Top 10 Slice of Life Anime Movies [Best Recommendations]

The prevalent Slice of Life genre can often be cited as a popular favorite whenever the question “what kinds of anime do you like?” is asked. Slice of Life anime provides viewers with a realistic representation of everyday experiences such as romance, friendships, challenges and success. While the Slice of Life category can often be intertwined with other elements such as fantasy, drama, historic, and the like, many on this list are very simplistic in nature, essentially viewing the normal daily life of people. Moreover, some of the choices on this list are stand-alone original pieces, while a few have a foundation in manga and TV series. So without further ado, here is our list for top 10 Slice of Life anime movies! Enjoy!

10. Kaze no Matasaburou

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: March 19, 2016

Kaze no Matasaburou accounts the story of a girl named Takada-san who moves from the city to the countryside due to circumstances surrounding her mother’s work. As Takada-san makes her way to school for the first day, she meets an array of interesting classmates, including some forest animals and a human boy named Kouichi. Although Sensei advises the class to invite Takada-san into their circle, her new schoolmates keep her at a distance. However, in secret, Kouichi is intrigued by Takada-san and wants to get to know her better. Believing that they will get along, Kouichi invites Takada-san out to play and during their activities, the band of kids experience Matasaburou, the god of wind. As the friends grow attached to one another, Takada-san abruptly has to leave. In addition to this event, Kouichi receives more frequent encounters with Matasaburou, whose mysteries have yet to be revealed.

Kaze no Matasaburou is a dream-like, wispy film that promotes imagination, sparking our thoughts with fantasy and hopefulness. What is also highlighted in this film is the exciting and anxious feeling of making new friends. This Slice of Life, although less than half an hour long, is a very developed story, combining elements of peaceful and relaxation with the supernatural. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!


9. Shashinkan

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: November 9, 2013

The introductory setting of Shashinkan takes place before the war. We watch a beautiful, romantic couple visit a photo studio, where they flawlessly display their love in photograph. Meek and timid, the photographer tries to figure out how to capture an image of the blushing bride. A talented man, the photographer is able to highlight her personality and beauty through the photo. Several months later, the couple arrives at the studio again, this time with their daughter, who also has difficulty posing for the camera. However, no matter what the photographer does, he can’t get her to smile. As more time has passed, the mother and daughter, sans father, continue to take their family portraits at this studio. Beyond this, many years and decades later, the daughter has a life and family of her own, continuing this sweet and simple tradition. Donning her trademark grumpy face, she and the photographer have developed a close friendship. As the duo line up for their final photo, will she crack a smile like all others photographed before her?

Shashinkan is a super sweet and super cute film that pays tribute to upholding simple family traditions. Many of us may dread the time of annual Christmas photo cards to send to relatives, or the pictures for the yearbook. However, for the young girl who grows up and bides with the photographer, she realizes the elementary job the man has in making people smile. More so, keeping up with these customs is a beautiful way of preserving your heritage, showing generations to come what life was like “way back in the day.”


8. Planetarium Uchuu Kyoudai: Itten no Hikari (Space Brothers - One Point of Light)

  • Episodes: 1
  • Air Date: July 21, 2012

As the world is engrossed in sports, Mutta and Hibito are brothers, who happen to be born during the most crucial parts of these national sporting events. Well into their teens, the brothers have a shared interest in astronomy, even though most of the population is still into sports. During another monumental national sports game, they both discover something spectacular in the sky. Perhaps a UFO? From this occasion, the brothers promise one another that they will make it into space together. Onward into adulthood, Hibito serves as the country’s ambassador to the moon, an astronaut; while Mutta is down on his luck, looking for a job. Feeling discouraged, Mutta reevaluates his life, thinking back on the times he and his brother experienced when surveying the skies. Recounting how much joy this pastime brought them, Mutta finds his spark again, declaring to go one step ahead of Hibito; to study hard and make it to Mars.

Planetarium Uchuu Kyoudai: Itten no Hikari presents to us interesting facts about space travel and training. We may have heard the expression “blood is thicker than water”, and these brothers prove that their bonds are unbreakable. Mutta and Hibito are extremely supportive of one another, even though for a time, Mutta was a little jealous of his career, which can sometimes be expected among siblings. Furthermore, Planetarium Uchuu Kyoudai: Itten no Hikari emphasizes the notion of dreaming big, and how hard work and determination will get you to your dream. #gohardorgohome


7. Tansu Warashi.

  • Episodes: 1
  • Air Date: March 5, 2011

Special Delivery for Noel Higari! Better scheduling and service than UPS, we observe a delivery truck making its way towards Noel’s home. This special package was sent from her mother, as she receives a phone call from her shortly after stating, “it’s her turn.” After revealing that this delivery is an old wardrobe, or more commonly referred to as a dresser, Noel is a tad bit confused, but makes her way to work. After a long day, she comes home to an odd sight, noticing a young boy eating rice crackers in her living room. “Maybe I drank too much” she says. Flicking the lights off and on, she finds the bottom drawer opened, filled with crackers, and the boy gone. The next morning, she hears more voices and noises coming from the drawer. Noel then spots the mysterious cracker-eating boy from the night before, as well as other guests. The six young children standing in her living room state their presence and duty, which is “to serve the Hiragi mistress every generation.” Acting as her caregivers, the drawer kids help Noel learn the values of taking care of herself. When they determine that she is able to do so, they deem their mission complete.

Tansu Warashi is on our list of SoL anime movie recommendations because of how cute Daigorou, Hanpei, Jirokichi, Masa, Natsuki, Tae and Yuki are! These spirit children are a very small, but important component of life in that they help Noel notice the small details that often go unnoticed. Furthermore, with things such as school, work, and responsibilities, it is easy for these little pleasures to pass us by. So as a mental note, we at Honey’s also recommend for you to slow down and smell the flowers every now and then.


6. Oji-san no Lamp

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: March 5, 2011

Oji-san no Lamp shares the story of Toichi and his discovery of an old floor lamp. Toichi’s grandfather, Minosuke, asks him where he found the lamp, reflecting on the piece of equipment that had such a profound impact in his life. From this moment, Minosuke shares the story of his youth, fifty years ago, where the light in his world shined the brightest and equally as swift, faded in a flash.

Oji-san no Lamp expresses the ever changing advances of technology and how much it shifts the standard of living. As the older generation were against Minosuke selling lamps, he exclaimed to them “it’s a new light, electricity!” We believe, figuratively and literally, that this light and adaptability produces advancement, as well as neglects tradition. Even though modernization has aided us in the ease of certain tasks, we sometimes forget that some of these functions can be completed without the use of machines.


5. Saint Oniisan (Saint Young Men)

  • Episodes: 1
  • Air Date: May 10, 2013

Saint Oniisan takes the controversy out of religion by uniting the founders of Christianity and Buddhism, Jesus and Buddha, respectively; and turning their experiences together into a relatable, modern, and light-hearted story. Jesus and Buddha take a vacation on Earth to observe humanity. They are roommates in Tokyo, where they both must discover the various ways that mankind lives. Abiding to their own morals and ethics, as well as to rules and guidelines provided by society, they have a greater and more threatening force to worry about: the landlady, Mrs. Matsuda. Upon their arrival, Mrs. Matsuda notices something is “off” with the “Saints” and investigates what that “something” is. As we watch Jesus and Buddha unveil the mysteries of life on Earth, they also attempt to hide their identities to the public. More so, they must learn to combat and be one step ahead of the ever-scary Mrs. Matsuda.

What is attractive about Saint Oniisan is that it’s a very entertaining concept to watch, easing the tension that is often connected to comparative religion. In this “what if” scenario, we watch Jesus and Buddha doing everyday normal things like shopping, carnivals, eating out, and dodging crazy neighbors. Encompassing elements of modern day life, Saint Oniisan demonstrates that two differing and diverse personalities have the ability to live and get along with one another without conflict.


4. Hana-Saku Iroha: Home Sweet Home

  • Episodes: 1
  • Air Date: March 9, 2013

Ohana is your average 16-year-old teenager, who resides with her quirky mother in Tokyo. Her life is quickly altered when the decision is made to move Ohana to the slow-paced boring countryside, although things don’t turn out to be as boring as she predicts. This dramatic shift from the city to the rural life is emphasized, marking Ohana’s growth and development. As Ohana must learn to adapt to living at the hot springs her grandmother manages, she is also dealt with the struggle of getting accustomed to a new environment, which may hold friendly or unkind situations.

Hana-Saku Iroha: Home Sweet Home is a great addition to our list because the overall story gives us time to reflect. As some of us may have experienced being relocated to a new place unexpectedly, the new unsettling feeling washes away over time, providing countless experiences and room to grow. As Ohana is exposed to a period of discomfort, she proves it’s possible to bond with a close and familiar group of friends.


3. Mimi wo Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart)

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: July 15, 1995

“Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home, country roads”

Whisper of the Heart is a coming of age tale centered on the lives of Shizuku Tsukishima and Seiji Amasawa, as they journey to find themselves and their presence in life. These two teens are pretty talented for their age. Shizuku aspires to become a writer and Seiji’s ambition is to become an accomplished violinist. The two run across one another on several occasions before finally meeting by chance. Shizuku and Seiji are bonded by shared interests and soon become good friends. However, after seeing Seiji’s dedication to music, Shizuku falters on her own talents, wondering if her approach to achieving her dreams can equate to that of Seiji’s.

Whisper of the Heart is a fantastic slice of life because we couldn’t relate more when it comes to deciding on “what we want to be when we grow up.” Just like in this film, it is important to surround yourself with positive influences, with people who can help lead you towards your life goals, as well as making the right choices. Another reason why Whisper of the Heart makes our list is for the simple fact of how good you feel watching it! Singing along to the theme song, rooting for couples to get together, and a cute fat cat; this film has a lot of fun to offer. Additionally, if you decide to go on a Miyazaki /Studio Ghibli binge, check out these other slice of life films: (Omoide Poroporo (Only Yesterday (1991)) and Tonari no Yamada-kun (My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)).


2. Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (Wolf Children)

  • Episodes: 1
  • Air Date: July 21, 2012

Wolf Children is the story of Hana, who during her studies in college, falls in love with a handsome gentleman named Ookami, when he sits in on one of her classes. Hana and Ookami start dating, developing a deep, romantic relationship. Further into their romance, Hana finds out that Ookami is part human, part wolf. As the pair makes the decision to start a family, they eventually have a lovely girl and boy. Shortly following this wondrous occasion, Ookami dies tragically. Unfortunately, Hana is left a widow and must alone care for her young, who have also inherited his trait. As we move forward into the story of Wolf Children, we observe that taming the animal in these kids isn’t an easy task. Overall, we see the unbreakable bond in family as the trio grows as one; they are able to overcome all obstacles.

Ame and Yuki really highlight the essence of childhood and the innocence of being young, in a society riddled with hardships and judgment. Finding it too difficult to raise her kids in the city, Hana moves her family to the countryside, in the hope of offering her kids a better quality of living. Having to raise two young children on her own, we observe all the hard work and effort it takes to be a mom. With Mother’s Day around the corner, make sure to thank your mom or any maternal figure in your life, letting them know that their love, support and sacrifice is always appreciated.


1. Byousoku 5 Centimeter (5 Centimeters Per Second)

  • Episodes: 3
  • Air Date: February 2007- March 2007

Byousoku 5 Centimeter a.k.a. 5 Centimeters Per Second is a truly realistic anime involving the romantic lives of three individuals as they interact with one another. A visually stunning anime, we observe the timeline of Takaki, Kanae, and Akari from adolescence to adulthood, growing, learning, and suffering with them on their life journey. Time, distance and change become an obstacle for our characters. As the trio continues to walk down their own paths, they will always have their memories, wondering if and when they will see each other again.

Many of us may have seen this quote floating around online: “some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.” This quote couldn’t be truer when we think of Byousoku 5 Centimeter. As the lovers drift away over time, physically and emotionally, we can relate to the circumstances of growing up, letting go, and acceptance. Recollecting on the memories they’ve impressed on one another, time and distance can never erase what they’ve shared together at the infancy of their relationship.


Final Thoughts

Ranked by popularity, we hope you enjoyed our choices of top 10 slice of life anime movies! A few of these mentioned are some popular, well-known titles, while others are equally great and have just slid under the radar. Also, we may be cheating the list a bit, but some other tiles to check out are Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Movie 1 – Kizashi (2015), which is the first out of four films, Pattenrai! (2009), and a hidden gem, Shouwa Monogatari (2011).

Collectively, many slice of life films are incredibly special, allowing emotional expression towards an array of circumstances and life events. What is so awesome about slice of life anime is that when you’re unable to describe how you’re feeling momentarily, the characters and storyline of an anime can really get to you… right in the feels! Even though we’ve exceeded our 10 anime limit, comment below on any suggestions or other great titles that we’ve missed. Thanks for tuning in! See ya!

Eva B.

Writer

Author: Eva B.

Hello! I’m Eva. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I’ve lived in Texas, Kentucky, and will soon be living in Japan! I’m a recent college grad with an MS in Justice Studies; a considerable feat in my life. When I’m taking a break from work/studies, I enjoy a variety of anime, passing a lot of time binging episodes alongside my husband. I also take pleasure in spending time with my two dogs and two cats, hiking, yoga, computer/video games, reading, and trying new cuisines. I’m pretty shy, so writing here has been a great outlet for me to come out of my box.

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