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Iyashikei

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"Nothing really happens, but in a really good way."
Sayaka Ohara, voice of Alicia in ARIA

Iyashikei (癒し系) is Japanese for "healing", a term used for anime and manga 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.

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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 Heartwarming Moment. 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 a very similar concept.

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Works in this genre:

  • ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.: The series is ostensibly a story of political intrigue, conspiracy, and espionage, though in reality an equal amount of time is spent eating cake and admiring the scenery. The fate of an entire nation may hang in the balance, but that doesn't mean there isn't time to visit the bakery.
  • 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.
  • Aiura
  • All Quiet on the Western Front: At times, it manages to be both healing and quietly thought-provoking.
  • 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.
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  • Ame-iro Kouchakan Kandan
  • Animal Crossing is essentially this trope in video game form.
  • 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.
  • Bananya
  • Barakamon: A troubled calligraphy protege is sent to live with a quiet island community, where he finds inspiration in the quirky hijinks of the townspeople. The problem? He's a city boy, combined with Mama's Boy and Manchild.
  • Bartender
  • 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 his grandpa's illegitimate child, 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: A young witch entering high school moves with her relatives to a calm, small town, starting her "witch adulthood" while adapting to everyday life with her cousins.
  • Getsuyoubi no Tawawa
  • 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
  • Hanayamata
  • 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
  • How To Keep A Mummy
  • Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
  • Isekai Shokudou: A master chef and restauranteur opens his shop on Saturdays to the inhabitants of a fantasy world, serving as a haven for both humans and supernatural beings alike.
  • 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.
  • Kamichu!
  • Kawa no Hikari is a lot like Pom Poko and more idyllic and poetic.
  • Kemono Friends
  • Kimi to Boku is a Slice of Life about 5 high school boys in a rare Gender Flip version.
  • 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, to the point where they pretty much never practice music or play in concerts. They're pretty good musicians, though
  • Konohana Kitan: A young Kitsune girl starts working at an inn for supernatural beings.
  • Laid-Back Camp (also known as Yurucamp): Cute girls go camping. Competes with Non Non Biyori for maximum feelings of warm, cozy comfort.
  • 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
  • Mitsuboshi Colors: The imagination-filled adventures of three young girls in their quest to defend their town from "evil".
  • Mokke
  • 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. Be warned, it's pretty kinky.
  • Natsume's Book of Friends: The Feels never end!
  • New Game!: A young high school graduate gets hired into her dream job of designing characters for games, and works directly under her idol.
  • 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.
  • Shinryaku! Ika Musume: This anime follows Ika Musume, a squid girl who is angry at humanity for polluting the oceans and seeks a way to invade humanity. She is however unsuccessful in her attempts to subdue humanity and ends up being a useful waitress at a local beach restaurant. Its summery atmosphere throughout the episodes, light-hearted humour and overall lack of conflict make this anime ideal to dream of hot summer days at the beach.
  • Shirokuma Cafe: A relaxing Slice of Life anime with anthropomorphic animals.
  • Sketchbook
  • Someday's Dreamers
  • Sound of the Sky. In its most Slice of Life, K-On! meets War Is Hell. A cadet trumpeter girl joins a frontier regiment at the border of The Neutral Zone just miles away from a hostile country. Mainly serves as a reminder of the sheer beauty and moving power of music as a true bringer of peace, and how it has the might to move mountains.
  • 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: A bewildered and recently widowed dad learns to cook for his young daughter together with the help of one of his high school students, who herself is the daughter of a famed TV chef, at said chef's empty restaurant.
  • Tamayura
  • Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge: A sleepyhead high school kid tries to get through his day at school as unimpeded as possible.
  • Tsuritama
  • 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.
  • Wakako Zake is a series of vignettes about enjoying food, drink, and being alone with your thoughts.
  • We Bare Bears is yet another western animation example.
  • 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
  • Winnie-the-Pooh: There's a reason this series has been a family favorite for years. Sadly some more derivative entries have veered to far towards kiddie show territory to fit in the genre, but when there can easily be museum exhibits that attract people of all ages, you'd be hard-pressed to call Pooh simply a kid's series.
  • Yama no Susume
  • 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!
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero could be this...or the complete opposite. 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.

Alternative Title(s): Healing Anime, Healing Manga

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