So this whole time without knowing, I was indulging myself in a subgenre of slice of life anime that I never knew existed, Iyashikei.
Iyashikei is a term used for anime that have a “healing” effect on its viewers. It mostly involves moe characters going through everyday scenarios that involve little to no drama, almost a lack of plot, and a very slow pace almost as if to replicate everyday life. Most of these anime usually contain soothing soundtracks, beautiful landscapes as background art, and of course, humor. The main goal of Iyashikei is to give the viewers a sense of relaxation while watching.
How did I come across this subgenre?
I have always been attracted to anime with little to no plot. Ever since I got back into anime, I liked balancing out very plot-driven, action-heavy anime with ones that have little to no plot at all and were meant to be watched for relaxation purposes. As years go by, I have always craved these types of anime but never knew exactly what they were called. I went through so many slice of life anime but only a few have given me that calming feeling.
That was until I came across Amanchu this week. I am currently watching the first season right now to catch up for the second season. While reading one of the reviews for it (Thank you to Cynthesizer for this review), I found out that it was called Iyashikei and surprisingly, most of the anime that turned out to be my favorites fall perfectly into this subgenre!
Now for you all that need some relaxing anime to watch, I have come with some recommendations to help you get into Iyashikei:
This show is about a group of kids of different ages that live in the countryside. Even though they are of varying ages, you still see a very entertaining friendship develop between them. What makes this very relaxing to watch is that the show has a lot of shots of the countryside. Along with the relaxing soundtrack and the sounds you normally hear from nature, you get to immerse yourself in the setting as they go through small adventures along this rural place.
2. Yuru Camp △
Cute girls going camping. What else do you need? It’s very straight to the point but that is all there is to know about this show. Asides from that, there is a lot of nature backdrops (mostly of Mt. Fuji) and the show also uses real-world locations as settings for the campsites too. Along with its soothing soundtracks and very relaxing atmosphere, it was a very cozy show to watch during this winter season. The main characters were also all very interesting. The main character, Rin, is very calm and docile while Nadeshiko contrasts Rin perfectly with her very energetic and enthusiastic personality. You also get to learn a thing or two about camping as it covers the fundamentals. Every episode made me think about getting into camping if we are keeping it honest..
Handa Seishuu, was a very famous but problematic calligrapher. After attacking an art critic who said something bad about his calligraphy, Handa’s father sends him to an island so he can calm down. Unlike the last two anime that I have mentioned, Barakamon focuses solely on the character development of Handa. From the unique interactions he has with the townspeople, he has fun with them but also learns life lessons along the way. Each episode will not fail to put a smile on your face as Handa participates in activities with the people in the island.
I just wanted to share this with you guys because I am barely finding out about the subgenre Iyashikei. This whole time, I have been looking for such anime and alas, I have found out exactly what it is called! I also wanted to try and get you guys into them as they are very relaxing and even therapeutic. By the way, to enjoy Iyashikei anime to its fullest, IT IS ADVISABLE NOT TO MARATHON THEM!! These anime are not meant to be binged. Too many people try to watch the whole series in one sitting and it comes out as “boring”. Try watching 1-3 episodes a day to thoroughly indulge in this type of anime.
Thank you for reading!