"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:
- 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
- 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.
- Flying Witch
- 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
- Hidamari Sketch
- Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Natsume's Book Of Friends The Feels never end!
- 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
- 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 married couple moving in together and how they adjust to their new lives.
- Windy Tales
- Yama No Susume
- The Magical Girl Warrior Yuki Yuna Is a Hero is according to Word of God a "new type" of this anime. It doesn't contain much "healing" until the literal end. In fact, it's the complete opposite—it's dark and depressing once certain revelations come out.
- 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!