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Slice-of-Life recommendations.

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Joined: 15 Oct 2005
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Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:25 pm Reply with quote
[EDIT 1-9-08: Dug up this thread and decided it would work as the slice-of-life recommendation thread. For future posts in this thread, make sure they conform to the genre guidelines listed below.~Zalis]

I love it when the main character runs around the big city in "Whisper of the Heart" and also all the "talking to friends" and "sitting at home" stuff. Please give me some suggestions about Anime of the kind where there's no fantasy or violence but just pure "everyday" life. I like to see families, friends, school, dreams... Just like that "Whisper of the heart" movie I once saw. If there's some sort of "fantasy" or "magical" thing underneath it all like in that movie it's okay, but I really want it to be about a boy or girl with dreams, living his or her everyday life with friends, parties and stuff like that. I've heard of a show called "Honey and Clover"... is it good? And like that. And please post more shows for me to see.

slice of life (plot-less everyday life)
A slowly paced story that portrays a "cut-out" sequence of events in a character's every-day life. It may or may not contain any real plot, and often has no exposition, action, conflict, or denouement, with an open ending. Even if the setting is not realistic, what is presented is always the kind of ordinary, every-day life that anyone could have within that setting.
[cannot be combined with drama]
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Encyclopedia Editor

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:57 pm Reply with quote
You're definitely looking for the kind of anime that I like. I recommend Honey and Clover, my favourite anime, as well as both the two Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou OVAs.

You might also want to take a look at one of the public lists that I've put together: 幽勝 - Yuushou. This is a list of anime that focus more on a sense of quiet beauty and day-to-day existence, than on action. Some action does occur, occasionally, but it is very much peripheral to central theme of quietly reverential being.

- abunai
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Joined: 11 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:01 pm Reply with quote
I think Kokoro Library fits your criteria. It also is a non-fantasy type of anime, with simply modern everyday scenarios, in this case a library and a town.
It's a very nice feeling kind of anime, something to relax upon.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:01 pm Reply with quote
I enjoy action series like Scrapped Princess, Elfen Lied, and Wolf's Rain just as much anyone, but I'll always have a spot in my heart and my DVD shelves for these laidback, quiet, realistic series...

Probably the most "slice-of-life" anime that I've ever seen is Piano, which is about a junior-high school girl getting along with her family, going to piano lessons, having crushes, dealing with friends, and so forth.

There's also Boys Be, an anime about a few guys and the girls in their lives...pretty different from most anime romance/comedies, and no fantasy or excess fanservice.

Sentimental Journey and Diamond Daydreams are both based on dating-sim games, but instead of being angsty or full of fanservice, they're quiet, slow-paced, and episodic (split between multiple stories with no real main character or main plot) -- just a bunch of stories about different girls and their lives and romantic involvements.

Suzuka has many trappings of standard shounen harem anime (one guy, lots of girls, guy lives near these girls, etc.), but it's not as crazy as Love Hina--you get to see the life of an average guy, who goes to school, likes girls, has crushes on girls, goes on dates, goes to school activities, wants to excel in track and field...sure, there's some sadness and melodrama, but it's a solid school/romance story underneath.
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Encyclopedia Editor

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:20 pm Reply with quote
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. I haven't seen the second OVA yet but this thing has to be the epiphany of "relaxation" and "slice of life" in anime if I've ever seen one. Although something this laid back I didn't think would appeal to me, I enjoyed it. It's best watched when alone and preferably a day off when you have nothing to do, you will enjoy it the most then. It seems to have a greater effect on me when like that.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:00 pm Reply with quote
I would suggest Zettai Shonen. Although it has to do with UFOs, a huge part of the story revolves around a group of kids living an everyday life, with a myserious ufo storyline attached to it. There's no action really. I haven't seen whisper of the heart, but it seems to be the same sort of thing. Give it a look, becasue it sounds like exactly what you're looking for.

Also if you like Whisper of the Heart, try Only Yesterday, also from Ghibli.

edit:I can't believe I forgot Windy Tales!. This is another anime that matches what you're looking for, although this also has a bit of fantasy in it. It's about three kids who gain the power to control the wind, and the everyday events that happen to them.
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Joined: 15 Oct 2005
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Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:12 am Reply with quote
Thanks for posting so many shows for me to look up. Zettai Shonen looks really exciting and i will see Only Yesterday as soon as i can. If you found more Slice of Life series (I love it when they are in a big city but countryside as in My neighbor Totoro works grat to) so please post them!
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Joined: 01 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:49 pm Reply with quote
ARIA The ANIMATION sounds like it might appeal to you. It's a nice, slow-paced 13 episode slice-of-life seinen (aimed at young men) anime that takes place in the... well, I'm not exactly sure of the year, but it takes place in the far future, when humans have cultivated Mars and turned it into a habitable planet. Don't get me wrong though, it isn't sci-fi or anything like that. It's a nice, light, feel-good series. Plus, the art and landscapes are very pretty.

The only thing I don't get about this anime is why all the girls' names start with A. lol.

Anyway, if you happen to like ARIA The ANIMATION, rejoice, because there's a second season coming out in April called "ARIA The NATURAL".

~ AmyNoodlehead
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Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:05 am Reply with quote
Here is Greenwood might interest you. It follows a couple of friends at a boarding school and their personal problems. It starts out mostly comedy but also has a slice of life aspect to it.

Also, Nana is going to premiere shortly, and that its also an interesting "big city" anime. You might want to read the manga if you are more interested.
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Joined: 22 Oct 2004
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Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:19 pm Reply with quote
If you liked Whisper of the Heart then you absolutely have to watch The Cat Returns. The cat she writes about in WotH plays a major role in TCR. It's not perhaps quite what you are asking for but still an obvious recommendation.

Figure 17 shows the everyday life of a shy young girl who ends up with a surprise twin, mixed in with fighting alien monsters. That might not sound like what you are asking for but believe me, it's a really touching slice of life drama. It's very much an exploration of what happens when the main character suddenly find herself with a twin, who quickly becomes her close friend and confidante. How does she react to and cope with this major change in her life?

Zettai Shonen is also somewhat science fictional (or perhaps that should be science fantasy). However, to get the best out of the story I would recommend focusing your attention on the characters. You might think ZS is about the mystery of the material fairies but no, that way lies disappointment. Stay focused on the characters to the end (Stay on target, stay on target).

Suzuka is a bit on the melodramatic side but people do seem to identify strongly with the main characters. Starts off rather weakly and the animation is uneven but stick around until the end of episode six and you should be hooked. No doubt the surprise anime hit of 2005. If you come to like the actress who voices Suzuka you'll have an additional incentive to watch Zettai Shonen.

Slow Step is not actually that slow since they have to cram the manga volumes into five episodes. Somewhat kooky high schoolers with everyday dreams, and a girl who by chance and mischief ends up posing as two girls.

Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou has been recommended by a number of people. However, if you haven't read the superb manga I strongly suspect you will find the anime version plain boring. It's pretty much geared towards the existing fans of YKK (fans like me). Read the manga regardless of whether you are planning to watch the anime version or not. It's just that great.

From what I hear it's the same with Aria, though I'll have to stress the fact that I haven't seen the anime (but the manga is certainly great).

Boys Be starts off rather silly, although it gets more serious in the second half. I can't claim I enjoyed it that much but it certainly contains a fair amount of slice-of-life stuff. That I rate it as high as I do (Decent) is because of the last episode where Megumi Hayashibara turns out a bravura performance as a Fenno-Japanese painter.

A classic of anime is Maison Ikkoku. It has really great animation and art, and plenty of what you look for. Personally I thought the story verged a bit on the boring side at times and that the original manga was clearly better. Still, most people really like the show.

You might also want to check out The Star of Cottonland. It's an oddball movie about a little kitten. All the cats look like humans with tails and cat ears (nekomimi = catgirl) although humans in the anime perceive them as normal cats. The slice of life element in this movie lies as much with the owners of the kitten as in the kitten doing all the things little kittens do (with us hearing every thought). I suspect people will either find TSoC utterly charming or just plain boring.
Anyway, I started with cats and so I end with cats.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:24 pm Reply with quote
Another thread got me thinking about anime where by the time it ends, you really feel like the cast of characters are like your friends and/or family. I absolutely love it when the characters are so realistic that you feel like you're hanging out with them during the show to.

Some of the first that come to mind for me include Noein, Cromartie High School,and Planetes.

Noein has such a realistic casts of late elementary/early middle school, that it reminded me of being back in elementary school and snooping through the woods, hanging out and having fun with friends (except this was before everyone had cell phones). Sure, I lived in a rural area surrounded by trees and not a small city, but the similarities were still there for me regardless because it was about the kids and hanging out realistically, not the city.

Cromartie High School was a bit more unusual in that if I honestly were around people that dumb, I might go insane, but it felt to me like hanging around completely unpredictable morons in a fun way. It somewhat reminded me of my friends in high school, except with lower IQs, a Gorilla, a robot, and Freddie Mercury. It also reminds me a little of game Bully, where I also felt like a part of the game. Cromarite High's opening theme aided in sucking me into its insane world.

Planetes felt more like family than friends here. Watching the bond made between all the main characters develop sucked me into their bonds too. Because we learned of the characters intimate pasts and secrets, which in real life, we normally know only of very close people like family or life-long friends, it felt like the characters were inviting us into the family and it felt real as a result. The part where spoiler[Ai almost dies due to oxygen deprivation on the moon and ended up in a wheelchair due to some damage made me feel so crushed like I might for a real family member.]
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Tony K.

Joined: 18 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:59 pm Reply with quote
A lot of what you're mentioning sounds like the "Slice-of-Life" genre. A genre where many a viewer often develops a strong liking for the characters because of the realism in their depictions and such. As a result, I'm taking the liberty of merging your thread into this one.

By the way, this thread is in dire need of some more recommendations, so let me add:

Great Teacher Onizuka - My favorite title of the genre about a wild, rambunctious former gang leader gone teacher. At first he's doing it just to get laid by schoolgirls. But we later find out he's much, much more that just a 22 year-old virgin with blond hair and an attitude. As he inherits the worst class in the school, we see him emerge as total bad-ass teacher who compensates for his lack of book smarts with street smarts and a peculiar tendency for bringing out the good in people. Takagi Wataru, his seiyuu, is absolutely hilarious in the role and very charismatic to boot. This is a guaranteed hit for anyone looking to enjoy a high school comedy with lots of quirky characters (and those classic Onizuka faces).

Ouran High School Host Club - I was hesitant at first. The idea of a reverse harem made me scoff and give very little thought to enjoy this series, but they sure proved me wrong. While very shoujo-esque, the comedy itself counters such sentiment with a great mix of parody, satire, and slice-of-life in between. Despite the gimmicky feel of all the hosts in the club, their characters feel genuine enough and explore just the right amount of real-life drama to actually make me care for them. Plus, many of the situations are damn, over-the-top hilarious. A bit too cutesy for some (Honey), perhaps, but I had no problems with the overall atmosphere. The developing romance is probably the greatest aspect of it all. Not that it developed in such a way that really captivates you, but the circumstances from the comedy and the way it just happens to turn out felt refreshing. Highly recommended.

Azumanga Daioh - The main cast of girls may throw most people off, but their characters are very endearing and full of quirky humor that will have you laughing your ass off, and often. Like Seinfeld, it's a show about nothing. You just see these girls living their lives in high school, but with a few zany moments and random trains of thought thrown in. It's actually rather difficult to explain. So I recommend just watching it and letting series do the talking. I rarely give comedy shows a Masterpiece rating. But other than this, Ouran, and GTO, AzuDai gave me many, many laughs, in addition to making me feel.. good, happy, exalted, etc.!

Nodame Cantabile - I've only seen 4 and a half episodes up to this day, but have read the manga a bit further. And I must say, from what I've gathered, it's shaping up to be a very lovely romantic comedy with nice jousei feel and more mature outlook than I'm used to. The artwork is very Honey & Clover-ish and I especially like the musical aspect. On top of that, it also stars two of my favorite seiyuu in Seki Tomokazu and Kawasumi Ayako. Dang, I need to get back to the rest of the series and live-action.

BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad - Another music-themed anime, but with ROCK instead of classical. I was blown away when I first watched it. The characters felt so real and empathic that I wanted to learn guitar myself and aspire to be the next big rockstar!... But anyway, the characters really do grow on you throughout the whole series. It's a somewhat "rags to riches" story of a kid who has really low self-esteem, but finds solace in life through the power of rock music, and things just take off from there. Again, this is another one of those anime that's hard to just "explain." This one, you have to hear. Audio is a big, big proponent of this particular series. Another of my few Masterpieces.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:29 am Reply with quote
I second the ARIA the Animation recommendation. If you're hooked after watching the first season, you should check out the second (ARIA the Natural) and third (ARIA the Origination) seasons. Both seasons follow a standard slice-of-life format- each episode is a story in itself, and the story doesn't really progress beyond each individual episode. And don't forget the OVA (ARIA the OVA ~Arietta~)- I highly recommend watching that one too, especially if you're an Alicia fan, like me Very Happy

Another slice-of-life worth checking out is Hidamari Sketch and sequel Hidamari Sketch x 365. The main character, Yuno, moves into the Hidamari Apartments across the road from the art school she just got accepted into. Living at the Hidamari Apartments, Yuno meets other interesting characters (who become the main characters you'll see constantly throughout the series). This series is mainly about her (Yuno's) everyday adventures/experiences living at the Hidamari Apartments and studying at the art school. And for some strange reason, x 365's style screams spoiler[SAYONARA ZETSUBOU SENSEI!!] at me everytime I watch it. I think it's just me.

If you're looking for something newer, try Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~Natsu no Sora~ (currently airing in Japan). Suzuki Sora, a girl from the countryside, moves to Tokyo after being accepted into a mage school in the city. It's worth watching even just for the movie-quality visuals.
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Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:57 am Reply with quote
I'm going to go ahead and add a couple more which came out recently.

Spice and Wolf revolves arround a trader of goods who encounters a female wolf god named Horo. In exchange for a ride she agrees to help him out with his bussiness dealings. It has elements of the fantasy genre as well but is mostly a slice of life character drama with a little economics thrown in.

Kurenai is another I'd recomend. Heavily character oriented and gives you that slice of life feel. It also has plenty of great humor and some neat action. It's about Shinkuro Kurenai who works as negotiator of disputes. However his job gets more dangerous when he accepts a bodyguard job for a little girl named Murasaki Kuhoin who's run away from her family.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:23 pm Reply with quote
The Aria series are really good, my friends and I enjoyed watching the whole thing in one sitting.
Although, there are a few anime 'Slice-of-life' series that I haven't seen anyone post yet that I would like for people take a look see.
I strongly recommend the series:
Bamboo Blade- The series is interesting enough with the girls and their coach trying to get through the year as members of a kendo club. Even though, I could go for Suzuka, I find this series so entertaining because all the characters have their own issues, but the one thing they have in common is the only thing that puts them in place.
Minami-ke- I really like the first season more than the second, but it was sure fun just watching the antics of the Minami sisters. Although the three sisters are main characters of the anime, there are a bunch of supporting characters that helps the series along to continue until the end of the second season.
The one's that I put in a box or at my side-pocket, but still good enough to watch:
Ichigo Mashimaro- Although, some of the resemblance of the series Minami-ke is there, it's just a softer side in life which makes the difference between the two.
Hidamari Sketch- This series is just a bit touching, more cuddly to my heart because I majored in arts, but concerning to the people I knew who saw the series... they thought it was an adorable story.
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