"Nothing really happens, but in a really good way."
Iyashikei (癒し系) is Japanese for "healing", a term used for anime
created with the specific purpose of having a healing or soothing effect on the audience. Works of this kind often involve alternative realities with little to no conflict, emphasizing nature and the little delights in life. If anybody talks about a "Moe
" genre about cute girls doing cute things, it may very likely be in this genre.
Even though many iyashikei creations seem to have a strong escapist basis, the goal is not only to offer a means of getting away from daily worries, but to let the audience embrace a calming state of mind. As these works tend to involve normal people in normal situations, this trope often overlaps with Slice of Life
. Other tropes often associated with iyashikei are Arcadia
, Ghibli Hills
and Scenery Porn
Iyashikei often involves the subtler kind of Crowning Moment of Heartwarming
. Compare and contrast Warm and Fuzzy Feeling
, Tastes Like Diabetes
, Sweet Dreams Fuel
, and Happiness Tropes
. Contrast Utsuge
(the closest genre to its diametric opposite in Japanese media), Glurge
, Nightmare Fuel
and Paranoia Fuel
. Works adhering to this trope might function as Real Life Brain Bleach
. See also Escapism
for very similar concept.
Works in this genre:
- ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.
- Acchi Kocchi
- A Channel
- Ah! My Goddess: Two very caring people fall in love, as their friends and family members have wacky harmless hijinks in the background. In particular, Skuld's subplot about learning to ride a bike is devoted to showing that just living a normal human life can be pretty sweet.
- Amanchu! is a story of a high school girl who befriends a scuba diving enthusiast and joins the school diving club. It's a story of their friendship while learning how to scuba dive, accompanied with beautiful visuals.
- Ame-iro Kouchakan Kandan
- ARIA: A woman practices to be a gondolier in a futuristic Venice. Gorgeous visuals and an easygoing storyline makes it ideal for those who just want to relax.
- Azumanga Daioh: Slice of life story of a group of high school students and some of their teachers. Full of gags and cuteness.
- Binbou Shimai Monogatari
- Binchou-tan: An orphan in grinding, soul-destroying poverty becomes rich in friends, ultimately exclaiming how much she loves life.
- Bunny Drop: A man without much purpose in life impulsively adopts a grade school girl. This is a story of how they interact and become a family.
- Burly Men At Sea is a Western example.
- Flying Witch
- Girls' Last Tour: The end of the world has never been so relaxing. After all, as long as Chito and Yuuri have each other, nice things still happen.
- Golden Sky Stories is a Tabletop RPG that tries to emulate this.
- Gourmet Girl Graffiti is a series about a few girls enjoying good food.
- Haibane Renmei
- Hakumei & Mikochi
- Happy Birthday: Inochi Kagayaku Toki (Re-Birthday) is an anime about a child who has low self-esteem from being verbally abused by her mom and bullies at school. However, when she takes a vacation to her grandparents at a serene farm, she comes to develop more self-esteem and see her self-worth. Everything also works out in the end with people changing for the better.
- Hidamari Sketch
- Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
- Isekai Shokudou
- Is the Order a Rabbit? embraces the "cute girls doing cute things" idea, as it is about five girls and their friends/relatives living in a beautiful European-style city with Bunnies for Cuteness everywhere and the focus is their friendship and working in various cafés.
- Kawa no Hikari is a lot like Pom Poko and more idyllic and poetic.
- Kemono Friends
- Kiniro Mosaic: A Slice of Life series about cute girls in school.
- K-On! is in essence a Moe-fied, Gender Flip version of The Beatles set in school. The main characters however spend a lot of time drinking tea, eating cake and having fun just about as much as they practice music or play on concerts.
- Konohana Kitan
- Laid-Back Camp
- Mahoraba is a relaxing harem-esque series where any drama is very light-hearted or played for laughs, and all girls in the "harem" are really all the same girl.
- Makura no Danshi
- Momokuri: Cute, fluffy high school romance.
- Morita-san Wa Mukuchi
- Mushishi is a strange example. Despite having a fair share of bittersweet endings, tear-jerkers, and even horrors, the overall tranquility makes it soothing to watch.
- My Lovely Ghost Kana is about an Unlucky Everydude who's so down on his luck that he's thinking about suicide, until, on the verge of homelessness, he moves into a haunted apartment and meets the ghost of a girl who actually killed herself many years ago. The girl convinces the boy that life is still worth living, and the boy befriends the girl and helps her get over her tragic death and subsequent years of solitude. Despite the dark premise, it quickly turns into a mostly-happy Slice of Life about the growing relationship between two nice people, one of whom happens to be undead.
- Natsume's Book Of Friends The Feels never end!
- New Game!
- Non Non Biyori Arguably the king of feel-good anime. Quoted by Anime News Network as, "... the animated equivalent of a security blanket."
- Only Yesterday
- RWBY Chibi is another western example. It's especially healing if one comes from watching the original show and all the stuff that happens in it. Sure, it has one or two creepy moments and some dark humor, but in general is a harmless and cute show with chibi versions of RWBY's characters and a ton of Sweet Dreams Fuel.
- Shirokuma Cafe: A relaxing Slice of Life anime with anthropomorphic animals.
- Someday's Dreamers
- Sound of the Sky. In its most Slice of Life, K-On! meets All Quiet on the Western Front moments, it manages to be both healing and quietly thought-provoking.
- Super Sonico is a Slice of Life story where any potential drama only turn out to have warm and fuzzy endings, and with a fair amount of Fanservice.
- Sweetness & Lightning
- Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge
- Umi Monogatari is about accepting your inner darkness. Marin, Kanon, and Urin have to go through a lot while fighting Sedna, including facing their own fears and sorrow. In the end they don't destroy Sedna, but accept her and their sorrow back into their hearts.
- Wife and Wife is a story about a lesbian couple moving in together and how they adjust to their new lives, eventually marrying.
- Windy Tales
- Yama No Susume
- Yuki Yuna Is a Hero could be this...or the complete oposite. On the one hand, the creator stated that this is a "new type" of this anime, and the ending is at least hopeful and nice. On the other hand, it's horribly dark and depressing once certain revelations come out, and how happy the ending was depends a lot on how you see it.
- Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou An After the End manga focused on a female android minding a cafe in the middle of nowhere. Despite the post-disaster world that has left humanity in decline, it's a soft and easygoing story about the android's life. Much of the story is told through pictures versus words.
- Yotsuba&!: A Slice of Life comic about a preschool girl and her discovery of the world around her. Today is always the most enjoyable day!