The Best Underrated Slice-of-Life Anime From the 2010s

Slice-of-life as a category has the ability to stretch across many genres within anime. While the most well-known ones typically provide viewers with a sought-after emotional feeling of comfort, comedy or fun, this can vary significantly depending on the surface-level genre. In the 2010s, A Place Further Than the Universe, March Comes in Like a Lion, and Laid-Back Camp showed how popular and critically acclaimed slice-of-life anime could get -- but in comparison, here are some of the most underrated titles from the period.

Kino's Journey -the Beautiful World- the Animated Series

Kino's Journey -the Beautiful World- the Animated Series follows Kino, a traveler in a mystical land who goes to different places to experience what they’re known for and uncover the truth of it or the people there. The anime itself is a quiet adventure show that builds out a vast world with diverse groups of people and real-life circumstances that either plague them or are simply taken as fact. Each episode has a surprising twist and is animated beautifully. Its simple slice-of-life aspect is a person on a journey, joined solely by a talking motorcycle, but it's a series that showcases a world that pushes the boundaries of the imagination.

Related: The Best Underrated Sci-Fi Anime From the 2010s

Usagi Drop

Usagi Drop follows Daikichi Kawachi and Rin through the struggles of both mourning lost family members and becoming accustomed to the realities of fatherhood. Kawachi takes Rin in and decides to raise her instead of allowing her to be sent to an orphanage due to her illegitimacy. The anime leans on the side of the more dramatic slice-of-life, but still provides viewers with the sought-after emotions of comfort, tears and laughter. It’s a dad anime with a father figure, but one that never oversteps the boundaries of their relationship. Rather, the series gracefully journeys through the complicated circumstances of fatherhood, motherhood, growing up and grieving without sacrificing any character’s personal development.

Related: Sakugan Is a Dad Anime, First and Foremost

Given

Given follows Mafuyu Sato and Ritsuka Uenoyama through a journey filled with music, romance, grief and personal growth. On a genre level, it's a boy’s love romance showcased in dramatic fashion with music as its leading facilitator. The series follows Mafuyu as he begins learning to play music, and Ritsuka as he tries to find his way back to music. This is a powerful anime that seeks to disrupt and comfort the audience’s soul, and does a fantastic job in both cases. It follows numerous characters through their complicated romantic relationships, as well as their individual relationships with music itself. The music in the anime is intentionally compelling in a way that's sure to stir the emotions of just about any viewer.

NEXT: The Most Underrated Slice of Life Anime From the 2000s

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Ricky Soberano (28 Articles Published)

Ricky Soberano is a freelance writer and editor in Brooklyn. She's the former Features Editor for Crunchyroll News and Managing Editor of VRV and Brooklyn Magazine. She's also written for Bustle, NYLON, Complex, and Maxim. She's usually slurping ramen like Koizumi.

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