myself.

10 Hataraki Man

A story about a female writer working for a magazine.  It is not overly dramatic, hence very watchable.  Although sometimes it doesn’t work in the show’s favor, because then rewatch is not really that appealing.

09 Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~Natsu no Sora~ [Best Animation]

Gorgeous visuals are the first thing that comes to mind regarding this show.  Next are the OP and ED, I really like the songs.  And the story?  The magic can’t be called realism but the ending was moving.  I can’t say anymore without spoiling it though.

08 Ristorante Paradiso

All things considered, this show should be on a par with Mahou Tsukai.  But it has an edge, in that it gives off this relaxing feeling.  With Mahou Tsukai, there were times when I get bored in some scenes (when I was busy trying to understand the dialogue as I finished the latter half in raw).

Ristorante Paradiso

07 Genshiken*

A series about otaku college students and their club.  I actually categorized this under comedy, but oh well, it really was funny.

Genshiken

06 Nodame Cantabile*

Mukyaaaaaa!  I almost forgot about this one.  Though I view this show as more of a romance/comedy/music type of show.  This show opened the way for my appreciation of classical music.  If you thought the anime was funny, you shouldn’t miss the live-action version!

Nodame Cantabile

05 Beck

Beck was the one of the first slice-of-life series that I saw (I can’t remember if Honey and Clover came first).  Boy meets guitarist, becomes a guitarist himself, and joins the band eventually named Beck.  The story’s not that simple though–that’s why I’ve rewatched this show several times.  For the real ending, it’s better to read the manga.

Beck

04 NANA

Like Beck another show about music, though this time the experience is doubled with 2 bands.  It’s actually about 2 girls named Nana, and their experiences when they go to live in Tokyo.  It’s actually a little depressing at times, and I can safely say that this show has the most drama of all shows named in this list.  It has an awesome collection of OPs and EDs too.  Unlike Beck, the manga is not yet finished (and who knows if it will ever be).  For more of my thoughts click here.

NANA

03 Aria*

Come to think of it, I have never done a review on Aria.  So in a few phrases, what’s good about Aria (not necessarily in that order):
– Awesome, cute cat
– Most relaxing show ever
– Characters you can care for
– Alicia!  Ara-ara!

Aria

02 Maria-sama ga Miteru*

Marimite.  Where do I start?  What do I say that I have not said about this show?

To rephrase, my earlier description:

Marimite is set in a Catholic school run by nuns. The unique trait to this school is the soeur system, where a freshman is taken under the wing of a second year or third year student. They are then considered as soeurs or sisters.  It is a captivating story about friendship and love.

Maria-sama ga Miteru

And I really love it.  Most rewatched series ever (probably in a tie with GITS SAC).  More here.

01 Honey and Clover (I, II)* [Best Characters, Entertainment Value, Story, Music]

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who’ve been reading this blog from way back then (if they’re still readers here).  Honey and Clover means a lot to me.  I remember the feeling when I first watched it.  At lunch time, in a darkened office, I saw Takemoto (and Morita?) fall in love for the first time.  The OP felt so weird, and back then, I never really cared about OPs and EDs and other musical stuff in between.  But the insert songs really caught my attention, the way they played at the right time, and my appreciation of anime music probably started from there.  And to quote:

Lastly, the show makes me think about life in general.

Honey and Clover

Now there are other excellent shows that can be considered slice of life–namely, Mushishi, Haibane Renmei, and Kino no Tabi.  But they don’t easily come to my mind when slice of life gets mentioned.  However, these are very good shows that deserves to be watched by any slice of life fan.  What about K-On??!!  Well, the post title says All-time Faves, and my cut-off is at 10 shows.  K-On really doesn’t make the cut.  Same thing goes for the other shows not mentioned here.  =p

If there’s a really good show not mentioned (or I probably haven’t seen yet), please feel free to recommend in the comments.  Thanks! 😀

6 responses »

  1. Call me crazy, but Honey and Clover just doesn’t register so high on my list. It’s about on par with Nodame for me.. really more of a comedic soap opera with college students, at least until the epic bicycle ride – then it became great slice of life about one character’s growth. Without that it would have been an aimless, meandering rat’s nest of unrequited love between mopey people who never grow up.

    Aria and Natsume Yuujinchou rank higher for me. Aria is all about the coming-of-age and passing the torch concepts. The cats got a little annoying, but not overly so. Natsume Yuujinchou was more on the semi-tragic side of slice-of-life, about a lot of little character studies and one kid’s growth by experiencing them. Too bad the anime is stuck at two seasons…

    Another one for me is actually Spice and Wolf.. yes, I view it as slice of life (so far). Though I found the novels a bit more fulfilling I never thought I’d be so interested in knowing what happens to a medieval merchant or his needy “god-like” companion.

    Sarai-ya Goyou (Five Leaves) was another great Paradiso-style slice of lifer, with a completely different feel to it despite having the same author. I truly love the great presentation of awkward adult misfits in these two shows, and the lack of “teh drama” for every backstory or growth moment. They have a genuine feeling to the character interactions that you don’t often see in anime, even slice of life.

    I’ve really got to watch me some Marimite and form an opinion on it.. it just seems like a time investment that my wife and I aren’t ready for just yet.

  2. >>Honey & Clover

    This show was one of the first slice of life anime I saw. Definitely endeared itself to me, plus I like introspection. At least it was not all moping.

    >> Natsume Yuujincho

    Yeah, fat cats! I liked that series too.

    >>Spice & Wolf

    I never got past the cat ears. Those things just turn me off shows.

    >>Sarai-ya Goyou

    Shame on me, I haven’t finished this yet. ^_^;

  3. Aria and Natsume were great shows. Mushishi too, not to mention YKK (though I liked the manga more). There’s also Planetes, and even Cowboy Bebop if you’re willing to stretch “slice of life” in that direction.

    While I’m stretching there’s no way I’ll omit Chi’s Sweet Home/New Address or Astro Fighter Sunred.. I mostly enjoyed those shows because of their endearing slice of life qualities.

    I’m with Hogart on H&C. It was hit or miss for me until the bike ride, but it was alright. I just tuned out in the mopey parts, especially when Hagu was on-screen. And Morita felt like he was just put in there to make the show less angsty at the expense of being a completely over-the-top character. But the insert songs and op/ed largely made up for those two in most of the series.

    Actually, I felt the same way about the cat ears thing in Spice and Wolf. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the hell out of it regardless. Which is weird, because I usually drop anime with cat-ears characters right quickly. I just never thought about Spice and Wolf as slice of life anime until now..

  4. I think Aria should be much higher on the list because the 1st and 3rd seasons (Aria the Animation and Origination) are, to me, the Gold Standard of iyashii kei. Natsume Yuujincho and Mokke could have also punted a few off of this list. Not because the ones listed are bad, but because I feel that NY and Mokke represent the “slice of life” genre a bit better than some of the choices.

    I do like this list because most of the choices you made (besides Marimite) do not suffer from the problem that plagues a lot of slice of life anime: the ability to become the visual equivalent of rohypnol.

    I could name names but I will be nice…

  5. >>Natsume Yuujincho

    Well it was originally in the list, but I took it out. I was having second thoughts about it, because I left out Mushishi et al. (I thought I had to be fair lol.) But I really enjoyed watching Natsume Yuujincho too.

    @redmaigo

    Well, if the criteria was simply relaxation, Aria would come out on top, no question about that. =p

    (And you had me googling rohypnol ^_^;)

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