Sunday, July 29, 2018

5 Criminally Underrated Slice-of-Life Anime

The slice-of-life genre has become somewhat of a staple in the world of anime. Being a break from some of the more linear genres out there, the primary goal of slice-of-life has always been to reel in the viewer through relatable occurrences or actions. However, oftentimes, this simplistic approach can be superseded by unexpected greatness. Whether it be in the form of well-written comedy or an intricately woven central plotline, plenty of series in this overpopulated genre go unnoticed due to preconceived disposition.

I am here to shatter that illusion with five of my absolute favorite slice-of-life shows- each one jumping through different hoops to stand out amongst the others they may be compared to. These will be presented in no particular order, but please be advised that I wholeheartedly endorse each one. 

Girlish Number (2016)

(6.99 scored by 24,641 users on MyAnimeList)

Work-based slice-of-life anime has seen a boom in popularity over recent years due to the success of series like Shirobako or Hansaku Iroha. Girlish Number, detailing a rookie seiyuu's venture into the industry, follows along the same vein. With a heavy dose of cynicism fueling the show's comedic elements, we see a glimpse into the world of voice acting not touched on by similar shows like Sore Ga Seiyuu (Seiyuu's Life). This realistic approach and almost polarizing view of the medium goes on to create an experience unlike any other. The fact that Girlish Number's character roster is lovable and diverse only winds up honing in on that even more.

Love, Elections, and Chocolate (2012)
AIC Build

(7.24 scored by 57,254 users on MyAnimeList)

Despite a rather...interesting ending arc, KoiChoco's twelve-episode journey has proven memorable enough to continue impressing me years down the line. Finding good adaptations of visual novels is pretty hard to do when the current trend has become condensing roughly fifty episodes of material into about thirteen. Regardless, this romantic comedy utilizes the bulk of that time adapting the common/shared route instead of each individual scenario. The result is a heartfelt experience with a somewhat darker twist in the latter half that goes on to illustrate a side of some characters we aren't exactly accustomed to seeing.

Minami-Ke (2007)

(7.77 scored by 55,406 users on MyAnimeList)

I'm going to be honest, my love for Minami-Ke was sort of the driving force behind writing this article. It's been over ten years since the series' debut and it's still one of the funniest shows on the market. Whether it be the incessant parodying of popular video games or the always-hilarious adventures of "Sensei and Ninomiya-kun," Minami-Ke is an endless barrage of comedy that will leave you begging for more. Luckily, several additional seasons eventually saw the light of day, so there is plenty of content to go around. But with so many new viewers coming into the world of anime, the series has begun to fade into non-existence. It is currently available for streaming on Funimation, however, so hopefully, this turns at least some of you onto it.

Love And Lies (2017)

(6.80 scored by 66,639 users on MyAnimeList)

I'll honestly never understand the critical outcry against this remarkable series. Love and Lies takes place in a society where marriage partners are chosen by the government after compatibility screening. The traditional idea of the "red string of fate" turning into a sort of "red string of science" already provides a foundation solid enough to sculpt a unique and interesting voyage. But with beautiful artwork, a phenomenal soundtrack, and breathtaking performances from the cast, that voyage becomes one for the history books. Even with its rather lackluster and borderline-insulting end, my time spent with Love and Lies is more than enough for me to call it a must-watch series. Love works in mysterious ways and there are very few shows that get this across as well as this one right here.

White Album 2 (2013)

(7.88 scored by 61,801 users on MyAnimeList)

No, you don't need to watch the first White Album before checking out this one. Based on a popular two-part visual novel from 2010, White Album 2 focuses on a toxic love triangle between three high school students in the light music club. And while this may not sound particularly unique, the manner in which this romance is treated is shockingly suspenseful and significantly closer to the 'adult' side of things than most viewers are used to seeing. Though, given that this adapted from an eroge, that isn't exactly surprising. Either way, the series' set-up and character development are some of the most impressive I've seen to date. And given just how encapsulating the pilot's ending is, it's easy for me to say that this is one of the most intimate and dread-filled romances out there.

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