The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (2022)

There’s something incredible about watching small moments from everyday life being portrayed on the screen. In a slice of life story, fans often see characters similar to themselves, facing the ordinary struggles of life and going about their daily business. There isn’t a rigid focus on tightly-knit plots or lots of action.

Instead, this genre invites viewers to linger on the small moments and take things softly and slowly. They often teach us to appreciate the little things in life and pay attention to treasures usually taken for granted. For those looking for some slice of life anime, with hints of romance, comedy or even magic, there are fantastic movies and shows to check out.

Update May 20th, 2020 by Louis Kemner:While a number of action and adventure anime series are taking center stage right now, such as My Hero Academia and Black Clover, let's not forget that the "slice of life" genre is one practically anyone can enjoy. For Western viewers, it's often a fine insight into how daily life in Japan works. With no giant robots, monsters, or magical girls at the fore, everyday life itself becomes the story. So, let's list five more wonderful slice of life anime series worth a watch.

Updated on June 8th, 2022 by Sarah Martin: Even though shonen and isekai titles continue to dominate the anime industry, several great slice of life series have been released over the last couple of years. Since this list was last updated back in 2020, we've added five more spectacular slice of life series that will give avid fans a comforting escape from reality.

20 Given Delves Into The Harsh Realities Of Romance

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (1)

At its core, Given is an anime about losing romantic connections and finding the courage to pick up the pieces and start anew. Ritsuka and Mafuyu are the leading couple and their love of music brings them together. While Ritsuka is more inexperienced with romance, Mafuyu is still coping with the death of his ex-boyfriend.

For viewers who don't want a high school romance, Given's other couple, Haruki and Akihiko, have an entire movie centered around their relationship. This anime has some of the best LGBTQ+ representation, and it isn't afraid of delving into the harsh realities of falling in love.

19 Shikimori's Not Just A Cutie Has A Strong Female Lead

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (2)

Shikimori's Not Just A Cutie is a new Spring 2022 romantic comedy series fans can watch on Crunchyroll. The anime is about Shikimori, a popular girl who's dating Izumi, a kindhearted guy with hilariously bad luck. While she wants to be seen as cute, Shikimori often looks more badass because of how often she has to protect Izumi from his own klutziness.

Shikimori's Not Just A Cutie is nothing revolutionary, but it's a great pick for fans who want to kick back and relax while watching something enjoyable. Shikimori is a strong female lead and her interactions with Izumi are adorable.

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (3)

People with social anxiety only struggle to form connections. However, this doesn't mean that they don't want to. In Komi Can't Communicate, Shoko Komi has severe social anxiety which makes it challenging for her to talk to others. Despite this, she wants to make 100 friends.

Shoko's first friend is Tadano, who vows to help her meet the other 99. From there, Komi and the audience are introduced to an extensive cast of characters with varying levels of quirky behavior. For example, Najimi is a nonbinary goofball who somehow knows everybody in their prefecture, while Nakanaka is a total otaku and avid gamer. This anime is every bit as heartwarming as it is comedic.

17 Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku Has An Older Cast

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (4)
(Video) Top 10 Slice of Life Anime

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku is set in a workplace with an older cast, so it's perfect for fans who are tired of a high school setting. It's a romance anime at heart, but its comedic elements are where it hits home.

Narumi struggles to keep her obsession with anime a secret, but Hirotaka doesn't judge her for her hobbies. He doesn't even understand why she keeps it a secret. The most prominent theme in this anime is juggling a work-life balance, so it's something many viewers can relate to.

16 Horimiya Isn't The Average Romance Anime

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (5)

Horimiya depicts what happens after the confession. Unlike other romance anime that only show the build-up and tension growing between two characters, Horimiya gets all the "will-they-won't-they" dynamics out of the way early on.

Miyamura and Hori seem polar opposites to everyone else, but they keep each other's true selves a secret from the rest of the world. Above all else, they behave like an actual couple. Plus, Horimiya fleshes out the relationships between the side characters. For example, Ishikawa gets rejected by Hori, but eventually starts dating Yuki.

15 Laid-Back Camp Is A G-Rated Adventure

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (6)

Laid-Back Camp is a series that falls into the "cute girls doing cute things" subgenre of slice of life, and is a G-rated adventure in the great outdoors. These high school girls eschew fast food restaurants and karaoke bars and opt for camping on the weekends or whenever they have the time.

Laid-Back Camp is charming, relaxing to watch, and doubles as a mildly educational peek into how camping is done. The characters are simple but adorable, and the scenery is absolutely stunning.

14 Nichijou Is Full Of Cute Girls Doing Outrageous Things

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (7)

While containing elements of "cute girls doing cute things," Nichijou is more like "cute girls doing outrageous things." This bizarre comedy series is set in an ordinary high school where just about every character has a wacky secret or hobby.

Yuuko is the most ordinary girl, and even she is totally silly. Meanwhile, the young Professor loves sharks and snacks. There's a robot girl with a crank. And there's also Mio, an excitable girl who tries to hide her hobby of drawing boy-love (BL) amateur manga.

13 Azumanga Daioh! Finds Charm & Beauty In The Ordinary Life Of High Schoolers

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (8)
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Azumanga Daioh! — based on the comic strip-style manga of the same name — finds charm and beauty in the ordinary life of high schoolers. The main characters are a handful of eccentric girls who get part-time jobs, adopt pets, annoy each other on field trips, and more.

There is little drama and few real stakes, but that doesn't stop Azumanga Daioh! from serving as an accessible, timeless gateway anime series for anyone who's looking to get into Japanese animation. It also has a quirky and hilarious opening credits song.

12 Your Lie In April Is Full Of Drama & Heartbreak

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (9)

Your Lie In April has some elements of drama in it, along with some serious heartbreak near the end. Without spoiling anything, suffice it to say the main character, Kosei Arima, is a musical prodigy who can no longer hear his own music.

Kosei's troubled relationship with his mother soured his piano skills, but then he met an upbeat girl named Kaori who put music back in Kosei's life during their last days of middle school. The personal journey must be seen to be believed.

11 A Silent Voice Is About Forgiveness & Redemption

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (10)

A Silent Voice, based on the short manga series of the same name, packs a punch with its drama (although there is some humor in it too). This time, the themes revolve around forgiveness and redemption.

In 6th grade, Shoya Ishida is a cruel bully to his deaf classmate Shoko. Now in high school, Shoya is determined to make things right with Shoko before it's too late. Will he find love, too? He just might.

10 Only Yesterday Is Bittersweet

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (11)

Taeko Okajima is a young working woman who takes a trip to the countryside to visit her distant family and take a break from the hectic city life of Tokyo. The train ride home brings back memories from her childhood and her school days.

The narrative switches between the past and the present as the character contemplates the incidents which left a lasting impact on Taeko, leading her to ponder how much she's changed. In the end, she is left with a quiet epiphany as she decides to settle down in the countryside. Only Yesterday is a beautiful, meditative film aced with a sense of wistfulness and bittersweet nostalgia.

9 Dagashi Kashi Revolves Around A Candy Shop

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(Video) Ranking the BEST SLICE OF LIFE ANIME

For those looking for something food-themed, they're in for a literal treat. Dagashi Kashi revolves around a “dagashi” shop (a shop that sells cheap sweets and candies). Kokonotsu, the son of the shop-owner has no intention of running the shop, as he wishes to be a manga artist.

One day, the stranger Hotaru Shidare arrives with the hope of recruiting Kokonotsu’s dad to join Shidare Corporation, an internationally-renowned sweets company owned by her family. The dad will only agree if she can convince Kokonotsu to take over his shop. Given that dagashi shops are pretty rare, this heart-warming series highlights a part of Japanese culture viewers may have otherwise, missed.

8 Kiki's Delivery Service Is A Classic Ghibli Movie

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (13)

A Studio Ghibli film, this one follows the adventures of little Kiki. Leaving her home in the countryside, she travels to the big city on her own to live an independent life, as is customary for all trainee witches.

A slice of life coming-of-age fantasy film, Kiki's Delivery Service focuses on the ups and downs of the titular character’s life as she makes new friends and starts a courier service — delivering goods to people on her broomstick. If viewers enjoy this delightful film, there’s an anime series on a similar theme called Flying Witch (2016), they’ll absolutely adore.

7 Clannad Is Critically Acclaimed

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (14)

Clannad originally started out as a visual novel and was later adapted into manga, audio dramas, anime series, and even a film. The show revolved around Tomoya Okazaki who frequently missed school and lacked any sense of purpose in life.

However, it all began to change when Okazaki met Nagisa and decided to help her and her four friends revive the school’s drama club. Soon enough, Okazaki was filled with renewed purpose and motivation. While the first season received decent reviews, the second season opened to critical acclaim.

6 Whisper Of The Heart Is A Feel-Good Romance

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (15)

If one is looking for a feel-good romance film, then this Studio Ghibli movie is a perfect treat. The film focuses on the love story between bookworm Shizuku and Seiji, a violin-maker who also attends the same school.

Filled with heartwarming and funny moments, there’s also a story-within-a-story. Dreaming of being a writer one day, Shizuku writes a fantasy story featuring herself, a cat statuette called the “Baron,” and a cat she followed on the train. While the love story is nicely resolved at the end of the film, the cat-story gets a sequel of sorts in the spin-off The Cat Returns (2002).

5 Violet Evergarden Is Thought-Provoking & Poignant

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (16)
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Violet Evergarden is thought-provoking and poignant, with beautifully rendered art. The series follows Violet Evergarden, a child soldier who has become an Auto Memory Doll tasked with writing letters on behalf of other people.

While Violet with her mechanical postures initially has difficulty fitting in, the series focuses on her emotional journey as she begins to understand and express human emotions, and relate to other people. Soon, she ponders the meaning of the last words Major Gilbert had told her: "I love you."

4 Aria The Animation Is Futuristic With An Old-World Charm

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (17)

When looking for something more futuristic but with an old-world charm, Aria might be the perfect anime. It's set in the 24th century on the planet Mars (now called Aqua) in a place called Neo-Venezia. Viewers follow the adventures of Akari Mizunashi, a teenager training to be a tour guide in the city’s gondola service. A slow-paced show filled with gorgeous visuals and a sense of optimism, Aria makes for a memorable watch.

3 5 Centimeters Per Second Is About Unrequited Love

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (18)

Makoto Shinkai’s films have been expressly praised for the picture-perfect visuals so well-composed and artistically rendered that almost every frame can be a wallpaper. Moreover, the director is known for his careful attention to detail, focusing on the small meaningful moments of life others barely notice.

5 Centimeters Per Second is divided into three episodes, all centered on a boy named Takaki Tōno, and it delves into the themes of unrequited and unrealized love and a deep-seated melancholy. Be warned, this one might bring on the tears.

2 Toradora! Proves Opposites Attract

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (19)

For romance lovers, Toradora! is a brilliant slice-of-life anime with well-written and fully-fleshed-out characters. The series focuses on Ryuuji and Taiga, who seem to have diametrically-opposite personalities. While they both agree to help each other with their crushes, their attempts backfire, and they're placed in awkward romantic situations. A funny and heady emotional roller-coaster ride, Toradora has just 25 episodes and makes for an engaging watch.

1 Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day Is About Confronting Difficult Feelings

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked (20)

Jinta Yadomi lives as a recluse, skipping school to playing video games at home. One day, the ghost of his childhood friend Menma, who died five years ago in an accident, suddenly appears and asks for help fulfilling a wish.

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Soon enough, Jinta is reunited with his estranged childhood friends as they try to solve the mystery. By doing so, they confront feelings they had long hidden away. Regarded as a masterpiece, Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day tells a poignant story with just 11 episodes.

FAQs

The 20 Best Slice Of Life Anime, Ranked? ›

Now, on to the best slice of life anime of all time!
  1. 1 Barakamon. Japanese Title.
  2. 2 Nichijou - My Ordinary Life. Japanese Title. ...
  3. 3 Non Non Biyori. Japanese Title. ...
  4. 4 Silver Spoon. Japanese Title. ...
  5. 5 Daily Lives Of Highschool Boys. Japanese Title. ...
  6. 6 Laid-Back Camp. Japanese Title. ...
  7. 7 Azumanga Daioh: The Animation. Japanese Title. ...
  8. 8 Aria. ...
Apr 21, 2022

What is the number 1 ranked anime? ›

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

What's the number 1 anime in Japan? ›

Top 10 Most Popular Anime on Japanese SVOD services in January 2022:
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
  • Attack on Titan.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen.
  • Ranking of Kings.
  • One Piece.
  • Detective Conan.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
  • Gintama.
Feb 23, 2022

What anime has the best story? ›

So, let's begin with the list of those top 20 anime storyline.
  1. . One Piece. One Piece is all about following your heart to the end of the world.
  2. . Monster. ...
  3. . Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. ...
  4. . Code Geass: Lelouch of Rebellion. ...
  5. . Naruto. ...
  6. . Attack on Titan. ...
  7. . Hunter x Hunter. ...
  8. . Cowboy Bebop. ...
Sep 13, 2020

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