6 Relaxing Anime About Life on the Farm
by Lynzee Loveridge,
There was a short string of shows focusing on rural farm life and agriculture recently. The shows worked as a natural step from "healing" anime, where the primary function is to provide a tranquil environment for the viewer. The backdrop of mundane, quiet life in the boonies works as its own kind of mental vacation. This theme branched out into other genres, including fantasy, romantic comedy, and magical girl shows, too.
6. Non Non Biyori Non Non Biyori embodies the slow, relaxed lifestyle of rural living. The series follows the four girls who make up the area's only class, including new transfer student Hotaru. She (and the audience) grow accustomed to the town's pace, a place where residents have pet tanuki and a rice field is a school trip destination.
5. Agukaru Agukara is one of many short, tie-in anime series created to boost a prefecture's tourism. In Agukara's case, the area is Ibaraki where the fictional magical girl Sanae Baraki works on her family's cabbage farm. She's accompanied by Inaho-chan, a oddly indescribably mascot character that transformers Sanae into Baraki-chan, the "agricultural angel!" The project is weird in that the episodes are released intermittently: the first episode came out in 2010, the next two in 2011, and then two more just this year. The show is, like a lot of net anime, barely animated, but it does go over various farm techniques when Baraki-chan isn't using magic powers on sentient, taro-eating pigs.
4. No-Rin Set against a agricultural school backdrop, this romantic comedy focuses less on the industry of farming and more on its love triangle. The farming aspect works better as a comedic set-up, like when Ringo and minori race to plant rice in a field. The series also stars four secondary characters, who each excel at a different agriculture-based strength, like forestry, landscaping, biotech, and animal husbandry. Several of their personalities are on the extreme side, especially Suzuki's weird yogurt bit.
3. MAOYU Boil them, mash them, stick 'em in a stew! Mamare Touno surprised more than a few people when his medieval fantasy story focused on establishing an agricultural economy instead of fighting monsters. The Demon Queen, whose only insidious plot is to spread knowledge to the people, teams up with The Hero to introduce potatoes and grain to a kingdom suffering from food shortages and other issues from the ongoing wars. The series looks at difficulties of setting up a new economy, but also how it disrupts the status quo of those in power.
2. Moyashimon Tadayasu Sawaki's special ability to see bacteria lands him at a unique advantage when it comes to the important, albeit obscure, industry of growing mold. A college student, Sawaki's family produce molds that are used in the fermentation process in a variety of products like alcohol and bread. The has subplots centering around alcohol recipes and production, but also looks at bacteria and their effects on animals and people, usually in a comedic light.
1. Silver Spoon Hiromu Arakawa's series about farm life is the most comprehensive show on the topic to date and is credited with a small wave of similarly inspired shows in recent years. Yugo's trials and tribulations with livestock draw from Arakawa's personal experience. She wrote the biographical manga Hyakushō Kizoku prior to Silver Spoon recounting her own upbringing on a Hokkaido farm.
The new poll: What's your favorite "healing" (iyashikei) anime?
- Final Fantasy 41.6%
- Kingdom Hearts 29.8%
- Chrono Trigger 12.1%
- Dragon Quest 7.2%
- Xenogears 4.3%
- Seiken Densetsu ("Mana") 2.0%
- Front Mission 1.6%
- Brave Fencer Musashi 0.8%
- Romancing SaGa 0.5%
- Hanjuku Hero 0.1%
When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Associate Editor for Anime News Network, blogs about women and LBGT topics in anime and manga on her blog Engendered Dilemma, and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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