Hey Guys! This is Shreeraj…Today….We will be discussing “What makes people watch slice of life anime ?”
But first ,Lets start with a simple question… “what is slice of life?”
I define Slice of Life as a genre which focuses on looking into the mundane daily lives of characters. It’s about a specific focus on the mundane, the kinds of things that are common to do each day. I wouldn’t call Sakurasou a SoL because it focuses on the melodrama of defining moments in our lives. It’s not a common, everyday occurrence to come to grips with lacking talent and dealing with failure. Same with romance series. It’s not every day that we fall in love. Passionate love, emotional melodrama, unrealistic comedy (like that of Nichijou and Sakamoto Desu ga?) overcoming personal issues, these are things that happen on rare, isolated occasions that we happen to remember more because they are more “traumatic” in that they have us the most emotional. But it is every day that we go to school and hang out with friends, or have uneventful days at work, or lazily practice to become better at something. Slice of Life focuses on moments that we take for granted but are still important in shaping us as people.
Some anime can have slice of life moments sprinkled in between their main plot . Such moments add in to development of the story and relatability of the character… but at whole,they truly cant be defined as SoL
But, this is solely my opinion , its meaning can change from person to person , which is why , almost often the story and its endings are left as open ended , that is , left for the viewer to interpret… much like life itself , in which we have to figure out things by ourselves, however hard might that be.
All in all..what I say is .. slice of life is a very cliché genre and is hard to define..But it is definitely something that has aged well with fans and has gained a lot of traction..
Now coming onward to the next question “Why do people watch Slice of life anime? “
In a lot of the conversations…. a certain context for viewing habits of slice of life is frequently described: one comes home after a long and stressful day at work or school, and just sits down and watches something that doesn’t require too much energy. Alternatively, one uses it as a change of pace from other shows that are more plot- and action-oriented. In short: slice of life is enjoyed as something calm and easy on the senses, that serves as a nice breather between more demanding activities.
Yeah… SoL is seen as a breather from our monotonous lives… something that encompasses the feeling of relaxation within us..
It is mostly deals with lifes tougher choices , a weird sense of existentialism is established within these shows… finding ones path , establishing oneself , dealing with their inner demons is what these shows portray , and while these tropes are similar to that of shounen genre but, they are seldomly primary to the plot or have predictable answers ..
The characters and the interwoven complex plot that it has is what makes slice of life unique…
Some of these best instances occur when slice of life is sprinkled over into the shows which generally do not belong to that genre..such nuances bridge the gap between the viewer and the character …
In Dragon Ball Super , there is an episode that showcases goku and piccolo taking care of Pam , which greatly showcases a different side of those characters, which probably a shounen like setting wouldn’t have been able to do , but sol can…
Another such instance is in Boruto … it is kind of overdone now but anyways… there are some episodes were Naruto goes shopping with Hinata and spends a day in village fair with Himawari… his daughter… even though he is exhausted…. The fans that grew up watching Naruto or only care about Naruto….. these SOL moments are a sense of achievement that the person they admired has finally achieved happiness and satisfaction… it gives the viewers belief that they too can achieve happiness and satisfaction like their beloved character…. And this is the reason that makes people watch SOL…….
Now , talking about another show, but one which isn’t a part of shounen genre…
Now I say that this show is part of the mystery genre, but in reality, it’s all about what you, the viewer, take of Hyouka upon viewing it. Perhaps it is a mystery show that focuses on the ordinary and mundane. Perhaps it’s just your traditional slice-of-life with mystery elements to it. Or, perhaps it is both of those things, a combination of two genres used interchangeably to move the plot along?
Honestly, I do think it is a combination, but I feel like the mystery aspect of the show isn’t to move along its various plot-lines,but rather as a form of character study and a means to develop those existing characters. These characters as they develop through the mundane storylines make us feel relatable…
So , yeah, in the end , relatability is the driving force that drives people towards slice of life..and consuming more of it
Slice of Life to me is one of those genres I just like having around. They’re nice breather shows that allow for some greater depth, complexity and nuance than a lot of other shows simply cannot be allowed to have. They have been some of the most enriching shows I have seen, and I hope that many of you will be able to love some of these shows as much as I have, if you do not do so already.
Here are some of my personal recommendations for those interested:
Barakamon , Clannad + After Story,oregairu, and Bunny Girl senpai