I love action-packed anime. Give me all the tournament arcs, explosions and world-ending magic spells you can! While my husband might like a good adventure-driven anime just as much as the next anime fan, his favorite sort of anime to end an evening with tend to be slower, character-driven stories.
And let’s just say that explosions and quiet slice-of-life series don’t always have a lot in common.
Of course, that means each night is a mad dash to see who can open the Funimation app the fastest. But look, it doesn’t have to be this way! I’ve done the hard work of sifting through countless slice of life to find those special shows that straddle genre lines and have a little something extra for those of us who aren’t always quite as excited as our partners at the prospect of watching the season’s latest slice-of-life series.
Here are six slice-of-life anime to watch with your partner (or BFF or roommate!) that aren’t only the slow and steady stories the genre is known for.
Dragon Goes House-Hunting
Do you like video games? How about high fantasy? Well, look no further than Dragon Goes House-Hunting, a slice of life anime with a whole lot of fantasy, comedy and plenty of references.
Letty is a dragon who isn’t great at typical dragon-like things. After losing an egg, he’s kicked out of his home and needs to find a new place to live in a big, scary fantasy world filled with adventurers and heroes looking to go dragon slaying and craftspeople who want nothing more than some rare dragon mats. The elf Dearia sympathizes with his plight, and is only too happy to help Letty find a place he can call home…and maybe use the situation to his own ends a little in the process.
Dragon Goes House-Hunting loves to turn a trope on its head and take it to its very literal extremes. Letty lands himself in one comedic situation after another, each episode finding him in a new place with new characters ever in search of a half-suitable place to live. This series is just chock-full of references to various video games, anime and other fantasy-based media, too.
So while your partner enjoys the loose plot and day-to-day activities of a traveling dragon and elf, you get to indulge in a fantasy-comedy with two very different main characters who aren’t usually the good-guy protagonists in your standard fantasy.
Watch Dragon Goes House-Hunting on Funimation!
“Uh, why is this here? Black Lagoon? Isn’t that the one with the over-the-top action?” I hear you ask. Yeah, you’re right. Black Lagoon is filled with gunfights, boats being jumped like cars, tons of battles and so many explosions.
But at its core, a slice of life anime might just be a story that follows someone’s daily life, literally giving us a view of a small “slice” of their life. A smuggler’s life is filled with a whole lot more action and explosions than your typical salaryman or high-school-aged slice-of-life protagonist, though, making this a perfect show for action-adventure-loving anime fans and their slice-of-life anime-loving partner.
Rokuro Okajima was a salaryman working a regular, boring job. But after one thing led to another, he found himself stranded with a mercenary/smuggler group after a deal gone wrong involving the higher-ups in his company.
Now he’s part of Black Lagoon, a group that will do pretty much any job that happens to land in their laps. Rokuro now has a steep learning curve as he tries to live the life of a smuggler in Roanapur. But can he keep hold of his morals as he adapts to his new life?
Black Lagoon is nothing but nonstop action for you and a slice of a very different sort of life of a group of mercenaries for your S.O.
Watch Black Lagoon on Funimation!
Welcome to the N-H-K
Ready for a more psychological take on slice of life? Look no further.
Welcome to the N-H-K is the story of Tatsuhiro Sato, a college-aged guy who’s been a hikikomori for almost four years. In this series, we get a glimpse of Satou’s loner lifestyle, anxiety and the obscure conspiracy theories he believes in. We also meet his neighbors and old schoolmates, each of whom battles their own major struggles with things like anxiety and more.
This is a very psychologically driven story about self-isolation, struggling with mental health, and navigating the transition between the freedom of college life and the constraints adulthood can place on you.
Your partner will be getting a slice of life about a hikikomori while you indulge in the character’s psychology, conspiracy theories galore and an unexpectedly high-octane ending.
Watch Welcome to the N-H-K on Funimation!
A slice-of-life anime set in high school may not sound like ground-breaking territory, but what if I told you this was by the same creator that brought us Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and is set at a farming school?
Yep, you read that right. Yuugo Hachiken is a high schooler who doesn’t know where he wants to go in life. So he leaves the big city for a rural school to learn all about farming. This is the story of his time at school, learning about what it means to raise animals, live off of the land and survive in a rural setting so different from everything he’s ever known.
This is a story with a whole lot of heart and soul with characters that are every bit as memorable as those found in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
While your S.O. can indulge in some traditional high school slice of life, you can look forward to a fantastic tale by one of your favorite shonen storytellers set in a very, very different setting normally featured in high school life anime.
Watch Silver Spoon on Funimation!
Part-historical fiction, part-environmental story, and part-fantasy, Mushi-Shi is a slice-of-life anime with so much to offer.
Each episode of Mushi-Shi is a single, haunting tale featuring the clash of humans and mushi—creatures that are life at its most basic. These beings can be found everywhere, are often unseen, and straddle the line between the mythical and the mundane.
But humans and mushi struggle to live together peacefully; the existence of one often encroaches on the other in unintentionally destructive ways. The thread linking each story is Ginko, a mushi master forever traveling the world, determined to solve issues between the mushi and humans as peacefully as he can.
This is a series filled with wonder and beauty but also often bears a melancholic, lonely feel. Absolutely stunning art and a haunting soundtrack also make this slice of life a true standout.
So while your other half can revel in a slow tale of a mushi master doing what he does best, you get to experience the semi-historical setting, fairy-tale-like episodes, and the utter magic that is Mushi-Shi.
Watch Mushi-Shi on Funimation!
Kakushigoto is a slice-of-life story about a father and daughter that’s full of comedy and cute moments, featuring the most adorable kid to ever grace anime. But it’s also a whole lot more than that.
Kakushi Goto is a doting single father who desperately wants to keep the fact that he’s a well-known mangaka hidden from his little girl. After all, how could he face her ever again if she knew he drew raunchy comedy?!
What ensues is a series of comedic errors, misunderstandings and paranoia-fueled ongoings as Kakushi desperately tries to hold his spot as Best Dad™.
While the slice-of-life setup will satisfy your partner, this is most definitely a show that is so much more than the sum of its parts. Hilarious comedy is tempered with genuinely heartwarming moments. But it’s also a story that examines loss, grief, the real fears that come with parenthood and a family of three learning how to be a family of two.
Watch Kakushigoto on Funimation!