Tag Archives: Slice of Life

30 Day Anime Challenge Two: Day 23

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It is day 23 of the second 30 Day Anime Challenge.

#23: Favorite Anime Genre

I have spent many a hour writing about the slice of life genre and why I enjoy it so much. However, the thing that I enjoy most about it is the ability it has to humanize and bring to life specific characters. At least to me, it is incredibly humbling, at least from a story perspective, to spend a day, or multiple days, going through someone’s daily routine, and to see how it affects them. Seeing that process is honestly more fascinating than a lot of high octane shonen battles.

What is your favorite anime genre? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


First Impressions: Asobi Asobase

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

I’ve talked a lot on this blog about how slice of life is one of my favorite genres because it mixes so well with other genres. slice of life comedies, in particular, can be great, depending on how they are made that is. If there are a bunch of unfunny, repeated jokes throughout the show, then it can become stale and boring. However, if each episode feels like an original, well thought out collection of comedic sketches centered around the main cast, well that becomes a recipe for success. Luckily, Asobi Asobase conforms much more to the latter.

The show follows three high school girls, Olivia, Hanako, and Kasumi. One day, after Olivia lies to Hanako and Kasumi about knowing English really well, Kasumi asks Olivia to teach her English in exchange for teaching her about the cultural pass times of Japan. Olivia agrees, at least until the other two figure out she is lying. Still, the three of them decide to form a pass times club together anyway, so that they can spend more time together.

Like many others pointed out when the show first started airing back in 2018, the character’s extremely animated facial expressions are what contribute a lot to the the show’s comedic greatness. When the show first starts and the opening credits go by, it deceivingly shows the three main girls in a sequence of happy and cutesy shots. Then, as the show begins, almost immediately it introduces the crazy facial expressions it is known for, creating a heightened comedic atmosphere.


The personalities of the three main characters also help in creating funny moments. Olivia is usually the calmest of the three, but also the dumbest. She mostly gets by in school with the help of her two friends. Hanako is pretty smart, but is always jealous of the popular kids at her school. Kasumi is quiet, but is pretty quick to anger, and hates being ordered to do stuff after losing a game. These three personalities mix together in a lot of ways that are not only unexpected, but that are potent as well.

Aside from the incredibly hilarious facial expressions, the animation is pretty much average. There is nothing super incredible about it, which mostly fits with Studio Lerche’s record, but it also is not horrible. It accomplishes what it needs to in order to be successful. The music, much like a lot of music from Slice of Life series, goes mostly under the radar when it shows up at all. The opening theme is a track sung by the three main voice actresses, all of whom have awesome voices, but the song itself is just ok, and same goes for the ending.

The voice acting is worth mentioning, however, as part of what makes the comedic delivery so good. Hina Kino (Hanaka), Konomi Kohara (Kasumi), and Rika Nagae (Olivia) all do an amazing job at being their characters, in large part because of their large vocal range. Konomi especially does incredibly well at going from quiet to extremely angry in a matter of seconds, which is what her character often requires.

This is a series I definitely plan on completing. The comedy itself is not particularly complex, relying pretty heavily on a lot of random, vulgar humor. However, it executes on that humor well, delivering highlight moments every episode. It is definitely worth watching at least the first episode.

How do you feel about Asobi Asobase? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

In Defense of Slice of Life pt. 2: How to Define the Genre

Welcome, weebs and authors alike, to The Aniwriter

In my last post, which you can find here, I talked about how the Slice of Life genre can unfairly be labeled boring or uninteresting and pointed to shows like Spice and Wolf and A Place Further than the Universe to prove my point, which brought up a different point in the comments that I was planning on talking about in this post anyway: What defines a Slice of life?

The Great Passage

Now, I’ve come up with a few working definitions, but before I put those out there I think it’s important to know what other definitions people have used before. The most common definition seems to come from Wikipedia, in which it is described as “seemingly arbitrary sequence of events in a character’s life is presented, often lacking plot development, conflict and exposition, and often having an open ending.”

In Robert E. Brenner’s book “Understanding Manga and Anime,” He defines Slice of Life as having more melodramatic tendencies, while also acknowledging the tendency to focus on School, romance, Sci-fi and fantasy.

Other definitions, including ones from Merriam Webster and Cambridge, emphasize the fact that a slice of life focuses on the “real life” of the character or characters involved.

All of these definitions probably would have been accurate by themselves even just a half a decade ago, but the reality is that the Slice of Life genre, whether we like it or not, has expanded. As Brenner’s definition acknowledges, Slice of Life in anime isn’t just high school comedy and romance. What seems to be the problem in modern anime is the Slice of Life genre’s increase in its use of fantasy and sci-fi elements.

In that case, I would propose a definition that looks something like this:

A story in which one or more characters interact in a way that involves little to no plot progression, and which generally focuses on the character’s day to day lives.

Now, I like this definition not just because I wrote it, but because it focuses on the two things that are at the heart of every slice of life show:

  • The characters
  • The character’s interactions

The definitions previously were somewhat limiting in that they had to involve the “real lives” of the characters involved, meaning that show’s with more unrealistic elements like Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid could technically be considered not Slice of Life.

Now, looking at the definition I wrote above, how would this apply to the example’s I used in my last post?

A Place Further Than the Universe

Well, this is where some of it gets a little sticky. With “A Place Further Than the Universe,” even though it might be defined by others as Slice of Life, under this definition it might not be, because even though the main girls are certainly the focus, it would be hard to argue that there is no plot progression.

The Ancient Magus Bride seems to fall somewhat more in the middle, as the show most certainly focuses mainly on Ainsworth and Chise, but there is a fair argument to be had about just how much the plot progressed by the end of the show.

Spice and wolf 2

Spice and Wolf, at least under this definition, is a pretty open and shut case. Very little in the way of actual plot progression happens during the show’s run, and the interactions between Lawrence and Holo are pretty much the main driving point of the show.

Well, that’s my answer to the question. By no means am I saying this is a perfect definition, and I would for sure love to hear some criticism and feedback, but its what I have come up with for now. I might end up following this up with a third post talking about sub-genres, but I’ll leave it at this for now.

What do you guys think the definition of Slice of Life is? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

The Aniwriter Update #3: Another Sakuga City Article and My Status on School

Welcome, weebs and authors alike, to another update.

I hope you all have had a wonderful two weeks since the last time I gave you an update, but now it is time again to let you know what exactly is going on with me, The Aniwriter, and life in general.

March Comes in Like a Lion on Sakuga City


In case you all missed it, I wrote yet another article for Sakuga City. This time I talked about March Comes in Like a Lion and how Kyoko is kind of an awful person. And when I say kind of I mean most definitely an awful person. I also wrote a review of No Game No Life Zero on Sakuga City as well, so you should check that out too.

How School is Affecting Content

As I predicted before, school right now isn’t really going to have to big of an impact on my writing flow. That may change later on in the year when my English class becomes a bit more intense, but for now, everything is probably going to stay just about the same. My goal is to have at least three posts out a week and potentially an additionally post out on my political blog if I can manage it.

Continuing the Conversation on Slice of Life

A few days ago I posted an article talking about and defending the genre of slice of life and its characterization as boring. In that article, I said there is going to be a second part where I talk about the problem of defining Slice of Life as a genre. I just wanted to inform you that the second part of that piece will still be coming out next week, but more than likely a bit later in the week, probably on Friday or something.

Extending a Collab Invitation

I forgot to mention in my This Week in Anime post yesterday that I was recently tagged in an awesome new collaboration tag made by Karandi and Raistlin. When I read that it was supposed to be a collaboration, I was honestly not sure who I should ask. So, I thought I would extend a bit of an invitation here. If anyone wants to do this tag with me, let me know. It would be super fun, I think.

The Last Two Weeks of The Anwriter:

This Week in Anime: Article Shout-Out Edition #3

Top 5 Most Anticipated Shows on My “Plan to Watch” List

In Defense of Slice of Life

This Week in Anime: Live-Action Bleach, InkyPen, and More…

Blerd Lines: Where Fiction and Reality Both Meet Tragedy

Riveting Writing Prompts #5: If Only I Had Read the Paper This Morning

And with that, there is nothing left to update you all on. Until two weeks from now, where I will let you know more things that are going on.

What has your latest obsession been? Does it distract you to the point of being unproductive? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support The Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

Sound! Euphonium: The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

Slice of life shows often time make me the most emotional. Not because they are inherently designed to elicit emotions, but because the characters are often on screen for so long that it becomes only natural to be invested in what’s going on. I mean, it’s not like their’s an overarching plot most of the time. Sound! Euphonium, however, is different. It has a goal for the main characters by episode two, and it details their struggle to achieve that goal. What is not different, though, is the attention to detail when it comes to the characters. Sound! Euphonium goes the extra mile to make sure that the characters have lives of their own lives, and by the end really capture what it means to be apart of something.

Sound! Euphonium centers around Kumiko Oumae, a freshman Kitauji High School. Upon attending her first day she is greeted by a performance from the Kitauji High Band, and is less than impressed. Later that day she meets some newfound friends and decides to join them in checking out the band. After a day of not really knowing what to do, she decides that she will join the band and once again play the Euphonium. Now in Kitauji Band, Kumiko meets a whole host of other music nerds, including Reina Kousaka, a skilled trumpet player who has her sights set on the band’s new teacher.

Screenshot 2017-12-27 22.21.16

As with other Slice of Life shows, the characters are at the forefront of the story. Kumiko and her friends develop over the show’s two seasons and come out having learned what it is they really want. Hazuki gets her arc first, falling in love with Kumiko’s childhood friend Shuuichi and enlisting the help of Kumiko in order to help her with her feelings. She remains indecisive on the matter, but eventually with encouragement from Kawashima and Kumkio telling her that she doesn’t like Shuuichi, a thought that was largely holding her back, Hazuki decides to ask him out. the date goes well enough, but Hazuki soon realizes that Shuuichi is not going to reciprocate her feelings. This experience not only makes Hazuki more worthy of sympathy but also makes her realize that her passion can lye in more than just romance and that her love for Tuba-kun is just as strong.

Asuka, the Band’s Vice President, is explored in the latter half of the second season. Her arc involves the abuse from her mother and her mother’s insistence that she leaves the band. It is later revealed that this hatred of band comes from her having divorced a famous Euphonist. This abuse from her mother finally gets to Asuka, and she decides to leave the band, rarely if at all showing up for practice even right before the national competition, but Kumiko decides that Asuka needs to return, and spills her heart out in front of her. Asuka’s always cheerful attitude and resistance to talking about her personal circumstance appear true to life, as many who are going through abuse are often the most involved in making sure others are happy. Whether they be happy or depressing, the show remains committed to telling the stories of its characters.

Sound! Euphonium also shows the realities of being involved with an organization in high school. I know from personal experience that no matter how much you do not like someone, you have to stick it out and work together with them. But, more often then not, for every person you do not like, there will be 10 more you do. Kitauji High’s Band is a great example of finding a community of people who share the same passion you do, and getting to have fun with them while also improving at the thing you love. It is a reminder that high school is can often time be the beginning of a new chapter in your life, and that chapter can only be a good as you make it.

The show’s excellent writing aside, its animation is another great point. Kyoani put together a great team for Sound Euphonium, and ended up with a great result because of it. Everything, from the fireworks at the festivals to the performances and even the background, oozed talent and attention to detail.

The music, while still being good, was, unfortunately, one of the weaker points. Both of the show’s openings and endings were nothing worth mentioning and all but one of tracks in the show could be described as “adequate.” The one exception, of course, is the track the show is named after, “Sound! Euphonium,” a song that captures the emotional nuance of the show in a way that words would have a hard time competing against.

Screenshot 2017-12-27 22.36.42

Sound! Euphonium, having remained off my radar for a long time, is a show that all will always remember fondly, largely because of when I watched it. Its ability to tell a compelling story about a bunch of band nerds wanting “to be the very best like no one ever was” is a testament to its quality. Even with only an above-average soundtrack, the show will likely remain in my heart as a go-to recommendation for anyone looking for a good high school slice of life.